Packers keys to a win over the Bears.

There are few things during the year that make me get more excited than a Packers-Bears game. The Pack are looking for their 6th straight win over the Bears which would put the all-time record to 92-89-6 giving Green Bay a chance to tie the series up by the end of next season. Let’s take a look how the Pack can close the gap tonight.

1. Take some shots early- The Bears are giving up a mind-boggling 29.4 points per game this year. While the team is still doing well in the take-away department the Packers can try to end this one early with a few rainbow shots to Jordy Nelson. 

2. Cover up the ball- While this might seem like the most obvious thing to do in the world, the Bears have had some good success stripping the ball from Packer receivers. Just ask James Jones and Jermichael Finley. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is the best in the league at punching the ball out a runner’s hands. If the Pack needs to sacrifice a few yards tonight to avoid the risk of a turnover then that is a win in my book.

3. Respect Josh McCown- McCown is not Jay Cutler but he is a backup that has had a lot of experience. He played well two weeks ago filling in for Cutler and has had two weeks to prepare for the Packers. Remember it was McCown’s touchdown pass to Nathan Poole in 2003 that beat the Minnesota Vikings and sent the Packers into the playoffs. Let’s hope we see that play more tonight than the Fail Mary.

  • Side note- Over/under four times we have to witness the Fail Mary tonight?
4. Packers corners vs. Marshall/Jeffrey- This is the deepest the Packers have been at cornerback during the Mike McCarthy era. They will have their hands full tonight with Brandon Marshall and the emergence of second-year man Alshon Jefferey. These guys have been one of the top wide-out duos in the league and are monsters at 6’4 and 6’3 respectively. 
 
I’ve got to go with the Packers tonight with the Bears having no Jay Cutler or Lance Briggs on defense. The Packers could be in a tad better shape tonight if James Jones is back but with the way Aaron Rodgers is playing I don’t think it matters who he throws to tonight. Pack 30 Bears- 20. 
 

 

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Packers-49ers recap part 2.

As our sports reporter/director stated today: The read option was like Braille to the Green Bay Packers defense. Let’s get to what happened this past week. I will be doing an overall season recap of the Packers later on this season. 

1. Read option:

  • As many people have stated the last few days, the Packers got beat by college plays. Not seeing any adjustments to try and contain Colin Kaepernick was extremely frustrating to watch. The Packers need a guy like Desmond Bishop back next year to bring an attitude and nastiness they lacked in this game. Also the return and progression of rookie Nick Perry will be key. 

2. Turnovers:

  • Yes the Packers had the pick six to start the game, but the two turnovers the Pack committed lead to 14 San Francisco points. I am still baffled Jeremy Ross was on the field returning punts. Randall Cobb did it in the Wild Card round and with the receiving corp back together I thought the Packers would be more inclined to put him back there. Ross is too inexperienced to be returning punts in such a big game. Also the interception by Rodgers was unfortunate not only because of the turnover but the protection around him was phenomenal on that play. Just a bad read and and the quarterback and receiver not being on the same page. 

3. Decisions:

  • When Mike McCarthy had little faith in kicker Mason Crosby he went for it on a multitude of fourth downs. With the Pack down 14 with 11:30 to go and his decision to punt  the ball was something I found completely baffling. The offense wasn’t spectacular Saturday night but down 14 and in 49ers territory, I want the ball in Rodgers’ hands. I mentioned it earlier, but the defense didn’t adjust and kept getting torched on third downs, many of which had 8+ yards to go. 

Keys to a divisional round win.

For the second week in a row the Packers have a chance to get a little revenge on another team who contributed to one of their five losses on the season. These two teams are very different from the game fans saw back in the beginning of September. While I have a bad feeling about tonight’s game, let’s get to what the Packers can do to come out of California with a win. 

1. DuJaun Harris:

  • Here is your X-factor for tonight’s game. Harris has run with anger since his first run a month ago. While he didn’t do much on the ground last week, his five catches for over 50 yards proves he is a reliable safety valve. If the 49ers drop their safeties back tonight and rush four, Harris will have to be ole reliable again this week. 

2. Rodgers’ Chipped Shoulder:

  • One of the big videos going around this week is Rodgers talking on draft day about how the 49ers will be regretting they didn’t draft him. Obviously Rodgers needs help around him, but it’s time to prove tonight San Fran did make a huge mistake in letting him drop to Green Bay back in 2005. 

3. Contain:

  • The Packers defense will see another QB who can move swiftly on his feet in second year man Colin Kaepernick. The Packers need to go after Kaepernick like they did Joe Webb last week and make sure they don’t over-pursue. Charles Woodson might be creeping up towards the line of scrimmage again today to help keep Frank Gore under wraps like he helped last week against Adrian Peterson. 

