Cousins Won / Tough Test (they’re fresh)

Review~ Cousins beat us…just a few milliseconds late on a couple of plays made the difference.  The roughing call on Keke that negated Savage’s first INT, then Savage’s “dropped” INT, which could’ve been his 2nd, added 10 points to the Vikings’ ledger. 

Missed Kick.  It’s growing more and more apparent that this is an issue with the long snapper and/or holder, however the issue must be fixed.  Crosby was perfect last season and began 9/9 this year prior to the Packers making the switch from Hunter Bradley to Steven Wirtel (#46).   Either way, this must be figured out, regardless of How.

Penalties – 8 accepted for 92 yards.  That’s a killer, essentially adding that total to the Vikings.  As mentioned above, the Keke roughing added 7 points to Minnesota which could’ve been a 10–14-point swing right there.

Time of Possession – Minnesota won the TOP 31:01 to 28:59. Yes, the Defense could’ve/should’ve come up with the stop on that last Minnesota drive, and damn near did, but they didn’t and the Packers lost.

While the loss dropped Green Bay to the 2-seed and bumped Minnesota up to the 6th seed, I still don’t feel any worse/better after this game, as the injuries really affected the Packers.  Assuming some of these guys will return before season’s end, that should give confidence to Packer nation that this team is as talented as any team in the NFL. 


Pts27.17 19.55
Rush105.211 108.020
Pts22.715 22.517
Diff.3T-9th 74th

Preview~ This seems to be about an even a matchup as there’s been this year in the NFL, at least on paper.  I believe the Packers opened as 1.5-point favorites, and as of Friday afternoon, the Rams are 0.5-point favorites.  Keep in mind the Packers are making up for their fortunate health situation in 2019 & 2020 with 16 guys on the IR (Injured Reserve and/or Injury Report), which resembles 2010.

This is a strength vs. strength (Rams’ Offense vs. Green Bay’s Defense), especially the passing game.  The Packers struggled last week, but aside from Kenny Clark absolutely humiliating every center the Vikings threw out there, Green Bay still couldn’t generate enough of a pass rush (2 sacks on 5 QB hits) to help the decimated secondary. 

This may be it for the margin for error when it comes to obtaining the 1-seed, then again, this has been a screwy a year as ever, and once a team looks great, they get bested by a $hit team (i.e., see Buffalo losing to Jacksonville).  If Green Bay can get to their BYE at 9-3, with the idea that potentially Aaron Jones, Rashan Gary (whom may play Sunday vs LA), Za’Darius Smith, and possibly Jaire Alexander could return before the postseason could really inject life (and a boat load of talent and production) into an already strong team.

This should feel like a playoff game – even as it’s a rematch of the divisional round game last year – Aaron Donald will be 100% this game, the Packers’ OL will be far from it.  Could the difference be Aaron Donald (#99), Von Miller (#40), and Leonard Floyd (#54) vs. a really banged up Packers front-5?  Hopefully Rodgers and LaFleur can get crafty enough to get running lanes and the screen-game going to alleviate pressure and hold the ball.  The weather could play a factor for the speedy Rams, so let’s see what these guys come up with, shall we?

Rams 27
Packers 28

Season: 7-4
Overall: 76-40

Got It Back / Now, make Cousins Beat You

Review~ the statement was made and verified in these last 2 games.  The Packers’ defense is good; possibly great.  While Rodgers was off upon his return, he did plenty of things that deserved the victory.  He missed on 2 passes that didn’t come back to kill the team:

  1. The interception in the end zone to Jamal Adams on 3rd & 6 when it was only a 3-0 game, coming off the Kevin King interception.
  2. The pass to Aaron Jones 2 plays prior that could’ve gone for a touchdown. 

Nitpicky, but one decision and another throw that Rodgers has in muscle-memory, it seems.

LaFleur stuck with the ground game, and it paid off, again.  Aaron Jones had 11 touches for 86 yards.  A.J. Dillon had his 2nd best pro game with 23 touches, 128 yards, and 2 TDs.  Patrick Taylor chipped in with 2 rushes for 7 yards in mop up time/elevation from the Jones injury.

The HBs touched it 51.4% of the snaps accounting for 221 yards (56.2%) and 2 TDs.  That’s some great balance and only opens up the pass game. 

