Packers XLV

OK, Now It Get's Interesting...

Posted December 9th, 2019 @ 02:12pm

Throughout the Packer game on Sunday I found myself constantly flipping back and forth to the 49ers-Saints game, to watch what I considered to be the top two NFC teams battle it out. And after the Pack dispatched with Washington, thanks mainly to Aaron Jones and a gimpy Dwayne Haskins, I watched the two heavyweights punch and counterpunch their way to a 48-46 instant classic.

It left me wondering how on Earth we can expect the Packers to compete with either of those teams next month. The answer is, they can't--unless Aaron Rodgers and the passing game discover some kind of magic potion. Once again, there was no rhythm--for most of the afternoon Rodgers had plenty of time in the pocket but could find nobody open--and the Washington secondary is nothing special.

The offense was bailed out once again by the electric Jones, whose 134 rushing yards on 16 carries came against a Redskins defensive plan that was designed to take him out of the game. He added 58 receiving yards, half of them coming on the biggest play of the game, on third and long with the Pack backed up near their goal line--extending a long fourth quarter drive that ended in a field goal and basically put the game away.

But their has to be major concern about the passing game, which seemed to flourish in October when Davante Adams was sidelined, but now looks more and more like the 2018 version, with throw aways, coverage sacks and a dismal performance on third down (just 5-13 on Sunday).

The Packers could get away with it against the likes of the Giants and Skins, but says of frolicking in the bunny patch are over. The Bears will come to Lambeau on Sunday treating the game like a playoff matchup, because they'll be knocked out of the post season with a loss. Not to mention, their passing game has suddenly found life and they will come in confident and poised to spoil the Lambeau party. Then come the Vikings on Monday night and we all know what we're in for in that one.

It's hard to know what to make of the defensive effort, facing a bottom-feeding offense like Washington. Losing Derrius Guice to injury in the first half (after a long run) took away their nice 1-2 punch out of the backfield and forced Adrian Peterson to handle the load. Time and time again, Washington ran the ball on first and second down and then tried to convert via the air. They just don't have the horses to be productive that way. If the Packers are going to be down two CBs (King and Brown), this was the week for it. Hopefully they'll be available against the Bears.

The brightest spot of the game was new punt returner Tyler Ervin, who showed us that it is possible to gain positive yards when you return punts. His four returns netted 51 yards, this for a team that had -8 for the season coming into the game. What a breath of fresh air and terrific mid-week pickup by Brian Gutekunst and his staff.

Big picture, the Pack is 10-3 and currently the #2 seed in the NFC. Win out and they will have a bye on wildcard weekend and host a game in the divisional round. If they beat the Bears and Lions they will be NFC North champs and likely own the #3 seed and face the Vikings on wildcard weekend.

But if they can't raise their level of play beginning Sunday, their playoff seeding will change drastically. Matt LaFleur needs to find a way to get the offense in some kind of rhythm and Mike Pettine's unit will need to limit big plays and continue to perform in the red zone and take the ball away.

Otherwise, this feel good 10-3 record won't feel so good come Christmas.

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Comments (15):

Erase the board and bring up the clean slate. The season is now a 3 week NFC North tournament. Three clubs are in contention for the playoffs and the one that isn't is positioned to be a big spoiler at the end of the schedule. The scenarios are many. The Packers could win all and take the Division and home field and a first round bye as a 2 or even 1 "seed." They could also lose all and miss the playoffs completely. Or any 2-1 or 1-2 combination in between. They've exceeded most expectations for the year already but over the last 5 games haven't been playing the kind of complete football we had hoped for after the 7-1 start. It raises concerns but they have been finding the ways to win and we'll have to wait to see if they can pull it off now when it counts most. But after the last two years it's good to see the Pack back in the conversation.

on December 10th, 2019 at 05:18am

Packfaninmn - I don't see anyone on this board (dave synikin included) stating that the packers are going anywhere after that redskins game. Most fans on here seem to be in consensus that the team has exceeded expectations this year but must improve play if they are going to go anywhere in the playoffs. I also live in minnesota and agree viking fans are great. There are a few bad eggs with every teams fanbase...

on December 11th, 2019 at 01:15pm

Thank You, another Pack fan in mn. packfaninmn, must not read very well. Please go back and read what I have wrote for last 6 weeks and some others on here too. . If you are going to make a broad statement like that, please do some reading first. Sure there are different fans on both sides. Some go over board after each game , some use common sense and write what we see. I think we have been pretty open minded on here. Even THC, lol. He admits he is a homer, that is why he made this site. But still has thoughts both ways. There is nothing wrong wanting more for the team you cheer for as the season goes along. That is called being a fan. Also, Lanes Rover, makes some good points, Run some WR sweeps , like Badgers do and I see the Rams and Saints are doing that too now more often. Try a half back pass form Jones or Williams, there getting to predictable again. As much Football as I have watched in my 50 years, The Pack could lose by 3 or win by 20 vs, Bears,, Nobody knows, But it sure is fun to Speculate isn't it? Go Packers

on December 11th, 2019 at 01:57pm

Well put larry,I don’t understand what packfaninmn meant, l know these games could go either way, I just want to see some different things and I can say go Pack Go,I’m a big fan,he must not see all the negative comments by Vikings fans on this site,we don’t go on there site ever and submit hateful comments,just defending our team,we know there not perfect but they never say anything about their team like we do,Go way back packfaninmn and do some reading before you make a broad statement like that!!

