Trapping manuevers

While no team will be mathematically eliminated from or assured a playoff spot based on Sunday's contest at Lambeau Field, this year's first Packers-Bears matchup remains a 'must win' for the Green and Gold.

I was watching Midway on Veteran's Day, one of my favorite war moving-pictures, and after several difficult and close losses in the last few weeks, the remarks of Admiral Nimitz in the closing scene rang true for me. After leading the Americans to a smashing victory that sunk four enemy carriers, Nimitz turns to Cmdr. Rochefort and asks him : "Which was it? Were we better than the Japanese - or just luckier?" I would like to think that we were just unlucky against the Titans and the Vikings, but in actuality, they were probably just better, or better-pre-pared. In the end, it doesn't really matter who has more torpedo bombers or battle-ships or the best offensive line. It's the work and the planning that determines the winners and losers. Had the Americans not broken the Japenese Naval code - JN25 - the attack on Midway may have been successful. But the Japanese failed, dear readers, because Nimitz had a sense of what was coming. He knew what was happening and he set a trap. McCarthy needs to channel his inner-Nimitz this weekend and lay a trap for the Bears if we are going to have any chance in this campaign. Like the Americans in the summer of '42, he'll be commanding this battle on home turf. And like the Americans on Midway and in the Pacific fleet, he desparately needs a win to swing the momentum.

So how can he do that? Unlike Nimitz, McCarthy hasn't been breaking any codes. He doesn't need to. I already broke it. Here's our opponent's plans for the rest of the year: Run the ball and blitz Ronnie Rodgers. We're on the defensive on both sides of the ball when we should be attacking, or rather, counter-attacking. Knowing this isn't exactly understanding JN25, but it should give McCarthy his opening: Attack them through the air and pass block, for cryin' out loud! The Titans mediocre receivers gashed the Bear's secondary and McCarthy needs to do the same with our outstanding squadron. Think of each touch-down grab as a sunk carrier. Direct Hit! Look at that flat-top burn!

Aside from this we need to stop their running attack. Sad, but we knew exactly what was coming in that final drive last week and we could not stop it. The defense needs to shape up. Plain and simple. That will be more difficult with the loss of Nick Barnett last week, but there can be no excuses. You go on the field with the players you have, even if they're Grumman Wildcats or slow or out-dated.

Well, that's all I've got at the moment, folks. Chinwhisker Charlie is here for some muskie fishing in the snow on Saturday, so I'm off to the card table for some tactic-talk of another sort. It's going to be cold out there, but that' what the working-men do. You fish right to the end of the season.

Mark it, folks: Bears 23, Packers 33. Until then.