Posted: Sunday, December 5, 2010
It's a fun little superstition in my household. In all the years that I have been going to Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers have never lost when I've been at the game. I have yet to see the Pack lose a game at home (knock on wood), and that tradition continued today as Green Bay beat San Francisco 34-16. Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings were at the top of their games. Donald Driver, one of my all-time favorite players, had what was perhaps one of the most impressive touchdowns that I have ever seen. Across the field, I had a feeling that Brian Westbrook was going to struggle today as the 49ers starting back and he certainly did rushing for only 31 yards. Vernon Davis however had a monster day with 126 yards and a score including a huge 66 yard pass over the center of the field.
I've always found it interesting when some cities have trouble selling out and a game blackout on TV becomes a real possibility. I don't know what that feels like and I hope I never do. The atmosphere in Green Bay is something to behold and I think the Packers have such tradition and such a devoted fan base that I can't comprehend anything else. A close friend of mine lives in Columbus and I'll joke with him when he calls during a Sunday Packer game because folks in Wisconsin know that you simply don't do that unless it's an emergency. After reminding him about the game, I'll ask how the Browns or the Bengals are doing. He won't know because he doesn't watch. Even with 2 NFL teams in their state, they'll watch Ohio State but that's about it. In my neck of the woods, it's common knowledge that you stay off the highways leading into and out of Green Bay on game day. It's common knowledge that the best time to go to the store is when the Packers are playing - you'll have the place to yourself. It's common knowledge that green and gold are acceptable attire at church on Sunday. It's common knowledge that unless you're a season ticket holder, you either need to know someone or pay through the nose. My children can get on the waiting list for season tickets however they'll have to wait 60+ years and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a truly special bond between the city, the state, and the team. The experience is hard to match.
Yes - it was a good day for football and there were some big story lines from around the league. Adrian Peterson didn't look "questionable" on his way to scoring 3 touchdowns. Brett Favre sprained his shoulder which is a new injury to add to the list. Looks like Tavaris Jackson filled in nicely, however Leslie Frazier was quick to point out that Favre will start next week if he's healthy. We'll see what his MRI reveals on Monday.
What's going on with Peyton Manning? I made it home in time to watch most of the Colts game including Manning's 2nd pick-6. This was his second straight 4-pick game and number 10 in the past three weeks. Even with the picks, Manning ended the day alright by fantasy standards with 365 yards and 2 touchdowns. Reggie Wayne hauled down everything including passes that weren't intended for him. WOW - 200 yards and a score. On the other side of the field, it was nice to see the Cowboys running again. Even I didn't expect them to rack up 217 yards on the ground. Nicely done, but how much of this turnaround was due to replacing Wade Philips? I watched Jason Garrett's post game locker room speech, and c'mon man - even I had to yawn. He is one of the most uninspiring and spiritless speakers. Maybe I'm being too hard on him. Let's see what happens after he learns some new cliches.
While he didn't see the end zone, Maurice Jones-Drew did see 186 yards on 31 carries, good enough for the 2nd-best rushing day of the season. MJD had enough rushing yards that he could have easily afforded to give some away across the field to Chris Johnson. The consensus #1 fantasy pick has tallied a disappointing 58 yards on 20 carries in the past two weeks. The passing game wasn't much to write home about either. Kerry Collins managed 169 yards and Randy Moss continued his absolutely disastrous season.
Unless you had Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw, there was little fantasy joy in New York. Both Giants running backs combined for 4 touchdowns. Jacobs made the most of his 8 carries for 103 yards and Bradshaw carried the load with 25 carries for 97 yards. Across the field, McNabb looked pretty decent throwing for 296 yards, 1 score, and 2 picks. Armstrong led the Washington receivers with 6 receptions for 97 yards and a score.
How about a couple of WTF's? Eli Manning: 161 yards and a pick? Kyle Orton - 117 yards and a lost fumble? Dwayne Bowe - was Champ Bailey that tough on you that you couldn't muster anything? Steve Johnson and Ryan Fitzpatrick - WTF?
The Falcons continued their winning ways with yet another impressive performance over a strong Tampa Bay team. All the regular guys made impacts and had decent fantasy days. Michael Turner had 88 yards on the ground and a score. Roddy White pulled down 7 receptions for 74 yards. Tampa Bay's Blount hit the century mark along with a score and Mike Williams made his presence felt with 59 yards on 5 catches and a TD to boot.
The Ravens/Steelers game has started and Big Ben's nose is bleeding. I have him in one of my leagues so I'm hoping that, broken nose or not, he can put up some big numbers. Between him and Santonio Holmes tomorrow night, I only need 72 points. I'm reminded of that little kid in the movie Angels in the Outfield when he says "It could happen". Oh well - looks like I'll just need to be happy with my perfect streak at Lambeau.
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