Packers 21, Bears 14
Wow. This is one of those picks I wish I had gotten wrong in some ways. The first half was actually pretty boring to me, and was typical of the reason why I picked Green Bay. Tough defense, a flaming Aaron Rodgers, and the receiving tandem of Driver/Jennings getting open on the sketchy Chicago D. However, the second half kind of flipped the tables around. Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers kicked the defense into full throttle and the Bears started scoring… on a pretty dumb decision by the Chicago coaching staff. Which leads me to my first award for this game:
The Frank Reich Award for Shining Backups on a Dingy Team:
Bears QB Caleb Hanie
Yes, the little known backup from Colorado State made a big difference today, despite the bitter loss on their home field. He pulled the Bears back into it, twice, but his team couldn’t close the deal. Here is Caleb Hanie before he was put in the game at the end of the third quarter today:
8 of 14 for 66 yards, INT, 39.6 rating
Here is Caleb Hanie during the sixteen minutes he played this afternoon:
13 of 20 for 153 yards, TD, 2 INT, 65.2 rating.
Mediocre, you say? Well look at the two quarterbacks who proceeded him today.
Cutler: 6 of 14 for 80 yards, INT, 31.8 rating
Collins: 0 of 4, 39.6 rating
And Aaron Rodgers:
17 of 30 for 244 yards, 2 INT, 55.4 rating
So, to me, Hanie was the best arm on the field this afternoon. Granted, his second pick was run back for a score by a guy who calls himself “The Freezer”, but his passer rating and completion percentage, not to mention his 32-yard and 35-yard completions to Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett, respectively, definitely earn this guy my Reich award.
The Allstate Guy “I Am (Insert Horrible Thing Here)” Award for Bad Luck Inducing Player:
Bears QB Jay Cutler
Cutler had a horrible game, especially considering the output he had last week against the Seahawks. He never found any rhythm and fell victim to the injury-riddled Packer defense. It was just another sad output by a quarterback who, in all honesty, has the same problem his draft day peers do. He’s not with his original team and he can’t pull magic when the time calls for it. He really isn’t any different than Leinart or Young. This time, he can’t blame diabetes for the loss.
Sorry about the tangent. I don’t understand why Jay Cutler even still has a starting job.
The Jim Kelly Award for Horrible Play In A Big Game:
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
His team won, sure, but the win had nothing to do with him. Riding two playoff wins, in which he amassed the following statistics,:
@ Philadelphia: 18 of 27 for 180 yards, 3 TD, 122.5 rating
@ Atlanta: 31 of 36 for 366 yards, 3 TD, 136.8 rating
the fact that he had the output he had today means that the fire was extinguished… with a vengeance. I hope Rodgers can find his arm again in time to head to Dallas. If not, then the Packers will be destroyed.
<insert pic of Rodgers>
The Ronnie Lott Award for Awesome Defensive Backfield Presence:
Packers Safety Sam Shields
Not to mention this kid had an amazing game (4 solo tackles, 2 interceptions, and a sack), but he’s only a rookie. He is on a list of only five other players in playoff history to accomplish the feat. I really have a feeling that this kid will shine in the league in the coming years. For those of you random enough to play him on your fantasy teams, congratulations.
Jets 19, Steelers 24
Is it just me, or is there something bothersome about CBS Sports sideline reporter Steve Tasker?
I know that’s a random question, but I don’t know, I have a hard time trying to figure out if he, Michelle TaFoya, or Tony Siragusa are worse. I will say this though, Siragusa is at least entertaining… and a bit of an oddity. Which reminds me.
The Minnesota Vikings Mascot Award for Most Epic Beard On the Field:
Steelers DE Brett Keisel
(no photo available)
This game was very disappointing, I think, especially since the Jets came so close to erasing the 21-point halftime deficit. Well, Pittsburgh is going to Dallas for their eighth Super Bowl trip, and it’s still one of those moral victories for me, I think. I mean, I wanted to see the Jets in the big game for the first time in nearly half a century, but seeing as how I am partially rooted in the Steelers, I have to be okay with this outcome. I look at it this way. This could be the single worst match-up to take place in JerryWorld.
Packers – Defeated the Cowboys twice to make it to the first two Super Bowls.
Steelers – Defeated the Cowboys twice IN the Super Bowl.
It’s a great statistic really. Two teams who Dallas has historically fallen short too playing for the Lombardi Trophy in the stadium Dallas plays in, at the end of a season when Dallas was projected to make the Super Bowl. Hmm… irony? I think so.
The Recent #1 Overall Picks Award for Most Underachieving Player On The Field:
This one is a 4-way tie. The New York Jets running game.
Only one yard gained in the first half. The worst they’ve done in a game since 2000. In the second half, they gained 69 more yards, but couldn’t seem to break the big one when it mattered. LT was stopped on a critical fourth-and-goal play, that, if executed, might have given the Jets a win. Instead, the Jets defense settled on nailing Roethlisberger in his own end zone a couple of plays later.
Shonn Greene: 9 carries for 52 yards, 5.8 ypc
LaDanian Tomlinson: 9 carries for 16 yards, 1.8 ypc
Mark Sanchez: 3 carries for 6 yards, 2.0 ypc
Jericcho Cotchery: 1 carry for -4 yards
Yeah, even though Greene actually did well, the line really isn’t Jets caliber. The lack of a ground game didn’t have as much to do with the Steelers defense as it did with the team just not communicating well, especially in the first half. I think, keeping in mind, this is just an opinion, next year, Shonn Greene will decisively win the starting job.
Well, Championship Sunday proved to be not quite what I had predicted, but I can safely say, without a shadow of a doubt, in two weeks, we will have another amazing Super Bowl to watch.
Since I’ve been neglecting other sports over the last couple of weeks, here are some quick NCAA Basketball and MLB updates.
Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez could reunite in Tampa Bay to play the 2011 season.
Well, this could prove interesting.
Rangers sign 3B Adrian Beltre
Hmm… the most dominant left side in baseball, and they still might not make the post season.
In NCAA Men’s Basketball:
AP Top 25 Poll
Ohio State 18-0
San Diego State 19-0
Bigham Young 17-1
Texas A&M 16-1
Notre Dame 14-4
Michigan State 12-5
West Virginia 12-4
Saint Mary’s 16-2
Okay then, I’ll probably post again toward the end of the week. Keep up with it.