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I didn’t really realize how weird the schedule is this season until after the Bears game.  After Thursday, the Packers will get their second 9 day rest in between games.  They will also only have 3 division games left.  The only road division game left on the slate isn’t really a home game for the other team.  TCF Bank Stadium has treated the Vikings OK so far, beating the Falcons in a shootout and getting stomped by the Patriots, but it’s not the Metrodome and there’s a decent chance that the Vikings will already have lost 7 games by that time and know their season is over.

The Packers have opened as double digit favorites in this game and that is always concerning.  You could certainly make an argument that after beating the Bears by 21 points on the road there could be a letdown.  You could certainly make an argument that facing a Vikings team that has finished last in the division 3 of the last 4 seasons with a rookie QB and are without their best player could create a letdown.  You could certainly make an argument that the mini-bye week they could use to rest up and get healthy for the Miami game could create a letdown.


The underappreciated Tramon Williams


Hello everyone, it has been quite some time since I have written here, but as Marshall Mathers once said it feels so good to be back.


After last offseason the Packers had a young player that was approaching free agency at the cornerback position. He was a young, ascending player that finished the season strong. He emerged as an undrafted free agent in 2010, and had put together a solid career, while still being at a young age where he could improve over time.

Of course I am talking about Sam Shields. Shields was rewarded with a new contract this offseason, and his return gave the Packers arguably the deepest cornerback group in the NFL. Shields along with Casey Hayward, Davon House, Micah Hyde (whose role was unclear at the time) and Tramon Williams would allow the Packers to do a lot of different things with their sub packages in their defense.


Shields’ return coupled with young players such as Hayward and House behind him caused some to wonder if Tramon Williams would even make it to the regular season, or if the Packers would move on from him and his hefty salary.


Criticism, and desire for Williams to be cut is not new. There we calls to release him due to his hefty salary before the 2013 season, because of his inconsistent play in 2012.


Packers Aftermath: Packers at Bears


I am glad that I relaxed.  I was told to.  Packers QB Aaron Rodgers instructed me and all the rest of Cheesehead Nation to just relax.  I panicked a little.

You can certainly go back and check the tape, there’s no question about that.  During last week’s episode of From the Benches, which was recorded just moments after the loss to Detroit, I picked the Bears to win.  The Bears. THE BEARS I TELL YOU!

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers own the Bears and it doesn’t appear that that’s going to change any time soon.  The main difference between the two teams is and will continue to be the two quarterbacks.  Aaron Rodgers was dominant.  Jay Cutler was Jay Cutler.

Some of the things that Packers fans pined for showed up in this game, some certainly did not.  Either the pass protection got better or Rodgers got the ball out quicker.  One or the other.  The offense started fast for a change.  After watching the Bears roll down the field slowly in 15 plays, the Packers roared back scoring almost immediately.  The defense created turnovers as well.

The running game was still a big problem.  The Packers could not run the ball.  The shotgun and toss running game was not effective.  They got a little more going out of more traditional run formations but still not the Eddie Lacy that we saw a season ago.  James Starks did not register a carry, which at this point is unacceptable.  The pass defense continued to be above average, but no better than that.


Early Bird Breakdown Week 4: Packers @ Bears

Early Bird Breakdown Week 4: Packers @ Bears

Hello all! After a constant shuffling over at my new home, I have once again, and for the remainder of the season, settled back in as the early Sunday morning preview for the Packers. Without further ado, the recap:

The Recap: Packers @ Lions

For the first time all season, Green Bay showed promise on defense. They were able to generate some pressure, urn overs, and up until the end when they were fatigued, were pretty good against Reggie Bush and the running game. The offense, especially the offensive line, looked pitiful. Green Bay should be used to offensive line issues, as the unit has never been particularly effective in the Ted Thompson era, though this year they look especially sour. To top it off, McCarthy made a critical boneheaded playcall at the Packers one yard line to run Lacy with no lead blocker into a defense that had driven the offensive line back nearly two yards on each snap, run or pass. It was clearly going to be a safety when the Packers lined up. Rodgers also appears to be getting annoyed, only trusting Nelson and Cobb (throwing a combined 58% of his passes their way, the highest percentage two receivers have ever had with Rodgers). The best example was when Adams ran off the line on a WR screen, something the Packers have been running for years and Rodgers threw it into Adams’ dust. Green Bay hopefully cleared its head in practice this week. The final score was 19-7 Lions.


