Still Waiting for the Table to be Run…

QB Ryan Tannehill, running off the field after a dominating performance in Lambeau.

Review: Titans 27, Packers 17~ The Packers are left with zero margin for error the remainder of the season. Rodgers now has a convenient excuse of a broken thumb for why he’s resembled his typical January self, all season. Green Bay never committed to the run, ‘nor had much success with it (56 yards on 29 attempts).

The Packers did win the turnover battle, but like all season, the offense did nothing with it. Once they fell down 27-17 (final score), the Packers’ last 4 drives went:

  1. 3 plays, 3 yards (3 and out)
  2. 3 plays, -2 yards (3 and out)
  3. 4 plays, 7 yards (3 and out)
  4. 10 plays, 37 yards (downs)

You score on each of those possessions, even field goals…

Tannehill ended up being too much, and our QB couldn’t come through, even thought the Titans have far less talent and many more injuries…weird, eh?

Matchup~

 GB D(rank)vs.Phi O(rank)
Rush135.826142.56
Pass192.55228.113
Total328.314370.65
Pts22.116 26.33
 GB OPhi D
Rush122.614 122.218
Pass222.318178.42
Total344.915300.62
Pts18.426 18.32
 
T/O     
Takeaways11T-23rd211st
Giveaways15T-22nd9T-2nd
Diff.(4)T-26th 121st

As this game is underway, Philly is arguably the best team in the NFL – while Green Bay must win out to have a chance at the postseason. The Eagles have an extreme advantage when the Packers’ offense is on the field. The turnover differential is incredible, look for that (as always) to be a key.

Other than that, let’s see if the highest paid QB in NFL history can resemble a starting caliber QB, let alone earn his paycheck by winning Super BowlSSSS

Packers 20
Eagles 34 (-6.5)

Season: 5-6
Overall: 86-48

No Time to Celebrate…Says King Henry

HB Derrick Henry (#22) stiff arms Bills’ CB, Josh Norman, out of the stratosphere in a game during the 2020 season.

Review: Packers 31; Cowboys 28 (OT)~ for some reason that game felt bigger than just a regular season game. Maybe because Green Bay really isn’t good and that may be their best performance for the entire season…OR — is it a defining moment that will get fans excited to think this team will actually win the Super Bowl? The answer is, obviously, both.

#9 WR Christian Watson counting how many touchdowns he racked up on the night, last week during the win vs. Dallas.

What’s not surprising is how Green Bay was able to get back into the game and outscore Dallas 14-0 in the 4th quarter, due to having stuck with the run all game. Much of it came from under center, which is the best way to run a balanced attack. Halfbacks Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined for 37 rushes totaling 203 yards and a touchdown. When you rush for 200+ yards, your chances of winning is going to be close to 100%, unless you turn the ball over immediately after your defense takes it away for you (see the Bills game).

Speaking of the defense, they began the game with consecutive 3 & outs, setting the tone for the game. While they gave up big plays and 28 points, they did force a turnover on downs in overtime. Plus the huge move of Darnell Savage to slot corner giving Rudy Ford playing time at safety paid off in a manner no one could’ve predicted.

Lastly, for what it’s worth, David Bakhtiari has now amassed enough snaps played to register on the Sacks & Pressures allowed stat line, and he’s given up *knocks on wood* none; all season. Playing into that, did anyone notice if all-world linebacker, Micah Parsons, played at Lambeau? Such an amazing thing what a commitment to running the ball will do, keep it up.

Current Standing~ the Packers currently sit as the 9th seed in the NFC, falling two spots out of the playoff hunt. They’re a game back of Washington (and lost the head to head matchup) and 1.5 games behind San Francisco (5-4) for the 7th seed. While tonight’s game isn’t a “must win,” Green Bay may have, at most, 2 losses left on the season if they’d like to get into the tournament. If that’s the case, those losses would likely have to come against AFC opponents (Titans tonight, Dolphins on Xmas) for tiebreaking scenarios. However, in reality, the Packers may be able to afford 1 or no losses for the remainder of the season, based on how teams ahead of them have been playing this campaign.

