Black, Blue, and Ornery: Setting the NFC North on its head

By
Updated: November 11, 2013

Fall greetings to you, ladies and gentlemen, as we bring you Water Cooler Sports’ Black Blue and Ornery on this chilly Monday, November 11th, 2013.

In case you’re wondering, a lot of interesting things have happened on this date in history.

Two-time Paralympic gold medalist in swimming Ellie Simmonds celebrates her 19th birthday today.

For example, in 1831, the slave rebellion came to an end as Nat Turner was hanged. His body was subsequently beheaded, flayed, and quartered. Because one form of execution is never enough.

In 1888, General George Patton was born. He reportedly sprang out of the womb in full military regalia and snapped off a salute to his mother. No joke. As if to commemorate his birth, World War I ended on this date in 1918.

Then in 1988, police discovered a corpse buried under Dorothea Puentes’ lawn. They would later find six more bodies on her property. Although only seven victims were found, it was suspected she might have been behind as many as 25 deaths. Her motive? She ran a home for the elderly, and she apparently wanted to collect their Social Security checks.

Those dour stories left a bitter taste on my tongue.

Let’s talk about something more cheerful: birthdays! Actors Leonardo DiCaprio (39), Trey Smith (21), and Demi Moore (51) all share a birthday today. Wide receiver Victor Cruz, quarterback Mark Sanchez, and rapper Joseline Hernandez all turn 27 today. And who could forget about Calista Flockhart (49) and Stanley Tucci (53)?

NFC North News

I’m actually one who will encourage directors to cut my links.

Chicago Bears

If there’s one unit you can blame for the Chicago Bears’ loss to the Detroit Lions this week, — and they know it. As left guard Matt Slauson put it, “We got the quarterbacks hit too much. We didn’t execute fully in the running game.”

But it’s hard not to also point the finger at head coach Marc Trestman, whose game plan was nigh inexplicable.

For one thing, why did he choose to start quarterback Jay Cutler so soon after a groin injury? It’s well known that groin tears tend to linger and are easily re-aggravated, so the fact that Cutler was hobbled by the second half was entirely predictable.

Furthermore, why did Trestman not pull Cutler as soon as it was apparent he was no longer able to move effectively? And for the love of all that is holy, why did running back Matt Forte only have 21 touches (17 rushes, four receptions)?

Trestman’s response to such questions was Mike McCarthyesque in its obliqueness: “the decision was made to keep him in there and let him fight with his football team.” Ever the politician with the passive voice.

Mistakes were made . . .

Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times lays the blame squarely , stating bluntly. As far as he is concerned, the decision not to start Josh McCown, who has performed admirably the past two weeks, cost Chicago the game — and the lead in the NFC North.

Rick Telander piles on, arguing that , or at least the craft, required to elude injury in the NFL. He also expresses skepticism about Trestman’s implication that Cutler sustained an ankle injury yesterday, arguing that Cutler’s body language on the field, not to mention his stylish attire after the game, weren’t congruent with that sort of malady.

Chicago reporters are like a menagerie of caged wolves. It was only a matter of time before they started howling.

Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times doesn’t think a player would go to his knees for an ankle injury.

Detroit Lions

Records are like prom dresses when Calvin Johnson is around: they fall.

The wide receiver caught two touchdown passes against the Chicago Bears to take sole possession of the Detroit Lions franchise record for with 63.

Herman Moore, whose record Johnson broke, still holds the team record for most career receptions (670), but at his current pace, Johnson could own that mark in less than two years.

It doesn’t happen often, but defensive back this week with Bill Bentley (knee) sidelined and Darius Slay struggling. Kyle Meinke of MLive.com notes that Carey tackled well and matched up better against big wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

Incidentally, with their Week 10 victory, the Lions moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC North for the first time since Week 5 of the 2005 season. There’s no reason to think they will relinquish the spot any time soon, considering not one of their divisional rivals is remotely healthy at the moment.

As strange as it might sound, the Detroit Lions are in the driver’s seat for their first NFC North title ever and their .

Green Bay Packers

The nightmare continues on the bay. After starting just three different quarterbacks in 20 years, the Green Bay Packers will be starting their third quarterback in as many weeks when they travel to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Giants.

Backup quarterback yesterday with a groin injury, leaving the fate of the Green and Gold in the hands of Scott Tolzien, newly promoted off the practice squad.

The Detroit Lions matched defensive back Don Carey against the big wide receivers of the Chicago Bears in Week 10.

