PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Season saved?

Oh I definitely remember the last time the Packers played the Texans, and you do too.  It was the “shhhhhhh” game.  Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has made a career of playing with a chip on his shoulder and backing up bold statements.  People remember “shhhhhh”, they remember R-E-L-A-X, will they remember “run the table”?

Why the Packers will win: The Texans don’t match up well with the Packers at all.  They would like to run the ball.  That’s something that the Packers have not been allowing in great numbers except against Dallas and when they’d stretched thin focusing on the pass because of an injured defensive backfield.  Houston will try and the run the ball and when they try throw it they’ll have to do it with Brock Osweiler.  Osweiler is not good.

Houston is just average defensively.  They currently rank 14th in DVOA, and 12th against the pass (that’s the number that matters with the way GB is calling plays).  To contrast Philadelphia was ranked 3rd overall in DVOA, and 2nd against the pass.  This is a weaker defense that’s playing at Lambeau field, instead of on the road.

Why the Texans will win: I haven’t doe this in a while, but……. they won’t!

Bottom Line: This is the game that will either provide belief for the rest of the season or prove that what happened in Philadelphia was a fluke.  If the Packers are able to win, they’ll even their record at 6-6 and draw even with Minnesota.  The goal, of course is to get to the week 17 game in Detroit with a chance to win the division.

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Pack to the Future #30: Chin Up

The guys try to keep spirits high while assigning some blame. They discuss Dom Capers’ job security and which player – Jared Cook or Christine Michael – will have a bigger impact going forward. John Barchard of Bleed Green Nation and Sports Radio 94 WIP joins to talk about rookie Carson Wentz and the rest of the Philadelphia Eagles before the guys breakdown the upcoming Monday Night Football matchup and answer your twitter questions.

Make sure to give Pack to the Future a review on iTunes and follow the guys BrianDustyJordan and Jon on Twitter.

Listen to Pack to the Future every week, featuring co-hosts Jordan Peck, Brian Fonfara, and Dusty Evely. Pack to the Future is just one of many great Green Bay Packers podcasts you will find at PackersTalk. Keep up on all the latest Packers news by following us on iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Jersey Al Bracco is the co-founder and editor of PackersTalk.com. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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Early Bird Breakdown Week 11 – Packers @ Washington

Early Bird Breakdown Week 10 – Packers @ Washington

Hello and welcome back to Early Bird Breakdown for week eleven of the regular season for the Packers. Before diving into the game, let’s look at the recap from last week.

The Recap:

Last week Green Bay was brutalized, bullied, and beaten by Tennessee 47-25. The team looked lost & disinterested and showed a lack of commitment that Packers fans have not seen since Mike Sherman was the head coach. While Rodgers threw for nearly 400 yards, he did have two interceptions and in general Tennessee despite not having a good defense was ready for the bland scheme the Packers had put together. Defensively, the injuries to the secondary once again led to coverage issues and they were a mess.

The Breakdown:

Packers’ Offense vs Washington’s Defense:

The Packers much analyzed and maligned offense will face a generally poor Washington defense, however that does not necessarily alleviate concerns for this game. I’ve harped on these points a few times this season but as a quick recap on the issues: the Packers do not have a difference maker weapon on offense to create separation from man coverage, Rodgers fundamentals are off, and most importantly the scheme is incredibly bland and defenses know how to stop it.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Save the Season?

This was supposed to be the time of the season that the team got healthy.  After Green Bay dropped a game to Atlanta that they probably should have won, optimism was rampant.  The Packers had almost beaten an NFC contender on the road, something they haven’t been able to do very often after the 2014 season.

Instead of taking care of business against two teams from the weak AFC South, Green Bay lost two more games, one of them at home, and fell to 4-5.  The Packers are now on pace to finish with a losing record for the first time since Rodgers’ first season as the starter.

Everyone’s under fire.  People are questioning the General Manager.  They’re asking the head coach to be fired. There are think-pieces all over the place about the quarterback as well.  It’s a team that is very, very close to breaking.  What’s going on in the locker room, no one knows for sure, but body language says a lot.

