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

Surviving Sunday with no Packers football.

Surviving Sunday with no Packers Football

I published my way-too-early Packers 53-man roster and depth chart prediction on Thursday. Now it’s time for some way-too-early predictions of the entire 2012 NFL season. I’m guessing my mind will change about several of these predictions between now and the period of time where it is no longer way too early to make these sorts of predictions, but for now, here goes nothin’.

Super Bowl
Steelers 34, Packers 27

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions

Defensive Player of the Year
Patrick Peterson, CB, Cardinals

Rookie of the Year
Trent Richardson, RB, Browns

Coach of they Year
Mike McCarthy, Packers

Dark-Horse Super Bowl Pick
Eagles 27, Chiefs 24

Dark-Horse MVP Pick
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

Most Disappointing Team
New York Giants

Most Disappointing Player
Andre Johnson, WR, Texans

Player that Becomes a Star
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals

First Coach Fired
Jason Garrett, Cowboys

Ted Thompson speaks, OTAs, Dancing Donald Driver

  • Ted Thompson spoke with Rob Reischel on a variety of topics in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. You can tell Thompson is a scout at heart. He gives longer answers and even a little bit of insight on questions about the scouting process, and pretty much blows off questions about the draft, contracts and team building.
  • OTAs started this week….yawn. When I become emperor of the universe, one of the first laws I will force upon the people is a ban on all media coverage of OTAs. Unless someone blows out his knee, there is never any news worth reporting at OTAs. You see the same stories ever year: (Insert name of young player) looks much improved. (Insert name of guy coming off injury) looks healthy and ready to go. (Insert name to team troublemaker) looks extra focused and less selfish. And on, and on, and on……
  • I’ve never watched a second of Dancing with the Stars in my entire life, but I couldn’t resist tuning in when I noticed Twitter blowing up about the forthcoming final results announcement. I flipped it on just in time to see Donald Driver declared the winner, roll around on the floor like he was on fire, and celebrate with his extremely attractive dancing partner. I was very happy for Driver, but my attention during the 60 seconds I was tuned in remained mostly on Driver’s extremely attractive dancing partner.


The Contenders: Reviewing the Packers Competition for the Top Seed in the NFC

Could Alex Smith meet Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship game?

The Green Bay Packers haven’t hosted a playoff game at Lambeau Field since losing to the Giants in the NFC Championship on Jan. 20, 2008. After a 7-0 start, the Packers have some people whispering about going undefeated.

Barring injury, the Packers are more talented than any of their remaining opponents. But can they go undefeated? That’s a tall task.

The Packers toughest tests will come after the bye when they travel to San Diego, on Thanksgiving against the Lions, at the Giants and at home against the Bears and Lions.

Lets say the Packers end up 13-3. Would that be good enough for the No. 1 seed in the NFC and homefield throughout the playoffs? I think so. The Saints could give the Packers a run, but Green Bay already has the tiebreaker advantage. San Franscisco and Detroit are still…well, San Francico and Detroit. Both are improved, but not at the Packers’ level. The Giants only have two losses, but they face a brutal schedule down the stretch.

Packers fans should plan on skipping their January house payment. There’s a good chance that money would be better spent on NFC Championship game tickets at Lambeau.

Record: 5-1
Projected finish: 12-4
Even if you don’t think the 49ers are for real, they still could end up 12-4. I guess it depends how you define for real. If for real means beating the mediocre and bad teams on your schedule, the 49ers are for real. If it means rising up and winning a game or two that you’re not supposed to, I’m not sure the 49ers qualify.

Assuming the 49ers just beat the teams they’re supposed to, they’ll get wins over Cleveland, Washington, Arizona (2), St. Louis (2), and Seattle. According to my Morrison County math, that’s 12-4.

Could the 49ers get the No. 2 seed in the NFC? The Aaron Rodgers-Alex Smith-Mike McCarthy storyline would make for an intriguing NFC championship.

Record: 5-2
Projected finish: 12-4
How tough is the rest of the Saints schedule? Depends what you think of Atlanta. The Saints play them twice. How about Detroit and Tampa Bay? The Saints play both at home. Will Tennessee be any good by week 14? The Saints play the Titans on the road. The Saints also travel to St. Louis and Minnesota, host the Giants and finish with Carolina at home.