Star Ratings: Packers-Lions
Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions lost some of their luster when Washington fell to New York. It meant both teams would be in the big dance versus the ‘win and get in.’ Packers struggled in the first half as Lions controlled the football. But as NBC coined Aaron Rodgers late in the game, ‘The Boogyman’ came back to spook Lions and beat them again. Packers win their fifth NFC North title in six years. Matthew Stafford is 3-10 as a Lions quarterback versus Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers: KING OF THE NORTH! What more can Aaron Rodgers do? There are so many moments where you realize as a fan you’re watching one of the best to ever play the game. Rodgers lived for that second half where he rips the throat of Lions fans for what seems like the third consecutive year. He threw for 300 yards with four touchdowns and stated his case of why he should be the MVP of this league. Rodgers took this team from the dead to the playoffs. It’s incredible.
Aaron Ripkowski: RIPPER!(I swear I won’t do caps for everyone). Aaron Ripkowski is a beast. He’s a fullback yes, but he can carry the ball like a halfback. The Oklahoma product provides a powerful running game that Green Bay hasn’t had with Lacy being out with an injury. He’s the type of guy who can aid in wearing down a defense. Rodgers loves him. Just like he loved John Kuhn. Expect Ripkowski to play a factor in the playoffs. There are all sorts of cliches to describe him, but he’s a beast for Green Bay.
Micah Hyde: One of the better games for Hyde on defense this season. He had some issues with tight ends this year, and it seems like that’s past him. I wonder if that shoulder problem is finally healthy, and Hyde has his full range of motion. With Green Bay’s secondary in shambles, it will be interesting to see if Hyde gets an outside assignment. He handled it well today, but Giants receiver corps is whole another story. Hyde looked the pear in the second half.
Geronimo Allison: Another undrafted rookie coming up big for Green Bay. Allison became the go-to target for Packers in some cases. He’s a taller possession receiver that Green Bay has lacked for years. Allison is a matchup problems for teams, and he continues to find ways to get open for Rodgers. Packers have a good problem to have if Randall Cobb comes back next week. It’s getting tougher and tougher to make a case for Cobb’s return, but that’s another story for another time.
Datone Jones: One of the things to watch in the playoffs is Datone Jones becoming a premier pass rusher. He’s been great off-the-edge in the past couple of weeks. He had a dumb offsides, but Jones has found a way to be a factor for this defense. Once again, Ted wins because this makes it easier not to give Nick Perry big money.
Ty Montgomery – Not the best game from Monty. I’m excited about his potential, but it’s clear they are some issues in the pass-blocking game. There are running backs who are just two down backs, and that’s fine. Ripkowski learns how to block, and he’s their third down back for the future. The occasional slip-up confirms Green Bay needs to draft a running back in the early rounds of the draft.
Jerome Boger – I didn’t know it was possible, but Jeff Triplette’s spot as the ‘worst official’ has been replaced by Boger. Boy, is he hot garbage? Boger slowed down this game with penalty after penalty. There were several missed holding calls which I can live with when not much is being called, but when you decide to call a tight game, those calls need to be made.
False start penalties – How many pre-snap penalties did Packers talented offensive line have? Way too many. Sure, it was loud in Ford Field cheering on Lions, but this is a little concerning given where Green Bay could be heading if they beat New York. Dallas will be a loud indoor venue. Same goes for Atlanta and if you move past that, it could be Seattle. They need to be better.
Packers corners – Another game, another rough one for Packers corners. Quinten Rollins appears to have a serious injury that will keep him out for awhile. Damarious Randall is still banged up, and Makinton Dorlent got carted off as well. Josh Hawkins will be asked to stepped in and Hyde will play outside corner. This is obviously the trouble point for Green Bay come January.