25

October

Packers vs. Vikings Week 8 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 8: Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 3-3 Green Bay Packers 28-17
Adrian Peterson will still have a solid game, but he is going to learn this is not the 2012 Packers defense. Jared Allen is the lone bright spot on an otherwise woeful defense and will challenge David Bakhtiari.  Still, the Vikings are terrible and Green Bay wins this one pretty easily.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 4-2 Green Bay Packers 33-19
If Christian Ponder starts, I think this game will be a little closer than expected. Not that I’m impressed at all, but Ponder has had some success against Green Bay, he’s playing for his job, and the games are always closer in the Metrodome. 
Adam Czech 5-1 Green Bay Packers 27-24
This game is going to be closer than people think. I know, I know. It’s the Queens, and they’re even more of a mess than usual right now, but you don’t lose the caliber of players that the Packers have lost and just waltz into the Metrodome and cruise to an easy win. Adrian Peterson will want to show that he’s still the best RB in the league after a slow last couple of weeks. Christian Ponder will want to show that he deserves his starting job back. Leslie Frazier is coaching for his job. The Packers will win, but expect a battle.
Marques Eversoll 5-1 Green Bay Packers 23-17
Fortunately for the WR-thin Packers, Minnesota’s secondary is atrocious. If the Packers’ offensive line can keep Aaron Rodgers upright, they should have no problem outscoring the Vikings. Ultimately, it’s too much Eddie Lacy, too much Jordy Nelson and too many points for the Vikings to match. However, I do think it’ll be closer than many are expecting. If I were a gambling man, I’d take the Vikings with the points (+9).
Thomas Hobbes 4-2 Green Bay Packers 27-13
I think the biggest concern for the Packers is how well their newbie outside linebackers handle Adrian Peterson, both Mulumba and Palmer graded out negatively against the run last game as both overran running backs trying to get to the quarterback; if they can keep in line with a strong defensive line I think they can hold Peterson to manageable gains.  On offense, Aaron Rodgers will have to continue to make something out of nothing while Eddie Lacy churns out yards
24

October

Packers Stock Report: Greg Jennings Texts Aaron Rodgers Edition

ALLGBP.com intercepted a series of text messages between former Packers teammates Greg Jennings and Aaron Rodgers.

The staff here at ALLGBP.com managed to intercept a series of text messages between former Packers and current Vikings WR Greg Jennings and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. The following is an exclusive transcript of how their chat went down:

Greg Jennings: sup aaron

Aaron Rodgers: Who is this?

GJ: c’mon man. it’s greg. ur old friend!

AR: Greg from 7th grade? The kid who smelled funny and always ate ketchup and mayonnaise sandwiches for lunch?

GJ: nah man! greg Jennings. number 85! my catches got u ur first super bowl ring, remember? #BeGreat!!!!!!!!!!!

AR: Oh. Hi Greg.

GJ: i knew you’d be glad to hear from me again! so…….how r things?

AR: Fine.

GJ: how r my boys james, randall and Jordy? Do they ever ask about me? Do they ever say damn, it’d sure be nice if No. 85 was still around to provide us some tips on how to #BeGreat!!!!!!!!

AR: They’re also fine. And no.

GJ: that’s ok. Im sure they r overwhelmed with gratitude toward me since I decided to leave GB and give them the chance to get out from under my shadow.

AR: I’m sure that’s exactly how they feel, Greg.

GJ: so……how’s the weather in GB? still cold?

AR: Greg, what do you need? I’m busy. I just signed a $131 million contract extension and it’s a lot of work trying to decide how I want to spend all of this disposable income.

GJ: right, right, right. I signed a big contract 2 ya know? did u see that? i’m now the #1 WR on the Vikings!!!! SKOL!!!!!! they play a loud horn whenever i catch a first down!!!

**30 minutes later**

GJ: u still there, Aaron? u must have lost cell reception???????

AR: Greg, you always knew more about technology than me. Can you tell me how to block someone from ever texting me again?

GJ: Sure, just open ur settings, go into users, tap the block button…..hey, wait a minute! ur not trying to block me r u?????

AR: Ummmmm…..no. I’m asking for a friend…..

GJ: lets meet for dinner on Saturday night and I can show you. my treat. we can catch up since it’s been so long since we’ve hung out!!!!

6

January

Packers 24, Vikings 10: Wild Card Game Balls and Lame Calls

Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews and the defense stepped up big and the Packers are on their way to San Francisco.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” or so the saying goes, and the Green Bay Packers got their revenge against the Minnesota Vikings by winning their NFC Wild Card game 24-10 a week after the Vikings beat the Packers 37-34 which cost Green Bay a first round bye.

