If you haven’t see the commercial yet, check it out below. Seth Rogen has no idea who Aaron Rodgers is and Zac Efron helps Rogen figure it out. I have to say that Rodgers is pretty awesome in all the commercials he has been. Do you remember Peyton Manning’s “Cut That Meat” commercial? Rodger’s is tossing out commercials as funny as that one, at will! All he needs to do is get on SNL and compete against Manning in a whole different type of game!
Going into Monday November 4th’s divisional game with the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers were sitting on a 5-2 record looking like a team that was going to make a serious run at home field advantage in the NFC playoffs. Aaron Rodgers brought the Packers down the field on the opening drive and then settled for a field goal after being sacked by Shea McClellin. After that sack Rodgers went to the locker room and never came back in the game. The Packers fought the whole game, but ended up losing 27-20 when the defense couldn’t make a stop to give Seneca Wallace a chance to tie the game. The result of the game was bad, but the news on Rodgers was worse. Rodgers had a fractured collarbone and was expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Rodgers ended up missing 7 games and the Packers went 2-4-1 over those 7 games. Rodgers came back against the Bears in week 17 and lead the Packers on a 4th quarter touchdown drive that put the Packers into the playoffs thanks to a TON of help from the Bears and Detroit Lions.
* Lions finished the season by going 1-6 (including losses to TB Buccaneers, NY Giants and the Minnesota Vikings)
* Bears finished the season 3-5 after the win against the Packers on November 4th
That is how we got to the Green Bay Packers winning the NFC North and hosting the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The 49ers have beat the Packers pretty handily over the last 3 games; week 1 in 2012, NFC Wild Card playoffs 2012 and week 1 this year. The 49ers believe they own the Packers and it is easy to understand why. If you add in the fact that the Packers will be without the “playmaker” Clay Matthews and an important run stopper Johnny Jolly the 49ers should be favored and they are, by 2.5 points (the last I saw). What is it going to take for the the Packers to beat the 49ers on Sunday in sub-zero temperatures?
Keys to Winning
1. The Packers need to embrace the cold on Sunday. As of right now the forecast is called for a high of -6 and low of -20. The players need to show that they are the ones that play in Green Bay and not let the 49ers get comfortable. The best case scenario would be to win the coin toss, take the ball and put together a long opening drive and keep the 49ers offense on the sidelines trying to stay warm.
2. Stop Colin Kaepernick from running. Yes, Kapernick threw for over 400 yards in the week 1 match-up, but the weather is going to make it hard to pass and that will help the Packers defense. Without Jolly and Matthews the task of stopping Kaepernick is going to tough. AJ Hawk is going to have to step up even more than he has and have a career game. The defense is going to need to keep outside containment and stay in their lanes. This is going to be a tough task.
3. The Packers need to stick with the run and wear down the 49ers defense. Once the 49ers put an extra man in the box the Packers can pull out the play action and have the 49ers guessing in the second half. Eddie Lacy and James Starks are a great 1-2 punch and they need to show it on Sunday. If the Packers can win the turnover battle, then they can win the game.
Player of the Game
For the Packers to win this game the defense is going to have to play a perfect game. AJ Hawk will need to be the leader he has been all season and more. I am not expecting the one handed interception like he had against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I expect a forced fumble, double digit tackles and a sack.
The winner of the game between the 49ers and Packers will go to the Super Bowl. I see a low scoring game with the Packers pulling out the victory 24-20.
This week’s Debo’s Top 5 is based off my readers favorite blogs on Debo’s Let’s Loose. I will count down the 5 most viewed stories from Debo Let’s Loose in 2013. Now I am not going to do the top 5 blogs because they are pretty much the same topic, so I will pick the top 5 topics and the #1 story of each topic as viewed by my readers in 2013.
I am unsure of why this specific post got as many views as it did, but I am very happy about it! It was the first power rankings after Aaron Rodgers broke his collar bone, so that may have something to do with it.
This was obviously my number #1 story of 2013, but it fell to #3. Jacob was awesome in announcing Hannah’s name and the response about her name was amazing.
I was completely surprised by the fact that candlepin bowling made my top 5, but I am pretty happy about it. To be honest all the Worlds post did very well during that week and really showed what a majority of my readers enjoy. I will do my best to get some more candlepin posts out there!
Well there it is, Thursday’s Top 5. Debo Let’s Loose Top 5 stories of 2013. I am excited to see how 2014 stacks up against this list, I’ll keep writing, You keep reading, It’s that easy!!!
P.S. Look for a special Thursday’s Top 5 tomorrow! The topic? Debo Let’s Loose most underrated stories of 2013. This list will comprise of the stories that I thought should have gotten more attention, but didn’t.
This has been a trying year for the Green Bay Packers. Countless injuries have derailed a season that had the look of a contender. Five weeks ago the Packers welcomed the Chicago Bears to Lambeau Field, riding a 5-2 record and leading the NFC North looking to put a stranglehold on the division. Everything changed on one play, a play that looked like your typical sack when Shea McClellin landed on Rodgers on the first drive of the game. It is now five weeks later and Rodgers has not seen the field since. Over those five games the Packers are 0-4-1 and have started three different QBs; Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn.
