Last Minute Cramming: Packers vs. Vikings

Packers vs. Vikings

Want to sound like an expert during the Packers – Vikings game? Whether you’re watching with friends, on a live chat or tweeting to the world, you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about right?

Hopefully, you’ve done your homework during the week, but if you’ve been lax or life just got busy – no worries. Below are some resources for you to quickly get up to speed.

All it will take is a little last-minute cramming and you can sound like an NFL analyst. Well, maybe you don’t really want that, but at least you can impress your friends and be able to accurately make fun of the NFL analysts. Read up and then enjoy the game!

Packers vs. Vikings Dope Sheet – Essential reading to get all the background information on this game.

5 Things to Watch – The quintessential “5 things” post comes to you each week from Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

Packers Predictions – Your weekly predictions from our panel of Packers writers at AllGBP.com.

JSOnline.com game preview – Essential reading.

NFL Films Game Preview – For you visual learners out there…

Fantasy Football view – A look at the game from a Fantasy standpoint from Acme Packing Company.

Ryan Pickett – Unsung Heroe – With Adrian Peterson looming, a feature on the Packers main run-stuffer from Rob Demovsky at Packersnews.com.

Key matchups – A close look at those key battles that could decide the outcome. From our own Jason Perone at ALLGBP.com.

If you’ve gone through these links, you are officially prepared to spout off all  your own expert commentary during the game. Have fun and Go Pack!



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.




Packers at 2-3: Looking ahead at the rest of the season

Rodgers and the offense have time to right their wrongs.

Rodgers and the offense have time to right their wrongs.

Looking at the schedule before the season, I thought the Packers would be 5-0 at this point. Instead, the team sits at 2-3 with a tough matchup next week against the undefeated Houston Texans.

Through five games, the offense has yet to score 30 points in a single game, while the defense has been up-and-mostly down. Sure, there have been some bright spots, but the outlook for the rest of the season looks cloudy at 2-3.

And immediately following the Packers’ unexpected loss to the Colts on Sunday, much of Packer Nation reached for the panic button. There’s certainly reason for frustration after blowing a 21-3 halftime lead, but the Packers have time to right their wrongs.

The season is still young, Packers fans. Back off that cliff, don’t jump just yet.

1) There were plenty of positives from the first half vs. Indianapolis.

It’s a distant memory after an atrocious performance in the second half, but the Packers’ first half against the Colts was their best 30 minutes of football of the season. Overall, the team looked a lot like the 2011 team that went 15-1.

Aaron Rodgers was sharp, the receivers (for the most part) caught the ball, and the defense held the Colts to just three points.

The offense consistently sliced through the Colts defense, with John Kuhn, James Jones and Randall Cobb each finding the endzone. And defensive end Mike Neal made his presence felt early, sacking Andrew Luck in his return from a four-game suspension.

Watch the first 30 minutes of the game, and your stance on the current state of the Packers will be pretty optimistic. Just make sure you don’t watch the second half.

2) An (unexpected) win next week at Houston would mask this loss.

Before the season, I predicted the Packers to go 13-3. One of the three games I predicted them to lose was week six at Houston. The Texans boast one of the strongest defenses in the NFL, as well as perhaps the most balanced offense in football.

Surely, the Texans will be favored next week on Sunday Night. But if the Packers are able to pull off the upset, it could very well be the turning point of the season.



Packers 34, Bills 7 – First Impressions – NFL Week Two 2010

First impressions and game time commentary on the Green Bay Packers defeat of the Buffalo Bills…

On the first series, it was obvious MM was not going to repeat the mistakes of last week. We saw much more balanced play calling…

The Packers showed the Psycho early. Jenkins the only DL. The result was the big Matthews sack. Later on, it would produce the Chillar interception.

In addition to making sacks, Clay Matthews may be the genesis for a new stat: “caused sacks” – when you don’t get any official credit for the sack,  but you’re completely the reason it happened.

As the first half progressed, I’m glad to see a commitment to the run continue. Against this Bills defense, that will result in some nice drives in the second half.

I was glad to see Dimitri Nance get an early look. I think he’ll be able to help the Packers down the line. I’m sticking with my feeling that Bjax is just not all that. But he’ll have to do for now…

Nice lift from Brandon Jackson on that Lambeau leap. He’s got ups.  Aaron Rodgers: lets just say he’s going to get killed by his teammates for that one.