Keys to a Packers Wild Card win.

With news just breaking of no Christian Ponder tonight it’s got my keys to a win tonight a bit different. Let’s get to the keys to a victory tonight!

 

1. Pressure Joe Webb but under control:

  • With Ponder not staring, the Vikings turn to Joe Webb who has not thrown a pass all season. Webb has great athleticism so if the Pack bring some pressure, be ready for Webb to step up or go outside and break a long run. Bring some heat but be sure to go under control and don’t over-pursue. 

2. First contact on AP:

  • The Packers made contact with Adrian Peterson quite a bit at the line of scrimmage last week but unfortunately for the Pack, Peterson was able to break arm tackles and gain valuable yards after contact. It’s difficult to limit AP but being able to contain his yards after contact will be key to a victory tonight. 

3. Full health at WR:

  • This is the first time since week 4 that the Packers have had Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb. Combine these four with the quiet second half of the season tight end Jermichael Finley put together and the Vikings secondary will be on their heels all night. Aaron Rodgers has to be happy with this late Christmas gift. 

4. DuJuan Harris:

  • The Packers haven’t had a running back run as hard as Harris since Ahman Green. He averaged five yards a carry last week and will be key tonight to keep the Vikings defense honest. If he has success again on the ground, look for the play-action passing game to be on cue. 

Packers

 

Packers-Vikings recap pt. 2.

Well the Packers win streak against division foes will end at 13 in a row with yesterday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The defense wasn’t up to par but the offense looked very 2011ish. So let’s get to what I saw in yesterday’s game.

1. Secondary communication:

  • Our local newspaper just did a story about how the communication on the defense was so much better this season, but at the end of the game, Ponder found a wide open receiver on a 3rd and long that allowed the Peterson long run and eventual game winning field goal. This is where I think Charles Woodson will made a difference if he is on the field next week. 

2. Aaron Rodgers:

  • Imagine the numbers he could put up if he had an above average o-line. Rodgers was sacked another five times yesterday but still managed to put up 365 yards passing and four touchdowns but did have a fumble. What the guy has done in the past two years (84 passing touchdowns to 14 picks). This team will go as far as Rodgers is able to stand on his feet.

3. Run defense:

  • I realize Adrian Peterson is an absolute beast, but you can’t keep letting the guy rack up 200 yards on you. The defense needs to wrap up and gang tackle a guy like Peterson. 

Round 3 is this Saturday night at 7pm at Lambeau! Get your long johns and cheeseheads on and get loud Packer nation!

Packers-Bears recap part 2.

As our promo for 1440 WNFL said today. What’s better than winning the division? Winning the division at Chicago! Congrats to the Packers on back to back division titles but the work is not over yet. Let’s get to what I liked and didn’t like from yesterday’s game.

1. Receiving corp. 

  • Randall Cobb continues to impress Packer nation. While he has a good amount of drops on the season his ability to create plays and pick up first downs made the injury of Greg Jennings less painful and just give the Packers another weapon to exploit. 
  • James Jones haters, please shut your mouths. The guy has 12 touchdowns this season and has made some of the most acrobatic catches in the NFL.
  • Even with reports the Packers might want to cut him, Jermichael Finley put together his fourth good game in the last five posting five catches for 61 yards. If Finley stays out of his own head, the Packers offense will be difficult to handle.

2. Defense:

  • Overall this defense put together one of the best performances of the season. 190 yards given up, 13 points and 12 first downs. Phenomenal performance put up by the guys on defense and a big reason was the return of Clay Matthews. Matthews had a pretty good game, putting up two sacks, 6 tackles with four coming for losses and more pressures on Cutler. A typical Matthews day against the Bears. 

Here are a few things I didn’t like.

1. Missed kicks:

  • Coach McCarthy is staying with Mason Crosby and at this point in the season I don’t think that is a bad idea. Crosby has been phenomenal from under 50 yards but with misses from 42 and 43 yesterday have me a bit concerned.

2. Fumbles:

  • I am happy Ryan Grant is back in a Packer uniform but his fumble came at a very inopportune time. Had the Pack put up a touchdown the game would have been put away. 
  • The second fumble came on a botched punt return gadget play when Randall Cobb’s backwards pass went through Jeremy Ross’ arms. But again the defense came up big and held the Bears to a field goal.

Packers-Vikings recap.

Well this one caused a bit more nail-biting and a few more curse words being yelled at the television than I thought. However at the end of the day the Packers came out with the win and move to 8-4 overall and 3-0 in the division. Let’s get to what I observed in yesterday’s game!

