It’s payback time, so I think I’ll experiment with a ProFootballTalk live blog of the game on the frozen tundra today. It occurs to me that it should be much easier than a soccer live blog due to the breaks in the action. We’ll give a whirl, anyhow.
11:42: Okay, we’re set up in front of the TV and ready to go. The Pack is favored by six, but I think the Vikings have a chance if they a) play Bollinger, and, b) put some pressure on Favre and get him into Bad Brett mode.
12:02: Williamson shows up, returns the kick. Thank goodness, Bollinger enters the field. How bad are our QBs that I’m genuinely excited that Bollinger is the QB?
12:03: Only 5 yards for AP on his first carry. Is it too soon to start panicking? Bollinger scrambles for 4 – Tarvaris would have been sacked. Stuffed on third-and-1, have to punt.
12:05: Das boot! Watching the Vikings punt coverage team is exciting… in a very bad way. Finally bring him down. Favre opens with a 7-yard out to the tight end. Favre guns the ball on second down, unfortunately, the receiver was only three yards away, incomplete. 3rd-and-3 – nice underhand shovel pass to avoid the blitz on the shotgun.
12:08: Vikes are putting on better pressure than usual, but the Pack is clearly anticipating it. Looks like they’re using screens to avoid the pressure and pull the secondary towards the line. Nice run by Grant. Williams jumps and then another screen to Grant. Grant’s run twice now and he’s moving the ball against a very tough Vikes rushing D.
12:12: And that’s what they were setting up for. Play action, Driver burns Griffin and Favre overthrows him. Leber knocks away the ball, but the Pack goes for it. Vikes aren’t set and call time-out. I like the decision to go for it, 53 yards outside in November is a tough kick and punting from the 35 is pointless. TMQ would approve.
12:16: They got it. WR goes down short, but doesn’t get touched and lunges forward for the first down. Vikings linebackers are tough, but no geniuses. Double-pump by Favre and a nice deep throw, but he puts it a bit too high otherwise it’s a touchdown. Pitchout to Grant and he goes 25 yards for a touchdown. Ah well, at least I started him in my other league. Nice start by the Packers rewards the smart decision to go for it on fourth-and-3. And in other news, Jones-Drew catches the ball for seven… I feel your pain, Nate, and it makes me smile.
12:23: Good field position, screen to AP gets two, and then AP scares the crowd, bursts into the secondary for a nice gain into Packers territory. Announcers appear to be more interested in Williamson’s paycheck controversy than the actual game, but at least they aren’t climbing up Favre’s posterior to join the King-Madden party. Bollinger throws it to no one and the Vikes have to punt. However, the offense looks functional, so that’s a step forward. Now the defense has to show up.
12:28: Grant is looking more AP-like than AP at the moment. But just wait until the Packers D starts getting a little tired. Favre nearly adds to his legendary all-time interception record, he’s overthrowing everyone today. Another draw goes for 15, the delay is really throwing off the linebackers.
12:32: On the fourth Grant rush in a row, the Vikes suddenly remember that they’re supposed to be good against the run. Vikes hold on third-and-7 when Jennings drops the ball and this time the Pack punts. Good game thus far, both teams are playing reasonably well.
12:35: Sweet Lambeau Sweep, but AP is good. Takes a solid hit and just keeps going. Twelve yards on first down. I’d like to think Childress is setting up the secondary for a deep strike to Rice, but who knows. AP forgets the old maxim about not trying to run before you catch the ball and drops the screen. Third down, and at least with Bollinger behind center, there’s a better than 50-percent chance that the result won’t be a sack.
12:40: No sack, just a throw hitting the ground a yard behind the receiver. Another punt. Das boot! 57-yard kick and the punt coverage team actually manages to cover it, hurrah!
12:44: The announcers are upset that Favre isn’t throwing the ball deep. They’re also convinced that they can feel Favre’s frustration. It seems to have escaped them that Favre isn’t throwing deep because the Vikings are playing a full zone and giving up the short stuff – and that Grant has 92 yards rushing and the Pack has 10 first downs already. Make that 11 with a throw to Jones.
12:49: False start doesn’t do the Vikes any good. Three-man rush plus a blitzer gives Favre all day, first down. Williams nearly devours Grant, he doesn’t so much stuff the run as ingest it. Big stick by Henderson on the pitchout… Grant may not make it to 100 yards. Favre has Driver inside the ten in the middle and overthrows him. Field goal makes it 10-0.
Okay, I think I’m bored with this. Thoughts on the game after the game.
Speaking of soccer fans and football fans, there’s just no comparison between the two. In response to police shooting dead a Lazio fan earlier today in Arezzo, 200 Lazio tifosi just attacked a police barracks in Rome and set fire to it. As you probably already know, I consider this to be a perfectly healthy attitude towards the police.
Well, that was certainly a thorough beating. Green Bay really looks good, they should be able to give Dallas a run for their money in the battle for the NFC title. The one good thing about it is that getting shut out at Lambeau should be enough to bring an end to the Brad Childress era.