5

October

Packers vs. Colts Week 5 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 5: Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 2-2 Green Bay Packers 34-20
No reason for the Packers to lose this game. None.  Still, I’m a buyer on Andrew Luck and think he will have a decent game but the Packers offense appears to have finally discovered the gas pedal.  Look for the Packers to ride their newly discovered balanced offense thanks to Cedric Benson and win this one fairly easily.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 2-2 Green Bay Packers 38-13
After surviving a scare from the Saints and once again the referees, the Packers finally have a laugher they can enjoy from start to finish. Benson and Cobb have big days and the Packers D picks off 2 passes, as “Luck” is on their side…
Adam Czech 3-1 Green Bay Packers 31-19
The defense will bend, but rarely break, Rodgers will build off last week’s game, and the Packers will roll. The Packers need to score early in this one. Can’t give the Colts any hope.
Marques Eversoll 2-2 Green Bay Packers 31-16
I’m buying all the hype on Andrew Luck. I really do believe he’ll be one of the best quarterbacks in the league in a few years. But in 2012, I think Dom Capers will throw some confusing looks at Luck and force a couple turnovers. With a healthy Greg Jennings, I think this might have been a 40-point explosion. The Colts move the ball on the Packers, but they can’t find the endzone as much as they’d like. Packers win 31-16, and move to 3-2.
Thomas Hobbes 2-2 Green Bay Packers 31-20
Previous history of games between the Packers and Colts would indicate that a ton of points are going to be scored.  I think the Packers offense will stay in their groove that they found against the Saints, but the Colts will probably score a fair amount as well with first overall pick Andrew Luck.  While Luck may be congruent to Peyton Manning in the future, at the moment he’s still a rookie who can get easily flustered, so expect to see exotic blitzes and probably a couple turnovers by the Colts.  One advantage that the Colts do have is that Packers seem to have some issues with quarterbacks and coaches they aren’t expecting (Micheal Vick and Caleb Hanie in 2010, Romeo Crennel in 2011), and new interm head coach Bruce Arians is likely to throw some things that the Packers aren’t prepared for.
5

October

2012 NFL Regular Season Week 5: Packers vs Colts Preview

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense look to keep the rhythm going against the Indianapolis Colts.

They say lightning never strikes the same place two times in a row, but the Green Bay Packers nearly witnessed such an occurrence.

Not even one full week removed from the debacle in Seattle, the Packers inconceivably nearly lost a second consecutive game thanks to some dubious officiating by regular official Jeff Triplette and his crew.  Thanks to a big goal line stand by a defense that was leaky all game and an offense that finally showed signs of life, the Packers hung on to defeat the New Orleans Saints 28-27 at Lambeau Field.

With the win, the Packers go to 2-2 on the season and after a wacky schedule to start the season, the Packers go on the road for three straight games beginning this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts had a bye in Week 4 and enter the game with a record of 1-2. The team also will play its first game without head coach Chuck Pagano who recently was diagnosed with Leukemia and may not coach the rest of the season.  Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will coach the team in Pagano’s absence.

What can Packers fans expect from this game?

Scouting the Colts

The Colts currently are going through what the Packers did in 2008 and that’s transitioning from a future Hall of Fame quarterback to his replacement.   The Packers struck gold with Aaron Rodgers and it stands to reasons the Colts could do the same with Andrew Luck.

Luck was the most NFL ready quarterback drafted last April, though Robert Griffin III with the Redskins has outplayed him so far this season.   The Colts pretty much cleaned house after last season’s disastrous campaign with Peyton Manning out the entire year with a neck injury.  Gone are Jeff Saturday (who is with the Packers), Pierre Garcon and Joseph Addai and in are Samson Satele, Donald Brown and Donnie Avery.

Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne is back however and should be serving as Luck’s security blanket as he adjusts to the speed of an NFL game.

So far this season, Luck has thrown for 846 yards with five touchdowns against four interceptions.  His completion percentage is 53.3%.   Luck throws a very good deep ball but has struggled with accuracy.  This figures to improve with time so the Packers should feel lucky getting the Colts early versus playing them in November or December.

25

March

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

The Packers signed free agent center Jeff Saturday this week to replace the departed Scott Wells. Yes, I said the Packers signed a free agent. A free agent that I actually heard of, nonetheless.

