2019 Week 05

Packers 27 E-gulls 34 

“I don’t know what pass interference is anymore,” that’s what Coach Matt LaFleur said after Thursday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.  He was referring, of course, to the third quarter no call when a Philly defender was in the face of MVS, had his hand in his face (illegal use of hands to the face?), and was clearly not playing the ball, killing a drive that would have helped the Packers tie the score or put us ahead.
However, we were in the red zone 4 times and came away with 6 points.  One of those was a final drive that, had it been successful, would have tied the game.  Earlier in the game, we had a 1st and goal at the one, which brings me to this:  Mike Holmgren had it.  I think it was called the Jumbo Package.  I’m pretty sure Mike Sherman had it, I’m not sure what it was called.  Mike McCarthy had it and got a name in the latter stages, it was called the NASCAR package.  Before that it was “give BJ the ball!”  Now we need a new name or we can just call it, “give Kenny the Ball!”  No, not me, Kenny Clark, 6’3”, 314 lbs, the only person who matches him in size is Bryan Bulaga, and he’s already on offense.  That’s who you give the ball to when you have a 1st and goal on the one-yard line!  I don’t know if he can carry, but that’s why you have coaches; so he can learn!
Also, stopping the run would be nice too!  Carson Wentz proved that he isn’t a passer the way some quarterbacks in the league are.  The longest play the Eagles had was a 30 yard rush from Miles Sanders.  He had help as the Eagles combined for 176 yards.  Wentz had only 160 yards in the air.  He threw for 3 TD’s, no picks and wasn’t sacked.  Aaron wasn’t quite so lucky.  He threw 53 times, had 420 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 pick, the end of game killer, and one strip sack which Philly recovered giving them a short field and their first score. 
I commented on the game on Packers.com and noted that the Eagles had fumbled and lost fumbles 3 times against Detroit, which made the difference.  They obviously worked on that during the short week.  One commenter noted that the Packers D seemed to be going for the ball, more than making the tackle, and that did seem to be the case on more than one play, 7 Packers on the guy and he’s still moving forward is not good fundamental football!  “Everybody to the sled” should be shouted early and often Monday and Tuesday!  We definitely need a run stopper, or a package that stops the run. 
Addressing just that, “We saws ome guys getting out of their gaps and that is the first thing that’ll get you beat in terms of trying to stop the run,” LaFleur said. “If you’re not playing your gap or the right assignment, it makes it a lot easier on the offense. So we have to do a better job being disciplined, staying in our gaps. We always talk about it on both sides of the ball, it takes all 11. It really does.”
DaVante Adams sustained a turf toe injury, I know opponents have had this injury and it can be a nagging thing that hangs around all season long, I hope that’s not the case with DaVante.  Jake Kumerow is next on the depth chart.  Coach LeFleur summed it up like this. If Adams does miss time, LaFleur indicated the coaches will examine things schematically in the passing game as well because of such a “significant void.”
“It’s not as if our standards and expectations are going to change, but we have to be mindful of what we’re asking our guys to do,” LaFleur said. “With a receiver like Davante, I don’t think there’s a route he cannot run.”
Jamaal Williams is back in the building.  He’s not practicing, officially, he’s in the concussion protocol, meaning it will be up to Aaron Jones and understudies to produce in the run game.  3.3 yards per carry leaves you a foot short after 3rd down.  That’s the math at least. 
Also, you know what this means for the standings?  NOTHING!  The Packers still lead the NFC North after the weekend.  Detroit lost to the Chefs, the Bears beat the Viqueens because someone HAD to win.  “Maserati Mitch” left the game, I guess that tune-up didn’t go so well. 
Wheels up in 20, as America’s Team goes to play Jerry’s Team (and that is the proper terminology!)  Let’s hope Aaron can get frequent flyer miles on the ball Sunday and 
GO PACK!! GO!!!  
(Ken Hill)

Just Sayin’

