Saturday, November 30, 2013

McCarthy "not sure" if Rodgers can play next week

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is "not sure" if injured QB Aaron Rodgers can play next week. Obviously, this news is extremely frustrating to us Packers fans. For weeks, we've relied on the fact that Rodgers'll return against Atlanta, and now we hear this. This is absolutely heartbreaking. #12 has got to play next week. 

As you know, the Pack are not a professional team when Rodgers doesn't play. So, why should we pick them to beat the Falcons now? Basically, their season rests on Rodgers shoulders. If he doesn't play, they're guaranteed to lose. It's as simple as that. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Reaction: Packers get blown out by Lions, 40-10

I gotta say, yesterday's game was fun to watch. Not because it was competitive, but because it showed us all just how terrible these Packers really are. All day, they struggled with basic things like tackling, blocking, and caring. They're offense never did anything, while they're defense struggled to just stay with their receivers. Basically, the game was a comedy. The Packers, again, did not look the slightest bit professional. But am I mad? Of course not. I knew they would lose this one, so I'm still very confident in my prediction that they'll win the division. Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzein are terrible, while Aaron Rodgers is amazing. When Rodgers returns next week, we'll see a different team. I guarantee it. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Be Thankful If You Didn't Watch The Packers Lose 40-10

And the game wasn't even as close as the score indicated. The Lions repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with four turnovers, a missed chip-shot field goal, and two kickoffs out of bounds. The Packers responded with 126 yards of total offense on 42 plays.
I wasn't expecting much from the defense and they got ran over for 241 yards on the ground. QB Matthew Stafford had one of the quietest 330 yard games I can remember; it didn't matter that he piled up the yards because the defense wasn't going to do to stop them one way or another. It was like they were playing without any linebackers; once the Lions got past the line of scrimmage they always had room to run. Also NT Ryan Pickett looks done and I'm not sure CB Davon House could have been less impressive. But they did force four turnovers and scored the Packers' only touchdown of the game, so at least they were better than the offense.

It was an epic offensive performance of staggering incompetence in every way. Having said that, this was a Top 5 offense with QB Aaron Rodgers and it will return to that level of play shortly after his return. This was only one game. But it will probably be the last time you ever seen OL Marshall Newhouse, who was benched after he gave a little wave to DT Ndamukong Suh while he was on his way to sack QB Matt Flynn for a safety.

As for Flynn: he showed every Packer fan why the Raiders cut him. He doesn't adjust when the rest of the offense is struggling. FOX had a shot of QB Aaron Rodgers throwing the playbook to the ground, and it looked like he threw it pre-snap, as if Flynn failed to adjust to the defense. I'm not sure he ever called an audible, which might have been due to the fact that he's only been back with the team for a couple weeks. He also seemed to focus on one receiver and never looked for his second option, most notably on a pass he threw into tight coverage on WR Jordy Nelson while TE Andrew Quarless was running wide open a few feet to his right. Maybe he just wanted QB Scott Tolzien to have another chance. And he had this bad game against a secondary that's been awful this season. Adjusting for opponent, this might have been the worst game for any quarterback this season.

I wasn't expecting them to win this game so it doesn't really matter how badly they lost it. It's just one loss in the loss column. With the defense in shambles, it didn't look like they would have made much of a run this season even if Rodgers had stayed healthy. I'm just looking forward to Rodgers's return, and their next win, before thinking about an unlikely playoff run or what they can do to fix the team next season.

Thanksgiving Preview: Packers at Lions

A few weeks ago, the month of November looked like a favorable schedule, but now the Green Bay Packers might go the entire month (5 games) without a win. The defense is a disappointment but the obvious problem has been that the Packers will be starting their fourth different quarterback in their last five games.
Tolzien has shown some promise but Mike McCarthy can't wait for him to figure it out while their playoff chances slip away. Based on their last game, it's a no-brainer that Flynn should be starting. Vince Verhei wrote earlier this week "that Matt Flynn needs to be in Green Bay, and Green Bay, at least now, needs Matt Flynn."

