A variety of Scrumptious Segments and Sweltering Takes
Intro to Quin’s Fan-Spective Series
In the sports world we’re in of 2018, it’s hard for me, a 22-year old Wisconsinite, to remain an objective Packers fan. In fact, it’s a dissonant condition that often overcomes my very psyche. With that stated, being non-objective or a fan doesn’t mean to blindly worship the thing you love. To me, because you love it and you’re emotionally invested in it, means you are wholeheartedly obligated to be critical when things are bad. For me, honesty, even in its harshest form is the only true form of objectivity.
That is me with the Green Bay Packers and this series of post-game articles will highlight the highs and lows of the latest Packers game straight from the guy who was yelling at his TV from his couch. This series will feature a plethora of reoccurring and non-reoccurring segments that will hopefully delight you, the reader.
Angry Take Comes First – The Worst Call of All Time
I’m not mad at our defense, or the fact that Mike McCarthy can’t maintain a second half lead, or even Clay Matthews. This is the first game besides the “Fail-Mary Game” (which was officiated by replacement referees) that I can remember where the officials were over 75% responsible for the Packers not winning. Watch the footage, the evidence, if you haven’t seen it in gif form already on twitter. It proves I’m not just a salty fan angry at the officials.
I’m all for safety in football and rules to make the game safer. Too many guys are being permanently injured, especially at the head and I believe there is a way to make the game of football safer without the rules ruining the game itself. Besides some other questionable no-calls throughout the game, and I get it, this is a crucial NFC North matchup; that roughing the passer call on Clay Matthews during what would be the game tying drive for the Vikings, is to me, worse than the “Fail Mary” call. If my take is true and I truly believe it is, that would make that call the single worst referee decision in the history of professional football. The “Fail Mary” call was bad don’t get me wrong but again it was with replacement officials who weren’t prepared for the NFL game and more importantly it was a double-catch at a time in the NFL where a catch still wasn’t clearly defined. Under those circumstances, that call could’ve gone either way, and I thought that as soon as that game was over even though I thought that call would’ve been in reverse with actual NFL officials.
This roughing the passer call on Matthews is totally different. Besides the obvious of having experienced NFL officials who are supposed to be elite at their job, this call pertains to a rule that isn’t as ambiguous as a catch. Roughing the Passer or a late hit is a rule set in stone, written in ink and everyone knows when it happens. Clay Matthews hit Kirk Cousins with a perfectly safe and legal tackle as he led with his shoulders, not his head, and didn’t drive his body weight into Cousins. More importantly, he made the tackle a split second after Cousins released the ball and committed to the tackle when Cousins was still holding the ball. The call is up to the discretion of the officials but as people who are supposed to be experienced and the best at their jobs, that discretion was abysmal and insulting to everyone’s intelligence watching. There was no penalty, there was no illegal hit and there was absolutely no reason for the Vikings to continue on offense after Jaire Alexander intercepted the ball, effectively ending the game. That call cost the Packers a win at Lambeau Field on the day one of the most legendary players in NFL history Jerry Kramer, was finally celebrated among his fans for being a Pro Football Hall of Famer after 50 years. The Packers are lucky that game resulted in just a tie but should be livid they didn’t win, all because of that one bad call. In closing, expect a well-worded statement from the NFL and nothing more.
After drinking my meager existence away, the night before after the Badgers flummoxed to BYU, I was excited and terrified before the kickoff of this Vikings game. As we all know, the Vikings, along with the Eagles with Carson Wentz, and the Rams are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. Even though in the back of my mind I was worried for Aaron Rodgers health, I was the most worried of how the Packers defense would hold up against this ultra-talented Vikings defense. After the first-half I was delightfully stunned when I saw they only gave up 7 points and got a blocked-punt for a touchdown. I was also surprised to see the offensive line do their best to protect Rodgers only allowing one first-half sack. That sense of delight soon turned into disappointed, that resulted in rage that we will get into later.
I do not blame the offensive play-calling of Mike McCarthy in the second-half. Even though it was just field goals, the Packers were still scoring and with QB not 100% and one of the NFL’s elite defenses on the other side, the team’s offensive strategy in the second half wasn’t bad. More notably, the defense was still playing well in the second-half before the game tying drive. The Vikings have a QB whose paid like he’s elite, a running back who is a future stud, and a trio of fantastic receivers in Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph. Because of the constant blitzing of Cousins, solid coverage up to the game-tying drive by the secondary and containing Dalvin Cook to a minimal game, the Vikings couldn’t do a thing in that game.
