One game means close to nothing in the grand scheme of things. Anyone can win the lottery. Any given Sunday a team can get lucky. There's no way to determine where things will go based off such limited information.
Who gives a crap? Not THIS guy!
So I'm going to give up any shot at even attempting to hide how biased, ridiculous, and Kool-Aid drunk this post will be. I'm not even gonna try to make a decent write-up that has an overall theme. I have an 8 hour final tomorrow and don't have time for that kinda thing.
Instead, here's some thoughts on what I saw out of the BUOTY (Biggest Upset Of The Year. Duh), combined with thoughts about next year, combined with... you know what, just read the stupid thing. I don't have time for a good intro. I'll just say that, if one wants to get totally hammered on Kool-Aid, relive the warm fuzzies from this game, and dream of what could be if we decide to be as optimistic as possible, THIS is the post to read.
On Kyle Orton
Again, I'm totally aware of how little you can really tell from one game. I just don't care, and will therefore ignore that the rest of this post
-First of all, he's a better quarterback than Matt Cassel. He goes through progressions better, handles pressure better, throws a better ball on short, medium, and long routes... pretty much every aspect of the game that matters. He also does a great job selling play fakes and screens, and does a GREAT job getting the ball to the sideline quickly on WR screens. We've run those WR screens all year and they hardly ever worked. Why? Because if you take even a half second too long to get the ball to the sideline, the defense closes and it's over.
-Second of all, I'm a TAD concerned about our not finishing drives. According to Donkey fans I've spoken to about Orton, this can be a cause of concern. Apparently he has a bad habit of looking much better between the 20's than in the RZ. Although to be fair, he DID get the ball to McClain for what should've been a TD (although it would've been a tough catch). But why am I even talking about this? Back to the Kool-Aid!!!!
-Third of all, now we know that with a competent QB our offense can move the ball. Although there are clearly other things at work here that I'll get into in a moment.
-Fourth, I think I've figured out why Orton gets no love. The guy is just not a cool looking person. You know the stereotypical QB look? Square jaw, muscular looking build, cocky grin flashing? Orton looks more like the nerd who gets wedgies from that guy.
-Last, Orton deserves credit for a heck of a game. Not sold on him being "our" QB, but he couldn't have done much more in his opening statement. Honestly, if he plays like that on a consistent basis, fine. I'm sold. Call me Premature Pete all you want, but like I said, this is Kool-Aid time! Again, if Orton can play like he did today consistently moving forward, sign me up to go O-line in the first. To you, Orton, I say...
On the Play Calling
I'm not going to get into a debate about Todd Haley. I've said it before; I understand the football side of the firing, but did not like the way it went down. That said... I loved our playcalling for most of this game. Here's just a few changes I noticed.
-Le'Ron McClain FINALLY getting some carries. And looking like he should have been this whole season. The man is fast for his size, powerful, and HITS when he gets tackled. Also, he abuses defenders blocking for our other RB's (which IMO earns a fella some touches). He's needed to see carries all season, and it finally happened.
-Great use of screens. You run screens after you've got the defense thinking "pass." We could hardly ever successfully run a standard screen because teams were never scared of our passing game. They were executed very well and for the most part called at perfect times. Same with our WR screens, which I mentioned earlier.
-Only a couple of times did I say "what the crap?" after an offensive play because of the playcalling. That's down from roughly 25 times or so a game. Was Bill Muir wrongly despised all this time? Were we wrong?
On the DEFENSE
-Before I even start on this, allow me to point out that prior to today, the Packers hadn't scored less than 24 points all season. They'd scored over 40 five times. They were considered unstoppable. Let's let that sink in for a glorious moment...
(waiting for it to sink in... waiting...)
-How about Tamba Hali? I've heard he's good or something. I'll say it borrowing a phrase I heard from hmills: If I had to pick a "gladiator" to do battle for my life, and the contest was having two guys chained together in a fight to the death, I'd take Hali over anyone. That guy is ruthless, relentless, unstoppable, a machine sent from the future who ONLY is after your quarterback. That's ALL HE DOES. He'll never stop, no matter how many blockers you send his way. He's the Terminator of pass rushers.
-Gotta give love to my boy Justin Houston as well. No sacks this week, but he was getting in Rodger's mug all day as well, AND sealed the edge a couple of times for nice stops against the run. Hou-STON, we've got ourselves a pass rushing duo that rattled AARON FREAKING RODGERS.
-You and I are picking out defensive players we want playing for us. We're picking ILB's and you get first pick. I don't care if you take Patrick Willis, Ray Lewis, Mayo, or any other fool who isn't named Derrick Johnson. Because if you do, I get Derrick Johnson: THE best ILB in the NFL right now.
-Speaking of killing alligators with shovels, who is starting to love them some Allen Bailey? Dude showed off that speed that comes with his 290 frame, as well as the strength to just brush off the G's feeble attempts at stopping him. He also laid the best hit on Rodgers all game. I could just hear his inner monologue as that play went on...
"I'm faking right and heading left. This dude's way too slow to keep up. Fooled him! Time to get to the QB! What's this foolio guard thinking trying to slow me down? Does this dude not know that I've eaten possum?"
-Dole out some love to our secondary. They weren't perfect (CB's hardly ever are, especially against a QB like Rodgers), but MAN they played well. Not just The Brandon's either. But Arenas, Lewis, and Daniels as well. Anytime you hold an offense like that in check, your secondary played a great game.
-Even our line was getting in on the fun. When the announcers use the phrase, "They just built a wall" multiple times while your D is on the field, the big boys are getting it done.
-Big picture? Our D is ready. We've got some spots that aren't as good as I'd like, sure. But when you watch what we've got RIGHT NOW, we're ready to compete with any offense. Put Eric Berry back on that field, and throw in the fact that Bailey and Houston will have a year of development under their belts next year (not to mention Powe. Don't sleep on him, I'm telling you)... I'm getting goosebumps here. Our defense could be scarier than the Cookie Monster in withdrawal.
(and yes, I TOTALLY made up that ridiculously stupid joke as an excuse to post that picture. I don't know why, but I find it hysterical).
On Our Future in General
Players are already rallying around RAC. Orton just played the best FULL game we've had from a QB all year (yeah, I know, no TD passes, and I know Cassel had 4 against IND. But Cassel was also terrible for 2 full quarters of that game. And I said FULL game :). See with the term manipulation to make my point correct?). Our defense is fired up and ready to compete. Our WR's are BEGGING to be involved more and are performing when getting throws their way.
Oh, did I mention we just beat the best team in the league while missing our two best players, our best TE, with a QB that was coming off an injury and hasn't even been here a month, and a HC who didn't know he'd be HC until Monday?
For today, the Kool-Aid is flowing and our future could be bright. Too much to take from one game? Yeah, it is. And I absolutely don't care, even a little.
I'll be objective when a little more time has passed from our victory over the best team in the NFL. Yanno, the one we'd never, ever, EVER win... right ups? Here's a picture just for my favorite guy here on AP... The words of which show what I think of his ability to predict the outcome to games and win at fantasy football (love ya ups!)