Quick Slants NFC Championship Game: Packers vs Falcons
2 months ago, this team was circling the drain. The life was gurgling out of them like a grade school carnival goldfish, and nothing was going right. The losses were piling up, each one more cartoonishly ridiculous than the last, and all hope was lost. Except for Aaron Rodgers. His now infamous “run the table” quote has taken the Packers universe by storm, and the team has responded in kind. 8 consecutive wins later, a MASH unit Packers squad takes on the Atlanta Falcons for the right to play in the 51st Super Bowl. I don’t know about any of you, but my nerves were shot about 12 hours before this game started. I’ve felt like a kerosene rag wrapped cotton ball in a Bic factory since Saturday night, folks. Without further adieu…….
- The Packers defense allowing the Falcons to pick up 3 3rd down conversions on the first drive was suboptimal. That stuff needs to get fixed.
- Jordy Nelson looked good on the first drive, even if I was screaming at him to lay down every time he caught the ball.
- The offense fell apart at the end of the first drive because of their inability to diagnose and evade middle blitzes.
- Mason Crosby…..sigh.
- The Capers zone defense is bad enough with good defensive backs. Put Damarious Randall out there…..
- The Packers only defense in the 1st quarter was Atlanta screwing up. That works in Battleship, but not in the NFL.
- Aaron Ripkowski made me mad and sad, but I will never not love him.
- HOW WAS THAT NOT A SAFETY??? The guy recovered the ball, got up, rolled backwards into the endzone, and was touched. Somehow that’s a touchback?
- The Packers defense has been living on the “bend but don’t break” cliff for quite a while now. It was only a matter of time before the cliff crumbled. So many factors, including injuries, but at the end of the day, 1 man is responsible for that outfit. Will he be held accountable? Spoiler alert: Probably not.
- The Falcons just came out of the gate and destroyed this defense in every imaginable way. There was zero redeeming quality to this game defensively for Green Bay. They got humiliated in front of the entire world. Matt Ryan, MATT RYAN scrambled for a 20 yard touchdown. MATT RYAN. No excuses. None. Absolutely pathetic on all fronts.
- The offense wasn’t much better. Missed field goal, Ripper fumble, Rodgers getting knocked around like a crash test dummy…..I don’t really have any words to describe this at all.
- This was very reminiscent of the game earlier this season against Tennessee. After the game, Rodgers ripped his team for not having enough fire. Sadly, after today there is no chance to bring it back.
- The Falcons had a brilliant defensive scheme in the first half. Coverage was good, but the front 7 was better. They got pressure on Rodgers and laid the lumber when they got home. No doubt they were the better prepared team.
- The game came down to 3 things: Green Bay not capitalizing on Atlanta mistakes, the overwhelming awfulness of Green Bay’s linebacker and cornerback play, and turnovers. Throw in a pretty scarce pass rush, and game over. Atlanta was red hot lava and Green Bay was lukewarm Jello.
- Watching Aaron Rodgers in the 4th quarter, playing his heart out despite being on the short end of a massive blowout……he deserves better than this.
- I’m sad and angry, just like I’m sure most of you are. But a wise person (I’m way to bummed to look up who) once said “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” This team faced more adversity than any Packers team of the Rodgers era. They had no business making it into the playoffs at all, as late in the season as mid November. But they rallied, and fought, and clawed their way to the top of the NFC North when most everybody said it was Minnesota’s time, or Detroit’s division to lose. They showed more fight and spirit than anybody else in the league for 2 straight months, and somehow played above their heads to make the NFC Championship game. I will not let the fact that they laid a giant stinky egg in this game change my mind about this team. I am mad and disappointed, but we have to recognize the achievements of this season. Many months of analysis and opining will follow, but as it stands now to me, this team is only a few pieces away from being in next year’s Super Bowl. A new defensive coordinator, at least 1 veteran defensive back, and health. Not too much to ask. Will the first two things happen? Time will tell, but at this point if nothing is done, if status quo remains, then I’m afraid that seasons like this will happen for infinity.
- Can’t wait for training camp. GO PACK GO!