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Go For Two: Final Thoughts on Green Bay

I’m sad.

My Green Bay packers are done for the season.

This is the time to look back and reflect on the season. To appreciate the things we did well, and to take a hard look at what we need and should improve on.

Offense.

We weathered the storm of missing our two best players on offense — Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb. It was blatantly apparent in the last two games what magic those two can create when working together. I thought we did fairly well when we got Matt Flynn in there. Yet, it highlighted what everyone has been mumbling about for a while. The protection for Aaron Rodgers in the pocket needs to improve. Aaron is the best in the game. He has to release the ball that quick because his offensive line doesn’t allow for all that much time to throw the ball before the pocket collapses. Matt Flynn tried his best, but his inability to get the ball out lightening-quick highlighted just how bad the pocket protection is when the Packers don’t have Aaron Rodgers. What I’m trying to say, is Aaron Rodgers masks just how bad our offensive line is. That is something I would certainly like to see fixed in the offseason.

Other things I would like fixed. Our random inability to score in the redzone was a bit weird as the season wore on. James Jones, while not completely reverting to his old ways, did seem to lose some of his laser-focus he displayed last year. He dropped some mighty important throws in that postseason game. That makes me nervous.

I’d like to get rid of Jermichael Finley. He is too inconsistent. While he may be good at blocking (I don’t know), he is not a great pass-catcher. I would love a stat of how many balls he drops. I’d rather not have him open, and have Aaron Rodgers questioning whether if he throws Jermichael the ball, that he will actually catch it. Plus, then Jermichael whines and cries to the media about Aaron. How about he looks at himself before he starts complaining about others?

I have really enjoyed the emergence of Boykin.

I loved that Mason Crosby got himself back on track this year. He showed true grit when he took a reduced contract, but with multiple incentives, to stay on the Packers. That’s integrity.

Eddie Lacy. I love him. I absolutely adore him. Great running back, great person, great perseverance. He really came through for the team this year. He didn’t start off great, and I, probably like others, were thinking that he would peter out like Cedric Benson did. Nope. He excelled. Boy-oh-boy do I hope he wins rookie of the year. I love watching interviews with him. Great smile, great character. I honestly can not say enough nice things about him.

Jordy Nelson deserves an award this season. He was a rock when everything around him was falling apart. Calm, focused, never wavered. Always amazing. Great player on and off the field. Love you Jordy.

Defense.

What do I say about defense that hasn’t already been said? I did hear Aaron say something that did give me pause. That the defense held the Niners to 23 points and that’s a game the offense should win. Yes, in fact, he was right (I would never presume to argue with Rodgers). I’m constantly complaining that we allow multiple games with over 30 points. Here was one where we didn’t. I think, in this particular game, a lot of it was, for the offense, the slow start, the multiple sacks, the dropped (big play) balls by James Jones.

However, on the last drive, all I kept thinking was, just stop them here. 3rd and 8 — here is your chance. They couldn’t. mental errors, losing contain, broken tackles … all the things that have plagued the Packers defense for the last few years. Now, I know, we didn’t have any of our starts. Still, they, too, make tons of mental errors. Also? I’m not super happy with this bend not break theory of Capers. Bending is not okay because we do break on the big plays. We let a lot of big plays happen. enough.

Enough is enough with the defense. We spent the last two years working on our defense. Do something. I still think the answer is firing Dom Capers. However, we need to get a good defensive coordinator. I know, how about my alumni coach Mark Dantonio? That would be a dream. His record, especially on defense, is impressive.

Now I root for Denver. Peyton Manning — you’re amazing. Classy, talented, and a great leader. You have showed your greatness on and off the field. You have put to rest what Manning brother is the greatest – you. As if there was any debate (actually, obviously there was, which was ridiculous). Plus, this needs to be your last year brother. I worry about you. That neck of yours is made of glass. Please just win this Super Bowl and have that be enough. I don’t want to hear about you in a few years when some articles explains how you are in constant, chronic pain.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. 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 madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: 10 Random Thoughts – Quarterbacks Addition

1. Why does Phillip Rivers look like such a douchepod? He looks like a guy you would want to beat up in school.

2. Andrew Luck looks like a caveman. Good comeback though.

3. Colin Kaepernick sounds like he’s trying to pass a kidney stone when he calls out his plays. It’s distracting.

4. When it was suggested to Matt Stafford that maybe he go to a quarterback guru to help him with his footwork and improve his game — he said he didn’t need a guru. Really? Who wouldn’t want to improve themselves? That’s the second biggest problem the Lions have after Schwartz. Well, now first.

5. Packer nation thanks the Chicago Bears organization for resigning Jay Cutler.

6. Peyton Manning is awesome. There is no way around it. Mentally = awesome. Physically = awesome. Perseverance = awesome. Skill level = awesome.

