Packers XLV

Sorry Purple, Pack Will Reign at Lambeau

Posted November 30th, 2012 @ 03:11pm

One thing that makes the NFL so intoxicating is the weekly rush that can one week have you googling hotels in New Orleans and the next searching for Mel Kiper's draft report.

The Pack's five game winning streak seems like ancient history after the evisceration at Met Life last Sunday night. Suddenly, there are questions everywhere: can the offensive line keep Rodgers out of traction? Can the defense stop the run, particularly this week with some key defensive injuries? With Cedric Benson's days as a Packer over, can the Starks-Green duo provide a consistent running attack? Will Mason Crosby ever make another field goal?

We'll learn a lot this Sunday when the Vikings come to town. This is the latest the two teams have ever met for the first time and both teams will be picking themselves up off the mat after terrible performances.

It's been completely one-sided in recent years. The Pack has won the last four; McCarthy is 9-3 against the Purple. We all remember last year's 45-7 laugher--in fact the Pack has swept the series four of the past six years.

But the rash of injuries has robbed the Pack of much of its defensive swagger and that unit will surely be tested by Adrian Peterson on Sunday. I talked about the surprising stat that leading up to last week, Green Bay was #1 vs. the run in the NFL, if you throw out the first three weeks. All that changed last week when Ahmad Bradshaw set the tone with big runs early to propel the Giants' offense. The absence of Clay Matthews is a big factor as is the knee injury to CJ Wilson. It looks like both of those guys will miss this game too, so we'll see how the defense responds.

Offensively, the Pack should be re-energized with the return of Greg Jennings. We have no way of knowing what kind of pitch count he'll be on, but I get a sense we'll see a lot of #85, which means the return of the slant, a deadly weapon that this offense has been lacking. It will be met with high fives by the weakened offensive line, which could use some quick throws to keep the dangerous Viking pass rushers away. Jared Allen has been silent of late, but he's due to go off on someone.

We're not used to 28 point thrashings 'round these parts. I don't know about you, but I've asked a few of my Vikings fan friends how they handle it, since they're pretty accustomed to it. My guess is that the Giants game got the team's attention and we'll see a focused Aaron Rodgers, who will pick apart that lousy secondary.

As of this writing, it seems unlikely that Percy Harvin will play. He hasn't practiced all week and appears at least a week away from returning. That obviously removes the biggest threat in the passing game and will allow the Pack to turn more attention to Peterson, with an eye on Kyle Rudolph, especially on third down.

I don't necessarily think this one will be a blowout--remember the last two home games, against the Jags and Cards were not decided until the fourth quarter. I got the Pack scoring a TD late to put it on ice:

Packers 28 Vikings 17


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Comments (7):

After seeing themselves on film as we saw them against the Giants last Sunday the Packers should be a highly motivated team to do better this week. One thing about the team since Mike McCarthy has been coaching them: they rarely play two bad games in a row and do get things "cleaned up," as the Coach is fond of saying. Like Chicago, Lambeau has been a tough venue for the Queens to win at (1-5 since McCarthy has been here) and Green Bay has been dominating this series 9-3 since 2006. A road game, outdoors on natural grass is usually not a setting for a Minisota victory in any case. The Viqueens are where they are today because of favorable early scheduling. They were once 5-2 and are 1-3 of late playing more demanding opponents. In the last month they've only beaten the Lions at home and the mirage is fading. They couldn't get to Jay Cutler, playing behind a paper wall, and throwing to only one receiver Brandon Marshall last week. How do they figure to stop 4-5 receivers racing through their secondary this week with Aaron Rodgers throwing to them? Give Adrian Peterson his 100 yds. It won't matter unless he can score 3 td's. The Vikes don't score touchdowns in the red zone and Ponder isn't going to pass for any in this game. I don't know how much of a force Greg Jennings will be after his long lay-off but he will be a presence for the opposing defense to worry about. The Packers offense has been sluggish of late but I think they knock the rust off starting this week. Aaron Rodgers should throw 3-4 td's in this one, they'll run enough to keep the defense respecting it, and shrug off 3-4 sacks and still make plays downfield. Defensively they'll pick Ponder at least 3 times and limit the visitors to field goals. I like the Pack in this one either 28-16 or 35-16 but do see Mason Crosby missing at least one or two field goal attempts as his woes continue.

on December 1st, 2012 at 07:02am

Oh come on now Sugarcane, you know you love some Head Cheese. I missed the valuable incite on why the Vikes were going to win.... Still waiting.

on December 1st, 2012 at 09:18pm

This game is outdoors, at home, and against an inferior divisional opponent. I think the Pack handle Peterson and make Ponder throw them the ball. It may not be a 17 point victory, but it will be a victory. Not just because we want it more, but because the Packers a better team with a better coaching staff. 27 -13 Pack walking away.

on November 30th, 2012 at 03:26pm

"I talked about the surprising stat that leading up to last week, Green Bay was #1 vs. the run in the NFL, if you throw out the first three weeks. " Did I just actually read that????? Holy Cherry Picking a stat, Batman! Hey THC, guess what if you throw out weeks 2-12 the Vikings are undefeated and the Pack are winless!!! Look out 72 Dolphins!

on November 30th, 2012 at 03:31pm

"Green Bay was #1 vs. the run in the NFL, if you throw out the first three weeks." Doh'k. That means so much if you throw out 30% of the season. Another interesting stat: Matt Tolbert leads the league in batting average against left handed pitchers faced at home for the first time in the last month of the season. First ballot HOFer, imo.

on November 30th, 2012 at 03:43pm

Saints, Colts, Texans, Rams, Jags, Cardinals, Lions. Are the they are ranked #1 against the run in.... Do any of them besides the Texans have a starting running back???

on November 30th, 2012 at 04:10pm

wow! were all pretty close on scores this week. slants, slants and more slants. they cannot defend them against us. and 12 will get the ball out quick then. then 2 screens in 2nd half and that will be the dagger. 28 will get 110 yds. but no big plays and we will be fine. 85 and 89 both score, they kill the vikings. 27-16, go pack

on November 30th, 2012 at 05:20pm

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