12

January

2012 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Divisional Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2012 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-9)
Kris Burke Broncos Broncos
“Jersey” Al Bracco Broncos Ravens
Adam Czech Broncos Broncos
Marques Eversoll Broncos Broncos
Thomas Hobbes Broncos Broncos
Jason Perone Broncos Ravens
Chad Toporski Ravens Ravens
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3)
Kris Burke 49ers 49ers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Packers Packers
Adam Czech Packers Packers
Marques Eversoll Packers Packers
Thomas Hobbes Packers Packers
Jason Perone 49ers 49ers
Chad Toporski 49ers Packers
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)
Kris Burke Falcons Falcons
“Jersey” Al Bracco Falcons Falcons
Adam Czech Seachickens Seachickens
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Seahawks
Thomas Hobbes Falcons Falcons
Jason Perone Falcons Falcons
Chad Toporski Seahawks Seahawks
Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-9.5)
Kris Burke Patriots Texans
“Jersey” Al Bracco Patriots Texans
Adam Czech Patriots Texans
Marques Eversoll Patriots Patriots
Thomas Hobbes Patriots Patriots
Jason Perone Patriots Patriots
Chad Toporski Patriots Texans

Current Standings:

Kris Burke, 5-3
“Jersey” Al Bracco, 8-0
Adam Czech, 6-2
Marques Eversoll, 5-3
Thomas Hobbes, 3-5
Jason Perone, 3-5
Chad Toporski, 6-2

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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4

January

2012 NFL Playoffs Predictions, Wild Card Round: AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
2012 NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Round
Name Straight Up Against the Spread
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-4.5)
Kris Burke Texans Texans
“Jersey” Al Bracco Texans Texans
Adam Czech Texans Bengals
Marques Eversoll Texans Bengals
Thomas Hobbes Texans Bengals
Jason Perone Texans Texans
Chad Toporski Texans Texans
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
Kris Burke Packers Packers
“Jersey” Al Bracco Packers Packers
Adam Czech Packers Packers
Marques Eversoll Packers Packers
Thomas Hobbes Packers Packers
Jason Perone Vikings Vikings
Chad Toporski Packers Vikings
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-6.5)
Kris Burke Colts Colts
“Jersey” Al Bracco Ravens Ravens
Adam Czech Ravens Colts
Marques Eversoll Colts Colts
Thomas Hobbes Colts Colts
Jason Perone Ravens Colts
Chad Toporski Ravens Colts
Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins (+3)
Kris Burke Redskins Seahawks
“Jersey” Al Bracco Seadogs  Seadogs
Adam Czech Seachickens Seachickens
Marques Eversoll Seahawks Seahawks
Thomas Hobbes Redskins Redskins
Jason Perone Redskins Redskins
Chad Toporski Seahawks Seahawks
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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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31

October

Around the NFC North in Week 9

Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North in week 9

Week 9 brings us to the start of the 2012 season’s second half.  Quick trivia:  Which is the NFL’s only division with three teams over .500?  You’re correct if you guessed the NFC North.  Let’s dive into the matchups around the division this week.

Chicago Bears (6-1) at Tennessee Titans (3-5)

The Bears are rolling, the Titans are not.  About the only thing in Tennessee’s favor this week is that it’s a home game.

The Bears narrowly escaped with a home win over Carolina while Tennessee came up just short against the Indianapolis Colts in overtime.  As the saying goes, good teams find a way to win and Chicago keeps doing it week after week.  They find themselves alone in 1st place atop the NFC North.

Tennessee has had solid play from backup QB Matt Hasselbeck in place of injured Jake Locker.  Hasselbeck will start Sunday against the Bears.  Unfortunately, Hasselbeck is the only Titans player who has played well consistently and the team has not been able to string consecutive wins together.

Titans RB Chris Johnson has flashed some of his vintage self lately, but not enough to put the team on his back.  The Bears are giving up a stingy 77 yards/game rushing and Johnson will be the focal point of their defensive game plan.

The big focus for the Titans and Hasselbeck is taking care of the football.  Chicago has mustered 16 interceptions in 7 games this season and they lead the league in takeaways.  They are also a top-scoring defense so they are making those turnovers count.  Hasselbeck has thrown four interceptions compared to six touchdown passes.  His task will not be an easy one this Sunday.

