It’s been nice watching the Green Bay Packers beat up on the likes of the Bears,Chiefs and Chargers so far this season. But things are about to get much more interesting over the next month.
Three of the next four Packers games are against contending teams,two of which are currently undefeated. If the Packers come through this upcoming month-long stretch undefeated,it’s safe to say we have a really special team on our hands. If they go 3-1,that’s still really good. Even 2-2 wouldn’t shake my confidence in this squad.
The NFL changes week-to-week,but that doesn’t’t stop those of us in the blogosphere from peering out into the future a bit. Let’s look into the Packers future right now and see the different types of challenges they’ll be facing over their next four games.
at Denver Broncos,7:30 p.m.,Sunday,Nov. 1
The same thing worries me about the Broncos that worried me about the Chargers: Presnap defensive looks. Philip Rivers knew what Dom Capers was doing early in the play clock and was able to adjust accordingly. Manning will try and do the same,so Capers better do a better of disguising his calls presnap,or at least building in an adjustment or two once Manning makes his presnap reads.
at Carolina Panthers,noon,Sunday,Nov. 8
I will be in a deer stand during this game,so my main worry is 1) not shooting myself in the foot and 2) the Packers getting run over. The Packers will be coming off consecutive games against wily old veteran quarterbacks looking to pick Green Bay apart in the passing game. Carolina will likely use its power running game to take a completely different approach,topped off by Cam Newton doing some power running of his own.
Detroit Lions,noon,Sunday,Nov. 15
The only thing that worries me about the Lions is whether the Packers will win by seven touchdowns or eight.
at Minnesota Vikings,noon,Sunday,Nov. 22
The Vikings roster isn’t loaded with top-tier talent,but it’s stacked with consistently solid players who play consistently. So far this season,Mike Zimmer’s team hasn’t gotten too high or too low. Plus the Vikings are young and naïve enough to think that they can beat the big,bad Packers at home in what amounts to Minnesota’s Super Bowl every season. Of the four games listed here,this one against Minnesota might very well be the biggest one. You don’t want to give the young Vikings any kind of hope that they can sneak up on Green Bay for the division.
So,what’s your prediction for this stretch? I’m calling 3-1: win at Denver,win at Carolina,win at home over Detroit,lose to the Vikings in Minnesota. Get ready for drooling Vikings fans on social media making cringe-worthy homophobic jokes.
The Green Bay Packers bye week ends on Monday. Once the players return to work,they’ll continue their march toward a perfect season and another Super Bowl title.
If I bet you that the Packers would go 19-0,would you take me up on it? You should,because the Packers probably aren’t going 19-0.
But as long as we’re talking betting,let’s take a look at five Packers over/under props I came up with for the second half of the season. Let me know which way you’d wager in the comments,and feel free to come up with some over/under props of your own.
The Packers will win over/under (o/u) 6 1/2 of their final 10 games. If the Packers go over,it’d mean they’d finish 13-3 at worst. Call me crazy,but I’m taking the over. As long as the injury rush is over,this team should actually get better down the stretch. Sure,the schedule gets tougher,but my money is still on the Packers.
Eddie Lacy will receive o/u 57 percent of the Packers rushing attempts in the last 10 games. Lacy’s 246 carries in 2014 accounted for almost 57 percent of Green Bay’s carries. So far,Lacy has 67 carries,about 44 percent of Green Bay’s total. I say Lacy’s ankle heals up,the weather gets cold,and ‘ol Phat Eddie hits the over on this one.
Randall Cobb will be o/u 61 catches the rest of the season. Cobb caught 91 passes in 2014. He needs 61 grabs over the last 10 games to match that total. With a bum shoulder and extra attention thrown his way since Jordy Nelson’s been out,I’m betting the under here.
Datone Jones record o/u 3 ½ sacks in the last 10 games. Jones’ career high for sacks was 3 ½ in his rookie season. He has one this season,so recording more than 3 ½ would get him his career high. I say he goes over and plays a key role on this team down the stretch.
A total of o/u 2 ½ starters will suffer significant injuries the rest of the season. This might be the most important over/under of them all. By significant injury,I’m saying missing three games or more. I’m going to guess the under just because the football gods can’t hate the Packers that much,can they?
