Entering the Crucial Stretch

Posted by  J.R. Augustine   in       2 years ago     107 Views     Leave your thoughts  

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NFC North 2015 Well, it’s time to put the devastating losses to the Broncos and Panthers in the rearview mirror, because we have some really important games coming up. This week begins four-game stretch of clashes with NFC North rivals.

Everyone knows that winning the NFC North is job one. Under the current playoff system divisional leaders win a playoff spot. It’s a simple as that.

Most Dangerous Substance on Earth - Packer Offense

Or is it?




In the coming four-game stretch, the Packers will meet the Lions twice and the Bears once. Both of those teams are struggling mightily. However, anyone who’s watched the NFC North for any length of time knows that you can’t take any opponent lightly.

Fortunately for the Packers, the second meeting against the Bears will be at Lambeau Field. That will make it even more difficult for the Bears to surprise the green and gold. Not that shock of that nature is out of the question. Goodness knows the Packers-Bears rivalry runs so deep that anything could happen. Still, I expect the Packers to have little, to no, difficulty putting the Bears away a second time.

The Lions match up might be a different story. Yes, one of those games will be at Lambeau Field, and, like with the Bears, the Lions will have a tough time surprising the Packers on their home turf. Still, Matthew Stafford can get on a streak, in the Packers defense needs to make sure that doesn’t happen against us.

That brings us to the team that we’ve all been concerned about since before the season began. The Minnesota Vikings.




The Vikings have been playing good football of late. They are unquestionably the most talented team the Packers will have to face in the NFC North. And they are honestly the only team that threatens to take the division away from us.

Adrian Peterson doesn’t look like the Adrian Peterson of old necessarily. But, he still a very good back and still the initial focus for our defense to stop.

Bridgewater suffered a concussion, but may return in the Vikings next game. Certainly he’ll be back in time for the match up against the Packers in two weeks. He’s a very mobile quarterback which the Packers have struggled with, but the concussion may minimize that mobility a bit. He may be more hesitant to take a hit, or the coaching staff of the Vikings may attempt to protect him by coaching him to not put himself at risk as often.

The Vikings receiving corps is, in my estimation, above average. Wallace has lost a step but still has that veteran knowledge that can be a difference maker. On the opposite end of the age spectrum Diggs is really showing his stuff for such a young receiver.

However, one of my main concerns about the meeting against the Vikings is how our offensive line will hold up against the Vikings defensive front. If our offensive line doesn’t fix what’s wrong, We could easily drop a game to the Vikings.

All in all, what I really want to see out of the coming stretch against NFC North teams is, for starters, wins. If we can win this division, that will earn us a playoff spot but also buy us some time to sort out what’s going wrong against the high caliber teams and fix it going into the playoffs.

But, the second thing I really want to see out of this stretch is a complete and utter annihilation of our NFC North foes. I want to see each of them go down and go down hard. I don’t want to see any question as to the outcome of the game. By half time I want to know that The green and gold has another win in its pocket.

About  

Brady Augustine is co-owner and content creator for www.greenbaypackernation.com. He currently resides in Tennessee and also conspires with brother, JR on www.cheesnewswire.com

3 Comments

  1.   January 8, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Realistically, Washington hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record all season. I may be underestimating their talent, but my opinion is that they’re the weakest playoff team of both conferences. Their offense is decent, especially if Cousins is allowed to get into a rhythm and they have serious speed at WR. Their front 4 on D is good, but their secondary is full of holes.

    If Rodgers is to get on a roll, this is the team to do it against. Our passing game has responded well late in games against much better Ds than this with no run game. I still think we’ll struggle to run the ball with a banged up O-line and Lacy’s sore ribs. I would never suggest we don’t run at all, but running on 1st and 2nd down and consecutive 1st downs has hurt us all year long. I’d like to see a 75/25 pass/run ratio – including a few runs by Rodgers.

    So my best guess is that it comes down to 5 keys:
    Consistent pressure on Cousins
    Turnovers
    McCarthy’s play calling getting Rodgers into rhythm early with some timing routes and screens to RBs
    Not calling too many run plays which plays to the strength of Redskins’ D
    Rodgers playing well.

    I didn’t list our O-line playing well because Rodgers can overcome most of that when performing like he’s capable, and frankly, I’d prefer to see him tuck it and run to slow down the pass rush a bit. Go Pack go!

  2.   January 8, 2016, 3:12 pm

    Your dreaming if you think they are able to run the ball…….
    They don’t need bounces just a swift kick in the butt to Mc Carthy the play caller( joke)

    •   January 8, 2016, 3:42 pm

      You could be right Bill…I may be dreaming. But I think a bounce or two our way is more likely than anyone giving McCarthy a swift kick in the butt. At this point, I would be content to see some consistent individual wins that add up to an extended drive. 😀

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