Maybe I'm just giddy about exposing the Queens as frauds (so much fun listening to KFAN today), but I see a wide open NFC (Cam can't be that good, can he?) and a Packers team that is 7-3, in first place in the NFC North, and controls its own destiny for a first round bye and home field advantage over every team but the Panthers. That said, here is what I think needs to happen for the dream of a trip to Super Bowl L to become a reality.
1) Keep running the ball, even if behind and even if not initially successful. Whatever has ailed Lacy, the OLine, Clements, etc., going forward the Pack has to be dedicated to running the ball. It softens up the opponent's D and helps the Pack's running game, passing game, OLine, ARod, and receivers. If the Pack can't run effectively then they won't win a Super Bowl this season anyway, so try, try, and try to run some more.
2) Sit Hyde as CB/slot guy and KR returner. I do not hate Micah Hyde. He is a decent backup safety. I like him as a punt returner. But he is way too slow to cover even TEs and has been repeatedly beaten and not just this season by even below average receivers. Rollins, Goodson, or even Gunter, I don't care -- there are 6 more games to play and they can get up to speed (remember Malcolm Butler for NE last season?) Seeing Janis' first return yesterday should end any discussion about returning Hyde as the KR.
3) Get Montgomery integrated into the offense immediately upon his return to the lineup. James Jones is old, slow, and makes spectacular catches while blanketed. I have no idea what is up with Adams, but he is just a very average (at best) WR right now. Janis for whatever reasons is not allowed to see the field very often. Cobb is either more injured than we know or facing more coverage than he's used to without Jordy, because he has not been himself this season. The passing game is just, meh right now.
My hope is that Ty Montgomery can add some much needed athleticism/explosiveness to the passing game. I think he was becoming a weapon when he sprained his ankle five weeks ago. I also think that if he can be at threat it will hugely benefit the passing game generally and Randall and JJ in particular.
4) Dom has to coach the D as if we need the D to win us games. Yesterday was so much fun to watch. An aggressive defense bringing it to the Vikes instead of sitting back on its heels (see B.J.'s quotes on this). Now, Minnesota obviously has a bad offensive line and an inexperienced QB, but Peterson was leading the NFL in rushing and I've seen our D too many times let the other team dictate the action and that did not occur yesterday.
At this point, we need the D to not just not lose the game but actually help win it like it did yesterday. Keep up the blitzing, rotate players to keep them fresh (including Rollins, Ryan, and Elliott) and go for broke.
Would love to hear from others who think the dream remains alive.
Welcome to another edition of Fedya's "Movies to Tivo" Thread, for the week of November 23-29, 2015. With the Packers' season in a tailspin, Aaron Rodgers would tell you to R-E-L-A-X. And what better way to do that than with some good movies? As always, I've got some good movies to recommend for all of you, since you know I've got good taste and would never lead you wrong. We've got some interesting horror, more Norma Shearer, and family-friendly stuff on Thanksgiving. As always, all times are in Eastern unless otherwise mentioned.
Three quarters of a century before the formulaic drama on the former movie channel AMC, there was a little-known movie called The Walking Dead, which TCM is running at 7:15 AM Monday. Boris Karloff stars as Ellman, a man who is hired by a gangster's lawyer (Ricardo Cortez), not realizing that the real purpose of his hiring is to set him up to be the fall guy in the murder of a judge! Needless to say, being convicted of killing a judge is a problem, and he is duly sentenced to be executed in the electric chair. Just after the execution, Dr. Beaumont (Edmund Gwenn) claims the body, with the scientific intent of reviving the dead man to find out what happens after death. Ellman is none too happy about being alive again, and becomes a sort of zombie who knows that he was set up in the killing and dammit, is going to see that the people responsible for the murder all die in ways that leave Ellman innocent. Karloff is always enjoyable to watch, and Gwenn as a mad scientist is interesting casting.
TCM is spending a night with the movies of Shirley MacLaine on Monday night. I think this night sees the TCM premiere of What a Way to Go!, airing at 1:00 AM Tuesday. MacLaine plays a woman who, at the start of the movie is deemed certifiably nuts because she wants to donate her wealth to the IRS. So she's sent to a psychiatrist (Bob Cummings), to whom she relates that when she was young she was in love with rich department store owner Dean Martin, but on her mother's advice married practical Dick Van Dyke instead. He became wealthy and then died, leaving her a wealthy widow. She then married again, to Paul Newman, who became wealthy and then died. It happened a third time with Robert Mitchum, and then a fourth time with Gene Kelly. No wonder she'd be happier off living a middle-class existence. One of the highlights is how MacLaine describes each of the marriages as being like a certain type of movie, followed by a parody of that type of movie. Watch how many gowns she goes through in the "Lush Budgett" production that is Marriage #3. A really fun comedy.
I don't think I've recommended the movie Shield for Murder before; this one is coming up at 8:00 AM Tuesday. Edmond O'Brien plays Lt. Nolan, a police detective who wants something better than the modest life of a police detective. So when he corners a bookie in a dark alley, he shoots the bookie, claiming self defense, and takes an envelope off the bookie containing a cool $25,000 in mid 1950s dollars. That of course would be a crime, but worse for Nolan is the fact that the mob knows the money was stolen and dammit, they want it back. Meanwhile, Nolan's younger partner, Sgt. Brewster (John Agar), has difficulty believing that his partner could be a corrupt cop. Oh, you better believe it, buddy. When the witness to the crime winds up dead too, Brewster does start to believe, and of course, thanks to the Production Code, there's no way Nolan is getting away with his crimes. Watch for Carolyn Jones as a women in a bar scene, with Claude Akins as one of the mob enforcers in that scene.
