Playoffs, Baby!

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Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers and the Packers got it done.

At no point did they make it look pretty, but the Green Bay Packers are in the playoffs after a 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears.

The Bears were true to their word and played their starters until the final minutes, which is when the Packers finally sealed the win after a Nick Collins’ interception.

The Packers didn’t bother to get on the board until the third quarter, when Mason Crosby hit a 23-yard field goal to tie a sloppy game. The Packers would finally take the lead in the fourth on a one-yard Donald Lee touchdown.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense looked tight for most of the day, but the defense carried the team and ultimately sealed the deal.

Erik Walden, who the Packers picked up off waivers earlier in the season, played like a man possessed, finishing with a team-high 11 tackles and two sacks. Even when Frank Zombo returns from injury, it might be tough for him to reclaim his starting job after Walden’s performance, Sunday.

Charles Woodson was all over the field and the Packers blitzed him heavily. Woodson came up with one sack and six tackles.

The biggest defensive plays were made by the Packers maligned safeties, Charlie Peprah and Collins.

Peprah came up with the day’s first interception of Jay Cutler, picking that mouth breather in the end zone to snuff out a Chicago scoring opportunity. Collins then ended it with the Bears driving for the tying score with under a minute left.

Perhaps the player who came up the biggest on the day was punter Tim Masthay, who consistently kept the ball away from the Bears’ biggest weapon, Devin Hester. Masthay netted 36.6 yards on eight punts and Hester only had two returns and was never a threat.

The Packers will travel to Philadelphia on Sunday to start what will hopefully be a long playoff journey.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

12 Comments on "Playoffs, Baby!"

  1. jeremy

    We’ve all had our share of quibbles with the way TT and MM go about their business. They found and coached up guys like Howard Green, Eric Walden, Sam Shields, Frank Zombo, and Matt Flynn. They’ve done a hell of a job getting the Packers to the Tournament with the ridiculous rash of injuries we’ve seen this year. Hopefully they give Dom Capers a HUGE raise!

  2. ay hombre

    It was a big win and a well-coached game except for the horrendous series of 1st and goal from the 1. That lateral pass to Brandon Jackson down on the goal line? Are you fucking serious? That play was a fraction of an inch away from being a disaster headed back the other way for a 99 yard Bears score. When questioned about it by the press, MM responds like the question isn’t justified.

    Although our staff deserves credit for fighting through injuries, it is precisely these meltdowns that have cost us all year and will continue to. I mean seriously….a three yard backward pass that could result in a live ball is the best you got on 2nd and goal from the 1.5?

    I still hate his guts and will continue to until he proves me wrong.

  3. ay hombre

    And there was another bomb thrown on a crucial 3rd and 2. I don’t know if that’s ARodge unwilling to find an easier completion, but it looked like the deep route was the primary receiver which once again, as always, is McCarthy not calling a mathematically smart game. Although I understand the tendency to run, opens up a deep pass, but how often is that deep pass going to be completed versus a play designed to move the sticks.

    Yeah…there are times to run on 3rd and 9 and pass on 3rd and 1, but that is usually done with a purpose. The stakes are too great to throw deep on 3rd and 2 and give up possession. Now that’s not to say you don’t sprinkle in a couple bombs in those situations, but the % at which we throw deep on 3rd and short and even 4th and short is simply way too high. Furthermore…what has our success been on these deep passes on 3rd and short? I do remember ARodge completing a couple of these, but by and large these unnecessary gambles have resulted in punting the ball on 4th and 1 or 2. Teams are now aware that we will throw deep on 3rd and short, and that threat should loosen some things up…yet we throw it deep in that spot unsuccessfully time and time again.

    Our defense and Dom Capers deserves a ton of credit. Ted Thompson deserves a ton of credit. Mike McCarthy deserves credit for keeping his team level, getting them to show up every week, and getting his guys to put forth a winning effort week after week.

    However…Mike McCarthy has to be one of the worst game managers I have ever seen lead such a talented team and although I will be cheering for him to make me a believer, I simply can’t help but think that when the crucial moment comes down, he’ll fail his team as he has all year.

    All the hype ain’t shit. We were REALLY hyped in the playoffs last year too.

    I will bow my head with hat in hand and write Mike McCarthy a letter if he leads this team to the promised land. I want to write that letter. I hope I’m forced to write that letter, but when push comes to shove, he doesn’t believe he’s ever made a poor game management decision in his life, and therefore this problem can never be fixed.

    Prove me wrong, tubby.

