11

January

2013 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Divisional Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2013 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5)
Kris Burke Seahawks Saints
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seahawks Seahawks
Adam Czech Seachickens Saints
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Saints
Thomas Hobbes Seahawks Seahawks
Cory Jennerjohn Seahawks Saints
Jason Perone Seahawks Saints
Chad Toporski Seahawks Saints
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-7)
Kris Burke Patriots Colts
“Jersey” Al Bracco Colts Colts
Adam Czech Colts Colts
Marques Eversoll Colts Colts
Thomas Hobbes Colts Colts
Cory Jennerjohn Patriots Patriots
Jason Perone Patriots Colts
Chad Toporski Colts Colts
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (+1)
Kris Burke 49ers 49ers
“Jersey” Al Bracco 49ers 49ers
Adam Czech 49ers 49ers
Marques Eversoll 49ers 49ers
Thomas Hobbes Panthers Panthers
Cory Jennerjohn 49ers 49ers
Jason Perone Panthers Panthers
Chad Toporski Panthers Panthers
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-9)
Kris Burke Broncos Chargers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Broncos Chargers
Adam Czech Broncos Chargers
Marques Eversoll Broncos Chargers
Thomas Hobbes Broncos Broncos
Cory Jennerjohn Broncos Chargers
Jason Perone Broncos Broncos
Chad Toporski Broncos Chargers
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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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4

January

2012 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Wild Card Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2012 NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-4.5)
Kris Burke Texans Texans
“Jersey” Al Bracco Texans Texans
Adam Czech Texans Bengals
Marques Eversoll Texans Bengals
Thomas Hobbes Texans Bengals
Jason Perone Texans Texans
Chad Toporski Texans Texans
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
Kris Burke Packers Packers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Packers Packers
Adam Czech Packers Packers
Marques Eversoll Packers Packers
Thomas Hobbes Packers Packers
Jason Perone Vikings Vikings
Chad Toporski Packers Vikings
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-6.5)
Kris Burke Colts Colts
“Jersey” Al Bracco Ravens Ravens
Adam Czech Ravens Colts
Marques Eversoll Colts Colts
Thomas Hobbes Colts Colts
Jason Perone Ravens Colts
Chad Toporski Ravens Colts
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins (+3)
Kris Burke Redskins Seahawks
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seadogs  Seadogs
Adam Czech Seachickens Seachickens
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Seahawks
Thomas Hobbes Redskins Redskins
Jason Perone Redskins Redskins
Chad Toporski Seahawks Seahawks
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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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9

October

Little Mistakes Add Up to Big Loss for Packers

Rodgers vs. ColtsThere’s nothing worse than missing a game where the Green Bay Packers lose. Yes, it saves some heartache and keeps the remote control from flying across the room, but it’s disheartening to know that, when I go back and watch it, I’m only going to be disappointed. The one silver lining, however, is that the emotion has taken its course, and I can look at things a little more objectively.

With this in mind, I already knew what to look for when the Green Bay Packers dropped an 18-point halftime lead over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. I had to figure out what changed between the two halves of play and why things started going south. A lot of blame was passed around in the 24 hours following the loss, but I wanted to draw my own conclusions with the tape to back up my claims.

And what did I find? While I agree with “Jersey” Al that the offense deserves a lot of the heat, I don’t think I can point my finger directly at the play calling. And though Adam Czech is correct in pointing out the missed scoring opportunity at the end of the first half, I think there’s more to it than that. In fact, what I discovered was a lot of little things that added up to big problems. There was no one consistent failure, but multiple mistakes and drive-killers that allowed the Colts to make an historic comeback.

Dropped Passes by the Usual Suspects

It didn’t take long for people to start asking why the Packers didn’t put the Colts away in the first half. They were sitting on an 18-point lead and had over a minute to put a scoring drive together going into halftime. While it is a good question, the answer didn’t have anything to do with a lack of trying.

