19

October

Packers vs. Rams Week 7 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 7: Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 3-3 Green Bay Packers 34-17
The Pack is for sure back as they finally beat a team that they’re supposed to beat. Rodgers keeps rolling and the defense eats up a weak Rams offensive line.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 2-4 Green Bay Packers 31-13
the Rams can’t score, the Packers defense is a pass rush threat once more and Aaron Rodgers has found his mojo. Not a good recipe for St. Louis.
Adam Czech 3-3 Green Bay Packers 27-17
The Rams have talented and physical CBs and an elite pass rusher. It’s a formula that gives the Packers fits. But the Packers have too many weapons to be shut down for an entire game. Sunday won’t be a cakewalk, but it’ll be a victory.
Marques Eversoll 3-3 Green Bay Packers 28-13
The Rams have a good defense, with a capable pass rush and physical corners on the perimeter. Cortland Finnegan makes a living by getting inside the head of wide receivers, but I think Jordy Nelson & Co. will keep their cool. Call me crazy, but I think Jermichael Finley has a big week for the Pack. They move to 4-3.
Thomas Hobbes 3-3 Green Bay Packers 35-16
Which Packers team will show up, the one that went to Houston or the one that went to Indianapolis?  Probably neither, I doubt they will be as abysmal as they were against the Colts or as dominant as they were against the Texans.  I think the Packers are going in the right direction, but it will probably take a game or two before things start clicking on a consistent rate.  Overall, I think the general flow of the game will be the Packers score touchdowns while the Rams score field goals.  As long as the Packers defense doesn’t give up yards and points in bunches and the offensive line doesn’t give up sacks in bunches the Packers should win this one.
Jason Perone 1-5 Green Bay Packers 27-17
18

October

Around the NFC North in Week 7

Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North in week 7

Let’s take a look at the matchups at hand in week 7 and around the NFC North.

Detroit Lions (2-3) at Chicago Bears (4-1)

The Chicago Bears come off their bye week and host the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.  The Bears will have had 15 days rest and since their last live action.  Chicago has not lost at home this season and have won two of the last three matchups vs. the Lions.

The Lions are coming off an overtime win at Philadelphia in which they tied the game late in the 4th quarter to force the extra frame.  The win ended a three-game losing streak.

This game has the makings of a good heavyweight fight.  The Lions bring in the 2nd ranked offense to face the Bears and their 3rd ranked defense.  The Lions have the NFL’s 2nd most potent passing attack, averaging 319 yards/game while the Bears are giving up 225 passing yards/game.  The Bears are surrendering just over 65 rushing yards/game while the Lions offense averages just over 99 yards/game on the ground.

If the Bears plan to shut down the run and force Lions QB Matthew Stafford to throw it, they will need to get pressure on Stafford and try to bait him into throwing a few up for grabs.  They should have their chances.  In a single game this season, Stafford has attempted as many as 51 passes with his fewest being 32.  As many attempts as he has had, Stafford is not finding the end zone with much consistency.  He has zero multi-TD games this season.

Offensively, Chicago will try to sustain drives and control the clock.  They should look to get the ball in RB Matt Forte’s hands to set up manageable down-and-distance in the passing game.  That’s where Bears QB Jay Cutler looks for WR Brandon Marshall to beat his man to the ball and convert to keep drives alive.

Noteworthy is that the Lions may be without starting CB Bill Bentley after he re-injured his shoulder in Sunday’s game.  With the Lions a bit dinged up in the secondary and the Bears at home on a three game winning streak, I give the edge to the Chicago.

23

September

Around the NFC North: Week 3 Games

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler needs a bounce-back game after a rough outing in Green Bay in week 2 and amid questions about his leadership style

Week 3 in the NFC North offers some opportunities for teams to make a statement as they near the end of the season’s first quarter.  The matchups are headlined by a Monday Night contest in Seattle where the Seahawks (1-1)will host the Green Bay Packers (1-1).  The Packers look to make a statement with a tough road win and re-solidify themselves as top contenders for their division and in the NFC.  The Seahawks are at home again after a solid win against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.

The Chicago Bears (1-1) will play host to the St. Louis Rams (1-1) and new Head Coach Jeff Fisher.  Both teams are dealing with injuries to and may be without their starting running backs.  Each looks to get over .500 and build some momentum.

