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More Cheesehead Misery (12/07/2005)
By Dave DeLano

Once again this year, Cheeseheads agonized on Sunday as the Green Bay Packers' eleven-game winning streak over the Chicago Bears on their home turf came to a crushing end with a 19 - 7 loss to the monsters of the midway. And once again it was a case where the Packers could have easily won the game had it not been for their uncanny ability to shoot themselves in the foot.

This contest between the NFL's two oldest franchises started out as a classic Packer-Bear defensive struggle. In spite of the Bears' lofty rating in most NFL defensive categories, it was the Packers who were able to establish a defensive superiority early in this game. On offense though, the Pack couldn't put up any points on their first five possessions. Samkon Gado came out firing again this week, running fast and hard. On the Pack's sixth possession, Gado's touchdown had the Pack leading 7-6 just before the half-time break.

With only a few seconds left in the half and driving again deep into Bear territory, Brett Favre threw an ill-advised pass which was intercepted and almost run back for a touchdown. That turnover became a field goal and the Bears were ahead in this game for good. Favre had a horrible day. That miscue turned a potential touchdown into a 10-point turnaround and a gigantic momentum swing. The play also caused me to think, for the first time, that this really might be Favre's final season.

The Packers' defense played an awesome game, holding the Bears to less than 200 total yards. But when your offense commits four turnovers and scores only a single touchdown on the road, you don't get a win. The 2005 season has become kind of a same old, same old story. Turnovers, penalties, bad decisions and injuries do not make for a winning professional football team. So, the Packers are at 2-10 on the season.

The Detroit Lions come to Titletown next Sunday night to play on national television. The Packers lost 17-3 to the Lions in the season opener and, following the Lions' firing of coach Steve Mariucci last week, might just find themselves to be the gamblers' favorite to win at home. I wouldn't advise betting the farm on it though, as the Packers just keep repeating all the stupid things that it takes to lose games.

As bad as things are in the Nation of Cheese this year, the Lions have even bigger problems. Former Packer assistant coach "Mooch" Mariucci was a fine football coach who got caught up in the mismanagement game that has plagued the Lions' franchise for eons. Lions' CEO Matt Millen should have been fired instead of Mooch, but sometimes justice doesn't get served in the NFL.

Should a couple more wins come the Packers' way this year, their chances of drafting a real primo player in the college draft become skewed next spring. It is a double edged sword and a painful position for Cheeseheads to be in. Hoping for a loss to gain draft position is unCheeselike, so look for the Pack to whip the Lions next week. 


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