One looming issue is the O-line.  The Packers could really benefit from getting Bakhtiari and rookie Center, Josh Myers back from injury.  However, the issue with Bakhtiari is he tore his ACL on New Year’s Day, and while that’s typically a 12-month injury, it takes an additional season for a player to return to (or flirt with) 100%.  The rumor is 69 suffered a “setback” in practice this week.  He’s too good of a player, in the latter portion of his prime years to be messing around with that – yes I know the Packers have as good a shot at winning as ever, it doesn’t mean you rush a player of this caliber back, especially when 69’s window could be open for another 4 years.

All in all, a very solid W…one that should have you excited as we trend towards the best part of the football season.

Preview~ should Green Bay prevail, the division race (not the goal, but a decent check mark) is all but over.  The Packers would hold a 5.5+ (the “+” is due to the tiebreaker) game lead over Minnesota with 6 to play.  While many say “This Vikings team is better than their record,” I’m a fairly big believer in the Bill Parcells motto “You are what your record says you are.”  Do the Vikes have talent?  Sure.  Are they good?  They can be, sometimes.  Is this their Super Bowl since they can’t win one?  Yes.

Green Bay will take Minnesota’s best shot come Noon Sunday.  In addition to the divisional race (it’s over), the Vikings are sitting in the 8th spot (remember the NFL now takes 7 teams from each conference), so they’re fighting like hell for that last spot. 


Off Rush109.319th122.49th
Off Pass230.118th262.29th
Off Total339.420th384.77th
Off Pts21.719th 24.614th
Def Rush107.214th 130.628th
Def Pass202.73rd238.614th
Def Total309.93rd369.123rd
Def Pts18.03rd 23.416th
Diff.74th 6T-5th

Keep in mind, last week Seattle entered 1st in giveaways, with 4.  Green Bay took it away twice, ultimately should’ve been thrice (Amos’ dropped 2nd INT).  I believe that’s a testament to Joe Barry.  The coaching staff is essentially the same, the personnel is very similar with the one major exception being De’Vondre Campbell (ILB #59).  He’s not only had an outstanding season, the team has tackled, covered, and been in position far better than any year since 2010.  I believe the major factor is Joe Barry’s ability to deliver the message and the defense (especially the secondary of Amos & Savage) to relay it to the rest of the D. 

^^As you can see, Minnesota has a top-10 offense, in yards, but struggles converting it to points.  Their defense is average across the board, except they can’t stop the run, so “Hello A.J. Dillon.”

Also, what’s not listed in the matchup stats is Green Bay ranks 4th in Time of Possession, averaging 32:07 minutes (not including any OT time).  That’s a monstrous help to the defense…they’re not on the field!

Also, we’re getting to the point in the season where Point-Differential matters.  It’s indicative of a team’s True Strength. The Packers currently sit 10th in the NFL with a +36, while Minnesota (under .500 mind you) is 17th at +10.  You may want to “throw out” week 1 as this Packers team isn’t that team.  While true, it’s incorporated for a reason, mainly because even good teams have No Shows from time to time. 

YearChampPt. Diff. Rank
2011Giants19th (-6??)

So, essentially outside of the random 2011 Giants team, the Super Bowl champ averages 5th – 6th (including that Giants ranking) in this category.  Remove them, and its 4th.  My belief is by season’s end, the Packers will be in that top-4 ranking again (last season finished 3rd). 

The playmakers are well-known: #18 Justin Jefferson; #19 Adam Thielen; #33 Dalvin Cook.  Stopping Cook is key – he tore apart Green Bay last year in Lambeau (226 yards, 4 TDs, on 32 touches) and that was the difference.  I believe it’ll be a bit of a lower scoring game again…

Packers 24
Vikings 20

Season: 7-3
Overall: 76-39

Get Back Game

Review~ that was the best performance by a Green Bay defense in quite some time.  However, there’s an asterisk next to it due to Kansas City having a whole bunch of things wrong with them…still held their 1st potential scoring offense to 13 points with a boat load of special team errors. 

LaFleur got away from the run, again – I don’t mean to make it sound like this often happens, but often enough – recording only 25 rush attempts of the 60 total snaps (41.67%).  Of the 301 total yards, 122 came from rushing (40.5%).

