All week long I predicted the Green Bay Packers would come out and make mincemeat out of their archrival Chicago Bears, and on Sunday night that’s exactly what happened.
The Packers thoroughly embarrassed the Bears, pummeling their vaunted defense on the ground and through the air and taking the ball away three times. Some (mildly concerning) garbage time points made the game look far closer than it was, as the Packers were able to rest on their laurels after going up 41-10.
It was exactly the kind of response the Packers needed after a tough loss in Indianapolis, and the kind of game I thought was waiting for the Packers after both Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur credited the team’s energy and focus leading up to and during the Colts game.
The Indianapolis game, while disappointing and crushing, had the feeling of a game the team could use as a launching pad. If the demolition of the reeling Bears is any indication, this team got the gut-check message it needed, because they came out ready to play and make a statement on Sunday night.
Now, this is still a team with flaws, as is every other team in this very strange NFL season. Mike Pettine’s defensive scheme is still likely to be this team’s undoing.
But the Packers on Sunday Night had the look of a team that’s ready for December football. They ran well, beat up on a good, physical defense and had an outstanding game plan prepared on offense.
The upcoming schedule is favorable. The Titans are the only team that the Packers are not clearly better than. A 12- or 13-win season is still very much within reach, which would give the Packers a very good shot at getting the sole bye week under the new playoff structure.
If the Green Bay Packers continue to run the ball with the same purpose and power they did on Sunday, they’re going to be a tough out for anyone in January, and a team that’s poised to begin playing some of its best football in December.
An update on the MVP race
At this point, the MVP race has narrowed down to the two best quarterbacks in the game: Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.
[I would be willing to accept Derrick Henry as a dark horse if the Titans win out and Mahomes and Rodgers both collapse.]
Russell Wilson has very clearly played himself out of contention, and for all the huffing and puffing about how he’s never even received a vote this year, he clearly doesn’t deserve one for 2020, and frankly anyone who votes for him should be removed from the decision making process.
Both the Chiefs and the Packers have favorable remaining schedules. Both Mahomes and Rodgers have a veritable wealth of weapons at their disposal on offense to continue racking up numbers, though I think most reasonable people would agree Mahomes is working with a much more potent arsenal.
At the moment I’d say Mahomes has a slight lead, but you certainly can’t count out Rodgers. This could end up being one of the closest MVP votes we’ve had in quite some time if both Mahomes and Rodgers finish the season at their current pace.
One guy to watch this week
The Packers started this season by having some rough safety play. But over the last several weeks, both Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage have dramatically improved their level of play. Savage in particular is someone I’m watching as a young first-round pick on the ascent, with a very high ceiling.
Savage’s two picks against the Bears were a culmination of improved play over the course of an entire month of football in which he seemed constantly on the verge of a breakout game. Since November 5 against San Francisco, Savage has been targeted five times, allowed zero receptions and picked the ball off twice, dropping what should have been an easy third interception in the process.
For a guy who was one of the weak spots of the defense to start the year, he’s had a dramatic turnaround and he’s got a prime opportunity to get more picks against an Eagles offense and quarterback that have been brutal this year.
Two Minutes’ Hate: Philadelphia Eagles
Say what you will about Vikings fans or Cowboys fans, but there is not a single more obnoxious fanbase in the NFL or in sports in general than Philly fans. Not only are they assholes, but their assholery has become a gimmick to the point where they are self-aware assholes, and go out of their way to further the shtick. The result is an assholery that doesn’t even feel genuine any more; these guys are being the absolute worst just for the sake of keeping up appearances.
Seriously, does anyone actually believe human beings are capable of being as miserable as Philly sports fans constantly are, even when their teams are successful?
The Eagles’ fanbase crowned Doug Pederson their king after he led them to the team’s first ever Super Bowl victory just three years ago. They made the playoffs against the odds again in both 2018 and 2019. This year, after a bad year due to a variety of factors (including a nonexistent offensive line, numerous injuries and a quarterback who seems to have forgotten how to play football), they’re in danger of missing the playoffs, and suddenly Iggles Nation is screaming for Doug to get the can.
I just… what? You’d think for a group of long-suffering degenerates like Philly fans they’d have some appreciation for just how precious a Super Bowl victory and successful franchise is, but no, these miserable assholes are crying through their Yuenglings to crucify their savior.
The Eagles still also employ their fair share of hateable characters, including former Lions head coach and tryhard tough guy wannabe Jim Schwartz, and perennial turd and recently revealed antisemite Desean Jackson.
The worst thing of all about this Eagles team is that no matter how trash they are and how boring they are to watch they’re still guaranteed to get five primetime games a year solely because they’re an NFC East team.
NOBODY WANTS TO WATCH NFC EAST FOOTBALL, TV EXECS! IT’S NOT ENTERTAINING AND WE HATE LITERALLY ALL OF THE TEAMS. STOP FORCING THEM UPON THE REST OF US WHO ENJOY ACTUAL WATCHABLE FOOTBALL.
Packers win by 20 while Vinny from south Philly chokes on his cheesesteak while screaming through the TV at the team to just hit someone already.
Green Bay Packers 38, Philadelphia Eagles 17