Archive for the ‘Green Bay Packers’ Category

Saturday morning began just like any other day in my house.  An infant and toddler were ready for Mom and Dad to wake up so they let the world know by screaming at the top of their lungs. This day was different though, soon I’d be hitting the road for Milwaukee. Breakfast was a little better on this particular morning than it is on most days. After rushing to get the car packed, I started my trip to Wisconsin.

It was a fairly uneventful drive that lasted a little over 7 hours. As soon as I arrive at my friend’s house, who was home on leave visiting family, the drinking started. Nothing too crazy because tomorrow was the big day, just enough to take the edge off. Some people in the house were trying all their layers on and going through a test run outside. Saturday night’s temperature was nothing compared to what we would actually experience up North at Green Bay.

We woke up nice and early on Sunday morning since we had to be out of the door at 9:30 am. Tailgating isn’t an option at Lambeau field, it is mandatory.  After the two hour drive to Green Bay, we started to get all of our layers on to finally face the cold. Let me tell you, it was fucking cold. Easily, it was the coldest weather I ever experienced. There was no way this weather wasn’t going to affect the players. GLOVES were a necessity! I planned on taking a lot of pictures, but there was no way I was going to take my gloves off to use my smart phone. If you listened to the podcast, you heard that my phone was not even working under these conditions.

Handwarmers were stuffed in gloves, down pockets, in shoes and anywhere else you’d like to keep nice and toasty. After a couple of hours of tailgating we headed into the most famous stadium in football, Lambeau field, and it was glorious. Any football fan, whether they like the Pack or not, need to experience everything that Lambeau has to offer. It’s like they just dropped a stadium in the middle of a little town, with houses across the street and right next to the stadium. No matter how big football gets, Green Bay will always be the same ol town.

Aerial shot of Lambeau field on Sunday

The fans are incredible, quite possibly the safest/best place to go if you’re an opposing fan. Packers fans pride themselves on being respectful, ESPECIALLY inside of the Mecca that is Lambeau. I saw a large turnout of Niners fans, but 90% of the reaction from Packers fans was friendly. Of course, there are some young & immature fans who like to yell things at opposing team fans but they were far and few.  If their parents were present, I’m sure they would have put their Packer kin into check.

The view from our seats was incredible, even more impressive since I purchased the tickets 4 days before the game.

View from our seats

View from our seats

The entire game we were screaming, drinking, freezing and just having a good time. It felt like the crowd was in the game the whole time until Phil Dawson’s final kick sailed through the uprights. It was weird because none of us felt drunk in that weather. I mean look what was happening to the beers, THE INSANITY PEOPLE!

Frozen beer

Frozen beer

So you had to drink fast, which apparently my friend was not doing! Also, if you spilt any drinks on yourself it would immediately frost making you look like Frosty the Snowman shot his load all over you.

I'm on the right purely disappointed with my party fouls

I’m on the right purely disappointed with my party fouls

The atmosphere and experience made up for the result of the game. It was a tough loss, and we just didn’t make enough plays to win the game. Some shaky play-calling by Mike McCarthy, which also led to some drives ending early or not being able to punch it in the endzone for six. I think we all felt that we were going to win the game, the Niners weren’t impressing anybody. Kaepernick just taking off out of the pocket was the difference in the game.  He had a couple of long runs out of the pocket in crucial situations that led to the Niners staying on the field and putting up points. Before the game if you told me the Niners were only going to score 23, I would think we were going to win the game.

My prediction for the game was 27-24 Packers, but our redzone woes decided to follow us to 2014. Partly due to the plays being called, it seems like we abandon Eddie Lacy every time we get in the red zone. If we are inside the 10 yard line, Eddie Lacy needs to be out there. We should at least give him one shot if not two at getting in the endzone. After the game we looked at stats and saw that Lacy had 80 yards and we were all surprised. That was a tough ass 80 yards that Eddie Lacy ran for against a good defense on a frigid day. I think his longest carry was 8 yards so he was just out there grinding like he always does. Having Lacy on the field in goalline situations makes the defense at least have to account for him and hopefully open up the passing lanes a little bit. I actually enjoyed the games McCarthy called for Quarterbacks not named Aaron this year.

