Green Bay Packers Blog
by porky88 on 9/30/2014 10:12:01 PM
Sunday’s victory over the Chicago Bears was Green Bay's most complete effort in over a year.

The passing game returned to its elite status, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers dismantled Chicago’s secondary. The much-maligned offensive line kept Rodgers upright, while the receiving corps finally played up to its potential. Jordy Nelson was spectacular, catching 10 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Randall Cobb added 113 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Cobb’s performance is especially noteworthy after last week’s dud against Detroit.

The Packers scored on six of their seven possessions, with a blocked field being their only failed drive of the game. In fact, Green Bay didn’t punt in this game. Neither did the Bears. For only the second time in NFL history (1992: Buffalo at San Francisco), there was no punt in an NFL game.

The running game remains shoddy, with Eddie Lacy rushing for just 48 yards on 17 carries. Solving the rushing woes remains crucial to Green Bay’s long-term success. Lacy seems to lack the quickness he demonstrated a year ago, indicating he may be regressing.

The defense, however, turned in another encouraging performance. Yes, Chicago gained nearly 500 yards of offense, but a majority of the gains came in the first half. The Packers played much better in the second half, allowing less than 200 yards of offense and surrendering zero points. They also intercepted quarterback Jay Cutler twice and sacked him once. Green Bay’s defense has now played well in six of their last eight quarters.

You don‘t make or break a season in September, yet the last few weeks have been trying times for Packers fans. Perhaps we should heed the advice of Rodgers and take a week to relax.

Turning Point

Trailing by just four points, Chicago drove down the field in the final minutes of the first half. With no timeouts and just nine second remaining, head coach Marc Trestman opted to take a shot at the end zone. Cutler found tight end Martellus Bennett at the goal line. All he had to do was power his way into the end zone and the Bears would've gone into halftime with the lead, yet rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix managed to tackle Bennett short of the goal line. Time ran out and the Packers went into the half with a 21-17 lead. They proceeded to outscore Chicago 21-0 in the second half.

Unsung Hero

A big difference between this week and last week was the offensive line’s pass protection. The Bears were without defensive end Jared Allen, but they did upgrade the defensive line in the off-season by signing defensive lineman Lamar Houston and Willie Young. Neither registered a sack against the Pack. Houston didn’t even make a tackle. The offensive line finished the game without allowing a hit on Rodgers.

Stud of the Game

Rodgers was nearly flawless on the afternoon, completing 22-of-28 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers improved his career record against the Bears to 11-3.

Looking Ahead

A Thursday night tilt against Minnesota marks the end of Green Bay’s three-game stretch against divisional opponents.

Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater led the Vikings to 558 total yards against Atlanta, their most yards since 2004. Bridgewater injured his ankle, though, late in the fourth quarter of the 41-28 victory. His status for Thursday’s game is unknown, though recent signs indicate he'll make his second career start on Thursday.

Keep an eye on Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The 2012 first-round pick features the size and speed to compete with Nelson. I suspect Rhodes will shadow Nelson for much of the game, forcing Rodgers to look the way of one of the other receivers. The Packers may need another big performance from Cobb, especially if the running game continues to struggle.

Please visit Row12.com for weekly articles done by myself on college and fantasy football. We also have a great staff of writers that cover every major sport.
by MintBaconDrivel on 9/30/2014 10:43:58 AM

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Green Bay Packers ( 2 - 2 )
    Total Offense = 28th
    Passing Offense = 15th
    Rushing Offense = 28th

    Total Defense = 26th
    Passing Defense = 5th
    Rushing Defense = 32nd

    Points For = 23.0 (18th)
    Points Against = 24.0 (18th)

UserPostedImage



Minnesota Vikings ( 2 - 2 )
  • Total Offense = 21st
  • Passing Offense = 24th
  • Rushing Offense = 8th

  • Total Defense = 17th
  • Passing Defense = 17th
  • Rushing Defense = 15th

  • Points For = 22.8 (19th)
  • Points Against = 21.0 (9th)

UserPostedImage
by MintBaconDrivel on 9/23/2014 1:03:43 PM

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Green Bay Packers ( 1 - 2 )
    Total Offense = 28th
    Passing Offense = 21st
    Rushing Offense = 27th

