Tag Archives: Packers

Packers Win over Vikings was Big, Real Big


It’s hard to ever define a mid-season game as “season saving”.  There are 16 of them after all.  Sunday’s victory over the Vikings was about as big as they get.  Coming off of a three game losing streak many (including this writer) were starting to panic.  The Packers were underdogs for the first time this season and were staring at a four game skid.

This wasn’t a big win because of quality of opponent.  Yes the Vikings were leading the division, but this was not this year’s win over Seattle or last year’s home win over the Patriots.  In fact, of the seven wins Green Bay has Minnesota (16th) ranks as just the third most impressive victory.  It’s a bigger deal that the Packers won a game on the road against a team with a winning record than it is that they beat Minnesota.

The consequences of a loss were very clear: road playoff games.  The Packers would have had almost no chance at a division championship and certainly no shot at a bye if they had lost on Sunday.  Without Jordy Nelson this team’s margin for error is much slimmer.  Fewer bad things have to happen to the Packers for them to miss out on Super Bowl 50.  It’s not only important for Green Bay to play games at home, but to play fewer games.  Winning the division and a bye week are important.



pack vs vikes

I did say last week that if the Packers found a way to lose to the Lions at home, I was going to panic.  They did, and I am.  The Lions aren’t a good team.  The Packers are supposed to beat every team at home, especially the bad ones.  That’s how the franchise is built.  That’s the program.  You sweep your home games and split the road games.  That’s 12-4.  You get to play home games in the playoffs when you are 12-4.  When you have the aforementioned home field advantage you win those games.  It’s a hell of a formula.

Not only that but somehow the Minnesota Vikings have won five consecutive games.  I didn’t think the Vikings were going to be bad this season.  I picked them to go 9-7.  Football Outsiders actually has them a little worse than that.  Minnesota is currently 19th in DVOA.  All things being equal that’s an 8-8 or 7-9 team.  All things are not equal and the Vikings have played the second easiest schedule in the league.  That doesn’t mean that they’re bad, they’re probably just not quite this good.

The problem is that this five game winning streak from Minnesota, and the three game losing streak from Green Bay has put the Vikings in first place in the NFC North.  Boy do Vikings fans not handle success well.  The way the schedule works this year the first Vikings/Packers game is in Minnesota.  It’s a big one.



rodgers to cobb

It’s been a rough two weeks for the Packers and their fans.  Coach McCarthy’s been talking about asses a lot lately.  He got his kicked in Denver and apparently he, his staff and his players have red ones after the game in Carolina, whatever that means.  The Packers have gone from rattling off six consecutive victories followed by a much needed bye week to losing two games in a row to the best two teams they faced all season.

The Packers have struggled on the road of late.  Fans will remember that the 2010 Super Bowl championship team had to win three consecutive road playoff games against good teams.  It’s hard to imagine the Packers of the last three seasons are even capable of that.

The good news is that Sunday’s game is at Lambeau Field.  The better news is that the game is against a division opponent.  Green Bay has been dominant at home, they’ve been equally as good against divisional opponents.  Throwing out 2013 because of Aaron Rodgers’ injury, the Packers were 5-1 in 2010, 6-0 in 2011, 5-1 in 2012, 5-1 in 2014 and are 1-0 this season.  That’s 22-3 against division opponents over that stretch.  Winning percentages against any group of NFL opponents that high are unheard of.

The 2015 Packers are in desperate need of “getting right”.  The Packers are a week-to-week momentum program, and they always have been under McCarthy.  They go on runs.  Last year they rode a four game run from September into October and a seven of eight run to close the season to finish at 12-4.  They’ve already put together a six game run this season.


Packers vs. Panthers in 3…2…1…

2015 Week 9 (Carolina)

After what can only be described as a disaster against Denver, it’s time to move on for the Packers. However, that means another trip to face an undefeated team. This time, it’s the Carolina Panthers, the lone undefeated team in the NFC and the chief rival currently for the top seed in the playoffs. With a lot on the line, this shapes up as the most important game of the season in the NFL to date.

