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.
I never cared about football until January 9th, 2011. Growing up in a country with its heart set on soccer, and born within a family of soccer enthusiasts, football was always the odd sport for me.
Even when I went to study at a football-crazed high school and college (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education), I never attended a game. I went out of my way to avoid interacting with players, coaches, and matches. Why, then, am I now writing an article about my love for the Green Bay Packers?
While watching the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, I was already thinking about writing my weekly article, and the title for this piece that kept coming back to me was “We’re Better Than This.” It was frustrating to watch the Packers and Cowboys trade the lead over and over, knowing that the Packers should have a larger lead.
It seemed like kicker Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals would make the difference between a win and a loss and it hurt thinking that this game might come down to two simple points. In all the years in the league, Crosby has never missed two extra points in a row. At the same time, this might be the first game in years where I wasn’t nervous during the times Green Bay was down.
The Thursday night matchup between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers was supposed to be at least competitive. But within the first 53 seconds of the game, the Bears fumble a ball, and Quarterback Aaron Rodgers magnificently directs two touchdown drives. All of this happened before the rain delay and the deafening chants of Bears fans for the head of QB Mike Glennon. The rain however gave the Bears a chance to clear their heads and find a way to catch up to the 14-0 deficit they were in.
Slippery football, Slippery field
In the first series of the game, Glennon stands in the pocket in what seemed like forever, waiting for a receiver to be open. During that play Tight End Dion Sims struggled to block Linebacker Clay Matthews, who manages to overtake him, creating a strip-sack fumble that led to a Packers touchdown. Again the Bears get another opportunity, this time Glennon brings up his knee prior to the cadence but thinks the offense doesn’t see it. So he does it again only for the ball to be snapped and hitting Glennon in the knee giving the Packers the ball once again, leading to the second touchdown.
In the first quarter, the Bears could not produce a clean string of plays. With a wet field the Bears tried to move the ball at the start of the second quarter. In a shocking display, and rare scene, a long throw by Glennon finds the hands of Wide Receiver Josh Bellamy, only to be stripped on the way down by the Packers secondary. But the Bears defense came through with a QB sack by LB Leonard Floyd and another chance to get a score on the board. But Glennon fails to make the correct throw to Markus Wheaton and it is intercepted.Continue reading “Chicago Bears: Slippery Football, Slippery Field, Slippery Slope of a Game”→
This game wasn’t going to be easy from the start. Green Bay was playing without several key starters: wide receiver Randall Cobb, defensive end Mike Daniels, left tackle David Bakhtiari, defensive back Kentrell Brice, cornerback Davon House, and linebackers Jake Ryan and Nick Perry. Adding to the stress of injured players, the temperature made this game the warmest in team history.
If you haven’t been following Cincinnati’s season, you wouldn’t know they came into this game at 0-2. They were aggressive from the start and had a 21-7 lead come halftime. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times and hit more than 10 times, and most shockingly, the Bengals forced a pick-six when cornerback William Jackson intercepted a pass from Rodgers to wide receiver Jordy Nelson, leading to a 75-yard touchdown. It’s pretty impressive when you think about it. Rodgers has been in the league for 10 years, and this only the second time he’s thrown an interception that’s turned into a touchdown. Another impressive stat? With this win, Aaron Rodgers has now beaten every NFL team. Except, of course, the Packers.
What a game ladies and gentlemen! I suppose the Packers like to have some emotion and it doesn’t matter what time of the season it is. All us Packer Fans clearly remember the last two seasons. The Packers tend to not have good starts to the regular season. The season really gets started for the Packers after the fourth week. It’s almost like the first games are an extended preseason.
After those first four games, something happens and the team gets stronger and more confident on the field. All the players showed a sort of excitement, confidence and a different spirit during the game, training and the whole league. I know that nobody in Lambeau stops believing in a victory before the game has finished. And I believe that is what happened yesterday.
Reflecting on the past, these are my views and hopes toward the 2017 season for the Green Bay Packer
Last season was a slippery slope for the Packers’ fans. It started out with the high note of having WR Jordy Nelson back from a year-long absence due to a torn ACL, but then went south when the team hit a 4-6 mark that looked like the season was already lost.
Then came Aaron Rodgers’ famous “run the table” press conference, where he almost got too cocky about the team’s chances to come back from that. But the Packers delivered. They ran the table, clinched NFC North for the 5th time in 6 years, and went on to face the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC Championship. That 44-21 score felt like the worst of times.
The 2016 playoffs showcased both the strengths and the weaknesses of the team. Looking back on them, one thing is crystal clear: while having Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback and as a leader is a huge strength for the Packers, depending on him has become a liability over the years.
It’s been great to see the Green Bay Packers back on the field. I’d say that this preseason seems very special for the teams and for the fans also. There’s a kind of excitement in the air. I’m not in Winsconsin, however, I don’t have any doubt about the proudness of the fans around Green Bay, and why not, the whole Winsconsin state.
Last year, the Packers played against Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs during preseason. The team had 2 loses and 2 wins. It wasn’t too good, but it wasn’t a disaster either. They showed up some good players that time and also improvement in comparison with the previous years.
On the other hand, the team seems much better in 2017. This preseason the Packers played against the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and last week, Denver Broncos.
In the first week, the team played versus Eagles at Lambeau Field. They dominated 90% of the time. The guys recovered the balls, they showed a great understanding of the game and also, they played like they were in the season. Some names that I’d like to highlight are Ty Montgomery, Brett Hundley, Martellus Bennett and the man of the game Justin Vogel. That punt return is in the Packers history – I do believe that.