    Total Defense = 20th
    Passing Defense = 6th
    Rushing Defense = 30th

    Points For = 18.0 (27th)
    Points Against = 26.3 (28th)

UserPostedImage



Chicago Bears ( 2 - 1 )
  • Total Offense = 27th
  • Passing Offense = 14th
  • Rushing Offense = 32nd

  • Total Defense = 23rd
  • Passing Defense = 16th
  • Rushing Defense = 26th

  • Points For = 25.0 (10th)
  • Points Against = 20.7 (11th)

UserPostedImage
by porky88 on 9/22/2014 9:26:36 PM
The early returns on the 2014 Green Bay Packers don’t look good. The Packers have played 12 quarters this season. As a team, I believe they grade out positively in three quarters, neutral in one, and negative in eight. The level of play currently exhibited by the Packers isn’t good enough to win the NFC North, let alone the entire conference.

Green Bay’s defensive effort on Sunday would be good enough for a victory on most days, but a paltry seven points from the offense spoiled the effort. The Packers held Detroit’s high-octane offense to 10 points, forced three turnovers and sacked Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford twice. They also committed fewer penalties and held Calvin Johnson to less than 100 yards receiving.

There is the preferable notion following every defeat suggesting a team shot itself in the foot. Failing to execute a game plan properly is another popular excuse. There are problems that go beyond simple execution, though. It starts with the coaching and crosses over to the field.

The Packers are underachieving right now. Nowhere is that more evident than on offense, where quarterback Aaron Rodgers is averaging 232 passing yards per game. That puts him on pace for about 3,712 for the season, which would be the lowest of his career as a starter. Meanwhile, running back Eddie Lacy is averaging a deplorable 38 rushing yards per game, putting him on pace for just 608 for the season.

The offense was the No. 1 reason for off-season optimism. The idea that Rodgers would have a potent running game behind him had many believing this could be the best offense of the Mike McCarthy Era. Other issues - namely the offensive line - are contributing to Green Bay’s decline, but the onus is on your star players to perform at a high level.

In the cases of Rodgers and Lacy, that’s not happening.

Turning Point

As poorly as Green Bay’s offense played, the Lions were clinging to just a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Facing a pivotal third-and-2, Detroit put the ball in running back Reggie Bush’s hands. Second-year safety Micah Hyde failed to contain the outside, allowing Bush to explode around the edge and score a 26-yard touchdown. It was the only touchdown of the afternoon for Detroit’s offense, but it was enough to seal victory over the rival Packers.

Unsung Hero

Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin deserves immense credit for his game plan. He had the secondary shadow wide receiver Jordy Nelson for much of the game with an extra defender, while relying on the pass rush to disrupt Rodgers. His plan worked well. Rodgers was off with a couple of his throws and none of the other receivers found any holes in Detroit’s coverage.

Dud of the Game

Point the finger at the passing game, which let the Packers down. While it starts with Rodgers, the receiving corps also is accountable. Specifically, receiver Randall Cobb failed to deliver when the team needed him most. He caught just three passes for 29 yards against a banged up secondary that didn’t put a whole lot of emphasis on him. In the midst of a contract year, many (myself included) feel Cobb could be a key component in Green Bay’s offense for many years to come. Perhaps it’s time to re-examine his long-term value to the team.

Looking Ahead

The Packers need to find a compliment to Nelson. You can’t drop Rodgers back as much as McCarthy does and expect the team to win relying on just one big play threat. The obvious solution is that Cobb plays better, but McCarthy needs to call a better game.

Last year, Lacy had 20-plus carries in 10 of the 15 games he played in. He's averaging just 12 carries per game this year, an unacceptable amount given his talent.

Lacy is not the type of runner that will gash a defense for five yards on a consistent basis. He’s a bruiser. He’s going to get better as games progress. The more carries he gets, the more he’ll wear down a defense. McCarthy would say Lacy’s lack of touches has to do with the team’s slow starts. Fumbling on the first drive doesn’t instill confidence in a coach, either. Even so, McCarthy has to stick with his bell cow.

Patience is the key to being a good play caller and McCarthy’s lack of patience with Lacy is exposing Rodgers to an early-season beating behind an offensive line in flux.