Bonus over/under: I will have to pay o/u $250 per ticket to attend the Thanksgiving night game against the Bears. The wife and I are heading to Lambeau on Thanksgiving to honor Favre and watch the Packers maul the Bears. I’m hoping secondary market ticket prices come down,because right now they are ridiculously high. As I type this,the lowest price seat,before fees,runs $271 a pop. I’m a cheap SOB and will do whatever it takes to save a few bucks. But am I fighting a losing battle in this case? Will I just have to pony up a mortgage payment to go to this game and apologize to my financial advisor later?
Even though the Green Bay Packers are 6-0,there’s still a fair amount of consternation throughout the fan base about this year’s team.
The offense isn’t rolling like we’re used to. Injuries are mounting. The defense just allowed 500 passing yards. Opponents facing an early deficit are allowed to hang around and play their way back into the game. What’s up with Eddie Lacy and why can’t Randall Cobb get open?
This type of consternation annoys some people. Certain sectors of the Packers fan base think other sectors are spoiled. “We’re 6-0,” they say. “Quit whining and enjoy it.”
Of course,there are always “those fans” who are whiny and miserable no matter what,but I think they’re a tiny minority. Most Packers fans are perfectly capable of loving the fact that their favorite team is 6-0 while still pointing out flaws and talking about ways the team can get even better.
There’s also the “formality factor.” Before this season started,I wrote that Packers fans now view the regular season as a formality. Green Bay will win between 10-13 games,be in the mix for a Super Bowl and have several memorable moments from September through December. It’s what happens every season as long as QB1 is healthy.
Even though most fans will enjoy the ride of the regular season,it’s the playoffs that matter. Anything that happens in weeks 1-17 will be immediately forecasted and analyzed as to how it might impact the team in January.
Is giving up 500 yards to Philip Rivers a sign that the Packers are doomed for another playoff defensive meltdown? Are Rodgers’ recent struggles a sign that he might flounder in the postseason? Will the injuries be too much to overcome when the games matter most?
Go ahead and call Packers fans spoiled,but 10-13 wins and Super Bowl contention is just kind of what happens around here every season. It’s a whole lot of fun. It also kind of becomes routine. You want more. You can’t help but look ahead. You start nitpicking. You tell yourself not to do it but you do it anyway.
All of the sudden you sound like you’re unhappy about your undefeated football team. We’re not unhappy about our undefeated football team. We’ve just read this story before. The story had an amazing ending in 1996 and 2010. Every other time,the bad guys won,even though the book’s first 300 pages were filled with the green and gold good guys kicking ass.
Packers fans don’t want the good guys to dominate the entire book only to see the bad guys win again in the end. That’s why we sometimes talk about our undefeated team like they’re 3-3. We can’t help it. It’s nice to beat the bad guys in October on page 125 of the story. But what we really want to do is defeat the lead bad guy in January on the book’s final page.
Onto this week’s Packers Stock Report:
Starks’ speed seems to catch teams off guard. That’ll probably change now that Starks has been getting so many carries,but for the time being,thank you,Neo,for stepping up and keeping the Packers ground game above water while whatever is going on with Eddie Lacy gets figured out.
Not a bad week for Datone Jones. He had a new baby and made some key plays to help the Packers survive and beat the Chargers. As long as Jones avoids the nagging injuries,he’s continued to evolve into a very good player up front.
Is it just me,or does Lambeau Field sound louder than it has in years this season? Hats off to the Packers fans to fill the stands every Sunday. You’re more than doing your job this season.
Even though the Packers offense might be sputtering a bit,you can still count on the Sleeveless Turtleneck for 1-2 great plays per game.
Lang didn’t do anything particularly special on Sunday,but let’s give him credit for getting on the field and playing through a knee injury that has to still be bugging him a bit. Nobody would’ve blamed Lang if he wanted to sit this one out prior to the bye week,but he got back out there and played well. We could probably say the same thing about Cobb and his shoulder and a number of other players fighting through injuries.
If Lacy is injured,the Packers should sit him until he’s healthy. Trotting him out there for four lackluster carries doesn’t do anybody any good.
