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Packers Fan

How Good Are The 2014 Green Bay Packers? posted by Packers Fan

The Green Bay Packers were 8-7-1 last year, figuring in the latest tied game and only the 19th  time since 1974. They won the NFC North despite their quarterback Aaron Rodgers sidelined in the first half of the year. This season, the Packers are expected to contend anew for the Super Bowl.

Rodgers had led the Packers to a good start last year with a 5-2 record. But he broke his collarbone in a game against the Bears. He was out for weeks and returned to beat Chicago in a rematch. Yet he was not a 100 percent and failed to help the Packers in preventing a loss to the 49ers.

This year, Packers fans hope that Rodgers would be back to 100%.  The front office surprisingly failed to re-sign Evan Dietrich-Smith even with Rodgers’ pleas. It remains to be seen whether  rookie Corey Linsley will be able to fill in Smith’s shoes, but all signs point he won’t be enough.

The offense will get a boost with the return of Bryan Bulaga who tore his ACL last year. He’ll be the right tackle across sophomore David Bakhtiari, who performed creditably in his rookie season. Bakhtiari surrendered eight sacks last year, but four came in the first month of the season.

The big news for the Packers in the off-season was the acquisition of Julius Peppers from Chicago. But there will be questions on how Peppers will perform this year, as he is now 34 and is slowing down.

The Packers also picked Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with the number 21 pick. Dix =is expected to start next to talented safety Morgan Burnett.  They will also benefit from the return of Casey Hayward who missed all but three games last season.

Continue reading "How Good Are The 2014 Green Bay Packers?"


Joe Anello

2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap posted by Joe Anello

It was an eventful and unpredictable NFL Draft, even after the craziness that ensued in round one Thursday night. Friday night showcased rounds two and three, while Sunday wrapped up the draft with rounds four through seven. Let’s run through the major storylines that came out of the 2013 NFL Draft!

*Pardon for the delay. This is what happens when life throws the draft, C2E2, and the impetus to change jobs all in one weekend.

 

-After slipping through the first round despite several reported landing spots, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o became a San Diego Charger. The Chargers traded picks 45 and 110 to the Cardinals for pick number 38, allowing them to move up for Te’o. At that point in the draft, the drama-laden linebacker had great value. The Chargers run a 3-4 scheme, but he can still be a valuable inside presence for them.

 

-On the very next pick after Te’o was selected, the New York Jets saw a “franchise” quarterback fall right into their laps at number 39 overall with Geno Smith. Smith increases the QB count on the Jets roster all the way up to six, which includes Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, and David Garrard. Yeah… someone’s gonna get cut. The obvious cut is Tebow. But then who? Do you cut the veteran Garrard, whom you just brought in? Or do you take the massive cap hit and release Sanchez? Or are you giving up on the idea that McElroy can be anything? The drama is ratcheted up in New York, and I’m gonna love every minute of it.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

The 2013 Divisional Round is completed! The best weekend in football lived up to the hype, with crazy finishes (double overtimes) and historic performances. Let’s not put off this any longer. It’s time for The Final Drive!

(12-6) Baltimore Ravens 38

(13-4) Denver Broncos 35

After the Ravens were forced to punt on their opening possession, this game got crazy… fast. Trindon Holliday took that punt return back 90 yards for the first score. A 59-yard pass to a streaking Torrey Smith (who was torching Champ Bailey deep most of the day) from Joe Flacco tied the game up. On Denver’s ensuing drive, a pass from Peyton Manning tipped off the hands of Eric Decker into the arms of Corey Graham, who boomeranged it to make the score 14-7 Ravens. Manning took the ball right back and marched his team 74 yards in 11 plays, ending with a pinpoint pass to old friend Brandon Stokley on the side of the endzone. 14-14. Were you still breathing at this point? A score from both teams in the second quarter kept the game tied at 21 going into halftime. And the drama did not subside in the start of a crazy NFL weekend.