7. Eli Manning is not awesome. (Un)awesome. Awesome(less).

8. Will anyone give Tom Brady a high-five during the Patriot’s divisional playoff game? Poor guy.

9. Kyle Orton should become backup quarterback in Denver. I’m just saying, with hair like that, he belongs in a place where weed is legal.

10. Alex Smith has the worst luck ever. Honestly, I wouldn’t ride on an airplane with that guy.

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______________________________________________________________________

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. 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 madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: Game of the Week – Packers versus Bears

Aaron photobombing again

I am so excited for this Sunday’s game! Of course I would make this the game of the week!

Packers versus Bears! Sunday 4:25pm EST. Win and your in! It’s the best way to end the season. This is exactly what the NFL was hoping for when they scheduled all division games at the end of the season.

The rivalry began in 1921. It is the most played in all of the league with 187 regular and post season games between them (the longest rivalry is Pack/Lions). When Lovie Smith first got the head coaching gig at the Bears, he stated his first goal was to beat the Packers.

That’s exciting football if you ask me.

I know my team isn’t the best right now. However, I adore my team. There doesn’t seem to be an asshole in the bunch. Eddie Lacy, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, B.J. Raji — I love them all.

Look at the Happy Holidays video posted on their website.

I hate the Bears.

Really? Jay Cutler? Honestly, I would hate it if he was my quarterback. He is such a douchepod. How can you a cheer a team on with him as your leader?

The Bears didn’t have a Happy Holidays video for their fans. Hmm. Doesn’t surprise me.

All their website had was a trailer for the upcoming game. I’m only sharing it here because I get to see Aaron Rodgers in the clip, and we all know we haven’t seen much of him lately.

Ok, enough of my diatribe about why I hate the Bears — but, truly … a Packer’s fan hating the Bears is kind of what makes the rivalry great.

The other win and your in game is the Cowboys versus Eagles. However, this game is not nearly as exciting with Romo on the bench due to a herniated disc.

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______________________________________________________________________

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. 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 madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: Game of the week

Who knew the kicker was so hot?

This is an impossible post to write. There are so many games this week with so many implications. It is too hard to pick. I mean, look at the NFC North. If Green Bay wins out, they go to the playoffs. They must win this game. The same goes for Chicago. They have to win if Green Bay wins. Lions have to hope for a total catastrophe on both the Packers and the Bears.

As for the NFC East — Philadelphia and Dallas are in hot pursuit of the division title. The next two weeks are must wins. It’s interesting how these two divisions, NFC North and East were pitted against each other this year and windup having the same necessities to go to the playoffs. Only the divisional winners will get in. Neither division will see wildcards come out of their divisions. This is what make December football great.

Staying with the NFC, probably the game of the week, although I am biased, is the Saints versus the Panthers. This game will decide who is the divisional winners and most definitely seeding in the NFC playoff race. I’m pretty pumped!

On to the AFC, the Patriots/Ravens game will be very interesting. The Patriots underperformed last week without Gronkowski. This is definitely not the time of year to be figuring out your game plan. You need to be playing your best football, not trying to come up with workarounds. I have been impressed with the Ravens as of late. My favorite part of the game the Ravens played against the Lions was when the kicker, Justin Tucker, kicked his 61 yard field goal, but not for the reasons you would think. It cracked me up to watch Joe Flacco wander around with his water in his hand, as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Like he had just got himself a nice afternoon coffee, and ho-hum, glances over his shoulder to find out if the kicker made the 3 points. As if it was an afterthought.

Kansas City against the Colts will be interesting too. The outcome could shake up the seeding. Now that I look at it again, if Miami beats the Bengals, and Baltimore loses, there could be a wildcard shake-up too.

See what I mean! It makes my head spin!

All I have to say is Go Green Bay! Matt Flynn … win one more for us so there can be a final showdown the following week against the Bears with Cobb and Rodgers back. That would be one for the ages! All we have to do is win this one!

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______________________________________________________________________

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. 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 madelinefresco.com.

My rationale for firing Dom Capers the defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.

I’m not a fair-weather fan. I love my Packers. I have been a fan since 1996. So I don’t say this next statement lightly.

We need to fire Dom Capers.

I remember back to the 2011 season. Green Bay was undefeated. However, each week I kept saying the same thing. “One of these days our offense is going to have an off game, and we are going to lose because our defense is terrible.”

Sure enough that loss came against the Kansas City Chiefs lead by Kyle Orton. We went 15-1 that season and lost to the Giants in the divisional round (first week bye).

That season the offense put up sick numbers. It was special, impressive, and fun to watch. It was also, sadly, necessary.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 9.47.29 PMIn 4 of those games our defense allowed over 30 points. In 2 other games the defense allowed 26 and 27 points. So 6/16 games our defense allowed big points.

