Scott Tolzien

Week 12 Green Bay Packers Preview – Minnesota Vikings

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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.

Prediction

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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Green Bay Packers Playoff Hopes Are Slipping – Week 11 Grades

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The Green Bay Packers fell to 5-5 after their 27-13 loss to the New York Giants, which is their 3rd consecutive loss. The Packers are still in the playoff race thanks to the Detroit Lions 37-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the wild card race is getting a little too crowded. With five teams ahead of the Packers in the wild card, it maybe time to worry about winning the NFC North and to do it the Packers hold their own destiny. With games still to play against the Lions, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, win those and Packers take the inside track. Before we get to those games we have to look back at this one to see what Green Bay needs to improve on to get the win against the Vikings next Sunday. On to the grades…

Keys to the Game

1. Protect Scott Tolzien from the pass rush. The Packers did not let up any sacks and only 5 QB hits. I wonder if that had more to do with Tolzien’s legs? Eddie Lacy never got going so the play action was never quite there. Grade C

Tramon Williams makes a diving interception

Tramon Williams makes a diving interception

2. Pressure Eli Manning into bad throws. The Packers had 4 sacks and 6 hits on the QB and a hurry led to a rushed throw that was intercepted by Tramon Williams, but I never felt like the pressure was going to get to him. The sacks and hits were after Manning held onto the ball. Grade B-

3. Tackling was terrible. As a team they had 79 tackles, but I would love to know how many missed tackles there were. It was atrocious for the 3rd straight game. Grade F

4. The Packers could not get off the field again. The time of possession was 10 minutes in favor of the Giants and the Packers let up two big runs on 4th and 1, that just can’t happen if you want to win! Grade F

5. Mason Crosby bounced back with a 2-2 day including a 57 yard FG that cut the Giants lead to 4 points going into halftime. Grade A

Player of the Game

Tramon Williams had eight tackles, a pass deflection and an interception, but the Giants had 25 receptions for 279 yards. I didn’t get the feeling that Williams was making tackles on running backs, but more of the fact that he was getting beat and making tackles on the receiver that caught the ball. Jason Pierre-Paul made one play and to me it was the play of the game and that makes him the player of the game! The Packers drove down the field scored a touchdown then came back and forced the Giants to a three and out with two sacks and took the momentum. That is until JPP jumped up and grabbed the ball out of mid-air and returned it for a 24 yard touchdown that provided the final deficit of the game.

Prediction

My prediction was 27-20 and to be honest when I saw the Packers driving in the last 2 minutes I thought I had done it. Close, but not close enough!

The Good

Jarrett Boykin was again Scott Tolzien's favorite target

Jarrett Boykin was again Scott Tolzien’s favorite target

1. Mason Crosby is probably the only bright spot from Sunday. Set a team record for outdoor longest field goal.

2. Brad Jones had his best game of the season with a 13 tackles, a sack and 3 tackles for loss.

3. Scott Tolzien connected on 5 deep balls on Sunday.

The Bad

1. Kick-off return game is bad. Micah Hyde had a 23 yard average, but that was wiped out by 2 penalties.

2. The running game had its worst game of the season with only 55 yards.

3. Tolzien had three interceptions that really hurt the Packers chances in this game.

4. Fake punt of 4th and 7 bringing in a guy who doesn’t usually play punt protector may have let the cat out of the bag.

Mason Crosby sets a Packers outdoor record by hitting a 57 yard field goal

Mason Crosby sets a Packers outdoor record by hitting a 57 yard field goal

The Ugly

Stating the obvious here, but the back-up QBs have not gotten it done here. Three straight loses in damn ugly and it needs to change against the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers may need to find a way to get back because if the Packers lose this game playoff chances are pretty much over.

Next Week

The Packers head back to Lambeau Field to take on the Vikings, but are going to be watching the Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bears vs St. Louis Rams games.

 

 

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Week 11 Green Bay Packers Preview – New York Giants

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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

If Scott Tolzien isn't running for his life, the Packers have a chance

If Scott Tolzien isn’t running for his life, the Packers have a chance

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.

If Eli Manning looks like this on Sunday, its a good thing for the Packers

If Eli Manning looks like this on Sunday, its a good thing for the Packers

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.

Prediction

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

Can Clay get back to his play making self?

Can Clay get back to his play making self?

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.

Green Bay Packers Power Rankings – Week 10

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Another loss in week 10 should bring the Green Bay Packers down a few more spots, the question is how many? The Packers are now on the outside looking in at the playoffs and have a lot of ground to make up. Now that is for the wild card, if the Packers can keep pace and stay within a game of the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears they play against both teams one more time each. On to the rankings…

ESPN.com – 13 (11) – Philadelphia was able to run out the final 9:32 after Green Bay failed to score from 7 yards out. Missing Aaron Rodgers is big, but there are other problems here too.

CBSSports.com – 13 (13) – It’s Scott Tolzien time. This team is learning the lesson we already know: The franchise quarterback goes down and you are done.

NFL.com – 13 (12) – Call me Positive Perry, but Scott Tolzien didn’t look too shabby for the Packers on Sunday — the game didn’t look too big for him. At 5-4, Green Bay certainly needs a couple of bounces to go its way, and yet, with match-ups against the Giants and Vikings on the horizon, the Packers could be 7-4 heading into Detroit on Thanksgiving — even without Aaron Rodgers.

I’m surprised by the lack of fall in rankings. ESPN had the Packers falling the most, but only 2 spots. All three sources have the Packers at 13 and my belief is they are expecting Rodgers to be back in two weeks and for Tolzien to carry them to wins over the Giants and Vikings. Not sure I agree, but only time will tell!