Norma Shearer returns for one last Tuesday night of her movies in her turn as TCM's Star of the Month. One that I've recommended before, but doesn't show up very often, is Escape, at 3:00 AM Wednesday. Shearer gets top billing, although the real star is Robert Taylor. He plays Mark, an American whose father was born in Germany, and whose mother (Alla Nazimova) went back to Germany to sell the house, only to go missing. So Mark shows up in Germany tryign to find out what happened to his mother, but of course everybody stonewalls him. The closest he gets to help is from a countess (Shearer) who was also born in America and married a German, but is now a widow and carrying on a relationship with Nazi General von Kolb (Conrad Veidt), which is how she survives all the Nazi madness. Of course, Mark's mother is in a concentration camp, this being the days before the Nazis were actively exterminating the Jews, so Mark tries to get her out of the concentration camp. Good luck with that.
There are a lot of animal movies on TCM on Thanksgiving morning and afternoon, starting at 5:15 AM with The Brave One. Filmed on location in Mexico, the movie tells the story of a boy (Rodolfo Hoyos) who finds a calf orphaned when the mother dies, so the farm owner lets the boy have the calf. Except that the farm changes hands, the new owners have no record of the boy having the rights to the calf, and they decide to sell the calf, now all grown up into a big strong bull, to the people who own bullrings and run bullfights. Of course, that means that this lovely bull is being sold to a certain death, leaving the boy heartbroken. So he runs off and sees the President of Mexico to try to get his bull saved. But can the President do anything in time before the matador kills the bull? Sure, the story is a bit preposterous, but no more so than, say, The Mudlark.
The Packers are playing on Thanksgiving night and TCM is counterprogramming with a night of Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn movies. The night kicks off at 8:00 PM with Desk Set. Hepburn plays Bunny, who heads the research library for a TV network -- any time somebody needs information, they come to these librarians, who are good at their jobs. However, into all this walks Richard (that's Tracy), a computer expert back in the days when computers used reel-to-reel tapes. Richard is researching their jobs, and the librarians are certain that he's been brought in by the network so that the computer can replace the library with a computer that will have all of the information at hand, obviating the need for the researchers. Along the way, Bunny and Richard fall in love, which further complicates matters. Pay close attention to that computer: Fox would recycle it several years later during the Dick Van Dyke section of What a Way to Go!.
There's not much "new" on FXM Retro this week, at least not in the sense that I haven't recommended it before. So instead, I'll make another mention of a movie that I haven't recommended in some time: Madison Avenue, airing at 10:30 AM Friday and 4:25 AM Saturday. Dana Andrews plays Clint, an advertising man in New York who thinks he's doing well until he gets fired by the boss. So to get revenge, he heads down to Washington, where he finds the struggling public relations firm headed by Peggy (Jeanne Crain) and basically plots to take it over for his own benefit. In that regard, he tries to get the account of a big dairy conglomerate away from his own firm, by promoting the owner of that firm (Eddie Albert) in his political ambitions, even though it turns out that our dairy man may be incompetent and slightly unhinged to boot. Clint's old girl Anne (Eleanor Parker) is a lady reporter who eventually gets used to dig up the dirt on Clint.
The Batman and Robin serial ended last Saturday, so starting this Saturday, TCM is going to be running the four Dick Tracy movies from the 1940s, starting at 9:15 AM Saturday with Dick Tracy. Morgan Conway plays the detective, while Anne Jeffreys plays his girlfriend Tess Trueheart. In this particular entry, the plot revolves around a serial killer signing his letters "Splitface" (Mike Mazurki), terrorizing the town by killing people who are all seemingly unrelated to each other. It is of course up to Dick Tgracy to figure it all out. This were done on a fairly low budget, even by the standards of the studio (RKO) that made them, so of course it's nothing like the 1990 movie. But the killings, done in silhouette, are surprisingly effective, and Mazurki makes a good villain.
I know that a lot of you like watching TV wrestling, and some of you may even have fond memories of GLOW, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. For those who liked GLOW, you may enjoy the film ... All the Marbles (aka California Dolls), airing at4:15 AM Sunday on TCM. Vickie Frederick and Laurene Landon play Iris and Molly respectively. Together, they're the California Dolls, a women's wrestling tag team. Wrestling has always been a niche sport; women's wrestling especially so, being there for the benefit of leering men. The California Dolls are working their way up the circuit through dingy midwestern towns, being managed by similarly down-on-his-luck ex-teacher Harry (Peter Falk). He's trying to get the team to the big tournament in Las Vegas, which would also mean television exposure for them, with all of this being presented as though pro wrestling were real.
Since nobody's going to want to watch football on Sunday with the Packers' season already having gone down the tubes, I thought I'd recommend a movie airing Sunday afternoon: The Tin Star, at 12:25 PM on Encore Westerns. Henry Fonda stars as Morgan, a former sheriff who has since become a bounty hunter, which doesn't exactly endear him to the people. So when he shows up in town to claim a reward, the townfolk are naturally not happy. The one person who does seem to be OK with it is the new sheriff, Ben Owens (Anthony Perkins). Morgan helps Owens deal with one of the bad guys, and Owens decides he wants the old guy to teach him how to become a more effective sheriff. That bad guy later leads a posse to try to lynch a couple of alleged murderers, while Owens wants to capture them alive for trial, with Morgan being the only one to help him.
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