17

December

Packers Stock Report: Win and the Packers are in Edition

Packers QB Matt Flynn all fired up after learning he made it in this week’s rising category.

The Packers win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday was their best victory since winning Super Bowl XLV.

Sure, the Packers won 15 games and lit up scoreboards all over the NFL in 2011, but none of the 15 triumphs was as fulfilling as Sunday’s comeback over America’s (Most Annoying) Team.

Yes, the Packers persevered through a bunch of injuries and won a playoff game in 2012, but even the postseason win wasn’t as awesome as what happened in the Jerry Dome on Sunday.

Now that Justin “Robo Leg” Tucker connected on a 61-yard field goal that put the Packers back in control of their own destiny, the Frozen Tundra is buzzing about a possible repeat of 2010′s late-season magic. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before that happens, though.

Can the defense get it together for a full game? As the Packers offense goes, so goes the defense. If the offense sputters for more than a half, can the defense pick up the slack?

Will Dr. Pat McKenzie clear Aaron Rodgers? C’mon, Doc. Rub some dirt on the QB’s collarbone and let him play.

What’s wrong with Clay Matthews? The team’s second highest paid player can’t win a one-on-one matchup to save his life right now. He showed some burst when he rushed from the middle linebacker slot on Sunday. Perhaps that will get him going.

Who made this week’s Packers Stock report? That’s the most important question of them all. Let’s find out:

Rising

Matt Flynn
I was convinced that it was Tolzien Time at halftime on Sunday. Flynn’s release is so slow and everything he does seems to be a half-second behind where it needs to be. I thought McCarthy might give Tolzien and his stronger arm with a quicker trigger another shot after the first half debacle, but he stuck with Flynn, changed the gameplan around, and pulled out a victory.

Eddie Lacy
Lacy might not be able to run away from defenders, but he makes defenders want to run away from him with how hard and physical he runs.

15

December

Packers vs. Cowboys – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 37 DAL 36

Jarrett Bush breaks up a pass against Dallas.

Jarrett Bush breaks up a pass against Dallas.

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys:  2013 Game 14

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

Aaron Rodgers was held out of this game and he is pissed about it.  Packers always err on the side of extreme caution with injuries, ironic since they always seem to have so many.

With Taylor and Tretter out, that leaves Sherrod and Newhouse as the 2 OL subs. That means Newhouse at guard again if something happens to EDS. Oh dear…

Dallas has the worst defense in the league, and the fourth-worse since 1935 in terms of yardage given up. Time of possession could be a big factor in this game.

The last time the Packers won in Dallas was 1989.

 

Today’s captains for the Packers: - T/G Don Barclay (offense), LB A.J. Hawk (defense) and S Sean Richardson (special teams).

 

Inactives for today’s game:

 

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers

12 QB Aaron Rodgers
51 LB Nate Palmer
65 G Lane Taylor
73 G/C JC Tretter
85 TE Jake Stoneburner
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy

10 QB Matt Flynn will start for Rodgers.

Dallas Cowboys
17 WR Dwayne Harris
23 S Jakar Hamilton
24 CB Morris Claiborne
50 LB Sean Lee
54 LB Bruce Carter
56 DE Martez Wilson
75 T Darrion Weems

32 CB Orlando Scandrick starts for Claiborne, LB 52 Justin Durant moves from strong side to middle to start for Lee, 51 Kyle Wilber takes Durant’s normal strong-side spot, and 59 LB Ernie Sims starts for Carter.

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

(sorry – missed most of it…)

MM: 

Guys in trenches will be critical/ability to get ball in space is where big plays will happen.

Flynn brought consistency and flow to the offense…does a great job…playing to strengths.

 

 

———————————————

 

Packers vs. Cowboys – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win toss and defer.

Well that was awful coverage by Tramon and too late help from Burnett on a 27yd completion from Romo to Williams.

Josh Boyd showing up early – big tackle for loss.

How do you see the blitz, make your adjustments and you still look caught by surprise and take a sack? Can someone explain that?