Matchup~

 Ten D(rank)vs.GB O(rank)
Rush85.12129.312
Pass272.631223.016
Total357.725253.313
Pts18.78 18.525
 Ten OGB D
Rush133.49 140.626
Pass148.231179.73
Total281.732320.39
Pts22.914 20.915
 
T/O     
Takeaways13T-11th10T-20th
Giveaways10T-8th15T-27th
Diff.3T-8th (5)T-28th

Per usual, Green Bay needs to improve their turnovers…in each category. They’re bottom 3rd in taking the ball away, and damn near last at holding onto it, leading to the awful differential, which is unlike Aaron Rodgers-led teams…in the regular season.

The 2 areas to focus your attention will be:

  1. Green Bay’s rushing attack going up against Tennessee’s great run D. Keep in mind, the Bills had the best run defense in the NFL before Green Bay rushed for 208 yards on only 31 attempts (6.7 yards/attempt). Stick to that pass:run ratio and the Pack should be able to pull this game out.
  2. How the Packers guard against one of, if not, the most feared rushers in the NFL. The Packers are great against the pass while Tennessee ranks 31st in yards passing/game. It’s no secret what they’ll want to do…keep an eye on soft coverage (corners playing off the receiver- which I don’t like) and how much Green Bay decides to load the box.

To be an optimist, the last time these two teams played, the Packers held Henry in check — 23 carries for 98 yards. Green Bay won going away, by a final of 40-14. That was the coming out party for Door County resident A.J. Dillon, or at least for the fans that weren’t a huge fan of his in college. Should the Packers keep the same recipe, it should be a similar result. Both 1-seeds from last year are quite different this year.

Titans 27
Packers 24 (-3)

Season: 4-6
Overall: 85-48

Return of the Mac

Dallas Cowboys Head Coach, Mike McCarthy, walks the sideline during a game at AT&T Stadium.

Review: Lions 15; Packers 9~ in a must-win game, the Packers caught the ultimate break by seeing the 1-6 Lions. Those Lions also traded, arguably, their best player that week in T.J. Hockenson to the rival Minnesota Vikings. The Packers responded by scoring 9 points. There were fans, unsurprisingly most of them, upset Green Bay didn’t trade FOR a Wide Receiver or a player that could help now!

If the last 12 years has taught you nothing, maybe this last game showed that the Packers are just a QB away from winning…a Super Bowl. The defense is 2nd vs. the Pass, 6th in total yards, but 15th in points. That must mean they give up too much yardage on the ground…while not far off, their offense scores no points and gives the ball back quickly (both in time and momentum).

For example, in consecutive games, the defense intercepted the opponent and in Buffalo, Rodgers threw a pick on the very next plays. This past week, it took double that for Rodgers to give it right back. So you can say “things may be improving.” Also, I stopped counting at how many passes were thrown on RPO’s at 5. As in 5 for 5…the Lions stacked the box so Green Bay got away from the run altogether and their QB still couldn’t pull the trigger to wide open targets all game – yet another game resembling typical January.

There was an article written this week about how spoiled fans are in Green Bay because we’ve been blessed with 30+ years of Hall of Fame Quarterback play. The response to this is easy…it’s either 1 of 2 things, plus a complete misguided look at reality. If QB is so damn important to winning World Championships (which it is, due to it being the most important position in all of sports), maybe Favre and Rodgers just aren’t that good, OR….Quarterback isn’t important. Based on the amount of multiple title won by QBs with all the changing teammates around them, it’s the former. Lastly, it’s a weird way to claim “spoiled,” as the response should be, “Yes, winning 2 Super Bowls in the last 55 seasons is so spoiled that the Packers are one of 15 teams to have won 2 or more Super Bowls in that time span. So spoiled to be in the top 50% of all teams. Yes, how spoiled us fans are that are younger than 50.”