Why the Packers Will Win: They have to.  It doesn’t matter how bad the rest of the division is playing, the Packers aren’t going to get to the playoffs without winning at least four more games.  No one is winning the NFC North with a 7-9 record.  As bad as Minnesota appears, and as badly as Green Bay beat Detroit a few weeks ago, no one is going to win the division unless they can at least get to the .500 mark.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Getting Healthy

In 2010 the Packers turned a corner in a loss to Atlanta.  The Packers charged back, tied the game on a late Rodgers touchdown and then gave up a long kick return and ultimately lost.  The confidence the Packers gained in that game willed them through the rest of the season, and led them to a domination of the Falcons in the playoffs.

This is a Packers team that needed some confidence.  They are beat up, and they have been beaten down.  The Cowboys dominated the Packers in the second half of their game at Lambeau Field, which isn’t something that’s supposed to happen.  Not to the Packers, not in Wisconsin.

The Bulls are getting healthy, and they have a chance in the next two games to right the ship against teams from the AFC South that are struggling mightily.  It starts on Sunday.

Why the Packers Will Win: they’re the better team.  Green Bay ranks inside the top 10 in both offensive and defensive DVOA.  The Colts are pretty average offensively and one of the worst defensive teams in the league.  Green Bay seems to be getting healthier, and they probably didn’t need to to beat Indianapolis at home.

Indianapolis continues to struggle on the offensive line, and they might be without TY Hilton.  The way Green Bay has had to defend teams without any healthy cornerbacks has been with pressure.  They didn’t get pressure on Atlanta, they will on Andrew Luck.

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PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Reality Check?

There was a lot of reason to be optimistic about what the Packers showed against the Bears last Thursday night.  Green Bay took a different approach on offense than what they had been doing.  That certainly sounds simple enough, but it’s really what Packers fans had been pining for almost a season’s worth of games.

The Packers and Aaron Rodgers spread the defense out with only two healthy running backs with exactly zero snaps as Packers under their belts available to them.  Rodgers threw the ball 56 times, largely in a dink-and-dunk manner but still sported 326 yards and a 3:0 TD to INT ratio.  It was Rodgers first 300+ yard game in a long, long time.

Green Bay eventually exerted their dominance over the Bears winning by two TDs and a field goal over a team that had spoiled Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau with a very similar roster just a season ago.

Do all those good things mean that the Packers shouldn’t be underdogs on the road against Atlanta?  A Falcons team that started hot last season but faded to the point of finishing the season at 8-8?  Probably not.

Green Bay still has to beat a good team.  Not just a good team on the road, a good team.  Yes, in non-Packers games the Lions are 4-2 this season but I don’t think a team that Green Bay had down 31-3 at one point this season is a good team.  Jacksonville’s bad, Chicago’s bad and the Giants….. well the Giants might not be bad.  There’s your ray of sunshine.

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A New Beginning, or The Beginning of the End?

by C.D. Angeli

Author’s Note: This article was actually written last March for the lead article of the 2016 CHTV Draft Guide. It was a particularly ominous article published at a time when offseason optimism is at its peak. However, the Packers’ struggles to start the season warrant a look back at the observations made months ago coming to fruition.

 

The Season of Discontent

120126rodgers-mcc600A 10-6 regular season record, a playoff win, and a close overtime loss in a divisional playoff game would be considered a positive season for the majority of NFL fans in the world today. But in Green Bay, just having a winning record is nothing less than a prerequisite for a franchise and fan base that has grown accustomed to doing nothing but winning over the last 24 years.

But perhaps more disconcerting to Packer fans isn’t just the final results in the ledger, but the behind-the-scenes friction that seemed to manifest itself more and more both on and off the field. This friction seemed to center around the central triumvirate of the Green Bay Packers: MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, head coach Mike McCarthy, and general manager Ted Thompson.

The eye of the hurricane might well be McCarthy, who found himself at times at odds with his quarterback for the first time since 2007; and also rumored to be frustrated with his boss, according to the Journal-Sentinel’s Bob McGinn. McCarthy has manned the sidelines for ten seasons as the Packers’ head coach–an exception to the average tenure of an NFL head coach, which is only 38 months.

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