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.

Advertisements

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.

Blowout City: Rodgers Best in the League?

Jordy Nelson of the Green Bay PackersFor the first time in franchise history, the Green Bay Packers have scored 50+ points in back to back games.

The Packers demolished the Philadelphia Eagles 53-20 on Sunday and won by executing on all three aspects of the game. They scored on offense, defense and special teams which led them to another blowout victory.

The Packers have outscored their opponents 219-85 at Lambeau field this season and according to many, including myself, are the favorites to win the NFC.

But just how good is this Packer team? Are they better than they were in 2010? 2011? My answer is yes.

Besides the hiccup against the New Orleans Saints, the Packers have been rolling winning six of their last seven games.

One reason they are better than previous years is the play of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

He is playing the best football in his career right now and is playing better than any other quarterback in the NFL. He has 28 touchdowns to 3 interceptions on the season and is reading and anticipating defenses as well as he ever has.

In the NFL, there are a few Quarterbacks that can be considered elite. Tom Brady, Payton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers are in a class by themselves. Drew Brees has fallen out, and Andrew Luck is working his way in.

However, Rodgers has started to separate himself into a class of his own.

Brady fans will have their arguments of why Brady is better and Manning fans will have their arguments of why Manning is better, but as someone who has watched all three of these quarterbacks play numerous games; Rodgers has to be the best.

Here is why.

Rodgers is one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the NFL and no doubt more athletic than Brady and Manning combined. His ability to move in the pocket and escape the pocket is rivaled by few.

Rodgers accuracy and arm strength are both also greater than Brady and Manning. His ability to throw an accurate deep ball is a tier above Brady and a few more tiers above Manning.

Finally, what makes Rodgers the most dangerous quarterback in the league has to be his ability to throw on the run.

Rodgers has the capability to extend plays far after the pocket has broken down. By rolling out to his right or left, he gives his receivers more time to get open and makes life difficult for any defense.

Looking at numbers, it’s not even close.

A quarterback’s passer rating measures the efficiency at which they are playing the game. The maximum number a quarterback can earn is 158.3 and the lowest is zero.

After 10 games in the 2014 season, Brady has a passer rating of 102.0, Manning has a passer rating of 107.1, and Rodgers has a passer rating of 120.1.

The touchdown to interception ratio for the three is Brady 24:5, Manning 30:9, and Rodgers 28:3.

Manning may have more touchdown passes this season so far than Rodgers, but he has thrown nearly 100 more passes. (407 to 313)

Rodgers is averaging the most yards per attempt this season, 8.78, which proves that he is getting the most out of his passes compared to anyone else in the league.

Another reason this team is rolling and better than years past is the improvement of the defense each week. The Eagles came in on Sunday leading the NFC in points per game, but the Packers shut them down convincingly.

The Pack was already up 17-0 before the Eagles earned their first points and were up 30-6 at the half. The Eagles managed just two touchdowns all game and were basically outscored by the Packers defense and special teams which scored three touchdowns on Sunday.

Julius Peppers of the Green Bay PackersJulius Peppers tallied his second pick six of the season in the third quarter when he intercepted Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez and showed off his athleticism by outrunning the Eagles offense and shaking off tackles as he made his way into the end zone.

The signing of Peppers looks more genius each week as he continues to rack up more impact plays per week. Hats are off to Packers general manager Ted Thompson for bringing in a 34-year-old who most thought was finished.

The Packers will travel to Minnesota to take on the 4-6 Vikings in what is the definition of a trap game, especially with the New England Patriots coming to Lambeau in two weeks. However, if I know anything about this Packer team, they will most definitely be ready for Minnesota and will want to build on their momentum moving forward.

Bear Down?

Randall Cobb of the Green Bay PackersIt is hard to believe that two NFL teams were playing on Sunday night, but after failing to find any reasonable explanation, I came to terms that the other team was indeed the Chicago Bears.

The Green Bay Packers humiliated the Bears on Sunday in a game that was 42-0 at halftime and was the largest halftime deficit for any Bears team in the 90 plus year history of the historic franchise.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had six touchdowns at the half which tied an NFL record and easily could have broken the record of the most touchdowns thrown in a game (seven) if he hadn’t been taken out in the third quarter.

The Bears defense looked lost from the beginning. Rodgers had all the time in the world to throw the ball and he picked them apart to the point where NBC commentator Chris Collinsworth was disgusted with them.

