Category Archives: Predictions

12

October

Which Joe Flacco will the Packers see in Baltimore?

Joe Flacco has been pretty average for most of his career, except for the 2012 playoffs.

Joe Flacco has been pretty average for most of his career, except for the 2012 playoffs.

Prior to the 2012 season, Joe Flacco rejected a contract worth about $14 million per year. At the time, that contract seemed generous for a quarterback who had won five playoff games yet had never thrown more than 25 touchdowns in a season through four years.

But Flacco thought otherwise, so played out the final year of his rookie contract.

After a 9-2 start last year, the Ravens lost four of their last five regular-season games and backed into the playoffs at 10-6.

Then, Flacco put together a four-game postseason stretch in which he led the Ravens to a Super Bowl title, throwing for 11 touchdowns without an interception, while posting a passer rating of at least 106.2 in each game.

Following Super Bowl XLVII, Flacco cashed in with a six-year contract worth around $20 million annually. He may be only slightly more (or not) than an average NFL quarterback, but he took a gamble—and it paid off.

This week, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers may be forced to put all his chips on the table to generate a pass rush against Flacco and the Ravens, as Green Bay will be without Clay Matthews for about a month.

Last season, with Matthews and Nick Perry out of the lineup nursing injuries, the Packers were forced to go with Erik Walden and Dezman Moses as their outside linebackers. This year, they’ll start Perry and Mike Neal in Matthews’ absence.

Matthews is unquestionably Green Bay’s most valuable player on the defensive side of the ball, and thanks to a hamstring injury that kept safety Morgan Burnett out of the lineup for the first three games, the Packers have yet to play a full game with their top two defensive players.

But even if the secondary is taking form with Burnett back, Flacco figures to have plenty of time to throw the ball behind a strengthened offensive line and against a Matthews-less Packers defensive front. Baltimore traded for Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe a couple weeks ago, and he’s expected to make his first start this weekend on Flacco’s blindside.

Flacco is what he is. As far as NFL quarterbacks go, Flacco’s a pretty Average Joe.

25

September

No reason to panic despite Packers’ 1-2 start

With Aaron Rodgers under center and Randall Cobb in the lineup, the Packers will be just fine, offensively.

With Aaron Rodgers under center and Randall Cobb in the lineup, the Packers will be just fine, offensively.

Through three weeks, the Green Bay Packers sit at 1-2 entering their much-needed bye week.

Coming into the season, the Week 4 bye may have been seen as a disadvantage, but now, the timing could not have worked out better.

After giving up a 16-point lead and losing in dramatic fashion at Cincinnati, the Packers were left in a cloud of dust, wondering what had happened. The loss gives the Packers a much different feeling during their week off than they would have had they held onto their lead.

But coming out of the bye, the Packers figure to be in their best shape of the young 2013 season. And it’s not time for Packers fans to jump off the cliff just yet.

Perhaps the Packers’ biggest individual boost will be from safety Morgan Burnett. Likely the team’s most irreplaceable part of the secondary, Burnett (even without his dreads) is arguably the Packers’ second-most valuable defensive player behind Clay Matthews.

While the team is deep enough at cornerback to recover from losing a player–such as Casey Hayward–the depth at safety is not as strong.

Against the Bengals, Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings played pretty well overall. But against top-tier quarterbacks, a Burnett-less back end could spell a field day for the Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys of the world.

Some are quick to point out that Burnett is not Nick Collins; Burnett may not be the savior for Green Bay’s defense, but there’s a reason why the Packers gave him a healthy long-term contract extension.

Whether it’s in Week 5 against Detroit or shortly after, the secondary will get an added boost from Hayward, who led the team with six interceptions as a rookie last season.

Hayward has been nursing a hamstring injury since training camp. Tramon Williams and Sam Shields have fared well through three games and adding Hayward to the slot–along with Burnett returning at safety–would give the Packers their best possible secondary.

Offensively, the Packers are fine.

That may sound overly optimistic following a disappointing performance in Cincinnati in which Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions. But there’s no panic going on at 1265 Lombardi; Rodgers remains one of the best in the business, and as long as No. 12 is under center, the Packers are going to be among the league’s top offenses.

6

September

Packers Periscope: Eyeing the Enemy (49ers)

Packers periscope - Eyeing the Enemy

Packers periscope – Eyeing the Enemy

Welcome to the 2013 NFL season.

The Green Bay Packers open their schedule the same way they closed out last season—with a trip to San Francisco to face the 49ers.  While it is only Week 1, Packers fans should get a pretty good handle on what the 2013 version of their team looks like as they face off against the defending NFC champions and a team many predict will return to and perhaps even win the Super Bowl.

