Biding Time Until Super Bowl Sunday!

With the coaching staff finally taking shape, this is a very interesting time to be a Packers fan, as there has been major change across the organization, essentially conducting a full rebuild- sans quarterback.  As stated earlier in other blogs, LaFleur will bring a fresh look and hopefully get Rodgers to perform to his contract, and ultimately win games and Super Bowls…plural.

He brings in Nathaniel Hackett, former Offensive Coordinator from the Jacksonville Jaguars, with both LaFleur and Hackett bringing a much-needed focus on the run game.  The Packers will need to address the offensive line, and add a solid Tight End- assuming they don’t keep Mercedes Lewis, who called out Aaron Rodgers for changing plays in the huddle, my guess is HE GONE!

Since the Super Bowl isn’t until the following week, and a majority of the week has been taken over by the blown non-PI call in the NFC title game…AND the laughable argument about OT rules for not allowing Mahommes to “get a chance” in OT—let’s dive a little into the State of the Packers.

The major topic for Packer fans should be turned to 4 players currently on the roster with decisions to be made…

Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Randall Cobb, and Jimmy Graham.  Considering the contracts for each (Cobb’s and Matthews’ are expired) it would make sense to cut ties with all 4, it’d also make sense to bring back Matthews and/or Cobb considering they actually bring SOME value whereas Nick Perry is straight up garbage.  Listening to a podcaster from Cheesehead TV earlier this week, had made mention about how Nick Perry is the worst player on the Packers.  Essentially he contributed nothing on any play, and since his contract year where he registered 12 sacks (including playoffs) in 2016, he’s done nothing…I wish there were another word to use, but that’s it!  Also, those 12 sacks came against $hit Tackles, left alone, or was pushed into the QB…just cut him and save the…oh wait, they can’t, his cap hit is too much, but after 2019 he will be gone and only eat $7ishM.

Randall Cobb—the influx of youth at the WR position last year pretty much forced the hand here, however the position altogether is quite interesting.

  • Davante Adams = stud.
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling = promising.
  • J’Mon Moore = incomplete (that’s on the coaches, this was the year to find out, b/c the Packers never were winning the Super Bowl anyway).
  • Equanimeous St. Brown = high ceiling.
  • Trevor Davis = return man, that’s it. He’s also not great at it so he better be gone.
  • Geronimo Allison = Rodgers seems to like him, and he’s shown to know the playbook and be where he’s supposed to be, a nice 4th
  • Jake Kumerow = great story, good blood line, likely worth a shot at making the team next year

Does this leave room for Cobb to return?  If it were my call, no. Just save the $, go with youth—isn’t the plan from this new coaching staff to correct the QB?  If the QB is so great shouldn’t it be enough to have these WRs who likely will continue to improve?  Yes is the answer if you’re struggling with those questions.

Clay Matthews—likely have to bring him back, on a much lower contract, but this team has zero depth at Edge Rusher and while he’s not productive (nowhere near his first 5-6 years in the league) he still knows where to be, hustles, sets a great example, and makes some plays from time to time at the line of scrimmage.

Jimmy Graham—C YA!  I can’t think of any reason to bring him back.  Both of Rodgers’ interceptions this year came throwing to Graham over the middle, which is where he should dominate, and since he can’t get open because he’s slower than I am he should be able to outjump guys for the ball—nope.  To borrow one of my cousin’s favorite phrases he’s a true “slug, just straight garbage.”

So there ya have it, something to chew on until next week’s Super Bowl preview.

The (recent) Formula for getting to the Super Bowl

Entering Championship Sunday, much is made about the makeup of the NFL’s Final Four.  That’s the trend though, every year in every sport.  Everything is Copy-Cat—because that’s what’s worked.  It even made a strong appearance in head coaching hires (Packers included) with the hot trend being a Sean McVay-type, young and innovative.  However, the phrase “Defense wins championships” has always rung true to me with the idea that when looking at champions, it’s usually the defense that wins in the playoffs.  Yet we judge Quarterbacks by championships (at least I do) because they’re the constant as no one team can keep the same 11 defenders for the same stretch as they can 1 QB, although maybe they should.  Let’s look at the make-up of each team, shall we?

Team Off. Rank Def. rank
Chiefs 1st 24th
Rams 2nd 20th
Saints 3rd 14th
Patriots 4th 7th

Obviously this shows the top 4 scoring teams in the NFL this year are in the Championship games for their respective conferences.  While that doesn’t jive with the “Defense Wins Championships” slogan, what it does show is offense does win games in the regular season and home field advantage is so paramount in the playoffs.  While defenses “travel” (meaning they don’t get hot at the right time, they’re just good), home field advantage has been the better indicator of whom advances in the postseason, especially those teams that have a 1st round bye.  Since the 2013 season, every Super Bowl participant will have had a 1st round bye, and all would have been the 1 seed except for the 2016 Falcons.  While anything can happen, and any team can beat another, of course, recent odds/trends show that the home teams will prevail on Championship Sunday- which would make many fans happy, considering the Patriots actually did not earn the 1 seed this year.