The Packers made a nice 6-yard gain on a short outside pass to Kuhn, who also managed to run out of bounds and stop the clock. Good play calling to start the drive, if you ask me. In fact, I didn’t have any issues with the next two play calls – it was the execution that mattered. Jordy Nelson made a big drop over the middle on 2nd-and-4, and then Jermichael Finley followed it up with a drop on third down to end the drive. So after less than 20 seconds coming off the play clock, the Packers punted it back to the Colts.

8

October

Could This Loss to the Colts be a Turning Point for the Packers?

Right Way Wrong Way sign

The Packers must find the quickest route to get back on their winning ways

In most any situation in life, be it a movie, fight, game, etc.,  there is a turning point.  At five games into this season and with two tough road games coming up, the Green Bay Packers face just that.  Some may say it’s too early to see it that way, but this sport is about momentum and the Pack need to shift it in the positive direction now.   If this isn’t THE turning point, it’s the beginning of it.

A 2-3 record is hardly a “game over” scenario.  Even if they aren’t able to overtake the Houston Texans  next week, there is still plenty of time for this team to make good on the 2012 season.

That said, it won’t come by continuing some of the things this team has done through five games.  It bears repeating that the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different outcome.  The Pack need to realistically consider some different options to help turn this thing in the right direction.

There were many takeaways from this game but a few that really stood out:

Pass Rush

Dom Capers likes to put the defense in the zone coverage when the Pack get a healthy lead and opponents start throwing a lot.  It’s sometimes referred to as the ‘bend but don’t break’ defense.  Well, it’s broken.   Even when the Packers blitzed in the 2nd half today, they couldn’t get there.  They had some success in the first half but seemingly ran out of gas and were sending only four rushers at the end of the game.

Colts QB Andrew Luck may be a rookie, but he’s already the type of QB who teams must pressure to stop the Colts offense.  On the last drive, everyone knew he was going to be throwing and likely looking for WR Reggie Wayne.  Still, the Packers were stonewalled and gave up completion after completion with Wayne scoring the go-ahead TD.  It was similar to the Giants playoff game.  Giving a good QB too much time and surprising to no one, he always found an open man.  Even the best DB’s will give up plays having to cover 4+ seconds.

7

October

Packers vs. Colts – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: IND 30 GB 27

Packers - Colts - Nick Perry - Andrew Luck

Nick Perry greets Andrew Luck

Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts:

My unfitered game day recap and blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today:

  • WR Jarrett Boykin
  • S Sean Richardson
  • CB Davon House
  • RB James Starks
  • LB Terrell Manning
  • DE Mike Daniels
  • WR Greg Jennings
Inactive for Colts today:
  • QB Chandler Harrish
  • CB Justin King
  • CB Vontae Davis (starter)
  • RB Mewelde Moore
  • LB Pat Angerer (starter)
  • OG Seth Olsen
  • OG Joe Reitz (starter)

Game Notes:

Packers players are wearing ChuckStrong t-shirts in show of support for Colts coach Chick Pagano and leukemia research. Shirts can be purchased at Colts.com.

Colts secondary decimated by injuries. If Rogers doesn’t have at least 3TD’s something is very wrong.

 

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Long week: We ha

Won 10 of last 12 on road: A tribute to our schedule.  We keep our schedule exactly the same for road games, obviously other than the travel. The routine is good, players sometimes are glad to get away and the distractions at home.

Success in domes: Speaks to Aaron and communication of the whole offense. To be able to go on the road and perform well in loud situations, a tribute to our preperation. We go back in the spring and start preparing for crowd noise. It’s a day 1 teaching.

Jennings week to week? I think that would be accurate. Most important is for him to stay in rehab and not come out too early, whicch he probably did last time.

Jennings importance: Jenning has Pro Bowl next to his name. He gives us the chance to be a great offense.

Andrew Luck: They haven’t had to scale anything back for him. He’s running everything, including the full 2-minute offense.

Colts emotion: Anytime you come off a bye week, the energey will be high. They will surely play with high emotion in honor of coach Pagano.

