Monday, September 14, 2009

Favre-less and Lovin' It: Week One.

D3's college football recap was such a hit (1 COMMENT THROUGH THREE HOURS!!!111!!1!11! Whatever, I liked it) that I figured we should do the same with the Packers. I mean, it is football, after all.

So ... some thoughts:

VaJayJay and I don't agree on many things, mostly because he's a relentless (and annoying-as-hell) optimist, and I'm more of a realist. (Who said pessimist? Fuck you with a clothes hanger.) Anyway, we've found a common ground in our distaste for Mike McCarthy -- though my displeasure doesn't approach the pathological levels that VaJayJay's disdain has reached.

Yesterday's game provided a good example. Adewale Ogunleye (no shit -- I spelled that right on the first try; it's spelled just like it sounds) destroyed, humiliated, and abused Allen Barbre* routinely last night. You might expect that, given said destruction/humiliation/abuse-ination, Coach would keep a running back in to chip, or put another body on the line. And Coach did just that ... after two quarters.

(* Quick tangent: my family was over at my house yesterday. We got into a discussion over the correct pronunciation of Barbre's name last night. Is it British, and therefore pronounced as "Bar-bur" (like theatre or centre)? Or is it Bar-bree? After extended debate, we settled on a third option: it's pronounced "Suck.")

But Mike McC didn't stop there. No, he also starting calling plays like he was an early '00s John Shoop: screens and six-yard outs and lots of three-step drops. This playcalling culminated with the last play in the third quarter: a three-yard curl to Donald Lee on third-and-long from midfield. Because Mrs. Q was already sleepin' (flu bug going around, and it's a bitch), I couldn't curse, so I had to settle for a vigorous Face Palm.

Oh, and as for the play that everybody is so quick to suck McCarthy's popsicle for -- the incredibly gutsy 50-yard bomb to Greg Jennings to win the game? If you listened to A-Rodg in the post-game interview, Jennings wasn't even his primary read on the play. It was supposed to be a pass in the flat to Lee, but the Bears had it covered, so A-Rodg went to Jennings.

And speaking of dumb coaches ... I said to VaJayJay in the fourth quarter: "Whichever coach makes the dumber mistake in this game is going to end up losing." Thankfully (if you're a Packers fan), Lovie Smith was that coach. A fake punt in the fourth quarter, with your team at its own 26, when the Packers haven't been able to move the ball against your defense all game? Ohhh-kay.

Aaron Rodgers invites you to enjoy a warm glass of "Shut the fuck up": So, after a season in which you repeatedly led your team to go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter, only to see your defense immediately cough up the lead, and you were then unable to quarterback the team on another late scoring drive, which produced an off-season of morons saying: "Rodgers came up small when his team needed him in the fourth quarter of games last year," you can do one of several things. One would be to let people like me and Reid argue angrily that you did just fine leading your team to victory in the fourth quarter last year, 'cept that your defense and special teams managed to find new and creative ways to crap the bed time after time after time after time. Another would be to throw a 50-yard touchdown pass with a minute to go in the first game of '09. I see you chose option two, Mr. Rodgers. Fair enough.

Jay Cutler's first game as a Bear: 17-36 for 277 yards, one touchdown, and 4 picks. Rex Grossman's first start as a Bear: 13-30 for 157 yards, no touchdowns, no picks. Moses Moreno's first start as a Bear: 18-41 for 153 yards, one touchdown, no picks. Cade McNown's first start as a Bear: 17-33 for 255 yards, one touchdown, two picks. Henry Burris' first start as a Bear: 8-22 for 50 yards, 1 touchdown, no interceptions. Kordell Stewart's first start as a Bear: 14-34 for 95 yards, one touchdown, three picks.

OK, ratings-wise, apparently that Stewart start was worse than Cutler's. But that took some diggin'.

There was one part of the game where I missed having Brett Favre as my quarterback: when Urlacher leveled Rodgers after the throw on that roll out in the first quarter. If that's Favre, that's a no-question, 15-yard penalty for some combination of roughing the passer/late hit/striking the passer in the upper torso-ish region/"Hey, that's the Ol' Gunslinger, doncha be hittin' the Gunslinger like that, yahear?"

And while we're talking about phantom penalties: how 'bout that doozy on Al Harris in the fourth quarter? I mean: wow. Just: wow.

On a related topic, I can't stand it when an announcer says, following an atrocious call like that one: "Well, it's the first game for the officials, too." What the fuck does that mean? The back judge got rusty over the last six months at seeing things? This isn't like a quarterback needing time to get in sync with a wide receiver, or a line taking a few weeks to mesh as a unit. This is a guy who gets paid to see things, and I'm supposed to give him a pass just because it's the first game? Having to hear "it's their first game, too" is going down as Rubie's Reasons to Hate Referees and Umpires No. 10,652.

Finally, sticking with Al Harris: Hey, asshole -- next time you pick off a pass and you've got acres of green space in front of you, how 'bout you save the preening and prancing until after you take the ball to the house? My fantasy team really could've used those six points, and you're pointing to the crowd and coasting in with thirty yards to go. Run, you shithead.


Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

couple of comments:

-run defense was awesome. cullen jenkins was a beast, johnny jolly a 320 lb mother f-er makes a diving interception on the 10 yard line...huge play of the game.

