30

October

Packers Stock Report: The Bears (and the Vikings) Still Suck Edition

Micah Hyde’s punt return for a TD elevates the Packers rookie into this week’s rising category.

The Packers closed down the Metrodome in style Sunday night, bowling over the Vikings and filling the cavernous white bubble with the sweet sounds of Go Pack Go!

Hearing Go Pack Go echoing throughout the Metrodome as the Packers beat the Vikings is one of the best sounds in all of sports. I won’t miss the Dome, but I will miss the times when the Packers play well enough to allow Cheeseheads to take the place over.

Now that the Packers have dispensed of the Vikings and Christian Ponder, it’s on to the Bears and Jay Cutler  Josh McCown. Instead of extending this intro any further, prepare for Bears week by watching this educational and informative video:

On to the stock report:

Rising

Micah Hyde
On his Tuesday afternoon radio show, Aaron Rodgers wondered how Hyde fell to the fifth round in the draft. The rookie is a solid all-around player — a decent tackler, decent cover guy, decent slot blitzer, and now he has a punt return TD under his belt. In a secondary filled with young talent, Hyde is fitting right in.

Mike Daniels
The type of relentless pass rush and the ability to finish a sack once he gets in the backfield is just what the Packers needed this season. Many thought it would come from rookie Datone Jones, but it’s actually coming from Daniels. Daniels added two more sacks on Sunday. Christian Ponder is not a good quarterback, but he is elusive and not easy to bring down. Daniels got him twice.

T.J. Lang
What’s left to say about the interior of the Packers offensive line? Lang has been battling some bruising defensive tackles all season and keeps on winning those battles much more often than he loses. Lang might be a bit undersized, but he’s athletic and excels on combo blocks when he’s asked to get to the second level.

Steady

Jordy Nelson
It’s like Nelson and Rodgers had a devious plan on Sunday night against the Vikings:

Rodgers: “Hey Jordy, instead of getting wide open tonight, just glue yourself to the nearest defender so I can show off by whizzing a pass right by the guy’s ear hole and into your hands.”

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?

19

October

At Home in the Dome: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Hopes to Continue Dominance Indoors

Remember back in the mid-90′s, when every time the Green Bay Packers ventured into an indoor stadium, you knew something horrific was about to unfold? Well, you can stash those memories away. The days when domed disasters were common place are now long gone with Aaron Rodgers under center.

The Packers quarterback has simply taken his game to another level when Green Bay plays in the comfortable conditions of indoor stadiums. In 15 career games indoors, including playoff games, Rodgers has thrown for nearly 4,400 yards with 31 touchdowns and six interceptions. The Packers are just 8-7 in those games, but most of the losses either weren’t Rodgers’ fault statistically or came early in his starting career.

On Sunday in Minnesota, Rodgers aims to continue that streak of statistical dominance indoors as the Packers take on the Vikings at the Metrodome.

Rodgers had one of the best games of his career at the Metrodome last season, as he threw for 301 yards and four touchdowns in the Packers’ 31-3 romp.  The 141.3 passer rating he posted in that game is his highest rating ever in an indoors game.

But it isn’t just the Metrodome. Some of the numbers that you can pick out of Rodgers’ recent run indoors are almost unreal.

If you take away last season in Detroit, when Greg Jennings had a long touchdown pass clank off his hands for an interception and he was knocked out of the game before halftime, Rodgers has 10 straight indoor games with a passer rating of over 110. That includes the Packers last two games at the Metrodome, where Rodgers has thrown for almost 700 yards and six touchdowns.

In his last three games, which began in Atlanta during the Divisional Round and ended in Atlanta this season, Rodgers is averaging 355 yards and has eight touchdown passes.

Even the the top quarterbacks in the NFL today can’t match what Rodgers has done indoors:

QUARTERBACK GAMES TD INT RATING
Aaron Rodgers 15 31 6 113.8
Peyton Manning 111 230 99 98.7
Drew Brees 57 110 63 96.3
Tom Brady 14 29 13 103.1
27

May

Nordic Burial? Why The Minnesota Vikings in L.A. Would Be Bad For The Green Bay Packers

In light of the non-occurrence of the apocalypse this past Saturday, what I am about to write and do may be a sign that the end is indeed near after all.

With the courtroom football dominating the headlines for the NFL for the past couple months, one story has flown under the radar.

This story has a direct impact on the Green Bay Packers as well as the rest of the NFC North—the Minnesota Vikings and the team’s battle to get a new stadium approved by the Minnesota legislature. In these tough times, getting a government to help fund such a deal is a very difficult prospect.

For those who don’t know the whole story, owner Zygi Wilf is desperately trying to get a new stadium built for the Vikings. While the push has been occurring for a few years now, it became all the more urgent with the collapse of the Metrodome’s roof last winter. It remains unclear if the stadium bill will be approved or not.

Should the Vikings not get the new stadium they want, there is growing concern the Wilf family could move the Vikings out of Minnesota to another city, most likely Los Angeles.

Until the team rented Brett Favre from the archives of the Packers, the team was struggling to sell out home games, though the emergence of Adrian Peterson helped fill some seats.

An average NFL fan would assume that seeing Minnesota losing the Vikings would be a cause for celebration and joy Packers fans. Perhaps a fairly large contingent of Cheeseheads would agree.

If that’s the case, then this Cheesehead is not among them.

BLASPHEMY! you say. Not quite. While I agree defending the Vikings is normally a violation of the Ten Commandments of Packer Fandom, this is not a normal situation. In fact, I’d argue that the Packers would actually be hurt by the Vikings leaving Minnesota.

How? Well, first is the long history and strong rivalry between the two franchises. Both teams have been battling for supremacy in the NFC Central and later the NFC North for the past two decades. Favre joining the Vikings in 2009 stoked further an already potent fire. Throw in the fact that both teams are in neighboring states and you have a classic rivalry.