Mike Neal: How could we not play him? We couldn’t block him in practice. My main concern was just that he was healthy, and he passed with flying colors. Expect to see him out there, especially in the sub packages providing some inside pass rush.

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7

October

Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts: Key Matchups

Cedric Benson

Cedric Benson could have a big day against the Colts

This Green Bay Packers head to Indianapolis this weekend to face the Colts, who had their bye last week.  Each team is in need of a win to set the tone heading into the season’s 2nd quarter.  Before we dive into the key matchups, a little bit on each team and this matchup’s history.

Last week, it was announced that Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia.  He will take leave from the team to treat the illness and according to Colts Owner Jim Irsay, it’s very possible that Pagano may not return to the sideline this year.  This is something that is sure to rally the Colts in this game as they will be playing with a bit of extra emotion for their coach.

The Packers are coming off their come-from-behind win vs. the New Orleans Saints.  A week removed from the very controversial loss in Seattle, the Packers were nearly victimized again by the officiating despite the return of the union refs.  They hung on and evened their record to 2-2.

While these 2 teams rarely see each other, these contests have not typically been short on points.  Back in 1997, the defending champion Packers came into Indianapolis heavy favorites but were outdone for 1 of only 3 losses that season.  In 2004, again in Indianapolis, quarterbacks Brett Favre and Peyton Manning duked it out in a shootout that ended with Indianapolis again getting the win at home.  The last matchup was in 2008 at Lambeau Field where the Packers defense starred in the win, taking 2 INT’s back for scores against Manning’s Colts.

While the Packers appear to be clear favorites tomorrow, let’s look at a few keys that will likely emerge as the game progresses.

Aaron Rodgers vs. the Colts secondary

The Packers are and will likely be a pass-first team as long as Rodgers is their QB.  Even with the emergence of Cedric Benson as a more legitimate threat on the ground, the Pack’s success rests on the arm of #12.

Tomorrow will present a good opportunity for Rodgers and the offense to continue some of that success they had last week when he threw for 4 TD’s against the Saints.  The Colts are dinged up in a secondary that was already not top-flight.  CB Vontae Davis, who was acquired from Miami during the offseason, will not play due to an ankle injury.

6

October

Week 5 Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North

We head into week 5 and thus begins the 2nd quarter of the 2012 season.  A season that has already brought plenty of interesting story lines in the NFC North.  There’s the 3-1 Minnesota Vikings who have decisive wins against San Francisco and Detroit Lions on the road to at least raise the question of whether or not they can contend.

The Chicago Bears continue to roll with a big win on Monday Night at Dallas and not-so-surprising are the antics of Bears QB Jay Cutler on the sideline.

The Lions, who were thought by many to be strong contenders in the division have underwhelemd so far and limp into their bye week on a 3 game losing streak.

The reigning divsion champion Green Bay Packers seemingly turned things around last week with a tough win at home against the still-winless New Orleans Saints and evened their record at 2-2.

With the Lions off this week, let’s look at the upcoming games for the Vikings, Packers and Bears

Tennessee Titans (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (3-1)

The Vikings return home to face the Tennessee Titans after handing Head Coach Leslie Frazier his first divisional win since taking over the team late in the 2010 season.  Hard to fathom:  1st divisional win in almost 2 years!  But that’s how much the Vikings had fallen off since their NFC Championship game appearance after the 2009 season.

The Vikes continue their early roll and this past week, followed up an impressive win vs. the previously undefeated San Francisco 49ers in week 3 with an upset win on the road at Detroit.  With that win, we must now at least entertain the question as to how good they really are.

One big reason for the Vikes’ success has been RB Adrian Peterson, who against the Lions had his 1st 100-yard game since October of 2011.  Peterson has seen an increased work load each week since returning from offseason ACL surgery and doesn’t appear to be hampered by the injury at all.  In fact, he has only 2 less carries so far this season than he did through 4 games last year and is only about 50 yards behind last year’s total during that same span.