Luckily, next week McCarthy has an excellent opportunity to right the ship against a Chicago defense that is highly vulnerable against the run. A heavy dose of Lacy complimenting Rodgers is the key to beating the Bears. It’s also the key to the rest of the season.

Hey guys, please visit Row12.com for weekly articles done by myself on college and fantasy football. We also have a great staff of writers that cover just about every major sport.
by MintBaconDrivel on 9/16/2014 11:52:32 AM

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Green Bay Packers ( 1 - 1 )
    Total Offense = 24th
    Passing Offense = 13th
    Rushing Offense = 26th

    Total Defense = 19th
    Passing Defense = 6th
    Rushing Defense = 31st

    Points For = 23.5 (11th)
    Points Against = 30.0 (28th)

UserPostedImage



Detroit Lions ( 1 - 1 )
  • Total Offense = 10th
  • Passing Offense = 4th
  • Rushing Offense = 28th

  • Total Defense = 2nd
  • Passing Defense = 9th
  • Rushing Defense = 2nd

  • Points For = 21.0 (22nd)
  • Points Against = 19.0 (11th)

UserPostedImage
by porky88 on 9/15/2014 10:58:51 PM
The NFL season is a story. There’s a beginning, middle, and ending. At this time of the year, every team’s ideal ending is to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. For 31 teams, unfortunately, their ending will fail to live up to expectations.

It’s these expectations (legit or not) that often lead to one over-analyzing a specific game. In other words, it’s easy to lose perspective in the now. Only one team can hoist the Lombardi Trophy, making the odds of achieving a so-called satisfying ending slim.

Your perspective will change as time passes, though. Only then will you realize the real thrill of an NFL season is the journey, not the ending.

I suspect that Green Bay’s victory over the N.Y. Jets wasn’t enough to satisfy many fans. The Jets are a team with low expectations, while Green Bay expects to contend for the NFC championship. The Packers’ woeful start, no doubt, leaves fans wanting something more. This perception is fine, given that we’re in the early stage of the ‘14 season.

However, a few years from now, I have a keen suspicion that Packers fans, players, and coaches, will grow to appreciate their first victory of the 2014 season as one of the best during an era.

Regardless of whether this team is the one to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

Here’s my week 2 breakdown:

Turning Point

With the score tied at 24, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with receiver Jordy Nelson on an 80-yard touchdown. The score put Green Bay up 31-24, a lead the Packers never relinquished.

Unsung Hero

While Green Bay's defense played poorly in the beginning of the game, they did progress as the game moved forward. One player who deserves immense credit for that is defensive lineman Mike Daniels. The fourth-year player might as well of made a nest in the Jets’ backfield, registering several key stops, including a sack of Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith. However, perhaps Daniels’ biggest play won’t register in the stat column. On a first down play, with the Jets driving to extend their 21-9 lead, Daniels planted Smith in the turf as he threw the ball. The disrupted throw landed in cornerback Tramon Williams hands at the three yard line, giving the Packers the ball back. Green Bay’s offense orchestrated a 97-yard touchdown drive before half, cutting the Jets’ lead to 21-16. This major momentum shift wouldn’t have happened without Daniels’ pressure.

Stud of the Game

After signing a big-money deal in the off-season, Nelson entered the year with perhaps his highest expectations. He delivered on them Sunday afternoon. Nelson notched nine receptions for a career-high 209 yards. He also scored the deciding touchdown. This was the first time since 1996 that a Green Bay receiver went over 200 yards receiving. Then it was Don Beebe, who notched 220 receiving yards in a Monday Night classic against the San Francisco 49ers.

Looking Ahead

In the next three weeks, the Packers face perhaps their most pivotal stretch on the schedule. They play each of their divisional foes (two away, one home) starting with at Detroit next week.

The Lions are coming off a 24-7 loss, but they matchup well with the Pack. At times in week two, Green Bay made Smith look like a seasoned veteran, so you can only imagine how well Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford may play. Additionally, Green Bay’s offensive line continues to disappoint. This season, they’ve done a poor job of opening up running lanes for running back Eddie Lacy and protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Detroit’s front four is among the best in football, so getting right tackle Bryan Bulaga back would be a major boon to the Packers.

Look for the winning team to assert itself early.