I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to react to this occasion.  It’s been a while since Ted Thompson blew the dust off the checkbook he uses to sign free agents from other teams and actually brought someone in. Fans from other teams often celebrate like they just won the Super Bowl after inking a free agent so….congrats fellow Packers fans?

Thompson obviously didn’t know how to react to the occasion, either. He was so confused and out of sorts about what he just did that he turned around and did it again, signing free agent defensive lineman Daniel Muir.

Now, Muir fits the mold of a Packers free-agent signing much more than Saturday. Muir is a journeyman that Thompson signed and released once before. He’ll have to fight hard just to make the team and anything he contributes during the season will be a bonus.

Saturday, on the other hand, will be expected to be what he’s been his whole career: A reliable pass-blocking center who quarterbacks the offensive line for one of the most explosive offenses in the league, often during no-huddle situations. I’m sure Saturday is up to the task, but he’s also going to be 37 years old when the season starts.

Yes, Saturday has started all 16 games in six of the past seven seasons, but the thing with 37-year-olds is that they’re, well…old. You never know when the body of a 37-year-old football player might say enough is enough, or their skill set diminishes almost overnight.

Saturday was a good signing. No arguments about that. But it’s still going to be business as usual for the Packers at the center position. Saturday will (hopefully) fill in nicely this season and possibly next, but the Packers will still likely draft a center in April, both to solidify the position long-term and provide insurance in case age gets the best of Saturday.

Tim Tebow, Pat Lee/Jarrett Bush, Anthony Hargrove

23

March

Packers Add Free Agent DT Daniel Muir

DT Daniel Muir is the latest free agent signing by the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers have just announced their second free agent signing of the season – defensive tackle Daniel Muir. Here is the information as reported by Packers.com:

Muir, a 6-foot-2, 312-pound fifth-year player out of Kent State, played for the Indianapolis Colts from 2008-11, appearing in 40 games with 26 starts. He posted a career-high 66 tackles (54 solo) and a half-sack for the Colts in 2009.

Muir originally entered the NFL as a non-drafted free agent with the Packers in 2007. He appeared in three games for Green Bay as a rookie in ’07 and recorded eight tackles (four solo). Muir was a four-year letterman (2003-06) at Kent State, playing in 46 games with 45 starts.

It’s clear Ted Thompson has identified the same holes in the team as just about everyone else. With the replacement of center Scott Wells by former Colts player Jeff Saturday, Thompson has now moved onto addressing the gaps in the defensive line. The departure of Cullen Jenkins last season coupled with the disappointing play and four-game suspension of Mike Neal have made the unit rather thin.

Muir is not guaranteed a spot on the roster, but it’s obvious the Packers are taking this need seriously. Thompson doesn’t often dip into free agency outside of his own team, so these last two signings are rather noteworthy.

Expect Thompson to continue to shore up the defensive pitfalls with draft picks in April.

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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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27

August

Packers vs. Colts: Observations from Green Bay’s 24-21 win over Indianapolis

A few observations from the Packers 24-21 win over the Colts:

Speeding things up

The offense again got off to a slow start before resorting to the no-huddle. It seems they lack the rhythm and tempo when they slow it down and stay traditional. Once Mike McCarthy sped things up, the offense began to flow the way everyone expects. On their first hurry-up series, Aaron Rodgers hit Jermichael Finley to cap off a 10 play, 81-yard drive.

I can’t imagine the Packers not using the no-huddle in regular season games, especially if they come out of the gates slow like they historically have. It’s been a good switch up so far.

McCarthy’s finish

I love the way McCarthy went about the final two minutes. He allowed Graham Harrell to run the two-minute drill, which he didn’t have to do. He just as easily could have played that series like normal and let the clock run out. Instead, Harrell put the ball in the end zone on a fourth down throw that reminded me of Rodgers’ strike to Jordy Nelson in the closing seconds of the Packers first game against the Falcons last season. Down two points, McCarthy also could have kicked the PAT and went home. He instead gave his players a chance to win the game. The Packers converted the two points and tied the game.

Following the tying score, McCarthy could have then settled for overtime and kicked off normally. The onside call was genius, however, and it was performed perfectly. M.D. Jennings had the easiest catch of an onside kick I’ve seen. Harrell then marched the team into field goal range and Mason Crosby nailed the game-winner.

