TimesFour

Archive for September, 2008

J-Barn’s Keys to the Game – week 4

by on Sep.26, 2008, under Game Previews

Expect passing this week. Griese had just a stupid 67 pass attempts last week against the Bears. Gruden wants to throw. That is part of who he is. The running game is the best thing going for him. Graham is averaging 6.0 yards per carry and Dunn is getting 5.2 yards per carry. Griese is an 83.2 career rated passer and in the midst of a 71.3 rating for this season.

Packers faceoff against Tampa on Sunday

Packers faceoff against Tampa on Sunday

Three picks in a game is just not going to help. Still, Tampa has the 27th ranked pass defense and the Packers are locked in the 22nd ranking so far. This game also pits the Bucs’ sixth ranked pass offense against the Packers’ seventh ranked passing offense. Packers injuries and Bucs age in the defensive backfield will only add to the barrage. Expect to see the ball in the air a lot.

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The Slant (5) Week 4 NFL Picks

by on Sep.26, 2008, under Commentary, Game Previews, Opinion

Ok, I admit it. I’m really not that psyched about this week’s pick column. I’m not sorry about it or anything. I’m sure even Charles Dickers had his bad days…..I mean, Barnaby Rudge…are you kidding me? In fact the whole prediction thing was going so bad this week that I resorted to going with an all “In a related story” theme. Still it’s the best I can come up with for this week so have a look. I promise to do better next week, unless I get too busy playing Bejeweled. Now there’s something I’m always good at. At least the byes will help my winning percentage.

Week 3 Results:10-6
Season Total: 30-18

Colts receive a Bye: Ha!!! I’m 1 and O already for this week. In a related story: Peyton Manning has filed suit with the FCC complaining that with the large number of political commercials being broadcast this time of year he is falling far short of his usual being in 33% of all commercials aired each Sunday.

Dolphins receive a Bye: 2-0 Baby. In a related story, with last week’s success running the single wing, the Dolphins are considering going back to an even less complicated offense, the old grade school “everybody go out” offense. They hope to have it installed after about 5 minutes of practice.

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Sept. 25: On this date in…

by on Sep.25, 2008, under Commentary, On This Date...

…1955: Packer fans were bracing for a beating. Green Bay had finished the previous year in 5th place with a 4-8 record under first-year coach Lisle Blackbourn, losing their last four games in the process. Prospects didn’t look much better for 1955 with the Detroit Lions as the Packers’ opening-day opponent.

Though it’s hard to believe now, the Lions were an NFL power at the time, having won the last three Western Conference championships, and two of the last three NFL championships. What’s more, they had beaten the Packers 11 straight times. Led by future Hall-of-Famers Bobby Layne,

Bobby Lane - Lions QB

Bobby Lane - Lions QB

Doak Walker, Jack Christianson, Lou Creekmur and Joe Schmidt, the Lions had little reason to believe they wouldn’t maul the Pack in front of a less-than-capacity City Stadium crowd.

The Lions roared to a first-quarter lead on a Layne touchdown pass, but the Packers fought back with two field goals. By the midway mark of the third quarter, Green Bay found itself behind by 11, but behind the running of Howie Ferguson and Floyd “Breezy” Reid, mounted a drive ending with a Reid score that made it 17-13 Detroit.

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My “I was at the Cowboys game” Fluff Report

by on Sep.23, 2008, under Commentary, Fluff report

OK… fluff report means just that… fluff… in no particular order…

1. Girlfriend and I arrived about three hours before the game started and we came without a plan, other than to wander the parking lot and to enjoy the weather. It was about as perfect as it can get weather wise for a game.

2. Always being curious, I stop by the scalper pit and find tickets starting at $150/each. Lots of tickets but I don’t see too many buyers. I have a feeling prices didn’t drop a whole lot but I wasn’t going to hang out and do a price check every five minutes.

Scalpers love Packer games

Scalpers love Packer games

3. The main Lambeau parking lot is almost half full at about this time. Where there are cars it’s packed with tailgaters. This is a “Milwaukee” game and I’ve been getting a feeling that the parking lot fills up more slowly for these games. probably because of the long drive. Then again, I don’t know why people sign up for parking passes if they’re not going to use them.

4. There’s one guy riding a bike around the lot and he has this huge gorilla costume where it looks like the gorilla is riding behind him on the bike. He’s having a ball with people getting their picture taken with him but he has a bucket on the front of the bike for tips. So making a few bucks was part of the schtick.
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Talent on the Lines the Difference This Time

by on Sep.22, 2008, under Commentary, Game Recaps, Opinion

As it is often with professional sports, the team with the best players usually wins the game. And while it does not always hold true with football (look at last year’s Super Bowl), last night’s thrashing at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys was a reminder to the Packers that the Cowboys really are the most talented team in the NFC and they face an uphill climb to match them come January.
Felix Jones and Marion Barber III running for 217 yards contained a very specific message- the Packer defensive line is a potential long-term problem.

Marion Barber hurdles Packer defense for a TD

Marion Barber hurdles Packer defense for a TD

Packer Management rolled the dice in a big way when they kept just 3 defensive tackles on the roster after training camp (with Harrell on the PUP list into October), the thinking being that Cullen Jenkins will be able to fill a Justin Tuck-like role and Mike Montgomery or Kabeer Gbaja Bialmila adequate to fill in outside. On the Felix Jones 60 yard touchdown, it was Montgomery that allowed Jason Witten to seal him inside, allowing Jones to cut back and have nothing but green Lambeau Field grass between him and the end zone. Contrast that play to later in the game, with the exact same play run and Jenkins at right defensive end, the play resulted in a 5 yard loss.
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