The latest loss, 40-10 to the Detroit Lions was about as embarrassing as a game can get. The defense looks like they aren’t even trying anymore. How can a defense cause four turnovers, but yet the Packers still get blown out?
The Packers defense has to be exhausted, between the Minnesota Vikings and Lions game the defense has been on the field for over 160 plays compared to the offense who has only been on the field about 90 plays. Being exhausted means a ton of missed tackles, actually here is how bad it has been this year:
Through 12 games the defense has missed 98 tackles and the special teams unit has missed 20, if you compare that to the season totals of last year the defense had 68 missed tackles and the special teams had 11. There are still four games left in the season. Even with Rodgers there is no guarantee that the Packers would win out to make a run at the playoffs.
With that being said…
Packers Playoff Hopes
The Packers still have a shot at the wild card, but are going to have to win out and get A LOT of help. The Eagles, Cardinals, 49ers, Panthers and Bears all have to finish below them. The Panthers are at 9 wins already and would need to lose their remaining games to finish below the Packers. The 49ers in theory could finish 1-3 and would end up behind the Packers, but that is only two teams and I don’t see the Panthers losing out and I also don’t see the 49ers losing more than two games to finish the season. So let’s move on to a more realistic chance and that is winning the NFC North.
Detroit Lions (7-5)
Chicago Bears (6-6)
@ Philadelphia Eagles
VS Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers (5-6-1)
@ Dallas Cowboys
@ Chicago Bears
For the Packers to win the NFC North as said before they are going to have to win out and add in the Lions need to lose two of their four remaining games. The good news is the Packers only have to keep pace with the Bears and then beat them in week 17 to finish ahead of them. So the hopes of the Packers lay in the hands of the straight fire Nick Foles, an up and down Ravens team, a New York Giants team that has looked either really good or really bad (MOSTLY BAD) and a Vikings team that is going to want to win its last game in the Metrodome. I actually am not too stressed about the Packers chances, IF Aaron Rodgers is able to get back on the field in week 14.
I’m not going to make a prediction on whether we can win the division because right now I don’t think we can. It is going to take more than Aaron Rodgers return to turn this ship around, but you have to believe the faith and desire will be restored if he is back, right? Only time will tell!
- Can the Green Bay Packers still make playoffs? (nfl.com)
- Packers may shut down Aaron Rodgers for the season (thesportsbank.net)
- Aaron Rodgers Should Be Shut Down for Remainder of Packers’ Season (ridenpine.com)
- Rodgers eyes Week 14 return vs. Falcons (espn.go.com)
So here we are, the Green Bay Packers (5-5) are sitting outside the playoffs, but still in the race for the NFC North title. The wildcard hunt is an impossible road due to the tiebreakers so the Packers must with the NFC North to get into the playoffs. Everyone knows by now that the Packers are on their third string QB, but this game is a must win. If the Packers want to win the North they must win this game. The Minnesota Vikings (2-8) come to Lambeau Field with just about as bad QB play and hoping to give the Packers NFC North dominance a knock down a peg. With six winnable games left on the schedule the Packers need to start here with Scott Tolzien as their QB.
Keys to the Game
1. This will be the first real cold weather game of the season with temperatures in the mid 20s because of this, the game needs to take on a different form than Packers fans have been used to over the years with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. The Vikings are a dome team so the Packers need to take advantage of the home field advantage!
2. The Vikings can only win this game with a big game out of Adrian Peterson. The last meeting of these two teams AP only ran for 60 yards, but that was on 13 carries because the Packers got out to a big lead. The Packers were able to load the box because there was no threat of a passing game, but with the injuries to Sam Shields, Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde that could change in this game. I would rather make Matt Cassel beat the Packers than AP. I guarantee that AP will have more than 13 carries and with all the tackling problems this could be an issue for the Packers.
3. Eddie Lacy was shut down last week against the New York Giants, but he cannot be on Sunday. The Packers are going to need to run the ball to win this game. We are going to see the old Black & Blue NFC North in this game, it’s going to be ground and pound all day. Lacy has shown he can carry the Packers, he did it with Rodgers at QB and with Seneca Wallace at QB versus the Chicago Bears when Rodgers went down. Now he needs to help Tolzien and get the QB his first win.
4. Both the offensive and defensive lines need to control the line of scrimmage. Not only for run purposes, but to get after Cassel and to protect Tolzien. Over the last two weeks the Eagles and Giants have shown they are not afraid to blitz Tolzien, if the line can give Tolzien time to throw he has shown he can throw a great deep ball, completing 5 throws of over 30 yards last week. On the other side the Packers pass rush has been pretty awful recently and they need to get back to their ways. After five weeks of the NFL season the Packers were atop the sack rankings, but that is no longer true. It’s time for Clay Matthews to get going and for Dom Capers to get the scheme rolling.