Preview: How’s Dallas?~ the Cowboys are one of the stronger teams in the NFL, currently holding the 5th seed in the NFC playoffs with a record of 6-2.

 Dal D(rank)vs.GB O(rank)
Rush135.124120.714
Pass178.44224.715
Total313.510345.314
Pts16.63 17.127
 Dal OGB D
Rush131.511 138.626
Pass190.625170.62
Total322.122309.16
Pts22.914 20.915
 
T/O     
Takeaways13T-8th8T-24th
Giveaways7T-2nd13T-24th
Diff.6T-3rd (5)T-29th

Dallas is better in every matchup category other than their Passing Off v Green Bay’s Pass Def. It’s safe to say that the Cowboys would rank better if they had Dak all year, however they may not have gone 4-1 in those 5 games either because they ran the ball and played solid defense. It’s amazing how that tactic is effective…

The Cowboys have a lot of top tier talent, but the Packers have both top tier talent and solid depth. The Cowboys have two legit running backs, and use them — look for Tony Pollard (#20) and Ezekiel Elliott (#21) ‘Zeke to combine for, at least, their per game average of 25 carries for 126 yards. Green Bay is somewhat close to that with their dynamic duo, but because Rodgers has “no one to throw to,” decides to throw…the…ball. Makes sense.

Cowboys 27 (-4.5)
Packers 17

Season: 4-5
Overall: 85-47

Extreme Production – Keep it Up

HB Aaron Jones (#33) motions for a 1st Down in the loss on Sunday Night Football to the Buffalo Bills @ Highmark Stadium on Oct. 30, 2022. Photo credit: Evan Siegle of packers.com

Review: Bills 27, Packers 17~ if it weren’t clear for you that Buffalo was clearly a better team than Green Bay heading into the game, it should be crystal now…the odd part is it isn’t talent.  Green Bay seems just out of sync, and that can be directed at leadership – yes coaching and player.  More on that later.

The main things to take away was the commitment to the run game.  The Packers got away from it on the 2nd possession, and they suffered greatly from doing so.  The other key takeaway was the defense in the 2nd half. 

  1. 2nd half defense: gave up 28 plays; 126 yards; 3 points; 2 Interceptions; 1 punt. – extremely impressive vs. the best offense in the NFL, coming off a bye, at home on Sunday Night Football.
  2. Run Game: Green Bay rushed 31 times for 208 yards and won the time of possession 33:48 to 26:12. 

They also won the turnover battle.  So Green Bay accomplished the goals I set out prior to the week, and still lost.  Something’s wrong, very wrong.

CB Jaire Alexander (#23) returns his interception in the 4th Quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Bills.

Current Status~ the Packers now have bloated salaries (even more bloated than need be) from going “All In” and 2 of those contracts (Rodgers and Bakhtiari) are killing this team – both on the field and in salary cap.  For those of you that wanted Green Bay to make a trade for THIS year, why?  This team went all in and is 3-5, with 3 very unimpressive wins. 

  1. Chicago is straight trash, per usual.
  2. Tampa is atrocious now.
  3. New England got beat by Chicago. 

Now, the reason for hope that Green Bay can win the Super Bowl is because their defense is improving throughout the season and they have a solid OL (when healthy) and the obvious ability to commit to the run game, thus limiting the amount of big time throws Rodgers would need to make in January.  Now, getting to January, it starts with beating Detroit.

Matchup~

 GB O(rank)vs.Det D(rank)
Rush120.515154.930
Pass217.422266.427
Total339.917421.332
Pts18.126 32.132
 GB DDet O
Rush141.329 136.610
Pass174.82258.317
Total316.08394.94
Pts21.616 24.79
 
T/O     
Takeaways7T-27th6T-30th
Giveaways10T-15th11T-20th
Diff.(3)T-23rd (5)T-29th

Neither team can defend the run, so if Green Bay continues to pound the rock, they should be able to move the ball at will on Detroit.  Regardless of competition, if you rack up over 200 yards on the ground, you will likely win. 

