My Thoughts On Game Of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1 The Red Woman: An Extended Version Of Previously On Game Of Thrones

Hello There Good People!

I’m posting a duplicate of My Thoughts Blog this week for GoT so you can get an idea of what is over on my other website — My Thoughts On. The website is dedicated to my thoughts on my favorite television, books, and movies. Enjoy!

 

GOTS6 Ep 1 Sansa and Theon

This episode seemed to be an extended version of the opening sequence of previously, on Game of Thrones

Therefore, this episode was just okay. I know sometimes shows have to create a little setup for future episodes, but we are 6 seasons in. We don’t need a grace period before the action takes place.

In fact, you know what? Since all the show did was one big recap, and nothing new actually happened, then all I’m gonna do is rate my interest in the story threads.

So here goes …

1. Theon/Sansa/Brienne
2. Jaime/Cersei
3. Davos + Dire Wolf (that’s right, that wolf gets me every time)
4. Tyrion/Lord Varys
5. Red Woman/Jon Snow

Then it really is a toss up on how little I care

6. Jorah (I am going to count this as separate from Danny because I like his plot thread way more even though it is tied to hers)
7. Danny (Daenerys – I’ll never be able to spell her name, so from here on out, this is who Danny is)
8. Dorne Women
9. Arya
10. Bran

GOTS6 Ep 1 Brienne

 

Overall, the thing that excites me the most about this season shown in the episode is Theon and Sansa. Sansa got a lot more interesting now that she is paired up with Theon. Prior to that, I really could have cared less. Then they double-down and add Brienne in the mix? I am thrilled for this development.

Plus, I love the actor that plays Theon, and poor, poor Theon. He has been tortured for the last two seasons, it will be interesting to see his story arc. Plus, it bodes well that he was willing to sacrifice himself to save Sad Sansa. How pathetic, hiding out behind that tree.

GOTS6 Ep1 Cersei and Jaime

Jaime and Cersei interest me because they are always, always doing something intriguing. I can not wait to see what new hell Cersei unleashes on the Sparrows, in particular, that one nun-type woman. Oh, she is IN FOR IT!

I always love Tyrion. I’d like that man to have some success.

As for the White Walkers, they would be high, high, high on this list. However, the show didn’t include it in the episode. Clearly, it will coincide with Sad Sansa and obviously Davos, the Red Woman, and Jon Snow. Basically anything involving the plot in The North is my favorite once it all comes together. Everything else is lower on my list.

What storyline interests you the most? Let me know!

Until next time!

** If you would like to read my other blogs, please find them at:
http://www.my-thoughts-blog.weebly.com.
http://www.ihatemyback.com.

**** Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at http://www.madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

My Thoughts On The Americans Season 4 Episode 6 the Rat: This Is The Best Show On Television

I honestly think that The Americans is the best show on television right now! The writing, acting, and cinematography are all at such a high level. Now, when GoT comes back, there might be a battle for the top spot …

This week’s writing was superb when it came to Elizabeth and Philip. The scene in the kitchen, where Elizabeth encounters Philip without his disguise was brilliant. Keri Russell portrays the scene beautifully. She is caught off guard, her steely armor weakened. When she says the line about (paraphrasing) “did you want her? To see you?” — that vulnerability was real. Her husband, that she may or may not be in love with, chose to show his real self to Martha. As icy as Elizabeth can be, with her first priority being to the KGB before Philip, this truly effected her. You can see Elizabeth collect herself. She even offers to take over a shift of watching Martha, but, again, Philip picks Martha – he wants to stay with her. The awareness on Elizabeth’s part that Philip truly cares for Martha, and in a way he does not care for Elizabeth shocks her. Philip wants that with Elizabeth, but she does not allow it — Martha does. It’s a different story though, even for this cold-hearted KGB operative to be confronted, face to face with that reality. Really, really great writing.

