The University of Wisconsin marching band celebrates a 22-9 win by the Green Bay Packers over the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. There is no sighting of Dominic Raiola in this photograph. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

The Grumpy Writer: The Green Bay Packers week that was and is

Aaron Rodgers
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

 

When you are on a roll, just go with it!  I guess maybe that should be my new motto or I am going to go with ‘quit whining, we won this week!’

Ether way they both make sense.

Looking back at the Detroit Lions game there were a lot of things to be happy about for the Green Bay Packers. A staunch defense, a running game that continues to be explosive, and the consistent play of the offensive line. Most importantly we extended the streak another year and sent the Lions home with their tail between their legs.

This was an important victory for the NFC North race and anyone who says this was not a “must-win” game is either delusional or does not understand the significance of division games and tie-breakers.

Mason Crosby kicks one of his five field goals on the day last Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Mason Crosby kicks one of his five field goals on the day last Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

I am also ready to eat my words from last year as I was calling for the axe to drop on Mason Crosby. WOW! What a difference a year makes. The man nails five field goal attempts, including one from 52 yards (rumor has it the sun was in his eyes, the wind was against him and the magnetic poles shifted just as he kicked it).

For his performance he was awarded the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.  It is with my humblest regards that I apologize for my criticism as it is good to see that Crosby has his groove back!

Yet with the good also comes the bad (and this is where I rant!).  What in the name of St. Vince is it with injuries and this team?  I mean, OK, every team gets bit with injuries but what is in the water up in Green Bay?

I understand that it is strong enough to collapse a bridge, but another hamstring injury, a torn Achilles and a broken thumb? Is there a curse that we need to start worrying about. I bet you that down in the bayou, some witchy woman worked up a spell a few years back to curse this team when an old gunslinger came knocking on her cabin door.

What will it take to break this?

Breaks (no pun intended)?? I am starting to think that Clay Matthews is injury-prone. He has been in the league five years and in that time he has only played a complete season once and that was his rookie year. Counting the Lions game he has played in 62-two of 68 games. That may not seem like a lot, but when he is the defensive juggernaut for the team, he can’t be missing so much time. He is the defensive ying to Aaron Rodgers’ offensive yang and if those two parts do not flow there is no balance for the team.

There does not appear to be the necessary depth and experience on the defensive line to sustain an extended absence from the man who is supposed to be the main force of the unit.

Offensively, Rodgers and the team moved the ball well down the field. However, there is this thing called the end zone. When you cross that line you get six points. It seems the team forgot this fundamental aspect of the game (hence Crosby killing it with his foot).

How do you go from scoring at will to being afraid of a white line? The line will not hurt you, it is your friend! Cross it and you will be rewarded with untold riches. Hopefully this gets worked out when the team goes to Baltimore.

So for the week the big talking point was the actions of one Dominic Raiola.

How impressive for a grown man to insult college band members. I do not think Mr. Raiola fully comprehends that those band members can run circles around his fat backend. I know this from first-hand experience as I have watch the UW Marching Band practice at Camp Randall and let’s just say Dominic Raiola, you can only dream of being half the athlete those kids are!

Then adding to his weekly dose of stupidity, he told reporters there is no video or audio evidence of what took place and it was all blown of out of proportion.  So he then donates money to the band and gives a half-hearted apology. The Lions and the league do nothing more than say boys will be boys with no disciplinary action.

I think Raiola needs some intelligence training as well as sensitivity training and understanding diversity if he was truly using homophobic slurs. Even if he did not, there is no place in the league for his kind of words and actions and throwing money at the issue is no way of handling it. The guy is a bonafide jerk and next year I hope he gets the kind of proper welcome he deserves, a twenty-one tuba salute!

Next up is the Baltimore Ravens, the Super Bowl Champions.

I will be honest and I have not looked at what this team has or does not have and I really do not care. The bottom line is that the Packers need to go into this game with the same intensity of the last two and take it to them. We have yet to win on the road so we need to get that monkey off our back.

From what I have seen on the sports channels and the Internet, they have not really beaten anyone of significance (Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Cleveland and Houston).  Only one of those teams had a winning record and they lost to the Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams.

So I see no real threat as long as the Packers play like they have the last two weeks. Then again, who knows what could happen with injuries and this team so I will hold my breath and my tongue and hope for the best.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Clay Matthews Green Bay Packers

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