Losers of Three Straight, Packers Look to Rebound Against Redskins

Green Bay Packers v Tennessee TitansLet’s not mince words here, it hasn’t been good. Each week the Green Bay Packers look like a dumpster fire, doesn’t really help build any confidence to think that this is a playoff caliber team. They just suck right now. They can’t win a game.

The Packers will take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday night, and if they don’t win this one, you can stick a fork in their playoff hopes. This team is not going to get a wildcard berth, and with the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit lions both winning today, they cannot afford to go down two games.

What is wrong with this team? Yes, they have injuries, but injuries don’t mean that you go down 21-0 against a team like the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter. They’re inconsistent and are giving up way too many big plays.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still putting up “good” numbers, but it doesn’t matter when you’re putting up those numbers when the game is out of reach. He’s missing throws, averaging a lot less per attempt, and throwing interceptions. All uncharacteristic of the quarterback we’ve come to know.

We need to finally acknowledge that yes, this team has problems, but how are they going to fix it? This is a team that had super bowl aspirations when the year started, and now they’re 4-5 and on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

One things for sure. They need their injured players back. They’ll get a bit of a boost on both sides of the ball this week by getting back Tight End Jared Cook on offense, and Linebacker Clay Matthews on defense.

Hopefully the other holes get filled as the season goes on, and they can stop the boat from sinking before it’s too late.

Feel free to leave your thoughts on what’s wrong with the Packers, and how you think that they can fix them.

 

 

Advertisements

Midseason Report

9644374-aaron-rodgers-matt-ryan-nfl-green-bay-packers-atlanta-falcons-850x560Well, it may seem crazy considering the Green Bay Packers lost last week, but I do believe that last weeks’ 33-32 loss to the Atlanta Falcons was one of the most promising games of the season thus far.

The offense finally resembled what we knew back in 2014, even though they were down a few key players. The defense, which was especially handicapped, looked as good as they could, going up against the top offense in the league, and being down their top three corners.

This team needs to get healthy, and I believe they will. They are starting to get into midseason form, and by the end of the season, if they can get their key players back, they can get hot. They have the players to win a super bowl. Aaron Rodgers just needs to be Aaron Rodgers.

This is the most up and down season for Rodgers I’ve ever seen, but he’s been getting on a hot streak lately and it looks promising. He’s posted a quarterback rating of 102.2 and 125.5 the last two weeks, and he’s about to go up against a bad Indianapolis Colts defense this week.

Also, the running game continues to be a huge concern and question mark for this team. They’re really missing running back Eddie Lacy, and doing everything they can to fill the hole his injury has caused. They’re getting their rushing yards in unconventional ways, relying on wide receivers and Rodgers’ legs. Hopefully receiver Ty Montgomery can be enough to help fill that void in the next couple weeks.

As always leave your thoughts in the comments!

Packers’ D Shines Against Giants, Offense Inconsistent

9599689-kyler-fackrell-eli-manning-nfl-new-york-giants-green-bay-packers-850x560Another week, another Green Bay Packers win. However, in what seems to be an increasing trend, we wonder, what has happened to this offense?

The Packers beat the New York Giants 23-16 on Sunday Night Football at Lambeau Field last Sunday, a game where Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw two, count em, TWO interceptions.

You could probably count the amount of games in Rodgers’ career where he’s thrown multiple interceptions on one hand. It’s very uncharacteristic for the most proficient passer in NFL history.

But when is this offense going to get back on track? They’re ranked 25th in the league in total yards, and 27th in the league in passing yards.

Every week seems to be the week that the Packers’ offense is going to perform to its potential, but ever since the horrible showing against the Denver Broncos in 2015, they haven’t been the same in years past. The longer this goes on, the more I worry if they’ll ever get back to their 2009 – 2014 form.

Luckily for this team, when the offense starts to struggle, the defense shines. The Packers’ pass rush has been great this year, and their run defense, phenomenal. They’re ranked first in the league, only allowing only 42.8 rushing yards a game. That’s ridiculous.

They also do continue to win, despite their struggles, and their only loss on the season is against the 5-0 Minnesota Vikings, the only undefeated team left in the NFL. Nothing to be ashamed about also considering the game was at Minnesota.

One thing is for sure, and they’ve proven it year after year. Once playoff time comes around, they will be competitive, and they can play with anybody, anywhere.

The Packers will have another chance to get back to form this Sunday at Lambeau against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have played really well this season, despite having a rooking Running back and Quarterback.

