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

Game Balls and Lame Calls: Lions 40, Packers 10

Morgan Burnett had a pretty sweet celebration. And the Packers put on a pretty ugly show.

Morgan Burnett had a pretty sweet celebration. And the Packers put on a pretty ugly show.

Aaron Rodgers may have a shot to play next week. And the fact that the Packers may have just played their last game without their quarterback may be the only positive takeaway from the team’s Thanksgiving debacle.

It’s hard to remember, but at one point this season, the Packers were 5-2 with what looked like a favorable upcoming schedule. One fractured collarbone later, and the Packers are 5-6-1 coming off what T.J.Lang called, “Probably the worst (expletive) offensive game in the history of the (expletive) Packers.”

With Aaron Rodgers, the Packers would have had more than seven first downs. They would have possessed the ball for more than 19 minutes. But I’m not sure if Rodgers would have helped tackle, confuse or even provide resistance to the Lions offense.

Still, if No. 12 is back and able to play Dec. 8 against the Atlanta Falcons, they have a chance. It’s hard to believe, but the Lions and Bears are both capable of losing two more games, and the Rodgers-led Packers could win their last four. If that’s the case, the Packers win the division.

After an atrocious showing like Thursday’s, it’s hard to find positives. Without question, the Packers’ postseason hopes are waning and there really weren’t any positives to take away from the Packers’ produce in Detroit.

But if there’ ever been a reason to be optimistic about an improved offense since Rodgers went down, it’s now. Simply because he might be back.

Thursday was ugly. So this is going to be brief.

Game Balls

Morgan Burnett

The Packers’ lone game ball goes to Morgan Burnett, solely because of his Funky Chicken celebration. Burnett didn’t play particularly well, but he had a pair of fumble recoveries and a sick touchdown dance. Way to go, Morgan. Nicely done.

Lame Calls

Offense

The Packers had 126 total yards and scored three points. The writing was on the wall when Matt Flynn looked past a wide open Andrew Quarless and tried to force the ball to Jordy Nelson–needless to say, the pass was incomplete. Detroit continually stacked the box to shut down Eddie Lacy–and they did, to the tune of 16 yards on 10 carries–and Flynn was simply unable to take advantage of it. It was the worst offensive showing I’ve seen in a NFL game a long, long time. But things weren’t all bad for the Packers offense. At least they had seven first downs.

28

November

Reminder: Packers’ season isn’t over if they lose on Thanksgiving

The Lions could win this week, but it wouldn't be time for the Packers to lose their cool.

The Lions could win this week, but it wouldn’t be time for the Packers to lose their cool.

A loss by the Green Bay Packers to the division-leading Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving would not be a fork in the Packers’ season.

With a loss, the Packers would sit at 5-6-1 with the hope that Aaron Rodgers would be healthy and ready to play the final four games. In all likelihood, the Packers would have to win all four games to have a shot at winning the NFC North and making the playoffs, but the Packers will likely be favored in those four games (vs. ATL, at DAL, vs. PIT, at CHI).

So while six of the eight here at ALLGBP picked the Lions to defeat Matt Flynn and the Packers, that doesn’t mean their season is over.

A Green Bay win would requires less “help”(in the form of losses) from the Lions and Bears. But again, a loss wouldn’t be a death blow, considering both teams’ schedules.

After this week, the Lions schedule is at Philadelphia, vs. Baltimore, vs. NY Giants and at Tampa Bay. If they beat the Packers, the Lions would need to lose two of those four to finish 9-7–behind (what could be) the Packers’ 9-6-1 record.

The 6-5 Bears play at Minnesota this week, vs. Dallas, at Cleveland, at Philadelphia and vs. Green Bay.

So, with a loss on Thanksgiving, the Packers would need to win out to make the playoffs–and they could have Aaron Rodgers back. And potentially, Randall Cobb could find his way back on the field.

Maybe Flynn can win it for Walt Jr., but if he doesn’t, the Packers would still have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC North and punching their ticket to the playoffs.

It’s Thanksgiving, and it’s time to be thankful. With a loss, time would be ticking on the Packers’ season clock, but it would still be ticking.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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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.

26

November

Packers News: Rodgers, Shields, Barclay, Jolly back at practice

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers practiced Nov. 26. / Photo by Wes Hodkiewicz via Twitter

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers practiced Nov. 26. / Photo by Wes Hodkiewicz via Twitter

For the first time since suffering a broken collarbone Nov. 4, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was on the field throwing Tuesday at practice.

Per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com via Twitter, Rodgers participated in all the individual drills open to the media before being “kicked out” for the team portion of practice. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy previously said Rodgers’ chances of playing Thursday against the Lions were “slim to none,” but it appears the quarterback has made some sort of progress in his rehab.

It’s worth noting that while Rodgers was able to throw the ball at practice, he was taking snaps from Garth Gerhart and not starter Evan Dietrich-Smith. But as Jason Wilde points out on Twitter, Rodgers and Dietrich-Smith have plenty of reps together.

Along with Rodgers’ return, cornerback Sam Shields, defensive end Johnny Jolly and right tackle Don Barclay were also both practicing. The Packers have struggled to compensate for each player being out the last two weeks.

