Saturday, January 15, 2011

Packers - Falcons Second Half Diary: Well, That Lacked Drama

Fox brings us in with Elvis Costello, because that's topical. We also see Punt, Pass and Kick competitors, because that's important and all. The stats are kind of crazy for Yellow, and they'll start from their own 20. Rodgers goes to play action, and Abraham gets to the QB for a saving sack, considering that Nelson was wide open deep. Second and 20 from the gunis an out to Jennings for seven yards. The Red defense more or less has to get off the field on this down, and their fans know it. From the gun, Rodgers shakes off one blitzer, then hits Jones for the first. OPI isn't called on Jones, not that I think he really needed it. Dagger. Nelson runs through Grimes for nine on a bubble screen as the Red defense is gambling more, but to no positive benefit; the Packers are just too good. Starks breaks the line and gets 10, and they are just hitting on all cylinders. Starks for another nine as Red just tries to get to the QB. We appear to be on target for the fourth straight end-to-end Yellow touchdown drive. Starks powers for another first, and I'm starting to think about the laundry, given the drama inherent in this one. An actual incompletion, as Rodgers rolls and has only TE Donald Lee, who doesn't make the play. Gun give to Starks for four, and that makes for third and six at the Red 31. Last chance for the Red defense, really. Rodgers from the gun with an absolute laser to Nelson for 14 yards; six men blitzed, and none of them had any effect on the QB. Now in the red zone, Rodgers takes a time out to blow the smoke off his fingers and give Fox a chance to show some more ads while people might still be watching. Rodgers to Nelson after commerce for another first. 12 plays and counting on the drive, and Rodgers gallops in to cap it. A championship belt gesture from the QB caps it, and honestly, Red Fan, thanks for coming. A challenge would be pointless, but so is watching this for the next hour, assuming you don't have some kind of over bet. Packers 35, Falcons 14, and America's Real Teams -- the Packers and Steelers -- are moving on.

Weems on a pop up kick to the Red 27. Time to see how much quit is in this team; one would assume not much given the record, but you never know with a young team. Especially since the best they do is run the ball. Ryan tries Turner on a blitz, but there's a reason why the RB never catches footballs. Yellow defense still coming, for fun. Two yard run on second. Nothing today to TE Tony Gonzalez, who has never won a playoff game. From the gun on third, Ryan with a nice throw to Jenkins. It's ruled a catch, and looks like a fumble as he goes out, but the Packers are relentless, and will challenge. On some level, you'd like to see the play stand, just on the general principle that they are making this game longer and more boring. After more commerce, Fox hates on the catch, and the refs agree. 22:35 left in this one, and absent a slew of Packer mistakes, this one is as over as over gets. Koenen's punt is terrible, and Yellow will start at midfield after a 21-yard punt. Joe Buck notes that this has the makings of a blowout. Welcome to the game, Joe! Thanks for watching!

Driver bubble for three. Starks for two. Troy Aikman cites time of possession, as if 35-14 isn't enough to tell you what is going on. Rodgers shakes Abraham again to find Nelson for a first. It's as if the QB is coated with butter, and if he's not on the ground, it's a first down or more. Rodgers now over 300 yards. Starks for six yards, and Quitting Time appears to have come to Atlanta. Weakest top seed ever? Weakest top seed ever. Starks loses a yard running into a blitz, and he nearly took it to the house. Which Atlanta player will miss this sack on this third down? From the gun, the blitz doesn't get there, and Rodgers is perfect to Driver for another big first. I wonder if Matt Flynn will get some snaps in this one. From the Red 11, it's Kuhn for four as the Packer faithful sing, and FINALLY -- FINALLY! -- Joe Buck is talking some Brett Favre. What took you so long? Rodgers to Kuhn, who hits the pylon for the sixth Packers touchdown of the day with 2:41 left in the third, and it's 42-14. Kuhn might be concussed, which given the score of this game, is just a waste of resources. Well, at least the NFC Championship Game will be a rivalry game.

Squib to Weems, stopped at the Red 27. 17.5 minutes left. Fox hyping tomorrow's game. Ryan to Jenkins for a first, but it's OPI; that's a weak call, but who cares. Ryan to Gonzalez for his first catch of the day, and he's hurt. Maybe that's a career-ending knee injury; it certainly seems right in the keeping of such things. Buck fellates the Falcons as Ryan hits Finneran for a 10 yard slant. Third and three is Jenkins for a nice 22-yard catch against his helmet. Ryan to White for 12 as Yellow is in prevent mode. Ryan to Finneran for 19 over the middle as the WR takes a huge hit and holds on. That's the end of the third quarter. Woo.

