Last night, in what was maybe the most anticipated matchup of the regular season, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers squared off in Foxborough for only the second time in their careers. To avoid hearing me just pout, bitch, and complain, I figured I’d ask Connor to tag team this with me so you guys could hear two very different perspectives from last night. Connor, your thoughts?
Connor: Last night was one of the closer blowouts for the Patriots in recent memory. Rodgers strolled into town with half a defense and left with trash cans playing deep for the old Pack. This was one of those games that didn’t have me too worried at any point, but expected a fourth quarter fiasco as the Patriots have done time and time again. Josh Gordon is finally starting to click with the offense. He made a ridiculous catch along the sideline that was ruled incomplete cause half his toe was out of bounds but the guy is going to turn into the premier receiver for us (need to extend his contract). It’s going to be scary when Josh Gordon, Rob Gronk, and Edelman are all running out for passes. Cordarrelle Patterson looked like a bigger, healthier, Darren McFadden. If he starts to be a premier back for us, the Kansas City vs New England AFC championship will be a point scoring record breaker.
Ty: I don’t even know where to start. The Packers were going to have to play an absolutely perfect game in order to beat the Patriots. Banged up secondary, banged up offensive line, there was absolutely zero room for error. Rodgers and the Packers traded punches with the Pats early, but it never really felt like they were in a position to seize momentum. It was nice to see that the glaring hole left by HaHa Clinton-Dix didn’t come back to bite the Packers in the ass either. Oh, never mind, yes it did. With no depth in the secondary, it was great getting those guys chomping at the bit to get some game action slotted in there to get torched by Brady every step of the way. Also, maybe it’s just me, but sending a three man rush at Brady EVERY. FUCKING. TIME. so he has an hour to throw isn’t the best way to beat him, but what do I know, I’m not a defensive coordinator.
Connor: Chomping at the bit indeed Ty, perhaps even chomping at the bit a little too much. Jermaine Whitehead, one of the newest starters for the Packers trash can defense, got booted from the game towards the end of the second quarter. His reaction to the beginning of Patterson’s field day on the ground was not one that helps you, or the team, to stay in the game. Whitehead turned and smacked David Andrews, starting center for the Patriots, right in the facemark, something that probably rattled the cage of a lineman pretty bad. I’ve never understood the punching reaction in a football game. Unless you pull the Andre Johnson pull off the helmet move, there’s probably no reason to punch high. Maybe a gut shot would get the job done here, but again, you’re hitting an offensive lineman, a bat is needed to do any kind of damage against those cinder blocks of men. Personally, I don’t think this warrants an ejection, but as a referee in a primetime game, you’re not gonna let it get out of hand and start allowing hooks to fly left and right.
Ty: I couldn’t agree more, I think the ejection was chickenshit, but this is exactly the kind of stupidity the Packers pull to shoot themselves in the foot week after week. Even more concerning, Cordarrelle Patterson did more damage to the Packers last night than he did in EIGHT GAMES versus the Packers while playing for the Vikings.
Absolutely mind boggling. Dragging defenders behind him like he was Bo Jackson reincarnated.
The defense was just the tip of the iceberg last night. The offense also floundered in some big spots that could’ve turned the tides of the game.
Connor: The Patriots Defense has really picked up their play since the beginning of the season, but Rodgers was the real test. The Jones fumble to start the fourth quarter closed the coffin but the two touchdowns put the nail in it. Lawrence Guy was the left side defensive tackle with Jones running to the right. The pursuit and effort is what turns teams into championship contenders so you love to see this out of the big men up front. Stephon Gilmore held Davonte Adams to 6 catches and 40 yards. Adams scored, but we didn’t let him beat us and was locked up from making any big plays downfield. Gilmore has really turned into the guy we paid for. He’s been a lockdown man to man corner and having a guy like that on your team frees up players like Devin McCourty to go and help his twin brother. Kansas City is still the team that I mentally compete with throughout Sunday’s, but if our defense continues to play like we did in 2014, I like our chances in any stadium.
Ty: The Jones fumble was an absolute kick in the nutsack, no question about it. What I don’t like, was his usage leading up to that drive. Mike McCarthy has no idea how to use Aaron Jones. No idea whatsoever. At one point in the first half, Jones had 11 carries for 67 yards, and in turn was opening up the passing game for Rodgers. I’m all for putting the ball in Rodgers hands and letting him sling it around the field, but typically, when your Quarterback is on pace to throw 70 passes through the first half, it’s going to be tough to win. Now who knows what happens with Jones. Yes, that fumble was a backbreaker, but you have to respect the hell out of guy who owns up to it and doesn’t make excuses.
Once again, the play calling was piss poor. Same shit, different day. As long as that bumbling bag of dog feces Mike McCarthy is around, the Packers will continue to be out coached week after week. I’m embarrassed that I thought the Packers might be able to win last night, because a Belichick/McCarthy coaching matchup is akin to a lab rat trying to outsmart a lion.. it’s never going to end well.