The Bills have a nice three-headed monster at running back.

Pat Lee: Besides being a huge disappointment at CB, you don’t know enough to not down the ball after you’ve been out of bounds on a punt? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

When will Mike McCarthy learn that useless challenges always come back to bite you? Didn’t everyone in the building know that James Jones was out of bounds? Packers could have had the ball back with about a minute left in the first half and 2 timeouts. Instead, with just one timeout, MM decides to just let the clock run down. Now, it didn’t matter in this game, but bad challenges and poor clock management could be costly down the road.

Can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am overall by the coverage units on special teams… Yes, you’re going to give up some yards to a guy like C.J Spiller, but as long as you contain and avoid the huge returns, I’m happy.

I’m sticking with what I have previously written and also expressed on Cheesehead Radio: Bryan Bulaga right now is a better player than Colledge, Clifton or Tauscher. I’d live with the occasional rookie mistakes and just play him – somewhere… anywhere.



Packers 27, Eagles 20 – First Impressions – Week One 2010

In the very first series, we see Clay Matthews line up inside, and come on a delayed blitz.  That’s something they’ve been working on in practice, according to Greg Bedard.

Evidently, Aaron Rodgers’ facemask is considered “in play” by NFL referees.

Tramon Williams played one of his better games and did a nice job in coverage, but he needs to catch at least one of those two potential INTs.

Good news, bad news: Rodgers looks a little more nimble at avoiding rushers in the pocket – obviously, he’s had a lot practice. At the same time, he seemed to be watching the rushers too much, which affected his accuracy.

Mark Tauscher looked like Barbre / Giacomini (your choice) out there. I have to think he was hurting in some way. He just was not moving well…

When Clay Matthews took down Kevin Kolb from behind, as Kolb lay on the ground, I kept saying “get up”, “get up.” You see,  MichaelVick as a runner scared me a lot more than Kolb as a passer (at least based on what I had seen so far). When I tweeted that sentiment, most responses were, “please, we want Vick, he’ll screw things up.” I just shook my head.   And then he proceeds to… well you saw it. Like a bad movie we’ve all seen before. Fortunately, the ending was a little different this time.

The touchdown pass from Rodgers to Jennings looked so easy, I thought it was OTAs, 7 on 7.

The Packers obviously borrowed some other team’s special teams units for this game. Seriously, when it comes to special teams, I’m most concerned about two things, coverage units and kicking field goals. Close to perfect in both categories this game…

As I tweeted early on in the game, all Jordy Nelson has to do on KRs is CATCH the ball, run North/South, and not FUMBLE. I’m more than satisfied with him returning kicks if he does those things. If the Packers happen to block well for him and he has some nice returns, that’s just gravy.

I’m expecting an Alex Tallisch Mason Crosby-related jab at me any second now…



Packers vs. Colts: Film Study – B.J. Raji (Preseason 2010)

In this installment of Film Study, I decided to focus on one player I get asked about quite a bit – B.J. Raji.  So I went back and watched all of his snaps in the Green Bay Packers – Indianapolis Colts preseason game and here are my observations:

From a personality standpoint,  Raji  hasn’t shown much of a mean streak, and that was my only real concern when the Packers first selected him. From observing Raji, and speaking to people here in NJ that knew him during his high school  years, he’s a “good boy.” Polite, kind, soft-spoken: the type of kid you’d want your daughter to marry.

Of course, that doesn’t translate well to the battlefield known as the NFL. Not to say they are mutually exclusive. There have been plenty of “good guys” who would rip your heart out on the field if needed. Bart Starr, the ultimate gentleman, has been described as such by many teammates. Raji hasn’t shown me that killer instinct, yet.

In the last two preseason games, however, Raji has been starting to show some signs. He has made steady progress in each game, and against some very good Colts offensive linemen, had a positive impact on  roughly 70% of his snaps.

There is one thing he still needs to work on – and that is keeping his head up and eyes on the ball while fighting off blocks. During this preseason, I have observed Raji getting turned around or playing with his head down way too often. In many cases, the ball carrier ran right by him and Raji never saw him until it was too late.

