Wish Granted

CB Jaire Alexander (#23) returns an overthrown pass by Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailoa in the 4th Quarter.

Review: Packers 26; Dolphins 20~ the game opened with a bang for the Packers, on a 93-yard kickoff return by Keisean Nixon down to Miami’s 9-yard line. Rodgers and the offense squandered that massive opportunity and lost 9 yards on the drive and settled for a game-tying field goal. That won’t get it done in the playoffs, hell not even against the Vikings on New Year’s Day. All too familiar to January football that Rodgers and the Packers have played in the last 12 years.

Turnovers: the key to almost every evenly-matched football game, was the decisive statistic here. Green Bay took the ball away 4 times, while Miami only had 1 takeaway. Miami outgained Green Bay 376 to 301, with a huge disparity in avg. yards per play (8.4 v 4.6). The Packers again stuck to the run game, enough, to win.

Defense: While the Packers’ D was torched in the 1st half, with poor tackling and busted coverage (in zone, of course), Green Bay somehow got it together in the 2nd half. Immediately following the Rodgers interception in the end zone, the very next play, Jaire Alexander came up with his 5th interception of the season to snatch momentum back to Green Bay’s side. The offense sputtered and settled for a FG, again. They would do so again following the De’Vondre Campbell interception. In the 2nd half, Green Bay allowed 100 yards on 22 plays (4.5 yards/play), on 4 drives, resulting in: a missed field goal; 3 interceptions.

Like the 2010 Super Bowl run, the Defense had to completely take over the game and ice it in the end. An all too familiar requirement for the NFL’s all-time highest paid player.

3rd Downs: this shows where the Packers may have stolen a victory. Green Bay converted just 2 of 14 (14.3%) third downs. Truly atrocious, especially in major situations needed. They did convert 3 of 5 on fourth down, with Rodgers’ only TD pass coming on their 4th down at the goal line.

Current Standing~ Green Bay still sits in the 10th seed of the NFC. However, everything went their way on Christmas Eve. Seattle, Washington, NY Giants, and Detroit all lost on Dec. 24th, setting Green Bay up to make a considerable jump in probability to make the postseason. The Packers still need Washington to lose one of their remaining games (v Browns, v Cowboys). Prior to kickoff, the Packers will know if they control their own destiny as Cleveland visits Washington at Noon on Sun, Jan. 1. The Commanders decided to start Wentz over Heinicke, which is an assist as Heinicke has proven to give Washington the best chance at winning football games.

Christmas Miracle?

Review: Packer 24; Rams 12~ one of the more complete games played in quite some time, even though Los Angeles may be the worst team in the NFL, Green Bay came through and did what they were supposed to.

  • Time of Possession- Green Bay didn’t run the ball all that well, but the key was they stuck to it. While averaging 3.9 yards per carry, they ultimately won the ToP by a considerable margin.
  • End of Game- the Packers got the ball with 8:51 left and never gave it back. That was the best drive in years, given the totality of the drive and a game-ender.
  • Young Wideouts- Doubs (#87) can catch, a hands catcher. Reminds me of Cris Carter. Watson (#9) is showing signs of becoming an all-around wide receiver.

Current Standing: 10th seed in NFC~ Green Bay needs quite a bit of help to reach the postseason, and if Green Bay makes the playoffs they better win the Super Bowl. This fan base gets off on “having fun” aka Making the Playoffs and having a “chance.” What needs to happen in order for the Packers to make the playoffs:

  • Win out: @ Miami; v Minnesota; v Detroit
  • Washington must lose at least 2 of their last three: @ 49ers; v Browns; v Cowboys
  • if Washington wins 2+, then NY Giants must lose all 3 remaining: @ Vikings (losing by 10 as this is being written); v Colts; @ Eagles


 GB Off.(rank)vs.Mia D(rank)
Pts20.520 24.626
 GB DMia Off.
Rush148.929 96.927
Pts22.415 24.69
Diff.(3)T-23rd (2)T-19th
  • One Key- Green Bay has the advantage when it comes to their passing offense vs. Miami’s pass D. Rodgers could take advantage of spreading the ball around, especially dumping it off to Jones and Dillon in the flats to really open the entire field. If they can commit to the run, and get some slants to Doubs and Lazard, lookout for Watson to take the top off and get some big plays.
  • Great matchup- Miami’s 3rd-ranked passing offense vs. Green Bay’s 2nd-ranked pass D. Now, in Green Bay’s favor, teams haven’t really had to pass against them because the Packers can’t stop the run and teams are usually winning during the game and run the ball to finish the game, but it’s still something to watch. Green Bay gives up a lot of 3rd & longs, and with the Dolphins’ deep threats, Tyreek Hill (#10) and Jaylen Waddle (#17), are both super speedsters and are in scoring position regardless of where Miami snaps the ball.