Well, since when does the NFL let the visiting team bring their own referees to a game? We started off with Darrius Shepherd fielding a punt followed by a blatant helmet-to-helmet hit. NO PENALTY ! ! Then, right after the offense gets started, Jamaal Williams makes a play, gets stood up for no gain, and an Eagles DL comes running in and another blatant helmet-to-helmet hit. Williams was stopped, totally. And the lineman was 2 – 4 steps back and could have pulled up or moved to the side. Now, there was a penalty, but where was the rule about targeting a defenseless player and the defensive player getting ejected from the game. Vontaze Burfict did basically the same thing for the Raiders and was ejected from the game. I guess they didn’t go over that rule in the Eagles locker room. They also skipped over the Pass Interference rule in which a defensive back IS NOT allowed to come up behind the wide receiver, bump him and then said defensive back put, what some would refer to as, a bear hug on the receiver while the ball is in the air.

And last week, when I said it was nice to have a coach that didn’t give up on the run game too quick. Well, I guess I spoke too soon, huh? 1st and goal from the 1 yard line. Matt LeFleur must have been thinking “Everybody that keeps up with the NFL has heard how I want to have a balanced attack. So let’s throw it 4 straight times and confuse them.” You have a 240 pound fullback and you don’t even give him one single chance? Yeah, how’d that work out? IT DIDN’T ! !
Meanwhile, the offense looked like they were starting to find their stride. And then Adams goes down. And as of right now, we have no idea when he will play again. Maybe Jake’s shoulder is better this week and he can get some meaningful snaps.

Look, during the offseason, I think most of the talking heads had us at 1-3 or 0-4 after 4 games. We are 3-1. And 2 of those wins are NFC North wins. After 4 games, I will take a 3-1 record. I’m sure the Jets or the Bengals would love to be 3-1. But, we have the Cowboys coming up followed by the Lions and the Chiefs in another couple of weeks. We have a tough stretch coming up, with several games away from Lambeau. Let’s hope one of the kids is ready to take that big step forward. I am hoping it is Jake, but not the one from State Farm...
Just Sayin’
(Jimmy Smith)

GPB In Our

At kickoff for a Thursday night game, there were 53 cheering Packer backers at Spare Time.  Take time to welcome our newest Packer backers:
547 Terri Hamby
548 Ken Hamby.
Lots of door prizes were awarded (especially to the hardy few who remained during the fourth quarter)!  474 Jim Comensoli chose a watch gift set and 536 Ralph Fechhelm got the woman’s watch with multiple wrist bands.  533 Aaron Whalen chose earbuds and sunglasses.  548 Ken Hamby chose feather earrings and fuzzy socks for 547 Terri.  369 Don Dandelske now cuddles a Locker Room Teddy, 445 Sharon Dandelske chose the Aaron figurine, and 506 Sebastian Sharp picked the Brett Favre figure and some magnets.  532 John Brando chose magnets and a lanyard, 242 Christina Harrison got 2 sets of magnets and 221 Barbara Gambrell has a night light to go with her magnets.  505 Heather Sharp chose a lanyard and the Packer mason jar, 535 Mary Ann Fechhelm will sport flip flops with her lanyard, 541 Sam Claridge paired his lanyard with a Go Pack Go cap,  and 538 Seth Ray will fly his car flag while sporting his lanyard.  534 Kara Whalen chose socks to go with her lanyard.  489 Kelly Wolff chose socks and a cap, 328 Marge Bramlett has a wallet to go with her socks, and 547 Terri Hamby paired her socks with a car tag.  280 Sue Valitchka will warm her toes with slippers. 
Winners of the $1 pool were 242 Christina Harrison, 372 Sara Warpinski, 328 Marge Bramlett, and 221 Barbara Gambrell.  445 Sharon Dandelske was the winner of this week’s trivia contest and the recipient of a $25 gift card from our friends at Spare Time. 
We meet again Sunday, October 6, at Spare Time for a scheduled 4:25 game against the Cowgirls.  Make plans to come and cheer our Pack on to victory.  After all, we want to get back on the “W” side.  Remember, it’s through thick and thin    
Marge 328