And if the Packers beat the Lions, it will be because of him. While I'm a fan of RB Eddie Lacy, the Lions have the 2nd best run defense according to Football Outsiders. Last week, RB Bobby Rainey, who started a fantasy stampede after rushing for 163 yards against the Falcons on November 17th, was held by the Lions to 35 yards on 18 carries. Lacy can be the offensive focal point against a terrible run defense like the Bears, but he's not going to be a big factor against the Lions.

The good news is that the Lions' pass defense is ranked just slightly ahead of the awful Vikings, and Flynn did well against them last week. Now he's taken all the starter's reps (see tweet above) and will have the advantage of playing inside. The Buccaneers burned the Lions deep on a couple of play action passes and that's something the Packers will have to exploit too.

However, QB Matthew Stafford is having a very good season. He fell apart last week with 4 INTs but he's only got 12 for the entire season. Also, WR Nate Burleson returned last week, and Stafford could find himself on pace for another 5000+ yards and 40+ touchdown season. The only thing that slowed him down in 2011, the last time these two teams played on Thanksgiving, was that he threw 3 INTs. However, the 2013 Packers defense has only recorded 4 INTs in their first 11 games, so they'd be lucky to pick him off even once.

Unless Flynn has a repeat of his game against the Lions back on January 1, 2012, when he threw for 480 yards and 6 TDs against them at Lambeau, I don't see how the Packers are going to keep up in a shootout. The Lions are probably going to score over 30 points and the Packers haven't scored over 30 points since QB Aaron Rodgers broke his collerbone. The upset is possible, but Flynn and the Packers' defense would have to play their best games of the season to make it happen.

Matt Flynn to start today

Well, I guess Mike McCarthy has finally realized what all already know: Matt Flynn is better than Scott Tolzein. 

Yep, the title says it. Matt Flynn, after rallying the Packers to a tie last week, has been named the starter for the Pack's game this afternoon in Detroit. If you disagree with this decision, you must be completely delusional about the NFL. Flynn was good last week while Tolzein has been terrible since he first stepped onto the field. The only reason anybody liked him, at least in my opinion, was because he was a third-stringer. Had Seneca Wallace put up the same numbers, he'd be hated, not praised. So yea Tolzein-lovers, it's over. The Packers have finally woken up and decided that they want to win. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Packers listed as 6 point underdogs for tomorrow's Lions game

Earlier this week, Vegas released their NFL Week 12 Odds, with our Green Bay Packers being listed as 6 point underdogs for their game tomorrow in Detroit. To me, this prediction seems about right. I think Flynn will have a solid performance, but in end I see the Lions scoring more points. 

As I said yesterday, I don't think the result of this contest will matter in the long run. Because after this game, Rodgers'll return and the Packers will have a pretty easy schedule. Now I'll still watch it, but I definitely won't be upset if it ends up being lost. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

McCarthy: "Slim To None" Chance Rodgers Plays on Thanksgiving

While Mike McCarthy almost completely shut the door on the possibility of QB Aaron Rodgers playing this Thanksgiving against the Lions, he did return to practice on Tuesday but not with the first team offense:
It looks like both QB Matt Flynn and QB Scott Tolzien are going to prepare to start. I can understand the strategy in not tipping their hand about which one will actually start, but are the Lions really going to make a big change if it's Flynn instead of Tolzien? I guess they wouldn't have to worry about Tolzien putting a spin move on a defensive lineman if the less-mobile Flynn is starting.

Why the Packers will probably win the NFC North

Let's face it, right now the NFC North is the worst division in the NFL. All four teams in it currently look pathetic, while three of them seem to have no chance of improving. However, the one that does, the Packers, seem to still have a shot at a legit playoff run. Here's why:

First off, we can write off the Vikings, can't we? They're 2-8-1, so they're not going anywhere. Right?

