Tuesday Recap: Limping in to the Bye Week

Jonathan Franklin

I’m starting to realize that I suck at losing.  I do my best not to be a sore loser and do childish things like blame the refs or make personal insults/”at least i don’t live blank” kind of remarks (side note: those are just the best.  When Wisconsin beats Minnesota in professional or college football and Minnesotans are “at least not from Wisconsin/Madison/Green Bay” I don’t think anything makes them sound less intelligent as a fan).  I honestly think I’ve forgotten how to lose the right way.  As I’ve written before I am from deep in the heart of Vikings country (side note: man is that fun right now. The entire fan base has completely turned on everyone but Peterson) 
in the Fargo, ND area.  Our North Dakota State Bison are 31-2 in their last 33 games, have won two FCS national championships and beaten Kansas State, Colorado State, and the Unversity of Minnesota in the last three years.  My beloved Green Bay Packers have won a staggering 12 games per season over their last three seasons and won a world championship.  I had to quit playing fantasy baseball because my godforsaken Twins became so bad that I had to divert my attention to the minor leagues and seek out their promising farm system as a beacon of hope.

I guess what I’m trying to say is everything is more fun when you’re winning.  This job is a lot more fun when the Green Bay Packers are winning.  If this Thompson-McCarthy administration has taught me anything, though, it’s to maintain hope and the understanding that Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers are all very good at what they do. The Packers are in rough shape, no question.  Defensive star Clay Matthews left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.  Starting DBs Morgan Burnett and Casey Hayward, in my opinion two of the three most important DBs on the roster, have yet to make their debut.  Every running back on the roster missed at least one down of the Bengals game due to injury (go back and read that sentence again).  But hey, at least nobody lost a finger.  The bye week could not be coming at a better time.  In my super unprofessional medical opinion, Matthews, Hayward, Finley, Lacy and Starks would all be hard pressed to play in Week 4, but have a better than 50-50 shot of being active against the Lions.

Quote of the Week: 

“It’s life. You, me, everyone, we’re always learning. You’ve got to understand why certain things happen, then go from there. We’ve got a long season. Hopefully, I’ll be blessed with another opportunity. I’ve got to continue to work to and continue to praise in God.”- Jonathan Franklin

3 up:

1. Oh MD!- MD Jennings did play a hell of a game.  He scored a touchdown and recorded a sack.  His growth, coupled with the team’s increased confidence in Chris Banjo, could really make the safety position solid(ish) when Morgan Burnett returns.  Jerron McMillian has certainly played better after the debacle in San Francisco, and this position may not be such a disaster if Jennings continues to produce like this.

2. Jonathan Franklin-I tried to tell you people.  I did.  Just relax, I said.  He’s awesome, I said.  He ran behind the #2 line, I said.  Well what happened when the team needed the Mayor?  The Mayor responded with 8 yards per carry and 8 yards per catch.  If he is fine, and Lacy, Starks and Kuhn all come back after the bye and can by some miracle stay healthy, we would absolutely be looking at the deepest backfield that I have seen since I started following the team in 1995 (I’m not very old people, get off my back).

3.  Jordy Nelson- he really is a special, special player.  I can’t even believe how little we are paying him, and he deserves to be commended for not complaining or threatening to hold out.  Jordy’s ability to get deep, while also being a master of the sideline catch makes him unlike any receiver I can remember in Green Bay.

3 down: 

1.  Aaron Rodgers- if I’m going to ogle his numbers when he’s up, I have to admit when my favorite play plays poorly, and today was one of those days.  The first interception was on James Jones.  It was not a great throw, but Jones has got to cross the DB’s face, it’s an absolute requirement for that route in this offense.  The second INT was absolutely inexcusable and I truly can’t  even really believe what I saw there.  AR is a perfectionist, and I would guess that what he does to the Lions in week 5 with two weeks to prepare isn’t going to be pretty.

2.  David Bakhtiari- after two pretty good weeks, David Bakhtiari did not play well against the Bengals.  He was beaten continuously by Michael Johnson and did not play particularly well in the run game.  His missed cut block on the aforementioned Johnson was the deciding factor in the ball game as well.  On 4th and 5 Johnson jumped up and swatted Aaron Rodger’s pass, effectively ending the contest.

3.  Injuries- I want to be rational about this.  I really don’t like calling for other people’s jobs, as I’d sure hate to have someone criticize me to the point that they suggest I be unemployed.  There has to be something unacceptable about what the Packers training and injury prevention staff is doing, no?  The Packers lost the most starters’ games to injury a season ago and won Super Bowl XLV with 16 players on IR (side note: I think I’ve written that sentence 30 or 40 times, it’s just an awesome sentence).  Football is a violent sport and I understand that, but this can no longer be a “coincidence”, can it?

Bottom Line: This was an absolutely heartbreaking way to lose a ball game and losing sucks.  The positive that can be brought out of this is that the Bengals were the best team that Green Bay has to play on the road left on the schedule and they had to play absolutely awful in order to lose that game.  The bye week is coming and the hope is that reinforcements are on the way, though I’m not sure that reinforcements are all that necessary to beat the Lions at home.

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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