Tolzien performed well enough to against the Giants — he certainly looked more confident and assured in the pocket than Wallace did last week — but threw a pair of interceptions that, combined with the field goals missed by Mason Crosby, doomed Green Bay to their second consecutive home loss.

Perhaps the biggest concern emerging from this situation is an admission by general manager Ted Thompson that when preparing the roster, he doesn’t even consider the possibility his starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, might get hurt: “If you think that way, . It might happen. Literally, you don’t think about it. It’s a place where you never tread.”

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the general manager of my favorite team admitting to being superstitious in the way he builds his franchise, but I can tell you it’s not good.

On the bright side, head coach Mike McCarthy finally showed some emotion in the wake of yet another embarrassing loss. He reportedly expressed fury at the , its  and get off the field on third downs.

As both Mike Hunt and Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel opine, this looks like a defense that has simply given up. Is it possible that defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ job might finally be on the line after so many years of abysmal performance?

Minnesota Vikings

I am a pretty easygoing guy when it comes to a lot of mistakes people make, but there is one offense that I consider inexcusable, especially for NFL players, and that is driving while intoxicated (DWI). There is simply no reason why anyone — particularly not someone making hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars per year — should ever get behind the wheel while inebriated.

Actress Christa B. Allen turns 22 today.

A rich young man can afford a cab. He can take the safe-ride bus (it’s free!). Hell, he can persuade a hot girl to drive him home — or take her to the nearest hotel downtown to finish off the night in style.

Best of all, he can call the team before he ever goes out and they will arrange a limousine to pick him up wherever he is, any place, any time, free of charge. Who wouldn’t want to impress the groupies with his own personal chauffeur?

So for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver early Saturday morning on suspicion of DWI, particularly while he is still on probation for a drug-related conviction, is beyond the pale.

How he even was able to find his car, when he was so drunk that he was found stalled in the middle of the lane on Interstate-394, is beyond me, but that’s beside the point. The point is he had an almost unlimited array of options that would have kept him out of trouble, and he chose to make the worst possible decision instead.

It’s unfortunate that he may have torpedoed his career just as he seemed to be reestablishing it, but them’s the breaks. He is a full-grown man, and he needs to take responsibility for his foolish choices before he makes a mistake that someone doesn’t come back from.

Meanwhile, Mark Craig of the StarTribune questions the head coach Leslie Frazier has made with his young players this year. He wonders if wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been held back, why defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd wasn’t paired with with Kevin Williams earlier, and why quarterback-turned-wide-receiver Joe Webb seems to have disappeared.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

942 comments
$50 Fiddy 50$
$50 Fiddy 50$

I could fart so loud right now that everyone in the office would be embarrassed cause they wouldn't even know where it came from

jordyjumphere
jordyjumphere

I'm amazed that professional football players can't tackle. This fuckin shit keeps rearing its ugly head. Is it because these d backs are so used to looking for the big hit they don't know how to wrap up a guy?

Staffords_Glove Naked and Afraid
Staffords_Glove Naked and Afraid

I think Wallace is gonna get IR'd unless there is a 100% chance hell be able to play this week if needed b/c of that groin

LSU4LIFE
LSU4LIFE

I love how people are now picking out the Saints run D, and these were the same people on this very blog that were saying before the season started that Rob Ryan had more talent in Dallas and they sucked,imagine how bad this D will be this year, yet they overlook the fact the Saints have 29 sacks already, when they had 30 all of last year, they rank 3rd in pass D in a passing league, they don't have a good run D, but the bottom line is scoring D, and if they are going to hold teams to 20 to 24 pts a game, Im good with that.

thenichels
thenichels

Hey Nate, who do you have on pickem for tonight's game?

Home of the Braves
Home of the Braves moderator

Did y'all see that stiff arm Beast Mode put on Willy mo?

natesweet
natesweet moderator

Fucking piece of shit Bethesda is making Elder Scrolls Online both pay to play and a monthly subscription necessary. That game won't be very popular. at a time when other gaming companies are going away from the monthly subscription Bethesda thinks they can charge for both. Ludicrous. I was looking forward to that game too. I will be surprised if it is not Free to Play in less than a year after release.

jordyjumphere
jordyjumphere

I like the way the cowboys swarm to the ball 15 yards downfield

$50 Fiddy 50$
$50 Fiddy 50$

  

stop talking about the Falcons Defense like that

jordyjumphere
jordyjumphere

 /they can't IR him because Tolzien will get hurt on the 1st drive this Sunday.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

 You should definitely pick the opposite of me. THis is my worst week in the pick em ever. I have 3 games right. I picked Miami so Tampa is definitely going to win.

rocketman6969
rocketman6969

 Technically that stiff arm was illegal, but it's rarely called.

