Packers XLV

Kings of the North Once Again, with Bigger Goals Within Reach.

Posted December 14th, 2020 @ 03:12pm

At halftime on Sunday, with the score tied at 14, I thought about how I expected the third quarter to unfold. What surprised me most about the first half was the Pack's inability to get the running game going. I figured what they needed was a long, sustained drive, fueled by Jones and Williams to start to wear down the Lions defense.

We ended up getting two for the price of one in a near perfect third quarter that saw Aaron Rodgers on the field for all but around 90 seconds and the Pack was on its way to a second straight NFC North title, and 11th in the 19 years since realignment.

Feels like the right time to recall all the angst following the Packers' draft, when Packer fans and NFL experts were summoning their inner Lombardi: "What the hell's going on out there?!" It's tough to quibble about where the Packers are sitting nearly eight months later: 10-3, division champs and three wins away from securing the #1 seed and only bye in the NFC playoffs. Not to mention, the Pack has now won 10 of 11 division games under Matt LaFleur.

The Packers are far from perfect, as their defense and special teams remind us every Sunday, but in a season where there is not a dominant NFC team, and with Aaron Rodgers playing like the league's MVP, in complete command of his offense, you have to love where the Pack sits heading into Week 15.

The Rodgers-Adams connection is having the best season in Packer history. Adams passed the great Don Hutson with his eight straight game with a TD and is now the first player in league history with at least six catches and a touchdown in eight straight games. It's magical to watch these two play together and when we see the light bulb seemingly goes on for a guy like Marquez Valdez-Scantling, well, this offense is pretty tough to stop. And how about MVS, after going into witness protection since the Colts game, he caught all six balls thrown his way and his excellent, contested touchdown catch may have been his most impressive one yet.

The negatives in the seven point win over the Lions: let's start with the 12 penalties--many of them coming at most inopportune times. They have to clean that up, on both sides of the ball. That will get you beat when the competition is stronger. Once again, the special teams coverage units gave up a big return. Just moments after Mason Crosby stepped up and drilled a 57 yard field goal to give the Pack a 10 point lead, the Packers allow Jamal Agnew to scamper 71 yards to the Green Bay 33, allowing the Lions to kick a quick field goal and try an onside kick (which came way too close to working). Of course, it should have been a 52 yard field goal, but Elgton Jenkins got flagged, pushing the ball back beyond the point where LaFleur was comfortable trying a field goal.

But LaFleur went with his gut when Crosby told him he could make it. How far has he come since that day two years ago in this stadium when he missed four field goals and a PAT? He's missed a total of four in the two years since that game (let's see if the Vikings give their kicker a chance at redemption after he suffered a similar fate in Tampa).

Defensively, it was a quiet day for the Smiths; didn't really notice them. I did notice both safeties, Amos and Savage making plays all over the field. I noticed Lowry and Clark wreaking havoc up the middle and Rashan Gary looked frisky. Overall, a solid performance for the unit against an average offense (thanks to their QB), holding them to less than 300 yards and not giving up any explosive plays. We'll get a better idea of where this unit is at the next two weeks when they likely face Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry.

For now, we'll enjoy where things sit right now, division champs and the NFC's top seed. It looks like the team escaped any serious injuries as they prepare for a short week with the Panthers in town on Saturday night.

Two consecutive prime time games at Lambeau in December. Everything is in front of them. And their QB may be the MVP favorite right now. 2020 has been a terrible year in many ways, but the Packers are proving to be a very welcome silver lining.

 

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Comments (7):

Okay...Voice I think you were referring to me when you said about MVS...R_E_L_A_X. I hope your right...but I say...C_O_N_S_I_S_T_E_N_T. Thats what we need to see. As to our defense I am still of the school that our best defense is our offense. That having been said there are not that many good NFL defenses right now. The NFL wants to see 38-31 games not 10-7 games. Most fans want to see scoring in all major league sports. It's a main reason soccor has not been big on the major league level in the USA. We have the perfect team to give the NFL and the deep pockets what they want....scoring and little defense. I dont know how any one can be a Dback in this league. You touch a receivers fingernail and its pass interference. Being OSSG I remember the days of Lester Hayes and our own Willie Wood and Herb Adderly when the rules allowed contact before the ball was in the air not just in the first 5 yards. There were some real muggings. We have to show what we can do against better teams than Chicago, Philly, and Detroit. Thats why it is important to win these next 3 games and keep the number one NFC seed for the bye and home field. Lets keep healthy and positive. GO PACK GO !!