True Strength~ last week I brought up the importance of Team Point Differential. This seems to hold true, so how good (or bad) is each team?

  • GB -27 (T-19th) with Atlanta
  • Mia +1 (T-14th) with Las Vegas

Miami’s point differential shows they’re not as good as their record may indicate, yet being tied with 6-8 Las Vegas in this category may be a bit more accurate. While Green Bay is 6-8 and tied with Atlanta, who’s 5-9, and also just a flat out bad team.

Packers 23
Dolphins 31 (-4)

Season: 7-7
Overall: 87-49

Holding Out Hope?

There’s an outside shot the Packers can make the playoffs – still would Love to see the backup QB and what’s in store for the future…

Many, if not most, fans want magic to happen and have Green Bay slide into the last playoff spot. While that would be cool, there’s no point unless it ends with the Packers bringing home the Lombardi Trophy. Sure the rebuttal to that is, “Can’t win it all if you don’t make the playoffs.” Words used by every Packers fan over the last 12 seasons, which each season has ended, how?

There’s an opportunity for the Packers to use the 4 remaining games as building blocks for the future. Also an option, they could make the playoffs while building for that future.

Current Status~ Green Bay currently holds the 10th seed in the NFC. They’re 2.5 games back of the 7th (final playoff spot). Also, as of now, Green Bay would have the 14th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which would net a fairly solid player in round 1.

Rooting Interests~

  • San Francisco @ Seattle (SF already won)
  • NY Giants @ Washington (whoever loses, we want to lose out)
  • Detroit @ NY Jets (the Lions sit ahead of GB in the playoff rankings)
  • Pittsburgh @ Carolina
  • Atlanta @ New Orleans


 Rams Packers
 OffenseDefense OffenseDefense
Rush30th5th 12th30th
Pass25th21st 16th5th
Total31st13th 15th18th
Points29th (16.8)16th (22.8) 23rd (20.2)21st (23.2)
TakeT-23rd  T-15th 
GiveT-28th  T-19th 
Diff.30th (-6)  T-18th (-2) 

These teams are virtual carbon copies. Each came into the season with Super Bowl aspirations and both have underwhelmed. The Packers had the 1-seed each of the previous two seasons, and the Rams are the defending champions. The rankings of each of these teams’ in the above categories shows similarity as well. Finally, the Rams rank 30th (-78) in point differential, where Green Bay falls in the 25th (-39) spot.

Baker Mayfield did provide some magic as the Rams came from behind to win vs. Las Vegas, last week, 17-16. The last time Baker came to Lambeau, he had a chance to lead a game-winning drive but ended up throwing an interception (his 4th of the game) on the final drive to ice it for the Packers. Green Bay is the better team, and has quite a bit more to play for, so you’d like to think that’d get them the W — also, all-world DT Aaron Donald is OUT for the game on Monday night. Are the stars aligning?

Rams 20
Packers 27 (-7)

Season: 6-7
Overall: 86-49

Waving BYE – to the Season?

Review: Packers 28; Bears 19~ the second half surge. With 6:09 left in the 2nd quarter, the Packers found themselves staring at a 16-3 deficit to the Chicago Bears. While making Justin Fields look like the Bears have found their QB of the future. However, after Rodgers scrambled and found rookie WR Christian Watson for a 14-yard TD with 0:17 left in the half, Green Bay relinquished just 3 points. There’s a direct correlation to the amount of points Chicago scores and Justin Fields’ rushing production. He had just 1 rush yard in the 2nd half and when forced to make throws, couldn’t stick the ball in the end zone. The same can be said for many other QBs in the league, but the constant holds, if you want to win in this league (Super Bowls), you’ll need a QB that can win with his arm.

Current Status~ as of today, Dec. 11, Green Bay holds the 11-seed. Meaning Seattle, Washington, Detroit, and Atlanta are all in between the Packers and the last seed of the playoffs. Those teams listed aren’t title contenders, hell all of them are going to have different starting QBs next season. With any luck, the same should hold true for Green Bay.


As I’ve brought up in year’s passed, one of the best rankings for true team strength is Point Differential. The Packers are currently -39 which ranks them 26th in the NFL, which feels about right. Based on just record, they’re 22nd. The top 6 teams are about right:

  1. Dallas Cowboys +127
  2. Buffalo Bills +124
  3. Philadelphia Eagles +112
  4. San Francisco 49ers +92
  5. Kansas City Chiefs +80
  6. Cincinnati Bengals +57

The team that’s missing from this list is why, I believe, it’s a true testament to team strength; Minnesota Vikings +10 (11th). They’re 10-2 and are almost break-even on their point differential. Many may say they had a bad game and lost by 37, however, the teams listed in the top 6 haven’t…again, going back to Super Bowl winners since the conception of Free Agency (1993) point differential is a better indicator than Offensive and/or Defensive point or yard rankings. The average ranking of Super Bowl champs is 4th. There have only been 3 teams that have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy having ranked outside the top-10 in point differential (2007 Giants, 2011 Giants, and 2012 Ravens).