Anyway, the Bears and Lions, who are each 6-5, completely suck right now. Both of them are coming off embarrassing losses to less-than-okay teams, while each of them seem to have somewhat hard schedules coming up. Here are those schedules:

Lions:
vs Packers
@ Eagles
vs Ravens
vs Giants
@ Vikings

Bears:
@ Vikings
vs Cowboys
@ Browns
@ Eagles
vs Packers

Now let me ask you guys something. Looking at those schedules, do you believe that each of those teams will lose at least 2 of those games? The Lions defintely will, as they have to face three hot teams in the Ravens, Giants, and Eagles while also playing two losable games against the Packers and Vikings. And the Bears probably will too, as they are simply not good enough to win in Dallas or beat an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team. Keep in mind, they lost to the Rams this week, so I think that the Browns game could also tick them off easily. 

So, if both of those teams lose at least twice, they'll each finish at 9-7, which is solid, but not great.

Now the Packers. Our beloved Packers will certainly lose this Thursday in Detroit. Earlier today, McCarthy said that Rodgers won't play, meaning we'll be stuck with Flynn for another week. So yea, let's assume for a second that after this week the Pack are 5-6-1. From that point on, with Aaron Rodgers, here are the teams they'll play. 

vs Falcons
@ Cowboys
vs Steelers
@ Bears

Now do you really think the Pack will lose any of those games? Sure the Bears and Cowboys may be a little tough, but they certainly won't lose to them, not with Rodgers. So, if they win all four of those contests, they'll end up at 9-6-1, better than the other two teams. So there you go, as long as all goes to plan, the Packers will win the NFC North. I'm 99% sure of it. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Two Bears Fans Walked Into A Bar

And they did not make good decisions after they left it.

While it's schadenfreude to laugh at the pain felt by Bears fans, I'll take what I can get as the Green Bay Packers struggle. These two guys also pretty much sum up the pathetic NFC North race; the team that doesn't run head first into an immovable object will probably win the division.
 
h/t Deadspin

Reaction: Packers, Vikings Tie


Well, yesterday's game was a first. I've never seen the Packers tie before, and honestly I wish I hadn't. Because in yesterday's overtime, the Pack were sad to watch. They drove down field, got inside the 10, and then completely gave up. Instead of drawing up a legit play to win the game, all Green Bay elected to do was have Eddie Lacy run it. As you know, that didn't work. Then after they embarrassingly settled for a 20-yard field goal, they played no defense whatsoever and, thanks to two huge mistakes by the Vikings (Adrian Peterson running into his own guy and tripping and Cordarrelle Patterson dropping a tipped passes that hit him right in the chest), were able to hold Minnesota to a field goal. From then on, their offensive line never blocked, their play-callers never called good plays, and their offense managed the clock terribly. So, while a tie is better than a loss, this game was bad. Don't be happy about it not being lost. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Packers and Vikings Play To A 26-26 Tie

Actually it's a ironic outcome that two very evenly matched teams played to a tie. Both feature bad defenses and offenses hamstrung by backup quarterbacks. Technically QB Christian Ponder isn't a backup, he's the starter since there's no one better on their roster, but he's effectively backup quality (both QB Scott Tolzien and Ponder entered Sunday's game with a negative DVOA ranking according to Football Outsiders).

And that's how the game played out. Both defenses were mediocre (Packers allowed 28 first downs, while the Vikings allowed 30). Ponder had a solid passing day (21 of 30 for 233 yards and 1 TD) but he took six sacks. However the big story was that QB Matt Flynn took over for Tolzien.
I guess this shouldn't be a big surprise, but I was leaning towards the guy who was only released once this year (Tolzien) over the guy who'd been released twice (Flynn). Tolzien's big problem was his inability to sustaining drives. The Packers went three-and-out on four of his seven possessions, including the opening drive of the second half. The Packers' defense was struggling (three of the Vikings' six first-half drives went for points) and Mike McCarthy had to do something. Flynn got the ball moving.

It's unknown what this means for next week. Plan A would be Rodgers would start, but he might not be ready and McCarthy wouldn't commit to Flynn or Tolzien after the game.