Game Predictions: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Packers vs Bears

C.D. Angeli (@TundraVision): The Green Bay Packers, 1-2 and 0-1 in the division, have another early must-win early in the season against their border rival. The Bears looked sharp on Monday night, but will take a short week against the team that seems to know which buttons to push. The Packers haven’t been able to put it together, particularly on offense, but when Aaron Rodgers goes public with criticism of criticism, it usually means he’s gotten his head on straight. And not a moment too soon. R-E-L-A-X.

Packers 27 Bears 21


Jacob Westendorf (@JacobWestendorf): At some point the Packers offense has to get clicking, this game should be a step toward that. Chicago is very banged up in the secondary. Defensively Green Bay has improved dramatically since the first half of the Jets game, and they are facing another conventional offense. Look for Julius Peppers to have a big game and force Jay Cutler into a few mistakes so we can all say our favorite Charles Woodson phrase “Same Old Jay.”

Packers 21 Bears 17


John Rehor (@jrehor): If this game was being held at Lambeau Field, I would pick the Packers to win in a blowout. They need to get back on track, and there would be no better way to do it than against their old rivals. But the game isn’t at Lambeau Field-it’s at Soldier Field, and the Packers are coming in facing a Bears team which is playing very well right now. Sure, they still can’t stop the run. But the Packers suddenly can’t run the ball. I bet that is a major reason why the Packers head back to Green Bay 1-3, desperate for answers.



Aaron and Eddie

It was not long after the loss to the Lions that I had to record “From the Benches” with my co-hosts Jacob Westendorf and Ryan Hillesland.  I was not in a great mood.  I was sick.  The team played terrible.  Everything that I had predicted in last week’s Football Friday had basically gone awry.  It appeared as if the empire was crumbling.  It appeared as if maybe the Packers’ stranglehold on the NFC North had passed us by.

So I picked the Bears.  It wasn’t really fair.  I mean we record every Sunday night so that we can give the people what they want right away on Monday morning.  I’ve always considered myself a very even-keeled and optimistic fan.  The stink of the loss to the Lions, and moreover the stink of the way that the team played made me pick the BEARS.  Over the PACKERS.

We’re going to find out a lot on Sunday.  Aaron Rodgers owns the Bears.  He owns the Bears like honestly he has owned every other team in this division.  He almost never loses in Soldier field.  We’ve won in Soldier field in each of the last 3 seasons.  The Packers have also been a very good road team since the 2009 season.  I’ll continue to believe a lot of the things that I write here if the Packers are able to beat a team that quite frankly isn’t as good as they are on Sunday.  If they lose, and if they lose because of the offense and fall to 1-3, I’m really going to be concerned.


Packers Game Plan For Chicago


The Green Bay Packers are currently preparing for their huge matchup against the Chicago Bears on Sunday that might determine the course of their season. If they lose it they will have a long climb to the playoffs, and if they win it can give them big momentum going into the easier part of their schedule.

The Packers have had good success against the Bears lately including huge wins against them last year to win the division title in Week 17 and the 2010 NFC Championship game. The Packers have won four straight games at Soldier Field and nine of their last 11 overall. One player Dom Capers has had figured out during his tenure in Green Bay is Jay Cutler.

Chicago is off to a 2-1 start, but they have been far from setting the world on fire. It took a huge second half collapse from San Francisco for them to avoid going 0-2, and the Jets out gained them 414-257 in total yardage. However, the Jets shot themselves in the foot with turnovers and failing in the red zone. If Geno Smith can put up that kind of yardage on the Bears with no receivers Aaron Rodgers must do the same.

The Bears defense is living on turnovers right now, so if the Packers can avoid them they should have a much better offensive day. Rodgers would be wise to avoid rookie corner Kyle Fuller right now, who has three interceptions and two forced fumbles on the season. Fuller is probably an upgrade from the injured Charles Tillman at this point in his career, and is playing like a clone of Tillman in his prime.