Kitties made it Klose- quick win coming?

Well that was much closer, tougher than it needed to be. However, for as bad as the quarterback played in the 1st half (8/13, 73 yards, 1td, 1int, 70.3rat) he excelled in the 2nd half and OT (20/29, 240yds, 2td, 117rat). I’ll continue to be critical of Rodgers until he wins another one to two rings, but until then let’s take it game by game, at least for now. Let’s not forget MY MAN the new JJ – #27 Josh Jones, 12 tackles and 2 sacks (key sacks too!).

Back to the QB, he’ll impress me if Green Bay comes away tonight with a victory—but you may say “Woah Nick, they’re playing the Bears, at home!” True, but from playing O-line I was always taught As the line goes, so goes the team and the Packers are working on starting their 5th and 6th string tackles at both LT and RT tonight and that’s a recipe for disaster. This game will come down to McCarthy’s game plan and if he can get the ball out of Rodgers’ hand quick enough before pressure gets home. If there ever was a game to run screens and draws, tonight is it.

As for Chicago, lookout for their running backs, they have 2 talented ones: Jordan Howard; Tarik Cohen. They’re each averaging over 4.4 yards/carry, with Cohen avg around 6.5. They’ll try to quicken the game by keeping the ball on the ground and trying to keep it close (which underdogs typically do), so look for the Packers to stop the run with their front 7 and hopefully not needing to load the box.

Other than that, being a short week and a ton of injuries this game could be a mess and I feel the Packers will need a very efficient, high passing attempt game from Rodgers to control the ball and the game.

I’ve thought all week Chicago would win because of the Packers’ OL situation, but for some reason I can’t believe Mac and 12 would be held under 24 points at home, against a subpar opponent.

Bears 16
Packers 24

25-15 overall record

Smoked, but move on

I think many thought it would be closer than the blowout that ensued immediately following the opening kick.  However, I don’t think anyone was shocked…sadly.  With that stated, the Packers really had more to gain than to lose heading into Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium (which is pretty cool looking).  No one really expected Green Bay to win, but had they – man that would’ve shown this team might be the best in the NFL.

Rodgers didn’t play well, he took blame for 14 points on his two turnovers, which is absolutely correct.  In a game like that, in that environment, where the Falcons play above their heads when home, the Packers need their stars to play well (let alone play).  Nelson and Daniels going out early essentially sealed the Packers’ fate, but it did lead to us being able to see a few things.

My man, Josh Jones, eventually was put on the field for defense once Kentrell Brice was injured (I also like Brice, but if given the choice, it’s not close) the defense actually held Atlanta to a 3 & out.  I believe that coincided with Kevin King being inserted at the #1 Cornerback to cover the best receiver on the planet (Julio Jones).  King fared quite well, having 1 defensed pass and altered another.  He only was turned around once, fortunately Matt Ryan didn’t throw his direction at the time.

Let’s enter the lowly Cincinnati Bengals.  On the 25th anniversary of Brett Favre making his awesome Packer debut v Cincy the Packers welcome that same team in, except the Bengals are on a sharp decline ever since their playoff malfunction in the 2015 postseason v Pittsburgh (Burfict and Pacman kept committing personal fouls that killed Cincy).

Even though the Bengals haven’t scored a touchdown this year – they since fired their offensive coordinator – their defense has fared well against bad offenses, or at least we think “bad.”  There is absolutely one player on their defense everyone should keep an eye on: 97 Geno Atkins (DL).  He’s been a force for his entire career and is coming off two good games to start the season.  If the Packers’ OL is beat up that could be the Bengals opportunity to mess this game up.  Other than that, I don’t see how Marvin Lewis’ club can come into Lambeau (91 degrees???) and knock off one of the most-talented teams in the NFL, in need of a win.  The Packers outrank Cincinnati at every position except GB’s OL v Cin’s DL, but Aaron Rodgers should be able to get a free play or two and keep them off-balance enough to move the ball down the field – look at it this way, if Green Bay can’t put up 30 points at home, in ideal conditions against a good defense then What are we really trying to accomplish here?

