Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Packers bitten by Bengals

It's taken yours truly nearly two days to get past the gut-wrenching loss of the Green Bay Packers to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Where does one begin? How about at the end? With this game, the Packers became the first team in NFL history to be behind by 14 points, then lead by 16 points, and then lose. Great.

Photo by Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This was also the first time that QB Aaron Rodgers -- who lit things up the week before in the win against the Redskins -- had two interceptions in a regular-season game since Week 7 of the 2010 season at Minnesota. Combined with the inauspicious start to the game -- an opening series touchdown drive by the Bengals followed by a kickoff fumble by now-unemployed kick returner Jeremy Ross which allowed Cincy to score 14 points in 12 seconds -- and the injuries to starters Jermichael Finley, James Starks and Clay Matthews, you knew this wasn't going to be your typically crisp Packers type of game.

Of course, there has been much second-guessing about head coach Mike McCarthy's 4th-and-inches call late in the 4th quarter, deep in Bengals' territory, and holding a 3-point lead: a handoff to diminutive but speedy rookie RB Johnathan Franklin. As the entire universe knows, Franklin fumbled going straight into the line, the Bengals recovered and returned it for a game-winning touchdown. Why not a QB sneak? Why not a bootleg run/pass option? Was it the turning point of the game? Certainly that could be argued. But so could the fact that the Packers' four turnovers (already mentioned throughout this post if you've paying attention!) hurt them, that a rash of injuries took their toll on key players, or that the offense couldn't capitalize on four turnovers by the Bengals to put them away as they should have, or that the Packers had some stupid major penalties at inopportune times in the game.

It was a wild ride, indeed. With a very unfavorable outcome for the Packers and their fans. The team goes to 1-2 on the season as they head into an early and, as it turns out, a much-needed bye week. One of the things this game demonstrated is the parity among teams in the league. An even bigger one is that when Aaron Rodgers isn't on his A game for the offense or if Clay Matthews is unavailable to the defense, this team will have a hard time winning against anything but the doormats of the NFL.

If there are more demons from this game to be purged, or news of note during this bye week, we'll be sure to post it here. So please keep checking back. And for any real-time updates you might need, just click on the link above for our Amazing 2nd Page. Yes, it truly is Amazing!