But was Sunday’s game more about how good the Packers are, or just the complete dumpster fire that is the Chicago Bears? Probably a little bit of both.

First, after being down 28-0 in the second quarter, the Bears looked like they flat out quit.

Eddie Lacy, although great and I take nothing away from the effort on the play, had one of the slowest developing explosive plays that I have ever seen.

The play in question included Lacy catching a screen pass and then running all over the field before jogging into the end zone. On the play, it didn’t look like any of the Bears defensive players wanted to chase Lacy as they were just jogging behind and alongside him.

Second, however, the Packers still played an excellent game.

On offense they were unstoppable. The Bears may have quit, but that was after they were down big. The Green Bay receivers are getting better each week, and now with Lacy catching passes for the last two games, the options Rodgers has to throw to just keep getting deeper.

The Defense played great as well and only allowed a net rushing total of 55 yards. This is huge because this is the same team that rushed for over 250 rushing yards against the Packers in week four.

Clay Matthews of the Green Bay PackersThe linebacker position had a new look as Clay Matthews moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker, and the switch could not have worked better.

Matthews was flying all over the field and was making play after play. It was hard to believe this was his first game at the inside position, but he finally gave the Packers a presence inside that they desperately needed.

Even with the Packers offense scoring six touchdowns and the defense scoring one as well, the greatest play in the game was probably early in the second half on a Bears punt.

Receiver Jarrett Boykin broke through the Bears line and attempted to block the punt and kicked the ball with his foot before the Bears punter could kick it. It was a wild play that I can’t recall being seen in the NFL and was quite comical.

The Packers will host the Philadelphia Eagles next week in what will be a huge NFC match up. The Eagles are down their starting quarterback, Nick Foles, to a broken collarbone (an injury that Packer fans know too well) and will be starting backup Mark Sanchez.

 

Packers D Will Be Fine #SaveCapers

Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb of the Green Bay PackersWe are halfway through the season and the Green Bay Packers are 5-3 and a game back of the division lead currently held by the Detroit Lions.

After stumbling out of the gate with a 1-2 start, the Packers have won four of their last five games and are the top scoring offence in the NFC with 222 points after eight weeks.

However, offense isn’t the problem and it’s never been the problem with quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center. The defense, once again, continues to be a concern for this team. Or is it?

Of course you can throw out the stat that the rush defense is last in the league and that the entire defense looked absolutely helpless against the New Orleans Saints last Sunday night, but let’s take a step back and actually evaluate the defenses performance over the course of the season.

There are only two games where I can point to and say; that was a bad defensive performance. They include on the road in Seattle against the Seahawks to open the season and on the road in New Orleans last week. These are arguably the top two toughest places to play in the NFL, and the defense still put together good first halves before coming apart in the second halves.

As soon as the defense has a bad game, a good chunk of Packer fans want defensive coordinator Dom Capers fired, but when they play a game where the defense is not an issue, which is six out of eight this year, they keep quiet and wait for them to slip up.

Fans look at how Seattle’s defense played last year and for some reason they believe that it is the new standard for defense.

However, it’s not because not even Seattle is that good this year.

This is a new NFL where defense is getting harder and harder to play each season. If your defense can just make a few stops, good teams can win games and go deep in the playoffs, and the Packers are a good team.

Every team has its bad defensive games. The Indianapolis Colts shut out the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago and looked dominant, but just last week they gave up 51 points to the Pittsburg Steelers and looked helpless. It’s a week to week league.

The Packers defense has a plethora of pass rushers this season and can really get after opponents quarterbacks. The pass rush has really helped the secondary and as soon as cornerback Sam Shields and safety Morgan Burnett get healthy, they will get back to being one of the best in the league.

If you’re still concerned about the bad rush defense, take a look back at the 2006 Indianapolis Colts. They were one of the worst rush defenses I had ever seen in a regular season, ever. But in the playoffs they were able to flip the switch and got significantly better. They won the super bowl that season.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersThe lesson here is if you have a quarterback like Payton Manning, or in the Packers case, Aaron Rodgers, there is always a chance.

Fans complain about the scheme, but you don’t create a scheme to not work. In the end, it’s the player’s job to execute. You also can’t fire the coach and change the scheme midway through the season. This isn’t Madden.