In 2010 we allowed four games over 30. In the divisional game against San Francisco we allowed 45 points. We scored 31. If you had told me before that game that we would lose with 31 points I would have been shocked.

In the last strikingly bad defeat by the Detroit Lions I kept hearing, as I always do, that Dom capers is a defensive wizard. Really?

So I thought I would investigate why everyone called him a genius.

What I found was devastating. I have no idea why people would say that.

Here is Dom Capers record as a head coach:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 9.57.51 PM7/8 seasons he had a losing record. His last head coaching job in 2005 with Houston he sported a 2-14 record. TWO WINS!

After that he was clearly fired.

In 2006 he went to Miami and was a special assistant to the head coach. The record of the Miami Dolphins? 6-10. In 2007 the Dolphins decided to make Capers the defensive coordinator. Uhm, okay? Want to know the record that year? 1-15.

I don’t know why we decided to make him our defensive coordinator in 2009. Wait, I know why. We were 21st in the league in defense.To be fair, in 2009 when he took over as the defensive coordinator, he had a great year. Green Bay’s defense improved to second in the league. In 2010, the defense finished the season 2nd in scoring defense, fifth in total defense, second in interceptions, and second in sacks.

Some possible reason other than Capers being the reason the defense was successful could be as follows. In 2009 we acquired B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews. That was obviously HUGE! Keven Greene was also hired as the outside linebackers coach. That could be the reason.

However, two good years does not a pattern make. His pattern is one of loss. To call him a defensive genius just doesn’t even make sense. I know people hate math, I hate math, but as they say, numbers don’t lie.

I think his record proves that he should be removed from the Packers organization.

Lastly, screw Jeremy Ross for a punt return and a kickoff for a total of two touchdowns. Douchebag. All you did for the Packers was cost us (not alone) two games against the Niners.

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______________________________________________________________________

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. 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 madelinefresco.com.

Good Luck Packers — Happy Thanksgiving

100_0255Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. This is one of my favorite holidays. It is truly about family and friends being together. Not religion. Not presents. Not Christmas trees. Not finding the right twinkle lights. It is about eating together. It’s about cooking together. It’s about watching football together.

My fondest memories of Thanksgiving revolve around being home in Detroit, Lions football, talking football with my dad, and my dad making way too much food.

He would make for three people the following:

  • Sauerkraut and Sausage
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Stuffed cabbage
  • Turkey
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Cheese dip and crackers
  • Pickles, olives, radishes, celery, and carrot appetizer

This is for myself, him, anEmma Begging For Foodd my husband. He would then complain that I didn’t eat enough. Really, Dad? Really! Ughh.

I would often times sneak food to my dog Emma. Who would happily (for the both of us) be drooling with her head firmly pressed against my knee. As if I could forget that she was there.

My dad would complain, knowing I was feeding Emma. Then, later, while he would be cleaning dishes, I would see him feeding her scraps. Her body heavily leaning against his leg while he washed. He didn’t complain at all then. Sometimes, I would even sneak a glimpse of him smiling down at her.

I miss them both.

Some traditions can’t be continued. But, some, like Lions football, can. I look forward to my Lions/Packers game today. Not because I hope Matt Flynn will lead us to victory, but because it continues at least one tradition: Football.

Thank you NFL. You make it easier on days like today.

To learn more about my book Crossed the Line, check out this great Blogger website.

________________________________________________________________________________________________
Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. 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 madelinefresco.com.

Go For Two: Peyton Mannng Needs To Win The Super Bowl – His Life Depends On It

Here’s the thing. I think Peyton Manning needs to win the Super Bowl. In fact, I think it is a matter of life and death.

After last week’s game against the Chargers, Peyton hurt his right ankle again. According to an article by Eddie Pells, both ankles were sore prior to the Chargers game. In fact, the article states that Peyton Manning claimed his ankles felt like something out of the movie Misery.

That makes a lot of sense watching him during the Chargers game. On the play in question, Peyton got hit low by Corey Liuget. It was what I saw after that has me concerned about Peyton.

Naturally, People came rushing. However, Peyton physically pushed them aside, giving verbal and nonverbal communication that he would be fine and that he was going to play. He then proceeds to start yelling at the ref while he is hobbling around the field. The image of Peyton limping around, angry as all hell, and determined to play despite his mounting injuries gives me the impression that this man does not care about his body after football. His neck has got to be paper thin with all the neck surgeries he has had. I fear for Peyton if he takes too many more hits.

So perhaps if Peyton Manning wins the Super Bowl this year he will finally be able to retire — somewhat in one piece. He may need to get Cortisone injections, pain killers, and who knows what other medicine to get him there, but he may, literally, die trying.

