Now that the dust has settled and the hangover has worn off, here are five more thoughts on the Green Bay Packers 27-20 win over the Detroit Lions.
No T.J. Lang, no problem
Yes, I’m going to praise Don Barclay again. T.J. Lang was active on Sunday night, but he didn’t play, presumably because the Packers didn’t want to risk further injury. Undrafted rookie Don Barclay started his first game at right tackle. Granted, the Packers gave him some help in the passing game, but Barclay is a hoss in the running game. He may damn well be the best run blocker on the Packers (not that he has a real high level of competition to earn that title). Most impressive is Barclay doesn’t get intimidated or pushed around, which is a refreshing change. When Lang comes back this week, put him back at left guard, keep Barclay in the lineup and sit Evan Dietrich-Smith down.
They wouldn’t be the Detroit Lions unless…
We were talking about what a bunch of stupid, cheap thugs they are. Ndamukong Suh got flagged for a 15-yard personal foul for taking two steps and then pushing Aaron Rodgers to the ground after he released the ball. Was this a justifiable penalty? Eh… no one would have hollered if it wasn’t called. But Suh is a gigantic POS, so it did get called. The more egregious shot did not get called, however. That came in the fourth quarter, when Nick Fairley jammed his hand under Rodgers’ chin and forcefully pushed his head back and shoved him to the ground after a pass. Not even an illegal hands to the face penalty on that one. There should be a fine coming, though. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.
Who the hell is DuJuan Harris?
We’ve heard the guy’s name, but we never expected him to carry the ball, much less score what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown Sunday night. DuJuan Harris got seven carries against the Lions. He gained 31 yards, which is 4.4 yards per carry. Harris appears to be another case of Ted Thompson treasuring someone else’s garbage. After playing at Troy, Harris was signed by Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He was released this past August, claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh and then released again five days later. The Packers signed him to the practice squad in October and brought him up to the big club on Dec. 1. A week later he’s beating the Lions. Of course.
You’re a dick, Jermichael Finley
Not only am I ticked because I could have upset the No. 1 seed in my fantasy playoffs if Jermichael Finley would have done something… anything last night. I’m ticked because Jermichael Finley is a dick. Did you see the play where Finley went in motion and lined up in the backfield? He was there to block one of the linebackers on the ensuing running play. Sure enough, the linemen open up a huge hole and Finley runs through it as the lead blocker to find two linebackers. What does he do? He runs by the guy to his right and slaps his shoulder with his right hand as he passes. Needless to say, this “block” did nothing to slow the guy down. Both backers ended up in the Packers backfield and the play lost yards. Finley had two catches before the play. He didn’t see a target after it and after that blocking effort, rightfully so.
And now, the division
With the win, the Packers put themselves in position to clinch the NFC North with a win in Chicago next weekend. That’s good news, but here’s the even better news. The Packers should have Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and probably C.J. Wilson back next week. Those guys should help bolster their terrible rushing defense (although shooting A.J. Hawk might be a better solution) and non-existent pass rush. Further, the Bears have started their annual late-season swoon. They’ve lost their last two — to Seattle at home and at Minnesota. When they lose to Green Bay on Sunday, that will be three in a row.