Well that was fun wasn’t it! The Green Bay Packers continue to destroy their opponents at Lambeau Field and the Philadelphia Eagles were no exception. Here are the top 10 things that stood out in this game.
1. The Greatest of All Time
Several years ago, after Aaron Rodgers’ third season and his first as the Green Bay Packers starter, my father asked me what I thought of him and whether or not the Packers had made the right move in going with ARodge over Brett Favre. My answer was about as emphatic as it could be, “I think Rodgers is already better than Favre in some ways and if he can stay healthy he might go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.”
It was a bold statement, but even as a first-year starter I had never seen a quarterback with such flawless mechanics and footwork. It didn’t matter if he was on the move, in the pocket or jumping in the air as he threw the ball, the delivery was always the same. The throwing motion always perfect.
A few years later, in 2011, when Rodgers was enjoying his finest regular season and perhaps the greatest regular season by any quarterback ever, Joe Montana, often the person named as the greatest quarterback of all time, stated matter of factly that Rodgers was doing it better than anyone ever had.
Although there will always be arguments and discussions about players within certain eras and how this one compares to that one and how this era is different, in my opinion, Aaron Rodgers is as good as anyone has ever been. He brought his own style and discipline to a game that seemingly regarded interceptions as a cost of doing business and he dispelled that. Big time.
Aaron Rodgers has changed the way people look at the quarterback position. He currently is the bar setter and can only best himself at this point.
His performance versus the Philadelphia Eagles in some ways was more impressive than his six touchdown game against the Bears the week before. Sunday afternoon, Rodgers did whatever he wanted. His recognition of the defensive coverage was off the charts. My favorite plays were when Rodgers recognized man coverage and took off running before even bothering with his reads. He didn’t need to make any reads. He already had the only read he needed and was gone.
2. Found a Step
Randall Cobb started off a little slow this year. There were plenty of thoughts lingering in Titletown that maybe he’d never return to form. It’s easy being a fan and forgetting about the major injuries these guys suffer and the time it takes to recover fully.
What’s difficult is not really ever knowing the truth about how a player feels physically. Because when a player is coming off an injury and doesn’t feel well physically, the mental aspects of his game are also going to be off while the player wonders whether or not he’s going to re-injure himself.
I think it is safe to say that Randall Cobb is back to 100 percent. For the first time in over a year I saw all the physical gifts and talents this young man promised us a couple seasons back.
There is something awe-inspiring about the way Randall Cobb moves. The imagery of him running with the ball tucked under his arm and angling sharply up field is ingrained in my memory. While other players were having issues with sharp cuts and slips and falls, Cobb was making moves no one could keep up with.
If we thought Cobb was having a nice season already, look out. I predict his second half is much bigger.
3. My Homeboy Letroy
Letroy Guion has really come on. He makes impact plays every week. On Sunday versus the Eagles his biggest play was a little bit more under the radar.
On the second play of the second quarter with the Packers leading 17-0, the Eagles were putting together a nice drive and had a first down at Green Bay’s 13-yard line. After a LeSean McCoy run got only one making it 2nd and 9, Letroy Guion proceeded to save the day.
When Mark Sanchez dropped back to pass, Guion immediately sniffed out the screen pass to Darren Sproles, sifted through some traffic, and managed to get a bead on the little sucker before dropping him at the 5-yard line.
Instead of what was looking like a well-executed drive for a touchdown, Clay Matthews ended it on the next play when he sacked Sanchez on third down. The Eagles would settle for a field goal and never threaten again.
4. Duck, Duck, Duck
If that’s what Mark Sanchez wants to do every time he gets sacked, he should expect more hits to the head that are correctly NOT called. That being said, I’m guessing Letroy Guion might have gotten a talking to about his head-first technique.
5. Datone it Down
Anyone notice Datone Jones on Sunday? I barely noticed him either.
However he did act the fool when Mark Sanchez had a snap go over his head. When Sanchez covered the fumble and made no effort to get up, Datone Jones smelled a free sack waiting so he vigorously maneuvered through the pile to be the one to touch the Eagles quarterback down. When he succeeded, Jones proceeded to perform an obnoxious celebration while still laying on the ground, like he had actually made a meaningful contribution on the play.
The joke is on Datone though. The aborted snap is ruled as a run and therefore no sack is credited. I’m guessing if Jones would have known that he probably wouldn’t have gotten all excited about making a play that he had no earthly business being excited about.
Come on Datone! Get your sacks the old fashioned way… you earn them!
6. Dom and Dommer
Although we might really never know who’s decision or idea it was to move Clay Matthews to the middle, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers deserves a hug. Actually a lot of them. He’s taken a lot of heat over the years, but this decision makes us the team to reckon with in the NFC moving forward.
7. Not So Special Teams
Okay, so the holder dropped the ball… not a huge deal. A second blocked punt on the year? I guess that was the time to give it up, at least.
Special teams under Shawn Slocum has always been a concern, but what is really concerning was the rough outing Mason Crosby turned in. When he wasn’t booting mediocre kickoffs (along with a couple touchbacks) he was squeaking in chip shots, having kicks blocked and missing kicks. This is not the time for him to get cold and lose his confidence. Let’s hope he can shake it off.
8. Just say Mo to Movember
Remember over the past couple years when Rodgers and Mike McCarthy would support men’s health issues by growing a mustache for November? Notice how they have opted against the stache this year? I guess it’s a little more obvious recognizing the mustache as opposed to noticing its absence, but I digress. I personally thought they both looked ridiculous, so I’m all for this change.
Did you know you don’t need to grow a mustache or douse yourself with cold water to support a charity? It’s true!
