Week 15 Takeaways

untitledThe Packers team that trailed the Cowboys by three scores at halftime in Week 15 were not the slightest bit resembling of the 2010 Super Bowl squad that last took the field at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. However, Mike McCarthy’s Packers exhibited the same ‘can-do’ mentally in the second half of the game, leading to a one-point win over Dallas and keeping playoff hopes alive. Next week’s meeting with the Steelers suddenly becomes relevant and could be an early Christmas present to Packers fans if Aaron Rodgers is able to start.

Positives

Wide Receivers

The receivers did just about all they could to support a hot-and-cold Matt Flynn in his home state. Jarrett Boykin, in particular, had several impressive catches and is expected to remain a key contributor in the passing game once Rodgers returns to the playing field. It will be interesting to see which direction the front office goes if they are forced to choose between Boykin and James Jones at the No.3 wide receiver spot next season.

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Quickslant: Dec. 13, 2013 – It’s Friday the Thirteenth

So it’s Friday the thirteenth and as you all know…no Rodgers for the game against the Cowboys. The

Green Bay Packers' Matt Flynn

The team needs to rally around Matt Flynn in what could be his last start before Rodgers returns.

gameplan will proceed with Matt Flynn.

1. We have to run the ball. We know defenses are going to dare us to pass and early on, a few slants and short crosses will pay dividends if we can connect. Matt Flynn is capable of making those throws but then we will need to run against a suspect Dallas defense. Expect two touchdowns on the ground.

2. We will win the battle in the trenches. Watch out…the Packers O-line and D-line will play a HUGE part in the outcome of this game. Last week when we talked about this game I said that we couldn’t win it without Rodgers. But I have a feeling the lines are gonna make a statement in this game. If Jolly, BJ, Pickett and co. get their freak on in this game…we could not just win but we could win big. We could find out just how adequate Matt Flynn can be.

3. AJ Hawk has nine tackles. When AJ is on fire, offenses sputter against us. Look for AJ to plug gaps and if he does that means that the Cowboys are not getting the ball downfield.

4. Continued contribution from Quarless. Quarless had a breakout performance agains the Falcons and we are gonna need him going forward or…we are going to go backwards.

So that’s what I expect to see come Sunday. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section below.

Stay Proud!

Quickslant: Dec. 12, 2013 – Who to Watch

Well the Dallas game is getting closer. Here are a few Packer players I

Hopefully Brad Jones can play...as well as last week.

Hopefully Brad Jones can play…as well as last week.

will be paying particular attention to come Sunday:

Eddie Lacy: It looks like Eddie will play as coach McCarthy has said he feels good about where he is at with the ankle injury. I want to see if he has the same burst and can put his foot down and cut. He did it last week going back into the game and I give him tons of credit for that. The Packers are going to need Lacy to approach or break 100 yards to keep the Packers playoff hopes alive with a big win.

Matt Flynn: Matt played better in the Atlanta game but still held on to the ball too long at times. The O-line improved as well against Atlanta so I will be looking for Matt to climb the pocket and deliver the ball. A good showing by Lacy will help keep the Dallas defense guessing too. I think Matt will be OK but I am concerned about a Dallas defense that got humiliated last Monday. We still need a good gameplan executed well…don’t think for a minute that Dallas is gonna roll over for us.

Brad Jones: A limited participant in practice…Jones will presumably play but I will be watching to see if he is as active as he was in the Atlanta game. Jones was around the ball all day in that game and we’re gonna need that kind of performance against the Cowboys.

That’s who I am gonna have my eye on…how about you? Let me know in the comment section below.

Quickslant: Dec. 10, 2013 – No News is No News

As most of you know, Aaron Rodgers was not cleared to play yesterday. Hope he drinks his milk and come

Aaron Rodgers not yet cleared to play.

Aaron Rodgers not yet cleared to play.

Wednesday gets the go-ahead. In the meantime Matt Flynn is once again taking starter reps at the quarterback position.

Aaron not being cleared is significant for a couple reasons:

1. The obvious…it leaves in question whether he will be able to play against the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday. I don’t think I have to explain the difference between an Aaron Rodgers led offense and a Matt  Flynn led offense at this point.

2. But if A-Rod is able to come back, the fact that he wasn’t cleared yesterday means that he will have had limited reps in the event that he does play. This can affect the game as well and while I think in either case we are a better team with Aaron under center (in fact, I don’t expect us to win this game without him – although there is an exception to that I will talk about later in the week), the lack of reps could have some negative effects.

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Quick Slant: Dec. 9, 2013 Packer Possibilities

Oh, what a difference a week makes! The dream is still alive…and thanks to the Detroit Lions, the win against the Falcons is all the sweeter because Green Bay smells the faint aroma of…no, not sweaty jerseys and smelly socks (well, yeah that too but) the smell of possibilities…

2013 Playoffs

The Packers are still in the hunt for the NFC North.