 

Green Bay’s Defense Fails, Packers Lose Back to Back Home Games – Week 10 Grades

 

 

 

 

 

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The Green Bay Packers (5-4) are facing something that not many teams have faced. The injury bug is crushing this team’s chance of any type of playoff run. When healthy they are a top six team in the NFL, but when you lose two QBs, two starting lineman, 3 linebackers, a defensive back and two top receivers they become a mediocre team at best. With that being said the game against the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) was depressing to watch. The mental mistakes that happened on the field were truly terrible. From Tramon Williams and Morgan Burnett knocking into each other and popping the ball up to DeSean Jackson for the first garbage touchdown to a 10 yard under thrown ball that Riley Cooper came back, caught the ball and rolled into the end zone for the second garbage touchdown. Two missed field goals by Mason Crosby puts worries back in to Mike McCarthy and all Packer fans that he is going to go back to his ways of last year. I watched Clay Matthews go after the inside fake rather than keep outside contain and get beat by a slow Nick Foles, if he stays home and makes a legit hit those could be fumbles. Scott Tolzien looked much better than expected and I think that he won the back-up job with that performance. Mike McCarthy already named Tolzien the starter against the New York Giants next week. Let’s get him some reps in practice and we’ll see what happens. On to the grades.

Scott Tolzien gets thrown into the fire four days after being sign to the practice squad.

Scott Tolzien gets thrown into the fire four days after being sign to the practice squad.

Keys to the Game

1. Honestly I think the defense did an okay job, but for the second week in a row could not get the offense back on the field with 8 minutes left in the game. The Packers defense held the Eagles to a four play drive drive after Tolzien’s end zone interception and the Eagles missed a field goal. There were some bright spots on defense where the Packers could not make a play, Jackson’s touchdown, Cooper’s touchdown and Williams just missed an interception on a completion to Jeremy Avant. The bad wholly outweighed the good. Tackling was awful, no pass rush what so ever, containment was bad and receivers were left open. Grade D+

2. “The Packers need to dominate time of possession. This Eagles team is fast paced and can score quickly, if the Packers can keep the Eagles defense on the field they will get tired and the Packers can run the ball all over them in the fourth quarter.” Those were my exact words in my week 10 preview and boy did I get it right. The Packers drove down the field in the 4th quarter and Tolzien looked to complete a pass to Jordy Nelson for a touchdown on 4th and goal to pull within seven of the Eagles. The problem is the head ref did not see it that way through replay and no touchdown was rewarded. The Eagles got the ball back on downs with 9:32 left on the clock and the Packers never saw the ball again. Grade B

3. The Eagles did it again and finessed there way to a win. The Packers couldn’t smash them in the mouth and the Eagles just took it to them. In the first quarter it looked like the offense was going to run all day, but losing Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay really hurt this line. Grade F

4. The crowd was immediately deflated once Seneca Wallace went down and Scott Tolzien came in. I was only watching it on TV, but the crowd never truly got going and the home field advantage that is Lambeau Field was not there. Grade D-

Player of the Game

Eddie Lacy came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, but once Tolzien came in the Eagles put eight in the box and dared the Packers to beat them with the pass. There was a time when teams could stop the running game with six in the box, telling what happens when your have the 3rd best running attack and no Aaron Rodgers to go with it will do. Lacy still ran for over 70 yards, but that was mostly in the first half. Player of the game for the Packers is Jarrett Boykin who had 8 catches for 112 yards, but the overall player of the game has to go to Foles. Yes, his receivers went and made plays and he got a break on the Jackson touchdown, but that’s is how it goes when you are playing good football.

The Good

1. Scott Tolzien looked competent, made a some bad throws, but he was not on the team on Wednesday and had very limited practice time because the Packers we’re trying to get Wallace ready. To be honest with a week of prep this kid might be able to do some work, his arm is very strong.

2. Brandon Bostick got his first 3 receptions of his career and his first ever Lambeau Leap. It hurts that it was in a loss, but Bostick will remember this one forever.

Brandon Bostick gets his first Lambeau Leap in one of the few Packer high lights

Brandon Bostick gets his first Lambeau Leap in one of the few Packer high lights

The Bad

1. I have to say it, the coaching has been terrible. Dom Capers needs to get this defense together and figure it out. I understand injuries, but that cannot be an excuse. The Packers needed to rely on the defense to win this game, but it didn’t happen. The offense kept the defense off the field by dominating the time of possession. As mentioned above the Packers have let up an 8:00 minute drive in the 4th quarter of back to back games. That can’t happen. M.D. Jennings can’t cover anybody and doesn’t understand the concept of under thrown balls. Absolute failure.

2. Crosby is back to his old tricks. Those two missed field goals played an enormous part in this loss. Instead of going in to half with score being 10-9 the score was 10-3. Crosby can’t get into his slump of last year otherwise he will be out of a job. Pretty good chance the Packers bring a kicker this week to compete with Crosby.

The Ugly

Injuries, Injuries and more Injuries…

Aaron Rodgers, Seneca Wallace, Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Don Barclay, Brad Jones, Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, Casey Heyward, Johnny Jolly, Bryan Bulaga should I keep going? This is nothing new in the NFL, but to be honest this isn’t the first season in which the Packers have been destroyed by injuries! The last four or five seasons have been like this one. As a Packers fan I have to keep the faith, but as someone who is watching the games it is truly hard to envision the Packers making a playoff run.

Up Next 

The Packers head to New York to square off against the Giants, who after a 0-6 start are back in the race for the NFC East title. Can the Packers keep from losing three straight games?