But what do you think? Are you worried about the Packers’ offense? Do you think it will get better as the season goes on? Or do you think this trend is here to stay? Leave a comment and let me know!

Back at It Again

usatsi_9535458_1473621207290_5996755_ver1-0I’m back! After a year and a half long vacation We Bleed Green and Gold is back for more Green Bay Packer’s coverage.

But you probably didn’t notice. Oh well, no biggie. It’s just the greatest Packers blog of all time. And it was missing from your life. But now it’s back. Back to fill that empty void in your soul

So this is kind of awkward because we’re already four weeks into the season, but it’s okay. I’ll use this post to catch up my thoughts on how the season has panned out so far. It’s at least a bye week, so it’s a good time to recap.

First of all, when I saw the week four bye when the schedule was first released, I thought it was a bum deal. It’s way too early in the season for a bye week right? I was wrong. Especially for the Packers right now. Their defense looks like a grade school student who had excess lunch money, beaten up.

Sorry that was a terrible joke. Just kidding, it was awesome and true. Against the Detroit Lions in week three, the Packers were missing cornerback Sam Shields, safety Morgan Burnett, linebacker Clay Matthews, and defensive tackle Letroy Guion. All pretty important parts of the defense, that has been excellent against the run so far this season, but spotty in pass coverage.

659176_7vike091916Second, the Packers are 2-1 on the season with their only loss coming at the Minnesota Vikings in week two. Did I have them winning that game? Of course I did. But Sam Bradford? Are you kidding me? I don’t know where that performance came from, but he absolutely destroyed Packers cornerback Demarious Randall.

The Vikings defense is legitimate this year. Way better than I thought they would be. Their front seven is tops in the league, and they’ve still got safety Harrison Smith in the secondary who’s as good as ever.

But do I think they are a threat to the Packers this season? No…

Congratulations Minnesota, you won a week two game at home against a Packers team that shot themselves in the foot multiple times. Oh yeah, and you won by three. Do I sound like a sore loser? Yes. But am I confident that when crunch time comes Minnesota will be Minnesota? Absolutely.

Sorry, but until Minnesota can win a playoff game in this decade, I’m not going to take them seriously. They’re good. I’ll give them that. They will most likely be a playoff team, but in the end, give me Aaron Rodgers and a good Packers defense against Sam Bradford and a really good Vikings defense.

Just my two cents. We’ll see what happens next.

Agree? Leave a comment. Disagree? Leave a comment and tell me I’m wrong.

It’s good to be back.

2015 Packers Free Agency: Five Players the Packers Should Pursue

Well, it’s basically that time of year again. The time where Packer faithful get their hopes up that Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson finally puts his hand on the trigger and scores a high priced free agent.

Well, keep dreaming. The only high priced free agent Thompson will ever sign is someone who is already a Packer.

Speaking of Packer free agents, wide receiver Randall Cobb and right tackle Bryan Bulaga should be at the top of their priority list.

Cobb is looking for around $9 million a year, and at this point, what Bulaga is looking for is unknown.

The Packers do own a nice amount of cap space this offseason though, as the cap number for this year has been raised to around $143 million. Given that, the Packers should be able to afford Cobb and Bulaga.

However, just because the Packers won’t be going after some high priced outside free agents, doesn’t mean they can’t make an impact this offseason.

The Packers only made two outside signings last year, linebacker Julius Peppers and defensive lineman Letroy Guion, and they both had a significant impact on the 2014 season.

So, here are three outside free agents that could greatly benefit the Packers next season.

  1. Shane Vereen: Running Back, New England Patriots

Shane Vereen of the New England Patriots I love the idea of Vereen coming to Green Bay. Packers’ running back Eddie Lacy is a great physical runner, but he is nowhere near the receiving threat that Vereen is.

Vereen is a lot like Cobb, but a running back. If Cobb returns, and he likely will, then Green Bay could very well be a matchup nightmare next season.

Hopefully Vereen sees the potential of working with Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers because it would definitely make the number one offense in the NFL even more dynamic.

  1. Charles Tillman: Cornerback, Chicago Bears

Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears This possibility is only if the Packers do not resign cornerback Tramon Williams because they would probably rather have him over Tillman. However, if the price for Williams is too much, the Packers would definitely not hesitate in letting the ageing cornerback go.

But, exit one ageing cornerback, and insert another.

Tillman will probably not demand much money on the free agent market and could come as a bargain. The Packers are not afraid to take ex-Bears players as we saw last year with Peppers, and Tillman could come in and play well in a limited role. He’s got a knack for forcing fumbles which could really help the Packers come next season.