In my market (Minneapolis),CBS decided to show the entire overtime of the Broncos-Browns game instead of switching over to Packers-Chargers. Direct TV refused to put Packers-Chargers on a Sunday Ticket channel in my market,even though we pay around $400 per season to “never miss a minute of our favorite team.” Major fail on Direct TV’s part. Sunday Ticket is literally the only reason I put an obscene Direct TV dish on top of my roof. Put the national game on Sunday Ticket if the network doesn’t switch to it right away. Direct TV: You’re the one with scrawny arms,not cable.
NFL games on TV
Once the Packers game finally appeared on my television screen,I was treated to a long series of commercials that were occasionally interrupted by a football game. The game lasted nearly 4 hours and about 3 hours and 30 minutes of that were commercials. Stop with the score-commercial-kickoff-commercial pattern,NFL and network television. You’ll survive just fine if you knock out a handful of commercials to actually enhance the viewing experience back home.
WHY IS SAN DIEGO CHARGERS QUARTERBACK PHILIP RIVERS ALWAYS YELLING? WHENEVER I WATCH A CHARGERS GAME,I WANT TO GIVE RIVERS A BEER AND REMIND HIM THAT HE MAKES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THROW AN ODDLY-SHAPED PIECE OF LEATHER TO OTHER HIGHLY PAID HUMAN BEINGS. THERE IS NO NEED TO CONSTANTLY BE YELLING.
TO GIVE READERS OF THIS FINE GAME PREVIEW A BETTER SENSE OF WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN THEY WATCH THE CHARGERS PLAY THE GREEN BAY PACKERS TODAY,I AM GOING TO WRITE THIS ENTIRE PIECE IN THE VOICE OF PHILIP RIVERS. BY THE VOICE OF PHILIP RIVERS,I MEAN I AM GOING TO YELL. A LOT. HENCE,THE ALL CAPS.
RIVERS SEEMS LIKE THE DAN MARINO OF OUR GENERATION. A GREAT QB BLESSED WITH EXCELLENT RECEIVING TARGETS WHOSE TERRIBLE DEFENSES,OFFENSIVE LINES OR INJURY LUCK RUIN HIS SUPER BOWL CHANCES EVERY SEASON BEFORE NOVEMBER.
I HATE TO TELL YOU THIS,PHILIP RIVERS,BUT AFTER TODAY,YOUR HOPES FOR A SUPER BOWL WILL ONCE AGAIN BE RUINED. YES,YOU WILL ONLY BE 2-4 AFTER LOSING TO THE PACKERS,BUT ODDS ARE YOU’LL BE SO BEAT UP AND DEMORALIZED AFTER YOUR HIGH-SCHOOL LEVEL OFFENSIVE LINE ALLOWS YOU TO GET SACKED 14 TIMES THAT YOU’LL JUST THROW IN THE TOWEL.
YOU’LL CONTINUE YELLING,BUT THE YELLING WILL LOSE ALL MEANING AND PURPOSE.
I HOPE RIVERS CONTINUES PLAYING FOR A LONG TIME. HE’S A HELLUVA QUARTERBACK AND I LIKE WATCHING HIM YELL AT EVERYONE. I WISH MORE AGING QUARTERBACKS SAID TO HELL WITH IT ALL AND JUST YELLED AT ANYONE WHO GOT WITHIN A 5-YARD RADIUS OF THEM BETWEEN PLAYS.
RIVERS’ YELLING ALSO HAS LIKELY OPENED SEVERAL POST-FOOTBALL CAREER OPPORTUNITIES. DEATH METAL BANDS ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO CAN YELL FOR HOURS ON END WITHOUT LOSING THEIR VOICE. DAY CARE FACILITIES NEED YELLERS TO GET THROUGH TO THE SCREAMING CHILDREN. THERE ARE ALSO SEVERAL SIDEWALK CORNERS IN AMERICA THAT ARE JUST ASKING FOR A SIDEWALK PREACHER TO SET UP SHOP AND YELL AT PEOPLE AS THEY WALK BY.
ACTUALLY,SIDEWALK PREACHER WOULD BE THE PERFECT POST-FOOTBALL JOB FOR RIVERS. BUT INSTEAD OF YELLING ABOUT JESUS AND HELL AND DAMNATION,RIVERS WOULD YELL AT RANDOM PEOPLE ABOUT BLITZ PICK-UPS AND MISTAKEN PASSING ROUTES.