Denver Head Coach John Fox will (and should) catch a lot of flak for not even attempting to try to get in field goal range with two timeouts and 20-plus seconds left on the clock. (As we would see later in the weekend, that’s not an impossible feat to accomplish.) Fox got extremely conservative in the offensive play-calling, leaning on the run too often when he had one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time on the field. (Though doesn’t Peyton have full authority to change those calls at the line? Hm.) Not going for a third down conversion late in the fourth allowed the Ravens to get the ball back with just enough time to make something happen. And they certainly did.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round posted by Joe Anello

Alright everyone, it’s my favorite football weekend of the entire season! At this point we have the eight best teams left in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy, including the two greatest QB’s of our era in the AFC and a crazy Saturday night rematch in the NFC. I have stumbled out of the gates with my picks, currently standing at 1-3 after the wild card round. I owe that to every favorite covering last week and my apparently desperate need to pick against almost all of them. This week shall be different! I hope. Let’s get to The Opening Drive of the Divisional Round! (As always, point spreads are obtained from VegasInsider.com.)

 

(11-6) Baltimore Ravens at

(13-3) Denver Broncos

4:30 PM ET, CBS

This is the first of two AFC rematches that were completely one-sided in the first go-rounds. The Broncos slapped around the Ravens 34-17 in week 15, part of their 11-game winning streak to end the regular season and claim the one seed. In that game, Peyton Manning had very pedestrian numbers, but was bolstered by ground game that featured 45 carries, the most of any Manning team in his career. Their 163 yards pounded a then-short-staffed Raven defense. This game will be different, in that Baltimore is much healthier now. Ray Lewis is back, as is linebacker Danel Ellerbee. Still, the Raven corners are average at best, so they’re not going to be able to contain Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the outside.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Divisional Round"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round posted by Joe Anello

Wild Card weekend in the NFL is a wrap! Note that this late posting is a testament to the dangers of kitties. (When you’re allergic to them.) There were bad offenses, great defenses, and ugly injuries to be found in the four match-ups, so let’s get through all the stories in The Final Drive!

(13-4) Houston Texans 19

(10-7) Cincinnati Bengals 13

The first half was a show of ugly offense, with three field goals by the Texans and only a pick-six by the Bengals to account for all the points on the board. Houston suffered because of failed third down conversions and a drop from Andre Johnson at the goal line, forcing them to settle for kicks. Andy Dalton threw a costly interception, but it was essentially wiped away as Leon Hall picked a Schaub pass and ran it back 21 yards to take a momentary lead. But the Bengal offense didn’t score at all in the first half. They barely improved.

In a trending theme of Saturday passing statistics, Cincinnati had -6 net yards passing at halftime. That prompted a “U-G-L-Y. You ain’t got no alibi. It’s ugly.” from Mike Mayock at halftime. (You have no idea how much Microsoft Word just hated that sentence.) When the Texans came out in the third quarter and mounted a touchdown drive, it practically was an insurmountable lead. The Bengals had no chance.

On a key drive in the fourth quarter, (while they were only down six), the Bengals were closing in on the redzone when they had to burn a timeout (play-calling disaster). On the ensuing play, they lost five yards due to a false start penalty. Then they went for it on fourth down (and failed), meaning the six point lead held.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round posted by Joe Anello

It’s that time of year. The NFL Playoffs are upon us, and with it come the unmitigated disasters that are my picks against the spread. (Which means I’m not picking winners or losers, but I’m predicting if a team will win by or keep it closer than the designated spread. Odds are grabbed from VegasInsider.com.) We’ve got some stellar match-ups as well, so without any further BS, it’s time to start the playoffs with this Wild Card edition of The Opening Drive!

(10-6) Cincinnati Bengals at

(12-4) Houston Texans

4:30 PM ET, NBC

In typical playoff fashion, the Wild Card round starts with what is most likely to be the most lackluster match-up of the weekend. This solid Bengals team (that apparently no one outside of Cincinnati believes in) heads to Houston to face a Texan squad that was in near free-fall the last month of the season. It’s not exactly thrilling drama (even though it is a rematch of last year’s playoff game), but this I think game is going to very tight. The Bengals can’t explode offensively and the Texans haven’t been lighting up the scoreboards lately. They’d prefer to get Arian Foster going anyway, which means a slower paced game, full of that exciting clock management stuff. Cincy has a shot at getting passes completed on the outside if A.J. Green can handle the one-on-one match-up with corner Jonathan Joseph. I believe he can, so Andy Dalton has to be able to find him consistently in order to free up the running game and the underneath passes to tight end Jermaine Gresham.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Wild Card Round"


Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears posted by Joe Anello

You know the rivalry. It’s the Green Bay Packers versus the Chicago Bears in a December game. It’s been 13 weeks since these teams met on the first Thursday nighter of the season, and each have had ups and downs in that time, especially the Bears, who now are fighting for their playoff lives.

