Packers XLV

Vikings Smell Blood in the Water.

Posted November 19th, 2015 @ 08:11pm

It's been an uneasy week for Packer fans, who are treading in unchartered waters, suddenly questioning everything about their football team. Funny what a home loss to the Lions will do for your psyche.

Clearly, the biggest issues this team is facing right now reside on the offensive side of the ball, where virtually every starter appears to be playing to less than their potential or to a lesser level than we've seen them play.

As long as #12 is around, the passing game should be what sets this team apart from most others. In today's NFL, an average defense and mediocre special teams can be masked by a maestro at the controls of a high powered offense. Only, that offense has been grounded most of the season. Rodgers hasn't looked right since early in the Denver game and his appearance on the injury report this week to his shoulder injury should not come as a surprise.

Add to that the fact that defenses are not respecting the Pack's outside receivers, challenging them physically at the line to take away what Rodgers likes to do best: get rid of the ball quickly and let his receivers operate in space after the catch. It's causing Rodgers to hold on to the ball too long, hoping to see some separation, and when he doesn't, the play breaks down and drives stall.

The running game has also failed to get going, no matter who is getting the football. Before this three game skid, the team was eighth in the league in rushing. In these three losses they've ranked 28th. If the offense is to get untracked, it starts with running the football effectively and it won't be easy this weekend at TCF Bank Stadium. But it won't be impossible, either. The Vikings are middle of the pack against the run and the Pack needs to commit to running the ball. 61 pass attempts, 29 in the 4th quarter like last week and the Pack won't have a chance.

The passing game will continue to be shorthanded, with Jared Abbrederis out for a few weeks and Ty Montgomery dropping out of practice on Thursday. If this isn't the week Jeff Janis gets a shot, I don't know what is. This guy must be one lousy practice player to not be given snaps during games. We've seen him shine bright in limited opportunities this season and in the last couple preseasons. It's time to see if he can serve as a deep threat. Opposing defenses aren't taking the deep pass seriously right now. Janis and Davante Adams present the only real options on the roster.

Defensively for Green Bay this week it obviously comes down to containing Adrian Peterson for four quarters. A month or so ago, they did a good job against Todd Gurley, holding him to three yards per carry until he busted open a 55 yarder late when the game was already decided. There were positive signs form this unit in the fourth quarter in Carolina and last weekend. The Vikings have been held under 20 points in regulation in their last two home games against the Chiefs and Rams. I think the Pack has a chance to keep them near that number on Sunday.

After watching their last three efforts, I find it difficult to see them rising up and playing at the level needed to beat a supremely confident Vikings team that smells blood in the water.  But a couple of intangibles work in the Pack's favor. They come in as the more desperate, angry, embarrassed, focused team. Their demeanor might give them a slight edge against a team suddenly being told how wonderful they are and one that's wearing t-shirts this week exhorting them to beat the Pack.

Whatever happens on Sunday will not signal the beginning or the end of anything. A win by the Vikes gives them a two game lead in the North, a head of steam and a little breathing room with the Falcons, Seahawks and Cardinals looming (a letdown next week would be very possible). A win by the Pack would slow the Viking love nationwide and right the Pack's ship, in time for two straight Thursday night divisional games on tap.

We all know these two teams will meet again on January 3rd. I had hoped a month ago that game might mean nothing. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, it looks like it might mean everything. For now, I expect the Vikes to  grab the upper hand.

Vikings 20  Packers 19

Want to go to the Week 17 showdown at Lambeau and watch the game with a friend and with me in a suite with outdoor seating, including unlimited food and non-alcoholic beverages?  Online auction is live now and ends Tuesday night, with money going to Loaves and Fishes. Includes two newly licensed 60x72 comfy NFL  blankets, made by Denali in the USA.