One of the best things about the Packers is the continuity they have at key positions, on the field and on the staff. It’s the reason they can win any game and the reason they have made the playoffs for five straight years.

In the words of Aaron Rodgers, R-E-L-A-X, the Packers will be fine. Here’s to the second half of the season.

Who Dat? Packers Run into Buzz Saw

Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints and Devon House of the Green Bay Packers For just the third time in NFL history, another football game went 60 min without a single punt, and if you don’t remember, the second time was a few weeks ago when the Green Bay Packers played against the Chicago Bears.

Watching Sunday night’s 44-23 blowout to the New Orleans Saints was definitely painful to watch and gave me another reason to think that the schedule makers have it out for Green Bay.

In just the first eight weeks, this Packer team has had some of the most difficult road games a team could ever experience in a single season.

It started out on opening day when they had to play a prime time game at the Seattle Seahawks. Then after a home game against the New York Jets, they traveled to the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears, both divisional games, in consecutive weeks.

The also had to travel to Miami to play in incredible heat, and finally, came to the Superdome to play in a place where the Saints had won their last 11 prime time matchups.

After considering this, 5-3 doesn’t look that bad, but needless to say, the loss to New Orleans has to be disappointing.

Never have I seen a game where the momentum shifted like it did in the third quarter on Sunday.

Tied 16-16 with the Packers driving, Quarterback Aaron Rodgers scrambled for a first down and seemed to hurt his hamstring on the play.

A few plays later, the Saints intercepted a tipped ball and never looked back. They were soon up 37-16 and it was over.

Rodgers continued to play in the game until it was out of reach, so the apparent injury wasn’t bad enough to keep him out, but the upcoming bye week couldn’t have come at a better time as this team tries to get healthy.

Getting back to the game, the number of missed opportunities has to leave Packer fans unsatisfied. The offense seemed to be able to move the ball at will, until they got into the red zone.

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersIn their first three red zone trips, the Packers settled for two field goals and threw an interception, which is something you can’t do if you want to beat an offense as high powered as the Saints.

The defense fell flat on its face by forcing no punts and only making one big play the entire game, which was a stop on fourth down.

They played “okay”, to be generous, in the first half, but the Saints offense made it look easy in the second half as the defense gave up four consecutive touchdowns.

The “fire (defensive coordinator) Dom Capers” chants have already begun, but I’m not going to overreact so soon and to this one loss.

The defense has played well over the past month and that can’t be ignored. They ran into a New Orleans team that had their backs against the wall and were desperate for a victory.

It is never easy to play a prime time road game, and remember that this only counts as one loss.

The Packers have a bye week coming up, and I’m hoping that they will be healthy heading out of it. They host the Bears in an important divisional game in two weeks in another Sunday night prime time matchup.

Packers Continue to Roll, Saints Up Next

Randall Cobb and James Starks of the Green Bay PackersWell, we are seven games into the 2014 NFL season, and it is pretty much obvious now. The Carolina Panthers’ defense is nowhere near what it was last season.

The Green Bay Packers cruised to an easy 38-17 victory against the Panthers on Sunday, and did so with one of their most efficient days on offense all season.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to build onto an MVP caliber season and is playing some of the best football in his career. He added three more touchdowns on Sunday, bringing his season total to 18 and is spreading the ball among his receivers who are repaying him with touchdowns.

In his career, Rodgers has posted a quarterback rating of 105.8, which is the highest in NFL history. His ability to avoid mistakes and make big plays is rivaled by few, and qualities that only the greatest ever have.

Receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both had big days, improving on what is turning out to be huge seasons for both players.

Jordy is leading the NFL in receiving yards and is proving that he is worth every penny he was paid in the offseason, while Cobb is leading all wide receivers with eight touchdown catches and is playing for his first big contract.

Nick Perry of the Green Bay Packers There isn’t much else to go over concerning this game though. I could go ahead and praise the defense for providing constant pressure on Cam Newton or mention how well the secondary played without cornerback Sam Shields, but instead, I’m more interested in previewing next weeks game against the New Orleans Saints.

The Packers (5-2) will be traveling to the Saints (2-4) to play in one of the most hostile environments in the NFL.

It feels like the schedule makers had it out for the Packers by making them travel to Seattle and New Orleans in the same season, but this match up seems a lot less frighting than what it looked like in the beginning of the season.

The Saints, who were a preseason super bowl favorite, have struggled mightily to meet expectations. Their only two wins on the season have come from beating the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which are far from high quality teams.

