Slacks: Straight Up – 10 NFCN Thoughts

Being a fan of NFC North football, and especially the Chicago Bears, watching the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions Thursday night was like popping some psychotropic drug and chasing it down with ten shots of Hennessy.

By the time Aaron Rodgers threw a pass that almost scrapped the roof of Ford Stadium and landed in the hands of tight end Richard Rodgers I was tripping. Part of me was:

  • Pissed off that the Lions blew the game
  • Pissed off that Aaron Rodgers was celebrating like a Cal cheerleader
  • Pissed off that another football game was marred by poor officiating
  • Pissed off that a Packers’ win makes it tougher for my Bears to get into the playoffs
  • Pissed off. Just plain pissed off

So, it’s the morning after. Am I still pissed off?

Hell yeah!

It’s hard to think straight after such a wild game so I’ll just share ten thoughts and hope that you help me sort some shit out in my hungover mind. Tweet me at @Slacks44 or @NFCNorthBarroom.

Number one, two touchdowns and one field goal in the first quarter. 90% of all male babies born this weekend in Michigan were in danger of being named Jim Bob. But, then Lions offensive coordinator, Jim Bob Cooter, took his color-coded game plan and called all the plays colored in pink. Cooter’s playcalling would have been more aggressive if he allowed the Hooters’ wait staff to take over. Too bad. Would have been cool to hear a teacher call attendance and asking, “Jim Bob Adams? Jim Bob Bailey? Jim Bob Dickerson?

Two, last year Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was a hot NFL head coaching candidate. Yeah, good luck with that, bro. Because the defense you called on that Hail Mary should have been called, “34 WE’LL ANSWER YOUR PRAYER.” Rushing three guys isn’t the stupidest thing. But, having them lose contain and allowing Rodgers to roll right and towards the line of scrimmage to launch his throw is the stupidest thing. No, wait. Maybe, having two defenders lined up 15 yards from the line of scrimmage and staying there throughout the play guarding against a lateral is the stupidest thing you could ever do. Those two guys should have been in the end zone and you will soon be in the unemployment line. Wait, wait, wait, wait. No, the stupidest, stupidest thing is Calvin Johnson being on the sideline for the Hail Mary. Your tallest player. The guy with the best hands. The guy who should have shadowed Richard Rodgers.

Three, speaking of unemployment lines, special teams’ coach Joe Marciano, needs to be pointed to the end of the line. The problem with Joe is that he can’t count to 11. For the fourth time in the last four games his special teams’ unit failed to put 11 guys on the field, or had to call timeout to get the numbers right. Dude, wear comfortable shoes. Those lines can take forever.

Four, Jim Caldwell, you too deserve to lose your job. Caldwell would have won my respect if he had manned up and been accountable for the disaster that was this Thursday night tragedy. All he offered was mumble-jumble.

Five, before the game, Aaron Rodgers was out on Ford Field practicing the Hail Mary to… Richard Rodgers! He threw three at him. The tight end said he dropped the first one and caught the next two. Now, if I’m coaching the Lions I know that because one of my spies, I mean, scouts has that information for me. Not in Detroit. Not in the land that produced Vegas, Pintos and Gremlins.

Six, by now, many or all of you still reading are probably asking, “when are you going to get on the Lions players?” Yes, I could go after Riley Reiff and LaAdrian Waddle. Those guys and some others committed some dumb-ass plays. In the case of Waddle he had a chance to win his job back from Michael Ola, who suffered an injury early in the game, but Waddle had a bad game. The thing is there’s enough talent on the football team to win. But, none of that talent is in the coaching positions. In fact, after Thursday’s tragedy, I think the coaching staff is infested with stupidity.

Seven, there’s a chance the Green Bay Packers are going to take this heroic win and transform themselves back into the Super Bowl contender they were at the beginning of the year. If you believe that then you’re qualified to coach the Lions this season.

Eight, there is so much wrong with the Packers that the list is more like a Christmas list for Bears fans.

  • Aaron Rodgers’ inaccurate passes are a real problem
  • Their offensive line is injured and ineffective. No Christmas miracle will fix it
  • After two straight 100+ rushing games. Eddie Lacy is relegated to third-string duties. That ain’t good. Fat man may be eating his way out of a job
  • Davante Adams has lost all his confidence. And, it doesn’t help that people blame him for not making catches on poorly thrown Rodgers’ passes
  • Randall Cobb is a thief. He signed a $10 million contract and in return he catches 4, 6, 2, 5, 4 passes (last five games) and just one touchdown. The dude can’t get open unless he’s lined up in the slot and the defense falls asleep.
  • James Jones caught one pass Thursday (he fumbled it). For the past eight games, he’s averaged 1.7 receptions a game. Making that even weirder is that he had six catches in one of those games (against the great Vikings defense!)
  • If not for the Packers defense (and the stupid Lions coaches), Green Bay loses Thursday, but there’s still some untrustworthy elements to the Packers D. We’ll see how well they play in Oakland and Arizona in weeks 15 and 16.

Nine, lots of shit can be said about the next-to-last play of the game, the face mask penalty which gave the Packers an extra play and Rodgers a shot to complete his first ever Hail Mary play. The rulebook uses the words “grasp” and “twist” and replays show there was no grasp. But, to the human eye it sure looked that way. So, blaming the refs on the blown call is stupid, because everybody – including Lions fans – thought it was a penalty when it first happened. It was only when America saw the play in super slow-motion and high-definition video that the truth was told. That’s the issue. The NFL is running an antiquated 20th-century officiating system when the technology exists to run a 21st century and almost defect-free operation

Ten, the Bears are better than the Packers and the Lions. Plus, the Bears are almost as good as the Vikings. No, Hennessy is not messing with my judgement. But, I believe the Bears would beat the Packers six out of ten games. The Lions seven out of ten. It’s those damn Vikings, that I’m worried about. That defense. Adrian Peterson in December. That crazy looking Mike Zimmer. But, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe when the Vikings meet the Bears on December 20th, they will be in a shit tank of two straight losses. I mean, their next two opponents are good teams. The Seahawks have won four of their last five. The Cardinals won their last five. If that happens, I take back what I said about the Vikings and the Bears are the best team in the division.

In fact… pour me a Hennessy. I may not need to wait until December 20th to sincerely believe the Bears are the best team in the NFCN.

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Benny Slacks

Benny Slacks

Aint nothin you need to know about me.


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