WOULDN’T IT BE FUN TO BE WALKING TO WORK AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN PHILIP RIVERS JUST STARTS BERATING YOU FOR FAILING TO MAKE THE PROPER READ ON A BLITZ PICK UP?
OK,ALL THIS YELLING HAS CAUSED THIS PREVIEW TO GO WAY OFF THE RAILS. LET’S CALM THINGS DOWN AND LOOK AT FIVE REASONS WHY THE PACKERS WILL BEAT THE CHARGERS LATER THIS AFTERNOON.
Even casual football fans know that the Chargers offensive line is all banged up and absolutely atrocious. If the Packers bombard Rivers early with unstoppable pressure up the middle,this game will be over in a hurry.
Even without Morgan Burnett,the Packers secondary has been one of the toughest against the pass in the NFL. Rivers will try to outsmart Dom Capers and crew pre-snap,but his arm strength isn’t what it used to be and he doesn’t have much for deep threats. If the Packers secondary can sit on the short routes and not let Rivers out-wit them,they should be able to contain San Diego through the air.
Something to prove
Every week,Aaron Rodgers is basically asked over and over again what makes him and the Packers offense so great. After ho-hum performances the last two weeks,some are now questioning just how explosive the Packers’ offense is. Hold on tight,folks. When Rodgers and company feel that people are questioning them,they usually go off for a big game.
You can’t write a “5 reasons why the Packers will win” post without mentioning the obvious: The Packers,with Rodgers and his use of the cadence pre-snap,are really,really hard to beat at home. Yes,that’s stating the obvious at this point,but it needs to be said.
When’s the last time the Packers defense has played this fast? Even the behemoths up front seem quicker and more explosive early in this season. That speed is going to be too much for the Chargers to handle,in my not so humble opinion.
RIVERS IS GOING TO HAVE A LOT TO YELL ABOUT IF HE’S ABLE TO LEAD THE CHARGERS TO AN UPSET. IF HE PULLS IT OFF,HERE’S HOW IT MIGHT GO DOWN:
Rivers is not as good as Rodgers,but depending on what you think of Russell Wilson,Rivers is probably the best quarterback the Packers have faced this season. He’s not going to throw check-downs over and over again like Alex Smith or drop an easy pick-six into Quinten Rollins’ hands like Nick Foles. If the Packers are thinking too much about their bye-week vacation plans,Rivers could go off and get a W.
The Green Bay Packers No. 1 wide receiver is out for the season. Their No. 3 receiver has missed most of the season with a bad ankle. Eddie Lacy still doesn’t look healthy after suffering an ankle injury against Seattle and Andrew Quarless is out with a bum knee.
Randall Cobb,the Packers No. 2 receiver,is playing with a sore shoulder and T.J. Lang exited Sunday’s win over the St. Louis Rams with a knee injury.
No wonder the Packers offense is struggling.
Yes,Aaron Rodgers can turn water into wine and perform several other superhuman feats of football greatness,but even he can’t crank out Madden-like numbers week in and week out on a team that’s dealing with as many injuries as the Packers are.
And despite all the sprained ankles,messed-up knees and the “struggling” offense,the Packers are 5-0. Not only are the Packers 5-0,with the exception of about 5 minutes in the Seattle game,at no point this season have I ever felt that the Packers were in serious danger of losing a game.
Consider this as the offense works its way back to optimum health and maximum production: In the month of October during the Packers 2010 season,they scored 20 points or fewer in three games. That team also dealt with a bunch of early injuries. Eventually,they figured it out and won the Super Bowl.
The Packers defense has more than picked up the slack as the offense tries to get back on track this October. To honor the D’s efforts,we’re dedicating the entire Packers Stock Report to Dom Capers’ and his defenisve players:
CM3=DPOY. (If any Bears or Vikings fans are reading this,that translates to Clay Matthews = Defensive Player of the Year.)
Mike Daniels racked up seven solo tackles on Sunday. That’s not supposed to happen for a 3-4 defensive lineman. Daniels is not only blowing up running plays with penetration,he’s also finishing up with tackles.
