17

October

Packers Stock Report: Beating the Super Bowl Champions Edition

Morgan Burnett brings down Ray Rice and plays a key role in a second quarter goal line stand for the Packers.

Every year the NFL schedule comes out and we try to boldly declare which teams have tough schedules and which teams appear to have a bunch of patsies and a clear path to the postseason. Every year our analysis is wrong and what once looked like a tough or easy schedule in July is completely the opposite come October.

The Packers appeared to have a nasty schedule initially, but the outlook isn’t so bad now. The Vikings are terrible, the Giants stink, the Steelers are bad, the Lions are the Lions and the Falcons are regressing. There isn’t another game on the schedule where I’d say the Packers are an obvious underdog.

Of course, that could all change in another couple weeks if any of the aforementioned teams get back on track.

The stock report is kind of the same way. Who knew that someone like Mason Crosby would make the steady category two weeks straight and A.J. Hawk would be a riser after week six?

Onto the stock report:

Rising

Morgan Burnett
Mr. Burnett earned that fat new contract he got this offseason during the Packers goal line stand in the second quarter against the Ravens. The free safety was in on three tackles during that key series of plays, including a stop on 3rd and 1 where he out-maneuvered ace blocking back Vonta Leach before bringing down the ball carrier.

A.J. Hawk
Remember when we couldn’t figure out why Ted Thompson cut Desmond Bishop and kept Hawk around? After three sacks on Sunday,
Hawk is having one of the best stretches of his career while Bishop tore his ACL and is out for the season. Chalk up another one in the smart move column for Thompson. (Side note: Best of luck to Bishop. He seems like a great guy who has experienced terrible luck these past two seasons. Here’s hoping you get another shot down the road, Desmond, and have better luck staying healthy.)

Eddie Lacy
Saavy investors bought stock in Lacy a few weeks ago. I’m always a little hesitant to put rookies in the rising category — especially a rookie running back on the pass-happy Packers — but Lacy belong here after a steady game against Detroit and strong finish on the road to help close out Baltimore.

19

April

Packers Schedule Analysis: The March to 16-0 (but probably 11-5 or 10-6)

Ryan Pickett

Look how happy Ryan Pickett is about the Packers 2013 schedule being released.

The 2013 NFL schedule was released Thursday night and it included three Sunday night games and a Monday night game for the Green Bay Packers.

You can view the entire Packers 2013 schedule here. You can view the entire NFL 2013 schedule here.

Here’s everything else you need to know about the Packers 2013 schedule (or at least everything I could think of and lift from other people on Twitter):

  •  The Packers once again open the season against the 49ers, this time on the road. We’ll find out right away if Dom Capers has learned how to stop Colin Kaepernick and the read-option.
  • Need an excuse to eat turkey for breakfast? The Packers play the Lions at 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving. I say stuff your face with food early, watch the game, then eat leftovers for dinner.
  • Let’s hope the Packers injury luck is better than last season. Green Bay’s bye comes in week four. That’s early.
  • We’ll find out a lot about the Packers right away. Their first three games are against 2012 playoff teams (@49ers, vs. Redskins and @Bengals).
  • After those first three games, the Packers get a bye, play a non-playoff team (the Lions, who are barely an NFL team, let alone a playoff team) and get right back into the grind with a week six matchup against the Super Bowl champion Ravens.
  • Plenty of variety in kickoff times. The Packers have seven noon games, four night games, four 3:25 p.m. games and 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving.
  • The Packers play three night games in 22 days (Oct. 27 @Vikings, Nov. 4 vs. Bears and Nov. 17 @Giants).
  • There are no back-to-back road games for the Packers.
  • Greg Jennings will return to Lambeau Field wearing a Vikings uniform in week 12 on Nov. 24.
  • The last three games could be brutal for the Packers: @Cowboys, vs. Steelers and @Bears.
  • The last seven Super Bowl champions played the NFC East. The Packers play the NFC East this season. Hmmmm….
  • Based on the schedule, it sounds like Packers training camp will open on Friday, July 26.
  • My wife and I are supposed to have our first child on Oct. 5. It looks like we may have to induce labor during the bye week to ensure that we don’t miss any Packers games.
18

April

Green Bay Packers 2013 Schedule Announced

2013 NFL regular season schedule

The NFL has released the 2013 regular season schedule

After a two-day delay, the NFL has finally released the 2013 regular season schedule of games.  Here is a look at the Green Bay Packers regular season schedule:

The Official 2013 Schedule of the Green Bay Packers:

