15

December

Packers vs. Cowboys Week 15 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 15: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 8-5 Dallas Cowboys 23-17
Both defenses are terrible but the Packers will have a tougher time with Romo and Dez Bryant than Dallas will with Flynn. Packers lose but it’ll be close.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 6-7 Green Bay Packers 34-31
The Packers will need to score in the thirties to beat the Cowboys. Fortunately, the Dallas defense has been the worse in the league this year. Matt Flynn just needs to be efficient and the defense needs two to create 2 big turnovers.
Adam Czech 9-4 Dallas Cowboys 34-16
The Packers are going to need to score at least 30 points to win this one. Yes, the Cowboys defense is bad, but the Packers only managed to put up 22 at home against a bad Falcons D last Sunday. The Cowboys speed on offense will be too much for the Packers defense at the Jerry Dome and Dallas wins this one going away as Aaron Rodgers collarbone continues healing on the sideline.
Marques Eversoll 8-5 Dallas Cowboys 27-24
Sean Lee isn’t quite as valuable to the Dallas defense as Aaron Rodgers is to the Green Bay offense, but both units are significantly downgraded without their star players. Because of the Cowboys’ porous defense, I think it’ll come down to the wire before Dallas wins a close one.
Thomas Hobbes 6-7 Green Bay Packers 20-17
This game mostly goes back to consistency; if the Cowboys haven’t fixed whatever it was that let the Bears dismantle them last week then the Packers have a shot if the offense can keep the game close. Hopefully last weeks win galvanizes the team and they can grind out another win.
Cory Jennerjohn 10-3 Green Bay Packers 24-20
The Packers defense has been an eyesore this season but the Cowboys D might actually trump them in ugliness. Many are scared with Matt Flynn starting again, but as long as the Packers own the time of possession and don’t allow Dez Bryant to have an All-Galaxy performance, Green Bay should win.
Jason Perone 8-5 Dallas Cowboys 27-14
11

December

Around the NFC North: Week 15

Around the NFC North

Last week did little to clear up the NFC north divisional race

A snow-filled weekend brought about three very entertaining games in the NFC north.  The Detroit Lions visited the Philadelphia Eagles in a scene right out of any backyard in the Midwest or East Coast on a snowy day.  Just before game time, snow piled on Lincoln Financial Field.  The sidelines and yard markers had to be shoveled clean so players and officials could determine where the boundaries were.  Detroit seemed to have an early handle on how to play in the white stuff but in the end, the Eagles came back and pulled away for their fifth straight win.

The Minnesota Vikings went to Baltimore to face the Ravens in another snow globe game.  Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered what is being reported as a foot sprain early on, but Minnesota hung with Baltimore all day long.  The game saw five lead changes in the final two minutes, which is a new NFL league record.  In the end, the Ravens scored a game-winning touchdown on an acrobatic catch by Marlon Brown to seal the win.

The Green Bay Packers hosted the Atlanta Falcons and earned a 22-21 victory, sealed in the last seconds by an interception by Jarrett Bush.  Yes, you read that correctly, Jarrett Bush.  The Packers also benefited from the Falcons tripping over themselves as sure-handed receiver Harry Douglas dropped what would have been a first down conversion to help move Atlanta into realistic position to kick a game-winning field goal.  The win stopped a five-game winless streak.

Lastly, the Chicago Bears hosted the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night football, although they were not very gracious hosts.  Freezing temperatures coupled with a lights-out offensive output by the Bears led to an easy 48-25 win over Dallas.  The win evened Chicago with the Lions for first place in the north while the loss put the Cowboys one game behind the division-leading Eagles in the east.

Chicago Bears (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-9)

The Browns nearly defeated the New England Patriots in New England.  It would have been the first time the Browns beat the Patriots in New England since 1992.  The irony there is that the Browns head coach at the time was Bill Belichick, current Patriots head coach.  Cleveland fell to 4-9 and all but eliminated themselves from playoff contention, although they are still mathematically alive.

16

December

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears Key Matchups

Brandon Marshall

Well, here we are.  It’s Bears week and the Green Bay Packers have a chance to clinch another NFC North divisional title with a win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.  These are the types of matchups that the schedule makers and NFL hope for this late in the season.

When earlier this year it seemed that the Packers would be facing seemingly insurmountable odds to surpass the Bears in the North, all of the chips have started to fall into place.  The Bears have lost four of their last five games and are staring at a good possibility that their playoff chances will be reduced to a wild card chase.