Bengals 13
Packers 31

24-15: The Packers have an opportunity to get two quick wins and get healthy before a matchup with Dallas in a couple of weeks.  Yes, it’s ok to look ahead, we’re fans 🙂

Smashmouth Football! (kinda)

Review: Martellus Bennett showed the attitude this team needs and hasn’t seen since Josh Sitton was cut some 53-54 weeks ago.  Some may say the penalty was dumb, however I firmly believe he knew the 1st down had been attained before delivering the blow, and either way it’s an investment upon the season and not just that game.  That attitude was seen from the start with the Packers’ defense.  Forcing five 3 and outs….yep 5!!!!!  Actually, had Mike McCarthy not been aggressive and tried to get the ball back for the offense with about 0:20 left in the 1st half, the D would’ve forced six 3 and outs…although I see what he was trying to accomplish (give his QB a chance to put points on the board before half).

Let’s take a look at ProFootballFocus’ grades from last week:
Edge Nick Perry, 89.8
LB Blake Martinez, 87.0
DL Mike Daniels, 86.6
WR Jordy Nelson, 81.8
RG Jahri Evans, 79.1
QB Aaron Rodgers, 78.1

This is why I like checking these grades as it may seem that Mike Daniels had the best game of anyone on the field – which I agree, because sports (especially football) comes down to a few key/big plays and Mike Daniels had the biggest one of all (a strip-sack of Wilson) on Seattle’s 3rd play of the 2nd half.  The ensuing play led to a 6-yard TD run by Montgomery to put the Packers up for good.  This does show consistency and that Perry was able to set the edge, and keep it throughout the game.  We saw how important that was.  Now keep in mind, as I said last week, that Seattle’s offensive line is straight trash, but still good to see J

Aaron Rodgers didn’t play well, and I’m not sure as to why, but I can’t get the lack of snaps in the preseason for him out of my head.  I know Kyle Murphy was starting in place of Bulaga and the Seahawks possess one of, if not the, best defenses in the NFL – however Aaron Rodgers and the endless weaponry at his disposal was only able to put up 10 points, at home, in ideal conditions?  I’m thinking (hoping, hate that word though) it’ll correct itself and improve throughout the season.

Preview: Atlanta had some major issues with the Bears on Sunday.  There could be a plethora of reasons as to why:

  • Rust for being the 1st game of the season
  • Super Bowl hangover
  • Matt Ryan realizing who he is? (biggest choke artist in history)

However, let’s give credit, they went on the road and won in the NFL on week 1 which is fairly tough to do…even if there were two dropped TDs by the Bears with < 0:10 left in the game, a win is a win.  Who played well for Atlanta?
LB De’Vondre Campbell, 86.6
C Alex Mack, 86.5
T Ryan Schraeder, 85.8
CB Brian Poole, 82.3
TE Austin Hooper, 81.3
QB Matt Ryan, 71.1

As you can see, the Falcons’ played fairly well also, AND the Packers have the pleasure of opening up yet another stadium in week 2 on Sunday Night Football, for the 2nd consecutive season.  If you remember, Green Bay traveled to Minnesota to open US Bank stadium and played like absolute crap, and barely lost 17-14 to the fighting Stefon Diggs (he had a career night).  But I digress.

This should be a solid matchup between two of the top teams in the NFC, and could go a long way in deciding tiebreakers for playoffs and seedings, but for now it counts as week 2 and a great opportunity to build momentum to begin the season.  The Packers’ offense will be tested by Atlanta’s furiously fast defense coached by Head Coach Dan Quinn (who’s 5-0 facing Mike McCarthy teams, 3-0 as DC in Sea and 2-0 as HC in Atl).