For the Bears, the game plan is simple:  run to daylight.  Tennessee is surrendering 140 yards/game on the ground and the Bears happen to have a guy named Forte on their side.  I’m no fantasy football expert but I say: start Forte!  If Chicago builds a solid lead, you’ll see a good dose of Michael Bush as well.

While the rest of the North needs the Bears to slow down a tick, it likely doesn’t happen this week.

26

September

September 24, 2012: The Day The NFL Died

RIP NFL: 1921-2012

My friends, we gather today to mourn the passing of a close friend.

It was a friend that many almost considered a big brother.  It was a close friend of millions of people in multiple countries around the world.   While it was a product of the United States, it transcended nationality.  It truly was a universal language.

Of course, it had its flaws.  Nothing and no one on this earth is perfect.  We accepted those flaws and figured that those in charge of its caretaking would always keep its best interests at heart when trying to fix those flaws as well as any other urgent need that would arise.

Sadly, around four weeks ago, many of us saw trouble ahead for our dear National Football League.  The regular officials were locked out by the league under the leadership of Commissioner Roger Goodell.  We were told a deal would be coming and that the replacement officials would not be used more than a couple of weeks.

So the games went on and we as fans continued to watch.   As the young season progressed, warning signs began to emerge. Players were taking blows to the head and defenders were not being flagged for it, despite the NFL allegedly cracking down on such hits.  Holding and blatant pass interference ignored, giving quarterbacks a kicking ball, forgetting which teams are playing (“Holding, number 93 red”), awarding extra yardage and timeouts….the list goes on.

Finally, this past Monday night the fatal blow came and personally it hurt more than any of the other botched calls because it cost my beloved Green Bay Packers a game.  M.D. Jennings clearly had the ball on the final Hail Mary and Golden Tate only had one arm on it after throwing Sam Shields to the ground in yet another blatant pass interference non-call.

Chaos ensued as one official signaled for a touchdown and the other signaled a touchback.  The subsequent review somehow confirmed the ruling.  The official in the booth was a full time NFL employee and he got it wrong, probably to save his league more embarrassment.  It’s a shame.

Commissioner Goodell has always said he puts the integrity of the NFL above all else.  He said it last year when the players were locked out and he repeated the same thing this year with the referee lockout.  You know what defines someone as insane? Repeating a lie or fantasy so much that the person becomes convinced that it is real.

25

September

Green Bay Packers Deserve The Victory They Earned

Packers vs. Seahawks "Fail Mary"

The Packers earned a victory and nothing less.

These last 24 hours have been so surreal, I don’t think my adrenaline has stopped pumping at full blast since before kickoff. Time seemed to slow down as I waited in intense anticipation for the Green Bay Packers to take on the Seattle Seahawks in what I figured to be a great football game.

Could I have been more wrong?

It started off with Aaron Rodgers and his offensive line giving up eight sacks in the first half. Eight! Then, the previously contained passing game of Russell Wilson fired off a long touchdown, with errors in the secondary. I was so livid, I could have screamed bloody murder. The game plan for the offense was all wrong, and the defense was briefly exposed by a rookie quarterback.

But I persevered and stayed to watch the second half. Fortunately, Mike McCarthy finally realized the error of his ways and made offensive adjustments that started to get the chains moving.  Things were looking up.

And then it all came crashing down with the officiating. I don’t need to go into the details, because I’m sure we’ve all read about as much as we’re capable of today.

Yet, even after the “Fail Mary,” things continued to get my blood boiling. Watching the Packers have to trot back out as slaughtered lambs to play the extra point. Hearing Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson talk about how well they performed at the end to get the win. Seeing the response by the NFL in support of the final touchdown call.

The icing on the cake, though, goes to all those Packers fans and Packers haters who seem to think the Packers should have won despite the officiating.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY!?

I actually visited this issue after the Packers-Cardinals 2009 playoff game, when missed calls seem to cost Green Bay the overtime win. Here’s a little bit of what I said:

Now let me get this out of the way before I continue: I make no excuses for the Green Bay Packers and the way they played this game. Each team earned their score going into overtime, and if the Packers would have secured the ball better in the first quarter and played better on defense, then perhaps they wouldn’t have been in that situation.