Following that trend, let’s take a look at those Super Bowl Matchups:

Super Bowl   Off Def
LII Patriots 2 5
Eagles 3 4
LI Patriots 3 1
Falcons 1 27
50 Broncos 19 4
Panthers 1 6
XLIX Patriots 4 8
Seahawks 10 1
XLVII Broncos 1 22
Seahawks 8 1

As you can see by the graph above, the better ranked defense bested the opposition in 4 of the last 5 Super Bowl matchups.  So it’s safe to say, the best way to win the Super Bowl is to have the 1 seed and to have the better ranked defense in the Super Bowl…or Tom Brady, whatever is easier.

For the interest in most of the people reading this (if you still are), where does that leave the Packers?  We’ll take a closer look come Super Bowl week.

In the meantime, hopefully these should be some great games!

The New Guy– impossible to succeed?

The (almost) full rebuild of the Green Bay Packers is complete!  Yes, you read that correctly.  The Packers have essentially gone through a full rebuild in the last 15 months, but have gone about it rather quietly while saying (and fake-showing) they’ve been “going for it.”  They removed Ted Thompson as GM, fired Mike McCarthy from Head Coach, traded players (Haha Clinton-Dix and Ty Montgomery) to ensure draft picks on guys they likely weren’t resigning and have changed their philosophy on building a roster.  The weird part, and why the media keeps asking, is the hierarchy structure in place my President Mark Murphy.

It feels as though the Board of Directors is getting a bit impatient with the Packers and not winning championships, even though they’re printing money, and Murphy seems to be acting out of desperation (usually not a good idea) by taking control of as much as he can, even down to hiring the Head Coach…what’s next, inputting stock on draft picks?  It begs the question, because meddling owners don’t win.  Unless you’re George Steinbrenner and you just pay for talent with blank checks, which even that’s gone by the wayside a bit in baseball.

So here we are, Matt LeFleur, the 15th head coach in Packer history.  He comes with a fairly impressive resume, and an image that the ladies will like.  However, what does this all mean?  Can the Packers win a Super Bowl with Rodgers still at Quarterback?  Possibly, it’ll take a solid draft (or 2), plus the defense to continue to grow under Mike Pettine—whom I believe will keep his job, which might’ve been part of the requirement for the next head coach.  The fun part, is even for fans like me, realists???, this should be somewhat of an exciting time because it’s change.  Nothing had changed for a while, yet the results were still the same, odd ehh?  If you’d like a deep dive into LeFeur’s history, we can go that route, but that may be better saved for post-draft, which will be absolutely essential (aren’t’ they all?) if the Packers have plans on winning a Super Bowl in the next 2 seasons.

That brings me to the whole Expectations item.  Normally I’m the guy with “If you have Aaron Rodgers, and he’s so good, you should win the Super Bowl.”  While true, if he’s that good, which is a whole other topic…but I believe the goal now, with LeFleur having a 4-year deal (5th year option) and Rodgers having 5 years left on his contract, what is the new goal for that window?

2 Super Bowl wins?  I’d argue that’s the minimum, let’s not even bring into account trying to make up for lost opportunities…

Thoughts On Rodgers

There should be concern amongst Packer nation that their beloved quarterback has manipulated the organization…again.  The Packers somehow came out roses last time due to Ted Thompson having the wherewithal to draft Aaron Rodgers when 23 other teams decided against it, however he seems to now be the issue—potentially.  Before coming at me (if you have the passion/desire to do so, which would be fun!) let’s take a look at where the Packers sit.

Their tight end, Mercedes Lewis, said last night (or earlier this morning) that Aaron Rodgers would disregard McCarthy’s plays and just run his own, that there was a dysfunction unlike anything he’s ever seen.  And he played for Jacksonville for 12 years…that has me thinking a few things.

Did Rodgers sabotage Mike McCarthy?  Does he think he can run a better offense from the field?  Will the next coach be able to reign him in?  Will the next coach want to?

These are the things swirling through my mind as the Packers continue their search for their 15th head coach (16th if you include Philbin, which I don’t think you do).  After going 6-9-1, which Rodgers started all 16 games and while his stats will say he wasn’t the issue, this was a majority of his mess—the Packers will need to find the best possible coach for them, hit on multiple draft picks AND have quite a few players make the jump from rookies to year 2 (*cough cough Josh Jackson).

It’ll be interesting to see, but this whole thing with Rodgers seeming to have sabotaged the Packers doesn’t sit well with me, ‘nor should it you.  Think, honestly tell yourself, if this were any other player on the Packers would you feel the same?

Just a thought.  Thanks for reading.

Finished 43-25…just for score-keeping 🙂