  • Aaron Jones: 12 carries, 2 targets, 53 total yards
  • A.J. Dillon: 8 carries, 4 targets, 90 total yards

The Packers won the time of possession, hell they dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and controlled the game.  While I don’t like absolutes, Almost Always the QB decides the outcome of the game.  This was one of those games (like 95-99% of all games) dictated by the QB.  The Packers needed Love to come up with 1-2 more plays…meanwhile Mahomes was off (both has been all year and credit to Green Bay’s defense), yet made a game-clinching throw in crunch time. 

Even with Love’s below-average debut, had the Packers:

  1. Not had a mis-hold, pull-hooked FG
  2. Not had a blocked FG
  3. Muffed a punt
  4. Dropped INT (King) before half

…those 4 plays alone would’ve swung the game from a 7-13 loss into a 13-7 Packers win.  Now, that’s easy to say, but the game would’ve gone/flowed much different if any one of those things happened differently.  The promising thing (while there’s no Moral Victories, there are things to take away and notice from our perspective) is the Packers went into one of the toughest environments, against an uber-talented team (two-time AFC’s Super Bowl representative) in Desperation, and without a comedy of special team errors, would’ve come out victorious with an inexperienced backup QB and a slew of injuries.

*I may write a separate blog during the BYE week discussing Jordan Love’s “performance,” but I haven’t seen enough of him to decide whether he’s “good” or otherwise. *

Do I think Love is the future?  I hope so, but I know that I don’t know, yet…

Preview~ Seattle is an interesting team coming in.  They’re coming off a BYE, having won their first home game of the season in their last game (W 31-7 vs. Jacksonville on Oct. 31st). 

2021Sea D.vs.GB O.
Rush127.6 (25) 109.7 (18)
Pass273.9 (29) 223.8 (23)
Total401.5 (31) 333.4 (22)
Points21.1 (9) 22.1 (20)
 Sea O.vs.GB D.
Rush102.9 (21) 110.8 (17)
Pass211.1 (27) 210.4 (7)
Total314.0 (29) 321.2 (5)
Points22.6 (19) 20.0 (6)

The Packers have the better rank in 7 of the 8 categories, but Seattle seems to be the epitome of Bend but Don’t Break defense.  They have awful yard rankings, yet are the 9th scoring D, giving up 21.1 points/game.

Sea8 (T-23rd)4 (1st)4 (T-8th)
GB14 (T-6th)8 (T-5th)6 (T-4th)

Seattle also doesn’t turn the ball over, giving it away only 4 times all season.  The Packers failed to generate a turnover for the first time since week 1.  It seems Kenny Clark and Erik Stokes weren’t injured too severely, however were listed as “Questionable” on Friday during and after practice.  It would greatly help to have both back in the lineup, especially to combat the return of Russell Wilson – who will be looking for his 1st victory in Lambeau Field in his career. 

Another Equalizer could be Red Zone efficiency, both on offense and defense. 

 Off. (%/Rank)Def. (%/Rank)
Sea75% (2)48.4% (5)
GB55.9% (T-20)76% (31)

Seattle absolutely OWNS this department as the Packers are terrible on both accounts, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  This is yet another matchup vs. a capable QB on a desperate team, however this time Green Bay will likely have Rodgers back under center and homefield advantage. 

Should the Packers use the ground game like they did in Arizona, and a few other times this season, it should decimate the bad (by yardage rank, but their Red Zone D is very good, hence the 9th scoring D rank) Seattle defense, Green Bay should come out victorious.

Seahawks 21
Packers 31

Season: 6-3
Overall: 75-39

Love It.

Review~ 3 main factors came from the Game of the Year:

  1. Gameplan—absolutely brilliant.  It was so good that it wasn’t executed all that well, but it was such a good plan that if the 7 plays within the Cardinals’ 3-yard line netted more than 3 points, this would’ve been a Packers decisive victory.
    1. Of the 72 total plays, 34 were rush attempts (56% of the total yards)
      1. Aaron Jones had 22 touches (26 targets), 110 yards, 1 TD
      1. A.J. Dillon: 16 touches; 78 yards
  2. Time of Possession.  Green Bay held the ball for 37:35 compared to Arizona’s 22:25. Sure Arizona had a chance to steal a victory at the end, had the Touchdown stood on that Packers’ last drive and/or they just pounded A.J. Dillon a bunch on any/all of those 7 plays within the Cardinals’ 3-yard line, this is a 10 to 14-point Packer victory.
  3. Game Decider: +3 on the turnover ledger. 
    1. Muffed punt resulted in 3 points (easily should’ve been 7).
    1. Henry Black INT on the 1st possession of the 2nd half resulted in a TD toss to Cobb.
    1. INT in the end zone by newly found hero, Rasul Douglas (#29).

