Packers XLV

Lions and Bears, Oh My!

Posted September 12th, 2011 @ 02:09pm

I saw more of the Vikings than I did of the Lions and Bears on Sunday. With my son Jackson trying to follow his three fantasy teams, we spent most of the time on the Red Zone channel during the early games. Jackson loves the dude with the big ears (Andrew Siciliano).

But what the Lions and Bears did on the field Sunday should get Packers fans' attention. Let's start with Detroit, a team that propelled the Pack into the post-season last year with a win in Tampa that ended their 26 game road losing streak. The Lions showed that they will be a tough out all year if their QB stays healthy. I thought Josh Freeman would march the Bucs up and down the field, but the Lions D held up, particularly against the run.

Where Tampa Bay really struggled was defensively, where their stable of high draft picks from the past two years were largely ineffective against Matthew Stafford and the Lions. Detroit was in control in this game from the start and didn't settle for field goals. With Calvin Johnson, Rick Burleson and Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit has playmakers all over the field and a road win against a 10-win team from 2010 makes a big statement.

As for the Bears, you can argue that no team was more impressive defensively (OK, maybe the Ravens). They have everybody questioning Matt Ryan this morning. Despite Lance Briggs whining about a new contract, the defense picked up where it left off last season and completely dominated from the opening snap. Ryan largely couldn't find star Roddy White and was never in sync. The Falcons will need to make huge strides during the week to avoid an 0-2 start. They face the new-look Eagles defense and the return of Michael Vick on Sunday night.

Jay Cutler had time--the Falcons pass rush looked as meager as it did against the Pack in January--and he found Matt Forte often. Chicago has a stiff test this week in New Orleans, facing a Saints team that has ten days to lick its wounds. We'll have a clearer sign of where this team is following this one. Remember, the Packers head to Soldier Field the following week, so we've got to watch this game closely.

As for the Vikings, they were in this one till the end, thanks in large part to the loss of Chargers kicker Nate Kaeding, who tore his ACL on Percy Harvin's game-opening kickoff return. The defense played pretty well and were stout against the run. They made Vincent Jackson invisible, but couldn't handle Antonio Gates or passes to the running backs.

Offensively, Donovan McNabb was terrible, just 39 yards passing. The team showed that their wide receiver corps is among the weakest in the league. I will say I thought McNabb moved a bit better than I thought he would--showed a little speed. Their home opener against the Bucs this weekend will be very telling. It's a game they should feel like they can win. The Lions threw the ball at will against them...will the Vikes?

The Packers game at Carolina looks a little more interesting, too. Cam Newton had the most prolific debut for a QB in league history at Arizona, throwing for more than 400 yards. He gets Dom Capers and a Packers defense that is itching to show that it is better than it showed in the opener. I expect the young QB to come back to earth this Sunday, though I think he will be a star in this league in 3-5 years.

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Comments (14):

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on April 14th, 2012 at 07:31pm

We do not ordinarily comment but I gotta say regards for your post on this 1.

on April 19th, 2012 at 01:42am

For Detroit it may have something to do with the power of radio. In Dallas' case it prablboy had a lot to do with Tex Schramm and his role in the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1966the first year that Dallas made an appearance on Thanksgiving day. Both teams at one point could (or did) call themselves America's team.

on August 1st, 2012 at 06:11am

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on August 1st, 2012 at 10:05am

Nearly got the spam protection wrong. Poor old cat. You souhldn't tease him, his nose is probably telling him it's shit, just like my nose tells me the same whenever I feed the beasts.Next week, he'll probably eat it, but you'll never buy it again, just in case he doesn't. Or get another cat, competition for food does wonders.

on August 1st, 2012 at 12:13pm

As far as he is concerned, you're very wmoclee to parcel it up and send it to the starving lions in Africa!As Catofstripes says, he may change his mind next week or he may really dislike the taste of it and stick to that opinion. Either way, you aren't likely to starve him into submission.

on August 3rd, 2012 at 03:26am

- I was trying to fgriue out how the pint went with the beginning of your post. But once I continued to read, I got it. I know it's about a week late, but I just might tip a pint in honor of your friend also. May God continue to bless his family and friends.

on August 3rd, 2012 at 04:48am

(1457b) man braucht Wärme. Liederlich zu werden.

on March 2nd, 2012 at 02:18pm

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on May 10th, 2012 at 02:11am

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on May 16th, 2012 at 05:49am

Cutler looked totally different too me. I don't know if he changed his helmet, his chin strap, or just his attitude, but he looked much more professional and under command. Hopefully catching the Bears after the Saints will help.

on September 12th, 2011 at 10:33am

Certainly would like to see a better effort from the D this week. Other than that, the season will go as the O-line goes. If they protect AR, we will be golden. In one game, it is clear that TJ Lang will provide more push in the running game than College did. GoPack!

on September 13th, 2011 at 07:29pm

I will harp on this year like I did last year the two most important stats in a football game. (1) Win the turnover ratio (2) Win the third downs on both sides of the convert more offensive third downs than your opponent and stop your opponent on third downs. Those 2 stats will win you 80% of your games. One interesting stat of Week One was the amount of many long punt and kickoff returns. This tells me that with the short practice times relative to other years that much emphasis wasn't planned there. So....hopefully our coverage teams are an improvement work in process. We all looked at the Carolina game as a lock ....but Cam Newton/ Steve Smith will be a test. Capers will have the "D" ready !! GO PACK GO !!

on September 13th, 2011 at 08:47pm

I still see Carolina as a lock... COME ONNNNN Cam newton torched the CARDINALS. DOM gets to watch the film! We had 4 extra days to rest/prepare! Carolinas D couldnt stop arizona....WITH Beason! Even with the 422 they lost the game. There is no way the packers lose this game, no way they can stop Rodgers. Gimme a break!! Pack 38 Car 10.

on September 14th, 2011 at 11:48am

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