Hey guys, please visit Row12.com for weekly articles done by myself on college and fantasy football. We also have a great staff of writers that cover just about every major sport.
by MintBaconDrivel on 9/9/2014 11:52:08 AM

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Green Bay Packers ( 0 - 1 )
    Total Offense = 29th
    Passing Offense = 26th
    Rushing Offense = 23rd

    Total Defense = 21st
    Passing Defense = 10th
    Rushing Defense = 31st

    Points For = 16.0 (25th)
    Points Against = 36.0 (31st)

UserPostedImage



New York Jets ( 1 - 0 )
  • Total Offense = 11th
  • Passing Offense = 24th
  • Rushing Offense = 1st

  • Total Defense = 1st
  • Passing Defense = 1st
  • Rushing Defense = 1st

  • Points For = 19.0 (19th)
  • Points Against = 14.0 (5th)

UserPostedImage
by porky88 on 9/6/2014 1:54:20 AM
The bar is set. If the 2014 Green Bay Packers are going to contend for a Super Bowl, they know what level of football they’ll have to play. They saw it firsthand Thursday night in the form of the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle was bigger, stronger, and faster than the Packers were. The Seahawks controlled the tempo of the game by displaying impeccable balance on the offensive side of the ball. Their defense, meanwhile, started where they left off, disrupting yet another elite quarterback.

The Packers clearly came into the game wanting to run the ball and to utilize the short-passing game. Neither worked, as Seattle’s front seven controlled the line of scrimmage, and their edge rushers overwhelmed Green Bay’s tackles. Green Bay’s 20-point margin of defeat (36-16) was their third highest with Aaron Rodgers starting at quarterback. Only a 2008 defeat at New Orleans and a 2012 defeat at the N.Y. Giants were larger.

The NFL is a marathon, not a sprint. The Packers will get better. They must. However, Seattle may improve as well. And that’s a scary thought for the NFC.

Here’s a breakdown of what I saw Thursday night:

Turning Point

Down 20-10 in the third quarter and starting from inside their own 10, Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett embarrassed Green Bay right tackle Derek Sherrod, using his hands to win the battle. The Seattle pass rusher proceeded to strip Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the ball, which resulted in a safety. Additionally, the refs flagged left tackle David Bakhtiari for unsportsmanlike conduct, forcing Green Bay to kick the ball to Seattle from their 10-yard line. This setup Seattle with excellent field position, which they took advantage of by cashing in with a touchdown a little over four minutes later. In other words, in about a five-minute span, Green Bay went from being down by 10 to being down by 19.

Unsung Hero

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman didn’t have one of his best statistical outings. In fact, he posted a zero in all columns. However, that’s because Green Bay didn’t bother to throw his way. It is possible Green Bay thought Sherman would shadow receiver Jordy Nelson all night long, but Sherman plays exclusively on the left side of Seattle’s defense. It’s hard to execute an elite passing attack when you only use two-thirds of the field.

Dud of the Game

When the Packers win, I’ll name the stud of the game. When they lose, I’ll name a dud of the game. This week’s dud was clearly linebacker Brad Jones. Not only did he drop what should’ve been an interception, but he was flagged for two holding calls, one of which came after Green Bay stopped the Seahawks on a crucial fourth-quarter third down. Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch put on a show, rushing for 119 yards and two touchdowns. What made Lynch’s performance so impressive was that Green Bay defenders were in position to stop him most of the time. Simply put, despite filling the right gaps, the Packers couldn't bring him to the ground. Jones was guilty of this all game long. If he doesn’t progress soon, he’ll be a real liability on the defensive side of the ball.

Looking Ahead

Sometimes you need to take a step backward before moving two steps forward. The defense took a step backward Thursday night, but they did flash potential. Rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix missed a few tackles, but he also made several nice plays, including taking an excellent angle in bringing down Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson on a first quarter scramble. I suspect that as the year moves forward, we’ll see more Clinton-Dix on the field with Micah Hyde and less Morgan Burnett.

