Hope everyone had a good Turkey Day and is as stuffed as the feathered friends we feasted on last night. It was an interesting day of football to say the least. We saw two highly lopsided wins and one upset that may have changed the tide in the NFC North. So… what happened yesterday?
The Detroit Lions are 3-0 since new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter took control of Matthew Stafford and the offense. Yesterday’s performance was the high point thus far as Stafford looked like his old self in a dominating performance.
I’m not saying that the Lions are back, but with the Bears win last night, they suddenly have a heartbeat again, and a glimmer of hope for a playoff spot. That’s more than they could say when they were across the pond after getting annihilated by the Chiefs and looking like the worst team in football.
Jim Bob seems to have this offense doing what it does best… throwing the ball to Calvin Johnson. Megatron is a beast, he always has been and even if he is 75% for the rest of his career, he is still a top five wide receiver in the NFL. He had 8 receptions for 93 yards and three touchdowns yesterday. The three touchdowns double his output of the entire season.
The Lions play Green Bay next week, but then have St. Louis, New Orleans and San Francisco before closing the season on the road at Chicago. With three very winnable games on the slate and a rematch next week with a reeling Packers team they have already beat, that game at Soldier Field could be for a Wild Card slot. Who would have thought that three weeks ago?
Chip Kelly needs to go
I guess the biggest question after this weekend will be who is Miami’s next head coach, Mark Richt or Chip Kelly? The Eagles are a bad football team, and they got smoked yesterday by a team that many thought ranked amongst the worst in the NFL.
Earlier this season, I compared Chip Kelly to the Wildcat formation of the Tony Sparano Dolphins. It was a fad — a gimmick if you would — that everyone involved knew would have a short shelf life. Eventually, other teams would copy it, and defenses would adjust to the scheme. The Wildcat disappeared within three seasons.
Kelly’s fate may be the same. Sure, he has a couple of 10-win seasons under his belt, but he’ll also have two consecutive playoff-less seasons under his belt at the end of the year.
Mark Sanchez being behind center isn’t an excuse. While trading Nick Foles — who was replaced by Case Keenum — was clearly the right move, they brought in Sam Bradford to do it. Here are the two things that we knew about Bradford entering 2015: he was never as great as people envisioned and he couldn’t stay healthy.
So Eagles fans can’t use The Sanchize as an excuse. That was the QB Kelly decided to hang onto as a backup in an offseason he sent away as many people as the Atlanta Braves. The likelihood of Sanchez seeing snaps this season — based on Bradford’s track record — was pretty darn good.
Injuries are mounting on the defense — I get that — but this was supposed to be the fastest running offense in the NFL. If that were the case, they should be scoring tons of points to help ease the struggles of the defense. That’s not happening. And Kelly’s offseason makeover — one that he was 100% the only person behind — has to come under close scrutiny at this point.
What’s wrong with the Packers?
I can’t answer that question, because honestly I can’t figure it out.
Aaron Rodgers has not had an Aaron Rodgers game in three weeks. His highest completion percentage in any of the past three weeks was 57%. Aa-Rod has made a living on accuracy and not turning the ball over. While he still is remarkable at not throwing picks, his record setting accuracy has left some to be desired.
The blame can’t be all on Aa-Rod’s shoulders. I feel like Davante Adams dropped more targets than he caught last night, several on critical, game-turning plays. James Jones should have caught the game winner, which would have changed the discourse this morning from The Packers in trouble to Hey, at least they won.
The play calling also has been suspect. Does it seem to you that the Packers offense was as follows:
- Jordy Nelson goes deep
- Randall Cobb stay close by underneath
- One of them will always be open so throw it to which one is
- Eddie Lacy and James Starks can steal the dumpoffs when someone actually covers one of those two guys
Could Jordy have been that detrimental to the Packers game plan? James Jones has had a nice season, but he is still boom or bust. He will either be the hero, or become invisible like last night when he had zero catches. We all know Jordy seemingly always at a 70-yard game breaker every week.
Last night was a sloppy game. It was rainy, ugly conditions. Plenty of legitimate excuses could be made. But at the end of the day, the Packers lost to the Bears, a team they had previously embarrassed every time at Lambeau Field since Jay Cutler took the helms. It was also Brett Favre night and Bart Starr was in the building — the two greatest Packers of all-time.
It just seems to me like those two would have found a way to win that game.
I’m not saying the Packers are done. I still think Aa-Rod is one of the top quarterbacks in all of football. But this division that seemed like it would be a dogfight between the Vikings and Packers suddenly became a four-team race last night. The Packers had a huge win against the Vikings, but the Lions and Bears are streaking and could cause havoc down the road. They need to right this ship quickly.
Oh and for those of you that still don’t think the Panthers are for real… well, I don’t have anything I could possibly say to change your mind after that performance yesterday. The defense is legit and Cam is having an MVP season. They are a fun team to watch right now!