The Packers spotted the Vikings an early field goal as the Vikings marched down the field. Some fans began to experience a sense of déjà vu as the Packers went three and out on the following drive.  Thankfully that malaise didn’t last long as the Packers got into the end zone on the next drive and went up 7-3.

Green Bay never looked back as they got to Vikings quarterback Joe Webb and raced out to a 24-3 lead that held throughout most of the second half and gave up a touchdown pretty much in garbage time as the score settled to 24-10 as time expired.

Here are the good and the bad for the Packers in the victory that eliminated the Vikings.

Game Balls

LB Erik Walden

It was not even a week ago that the Packers allowed Adrian Peterson to run all over them, but the Packers put forth a much better effort Saturday and Walden was a big part of it.

Walden was credited with one sack and two tackles for a loss but he was constantly in Webb’s face and had one of his best games in a long time. Walden can be inconsistent but if he can warm up for this playoff run, then the Packers will have yet another weapon to go alongside Clay Matthews at the linebacker position.

He’ll have a tougher time against the 49ers but the game against the Vikings should be a big confidence booster for Walden.

RB DuJuan Harris

Harris’ emergence late this season has all but guaranteed him a roster spot going into training camp this summer, but Harris is now making a case to be the Packers starting running back and there’s really no reason he couldn’t be.

5

January

Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 24 MIN 10

Erik Walden

Erik Walden

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:

My unfitered game day running blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today:  WR Jarrett Boykin; CB Davon House; RB James Starks;LB Frank Zombo; WR Donald Driver; DT Jordan Miller; DE Jerel Worthy

Inactive for Vikings today:  QB Christian Ponder, WR Stephen Burton, OT Troy Kropog, DE George Johnson, DE D’Aundre Reed, LB Tyrone McKenzie, CB Brandon Burton

 

Game Notes:

It’s come to this: inactive for a home playoff game. Gotta feel bad for Donald Driver…

Vikings throw a  monkey wrench into the Packers defensive game plan – Christian Ponder inactive.

Packers are 2-4 in their last six home playoff games. In all six of those game, the opposing team scored on their first possession.

16 of the last 21 Packers – Vikings games have been decided by seven points or less.

———————————————

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Ponder: Joe Webb – very athletic QB. Had some time to look at him during the week, even today as it became more apparent he will play.

back-to -back same opponent: In a lot ways, we feel we’ve had 2 weeks to prepare for this game. QB change is an adjustment for our defense.

Stopping AP: Good solid run defense. It’s about us. We’re at home, it’s about the mission we have before us.

Scheme: Run defense is not a one man deal. If you watch our DL line play, they played very well, but it takes a lot more than that. Everybody has to tackle, and they will tonight

Ross: Both Cobb and Ross will get some work in the return game tonight

Offensive Strategy:  We don’t want to be one dimensional. We’re not going to come in here and throw the ball 50 times. That’s not in the best interest of our football team.

Dujuan Harris: He’s going to start tonight as far as getting the first carty and then we’ll see how it goes. it’s all about riding the hot hand.

Special teams coverage: We had one or two individuals who just didn’t do their job properly. I’m confident our play on special teams will be better tonight

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5

January

Packers vs. Vikings Wild Card Round Game Predictions from AllGBP.COM (with Podcast)

GAME PREDICTIONS
Wild Card Round: Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 11-5 Green Bay Packers 21-13
Adrian Peterson runs for over 100 but under 200. Ponder makes the mistakes he didn’t last week and the Vikings struggle outdoors. Tramon Williams redeems himself and the Packers go on to San Francisco.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 10-6 Green Bay Packers 27-17
The Vikings had almost everything go right for them last week and played about as well as they can (and still almost lost). If these two teams played five times, the Packers would win four. So the Vikes got their one last week. The Packers show who the big dog is with a solid win at Lambeau.
Adam Czech 12-4 Green Bay Packers 31-20
I’m going to the game. I paid lots of money for my tickets. I live in Minnesota. If the Packers lose, all of my friends, family and colleagues that just realized Minnesota had a professional football team will drive me insane. If I go insane,  I likely will do something that results in me going to prison. I’ll probably get thrown into a Minnesota prison, where my fellow inmates will likely continue making fun of me. This can’t happen. The Packers will win.
Marques Eversoll 12-4 Green Bay Packers 31-17
I think the Packers win by doing what I thought they’d do last week. Adrian Peterson will get his yards, but the Packers will contain him just enough to get the win. Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield will be in a cast, and if he’s not at 100 percent, the Pack’s passing attack should have no problem scoring points. I’ll be at Lambeau, so this needs to be a Packers win. To be honest, I don’t know if I can handle another one-and-done in the playoffs.
Thomas Hobbes 11-5 Green Bay Packers 27-17
I think who ever has to the answer to this question win the game: Can the Packers stop Christian Ponder?  Let’s just admit that just as the Vikings have no chance at stopping Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have no chance at stopping Adrian Peterson.  However, the Packers have proven stopping Adrian Peterson and winning the game are not mutually exclusive (week 13, Peterson’s numbers: 210 yards, 1TD).  If the Packers can get the lead early and force the Vikings to lean on Ponder I think they can win easily.  Adrian Peterson has proven he can carry a team, Ponder hasn’t yet.
5

