Sunday is the NFC North Title

Two weeks in a row I haven't gotten the slightest-bit nervous while watching the Packers. No reason to get all worked up about the Lions and the Browns, dear readers. That'dbe like getting worked up over leaves falling from their limbs. I'm sure I'll make up for these two cracker-jack weeks of mental quietude on Sunday when Old What's His Name comes back to Green Bay to quench his insatiable thirst for revenge.

He's blood-thirsty, folks. He's a mosquito, and nobody has told him summer is over. I for one, am sick of hearing the buzzing in my ear, and I wonder, how does a bug like that avoid the night-time frosts? Has his ego grown so large that it insulates him from the cold? Apparently this trick only goes so far (See NFC title game, 2007 season).

Let's hope for bone-chilling cold with snow on Sunday.

I keep thinking about how the crowd will react to this 'home-coming.' I'd probably boo him a bit if I had a ticket, but that's a bit like booing a mosquito, isn't it, dear readers? The mosquito wouldn't under-stand, so singular and selfish is it's drive in life. The booing smells like blood, thinks the bug. It makes me thirsty. Look at me. Buzz buzz buzz.

The season is still many weeks from completion, but the NFC North title will likely be decided on Sunday in Green Bay. These are the two best teams, and if the Packers don't hold service then the Vikings will retreat to the safety of their warm bubble on the river and that will be that. So it's as close to a 'must win' as you get this early in the season. Expect a playoff atmosphere at Lambeau. There will certainly be a strange electricity in the stadium, and lots of lunatics who had three extra hours to 'prepare' for the game around the grill.

The purple team is mighty good, folks, there is no getting around that. Even with a Packers win, I can see the Vikings taking the division this year. The Packers must win, though. They simply must.

Three things must change for the Packers to win:
1 - We've got to attack Old What's His Name, blitzing the house if need be. In Game One we got a hand on the old fart just once. He had hours to pick apart our zone coverage from the comfort of his rocking chair. Dom needs to hit #4 early and often, maybe knock him loopy a bit. Even if it means giving up some bigger runs to Mr. Peterson, it will be worth it. Bad enough to lose that first game, but to walk away knowing we didn't pressure the defector all day was almost too awful to acknowledge. Hopefully I won't be screaming 'Where's the Blitz?!?' all day again.

Now, the Vikings do have a pretty good offensive line, so this is easier said than done, even with extra rushers, but I've caught plenty of the purple team this season and I've just been yearning for a defender to put a big hit on the old man. Nobody seems up to the task, though. I just want to see CM3 come clean off the corner and wallop #4 from his blind-side. Maybe that makes me blood-thirsty like him.

Maybe it just shows how meaningful this game is to those of us who place team above the individual.

2 - The pass protection must improve drastically. Rookie TJ Lang has looked above average in limited work, but will he hold up against that 'crazy hillbilly', as Rodgers dubbed him this week? Rodgers avoided a sack for the first time all year in week seven, but it was against the help-less Browns.

3 - Finally, we must attack with the run, and not just to 'keep the defense honest.' Attacking their defensive front will also help with pass protection. Again, Grant had his best game of the year against the Browns, but again, it was the Browns. Good-ness, they are terrible.

The sub-points on these points of emphasis are that the Packers have shown improvements since our visit to the Metrodome, but can we play that way against an actual NFL team this Sunday, when it matters the most?

I'm out of space and I need to go get new tires on my Pick-It-Up truck, folks. Make sure to check back often this week for updates on the Biggest Game of the Season.
Until then,