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Amid con­tro­versy else­where, give the de­fense its due

De­pend­ing on who you talked to the fes­tiv­i­ties at the non-Frozen Tun­dra were ei­ther good or bad and ugly the other day.

There should have been rea­son to cel­e­brate since the Pack­ers de­fense did not al­low one sin­gle point against the Buf­falo Bills. This was the same Buf­falo ball­club that sliced and diced the vaunted Min­nesota de­fense a week ear­lier.

Some­how, some way Mike Pet­tine got his charges to ac­tu­ally look like a de­fense that knew what it was do­ing. There­fore he is in line for the Ma­gi­cian of the Year Award.

“I’ll just def­i­nitely start off with the de­fense. I mean, the shutout is huge. It’s what you’re look­ing for,” Pack­ers coach Mike Mc­Carthy said.

The shutout is huge. Big­ger than Tootie Rob­bins.

Line­backer Kyle Fack­rell had three of Green Bay’s seven sacks. He wore Josh Allen like a cheap leisure suit. Fack­rell’s play in this tilt fi­nally made up for the loss of Frank Zombo.

“We’re ca­pa­ble of play­ing great de­fense and be­ing dom­i­nant,” said Fack­rell, who prob­a­bly didn’t re­al­ize that the Pack­ers don’t play the Bills again.

In fact, Buf­falo was so in­ept of­fen­sively that the wild wings union de­manded that a dif­fer­ent city spon­sor them.

“I take this one on my shoul­ders,” Allen said. “We can only go as far as the quar­ter­back goes.”

Well, they went as far as back to Buf­falo.

It was a ban­ner day for Clay Matthews, who saw no han­kies rain down on the field af­ter he made big plays. He fin­ished with a half sack, five tack­les and a hurry on the 6-foot-5 Allen.

“Allen is a big kid, so I don’t think any of his sacks were those weight or pres­sure on them that you’ve seen weeks prior,” Matthews said. “But hope­fully they call it like that mov­ing for­ward be­cause I didn’t see any to­day, which is great.”

All was not great, how­ever.

Aaron Rodgers rained on the pa­rade af­ter­ward.

“It was as bad as we’ve played on of­fense with that many yards in a long time,” Rodgers said. “I think a lot of peo­ple played re­ally good, but there was no flow to the game.”

The of­fense started fast and then did ba­si­cally noth­ing. Aaron Jones started fast and then did noth­ing, too. But that’s Mc­Carthy’s fault. The three run­ning back ro­ta­tion needs to go the way of Brett Hund­ley. Bye, bye. So long. Farewell. Adios amigo.

“We were cham­pi­onship de­fen­sive level and non-play­off team of­fen­sive level to­day,” Rodgers said. “That was not great by any stretch of the imag­i­na­tion. We need to find ways to get our play­mak­ers in po­si­tion to get some more op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Ap­par­ently the quar­ter­back doesn’t like what the coach is call­ing. And Mc­Carthy’s new play­book did not crack the list of New York Times’ best sell­ers.

But it was a 22-point vic­tory. Save the hissy fits for a 22-point loss, please. Give the de­fense its due, for once. Toast the de­fense as you await the next episode of As The Of­fense Turns.

Fear­less fore­casts

Game of the week: Jack­sonville at Kan­sas City. The Jaguars were ac­cused of run­ning up the score vs. the Jets. OK, when was the last time any­one ac­cused the Jaguars of run­ning up the score? Pa­trick Ma­homes starts throw­ing touch­down passes be­fore he gets out of his pa­ja­mas. Chiefs 27, Jaguars 24.

Game of the weak: Ari­zona at San Fran­cisco. This prom­ises to be as ex­cit­ing as a C-SPAN re­run. Car­di­nals 20, 49ers 7. Pack­ers at Lions: Shouldn’t these guys be play­ing this game on Thanks­giv­ing? The Lions ap­pear to be as bad as five-day old yams. Pack­ers 34, Lions 24.

Vine­lines

Steve Rosen­bloom of the Chicago Tri­bune: “It was like Mitch Tru­bisky was Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or some guy the Bears al­ways face but never get to root for.”...

Nor­man Chad, syn­di­cated colum­nist: “Does CBS go to the DMV to find its NFL rules an­a­lysts? Gene Ster­a­tore has all the en­ergy of a cup holder.”...

At Dai­lyS­nark.com: “Break­ing: Clay Matthews sus­pended by the NFL for Jimmy Gar­ropolo tear­ing his ACL.”...

Jimmy Fal­lon, NBC funnyman: “Tiger Woods won his first tour­na­ment in five years. It was a huge mo­ment for golf. I read that it’s been over 1,800 days since Tiger Woods last won. Then the Cleve­land Browns are like, ‘That’s it?’”...

Greg Cote, Mi­ami Her­ald, on the Browns win­ning for the first time in 635 days: “And now, a few words from Cleve­land Mayor Baker May­field.”...

An­to­nio Brown, Steel­ers re­ceiver, on QB Ben Roeth­lis­berger: “He al­ways makes me feel good com­mu­ni­cat­ing with me. It’s like when your wife tells you that you look strong get­ting the gro­ceries. It makes you want to get more gro­ceries.”... Alex Kase­berg, com­edy writer, with a sign the NFL is out of con­trol: “Car­rie Un­der­wood was singing the open­ing of ‘Sun­day Night Foot­ball’ and she got flagged for rough­ing the passer.”

From Packer Plus wire ser­vices and other news sources. Send emails to mhart@jour­nalsen­tinel.com.

MIKE DE SISTI / MIL­WAU­KEE JOUR­NAL SEN­TINEL

Pack­ers line­backer Kyler Fack­rell sacks Bills quar­ter­back Josh Allen dur­ing an ex­cel­lent day for the de­fense Sun­day.

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