Bears Week, Keep Pace

Review~ 4 turnovers.  That’s it.  That was the game.  The Packers offense showed, when in rhythm, they can do what they want.  The defense did a good job on limiting the points off turnovers, 6.  The issue is once the gates were opened, the flood came through.  They still were able to beat the Colts’ OL to the point of attack to have 5 holding calls in the final 8 plays to keep them in the game.

The Packers also lost time of possession 27:49 to 35:01.  The offense had 3 opportunities to ice this game:

  1. 1st drive of the 2nd half, after the Colts only scored a field goal, the offense could’ve driven down and scored a TD, which would’ve made it 35-17, essentially icing it.
  2. Rodgers did a good job (great catch by MVS on that bomb) driving down the field to ensure the tie, but missed a wide open Tonyan on the final play where he tunnel-visioned Adams (usually not a bad play).
  3. In OT, they started off with a nicely designed swing route to Aaron Jones for 8 yards until the WR screen hit MVS which looked like it’d gain a 1st down and fumbled it on a slap. 

The Defense did enough to win, but not with 4 turnovers (if Shepherd was cut, that’s not the worst thing). 

Preview~ Green Bay started off the season with 4 straight wins and up 10-0, and the ball vs. a talented Tampa Bay team, and since then has completely squandered their turnover differential in the 6 games that have followed (including @ TB).  For now, that’s the best indicator of the Packers’ chances of winning…winning (or not losing) the turnover battle. 

We’re at the point of the season where a team’s net points determine its true strength.  Meaning, total points scored minus points given up.  Green Bay currently sits 9th at +50.  That would seem about right.  The teams “ranked” ahead of the Packers all seem to be as good or better:

  • Pit +124
  • KC +107
  • NO +73
  • Bal +73
  • Ind +68
  • TB +67
  • Mia +62
  • LAR +51

The Packers have an opportunity to increase their margin of victory by blasting Chicago, which would also do some serious damage to their postseason aspirations.


Chicago is downright terrible.  They’re the 31st ranked offense in both yards and scoring, so the Packers’ defense has an opportunity to correct the issues they’ve experienced, unless after 10 games they are who they are – which is average.  What’s hilarious about all of this is the 2018 AP NFL Coach of the Year, Matt Nagy, is still the head coach of the Bears and he’s the lone reason their offense is garbage.  My cousin picked this out initially – he loves being the smartest guy in the room, all the time.  Sometimes LaFleur develops those tendencies as well, but is fairly quick to adapt and adjust…i.e. see the Divisional round game vs. Seattle.  In addition to this, Chicago is choosing to go back to Mitch Trubisky, which should alleviate some heartburn for Packer nation as Foles isn’t scared to lose which is why he’s sometimes terrible, but also why he shines in the postseason.  Make Mitch throw and you should be able to hold them under 20 points.

Let’s put it this way, as it currently stands, the Packers are the 3 seed and this being the inaugural season where there’s only 1 team per conference to receive the bye, it’s even more of an advantage to lock up the 1 seed.  Now the Packers will need help in that department, but first things first, beat the Bears.

Bears 17
Packers 34

Season: 7-3
Overall: 62-34

Even Match-Up?

Review~ the Packers committed 2 turnovers, although it acted as 3 when you factor in the punt return for a TD.  However, Green Bay couldn’t have played much worse, they still came away with a victory which is more of a show at how poor Jacksonville really is.  The puzzling thing is Jacksonville’s lone victory came against the Colts in week 1…really doesn’t make sense, does it?  Yes, the Jaguars had Gardner Minshew quarterbacking in week 1, and that may have made the difference, but if that’s the case, then Rodgers and Green Bay should have no issue, right?

Preview~ Indy features one of the best defenses in the NFL.  As mentioned above, this team is tough to figure out.  They lost to Jacksonville in week 1, at home.  Then they plastered the Titans (albeit on short rest) last week.  Frank Reich (head coach) has been quite good so far, and has Rivers playing well enough to be 6-3 and looking like a solid, balanced team. 

