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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Eddie Lacy: One Shot Wonder?

Eddie Lacy is in the news for the first time because of his inability to perform in the first three weeksPackers vs Raiders Preseason 2014 of the NFL season. Last week was arguably his worst performance as a Packers starter with a fumble, a tackle for loss that resulted in a safety, and a general “un-Lacy-like” performance. Lacy ran high, was indecisive and though he had a few good runs (38 yards on 8 carries) and covered way too much ground East/West for a running back whose strength is yards after contact.

I’m not going to get into the reasons for Eddie’s disappointing first three games, was it the play-calling, the o-line, or Lacy himself? Everyone in Packernation has an opinion about that and they are all right to some extent…but they are all wrong to some extent too. The truth is the problem is a combination of factors, some of which come to the forefront on a given play. The deeper question is this: Is Eddie Lacy a “one shot wonder”? Continue reading

Packers Gotta ‘Git ‘Er Done

The Packers play a pivotal game tomorrow against the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago. Never in Clay Matthews Training Camprecent memory has so much been riding on such an early game. The loss to the Lions in week three has brought a sense of urgency to close out the first quarter of play with a big away win.

While the Packers organization and Aaron Rodgers have tried to tone down the seriousness of a 1-2 start, Packernation isn’t buyin’. Packers fans want a win…no excuses, no asterisks, a WIN with an exclamation point is just what the doctor ordered. So here’s the prescription: Continue reading

Aaron Rodgers Revival

Aaron RodgersThe big news following the Packers loss against the Lions has been the poor production of the potent Packer offense. The Packers’ colossal struggles on offense have people asking whether Aaron and the offense will continue to stagger through the next several games, or whether the team will right the waterlogged ship and move back into the top ten offenses in the league.

One of the things that surprised me about the lack of offensive production was the fact that Aaron just seemed off. There were times when poor reads and incorrect patterns by the wide receivers were at the root of the problems troubling the passing attack. But there were also times when Aaron missed reads and just… didn’t look like Aaron. Continue reading

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

Julius Peppers returns to Soldier Field as a Packer this Sunday. Back to the team that released him.Julius Peppers Packers Peppers said this week that the last play of the last game of the Bears season was the reason he got released. Peppers was on a beeline for Aaron Rodgers when John Kuhn chipped him just enough to allow Rodgers to escape and loft the ball to Randall Cobb for the win.

I recently re-watched the Packers Bears game from last season and in particular, watched Julius Peppers.  Continue reading

Breaking Down Week 4 vs. the Bears

untitledSince both losing in the season opener, the Packers and Bears have quickly trended different directions. Green Bay managed to squeak by the Jets at home but then was shut down offensively in Detroit. Meanwhile, the Bears overcame a 17-point deficit on the road to knock off last year’s NFC runner-ups and then pulled out a victory in the Meadowlands on Monday Night Football.

Despite the Packers’ struggles through three weeks, fans and the media alike expect Green Bay to show up on Sunday. The Packer D turned in a strong showing last week and faces heightened expectations as Julius Peppers returns to his former stomping grounds. The Packers will likely look to the emerging Davon House to contain one of Chicago’s big-bodied receivers, Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery. Veteran cornerback, Sam Shields, will get the other of the two while Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward man the slot.

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Three Reasons the Packers Win on Sunday

The Packers road loss to Detroit is now in the rear view mirror and it is time to look ahead to the aordmeeting with the Bears. A lot of people in Packernation are panicking over the 1-2 record that the Packers have to take with them to Chicago.

I’m here to say that the Packers will bounce back in this game, square up their record, and get back on track this Sunday versus the Bears. Here are three reasons why: Continue reading