on December 11th, 2019 at 03:03pm

I literally was referring to comments in this thread. Not sure now I am getting the "not sure where PackfaninMN is coming from" statements. I literally just read all 13 comments again (including mine) and I stand behind what I said. Keep in mind my comments are NOT reflecting the post itself, I am commenting on the people commenting. yeesh.

on December 11th, 2019 at 04:20pm

Packfaninmn, still waiting for an example of one of these comments claiming we are going to a super bowl. The common theme is that we have exceeded expectations so far this year... And I 100% agree with you, the next 3 games will be a real challenge.

on December 11th, 2019 at 08:11pm

It is truly unreal the bandwagon some of these packer fans are. lol. Packers get throttled by SF, all you hear is "seasons done...lets tank for a pick". Packers BARELY win @ lambeau vs a Redskins team that has ZERO to shoot for, and now they are talking Superbowl. I'm ashamed to be considered a Packer fan when I see these fair-weatherers come out. I for one am scared about this weekend. Bears are fighting for their life right now and are hot recently. The Pack are on cruise control basically. They are almost assured a playoff spot, but yes, I get it, these games still "could" determine 1st round bye or not. Regardless, it's going to be a harder game than the Redskins and we only won by 5 at home. To say Cousins is "ugly", is ignorant at best. And MN has a stupid fan base?? I've been in MN for 3 years. They are actually pretty nice about things. Additionally, they don't AUTOMATICALLY assume their team is going to the SB after every win. Co-workers here complained about their win Vs the Lions last week because it was too stale of a win. I thought winning by two scores they'd be WAY happier. Packer fans beat a crappy team by 5 points and they think the Pack are unstoppable. It's weird. To think going into US Bank vs the Vikes is an easy task are fooling themselves and just homers. That is the toughest game we will have to play all season. Simply from Playoff implications. Then we have to go TO the Lions and play a team that has nothing to shoot for. How much you wanna bet we treat that like we did to the chargers. I am very nervous that our team thinks this is "in the bag" when our last 3 games are divisional games, and 2 of them have playoff implications and the other is a trap game potentially if we come off a win at US Bank. Be better fans. Not just drooling "go pack go" all day after a win.

on December 11th, 2019 at 09:46am

Ugly Cousins will be back Cane,Our own offensive line sucks,like I’ve said,Minnesota is a real stupid fan base,Cane and Greg probably live together!!

on December 9th, 2019 at 01:03pm

Oddly , to me, this Sunday I think we will get the Bears team we had expected to see at the beginning of the season. A team where the QB must be contained and force to beat you with his arm and not his legs. Trubisky's legs have been active again as of late. It will be interesting to see what this second go around looks like.

on December 9th, 2019 at 09:12pm

Everyone said that McCarthys offense was predictable and stale and he had to go,this new offense seems to fizzle out after two quarters and it seems like we run out of plays to call,I know we need some more playmakers but it is still coaching,never any gadget plays,throw out of that receiver sweep once, would like to see something different,maybe they are saving some stuff we haven’t seen yet,hope it works out,Go Pack Go!!!

on December 9th, 2019 at 09:59am

What was your expectation before the season started? Are you allowed to change that expectation? Is it all about only having so many years left with Rodgers? I sure as hell didn't know what to expect this year. Still don't know we are paper tigers or sleeping giants, I don't really think we are either. There are no guarantees about the future. If you want to preemptively mourn this team, I can't stop you. The Packers won yesterday. They have a good shot at winning next week. They are not knocked out of the playoffs yet. The Packers don't look like a perfect team, but that's higher standard for happiness than I'm willing to wait for.

on December 9th, 2019 at 11:02am

Your offensive line is garbage.

on December 9th, 2019 at 11:11am

Was at the game yesterday and despite the poor effort, still had a great time and was glad to see a win. I expected this to be a rebuilding year under the new coach. A 10-3 record is fantastic, and a division title would far exceed expectations even if they get blown out by vikings in a playoff game. It's refreshing to see this team take steps in the right direction this year! Hoping to keep the wins coming! Go pack go!

on December 9th, 2019 at 11:37am

So......acknowledging that the Niners and Saints are better than the Packers at this point is all fine and dandy. And they very well could be. But does that mean the Packers are incapable of improving as they approach the post season? I don't think so. For those of you who would just as soon throw in the towel right now because that "can't beat the Niners or Saints", fine. That's your prerogative. I'm of the opinion that there's a hell of a lot of meaningful football yet to be played , and anything can happen. But as Packers fans, there are two things we can count on as certainties: 1) The Bears still suck, and 2) Cane is delusional.

on December 9th, 2019 at 11:56am

We are 10-3 which exceeds most of our expectations. Sure the 49ers and Saints are better than us....but come playoff time it is a new season...injuries,weather conditions, turnovers, and positive flow contribute to sometimes surprising results. We see how important Aaron Jones is to our flow on offense. As I have said all year the lack of outside receivers to complement Adams will catch up to us and the off season is Gutey's time to fix that. For those who say Rodgers is holding the ball too long....look at the one is getting seperation. Rodgers DNA is not Cam Newton's...he will not make silly throws. The defensive scheme against us going forward will be to target Aaron Jones running game and double team Adams making someone else beat them. This is where some unknown like Tonan, Kumerow, or dare I say MVS step up. Maybe Irvin takes a punt to the house. I have been around long enough to know weird things can happen in the playoffs for or against you. Stay focused and enjoy. GO PACK GO !!

on December 9th, 2019 at 12:18pm

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