Mike Neal sacks Jake Locker

The Green Bay Packers demolished the Tennessee Titans 55-7 on Sunday. Here are five more thoughts on the win.

When is it time to pull Aaron Rodgers?
Someone questioned how I could call Mike McCarthy a buffoon. Here’s the latest example: the Packers are up 34 at the end of the third quarter. Yet, who trots out to start the fourth? No. 12. Were the Titans showing signs they were ready for a comeback? No. Has anyone ever put up 35 in the fourth quarter to win a game? Doubt it. Yet, McCarthy sends out the one irreplaceable guy on the team, in a game that’s over and puts him at risk of injury. BUFFOONERY!

The Vikings game suddenly means a lot
The Packers finish the season by traveling to the butthole of the NFL — Minnesota. Thanks to Seattle killing San Francisco last night, the Packers can sew up the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye with a win. The Vikings, meanwhile, somehow, can still make the playoffs if they win. What a great double whammy it would be to lock up the No. 2 seed AND eliminate the Vikings and mouth breathing fans from the playoffs.

Okay, A.J. Hawk, fine…
We nag on this guy all year long and rightfully so. He’s not real good. For one Sunday, he was the antithesis of A.J. Hawk though. Instead of getting run over by ball carriers, he was knocking them backwards. Instead of being invisible, he was making plays. On the day, Hawk had seven tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss and three QB hits. Hey, guy wearing No. 50, what did you do with A.J. Hawk?

And what are you doing, Mike Neal?
Trying to shed that bust label? The Packers drafted Neal in the second round in 2010. Since then he’s done pretty much nothing. That is, until the past month. Neal has 4.5 sacks this season, which is 3.5 more than he’s had in his entire career prior to 2012. What’s more is 2.5 of those sacks have come in the month of December. Neal is playing his best ball at the right time. In fact, he’s probably playing the best ball of his life right now. Keep it up, buddy!

Clay Matthews and what could have been
Not surprisingly, Clay Matthews has been on a tear since returning from a hamstring injury. He has three sacks in two games since coming back. He now has 12 sacks in the 11 games he’s played this season. Had Matthews been healthy all season he could have been right up there with J.J. Watt (20.5) and Aldon Smith (19.5) chasing the single-season sack record. It would be great to see what this guy can do if he stays healthy for a full season.