GREEN BAY PACKERS
2013 SCHEDULE
Date Opponent Time TV RESULT
PRESEASON
Fri., Aug. 9 Arizona Cardinals 7:00 p.m. State
Sat., Aug. 17 @ St. Louis Rams 7:00 p.m. State
Fri., Aug 23 Seattle Seahawks 7:00 p.m. CBS
Thu., Aug. 29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 7:00 p.m. State
REGULAR SEASON
Sun., Sep. 8 @ San Francisco 49ers 3:25 p.m. FOX
Sun., Sep. 15 Washington Redskins 12:00 noon FOX
Sun., Sep. 22 @ Cincinnati Bengals 12:00 noon FOX
Sun., Sep. 29 BYE
Sun., Oct. 6 Detroit Lions 12:00 noon FOX
Sun., Oct. 13 @ Baltimore Ravens 12:00 noon FOX
Sun., Oct. 20 Cleveland Browns 3:25 p.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 27 @ Minnesota Vikings 7:30 p.m. NBC
Mon., Nov. 4 Chicago Bears 7:40 p.m. ESPN
Sun., Nov. 10 Philadelphia Eagles 12:00 noon FOX
Sun., Nov. 17 @ New York Giants 7:30 p.m.* NBC
Sun., Nov. 24 Minnesota Vikings 12:00 noon* FOX
Thu., Nov. 28 @ Detroit Lions 11:30 a.m. FOX
Sun., Dec. 8 Atlanta Falcons 7:30 p.m.* NBC
Sun., Dec. 15 @ Dallas Cowboys 3:25 p.m.* FOX
Sun., Dec. 22 Pittsburgh Steelers 3:25 p.m.* CBS
Sun., Dec. 29 @ Chicago Bears 12:00 noon* FOX
POSTSEASON
HOME AWAY
All times indicated are Central
*Start time and broadcast may shift due to NFL flexible scheduling

Home Opponents:

  • Chicago Bears (NFC North)
  • Detroit Lions (NFC North)
  • Minnesota Vikings (NFC North)
  • Atlanta Falcons (NFC South)
  • Cleveland Browns (AFC North)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North)
  • Washington Redskins (NFC East)

Away Opponents:

  • Chicago Bears (NFC North)
  • Detroit Lions (NFC North)
  • Minnesota Vikings (NFC North)
7

April

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

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

I love Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Even if he was terrible at his job, which thankfully he isn’t, I would still love him.

While a bunch of other teams are out signing free agents that most NFL fans recognize and know, Thompson signs Loyce Means, a cornerback who most recently played in the Canadian Football League. A couple weeks ago, Thompson signed an Italian kicker named Giorgio Tevecchio.

While fans of the 49ers get to embrace Nnamdi Asomugha, Packers fans take to Google to try and figure out who in the hell Loyce Means is.

While Vikings and Dolphins fans get excited about signing Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace, respectively, Packers fans are left trying to figure out who (or what) a Giorgio Tevecchio is.

Sometimes I wonder if Thompson signs these unknown guys just so he can see how crazy it might drive some Packers fans. I know that’s not the case, but it’d be funny if it was.

I think by now a lot of Packers fans get Thompson. Not all of fans, but a lot. They might not agree with his strategies, but they at least get him.

That’s progress, right?

Or am I wrong?

Do the fans who didn’t get Thompson from the beginning still not get him now?

Whether you get him or not, do you find it as amusing as I do when he signs one of these unknown guys while the rest of the league signs marquee names?

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • Now a contract extension is apparently close to being done for Clay Matthews. Supposedly, a contract extension was “close” for Aaron Rodgers a few weeks ago. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Blah, blah, blah. Let me know when both players actually sign on the dotted line and the Brinks truck is actually pulling into each player’s driveway to deliver the signing bonus.
  • This is a must-read from Tom Silverstein at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the Packers’ sound management of dead money in the salary cap. I can’t even remember the last time the Packers were in salary cap hell. How many other NFL teams can say the same thing?
  • If you haven’t voted for the Packers’ Final Four, be sure to do so here – voting closes at midnight tonight.
29

November

Despite not Meeting Fan Expectations, These 2012 Packers are still damn good

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

The current Green Bay Packers are not ready for a Super Bowl run. In fact, the team that was just annihilated by the New York Giants last Sunday night would likely struggle to make the playoffs.

Decimated by injuries, the Packers have been forced to plug inexperienced young players into key roles and shuffle veterans into new positions. And yet, the show must go on.

Currently sitting at 7-4, every single one of the Packers’ preseason goals remains attainable. So why does it seem like the 2012 season has been a disappointment? Because the last two seasons, in their own way, have altered fans’ expectations.

Coming into 2012, the Packers’ aspirations were as lofty as any team in the NFL.

After all, the team went 15-1 in the regular season following their Super Bowl XLV victory. The reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers was on their side, along with an explosive set of wide receivers and one of the best coaching staffs in football.

So in 2012, the division was theirs to lose, a playoff berth was expected, and another trip to the Super Bowl was on the horizon.

But in week one, the Packers ran into a buzz saw from San Francisco. Playing at Lambeau Field in front of a revved-up fan base, the seemingly invincible Packers were beaten in every facet of the game. Some fans panicked, and their expectations changed.