Marshall Newhouse has been a train wreck filling in for Barclay at right tackle, while the once-deep secondary is now scrambling to fill holes, as they’re without Casey Hayward for the rest of the season and Shields has missed the past two games. The defensive line has been dominated without Jolly in the lineup.

One has to wonder whether Rodgers’ availability will be directly tied to Barclay. Allowing Rodgers to play three weeks after breaking his collarbone would be risky with Newhouse at right tackle against the Detroit Lions’ front four.

More information will follow when McCarthy talks to reporters after practice, as it’s still unclear whether or not Rodgers will be cleared for contact in time for Thursday’s game. However, Rodgers needed to practice today to have even the slightest of chances to play, and he did just that.

(UPDATE: McCarthy said he’s not expecting Rodgers to play this week. Asked if his chances were still “slim to none,” McCarthy said, “Closer to none.” McCarthy also said he expects Sam Shields and Johnny Jolly to play Thursday. The team is still preparing both Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien, although Flynn took the starter reps today.)

But hey, there’s finally some positive injury news on the Packers front. At least for today.

19

April

Packers Schedule Analysis: The March to 16-0 (but probably 11-5 or 10-6)

Ryan Pickett

Look how happy Ryan Pickett is about the Packers 2013 schedule being released.

The 2013 NFL schedule was released Thursday night and it included three Sunday night games and a Monday night game for the Green Bay Packers.

You can view the entire Packers 2013 schedule here. You can view the entire NFL 2013 schedule here.

Here’s everything else you need to know about the Packers 2013 schedule (or at least everything I could think of and lift from other people on Twitter):

  •  The Packers once again open the season against the 49ers, this time on the road. We’ll find out right away if Dom Capers has learned how to stop Colin Kaepernick and the read-option.
  • Need an excuse to eat turkey for breakfast? The Packers play the Lions at 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving. I say stuff your face with food early, watch the game, then eat leftovers for dinner.
  • Let’s hope the Packers injury luck is better than last season. Green Bay’s bye comes in week four. That’s early.
  • We’ll find out a lot about the Packers right away. Their first three games are against 2012 playoff teams (@49ers, vs. Redskins and @Bengals).
  • After those first three games, the Packers get a bye, play a non-playoff team (the Lions, who are barely an NFL team, let alone a playoff team) and get right back into the grind with a week six matchup against the Super Bowl champion Ravens.
  • Plenty of variety in kickoff times. The Packers have seven noon games, four night games, four 3:25 p.m. games and 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving.
  • The Packers play three night games in 22 days (Oct. 27 @Vikings, Nov. 4 vs. Bears and Nov. 17 @Giants).
  • There are no back-to-back road games for the Packers.
  • Greg Jennings will return to Lambeau Field wearing a Vikings uniform in week 12 on Nov. 24.
  • The last three games could be brutal for the Packers: @Cowboys, vs. Steelers and @Bears.
  • The last seven Super Bowl champions played the NFC East. The Packers play the NFC East this season. Hmmmm….
  • Based on the schedule, it sounds like Packers training camp will open on Friday, July 26.
  • My wife and I are supposed to have our first child on Oct. 5. It looks like we may have to induce labor during the bye week to ensure that we don’t miss any Packers games.
24

November

Packers Young Secondary Can Erase Bad Memories of Playoff Hail Mary

Casey Hayward

Packers rookie CB is leading a younger and more aggressive secondary.

I know your belly is still full of Thanksgiving turkey and you’re probably all excited that you managed to outlast the middled-aged lady next to you for that discounted Xbox at Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

If you can overcome your full stomach and pause your Xbox euphoria, take a minute and watch the video of the Packers allowing a Hail Mary touchdown to the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks before halftime in last season’s playoff loss.

Makes your full tummy feel more like the stomach flu, right?

Now, take another look at the play. Notice the four players around the ball when Nicks comes down with it? Not one of them will be on the field for this Sunday night’s rematch.

Charlie Peprah is off the team. Charles Woodson is injured. Sam Shields is injured. And Jarrett Bush mainly plays special teams (I suppose it’s conceiveable that Bush could end up out there, but hopefully not).

If Eli Manning launches another Hail Mary on Sunday, the players around the ball will likely be a combination of Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Morgan Burnett, Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings.

That group is a lot more aggressive than the group that stood there with their thumbs up their butts while Nix caught the ball in the playoffs.

Hell, Jennings has already intercepted a Hail Mary pass this season, even though it counted as a touchdown for the other team.

Sunday night is a big test for the new faces in this secondary. They’ve held their own agaisnt the likes of Sam Bradford, Blaine Gabbert, John Skelton and Matthew Stafford. But Manning, Nicks and Victor Cruz are on a completely different level that what this secondary has seen over the last six weeks.

If Hayward continues getting his hands on passes, House keeps using his size to his advantage, Burnett, McMillian and Jennings keep developing their nose for the ball and Tramon just does what Tramon does, I think this group will hold its own.

If all of that happens (and it’s a big if), and the Packers claw out another road win in November, the sky is the limit for this team.

At the very least, it’d be another step in erasing the image of Peprah, Woodson, Shields and Bush looking helpless on the playoff Hail Mary.