The Past: Last time these two teams met was punctuated by All Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson, namely because he was absent from the game; the Lions did a fantastic job covering, deflecting and obfuscating Johnson’s knee injury up to the point that it was pretty evident that the Packers defense thew out their defensive plan right before kick off because many defensive players looked little confused as to what their new roles would be.
But the Lions offense was also left scrambling with quarterback Matthew Stafford doing his best impersonation of Aaron Rodgers, spreading out the ball to 8 different receivers for 262 yards and 1 touchdown, going 25 out of 40 but lacked the big play potential, something that’s almost unheard of since the Stafford-Johnson connection came into being. Also without Johnson spreading out the defense, Reggie Bush found little room to run, only getting 44 yards on 13 attempts.
The Packers on the other hand were consistent but not flashy; Rodgers passed for 274 yards and one beautiful 83 yard bomb to James Jones while Eddie Lacy just missed out on his first 100 yard game of his career with 99 yards on 23 attempts. On defense, the Packers managed to record 5 sacks, including 2 from Nick Perry, however Clay Matthews’ 1 sack also resulted in a Bennett fracture to his hand, which he still has to wear a cast for. Read more... (957 words + 1 image, estimated 3:50 mins reading time)
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall started it off by bringing in a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to his press conference:
“Right now, metaphorically, our season looks like this tree right now where we’re standing. Barren. Ugly. But there’s still hope. As a kid, it doesn’t matter how your Christmas tree looks. You’re still waiting for Christmas Day. You have hopes and dreams that Santa’s going to bring you those things you ask for. It’s always a possibility. Where we stand today, our goal is to win the NFC championship, beat the Green Bay Packers, win the Super Bowl. All of that still can be under this Christmas tree. Whenever you’re down, you’ve got to try to create some type of balance, so this is a perfect little thing for me to keep me going.”
While all of that still could have been under the Christmas tree, the Packers entered the game at 10-4 only needing a win against the Bears to clinch the NFC North and an obvious ticket to the playoffs. On the other hand, the Bears were reeling after losing 4 games out of their last 5 after starting red hot by winning by 7 of their first 8 games. Read more... (885 words + 1 image, estimated 3:32 mins reading time)
After easily dumping the Washington Redskins last Sunday in their home opener, the Green Bay Packers once again hit the road and tomorrow face the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals, like the Packers, are 1-1 and are tied for first place in the AFC North with the defending world champion Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati was the chic pick by many to win the AFC North and after an opening day loss to the Chicago Bears, they bounced back nicely against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday night, defeating their archrival by a score of 20-10.
Despite some accuracy issues by quarterback Andy Dalton, the Bengals were able to move the ball in the second half and a depleted Pittsburgh team just couldn’t keep up. Rookie running back Giovani Bernard took some of the pressure off of Dalton and helped put the Steelers away.
The last time we met
The last time the Bengals and Packers met, the game ended in heartbreak for Green Bay. During their Week 2 game in 2009, the Bengals edged the Packers 31-24 after Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers failed to stop the clocked in a frantic last minute drive to score the game-tying touchdown.
This also was the same game former Cincinnati receiver Chad Ochocinco/Johnson performed the Lambeau Leap he was promising/threatening all week. Carson Palmer was able to move the ball down the field almost at will with Green Bay still adjusting to their new 3-4 defense.
The Bengals lead the overall series between the two teams, 6-5. Read more... (950 words + 1 image, estimated 3:48 mins reading time)