When we last met….

Both the Packers and their fans need little reminding of their last encounter with the 49ers.

Last January, Green Bay traveled to San Francisco to face the 49ers in the NFC Divisional playoffs and ended up being sent home in one of the most embarrassing playoff defeats in franchise history. 49ers Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns in addition to two touchdown passes and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense just couldn’t keep up.

San Francisco brilliantly executed the read option against a Green Bay defense that was woefully unprepared for it.  Charles Woodson said after the game he didn’t realize how fast Kaepernick was.  If that doesn’t show lack of preparation, who knows what does?

The defeat shell shocked the Packers so bad that Mike McCarthy sent his entire defensive coaching staff to Texas A&M to study the read option and how to stop it.  The Packers’ two backup quarterbacks also happen to have been on the 49ers’ roster at some point this year.

Sounds like Green Bay wants this one pretty badly.

What they’re good at

As you can tell above, the read option offense but there is more to the 49ers attack than just that.

Kaepernick has both quick feet and a strong arm.  Everyone focuses on what he can do outside the pocket but he is also underrated in what he can do in the pocket.  He is lethal as a runner but his arm is still very strong and can make his throws from inside the pocket as well. With as much emphasis the Packers have made on stopping the read option, the 49ers could use a more traditional attack and still get results.

5

September

Why No Trades For Ted Thompson?

Remember this guy?

DJ Williams, Brandon Bostick, James Starks, Alex Green.  All these names were brought up by the media and fans as possible trade bait that the Packers could dangle for future draft picks.  Ultimately, none of that came to fruition as Bostick and Starks made the team while DJ Williams and Alex Green were cut and subsequently found homes in Jacksonville and New York.  Some of you might be thinking, if the DJ Williams found a home in Jacksonville so quickly, why didn’t Thompson get a draft pick out of them?  It does seem like every year fans and media alike gush about the depth that the Packers’ offseason roster contains and start day dreaming about how great a draft Ted Thompson could have if he had more draft picks.  Overall Ted Thompson rarely trades players at all (save for the whole Brett Favre thing and the “tag and trade” of Corey Williams, and truth be told the odds are against Thompson in making trades right before the 53 man roster cut.

 

  1. The Packers are a stable organization: The Packers don’t have much turnover in their coaching staff or front office; sure coaches have left to for other teams and famously now 3 Ted Thompson disciples are GMs of their own teams, but the gradual loss of talent that the Packers have experienced is nothing like the building clearing clean sweep that some owners start after a couple dismal seasons.  The offshoot of this is that the players on the Packers roster were picked and paid by the current GM.  Everyone of the players on the team now are Thompson’s “guys” and he has a incentive to go protect them as much as he can.  This isn’t a situation where the previous regime drafted a dominant 3-4 outside linebacker but the new coaching staff plays a 4-3 defense.  From a transaction perspective, there aren’t attractive trading candidates that don’t fit the Packers scheme or philosophy.  One famous example of this was when Denver hired Josh McDaniels was hired and proceeded to tear apart the team that Mike Shanahan had assembled including Jay Culter and Brandon Marshall, two players that typically would never see the trading block.
2

September

NostraMarques: Statistical predictions for Packers offense

Channeling Randall Cobb himself, it's time to put my nerd glasses on and get statistical.

Channeling Randall Cobb himself, it’s time to put my nerd glasses on and get statistical.

The preseason is officially over. So the next time the Green Bay Packers take the field, the games will actually matter.

On offense, the Packers figure to have one of the most feared attacks in football. Since taking over as the starter in 2008, Aaron Rodgers has been fortunate to play with one of the deepest receiving corps in the NFL. And now, he may be playing alongside the best running back of his six-year starting career in rookie Eddie Lacy.

There are plenty of concerns along the offensive line, but if Rodgers stays upright, it’s going to be another great year for Green Bay’s offense.

Rodgers said that Randall Cobb has the potential to be a 100-catch guy for the Packers, but with so many capable weapons on the same offense, it may be tough for him to reach triple digits. However, with Greg Jennings now playing for the Vikings, Cobb will enter the season as the odds-on favorite to lead the team in targets. So by that logic, 100 catches could certainly happen.

Adam Czech recently posted his own Vegas-style over/unders for the Packers’ upcoming season. Between that and our annual staff 53-man roster predictions, it’s clearly crystal ball time at ALLGBP.com.

In the comments section, chime in and say whether you think the player will outproduce my prediction (over) or if they’ll fall short (under) of my fearless forecast.

All statistical projections are based on each player playing a full 16-game season. And it’s much more interesting to project Rodgers to throw for 4,316 yards instead of 4,300. So, that explains that.