Also, after seeing the best offense in the NFL last week, Green Bay now gets to see the worst Defense.  A recipe for getting on track couldn’t be better than seeing the 1-6 Lions. 

Win the turnover battle, begin to chip away at that overall deficit on the season, rack up a boat load of yards on the ground, and find a way to win.

Packers 34 (-3.5)
Lions 24

Season: 4-4
Overall: 85-46

Definition Of Insanity

Dean Lowry (#94) and Jarrann Reed (#90) try to tackle Antonio Gibson (#24) of Washington during the Packers loss @ FedEx Field on Oct 23, 2022. courtesy: Evan Single, packers.com

Review~ Commanders 23, Packers 21: The Packers continue to ignore the run game, they keep losing due to not having a rhythm and the defense getting put into bad positions with little rest – resulting in a loss. Does this sound about right?

Green Bay ran 47 plays (that’s way too low), and only had 12 rush attempts. The wild thing is that’s usually the balance of a team that fell down big, early, and had to pass to get back into the game. Nope…the Packers held the lead until 11:49 left in the 3rd quarter. Also, the Packers’ o-line can’t be held to blame as they allowed 0 sacks on 35 dropbacks, but Green Bay only held the ball for 22:53 out of 60 minutes. That simply won’t get it done. Not this team. This team needs to win the time of possession, the turnover battle, and need 1 to 3 clutch passes from their Hall of Fame QB to win. If that sounds like a lot, well, that’s what essentially EVERY team needs in order to win in the NFL.

With each passing week, especially during this 3-game losing streak, it seems as though while the Packers have an incredible amount of talent, they also seem to be learning how to play together and having to figure out how to win – which is typical of a young team – which is frustrating, because they’re not.

Hope? Sure, Green Bay could be fighting through some learning curves on offense with the shuffling of the offensive line, young/new receivers, however that’s all the more reason to stick to the run game…hell, even over commit to the run, would be a good problem The other item? This may be the most parody the NFL has seen in quite some time. While it seems there are a few teams that can hoist the Lombardi Trophy at this point, there still are quite a few teams that wouldn’t shock me should they “figure it out,” *cough cough* Tampa Bay *cough cough.*

QB Josh Allen (#17) looks on to pass. Many believe he’s the best QB in the game, some think even better than KC QB Pat Mahomes.

Matchup ^yikes~

 GB D(rank)vs.Buf O(rank)
Rush139.627117.816
Pass168.91323.01
Total308.48440.81
Pts20.914 29.32
 GB OBuf D
Rush110.318 76.21
Pass221.317205.311
Total331.620281.51
Pts18.323 13.51
 
T/O     
Takeaways5T-29th13T-3rd
Giveaways9T-16th10T-21st
Diff.(4)T-26th 3T-6th

There’s only 1 Strength vs. Strength in this game, and that’s the Bill’s passing attack, led by QB Josh Allen (#17) which ranks 1st in the NFL entering Week 8, and the Packers’ pass defense, also ranking 1st entering Week 8. The issue will become – like it’s been all season – should the Packers not stick to the rushing attack, their defense will be on the field longer and have to defend the 16th ranked rushing offense. The main issue there is, Jared Allen is incredible running the football himself. He could drop back to pass and if everyone is covered, take off and convert 3rd and longs to firsts…

If Green Bay has any hope of winning this game, especially without Allen Lazard, they’ll need to stick to the run game, get quite a bit more pre-snap motion and playing off it, and win the turnover battle. At the end of the game, should the Packers have a higher time of possession, >50% rush v pass ratio, and have a positive turnover margin, they should win. Until they show they’re capable of doing that for 60 minutes, it’s insane to think they will

Packers 20
Bills 34 (-11)

Season: 3-4
Overall: 84-46

Struggling with the Run…(on both sides)

Review: Jets 27; Packers 10~ following up from last week’s article title Run. The. Ball.” The Packers, well, they um…did not run the ball. In the 69 total plays run by Green Bay, Aaron Jones + A.J. Dillon combined for 26 touches (38%). That simply won’t get it done, evidenced by the loss to the Jets.