    • jeremy

      I wish you were right but they can’t come back. The only way it is possible is if the team comes to an injury settlement with the player and releases them. Then they can come back for another team.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Injured_reserve_list

      However, I’m hearing with the new “Enhance Season” will come a 6 week injured reserve list. Something the NFL really needs.

  4. Matt

    WHERES WALDEN!!!!!!!!!!! man did that guy bring it!! thats EXACTLY what we need is a guy that steps up when everyone is focused on matthews on the other side!

  5. Chas

    Overall not a good game, but a win. Finally a close game McNut did not throw away. The recievers did not help with all the drops again. Jennings is our man but his expressions after the big drops have me puzzled. Is he smiling at himself at times or mad at Rogders? I think AJ Hawk should get more credit for the job he does with the defense. His job is not the glory of Matthews and he seems to be doing a good job at shoring up the middle and short runs.. At least were are in..

  6. Shawn iltarion

    Well, when the football deflects off your helmet on national TV, you might as well have a laugh about it.

    Good call on AJ Hawk, Chas. The Packers need to restructure his contract. He is calling the defense and has been solid everywhere. He is an alternate to the Pro Bowl, and it is much deserved. The Pack will need another big game from him against the Eaglets.

  7. Ryan

    AJ Hawk has been an unsung hero these past few weeks. With Matthews struggling with injuries, Hawk has played Superb. After being the #5 pick in the draft, Hawk has been largely overshadowed by Matthews – but he is still a good player.

    Once again, I will attempt to defend McCarthy. The only play call I had a problem with the entire game was the 1st and Goal from the 1 – the first time around. As much as I like John Kuhn, I get really annoyed to hear all of the fans in the stadium yelling for him and even more bewildered that MM would actually call his number there. Everyone was expecting exactly that and not surprisingly, he was completely stuffed. Not to mention, the Bears front 4 is excellent. If Kuhn has to get the ball here then I think he’d do better getting a sweep or something. Quite frankly, I don’t think he is that great pounding it up the middle. The Packers ran the same play on a third and one early in the game and I don’t think he got the first down, although he was given a favorable spot and the referee didn’t even call for a measurement.

    I had no problem with the rest of the play calling. I liked the call on 2nd and goal – Rodgers screwed it up with a bad toss. Had the toss been on, Jackson probably would have scored because the Bears totally bought the fake QB sneak; I am sure they have watched the tape that shows Rodgers doing that throughout the season. As we all know, Rodgers was sacked on the next play.

    I don’t think it is fair to blame McCarthy for the 3rd and 1 deep bomb, at least entirely. Unless you know for sure that there was no other routes being run and that Aaron had no choice but to throw it deep because of the play called, you can’t blame MM entirely. MM gives Aaron the reins to make checks at the line if he sees something and to throw it deep when he feels he has single coverage. In this case, while I don’t know if it was an audible or just one of a few routes being run, Aaron recognized that his man would be open – and he was. If memory serves me, Aaron just slightly overthrew him; Aaron was not particularly sharp yesterday.

    I am disappointed to see the lack of credit being given to McCarthy for his management of the game. Somehow, he kept the team calm enough at halftime after a truly atrocious half of football; the second half saw significantly better quality of play. More importantly, McCarthy managed to keep the team going in the right direction after all seemed lost when the Pack lost in Detroit; I know I wasn’t alone when I thought after that game our playoff hopes were shot, especially considering the upcoming schedule. However, the Pack competed in New England, destroyed the Giants and beat a VERY good Bears team that played their starters throughout the entire game. Give MM some credit for salvaging a season with a lot of adversity.

  8. Buddy

    Not to change the subject too much but there is something peculiar about all of the wild card games. If you notice all of the visiting wildcard teams have better records than thier hosting Divisional Champion opponents.

    (KC) 10-6 (BAL) 12-4

    (IND) 10-6 (NYJ) 11-5

    (SEA) 7-9 (NO) 11-5

    (PHI) 10-6 (GB) 10-6 *

    *Tiebreaker goes to GB with win week one against Philadelphia.

    We may have two wildcards in the Superbowl.

    GB v.s. NYJ?

  9. nurseratchett

    GO PACK GO!

    Aaron needs his first playoff win to SHUT UP the nay-sayers like colin cowherd. All they got is “no playoff win….can’t win the tight games…”

    Come on pack, let Aaron pick out the spot on his ass for all these idiots to kiss….

    Healthy D, tough O-line, and a little bit of special teams magic, and we’ve got this first game…. AJ, BJ, & Clay will tear Vick up!!

    GO PACK GO

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