I did like the "defenseless receiver" penalty after he had taken 3 steps and braced for the hit. Blow to the head? Yes. Defenseless? No.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

 There are still some monthly subscription MMOs, the big ones being WoW and FF (XI and XIV).  I think Bethesda feels they are popular enough to maintain a subscription, and that they will be able to support it better that way.

Buhlitz
Buhlitz

 

lol this is old news and 15$/month is nothing. that's 50cents a day. I could find that walking around the halls in my school picking up change

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

 You should spend more time here. Online gaming is the devil.

adambballn
adambballn

  

It will be free to play after a year or so... but I think they'll do well at first.

$50 Fiddy 50$
$50 Fiddy 50$

   

took it to the back office where cool people are, they enjoyed it

You're missing the vagician
You're missing the vagician

If he's IRed, they still have to pay his full base salary, though. But they should free up the spot for another player, I agree.

LSU4LIFE
LSU4LIFE

  Last week they gave up 6pts to the Jets in the second half, and our offense could only muster 6 pts in the second half.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  It's not just the monthly charge. The good stuff in game will cost real money too.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  It is not just the monthly subscription fee. All the stuff in game that is good will have to be purhcased.

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

  WHOA, RICHIE RICH! People just drop 50 cents all the time? And they don't pick it up? Must be nice.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  I spend way more time here than gaming.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  I think the sales will be way below their expectations. Gamers do not want pay to play and monthly subscription any more. One or the other, maybe. But to have to pay monthly as well as to get stuff is so much a thing of the past. Maybe if they released it 4 years ago they could get away with it.

jordyjumphere
jordyjumphere

  I ate chili for 2 days last week. my co-workers were not happy.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  No. No they are not.

LSU4LIFE
LSU4LIFE

  My whole thing was we needed that one guy,  that you would have to account for on every play.

NightStalkerThief
NightStalkerThief

  I wasn't, we didn't need another passrusher we already had like 5/6. That's why i don't listen to the media. They're idiots

LSU4LIFE
LSU4LIFE

  I myself was really mad at not drafting Jarvis Jones, and I like a lot of other Saint fans are eating crow right now.

NightStalkerThief
NightStalkerThief

  The jets game and patriots were the only games above 17. I think one other team got 18 points 

You're missing the vagician
You're missing the vagician

BUT IF YOU MAKE TEAMS ONE DIMENSIONAL, THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO BEAT YOU!

Oh, wait, this is a pass-first league. Huh. 

Maized and Confused
Maized and Confused

No one is in position, thanks to Capers using the Prevent defense all the time and only focusing on the run game.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  EA is late to the microtransaction and the monthly fee party. Trying to break into that market the wrong way. Gamers are going to be pissed with their new business model. I am already. It is very flawed to think that during a bad economy that people can spend more money on games.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

  Ah, that's a different story.  If they want microtransactions, and a store, then there probably shouldn't be a monthly fee.

Think Guild Wars as an example of that one.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  Also, EA made an announcement about putting micro transactions in all their games. A very specific announcement. THat coupled with the monthly fee suggests they do indeed plan on double dipping our wallets.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  That is the plan that was announced last month or something. I read all about it. 

Buhlitz
Buhlitz

  

they will not charge players for both microtransactions and a monthly fee. that's stupid, nobody has done it and nobody ever should

You're missing the vagician
You're missing the vagician

I don't game, but my favorite model is the one where all the so-called downloadable content is already on the DVD, but you have to pay to unlock it. I can't believe any gamer actually pays for that.

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

  Have I told you about the new pay to comment system? 

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  I signed up for the Beta for PC but I am not even close to sold based on what I have seen so far. I am more interested in Fallout 4 which is going to have single player campaign as well as online multiplayer capabilities without subscription.

adambballn
adambballn

   

Absolutely won't pay for items.  No chance of that.  I signed up for the beta on the ps4, assuming I get in, I'll know if it's worth paying for or not.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

  I could maybe see paying the monthly fee but I'll be damned If I am going to pay for items.

adambballn
adambballn

   

Most don't... but I'd pay to play Elder Scrolls Online.  It looks absolutely ridiculous.