Here are the top 10 things that stood out as the Green Bay Packers stunk up the joint in Buffalo on Sunday.
1. Broadcast Butchery
Look, I know Johnny Football getting his first start of the year resulted in the Fox network maneuvering games around and showing Cleveland-Cincinnati to a wider audience. In fact, Southern California was one of the areas of the country that was supposed to see the Packers-Bills, but instead got the Battle of Ohio. Because of this major switch, it is highly likely that the broadcast teams got swapped as well.
Still, a simple Internet search shows that Justin Kutcher and David Diehl were announced as the broadcast team at least two full days before the Packers visited Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park to take on the Bills. Maybe this is still cutting it a little close, but in my estimation, it is plenty of time for both announcers to hammer out the details in what is the main part of their job description — knowing who the players are and announcing their names correctly.
I want to know who David Diehl’s agent is because I want that person to get me a job working as a neuro-surgeon. To answer the obvious question, no I don’t have any medical training at all, but clearly that doesn’t matter. Whoever his agent is must be some kind of miracle worker to have gotten Diehl a job color commentating NFL games. This man clearly hasn’t earned that right through sheer professionalism and/or work ethic and his pitiful spewing of rank amateurism was on display for everyone Sunday afternoon.
I majored in broadcasting and announced a lot of games in college. Without fail, the first thing I would do was review the opposing team’s names and make sure to find out how to pronounce the trickier ones. I mean that is automatic Broadcasting 050 shit. And although no one told me to, I would scribble a phonetic spelling of the name on my roster so if I ever needed to be reminded, I could look down at the sheet.
Now, I’m a pretty innovative fellow, but I can’t imagine that I am the first one to do this. It is painfully obvious that Diehl neither did this, nor watched any previous broadcasts where people weren’t butchering names like he did. Brian Baluga? I have it on good record that Brian Bulaga wasn’t even really injured in the game from that uncalled cheap shot. It turns out the big lineman is a little sensitive and doesn’t like being compared to a whale or type of caviar 20 times an hour.
Look at the spelling, Mr. Diehl. It’s B-U-L-A-G-A, you pathetic dolt. Was 48 hours not enough time for you to review the names of starters you certainly would be required to talk about?
Oh, and let’s not forget Micah Hyde either. It turns out that everyone else had it wrong and that his real name is Makaya. And who knew that David Bakhtiari’s last name really only has three syllables? What a disgrace.
And when Diehl wasn’t busy talking about players who don’t even exist except in his own pronunciation, he was making zero sense. My favorite quote of the day from the worst NFL broadcaster I have ever heard came when they were showing a graphic of Fred Jackson’s stats late in the game. It was something extremely unimpressive like, 20 carries for 71 yards and a 3.6 yard average. That’s when David Diehl really delivered some powerhouse analysis:
“Fred Jackson’s yards after the carry has been phenomenal today.”
Long pause. Silence. Nothing.
What does that even mean?
Yards after the carry?
You mean… after he got the ball?
So in other words, what you’re really saying is, “Fred Jackson’s yards per carry is phenomenal,” since every yard he gained did in fact happen after the carry. Except there was nothing phenomenal about a 3.6 yard average. And you said it as you were looking at the freaking stats!
Maybe these networks should start first with people who are literate and can express themselves properly, before immediately going to former players to fill out their stable of color commentators. Just because you played the game before doesn’t mean you belong in the booth. One day a network is going to put someone not named Dennis Miller in the broadcast booth who was not a former player.
Either David Diehl is the beneficiary of good ole fashioned nepotism, he has compromising photos of Fox execs, or both. My money is on both. He’s just too awful for only one of those to be enough to put him on the air. What a disgrace to preparation.
I swear, the fact that this guy has a job pisses me off more than the Packers losing.
And by the way, when the hell did Fox start broadcasting all-AFC match-ups anyway?
Arrgh! Moving on…
2. Short Bus Special Teams
The Packers very special special teams unit led by the untouchable Shawn Slocum had a gloriously horrible day featuring blocked kicks, poor punts, and even a return for touchdown by the Bills. But they started with their pathetic showing long before that when, on two consecutive Tim Masthay punts, the coverage unit downed the ball even as it was still rolling towards the Bills’ goal line.
The first time it happened, when Jarrett Bush unwisely downed a rolling punt, the Fox camera cut to Tim Masthay who could clearly be seen muttering, “Let it roll!”
On the next punt the very same thing happened, but it was Chris Banjo this time who did the touching while the ball was still moving in a direction that would hinder the Bills’ field position.
As if that wasn’t enough, the punt after that took a Buffalo bounce in which several Packers on the coverage unit simply let it bounce, hurting Masthay’s average and improving Buffalo’s field position.
From there it would only get much worse.
