8

December

Ryan Grant Signing Makes Sense for Packers

Ryan Grant

Ryan Grant is the best option for the Green Bay Packers at this point.

When Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin broke the news this week that the Green Bay Packers were bringing back familiar veteran Ryan Grant, it quickly spread like wildfire across the internet. After choosing not to resign Grant in the offseason, the Packers made it clear that they were ready to move on. And to seemingly add insult to injury, Ted Thompson picked up free agent Cedric Benson during preseason to help boost their running back corps.

Now, it seems, we have come full circle. With the knee injury sustained by James Starks on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers became very thin at the position when looking at starting talent. It was obvious they needed to do something to again help the group out, and the signing of Ryan Grant was arguably the best option they had.

So after an offseason of speculating where Ryan Grant would end up, we find ourselves almost back where we began.

What I find a bit surprising, however, is the extremely mixed feedback from fans in regard to this signing. As I look across comments sections on blog posts and remarks on Twitter, it’s clear that people have very strong opinions about this move by Ted Thompson.

On Facebook, the 540 ESPN page even posted a fill-in-the-blank statement to get people’s opinions. It read: “The return of Ryan Grant is __________.” The comments made by fans were pretty stark: “desperate,” “awesome,” “necessary,” “boring,” “interesting,” “reasonable,” and even “a necessary evil.”

Does this speak to how fans feel about Ryan Grant, or does it speak more to how they feel about the situation the Packers have found themselves in? Either way, I have to disagree with anyone who says this was a bad move by Thompson.

First and foremost, Grant is someone who is extremely familiar with the Green Bay Packers offense. He made his debut with the team in 2007 and was the feature back until his ankle injury in the first game of 2010. Considering there are only four weeks left in the regular season, the Packers are serving themselves better by bringing in a player who won’t need much adjusting to the scheme. The next two games are arguably the most important for the Packers at this point, and Grant could conceivably play this Sunday if needed.

30

November

Packers vs. Vikings Week 13 Game Predictions from AllGBP.COM (with Podcast)

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 13: Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 7-4 Green Bay Packers 27-20
The Packers made some very alarming comments this week when they mentioned that they thought their hearts weren’t into the game. Wait, what? You’re professionals and your heart was not into a game against the team that ended your title defense last year?! COME ON! Don’t expect the same this week, however. Rodgers and McCarthy won’t allow it. Expect the same kind of angry performance you saw against the Texans, but the Vikings defense will take advantage of a beaten up Packers offensive line to make the game close.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 6-5 Green Bay Packers 31-17
Having witnessed the horrid performance last week in person, I can’t help but believe we will see a different Packers team this week. They will game plan for Peterson like they did for Arian Foster. We can only hope they play half as hard as they did that game. That should be all it takes.
Adam Czech 8-3 Green Bay Packers 31-17
It looks like another week without Clay Matthews and now C.J. Wilson is hurt. Not good if you hope to contain Adrian Peterson. But did you hear the good news? Aaron Rodgers’ favorite cover-2 fighting device — the Greg Jennings — is out of the repair shop and ready to start killing defensive backs again. If Percy Harvin plays, and my gut tells me he will, the Queens will put up a good fight. But it won’t be enough to slow down Rodgers and a refurbished Jennings.
Marques Eversoll 8-3 Green Bay Packers 31-20
Playing without Clay Matthews and stud run-stopper C.J. Wilson, the Packers have their work cut out for them against Adrian Peterson. However, Aaron Rodgers and the offense could really help out their defense by lighting up the scoreboard and forcing Minnesota to abandon the running game. Ultimately, I think the Packers simply score too many points, and they improve to 8-4 on the season.
Thomas Hobbes 7-4 Green Bay Packers 31-24
23

November

Packers vs. Giants Week 12 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com (with Podcast)