on December 14th, 2020 at 06:52pm

MVS has us wanting to trust him more. He keeps this up and we might get there. It is obvious that Rodgers thinks he is more explosive than Lazard. Who continues to be a tight end Wideout hybrid. It would be nice to draft some one who could push these two. They are both number 3s. It is easy to say the offense is so good, why worry?, but even still. We didn't see Dillon after he is finally off the Covid list. I tried to watch what happens to Preston Smith. It is not good. He is late in recognizing what to do and his idea of holding the edge is very passive. Beyond that he has no natural instinctive feel for pass coverage, be it zone or man. I can not imagine he is happy with his role. I was not happy with the pass coverage. It seamed like there were a lot of open guys over the middle. Maybe others blame the pass rush. Mostly, it is awesome to have secured the playoffs. I don't really care about the number one seed. I want them to find a way to improve defensively and on special teams over these last 3 games. Spend a little extra time in practice and commit the necessary personnel to improving coverage for the play offs. Go Pack!

on December 14th, 2020 at 09:54am

Another entertaining season during this endless pandemic. The bye would be huge but o think this team still has a slip up in them for one of these last 3 games. So Special teams coverage has been as bad as I can remember. The band but dont break defense scares me but many top teams (chiefs, saints, Seahawks) have also had defensive issues throughout the year so I guess we are in the same boat. I like our chances in a shootout against some of these bad defenses in the playoffs. We will see

on December 14th, 2020 at 10:17pm

Stars are in alignment for the Pack however the Defense is not. Great to see a victory over the Lions especially after years of close games (and the Packers D/Special Teams biting on gadget plays). Without the ability to A. rush the passer and B. perform special teams basics we are destined for an early exit in the playoffs. Unsure why Pettine and Mennenga are still in coordinator roles without improvement. Fingers crossed Rodgers stays healthy and can overcome D and ST gaffs. Go Packers!

on December 14th, 2020 at 12:45pm

Dave, I cant believe you really said, we cant quibble about 10-3. You were complaining at the time too. Just because were 10-3 doesn't mean they were right. Time will tell. All I know is Queen is like 6th in tackles and we sure could have used a DT in 2nd rd. We have 2 guys that don't even play. I will stick what I have said. Stupid picks when 12 is got 3 years left. Agree 100% OSSG. Because we watch every Packer game, we over analyze. We are 8th in league in yards given defense. Middle in points given up. 24.8. 11th vs, the run We are bottom 10 in yards given up per rush at 4.6 but I think everyone thinks were a lot worse. Surprised aren't you? They are not as bad as we all think. Did you watch the browns- ravens game? As much as I hate to say it. 40% of these playoff games will come down to the refs. Do they call holding or let them play?. Call a 45 yd pass int. with 2 minutes left. It's what we have and it normally evens out. Just in playoffs, you don't get another chance. As far as panthers. You can pass on them, But they don't stop playing like Houston is right now. They play hard for that coach. It will not be easy on a sat. night game. 20 degrees probably. Just an update, Martinez Lb, NYG. 4th in tackles,. With 118, 2 sacks, 1 int. 2 ff. 1 rf. . Same old story, stop the run win the turnover battle and we win 34 to 24. Go Packers

on December 15th, 2020 at 11:41am

Consistency is not achieved in a day. That's all I'm saying. We gave Davante and Jordy (and Jones) the time to achieve it...why are we being so impatient with MVS? If he's starting to peak now, GOLDEN!! If so, it couldn't come at a better time. ;-)

on December 15th, 2020 at 11:57am

With 13 NFL/Super Bowl Championships we don't crow so much about divisional titles like, say, a club that has never won a Super Bowl or even played in one for 44 years. But the Packers' 11th NFC North title in the 19 seasons since the league put its current structure in place is a feat worth some note and comment. To put in perspective, the Pack was won the Divison 11 times, the Bears and Viqueens just 4 each and the Lions never in that time. In the entire NFL only New England (16) has won its division more times than Green Bay has theirs But the Pats won theirs with the same coach and qb; and we can see how that's ending now with that combo no longer in place. The Packers' divisional domination has been achieved under 3 different head coaches, 3 different GM's and with 2 different qb's. The Pack has won the NFCN now 2 years in a row. They also have 4 and 3 year streaks before. Only once has any other division team won the title as much as 2 seasons in a row. The Pack has racked up a 76-22-2 record against Division rivals since 2002. And added 2 wins out of 3 in postseason competition. It's a far cry from the days of the old NFC Central Division. The Packers won only 5 title in those 34 years.

on December 18th, 2020 at 05:25am

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