5. I said it last week and I will say it again…turnovers, turnovers, turnovers…get them and stop them from happening. Without Rodgers under center the Packers the Packers have not put up a lot of points, which means they can’t let up points and can’t give up opportunities to score. Just get it done!
6. Mason Crosby made a couple big kicks in the first half last week in New York and he is going to have to do it again this week. No missed field goals and this is the Packers game.
Player of the Game
This will be Matthews 3rd game back from the thumb injury and he knows it is his time to lead, he will get it done in this game. I am predicting a two sack game with a forced fumble in there. If Matthews is not dominant in this game I am not sure the Packers can win.
As I said in the opening I see a Ground and Pound type of game which is going to lead to very few points. With how much this game means to Green Bay the fans are going to be crazy, not to mention hunting season opens on Saturday in Wisconsin. There are going to be some hyped up fans and this is going to carry them to a big victory to keep them in the NFC North contention. Packers win 16-10
The losses keep piling, that is three in a row for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers had to have fallen at least five spots in the rankings this week. Between losing to a New York Giant team that really isn’t that good and having a roster that is reeling with injuries the current iteration of this team is not good! I want to believe that Aaron Rodgers is going to be a savior, but to be honest if the Packers lose to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday his return is going to be too late. Let’s see where ESPN, CBSSports and the NFL have the Packers this week…
ESPN.com – 15 (13) – Eddie Lacy was hit at or behind the line on 10 of 14 rushes Sunday, the fourth time a player with 10 rushes finished with a negative yards before contact average.
CBSSports.com – 18 (13) – It’s amazing what losing a great quarterback like Aaron Rodgers can do to a team. If he doesn’t get back soon, they are done.
NFL.com – 14 (13) – A difficult spot for Scott Tolzien to be in was made even more arduous by Jason Pierre-Paul’s pick-six Sunday. Putting that disaster aside, we should note that the Packers were able to put up 394 yards without a running game. Remember that Green Bay next hosts a Vikings team that is similarly quarterback-deficient (though the Packers, of course, have an excuse), so if — IF — Aaron Rodgers can come back by Turkey Day, the NFC North still should be within reach. The Lions’ loss in Pittsburgh was huge.
So the Packers only fell five spots in one of the rankings? Wow, these guys must truly believe that the Lions and Bears are catchable. Tolzien hasn’t looked awful and another full week of practice could get the Packers a win over the Vikings, but you’ll have to check that out when the preview comes out.
When I saw the 2013 Green Bay Packers schedule I have to be honest I marked the San Francisco game as a loss and the New York Giants game as a loss. Then the Giants started 0-6 and everyone wrote them off, well everyone except me. The Packers have not match-up well with the Giants in the last few seasons. Look at the Giants they have won 3 straight games, granted those games have been against back-up QBs, oh wait they get another back-up or should I say a back-up’s back-up? What can the Packers do to get back to their winning ways, not only this season, but against the Giants?
Keys to the Game
1. Protect Scott Tolzien from the Giants pass rush. Yes, I know that the Giants are ranked 32 in the league in sacks for, but the Giants have always given Aaron Rodgers a lot of pressure because they just let loose. That pressure has caused Rodgers into some bad throws. The good news is the Packers finally have a running game and getting Eddie Lacy going will protect Tolzien. Lacy is going to see a ton of eight men in the box defenses just like he saw against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Play action could play a big part in the protection scheme.
2. Pressure Eli Manning into bad throws. The Packers have to make Manning make bad decisions, he has 6 interceptions for touchdowns and getting Manning on the run could open up chances for the Packers secondary to make plays. Clay Matthews has shed the club cast for a smaller cast that should make it a little easier for him to make the big plays Packer fans are used to seeing.
3. Tackle, Tackle and Tackle some more! The Packers were tackling great through the first 7 games and 3 quarters, but in the 4th quarter of the Chicago Bears game its like they forgot how to do it! Wrap up and gang tackle, the Giants are not a zone read team so if the ball is in Andre Brown’s stomach it is likely staying there.
4. Get off the field on 3rd down. The last drive of the Bears and Eagles games were over 9 minutes each with multiple chances to get off the field on the 3rd down. Make a play.
5. Mason Crosby has to make field goals. Yes Tolzien looked good last week, but it was at home. The Packers need points and Crosby can’t go back to his ways of last year when he was 60%, if he does he will be looking for a job.
Player of the Game
For the Packers to win this game the defense has to step up. Tramon Williams has not looked good this season, but it’s time for him to step his game up and make the play. He could have had 2 interceptions last week, but was knocked to the ground by teammate Morgan Burnett on one and the second one went right through his hands. Manning has 16 interceptions, we need to make that total 18 at the end of this game.
I am truly worried about this game, why?
1. Crosby’s recent struggles
2. No Aaron Rodgers
3. Andre Brown is back
4. Clay Matthews not being himself
With those reason I don’t know if I can predict a Packers win, even with the Giants being 3-6. Giants beat the Packers 27-20.