What We Learned Against the Vikings

UntitledThe Packers picked up where they left off at home with a 42-10 rout of the Vikings, extending CBS’s losing streak on Thursday Night Football. With Minnesota missing starters Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph, just about the only obstacle to the Green Bay’s third win of the season was the sloppy weather conditions. And despite some light rain, Aaron Rodgers and company continued to look like the offense that fans raved about during the preseason.

Matched up against a young and athletic Minnesota D-line, the offensive line gave Rodgers all day to find receivers over the middle and downfield. Such continuity was encouraging to see after rough performances by the interior O-line in Detroit and a tough game for David Bakhtiari in Chicago. A common trend for Mike McCarthy’s offenses has been the ‘geling’ that takes place during the first half of the season. This front five appears to have established chemistry with one another, which should make the November return of J.C. Tretter a positive dilemma.

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Into the Second Quarter…

The Packers entered the second quarter of the 2014 season in style, putting up 42 points on the Vikings 2014 Packerswhile only allowing 7, and those came in garbage time. It is easy to blow off a win such as that because of the absence of Teddy Bridgewater. But keep in mind that the Vikings put up 41 on the Atlanta Falcons the game before. The Vikings are a team with some weapons and their running game, in particular, was effective in the absence of Adrian Peterson.

So the Packers have what Mike McCarthy has termed a “mini bye”, skipping Sunday with an authoritative win under their belts. This bodes well for the Packers as they continue into the second game of the second quarter after a string of games versus the NFC North that started with a fizzle in Detroit.  Continue reading

Day After Rants and Raves

Well what was not to like about this game? So I guess I will start with my Packers vs Raiders Preseason 2014Raves,
I was surprised right from the start when McCarthy took the ball after winning the coin toss since he usually defers, Then the offense came out to establish the run and Lacy did just that with 2 big runs that gashed the Vikings on their second drive. Aaron Rodgers then did what he does best… “find the open receiver” and scored with a pass to Cobb. This just set the tone for the rest of the game.
I said before this game started that Lacy would get his first 100 yard game and he did just that with 105 and 2 TD’s. Eddie finally started running with power instead of dancing around looking for holes and he was rewarded with outstanding results!

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Bridgewater or Ponder?

The Packers host the Minnesota Vikings tomorrow night in what could be a sloppy affair if the min-vikings-revolutionweather reports are correct. But one question that remains to be answered is, “Who will be the Vikings starting quarterback.” Admittedly, this is a question that the Vikings have been asking for numberous years but in this case, they would clearly prefer to see rookie Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. Bridgewater, in his first NFL start, went 19 of 30 for 317 yards and ran five times for 27 yards and a touchdown.  Continue reading

Breaking Down Week 5 vs. the Vikings

min-vikings-revolutionRounding out a difficult three-game sequence against division rivals, the Packers host the new-face Minnesota Vikings, led by former Bengals defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer. With a different head coach, signal caller and offensive backfield, the Vikings bring a vastly different identity to Lambeau Field, where they haven’t won since 2009. A red hot Aaron Rodgers points to an extension of Minnesota’s winning draught in Green Bay, should the Packers’ defense and running game rise to the occasion.

Even after Rodgers’s big day in Chicago last Sunday, storylines for this Thursday have revolved around Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who turned in a statistically sound performance in his NFL career debut last week. Bridgewater is listed as questionable with an ankle injury, which comes as a two-fold advantage for the Packers when one considers both the defense’s success against backup Christian Ponder as well as their general ineptitude versus rookie quarterbacks. (Under Mike McCarthy, the defense has lost to Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick during their respective rookie seasons)

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Don’t Overlook the Vikings

The Packers pulled away from the Bears in what looked early to be a big time shootout. With the imagesdefense capitalizing on opportunities and keeping the score low, the Packers ended up with a convincing win. But not all Packers fans were convinced.

There were still major holes in Dom Capers’ defense that the Bears capitalized on and with BJ Raji gone for the season and a smaller defensive line than is typical for a 3-4 D, the Packers look to be vulnerable to the run for the duration of the season. While nobody wants our defense to give up 250 yards to any running back, I said today that if there was one area where the Packers defense would be weak (and we all new there would be at least one area) I would prefer it to be against the run. Giving up yards between the 20’s is no fun to watch but inside the red zone, the Packers are going to put in their red zone defense and be more concerned about the run anyway. The NFL is a passing league and like I said earlier…the Packers defense has to be good, not great. They are bad against the run but the defensive rankings are terribly misleading when you look at the fact that the Packers have been quite good at keeping opponents off the board since before the second half of the Jets game. Thursday night against the Vikings seems to be the perfect opportunity against a Vikings team that for the first time in what seems like forever, will NOT be starting Adrian Peterson. Continue reading

Post-Game Rant and Rave

Well the Packers got an important win at Soldier Field yesterday…and it feels like all is right with thewillie world today…but is it? There is always value in taking a step back and assess the game with cool, calm unshaded eyes.

Here are some post-game rants and raves: Continue reading

What We Learned Against the Bears

Packers vs BearsJust when the Packers needed him most, No. 12 came through – in a big way. Supplied with excellent protection for four straight quarters, Aaron Rodgers lit up the Chicago defense, throwing for 302 yards and four touchdowns. While Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb blew up stats lines, Rodgers managed to spread the ball to new faces, including Davante Adams and tight end Richard Rodgers.

In contrast to the offense’s big day through the air, Eddie Lacy was indecisive and slow, failing to generate any sort of tempo on the ground for the fourth week in a row. Though the interior offensive line has not given Lacy much to work with, McCarthy may consider changing pace with James Starks or DuJuan Harris in certain circumstances next week.

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