Rodgers: 4,316 passing yards, 38 TD 6 INT. 280 rushing yards, 3 TD.

With what should be an improved running game, I think this could be Rodgers’ most efficient season to date. But from a statistical standpoint in terms of yards and touchdowns, it’s hard to see Rodgers ever topping his MVP season in 2011 in which he threw for over 4,600 yards and 45 touchdowns in just 15 games. He may not contend for league MVP this season if he puts up numbers similar to these, but let’s be honest, 4,300 yards, 38 touchdowns and just six interceptions isn’t too shabby. It’s crazy that those numbers don’t stand out, but that’s the standard he’s set. As long as the offensive line can keep him upright, Rodgers is going to have another really, really good season. And if Eddie Lacy is everything the Packers hope he is, the offense is going to be really, really good, too.

1

September

Packers Media Roster Predictions: Hits, Misses, and Winners

Now that the Green Bay Packers have their starting 53-man roster after making 22 player cuts yesterday, it’s time to see how well the media handled their roster predictions. Obviously, this is just a fun activity to see how close we all were; nevertheless, we can also clearly see who the surprise cuts were. Which players were almost unanimously selected by media members to make the roster, but who ended up getting cut on Saturday?

Yet more importantly – at least for bragging rights – who had the closest prediction?

So here it is. I’ve compiled a list of 18 beat writers, media analysts, and bloggers who posted public predictions for their Packers 53-man roster. In addition to their name and affiliation, I’ve included their number of correctly predicted players, the overall average of correct players, as well as which players were incorrectly predicted. I then totaled the number of misses by player to see who the big surprises were. Take a look:

2013 Packers Media 53-Man Roster Prediction Results

2013 Packers Media 53-Man Roster Prediction Results
(Click to enlarge.)

 

First of all, congratulations to Kyle “The Mayor” Cousineau over at Pocket Doppler! Not only did he accurately predict 50 out of 53 players, but he won a heads-up contest between himself and Tom “Backdeck” Knigge.

Kyle was also one of the few to project the release of ILB Terrell Manning. The only other two people to nail this surprise cut were our own Cory Jennerjohn and the staff writers at Acme Packing Company.

The most obvious surprises on Saturday were quarterback Vince Young and running back Alex Green. While none of us were really enamored with either of these players, we generally seemed to feel that the numbers and depth chart had basically secured their place on the roster.

As was mentioned, Manning became the third biggest surprise cut with TE Matthew Mulligan a close fourth. OLB Dezman Moses, WR Tyrone Walker, and TE D.J. Williams were all bubble guys who could have been argued either way. They weren’t really surprise cuts, but it also wouldn’t have been surprising to see them make the roster, either.

So there you have it! Another year down, another set of predictions blown out of the water by Ted Thompson. If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that special teams roles really do matter when it comes to the final roster. That’s something will all have to remember when we engage in this silly process of reading Ted Thompson’s mind next year.

1

September

Surviving Sunday: News, Notes and Analysis from Packers Preseason

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Well, Packers fans, since the 2013 NFL season starts next Sunday, this is the last Surviving Sunday of the year.

NFL football games that actually matter will be keeping us occupied for the next 20 weeks or so, and there won’t be a need for 800-word posts wrapping up the news of the week and mixing in my ramblings about pro wrestling, video games, concussions, the media or whatever other tangent I like to go off on.

As always, thanks for reading. Hopefully the next Surviving Sunday isn’t published until Feb. 9, 2014, the Sunday after the Packers win Super Bowl XLVIII.

Roster cuts
All of the Packers roster cuts are in and there were a few surprises: 1) Vince Young is gone. I thought his ability to run and at least have a chance to make a play every now and then would save him, but I thought wrong. Now who’s going to back up Aaron Rodgers? Your guess is as good as mine. 2. Tyrone Walker didn’t make the team. I suppose that’s not really too big of a surprise, but he had a nice camp and I liked what I saw. Alex Green getting cut wasn’t much of a surprise. Starks has more pop than Green and is just a better back. You can’t play the injury card on Starks when comparing the two, either, because Green has injury issues of his own.

Tramon is back
Tramon Williams returned in Thursday’s preseason finale and had an interception on the Chiefs’ first pass. I’m not worried at all about Williams’ pass coverage. Sure, he gets beat more often than he did in 2010, but the good far outweighs the bad when Williams drops back in coverage. What I need to see from Williams is toughness. The 49ers will look at film of the 2012 Packers this week, see Williams retreat when a run comes his way, and start licking their chops. Williams needs to be a tougher tackler this season. Plain and simple.