We did see glimpses of a versatile front seven. The combination of Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews did so some positive things, though Seattle’s short-passing game neutralize much of their rush. Still, it was encouraging to see Peppers moving well at outside linebacker. He didn’t look uncomfortable (ala Aaron Kampman). In fact, he looked natural. On one play, Matthews lined up on the same side as Peppers, and exploded into the backfield to make the stop. Another play had Green Bay running a middle stunt with Matthews. Peppers’ presence gives defensive coordinator Dom Capers the freedom to use Matthews creatively.

Offensively, Green Bay dodged a bullet on the injury front. Bryan Bulaga suffered a sprained MCL and will probably miss 2-4 weeks. The Packers should be able to manage without him in the short-term so long as they give Sherrod help. Perhaps the biggest red flag on offense was the lack of production from a No. 3 wide receiver. Rodgers leaned on Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and the running backs Thursday night. Jarrett Boykin was nowhere in sight. In his defense, Green Bay chose to line him up outside against Sherman a lot, so that Nelson and Cobb had favorable matchups.

The Packers play the Jets next week in their home opener. The Jets have a suspect secondary, so I suspect Green Bay will move the ball well on them. Their offensive line also isn’t very good, so we may see the impact from Matthews and Peppers show up in the stat column. A blowout defeat stings, but losing to the Seahawks in Seattle wasn’t surprising.

Losing to the Jets at home would be.

Hey guys, please visit Row12.com for weekly articles done by myself on college and fantasy football. We also have a great staff of writers that cover just about every major sport
by Zero2Cool on 9/5/2014 12:06:57 PM
When the schedule was released I think most of us Packers fans expected a loss against the Seahawks and every single one of us hoped for a win. A loss is okay, but to look like a D1 collegiate team after months of preparation and perceived "secrecy" is uninspiring. When your team loses to a better team, that is a lot easier to swallow knowing your team gave its best and just came up short. We witnessed too many mental mistakes. It's not the loss that is upsetting, its how unprepared and how poorly the Packers executed that is most upsetting.


Stop The Cute Stuff
The Packers have this philosophy of trying to one over a team or be secretive to get an edge. I yearn for the days of the '03 Packers when they had about half dozen running plays and everyone knew what was coming and still couldn't stop it. The game of football is not about catching someone off guard. It is about executing better than the man across from you. That is the philosophy this team needs to employ, just like it did towards the end of the '10 season.

Defense
I admit it. I bit. Hook. Line. Sinker. They kept saying how they had new stuff for Seahawks. They kept saying we have new schemes for Seahawks. I was excited to see it. I noticed quite a few different schemes and the same results as last season. Players looking confused, out of place and failed to wrap up.


Offense
I really believed Aaron Rodgers was going to have a top game, smart and efficient. I didn't expect him to look more confused than Scott Tolzien against the Giants. Rodgers missed a first down run opportunity that made all of us ask, "WTF Rodgers!!". Derek Sherrod played well and then just got ran over again and again. I watched him a few plays and he held his own and poof, just like that, he was a turnstile. All week long I heard coach and players say they will play "their" game and yet they cowardly avoided Richard Sherman's entire side of the field. Grow a pair already!


Injuries
TE Richard Rodgers seems to be okay based on reports. RT Bryan Bulaga has a "knee sprain", so basically we can measure him for his casket. RB Eddie Lacy has another concussion.


Misc
Lacy is going to have a short career, shorter than normal RB's and it is going to be due to his concussions and his unwillingness to want to continue risking brain issues. Linsley played fairly well at Center. I would rather see Sean Richardson at Linebacker next to A.J. Hawk than see Brad Jones on the field again. We all knew Brad Jones is not a good player dating back to his rookie season. It's time to give someone else the spot.

Anyone else tired of Mike McCarthy saying over and over after each game how he knows he made mistakes and yet continues to make the same mistakes in judgment? I'm not saying he's a bad Head Coach. I'm not saying he's a bad Play Caller. I just don't think he can do both at the same time. Maybe give Clements play calling and just do your coaching thing or let Clements make those coaching decisions and focus on play calling?

On a positive note, it was just one game and good to get your worst game out of the way. I had the 49ers added to my dislike list, but if I'm going to add every team that shows up the Packers, I'd end up hating two thirds of the NFL! (joke) I still think the Packers win double digit wins, but this loss, this lack of preparation is disheartening.
by Zero2Cool on 9/4/2014 1:56:29 PM
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