  1. Brain Orakpo: Linebacker, Washington Redskins

Brian Orakpo of the Washington Redskins Call me crazy, but I like linebacker Clay Matthews in the inside role. He played better than expected at that position last year and really helped the run defense when he made the change, if the Packers sign Orakpo this offseason, he can stay there.

Orakpo could very well be a risky signing given his injury concerns, but those injury concerns will probably drive his price tag pretty low. He might want to sign a one year prove-it-all deal, and the Packers would most likely be happy to do it for the right price.

Orakpo is an effective pass rusher when healthy, and the upside to him far outweighs Packers’ linebackers Mike Neal and Nick Perry.

Rodgers Wins MVP

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersI know that no one really wants to look back on what could qualify as the worst loss in Green Bay Packers history, but now that we’ve had over a week to put the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in perspective, I’m ready to talk about the game and move on.

Probably the biggest reason why this game will be difficult for most to get over is that there isn’t one play to look at to why the Packers lost, there’s about eight. Whether it’s Morgan Burnett sliding with open field in front of him, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix failing to cover a Hail Mary two-point conversion, or Brandon Bostick going for the ball instead of doing his job, neither play is more responsible for the loss than another.

There are about five other plays we could look at, but it would be pointless. The game is in the past and gone, so now we have to look forward to the 2015 season.

But first, the NFL Honors took place this past weekend, and it was actually really good. Seth Myers hosted the event and with the past season the NFL just had, there were dozens of punchlines available to him.

New York Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and St. Louis Rams’ defensive lineman Aaron Donald won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Dallas Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award, and Houston Texans’ defensive lineman J.J. Watt was a unanimous decision for the AP Defensive Player of the Year award.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersThe last award of the night was given to Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the NFL MVP. It was the second time in Rodgers’ career that he won the award and it was definitely well deserved.

In the 2014 season, Rodgers passed for 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 112.2 which is second best in his career, only trailing his NFL record of 122.5 back in 2011.

Rodgers received 31 of 50 votes and Watt placed second with 13. No other player received more than two votes.

Rodgers also won the FedEx Air Player of the Year, and the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year for his week six two minute drive and touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Quarless with three seconds left on the clock.

Looking back, this season was filled with memorable moments just like the week six comeback. Rodgers’ R-E-L-A-X speech before playing a perfect game against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers’ six touchdown first half in the Packers second game against the Bears. Defeating the New England Patriots in the first Brady vs. Rodgers matchup, Rodgers coming back from injury to defeat the Detroit Lions in week 17, and finally, the comeback against the Cowboys in the divisional playoffs to finish the season undefeated at Lambeau.

These are just a few of many memorable games in 2014, proving that this season does not have to be defined by the late collapse against the Seahawks.

The Packers were as close as it gets to the Super Bowl this year and fans should feel confident that as long as Rodgers is leading this team, they’ll be contenders every year. The Packers are always planning for the future, so this team will only get better. They are young and I believe that the experience gained in 2014 will motivate them and not loom.

Here’s to 2015 and Super Bowl L! (50)

There and Back Again

Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb of the Green Bay PackersYes that’s a Hobbit reference, but it’s relevant to the fact that the Green Bay Packers will head back to Seattle to face the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.

In case you forgot, the Packers faced the Seahawks in week one to open the 2014 season and lost 36-16. However, that was back in September, and it would be foolish to assume that either of these teams are the same as they were back then.

But first, I want to talk about how the Packers got this far by giving my thoughts on the game yesterday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Packers won 26-21, but the one play that was on everyone’s mind after the game was over was the reversed call on Cowboys’ receiver Dez Bryant.

In my opinion, call me a homer if you want, it was the right call and a proper interpretation of the rule. Here’s why.

The first time I saw something like this was when Detroit Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson made a potential game winning catch to beat the Chicago Bears a few years ago.

In the process of going to the ground, Johnson let the ball touch the ground while falling and ultimately, he lost control of the ball when the play was thought to be over. Under further review the referees in that game stated that Johnson did not complete the process of the catch after falling to the ground, and according to rule, the ball in incomplete.

Since the rule has been placed, the league has consistently looked for whether the ball moves with contact from the ground when a receiver catches the ball and proceeds to fall to the ground. This was the case for the Dez Bryant play.

I know people are saying that he took three steps and the extension was a football move, but here is the argument against those claims.