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 12: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 7-3 Green Bay Packers 21-20
The Packers are on a five game winning streak but are wounded.  The Giants are not playing their best ball right now.  I think the game is close for an entire 60 minutes and call me crazy, but I think Mason Crosby (yes THAT Crosby) wins the game on a last second field goal. A Thanksgiving weekend miracle.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 6-4 Green Bay Packers 24-21
My gut is telling me to pick the Giants in this game. They specialize in struggling and then turning it around. Tom Coughlin with more time to prepare (bye week) is always dangerous. But I think the Packers will do just enough to win this game, hopefully without needing Mason Crosby’s help.
Adam Czech 7-3 New York Giants 30-22
The Packers have scrapped their way to a 7-3 record and the lead in the NFC North. It’s going to take more than scrappiness to beat the Giants, and with all the injuries and struggles on the offensive line, I don’t see the Packers winning. It’s been about a month since Aaron Rodgers went nuts and won a game by himself, so  I suppose that could always happen. But I’m sticking with the Giants.
Marques Eversoll 7-3 New York Giants 31-30
Midway through the season, I thought the Packers would lose one more game after the bye. This is that game. I think it will be a close, back-and-forth game all afternoon, but the Giants will come out on top at home. This is a game that could come down to a late field goal–and the Giants currently have the advantage in that department. This is the first time I’m picking against the Packers all season, but hey, let’s hope I’m wrong.
Thomas Hobbes 7-3 Green Bay Packers 24-21
16

November

Packers vs. Lions Week 11 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com (with Podcast)

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 11: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 6-3 Green Bay Packers 28-20
The defense is battered, but the Packers are catching the Lions as Detroit looks to be headed towards a potential tailspin.  Calvin Johnson may have had big numbers last week, but the passing game took time to come to life last week. The Packers hold up against the Lions and Rodgers keeps it rolling with 3 TD passes.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 5-4 Green Bay Packers 31-27
Only the Packers can have a bye week and lose three more starters, two for the season. However, Mike McCarthy’s Packers teams are 5-1 coming off the bye week and I have no doubt they will be well-prepared for the desperate, but just not good enough Lions. It will be a high-scoring affair in the dome and the Packers will prevail.
Adam Czech 6-3 Green Bay Packers 31-21
The Lions are horrible. The Packers are injured. Injured will beat horrible on Sunday. The Lions’ offense will get hot for a stretch, but it won’t be enough to outscore Aaron Rodgers. I’m looking forward to Rodgers going after a Lions secondary that now includes Pat Lee.
Marques Eversoll 6-3 Green Bay Packers 31-24
The Packers are not the same defense without Clay Matthews, so this could end up being a close game. Ultimately, I think the Packers have too many offensive weapons for the Lions to account for. Aaron Rodgers has an Aaron Rodgers-type day, and the Packers put up too many points for the Lions to match. It may be a high-scoring nail-biter, but I think the Packers win on a late touchdown. Packers improve to 7-3.
Thomas Hobbes 6-3 Green Bay Packers 38-31
Losing Clay Matthews hurt; the big question for the Packers now is can the defense play at the same level without a consistent source of pass rush?  Even when Matthews wasn’t rushing the passer, offenses had to account for him and now that Matthews isn’t on the field so it will be interesting to see how offensive lines decide to block the Packers defense.  On offense, hopefully Jordy Nelson is back to 100% after the bye because I think it’s going to end up as a shoot out.
4

November

Packers vs. Cardinals Week 9 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 9: Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 5-3 Green Bay Packers 99-3
(Kris’ fever has apparently made him delirious to predict such a blowout…)
“Jersey” Al Bracco 4-4 Green Bay Packers 27-10
I have to think the Packers players are fairly mad at themselves. For Clay Matthews to come out and question the effort and for McCarthy to have to remind everyone that they won a game last week, I think the annoyance level is fairly high. I’m hoping for an angry effort from the Packers and a more comfortable win than last week.
Adam Czech 5-3 Green Bay Packers 26-17
I’m off the deer stand and ready to watch the Packers. If the Packers O-line holds up, the Packers will be 6-3. If the line struggles, and Rodgers holds the ball and gets jittery, who knows what might happen.
Marques Eversoll 5-3 Green Bay Packers 24-13
Arizona’s defense will keep the Packers in check–especially if Jordy Nelson is unable to play for a second straight week. Fortunately for the Packers, the Cardinals are down to their third-string running back and starting John Skelton at quarterback. Clay Matthews should have a big day against a leaky Arizona offensive line. Packers win, but it may not be pretty.
Thomas Hobbes 5-3 Green Bay Packers 27-20
Actually I think this is going to be harder than most people think; last week people over-estimated how affected the Packers would be with all their injuries and if it wasn’t for an inept Jaguars squad the Packers could have easily lost the game.  Hopefully some of the Packers offensive starters come back, having your 2 starting WRs, RB, 3rd down RB, and TE all hurt isn’t a recipe for much offensive success.  My personal feeling is that if the Packers can grab a two TD lead in the 1st quarter the game will be lopsided.  If not, this one might be a nail biter.
Jason Perone 3-5 Green Bay Packers 24-23
27