24

September

Packers vs. Seahawks – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: SEA 14 GB 12

Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks:

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

Inactive for Packers today:

11 WR Jarrett Boykin
28 S Sean Richardson
31 CB Davon House
44 RB James Starks
56 LB Terrell Manning
57 LB Jamari Lattimore
83 TE Tom Crabtree

Notes:

What was supposed to be a meeting of mentor (Aaron Rodgers) and student (Matt Flynn) got sidetracked by rookie Russell Wilson.

Seattle will try to pound Marshawn Lynch and give Wilson favorable down and distance situations.  How many yards does Marshawn Lynch get tonight? The Packers would be happy keeping him to 100 yards.

Crabtree out – there goes the special teams secret weapon…

 

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Packers – Bears: It’s going

Long week: We had a very  good week of preparation, from the practices to the meetings today – we’re ready to go.

Self scouting: We made a big improvement from week 1 to week 2.  Special teams has been the best unit over the two games, offense stayed about the same. defensively we made the biggest improvement. 2 games is a small  sample size, so we can’t overreact.  We had an extra padded practice this week – that’s always beneficial.

Crowd noise: Ilook at it as a focus of our football team – it just tightens our focus. Whether it’s silent count, hand signals, whatever we’re doing, we practice it continually. We have a quarterback that won’t get rattled. We’ll handle it.

Concerns about offense:  It’s important for us to improve. Point production is our focus, whether we do it through the run or the pass.

Greg Jennings: Jennings is up – I’m confidant he’ll take a full dose of snaps tonight.

Seattle QB situation: Product of 2 young players competing for the position. Yesterday’s games, watching the NFL, you just don’t know what to expect. That’s the NFL.

Wilson: He’s a very talented young man. Definitely played better in week two, running the ball helped. he did a nice job playing from the pocket. I was impressed with him in week 2.

Marshawn Lynch: We have a lot of respect for Marshawn. being with him at the Pro Bowl, that’s just heightened. He’s the focal point for our defense tionight.

21

September

2012 NFL Regular Season Week 3: Packers – Seahawks Preview

Clay Matthews

Will this be a familiar scene for the Packers once again on Monday night?

The Green Bay Packers are back on track.

After the opening day letdown against the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers rebounded nicely last Thursday against the archrival Chicago Bears with an impressive 23-10 victory.  The Packers sacked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler seven times and intercepted him four times.  Clay Matthews continued his resurgence with 3.5 sacks, although he arguably could have had more.

Monday night, after a quasi-bye week with having 11 days between games, the Packers play their first road game of the 2012 regular season and make a trip out west to face the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

Last week, the Seahawks handily defeated the Dallas Cowboys 27-7.  Marshawn Lynch ran for 129 yards (with 100 yards coming in the second half) and rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was much better than he was in Week 1 finishing 15-20 for 151 yards and one touchdown.  More importantly, Wilson did not turn the ball over.

Let’s take a closer look at this week’s opponent

Scouting the Seahawks

When the 2012 regular season schedule was released, many members of Packer Nation had this game circled as a big one.  It was expected that former Packers backup Matt Flynn, who signed with Seattle in the offseason, would get to face off against mentor Aaron Rodgers in a classic student/teacher battle.

Unfortunately, Wilson wanted nothing of it.  The rookie out of (ironically) Wisconsin beat Flynn out in training camp and the quarterback duel Packer fans wanted to see suddenly went up in smoke.

This isn’t to take anything away from Wilson, however.  Despite his 5’11” stature, Wilson is a mobile quarterback and as he displayed last week is very efficient with the ball and he is not making the stupid mistakes other rookie quarterbacks usually make in their first few games.

Wilson’s targets include Golden Tate and Sidney Rice.  Rice gave the Packers fits when he played for the Vikings with Brett Favre at quarterback, but the receiver has had trouble staying healthy ever since.  He is expected to play in this game.  Tate is a speedster and could also provide trouble for the Packers’ young secondary.