-our lb's appear to be rotating in and out nicely which will be great for late in the year when we still have fresh linebackers.

-yeah a-rodg wasn't the problem last year as he was forced to win the game twice. the drive by the bears was very much like last year except they held them to a FG which was huge.

-the greg jennings play at the end came after a timeout because jennings was out of position for the run that was going to be called on 3rd and 1.

-i don' think Lovie called the fake punt. looked like the center made that call with the angle of him pointing to the short guy who looked startled when the snap came his way. God Bless Brett Swain for being the only one between the faker and the first down.

-harris must have had the bears seeing as though the line was 6.5 and the Pack hadn't covered yet.

Devil's Threesome said...

One more note on the fake punt - it was 4th & 11! 11 yards in the NFL is like engaging Russia in a land war or trying to contract a VD heterosexually in Platteville (if you're a dude).

And on Rodgers' clutchness/unclutchness - I was pissed at the headline the Urinal - "Rodgers finally answers the bell late." I hate to go Spiro Agnew on everyone but shut the fuck up you nattering nabobs of negativism.

Rubie Q said...

I don't care if Lovie didn't call the fake punt. If your long snapper hasn't been taught to not run a fake punt on your own 20 in the fourth quarter, that's an equally egregious coaching error.

Master Reid said...

I know I'm not the only one that was bracing myself to watch in horror as the defense allowed the Bears to get down the field and rob Rodgers of yet another 4th quarter game winning drive. Thankfully they did not. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.

And while we're raggin on the Bears air attack, how about those Bears wideouts. Hearing Bears fans respond to "your team has no good WRs" with "Yeah, we have Devin Hester" is kind of like telling your buddy "Dude, you have no shot with that girl," and him replying "Oh yeah, I'll use the 'Did it hurt when you fell from heaven' line, that always works." Sure, Hester is very fast. And maybe he can be shifty and elusive on kicks, but that doesn't make him a good NFL receiver. The TD he caught last night was on his one and only move: fly pattern. His best shot at hurting a team is running really far, really fast and hoping someone forgets about him or falls down. He's dumb as a box of rocks, and appears to have no concept of route running, reading defenses, finding and/or creating open space. You know, the stuff that good receivers do. He's like a faster Cory Bradford, and no one ever accused him of being a #1 receiver

As for the rest of the receiving corps, they didn't do Cutler any favors last night either. The number of routes that were cut short or turned up at the wrong time, or simply stopped on was damn near comical.

This is getting long, so I'm gonna stop now, but you get the idea.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

oh and as reid pointed out yesterday i'm going to refer to our right tackle only as 78 until he stops doing his best Tony Mandarich impression and actually blocks someone...then he can have his name back.

Charlie Weis's Gunt said...

Rubie and I texted a little about this earlier today. The Bears lost that game more then the Packers won it. 3 INT in the first half and you are still winning the game with 3mins left. Missing two starting linebackers....that fucked up punt. Packers managed to win a game the Bears were trying to lose. Second - regarding the Hester comment - him not being a receiver. Did you look at the box score - Hester had 4 rec, 90 yds and a TD. Jennings 6 rec, 106 yds and a TD, Driver, 4 rec, 39 yds. Tell me how his numbers don't line up with the Packers two frontline WR starters?

Rubie Q said...

Well, four catches per game projects to 54 for a season. I think you'd like more than that from your No. 1 receiver.

Which brings me to Reid's point: it's hard to imagine Hester having more than four or five catches a game because he's so limited in his routes. He can run a 'go', or he can run a WR screen. And that's it. I don't think the Bears are going to take more than a couple of shots on that 'go' route every game; same with the WR screen. And when they need a catch on third-and-7, which wideout do they throw to? Hester isn't about to go over the middle for an eight-yard reception.

It looks like a lot of screens, a lot of Greg Olsen (if Des Clark isn't hurt too bad), with a shot or two to Hester every game.

Rubie Q said...

Sorry, typo in the first line. Should be 64 catches, not 54.

Devil's Threesome said...

Our first Bears-Packers fight of the season.

Am I the only one who can only call Cutler "Cutlerfucker?"

Rubie Q said...

No, I was calling him "Cutlerfucker" all night, too. Made for awkward looks from Mother Q.

EMoney said...

To further the Hester discussion, his td reception (what was it, 35ish yards?) was the result of Collins brief injury and/or lack of gray matter in the brain. It was essentially a gift.

Charlie Weis' said...

if you are going to say Hester's TD reception was a gift then what was Jennings? Single coverage with Vasher tripping over himself.

Don't get me wront...I'm not saying the man is a #1 receiver, but I don't think he is as bad as everyone says he is.

Rubie Q said...

I don't think Hester is a bad player, not at all. He's good, but limited. And, as you said, he's not a No. 1 wideout ... but that's the position he's playing for the Bears.

Master Reid said...

Rubie clarified my point perfectly. He's not a bad player, but if he's the horse that you're gonna hitch the Cutler wagon to then you might be disappointed. I doubt you're going to see him running too many option routes, where he reads the defense at the line, then anticipates what the QB is going to do, and instinctively finds the open space to make the catch. These are the types of things that he can't do, that a true NFL receiver can. But he's still dangerous, just ask Nick Collins.