30

November

Packers Stock Report: Time to Prepare for the NFL Draft Edition

Not even a mustachioed Aaron Rodgers would have saved the Packers on Thanksgiving.

Would Aaron Rodgers even be able to save this Packers team?

The former MVP can cover up a lot of blemishes, but I don’t think even he could patch up the festering wound that is 2013 Green Bay Packers.

The Packers can’t tackle, cover the middle of the field, prevent big plays, get off the field on third down, contain the run, pass block, pass, or stop Jeremy Freaking Ross on special teams.

Yeah, I know. If Rodgers turns just one of the Lions turnovers into a touchdown and a two-score lead in the first half, the entire game changes.

But even if he did that, the Packers defense was so overmatched that I don’t think it would have mattered.

I could go on and on wondering if having Rodgers would have mattered on Thanksgiving, but it’s a pointless exercise. At this point, Packers fans are better off just preparing for the NFL draft in April.

On to the stock report:

Rising

Nobody.

Steady

Sam Shields
Shields had absolutely no chance stopping the slant to Calvin Johnson, but neither does anyone else when they’re lined up one-on-one against one of the best receivers of all time. When Johnson and Matthew Stafford challenged Shields down the field, the free-agent-to-be stood strong and even out-battled Johnson for an interception in the end zone.

Clay Matthews
We haven’t seen him dominate a game for four quarters since returning from a broken thumb, but he’s making something happen every now and then.

Josh Sitton
Kudos to Sitton for calling the Lions a bunch of names before the game. Extra kudos to Sitton for standing behind what he said after the game. I never understand why we ask athletes questions, then get mad when they either a) give an honest answer like Sitton did or b) recite some mind-numbingly boring cliche. I’ll take open and honest over boring and cliched any day.

Mason Crosby
No offense to Crosby, but I’m sick of seeing him in the rising or steady categories. When a kicker or punter ends up in one of these categories, it means there aren’t many offensive or defensive players playing well.

29

November

Packers Mike McCarthy a Modern-Day Nero: Fiddles while Green Bay Burns

Packers Coach Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy: Fiddle Player

Mike McCarthy is widely praised for his calm demeanor and approach to head coaching.  Never one to fly off the handle, McCarthy soldiers on with his plan, come hell or high water. Despite the team collapsing around him, McCarthy refuses to panic or take drastic measures in an attempt to turn things around.

In some cases, and definitely right now, that’s much more of a negative for the Packers than a positive.

When “Stay Calm and Carry On”  isn’t working, sometimes you have to say f**k it and go kick some guys in the ass.

The Packers were a complete embarrassment to the organization in front of a national audience yesterday. Actually, last Sundayalso, but they caught lightning in a bottle and lucked out a tie against the lowly Vikings.

When your players come out and lay eggs several weeks in a row, who’s responsible? Ultimately, it’s the head coach’s job to have his players ready to play. McCarthy has failed in that department.

But our star quarterback is injured!!!  He provides the motivation. Hearing a lot of that on twitter.  Folks, if Packers players need their quarterback to provide motivation to block and tackle and play hard, it’s a sad state of affairs.

And in effect, it is.

Sure there have been other injuries, and I admittedly have used that myself as a reason to give them a pass for most of this season, but not anymore. Today the Packers actually got three starters back on defense; Shields, Jolly and Perry.

It didn’t matter. They were gashed as badly as any defense I’ve ever seen. The front seven seemed to be moving in slow motion in comparison to the Lions. When they were in reach of Bush or Bell, it was like they were waving at ghosts. Even the arm tackles were hitting nothing but air.

Special teams were just as bad, with the man Mike McCarthy cut, Jeremy Ross, adding some embarrassing insult to injury to the head-hanging Packers.

On offense, I was optimistic when McCarthy threw a couple of screen passes during the first series. Seemed like he had a plan for slowing down the Lions’ rush that would soon register 7 sacks. He didn’t – we never saw another screen the rest of the day. If I’m wrong about this (I did miss a few plays) someone please correct me.

29

November

Packers Season is Flatlining

Tramon Williams

Things really came unraveled on Thanksgiving in Detroit. Tramon Williams is seen here as he shoves a referee

Another Thanksgiving Day game between the Packers and Lions is in the books, only this one didn’t turn out anywhere close to what most Packers fans expected.

Some expected the Packers to win and held out hope that quarterback Matt Flynn could carry over his brilliant play from last week against the Minnesota Vikings.  Some expected the Lions to win a hard-fought game against a short-handed and down-but-not-out Packers team.

The latter scenario played out, but only in the Lions winning the game.  This was not a hard-fought effort by the Packers and they are both down and out right now.  Out to lunch, that is.  The on-field performance by Green Bay in all phases today flat-out sucked and was, in a word, horrible.