We get Punt Pas and Kick finalists, and it says something that three of the kids are wearing Packer jerseys, and they all got cheered. Oh, Red Fan, that's the lowest of the low. You couldn't even muster up some good hate for the Wisconsin spawn?

Ryan to Finneran for 8 yards, and I think he's trying to get that man concussed. Ryan audibles and runs clock, then finds White for the cross and score. Well, that's something, I suppose. Bryant hits the PAT as Aikman cites Ryan's fourth quarter comebacks. Um, no. Packers 42, Falcons 21.

Yellow guards against the onside kick, wisely, and Red tries it anyway. Koenen does it perfectly anyway, and Finneran soars for it... but it's a half yard from where it needs to be. Oh well. Illegal touch and Yellow ball at the Red 40. Starks for no gain. Jennings falls, which is about the only way that Rodgers misses tonight. Third and 10 from the gun is a screen to Jackson, who is knocked out after seven yards. Wow, a three and out from the Red defense. Crosby tries from 50 yards, and it hits the upright and stays out. That counts as a huge defensive stop for Red tonight. With 12:55 left, I guess it's possible by math.

Ryan crushed by Raji on first, and the NT gets hurt for the effort. A slip to Snelling gets back ten after commerce, and defensive holding gets the auto first down. White for a nothing five; Red does not have the big play ability to score 21 in 12 minutes against anyone, really. Jenkins for four. Fumbled snap on third, and that'll end any chance. The QB was trying to sneak it and just went nowhere. Woof. Worst Number One Seed Ever.

Rodgers from play action is almost Belichickian; 14 yards to Nelson and a first. Starks for a loss of three. Bubble to Jennings for six. Under ten minutes in this dog. Rodgers to Nelson against a blitz, and the #3 WR makes the man miss and gets another first. Very loud "Go Pack Go" chants at this point, because Red Fan is long gone from this one. Starks for a loss; he only has 18 for 44 tonight. Very disappointing, really. Starks for three. Rodgers gets hammered as a false start by Jennings is missed, and if that isn't his last snap of the game, Packers coach Mike McCarthy is an idiot. Crosby barely sneaks it in from 41, and it's 45-21, Packers. They might not set a franchise record for playoff points tonight, which has to be a real disappointment for their fans.

McCarthy decides to test his kickoff coverage by giving Weems a shot; he's taken down at the 21. Three incompletes, the second of which is accompanied by a defensive offsides, precedes a fourth down completion for a first that ends with another Falcon fumble, this one by Jenkins. Feel free to bet heavily against them repeating as NFC South champions.

Flynn in to give to Starks, and I'm not sure why the RB is getting work, either. Oh, it's to pad numbers; he gets a first, then get his head taken off on a Woo Moment for DB William Moore. Well, at least that will be on his highlight reel. Two more gives to Starks, and that's the two minute warning. I'm just watching to be a completist, really, and to make sure that Buck doesn't say something *really* stupid. The man has a gift. Crosby connects, and Packer Fan can finally be happy, since they now have their franchise playoff record for points. Packers 48, Falcons 21.

Squib, incomplete, sack, concession draw, punt. Yellow outgains Red by 250 yards tonight, and holds the Red offense to under 200 yards. Green Bay did not punt tonight. Wow.

I have Ryan in my fantasy league, and actually thought well of his talent despite the pretty pedestrian numbers. He wasn't the reason why his team lost tonight; he wasn't going to overcome that defense, or what Rodgers was putting out. He's clearly got leadership skills, and some physical ability, and I don't doubt that he's going to win a lot more games in his life. There is also no reason to over-react to one game, even if it is a playoff game, at home, with a bye.

But I will say this. The onus is now on him to prove that he isn't just a game manager with questionable decision making skills under pressure, especially since he's now 0-2 in the playoffs with weak numbers.

As for Yellow? Well, it wouldn't shock me if they are a road favorite next week, and that's true even if they aren't going to Seattle. The offense looked unreal tonight, and Rodgers now has three post-season games in his career, and unreal numbers in them. If they play their best game, they can beat anyone.

Well, OK, not New England. No one can beat New England.

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