The Packers got a win against the Detroit Lions and a win is a win, even if its ugly, right? With five wins in a row, the Pack will head to New York to take on their nemesis, the Giants for a little playoff revenge and keep their streak alive. But, will they be able to kick field goals to win a game? Lori Nickel, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal and JSOnline.com will join us LIVE to let us know how things go in a much anticipated interview!
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Mike McCarthy’s Packers have historically fared well after the bye week
With no Green Bay Packers football this weekend, I turned my thinking to the rest of this regular season. As was mentioned in Marques Eversoll’s column, the Packers’ remaining schedule after the bye week appears to be another tough road ahead.
Featured are most of their divisional matchups with a rematch of last year’s playoff game against the New York Giants mixed in. They also have a sneaky week 15 home game vs. the Tennessee Titans to round off the AFC portion of this year’s slate.
I started pondering how head coach Mike McCarthy’s Packer teams have historically fared after the bye. Here is a quick glance, including this season’s first half:
NFC Championship loss
Wild card round loss
Super Bowl win
Divisional round loss
4 playoff appearances
*Totals do not include 2012 season
During McCarthy’s tenure, the team’s winning percentage before the bye is .705 and .655 after (through 2011). At first, it would appear that these teams have, on average, had more success during their season’s first half. However, you’ll also see that the Packers have played 38 of their regular season games before the bye and by this year’s end, will have played 65 after. That’s 27 more games played on the “back end” of their schedules.
Green Bay has an even win margin before and after the bye at a +18. If you remove the 2008 season, the Packers have had a winning record after their bye week in the rest of McCarthy’s seasons as head man.
In his six full seasons, the team has appeared in the postseason four times. The two seasons the team did not make a playoff appearance, they struggled more than usual during one of these two stretches. In 2006, McCarthy’s first, the team started out 1-4 and their hot finish wasn’t enough and they missed out. In 2008, the team appeared poised to make a run after starting out 4-3, but lost many of their last nine games by narrow margins and squandered several fourth quarter leads. Read more...(640 words + 3 images, estimated 2:34 mins reading time)
The Packers 2012 season started off like none before it. I will not dig up too many ugly memories, but the Packers record at this point should not be 6-3.
Be that as it may, the team and some of it’s key players have gotten flak that’s just not deserved. Not that everything is perfect; far from it, for many in my opinion it is fans being unrealistic. But we see it every year no matter what the record; fans calling for players to be traded, coaches fired, this player or that player is nothing, has not impressed me and you hear things like I KNOW what is going to be called. It goes with the game and being a fan for many.
Right now I think that the team is in a very good position, even better when most of the currently injured player do come back. The depth of the team has been shown to us all these last 3 weeks. With a full roster this coaching staff, one I think is the best in the NFL, is going to have options they did not have at the start of the season simply because of the younger players and players changing positions gaining experience.
Lets start with the CB’s and Safeties. One of the players getting flak is Woodson. Now hurt, but him not being on the field hurts the defense. There is just so much he can do that is lost on many fans. No other DB can play CB, Safety, LB like he can.
His coming back to the defense will be a big thing down the stretch. With that I have been impressed with the young DB’s.
The only DB with time that can fill that Woodson role is House. None of the other DB’s have his combination of size, speed and controlled aggression. Hayward does not have the physical ability of some of the others but he has the thing that can make a player great, instincts. Some have said that Shields will not get his job back, what a great position to be in. To have your starting CB returning and having had the younger players step up and play as well as they have. But I have little doubt that Shields will return as the starter. Read more...(1715 words + 3 images, estimated 6:52 mins reading time)
Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers celebrate after a Tom Crabtree TD against the Arizona Cardinals.
Coming into the season, there were a couple stretches that appeared difficult on the Packers’ schedule.
The first tough part of the Packers’ schedule began on opening weekend, while the second challenging stretch figured to be coming out of the bye week.
In week one, the San Francisco 49ers came to Lambeau Field and controlled the game from the kickoff, as the 49ers’ stout defense completely shut the Packers down. The Packers were 0-1, and the schedule didn’t get any easier.
The Packers were, again, playing at home in week two. This time, against a hungry and much-improved Chicago Bears team. Tramon Williams caught as many passes as Brandon Marshall, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers continued his dominance against Jay Cutler, confusing the Bears quarterback into four interceptions and a 28.2 passer rating.
Now back to .500, the Packers traveled to Seattle to play the Seahawks on Monday Night Fotoball. The Seattle crowd was, as usual, extremely loud, helping the Seahawks blow past the Packers’ offensive line for a season-high eight sacks. We all know how the game ended–the Packers won the game…except they didn’t.
Fans were outraged as the Packers sat at 1-2 with the New Orleans Saints coming to town in week four. The Packers offense got back on track against the lowly Saints defense, as Rodgers threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns.
The first “tough stretch” of the season was in the books, and the Packers were 2-2.
The schedule appeared to lighten up over the course of the next several games, but the very next week, the Packers blew a 21-3 lead over the Indianapolis Colts and fell below .500 once again. After their loss at Indianapolis, the Packers have won four straight games, defeating the previously-unbeaten Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals.
So, here they are.
The Packers are 6-3 at the bye week, trailing the 7-1 Chicago Bears in the NFC North division. While the Bears may have the best defense in the league through the first half of the season, they’re entering a challenging two-game stretch against Houston and San Francisco. So looking ahead, the Packers could have an opportunity to pull even with Chicago in the coming weeks. Read more...(1315 words + 4 images, estimated 5:16 mins reading time)
The Green Bay Packers are undefeated at 7-0, but they still have question marks as they finish up their bye in Week 8. Let’s breakdown some of the most-asked questions I’ve seen about the Packers during the bye. You know you need your fix on this Packers-less Sunday, anyway.
Is there reason to think the defense can improve during the last 9 games?
One thing we know is that any improvement from the Packers defense will have to come from within. Guys like Chris Harris have been released in recent weeks, but Ted Thompson doesn’t typically bite on those kind of re-treads from other teams. So, the question becomes: Can this defense, as it looks now, improve over the next couple of months?
There’s definitely reason to think so. Tramon Williams is finally getting healthy, and we finally saw him bumping at the line against the Vikings and being more physical. That’s a big part of his game that was lost when he hurt his shoulder. A week off can only help that injury. Same goes for Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett, each of which have dealt with dings early on. Frank Zombo should return. Mike Neal, who we’ll address next, could be back. Healthy ammunition is always dangerous for a defensive gunner like Dom Capers.
But to reach their 2010 level, the Packers are going to need a player or two to step up that isn’t one of the stars. Last season, it was Shields. Someone along the defensive line, like Jarius Wynn or C.J. Wilson might be a candidate. Possibly Neal if he returns soon. Vic So’oto could potentially provide something in the pass rush. Either way, someone needs to emerge as a standout playing next to the established stars.
What’s the deal with DE Mike Neal? Will he play in 2011?
The first week after the bye was always the target date for Neal, but that looks highly unlikely now. His rehab is behind schedule, and you get the feeling that Neal might not make a big contribution this season. Regardless of when he can start practicing again, the Packers are going to take his comeback slow. It’s going to take him awhile to work his way back into the rotation. Read more...(1163 words + 1 image, estimated 4:39 mins reading time)