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Comments (8):

What will fix this team? Basically, two things. First, a WR needs to step up. Second, Eddie Lacy needs to get on track. If they lose, it's not the end, but it'll sure make things difficult later. If the Lions can come into Lambeau and take one, The Packers can go into TCF and do the same. Packers in a close one.

on November 19th, 2015 at 04:53pm

Losing shouldn't even be the least of your worries. A loss is inevitable. The real worry is that your players finally decide enough is enough and just stay in Minneapolis to enjoy things like "culture" and "people who aren't bigots". At least you'll get Kuhn to return, there isn't another fan base that would extol his shitty play with such gusto just because he's white

on November 20th, 2015 at 08:11am

We're the Minnesota Vikings, and we're just a pile of junk We play in a dome they call the Humpty Dump Win a few games, make the Playoffs, and we choke The Minnesota Vikings, and you know that we're a joke We joined the NFL back in 1960 We're gonna be a great team some day, you'll see Just like the Packers, gonna win a Super Bowl To be number one is our only goal Now we've been there four times, but we never seem to win And it's not good enough just to get in We gotta win the big one, and we gotta do it now We're never gonna do it 'cause we don't know how We lost to Kansas City, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Miami, too And if we played the Jets, you know we'd still lose We been to four Super Bowls, and we lost four times Being a bunch of chokers is our only crime We're the Minnesota Vikings, and we're just a pile of junk We play in a dome they call the Humpty Dump Win a few games, make the Playoffs, and we choke The Minnesota Vikings, and you know that we're a joke Now the Super Bowl isn't the only time we choke That's why everybody says we're a joke In October 96 was our darkest day We were in first place and we lost to Tampa Bay And the Cowboys crushed us in the Playoffs that year "You stink like Buffalo" is all that we hear We've been to four Super Bowls, and we've lost four times Some day we're going back there to lose number five We're the Minnesota Vikings, and we're just a pile of junk We play in a dome they call the Humpty Dump Win a few games, make the Playoffs, and we choke The Minnesota Vikings, and you know that we're a joke The Minnesota Vikings, and you know we're gonna choke The Minnesota Vikings, and you know...that...we're...a...joke Yah we ain't never gonna be no good Aw dat dome's fallin' apart again!

on November 20th, 2015 at 10:49am

Uh oh....looks like we have a south Minneapolis hipster, who was picked on at his suburban high school, I've seen this many times. Thanks for your propaganda, and trying to save me from my boring life. GO PACKERS !

on November 22nd, 2015 at 04:38pm

I think I can smell that blood. But why is it the color purple?

on November 22nd, 2015 at 07:00pm

Very disappointed this morning. Iheart radio will not connect. Go PACK! Upset in the making

on November 22nd, 2015 at 07:28am

this game is so big for viking fans, and just another game for Packers fans. we have been spoiled for 22 years, they have had 22 qb's in that time. Like I said in last post, I thought the Pack would lose to vikes at home before the season started. In the last month I saw the offense struggling. What has bothered me more than that is the run D, and today will tell the story , stop 28 to around 90-100 yds.AND NO BIG PLAYS we have good shot to win. The 1st series I will know if MM got more involved in the Offense this week. everyone thinks were going to try and run the ball. If MM is smart, they will start out throwing quick short slants , yes Voice ,slants, and drop off swing and screen passes to 44 and lacy, get the lead then run the ball, that is how you beat Zimmer. so watch the 1st series Packer fans and we will find out how the game will go. let's see if I know what I'm talking about. If we do, the Pack wins 24-20, if we beat are heads against that run d of the vikes from the start and get behind, we lose 24-13, GO Packers.

on November 22nd, 2015 at 11:17am

It'll be close, either way. Losing to the Lions at home last week was the big hurt on the Packers. They're just a missed field goal from being 7-2. The Yikes are about 3-4 plays in the St. Louis and Chicago games from being 5-4. We'll know early on if the Packers are up and able for this one. Keep reminding those Minisotans that the Packers are 9-1-1 in last 11 verses the Purple, 12-4-1 in games with Adrian Peterson in the Vikes' lineup.

on November 22nd, 2015 at 11:43am

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