23

December

It’s Packers vs. Bears for the NFC North Championship

If the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday, they will be NFC North Champions.

Yes, the Packers might make the playoffs despite:

  • Playing the second half of the season without Aaron Rodgers.
  • Using four different quarterbacks.
  • Clay Matthews missing a stretch of games, then returning and playing with one thumb.
  • Randall Cobb being out most of the season.
  • Jermichael Finley almost breaking his neck.
  • Bryan Bulaga tearing his ACL in a scrimmage.
  • Andy Mulumba and MD Jennings playing prominent roles on defense.
  • Eddie Lacy missing two games early with a concussion and gimping around on a bum ankle the last couple of weeks.
  • B.J. Raji deciding to take a vacation after week eight.
  • 16 players on injured reserve (possibly with more to be added this week)
  • Marshall Newhouse still being on the team.

And that’s just all the stuff I can think of off the top of my head. It’s late at night, so I’m sure I’m missing a few things that should be on the list.

It hasn’t been pretty. Often, it’s been downright ugly and frustrating as hell. But the Packers still have a shot at the playoffs. Win and they’re in.

Welcome to the NFC North in 2013.

The 2013 Packers won’t go down as one of the best teams in franchise history, but they will go down as one of the most unique. They’ll also go down as one of the most resilient. It’s been a frustrating season, but it’s also been a whole lot of fun.

Here’s hoping the fun extends at least into Wild Card weekend.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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7

October

Poll: Are the Packers a Good Team Playing Mediocre or Just a Mediocre Team?

Packers WR Jordy Nelson hauls in a pass against the Lions

After the Packers yawner of a win over the Lions on Sunday, I keep asking myself one question: Are the Packers a good team playing mediocre or just a mediocre team?

Let’s take a look at the case for each:

Good team playing mediocre

  • The Packers are 2-2 despite another barrage of early-season injuries, playing a good chunk of two games without Clay Matthews and dealing with the loss of Eddie Lacy and Jermichael Finley early in two other games.
  • As I was writing this, reports surfaced that Matthews has a broken thumb. Well, Nick Perry and Mike Neal showed signs of life on Sunday after Matthews went out. Can they keep improving and fill in at least somewhat admirably if Matthews is out for a while , or, gulp, the rest of the season?
  • Hey, a running game! Eddie Lacy was one yard away on Sunday from giving the Packers their third straight 100-yard rusher.
  • Dropped deep passes from Ryan Taylor and James Jones made the Lions win seem much more ugly than it actually was. If one of those plays goes for a TD, do the Packers blow away the Lions and we all leave that game feeling better about the state of the team?
  • If the Packers set their mind to stopping a certain aspect of the other team’s offense, they’ve done it. Shut down Colin Kapernick’s and Frank Gore’s running, corral RG3, contain A.J. Green, bottle up Reggie Bush. Done, done, done and done.
  • Mason Crosby is actually making field goals.

Mediocre team playing mediocre

  • The Packers are 2-2. A .500 record is the very definition of mediocrity.
  • If so and so didn’t drop this pass or such and such made that play….Teams that are better than mediocre don’t have to worry about those “what if” questions. They just make the damn play.
  • The Packers two wins have come against a gimpy RG3 and a Lions team playing without Calvin Johnson. Big whoop.
  • There’s no rhythm on offense. Unless Rodgers is throwing deep to a WR who makes a circus catch, the offense is predictable and boring.
  • Someone needs to tell Mike McCarthy that with Lacy, he finally has a RB that gives him a chance on third down. Lacy was on the bench twice during third-and-short situations on Sunday.
6

October

Report: Packers LB Clay Matthews has a Broken Thumb

Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews says he will play Sunday. That's a big deal.

Clay Matthews

Mike Garafolo from Fox Sports is reporting that Packers LB Clay Matthews suffered a broken thumb in Sunday’s win over the Lions. From Garafolo’s Twitter feed:

 

Sigh. The injuries never end with this team.