The scene showing Gabriel downstairs while Philip and Martha are upstairs having sex was visually stunning. Without words it conveyed so much. The ability of this show to tell a story both verbally and nonverbally is why we as viewers love this show. Gabriel is supposed to be the handler and things are getting out of control. He is not in control of his body (it is weak from the virus) and he is not in control of his operative. It creates a tension between the main characters — how will Gabriel regain control of the situation? He looks weak, but he certainly is not. He can be deadly — Philip and Martha are in serious danger. Wonderfully built tension.

Then there is our beloved Martha. It’s delightful how much we have grown to care about this lonely woman. There is no good outcome for her. All we can hope for is the least amount of damage. Philip is frantically grasping for a way to somehow save Martha. He tries to force Gabriel’s hand by bringing her to the safe house. It’s always fascinating watching a character struggle with an outcome that they deep down know is going to happen. To observe Philip’s desperate clutch to the delusion that everything will be okay is excellent. It’s so not going to be okay. Philip’s delusion du jour is that he feels like if he can just get her to Moscow, it will be okay, but it won’t. Martha will be spiritually, mentally, and irrevocably crushed.

TA S4 Rat MarhtaThis is because the viewer has to ask themselves, as Philip does – what is worse for Martha? The basis of her character, why she was able to be recruited, is her desperate desire for love. Moscow is not going to provide that. She is trying to hold on to her “American Dream” with Clark despite the overwhelming evidence that the dream is gone. In fact, she is beginning to realize not even that was true — almost. She won’t quite let herself absorb the true reality that not even Clark was really there in the first place. It’s why she wants to have sex with Philip, to confirm their love for each other. To confirm to herself that he would somehow be coming with her.

In a lot regards, it would almost be better for Martha to be shot — a clean, fast death before she realizes the depth of the betrayal of those around her. It will break Martha to realize that Philip/Clark is not coming with her. She gave up her job, her identity, her country for this man who will betray her. Her whole life is a lie. To live the rest of her life, in Moscow, alone yet again,  even more so because she also has no friends, no country — these are things worse than death for Martha.

Until next time!

For a ton more of My Thoughts On please visit www.my-thoughts-blog.weebly.com. There I discuss a slew of television shows, books, and movies. These are not recaps, but my thoughts. I assume that you’ve already absorbed the media, so it’s more of a place to hear other people’s thoughts and to have discussions. So, yes! Spoilers!

 

 

My Thoughts On Big Little Lies

BIG LITTLE LIES jacketThis is my review and thoughts on Big Little Lies.

Overall, I liked this book. It was an enjoyable listen, despite starting off a little bit slow plot wise. The book may have done too good of a job making the mothers at the school exceptionally annoying — there were times when I just wanted to turn the book off because I couldn’t listen to them anymore. It’s fitting, because it really drives home the point that these women are behaving poorly. They gossip. They cause actual problems with their immaturity. Shoot, they are behaving badly and they are supposed to be mothers! I love the concept that this happens at their kid’s school, that these are the types of people who are influencing kids. That the example they are setting for their kids is a terrible one.

The overall plot about men in this book was an interesting one, whether or not you agreed with the heavy-handed nature of the writing toward men. Each character clearly has issues with a man, it’s not just Celeste and the physical abuse. Jane had a violent and verbally abusive encounter with a man. Madeline has an ex-husband who abandoned her and their daughter. Renata’s husband cheats on her.

In all of these instances with men, they are given a free pass/no responsibility, no repercussions. There is a sense of entitlement to these male characters:

1. Nathan walks away from his family, but then he is entitled to completely start over? Madeline was there, the whole time, through the worst of it. It is easy to see where her animosity comes from.

2. Renata’s husband cheats on her. Why? Because he can. Because he is a man. Renata leaves him, but still the assumption from his point of view is why not?

3. Harper’s husband cheats on her and there are no repercussions at all. She stays with him.

4. Perry feels like he is entitled to tell Jane that she is ugly and fat. Why? Because men can do what they want. They have the power. Women are there to please men. He does not please her, so he can speak to her and do to her what he wants.

5. Perry (and Celeste, for awhile) feels like he is entitled to beat on his wife because she made mistakes. He is affluent. That makes it all okay.