Thanks to one huge play by a top-10 receiver, Stefon Diggs, the worst penalty call in NFL history and a lucky touchdown catch from Adam Thielen, the Vikings managed to comeback and tie the game late. With 45 seconds, no timeouts and the first play being a run play, Aaron Rodgers managed to somehow get the Packers in position for a game-winning field goal. This hurts me because I think Mason Crosby has been a blessing for the Packers over the last decade and he made 5 field goals in the game, but he had to make it. 52-yards is nothing for that man and he has made much longer field goals in much higher-pressure situations. He had to make that, bad call, icing or not and I was honestly shocked that he didn’t.
Overtime begins and of course to every Packers fan’s dismay, they start the period on defense. A familiar feeling of bleakness and impending doom overcame all our bodies. Thanks to two misses of easy field-goals by Vikings rookie kicker Daniel Carlson, who can only be the long-lost unfortunate second cousin of Blair Walsh and no thanks to the Packers offensive line, the big first battle for the NFC North ended in a tie.
Player Deserving a Burrito Bowl Award
My first selection of this weekly prestigious award is Geronimo Allison. To me, the big plays he made were the biggest reason the Packers were leading through 4 quarters, including blocking that punt in the first quarter and a couple big, drive saving catches on third down. He either found himself open on crucial third downs or made well defended catches on those downs. The Vikings couldn’t defend him on third down and changed the game very early with that blocked punt. Geronimo gets a thumbs up and deserves a burrito bowl.
Ahhh my favorite part of the article, THE CHOPPIN’ BLOCK. Rules are simple, one player or coach a week gets put on the choppin’ block (metaphorically of course). The ones who are chopped can only be chopped once this season.
People Chopped: None
With much thought and consideration, the first player, and this week, duo, to be put on the choppin’ block is none other than the Packers Offensive Guards: Lane Taylor and Justin McCray!
Bryan Bulaga was very close to joining them but I’m giving him a pass for the quality blocks he did make against the Vikings. I know, it’s the Vikings defense, they have a nasty pass rush but these two had no redeeming qualities or plays in this game as they were almost successful in their attempt of murdering Aaron Rodgers. Protect the man whose feeding you the taste of victory with a wood spoon, who’s sporting a huge knee brace because you managed to not protect him last week. I swear I saw Jerry Kramer weep on the sideline watching these guards get bullied by the Vikings defensive line as they were easily getting to poor Aaron Rodgers. If Rodgers continues to take what he took in the second half, it won’t be a long season for him and it will be all their fault for not protecting him. They also had a lot of stupid drive and touchdown killing penalties that wouldn’t have affected the outcome of the play if they didn’t do them. Always a delight to see, because of that and letting the GOAT get abused in the second half Lane Taylor and Justin McCray are the first ones to get CHOPPED!
Ties and Overtime in the NFL
Another tie in the NFL means it’s time once again to debate ties and overtime rules in the NFL. I’m going to shoot from the hip and give a take that will not make a lot of people happy regarding both those things. First, ties are what make American Professional football unique and its really one of the only sports where that result is necessary for the people playing the game. No other major sport besides soccer can end in a tie. Baseball, Basketball, college football and hockey games can theoretically go forever but football is unique where a tie exists, it can either be just as good as a win or as bad as a loss depending on the team and it makes the teams going into overtime strategize of how they utilize the clock and how they are going to score. A tie in a 16-game season, compared to longer seasons in those other sports, can also be interesting towards the end of the season where teams are trying to make the playoffs. I also don’t want to see a regular season NFL game go longer than an extra quarter. It’s not good for the health of the players and games are already long enough. Ties are a part of the rich history of American Football and like every other ridiculously stupid rule in football its existed for 100 years.
Secondly, I do not like the new overtime rules in football. I think it should be one 15-minute quarter where the first team who scores a touchdown will win but the other team can match if a field goal is scored. In the hotter than Charmander take of the article, I hate the overtime rules of college football. Games go too long, defense doesn’t mean a thing with the short field and there are no special teams. How can one of 3 teams of football eliminated while the other one is being specifically designed to practically fail. It’s too gimmicky, and even when I first saw a college football overtime as a little child, I thought it belonged in the XFL. All aspects of the game matter, don’t eliminate or weaken 2 out of 3 of those to make things “exciting”. It’s already exciting and if you didn’t almost have a heart attack before Daniel Carlson missed that game-winning 35-yard field goal, you are either lying or not a living human.