I bet his players will love him for it. Maybe not the starters, who likely just wanted to just get out of Indianapolis. But for some of those third-stringers, that could be realistically be the fondest memory they’ll have of their NFL career. I just loved everything about what McCarthy did at the end of the game.

Harrell redeems himself

You have to credit Harrell, who looked pretty bad at times in the second half, for his performance to end the game. He could have just as easily packed it in after a few inaccurate throws and an interception. He got it done when it mattered, and that means something. I still wouldn’t have confidence in him as the No. 2 at this point, but the Packers have a guy they can work with in Harrell.

26

August

2011 NFL Preseason Week 3: Green Bay Packers – Indianapolis Colts Preview: The First Of TWO Trips To Indy?

If the NFL regular season is like a Broadway production, then the third week of the preseason would be considered the dress rehearsal.

For the Green Bay Packers, their dress rehearsal takes place on the same stage they hope to perform their grand finale: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.

Before the Packers can hoist a fifth Lombardi Trophy however, the must play the Indianapolis Colts in their third preseason game.  The Packers are coming off a strong showing from their 28-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals last week and hope to build on the promise that was shown last week.

The Colts in the meantime are without their fearless leader, quarterback Peyton Manning, who continues to recover from offseason neck surgery.   The Colts are concerned Manning’s’ consecutive games streak is in jeopardy and brought in veteran Kerry Collins to lead the first team until Manning returns.

Breaking down the Colts

The Colts are terrible. In  the preseason that is.

For a team that is usually dominant during the regular season, the Colts struggle in the exhibition games. Why? Manning is such a machine that he usually doesn’t need to warm up at all.  The Colts have their offense mainly intact for so long that the players can read each other’s minds in their sleep.

That is how good Manning is.

With a formidable receiving corps including reliable veteran Reggie Wayne, young and promising Pierre Garcon, and dangerous tight end Dallas Clark, the Colts rival the Packers in offensive firepower when  Manning is under center.  Joseph Addai anchors the rushing attack, but this is a team that likes to move the ball through the air. With a solid offensive line, it is very tough to get to a Colts quarterback.

That said, the Packers will face a likely very rusty Collins in this game so they won’t have to worry about facing the four-time MVP unless they meet the Colts again on the same field in Super Bowl XLVI.

The Colts defense has traditionally been their Achilles heel.  Still, Dwight Freeney remains their most dangerous pass rusher.  Robert Mathis is solid along the line as well.  While not the strongest line in the league, the Colts defensive line will provide a challenge to the young Packers charged with protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

25

August

Packers vs. Colts: Things to Watch in Preseason Week 3

There was some audible Super Bowl chatter before the Green Bay Packers took on the Indianapolis Colts last August, but once that nationally televised game was in the books, and the Packers had destroyed the Colts to the tune of 59-24, Green Bay was the talk of the NFL and one of the NFC favorites to play in Dallas that coming February.

Fast forward exactly one year to Aug. 26, 2011, and the Packers and Colts will do the same dance Friday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, a venue where the Packers have never played but that also happens to be the home of Super Bowl XLVI.

The Packers will attempt to acquaint themselves with a building they hope to play in twice this season, but they also want their performance Friday night to be the kind of jumping off point that last season’s dismantling of the Colts was.

The Colts actually raced out to a 17-7 lead at Lambeau Field before quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense took control of the game, scoring three touchdowns in a ten minute span during the second quarter which gave Green Bay a 28-17 half time lead.

Matt Flynn and the backups took over from there, and that’s when the contest really got out of hand. Flynn led the Packers on four scoring drives, including two touchdown passes, and Jason Chery returned a punt 75 yards for the Packers final score. By the time the dust had settled, Green Bay had scored 59 points, a post-merger NFL record  for a preseason game.

Following that performance, the Packers’ Super Bowl bandwagon filled in a hurry. Part of that was due to what the Packers accomplished against the Colts on that August night.

Roughly six months later in Dallas, Rodgers and the Packers handsomely rewarded those who stayed on that bandwagon with a Super Bowl win.

Here are some things to watch in Friday’s game:

Getting a look at the running game

The play of the running backs will be and should be the main focus of most Friday night. The Packers have yet to get a good look at any of their four primary backs—Ryan Grant, James Starks, Alex Green and Dimitri Nance—this preseason, mostly due to either injury or snap count, and the clock is ticking on opportunities.