If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the five games the Badgers and Packers have collectively played thus far, it’s that they have won the games they were supposed to win, and this is what good teams do. The fashion they’ve done it in (especially the Badgers) leads many to believe that a disappointing loss is eventually going to happen, but until then, let’s enjoy the greatest thing in the world: winning…Okay, now that that’s over, let’s take a look at what’s good, what’s bad and what’s really bad.
What’s good? The Badgers are 3-0. The Packers are 2-0. The Brewers are 69-81 (crap how did that last one sneak in there…). I’ve touched on the Badger game already on the Badger blog I contribute to, but I’d still like to mention a few things. Believe it or not, the injuries to receivers Nick Toon and David Gilreath may actually have an upside. Guys like Jared Abbrederis, Isaac Anderson and Kyle Jefferson can get some much needed reps, and then the receiving core will be deeper once Toon and Gilreath (possibly) return in time for conference play. Another plus is the emergence of freshman tailback James White, who is now number two on the depth chart behind Clay. Dare I call them clash and dash? I just did. Finally, Ricky Wagner has stepped in admirably at right tackle for the injured Josh Oglesby and is the left tackle of the future. However, he should be in jail. Just kidding! Pardon me, but I had to watch this guy torch my high school in basketball and football (where he played tight end).
The Packers, I must say, looked damn good in three of the four quarters on Sunday. If you watched the game, you know which quarter I’m talking about. Luckily, Mike McCarthy instilled the fear of God in his players and rolled in the second half to pull away from poor old Buffalo. Jermichael Finley, much like Lance Kendricks, is such a nice target for their quarterbacks to turn to. This is especially true for Rodgers with all of the weapons he has at receiver. Now this could be up for debate, but I think Clay Matthews had a pretty good game, too. He’s on pace for 48 sacks, so I fully expect him to shatter the sacks record. Watching him run around the field with his golden locks flowing behind him as he chases the opponent…it’s just…whoa sorry. Got a little off track there. One more thing…congrats to Morgan Burnett on his first NFL pick. The defense has looked better than I expected so far, but next week will prove to be the first real test when the Packers go up against a rejuvenated Jay Cutler-led Chicago Bears on Monday night.
The bad? Well, with the Badgers, even though they played turnover-free football, mistakes were made on special teams. In fact, they were downright atrocious and they could go under the very bad category, but I’ve saved that for something else. Had the Bret Bielema-led special teams played half way decent on Saturday against Arizona State, it would not have been a game. Another thing was the lack of putting the nail in the coffin. Wisconsin stalled on drives where it appeared a touchdown was forthcoming while instead, they couldn’t convert on third down. Whether this was bad play calling or just poor execution, I don’t know. Either way, the Sun Devils are an opponent that the Badgers should have taken care of with a little more ease, but I will say that they were a very underrated opponent. I’m concerned about Michigan State in two weeks.
As for the GREEN BAY PACKERS!, it’s hard to find too much wrong so far. The level of the two opponents Green Bay has faced has a lot to do with this. Other than Michael Vick having his way, the Packers have only given up 10 points this season. The run defense has been out of this world, but that was to be expected. I feel there are some holes in the secondary, just like last year, and they could be exposed in the coming weeks. Another concern is the running game now that Grant is shelved for the year, but if the Packers can continue their strong passing attack, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. John Kuhn, listed as a full back, was the leading rusher last week…interesting.
What’s really bad? Badgers’ linebacker Chris Borland is out for the year and will take a redshirt after suffering a season ending shoulder injury. Well, it was nice to see all the regular starting linebackers play together for a whole quarter. Tough loss for the Badgers…backup Blake Sorensen will really need to step up for Bucky to have a shot at any big bowls this year. Borland was an impact player and the unquestioned leader on defense.
Once again, I went 3-1 last week in my fantasy football leagues and have a 2-0 record in two leagues, including the one with money at stake! This week, Kyle and I both went 8-8 in our picks, so he remains a game ahead of me and I remain at .500. Not really any complaints, but some teams have really been a surprise so far. That’s why they play the game I suppose.
Do any of you want to hear about the Brewers? Me neither, but I’ll leave you with a few tidbits. Ryan Braun has come on strong towards the end of the season, and he’s now hitting .306 with 23 HRs and 93 RBIs. His production is down, but the average is up there once again and that’s what you want out of your number three hitter. Also, the Brewers plan on starting Mark Rogers on Friday. The 24-year old has had a rough path to the bigs, but it may be a game worth checking out since his future is very bright IF he can avoid injury. Randy Wolf has been putting up solid numbers lately, and if you look at that contract he signed, he better. The Ax Factor is still rolling along and I’m very excited to see him pitch next season. I’ll have some more thoughts once the season comes to a close and may update some of my predictions for next season based on what has transpired since that post.
The Bears still suck.