Should the Bears lose Sunday, the Packers could clinch the division win and that is the only way Chicago can get into the postseason.  Should the Bears win, the Packers can still control their own destiny and win the division by simply winning their last two games.

There has been some jarring in the media between both teams with some subtle and some not-so-subtle barbs.  Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall acted like he didn’t know how to pronounce Packers cornerback Tramon Williams’ name and said that none of the Green Bay defenders should take any credit for severely limiting him in the teams’ first matchup.  Packers tight end Jermichael Finley commented that the Bears defense may be better off without the “slow” and future Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is out with a hamstring injury.

But all of that is nothing but entertainment leading up to another huge game between these long-time rivals.  Let’s hone in on the key matchups that will play a big role in the outcome.

Bears Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall vs. Packers Secondary

As was the case in the first matchup, this is probably the most key matchup in the game.  Marshall is, by far, Chicago’s biggest offensive threat and he is currently the second leading receiver in the NFL in terms of yardage.  He’s a big body who is a tough tackle and can pick up some yards after the catch.  He has the speed to stretch out the defense and run the deep route too.

15

December

Packers vs. Bears Week 15 Game Predictions from AllGBP.COM (with Podcast)

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 15: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 9-4 Green Bay Packers 27-13
The Bears are in a tailspin. No Urlacher, no Tim Jennings and a wounded Jay Cutler.  The Bears are a much worse defense with #54 out and the words of Brandon Marshall will fuel the fire for the Packers defense. Packers win and secure their second straight NFC North title.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 8-5 Green Bay Packers 24-17
Having beaten the Vikings and the Lions the last two weeks, the Packers are looking for the division win trifecta on Sunday against the Chicago Bears. The Bears will need to create 3-4 turnovers to win this game, and you can be sure the Packers know that. Bears will keep it close, but the Packers will clinch the Division on Sunday.
Adam Czech 10-3 Green Bay Packers 27-13
Why do I feel so confident this week? I’m never confident when the Packers play the Bears. Maybe it’s all the injuries on both teams. The Packers have a track record of success despite injuries. The Bears do not. Maybe it’s the running game. The Packers are showing signs of life in this area. The Bears are sputtering a bit. Maybe it’s Jay Cutler. There will be opportunities for interceptions. I don’t know how to handle this good feeling I have during Bears week. It’s never happened before…
Marques Eversoll 10-3 Green Bay Packers 28-17
Everyone talks about Brian Urlacher being out for the Bears, but he may not be their biggest loss. Against the pass-happy Packers, Chicago will miss its Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback Tim Jennings, as well as pass-rushing defensive tackle Henry Melton. I think the Packers will be able to run the ball and score touchdowns in the red zone. I sense a touchdown either by the Packers’ defense or special teams on Sunday. The game goes to Green Bay, along with the NFC North title.
Thomas Hobbes 9-4 Green Bay Packers 21-14
13

December

Around the NFC North in Week 15

Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North in week 15

It’s already the NFL’s week 15 and let’s cut to the chase in the NFC North.  This is a week that most Packers fans had circled on the schedule as soon as it came out.  Is there a more intense week in the Packers universe than “Bears week”?

The Green Bay Packers travel to Chicago to take on the Bears in this highly-anticipated game that will be the marquis matchup not just in the NFC North, but in the NFL.

The Packers can clinch their second straight North division title with a win.  The Bears would re-enter the divisional race as a strong contender should they emerge victorious.  The early line this week favors Green Bay by three.

The Minnesota Vikings will travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams.  This ends up being an interesting game because neither of these teams wants to go away quietly this year.

The week is rounded off by the Detroit Lions visiting the Arizona Cardinals in the “futility bowl”.  Nothing more than pride is on the line in that contest.

Let’s dive into the matchups and the storylines alike.

Green Bay Packers (9-4) at Chicago Bears (8-5)

Because of the major playoff implications, I’m leading off with this matchup and will go more in depth with this game.

This game has changed shape immensely in the past month.  What was being billed as possibly one of the biggest game on the NFL schedule this season has turned into somewhat of a last stand for the Bears.