The Detroit Lions (1-1) head to Tennessee (0-2) to take on a struggling Titans team that is 0-2.  The Titans are struggling on offense led by star running back Chris Johnson, who averages less than a yard per carry so far in 2012.  They are searching for their first win of the season.  The Lions are coming off a tough loss at San Francisco this past Sunday night.  Lions All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson leads the team in catches but has yet to find the end zone.

The Minnesota Vikings (1-1) are at home and are visited by the San Francisco 49ers (2-0).  The 49ers look to continue their roll over the NFC North, having already beaten the Packers in week 1 and the Lions last week.  Their smash-mouth defense and efficient offense make them a very tough matchup for any opposing team.  The Vikings return home and look to increase the work load of their star running back Adrian Peterson.  A win over the staunch 49ers would create quite a stir in the NFC North and catapult the Vikings into the conversation as division contenders.

16

March

Packers Center of Attention to Change: Wells Gone, Myers Signs With Houston

Scott Wells signs with the St. Louis Rams

Scott Wells signs with the St. Louis Rams

Packers Free Agent center Scott Wells is gone. His management company has announced that  Wells signed a contract today with the St. Louis Rams. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wells signed a four year deal at six million per year with 13 million guaranteed. The Packers are believed to have offered Wells 4.5 million per year.

Houston’s free agent center Chris Myers, rumored to be on the Packer’s radar (I didn’t particularly believe it), is also now off the market. Myers re-upped with the Texans, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter is reporting that Myers contract with Houston is for 4 years at $25million, $14mil fully guaranteed.

Wells and Myers signed very similar contracts, which in the Packers’ opinion (and mine), is way too high for a center over 30 years old.

When reports came out about the Packers talking to Myers, I never really believed it was serious. Tthe Packers have shown they will resign their own free agents first (especially if getting a hometown discount). Going after Myers, similar in age and salary as Wells, made no sense. Most likely it was strictly a leverage play on Wells.

So where do the Packers look now? There are some other free agent centers on the market, but I find it unlikely they will give anyone a long term deal. Perhaps the logical thing to do would be to offer a 1-2 year deal to someone like 35 yr old Todd McClure, who had been the staring center for the Falcons for the last 12 years. That would allow then to then draft and develop a center from the upcoming NFL Draft.

Personally, I’m not holding my breath on the Packers signing a center. I think they will draft someone at the position and give the job to Evan Dietrich Smith at least for this season. Next man up!

 

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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.

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28

December

Former Packers CB Al Harris Retires from the NFL

Former Packers CB Al Harris has retired from the NFL after 14 seasons. (Photo: Jim Biever)

Former Green Bay Packers cornerback Al Harris, who spent seven seasons with the Packers from 2003-09, has retired after 14 NFL seasons.

Harris announced the decision over the St. Louis Rams’ Twitter page on Wednesday. Another knee injury factored heavily into his decision.

Harris tore his right ACL while making a tackle back in Week 10 and has surgery scheduled on the knee for Jan. 13. The Rams placed him on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 14.

“That’s just God’s way of telling me it’s time to turn the page. I had an awesome time,” Harris said through Twitter. “I thank God for Spags [Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo] giving me the opportunity to come out and I hope I left a positive impression on everybody.”

Harris said that he’d like to stay involved in football through coaching in the future.

In his seven years with the Packers, Harris made 102 regular season starts and intercepted 14 passes.

The Packers acquired him during the offseason in 2002 by trading the Philadelphia Eagles a second-round selection for Harris and a fourth-round pick. Harris went on to start the next 80 games for the Packers at cornerback, pushing himself into the elite status at the position with his patented bump-and-run style.

The most memorable moment in Harris’ Packers career came during the 2003 NFC Wildcard game against the Seattle Seahawks, as he intercepted an over-confident Matt Hasselbeck in overtime (“We want the ball and we’re going to score, Hasselbeck said after winning the overtime coin toss) and returned it for a game-winning touchdown.

Harris would then go onto to make the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2008, and was an All-Pro pick in ’07.

During the 2009 season, Harris had a catastrophic injury to his left knee on a non-contact play against the San Francisco 49ers. He suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), lateral cruciate ligament (LCL), fibular cruciate ligament (FCL), iliotibial band and lateral hamstring. Harris had surgery eight days later and missed the rest of the ’09 season.