An excellent example of this was the long run by Joseph Addai. (Before we get to Raji, I just want to mention what a great cut by Addai after he clears the line of scrimmage). With one move he faked both Nick Collins and Morgan Burnett to the ground. Watch for it and watch for Charles Woodson getting held right behind them. I need to figure out how to post these in slow motion for you all… )

Getting back to Raji, he gets completely turned around on the play (and then gets mugged and pulled to the ground, but after Addai was past him).



Packers 59 Colts 24 – First Impressions… Preseason 2010

First Impressions from the Green Bay Packers’ preseason game vs. the Indianapolis Colts:

Everyone’s was talking about the D, but I was looking at this as just as big a test for the OL. Can they really protect Rodgers? Evidently, they can.

Sam Shields: Overall, he held his own. As I said last week, he’s already a better corner than Bush. Always near the receiver, always aware of where the ball is and will never get outrun deep.  Welcome to the roster.

Dom Capers mixed in just a smidge of other flavors tonight.

As I mentioned the other night on Cheesehead Radio, Raji continues to get turned around and lost sight of the running back on Addai’s long run. Saw it on other plays, too This is going to be a problem if it’s not corrected.

Rodgers passes to Jones often seem to be a bit off target.  I think Jones surprises him sometimes.

Does anyone make more one-handed catches than Donald Driver?

The agility training Ryan Grant did in the offseason seems to have really payed off. Grant looks more athletic – leaner, stronger, quicker.

Zombo played well as a starter. Very active and involved. Got some good pressures, even before the strip. He’s made this team.

As usual, Rodgers was a bit too strong early on – hung some receivers out to dry.

MM should have challenged that catch in the early 2nd 1/4. Ball obviously hit the ground.

Would love to see MM call something different on 4th and one. At least show it to keep defenses a bit more honest…

Mike Neal was a force. Doing it strictly on strength. When he learns proper technique, Packers have themselves what they hoped Justin Harrell would be.

Packers defense is one of the best at sniffing out screens. Even the defensive linemen see it, stop, and wheel outside very quickly. Nice coaching job, there.

Somebody needs to come up with a catchy nickname for Jermichael Finley…

Safe to say, the Packers passed their only real test of the preseason.


Follow Jersey Al:

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.



Packers 27, Seahawks 24 – First Impressions… Preseason 2010

First Impressions from the Packers preseason game vs. the Seattle Seahawks.

This thought scares me: Breno Giacomini has looked good against one defense so far – the Packer’s own.

Mason Crosby: Do it when it means something and I’ll lead the “Mason Crosby no longer sucks” parade.

Fo those just getting on the Jermichael Finley “go-to guy” bandwagon (like Pete Dougherty writes about ).  A reminder where you folks heard it first

Sam Shields will be a better corner than Jarret Bush. He will need time (at least a year) to develop and learn his assignments, but from a talent perspective, Shields is better.

Matt Flynn can be effective if he’s kept to the types of passes he can throw. Just not enough arm strength. I will say, he has shown some toughness and leadership abilities the last 2 games…

Jarret Bush is always the first one down the field on kickoffs and punts, and the first one to do nothing while he’s there.

Dom Capers will have to devise a hell of a lot of stunts to get Poppinga or Chillar to the QB because they can’t do it by beating blockers one-on-one.

Why has Charles Dillon, who has turned some heads in camp, not been given a shot at returning kickoffs? In college, he returned 30 kickoffs for a very good 28.3 yd. average.

Before everyone gets too down on Underwood, remember, he is a dime back once Al Harris returns. He will continue to develop, but he’s not exactly ready to step into Woodson’s shoes, as he was asked to in this game.

I’m hoping Chris Bryan wins the punting competition. Mathsay takes too long to get a kick off  and I worry about mental toughness with him. No such worries with the Aussie football playing Bryan.

Bryan Bulaga had a tougher test this week, and I believe he passed. More on this after I re-watch the game…

Nick Collins beat again for a back of end zone TD, but how much can you ask of your DBs when the QB has 6 seconds to hold the ball. (BTW, I’m just guessing at the time. Will confirm when I study the film)

Chastin West is not a speed burner, but he has some moves and catches what’s thrown to him. I think he’s a good practice squad candidate.