Regardless of how the game flows, Rodgers and this Packers offense needs to be 1-step ahead of the Falcons’ offense.  This could turn into a track meet – I think it’ll mimic the week 8 matchup from last year at Atlanta, a 33-32 Falcon victory.  There should be plenty of speed on the field and it should be fun to watch!  Go Pack Go!

Packers 27
Falcons 31

23-15: I’ll get back to the opponents’ and Packers +/-‘s next week as this really is just an exploratory game for both of these teams.


Attitude is Everything

Well, to say the story-lines heading into this week 1 matchup are plentiful would be a drastic understatement.  There’s the “main” one that the media wants to follow and that’s the Brothers Bennett and how goofy Martellus is and the agenda that Michael has…neither I care to touch as I focus and care about the on-field stuff, but not to mention it would be irresponsible.

There’s also the return of Eddie Lacy, the talented running back that ate himself out of Green Bay.  There were reports he got as heavy as 275-280lbs, which is comical.  I’ve always been an advocate for cutting ties with a player that has issues staying in shape.  That’s always been a minimal requirement for a professional athlete’s job, is to be in prime shape to perform.  Otherwise that opens Pandora’s Box by keeping a player like that.

Lastly, the 3rd major story line, or at least the one that’s most applicable to me, is both of these teams’ seasons ended at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons in January.  I believe, including Atlanta, these are the top 3 teams in the NFC (Atlanta, Green Bay, and Seattle) which is what makes these first two games for the Packers so important.  If Green Bay can somehow come out 2-0 they’d have a stranglehold on home-field advantage for the entire season.  Not trying to get ahead of myself, because obviously GB can’t go 2-0 without going 1-0 – and there’s something about having home-field that bodes well to get to and ultimately win the Super Bowl (keep in mind, I have no interest in going to the Super Bowl and not winning…that’d be the ultimate worst-case scenario for a majority of reasons).

Both Seattle and Green Bay are different teams from the last time they faced one another (week 14, Packers W 38-10)…many of you reading know the changes that have occurred for the Packers, but Seattle hasn’t had too many differences – the major ones were signing Eddie Lacy (he still won’t be the feature back and if he is that’s good news for Cheesehead nation) and the trade with the Jets just last week that brought troubled, but extremely talented, Sheldon Richardson to Seattle in return for a marginal Wide Receiver (Kearse) and a 2nd round draft pick.

Taking a look at Seattle- they feature the same QB, essentially the same WRs (sans Kearse), and essentially the same Defense (+ Richardson).  The Packers’ OL didn’t have too much trouble keeping Rodgers clean versus that daunting defense, however Seattle added a premier player while Green Bay lost one of the best Guards in the NFL, TJ Lang, to Detroit.  I believe the offense will be fine, maybe not in a position to pull Rodgers with 10+ min left in the 4th in a 28-3 game, but I think hanging 30+ at home in ideal conditions should be the expectation.  Couple that with the fact that Russell Wilson has accounted for 10 INTs since the 2014 NFC title game (50.7 rating in those three games) – the interesting part is the Packers’ defense has only improved and gotten much faster since those 3 meetings.

Sea +: Their entire defense (4th overall in 2016) returns essentially everyone, plus adding Sheldon Richardson only improves their strength.
Sea –: Their offensive line. A team that prided itself and that was built around the rushing attack, finished 25th in rushing and gave up 42 sacks (6th most) last season.

GB +: Their entire offense.  Although losing TJ Lang is a major loss, Ted Thompson bought some insurance by signing veteran Guard Jahri Evans and he should provide a solid veteran presence across that line, keeping them ranked towards the top OL in all the NFL.
GB –: Defensive experience playing together…does that make sense?  The loss of Micah Hyde shouldn’t prove too costly as he’s been replaced with Josh Jones (2nd pick by the Packers in the draft), a player I absolutely believe can be an instant difference-maker.  The new #27 for Green Bay has the potential (dangerous word, I know) to be an Earl Thomas-type playmaker on this Packers’ Defense.  *Question, did I just turn my Packers’ negative into a positive?*

