“The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.” – Mark Twain
“The only three certainties in life are death, taxes and the Green Bay Packers.” – Jake Stevens
OK, so maybe that’s an exaggeration. But can you remember the last time the Packers played a game that counted and didn’t win?
I’ll help you out. It was December 19, 2010, a 31-27 loss to the New England Patriots. Aaron Rodgers didn’t play in that game after being knocked out the previous week with a concussion in a 7-3 loss to the Detroit Lions. Since then, the Packers have won 16 consecutive games, including three road playoff games and the Super Bowl.
At 10-0 this season, the Packers have a real chance to do what the Patriots nearly did in 2007, finish the regular season 16-0 and then win the Super Bowl. They are the top scoring team in the NFL (35.5 points per game) and their margin of victory is more than two touchdowns (14.3). They are likely to play their starters the entire way because the San Francisco 49ers are just a game behind them in the NFC. And while they have some tough games remaining against the Detroit Lions, NY Giants and Chicago Bears, none of those teams will make the Packers say, “OH MY!”
Speaking of those teams…
CHEERS for the Lions, who rallied from a 24-7 deficit to beat the Carolina Panthers, 49-35. Thanks in large part to QB Matthew Stafford’s five TD passes, Detroit became the first team since at least 1950 to win three games after trailing by 17 or more points, according to STATS, LLC.
CHEERS for Lions RB Kevin Smith, who racked up 201 total yards and scored three touchdowns. Considering he put up those totals with just 20 touches, the performance was impressive. Considering he didn’t have a job in the NFL just two weeks ago, it was absolutely astonishing.
BOOS to the Giants, who lost at home to the atrocious Philadelphia Eagles, 17-10. NY’s offense was putrid, amassing a mere 29 rushing yards and 12 first downs all game. The defense was awful as well, allowing QB Vince Young to march the Eagles 91 yards on 18 plays in 8:51 for the game-winning score late in the 4th quarter.
MIXED EMOTIONS for the Chicago Bears, who won their fifth straight game but likely lost QB Jay Cutler for the rest of the regular season. Cutler threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third in a 31-20 defeat of the San Diego Chargers. But reports out of Chicago say Cutler broke his right thumb and will need surgery. Ouch, literally!
CHEERS for the Miami Dolphins, who blasted the Buffalo Bills, 35-8. After starting 0-7, the Dolphins became just the third team in NFL history to then win at least their next three games, according to Elias Sports Bureau. In case you’re interested, the 1986 Indianapolis Colts started 0-13 and then won their last three, while the 1978 St. Louis Cardinals started 0-8 and then won four straight before finishing 6-10.
BOOS to the #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys, who blew their chance to play in the national title game by losing at Iowa State in double-overtime, 37-31.
BOOS to the #4 Oregon Ducks, who blew their chance to play in the national title game by losing to USC, 38-35.
BOOS to the #5 Oklahoma Sooners, who blew their chance to play in the national title game by losing at Baylor, 45-38.
CHEERS for the SEC West, which thanks to those losses, has the #1 (LSU), #2 (Alabama) and #3 (Arkansas) teams in the country. Not surprisingly, it’s the first time in the 14-year history of the BCS that the same conference has had the top three teams in the standings.
THERE IT IS!