Notes and observations from Christmas Weekend 2011:
It feels strange to have a Sunday in December with just one NFL Game. With Christmas falling on a Sunday all of the games were moved to Saturday the 24th leaving Green Bay and Chicago with the spotlight all to themselves on Sunday night.
It looks like that loss to Kansas City really had an effect on the Packers. Aaron Rodgers threw five more touchdown passes in a 35-18 win over Chicago. That egg they laid last week could prove to be golden if the Pack cruises to the Super Bowl.
Yes, there have been a few exceptions over the years – Trent Dilfer winning a Super Bowl with Baltimore, and Jeff Hostetler winning a Super Bowl one year with the New York Giants, but it is almost impossible to be successful in the NFL without a good quarterback. Just ask the Bears and the Packers. Rodgers is having a career year and Green Bay is heading towards 15-1. The Bears were 7-3 after ten games when Jay Cutler went down with an injury. Since then it’s been Caleb Hanie for four games and Josh McCown on Sunday night and Chicago is 7-8.
Ask Indianapolis how life feels without Peyton Manning. Or ask the Saints where they would be without Drew Brees, or the Patriots without Tom Brady. Is it a coincidence that Matthew Stafford is having a breakout year with Detroit and the Lions are going to the playoffs for the first time in a decade?
San Diego is going to miss the playoffs for the second straight year. And have you noticed that Phillip Rivers is having an off year. Yes, if you have a great quarterback, the other things usually fall into place.
Which is why Lane Kiffin was doing back flips down Exposition Boulevard Thursday afternoon.
By the way I don’t usually comment on the “comments” that we see on our website but why was “Woodstein” upset because we reported that Matt Barkley was returning to USC? It was the biggest story that day in Los Angeles and if you’re a football fan maybe the biggest story of the year. I don’t get it.
Interesting note passed down by Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth. The Packers have allowed more yards this year than they have gained – unbelievable considering the Packers’ record. The 14th win of the year for the Packers was the most in franchise history.
Hey Rex Ryan, when you talk smack all week about “this being your house” and “not playing little brother to anybody” it’s a good idea to actually win the game. Didn’t Ryan also say that the Jets would win the Super Bowl this year? In the words of the late Gilda Radner playing Roseanne Roseannadanna, “Oh. Never mind.”
It’s official; Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith are looking for a new jobs. Turner never did seem the right guy for the Chargers and well, Smith hired him so…
Jim Mora Jr. saw up close and personal what kind of “traditions” UCLA has when several Bruins went over the wall last week to skip practice to honor a tradition that has been going on since 1980. He vowed to put a stop to it and said that anybody that goes over the wall next year might as well not come back. Stay tuned.
Not much football on Christmas Day but there was plenty of basketball. It wasn’t a very Merry Christmas for Dallas as LeBron and company blew them out on their home floor. No, James, D Wade and Chris Bosh did not make any brash predictions following the game.
The Lakers missed four consecutive free throws and turned the ball over a couple of times in the last minute. That’s how you lose one point games.
No matter how many times Mitch Kupchack and Jim Buss try to explain the Lamar Odom trade, I still don’t understand it.
Oh well, it’s basketball.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at email@example.com.