Overall, the Packers are a better team, and have shown to be the bully (which is quite refreshing) in this series the last two games.  If you can, head to to watch 1 play – the game was in hand 31-10 with Brett Hundley in the game – with 5:50 left in the game, immediately following Wilson’s 5th INT of the game, the Packers rand an end around to Jeff Janis to the left side of the offense.  Richard Sherman was lined up on Davante Adams, Sherman slipped on his drop back and Adams took that opportunity to absolutely destroy him on a block that allowed Wayne Larrivee to deliver his “dagger call.”  Yes Sherman slipped, but the attitude behind Adams to attack as a blocker is a note he took out of Jordy Nelson’s book of hustle and if this team plays with that tenacity and attitude, I believe there’s too much talent on this roster to fail in succeeding the goal of winning a Super Bowl…however January is a different time and execution has been lacking since Feb 2011 in that department.

Seahawks 17
Packers 31

22-15: It’s still tough for me to admit I allowed myself to be convinced the Packers were going to roll Atlanta.  But hey, when I’m wrong I’m wrong – however I don’t think that’ll be the case come Sunday!  Have fun!  Go Pack Go!!!

Another Epic Fail? The answers are below :)

Finally football season is upon us!  Don’t worry, I selected my predictions prior to tonight’s kickoff (for those that care).  Looking back to last season, I projected the Packers to go 12-4, host the NFC title and lose to Seattle at Lambeau with the Seahawks to avenge their Super Bowl loss the previous season to the Patriots.  I was…kinda close, right?

This season I’ll kinda go the same route, picking chalk means you’re likely not to be too far off.  Let’s take a look at how this season may go.

1Green Bay 12 4 North 1Pittsburgh 13 3
5Minnesota 9 7 5Baltimore 11 5
Detroit 7 9 Cincinnati 8 8
Chicago 5 11 Cleveland 2 14
4Atlanta 10 6 South 4Houston 7 9
Carolina 8 8 Tennessee 7 9
New Orleans 7 9 Indianapolis 6 10
Tampa Bay 6 10 Jacksonville 4 12
2New York 12 4 East 2New England 13 3
Washington 8 8 Buffalo 6 10
Dallas 8 8 Miami 5 11
Philadelphia 7 9 New York 4 12
3Seattle 12 4 West 3Kansas City 11 5
6Los Angeles 9 7 6Oakland 10 6
Arizona 8 8 Los Angeles 8 8
San Francisco 3 13 Denver 8 8

Keep in mind, I actually take the time (the wife is NOT happy about this either) to fill out the schedule grid, meaning as I pick a win for one team the opponent I mark a loss…so this is a legit game-by-game record for all 32 teams.

Here’s how the playoffs will play out???  (Man I need to write more, to expand my vocabulary)

Wild Card: LA Rams @ Seattle; Minnesota @ Atlanta; Oakland @ Kansas City; Baltimore @ Houston
Divisional: Sea @ New York; Atl @ GB; Kansas City @ New England; Balt @ Pittsburgh
Championship: New York @ Green Bay  /  New England @ Pittsburgh
Super Bowl LII: Green Bay 24 v New England 27

Some may say that I “root against the Packers so I can be right.”  I can assure you that’s not the case.  Others may say that I don’t pick Green Bay to win so I can “hang my hat on being right if my team doesn’t succeed.”  Maybe, but I’m more worried about offering my opinion and sharing my knowledge to make others think in a different way, or at least I hope that’s the case.  Either way, there are plenty of scenarios and narratives I could create and write up suggesting why the Packers could (and should) beat the Patriots, but as for now – 159 days prior to the Super Bowl – Tom Brady and the Patriots seem to just win.  Until someone proves otherwise (besides Eli Manning who is below average until the postseason rolls around) I’ll have to figure New England is King…but man how sweet would it be to have Rodgers v Brady on the biggest stage??????  Let’s hope the fix is in as Goodell would absolutely relish that idea.