Mike Neal and Nick Perry showed signs of life on Sunday, but if Matthews is out for an extended period of time, it’s devastating.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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27

September

Packers Stock Report: Winning the Bye Week Edition

Packers WR Jordy Nelson celebrating yet another week in the rising category of the Packers Stock Report.

The Packers went into the bye week 1-2 and so far have accomplished all of their bye-week goals:

  • Stay out of prison. No players arrested yet during the bye week. If no Packers end up in jail over the weekend, that gust of wind you’ll feel on Monday morning will be everyone in Packers management exhaling a giant sigh of relief.
  • Don’t Tweet stupid things. I haven’t been on Twitter much this week, but I haven’t heard of any Packers accidentally tweeting a naked selfie or using a homophobic slur. Packers management must cringe every time they see a Tweet pop up from one of their players during the bye week.
  • Do something really awesome. Technically, this didn’t happen during the bye week, but it deserves another mention. Major kudos to Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and the entire Packers organization for making Cody Monroe’s day.
  • Ignore the fans. Why ignore the fans? See the comments section of this post.
  • Rest heads and hamstrings. Unless they’re going skydiving or playing pickup soccer games, all the Packers with concussions or hamstring injuries should come back at least one step closer to returning to the field.
  • Read the ALLGBP.com Packers Stock Report. Without further ado:

Rising

Jordy Nelson
Remember in Varsity Blues when the QB would knock the other team’s mascot off his horse when throwing the ball away? If Rodgers tried doing something like that, Nelson would probably catch the pass. He’s that good on the sideline.

Clay Matthews
His play on the field was more than enough to move him to the rising category, but after he got hurt, his stock went up even further. Unless Dom Capers schemes an unblocked blitzing defensive back, the Packers pass rush goes bye-bye when Matthews isn’t on the field. Just in case we forget, we’re reminded of how valuable Matthews is to this team every time he goes out with his annual hamstring injury.

Mike Daniels
Daniels’ violent style of play has so far made up for him being undersized. He’s got a sack, three hurries and four defensive stops this season and might be the only defensive lineman capable of bringing a pass rush at this time. Will Daniels continue to impress now that other teams are becoming more aware of his aggression and his strengths?

22

September

Rant About the Packers Losing to the Bengals Here:

Are you still pissed off about the Packers losing to the Bengals?

I am. What a God-awful game.

I’m going to use this space to rant and rave like a lunatic. Please feel free to do the same in the comments.

Jeremy Ross
Why is he still on the team? Forget fumbling, he simply can’t catch a kick. And on the rare occasions when the ball doesn’t clank off his hands like a Mason Crosby field goal hitting the upright, he looks slower than me on returns.

Injuries
Mike McCarthy coddles these guys during training camp then wonders why half the team sits out with a sore hamstring once the real games actually start. Half the guys that miraculously don’t pull their hamstrings end up going down with some other type of injury. When is this organization going to admit that all of these injuries every single season aren’t just bad luck and change its philosophy about tackling in training came and at practice?

Mike McCarthy
So the Packers have the best quarterback in the NFL and on fourth-and-1 on the game’s biggest play you choose to run a midget rookie running back straight into the teeth of a ferocious defensive line. Even Aaron Rodgers thought you were out of your mind today and let you know about it right in front of the TV cameras, Mike.

Aaron Rodgers
Can we get a fourth quarter comeback at some point in your career, Aaron? Please?

David Bakhtiari
If one of your coaches ever asks you to cut block again, David, punch him in the face. In addition to giving up the batted pass on the last play, the guy you were supposed to be blocking, DE Michael Johnson, finished with seven tackles, one sack and four QB hurries.

Officials
Another Packers player leaves with a concussion after getting drilled in the head on a play where no flag is thrown. Ryan Taylor gets punched in the junk and is flagged for retaliating. The Packers need to sign Steve Austin so he can deliver a Stone Cold Stunner to the next ref that hoses the Packers by missing one of these calls.