Sneaky move by Sam Shields in week 1. He purposely played bad so other teams would think he isn’t any good and would continuously challenge him deep. The rope-a-dope has worked. Teams are taking their shots against Shields and he keeps turning them away.
Not only is Jones contributing to a surprisingly effective defensive line,he also made his mark with blocked field goal against St. Louis.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Pro Football Focus ranks Clinton-Dix as the fourth-best run-defending safety in the NFL. With the exception of a few missed tackles against Matt Forte in week 1,what I’ve seen with my own eyes matches PFF’s numbers. Clinton-Dix seems to have rid himself of that annoying habit where he’s dive at a players feet instead of making an aggressive tackle.
LOL. Just kidding. Rodgers was a little skittish in the pocket on Sunday,but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. It was hard to tell if he was jumpy because Lang was out,or if he felt his receivers weren’t getting separation and the only hope of making a play was to start moving around.
I keep hearing over and over again how this St. Louis Rams team could be trouble for the Green Bay Packers this afternoon.
“Oooooohhhhhhh,the Rams have a great front four. Aaron Rodgers will be running for his life.”
“Ooooohhhhhhh,lookit the Rams new rookie running back Todd Gurley. He might be the next Adrian Peterson!”
“Ooooooohhhhh,the Rams went into Arizona and beat the Cardinals. Did you hear that? THE RAMS BEAT THE ARIZONA CARDINALS!!!! BE AFRAID,PACKERS. BE VERY AFRAID!!!!!”
Let me be as clear as I possibly can before proceeding. The Packers are 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.47 times better than the Rams. In fact,I feel guilty even including the Rams in the same sentence as the Packers while writing this silly preview.
Unless every Packers player catches whatever disease Matt Hasselbeck had this week,the Packers will beat the Rams by a wide margin. A 50-burger is not out of the realm of possibility,so save room if you’re eating bratwurst at your pregame tailgate. Those 50-burgers take up a lot of stomach space.
Let me refute the aforementioned talking points people are using when trying to fool us into thinking the Rams led by Nick Foles actually have a shot at beating the Packers led by Aaron Rodgers:
With the exception of last season,the end of 2010 and most of 2011,Rodgers has spent his entire time as the Packers quarterback running for his life. It’s what he does. He runs for his life. It hasn’t stopped him from being the best player in the league before and it sure as hell won’t stop him from being the best player in the league against the lousy Rams.
In their last three games,the Packers have stonewalled Marshawn Lynch,Jamaal Charles and Carlos Hyde. The last thing the Packers are worried about is some rookie coming off ACL surgery lighting them up. Puh-leaze.
So,the Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals last week,eh? And I’m supposed to be impressed by this? IT’S THE ARIZONA FREAKING CARDINALS!!! We’re not talking about the Bill Walsh 49ers here,we’re talking about the ARIZONA CARDINALS! C’mon,man. Beating the Cardinals is like shooting a squirrel. It’s fun,but you don’t mount the squirrel on the wall in your man cave next to the 13-point buck.
Still not convinced that the Packers are going to roll over the Rams? Here are five more reasons why you should believe me:
The Rams forced three turnovers to beat the Cardinals in Arizona last week. That ain’t happening today. Rodgers does not turn the ball over in Lambeau,so the Rams and their one-trick pony Todd Gurley offense will be forced to go long distances if they want to score.
Everyone is talking about how tough the Rams defensive line will be for the Packers offensive line to contain. What about the Packers surging defensive line against the Rams mishmash of an offensive line? Mike Daniels and B.J. Raji are playing some of the best ball of their careers. Even Datone Jones got in on the action against the 49ers and Letroy Guion is back. The Rams have three first-year starters up front (right tackle,center and left guard). Hats off to the Rams front four. They’re talented. But the Packers defensive line isn’t too shabby,either,and I think they match up favorably with the Rams’ inexperienced o-line.
We all know how great Rodgers is. We also all know that Nick Foles is…well,Nick Foles. Foles is definitely a step up from Colin Kaepernick,but it’s not like he’s going to match Rodgers throw for throw. If the Packers get out ahead early and let their defense tee off,things could be over in a hurry. I can’t see the Packers losing a game at home where their advantage at the game’s most important position is this big.