October

Packers vs. Jaguars Week 8 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 8: Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 4-3 Green Bay Packers 31-21
Not going with the blowout here.  The bitter taste of the Colts game is still lingering.  Until I see the Packers bury an opponent and have Dom Capers standing on the gas for 60 minutes, caution is the word.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 3-4 Green Bay Packers 35-6
If in any way, the Packers don’t win this game by at least 3 touchdowns, then either something is very wrong or they just got bored.
Adam Czech 4-3 Green Bay Packers 30-13
This is going to be one of those games that’s never really close, but isn’t necessarily a blowout, either. At no point will we feel like the Jaguars will win, but every now and then we might grumble that the game shouldn’t be as close as it is. The Jags d-line is scrappy and will probably frustrate the Packers running game a bit, but ultimately, that won’t matter much once Aaron Rodgers cuts loose.
Marques Eversoll 4-3 Green Bay Packers 34-13
Attention, fans of running the football: this is the week. I think Alex Green will become the Packers’ first 100-yard rusher since October 2010. Aaron Rodgers will build a comfortable halftime lead, allowing the run game to take advantage of a weak Jacksonville run defense. The Jags are without Maurice Jones-Drew, so the Packers win this one easily.
Thomas Hobbes 4-3 Green Bay Packers 31-9
Maurice Jones Drew is responsible for 41% of the Jaguars offensive yardage and at an average of 235 yards over 6 games, the loss of MJD should result in 139 yards against the Packers (naturally Rashad Jennings will make back some of those yards but you get the point).  Furthermore the Jaguars go about 16 yards per point so in rough estimate they should gain 9 points.  The only thing I can think of that’s in their favor is that traditionally the Packers don’t do as well with opponents that they don’t know well or against players they didn’t account for, and the Jaguars are definitely that type of team.
Jason Perone 2-5 Green Bay Packers 35-7
19

October

Packers vs. Rams Week 7 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 7: Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 3-3 Green Bay Packers 34-17
The Pack is for sure back as they finally beat a team that they’re supposed to beat. Rodgers keeps rolling and the defense eats up a weak Rams offensive line.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 2-4 Green Bay Packers 31-13
the Rams can’t score, the Packers defense is a pass rush threat once more and Aaron Rodgers has found his mojo. Not a good recipe for St. Louis.
Adam Czech 3-3 Green Bay Packers 27-17
The Rams have talented and physical CBs and an elite pass rusher. It’s a formula that gives the Packers fits. But the Packers have too many weapons to be shut down for an entire game. Sunday won’t be a cakewalk, but it’ll be a victory.
Marques Eversoll 3-3 Green Bay Packers 28-13
The Rams have a good defense, with a capable pass rush and physical corners on the perimeter. Cortland Finnegan makes a living by getting inside the head of wide receivers, but I think Jordy Nelson & Co. will keep their cool. Call me crazy, but I think Jermichael Finley has a big week for the Pack. They move to 4-3.
Thomas Hobbes 3-3 Green Bay Packers 35-16
Which Packers team will show up, the one that went to Houston or the one that went to Indianapolis?  Probably neither, I doubt they will be as abysmal as they were against the Colts or as dominant as they were against the Texans.  I think the Packers are going in the right direction, but it will probably take a game or two before things start clicking on a consistent rate.  Overall, I think the general flow of the game will be the Packers score touchdowns while the Rams score field goals.  As long as the Packers defense doesn’t give up yards and points in bunches and the offensive line doesn’t give up sacks in bunches the Packers should win this one.
Jason Perone 1-5 Green Bay Packers 27-17