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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Packers linebacker Kyler Fackrell sacks Bills quarterback Josh Allen during an excellent day for the defense Sunday.