Packers XLV

Pack Move Into First, But Fingers are Crossed for Finley

Posted October 21st, 2013 @ 01:10pm

First, allow me to apologize for the tardiness of this post. Let's just say it was a long day at Lambeau and a long night in Appleton. I think you get my drift.

Here's where we are, six games into the 2013 season: we can't even truly celebrate victories, without being concerned about the increasingly lengthy injury list. The latest was the scariest. Amid reports that Jermichael Finley couldn't move for a moment after getting hit in the head/neck and lay motionless on the field for a time, we now await word on the severity of his injury. As I write this, it's being reported that he is in ICU with a neck injury and may or may not have had surgery. We'll cross our fingers, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Finley's playing days may be over. I hope I'm wrong.

On to the game, which went pretty much as expected. The Browns again demonstrated that they have some talent on both sides of the ball, but without an NFL-caliber quarterback they have no chance to compete. They will also be in the market for a running back. With no threat of a running game, they're forced to rely on Brandon Weeden, who showed a frightening lack of accuracy most of the day.

The Pack, meanwhile, did what they had to do. Down six starters to start the game, they relied on young guys to step and for the most part they did. A by-product of all the new faces was that special teams was stressed--the Pack allowed a couple of long returns. We also saw more penalties than we're accustomed to seeing, 10 for 97 yards and several came at very inopportune times.

But let's look at the positives: Jarret Boykin made the most of his opportunities, on a day when shutdown corner Joe Haden spent most of his day tracking Jordy Nelson. Eddie Lacy continues to provide a strong rushing attack. His numbers were not spectacular against a strong Browns front seven, but he did enough to keep the defense honest and even caught five balls out of the backfield.

And then there's Rodgers. When you watch a performance like Weeden's, it makes you appreciate #12 even more. And for Browns fans, whose team brought Rodgers in before the '05 draft and considered selecting him with their #3 pick, it's gotta be maddening to watch him and think about what might have him. But hey, they'll always have Braylon Edwards (well at leas he gave them one monster season in '07). Rodgers was surgical, finding Boykin and Finley early and often, converting third downs with ease and reminding us that as long as he's in uniform, it matters little who else is with him.

On the other side of the ball, Jamari Lattimore continues to impress. I don't think he's taken Brad Jones' job at this point, but you can make the argument that as well as Jones has played, there appears to be zero drop-off with Lattimore in there. The young pass rushers held their own, but let's be honest: we're lucky they were facing Weeden. For much of the day he had a lot of time back there. The Packers sacked him three times, but without Matthews, Perry and a 100% Mike Neal, the pass rush was ordinary. That's to be expected. Fortunately for the Packers, they were facing a team without much firepower.

Three straight wins and the Packers are sitting atop the North, by a half game over the Lions and Bears, with two prime time division games coming up. The groin injury to Jay Cutler is a major storyline to follow, while the Lions' home loss to the Bengals again exposed the soft underbelly that is their back seven on defense.

For now, we'll await word on Finley's condition. As his agent tweeted Sunday night, with an injury like this football doesn't matter. A 25 year old man, husband and father is in a Green Bay hospital with a very uncertain future. All of us fans, Packer fans and everyone else, should keep him in our prayers.

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Comments (12):


on December 27th, 2013 at 10:48pm


on December 27th, 2013 at 10:48pm


on December 27th, 2013 at 10:48pm


on December 27th, 2013 at 10:48pm

I hope you're right about Finley's playing days being over, but I hope it's because he's perfectly fine to play, but made the decision himself to quit playing this ridiculous game. I hope other perfectly healthy receivers follow suit.

on October 21st, 2013 at 11:17am

Jason, I understand that you want this ridiculous game to end because it's so dangerous. Do you understand how dangerous it is to be an electrician? 84 die each year. Do you know how many football players have died in games since football started? One, and that was from a heart attack. Both chose their profession knowing the risk, but the electrician is at much greater risk, so do you want them to quit their job? For many of these players it's the only way for them to make it big, other than being a bouncer or dealing drugs. My guess is that playing football is 1000 times safer than the drug industry and I'd rather see someone break an leg than get shot down in the streets.

