24

November

Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 26 MIN 26, OT

Marshall Newhouse

Packers, Vikings Tie 26-26

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:  2013 Game 11

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

A big problem is how many healthy cornerbacks the Packers have today? One they won’t have is Casey Hayward, whose season is over. Placed on IR for what has to bee the most persistent pulled hamstring in the history of he Packers, who have had some experience in that department. Sam Shields is also out.

This is a game the Packers MUST have. If they trip up here, I’ll be ready to start looking forward to the draft and next season.

 

Tonight’s captains for the Packers: - Eddie Lacy, Mike Daniels, Tim Masthay

 

Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
13 WR Chris Harper
37 CB Sam Shields
51 LB Nate Palmer
53 LB Nick Perry
67 T/G Don Barclay
97 DE Johnny Jolly

Starting lineup changes: 16 QB Scott Tolzien starts for Rodgers, 31 CB Davon House for Shields, 74 T Marshall Newhouse for Barclay, 96 LB Mike Neal for Perry and 76 DE Mike Daniels for Jolly.

Minnesota Vikings
12 QB Josh Freeman
21 CB Josh Robinson
50 LB Erin Henderson
60 G Jeff Baca
82 TE Kyle Rudolph
83 WR Rodney Smith
91 DT Chris Baker

Starting lineup changes: 29 CB Xavier Rhodes starts for Robinson, 57 LB Audie Cole for Henderson and 89 TE John Carlson for Rudolph.

 

 

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

urgency  of game:  No question. For everything that’s going on with our football team., this is a win we need and a win we’re going to go out and get.

Wayne reads injury list: That was exhausting Wayne… It’s pro football. Injuries is the unfortunate part of our game. it’s really about the opportuniteis given to the other individuals. We need to take a one game focus – nail this thing down.

Group effort: There’s 46 guys that line up every week. They’re representing the team on that day and all have to be accountable. Likewise, the decision makers have a responsibility to be giving them everything they need, in terms of information, motivation, keeping the adrenilin flowing, etc.  Just trying to get everybody to exceed expectations.

20

November

Does Anybody Care About Greg Jennings Returning to Lambeau?

Vikings WR Greg Jennings returns to Green Bay to play the Packers on Sunday.

Remember back when former Packers WR Greg Jennings was questioning the leadership of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and generally acting like an ass after signing a fat new deal with the Minnesota Vikings?

A lot of Packers fans circled Nov. 24 on their calendars. That was the day Jennings and the Vikings were coming to Lambeau Field and the first opportunity Packers fans would have to let the boos reign down on the former Packers standout.

Now that Nov. 24 is almost here, does anyone even remember Greg Jennings and that his return to Lambeau is almost upon us?

I’m going to the game Sunday, and I completely forgot that it’s Jennings’ return until I randomly thought of it earlier this evening. At this point, Jennings isn’t relevant enough to warrant booing.

A lot has happened to the Packers since Jennings contracted diarrhea of the mouth. Half the team — including Rodgers — is injured and the season is close to falling off a cliff. Packers fans just want their team to win a game and probably care less about booing Jennings.

Jennings also hasn’t done anything in Minnesota. He looks like just another past his prime WR who was given a giant contract and won’t come anywhere close to fulfilling the investment.

I’d rather save my energy for cheering the Packers than boo Jennings.

Oh, I’m sure Jennings will hear it when he trots out on Sunday, but the catcalls won’t be nearly as loud as what they would have been had the Packers hosted the Vikings in week one.

Greg Jennings: Standout wide receiver and Super Bowl champion in Green Bay. Mr. Irrelevant in Minnesota.

 

 

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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27

October

Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 44 MIN 31

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:  2013 Game 7

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

The 1-5 Vikings host the 4-2 Packers in the teams’ first meeting of the season. Though the Packers have rebounded from a slow start and fight through a number of injuries to key starters, the Vikings just seem to be in shambles. Christian Ponder will start today after recently-signed Josh Freeman took the nod last week. Greg Jennings will want to light up his former team, especially after all of the controversial sound bites, and Adrian Peterson will want to get back to form after rushing for a total of only 90 yards across the past two games. On the other side of the ball, James Starks is back to possible spell Eddie Lacy in the ground game, while the Packers defense looks to maintain their dominance at the line.

