WELL THAT WAS A LOT OF FUN, YOU GUYS! The Packers have played 4 prime time games this season. 2 of them have not been very enjoyable, competitive contests that have run away from the Packers after key injuries. The other two games? Well those have been great. Green Bay absolutely eviscerated Chicago last night, in effect ending Chicago’s season. The team that many pundits had given the North to in the early goings is done. This ending came at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and his six (!!!!) first half touchdown passes.
Selfishly (as an Aaron Rodgers fan and fantasy owner), I wanted Rodgers to stay in and break the single game record for TD passes. If the Packers defense and they’re new
eater of worlds inside linebacker Clay Matthews hadn’t been so strong last night he would have had a chance to throw his 7th and 8th TDs of the game in the second half. Besides AR not breaking that record, everything else came up roses for the Packers. Their longest rival was dispatched in humiliating fashion on national television, and Rodgers and the two guards were able to get out while only playing a half’s worth of football.
1. Aaron Rodgers- There’s really not much to say about #12. He’s thrown 26 TD passes since his last INT at Lambeau Field. His TD/INT ratio is currently 25/3 and 2 of those were deflected by his own receivers. His passer rating is an unfathomable 120.1 and the only reason that his numbers aren’t gaudy enough to basically guarantee him a second MVP trophy is the obliterations of Chicago (2x) Minnesota and Carolina. These were all comfortable victories in which Rodgers threw 28 or fewer passes.
2. Clay Matthews- what a game! The Claymaker was everywhere during the first game of his transition to ILB. He sacked Cutler twice (though losing one to a penalty). He had 9 tackles. He had zero missed tackles. He was absolutely everywhere and his move inside might save the Packers defense. He has that level of talent. It’s completely up to Mike Neal and Nick Perry now. They have to be able to hold up outside against both the run and pass. The thing that helps the defense against the run is that Matthews is not a plus run defender on the edge, but has the ability to be a plus run defender when detached from the LOS. Both Perry and Neal and plus run defenders on the edge.
3. Micah Hyde- after being destroyed by Martellus Bennett in the first meeting between the two teams, Hyde came back in a big way. Cutler had a QB rating of just 45.8 when throwing at Hyde, and his first quarter interception put the game into blowout mode. The way the Packers are constructed on defense, when they get up 2 or more TDs it’s very hard for a team to come back.
1. Matt Flynn- these are all going to be very nitpicky, so I’m going to start picking nits. I know that Flynn was with the second offensive line and the second group of receivers, but he has not looked good in any of the regular season action that he has gotten this season. None of this really matters to me though as he has proven if he gets a week’s worth of reps with the starters he is capable of getting a win at least half the time.
2. Sam Shields- the Packers $39 million man did not play well last night. As with Flynn, this is mostly excusable. He was coming off of an injury and had the difficult task of checking Brandon Marshall, who until late in last night’s game appeared to be over his ankle injury.
3. Nick Perry and Mike Neal- both of these players have to play better if Clay Matthews is going to play inside linebacker this season. PFF graded out both players in the negative both overall and against the run. Both players registered 2 QB hurries, which is a good sign, but they have to be able to set the edge in the run game, especially at their size.