6

September

Packers vs. 49ers Week 1 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 1: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 0-0 Green Bay Packers 24-21
Probably the toughest game to pick on the schedule and it’s only the first one.  Everyone is going crazy over the 49ers, much like how everyone treated the Packers after 2010. Mike McCarthy has put much focus on beating the 49ers and I think they do it this time, but barely. Notice will be served that the Packers are still among the NFC elite.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 0-0 Green Bay Packers 31-27
While everything on paper is telling me the 49ers are the safe bet here, something inside me feels the Packers will come out on fire against the team that booted them out of the playoffs. I feel good about the Defense – the big question for me is the offensive line. If they can hold up against the 49ers front seven, the Packers are more than capable of winning this game.
Adam Czech 0-0 San Francisco 49ers 27-24
I’m more confident in the Packers today than I was earlier in the week — the 49ers WRs are terrible and their secondary looks weaker than last season — but their front seven will steamroll the Packers offensive line to victory.
Marques Eversoll 0-0 San Francisco 49ers 27-24
This is going to be very interesting. Although it’s only one week in a long season, the Packers (specifically the defense) will certainly be out to prove they’re better and more physical than they were in January. I think this is a close game, but the 49ers probably win a close one at home.
Thomas Hobbes 0-0 Green Bay Packers 21-17
I’m calling it right here; I’m picking the Packers every game no matter what.  The difference this time around is the Packers defense, which will have more pass rushing options outside of Clay Matthews, which is a focus of a Dom Caper’s 3-4 blitzburgh defense.  On offense, more “shh” from Aaron Rodgers will show that’s he’s already honed in the passing game.
Cory Jennerjohn 0-0 San Francisco 49ers 23-20
10

January

Packers Playbook (aka Hobbjective Analysis): Divisional Playoffs – Packers at 49ers

Looking back at the Wildcard game two things became rather apparent: the first was that the Vikings gave up by around the second quarter which lead to the Packers giving up (or “protecting an outrageous lead”) around the 3rd and the second was that the Vikings did not know how to handle quarterback Joe Webb (Football Outsiders mentioned that it appeared if Webb’s progressions were actually more complicated than Ponders, which is probably not what you should be asking your backup quarterback who hadn’t thrown a pass all season to be doing).

Either way, outside of the the Packers’ mistake that costed them the Vikings only touchdown (which I reviewed and can’t decide who’s at fault) there really wasn’t a play that really stood out to me; the Vikings were atrocious beginning to end and the Packers did nothing entirely special when there were trying (which apparently was enough to win the game in the first 30 minutes) and then proceeded to sit on the ball for the 2nd half.  So instead, I’ve decided to look forward to the 49ers game (which I didn’t analyse since I started this series in week 2)

When you look at the 49ers defense, you don’t see a lot of flaws; for them it starts with their front 7 starring Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman.  Simply put they don’t need help defending the run (while the Packers are a considerably better running team than what the 49ers saw on opening day, I still don’t think the Packers running game has much of a chance) and to make matters worse, they really don’t need help rushing the passer, as Aaron Rodgers was running for his life the entire game last time they met.  So with the deep passing game a risky proposition and the running game likely not to be much of a factor, what are the Packers going to do on offense?

The answer is probably going to be the short passing game.

The Situation: It’s opening week for the NFL and the Packers are starting the season at home against the San Francisco 49ers.   There’s 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and the Packers are trailing 10 to nothing, which isn’t a insurmountable hole with so much time left.  The Packers just ran a Randall Cobb RB/WR trick play on 1st down and netted 6 yards, which gives the Packers options on 2nd and 4.

7

September

Packers vs. 49ers Week 1 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 1: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 0-0 Green Bay Packers 27-20
The 49ers rushing defense will be as stout as ever but if the Packers can get anywhere from 50-75 yards out of Cedric Benson, then that could open things up for Aaron Rodgers in the passing game.  Alex Smith will miss just enough throws to help the Packers hang on in a game that will come down to the wire.
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“Jersey” Al Bracco 0-0 Green Bay Packers 24-23
This game really worries me and I had to talk myself out of picking the 49ers. I don’t know if the Packers offense is prepared yet for the type of physical battle this will be. In the end, I’m counting on the defense to pick off a few Alex Smith passes to help as the offense struggles a bit but plays well enough to win.
Adam Czech 0-0 Green Bay Packers 27-13
Lots of talk about the Packers regressing these past few days. What about the 49ers regressing? They had plenty of breaks last season, too. Aaron Rodgers runs away from trouble all day, Clay Matthews gets in Alex Smith’s face, and the Packers start the season strong.
Marques Eversoll 0-0 Green Bay Packers 24-20
The Packers’ air attack will be too much for the tough 49ers defense. The middle of San Francisco’s front seven is loaded, so it could be a quiet day for Cedric Benson and the running game. However, Aaron Rodgers simply puts up too many points for Alex Smith to match. Packers win their first game in a close one.
Thomas Hobbes 0-0 Green Bay Packers 24-13
I did pretty well last year by picking the Packers to win every game and I’m not changing my strategy now.  As impressive as the 49ers defense is, I’m not sure they really match up all that well against a complex spread offense that the Packers run.  If Rodgers gets time in the pocket (or away from the pocket) I don’t think the Niners secondary can keep up with Packers receivers.  My bet is that the Packers offense can score more than the defense can give up.
8