The Saints defense has also looked terrible after six games. They gave up a 13 point lead in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, which is just one of many defensive failures that they have experienced this season.

They have been giving up points in bunches, and it looks like the Packers offense could have another huge day running and passing the ball.

The Saints offense is also not what it used to be, and that has to give a lot of confidence to the Packers defense.

They have been getting better every week and if they can put pressure on Saints quarterback Drew Brees, it is only a matter of time before this team is 6-2 heading into a well deserved bye week.

As for the rest of the division, it seems to be a two team race between the Packers and Lions (5-2).

The Chicago Bears (3-4) and Minnesota Vikings (2-5) are not playing what could be considered good football, due to the inconsistency of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, and the Vikings honestly just not having a quarterback. It is only a matter of time before both teams are far in the rear view mirror.

If both the Packers and Lions can stay healthy and continue to win, it will set up a huge game at Lambaeu in the final week of the season where the NFC North title could be up for grabs.

Packers Hot in Miami

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay PackersIn what was one of those heart attack type of games for Packer fans, the Green Bay Packers won their third straight game against former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and the Miami Dolphins 27-24.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers continued his elite play in this 2014 campaign and continues to make his case to be considered as the best quarterback in the league. He added three more touchdowns against the Dolphins which also included a game winning throw to tight-end Andrew Quarless with three seconds left on the clock.

With the win, the Packers are now 4-2 on the season, and Rodgers made what looks like the play of the year so far on the Packers final drive.

With the clock running out, he went rouge and faked a spike. He fooled everyone on the Miami defense and threw the ball for a quick 12 yard gain to rookie receiver Davante Adams who had the awareness to get out of bounce and set up the game winning touchdown.

Over the three game winning streak, Rodgers has had 10 touchdowns to zero interceptions and is no doubt in the race for league MVP. There isn’t many other teams where one player is as vital to its success as he is, and he continues to prove it each week.

Although the Packers did struggle for a significant amount of the game, there is a lot to be excited about with this win.

There are no easy games when it comes to the NFL. The San Diego Chargers proved that on Sunday as well on Sunday by barely squeaking past the Oakland Raiders. Even though Green Bay was expected to win this game, playing on the road is never easy, especially in a state where Rodgers came in 0-3 for his career. A win is a win, and when a team can pull it off in that fashion, it’s a real energizer.

The Packers comeback against the New York Jets and now Dolphins are real character building games. They are games a team has to win if they hope to compete for a championship. It definitely shows the fight and character of this team, and hopefully it will keep them playing tough in following weeks.

With each game however, it is getting tougher and tougher to figure out this defense. They played great in the first half by only allowing three points and forcing two turnovers, but completely fell apart in the second half. They allowed three straight touchdowns and looked like a completely different unit. I’m hoping the Packers defense is more of what we saw early in the game and not what we saw late.

The injury bug seemed to hit this defense during the game as Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, and Jamari Lattimore went out with injuries. However, according to head coach Mike McCarthy, all three seem to have avoided anything major and shouldn’t be out for long, which is great news for now.

Davante Adams of the Green Bay Packers and Courtland Finnegan of the Miami DolphinsAs for the offense, rookie receiver Davante Adams stepped up big with six catches for 77 yards that also included Rodgers’ fake spike play that set up the game winning score. He is becoming the viable third receiver I and the Packers hoped he’d be and is really taking advantage of his opportunities with Jarrett Boykin injured for the last couple of weeks.

The Packers will head back to Lambeau next week for their third home game of the season against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are coming of a tie against the Cincinnati Bengals and look like a different team each week. It’s uncertain which Panther team will show up next Sunday, but there is no doubt that Rodgers and the offense should be able to take advantage of what looks like a horrendous defense.

Thursday Night Blowout, Pack Throttle Vikings

Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay PackersIn another game that ended in a lopsided victory, the Green Bay Packers routed the Minnesota Vikings 42-10 in the Packers second home game of the season at Lambeau field.

The game continued a streak of Thursday night blowouts in which the average margin of victory has been 33.75 points this season.

Analysts are blaming the lack of quality football on the short amount of time that teams have to prepare when they play on Sunday and then again just four days later on Thursday. The NFL is being criticized with claims that they only care about money (what a shock) and that they aren’t putting the best possible product out on the field.

