Though it didn’t feel like it, the Packers’ Week 11 victory over the Lions was a great one. The team overcame a significant number of key absences to squeak past another banged up NFC North squad. Green Bay’s 24-20 win in Motown put the Packers in legitimate position to challenge the Bears for the NFC North title. As for the Lions, winning out is almost a requirement to make the playoffs.
After a 3-3 start to the season, Packers fans have to be happy with the way their team has responded, even if the victories haven’t been pretty. Injuries have hindered, but not yet decimated, one of the deepest squads in the league. With a significantly tougher schedule ahead of them, the Packers must get healthy if they are to challenge the Bears for the NFC North crown.
Jordy Nelson means more to the Green Bay receiving corps than we thought. Last week I praised the wide receivers for their production without Greg Jennings. Evidently, the group isn’t nearly as spectacular when you take away both Jennings and Nelson. In such a situation, it’s good to have Donald Driver on the roster, adding production where he can.
In the Packers’ 30-20 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, the team’s leading tackler was a player many fans didn’t want to see on this year’s roster: outside linebacker Erik Walden. Back in August after starting inside linebacker Desmond Bishop got injured, I suggested that Walden would make a good candidate to replace Bishop on the inside.
I remember many some not liking that idea. And without D.J. Smith now, I still think it’s a good idea for Dom Capers to get all three of his best outside linebackers on the field in passing situations. Before injury, Smith struggled downfield in coverage on running backs and tight ends and we’ve all seen A.J. Hawk’s struggles when he’s exposed in the middle of the field. Continue reading