And since the Packers look to rebound from a lackluster performance on the field, so do I in the written page. I was off in every area last week and hope that my predictions and matchups work for the Packers this week. Here is this week’s version of 3…2…1…

For those who don’t usually read my work, every Saturday (and occasional Tuesday) I will use this countdown format to highlight 3 Key Matchups the Pack needs to win, make 2 Bold Predictions, and highlight 1 Key Stat that isn’t usually talked about for the team to achieve victory. Here we go:



Packers vs. Broncos in 3…2…1…

2015 Week 8 (Denver)

If you wanted to see an epic clash out of a bye week, than this is it. The Packers and the Broncos go head to head in the battle of the unbeaten.


The NFL Game of the Year to this point takes place Sunday night in Denver. The Packers, at 6-0, are riding the top scoring defense in the NFL as well as the reigning MVP. The Broncos, also 6-0, are second in defense, and have a 5-time MVP on the tail end of his career. The game has all the expectations of being a low-scoring affair, but never count out either quarterback leading their team to a big point total and a shootout. And with that possibility, let’s look at this week in 3…2…1…


For those who don’t know, this system looks at every week from this countdown perspective. I will countdown 3 key matchups, make 2 bold predictions, and highlight 1 key stat that the Packers need to win against Denver.



  1. David Bakhtiari & Bryan Bulaga vs. Von Miller & Demarcus Ware
    • This is the matchup that could ultimately decide the game. After missing a week and then having their bye week, Ware looks to be healthy and will go after Bakhtiari on the blind side. Miller is one of the top sack artists in the league and is a special player attacking right tackles. If the Packers bookend can take down the Broncos pass rushers, Aaron Rodgers will not only have more time in the pocket, he can then buy time outside and get some big plays down the field.



This past bye week has a chance to be the most helpful week off in recent memory for the Packers.  Green Bay had a number of players with injuries defined as “week to week”.  The Packers are a very impressive 6-0 but wins four, five and six seemed less impressive than wins one, two and three.  Green Bay needed a week to relax and reload.

So far, things look like they’re going swimmingly.  Morgan Burnett, BJ Raji and Nick Perry appear to be on track to return for a defense coming off of it’s poorest performance of the season.  Dom Capers’ unit isn’t the only one getting key contributors back.

Not only is Davante Adams on track to play, but Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Ty Montgomery and James Starks all had various bumps and bruises that improved with the two week rest.  Adams return and Cobb’s return to form could be just what the doctor ordered for the Packers passing offense.  A healthy Eddie Lacy could revive the run game.

Terms like “what the doctor ordered and “revive” are admittedly odd for an offense ranked fourth in Offensive DVOA (FootballOutsiders).   The griping about the Packers offense (and Eddie Lacy’s weight) is largely overblown, but this was supposed to be the premier offensive unit in the league.  Very good isn’t good enough for an Aaron Rodgers offense, the Packers should be great.


You’re Probably Overrating Manning and the Bronco’s Offense


It makes a lot of sense that Packers coaches and defenders like Morgan Burnett are saying nice things about Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense.  There’s never a reason to give the opposition bulletin board material.  The Packers’ coaches and players are giving respect to a Hall of Fame QB and an offense that was very good two years ago.  The consistent theme? He’s still Peyton Manning.

He’s really not.  It’s not just this season either.  Manning’s downturn started in the second half of last season.  In Denver’s last eight games Manning threw for 400 fewer yards, averaged almost a full yard less per attempt and dropped 22 points in passer rating as compared to the first eight games.  His TD/INT ratio dipped from 24/5 to 10/8.  He and the offense did not play well in a playoff loss to Indianapolis.

Those problems have certainly continued into this season.  Using ESPN’s QBR, Manning is 25th among quarterbacks in the NFL.  Given that there are are only 32 quarterbacks in the league, that’s less than ideal.  Manning is now averaging a paltry 6.4 yards per attempt and has a TD/INT ratio of 7/10.  FootballOutsiders.com is far less kind to Manning, rating him last among qualified quarterbacks in DVOA.

Counting the playoff game, that’s a very rough 15 game stretch.  Some would have you think he’s just going through a “rough spot”.  It’s far more likely that a 39 year old QB who never had a particularly strong arm isn’t going to be a useful quarterback any more.