I work with a Green Bay Packers fanatic, so when I walked into work this morning I was expecting to see that smug, condescending look on his face that I've come to know so well.
Despite a much-needed respite last Thanksgiving, seeing his "day after game" smug face over the last few season has gotten very, very old.
Sporting my favorite Bear's T (it's casual Friday), I walked into the office and sure enough, the cheesehead was standing next to the coffee machine. Interestingly, he was wearing a Reggie White jersey, not his usual Aaron Rodgers Friday attire. Also gone was the usual day-after-a-Bears game smile.
He's a cheeshead, but he sees it too.
His Packers are a deeply flawed team, and the arrow for them is pointing down.
Let's be honest, the team the Bears put out there last night was full of second, third, fourth, fifth and in some cases sixth and seventh stringers. We saw the bottom of our depth chart in full display.
After perennial Pro-Bowler Kyle Long went down, our line consisted of Charles Leno (an entirely adequate but average left guard), some random street free agent named Eric Kush, rookie standout center Cody Whitehair (an absolute gem from this draft class), street free agent Ted Larsen and the much-reviled Bobby Massie.
Against that "iffy" offensive line (and I'm being generous by calling them "iffy"), the Packers vaunted D got exactly one sack.
If you are a Packers fan, this is a very, very bad thing.
Green Bay was able to stop the run, that's true. In fact, they were pretty well able to shut down our backup and third-string quarterback. Then again, so did the 2-4 Jaguars last week. SO... yeah, not saying much.
The undisputed leader of the defense, Clay Matthews... the guy who is the heart and soul of the Packers... he looks a lot like Urlacher looked when it was time for Brian to hang them up. The man had two tackles. Two.
All the media reports are saying that Aaron Rodgers "got his groove back". Really? I know, it's a rare occurrence when the national media gushes on-and-on about Rodgers, right? Yes, he had his first 300 yard game of the season, but it took him 56 passes to do it. He had 39 completions, that's an 8.35 yards per completion (YPC) average. I get that the plan was to throw a lot of short passes to replace the fact that they have no running game now. Having said that, 8.35 YPC isn't getting your groove back if you are one of the league's big arms.
The Packers were completely unable to stretch the field. The teams wide receivers were simply not able to get separation against a bunch of undrafted free agent fifth, sixth and seventh teamer rookies and second year guys. Even when they did get a bit of separation deep, Rodgers missed the throw. There were plays when Rodgers literally had all the time in the world to throw... 10 seconds... and nobody got open.
That's not "getting your groove back". That's "oh, crap... this is bad".
Against a bad team (before the injuries hit) playing the end of the depth chart, there is only one explanation that covers why Green Bay didn't throw up a 50-burger.
The Packers just aren't very good.
My cheeshead friend said "morning" and walked away with his coffee... I don't think he wanted to talk about how the bottom of our bench gave his team all they could handle at Green Bay for three quarters of a game.
That's all right, I don't really want to talk to him about the Bears right now, either. We are nowhere near being as good as "not very good."