The Green Bay Packers could’ve easily walked into Philadelphia Sunday night, had their teeth kicked in, and no one would’ve batted an eyelash. A 4-7 team matching up against a powerhouse 9-1 team? Forget about it. But they said no, thank you. The Packers Week 12 matchup actually ended up being a game, and I’m at least thankful for that.
A Sunday night game to wrap up a four-day weekend? Sure, why not? I made it through Thanksgiving number 2 today, and much like my Friday article, I’m fighting off a Turkey coma. Or maybe that’s because I’m writing this late Sunday night and I’m just tired. Either way, I decided to only stick with beer tonight and keep the scotch on the shelf. It might actually take me to dream land this time around. But I think the adrenaline I received from watching this game will help me through it.
Before I get into my usual post-game routine, I just have to say, the Packers offense actually showed some ability to move the football. Much unlike what we’ve been familiar with earlier in the season. WHERE HAS THIS BEEN? It’s great that we got it together, but I can’t help but pound my fist on the arm of my chair wondering what if we had that ability over a month ago. Early on they seemed to heavily rely on the two running backs that have been their bread and butter in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Again, where has this been!? Those two backs are our best offensive players, and they deliver. But yet we kept the ball out of their hands.
Okay, rant over, let’s get to the highlights and beer. Here are your Packers Week 12: Toasts and Roasts.
Of course, this game wouldn’t be complete without a Christian Watson touchdown. Watson finished the game with four catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. This included a 63-yard touchdown on a crossing route where it seemed like Watson had just obtained a Mario Star and took off down the field torching everyone in sight. Obviously, I’ve been gushing about Christian Watson lately and he was the subject of my article Friday. It’s becoming more obvious that he is the real deal.
For Christian Watson this week, I’m raising my glass and toasting him with a New Glarus Smoke on the Porter. This is a creamy, smooth dark beer brewed with barleys that were cold smoked with applewood. If you like anything smoked, you have to try a smoked beer, it is delicious. Smoke of the Porter was one of my absolute favorites of that kind.
Why’d I choose this beer? Come on now. Smoked beer. Watson absolutely smoked the Eagles on his touchdown catch and run? Make sense to you now? It all fits together and I can’t wait to see Watson smoke the competition even more in the future.
This one might make some readers agreeingly say “Oh yeah.” I could not overlook Keisean Nixon’s kick returns. What a possible game changer. He had 5 returns for 172 yards averaging 34.4 yards per return. He did have had a blunder of a bobbled catch on his first return where he only got to the Packers 9-yard line out of the endzone. But he made up for this with a 41-yard return, a 52-yard return, and a 53-yard return, two of those at crucial late-game moments. And just because I can, I’m mentioning Nixon’s three tackles on defense, including one for a loss. The Packers had three drives starting with outstanding field position because of Nixon’s efforts. I only wish he could’ve taken one all the way.
I am toasting Keisean Nixon with Lagunitas Brewery’s Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. This beer is a smooth and silky IPA with a bit of a wheat ale taste to it as well that can kind of qualify it as a hefeweizen too. It’s just got that smooth taste to give your beer that little sumpin’ sumpin’ to satisfy your craving.
I’m choosing this beer because Keisean Nixon definitely gave the Packers that little extra “sumpin’ sumpin'” in this game. They were able to capitalize on the great field position provided by Nixon’s returns for scores 2/3 opportunities and that might’ve made the difference in keeping this team in the game. It’s nice to have an explosive kick returner again.
That’s right, there he is. The Packers backup QB. Possible future starting QB, on the toasts list. I definitely didn’t think he’d be here this week, but with injuries forcing Aaron Rodgers out of the game, Love filled in quite admirably. Love went 6/9 for 113 yards and a touchdown. Basically, every single pass he threw seemed to be on the money for the given situation. Love honestly looked outstanding and where he could’ve walked in and just handed off the ball and collected his paycheck, he showed up. Jordan Love essentially was the reason that game was still a game at the end.
I’m toasting Jordan Love with a Molotov Cocktail from Evil Twin Brewing. This beer is a very hoppy imperial IPA with a very well-hidden 13% ABV that’ll knock your tongue off. It is very delicious, but is that lethal combination that could make you regret sleeping on it.
Jordan Love to me was a Molotov cocktail thrown into the game. He was not going to just lay down, he showed up to win. It was his chance to give the game a spark and he did. I’m excited to see what’s next.
I’d be amiss if I didn’t call out Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon for plowing their way down the field in the first half keeping this game alive. Also, Rudy Ford continues to pop up in the turnover category and he gets an honorable toast for his forced fumble early in the game.
I’m not so sure Joe Barry watched the correct game film to prepare for this one. Just an absolutely pathetic showing by his defense who looked completely unprepared. Did he forget Jalen Hurts was the Quarterback? Did he instead watch Nick Foles or Carson Wentz film? Hurts with an insane 157 yards rushing for a Quarterback. A Quarterback! Oh, and don’t forget Miles Sanders with 143 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Honestly, did Barry think this was going to be a pocket passing face-off?
Earlier in the day I had texted my brother to mentally prepare for a lot of zone coverage. Zone coverage drives him and I both crazy because of the moments you see receivers run wide open between the zones and everyone looks at each other like “Was that your zone or mine?” Zone should’ve been the answer to at least keep Hurts from gashing us too bad with his legs as defensive backs would have eyes to the line of scrimmage. But it seemed like we had a lot of man coverage and by the time DB’s noticed Jalen Hurts was running, he was already 7-8 yards down-field and in open space.
I have to do it. It is my duty as a Packer fan/owner to deliver this hex. It already led to Amari Rodgers’ release, and now I have to place it on Joe Barry. Joe Barry, I’m roasting you, with Bud Light. You are the new Bud Light. You are simply terrible for this team as you are. You might make someone else happy somewhere down the road, but it’s not us. We don’t want you in our refrigerator any longer. Please leave our shelves and close the door behind you.
In the end
With Aaron Rodgers on the fence with a Rib injury along with the broken thumb, you have to question whether or not it’s time to shelf him for the season. Rodgers and LaFleur have already said though that unless x-rays show different, or they get other news, Rodgers will still play as long as the Packers are in contention.
Honestly, Rodgers, I love ya, you’ve done a lot for this Franchise, your picture will always hang in my Hall of Fame, your number will be retired in Lambeau soon, but it’s time to pack in this season and let Love show what he can do. I hate to see the Rodgers era end, but I also want the Packers to continue to be relevant in the years after Rodgers. In order to find that out, we need to see if Love is our solution going forward, or if we might have to bring in some competition to him.
Either way, I don’t care who the Quarterback is, we face the Bears on Sunday. It’s Bear week. Let’s go take them down and at least have that to be happy about this season that at least we weren’t as bad as the Bears.
Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to PackersTalk as well as CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter at @gmeinholz. for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.