15

December

Packers vs. Cowboys Week 15 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 15: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 8-5 Dallas Cowboys 23-17
Both defenses are terrible but the Packers will have a tougher time with Romo and Dez Bryant than Dallas will with Flynn. Packers lose but it’ll be close.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 6-7 Green Bay Packers 34-31
The Packers will need to score in the thirties to beat the Cowboys. Fortunately, the Dallas defense has been the worse in the league this year. Matt Flynn just needs to be efficient and the defense needs two to create 2 big turnovers.
Adam Czech 9-4 Dallas Cowboys 34-16
The Packers are going to need to score at least 30 points to win this one. Yes, the Cowboys defense is bad, but the Packers only managed to put up 22 at home against a bad Falcons D last Sunday. The Cowboys speed on offense will be too much for the Packers defense at the Jerry Dome and Dallas wins this one going away as Aaron Rodgers collarbone continues healing on the sideline.
Marques Eversoll 8-5 Dallas Cowboys 27-24
Sean Lee isn’t quite as valuable to the Dallas defense as Aaron Rodgers is to the Green Bay offense, but both units are significantly downgraded without their star players. Because of the Cowboys’ porous defense, I think it’ll come down to the wire before Dallas wins a close one.
Thomas Hobbes 6-7 Green Bay Packers 20-17
This game mostly goes back to consistency; if the Cowboys haven’t fixed whatever it was that let the Bears dismantle them last week then the Packers have a shot if the offense can keep the game close. Hopefully last weeks win galvanizes the team and they can grind out another win.
Cory Jennerjohn 10-3 Green Bay Packers 24-20
The Packers defense has been an eyesore this season but the Cowboys D might actually trump them in ugliness. Many are scared with Matt Flynn starting again, but as long as the Packers own the time of possession and don’t allow Dez Bryant to have an All-Galaxy performance, Green Bay should win.
Jason Perone 8-5 Dallas Cowboys 27-14
15

December

Packers vs. Cowboys: Keys to the Game

Tony Romo

This guy needs to be on the Packers defense’s most wanted list this Sunday

The Green Bay Packers return to the site of their most recent Super Bowl victory this Sunday: Dallas, Texas and AT&T Stadium (Texas Stadium).  This Packers team looks quite a bit different than the one from three years ago, the biggest difference being that Aaron Rodgers won’t be at quarterback for the Packers.

It was announced on Friday that Rodgers has been ruled out for this week’s game.  Matt Flynn will get another start for the Packers.

As much success as Green Bay has had, as a franchise, over the past two decades, this is a venue that has brought a lot of pain and heartbreak.  The last time the Packers beat the Cowboys in Dallas, Brett Favre was still in college.  So was Emmitt Smith.  It was December 24, 1989, Troy Aikman’s rookie season.

Since then, Green Bay has lost nine straight in Dallas.  Favre never won in Dallas in a Packers uniform.  Rodgers has only played in and appeared in one such game, in late 2007.  Rodgers came in for Favre, who was hurt and played nearly the entire second half.  It was Rodgers’ “coming out” party and even though the Packers didn’t win, they saw what they had in their young backup.  Less than a year later, Favre was a New York Jet and Rodgers was Green Bay’s starting quarterback.

While these are vastly different teams that travel to Texas, I have to wonder how much the mystique of such a long losing streak has on a team.  Just look at the Detroit Lions when it comes to playing at Lambeau Field.  And that’s a divisional matchup to boot!

Somehow, and despite not winning five of their last six games, the Packers are still very much alive in the race to win the NFC North.  With just three games left and a half game between themselves and the Lions and Chicago Bears, Green Bay can’t likely afford many more losses.  I’m speaking purely from a mathematical standpoint there.  In theory, they need to win all three from a record and a confidence point of view.

With Rodgers out, the Pack face another uphill battle to get a tough road win.  Let’s look at the areas that likely factor into this week’s outcome.

11

December

Around the NFC North: Week 15

Around the NFC North

Last week did little to clear up the NFC north divisional race

A snow-filled weekend brought about three very entertaining games in the NFC north.  The Detroit Lions visited the Philadelphia Eagles in a scene right out of any backyard in the Midwest or East Coast on a snowy day.  Just before game time, snow piled on Lincoln Financial Field.  The sidelines and yard markers had to be shoveled clean so players and officials could determine where the boundaries were.  Detroit seemed to have an early handle on how to play in the white stuff but in the end, the Eagles came back and pulled away for their fifth straight win.

The Minnesota Vikings went to Baltimore to face the Ravens in another snow globe game.  Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered what is being reported as a foot sprain early on, but Minnesota hung with Baltimore all day long.  The game saw five lead changes in the final two minutes, which is a new NFL league record.  In the end, the Ravens scored a game-winning touchdown on an acrobatic catch by Marlon Brown to seal the win.

The Green Bay Packers hosted the Atlanta Falcons and earned a 22-21 victory, sealed in the last seconds by an interception by Jarrett Bush.  Yes, you read that correctly, Jarrett Bush.  The Packers also benefited from the Falcons tripping over themselves as sure-handed receiver Harry Douglas dropped what would have been a first down conversion to help move Atlanta into realistic position to kick a game-winning field goal.  The win stopped a five-game winless streak.