Each game Aaron Rodgers was out McCarthy had to find a way to get his QBs in rhythm while maintaining a heavy dose of Lacy/Starks. Some of the games Flynn started we came out of the gates throwing the ball, little WR screens and intermediate passes just to get in a flow. Sunday, he decides to come out with three running plays. I’m ok with that, but when the 3rd down run is to John Kuhn that’s when I have a problem. Just keep Lacy in there and pound it up the gut on 3rd and 2 instead of trying to catch the Niners off guard with Kuhn. McCarthy would make a similar move later in the game when he tried to go up the middle with Randall Cobb on a goalline possession. This is the kind of stuff that really bothers me with MM. Also, when he has Aaron Rodgers he feels the need that he has to keep passing no matter if the running game is working or not. That is probably part of the reason our redzone scoring was so low. Abandoning the run and trying to pass every time you get inside the 20 is going to be a little difficult when there isn’t that much open field.

The Packers missed out on what could have been a couple of huge turnovers in the game. The first was a fumble that MD Jennings was unable to secure, and the second was a dropped interception by Hyde that could have potentially won the game on the final drive. I just watched it, and got sick to my stomach.

Probably an interception if they’re playing in San Fran instead

Oh man this gif just keeps going, wow every time I watch it I keep thinking he is going to catch the ball. What a heartbreaker, he could have taken it to the house and then everybody would be putting the blame on Kaepernick instead of praising him for his heroics. I don’t even want to talk anymore as this gif keeps going and ruining my day. Ultimately, the Packers were playing with house money and were lucky to make it into the playoffs…..right? No, these are professional football players their goal isn’t to make it to the playoffs and lose. They want those rings, and this team really thought they had something special. I will always remember this season because of Aaron Rodgers’ injury, what could have been with Rodgers/Lacy, the wild coaster ride games, the birth of the Cardiac Pack, and going to Lambeau field. Look out NFL in 2014, the Pack will be back.

Randall “Stiltz”

Flacco after signing his 100 million dollar contract

Flacco after signing his 100 million dollar contract

We all know the value placed on the Quarterback in today’s league, however are they actually worth shelling over 100 million dollar contracts. You don’t win the Super Bowl by being good on one side of the ball. Only complete teams can take home the ultimate prize and with a salary cap of $120 million some teams are giving about 17% to their QB position alone. Now franchise quarterbacks will get you in the playoffs consistently, but that also keeps your draft stock towards the bottom of the first round as well. That means you have to be really lucky drafting the right personnel in order to eliminate possible deficiencies. Also if your franchise Quarterback happens to get hurt(this is football people), your team is suddenly the worst in the division **wink wink Green Bay**.

Packers fans watching their season coming crashing down

If you take a look at Super Bowl champions the past few years, there is usually a Quarterback who is playing above his contract. Here are the list of Super Bowl winning QBs the past 10 seasons, only 7 names! All of these Quarterbacks listed weren’t getting SUPERSTAR money, but they were playing at a superstar level.

*Tom Brady X 2 (=’03,=’04)* WAS PLAYING ON A CONTRACT JUST OVER $30 MILLION, IT WAS HIS FIRST CONTRACT FOLLOWING HIS ROOKIE DEAL. HE SIGNED AN EXTENSION AFTER THESE TWO SUPER BOWL WINS, IN 2005, FOR AROUND 48.5 MILLION GIVING HIM ABOUT $12.5 MILLION/YEAR, EXTREMELY MODEST FOR A THREE-TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPION.