Then, after a week two victory over the Chicago Bears, the Packers struggled mightily in Seattle against on Monday Night Football. The controversial ending is well-documented, but in reality, the offensive line allowed eight sacks and Rodgers failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since Halloween of 2010.

Where was the explosive offense of 2011? The Packers were 1-2 through three games, and fans started reaching for the panic button.

The Packers barely beat the New Orleans Saints in week four, before traveling to Indianapolis. For the first time this season, the Colts took to the field without head coach Chuck Pagano, who had been diagnosed with leukemia. Green Bay rushed out to a 21-3 halftime lead, but the Colts didn’t panic.

Behind Reggie Wayne’s 13 catches and 212 yards, Indianapolis rallied to win the game. It was a great story for Colts fans, but a gut-wrenching loss for the Packers.

9

November

Looking at the Packers Remaining Schedule after the Bye Week (with podcast)

Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers celebrate after a 72-yard touchdown to Tom Crabtree against the Arizona Cardinals.

Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers celebrate after a Tom Crabtree TD against the Arizona Cardinals.

Coming into the season, there were a couple stretches that appeared difficult on the Packers’ schedule.

The first tough part of the Packers’ schedule began on opening weekend, while the second challenging stretch figured to be coming out of the bye week.

In week one, the San Francisco 49ers came to Lambeau Field and controlled the game from the kickoff, as the 49ers’ stout defense completely shut the Packers down. The Packers were 0-1, and the schedule didn’t get any easier.

———————————————–

Listen to the accompanying podcast using the player below or  download the podcast from itunes.

Listen to internet radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio

———————————————–

The Packers were, again, playing at home in week two. This time, against a hungry and much-improved Chicago Bears team. Tramon Williams caught as many passes as Brandon Marshall, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers continued his dominance against Jay Cutler, confusing the Bears quarterback into four interceptions and a 28.2 passer rating.

Now back to .500, the Packers traveled to Seattle to play the Seahawks on Monday Night Fotoball. The Seattle crowd was, as usual, extremely loud, helping the Seahawks blow past the Packers’ offensive line for a season-high eight sacks. We all know how the game ended–the Packers won the game…except they didn’t.

Fans were outraged as the Packers sat at 1-2 with the New Orleans Saints coming to town in week four. The Packers offense got back on track against the lowly Saints defense, as Rodgers threw for 319 yards and four touchdowns.

The first “tough stretch” of the season was in the books, and the Packers were 2-2.

The schedule appeared to lighten up over the course of the next several games, but the very next week, the Packers blew a 21-3 lead over the Indianapolis Colts and fell below .500 once again. After their loss at Indianapolis, the Packers have won four straight games, defeating the previously-unbeaten Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals.

So, here they are.

The Packers are 6-3 at the bye week, trailing the 7-1 Chicago Bears in the NFC North division. While the Bears may have the best defense in the league through the first half of the season, they’re entering a challenging two-game stretch against Houston and San Francisco. So looking ahead, the Packers could have an opportunity to pull even with Chicago in the coming weeks.

9

October

Packers at 2-3: Looking ahead at the rest of the season

Rodgers and the offense have time to right their wrongs.

Rodgers and the offense have time to right their wrongs.

Looking at the schedule before the season, I thought the Packers would be 5-0 at this point. Instead, the team sits at 2-3 with a tough matchup next week against the undefeated Houston Texans.

Through five games, the offense has yet to score 30 points in a single game, while the defense has been up-and-mostly down. Sure, there have been some bright spots, but the outlook for the rest of the season looks cloudy at 2-3.

And immediately following the Packers’ unexpected loss to the Colts on Sunday, much of Packer Nation reached for the panic button. There’s certainly reason for frustration after blowing a 21-3 halftime lead, but the Packers have time to right their wrongs.

The season is still young, Packers fans. Back off that cliff, don’t jump just yet.

1) There were plenty of positives from the first half vs. Indianapolis.

It’s a distant memory after an atrocious performance in the second half, but the Packers’ first half against the Colts was their best 30 minutes of football of the season. Overall, the team looked a lot like the 2011 team that went 15-1.

Aaron Rodgers was sharp, the receivers (for the most part) caught the ball, and the defense held the Colts to just three points.

The offense consistently sliced through the Colts defense, with John Kuhn, James Jones and Randall Cobb each finding the endzone. And defensive end Mike Neal made his presence felt early, sacking Andrew Luck in his return from a four-game suspension.

Watch the first 30 minutes of the game, and your stance on the current state of the Packers will be pretty optimistic. Just make sure you don’t watch the second half.

2) An (unexpected) win next week at Houston would mask this loss.

Before the season, I predicted the Packers to go 13-3. One of the three games I predicted them to lose was week six at Houston. The Texans boast one of the strongest defenses in the NFL, as well as perhaps the most balanced offense in football.

Surely, the Texans will be favored next week on Sunday Night. But if the Packers are able to pull off the upset, it could very well be the turning point of the season.