First, Packers defensive back Sam Shields did hit the ball on the play causing a delay in Bryant gaining possession on the ball. By the time Bryant secured the catch, he was already falling towards the ground. When he hit the ground, the ball moved, clearly indicating an incomplete ball.

Now about the extension. In order for it to classify as a football move, Bryant has to have full control of his body. Bryant’s momentum is taking him to the ground and he does not have control. Thus the extension is not classified as a football move.

I and everyone else knows that Bryant was trying to score on the play, but he should have secured the catch with two hands and should not have exposed the ball by trying to extend it toward the goal line. Doing so ended up hurting him.

I also don’t agree that this is some sort of egregious rule. It eliminates gray area and getting credit for a catch is simple. Get your hands under the ball and don’t let it move.

It’s funny. People complain every week about how all the rules favor the offense and that the game has become too easy for quarterbacks and receivers. Well what do we have here!? A rule that finally helps out the defense, and most of you are complaining. Hypocrisy at its best.

Also, Dallas fans shouldn’t be complaining because if my memory is correct, last week they were saying that one call doesn’t change the game.

Well, they were right. It doesn’t. The Cowboys had numerous opportunities that they botched in that game before and after the Dez Bryant play.

The Cowboys had a field goal blocked with under a minute left in the first half, and then the Packers went down the field and made a field goal. A six point swing in what turned out to be a five point game.

Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers and DeMarco Murry of the Dallas Cowboys Cowboys’ running back DeMarco Murray also fumbled away a potential touchdown when Packers linebacker Julius Peppers made a huge play (one that more people should be talking about) by coming from behind and stripping the ball.

The unfortunate part of it all, and what was lost in this controversy, is that it was a great game by hobbled Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers had a masterful second half after struggling in the first half, leading a 90 yard touchdown drive, an 80 yard touchdown drive, and a game ending four minute drive.

With about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Rodgers rolled out to his left and threw a laser to Packers tight end Richard Rodgers between two Cowboy defenders to take the lead. It was one of the greatest throws I’ve ever seen him make and Rodgers not winning the MVP this year would be the real injustice, not the reversed call.

Rookie wide receiver Davante Adams also came up big with 117 yards and a touchdown. After disappearing for the last couple of weeks, it was good to see Adams have an impact in one of the most important games of the season.

All of last week we had to hear numerous Ice Bowl references. Well this week all we’re going to hear about is the Fail Mary.

The Packers will have to prove that they can be just as if not more physical than Seattle. The defense is a lot better than it was in week one and are now playing their best football.

If Lacy can run the ball the way he has and if the O-Line can protect Rodgers the way they have, there is no doubt that the Packers will have a great chance to pull off the upset and earn a trip to the Super Bowl.

Rodgers and Packers Best Patriots, Super Bowl Bound?

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots In a game that pretty much lived up to the hype, the Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots 26-21.

It wasn’t easy, but anything in the NFL rarely is. The game on Sunday featured the top two teams in the power rankings, and with the victory, there is no doubt that the Packers (9-3) are number one in the league right now.

But just what is the potential for this 2014 team? A division championship? An NFC championship? A Super Bowl? I say yes to all three.

Sunday’s game compared the Packers to the top team in the AFC, but in order to reach the Super Bowl, we’re going to have to see how this team ranks against the top contenders in the NFC.

So let’s see who their competition is shaping out to be.

After 13 weeks, the teams left in the playoff race include the Arizona Cardinals (9-3), Philadelphia Eagles (9-3), Atlanta Falcons (5-7), Detroit Lions (8-4), Seattle Seahawks (8-4), Dallas Cowboys (8-4), San Francisco 49ers (7-5), and New Orleans Saints (5-7).

First, I’ll start with the lowly NFC south.

Even though the Packers have already lost to the Saints this year, I don’t see them losing to them again, especially if the game is played at Lambeau Field.

Both the Falcons and Saints are fighting for the fourth seed and neither team has proved they can win consistently. They both have struggling defenses that quarterback Aaron Rodgers would tear to shreds.

The Packers should earn a top two seed, so it is almost certain that either team would have to travel to Lambeau. So just like every other team that has visited the frozen tundra this season, they most likely will not be leaving with a victory.

Next, let’s take a look at the other division leaders, the Eagles and Cardinals.

The Packers already proved that they can handle the Eagles high powered offense, and I can’t imagine a different result if these two teams played again.