 

1. Morgan Burnett:

  • I have been waiting for Morgan to take that next step and become the leader in the secondary. Since Charles Woodson has been out with a broken collarbone this kid has stepped his game up to a whole new level. Burnett has 92 tackles and 2 sacks to go along with the 2 interceptions he posted yesterday against the Vikings. I am not willing to say he is an elite safety, but he is on his way to becoming a very good player. 

2. Running game:

  • I was impressed with the way Alex Green and James Starks ran yesterday. Both guys ran probably the hardest they had all season and fought for those extra yards. Green had 13 touches for a combined 70 yards while Starks had 82 overall yards on 18 touches. If these guys keep this up, the Packers will be a tough team to face the rest of the way. 

3. 3rd and 1:

  • While the Packers looked great running the ball yesterday, they are still not able to consistently pick up 3rd and 1’s. Remember the days with Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport where 3rd and 1 could have been converted in their sleep? I miss those days. Seeing John Kuhn get a draw in shotgun to me makes absolutely no sense. Put Kuhn in front of one of the backs and pound the ball. 

4. Injuries:

  • Two more players went down with injuries yesterday. Jordy Nelson tweaked a hamstring again and might not be ready for Sunday night vs. the Lions. Also T.J. Lang who has been forced to play right tackle also went down with an ankle injury. Undrafted rookie Don Barclay played solid in his first ever NFL action and got a nice confidence boost as a lot of runs went to his side. 

While it wasn’t the prettiest game in the world, it was a huge win for the Packers. Being 3-0 in the division at the moment gives the Packers a bit of breathing room but with three games left in the division they don’t have too much room for error.

 

 

Keys to a Packer victory over Minnesota.

The Packers definitely did not look like themselves last Sunday night against the G-men. Today’s game against the Vikings begins a three week stretch of games against divisional opponents. Let’s get to what the Pack must do to come out with the victory today!

1. Short passing game:

  • I have no idea what happened to the plethora of slants this team used to run but it needs to return for several reasons. One of them is the overall production they used to get and the ability to pick up key first downs. A second and more important reason is to get the ball out of Rodgers’ hand quick before he ends up on the turf. 

2. Give up the yards, not TD’s:

  • The Packers had this mentality against the Lions. They gave up a decent amount of yards, but when it came down to the Red Zone, the Pack bolted down and made the Lions settle for field goals. Adrian Peterson can run for his yards but if they keep him out of the end zone I will take that as a win. 

3. Protect:

  • I am really tired of writing this about every week for the offensive line to protect. They need to dig deep and play better. There isn’t a guy sitting on the couch who can come in and shore up this line, so it comes down to the five guys who start. It’s simple, play better. Play tougher. 

I would also like to wish a happy birthday to my mother who can now get her ARP card! She has a great sense of humor so I know she won’t be offended by that. She actually told me she is getting excited to buy meals off the senior citizen menu at restaurants. Also a happy b-day to Aaron Rodgers. A great present to yourself will be to demolish the Vikings today.

AR Title belt

Recap of the Packers-Giants game.

Many Packer fans are probably wondering what the hell happened last night. Well let me take you through what I saw last night and shed some light on why the Packers laid a giant egg.

1. Ate too much turkey:

  • They must have kept eating turkey throughout the weekend because the team I watched last night had zero fire and zero drive to win this game. The end result was getting kicked in the teeth and having your star quarterback getting hit on half of his drop backs.

2. Tackling:

  • The tackling last night was abysmal. One of my key points last night was to limit the YAC (yards after catch). Ahmad Bradshaw’s 59 yard reception on the first drive of game was a key example of what couldn’t happen. More missed tackles on Andre Brown, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz made things even worse.

3. No pressure:

  • You can only be without one of your best pass rushers for so long and that was apparent last night. The Packers only registered one sack and had very little overall pressure on Eli Manning. Manning’s 16-30 was more about him missing throws than being hurried into some passes. The Claymaker can’t get back soon enough.

4. Offensive line:

  • Rodgers has been sacked 37 times this season. So almost 3.5 times per game. That is way too much for any quarterback to get hit, let alone the reigning MVP. As I mentioned earlier Rodgers was hit over 50% of his drop backs last night. That number is absolutely mind boggling. Bryan Bulaga is not coming back so it’s up to the five guys up front to dig deep and keep Rodgers off his back.

 

I love the Mayne Event.

Kenny Mayne needs to be on ESPN more. The guy is just downright hilarious and his segment, “The Mayne Event” 99% of the time leaves me laughing. The Green Bay Packers have been all over the television world this season but two of the Packers players are going the local route.