Again, this is all because of an underlying, societal unspoken assumption that men will be men.

The book is interesting, I will say that.

As for production of the novel as an audiobook, the structure of the story is not well-suited for audio. In the beginning, when all the various characters are speaking to the reporter, it was very, very hard to understand what was going on with only audio to go off of. If you can just be patient with the book, it does get easier. This is a common issue with audiobooks, but this book was more problematic than most.

Rating system:

God, I wish I had that time back in my life = 0
Eh, it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read = 1
Shrug, I mean, it was okay = 2
I enjoyed it = 3

Have your read this book? It’s pretty good = 4
Wow, you need to read this book now = 5

Big Little Lies = 3.0

Here are my answers to book club questions provided by the Penguin. Thanks Penguin for facilitating a closer look at the book!

1. At the beginning of the novel, Madeline is enraged over Ziggy not being invited to Amabella’s birthday party. Why do you think Madeline becomes so angry about such a seemingly small injustice?

Because it is not a small injustice. It is calculated. It is done by an adult. Adults know how painful it can be to for a child to be the one not invited to a party. Madeline is not only trying to save Ziggy from a lifetime of bullying, but from the wrath of parents who are acting like children. The interesting thing is, in the book, it is the children who behave the best, well, for the most part.

2. Gwen, the babysitter, seems to be the only one to suspect what is going on with Celeste and Perry.  Celeste then realizes she’s never heard Gwen talk about a husband or a partner. Do you think the author intended to intimate that perhaps Gwen had had an abusive husband or partner and that she left him?  And in light of what happens at the end with Bonnie, do you think it’s only people who have personally experienced abuse who pick up on the signs?

Of course she would notice, she is in the trenches. She is allowed a certain amount of access. I think it is interesting that Perry and Celeste would think that she doesn’t notice. It is hubris, that they can hide it, from her or from the kids.

I think it is giving the author too much leeway to assume that Gwen had a husband that abused her. It is interesting, even posing this question, that a woman being aware of the abuse could only be determined by the fact that a man did something to her. Men are not the end all be all reactive/proactive devices that the world and society makes them out to be. Perhaps this woman noticed it all on her own, without the influence of a man.

Therefore, as for Bonnie, no. I don’t think that only people who have been abused pick up on the signs.

3. At one point Jane thinks she and Ziggy will have to leave Pirriwee because “rich, beautiful people weren’t asked to leave anywhere.” [p. 362] Do you think different rules apply to rich people? Do you think being rich allowed Perry to get away with things longer than would have been likely if he hadn’t had money?

Of course. Rich people are always getting away with more. Also, there is an overwhelming mystique that the rich are above it all. The sad truth is anyone can be abused. Anyone can be the abuser. In a lot of ways, it goes along with the entitlement. It’s about power. Abuse is about power. Men are always given the power — through societal paradigms and physical strength. It needs to change.

4. Bonnie says, “We see. We fucking see!” [p. 421] Were you surprised to learn about Bonnie’s history?  Were you surprised to discover that all along Max had been seeing what Perry was doing to Celeste?

When Bonnie says that I think she is reiterating the theme of this book. That men think they can hide what they do. That it is allowed. That people will turn a blind eye. But Bonnie declares they see. She saw as a kid. Madeline and Renata see now. Max sees. People see. However, people have to choose to do something about it. That is not always easy. Who are the cops? Men. Who are the judges? Men. Look at the spotlight done by Samantha Bee on an Idaho sheriff who thought that rape was over-reported and overexaggerated by women. Of course women would think that they have no recourse.

Of course Max saw. That is also what Bonnie is referring to. Kids see way more than they let on. People also underestimate kids.

5. What did you make of the interview snippets to the reporter? Do you think the author used them almost like a Greek chorus to make a point?

Not a Greek chorus.

I think it was a great technique to show just how ready people, women in particular, are ready to talk about someone. How insidious it can get.