More sloppy play, communication breakdowns, missed tackles and a major lack of execution hampered the Packers as the Lions pulled away comfortably in the second half and on their way to a 40-10 victory.  It was Detroit’s first win on Thanksgiving Day since 2003.  What a nice 10-year anniversary gift from the Packers to the Lions, eh?

To those who still want to say that the missing link to this team is Aaron Rodgers and that when he returns, everything will be just fine, I say “wake up”.  Things are anything but fine in Green Bay right now.  If you think I’m overreacting, feel free to stop reading.  Also, go watch today’s game again, it its entirety and without skipping any snaps.  I’ll wait.

Every team has a bad day, a bad game.  Sometimes a team just comes out flat and gets beat.  As is often said, “the other guys are getting paid too” and we have to admit that our team, our beloved team, was outplayed.  Today, the Packers got wedgied.  Embarrassed.  Punked.  Used and abused.  The list goes on.  This wasn’t simply an anomaly.  It was the culmination of an entire month of uninspired and bad football.  From the offense to the defense and special teams as well, this Packers team has been hard to watch.

Minus the second half of last week’s tie with the Vikings, the Packers have shown zero signs of life and aren’t even a shell of what they were before Rodgers was hurt.  How can one player, even Aaron Rodgers, make such a grand-scale difference to this team?  Rodgers doesn’t play defense so why has that side of the ball slid into the slums of the NFL rankings?

27

November

Packers vs. Lions: Keys to the Game

Matt Flynn

“Matt, we both need you to do this one more time!”.  Flynn will make his third lengthy appearance against the Lions in the past four seasons

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving and while this past month hasn’t been what many had hoped, at least we only have to wait a short four days between games!  That also means our schedule at ALLGBP.com is accelerated so this is our version of the two-minute drill.

The Green Bay Packers have been tabbed for yet another Thanksgiving Day showdown with the Detroit Lions.  Since 2001, the Packers have faced the Lions in this matchup in every odd year with the exception of 2005.  Green Bay has won all but one of those games, dropping the 2003 contest to the Mike McMahon-led Lions.  Since then, the Lions are winless on Thanksgiving Day.  So here we are, ten years later and the stage could be set for Detroit to break their Turkey Day slump.

The Packers made yet another quarterback change this past week, inserting Matt Flynn over Scott Tolzien, in order to spark the Green Bay offense.  It worked.  The Packers came back from a 23-7 deficit to tie the game and force overtime.  Both teams managed only a field goal and the game ended in a tie.  It was the first game, under the new overtime rules, that both teams kicked a field goal.

With the Lions falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (more like collapsing), the tie actually moved the Packers a half-game closer to the division lead.  That makes this week’s matchup all the more important for both teams.

Let’s look at some of the major headlines that will likely emerge in this week’s contest.

Matt Flynn until Rodgers is Ready

After signing a free agent contact with the Seattle Seahawks, being beaten out for the starting job by rookie Wisconsin boy Russell Wilson, being traded by the Seahawks to the Oakland Raiders, losing his starting job to Terrell Pryor (Big 10 conspiracy?), being cut and signed by the Buffalo Bills only to be cut weeks later, Flynn is right back where he began his career.

What a carousel and through the process, Flynn made a lot of money but raised many questions about his ability and health.  Why was he unable to maintain a starting role or stick with some of these teams who have not had much recent success?  Even Reggie McKenzie, who was very familiar with Flynn from his days in Green Bay, pulled the plug on the experiment in Oakland.

27

November

Packers vs. Lions Week 13 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 13: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 6-5 Detroit Lions 27-20
Matt Flynn gets the start but Sam Shields is really the one everyone needs to see start.  If he can’t go, the Packers stand no chance of shutting down Calvin Johnson.  Even if Shields does play, I lack confidence in the Green Bay defense to stop the Lions
“Jersey” Al Bracco 5-6 Green Bay Packers 20-17
Can the beleaguered Packers defense play a decent game? Well, they get their best coverage guy, Sam Shields back as well as an emotional leader Johnny Jolly. Will it be enough? Probably not. But I’m betting on the longshot here.  
Adam Czech 8-3 Detroit Lions 31-20
Too many injuries. Too many missed tackles. Too many blown coverages. Too much nonsense. The Packers lose on turkey day.
Marques Eversoll 7-4 Detroit Lions 27-21
Fans across America will surely be at the edge of their seat Thursday, as Matt Flynn leads the low-scoring Packers offense against the pass-happy Lions. But. There’s just no way.
Thomas Hobbes 5-6 Green Bay Packers 16-14
In terms on talent on the field, there’s no way that the Packers should win this game.  However, the Lions are incredibly inconsistent and if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can beat them, so can a injury riddled Packers squad.  Matt Flynn keeps the defense honest and gives Eddie Lacy some more room to run, and the Packers play keep away and squeak out a win.
Cory Jennerjohn 8-3 Detroit Lions 31-23
The Lions are giving just 88 yards rushing a game, which means the biggest matchup of the day will be Matt Flynn vs. the nasty Lions’ front four that has 16 sacks as a group. The Lions already smell chum in the water with the way right guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Marshall Newhouse are playing. Reggie Bush will have a big game because no linebacker will be able to stay with him.
Jason Perone 7-4 Detroit Lions 21-20
8