Packer’s        vs.      Cowgirl’s 

 Just about any of us would’ve signed up for a (3-1) start and (2-0) in the mighty North in the first quarter of the season. There is yet a bit of lingering disappointment. The “What Ifs” of last Thursday night include a terrible missed call on a blatant pass interference, failing to score with four chances at the one-yard line, and obviously the pick off the deflection at the bitter end. The Pack has yet to put together a total performance; either the defense is dominant and the offense is stagnant (CHI, MIN, DEN), or the offense rolls and the defense is the doormat (PHI).
I watched the Bears humiliate Minnesota and I was playing that game of “Who should I be rooting against?” The truth is, obviously both. But I also saw Detroit come within an MVP-worthy Patrick Mahomes comeback of being in first place. This evidently isn’t Tom Brady’s division…

I have no idea or recollection how, but I somehow ended up in a sort of cosmic episode of “Where in the World are You?” I was dropped into quite a spectacle. It was like a huge tailgate scene outside an oversized stadium. The vibe was all sights, sounds, and smells, same as it ever was, but there was this nagging feeling that something was off…There was a Corona blimp, Modelo girls definitely earning their beads, lots of sombreros, and Virgin Mary icons everywhere. There were thousands of the familiar Red, White, and Green flags with the Eagle clutching the Snake in the middle. There were tacos, tequila and Tecate at every bumper. The air was a cacophony of maracas, kettle drums, brass instruments, and accordions. The aromas were a mix of tortillas, onions, overcooked cheap steak, and chickenshit. A group of women were engrossed in a telenovela on what had to be Telemundo or Univision. When I heard the Mexican Radio, I saw some guys from “Tijuana, eating barbecued iguana…”
Most of the crowd were in groups of varying versions of matching neon t-shirts with jeans and workboots, carrying blowers and weedeaters. I followed them into the stadium, where some shady looking uniformed guys tried to search me. I asked for their identification and one of them said “Batches!?! We don’t need no steenking batches!” Playing a hunch, I slipped them a couple USDs and they let me on my way. I saw some intoxicated hombres with plastic hats that looked like cups filled with pale yellow goo calling themselves the “QuesoCabezas.” There was a flyover, but strangely it was with WWII-era prop planes(?) Then there was the real flyover, but this time (and again, rather strangely) it was with private Gulfstream jets owned by the Cartels. Just then, everything, and I mean everything, froze. A powerful, omnipotent voice boomed: “Final hint: You are NOT in Berea, South Carolina. Kraig Pringle, WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE YOU?
I didn’t hesitate. Mama didn’t raise an idiot. I’m not estupido, and I saw, heard, and smelled all the clues. There were like 75,000 Mexicans there. I figured that must’ve taken at least 1,000 El Caminos or more. I quickly said “A Mexican National game?” Then I heard the “GONNGGGG!!!” and knew I’d lost. What really sucked was I would’ve won two tickets to the Bowling Hall of Fame. My wife wouldn’t go, but I was going to take Steve Klotz of SpareTime, since he barely missed out on having a bust there. You may ask, “Where in the World were you?” I can only say, the last thing I saw before being snatched back to reality were the Dallas Cowboys running out on the field in white…
After landing in reality, it is once again time for a trip to JerryWorld to play Mexico’s Team. Dallas, which has given us The Herd (a series of statues of cattle that wind through the metro area), the JFK assassination, the Ewings, and the always Emmy-worthy Cheaters. They also gave us one Todd Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice. But they haven’t been “America’s Team” since before Walker was a Texas Ranger…
This is always a big game, but it feels monstrous right here and right now. Both teams are (3-1) and there is a chasm between (4-1) and (3-2) statistically and otherwise. We are favored to lose again, and will have to play that elusive complete game to hope to come out on top of what will be a big swing. The names have changed, but they are a talented team that is, as usual, overrated. They are also coming off a disappointment in losing to a Teddy Bridgewater-inspired Saints team in a 12-10 barnburner.
There are obvious issues with the Packers stopping the run, and Dallas averages 143 yards per game (in a passing league) and has Cornel West’s love child with Oprah, Zeke Elliott. If adjustments aren’t made, he will look like a Hall of Famer, which I definitely hope he is not. There will probably be no Davante Adams, coming off an injury-shortened 180 yards on 10 catches in torching Philadelphia. Dallas will be missing perhaps the second or third-best Tackle in football in Tyron Smith. Some call him the Best, but I’m calling BS on that when we have Bakhtiari and Bulaga…
What’s it all add up to? Will the Packers win? Who knows? What do you call the four Cowboys fans who fell in quicksand? Well, that’s easy: Cuatro Sinko. And if you didn’t know, now you know: Down there against the Cowboys, it is always a Mexican Standoff… 
Go, Pack, GO!!!
(Kraig Pringle)