GB121.4 (11)274.3 (6)395.8 (6)30.8 (3)110.8 (12)225.1 (13)335.9 (9)24.9 (15)
Ind105.8 (20)262.4 (10)368.2 (15)26.9 (14)91.8 (3)198.7 (2)290.4 (1)19.7 (4)

The matchup looks about as even as you could find in the NFL – as far as rankings go.  The Packers present an average defense to battle the average offense of the Colts.  Adversely, the Packers’ offense ranks 3rd in points and faces the 4th defense of the Colts.  This should be as good a test as any that presents Green Bay this season.  Well, this and next week (Chicago, currently 7th) will be great tests, and this is in a dome so no better time to burn a good D than now. 

The experts in the desert show this to be a close game, Indianapolis is favored by 1.5 (as of Friday) with an over/under of 49.  I think the Packers play much better in the dome and get the offense back on track with the return of Lazard. 

Packers 27
Colts 24

Season: 7-2
Overall: 62-33

Packers will “Master” the Jags…(see what I did?)

Review~ the Packers pounded the JV-squad San Fran put on the field last Thursday night, as they should have.  Rodgers played his best game, probably since the Dallas game last season.  Statistically he was lights out.  Davante Adams did solidify himself as a top 5 WR (if not the best) in the NFL.  Rodgers still throws off his back foot from time-to-time, which didn’t come anywhere near haunting him, but easily could (and likely will) come January.  There’s not much to really cover, the defense was fine and the offense moved the ball at will.  Much should be the same tomorrow vs. Jacksonville, and Green Bay has a chance to really solidify some things to gain serious momentum moving to the 2nd half of the season. 

Preview~ enter, possibly, the worst team in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars.    Much like the week 8 match-up vs. Minnesota, Green Bay should have no issue with the Jags.  Then again…

 Rush YdsPass YdsTotal YdsPointsRush YdsPass YdsTotal YdsPoints
Jax98.9 (27)251.6 (18)350.5 (21)22.4 (26)138.1 (27)280.0 (28)418.1 (31)30.9 (31)
GB126.6 (10)269.3 (8)395.9 (7)31.6 (3)111.0 (12)234.4 (13)345.4 (11)25.5 (17)

As you can see, the Jaguars are awful in every category, and they’re an awful team.  The Packers have a chance to get their defensive ranking up in the top 10, for yards at least.  The points are most indicative of a true D.  As of right now Green Bay’s defense is average to below average.  If the Jaguars have any shot, it’s winning the turnover battle by at least 2 or 3, or a couple of special team plays that give them free points.  So, since there’s not much to say, look for the Packers to get rookie A.J. Dillon going and continue to conserve Aaron Jones. 

Jaguars 17
Packers 38

Season: 6-2
Overall: 61-33

What Could’ve Been…(7-1??)

Review~ that’s a tough game to get out of your mind…well it at least sticks with me in the case in the sense that Do Super Bowl winning (key word there) teams have a showing like that at all during their championship season?  I’ve gone back in years past, but it doesn’t matter…the answer is Of course they have, however the only one that sticks to me is the 2003 New England Patriots.  Their week 1 loss in Buffalo (31-0) was the same caliber of loss.  The Patriots ended up 14-2 and in week 17 they beat that same Buffalo team 31-0…

This is all looking for reason the Packers can still win the Super Bowl and the item I continue to get hung up on is this team (Rodgers too) continuously needs to have an elite defense, which they were in route to having last year, and they do not.  It’s obvious, but the Packers were tasked with stopping Dalvin Cook and making Cousins beat you…instead, Cook had a career game, to the likes of which he’ll never have again.  Is that scheme?  Personnel?  Both?  I’m going with scheme.  Pettine has openly admitted to “not caring” about stopping the run because this is “a passing league, and you must stop the pass.”  I’m old-school, run the ball and stop the run is the shortest path to victory in football.

On top of that, as soon as the Packers’ offense got away from the run game (not sure whom to blame, QB or HC, or both) it lost all rhythm and suffered greatly.  This Packers’ team is built to play off one another and if the offense is rolling then the defense can get in a groove, but it’s the offense’s responsibility (fair or not, it’s how its constructed) to initiate and dictate the mood, the defense plays off that and creates opportunities from there.  Also, in the regular season, offenses can put such pressure on the opposing QB to play perfect and that compounds upon itself (see Minnesota last week, although I’ll contest the Packers’ offense did that to themselves). 

