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Packers Must Stop Patriots Ground Attack

Perry

All the hype between the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots matchup is around the quarterbacks. Obviously, when you have Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady facing off for the first time with the two hottest teams in the NFL that’s the main story. However, you know Brady will make his fair share of plays in the passing game no matter what, so shutting down New England’s running attack is just as important as slowing down Brady.

New England is 15th in the NFL in rushing averaging 113.4 yards per game, so they are just not about Brady and his aerial attack. If Bill Belichick knows he has a matchup advantage running the ball he is not afraid to pound it down the defense’s throat.

For example, two weeks ago at Indianapolis Belichick knew he could run it on Indianapolis just like he had in the playoffs last year. The Patriots ran the ball 44 times and passed it 30 times. Jonas Gray ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns.

Belichick may see that kind of matchup favoring his team in the running game against Green Bay’s 31st ranked run defense, especially if Nick Perry is out. Perry is Green Bay’s best edge run defender and he is very much needed for this game, as the run defense struggled in Minnesota without him.

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Packers face toughest challenger yet

rodgers brady

Remember when everyone thought the Green Bay Packers were dead in the water after three games into this season? There were calls to fire defensive coordinator Dom Capers, some to dump Clay Matthews and even a disgruntled few even called for Mike McCarthy’s head.

Fan bases are passionate, no doubt about that. And across the country there were similar “idiot trolls,” as Aaron Rodgers likes to say, bemoaning the same downfall of the New England Patriots.

Funny how things change 11 games into the season.

A couple of hiccups later, and both the Packers and the Patriots sit atop the power rankings and aren’t just jockeying for a spot in the playoffs. They are both fighting tooth and nail for the right to home field advantage throughout the post-season in their respective conferences. Not to put the cart before the horse, but could this be a potential preview for a match up in February? (I won’t be responsible for cursing them. I won’t even mention that game by name.)

Needless to say all eyes will be on Lambeau Field this Sunday and Packers will need to be bringing their A game until the very last whistle.

It will be very evenly matched in the Rodgers vs. Brady battle. Both are playing lights-out football this season. Aaron Rodgers has only a slight statistical advantage in the battle of the numbers. 30 TDs, 3 interceptions, 2957 passing years and a rating of 119.2.

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Packers’ Linsley Perfect Example of Thompson’s Practices

NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers

There was much consternation at the beginning of the season.  The Packers spent time and resources developing a plan to keep this team healthier.  If you ask Mike McCarthy that’s a huge part of this team’s success, especially in the regular season.  He claims to have only coached two teams of above average health in his career.  The 2007 Packers that went 12-4 and made it to the NFC Championship and the 2011 team that went 15-1 in the regular season nearly setting several NFL records for offense.

The off season and in season practice schedules were edited.  The team took a different approach to both nutrition and regeneration.  Early on, it appeared that the Packers were on to something.  Despite the inability of the newly signed Letroy Guion and Packers roster disappointment Jerel Worthy to get on the field, Green Bay was staying relatively healthy.  The new practices and measures of prevention appeared to be working.  Then the injury bug bit hard.

The Packers’ top utility man Don Barclay went down for the season with a torn ACL, and promising young local prodcut Jared Abbrederis did as well.  When the Packers got into the preseason they lost BJ Raji for the year with a torn bicep.  At least for the season it appeared that the Packers were headed down the same road that causes Aaron Rodgers to have to carry the team to a 10-6 or 11-5 record.

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Packers No Longer a One-Trick Pony

Eddie+Lacy+Philadelphia+Eagles+v+Green+Bay+eSOjO-6KJ9kl (1)

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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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