*Eli Manning X 2 (’07,’11)* SIGNED AN EXTENSION IN 2009

*Big Ben X 2 (’05,’08)* SIGNED AN EXTENSION IN 2008

*Peyton Manning (’06)* WAS PLAYING ON A 7 YEAR/98 MILLION EXTENSION FOLLOWING HIS ROOKIE DEAL IN 2003. MAKING AROUND 14.5 MILLION/YEAR, NOT DETRIMENTAL TO A TEAM’S CAP.

*Drew Brees (’09)* SIGNED NEW MEGA CONTRACT IN 2012

*Aaron Rodgers (’10)* WAS PLAYING WELL ABOVE AN EXTENSION HE SIGNED IN HIS FIRST YEAR AS A STARTER FOLLOWING HIS ROOKIE DEAL. SIGNED NEW MEGA CONTRACT IN 2013

*Joe Flacco (=9112)* SIGNED NEW MEGA CONTRACT IN 2013

Now let’s take a look at the highest paid QBs in the league.  You’ll be surprised by the names on this list and how all of these guys are getting paid more than Tom Brady.

*Aaron Rodgers $22 million/year (5 years/110 mil signed 2013)

*Joe Flacco $20.1 million/year (6 years/ 120 mil signed 2013)

*Drew Brees  $20 million/year (5 years/100 mil signed 2012)

*Peyton Manning $19.2 million/year (5 year/96 mil signed 2012)

Tony Romo $18 million/year (6 years/108 mil signed in 2013)

*Eli Manning $16.25 million/year (extension in 2009 6 years $97.5 million)

Philip Rivers $15.5 million/year (extension in 2012 4 years $93 million)

Matt Schaub $15.4 million/year (extension in 2012 4 years $62 million)

Mark Sanchez $13.5 million/year (extension in 2012 3 years $40.5 million)

Sam Bradford $13 million/year (6 years $78 million signed in 2010)

*Big Ben $12.75 million/year (extension in 2008 8 years $102 million)

Matthew Stafford $12.25 million/year (6 years $73.5 million signed in 2009)

*Tom Brady $11.4 million/year (5 years $57 million extension in 2013)

*Denotes Super Bowl winning QB

Pretty remarkable, right? Tom Brady is one of the only QBs deserving of $20 million/year, but instead restructures his contract to keep his team competitive. How is he rewarded? Welker doesn’t get resigned and he’s left with a group of misfits on Offense. However the point is Brady gets it, unlike most of these other Quaterbacks who are just out for a payday regardless of the negative effects on the team in the long run. Specifically, Peyton Manning signed the biggest deal of his career following major neck surgeries. I get that he was the most coveted free agent of all time, but it really limits your team’s ability to improve anywhere else.

Manning is aware of all the critics and haters, so why wouldn’t his main goal be to win more Super Bowls. By taking on a boatload of a contract, Manning showed that he is just out there for himself. He is already making a ton of money off of sponsors: Papa Johns, Direct TV, Buick?? Peyton Manning, one of the best commercial athletes, doesn’t need the money. As a result, this Denver team isn’t making the Super Bowl. They have a nice offense but aren’t going to be stopping anybody on defense. I think they’ll get eliminated in the divisional round…..again. “At least he got all those records”-Peyton supporters

The NOODLE! Look away Broncos Fans

The biggest contract up there without a Super Bowl ring on his resume is Tony Romo. He just signed a 6 year extension for over 100 million, which would mean he is going to be 39 at the end of the deal. He is about to have back surgery and is notorious for late season/game collapses. The Cowboys defense was abysmal this season and they could use all the help they can get. They do have the benefit of being the richest franchise in the NFL but are limited thanks to Jerry Jones, GM/Owner/Wannabe Head Coach/Motivational Speaker/Narcissist/Living in the Past/Visionary/Puppet Master/Forever in debt to the Vikings and Herschel Walker/More importantly indebted for life to Jimmy Johnson/Jimmy Johnson Fan/Still Misses Jimmy Johnson/The guy who fired Tom Landry/Mr. Ego/71 Year old Man but I used to play football at the college level/Did you hear I played football once, I was a RB & Offensive lineman in my day…….Jerry Jones everybody!