6. Madeline muses, “Maybe it was actually an unspoken instant agreement between four women on the balcony: No woman should pay for the accidental death of that particular man.  Maybe it was an involuntary, atavistic response to thousands of years of violence against women.  Maybe it was for every rape, every brutal backhanded slap, every other Perry that had come before this one.” [p. 430] And then Madeline thinks, “ Sometimes doing the wrong thing was also right.” Do you agree with this statement?  Do you agree with what the women decided to do?  Do you think there’s a stronger bond between women than there is between men?  Were you surprised that women who ostensibly didn’t like one another—Madeline and Bonnie, Madeline and Renata—ended up coming together to help one another out?

Everyone has or knows a Perry. I do agree with the women to keep the circumstances leading to the death a secret. It truly wasn’t anyone’s fault. Can anyone really blame the women for thinking that Bonnie wouldn’t be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?

I do not agree that women have closer bonds than men.

It did not surprise me that the women came together over this incident.

7. At one point in the book, Susi says that, in Australia, one woman dies every week because of domestic violence.  In the United States, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.  Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten.  Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than that caused by car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.  Are you surprised by these statistics? Why or why not?  Clearly, the author chose Celeste—the picture-perfect mom and/ wife as well as an educated lawyer—to be the victim of domestic violence in order to make a point.  Do you think it’s plausible that someone like her would fall victim to abuse such as this?

Of course. Abuse is about power. Anyone can be a victim.

8. Madeline comments that “there were so many levels of evil in the world.” [p. 433] Discuss the implications of this statement in light of the novel and the novel’s different storylines.

The overall cattiness is certainly an evil. Look at how damaging it was to Jane. To Ziggy. The way women treat other women is often deplorable. Ziggy/Max hitting another kid, absolutely could be evil, but probably not. They were 5-years old. Perry, absolutely evil. Bonnie inadvertently killing Perry could be considered evil, but it is not what she set out to do. It was an accident. It was not murder, despite the fact that killing someone could be considered evil. The slow destruction of women by certain men could be considered evil. Deserting your wife and child is evil. Yes, there are many forms of evil in the world.

Go For Two: What troubles the Green Bay Packers offense?

eddie lacy arrives for denver gameI have not been diligent on my blog posts this year, so when I say that I have been saying this all year, you’ll have to take me at my word.

The Packers offense was in trouble as soon as Jordy Nelson went down.

Commentators and analysts kept singing the praises of Davante Adams. I kept saying, he’s just not that good.

Guess what? He’s not.

People gave him a pass, because he was hurt. Eh, I think that was really shortsighted.

Here’s the problem overall.

Jordy Nelson provides the deep threat. That’s gone. Now that means more attention can be paid on the run game, Cobb, and the third receiver.

The run game, Eddie Lacy in particular, has been miserable. Fantasy players have not only benched him, but flat out dropped him. This makes sense. Eddie is the 33rd running back overall. Russell Wilson (303 yrds) is ahead of him. Other notable players ahead of him in total rushing are:

Deangelo Williams (310 yrds), and he has really only had the opportunity to play before Leveon Bell came back from suspension.

LaGarrette Blount (318 yrds) and he splits carries with Dion Lewis.

Eddie Lacy has a grand total, over 7 games, of 298 yards.

There you go.

As for Randall Cobb, I’m not sure what’s going on there. At first, it was probably his shoulder, but that doesn’t account for the whole story. Statistically, he is not even in the top 40 of wide receivers.

Then that leaves Davante Adams. How can he be so bad that he doesn’t somehow free up James Jones (30th best overall receiver) and Randall Cobb? How is it that Richard Rodgers is so bad that he can’t get open for Aaron Rodgers?

I mean, that’s more telling. You have the greatest quarterback in the game right now, and his guys can’t catch balls or get open? Peyton Manning will go down as the greatest to ever play the game. Tom Brady will be right up there with him. However, out of those two, Aaron Rodgers currently excels at the position skill wise. Throwing ability, accuracy, and scrambling, Aaron outcompetes both Peyton and Brady.

So what does Peyton and Tom Brady have that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t? Receivers. I’m not convinced Gary Kubiak is the best play caller.