The Rams are allowing over 120 rushing yards per game,26th worst in football. After losing LB Alec Ogletree last week to a broken ankle,stopping the run won’t be getting easier any time soon. Yes,the Rams front four might be able to get after Rodgers,but that pass rush can be slowed down some if Lacy and a Packers offensive line with 287 combined starts under their belts are able to get going on the ground.
The Rams defense is coordinated by Gregg Williams,the Bounty Gate guy who really,really,really loves to blitz. With the way Rodgers uses cadence to not only draw opponents offside,but also get the defense to commit to what they’re doing early,I just don’t think it’s a good idea to consistently blitz Rodgers at Lambeau. I also don’t think Williams will be able to contain himself. Look for Rodgers to buy time and make plays when Williams brings extra pressure.
If all the hype and consternation about the Rams proves to be true and they do put up a fight at Lambeau,they might be able to pull off a win if…
Copying the Bears
Why would anyone want to copy the hapless Chicago Bears? Because they almost beat the Packers in week 1 by running the ball,keeping Rodgers on the sideline,and not letting Packers receivers make big plays downfield. If the Rams do what the Bears did in week 1,they’ve got a good shot to win because the Rams are much more talented defensively than Chicago is.
The Green Bay Packers are 4-0. Along with that perfect record comes a MVP quarterback playing at the top of his game,a defense that’s hell-bent on sacking the quarterback and a special teams unit that no longer appears to be a glaring weakness.
Life is good if you’re a Packers fan right now,isn’t it?
It sure is,but we’re Packers fans. Even if life is good,we want (and sometimes expect) it to be better.
Even though the Packers are 4-0 with an all-world quarterback,a solid defense and a non-embarrassing special teams,that’s not going to stop us from nitpicking areas where the team could improve. Before getting to this week’s stock report,let’s nitpick the Packers and point out some areas that could be a cause for concern.
Beating up on bad teams. You can only play the team’s on your schedule,but the teams on the Packers schedule haven’t been very good. The combined record of the Bears,Seahawks,Chiefs and 49ers is 5-11 (and that includes Monday night’s gift-wrapped-by-the-refs win for Seattle over Detroit). Beating Jay Cutler,Alex Smith and a broken Colin Kaepernick also isn’t anything to write home about.
How ’bout a non-free play big play? I’m all about Aaron Rodgers using his cadence to draw the defense offside and get as many free plays as possible. But as the season wears on,team’s aren’t going to fall for that stuff as often. The Packers big-play offense hasn’t really been there unless Rodgers knows he has nothing to lose on a free play.
Holding…on the Packers…again. It seems like the offensive line has been very grabby this season. The Packers have been flagged eight times for holding and several of those calls have come at less-than-ideal times as the offense is just starting to roll. With three holding calls already under his belt,David Bakhtiari leads the team.
Shot plays,anyone? Remember when Rodgers would play-fake,roll out,and hit Jordy Nelson on a deep post for an easy 65-yard touchdown? I knew with Nelson injured,those plays would be more rare,but I thought we’d at least get a couple of shot plays through the first quarter of the season. So far,unless it’s a free play,we’re not seeing any receivers getting over the top of the defense.
Those damn injuries. The injury to Bryan Bulaga finally caught up with the Packers against the 49ers as Don Barclay had a rough day. Is it only a matter of time before the effects of losing Nelson,Sam Barrington,Davante Adams and Morgan Burnett are magnified as well?
All of these are legitimate concerns for the Packers. Good thing they haven’t knocked Green Bay off course yet. Let’s hope the Packers keep rolling as we roll into this week’s Packers Stock Report:
Where would the Packers defense be without Matthews? Here’s hoping the hamstring gods lay off Matthews this season and he’s able to get through 16 games and the postseason.
A dude cut by two teams this offseason is not supposed to make catches like this one.
The Packers defensive line seems more explosive this season and Daniels is a big reason why. In year’s past,the main objective of the Packers d-line was to hold their own and not get blown up. Now,Daniels and company are doing some blowing up of their own and it’s making this defense much more aggressive.
Perhaps nobody told Shields that the Chicago game was the season opener and not a final exhibition tune-up,because ever since stinking up Soldier Field,Shields has been exactly the type of No. 1 cornerback the Packers need him to be. On Sunday,he made a great play on the ball to snag his second interception.