The defense did great, until it didn’t. On the first 8 possessions by New York, the Packers relinquished 3 points, over 76 yards, on 31 plays. That’s incredible. Unfortunately, Green Bay’s offense mustered the same production vs. the Jets’ defense, which ranked 19th in scoring defense coming in. The Jets found a way to break through and blocked their own punt and scored off it, Green Bay did nothing with theirs. Felt like a January game at Lambeau…The main issue is the offensive line couldn’t block Quinnen Williams and the Jets copied the Giants’ plan of double-teaming Kenny Clark and chipping Rashan Gary and won the line of scrimmage, which typically dictates the outcome of the game.

Preview: (3-3) Packers @ (2-4) Commanders~ Washington finds itself in the toughest division in the NFL, the NFC East. Not only are they in last place, but the 3 other teams are 6-0 Phi, 5-1 NYG, and 4-2 Dal. The Commanders are without their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, whom had finger surgery and is out at least the next 4 games. The backup, Taylor Heinicke has quite a bit of experience and had a fairly good showing in his playoff start in the 2020 Playoffs vs. the eventual champion, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Including that postseason loss, Heinicke is 7-10 as a starter with a career QB rating of 83.6. Not terrible, considering Rodgers’ QB rating this season is 94.2, that’s a competitive player. He’s also an athlete that isn’t afraid to try to win the game, which puts additional pressure on the opposing team’s defense…and offense.

Matchup~

 GB D(rank)vs.Was O(rank)
Rush135.22795.524
Pass164.01224.817
Total299.25320.324
Pts20.515 17.029th
 GB OWas D
Rush122.313 131.725
Pass225.816221.516
Total348.215352.218
Pts17.824 22.518
 
T/O     
Takeaways4T-28th3T-31st
Giveaways8T-14th8T-14th
Diff.(4)27th (5)T-28th

While the Packers are the best against the pass, they’re awful vs. the run, which may have to do with why teams don’t pass and still succeed vs. them after 60 minutes. Washington doesn’t run all that well, but they do have capable backs to produce. The 2 to watch are: Antonio Gibson (#24); Brian Robinson Jr. (#8). You’ll hear a lot about Robinson as he returned from being shot this summer, but he’s a good runner and one should fully expect him to get quite a bit of touches vs. this Packers’ defense. This could be a sloppy game too as both teams give the ball away, and struggle at taking it away from their opponents. This will likely be a tight matchup with the Commanders beating teams like the Jaguars and Bears, where the Packers have beaten the Bears, Buccaneers, and Patriots.

How can anyone pick the Packers to beat anybody as of right now. Green Bay should have to prove they can win before anyone thinks they can, at this point.

Packers 20 (-4.5)
Commanders 24

Season: 2-4
Overall: 83-46

Home in the UK?

For the first time ever, the Packers are playing in London, and also for the first time, London sees a matchup between teams with winning records.

Review: Packers 27; Patriots 24 (OT)~ when looking at the game stats, Green Bay dominated in almost every statistic, except turnovers. Looking back, aside from Rodgers’ rare gaffe before halftime. The Packers ran 71 total plays for 443 yards and won the time of possession 36:49 to New England’s 33:11. The dynamic duo of Jones & Dillon combined for 37 touches (52%) and 199 yards (45%) of production, and once again one of the 2 backs was producing far more per touch than the other, but the incorporation of both is paramount for the offense’s production/effectiveness.

WR Romeo Doubs (#87), hauls in the 13-yard TD from Aaron Rodgers (500th all-time) to tie the game at 24-24 with 6:14 left in the game.