How do we fix this? I’m not sure. Perhaps we need to get Mike McCarthy calling plays again. Maybe we need to give Edgar Bennet more responsibility back for the wide receivers and the running backs. He was the wide receiver coach for 4 years and for 6 years he was the running backs coach. This is Alex Van Pelt‘s fist year as the quarterback + wide receiver coach. Prior to that he was the running back coach.

Actually, I think this is the problem.

You have given this guy way too much responsibility and he just can’t handle it. If he was just the running back coach, maybe he did well. However, perhaps wide receivers is not his thing, especially when he is given the responsibility to shape Ty Montgomery and Davante Adams. We need you back Edgar!

We all have to admit, that the offense looks sluggish, even without the added pressure of such a great defense as the Denver Broncos. Our offense needs to get rolling again.

My only other concern was that it didn’t seem to get addressed. Pack, let’s make some adjustments! This very thing, the inability to make adjustments in the Seattle game last year in the NFC Championship game is what cost us. Things were going south and we didn’t seem to take any action.

I also want to comment on something that Vic Ketchman wrote on the Packers page. He wrote “Expressing doubt accomplishes nothing.”

I beg to differ.

Group think occurs when no one speaks up.

Question authority is necessary to make sure that silly mistakes don’t occur due to pride.

I think that in the game of football, when one loss can cost you home field advantage, situations and personnel need to constantly be evaluated. No one is saying that after one loss we need to fire anyone. All I am saying is that as much as we love our Packers, there is definitely something sluggish about the offense. It wasn’t just one game. We can’t hide behind Aaron Rodgers as the greatest quarterback and stick our heads in the sand about the rest of the team. We did that with the defense for too long. We kept telling ourselves it didn’t matter that our defense was terrible, because our offense was so good. However, that mindset did not win us a Super Bowl. A Super Bowl is for sure in our reach. Let’s make sure we get there this year because we strive for excellence, not just our own bravado.

All I can hope was that he meant expressing doubt accomplishes nothing, you have to do something about mistakes and weaknesses.

Side note. I love Eddie Lacy despite his poor performance. No real reason to say this. I just love the guy. Let me just reiterate how much I love this team, in case it seems like I’m being too critical. I love our quarterback. I love the team mentality. We don’t have a bunch of kids without heart, or getting into trouble. We don’t have Greg Hardy types, or Dez Bryant types –always saying something stupid, and we don’t have dumbass owners like Jerry Jones. I also did not mean to name everyone from the Cowboys, but there it is. Our team has class and I appreciate them.

Until next time … Go Pack Go!

Go For Two: Green Bay Defense Impresses

Green Bay’s defense impresses.

I know what you’re thinking … what? Are you serious?

confused gif

 

I’m very serious, not even I have a complaint.

There is no but. There is no backhanded compliment here.

 

post-61049-mira-sorvino-wow-gif-imgur-tum-UPdW

 

This is the real deal in admiration for my defense.

What a performance Green Bay’s defense has put on the last two weeks. It is exactly what Packer’s fans have wanted for years now. Our once shameful defense, our weak link, is now a positive.

In week 5, our defense not only looked good, but was the more dominant of the two sides of play. 4 interceptions, 3 sacks, and a blocked field goal. One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown.

Think about that. The score was 24-10. How close was that game without that defensive touchdown? Amazing.

Per ESPN, Green Bay has the 10th overall defense this year so far. That’s very, very incredible.

Zach G approve

Congratulations Green Bay. Well done, truly. Well done.

Until next time … Go Pack Go!

Go For Two: NFC North Quarter Season Recap

nfc_north_packers_number_1_by_gatorvenomWe are now a quarter of the way through the season. So how is the NFC North holding up? Are we meeting expectations? Or are we a disappointment?

Detroit Lions:

Record 0-4

Loss: Chargers, Vikings, Broncos, Seahawks

This is such a hard post to write. The Lions have seemingly fallen back into old habits. They seem to have that cloud back that no matter what they do, they just seem to lose the football game.