 

(9-4) Green Bay Packers at

(8-5) Chicago Bears 

The Offense

The Bear offensive line doesn’t need this news, but Clay Matthews will be back on the field. The man who terrorized J’Marcus Webb in the first match-up will be on the outside again, giving the Packers their pass rush back. Like always, Webb will need help if they’re going to keep Matthews off the stat sheet. But Mike Tice should know how to offset this disadvantage: run the ball. Give Matt Forte and Michael Bush (who will be limited if he plays with a rib injury) about 30-35 carries and get the front seven off Jay Cutler’s case. This way Cutler can get freed up for play-action throws to Marshall, which are less likely to be into triple-coverage or be sat on by an opportunistic defense (that is missing defensive back Charles Woodson).   

Brandon Marshall made news this week by daring the Packers to give him single coverage. Let me tell you something Brandon: it won’t happen. Once. You’re the best/only consistent passing option on this offense, so you’re getting bracket coverage on every play. What would be nice is if the other Bear receivers could beat single coverage on the outside. Alshon Jeffery is the most likely option, but he’s still reaching for his potential. And is anyone really going to count on Devin Hester? I’m not.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Green ..."


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 12, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

With Thanksgiving taking up time with travel, family, and friends, I decided to forgo the now-typical Thursday posting of The Opening Drive. But don’t worry, week 12 in the NFL still has a few games worth checking out this weekend!

(6-4) Seattle Seahawks at

(4-6) Miami Dolphins

Wait, am I liking Seattle on the road? That’s a switch. Miami’s been disappointing in its last few outings, so another loss essentially eliminates them from the postseason picture. If Seattle can pound on Miami’s front seven with Marshawn Lynch, Russell will likely see his receivers in single coverage on the outside against lesser corners. That’s a recipe for success.

(9-1) Atlanta Falcons at

(6-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game of the day. Tampa Bay’s offense has been nearly dominant as of late, and they’re matching up against an Atlanta defense that can’t halt the run with any regularity. Doug Martin could be in line for a ridiculously awesome fantasy stat line today. Get him in your starting line-up. I really like the Bucs are home here.

(8-2) Baltimore Ravens at

(4-6) San Diego Chargers

I appreciate everyone thinking the Ravens are weak enough that they could travel across the country to San Diego... after a Sunday night game… against the always physical Steelers… and lose. Wait, I may have just talked myself into taking the Chargers. Wait, I’m taking the Chargers? Screw that noise. They’re terrible.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 12, 2012"


Richard Kagan

Pack Got Robbed With Officials' Blunders posted by Richard Kagan

I don't like the Green Bay Packers.  I like it when they lose a game.  I like it when they get outplayed.  But last night, they got out offiialed.  They lost to the Seattle Seahawks, but it was the replacement ref's who handed the game on a silver platter.  Seattle's Qb threw a Hail Mary pass to the end zone that was well covered by Pack defenders.  But Seattle wide receiver Grady Tate pushed off one of the Pack players in a blatant offensive interference call that was never meted out.  Pack defender M.D. Jennings appeared to intercept the ball and had possession but landed on the ground as Tate tried to wrestle the ball from him.  The Ref saw this play and awarded the Seahawks a game winnning TD with no time left on the clock.  The Packers were stunned and left the field as a team, as if in protest.  But after several minutes, The Refs reappeared on the field to have the extra point play, a mere formality.  This seemed like an insult to GB who played hard, and overcame a fierce pass rush by the Seahawks to earn the win.  But that was negated by the Refs who handed the game to Seattle.  In this game the players stats don't matter.  The Ref's call at the end, negated any of that, it stole a game away from Green Bay.  As much as I like to see them lose,  I don't like to see them lose that way.  That was a seriously botched call.Continue reading "Pack Got Robbed With Officials' Blunders"


