8

August

OK – I’ve Officially Had Enough of Greg Jennings

Greg Jennings Farewell Newspaper Ad

Click for larger image.

Greg Jennings – I remember when we used to think you were  a classy guy. Why are you now trying so hard to disprove what we believed to be true?

You won a Super Bowl with the Packers and in the resulting Sound/FX video, we hear you agonizing with great emotion over the final plays of the game.  In your nervousness, you seemingly can’t stop talking, as the defense proceeded to stop the Steelers and close out the game. It seems like you haven’t stopped talking since.

Perhaps the Super Bowl was the inception of your apparent jealousy of the attention bestowed upon Aaron Rodgers.  After all, it was YOU who made the fantastic catch for a TD. It was YOU who scored two TDs in that game. Yet Rodgers got the accolades, Rodgers got the MVP, Rodgers got the car, Rodgers got the trip to Disneyland. And it burned away at you, didn’t it Greg? Think of what your next contract demands could have been with a Super Bowl MVP cred?

Oh well, at least you were “the man” among the receiving corps, right? But then 2011 happened and Jordy Nelson’s breakout year left you second on the team in receptions and yards. Even worse, Nelson became the recipient of most of the deep throws, you biggest source of glory. Damn, that hurt.

And then the fateful 2012 season. the Packers offered you more money than you eventually accepted from the Vikings, but it wasn’t enough. You felt slighted.  You kept talking back then about having to move on for the good of your family. You put your house up for sale the week the Packers season was over. You couldn’t wait to get out.

It didn’t help that there was a new kid in town stealing your targets – Randall Cobb. And that James Jones was catching all those TD passes.  You missed half the season with injuries, but when you did play, you felt you weren’t being thrown to enough. Rodgers had new favorite receivers, you thought. You never said that, but your sister went on a rant about Rodgers not throwing to you enough. We all know where she got that idea, right? You obviously had expressed those feelings to her.

21

October

Know Your Packers Enemy: Previewing Packers – Vikings with Max Ginsberg

In this week’s installment of “Know Your Packers Enemy,” I talked with Max Ginsberg of Purple Pants, Green Jersey, a blog dedicated to news and information about both the Vikings and Packers. Max also writes on occasion for Cheesehead TV. He’s a great follow on Twitter (@MaxGinsberg) for news and opinions on both franchises.

Enough with the intros, let’s get to some Packers-Vikings talk.

ZACH KRUSE: The big news this week is the transition from Donovan McNabb to Christian Ponder at quarterback. McNabb has historically done well against the Packers, but I think we could all see that this move needed to happen sooner rather than later. What are some of the pros and cons of the Vikings’ decision to start the rookie this week?

MAX GINSBERG: I don’t see much of a negative side to this one. The worst-case scenario entails Ponder falling flat on his face and the Vikings completely tanking; in which case, the Vikings would secure a top pick in next year’s quarterback-heavy draft. On the other hand, the move to Ponder has a lot of benefits. It satisfies a fan base that (aside from one golden year with Favre) has suffered through mediocrity at the quarterback position for a long time, and it could also reenergize a team that could use a lift. The Metrodome is a crazy place where anything can happen; why not turn to a rookie quarterback and give the Vikings coaching staff a chance to see what he can do? And while one player is not going to make-or-break the team’s chances on a new stadium, the move to Ponder shows the state of Minnesota that the Vikings are looking to the future. In return, the Vikings are hoping the state ensures that future is in Minnesota by building the team a new stadium.

ZK: C John Sullivan was a no show at practice on both Wednesday and Thursday, and T Phil Loadholt missed Wednesday and was limited Thursday. Their injury statuses could be something to watch with a rookie quarterback preparing to make his first start. How big of losses would those two be if they can’t go?

17

October

McCarthy: Packers Won’t Overlook Struggling Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers are just two years removed from playing a pair of games that essentially decided the NFC North in 2009, but the franchises couldn’t have veered in more different directions since then.

The Packers rebounded from two crippling losses to Brett Favre in ’09 to win the Super Bowl last season, and they’ve started 2011 with six straight victories. Green Bay is the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL and the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season.

The Vikings, on the other hand, went through a circus year in 2010 which saw them stumble to a disappointing 6-10 record. Things haven’t gotten better this season under coach Leslie Frazier, as the Vikings are fresh off a 39-10 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bears which dropped them to 1-5.

But despite everything suggesting an easy path for Green Bay to get to 7-0 this week in Minnesota, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is standing firm that Sunday isn’t a game that his team will overlook on the schedule.

“We’re not overlooking the Minnesota Vikings, I can promise you that,” McCarthy said during his Monday press conference. “The Vikings are a different team in the Metrodome than they are on natural grass. Hard lesson this team has learned in years past.”

The Packers have won three of the past five games at the Metrodome, including a 31-3 win there last season. The two losses during that stretch came in ’09 when the Vikings beat the Packers, 30-23, on Monday Night Football, and in ’08, when Adrian Peterson’s late touchdown run gave the Vikings a 28-27 win.

The Vikings quarterback situation is as foggy this week as it was at times during the 2010 season, when Favre was hurt for most of the year. Minnesota has started 34-year-old Donovan McNabb, whom they traded for this past offseason, in each of the Vikings first six games. But he’s struggled mightily at times, and McNabb has just a 82.9 passer rating with four touchdowns so far in 2011. In the second half Sunday night, Frazier pulled McNabb in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, and the first rounder showed some poise behind the Vikings leaky offensive line. Ponder saw both his drives end with completions short of the sticks on fourth down, but he finished the night 9-of-17 for 99 yards and wasn’t sacked.