As fans of the NFL, we understand at the beginning of the season all 32 teams share the same goal, the Super Bowl. For the 2019 season I think Packer fans understood with a new Head Coach, Staff and several new teammates the results may be underwhelming. In fact from what I remember most fans and sports pundits had the Packers 8-8 or 9-7 with a third place finish in the NFC North. (If you read my posts regularly, in April, I predicted 12-4) Well here we are at week 17 and the Packers are 11-3, currently the number two seed for the playoffs and vying for first place in the NFC North. Some fans are not happy…….crazy for certain. If you, on the other hand, might want to place a bet on the Packers to reach/win the Super Bowl, get your pointsbet sign up code and go for it!
The Packers latest contest versus their longest standing rival the Chicago Bears lived up to the hype. Two NFC North foes standing in the ring taking each others punches till the last snap. That’s what I expect from this historic rivalry. The Packers prevailed 21-13, to attain their 11-3 record, finish 7-1 at home and put themselves in a prime position to win the North. Was it a pretty game? Hardly, but what North division contest has ever been pretty? The Packers bolted to a 21-3 lead, which at the time appeared insurmountable. Then in the third and fourth quarter, when the Packers offense or defense should’ve sealed the deal, the offense went into hibernation mode and defense diverted to the “bend but don’t break” mode, which usually costs you the victory. In five straight possessions of vanilla play calling the Packers had 18 plays for 9 yards and 5 punts. The defense on the opposite side of the ball allowed the Bears to mount a come back by scoring 10 points in the final quarter and had to make a stop at the two yard line on the final play.
It goes without saying that the Packers need to improve their consistency on offense and defense. Fewer dropped balls would help, 5 by the offense and 6 by the defense should have led to more points. It is nice to know that with the improved defense this season and a running game, that Aaron Rodgers does not need to carry this team any longer. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have put together a very effective running game this season. This new found running game will keep the opponents guessing when it come time to defend the Packers. Again, the WR corps is floundering on a consistent basis. Poor and ineffective route running, drops and missed opportunities continue to plague this groop. The Packers best receivers at this point are Davante Adams, Jake Kumerow and Alan Lazard. They run precise routes, find the holes in the defense and exploit the defenders. Let’s hope we see more of the two later receivers soon.
The Packers will head to Minneapolis to face their rival to the North and West, the Minnesota Vikings. Now, the Vikings have real threats on offense for Kirk Cousins, WRs Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, TE Kyle Rudolph and running back Dalvin Cook. I know there may be injuries for the Vikings, but you will find no sympathy here, as the Packers have had many injuries in the past few games versus the Vikings. This will be another tough test for the playoff bound Packers, who are still learning Matt LaFleur’s and Mike Pettine’s systems. Fans, remember it’s still just year two for the defense (with multiple new additions this season) and year one for the offense. Expect a hard hitting, oft questionable hitting game from the Vikings, with the Packers prevailing in a tight one 27-24 on MNF!!!! Claiming NFC North title in Viking territory!!!
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter