24

December

Packers Week 17: Quick Hits

cyrstal ball

What is in store for the Packers this week and beyond?

With one game left to play in this 2013 regular season, the Packers still find themselves with a chance to win the NFC North (somehow).  They round out their schedule with a visit to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears.  The winner of this game will win the division and host a playoff game.

With that, here’s a smorgasbord of Packers-related quick hits heading into this week.

Aaron Rodgers

Yes, I know, some of you are tired of this topic and story but he is the face of the Packers franchise so this isn’t going away.  Some early reports have supposedly leaked out about Rodgers’ already being ruled out for this week’s game against the Bears.  Until the team announces it, it’s never official.  Still, I am sticking with my proclamation from Sunday which is that I don’t think Rodgers plays this week.

I have no sources and no inside scoop.  This is just my thought and I’m done with allowing myself to wonder if Rodgers will be cleared to play and then find out, for the seventh week in a row, that he is not.  The pattern has established itself and the Packers don’t tell anybody anything when it comes to injuries.  If the bone wasn’t healed enough last week, how much is really going to change in seven days?

This also brings up a good question that was brought up by Jason Wilde during last Friday’s “Green and Gold Today” show on ESPN Milwaukee.  Wilde wondered about the possibility that the Packers have already decided that Rodgers isn’t returning this season and just have not told him yet.  That sounds like a ridiculous game plan and I’m sure Rodgers would figure it out on his own.  I hope that’s not what is happening.

Still, as long as the Packers wait to tell the world what it going on with #12 until late in the week, that gives everyone the better part of five days to theorize and debate.  If nothing else, this is keeping @JSComments alive and well on Twitter.

Mike McCarthy

McCarthy is not fun to listen to in a press conference and I don’t think many would disagree.  Beyond that, he’s a good head football coach and I hope he stays in Green Bay for some time.  I know that his play calling and clock management has come under question this season and I do agree with that.  But overall, McCarthy is more good than he is bad for the Packers.  His overall record as head coach says so.

Looking at the injury situation that faces McCarthy and this team, seemingly every year, it’s a miracle that he can field a team let alone one that can still win on any given day without their best player.  You have to give McCarthy credit for the production that this team has seen on offense and for what backup quarterbacks Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn have done.

I know there was that little matter of the five game winless streak after Rodgers went down, but as has been said many times, there is going to be a drop off between your starting quarterback and your backups.  If there isn’t, you either have a quarterback controversy (ahem, Chicago) or your starter isn’t that great.

Whether it’s the players rallying each other or McCarthy’s own relationship with them that has kept the Packers together, the credit goes to the head man.  He takes the criticism when things don’t go well and so it should also be acknowledged when good things are happening as well.

While some teams are just inconsolable year after year (Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars), the Packers have maintained one of the highest standards in quality of play and winning percentage over the past two decades.

NFC North Division

I tweeted earlier that this division title is like the plague.  No one wants anything to do with it, seemingly.

The Lions had it all but gift-wrapped and ready to ship to Detroit.  The talent on that team offered no excuse why it’s not already there.  Still, they managed to lose a Monday nighter at home (although they do beat most teams with a kicker not named Justin Tucker in that scenario) followed by a total collapse against an inconsistent Giants team.  Their latest loss eliminated them from playoff contention when just one week ago, they were in total control and in the driver’s seat.  We say that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is “Jay being Jay” when he has a bad game.  I think we can coin a new verb: Lioning.  It’s the process of squandering the most certain of outcomes year in and year out.

With both the Packers and Lions losing earlier on Sunday, the Bears went into their Sunday night tilt with the Philadelphia Eagles knowing that they could lock up the division with a win.  They, instead, suffered one of the worst losses to the Eagles, 54-11.  Now, the division title comes down to this week’s game in Chicago.

The only reason someone will win the division after this week is because the regular season is over and someone has to be declared a winner.  Otherwise, I’m convinced this race would go on for months.  I expect to see a much different Bears team than was in Phily.  The Eagles are playing some very solid football lately and the Packers are not consistent.  It’s a different matchup and despite Jay being Jay, Chicago’s offense holds the edge over Green Bay’s defense.  Fortunately, the Bears have to play defense too and they’re nowhere near as good on that side of the ball.  Should be an interesting game, Rodgers or not.

The Minnesota Vikings also lost but who cares?  They’re already eliminated from postseason contention and are one Sunday away from sparing their fans the loss of another three-hour time block.  One friend who is a Bears fan asked me if I was ready for the “Toilet Bowl” this week between the Packers and Bears.  With the Vikings hosting the Lions this week, that’s the real toilet bowl.  The biggest gain from that contest is which head coach gets canned fastest?

Fans

Rant alert.  I’m biased, but Packers fans are some of the best and most knowledgeable.  Still, there are those who see social media as a privilege and outlet with which to berate players who they aren’t happy with.  To each his or her own.  It’s a free country and you can say what you want.  Just don’t be shocked or appalled when that person responds in kind or not too favorably to your tirade.

Friends, tweeting at a player and calling them out for a bad play or game is not cool.  I’m sure some of you swear you can truly play better than some of these guys (like my 37-year old self over M.D. Jennings).  Great.  But think before you tweet or post on a Facebook page.

We all get frustrated and believe me, my irritations are verbally directed at players on Sundays too.  But there’s a huge difference between them and me:  they’re on the roster and I’m not.  It’s out of my control.  I doubt that something I say on Twitter is going to make Jennings or Marshall Newhouse pull their heads out of their backsides so why waste the keystrokes?

I can’t tell anyone how to live or think but this is a sport.  It’s one component of life and one that is purely meant for entertainment.  If you’re a gambler, that may not be true, but I digress.  These players are human, just like we are.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Just be glad that this last regular season game is still a meaningful one, even though we all hoped it wouldn’t be when the season started back in September.

Pontifications

As I have joked on Twitter before, I seem to have this occasional knack for seeing into the future and being right about my predictions.  I have also been wrong about plenty.

A few examples:

Before this season started and during one of our PackersTalk.com podcasts, I predicted that Aaron Rodgers was going to be lost for some amount of time due to injury.  I had no idea when, how or for how long.  I just felt like this was a year they were going to have to get by without #12 for a while.  Ouch.

Last week on Twitter, I suggested a screen against that poor-tackling Dallas Cowboys team and one play later, Starks is in the end zone on a screen.

Yesterday, I warned the Twitterverse that the Steelers were going to gimmick coming out of the first half, or simply run Le’Veon Bell up the middle for long yardage.  The Packers got a third down stop and the Steelers set up to punt.  Only they didn’t.  They faked and there was no one anywhere near the Steelers receiver.  Sometimes I hate being right.

So let’s have some fun with this.  I don’t have a crystal ball and I am not a “medium”.  I don’t see dead people and I can’t communicate with them either.  I just get some strong senses about things and some of them happen to be true.  So what do I foresee for the rest of this season and into next?

First of all, Rodgers is not going to play this week.  That much I have already covered.

The Packers will come out of next week’s game with no new injuries but they will not be division champions.  The Bears team that comes out this week will look more like the team that beat the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago.

BJ Raji will not be a Packer next season and the departure will be more on the bitter side.  I have no idea if he plays for the Vikings.

Sam Shields will remain a Packer

John Kuhn has played his last home game as a Packer.  Marshall Newhouse and M.D. Jennings too.

There will be a major injury next season to a key contributor.  Who and what are unknown.  This isn’t just based on someone being hurt every season or the rash of Packers injuries.  I’m talking about a key contributor, although I don’t foresee that it’s Rodgers.

Dom Capers will return next season as defensive coordinator

Next season, the Packers will finish around 11-5, probably win the North and may win a playoff game.  They may even win another but they won’t make it to the Super Bowl.  This is a bummer because it will be in Arizona where I reside.

2015 is going to be a special year.  Don’t know why, just see it that way.

The Lions will remain no threat to the Packers.

The Bears will still suck, even after winning the North.

 

That’s all for now.  Obviously some of these may or may not happen.  Hopefully some do and some don’t!  I’ll be back after the holidays so wishing you and yours a happy holiday season!

 

 

 

 

 

——————

Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

Follow Jason at:

Jason Perone
                Add to Circleson Google+

——————



15 Responses to “Packers Week 17: Quick Hits”

  1. JimR_in_DC says:

    Jason said: “Dom Capers will return next season as defensive coordinator”

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

    • Dave D says:

      Capers has to go, pretty please with sugar on top. He is clueless.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

      • Bedroske says:

        I’m of the belief you don’t let a guy go unless there is somebody better. I don’t think he’s a “Packer’s guy”, but my goodness, Rex Ryan would get this team playing D.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  2. Dobber says:

    Here’s the most recent (as far as I know)…

    http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/3118

    …which pretty much confirms that ARod isn’t playing this week. If ARod was going to play, he’d be taking the first-team reps in practice and there wouldn’t be much mystery about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. packerswest says:

    “There will be a major injury next season to a key contributor”, wow really going out on a limb there Jason, seems like that has happened every year.

    I agree with most of these, but please, please, please be wrong about the Capers prediction!!

    In addition to no Rogers; no CMIII, no Cobb, and probably no Lacy…..good luck pack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Turophile says:

    “A major injury to a key competitior”. This IS the Packers. Nostradamus eat your heart out !!

    Raji gone – agree
    Kuhn gone – agree
    Shields back – I hope so
    Finley not back – My prediction, but not much of one.
    T.Williams gone – My prediction, as he is owed over $9m next year and no way is he worth that. the $7.5m money saved by reeasing him, goes to Shields.
    Hyde moves to safety. – My prediction. Several people have speculated on this, I’m calling it.
    We draft 2xNTs this year, even though there are just a handful of NT draft prospects. – My prediction and due to problems retaining Raji (cap), Pickett (age) and Jolly (5th neck vertebrae injury).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Dobber says:

      “Hyde moves to safety”

      He makes (good) things happen on the field, and that’s what they’ve been lacking at safety. They really need Hayward to come back and play at a level similar to his rookie year to help make Hyde’s move manageable. I’m one of the few who wouldn’t mind seeing Williams back at a drastically-reduced number.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. adroge says:

    Last time I checked Williams ranked at about the 16th best corner in football this season. His last 6 games have maybe been his best stretch since the 2010 season. Kind of hard to dump a guy who is playing so well. He will be overpaid next season but the packers can always back load contracts to create cap space and then deal with Williams in the 2015 offseason. Tough to convince a guy to take a pay cut when he has been playing better than anybody else of defense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Rich says:

    Jason – All in all a good article and good predictions. Had the feeling the “Fans” section was somewhat of an apology for that ridiculous kicking someone that is down article that you and AC did on Marshall Newhouse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jason Perone Jason Perone says:

      Thanks Rich! And thank you to everyone of our readers, especially the regulars. We have a good bunch and this further exemplifies what I have known for a long time: the Packers have some very knowledgeable fans.

      As far as the Newhouse piece that Adam and I did, there is absolutely no apology at all. It wasn’t like we were drunk and put a piece together on the fly. Newhouse is a horrible offensive lineman and doesn’t belong on this team. Just because we write about the team for the masses to read doesn’t mean we’re not human and don’t have our own opinions too. It was not, however, intended to offend anyone. We often talk about the news, issues and questions that are most relevant to the team. I saw a lot of “why is Newhouse out there?” tweets on Sunday and I wondered the same (with different language if you check my timeline). Since the question was posed, we tried to answer it. We can’t please everyone and I, for one, am not about blowing sunshine around when there is none to be found. Much like Al had his major issues with Crosby last year, Newhouse is the most frustrating Packers player, in my opinion, since Justin Harrell.

      What is ridiculous to me is that a good team and coach are trotting 74 our there again and again when they have ANY other option. According to ProFootballFocus, he has a -9.7 rating all year. He was in for 2 snaps last week and managed to get a penalty on one. He gets run over constantly and can’t hold a block.

      I thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Rich says:

        Jason – thanks for the reply. I read a lot of Packer sites and think this one is the best and the most honest. I agree with you on Newhouse’s play this year. However, I am sure he is not intentionally playing poorly and the coaches know a lot more than we do. Maybe he needs to find his niche, like a previous whipping boy, Jarrett Bush. Thanks again for the great site.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Mike Sherman says:

    I see Raji and kuhn both back next year. Raji deff overplayed his hand (good for the pack) and i doubt anyone gives him the money he is looking for on the market. he prob gets a bigger 1 or 2 year deal like finley and continue to play okay, maybe slightly above average, getting marginal playing time despite making more money than other players. Kuhn has one more year left. i though at the beginning of the year he would be gone but with the TE flux, packers will pay him enough for him to return another year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  8. […] second is that I need to get out of the predictions business.  Earlier this week during my Quick Hits post, I tossed out a few predictions that I had for the Packers this season and into the next few.  If […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this website, since I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again soon..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0