For as bad as Rodgers was in the 1st half, he was just that good in the second half. He commanded the offense to 20 points in the 2nd half + overtime. In those 6 possessions (not counting the last play at the end of regulation), the Packers scored 2 touchdowns (should’ve been 3 if Doubs holds onto that one in the end zone), two field goals and two punts. All in all, pretty good vs. a solid defense, and having no momentum.

Speaking of good defense, the Packers gave up only 271 yards while playing a 3rd-string QB, did enough to make New England play “safe” and only gave up one big play – which should’ve never happened with the play clock expiring well before the snap. Rashan Gary came up huge, albeit nullified on the Rodgers’ pick-6 on the ensuing drive – Gary had a strip sack on a 1st & 10 from the GB 22 with 1:04 left, that saved at least 3 points, and possibly 7 and could’ve been a huge swing had Rodgers not thrown the interception.

On the biggest stand of the game, the defense was tasked with the forcing a 3 & out in overtime after the offense failed to get a first down on their possession of OT. Green Bay gave up 5 yards and kept New England out of field goal range, setting up Rodgers with a “Next score wins” situation, and the Packers produced their best drive of the season – in my opinion – and closed the game out.

While Packer fans should have high expectations, this team is constructed to win games in any manner, and this is a prime example of that. Just keep winning, keep games close with running the ball and playing good defense, then trust your quarterback will be able to make a big time throw, when needed.

HB Saquan Barkley (#26) is back to 100% health and is a force again in the NFL.

Preview~ on paper, this is a huge matchup. Both teams are 3-1 with this having a high-potential of tiebreaking scenarios for playoff seeding. If the Giants are going to continue to be the surprise of the NFL, as there are always surprise teams in the NFL annually. The Packers lost to Minnesota in week 1 this year, so keeping pace is paramount for the divisional race, and the Giants are 1 game behind Philadelphia (the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten), so they want to keep pace too.

Matchup~ both teams can run the ball, neither can stop it. Expect a ton of ground game as each team is built around pounding the rock. Also, each team is solid vs. the pass, while that may be because their opponents don’t pass because of their effectiveness of running the ball. For example, the Giants have faced an average of the 28th passing offense and the Packers have faced the 20th.

 NYG Off(rank)vs.GB Def.(rank)
Rush192.51126.822
Pass139.531168.03
Total332.022294.85
Pts19.019 17.37
 NYG Def.GB Off.
Rush141.028 145.07
Pass191.38232.516
Total332.315377.56
Pts17.89 18.821
 
T/O     
Takeaways6T-12th4T-22nd
Giveaways5T-10th7T-22nd
Diff.1T-8th (3)T-28th

As you can see, these are fairly evenly matched teams, at least based on statistics through 4 weeks of the season. However, the big difference has been competition. The Packers have faced far better foes than New York. The Giants are almost carbon copies of the Chicago Bears, and they just played each other, last week. There were 2 bad teams that New York was able to pull it out, then again, Daniel Jones outplaying Justin Fields isn’t a big ask.

Don’t be surprised if this is a similar game to last week’s overtime thriller. This game is likely to be close and will come down to turnovers and 1-2 big plays. If Green Bay can finally win the turnover battle (the Packers haven’t all season), they may actually blow a team out. However, that’s a huge part of the game and with all the inexperience the Packers put on the field, it’s part of the growing pains.

Giants 16
Packers 24 (-8.0)

Season: 2-2
Overall: 83-44

Carbon Copies?

The New England Patriots (1-2) travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers (2-1), on CBS at 3:25pm CST.

Review: Packers 14; Buccaneers 12 ~ this ended up being just a solid win. The first 2 drives were what you want to see from your veteran QB and offense, getting off to a perfect start. That being said…

Tampa Bay defensive lineman, Vita Vea (#50) forces the Aaron Jones (#33) fumble at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line.

