My father passed away on October 25th, 2016. That’s a date I will never forget. He was a Cowboys fan and we used to spend Sundays together, religiously watching as many football games as we could handle in a single day and with a single screen. When I discovered football and the NFL, seven years ago, he was a bit surprised but happy to tag along for that ride.
He had watched the game before when my older brother was a kid, and both the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins were huge in Mexico. Now, he would listen to every story I told about the Green Bay Packers. He would care about the statistics, the changing rules, the name of every wide receiver, cornerback and backup quarterback that I mentioned. He would look around and try to buy for me any piece of Packers merch he could find in Mexico City stores. Scarves, tumbler cups, action figures, plushies, gloves too large for my own hands.
Then he got sick, went to the hospital, and died. And I almost quit football.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2018, was announced this past weekend. As always, my favorite selection is the one from the Senior Committee. These gentlemen have been over-looked and under-appreciated when compared to the modern-era players. And, most importantly, they are the heart, soul, beginnings of this game I love.
They wore leather helmets and pads that were a puny excuse for protection. They got paid so little that most had second jobs during the offseason. They played because they loved the game.
While it was before my time, my dad would tell me stories about these great men and they’ve always stayed with me. This year I was very excited to see that Jerry Kramer from the Green Bay Packers would finally be admitted into this great hall.
AND they did it AT Lambeau. It could be said that the Packers did well at only keeping the Vikings to 16 points, but that would be one of those statements where you’re really stretching to find something positive to say about this game.
I think my breathing might JUST be returning to normal today. Some people like close games, but if you’ve been reading my column for anytime, you know I can’t stand them! Two weeks in a row winning in overtime? NOT fun for me!
Sundays OT win was the third overtime win of this season – never before has that happened in Green Bay franchise history. Never before have the Packers won more than two overtime games in a single season. Another record? Sunday was the first time in Green Bay history that the team has won back-to-back games in overtime.
The Packers got a walk-off win for the second straight game when wide receiver Davante Adams ran for a 25-yard touchdown in overtime after first tying the game with 17 seconds left. At this point, Adams has to be one of the best receivers in the entire league.
I hate to say this because just a few weeks ago I said that the Packers had a great chance to turn things around for the rest of the season. Alas, they haven’t. And from the looks of it, they won’t.
So, what went wrong? It’s hard to tell, but besides quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone, things never quite picked up on the turf for the Green Bay Packers. Heck, they even lost tight end Martellus Bennett back to the New England Patriots. He started seven games and then the team played a very odd game of injury-waive-goodbye with him.
It’s odd to me that the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have almost an even record against each other. Going into Sunday’s game, the Packers were just one game ahead in one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. Thankfully, that number went up one with the Packers now winning 14 of their past 16 games against Chicago.
This was the first time I’ve ever been nervous when facing the Bears. The Packers have been on a three-game losing streak since quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone, and the way Green Bay had been playing, it seemed like the Bears (favored to win this game) would get the win.
One dimensional. That is how Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews described the Chicago Bears offense after a poor performance in yesterday’s 23-16 loss.
The Bears were coming into this game off a bye, so they should have had fresh legs and a fresh perspective. Instead, the Bears came in sluggish, unprepared and downright confused. And the score would have been even worse if Aaron Rodgers were healthy and on that field.
Ask any Chicago Bears fan what was their favorite game against the Green Bay Packers, and they will say the Thanksgiving game. On November 25th, 2015, then quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 200 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers on a rainy night. The Bears defense was clutch on a final goal line drive as former Bears defensive back Tracy Porter intercepted quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Bears won 17-13.
Ever since Rodgers replaced Brett Favre, he has been the thorn in the side of the Chicago Bears. It has been a running joke for the Packers with how easy it is to defeat their rivals. Well, the last time the Bears and Packers collided was in Week 4, in a horrible shellacking by Rodgers and company.
Week 9 found the Lions in Green Bay. In the past 25 years or so, the Lions really haven’t fared well there. Quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have pretty much had the Lions number. Well, this time it was a little different.
Rodgers went out week 6 with a collarbone injury and has the potential to be out the rest of the year. That means the Lions had a chance. They would have to handle their business though. Handle it they did. The Lions came into Lambeau, took the lead 7-0 in the first and never looked back. And you know what else? The Lions never had to punt. When was the last time that happened? It was 1971, in case you were curious.
The 2017 NFL season has been full of surprises. Teams that we all expected to be garbage have pulled off some astounding wins, while teams that we expected to roll over most of their opponents have faltered in losses to much weaker opponents. Pick’em pools have been torn to shreds, and some survivor leagues have already crowned their winner.
Each week, I’ll post my picks and my reasoning behind them, and on Tuesdays, I’ll do a quick rundown on where I went wrong, and what I got right. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my predictions, so feel free to drop a comment on the post, or @ me on Twitter.