It’s easy to miss things during a Green Bay Packers game. After all, there’s beer to drink, cheese and sausage to eat, various bathroom breaks to utilize, and spirited conversation amongst your fellow fans. It’s nearly impossible to NOT miss something. ‘Packers Pixels’ will focus on the Packers television broadcast and hopefully fill you in on the little details you might have missed. Enjoy!
1. Cool as a McCown
During Monday Night Countdown, Lisa Salters told a very telling story on Josh McNown’s mentality and approach to facing division rival Green Bay. The 11-year vet, who was making only his third start in the last six years, was unphased by the magnitude of the Packers-Bears rivalry.
“I don’t think nerves play in. I put in a lot of time in preparing these last two weeks. I feel really comfortable with what we’re doing, and what we’re going to be facing. At this point in my life there is no anxiety. It’s all about enjoying the moment. I get to go to Lambeau Field and play quarterback for the Chicago Bears. They can keep their check this week.”
McCown certainly looked relaxed as he picked the Packers apart at every crucial moment.
2. Streets of Green and Gold
Rick Reilly did a story about streets being named after Packers greats that was actually pretty good. Mayor Jim Schmitt was heavily featured and demonstrated the poise and timing of a standup comic. “His street name is called Brett Favre Pass. We’ve had the ‘P’ scratched off several times. The sign needs to replaced all the time.”
3. Not so Incognito
Wow. There was so much of it on this broadcast. Thankfully for both of us I was able to tune most of it out. However, I was not able to block it all out completely so here’s what I gathered. There are these two guys. Either one of them’s a pussy, or the other one’s an asshole… or it’s a little bit of both. Moving on…
4. Rodgers Comes Correct
Suzy Kolber did a pregame piece featuring an interview with Aaron Rodgers where he back-peddled ever so slightly about comments he made regarding the injury to Randall Cobb. “I felt like at the time, the safety for Baltimore had enough space and time to not go low, but I don’t know what it’s like to play defense in the NFL. There’s some unwritten fraternity things that come into play about not trying to hurt people, but I can see how it could be difficult for the defensive players with all the rule changes.”
And this… My mother pointed out to me that Aaron Rodgers never plays well when he has facial hair. I can neither confirm nor deny this, but would love to hear evidence for or against this notion.
5. Pros Pick Poorly
Of the nine, yes nine, ESPN analysts providing coverage of the Monday night contest, only Mike Ditka picked the Bears. It was painfully obvious he was doing it out of loyalty to the team he once led to a Super Bowl title. Ditka searched for a way to justify his pick, “I think if they make a special teams play it could change the tide of this game. It’s gonna be tough though. You know I love the Packers… just not as much as I love the Bears.”
6. Get Away From Me!
Did you notice Rodgers shooing away the cameras multiple times during the pregame buildup? One was a tunnel shot where Rodgers was somewhat oddly walking through the tunnel all by himself. The other was on the field during warmups where he physically grabbed the camera and pushed it away.
Really Aaron? Get over yourself dude. Those cameras are part of what you signed up for and the biggest reason why you’re making the ridiculous money that you make. Pretend they aren’t there and finish your preparation like 99.9 percent of all the professionals that have come before you. Don’t act like a whiny little diva who didn’t get the right amount of soy milk in her half-caff latte. You’re a superstar. Act like it.
7. Change All Around Us
After Aaron Rodgers went down early in the first quarter, it took only one play with Seneca Wallace under center before Jon Gruden was able to fill us in on how the rest of this game would play out for the Packers.
“A lot of changes in the Green Bay huddle and Chicago huddle. We just saw Chicago jump into an eight-man front. They don’t respect Seneca Wallace. They’re going to make Seneca Wallace do some things they haven’t seen him do as a Green Bay Packer. That’s going to allow Chicago to challenge these receivers. And remember… Wallace hasn’t thrown a pass in a regular season game for a long time.”
8. Everybody Wants to be Like ARodge
No one can blame a quarterback for wanting to be more than just a game manager, but that’s precisely what the Packers need out of Wallace moving forward and it’s exactly what they needed versus the Bears. Wallace’s ill-advised audible that resulted in an interception for Julius Peppers was a crucial point in the game. It came at a time when the Packers running attack was shredding the Bears, even though they had jumped into an eight-man front in response to Rodgers’ injury. Rather than keep going to the well, Wallace decided he wanted to be Rodgers, but his effort lacked any sort of thought process. With a designed run to the right, the 5’11 Wallace had to know that the Bears end on their right side, the 6’8 Julius Peppers, would be unblocked and be in a good position to bat down a quick pass over the middle. Wallace can’t afford to let ego make decisions. He must let the game come to him and use his head.
9. How the Hell Do you Keep Jamari Lattimore Off the Field?
I want a beat reporter to ask MIke McCarthy this question verbatim. Although this has nothing to do with the broadcast per se, I find it terribly irksome. The Packers are an organization with tremendous depth, but I will forever question their skills in talent evaluation. Lattimore never sees the field at all if not for the injury to Brad Jones earlier in the year and that’s obviously because no one within the walls of Lambeau felt he was deserving that opportunity.
When called upon, Lattimore is an immediate force. This is not an exaggeration. The guy is literally making plays all over the field… impact plays that jump off the screen. And even after outplaying Brad Jones and helping the Packers win a few games, McCarthy and company sit his ass right back on the bench and go with the much less flashy and only serviceable Brad Jones.
10. Can We Bury this Game 6-feet Under?
I applaud Shawn of TotalView fame for taking the time to rewatch this game in detail to provide us with his analysis. I attempted to make it through this embarrassment a second time and simply couldn’t do it. That doesn’t happen very often. So, like our boys in green and gold who put forth a half-assed performance, I will finish this article the same way and put this game behind us. Thank God.