The Packers

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related articles

Advertisements

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

Green-Bay-Packers-640x360

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

green-bay-packers-1-gold-06

 

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?

 

Packers Lose the Game and Aaron Rodgers – Week 9 Grades

green-bay-packers-1-gold-06

 

The Green Bay Packers (5-3) took a 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears (5-3) on Monday Night Football to create a tie for first in the NFC North. Due to tie breakers the loss actually moves the Packers down to 3rd in the division and out of the playoffs. To make matters worse the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers on the final play of the opening drive of the game to shoulder injury. There is no diagnosis as of yet which means there is no time table for return. Early indications show a small fracture in Rodgers collarbone, which would keep him out about 3 weeks. Still waiting on more tests.

Seneca Wallace came in for Rodgers and looked slow. I thought it was going to be ok when Rodgers went out because I was under the impression that Wallace had some speed, but alas I was wrong.

Keys to the Game

Eddie Lacy – With Rodgers out Lacy did his job. Lacy had 22 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown. It’s scary to think of what would have happened had Rodgers played the whole game. The Packers finished with 199 rushing yards with James Starks adding another 40. Grade A

Eddie Lacy ran all over the Chicago Bears defense to the tune of 150 yards and a touchdown

Eddie Lacy ran all over the Chicago Bears defense to the tune of 150 yards and a touchdown

David Bahktiari – The Packers let up 5 sacks on the night, my guess is that had a little to do with the Rodgers injury and Wallace’s inability to scramble in the pocket. Julius Peppers had two pass deflections (one deflection was a running play that Wallace decided to throw on) and a sack. Bahktiari did not have any penalties, but there was a lot of pressure on Wallace. Grade C+

Devin Hester – The special teams as a whole was phenomenal against the Bears. A blocked punt, a recovered onside kick and four punts downed inside the 20. In the 3rd quarter there was one slip up and Hester had a 23 yard punt return that gave the Bears the ball in Packers territory. Grade B+

Player of the Game 

If we are talking Packers player of the game, then Lacy was the right pick here (so I’d give that pick an A grade). The only issue is the Packers didn’t win and you can’t be player of the game. This has to go to Josh McCown. McCown stepped in to the Bears starting line-up after two weeks of practice and played a great game. Maybe he should have been picked off twice, but he wasn’t and instead stayed calm, bought time and made perfect throws. McCown finished the game with 272 yards and 2 TDs.

Prediction

Since I picked Green Bay to win and they didn’t Grade F. Easy as that.

The Good

1. The Run Game – Another 199 yards on to the Packers already great running game. Rodgers injury is going to cause them to lean more on the run, so it was good to see that Lacy and Starks were able to run with no presence of a passing game.

2. Special Teams – I said it all in the Devin Hester section. Special teams played great and there is another spot the Packers are going to have to keep going to help the team survive Rodgers injury.

3. Penalties – There were none. Very clean game out of the Packers, you would have thought with how many times the Packers ran the ball there would be one holding call.

The Bad

1. QB Pressure – Or lack thereof. If you look at the stats you’ll see a sack and 5 QB hits, but watching the game McCown was able to sit very comfortably in the pocket. There is no doubt in my mind that Clay Matthews plays next week even after just getting the pins in his thumb out. The defense is going to need to carry the Packers and the pass rush will have to lead the way.

2. Turnovers – This defense has been bend don’t break and they are still that way. If they can start creating turnovers they may be able to get rid of that stigma. Casey Heyward needs to become the ball hawk he was last year. Tramon Williams dropped an interception that would have been huge.

3. Not Challenging – How does Mike McCarthy not challenge the Andrew Quarless catch on the sideline? It’s not like they didn’t have time. I don’t always question McCarthy, but this Tuesday I am.

The Ugly

The Packers can't win with Aaron Rodgers in a hoodie

The Packers can’t win with Aaron Rodgers in a hoodie

Seneca Wallace was not ready to be thrown into action. I can’t believe I said this last night, but I wish the Packers kept Vince Young. Young could have at least escaped a few of those sacks and got more running yards out of the play. Why is Wallace making a decision to throw the slant and not run the ball. Peppers was unblocked because Bahktiari was blocking for a run that was going to the right. Terrible decision Wallace, but let’s get a week of practice under his belt and hope that he can get it together. Do the Packers bring back Matt Flynn?

Up Next

The Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) coming off a dismantling of the Oakland Raiders with Nick Foles throwing for 7 TDs. What Eagles team is going to show up? For the Packers sake let’s hope its the team that didn’t score a TD in 8 quarters.