Archive for the ‘Wild card weekend’ 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”

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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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