9. To Every Action, There’s a Massive Overreaction
Look, I know Mark Sanchez played pretty well and the loss wasn’t completely his fault. Still, it’s not as big a win as it would have been facing the starter, Nick Foles. How much drop off is there in this type of scenario? Who’s to say? But I’m of the opinion that when a team is without their starting quarterback, the other team SHOULD win.
Now, of course there are exceptions to the rule and backups can win games, but generally speaking, the Packers with Aaron Rodgers should beat just about any team that does not have their starting quarterback. It was a nice win, but let’s temper the enthusiasm a little bit. This is not a win worthy of massive celebration.
10. Trap Game Extraordinaire
With a big win behind them in the Eagles and a huge game versus New England on the other side of this week’s game versus the lowly Minnesota Vikings, the Packers need to stay focused. This is a massive trap game. But you know what? Great teams don’t suffer letdowns in this spot. I think this team is on the verge of greatness and will throttle the Vikings.
Favorites to win the Super Bowl and number one in the power rankings is not far behind.
Here come the Pack.
I really like the way that Cobb is almost always able to fight for five (or seven) more yards, even as he is being tackled by several guys. He is really hard to pull down, and always seems to find the seam to slip through to get just a little bit more. I would like to see TT re-sign him as soon as possible (and then add a stud TE and a stud ILB so that we can make this a multi-year party)….
Excellent! I look forward to your thoughts.
there was talk of benching Nick Foles before he got hurt. He was not playing as well as he had the previous season. Not entirely sure point 9 is valid.
I am aware of this but Foles impressed me more than Sanchez ever has. Although prone to fits of inconsistency Foles stood in there and delivered even when he knew he was about to get drilled.
Turns out he did it a little too often to last the whole season. Despite the rumors that a switch was in the works, they never pulled the trigger on it which means Sanchez is and was the back up quarterback in Philly.
the reason guion wasn’t flagged is that his right shoulder contacted the QB first, before the face to face contact on the follow through. i replayed that several times on my TV DVR and they never showed the camera angle from the other side, so it took awhile to notice that he actually was leading with his [right] shoulder on the opposite side from the camera view. the refs obviously saw the hit from both sides however, and is why they saw it as a clean hit. same thing for the other hit/sack on sanchez, which was not flagged either. that kind of hit tho, is going to add to the growing dread other teams will feel who are or will be scheduled to visit lambeau this year!
Fox’s Aikman’s first reaction was the correct one: “MAYBE or probably, should have been called” then he amended his evaluation of the play to defer to the “expert” referee consultant available.
Yeah, the “expert” Mike Carey. Who’s crew was the worst in the NFL for years. There’s a reason he’s no longer a ref but an “analyst”: as the maxim goes, “Those that can’t do, teach”.
I want to apologize to the entire Packers offensive line that should have been mentioned somewhere near the top of this list. They flat out dominated that game and were a key ingredient to the offense’s success.
Here’s to Hyde having a couple of solid games. Keep up the good work against the next two TE’s your going to face.
1) Agreed, but he still needs to win 1 more SB before the ignorant masses will begin to accept that fact.
3) Peppers and Guion. Where’re all the TT bashers now? McMahon? McMahon? I’m guessing they’re gonna want us to sign 20 FAs each offseason now.
4) Thought you were going to reference the “passes” he was dishing up…I guess the acknowledgement of Buttfumble repeatedly closing his eyes, shitting his pants, and falling down works too.
5)Pretty sure Datone had 2 TFLs as well, it was his first game back from injury as well, I agree the celebration was ridiculous, and that’s not the first time he’s gone Kevin Bacon after making a play either.
He better watch it or the Football Gods will shred an ACL.
6)So what happened to all the “Fire-Dom-Capers” fanatics?
7)I will agree to 2 of your points-the FG unit had one of the worst games I’ve ever seen a GB ST kicking team have; and the punt team needs to relearn how to block. As for the Kickoffs, how fucking cold was it in GB? Answer me that. Crosby had a good number of TBs in 2 quarters, and then it seems they were going for hang time and direction in the other 2. Ya know why? Because it was cold as Sanchez’s ass after getting an icicle rammed up it, and windy to boot. You continue to conveniently ignore the play of the coverage teams and PR unit. Outside of the TD vs. the Bears and a long return or 2 by one of the best return men in the game (Patterson), the kick cover team has been quite good; the punt cover team is one of the 5 best in the league statistically, granted with limited opportunities, which I’m just fine with dunno about you. Crosby was having a good year until last Sunday (again, in limited opportunities, again, which I’m just fine with), hopefully he’ll get the cold weather figured out (along with Jordy). The PR unit has been great all season, some of the best blocking on a return I’ve ever seen on that Hyde TD. Harris has not been good; however, he flashed in the preseason and hasn’t had a lot of opportunities this year; he is an explosive player, how about we give him a little more time before we judge (e.g. Jeremy Ross), at least he isn’t fumbling the ball, knock on wood (again e.g. Jeremy Ross).
9)Sure, it’s a game they SHOULD win, esp. since it’s at home. But by 33 points? with the game over at halftime, again (Forrest Gump voice)? and the offense sitting for nearly an entire half, again.
Damn straight the O-line deserves props, they’ve had three bad games (vs. 3 of the 10 best Ds and DLs in the game-STL, DET, and MIA) and 7 great to dominant ones, including all of our home games.
We will run a train on your shit team the next time. We will take home the Lombardi you dickwads. We got more heart and better fans than you do. You do NOT laugh at us Aaron Rodgers you flamming fruit.