I watched the game against the Hawks last night. What really stood out to me was the mentality. Going into the 4th quarter the score was 13 to 7. You would have thought by the way the Lions walked off the field, hung their heads, the score was 56-0. Yet, they were only down by one touchdown. I kept yelling at the screen for them to stay in the game! This is why they play football! You just don’t know what is going to happen!

Needless to say, it did. There was a RW fumble for Lions recovery – although the Lions didn’t capitalize on it, it speaks volumes to how fast a game can change and to not give up. Then late in the fourth quarter, the Lions did what the Lions do best, suddenly start playing football. This seems to be a theme for them. They get down, then have flashes of, maybe not brilliance, but some good football. With 6:23 left to play, Stafford marches the Lions down the field. All the Lions fans want is the ball to be in the hands of their best play makers, namely, Johnson or Tate. They finally do just that! Lions fans rejoice – no stupid decisions! No under thrown passes! Yet … they find a way. Calvin Johnson has the ball punched out at the one yard, maybe half-yard line. Collective, utter, stunned silence from Lions fans around the world. They johnson fumblemanaged to screw up once again.

The thing is, the Lions have a lot to be proud of. They went into the Seahawks stadium and nearly beat them. They finished the game at 13-10.

Clearly, the Lions need to stop beating themselves. They also need to make their tackles – especially against a mobile quarterback. They had to have known RW would be running all day with ML out. Unacceptable.

Lions, yes, you are 0-4, but your season is not over yet. I really do think, with the right attitude, you guys could do well.

Just don’t give up, like you did in this game. Good teams know you play the whole 60 minutes (cough-cough, GB 2015 NFC Championship game) – you guys need to learn this, and fast.

As for the missed call, here are my thoughts on it. There are tons of times that calls are made no where near the ball, but they still count. Rules are rules. As soon as refs start deciding that they don’t want a whole game decided on a rule, as was the case here, then why even bother having rules? Yes, Seattle was the only one near the ball, it probably would have gone out on its own. However, rules are to be enforced by the refs, not to be turned into judgement calls.

Here’s an example, remember when the Lions coach Jim Swartz in 2012 threw a challenge flag? The rules had just changed – all scoring drives are automatically reviewed. However, the new rule was that you could not throw a challenge flag because of the review. If you did, you got an unsportsmanlike penalty.

It cost the Lions a touchdown.

Here is the link to the play. It will make you sick.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000099114/Justin-Forsett-81-yard-touchdown-run

Again, that’s a rule. It is enforced. It changed the outcome of the game despite the fact it was a ridiculous addition to the rule. It’s why later, when Mike McCarthy did it, good old boy Jordy Nelson tried to sneakily walk over and pick it up so the Pack wouldn’t get called. You can see Mike and Jordy share a grin – like two school boys trying to get away with something behind their teacher’s back. I can’t remember if we got away with it or not. I just kind of liked Jordy more at that moment.

Anywho, all this, whether articulate or not, is to say whether you believe inthe rule or not (I guess I’m getting at there are some dumb ones), a rule is a rule is a rule.

Chicago Bears:

Why are his lips always puckered?

Record 1-3

Win: Raiders

Loss: Packers, Cardinals, Seahawks

John Fox’s team is exactly where everyone thought they would be. Well, I did think they would be lower in the standings than the Lions, but that’s more of an issue with the Lions and not Chicago.

Jay Cutler has displayed in the first 4 games that he is still Jay Cutler.

Ugh.

Brandon Marshall is gone, doing actually quite well with the Jets. Good for him. On an aside, I loved the article that was out earlier in the week about how he likes to go antique shopping. It couldn’t have been more charming.

However, back to Chicago, so what does losing Brandon to the Jets mean for the Bears? Well, a lot. Especially since Alshon Jeffery has not played since week one due to a hamstring injury. The receiving core is decimated. With Cutler as the quarterback, poor Forte has a huge workload.

The Bears realizing the dire position they are in started a fire sale on September 28th. They traded Jared Allen to the Panthers and Jon Bostick to the Patriots. In return, the Bears got a conditional 6th round and a 6th round draft for the trades.