After starting the season 7-1, the Bears have lost four of their last five games including two in a row since the return of quarterback Jay Cutler.  After suffering a concussion during a loss to the Houtson Texans, Cutler was forced to miss a key game against the San Francisco 49ers.  The 9ers beat the Bears handily for a second straight loss.  They beat the Vikings but then suffered a tough overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks and followed that up with this past week’s loss in the rematch with Minnesota on the road.

Chicago will be without defensive playmakers Brian Urlacher who may end up on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, and cornerback Tim Jennings who leads the NFL in interceptions with eight.  Jennings dislocated his shoulder late in the loss to the Seattle and is currently doubtful for this week’s game.

19

December

Packers vs. Chiefs: 5 Observations from Green Bay’s 19-14 Loss to Kansas City

Photo: MCT

The Green Bay Packers (13-1) lost for the first time in 364 days—a stretch of 20 games—as the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off the upset of the season Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, 19-14.

Five observations from the Packers’ first taste of defeat since Week 15 of last season:

1. Playing perfect to end perfection

I said before the game that Kyle Orton would have to play a perfect game for the Chiefs to have a chance. He was about as close to perfect as you could ask for on Sunday, completing 23-of-31 passes for 299 yards. The key stat, however? Zero turnovers. Orton made all the easy throws and avoided that one game-changing giveaway.

The Chiefs offense did a fine job of hurting the Packers in the screen game early then picked apart the Packers’ zone after Dom Capers was forced to adjust. But even with the Chiefs’ offense rolling, there was anticipation for a turnover from the defense that could turn around the game. It never came. With the Packers offense struggling for the first time all season, not getting that one momentum-shifter was huge.

2. Dropping the rhythm

The issues on offense went deeper than just drops, but it was painfully obvious how those missed opportunities in the first half stymied the rhythm of the Packers’ offense. Jermichael Finley saw a couple of easy ones go right through the hands, but he also had a handful of opportunities to make game-changing catches, which admittedly were tough plays, and couldn’t convert. Aaron Rodgers called the drops a “physical mistake” after the game, but it’s mental for Finley. He’s clearly pressing, and dropping the first ball that came to him Sunday only snowballed the mistakes.

He wasn’t alone, as Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson also dropped balls which they normally catch. If those plays are made, the Packers likely score enough points to win. Greg Jennings wasn’t the one dropping those passes, either. His impact was felt in the offense, but not having him on the field had absolutely nothing with the inexcusable drops.

3. Man down

The Packers’ already aching offensive line saw both Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod suffer injuries. Bulaga left in the first half but seemed fine on the sidelines after returning from the locker room. McCarthy labeled his injury as a “knee sprain,” which again, can mean a number of things. Bulaga will have a MRI later today. Sherrod suffered a major injury, which McCarthy confirmed as a broken leg, and won’t be playing football anytime soon.

16

December

Packers vs. Chiefs Week 15 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 15: Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 12-1 Green Bay Packers 42-10
The only reason I’m not giving the Packers 50 is because McCarthy believes in good sportsmanship. Orton will be better than Palko, but this is first real action with a new team. The Packers display their depth by not missing a beat sans Greg Jennings.
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“Jersey” Al Bracco 13-0 Green Bay Packers 44-10
I’m just sitting here waiting for Thomas to pick against the Packers so I can be the only one with a perfect record. Packers have to fight off boredom to finish this one out.
Adam Czech 12-1 Green Bay Packers 37-17
Poor Kyle Orton has to get destroyed by the Packers for the second time this season. After Sunday, he’s going to wish he was back on the bench in Denver watching Tebow. The Chiefs defense has played well lately, but not well enough to slow down the Packers offense, even without Greg Jennings.
Thomas Hobbes 13-0 Green Bay Packers 35-10
Sorry Al, no reason to get off the train now. I can’t imagine the Packers losing if they score more than 2 touchdowns (which I’m convinced they could do on accident at this point), because regardless of who ends up starting at quarterback, the Packers aren’t going to be “shaking in their boots”
Zach Kruse 11-2 Green Bay Packers 38-16
The firing of Todd Haley will be a breath of fresh air in the early goings for the Chiefs, but it’ll be the same old story once the first quarter ends. The Packers offense will impose their will and the defense gets a couple key takeaways. It’s been the same blueprint all season long.
Chad Toporski 12-1 Green Bay Packers 44-6
Hello, First Seed! No way the Packers lose to a Chiefs team that just lost its head coach and whose offense is gearing up for yet another quarterback under center. Expect some players to rest again in the 4th quarter.
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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