Since the Aaron Jones fumble (above), the Packers had 8 drives (9 if you include the 1-play kneel down), totaling 32 plays amassing 90 total yards and obviously, 0 points. Seven of those 8 drives resulted in punts, and another was a bad interception. Rodgers needs to close a game like this, out, somehow.

The running back duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon were held down. Combining for just 85 total yards on 29 combined touches (2.93 yards/touch). Dillon seemed to have some of the better runs, but still keep it up. With them being held down, enter rookie wideout, and training camp Hall of Famer, Romeo Doubs.

Rookie WR, Romeo Doubs (#87) scores his 1st NFL touchdown at Raymond James Stadium vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Romeo Doubs was open and often, garnering 8 targets, catching all of them for 73 yards and a score. There’s a chance he could produce for the entire season, especially if Lazard can get on the field, which should open up single coverage for Doubs whom seems to get open and has solid hands, thus far.

Kudos the the defense for stepping up, limiting Tampa Bay to just 12 points, and an absolute clutch defensive play on the game-tying 2-point conversion. They also held the Bucs to just 285 yards on 59 plays and forcing 2 turnovers, which is crucial when playing against the best QB of all time. All in all a great team win, but Green Bay must score more than 14 points should these teams face each other in January…but you knew that.

Preview~ The Packers come in fairly healthy, the only question marks are CB Jaire Alexander and LT Yosh Njiman. Jaire is nursing a groin, which is worrisome as he’s a quick-twitch athlete and the groin is an injury that can linger, forever. As for Njiman, he had an illness and seems like he should be ready to go – even if David Bakhtiari is ready to go, again, he struggled a little and still needs to get into game shape. Counting on him for an entire game may be too much to ask, and I’m also not sure if he’s nearly as good as he once was…either way, those seem to be the only 2 potential injuries and as of Sunday morning, they’re both listed as QUESTIONABLE.

As for the Patriots, most noticeably, they’re missing starting QB Mac Jones. Before you think it’s an auto-win, their backup QB is Brian Hoyer. He’s going to make his 40th career start, going 16-23 in his previous 39 starts. He’s a solid backup and is capable of running the Pats offense and winning some games.

Matchup~

 GB Def.(rank)vs.NE Off.(rank)
Rush113.319th115.713th
Pass189.37th249.012th
Total302.76th364.710th
Pts15.06th 16.725th
 GB Off.NE Def.
Rush127.09th 114.720th
Pass228.719th200.08th
Total355.713th314.710th
Pts16.027th 23.722nd
 
T/O     
Takeaways3T-18th4T-12th
Giveaways5T-19th831st
Diff.(2)T-24th (4)T-29th

These teams are virtually the same. Solid defenses, offenses built around their run game, and try to win a close one. The difference is who they’ve played so far. The Packers have played 2 solid teams and one bad/awful team, where the Pats have played 2 very good teams and 1 unkown team. This could be, yet another, measuring stick-type game for both squads. It’s setting up to be another defensive struggle and low-scoring affair. It may be tough for the Packers to cover the 9.5 points, but could if the defense shuts down New England for 60 minutes. Let’s see if Rodgers and LaFleur can get Jones and/or Dillon going again this afternoon, like they were able to in the week 2 matchup vs. Chicago.

Patriots 17 (+9.5)
Packers 21

Season: 1-2
Overall: 82-44

Is Green Bay “That” Good?

Aaron Rodgers (#12) looks on in complaint

Review: Packers 27; Bears 10 ~ The entire Packers team, coaches included, looked better than Week 1. However, that comes with a caveat- they did play the Chicago Bears, who are terrible. While it’s still early in the season, there are some things to highlight:

  1. Rodgers looked better — he was a bit more in rhythm, seemed like he had control of the game/pace, and cared (always a big one).
  2. Offensive Line was “OK,” struggled in run blocking — the run blocking may be seen as a force from last week, but that was aided by the strong running of A.J. Dillon, and especially Aaron Jones. There was plenty of times they were contacted at the line of scrimmage, but managed good gains.
  3. Committed to the Run-Game — while the run-blocking was so-so, committing to the run game allowed Green Bay to control the clock, pace, and ultimately the outcome. Jones & Dillon combined for 37 touches (56% of total plays), 237 yards (57% of total yards), and 2 touchdowns.