Now the rumor mill says with Allen gone Willie Young is asking for a trade. Now, it seems like players are just trying to get off of a sinking ship.

The schedule this year does not get any easier, so the Bears might want to just chalk this year up to one large training camp for next year and try and make improvements where they can.

Minnesota Vikings:

Record 2-2

Win: Lions, Chargers

Loss: Niners, Broncos

I have to admit, I don’t know much about this team. I watched one of their games, and for the life of me, I can’t remember which one right now. I think the Niners. Yes, that was the one. I just remember thinking why didn’t they give the ball more to Adrian Peterson. Well, apparently, they have and that has helped. I do remember thinking the Vikes should have played better. I kind of thought the Vikings would be better this year. They have room to improve, and even though they didn’t start out as fast as I thought they would, I still think they are going to be tough to beat down the stretch.

They need to improve though, as it will be hard to keep up with the Pack, considering they are already two games ahead with the next to games at Lambeau.

Speaking of the Pack …

Green Bay Packers:

Richard RodgersRecord 4-0

Win: Bears, Seahawks, Chiefs, Niners

The Packers could not get off to a better start. Not only are they 4-0, which is always the most important number, but the wins are mentally important.

The Pack has now beat one of their main rivals in regards to Seattle, and even their Achilles heel in the Niners.

Green Bay lost in week one last year to the Hawks, and, more critically, in the NFC Championship game in spectacular fashion. The Pack lost to the Niners on these occasions …

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 7.50.23 PM

 

 

 

 

 

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The defense against the Niners looked much improved. Even I,  who am completely against Dom Capers, had to give credit where credit is due.

Now, that was against the Niners, and they are bad this year, but … still. The Niners always seem to find a way to exploit our weakness — but not this time. I’ll take the “w” on the defensive side of the ball.

Success has come this quarter of the season despite losing our deep threat in Jordy Nelson. This has caused more short, quick passes. Unfortunately, we have the injury big again this year. Cobb is clearly diminished. It’s not that he’s not doing very good, but you can tell he’s not 100%. The same goes for Eddie Lacy.

Our 3rd receiver was supposed to be Davante Adams, but he has been out with an ankle injury, and let’s be honest, even when he was in the game his performance was lacking.

Now, other teams can focus their coverage on James Jones and Cobbs.

On an aside, thank God for JJ. Remember when he was one of the dropsey twins with Jermichael Finley? Well, perhaps being carted around the league and left for dead caused him to be more focused. He is doing, as Mike McCarthy would say, one heckuva job. Thank you JJ.

What we need is for Cobb to heal up, but I don’t know how anyone can do that while the season is taking place. We also need Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers to step up. It’s a lot to ask, but you have the best quarterback in the league — if you are going to be successful with anyone, it’s going to be him.

Ty Montgomery has done very well on returns and RR had a touchdown in the last game. These are promising developments for the rest of the season.

Finally, to recap the first quarter of the season, why not a screenshot of the conference standings thus far …

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.04.34 PM

Until next time … Go Pack Go!

NFC North 2015 Preview — NFC North vs NFC West

NFC West logoThis week is my NFC North preview of the NFC West.

This year, the NFC North pulled the AFC West and the NFC West as their divisions to rotate through.

Everyone in the NFC North (Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, and Vikings) will play everyone in the NFC West (Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis).

Let’s preview that in alphabetical order.

Arizona (2014 standing 11-5. 2nd in division. Wild Card #1.):

Arizona had absolutely the worst luck any team had last season. They were primed to go to the Super Bowl in their hometown. That was, until they went through two quarterbacks and wound up on their 3rd string. Yes, they went into the playoffs with their 3rd string.

Jeez.

Bruce Arians won the 2014 Coach of the year award and beyond a shadow of a doubt he deserved it. He received 39.5 votes. The runner up, Bill O’Brien, received 3.

Arians is back, as is his Offensive Coordinator Harold Goodwin. However, the Cards lost their Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles (Head Coach of the New York Jets, replacing, in turn, Sexy Rexy) and replaced him with James Bettcher.