Preview~ the 49ers enter this game completely maimed with injuries.  Not one player that touched the ball in the NFC title game will be active tonight.  The main issue?  Kyle Shanahan.  The guy plays chess vs. our defense and since the 2016 NFC title game (played in Jan ’17) has shredded the Packers’ D.  Even when he joined SF as head coach and traveled to Lambeau on a Monday Night in October of 2018, Shanahan had C.J. Beathard with the following stat line: 16/23; 245 yards; 2 TD; 1 INT; 115.3 rating.   Tonight’s starter, Nick Mullens, is far better than Beathard and could easily present a problem again for Green Bay’s defense if they can get the ground game going.  Mullens follows the playbook and executes, which when done in (any offense, especially) Shanahan’s offense could be lethal.

GB128.9 (9)265.7 (9)394.6 (9)31.3 (4)119.0 (15)227.6 (13)346.6 (11)26.7 (20)
SF127.0 (11)251.6 (17)378.6 (12)26.0 (15)105.6 (10)209.0 (4)314.6 (6)21.6 (10)

Checking the matchup chart above, it seems to be even across the ball.  The advantage that I see sides with Green Bay for 2 reasons: health; quarterback. 

Win the turnover battle, hell get greedy and let’s get 2 or 3 from their quandary of backups on offense.   Should the Packers open the game hot, like they have the previous 7, look for Shanahan to continue with the ground game until he absolutely can’t…

I may be picking this game with my heart, but what the hell…

Packers 27
49ers 21

Season: 5-2
Overall: 60-33

Gearing Up for a Battle? (@ SF this Thursday…)

The prescription the Dr. ordered was the perfect remedy.  The offense got back on schedule and credit goes to the QB for executing it as such.  As the QB goes, so goes the team.  That’s essentially how it’s always been, for any team, any year…key word essentially. 

In Tampa, Rodgers had 2 bad/unfortunate INTs, then mailed it in, as did the remaining 52 (or 45, whatever).  Rodgers executed well in Houston, as did the rest of the team.  While the defense gave up some yards and points, when a stop was an absolute must, it delivered…mainly the Preston Smith tackle of Deshaun Watson on that awful 4th & 1 option call. 

Preview~ Green Bay hung 43 points in Minnesota in week 1.  While those were perfect conditions (dome and no crowd), much should be the same this go around.  The main issue could be the wind (forecast shows 37° and wind up to 26 mph).  Let’s take a look at how these teams rank/match-up:

 Offense Defense
 RushPassTotalPoints RushPassTotalPoints
Min139.2 (6)235.0 (22)374.2 (14)25.8 (17) 129.0 (22)286.7 (29)413.7 (28)32.0 (30)
GB132.2 (10)261.5 (14)393.7 (8)32.8 (2) 117.0 (12)240.3 (18)350.3 (11)26.5 (19)

When the Vikings have the ball, it appears to be an “even matchup.”  Meaning, Minnesota gains about the same amount of yards (and ranks similarly) as the Packers allow.  The major advantage is when the Packers have the ball.  Green Bay catapulted back up the rankings in points scored (previously 1st prior to the horror show in Tampa Bay, but now 2nd with 32.8 points/game).  Keep an eye on the secondary for the Packers.  Raven Greene (S #24) had a quiet nice game and showed his sound tackling.  He helped keep the Texans “in front” of the defense and made them work for every yard.  Darnell Savage is Questionable too, so those are 2 – possibly big – injuries to take note. 

With the return of Kenny Clark, the defense saw a much-needed boost in the middle coupled with the initial play of Kamal Martin (rookie ILB #54) was refreshing to see a ILB both be able to cover AND stick it in the run game.  My cousin had a good comparison, Desmond Bishop.  Which this defense has been missing since his leg injury in 2011.  While I don’t think Martin is on the same level of athletic/thumping ability, he’s far ahead of anyone we’ve had there since.  He also has Kenny Clark who is far better than BJ Raji, and Raji was very good.  The other thing people should notice (if they haven’t already) is Jaire Alexander is a true lockdown corner.  He rarely gets targeted and typically follows, not only, the #1 WR – but he seems to be matched up on the player that’s likely had the play designed to get the ball to…impressive isn’t a strong enough word for his play and improvement since his rookie year.

How can Minnesota come out of Lambeau with a victory?  Winning the turnover battle by at least 2 and have Green Bay come down with key injuries.

Look for more of the same…let’s bury this annoying team/fan base and laugh at their obsession with begging for Captain Average.

Vikings 24
Packers 41

Season: 5-1
Overall: 60-32