Hopefully, if he does win the Super Bowl, he will heed my advice and retire … and not pull a Brett Favre.

Watch link below:

http://nfl.cpl.delvenetworks.com/player/carousel/usatoday.html?channelId=de89a8aeb3e422bac4eb48567f10ebd0&channelListId&mediaId=0e8587acbfe74e578f88bc84a411fb1b

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Go For Two: Rant of the week

As I was looking at the games in order to pick my game of the week, I noticed that San Francisco is playing Jacksonville in London.

LONDON.

I do not agree with the NFL playing games in London.

First off, a captain obvious geography lesson — San Francisco is clear on the west coast with Jacksonville on the east. That alone is a big trip for San Francisco to make, but then to add on having to go across the pond to London? That is a massive difference in time zones. It is completely unfair for a west coast team to have to travel to London and play a team that is on the east coast. How unfair for the Niners.

In this instance, one can talk their way out of it saying that the Niners have the edge because they are the way better team. However, for arguments sake, what if it was the Niners versus the Saints? Now who has the advantage? That would be a conference game against teams that very well may be playing for seeding in the playoffs.

It’s also not fair to fans. I would be mad if I had season tickets and one of my beloved home games was in London. What an awful way for the NFL to treat the fans they already have.

I know that the NFL wants to expand. I know that the NFL wants to make more money. However, doesn’t the NFL already make enough money?

The main goal of the NFL is to make expansion teams and a whole other division in Europe. However, there is already talk that it would water down the product. That their are not enough quality players to go around.

In my opinion, it’s greedy, places some teams at an unfair disadvantage, waters down the products, and treats the fans the NFL already has poorly.

I vote no. But, then again, the NFL didn’t ask me.

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Go For Two: Week 5 games of the week

Welcome back Burnett

There are two games of the week that are worth highlighting.

First off, the Lions at Green Bay 1:00pm EST.

This is huge for GB. They are 1-2 right now. According to me, it was okay for us to lose to the Niners. We played a really good game, and, hey, everyone loses one every once in awhile, right?

The Bengals sting. Bad. Real bad. We went down 0-14 in the first quarter. Second and third quarters we came back and put up 30 points to their 7.  Then GB lose by having 13 unanswered points scored against us. Yikes. How did that happen? Outside of the obvious Ross muff, their was bad passing on the part of Rodgers. Once Clay Matthews went out, guess what? That’s when the Bengals started scoring again. I actually am not too concerned that Franklin fumbled the ball. He was our third string running back, and, actually, before that, I was pretty impressed. The call on that play was what was awful. Finally, the fact that we had to put Ross in, a wide receiver, in place of running back because we were clear out of them …. ugh.

The Packers desperately need to get someone else going besides Matthews to pass rush. You can’t lose a a game defensively because one person goes out. Not acceptable. I’m tired of letting teams put up sick points against us. Cause Even my beloved Rodgers has a bad game, and he deserves to have a break every once in awhile. Our offensive line needs to get their shit together. He can’t keep getting sacked, tipped balls, and no time to throw the ball.

I fear for Rodgers life against the Lions.

That brings me to the point of the long winded rant about why this is the game of the week, or at least, very crucial to the NFC North.

The Lions showed the world the ugly truth about the Bears — the Bears aren’t a 3-0 team. They got to 3-0 against some very, very bad teams. This week the Bears go against the Saints. It’s going to be so ugly. So very ugly for the Bears.

That leaves the fact that if the Lions can beat the Packers, they are in very good shape in the division. That means Green Bay would go (gulp) 1-3, with the Lions achieving a 4-1 record. No one really wants to play the Lions. They are a mean, violent team. The coach, Schwartz, is clearly an asshole. Really? You throw your headset to the ground! Yeah, and people wonder where the bad behavior of the players comes from.

I really don’t even want to watch this game. I very well may wear every single article of Green Bay gear I have to see if that will help us win.

The second game is Houston at San Francisco 8:30PM EST

Both teams are 2-2. Houston was supposed to be amazing this year. Eh. They don’t look so good. As for San Francisco, they were the front runner of the NFC, until they lost to Seattle and the Colts. Teams have figured out the read-option and have limited Kaepernick.

The most interesting thing is, both teams lost to Seattle.

So what will this game tell us? It will tell us whether Houston or SF merely got defeated by a great team, or if they may not be that great after all.

My money is on San Francisco. Kaepernick is an explosive quarterback, and that is where the Houston Texans will realize that Schaub didn’t just have an off game against Seattle, but has bigger issues at being quarterback.

On a side note, I always loved Matt Flynn. Poor Matt Flynn just got demoted to 3rd string at the Raiders. Ugh. Can’t we just take him back in GB?

Good luck, and as always, Go Green Bay.

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