Today’s captains for the Packers: - C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith, DT Johnny Jolly, K Mason Crosby.

 

Inactives for today:

The following players have been declared as inactive for tonight’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
25 CB James Nixon
52 LB Clay Matthews
53 LB Nick Perry
59 LB Brad Jones
82 TE Ryan Taylor
88 TE Jermichael Finley
89 WR James Jones

Starting lineup changes: 81 Andrew Quarless will start at TE in place of Finley, 11 Jarrett Boykin at WR for J. Jones, 96 Mike Neal at OLB for Perry, 55 Andy Mulumba at OLB for Matthews, and 57 Jamari Lattimore at ILB for B. Jones.

Minnesota Vikings
12 QB Josh Freeman
27 CB Shaun Prater
40 FB Rhett Ellison
44 RB Matt Asiata
60 G Jeff Baca
83 WR Rodney Smith
91 DT Chase Baker

———————————————

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Recent success in Metrodome: Communication, verbal and visual. Have to be able to overcome it, especially in big situations.

Rivalries for fans vs. players: Players and coaches still feel rivalry. Not beneficial to get involved in emotions of it. Need to play emotionally, mentally disciplined.

Finley’s health: He’s getting better. Testing is still going on. No timetable at this point.

Bush, Hayward returning: Always want them involved on special teams. How Vikings play will determine Hayward’s participation.

James Starks returning: Would like to get him involved tonight.

9

August

Maybe Greg Jennings is jealous of Randall Cobb

If Greg Jennings is so happy in Minnesota, why does he keep talking about Green Bay?

If Greg Jennings is so happy in Minnesota, why does he keep talking about Green Bay?

Enough is enough.

Former Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings simply cannot stop talking about his former team. And despite his assertion that the grass is greener in Minnesota, his repetitive jabs at the Packers suggest otherwise.

The breakup between Jennings and the Packers wasn’t a “he dumped her,” or “she dumped him” situation. It was a mutual divorce that made sense for both sides.

Even without Jennings, the Packers still have one of the top receiving trios in the league in Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jordy Nelson. Extending Jennings likely would have resulted in the departure of someone else. Morgan Burnett was signed to an extension last month, and Jones, B.J. Raji and Jermichael Finley are scheduled to hit free agency next summer.

Jennings, on the other hand, wasn’t ready to give up his “go-to receiver” label. In Green Bay, he’d have to share targets with three talented receivers and an athletic tight end. In Minnesota, Jennings is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver and figures to be towards the top of the league in targets.

But throughout this mutual breakup, a cloud of jealousy is hovering over Jennings’ head.

After all, his ex (Green Bay) has continually replenished their receiving corps under the watchful eye of Ted Thompson, grooming potential replacements for players on the decline. After taking Jennings in 2006, the Packers drafted James Jones in 2007, Jordy Nelson in 2008 and Randall Cobb in 2011.

And now, it seems like Jennings is having trouble seeing his ex with a younger, prettier (and less costly) girl.

In October 2012, quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a bold statement about Cobb, telling Packers beat writer Jason Wilde on their weekly in-season radio show “Tuesdays with Aaron” that Cobb “is probably going to go down as one of the best picks in Ted Thompson’s career, if not the best.”

Thompson’s draft résumé boasts Rodgers, Nick Collins, Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews, among others. But still, Cobb, after appearing in just 21 games in the NFL, was already in the conversation, according to the 2011 league MVP.

Later in the season, in Week 17, Jennings’ sister Valyncia trashed Rodgers on Twitter during the Packers-Vikings game in Minnesota. On top of urging her brother to “go to South Beach and get paid” after the 2012 season, Valyncia suggested that Rodgers favors Cobb over the other receivers.