However, I disagree with these claims.

Both teams play on a short week, so they both have the same amount of time to prepare. If one team comes in underprepared and is outmatched, the game is going to be a blowout, just like when it happens on Sundays.

Thursday night games have also been part of the NFL for many years, so why are people against them all of a sudden? A string of blowouts has led to an overreaction, and we should start giving credit to the winning teams who are coming in on short weeks ready to play.

It also turns out that the Packers are just better than the Vikings.

The Vikings came into the game with their third string quarterback and failed to muster much of anything on offense. They turned the ball over and constantly gave the Packers a short field to work with throughout the game. All of which are common ingredients to a blowout.

The Packers offense played great and were able to put up points, but the story of this game has to be the defense. They played shutdown football throughout the game and made a Vikings offense that put up 41 points last week look putrid.

The run defense was significantly improved and the pass rush kept Christian Ponder under pressure throughout the game. Let’s give Dom Capers some credit because he has this unit playing a lot better than in previous years. They are looking strong upfront and in the secondary.

Julius Peppers and Jamari Lattimore of the Green Bay PackersJulius Peppers made another huge play as a Packer when he picked off Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and outran everyone as he took the ball back 49 yards for a touchdown. He is proving more and more each week that he has a lot left to offer at the age of 34.

Eddie Lacy also deserves an honorable mention as he was able to eclipse 100 yards for the first time this season and did so using his signature punishing run style.

The Packers will have 10 days before their next game as they travel to Miami to play the Dolphins on October 12th. It will be the Packers fourth road game of the season, but winning at Chicago a few weeks ago has to have given this team confidence that they can win on the road, especially when it comes to playing against an inconsistent Miami team.

What do you think about Thursday night games? Are you for or against them and why? What do you think of this Packer team now that they have a high quality defensive game on their resume? Leave a comment!

R-E-L-A-X, Pack Back on Track

Jordy Nelson of the Green Bay Packers and Kyle Fuller of the Chicago BearsFor only the second time in history, an NFL game went an entire 60 minutes without a single punt.

The Green Bay Packers won their second game of the season 38-17 against the Chicago Bears in a game that featured a combined 854 yards, 55 points, and a lack of defense by both teams.

The Packers defense showed a playing style that reminds us a lot of what we saw in 2011 and their bend don’t break mentality. Give up a ton of yards, but force turnovers. That was the case Sunday when they gave up nearly 500 yards, but only allowed 17 points. It worked three years ago, so we can only hope it will work again.

Packers’ safety HaHa Clinton Dix did make a huge play right before the half when he kept Bears tight-end Martellus Bennett from crossing the goal line as the clock hit zero. This is the second straight week that he has made an impact and second straight week that I am talking about him. After failing to receive any safety help back in 2013, it is great to see Clinton-Dix continue to make plays each week.

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Aaron Rodgers proved he knew what he was talking about when he told everyone in Packer nation to R-E-L-A-X. They were phenomenal in all four quarters and moved the ball more efficiently than they did against Detroit.

Rodgers had the ball in his hands for most of the offensive snaps and led the Packers to six scores on seven drives.

To win a Super Bowl in today’s NFL, a team either needs an elite quarterback or an elite defense, and lucky for the Packers, they have one of those.

Aaron Rodgers and David Bakhtiari of the Green Bay PackersRodgers is no doubt the best Quarterback in the league. His ability to move around in the pocket, throw on the run, and zip the ball into tight windows makes him more deadly than anyone in the league (Yes, even Payton Manning). If the defense can at least be average and can continue to force turnovers, this team can beat anyone.

Randall Cobb, who called his play “embarrassing” last week, stepped up big, tallying more than 100 yards and finally gave Rodgers a viable second option behind Nelson. Nelson has been the brightest spot on the offense so far and is leading the NFL with 459 receiving yards, but the re-emergence of Cobb is what makes this offense what they were against the Bears, and not what we saw against the Lions.

This Thursday marks the third straight game against an NFC North opponent for the Pack as they head back to Lambeau to play the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings (2-2) are fresh off a victory against the Atlanta Falcons and have a new starting quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. With Adrian Peterson most likely not playing, it is a game that the Packers will be favored in and should win.

What do you think about the Packers victory over the Bears? Are you concerned about the defense or do you think they’ll improve? Do you think the offense will continue to dominate like we saw Sunday? Leave a comment!