Rooting Scenarios?~ the only path for the playoffs, being a 4% chance, (if that’s your thing) would be for Green Bay to win-out and get a boat load of help. Beginning with the following winners in BOLD:

  1. Noon on FOX: Eagles @ Giants
  2. Noon on FOX: Vikings @ Lions
  3. 3:25pm on FOX: Buccaneers @ 49ers
  4. 3:25pm on FOX: Panthers @ Seahawks

Season: 6-7
Overall: 86-49

They’re Dead.

What does Green Bay have to gain by playing the remainder of the season?

The Green Bay Packers visit the Chicago Bears on Sun, Dec. 4, 2022 at Soldier Field

Review: Eagles 40; Packers 33~ Green Bay relinquished 500 total yards to Philadelphia with an astonishing 363 coming on the ground. Credit to the Eagles, sticking to the run game knowing the Packers couldn’t do anything to stop it. It mainly opened up from solid coverage and athletic Jalen Hurts taking off and accruing >100 yards in the 1st quarter. The wild thing is Green Bay actually was able to put points on the board vs. the 6th ranked scoring defense, so that was promising. In the end, Philadelphia showed why they’re 10-1 and the Packers are what they are, a Bad Team.

Current Status~ after Rodgers’ comments about how “We’re not dead,” you can safely chalk that phrase up with all the others that led to the inevitable demise of a team he quarterbacks. Whether it was R-E-L-A-X, after not attempting a single pass at Richard Sherman in the season opener in Seattle, where their season also ended. Or in 2016 when he mentioned they could “Run the table.” Which got them to the playoffs, then absolutely demolished by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. In each instance, the Packers came up well short of expectation, yet when your fans love regular season “success,” it gives them reason to have fun. This is no different, the Packers were dead prior to the Dallas game considering they lost winnable games vs. the Giants (in London holding a 20-10 halftime lead), the upstart Jets (blocked a punt and gave up 80 yards in the 1st half but couldn’t score themselves), at Washington (where they held a late lead), and in Detroit where Rodgers threw 3 awful interceptions (2 at the goal line and another 2 plays after Alexander picked off Goff) — Green Bay is finding ways to lose, not only close games but, games to lesser opponents.

If you’re hoping for postseason play, Green Bay currently sits in the 11th seed, needing to get to the 7th seed. Meaning they already lost the head-to-head vs. Washington, who sits at 7-5 in the 7th seed. Seattle is 6-5, Atlanta who’s 5-7, and Detroit who’s 4-7 with a win over the Packers. Green Bay will need those teams to eventually get to 9 losses while Green Bay wins out. That’s just to earn the right to play a 7 v 2 matchup @ US Bank Stadium (as it sits currently) against the Vikings. As things are trending, it’s likely the Vikings may fall to the 3-seed and San Francisco grabs the 2nd seed by then. Best case scenario? Green Bay wins vs. Chicago for bragging rights, both because it’s the Bears, and 2nd because that would give the Packers the most wins in NFL history, over Chicago. Then, lose-out for draft capitol OR, play Jordan Love and get him as many live reps as possible and if Green Bay wins out, but still doesn’t make the playoffs, there’s something to build from for next season.

Matchup~ the huge matchup disparity will be Chicago’s #1 rushing attack vs. Green Bay’s 2nd-to-last rush defense. While Justin Fields can’t consistantly throw with accuracy, he is big, strong, and fast. He could have a Field-day (see what I did there?) breaking contain against the Packers. Also, keep in mind, while both of these teams suck, this is Chicago’s Super Bowl – their fans’ too – they’ll be motivated. If Rodgers does start, at least there’s one thing that holds true…he is awesome vs. Chicago and Dallas. It should be a fun game, and the optimist in me says, “If we win, we beat the Bears. If we lose we get better draft position.”

 GB D(rank)vs.Chi O(rank)
Pts23.622 20.919
 GB OChi D
Rush121.314 143.927
Pts19.623 25.427
Diff.(5)28th 0T-18th

If the defense has any life, they should be able to show it here. The Bears, in their last 6 games have averaged 26.3 points/game, and that’s with a 10-spot at the Jets last week with their backup QB. Again, this is an evenly matched game against 2 bad teams. I’m not sure how to pick it since both teams are great at finding ways to lose. Should I just be a homer, or continue with the trend?

Packers 27
Bears 30 (+4.5)

Season: 6-6
Overall: 86-48