JERRY JONES!!!!!

If we follow this trend, then we have a lot of intriguing Super Bowl picks based off of this theory. In the AFC: Cincy- Even though we have talked about how much we are against Dalton leading this team to the Super Bowl, they are stacked on both sides of the ball and special teams. If Dalton were to somehow get hot ala Flacco last year, this team could cruise to the Super Bowl. Indy- Andrew Luck is on the 2nd year of his rookie deal and big paydays are in his future, but this team fits the mold of recent champs.  NE-Brady’s modest salary allows the team a lot of flexibility, and they find ways to get it done. They went to the Super Bowl with the worst ranked defense! KC- Alex Smith’s new deal is nothing special, but I don’t think he is a Quarterback who will ever got hot unless he gets in a time machine and trades spots with Aaron Rodgers the night of the draft and sweated out that first round on National Television.

Birth of Aaron Rodgers, Photobomber extraordinaire

In the NFC there are four teams as well: Seattle/San Fran- For the same reasons as Indy, but both teams have way better defenses and running games. Russell Wilson is in his rookie deal and I’m sure he’ll have a nice payday eventually.  This theory really suits Seattle and San Francisco the most, if either of them win the Super Bowl it has a lot to do with their ability to build a complete roster without being constrained by a major QB contract. Philly-Nick Foles, rookie deal. Carolina- Cam is another player on his way to getting a big deal, especially if he makes a run during the Playoffs(SO WIN NOW).

Let’s look at the franchise QBs in the playoffs- Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers, Rodgers

Manning- Discussed above- see defense

Brady- Discussed above, like their chances of getting to another Super Bowl in a wide open AFC.

Brees- A team that is good on both sides of the ball, the only problem is they let home-field advantage slip away. Terrible road team and Brees has never won a playoff game on the road.

Rivers- Questionable defense and its pretty unrealistic they make it to the Super Bowl and win. I guess crazier things have happened.

Rodgers- A team that relies on drafting and developing players. They have a lot of holes in their defense, the addition of a running game makes this Packers team different than the past few years. They could get hot like 2010, and if they continue causing turnovers could end up in the Super Bowl totally defunking all of this time I spent writing this. **OF COURSE I’M ALL FOR THIS ONE ACTUALLY HAPPENING, HELLLLLOOOO***

How can you blame these players for wanting to get paid as much as possible anyway? The Owners are the ones making all the money, but refuse to hash it out accordingly(like smart businessmen). These huge Quarterback contracts aren’t good for the league and I’m sure they cause some tension in the locker room amongst players. Maybe these issues will be worked out during the next strike/CBA. In the meantime, we’ll continue to enjoy high scoring games and coming up with theories on Super Bowl contenders.

Randall “Stiltz”

 

Listen to the third episode of the PT Sports Debate with Stiltz and Ush

On the 3rd episode of the PT Sports Debate we are talking about the Wildcard round of the NFL Playoffs. We make our predictions, Ush has some ATS bets and we’ll briefly talk about Black Monday. As always, follow us on Twitter @PTSportsDebate, keep reading the blog and  tell your friends! Spread the love people!

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Illegal Formation

San Diego Vs Kansas City

Kansas City knows what Bolts fans have been saying all year and that is they win all the games against good opponents and lose the games they should win. By that logic, Kansas City benches their starters and the Chargers almost blow their chance to get in the playoffs! But seriously, the Chiefs had this game and it all slipped away. A lot of talk today about the illegal formation by the Chargers that was never called. Refs miss calls, but I’m sure there are a lot of angry Steelers fans out there because of this.

San Francisco Vs Arizona

Great game capped off by this sick catch by Quinton Patton with 22 seconds left to set up the game winning field goal for San Fran.

