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Packers No Longer a One-Trick Pony

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It is a saying often joked about in my friendship circles. “Why run, when you can win?” Of course this is referencing when a team with a great quarterback is running the ball too much.

Sarcasm aside, the Packers do have a great quarterback, and as long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy they should remain a pass first team. However, yesterday was a win that Packers teams of the recent past could not have gotten. Yesterday, the Packers took on the Minnesota Vikings coming off back-to-back blowouts. Another one was expected with the Packers riding high, and the Vikings being a below average football team.

It was expected that the Packers would once again be able to throw the ball all over the yard and put up points in bunches.  It was clear early on that would not be the case. The Packers offense struggled early on. Receivers were not running open down the field, and Rodgers was not lighting up the scoreboard with ease.

Despite the shift from what had been the case in recent weeks, the Packers had the ball with 3:22 left to play, and a three point lead. The mission was simple: Two first downs on the ground, and the game is over.

Eddie Lacy took over the game in a way he had not done since a season ago. Lacy went from indecisive, to the punishing power back that Packers fans fell in love with during his rookie campaign. Lacy and the offensive line were able to grind the game out.


Eddie Lacy Runs Green Bay to Victory

Lacy vs. Min

The game the Green Bay Packers played yesterday in Minnesota was the exact kind of game they would lose before they drafted Eddie Lacy.

Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings secondary had a great plan and execution to limit Green Bay’s big plays down the field. There were no long play action post plays to Jordy Nelson, and there were no plays when Aaron Rodgers rolls out of the pocket and hits Randall Cobb improvising his route. In fact, Rodgers did a great job of escaping the pocket several times, but rarely hit any big plays.

It was just a good day for Rodgers and not a great one. Rodgers used to have to be great every game for the Packers to win with no running game or defense. The defense was pedestrian yesterday, but Lacy was an absolute stud.

Lacy rushed 25 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. Also, he scored a 10-yard receiving touchdown on a nicely designed shovel pass.  Lacy was just a beast yet again with breaking tackles, as 70 of those 125 rushing yards were after contact.

Lacy finally got a game when he got the touches he deserved and credit to him for never complaining once for not getting enough carries. Coming from the Alabama program his values are where they should be. Not to mention he did all of this battling illness.


Packers Aftermath: Top of the NFC North Again

pack vs vikes

Well look at that, the Packers are once again sitting atop the NFC North. Must be that final stretch toward the end of the season. When the difference between a 1 or 2 seeded team, a Wild Card spot and sitting on the couch watching the playoffs from home may only be a loss or two, every win counts. And taking out an NFC North rival at home is all the more satisfying. The Packers have gone 2-0 against the Vikings this year. See you (wouldn’t want to be you) next year, Minnesota.

  • Not surprised by the close margin of victory. The Packer seem to still have hiccups in Minnesota.
  • And it’s not a game unless Coach McCarthy totally wastes a timeout on a bonehead challenge. Seriously, why?
  • Man, I thought they killed that stupid horn. I guess I was wrong.
  • Hat tip to my awesome little brother (yes, I do claim him as mine once in a while) @jys_h for reminding me that the Packers have not trailed in a game since October 26. That was the Saints game, if you need any further reminders.
  • Not as dominant of an offensive showing, but they got the job done.
  • Eddie Lacy is a bowling ball. Pretty sure he would hurt you if he ran through you. Love that Rodger has finally found his screen pass target. It’s fun watching that play that seemed all but nonexistent the past suddenly become a dangerous thing. Hello, screen pass, I have missed you ever so.

