Monday, January 21, 2008


Getty Images

Time was, an Icebowl game in Green Bay, WI meant a Packers win. But this football season, the two games the Packers played in zero and sub-zero temps ended badly. It is possible to conclude that really, really cold weather is not good for old men who play football. Favre clearly strugled all game long, and I sense that the cold affected his judgment. It certainly didn't help on the second play of overtime.
Nevertheless, I thought this Giants/Packers game was one of the best I've ever seen. The Giants--it has to be said--played a great game. When they got breaks, such as the roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter, they generally took advantage of them. The Giants offense kept the Packer defense on the field well beyond a reasonable point of efficiency. And Eli Manning played like a young man who had come of age.
I actually did not have a lot of emotional energy invested in a Packers win. I have been so delighted at the quality of play throughout the season that I have to admit I was satisfied with what they accomplished. Or maybe it is just that caring that much is no country for old men.


scott said...

I wouldn't attribute your emotional detachment from the loss as a matter of age, the fan sites which I monitor during the season all seem to be strangely devoid of dissappointment.

Aside from no one expecting to get there, we really deserved to lose with the play we had. I think there is a bit of subconcious honesty that creeps in when its obvious that the team that deserved to win, won.

If a whole team fails, which it did, it points to the coach. McCarthy did a good job this year, but it was his playcalling in our losses that cost us each of those games.

Bruce Gee said...

I beg to differ. The problem was not play calling as much as execution. These same plays worked fine all season long. The times they didn't, with perhaps the exception of those long balls Favre was hoisting in Dallas, it was something on the field--sometimes just the right defensive call--that precluded success.
Too much credit, and too much blame, gets put on the play caller. Once a play is put in, all sorts of adjustments take place, which is why good quarterbacks call audibles (and which Favre did all season long) to adjust at the last minute. The play caller has at that point lost control of the game, in every case.


scott said...

Grant only touching the ball 13 times, poor halftime adjustments (so I hear), and an entire team playing poorly can only rest on one person. I'm not saying he caused them to underperform, but he didn't get them to perform well, and I think that rests on his shoulders. No sacks on the Favre the whole day and the best we can come up with are bombs and throws to the line of scrimmage?

McCarthy seems to learn from his mistakes, so I'm not letting him off the hook on this one.

Yes, blame all around, but that, to me, means a coaching failure.

scott said...

But he did get us there, so no hard feelings...