September

Packers vs. Saints Week 1 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 1: Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 0-0 Green Bay Packers 28-24
Offensive Fireworks complement the ones during the concerts.  Packers defense makes a last minute stand as is becoming their trademark.  This would be a fun NFC title game matchup.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 0-0 Green Bay Packers 31-30
Both offenses move the ball with ease, GB D stiffens more often than NO, forcing 3 Saints field goals. That’s the difference in the game.
Adam Czech 0-0 New Orleans Saints 22-17
Defense usually rules the Thursday night opener and this year will be no exception. I don’t like how the Packers match up against an elite QB with a shiny new toy (Mark Ingram) at RB. Don’t worry, we’ll beat them in the playoffs.
Thomas Hobbes 0-0 Green Bay Packers 17-10
If training camp has been any indication its that the defense seems to be ahead of the offense, and while the Packers and Saints boast two of the most high powered offenses, they also boast two of the best defenses.  It probably comes down to who makes less mistakes.
Zach Kruse 0-0 New Orleans Saints 21-20
The Packers offensive line struggled this preseason, and Saints DC Gregg Williams will be coming after Aaron Rodgers. Both defenses rule the day, but Williams’s blitzes will get home more often then Dom Capers’. Saints TE Jimmy Graham will be a handful.
Chad Toporski 0-0 Green Bay Packers 24-21
With the exception of his first season, Mike McCarthy has never lost a Week 1 game or a home opener. I don’t expect anything to change here, but look for both offenses to try to spread out the opposing defense.
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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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7

September

Packers vs. Saints: 5 Things to Watch in Green Bay’s Week 1 Matchup

By the time the dust had settled on the second half of a Monday night onslaught, the scoreboard at the Louisiana Superdome read as follows: Saints 51, visitors 28.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints had turned a 21-21 tie into an old fashioned blowout, scoring four touchdowns in the final 30 minutes of play against a Packers defense that had held up so well just a year before. Brees was deadly efficient that entire night in Novemeber 2008, completing 20-of-26 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns—two of which went for 70 yards.

The 51 points was the beginning of the end for both Packers defensive coordinator Bob Sanders, who was fired after the season, and the Packers playoff chances. After coming into the game 5-5, the Packers left New Orleans beaten and battered at 5-6, limping to a 6-10 finish in Aaron Rodgers’ first season under center.

While the mastermind behind that disastrous performance is gone, the memory of that debacle in New Orleans still remains fresh in the minds of most of the Packers defenders who suffered through that Monday night embarrassment.

Thursday night’s Packers vs. Saints opener doesn’t serve as a rematch, per se, but the Packers are determined to prove that their new defensive scheme under Dom Capers is more than capable of stopping a Saints’ offense that’s still led by Brees and still as explosive as it was in 2008, just a year before they were to become world champions.

Here are some other things to watch in the Saints-Packers matchup:

Dealing with the hoopla

With hosting the NFL’s season opening Thursday night game comes all the bells and whistles of a defending Super Bowl champion. It’s the only game on for the national audience, who by now is starving for regular season NFL action. There is the pregame concert, with Kid Rock and a number of other entertainers scheduled to perform in front of stadium. The Packers will unveil another championship year on Lambeau Field’s facade. Jordin Sparks will sing the National Anthem. There is a ton of fanfare and media reporting before and after the contest.

All this could lead to an overwhelmed team that’s just seven months removed from reaching the peak of the NFL. And of course, the Saints have been there and done that after winning the Super Bowl the year before the Packers. They played the Vikings last September in the Thursday night opener and beat Minnesota. That experience should give the Saints a definite advantage in terms of dealing with the spectacle of the game, right?