Rounding out the roster is QB Carson Palmer. Honestly, how is this dude still around? I feel like he retired decades ago. He’s kind of like those television shows that you really thought were cancelled, but ran for a lot longer than anyone ever realized.

According to Jim = 8 seasons

King of the Hill = 13 seasons

Scrubs = 9 seasons

Rules of Engagement = 6 years

How does Carson Palmer stack up?

Drafter in 2003. Yes, 2003. He was drafted first pick overall.

He is indeed the starting quarterback fro the Arizona Cardinals.

There is nothing left to say after that.

I drop the mic.

Depth chart:

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.07.20 PM

 

To note, the Cards got Mr. Irrelevant this year Gerald Christian. If anyone can make Gerarld the man, it’s Brice Arians.

Here is their schedule:

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 7.59.32 PM

San Francisco (2014 standings 8-8. 3rd in division.):

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

You idiots.

Jim Harbaugh is out, Jim Tomsula is in.

Jim Harbaugh:

2011 = Lost to NYG in NFC Championship game

2012 = Lost in Super Bowl to the Ravens

2013 = Lost to Seattle in NFC Championship game

2014 = 8-8, missed playoffs

SF fired him. Ridiculous.

Jim Tomsula has never been a head coach.

Other key players lost:

Frank Gore

Michael Crabtree

Chris Culliver

Perish Cox

Mike Lupati

Patrick Willis

Chris Borland

Justin Smith

Aldon Smith

That’s all I have to say about this team. I mean, that says enough.

Here is the schedule:

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.53.50 AM

The only other thing I will say is the the Niners organization is going to have a really, really hard time filling their seats. They are way, way too expensive, 49ers fans are fair-weather, and the stadium will be stifling hot in the first few games. They really blew their was on this one.

Seattle (2014 standings 12-4. 1st in division. First round bye. Home field throughout.):

Seattle is looking to be positioned right at the head of the NFC class again this year. With their players healthy (I don’t even want to TALK about Jordy Nelson) and not much turnover, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Head coach is still Pete Carroll. I still find him infinitely annoying. I’d take Jim Caldewell’s stoic nature over this Willy Wonka any day.

Darrell Bevel, the offensive coordinator is back, however, the defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn has been replaced by Kris Richard. Richard followed Carroll over from USC and has been the defensive back coach since 2012. Dan Quinn was hired by the Atlanta Falcons to become their head coach, ultimately replacing there Mike Smith. Mike Smith was fired from Atlanta after have two consecutive losing season, 4-12 & 6-10.

As for players, major loses were starting cneter Max Unger and corner back Bryon Maxwell.

Additions were Jimmy Graham, Cary Williams and Will Blackmon.

Roster:

Seattle 2015 Depth Chart

Schedule:

Seattle 2015 Schedule

St. Louis (2014 standings 6-10. Last in division.):

Wow. The Rams. What do you say about this team? Each year I think they are going to do better than what they do.

Jeff Fisher is still the head coach and executive vice president. Perhaps the president thing is a problem. He has been with the Rams since 2012, however, he has not had a winning season since 2008.

Jeff Fisher

I’m totally not sure what’s going on here.

Nick Foles is the quarterback. You might remember the trade with the Eagles – Sam Bradford went to the Eagles with his two ACL tears and Nick Foles came to the Rams. It’s still a head-scratcher.

Here is the roster:

St. Louis Rams Depth Chart

The primary running back, as you can see, and we all had to look up is Tre Mason. He was 20th overall with 765 rushing yards last year. His receiving yards was 16 receptions for 148 yards. Hmm.

The primary receiver is, I guess, Kenny Britt. He had 48 receptions last year for a total of 748 yards.

I can’t continue this. The outlook is poor for this Rams team.

St. Louis Rams, despite how bad the Niners will be this year, I still think you will be satisfying the 4th place in the NFC West division.

Here is the schedule:

St. Louis Rams Schedule

As always, Go Pack Go!