Even Chicago can beat the Vikings…
The Packers travel to Minnesota in what seems to be the perfect game to have after the Eagles
The Vikings had won two in a row and Bridgewater was looking for his third 4th quarter comeback when he threw the pick that effectively ended the game. While the Packers cannot afford to overlook anyone, this game sets up well for a team that has a lot of reasons to expect a win.
This has been a crazy season and I would hate for the next bizarre turn of events to be the Packers falling to the Vikings. Don’t think it is gonna happen but I am glad that coach McCarthy is the type to do his due dilligence on this one. The Vikings beat the St. Louis Rams the first game of the season and the Rams just recently beat the Denver Broncos. These two teams have obviously developed differently at this point in the season, a fact that is also true of the Packers who are benefiting from Clay Matthews continued versatility.
The Packers clearly out man the Vikings, but a few things will still be important to winning this game:
The Packers have been executing so well, I have started calling Aaron Rodgers “The Executioner”. He just needs to continue to do so and our offense can put up enough to once again put him out of harm’s way on the sideline in the 4th quarter. Our young players Adams and Rodgers need to continue to develop toward that “6th sense” that guys like Jordy Nelson have, knowing exactly what Rodgers wants in every situation. This could be a key developmental game.
2. Stay healthy
- Who says they have peaked? Clay Matthews has only played two games at ILB…two games! He can get even better. Randall Cobb while having a great year, has dropped a few balls (tough catches) in the last two games. We all know that Randall can make circus catches like he did against the Bears. If he and Jordy catch everything….the Packers score even more!
- If this team continues to play the way they have, more and more starters will get more and more rest. This team can still improve, even if the scores are not as high. We can improve with lower scores because our starters are resting for the next game and our younger players and backups are getting significant playing time. So knock on wood big-time for that.
3. Continue to confuse
The Packers added a twist when they rolled out Clay Matthews at ILB. As more an more tape comes in, coaches (like Bill Belichick) will put checkdowns and protections in place to counter it. I have been saying that the Packers are one of the most creative teams in the league since McCarthy put BJ Raji in at offense. I would like to see more of the same. We saw Julius Peppers go in as an eligible receiver and drop the ball. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of that! Just imagine the scramble on defense if McCarthy put in something crazy like a 5 WR set with Jordy and Cobb on the outside, Adams, and Lacy and Peppers…wuh?
The changes on defense have confused opposing quarterbacks. Jay Cutler had never seen Clay play ILB as his major role before, Mark Sanchez hadn’t been a starter in…forever. Teddy Bridgewater is a rookie. I can’t wait to see if this defense can confuse someone like Tom Brady…But that is for another week.