Setting an early tone against the run gives the Packers offense the time it needs to establish a lead. It also helps boost the defense for the remainder of the game. Raji’s play in first quarters has helped the Packers blow up several running plays and knock opponents off course early when it comes to trying to run at the Packers defense.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before Rodgers was unable to fully compensate for Barclay’s weaknesses at right tackle. Full credit goes to Barclay for battling out there,but it’s time Tom Clements and Mike McCarthy get him some help with a tight end or running back on a regular basis.
I was fully confident that the Green Bay Packers were going to beat the 49ers 57-0 until I heard the reports out of San Francisco that 49ers coach Jim Tomsula let a fart rip during Thursday’s news conference.
Now the score might not be so lopsided. Tomsula’s flatulence could be the secret weapon that helps the 49ers make a game out of this one.
For instance,how will Aaron Rodgers handle it if Tomsula lets one fly during a key series in the fourth quarter,causing Randall Cobb (or whichever receiver is closest to the 49ers sideline) to immediately drop dead?
What if the noxious fumes waft their way onto the playing field? If Packers offensive linemen pass out from the stench,is that a false start penalty?
How will Rodgers himself handle the situation if Tomsula crop dusts the red zone? Rodgers has dealt with plenty of adversity in his career,but never something like this.
Or what if Mason Crosby is setting up for a game-winning field goal and Tomsula raises his leg and provides a nasty gust of wind that pushes the kick wide right?
Be worried,Packers fans. Be very worried…
On the other hand,the Packers should be well prepared to handle any and all stinky situations. The state cuisine in Wisconsin is bratwurst,cheese and beer,after all. I’m sure plenty of grossed out faces have been made at Packers team parties following dinner and an “Alright,who did that?” fart.
And I guarantee you every member of the Packers offensive line has let one go as a joke during practice or during a blowout Packers win. Bryan Bulaga,Josh Sitton,or whomever,probably thought they were being funny by clearing out the huddle early. Little did they know they were helping to prepare their teammates to face the Great Farting Tomsula in the Big Bell Bottom.
Injuries haven’t slowed down the Packers this season. Neither has a challenging first part of the schedule or playing two games in prime time. I can’t see a gassy head coach getting in the way,either.
Here are five reasons why the 49ers will be just another fart in the wind on the Packers march to the Super Bowl:
No matter what type of injuries you throw at the Packers,they keep chugging along. Yes,having a healthy Aaron Rodgers makes it much easier to overcome the injury bug,but it’s nice to see a team not only hold it together through injuries,but thrive and improve. That train should keep rolling later this afternoon.
It’s still too early to make bold declarations about any team,but doesn’t this Packers team seem more diverse than other years? Yes,there are hiccups,but it seems like the Packers aren’t relying so heavily on turnovers to be successful on defense and big plays to take over the game on offense. The D is capable of holding their own without taking the ball away and the offense has thrived despite the lack of deep pass plays downfield. In past matchups,the 49ers’ power running would seize control of the game and their physical secondary would frustrate the Packers’ offense. The Packers seem better equipped to handle both of those things today.
Bring on the blitz
Under new coordinator Eric Mangini,the 49ers blitz often. Rodgers’ mobility and his ability to read the defense pre-snap makes him deadly against blitzes. So,Mangini should just try and get pressure with four rushers,right? Well,so far this season,when the 49ers don’t blitz they’ve been picked apart. It could be a damned if you do,damned if you don’t kind of day for Mangini and the 49ers defense.
Right side woes
Pay attention to the right side of the 49ers offensive line. The Steelers and Cardinals had great success going after guard Jordan Devey and tackle Erik Pears. Look for Dom Capers to employ a similar strategy.
Time to win one
Because the Packers can’t lose to the 49ers again,right? Green Bay finally beat Seattle this season,now it’s time to get that smaller 49ers monkey off its back.
…but just in case the 49ers run of success continues over Green Bay,this could be why:
Kaepernick owns Capers
Much like Bears quarterback Jay Cutler can’t figure out Dom Capers’ defenses,Capers can’t seem to figure out what to do against 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has trashed the Packers defense multiple times and is no doubt looking at today’s matchup as an opportunity to get his season — and career — back on track against a familiar foe.