GREEN BAY READY TO PACK IT IN?
In the world of our beloved Chicago Bears what’s happening to our unloved rivals up north, the Green Bay Packers, is as special as the Tillman-Briggs weekly touchdown show. The Packers came into the season as the heavy favorite to win the NFC North and are now facing the potential of finishing last. That might be wishful thinking but the reality is that this upcoming Sunday the Pack might suffer their fourth loss in the first six weeks of the season as they travel to Houston’s Reliant Stadium to face the 5-0 Texans on Sunday night. With the Bears on a bye this week, this is the game Chicago fans will watch with as much fervor as Coach Ditka displayed on the sidelines during our Super Bowl victory year.
A loss to the Texans could further demoralize a Green Bay team and insure an early-season demise. Bears fans possess a killer instinct and seeing the Packers gain new life with a victory on Sunday is unacceptable. Seeing the Pack come back with another loss from deep in the heart of Texas doesn’t make us heartless. It makes us smart. This is a talented and snake bit team. They’re down. Pounce on them now, before they find an antidote.
The biggest regret Lovie Smith must have (although who knows with that guy, he’s as candid as a politician) was not going full out to beat the Packers in the 2010 regular season finale thus allowing Green Bay to enter the playoffs and then… I can’t go there, again… (This is supposed to be a feel-good story for Bears fans.)
So, if Aaron Rodgers comes back from Texas with his right arm in a cast and inscribed by Wisconsin alum J.J. Watt saying, “Enjoy your time off!” I’ll gladly offer a postscript: “But, I hope this hurts like hell!”
Given that Rodgers has been sacked 21 times in five games, the second highest number of QB muggings in the NFL, Rodgers potential visit to a bone specialist is becoming more and more likely.
What’s fun for devious Bears fans like me is seeing how this whole Packer-thing seems to be crumbling faster that Aaron’s pass protection.
Visit any of the Packer fan sites and you’ll see their faithful losing faith. Some are even questioning the greatness of Aaron Rodgers, which is a sure sign of panic. One thing any sensible Chicago Bear fan has to admit is that Aaron Rodgers is a very good quarterback. But, even good quarterbacks need protection. Ever see Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Dan Marino run for their lives? No. There’s a reason why Aaron Rodgers is looking like Jay Cutler, they both have offensive lies, not offensive lines. (Yes! I did it! I dared to compare the almighty Aaron to bad boy Jay and I hope to one day be able to prove that Cutler is as good as Rodgers, but first Jay has to prove me right.)
Beyond being unable to protect their prized QB the list of what’s wrong with the Packers seems to grow every week.
- Lack of a running game, Curtis Benson’s injury adds to this woe
- An injured hamstring to top WR, Greg Jennings, that could plague him for weeks
- A quickly aging defensive leader, Darryl Woodson, who has been moved to safety because he can not guard WRs
- A secondary unable to make big plays
- A gifted TE, Jermichael Finley, who frustrates more than he dazzles
On top of this list are three other issues:
- A growing distrust among Packer fans in Coach Mike McCarthy’s ability to lead
- Growing disillusionment with GM Ted Thompson’s spendthrift ways
- Concern that Green Bay’s heroes are stuck in neutral because they’ve become a cocky, arrogant, big-headed bunch
All of these are true concerns, but it is the last one that could be troubling this Green Bay team more than any other. Travel to Green Bay and it is special to see how the ENTIRE community treats their team. There are half-a-dozen or so NFL teams that idolize their gridiron gladiators like the Packers do. But, only one does it in a town where their football stadium has a seat for every single soul capable of chanting, “Go Pack Go!” Has that idolatry become the team’s kryptonite?
Watching Aaron Rodgers and BJ Raji discount double check; Greg Jennings Lambeau Leap; and, Clay Matthews threaten a nerd during every commercial break of the NFL TV season makes me wonder if this team isn’t going through the hangover of success.
During the offseason, Aaron Rodgers was asked by a TV talking head if he was concerned that the Packers had no legitimate running game (this was before the Benson signing) and he responded, with a certain cockiness, “do we need one?” Rodgers almost kissed his throwing arm on camera. And, it was clear to me that the Packer QB better double-check the size of his growing head.
I invite Green Bay Packer fans to share their thoughts. The more misery you share the better. And, feel free to sign off with your favorite salute, “Bears Still Suck.” You have to cling to something, even if it’s as faulty as Mike McCarthy’s game plans.
The Houston Texans beat the Green Bay Packers Sunday on NBC at 7:20 pm.