The defense also held their own, keeping Chicago under 230 total yards (228) and allowing only one 3rd down conversion. Again, the Bears and Justin Fields are terrible, but they at least did their job.

While the Buccaneers are 2-0, they’ve had their own issues. Their offense hasn’t performed near to expectations, especially for a veteran team that’s been together for over 2 years and has been successful at that. Their defense, on the other hand, has been stifling. While I also don’t think highly of Dallas or New Orleans (both of Tampa’s opponents so far this season), they’re both superior to the Packers’ faced foes in 2022.

Since there’s at least some sort of sample size from which to draw, here’s how each team stacks up:

 GB O(rank)vs.TB D(rank)
Rush157.06th85.59th
Pass219.020th190.58th
Total376.011th276.05th
Pts17.023th 6.51st
 GB DTB O
Rush153.027th 112.013th
Pass158.54th191.523rd
Total311.510th303.524th
Pts16.57th 19.518th
 
T/O     
Takeaways1T-23rd6T-3rd
Giveaways3T-16th2T-10th
Diff.(2)T-22nd 42nd

While not the best display, you can see each team’s Defense has the advantage over the opposition’s offense, except in rushing. Although, Tampa’s rush D is still solid. With both teams missing key receiving pieces (Bucs: Evans; Godwin; possibly Julio), it’ll fall on Brady & Rodgers to execute the scheme as well as the offensive line to create enough running room for each team’s backs to gain 1st downs. Per usual, turnovers will likely dictate the outcome.

It’s tough to imagine the Packers scoring enough to put Tampa Bay in a must pass position, so I think Tampa’s defense will put them in a position of strength, much like they did last week, keeping the Saints’ score low allowing Brady to make a few big throws in the 4th quarter to win.

Packers 20
Buccaneers 27 (-1.0)

Season: 1-1
Overall: 82-43

Week 1 Predictions…

Week 1 Review~ It’s better to make predictions based off coin flips than what was shown in week 1. At least that’s how the NFL has trended since teams began sitting essentially all their starters throughout the preseason.

Justin Fields celebrates as the Bears upset the 49ers in Week 1 in a downpour @ Soldier Field

Chicago got a sloppy-weather game and capitalized. They still had to execute on more plays and did just that. The Bears won the turnover battle, along with only committing 3 penalties to San Francisco’s 12, which (usually) ended up being the difference in the outcome. Just goes to show, the better team doesn’t always win, however, the team that wins the turnover battle (unless Quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers in January) will win.

Green Bay suffered from 2 huge non-plays: the dropped TD by Rookie WR Christian Watson on the game’s 1st play from scrimmage; A.J. Dillon’s stuff on 4th & Goal in the 2nd quarter. The game is likely a different outcome, at least progress, however, you get paid to make the plays, and the Vikings did. The key point to take away from last week was the sheer production from the running backs. Aaron Jones (#33) and A.J. Dillon (#28) combined for 23 touches, 167 yards, and 1 TD. That’s good enough for a 7.3 yards/touch average, which would indicate that they need to touch the ball, far more often.

Preview~ Chicago is coming in with, not only, a head of steam, but a rare opportunity to take control over the entire division with a win (coupled with 2 winnable games following). Green Bay finds themselves in the (not a) “Must Win” department, essentially salvaging Week 1 and setting themselves up for the following 2 weeks against the 2-0 Bucs and 2-0 Giants (in London), in coming weeks.

Bears 21
Packers 30

Season: 0-1
Overall: 81-43