Richard Kagan

Bears Get Blitzed in Green Bay posted by Richard Kagan

The Green Bay Packers trounced the Chicago Bears 23-13 on Thursday night at historic Lambeau Field.  The Pack sacked Bears' QB Jay Cutler 7 times and forced him into throwing 4 interceptions.  Earlier in the week, Cutler gave Green Bay poster material by intimating that the Packers might have trouble covering the Bears improved wideouts.  Well, that's like adding fuel to the fire in this often heated rivalry.  Former Broncos star receiver Brandon Marshall, now on the Bears, was held to two catches for minimal yardage.  The Bears netted under 180 yards in the game, and the final score could have been worse.  The Bears were outmatched on the field.  The Bears defense got to Aaron Rodgers too, but not enough.  Right now, the Packers looked like the better team and Chicago needs to regroup only two games into the regular season.  Matt Forte left the game with an ankle injury.  One hopes it is not serious.Continue reading "Bears Get Blitzed in Green Bay"

Green Bay Packers News

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Carolina hold off Green Bay rally

Brett Favre shines but cannot prevent the Green Bay Packers suffering their worst NFL start in 17 years. [read full article]

From BBC Sport


New York Giants LB Jon Beason out for season (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Brees, Saints blow past Packers, 44-23 (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


NFL against the spread picks:Looking at the updated Super Bowl odds (Shutdown Corner)

Since the NFL is already carving "Denver Broncos" into this season's Lombardi Trophy, there's probably no use in checking the Super Bowl odds almost halfway through the season. But let's do so anyway, for kicks. It's hard to figure out who the second-best team in the NFL is. Which means that there should be value in the Super Bowl odds, just in case the Broncos blow it in the playoffs again (I know, hard to imagine). Here are the odds for every semi-legitimate contender (the Raiders are 3000-to-1, if you feel like setting your money on fire), from Bovada via OddsShark.com , before Thursday's game:  Denver Broncos, 3-to-1 Again, this was before Thursday's game. It's not good value to take any team in Week 8 at 3-to-1 to win the Super Bowl, no matter how far Denver is ahead of the rest of the NFL. Green Bay Packers, 8-to-1 Interesting that the Packers are the second favorite. Considering that if the season ended today, they wouldn't even be NFC North champs. Dallas Cowboys, 9-to-1 I do believe the Cowboys are good. I do also believe you're never getting good odds on anything relating to the Cowboys. I don't know if they're America's Team, but they are Las Vegas' Team. Seattle Seahawks, 9-to-1 Hmm. Two weeks ago, you'd have jumped all over this. And i think by the end of the year this will look like a steal. Indianapolis Colts, 12-to-1 Our second AFC favorite. With that easy schedule, could they steal the No. 1 seed? Maybe. Could Andrew Luck pull off a colossal upset even if it's in Denver? Sure. If you believe Peyton Manning will choke in January, this looks pretty good. New England Patriots, 12-to-1 Injuries piling up, but I wouldn't blame you if you liked this. San Diego Chargers 12-to-1 I like the Chargers well enough but I'm not feeling it. Not sure how they get past the other three AFC teams already listed. San Francisco 49ers, 14-to-1 The argument for it: Aldon Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis will all be back soon. Philadelphia Eagles, 16-to-1 If you're asking me who the second-best team in the NFL is right now, the Eagles are my answer . So yeah, I like this. Baltimore Ravens, 18-to-1 Pass. Arizona Cardinals, 20-to-1 Nah. Detroit Lions, 28-to-1 They're technically in first in the NFC North, thanks to the tiebreaker (for now) against the Packers. They've gotten almost nothing out of Calvin Johnson yet. the defense is pretty nasty. Yeah, it's still the Lions, but 28-to-1? That'll go down, and soon. After the Eagles, this seems like the best number on the board. Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints, 33-to-1 We'll lump them both together because this is the cutoff for making any remote case for a Super Bowl contender. And right now it's a stretch for the Bengals. But consider that the Saints are 2-4. First place in the NFC South is 3-3-1 Carolina. It's not like they're dead. And I'm not saying the Saints are gonna roll through the playoffs if they get in, but I do know you wouldn't want to face Drew Brees in January either. Who do you like out of that group? While you decide about the game on Feb. 1, we'll look at some picks for Week 8: Broncos (-8.5) over Chargers ( picked Thursday ): They're really good right now . Lions (-3.5) over Falcons: Call the oddsmakers, there's a misprint! This should be -13.5 and not -3.5, right? Bengals (+1) over Ravens: I can't justify it based on how the Bengals have played the last three weeks. But I still think there's a good team in there somewhere. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Packers scratch Shields, Burnett (Yahoo Sports)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers have scratched starting cornerback Sam Shields and starting safety Morgan Burnett from Sunday night's game against the New Orleans Saints. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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