October

Packers Stock Report: Back on Track Edition

Jordy Nelson vs. Detroit Lions

Jordy Nelson- “He will bring it down”

The Packers took a big step in the right direction this week with a boring, but thorough beating of the Lions. The Packers won the game where they haven’t won many lately – in the trenches.

The offensive line, especially the interior three, showed what they are capable of, going up against some of the toughest, baddest (over-rated?) hombres in the NFL and controlling them for pretty much the entire game.

The defensive line was stellar; something we first saw in the preseason and it has been consistently good four games into the season.

So let’s take a look at who’s trending and in what direction after Sunday’s game:

Rising

T.J. Lang
When matched up against Ndomukong Suh and the other bruising interior defensive linemen for the Lions, Lang did exactly what needed to be done: Control their pursuit upfield and use their own momentum against them to create running lanes. It was the second straight solid performance from Lang against a group of elite interior defensive linemen.

Josh Sitton
After a horrible opener against the 49ers and battling back problems against Washington, Sitton has played a key role in shutting down Geno Atkins and quieting Ndomukong Suh. Thanks in part to Sitton’s efforts, the Packers are fifth in the league in rushing and Aaron Rodgers has had a pretty clean pocket to step into. Moving Sitton to the left side has paid off so far.

Jordy Nelson
You could put any of the three receivers in the rising category. I chose Nelson because his toughness is second to none. It doesn’t matter if he’s covered on the sideline or absorbing a big hit over the middle, Nelson makes the catch, then gets up and does it all over again. He hasn’t busted out the Jordy Stiff Arm yet this season, but the Jordy-Makes-a-Miraculous-Catch-With-a-Defender-Draped-All-Over-Him-as-he-Falls-Out-of-Bounds plays have more than made up for it.

Steady

Evan Dietrich-Smith
If we’re going to give Sitton and Lang props for controlling some monster defensive tackles over the last few weeks, it’s only fair that we show Dietrich-Smith some love too. The free-agent-to-be is putting together a nice little season so far. Nothing spectacular, but more than holding his own against some quality interior defensive linemen.

7

October

Poll: Are the Packers a Good Team Playing Mediocre or Just a Mediocre Team?

Packers WR Jordy Nelson hauls in a pass against the Lions

After the Packers yawner of a win over the Lions on Sunday, I keep asking myself one question: Are the Packers a good team playing mediocre or just a mediocre team?

Let’s take a look at the case for each:

Good team playing mediocre

  • The Packers are 2-2 despite another barrage of early-season injuries, playing a good chunk of two games without Clay Matthews and dealing with the loss of Eddie Lacy and Jermichael Finley early in two other games.
  • As I was writing this, reports surfaced that Matthews has a broken thumb. Well, Nick Perry and Mike Neal showed signs of life on Sunday after Matthews went out. Can they keep improving and fill in at least somewhat admirably if Matthews is out for a while , or, gulp, the rest of the season?
  • Hey, a running game! Eddie Lacy was one yard away on Sunday from giving the Packers their third straight 100-yard rusher.
  • Dropped deep passes from Ryan Taylor and James Jones made the Lions win seem much more ugly than it actually was. If one of those plays goes for a TD, do the Packers blow away the Lions and we all leave that game feeling better about the state of the team?
  • If the Packers set their mind to stopping a certain aspect of the other team’s offense, they’ve done it. Shut down Colin Kapernick’s and Frank Gore’s running, corral RG3, contain A.J. Green, bottle up Reggie Bush. Done, done, done and done.
  • Mason Crosby is actually making field goals.

Mediocre team playing mediocre

  • The Packers are 2-2. A .500 record is the very definition of mediocrity.
  • If so and so didn’t drop this pass or such and such made that play….Teams that are better than mediocre don’t have to worry about those “what if” questions. They just make the damn play.
  • The Packers two wins have come against a gimpy RG3 and a Lions team playing without Calvin Johnson. Big whoop.
  • There’s no rhythm on offense. Unless Rodgers is throwing deep to a WR who makes a circus catch, the offense is predictable and boring.
  • Someone needs to tell Mike McCarthy that with Lacy, he finally has a RB that gives him a chance on third down. Lacy was on the bench twice during third-and-short situations on Sunday.