Lastly, the Chicago Bears hosted the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night football, although they were not very gracious hosts.  Freezing temperatures coupled with a lights-out offensive output by the Bears led to an easy 48-25 win over Dallas.  The win evened Chicago with the Lions for first place in the north while the loss put the Cowboys one game behind the division-leading Eagles in the east.

Chicago Bears (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-9)

The Browns nearly defeated the New England Patriots in New England.  It would have been the first time the Browns beat the Patriots in New England since 1992.  The irony there is that the Browns head coach at the time was Bill Belichick, current Patriots head coach.  Cleveland fell to 4-9 and all but eliminated themselves from playoff contention, although they are still mathematically alive.

8

November

Packers are Rebuilding on the Fly

After dismantling the Cowboys on Sunday night, the Packers go into their bye week with a 6-3 record and in first place in the NFC North. It is not surprising that the Packers are in this position – many predicted they would win the division and maybe even reach the Super Bowl – but it is surprising how they got here.

Most observers thought Aaron Rodgers and an elite offense would carry the Packers and make up for an inconsistent secondary and spotty pass rush. That has not been the case. Due to injuries and inconsistency, the offense has sputtered and the defense – specifically the secondary and a pass rush led by Clay Matthews – can take credit for a lot of the Packers success thus far.

The stars have been complemented by a surprising group of unproven rookies and backups that has filled in admirably for injured starters. Raise your hand if you predicted the Packers would use a combination of high-profile stars, late-round draft picks and waiver-wire castoffs to be the best team in the NFC North after nine weeks? If your hand is raised, use it to slap yourself for lying.

Nobody could have predicted how the Packers got to where they are today, but one publication came close…sort of.

The Football Outsiders predicted the Packers to win the NFC North, but also called 2010 a “rebuilding year” for the green and gold. Most people equate rebuilding with losing, but the Outsiders defined it a little differently in the Packers’ case.

Writing in the Football Outsiders 2010 Almanac, Bill Barnwell called the Packers a good team with an odd mix of emerging young stars and proven, but aging, veterans. Barnwell breaks the Packers into two groups: Favre era players that are 30 years old or older (Chad Clifton, Donald Driver, Al Harris, Ryan Pickett, Charles Woodson and Mark Tauscher) and the “Rodgers Gang,” which are all 27 or younger (Nick Collins, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, Matthews, BJ Raji and Rodgers).

Barnwell contends that it is dangerous to rely so heavily on the older players from the Favre era. These veterans could “fall off a cliff” at any time due to injury or the natural regression of players once they reach a certain age. Barnwell also opined that Ted Thompson’s whiffs in the first and second round of recent drafts (AJ Hawk, Justin Harrell, Pat Lee) would make it difficult to replace anyone from the Favre era.

17

November

Green Bay Packers Ride the Dallas Cowboys Out of Town – 3 Reasons to Smile

Hold on everybody, the Packer rollercoaster season is only in mid-ride. Just when most Packer fans were ready to bail out of the car, the season swooped up to it’s highest point so far. The amazing win against the formerly on-a-roll Dallas Cowboys has left Packer fans everywhere just a bit giddy.

So what changed? What was responsible for the 180 degree turnaround from the putrid performance in Tampa? Specifically, what three things put a smile on my face?

1. Mike McCarthy had a good game plan and called a good game – for a change. As critical as I have been of his coaching, I have to give him credit. Here are some of the things he did that I liked:

a) The running game. For once, Mike McCarthy ran the ball throughout the entire game, never abandoning it as he is so inclined to do. . The Packers running backs ran the ball 23 times for 90 yards, an average of 3.9 yards. You wouldn’t call that great, but it was enough to help keep the Cowboys honest. A good number of draw plays were called, again to keep the Dallas defensive linemen from committing all-out to the pass rush. Seems like a simple concept, but one that often eludes the Packers head coach.

b) Screen passes: The Packers ran 5 screen plays, and while the average gain was not great, it would have been much better if the first screen to Ryan Grant hadn’t been nullified by a penalty. Not to mention if Chad Clifton could just throw a block in the open field. On two quick screens to his side, Clifton had but one Dallas player to block and the Packers would have had large gains, as there were no other defenders in sight. Instead, he whiffed twice and the Packer running back was tackled for a loss or no gain.

And let me also add here that the Packers fool no one when they run a screen. They are very poor at disguising it. You can see the opposing players running to the ball carrier before the ball is even thrown. Perhaps if the Packers keep running it, practice will make perfect.