Amazing catch by Patton

Dallas Vs Philly

A game that Dallas controlled for the most point, only to succumb to turnovers…….again. Costly turnovers in the first half by players not named Romo(Murray and Witten)allowed Philly to have a nice lead going into halftime. Both of those turnovers went straight into Philly’s defenders hands, is there a team with worse luck than the Cowboys (Don’t answer that Cleveland). I loved the way DeMarco has run the ball the entire year, he did not want to go home last night. DeMarchoo choo Murray everybody:

DeMarchoo Choo Murray

You knew this game was going to come down to the wire no matter what because the football gods love messing with Cowboys fans, Orton pulls a Romo with a game ending interception. Hats off to Dallas who played a hell of a game. Great offense all year, terrible defense. Expect Kiffin to be fired and for Dallas to return to it’s 3-4 ways next year.

Do the Romo **da da da da da da da da da da**

Green Bay Vs Chicago

Longest rivalry in the NFL lived up to its billing. Everything just seems to be going the Packers way as of late, including the craziest touchdown of the year.

One of the oddest TDs you’ll ever see

Rodgers was able to shake off some early miscues and make one of the biggest passes of his career. All out blitz by the Bears on 4th and 8, Rodgers is able to elude Peppers thanks to a solid chip block by Kuhn and hit a wide open Cobb for the game winning TD. I don’t know if Rodgers will get enough credit for this throw, he is scrambling to his left and throws an off balance 50 yarder to Cobb. Questionable call of the day goes to Mike McCarthy for electing not to go for two early in the 4th, a call that almost came back to haunt the Packers.

THAAAAA COBBBBBBBLEEEERR IS BACK

Welcome back Randall

Randall Cobb said after the game he saw the safety was flat footed and knew he had him beat deep so he threw his hand in the air right away. Even though Cobb has been out 10 weeks and Rodgers 7, the chemistry is still strong with this duo. Packers fans will remember this play for a loooooooong time, I couldn’t believe my eyes when there was a wide open Randall Cobb streaking down the field. Glad to see my son Randall isn’t cursed either.

Last but not least, it was Tony Gonzalez’s final game in the NFL.

Thank you Tony!

Not the season he came back for, but he still gave it his all like a true professional. There is no doubt that he could have played another three years with this kind of productivity, the guy is a machine. Tony finished his 17th year with 83 rec 859 yds 8 TDs

Career Stats:

1325 Rec 15,127 yds 111 TDs

For a Tight End to finish in the TOP 6 for all of these categories is just insane. Tony will be missed, one of the greatest of all time.

2nd ALL TIME IN RECEPTIONS BEHIND JERRY RICE

5th ALL TIME IN RECEPTION YARDS

6th ALL TIME IN RECEIVING TDs

Hey here are our picks for the week, you can listen to them on the latest podcast.

STILTZ: 13-3

Panthers over Falcons
Bengals over Ravens
Texans over Titans
Colts over Jags
Miami over Jets
Vikings over Lions
Giants over Redskins
Steelers over Browns
Broncos over Raiders
Pats over Bills
Saints over Bucs
Cards over 49ers
Chargers over Chiefs
Seahawks over Rams
Packers over Bears
Philly over Dallas

USH: 14-2

Panthers over Falcons
Bengals over Ravens
Titans over Texans
Colts over Jags
Jets over Miami
Lions over Vikings
Redskins over Giants
Steelers over Browns
Broncos over Raiders
Pats over Bills
Saints over Bucs
49ers over Cards
Chargers over Chiefs
Seahawks over Rams
Pack over Bears
Philly over Cowboys

ATS bets of the week:
Carolina -6.5
Jets +5.5
Detroit +3

LISTEN HERE!

Apologies for my Tony Soprano impersonation on the mic with the breathing. Check out the podcast, let us know what you think. You can subscribe on podbean or iTunes. Just search for PTSportsDebate. I think we are getting the hang of this podcasting.

Listen to Ep. 2 NFL Week 17 picks now!

Christmas week for the Packers/Bears rivalry

Matt Flynn be like

Bears be like

….the day after Christmas

Aaron Rodgers will start this Sunday against the Bears for the division title.

The Champ is back.

Bears fans rejoice