Does Hope Have a New Spelling?….Hundley?

Obviously there’s only one story-line that stuck out from the Viking game, however since you didn’t come here to read the same things as everything you’ve read and listened to over the past week how about looking at it from a different perspective?

Stop me if you’ve read this before, but Kenny Clark was the best player on the field last Sunday.  That’s including both teams.  I’m not just using ProFootballFocus as a grade, but they thought the same.  I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but there’s a chance he’s a budding superstar registering an 85.1 overall grade from PFF on the season.  Considering he’s the 17th ranked D-lineman that’s a major improvement, not only for him but for the Packers entire defense.  Considering he had an 83.1 grade v Dallas’ offensive line, which is no longer the best in the NFL but is still considered top 5-10, proves he’s a force at the ripe age of 22.

The other point I’d like to focus on is My Man #27 Josh Jones.  He’s been limited in snaps – I haven’t been keeping close track to snap counts and production when on the field v not – however I’d love to see him start and play as much as possible for three major reasons: 1- When he’s on the field the Packers D seems to get off the field or make things happen, and 2- He’s better than Haha Clinton-Dix who seems to always be 5 yards behind (as to not get beat deep) the play.  The INTs HHCD has are a result of terribly overthrown passes, not by actually reading the QB and making a play.  Finally 3- Jones has shown incredible potential and needs snaps to get better.  If he gets burned, who cares? it happens without him on the field anyway.

Now, finally to take on the prime focus point, Aaron Rodgers’ right collarbone.  While playing Dr. is dangerous because there’s assumptions and we all know what that leads to, but for us fans it’s fun, right?  Let’s look at this two ways….1st Rodgers can make it back by the playoffs, so let’s say week 17 (like in 2013 when he returned to beat the Bears on a 4th down to win the division).  Brett Hundley will be tasked with going .500 down that stretch.  I can’t think of a more ideal opponent than the New Orleans Saints.  A bad defense, historically (not worst of all time, but since Sean Payton has arrived) they’re not good and have relied on the arm of Drew Brees and a distinct home-field advantage to create enough opportunities for the Saints to outscore their opponents.  Well if you’re Brett Hundley, this is what you want- a bad defense coming to your home turf.  New Orleans ranks 26th in overall defense and has only played two road games: week 1 @ Min (470 yards); week 3 @ Car (288 yards).  If the Packers can perform like the Vikings did in week 1 then the Packers have a good shot.

The way I see it, which many of my friends know, I’m quite excited to see how #7 produces in his first NFL career start after a week of preparation v the Saints.  I wouldn’t call this a Must Win game for Green Bay, but this could go a long way to proving to, not only the fans, but his team how Hundley can lead this team and if Rodgers can get back by the playoffs and Hundley leads this team to a division title he’d more than have exceeded initial expectations.  Then again, I’d have to write out an elaborate explanation as to why my expectations changed mid-season even though I say there’s no excuses.  At least for now, I’ll save that for the end of the season.  I digress…this will be a tough matchup, but GO PACK GO!

Saints 27
Packers 24

26-16 overall record

Nothing’s Easy…

Apparently the defense still has some issues to work out – sadly I believe (like many) its still Dom Capers’ issue.  There seems to be talent littered all over this roster, defense included, but guys are usually out of position v getting beat.  Like many thought, the Packers’ offense had little issue moving the ball downfield although it took until the 2nd half to execute.

We can revel in the brilliance of the last drive, but it was a prime example of great play-calling, great players having practiced with one another and being on the same page, and just pure execution.  However, if you’ve read along you know I don’t like to review too much so let’s move on.

Enter the Minnesota Vikings.  Like the title of this blog, it should be an easy win, but likely won’t be.  The Vikes are without their top 3 offensive skill starters: Bradford; Diggs; Cook.  That should alleviate the pressure on the defense – so a successful defensive game would be holding Minnesota to <300 yards and <20 points.  If Green Bay struggles then everyone should be looking at red flags.  Please don’t think “Just win the game and move on.”  A super bowl team should be able to run the Vikings out of the gym.

Minnesota does possess a solid defense (7th overall) and Mike Zimmer-led defenses has given Aaron Rodgers-led offenses fits.  I believe they’re even in 8 games (4-4), but this shouldn’t matter because the overall talent is far superior for the Packers.

Packers 27
Vikings 17

26-15: I didn’t update last week’s record, so far things are looking good- so let’s keep it up!

A Forced Rivalry?

Covering the results from the Bears game- the Packers found a way to get the job done on a short week while missing quite a few players.  There was actually a point in the game (likely after Glennon’s 2nd or maybe 3rd turnover) where Packer fans (I did) had to ask themselves “How in the hell did Chicago beat Pittsburgh?”  That begs quite a few questions, however with it being a short week for the Bears as well, let’s not look too much into it.  Got the W and let’s move on.

Dallas Cowboys – a team I picked to finish 8-8 this year, and considered one of the biggest frauds (of all-time) last year.  There are quite a few items I’d like to cover, so here we go:

  1. Aaron Rodgers’ interviews this week seem to exude extreme confidence (as they should).
  2. Recent track record.
  3. The hurt get healthy, really healthy.

1—Looking at the first item…this week Rodgers was asked about his success in playing in that stadium and if there’s a rivalry that’s been reborn.  His response is quite comforting to me (and I’ll paraphrase): Well our team is different, as it is every year.  So is theirs…they’re missing guys like Claiborne (CB), Barry Church (Safety), and Carr (CB).  Those were average, to above average players and now they’re gone having been replaced by no names.  Also, they all play in the defensive backfield and where the Cowboys helped themselves out last year by controlling the ball and keeping their D fresh – they can’t seem to accomplish the same in 2017.  Have people figured out how to defend Dak Prescott?  Maybe.  But let’s look at their recent track record.

2—in their 4 games this year, Dallas has given up the following stats 101/154, 1031 yards, 8td/1int for a total rating of 99.24.  In week 2, the Broncos (not known for their offense) racked up 42 points on 380 total yards v Dallas.  Just think what Aaron Rodgers should be able to accomplish v that defense, especially in ideal conditions as well in a place that he’s had quite a bit of success (I believe he’s 2-0 there, both in the postseason, for what it’s worth).

3—lastly, the Packers are returning 3 major starters: Bakhtiari; Bulaga; Daniels.  All 3 are major contributors and at key positions for this matchup.  The Cowboys feature DeMarcus Lawrence (#90), whom leads the NFL in sacks (7.5) through the 1st quarter of the season.  Having Bakhtiari and Bulaga return eases quite a bit of discomfort I’d normally have rolling into this game.  On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys still possess one of the NFL’s premier offensive lines, and Daniels’ return should aid Green Bay’s rush defense.

With all of these factors, aside from being pessimistic and worrying, it’s tough for me to see how Dallas can win this game (turnovers, blah blah blah).  If ever there was a time for this offense to get on track, it’s NOW!  I’ve been wrong before and I’ll guarantee I’ll be wrong again, but until then…

Packers 34
Cowboys 20