Jermichael Finley key in Packers’ win at Detroit

Packers TE Jermichael Finley
Packers TE Jermichael Finley
Packers TE Jermichael Finley

Jermichael Finley is a subject for heavy debate among Packers fans.

When a player is under performing, it’s acceptable to be critical of him. And through nine games, Finley’s seven drops and lackluster performance were certainly deserving of criticism.

But when that same player turns in a key performance that helps his team win, credit is due.

In the Packers’ 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions, Finley enjoyed likely his best game of the year.

His three-catch performance is by no means a “breakout” game, but it’s certainly nice to see him catching the ball and making the most of his opportunities.

Finley caught all three of the passes thrown his way Sunday, and each play had a significant impact on the game’s outcome. Most notably, Finley scored the Packers’ lone first-half touchdown.

The most impressive part of Finley’s 20-yard touchdown was not the catch-and-run, but rather, the play call by head coach Mike McCarthy.

Rodgers took the snap and looked in the direction of running back James Starks for what appeared to be a screen pass. The Lions defense flooded towards Starks, while Finley snuck to the middle of the field. Finley was wide open on the play and didn’t get touched until he lunged into end zone.

For those scoring at home, yes, Finley did do his usual “YOTTO” celebration following his second touchdown of the season. And yes, it appears the “year of the takeover” is now in its third year, following its “debut” during the 2010 season.

But later in the game, Finley made another pivotal play. This time, on the Packers’ go-ahead drive late in the fourth quarter.

Detroit’s defensive line had been playing well for the majority of the game, so Rodgers looked to get rid of the ball quickly on second down. Trailing 20-14 with under four minutes remaining, Finley caught a short Rodgers pass, turned up field and avoided several Lions defenders for a 40-yard gain.

The big gain put the Packers at the Lions’ 32-yard line. On the very next play, Rodgers completed a six-yard pass to Finley, and two plays later, the Packers took the lead on a touchdown to Randall Cobb.

With their hard-fought victory, the Packers improved to 7-3 on the season. Now with just six games remaining–four of which against division rivals–Finley could, again, be a crucial piece in the Packers’ quest for a division title.

Whether you’re a Finley supporter or an active member of the Anti-Finley Committee, it’s certainly nice to see No. 88 making plays for the green and gold.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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  • Kevin

    To me the more impressive play was the 40 yard catch and run. The announcers said it was Jones and I believed them for a little bit with the speed J Mike showed.

    It’d be interesting to know if the TD was designed to go to Finley or if that was an adjustment made by Rodgers.

    Sure would be nice to have him back in 2010 form for the stretch run but I’m not getting my hopes up just yet

  • http://www.yahoo.com mark

    Finley had a good play but let’s don’t get carried away. Finley has been playing terrible. Mason Crosby needs to go. He is 5-12 on his last 12 tries and cost them the Colts game.

  • Ron LC

    He’s so bad it would be better to run a fake field goal everytime he has a kick situation. Couldn’t do worse!

  • Bearmeat

    That first play was impressive. The one in crunch time was more the kitties sucking at tackling.

    Hopefully this is the setting off point for JMike.

  • Dan

    Having Jmike contribute down the stretch would be huge, let’s hope he starts getting open and catches the ball. With the way the D played today, and with Clay, Woodson and Shields coming back, the D will be in good shape for the home stretch. The key to how far the Packers go will rest with the Oline (and no more injuries). They will need to play better then they did today.

  • Tarynfor12

    Luckily,Finley didn’t drop that wide open pass(expected) for a TD and though credit for that catch and run is merited even if we should have been getting a lot more of them…the most impressive thing for me about him was his ability to not do the stupid ‘fish swim’move after it…when thats the type of play that commands it…now lets simply drop the ‘yotto’ all together and perhaps he finds his head completely.However,it will take much more to get me to retract my door closing Amen I’ve attached to his GB days.

  • Big T

    wow he caught 3 whole passes, stop the press we have MVP, pro bowl, superbowl for sure now player on board. Nothing can stop us now. If he catches 3 more passes per game, were in the playoffs baby… then in the playoffs ole fumble fingers drops the winning touchdown pass, oh darn I guess Big T was right all along. Come on people, anyone that celebrates a catch like it is his 1000th of the season for every catch has some mental problems. How about everyone on the team gets to kick him in the ballsack everytime he drops one, never have to worry about him reproducing now would we…

  • FireMMNow

    j-mike was decent in this game. he did not make any plays that any other TE on the roster would have trouble making, but he did actually make plays. I am still not wanting to pay him next year, but if he could become a factor down the stretch it would certainly help. I am still waiting for him to get seperation on a seam route.

    • Big T

      Only seperation Finley is getting, is the sepetation of his mouth from his brain…

  • BIG O

    I think it’s just his arrogance that gets to me, If he were causing the distraction he’s been hired for,it would be somewhat founded, instead he’s suprised that AR threw to him yesterday, well imagine our suprise when you CAUGHT THE BALL!!!!!!!!

  • Big T

    Let me say this slowly for you guys… Finley is a cancer… T.O. Randy Moss, Ocho stinko, etc… I beg you MM & TT, trade Finley, period…