on October 22nd, 2013 at 02:46pm

Hopefully a solution will come along with player safety that will reduce injuries without compromising the game. I've read this at several souces, and I'm inclined to agree that one major point of contention is the helmet. Sure, it's evoled to the point where it offers very good (maybe not perfect) protection, but the problem here is it's being used as a "weapon" rather than protection. And part of this is the facemasks they put on these things today - they look more like they were built by General Motors than Riddell. I've said this before, one solution would be to remove the facemask altogether...then a defender would think twice about using the helmet as a weapon. Yes, it's a little "out of the box", but maybe making them a little smaller would help? Another soultion, one that would have helped in Finley's situation, would be to have the defense line up no more than 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage on every play, reducing the chance of a major collision between players in the defensive backfield. Yes, the DB's would have to do more running backwards to keep up, but perhaps the 5 yard "chuck" rule could come back to level the playing field? It's a sticky issue regardless of how you look at it, but as we saw this weekend, guys like Washington's Merriwether, who finally got suspended this week, still haven't learned to keep your head up when tackling. The problem is that that's the way he was taught to play, and until these guys get cycled out of the league, this will continue to be a problem.

on October 22nd, 2013 at 03:09pm

This weekend was one of the worst single week for injuries in the NFL that I can ever remember. And that memory goes back over 50 years. Maybe this concentration will finally push the league to do something real about it. The game suffers when it loses so many of its best players, teams see their season altered by injuries, and the owners can't be happy about paying out all that money for guys who can't get on the field. Finley got his injury because both he and the tackler lowered their heads to collide with each other and made his neck a fulcrum. The league has got to get back to the art of tackling and end this "spearing" that has taken over as a defensive technique instead.

on October 22nd, 2013 at 06:13am

On the ESPN NFL website, writer Greg Garber had a few suggested possible trades before the deadline - one of them was Adrian Peterson to Giants for defensive end Justin Tuck, running back David Wilson and their 2014 second- and fifth-round picks. Yeah, maybe...that might be a little out there. I would think a team with a better record than the Giants would be interested in AP, and the Vikings sure could use the help on defense, but I'd give this one maybe a 10-15% chance of ever happening. But the one he proposed that had me falling out of my chair laughing was the Cardinals trading wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to the Packers for their 2014 No. 2 draft choice, running back Johnathan Franklin and receiver Jordy Nelson. Sure, Fitzgerald is good (and a good guy), and the Pack is thin at WR right now, but you don't give up that much for a wide receiver...ANY wide receiver - especially when giving up a proven one in Nelson. I wouldn't give up that much for Jerry Rice in his prime. But hey...this sort of talk is for entertainment value anyway, right?

on October 23rd, 2013 at 04:14pm

Funny....Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Jennings says he was joking when he made critical comments of former teammate Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers during the offseason . Would he have made this comment if the Vikes were 5-1 ?? Welcome to dysfunctional time Mr. Jennings. Cuttle up in the fetal position in the Viking Trophy Room ( there is a lot of open space there) and study film of which 3 QB's or is it 4 QB's that you will play with on Sunday. Comment to Voice: I can see the Card's moving Fitz but you are right that price would be foolish. TT does not make those kind of moves. GO PACK GO !!

on October 23rd, 2013 at 06:25pm

nice call ossg, where did u hear that from? or web site? sounds like jones will not play again, come on boykin time to shine. if we stop 28 we win, very simple.

on October 23rd, 2013 at 09:11pm

packerlifer, I normally agree with just about everything u say, but I have watched back the hit on finley 8 times, gipson, hits him with his shoulder and when finley goes down it slides up to his neck, nothing run with the hit, just bad luck. I have told a lot of my friends this and there starting to agree. when u don't practice hard and tackle all week and your body is not in shape for the hits your going to get on game day at full speed and u will have more injuries.with all these new rules there not getting in football shape. ask MM about that. back in the 60's 70's and 80's u never seen injuries like this, and there were a lot more hits and cheap hits. the less these guys have had to hit during the week, the more they are getting hurt, simple as that. this week is vikings super bowl, they will always play there best game against us in that dome. with all are injuries, I think we will win a close one 27-23. . what a steal we got with hyde, and like I said week 2, banjo can play, get 22 out of there. he is starting to play more and more which is great. I sure wish now TT would have signed 85 and let finley goas i asked back in may. I think he will never play again. keep getting healthy, stay calm and carry on, GO PACKERS>

on October 23rd, 2013 at 11:27am

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