The Green Bay Packers scraped out a narrow victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Here are 10 things you may have missed from the broadcast.
1. Pro Picks, No Picks
The Fox NFL pregame didn’t even think this matchup was worthy of their selections. No one was asked to provide a prediction on the game and therefore, no one did. In fact, it almost seemed as if the Fox studio talent was going out of their way to NOT talk about this matchup on any level. I can’t say that I blame them. This game offered about as much intrigue as a toilet brush.
2. Rob Riggle is must see TV
Do I need to even elaborate on this? This guy is freaking hilarious and I truly admire how he comes up with unique stuff every week. Seriously, if you’re not going out of your way to see Riggle do his thing every Sunday then you’re truly missing out. This week’s skit revolved around a NFL help line and featured a cameo by Dr. Phil.
3. One happy field
Did you see the montage of how they thaw out the tundra on game days?
Well, first they throw this big thick tarp over it. Then they sort of prop the tarp up enough to bring in these big space heaters that look more like jet engines. Then they turn on the jets and blast that sucker with nice warm air to keep it all nice and toasty.
Now, if only I could invent something similar for Wisconsin beds for those cold winter nights. Can you imagine me pitching that on ‘Shark Tank’?
“So yeah… it’s like a blowtorch that runs through this complex coiling system and keeps everything under the blankets nice and warm.”
“But isn’t that dangerous? Won’t the blankets catch fire?”
“Hmm. Yeah. Maybe. But it WILL keep you warm up to, and to the conclusion of your fiery death. So who wants in?”
4. Packers defer… Amen
Glad to see the Packers staff got my memo on this last time.
Defer. Defer. Defer. Defer.
5. Mike Smith is conservative. Also, water is wet.
The Falcons were in the process of completely deflating any hopes the Packers had of destroying the lowly team from Atlanta. In sub-zero temperatures and in the face of a boisterous Packers crowd, the Falcons were methodical in their first drive. They picked up first down after first down while marching into Packers’ territory with little resistance.
After keeping Green Bay’s porous defense on the field for a whopping six minutes, the Falcons were faced with a tough 4th and 2 decision from the Green Bay 35.
Except is wasn’t a tough decision at all. It was 4th and 2 from the Packers’ 35-yard line on the opening drive of the game. The freaking 35! You’re a 3-9 team, you just put together a six-minute opening drive after your opponent deferred to give you the ball and you’re going to punt from their 35 facing 4th and 2?
6. Return of the slant
I’ve been so sick and tired of teams burning us with slant patterns over the past few weeks. I get that when it is executed properly it is damn near impossible to stop. What I was unable to “get” was why the Packers weren’t running more of them on the offensive side of the ball. Well, finally we got some this Sunday where the Falcons defended it about as poorly as the Packers did versus Megatron.
It’s about damn time!
7. The return of defending the slant
The Falcons ran a couple slants against Tramon Williams that were completed, but each time Williams exploded to the ball and made quick tackles for zero yards after the catch. Versus an undefendable route when thrown well, that’s pretty damn good.
Tramon has taken his share of shit from me over the past couple years, but he’s once again gaining my respect when I didn’t think that was possible. I was calling for his job not long ago and he’s well on his way to confirming what we all knew already: This writer doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.
8. Billick and Brennaman freeze their asses off
Did you see these guys? Funny stuff. Not only do teams not want to come play in Green Bay during the wintertime, I doubt the broadcasters do either. There was a great shot of Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman on air wearing ski mask type clothing and stocking caps. Both guys were obviously freezing and Billick apologized to his teenage daughter, who he knew would not approve of his extremely uncool look.
9. Big Sean… Big Bad Sean
Who’s that linebacker in the defensive secondary? You can’t help but notice big number 28 lurking back there. Sean Richardson might be exactly what the doctor ordered for this secondary. Have you ever seen someone back there for the Packers who would scare you should you theoretically have to go over the middle? I mean, a few years ago when tackling a guy who had just been thrown the football was legal… not today where you must let the guy catch it, do a soft-shoe number, curl himself into a protective ball… and THEN hit him.
Here’s how it breaks down according to the roster at Packers.com
|32||Banjo, Chris||S||5-10||207||23||R||Southern Methodist University|
|42||Burnett, Morgan||S||6-1||209||24||4||Georgia Tech|
|43||Jennings, M.D.||S||6-0||195||25||3||Arkansas State|
Personally, I think Richardson looks even bigger than these numbers suggest. One thing is for certain… you notice him back there. I will patiently await for him to lay someone out, get a deserved 15-yard penalty, and put every wide receiver on notice that we’ve got a freight train back there just waiting to unload.
Sidenote: Sean Richardson is listed at 216. Aaron Rodgers is listed at 225. I don’t think in a million years that Rodgers weighs more than Richardson. No way in hell.
10. Packers Fans Need to Look in the Mirror
Booing at Lambeau Field?
Packers fans are part of the reason that Lambeau is not the home field advantage it used to be and should be now. The reason… we’re spoiled rotten. We don’t cheer. We don’t bring the menace that the fans in Seattle and Kansas City bring. We think our team doesn’t need it.
They do. Store it up and bring it two Sundays from now when Pittsburgh rolls into town. It very well could make the difference.