Possibility One: if the Lions can lose to Philadelphia…they can lose to the Ravens, Giants, and/or Vikings.

Possibility Two: With the win against the Falcons…Packers fans can hope that the Rodgerless stretch is                              over.

Possibility Three: If Aaron is back in action, the Packers could run the table including a win against the Bears                           during the last game of the season at Soldier Field.

And if those things fall in place…well then the real goal of this season could start to come into focus again. Each week we will start seeing teams mathematically eliminated for playoff contention. This week, the Packers will not be one of those teams. In fact, depending on the Monday night game in which the Bears face the Dallas Cowboys (a team also playing for a division title), we could see the picture brighten a bit more if Chicago stumbles. All this to say there are still three teams in the hunt for the NFC North Title, and Green Bay is still one of them. But what do you think? Will we make it in? Leave your opinion in the comment section below.

Stay proud!

Video

Q5 Podcast: Packers vs Falcons

Q5 GreenBay Packer Nation PodcastA win is a win and the Rodgers-less Packers have pulled out another one finally. More importantly, the Lions lost this week which keeps our playoff hopes alive. Who gets the Ring and the Finger for this game? What key contributing stats made the difference in putting another “W” on the board? Tune in for this week’s episode of Q5.

Week 14 Takeaways

imagesIt wasn’t pretty but the Packers’ season remains intact for at least one more week. With a win over Atlanta, Detroit’s loss to Philadelphia and a pending return by Aaron Rodgers, there is reason for fans to at least be hopeful. Having Rodgers healthy in next week’s meeting with Dallas seems to be Green Bay’s only shot at victory. Of course, the Packers have a number of loose ends to address if they are to even compete with Rodgers under center.

 

Positives

Andrew Quarless

Quarless turned in a career day versus the Falcons, catching six balls for 66 yards and a touchdown. The front office surely has high hopes for Quarless, who would be the default starter at tight end next season in the likely event that the organization part ways with Jermichael Finley. The knock on Quarless has been his inconsistency in catching well-thrown passes, despite having the talent to reel in off-target balls.

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Quickslant: Dec. 6th, 2013 – “For All The Marbles”

So here it is…every game from here on out is “for all the marbles”.

A little over a month ago I posted a series of articles on the new-found success of the offensive attack of the Green Bay Packers particularly the running game.  In that series of articles I highlighted how important the continuity offensive line has been to the success of Green Bay’s ground game.. Oh how the tide has turned. Ever since the injuries to Don Barclay and Evan Dietrich-Smith, the O-line has failed to protect the passer or Aaron Rodgers Contract Talksmake the same kinds of running lanes we saw earlier in the season. Sometimes the best proof comes from a negative example and that’s exactly what we saw  particularly in the Detroit games.

The Atlanta Falcons are 30th in the league at stopping the run so hopefully in a possibly snow-covered Lambeau Field, we will be able to get back to a little success even though it looks like the line continuity will be questionable at best. And if we give Matt Flynn just a little more time when we have to pass (and we WILL have to pass), he will turn in a performance that more closely matches the Vikings game than the Giants game.

That’s not to say that Green Bay doesn’t have to stop the run too (learn to tackle?) and the special teams won’t factor into it…they will but in my estimation the line play is the critical factor in this game. If the line plays well, it is possible there will be an elite quarterback behind them next week. Here’s hopin’ we get it done…and GO PACK!

Quick Slant: Dec. 5, 2013 – Packer Prescription

OK, I got this post up late so it will be short but here is the prescription for all you Packers fans who are nick perryfeeling down about the way this season has gone. To put it into perspective, first, read this:

A short history of the Packers

Then, take two of these: 1. A history of the Vikings and 2. A history of the Lions and call me in the morning. You can skim, no problem. And I promise…you’ll feel better.

Brady

Quick Slant: December 4, 2013 – Packer Purgatory

Well Mike McCarthy has not ruled Aaron Rodgers out for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons but

Green Bay Packers' Matt Flynn

Matt Flynn’s success is largely dependent on the play of the Offensive line.

he hasn’t said he’s going to play either and it looks like Matt Flynn will take the starter reps for the rest of the week Aaron will be a limited participation in practice. So I guess it’s just another day in Packer purgatory.  At least the Packers have had some extra rest this week.

Before this stretch of games without Rogers I thought the most important thing would be the quarterback play being good enough to win a game or two. Now with all those losses behind us and every game being a must win game we have not only the quarterback play to worry about but also the shuffling of the offensive line. It’s Wednesday so as the injury report comes into focus we’ll see what the offensive line is going to look like against the Falcons. I think there are three factors that will make or break the team in this game. I list them in order of importance. Continue reading