NFC North

Green Bay Packers Tidbits…Aaron Rodgers, Playoff Hopes and Debo’s Rants

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 Packers got dominated on Thanksgiving Day!

The Packers got dominated on Thanksgiving Day!

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:

Missed tackles are not going to win you games!

Missed tackles are not going to win you games!

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.

Cam Newton and the Panthers need one win to eliminate the Packers from the 5 seed

Cam Newton and the Panthers need one win to eliminate the Packers from the 5 seed

Detroit Lions (7-5)

@ Philadelphia Eagles

VS Baltimore Ravens

VS New York Giants

@ Minnesota Vikings

Chicago Bears (6-6)

VS Dallas Cowboys

@ Cleveland Browns

@ Philadelphia Eagles

VS Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers (5-6-1)

VS Atlanta Falcons

@ Dallas Cowboys

VS Pittsburgh Steelers

@ 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.

Packers need to take back their home field advantage

Packers need to take back their home field advantage

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!







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Gif Tuesday – The Interception That Lost the Lions the Game

Here is the interception that kept the Packers in the NFC North race. What a bounce to Tampa Bay, I almost feel bad for Matt Stafford here. Then I realized that half of his throws are just tossed up to Calvin Johnson and Johnson makes ridiculous catches!

Week 12 Green Bay Packers Preview – Minnesota Vikings



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

Frozen Tundra season is starting

Frozen Tundra season is starting

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.

Time for Eddie Lacy to get back to his 100 yard ways

Time for Eddie Lacy to get back to his 100 yard ways

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.

Packers fans do not want to see this on Sunday!

Packers fans do not want to see this on Sunday!

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

Week 11 Green Bay Packers Power Rankings!








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… – 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. – 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. – 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.

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Week 11 Packers Game Gets Flexed Out of Night Game



The Green Bay Packers are sitting at 5-2 a top the NFC North and fighting for the first round byes. Sounds like a good team to have in prime time, am I right? Oh that’s right the New York Giants are sitting at 2-6 and in last place in the NFC East. Last place teams don’t make for good television, just ask ESPN and their Monday Night Football line-up.

The other reason is the 7-1 Denver Broncos are playing the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West Division lead, so I get it. It just stinks for non-Wisconsin Packers fans because now we are off to the bar to watch the game with no sound or need to find a friend with Sunday Ticket (thankfully I have that friend!). I completely understand why games get flexed out, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

P.S. Side note, I am not feeling good about the week 14 match-up with the Atlanta Falcon, that is definitely getting flexed out also!

Green Bay Packers Power Rankings – Week 8



Sunday night’s win over the Minnesota Vikings, coupled with a Dallas Cowboys loss has given the Packers a very comfortable lead in the race for the 3rd seed in the NFC as long as they can hold off the Detroit Lions. After being a unanimous number 9 rank the last two weeks let’s see if the Packers have moved up the ladder. (Per usual, the links will bring you to the power rankings for the NFL. – 8 (9) – Time to create separation in the NFC North. Sunday night’s win against the Vikings kicked off a stretch of four games in six weeks against divisional opponents. – 9 (9) – Does it matter who Aaron Rodgers has catching his passes? The guy is special. – 9 (9) – It might not have been flashy, but Eddie Lacy was still running hard even as Packers-Vikings wound down Sunday night. The rookie got 29 carries — a rarity in today’s NFL — and fell just short of 100 yards. The point is, anything that helps the Packers take some of the focus off Aaron Rodgers– and anything that helps them give the injury-depleted defense a blow — is nothing short of crucial, especially with the Lions hanging on in the NFC North race.

ESPN moved the Packers up in their Power Rankings one spot to number eight. I’m not really surprised because they only played the Vikings and two of the teams ahead of them have beaten them. It’s going to take a loss by a team or two for the Packers to move up significantly, but as long as they stay in the division lead I’m ok with that.


Green Bay Packers Power Rankings Week 7


A big week 7 win has put the Green Bay Packers in first place in the NFC North and holding onto the 3rd seed in the NFC. How do the the experts rank the Packers after week 7. (If you are not a Packers fan and want to know where your team is just follow the links)

CBS Sports – 9 (9) – If Jermichael Finley is out for a time, whom will Aaron Rodgers throw to next week? Does it really matter?

ESPN – 9 (9) – The Packers have finally found their running back. Eddie Lacy leads the NFL in rushing over the past three weeks. – 9 (9) – The Packers’ 1929 championship throwback unis are sweet. Personally, the Power Rankings prefers the ensemble with the brown helmet, but per — wait for it — another NFL rule, clubs can no longer change their helmets, beyond swapping out the logo. 

So the Packers stay put at number 9 in all three of the power rankings. I’m surprised at least one of the media outlets didn’t move them up one spot, but hey I’ll take the 3rd seed in the NFC for now. 1-0 in what I said was going to be a big four game stretch. Next up the Vikings in Minnesota.

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