One injury too many? Who cares? Stay positive

The injury problems the Green Bay Packers have faced this season have been well-documented. While it's all well and good to say, 'No excuses and the next man up' at some point there just isn't any-one else on the bench. For every Desmond Bishop there is also an Erik Walden, who will now start at outside line-backer against the hottest offense in the game, thanks to the injuries of Brad Johnson and Frank Zombo. Bishop has proven valuable as 'the next man up' but guys like Walden are coming straight off the scrap heap. Enough is enough, dear readers!

And just when you think it can't get any worse, we lose Ronnie Rodgers, a gimme in Detroit, and probably, a reasonable shot at the division title. All along, I kept thinking: So long as we have Rodgers up-right we still have a good chance. I'd say that in my brain every time we'd lose a key starter, and for most of the season that sentiment was accurate. It's the straw that breaks the back type of injury. On defense you might say the same about Cullen Jenkins, who is also on the shelf indefinitely.

In my profanity-laced Freewheelin' column earlier this week, I summed it up by saying maybe this just wasn't our year, and the more I think about it, and the more likely it appears that Rodgers won't be back for the New England game on Sunday night, the more I believe that.

I snapped this column's picture while ice fishing on one of my favorite lakes this week. Me and my buddy marched out through the snow to one of our best spots, set our traps, and then watched as a blanket of fog crept in on us. Soon there-after we couldn't see more than 25 feet in any direction. My regular readers will know I am a staunch believer in the omen-world, and there is no doubt that is what the fog represented. The fog eventually lifted but I wasn't surprised that we didn't catch any-thing. The fog told us the future: You don't belong here, folks.

Rodger's second concussion of the year tells me the same thing.

Despite that sinking feeling, my regular readers will also know that I am ever the optimist. Did we pack up our crap and leave the lake just because of some fog? Hell no we did not. Am I going to give up on the season just because we are suffering 3.8 season-ending injuries per game? No sir. No ma'am.

So we've got noodle-armed Matt Flynn starting against the best team in the league, on the road? So what? Just because the omens are against you doesn't mean you lay down on the field and weep your soul unto the frozen earth. There is always a path to success - my grampa taught me that.

This weekend's path starts with defense, and that's no surprise. They've been pretty darn good all season and they'll need they're best game of the season on Sunday, even with a flock of back-ups taking the field. They'll need turnovers. It's a tall order, I'll admit, but it's possible.

We'll need at least one big special teams play. No time like the present to get the first one of the season, right?

And finally, we'll need McCarthy to dial it back a bit and call a true 'west coast' game. You can't ask Flynn to through over-the-shoulder fades or laser seam routes. Call some screens, call some slants, get the ball out of his hands quickly. Mix in the run, and take full advantage of any good field position the defense can deliver.

It's difficult to think about the Packers as such big under-dogs, but that's reality. Fog is fog, and when that's the case, you gotta keep your traps in close where you can see 'em.

With the season very much on the line, I believe McCarthy will play the hand he's got, and hopefully the defense can put the offense on it's back out in New England. And hey, folks, I'm doing my part: I've secured a massive ham which will be cooked in the crock pot all day leading up to kick-off. I hope you will find it in your-selves to stay positive and consume large quantities of meat. Mark it, folks: Packers 17, Patriots 13.

Until next time, then,