Friday, September 9, 2011

Opening Night Rubdown

So it's only been what, like 11 months since my last post?

In that time I've been finding out how hard it is to be a parent, changed jobs and danced ever so delicately on the fine line between sanity and not sanity. But football season is now back and so am I, and after last nights 5 star opener between the Packers and Saints, I feel re-invigorated.

Last night's matchup between the previous 2 years Super Bowl winners had it all. If "all" does not include defense, which it did not include at all. Of course, in this day and age where Fantasy Football is more important than real football, and people want to tune in to see their imaginary team members put up lots of touchdowns, Thursday Night's 42-34 Green Bay win over the Saints was exactly what football fans salivated for over a long sweltering summer where it was unsure if we'd ever see NFL football before the Mayan Apocalypse.

The game came down to a final untimed play, when an AJ Hawk PI penalty in the end zone gave the Saints one chance to punch it in from the one and thus earn a potentially game tying 2 point conversion attempt. Sean Payton made the interesting choice of putting the game in the hands of a rookie RB, Mark Ingram, who had averaged barely 3 yards a carry in an unimpressive pro debut, rather than the Pro Bowl QB who had disemboweled the supposedly good Packers defense for 419 passing yards, or even the veteran running back, Pierre Thomas, who had run effectively for 31 yards on just 5 carries. Ingram was stuffed for no gain in what may have been the only play from scrimmage in the whole game that didn't pick up at least 10 yards, and the Packers held on for a shaky win.

I admire the Saints pluck and tenacity in bringing a game which looked on numerous occasions like it would disintegrate into a blowout all the way down to the last play. However, remember the last time we saw them, their defense was getting 41 points hung on them by the mighty Seahawk juggernaut, and in this opener that defense was still non-functional. That's a problem they have to resolve.

The Packers, meanwhile, looked unbeatable according to what Mel Kiper Jr. said on the radio this morning. What? Unbeatable? They were 1 yard away from is that unbeatable? I missed idiotic football commentary almost as much as I missed football itself.

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