Early Bird Breakdown Week 12: Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Aaron Rodgers vs. Minnesota Vikings

Early Bird Breakdown Week 12: Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Hello all! Welcome to another Early Bird Breakdown! Let’s begin with the recap:

The Recap:

Aaron Rodgers making it look easy

Last week the Green Bay Packers thoroughly beat the Philadelphia Eagles into submission on Sunday Night Football with a final score of 53-20. As with the Bears game, the Packers put the Eagles so far behind that Rodgers again sat in the fourth quarter. The defense has also been on a role since Clay Matthews moved to inside linebacker for help against the run. Overall, it was a complete beating. As for the Vikings, they ended Chicago’s losing skid after a shaky outing by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Chicago won at home 21-13.


Packers starting to gain steam

packers v philly

Weren’t the Green Bay Packer supposedly dead in the water just a few weeks ago? At least that’s what the blogosphere felt like after their third loss of the season. I suppose there’s nothing like getting shellacked on a Sunday night to help right the ship.

We all know what happened in New Orleans. A hamstring strain later, and the Packers looked like a JV squad getting beat up on national television. The bye could not occur at a better time.

Self-scouting, gut check, manning up. Whatever you want to call it, it happened. The Packers have not been the same since, and suddenly Vegas has them as the 4:1 favorite to take it all.

Even last week, the pundits were starting to look at the Packers not as playoffs dark horse, but rather the the favored child. I was paging through last week’s Sports Illustrated while I was at the dentist yesterday, and even there the Packers were the #1 NFC seed, beating Philly in the championship game to move on to Arizona in February.

Philly? If that’s the case, bring it on! I’d love to see a redux of this past week at Lambeau in prime time. If the Eagles are the other supposed NFC contender, the Packer proved they are no match for a Green Bay team on the rise.


Packers’ Nelson a Great Wide Receiver, Not Great White Receiver

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The Packers have an elite standing in the NFL.  They are one of the league’s 3 most popular brands every year.  They enjoy a national fan base and  competitive relevance almost every single season.  Because of this, the “national” broadcast teams spend a lot of time doing their games.  I’m talking about Gruden and Tirico.  I’m talking about Michaels and Collinsworth, Simms and Nantz, and most often, Aikman and Buck.  I understand and appreciate the public’s distaste for Aikman and Buck.  They annoy me too, especially Aikman but this is not one of those articles.

What does annoy me specifically is that every time Jordy Nelson catches a long pass (which, by the way, happens like all the time)  Aikman, without fail will mention Nelson’s “deceptive” speed.  Nelson’s speed is never “elite” or “gamebreaking” it’s “sneaky” or “underrated”.  It’s racist.  It is flat out a racist comment, and someone makes it almost every time Nelson makes a big play.

I’m not going to stand up on a soapbox and say that the midwestern white guy is being “oppressed”.  This is not racism in the sense that it’s a social commentary.  This is sports.  This is a game.  Jordy Nelson’s life isn’t being negatively affected because he is white.  In fact, I’m guessing for better or for worse it makes him a bigger star in the mostly Caucasian market in which he plays.


Packers Aftermath: Packers 53, Eagles 20


It’s safe to say the Green Bay Packers are a dominant football team right now. For the first time in franchise history the Packers rolled to over 50 points in consecutive weeks, as they slaughtered the Philadelphia Eagles 53-20.

These games are not supposed to happen in the NFL this often. It isn’t high school or college football. In the NFL any team can beat anybody, and that was on display again when the St. Louis Rams defeated the Denver Broncos today. The Packers are just taking teams to the woodshed, and today they took a really good team and made them look like the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Packers needed to beat a good team. Mission accomplished in a big way. They slowed down LeSean McCoy in the run game and made Mark Sanchez look like vintage Sanchez. Offensively, we all wondered what the Packers would look like offensively when they put it all together.We imagined something like this. Some thoughts following the win:

-You run out of words to say about Rodgers at this point. All you can say he is playing the position at the highest level possible. He threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns in yet another short game’s work. The deep pass to Jordy Nelson to open the game was insane and set the tone for the blowout.

– The Eagles were aggressive and played more single-high than most against the Packers. Now you see why more teams do not do that. It’s either you die a quick death or a longer death.