Head to Head

Here is an epiphany; football is a violent sport.  It started that way over 100 years ago and the game as we know it would not be football without hard hitting and aggressive play; after all, we all love to see those “decleater” hits.  However, there is a fine line between playing a game and playing mortal combat. So the NFL crafts rules to protect players, to make it safer to play the game; after all, this is not the Coliseum of ancient Rome. 

The problem does not lie in the rules but in the enforcement and the interpretation.  Most all rules, except perhaps off-sides and delay of game, are open to the interpretation of the officials on the field.  According to the coaches, players and even us fans, frustration comes when they try to decipher when to call penalties like helmet to helmet hits. 
We as Packer fans found out last Sunday how frustrating this can be.  From start to finish, the E-gull’s seem to have their heads in the game, so to speak.  Rudy Fords hits Darrius Shepherd on the first punt of the game, no call.  Next play, Dereck Barnett hits Jamaal Williams, gets flagged (no ejection) and Jamaal is carted off the field.  A short while later Marquez Valdes-Scantling, was saved a helmet hit only because Zach Brown grab his facemask and pulled it out of the way of an incoming helmet.  And of course there was the delay with 1:00 left in the game as Avonte Maddox was hit by his own player, Andrew Sendejo and carted off the field.  I know you can’t call a penalty on your own team but IF player safety is paramount to the NFL, they should at least be looking at a possible fine.
Now here is where our true frustration begins.  Browsing the web this week, I have yet to see anything concerning any of the above.  Talk on the internet is all about Vontaze Burfict’s “vicious” hit on the Colts tight end Jack Doyle (BTW, Doyle got up and walked away after that vicious hit).  Burfict was flagged and ejected from the game and was throwing kisses to the crowd on his way out.  The NFL later fined him ($1.16 MIL) and banned him from football this season, mostly because he is a repeat offender but the kisses didn’t help either.  The other talk on the web was when Patriots Jonathan Jones was flagged (not ejected) for a hit on Bills QB Josh Allen; which left Allen on the ground for several minutes.  Allen missed the rest of the game with a concussion and most likely will miss this Sunday’s game too.  Comments from several Bills players noted that if that had been Brady on the ground, there would have been an ejection.  Of course, Bill Belacheat had no problem with Jones’ hit.
The Bills and the Packers weren’t the only victims of Helmet to Helmet hits this week, there were other hits, some flagged, some not, but with the exception of Burfict (as of Friday AM) no one has been fined.  The only fine levied by the league this week was to Xavien Howard (Miami) for grabbing a facemask during a shoving match.
Perhaps the solution doesn’t lie in creating new rules but in simplifying them.  Let’s say ANY illegal hit, helmet or otherwise, that takes a player out of the game, the offender must also sit out for as long as the injured player is out.  Even if it means multiple weeks.  In this age of technology, what about sensors in the crown of the helmet?  This would take some of the burden off the refs but I’m sure even that would be challenged and disputed.  Another thought is to change the helmets back to the leather ones with no facemasks.  Maybe players have gotten into a false sense of security, much like NASCAR’s Hans devise where injury to self is almost totally eliminated.
No easy answers, no easy solutions.  Ultimately, if any change is to be made, it is with the players themselves.  They are the ones affected, they are the ones that suffer.  Not the league, who champions player safety but does nothing to inforce the rules; that is until a player has his 50th offence, as is the case with Burfict.  For the owner’s, it’s all about the revenue and as long as the money keeps rolling in, they see no reason the upset the applecart. For us fans, if we want to see any real change with helmet type hits, maybe it’s time to change the head…  
Go Goodell Go! 
(Packer John)