Sunday’s Loss Adds to the Recent Playoff Heartache

This year’s Green Bay Packers looked like a team on a mission. Like a team destined to end up in Indianapolis and atone for the franchise’s Super Bowl loss 14 years ago in San Diego. Since that fateful day on the West Coast, the Packers have had some of the toughest playoff defeats of all the teams in the NFL. Where does Sunday’s loss sit on that list?  Continue reading

A Giant Disappointment

The Packers confirmed Sunday the abnormally long list of flaws that had fans of the 15-1 NFC North champs on the edge of their seats all season long. The deep-rooted problems lie on defense, though miscues like dropped passes and fumbles played a major role in the loss. It was sheer sluggishness that cemented the Packers’ fate though, as Green Bay kissed their magical season goodbye in front of a hopeful Lambeau audience.

Let’s pretend for a second that the Packers at least played a fundamentally sound game, free of turnovers and dropped passes. We suddenly have a ball game…but would it have even translated into anything? Sunday proved that Green Bay’s reliance on a 40-points-per-game offense wasn’t going to cut it down the stretch. The defense simply wasn’t good enough to bail out any less-than-perfect performance by the offense. Continue reading

Title Game Berth Could Be Decided in Trenches

It’s not worth comparing this Sunday’s divisional playoff matchup to the 2007 NFC title game that saw the New York Giants knock off No.4 and the second-seeded Green Bay Packers.

Both teams have changed dramatically over the past four years, as have most teams in the league. In 2008, the Packers handed the franchise reins over to Aaron Rodgers and then employed a new defensive scheme. The Giants have since become much more pass-happy on offense. However, one aspect of Tom Coughlin’s Giants has not changed in four years: the prowess seen in the Giants’ defensive line.  Continue reading

One Thing is For Sure: There Will Be a Market for Matt Flynn

Green Bay Packers' Matt FlynnStill unknown is how Ted Thompson will allocate the franchise tag, a long-term contract and a wave farewell to pending free agents Jermichael Finley, Scott Wells and Matt Flynn. Flynn’s performance in Week 17 against the Lions has Thompson reevaluating any predetermined personnel moves he had been planning. One factor Thompson doesn’t need to consider when performing his analysis: the existence of a free agent market for Flynn.

In analyzing the market for Flynn, I separate potential buyers into groups based on their apparent need at quarterback. There appear to be three types of QB-needy teams this offseason: the desperate, the contemplating and the indecisive. While the teams listed in the third category may come off as long shots, their influence on the flow of rookie and free agent quarterbacks should not be disregarded. Continue reading

What We Learned Against the Lions

Detroit Lions vs Green Bay PackersMatt Flynn is for real.

And now the entire league knows it. After getting off to a rocky start against the Lions, Flynn rebounded with six touchdowns and 480 yards passing. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his performance was the game-winning drive he assembled with less than two minutes to play. Flynn’s name becomes a hot one as 20 teams begin their offseasons. Continue reading

A Closer Look at the Detroit Lions – Part 2

Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions 2011In case you haven’t heard this anywhere else this week: the Lions haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 1991. Unfortunately for Packers fans, Sunday figures to be an excellent opportunity for Detroit to snap that skid.

For the Lions, there is a sizable difference between entering the playoffs as the NFC’s 5-seed versus the 6-seed. The latter means that, in all likelihood, the Lions will be traveling to New Orleans for the first round of the playoffs, the location where Drew Brees shredded the Detroit secondary en route to a 31-17 Saints victory. To avoid a trip to the Superdome, the Lions need a win plus a Falcons loss in Week 17.  Continue reading

Packers In a Rush to Improve Against the Pass

Erik Walden Green Bay Packer Outside LinebackerWith the NFL’s 31st ranked defense, the Green Bay Packers will have a difficult time winning a second consecutive Super Bowl by stopping teams defensively. It appears as if that title will be won or lost on the arm of Aaron Rodgers; a big reason for that is the lack of talent in the defense’s front seven.

It can’t be overstated just how great of a general manager Ted Thompson is, but if there is one area of this team he has neglected in the past two drafts it is the pass rush – and in particular the outside linebacker and defensive end positions. The front seven is the key for teams with 3-4 defenses to excel.  Continue reading

What We Learned Against the Bears

Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears 2011Aaron Rodgers must be considered the league’s most valuable player this season.

Rodgers threw five touchdowns behind a makeshift offensive line against the Bears and added a passer rating of 142.7 to his record-setting composite. Give me another quarterback who can put up that type of performance against a respected Bears defense under the same circumstances. It’s true that he has a lot around him, but Rodgers has still been the outright best player in the NFL this season. Continue reading