January

Now a Veteran, Newhouse’s Play is Key to Packers Playoff Run

Marshall Newhouse and Jared Allen

Marshall Newhouse vs. Jared Allen will go a long way in determining the Packers’ fate on Saturday night.

If the Packers’ offensive line holds up, Aaron Rodgers and his (finally) healthy wide receivers should be able to score at least 30 points against the Vikings on Saturday night.

If the Packers put up 30, do we really think the Vikings – with Christian Ponder at quarterback – can once again score more than 30 and beat the Packers in a shootout for the second consecutive week? This time on the road, outside, on grass, in freezing temperatures?

I doubt it. Even if Adrian Peterson goes off again, it’s still going to take another strong game from Ponder for the Vikings to top 30 points.

But back to the Packers’ offensive line. We didn’t hear Marshall Newhouse’s or Jared Allen’s name called often during Sunday’s game. That’s because Newhouse was quietly doing a good job blocking Allen.

Newhouse has had his bad moments this season, but for the most part, he’s been decent. If what he did on Sunday against Allen is any indication of how he will perform in the playoffs, the outlook for the Packers’ offense is bright.

Don Barclay has boosted the Packers’ running game since taking over at right tackle. Pass protection has been a different story, especially on Sunday when Everson Griffen and Brian Robinson got around Barclay for sacks.

With three sacks, a hit, and a hurry allowed (to go along with two penalites) Pro Football Focus gave Barclay a -3.1 grade, the lone Packers’ lineman to grade out negatively. Barclay also had a -3.1 grade in week 13 against Minnesota.

If Newhouse holds up on the left side, and the pass protection can be shifted to focus on helping Barclay, that should go a long way in keeping Rodgers upright and giving him time to play pitch-and-catch with his healthy receivers against an outmanned Vikings’ secondary.

But if the Vikings’ front four gets to Rodgers and gets to him early, we could see a repeat of what happened against the Giants in last season’s divisional round: an outmanned Giants’ secondary bolstered by a pass rush that overwhelmed the Packers’ offensive line and rattled Rodgers.

To me, it all hinges on Newhouse. Newhouse is no longer the inexperienced guy on the line who is trying to find his way and doing his best to survive. That guy is now Barclay (and Evan Dietrich-Smith, I suppose).

3

January

Soft Zone or Blitz? What Will Packers DC Dom Capers Do?

Christian Ponder - Packers Blitz

Will Packers blitz Christian Ponder?

Now that we’ve dissected the “Peterson Problem” here and here, it’s time to turn to the guy who really won the game last week for the Vikings: Christian Ponder.  The Packers made a huge mistake by being passive and letting Ponder get comfortable. This was the exact opposite approach they took against Ponder in the first meeting of this season.

Rightfully so, Packers fans are up in arms again over Dom Capers’ use of the soft zone / 3-man rush last week, specifically on 3rd downs. The one play that has caused the most consternation was the 3rd and eleven with 2 minutes left in the game. Capers went to the three man rush with only one DL. With no pressure, Ponder found the soft spot in the zone for a 25-yard completion that kept the Vikings game-winning drive alive.

While one could argue that Casey Hayward did not execute his drop properly, thus creating the open area, this is not just about one play. Throughout the game, Capers kept the blitz in his pocket, especially on third downs.

Keven Seifert of the ESPN NFC North Blog uncovered some very pertinent statistics from the Packers – Vikings two meetings this season (full article here):

Overall, the Packers sent 5 or more pass rushers after Ponder 60% of the time in Game 1, and only 44% in Game 2. But wait, that’s not even the good part:

In their first meeting, the Packerblitzed Ponder a whopping 75% of the time on third down. Ponder’s resulting cumulative QBR rating on those down was a horrendous 5.5.

In last week’s game, the Packers blitzed Ponder only 25% of the time on 3rd down.  Ponder’s resulting cumulative QBR on those plays was a whopping 98.6.

Think that made a difference in the result?

Adrian Peterson had pretty much the same performance in both games. The difference was Ponder. Why was Ponder different? The Packers allowed him to be.

Here’s hoping the defensive game plan more resembles the first time around…

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.