Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Packers give it away to Da Bearz

Pain and misery fill the air
Penalty flags flying everywhere.
At Soldier Field on Monday night
It was better to be a Bear

Pardon my little poetic intro, Packer fans, but what can you say after a game like last night in ChiTown? Well, lots. And it does help to vent.

For purposes of clarity, we can borrow a lyric from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to describe and summarize the game: "Give it away, give it away, give it away, now."

With a franchise record 18 (at last count) penalties, the Packers did to themselves what Da Bearz on their own couldn't do: make them lose the game.

I was in the stands at Soldier Field last night and the game was fugly, as the expression goes. I'm sure it was just as ugly watching on TV. Except the advantage of the latter is you are not surrounded by Bearz fans. Although I must say it was an interesting experience. Other than my two Bearz' fan companions (who generously provided me with the ticket...you know who you are...and thank you again!), the range of conversation by those around us generally focused throughout the game on how lousy a QB Jay Cutler is, how Da Bearz have no offensive line or running game, how the secondary was letting Aaron Rodgers slice and dice them down the field, how much they hate head coach Lovie Smith, and...when the final seconds ticked off the clock, oh, but what a great team Da Bearz are. Yeah, right.

There was one of those in-stadium text polls during the game asking Bearz' fans to vote for which player was the team's best offensive weapon: QB Jay Cutler, WR Johnny Knox and two others I don't recall. Toward the end of the game, the results were posted. Knox got about 43 percent of the vote. Cutler? He got 5 percent. Five percent! Where's the love for your QB, Bearz fans? A bit of an insight there into Bearz fans...yes, I know, it's a scary thing to contemplate. But believe me, it's even scarier to see in person. Yikes!

Anyway...on this night, yes, Da Bearz got a "W" courtesy of great special teams' performance -- where I had given Da Bearz the edge in my preview -- and Packers' penalties. The best offense Da Bearz had going for them was the Packers' penalties. Missed opportunities abounded. A touchdown pass was taken off the scoreboard because of a penalty. At least two interceptions were overturned because of penalties. A blocked field goal, and two big punt returns -- including the one for a TD -- were unexcusible breakdowns.

The old saying about shooting oneself in the foot applies very well to this game. But the Packers didn't rely on just one six-shooter to do themselves in. They had three of 'em to do the job: 18 penalties. Mind blowing. Game losing.

"Give it away, give it away, give it away, now."

I had predicted a close game with a final score of 24-20 Packers. For the third straight week I got the score of the winning team correct. Unfortunately, last night it was Da Bearz 20-17 over the Pack. If James Jones had protected the ball on the sideline and not fumbled it's quite possible the Pack could have driven down and gotten that 24-20 victory I predicted. Even Bearz fans around me were bemoaning the fact that Da Bearz' defense couldn't stop the Packers. The only thing that could stop the Pack last night was themselves. And they did. Over and over and over.

"Give it away, give it away, give it away, now."

In my preseason preview I indicated that the Pack would lose a game they should have won within the first six games. This was that one.

Da Bearz sit atop not only the NFC North but the NFC as a whole. For the moment. They are not, at this point, a good team despite the record. But on this night, they did what they needed to do to come out with a win. The Packers just couldn't get out of their own way.

"Give it away, give it away, give it away, now."

The good news is that the Detroit Lions visit Lambeau Field on Sunday. Just what the doctor ordered for the Packers to help put this miserable showing behind them.