GM Ted Thompson put him on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start the 2010 season, but Harris would never play another down for the Green Bay Packers. He was released on Nov. 8, 2010.

19

October

Packers are Really Good, but not Dominant…For Now

The Packers inability to bury a team like the Saints is one reason Green Bay isn't quite dominant.

The Green Bay Packers are 6-0 and should be 7-0 after feasting on Christian Ponder and the bumbling Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The Packers have been the more talented team on the field for each of their games this season, sometimes by a wide margin. But despite the Packers fast start and obvious talent superiority, I wouldn’t call this team dominant….yet.

Extremely good? Yes. Ultra-talented? Yes. The best team in the NFL? Yes. Dominant? Not quite.

Here’s why:

  • The Packers are 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Opposing QBs have racked up 1,798 passing yards on Green Bay, an average of almost 300 yards per game. Passing numbers are up around the league, but this number needs to come down for the Packers to be dominant.
  • The Packers are third in Football Outsiders DVOA ratings and Pro-Football-Reference.com’s simple ratings system. I don’t put too much stock in this type of analysis this early in the season, but these numbers do tell us that the Packers are not miles ahead of everyone else like a dominant team would be.
  • A dominant team would have put away the Saints and the Panthers (and probably the Bears) much earlier than the Packers did. Instead of putting these games out of reach, the Packers let both teams hang around. A dominant team also would not have been shut out by the Rams in the second half, even if that dominant team was bored like the Packers probably were on Sunday.
  • The Packers schedule hasn’t exactly been mind-blowing. Strength of schedule is something the Packers can’t control, but it at least needs to be mentioned in this discussion. Wins over the Panthers, Rams, Broncos and (probably) Vikings aren’t going to make many people turn their heads and say “Whoa, that team sure is unstoppable.”

No, the Packers shouldn’t be labeled dominant right now, but there’s a lot of season left. They have the best QB in the NFL and have outscored opponents by 83 points. Their turnover differential is plus-8 and it wouldn’t surprise me if their defense improves as Tramon Williams gets healthier, Sam Shields returns to last season’s form and Dom Capers continues adjusting to life without Nick Collins.

18

October

Week 7 Packers Stock Report: It’s Getting Tougher to Fill Out the Falling Category

The Packers beat the Rams 24-3 on Sunday despite taking a break for most of the second half. I could rant, rave and nitpick about all kinds of things that happened in that second half, but honestly, I think the Packers just got bored.

This team still needs to develop a killer instinct, but I don’t think the Packers necessarily took a step backward during that snoozer of a second half which featured a few fluky drops and vanilla playcalling. If this were a division rival the Packers were trying to bury, the second half would have been a different story and the final score even more lopsided.

Anyway, I’m usually a glass-half-empty Packers fan, but there’s not much to dislike about this team so far. Yes, the defense needs to plug a few leaks, but at 6-0 it’s getting difficult to find players for the falling category.

Morgan Burnett and his wrecking ball of a right hand make the rising category this week.

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers rolled to his left and lofted a perfect touchdown pass through a swirling wind to James Jones in the second quarter Sunday. That throw was a thing of beauty. Even if Rodgers didn’t complete another pass all game, I still would’ve put him in the rising category for that pass alone.

Tramon Williams
Williams is providing tighter coverage and better support in the run game. In other words, he’s getting healthier, which automatically means his stock is rising.

Morgan Burnett
Burnett has had his share of gaffes this season, but he’s also made a lot of plays. He gets the final rising slot this week for his toughness. Check out the picture of Burnett’s clubbed hand. Can you imagine playing safety with that thing on your hand? Burnett still managed to get nine tackles and force a fumble. I’m not sure if he’ll be able to catch any interceptions, but I give Burnett credit for toughing it out.

Steady

Clay Matthews
You are probably asking yourself how I can include Matthews in a post about underachievers last week, then put him in the steady category this week. Truth is, Matthews has been steady most of the season. However, I think he has the talent to be like Rodgers and become a permanent fixture in the rising category. That’s why I suggested he might be underachieving. His play on Sunday took him one step closer to the rising category.