The style of defense the Eagles play, which is man to man on the receivers, plays into the Packers strengths especially since the Eagles don’t have the kind of corners it takes to cover receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson.

The Cardinals are quickly falling after two straight losses and are pretenders in my book. They are a good team but are not great in any particular area.

This team has just lost too many players to suspension and injuries, the biggest being quarterback Carson Palmer. The Pack should be able to handle Arizona without a problem.

Next are two teams that the Packers have struggled with in the past, the Seahawks and 49ers.

Even though the 49ers are 7-5, they have struggled significantly this season with injuries and off the field distractions. They are in third place in their division and it is a long shot that they will even make the playoffs.

However, if these two teams were to meet, I’d have to pick the Packers due to the struggles of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He is in his third year as a starter and fails to develop as a QB. He shows flashes of great play, but cannot consistently put up the numbers it takes to succeed in this league.

The Seahawks are a different story. They are the defending Super Bowl Champions and their defense is returning to the form that they were at last year. They have already beaten the Packers, but there is a glaring weakness to this team that has been visible all season. They have a very weak receiving core.

The Seahawks traded away receiver Percy Harvin earlier in the season who was the x-factor in the week one matchup between the two teams. Add that to the fact that the game will most likely be played in Lambeau, advantage Packers.

I’m not even going to humor the Cowboys yet because they need to prove to me that they can first make the playoffs and not go 8-8. They are 8-4 right now so this is their chance to silence the doubters.

Jordy Nelson of the Green Bay Packers Finally, there is division rival Detroit Lions. The Lions are notorious for folding down the stretch and shooting themselves in the foot.

Last year they were 6-3 and in prime position to take the division with Rodgers hurt, and what did they do? They finished 7-9.

They have a strong defense, but their offense continues to struggle under the play of quarterback Matthew Stafford. They have yet to prove that they can take advantage of the weapons they have on both sides of the ball.

The Lions did beat the Packers in week three, but that was a completely different team than what the Pack have today. In order to prove themselves they will have to travel to Green Bay in week 17 and try to beat the Packers in a place where they haven’t won since 1992.

The Packers will go back to Lambeau to take on the Falcons in their one and only Monday night game this season. It is time for this team to follow up on what was their toughest game of the season and work towards the number one seed in the NFL. They will most likely have to win each remaining game in order to accomplish that, but I believe they can.

Any Given Sunday

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers It wasn’t as easy as most thought it would be, but the Green Bay Packers outlasted the Minnesota Vikings 24-21 in a tough, grit it out game.

Some fans may be upset that the Packers didn’t score their usual 50+ but there are a few reasons why I really like this victory.

First, this game was definitely a character win.

Things were not going the Packers way for most of the game. Whether it was good defensive play from the Vikings or frustrating officiating, the Packers were not moving the ball as well as they were used to.

The Vikings corners were playing physical and got away with a few penalties early on forcing the Packers to punt on three of their first four drives.

However, in the end, the Pack still grinded out a victory and quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished with quarterback rating of 109.7 and continued his streak of efficient games. His touchdown to interception ratio on the season is now 10:1.

This game was also the definition of a trap game.

With the New England Patriots scheduled to come to Lambeau next week, the Packers could have easily been caught looking ahead. Also based on how well they had been playing, a 4-6 Vikings team didn’t seem like much of a threat.

The phrase “Any Given Sunday” just rings more true each week.

Remember when the Pittsburgh Steelers were throwing six touchdowns each week and then lost to the 1-8 New York Jets? The winless Oakland Raiders just beat the 7-3 Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday.

This is the NFL and there is no such thing as an easy game. If you don’t get up to play each week, you’re going to get beat.

Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers Finally, I guess my favorite takeaway from this game, was the play of the offensive line and running back Eddie Lacy.

The Packers didn’t win in their usual style by passing the ball all over the field, but instead, they relied mostly on the running game.

Lacy rushed for 125 yards and a score, and added another score in the passing game. His two top games this season have come against the Vikings, and they are also his only two 100 yard rushing performances, but there is more to Lacy this season than just his rushing ability.

Lacy has 27 receptions on the season totaling 322 yards. His addition to the passing game has given Rodgers just another threat to go along with pass catchers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davonte Adams, Andrew Quarless, and Richard Rodgers.

The Packers head back to Lambeau next week in what looks like the game of the year and a Super Bowl preview. The Patriots are on a seven game win streak, while the Packers have won seven of their last eight. It is truly a clash of NFL giants and will no doubt determine which team is the best in the NFL… for now.