3. C’mon Dorn, Don’t Give Me This Ole Shit!
Nice job by Ha Ha of timing that safety blitz wasn’t it? The tackle? Hahahahahahaha.
The rookie’s technique in space is horrible. He basically stops, drops his head, lunges limply and misses badly. We’ve seen it all season. Then again, he has been with the Packers organization for nearly a year now, so I guess it is only reasonable to expect that his tackling skills would diminish. We certainly know it’s not going to improve under anyone’s tutelage who’s currently in the organization.
4. Where’d that Wide Receiver Come From?
This is the third week in a row that Julius Peppers has made this list for dubious reasons. What started out looking like a genius move, is now in serious jeopardy of becoming a bust. Is the big man hurt and playing in pain? What is the dealio, yo?
His low-light this week was getting steamrolled by a guy wearing a uniform number starting with a one. Yeah. It’s that bad. When was the last time Julius even flashed a little bit? It’s been several games.
Get it together, man! This isn’t Creem magazine. This is Rolling Stone!
5. The More Things Change…
Anyone talking about how the Bills’ pass rush rattled Aaron Rodgers all day didn’t pay much attention to the game on Sunday. Again, the Packers five guys up front were stellar in pass protection and just as good in the run.
Unfortunately, a certain head coach can’t swallow his pride to win a game by running the ball when the passing game is obviously faltering.
In our weekly predictions, Shawn laid out the similarities between this game and the one versus the Chiefs in week 15 of 2011 that ruined the perfect season. Now there is another similarity. In both games Mike McCarthy refused to ride his running game when the passing game was anemic at best.
In that loss to the Chiefs, Rodgers was 17 of 35 for 235 yards and one touchdown. The Packers ran the ball only 18 times (33.9 percent of offensive plays) that day for 102 yards and a gaudy 5.7 yard average. On Sunday, Rodgers was 17 of 42 for 185 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. The Packers ran the ball 25 times (37.3 percent of offensive plays) for 158 yards and a 6.3 yards per carry average.
6. The Old Fred… The Old Man
Fred Jackson is 33 years old, which makes him the oldest running back in the NFL. Even as he approaches AARP membership qualifications, Jackson still got five more carries in this game than Packers second-year, workhorse Eddie Lacy. Fast Freddie finished with 20 carries for a less-than-spectacular 71 yards. He did, however, have a pretty good second half after doing practically nothing in the first two quarters.
7. No Gang Tackling Allowed
This defense played very well on Sunday, but there is still an element of softness to it. They just don’t finish plays, especially in the second half and this game was no exception. As I said last week, there is entirely too much standing around when a ball carrier is still up and gaining yards. The Packers defenders are watching and waiting for the runner to fall and sometimes he doesn’t. The result is embarrassing.
I’m sick of talking about it to tell you the truth. I see no dedication to excellence within this defense, only glimpses of what could be. The problem is that outside of those glimpses, there’s a whole lot of mediocrity and a bunch of guys who are simply not hungry. They don’t want it bad enough and don’t play with enough intensity to win playoff games. Although the defense didn’t cost the Packers this game and in fact kept them in it, I have a very tough time imagining this group can string together enough good performances in the playoffs to take this team to the promised land.
The talent is there, I just don’t see the fire and desire on a consistent enough basis.
I would love to be proven wrong.
8. Trouble With Tretter
No, don’t add extra protection for J.C. Tretter when the game is on the line and we’re backed up to our goal line! If God wanted an extra blocker over there, he would have miracled himself one over there, wouldn’t he have?
Any of this ring a bell? No, I’m not talking about the “Full Metal Jacket” references. I’m talking about giving up a safety when a backup lineman is in the game and the Packers don’t give said backup any help. Yes! You got it. The same thing happened in week one versus Seattle, when the much beleaguered and finally jettisoned Derek Sherrod was in the game and received no help.
Anyone else noticing a pattern here?
9. Speaking of Roger Dorn
When Tramon Williams bent down on one knee to “try” and recover a fumble late in the game, he looked like a shortstop squatting on a hot ground ball. Williams just waited for the ball to come to him as if he had to make a leisurely throw to first base for an easy out.
C’mon man! Go get the damn ball!
10. If Jordy catches that ball…
As tough a loss as this was, and all the things the Packers could have done better, if Jordy Nelson catches that pass there’s an awfully good chance the Packers win the game. Hell… if he caught EITHER of those two touchdowns the Packers might have won. Add to that all the other dropped balls, the holding penalties on offense, the non-calls on the Buffalo defense and J.C. Tretter having to come in for Bulaga in the end, and a Packers loss is almost predictable.
The Packers did stay in the game though and there is some upside to that. If Green Bay can win their last two versus Tampa Bay and Detroit, they’ll secure a first round bye and at the very worst will be the two seed in the NFC.