Preview~ well, to borrow the phrase from sports radio host, Steve Czaban, “We get a ‘Sneak Peek’ into the future.”  This is an almost ideal situation for Jordan Love to gain some much-needed experience.  It’s a regular season game, a big one, coming off a bunch of rest (Thu night previous game), heading into a marquee matchup against, quite possibly, the hungriest team in the NFL.  Let’s see what the kid can bring…

It’s a No-Lose scenario for Green Bay.

  1. Green Bay has their backup QB playing, who’s never started.
  2. Kansas City is hungry and needs to begin winning games.
  3. Since the Packers aren’t supposed to win, a victory would send yet another message to the entire league – also, if Love can pull out a W in Arrowhead against Mahomes, that would be something.
  4. If Love struggles, so what…he’s technically supposed to…see, “Can’t Lose Scenario.”

Highlighting off the above, Kansas City ain’t right.  Something is off and it’s tough to point just to the horrid defense.  Mahomes has been a turnover machine and if those 2 things keep up, the Packers very well could come out of there with a victory. 

As stated above, the Packers are coming off an extended week of rest from their Thursday night game, and Kansas City is on short rest after struggling mightily with the awful Giants on Monday night. 


2021GB Off.vs.KC D
Rush108.1 (17) 121.8 (22)
Pass229.4 (22) 269.8 (25)
Total337.5 (22) 3916.5 (29)
Points24.0 (16) 27.5 (25)
 GB Def.vs.KC O
Rush115.0 (17) 116.8 (14)
Pass216.8 (6) 296.1 (5)
Total331.8 (7) 412.9 (4)
Points20.9 (9) 26.0 (9)

While Green Bay’s offense isn’t high-ranking (mostly due to the week 1 No Show), it still has the advantage in every category vs. Kansas City’s dreadful Defense.  There’s an obvious difference in the Packers’ offense this week, but if they keep with the run game, win the time of possession AND turnover battle (just like in Arizona last week), Green Bay should come out on top. 

Kansas City’s offensive line is still giving them issues dating back to Super Bowl LV when Tampa harassed Patrick Mahomes.  If the Packers can generate a pass rush with 4-5 whilst keeping the run game in check – side note: Kansas City averages 24.2 rush attempts/game which ranks 21st – so rushing the passer and defending the homerun ball becomes paramount.  Make Kansas City be patient and methodically drive down the field (that’s actually the best formula to defend any team not quarterbacked by Tom Brady) and there will be quite a few mistakes made, just be sure to catch the INT and fall on the loose ball when the opportunity arises.

GB14 (T-3rd)6 (T-3rd)8 (3rd)
KC8 (T-19th)19 (32nd)(11) (32nd)

Seeing the turnover differential is the main component as to why the Kansas City Chiefs are 4-4, and if they weren’t so talented could easily be 2-6…or worse.

To steal another one of Czabe’s phrases from this week (and I’m paraphrasing), “You’re gonna see (Love) make a boneheaded play, just dumbfounded play.  You’re gonna see a delay of game (surprise, we have that already with 12- that’s my line 😊).  However, you’re gonna see an example of (Love’s) arm talent.  The Packers are gonna hang and bang with the Chiefs.  It’ll be close.”

I thought that was a great take on what to “expect” in a game where I can’t imagine anyone has a true/good feeling as of what’ll take place.  I was off on last week’s prediction, but was thoroughly impressed with Rodgers’ commitment and execution of the gameplan—and he didn’t execute it all that well (LaFleur will get judged by me for not pounding Dillon every play, let alone once on the 7 goal line plays), but still overall great plan.

The fan in me tells me Green Bay pulls this out.  The realist in me tells me Mahomes and the Chiefs are too good and too desperate to drop a game to a QB making his first career start in Arrowhead.  Then again, desperation can lead to great play and it can lead to a boat load of mistakes.

Packers 24
Chiefs 27

*I have no clue as to how this will turn out.  I’d be shocked at nothing, in terms of outcome or how Love performs.  Hopefully he tears it up!  He could…so some may say I’m claiming this as to “Not be wrong,” but I’ll say “There’s no way I could be right, I think I covered everything.”

Season: 5-3
Overall: 74-39