8

August

OK – I’ve Officially Had Enough of Greg Jennings

Greg Jennings Farewell Newspaper Ad

Click for larger image.

Greg Jennings – I remember when we used to think you were  a classy guy. Why are you now trying so hard to disprove what we believed to be true?

You won a Super Bowl with the Packers and in the resulting Sound/FX video, we hear you agonizing with great emotion over the final plays of the game.  In your nervousness, you seemingly can’t stop talking, as the defense proceeded to stop the Steelers and close out the game. It seems like you haven’t stopped talking since.

Perhaps the Super Bowl was the inception of your apparent jealousy of the attention bestowed upon Aaron Rodgers.  After all, it was YOU who made the fantastic catch for a TD. It was YOU who scored two TDs in that game. Yet Rodgers got the accolades, Rodgers got the MVP, Rodgers got the car, Rodgers got the trip to Disneyland. And it burned away at you, didn’t it Greg? Think of what your next contract demands could have been with a Super Bowl MVP cred?

Oh well, at least you were “the man” among the receiving corps, right? But then 2011 happened and Jordy Nelson’s breakout year left you second on the team in receptions and yards. Even worse, Nelson became the recipient of most of the deep throws, you biggest source of glory. Damn, that hurt.

And then the fateful 2012 season. the Packers offered you more money than you eventually accepted from the Vikings, but it wasn’t enough. You felt slighted.  You kept talking back then about having to move on for the good of your family. You put your house up for sale the week the Packers season was over. You couldn’t wait to get out.

It didn’t help that there was a new kid in town stealing your targets – Randall Cobb. And that James Jones was catching all those TD passes.  You missed half the season with injuries, but when you did play, you felt you weren’t being thrown to enough. Rodgers had new favorite receivers, you thought. You never said that, but your sister went on a rant about Rodgers not throwing to you enough. We all know where she got that idea, right? You obviously had expressed those feelings to her.

2

May

Around the NFC North: 2013 NFL Draft Edition

Vikings first-round draft pick Shariff Floyd.

Vikings first-round draft pick Shariff Floyd.

The Packers used the 2013 NFL Draft to finally address the running back position and add a much-needed player on the defensive line. What were the Packers division opponents up to in the draft?

Well, two of them used fifth-round selections to take punters and another drafted an offensive lineman in the first round that most analysts pegged as a second or third rounder.

Those were a few of the moves that made people scratch their heads. But it wasn’t all bad in Vikings/Lions/Bears land. Let’s take a trip around the NFC North to see how the Packers’ rivals used the draft to (maybe) close the gap and challenge Green Bay for a division title in 2013.

Minnesota Vikings

The Picks:

1 — Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida
1 — Xaveir Rhodes, CB Florida State
1 — Cordarelle Patterson, WR Tennessee
4 — Gerald Hodges, LB Penn State
5 — Jeff Locke, P UCLA
6 — Jeff Baca, G UCLA
7 — Michael Mauti, LB Penn State
7 — Travis Bond, OG North Carolina
7 — Everett Dawkins, DT Floriday State

The Breakdown:

Just when it looked like the Vikings might be on the right track, they draft a punter in the fifth round. A punter! In the fifth round!

Ok, a fifth-round pick isn’t going to make or break a draft, but c’mon. A punter! In the fifth round!

Until that happened, the Vikings were doing some good things. At first glance, the trade to get a third first-round pick seemed like a horrible idea. Minnesota gave up a lot to move up and pick a receiver, a position you can usually fill later in the draft.

But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. How often do you have a chance to pick three players in the first round? Rarely. General manager Rick Spielman had some extra picks to work with so he was able to make the deal. When the draft was over, the Vikings still ended up with nine players, even after the trade. That’s a fair balance of using several picks to build depth and making a move that is risky, but could pay off.

Despite making the playoffs last season, the Vikings still need to be thinking long-term. I don’t think the trade altered that long-term mindset at all.

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.