Well it’s the last day of 2013 and a time to reflect back on the things we’re grateful for…so today I’m gonna
reflect back on some of the things that have happened this season that I am grateful for:
1. I’ll start with the less noted but noteworthy: First, John Kuhn. Forth and one…mis-communication but he still gets the first down. And a cut block on Julius Peppers to spring Aaron Rodgers free to throw the winning touchdown to Randall Cobb. There are a certain group of guys that you just know will NEVER get the credit they deserve. Kuhn…you are the MAN!
2. Also one that will not get much credit is Matt Flynn. From the second half of the Minnesota game, Flynn gave us a chance and I am particularly grateful for a game against Dallas that will NEVER be forgotten. Flynn is obviously NO Aaron Rodgers but he is a competent play-caller and a pretty much unshakable presence on the field. Thanks Matt!
3. Sam Shields and Tramon Williams: Tramon hasn’t had the greatest season but he is coming on lately. These two guys have shown us several of the most athletic interceptions against top-flight quarterbacks I’ve ever seen! Without a lot of pressure coming to the quarterback, the pressure is on these guys when they’re singled up and while that hasn’t always been pretty…what they have done in the clutch is remarkable.
4. A.J. Hawk – Soon to be career tackle record holder, AJ has had flashes of brilliance this year. His INT against Roethlisberger in the Pittsburg game did not get enough credit. Against a tall QB…squared up to the line…that was a difficult pick.
5. Now the more obvious: A healthy and fresh Aaron Rodgers…looking back on this season…we’ve had to see so many thrown balls that looked like they were thrown by second stringers (because they were and no disrespect…just a fact). And even Aaron looked a little wild in the first quarter of the Bears game. But an inaccurate pass by Aaron Rodgers is still a very different ball than we have seen thrown on the field since week 9. Rodgers’ arm is fresh and so are his legs. If our pass protection holds up, we’re gonna score a lot of points. And we know our defense is gonna give some up so that is important.
6. Also in the welcome back category…Randall Cobb. If you want to know why, just go to packers.com. The reason is set to auto-play the minute you land on the site.
7. Mike McCarthy. For one particular reason…Mike let the TEAM talk him into going for it on forth and one at the end of the Bears game. That is how men lead…let the warriors go battle! Way to go Mike.
8. Jordy Nelson. Jordy consistently has catches that make people cut film and zoom in, drawing circles around stuff and trying to parse how it actually happened. Somehow, the NFL didn’t think he was worthy of a Pro-Bowl bid. But I think Jordy will be fine…going to the playoffs while Brandon Marshall watches from home will more than make up for it.
9. The O-line. I’ve said it from the beginning…the improvement of the O-line has been BIG in Green Bay’s success this year and now that they are healthy again…we could see continuity continue to develop. Aaron trusts the protection schemes and for the reason that matters…see number 5.
10. Andrew Quarless. Way to step it up…the way Quarless is playing, Packers fans are not nearly as worried about how contract talks between the organization and Jermichael Finley will go (regardless…get well soon Jermichael!).
One final mention: I just gotta say how thankful I am for the story of Johnny Jolly this year. So sad to see him unable to play it out. Johnny’s story is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time of a guy makin’ things right. Get well soon big man and we look forward to your disruptive presence and charisma next Super Bowl.
Of course there are many more we could name…(How can he not mention Eddie Lacy?). What players or plays are YOU thankful for? Put em in the comments below.