Sunday, October 10, 2004

Battle of the 1-3s

When league officials and ABC people sat down to rough out the Monday Night Football TV Schedule, Tennessee at Green Bay probably looked pretty good for the week 5 game. A couple of playoff teams from last year, both likely playoff contenders this year as well, both with tough, hard-nosed, popular quarterbacks at the helm.

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men gang aft agley." Turns out that tomorrow night's game is between a couple of losers ("success-challenged"for the PC crowd) led by wounded warriors. Obviously Packer fans, Titans fans and those of us who watch every Monday Night game no matter what will tune in, but others could be excused for thinking that this game might be a good time to do a little year-end tax planning, catching up on homework or whatever else may be on their "to-do" lists.

So, where do the Packers stand at the one-quarter mark of the season? Is it true, as a family member who will remain nameless said this week, that the"Packers suck"? I am not ready to go that far (yet). The Packers certainly don't look like they will be in the running for home field advantage or fora bye week in the playoffs this year. On the other hand, going into this week's games, they were not far behind the division-leading Lions and Vikings, both at 2-1. Still, as this is being written at half-time of the early games on Sunday, the Vikings are beating the Texans (not a big surprise) and the Lions are beating the Falcons (much more of a surprise).This suggests that at least one of them is likely to be at 3-1 after today's games, which in turn suggests that it is high time for the Packers to win another game.

The Packers are, I think, better than they have been playing. Fumbles and injuries have had an impact on a couple of their games. Mike Flanagan and Doug Pederson are not coming back from their injuries this year, and Mike McKenzie, assuming he comes back, will be wearing a different uniform. It appears that Brett Favre will be ready to play this week, and it would be nice if Grady Jackson comes back soon. And while Ahman Green has struggled with the label as a fumbler throughout his career, maybe, looking at the bright side, he has gotten his fumbling out of his system for the year.

One of the teams on Monday night is going to end up with a 1-4 record. That is not a good place to be. Already, at 1-3 and living in the San Francisco area, I have been reduced to the slogan "your team stinks worse than my team." It is up to the Packers to rise to the occasion if they have any intent to try to turn this season around.

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