It's been a depressing last four weeks for the Green Bay Packers, the worst stretch of games they've had since late 2008 (their last losing season), but they're still in the playoff race because the rest of the NFC North is determined to suck. The Lions somehow lost to the Buccaneers in Detroit, and the Bears were easily beat by the Rams in St. Louis. However, their chances turn poor if they can't beat the Lions on Thanksgiving. The Packers will probably need their head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions because the Lions don't have the toughest schedule to finish the season (at Eagles, vs. Ravens, vs. Giants, at Vikings).

The Bears are sitting at 6-5, just like the Lions, but Rodgers will be back before the Packers play the Bears in Chicago. The Bears aren't going to win out, they might even lose to the Vikings next Sunday before they face the Cowboys and Eagles in upcoming weeks. With Rodgers back, the Packers will have a much better chance of winning in Chicago and hopefully that win will be enough to move them ahead of the Bears.

Packers place CB Casey Hayward on IR

Well, the Packers injury problems just seem to get worse every day. As today, it was announced that CB Casey Hayward, who has really struggled this year, has been placed on the IR, ending his season. As I just said, Hayward has struggled this year, but still, he's a starter. I'd rather he be healthy. 

Hopefully, Hayward's backup will fill in nicely. I don't know who that is, but he better be good. The Pack's defense is terrible right now, so they need to start getting some production from it. I don't care how, they just to need to start giving up less points. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shields questionable for tomorrow's game

Yesterday, the Green Bay Packers Official Blog reported that Packers CB Sam Shields, who did not play last week, is listed as questionable to play in the team's home game tomorrow against the Vikings. Shields has just 40 tackles and 1 interception so far this season. 

While I like Shields, him playing in this one won't matter. This year, he hasn't been that productive, so the Pack can definitely win without him. Really, he might as well take the game off. They're playing the Vikings, not an actual opponent. Now I don't mean to put down Minnesota when I say that, but you get it. They're not that good. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Green Bay baby born with broken collarbone named "Aaron Rodger" after Packers QB

Here's kind of a weird story for you as apparently, parents of a Green Bay baby born with a broken collarbone have named the boy "Aaron Rodger Dryer" after the injured Packers QB. Aaron Rodgers, as you know, has missed the Pack's last two games with a broken collarbone, so the name fits. 

While I get that some people are huge sports fans, this just seems strange to me. The kid's gonna be 80 some day, so should he really be named after a football player from today who is only going to have a broken collarbone for a short amount of time? In my opinion, this was just too-fanish, if that's a word. But, since it is their child, they have the right to name it whatever they want. Even if the name is a little different. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mike Daniels Deserves His Own Post

With the exception of CB Tramon Williams, I've been negative about the Green Bay Packers' defense every time I've written about them over the past three weeks. But another defender who deserves a mention for his solid play while the rest of the defense struggles is DE Mike Daniels.

2013 1st round pick DE Datone Jones hasn't yet emerged as a consistent inside pass rusher, but Daniels has developed into a player who's consistently after the quarterback. I was concerned when they drafted him back in 2012 that he's a little too short (he isn't a threat to knock down a pass attempt) and he was injury prone in college. He still isn't batting down passes (zero pass defenses in 2013) but he's stayed healthy and he's as good as rushing the passer in the NFL as he was in college (9.5 sacks in his senior season).
After Week 8, Greg Bedard published a quote from DC Dom Capers how Daniels is using power and leverage to gain an advantage on most offensive lineman. He isn't the type of lineman that will use a spin move or speed on the edge to get into the backfield; he's usually just beating them with a bull rush. In that regard, he's a little different than other interior lineman who've played for the Packers. DE Cullen Jenkins had a variety of moves while DT Santana Dotson used his 6-5 frame to his advantage. Daniels might be using his short height to his advantage; his 6-0 frame gives him better leverage against taller offensive lineman. And that big Week 8 game he had came against the Vikings in Minnesota, so he might have success against them again in this weekend's rematch.

As of Week 11, he's ranked as the seventh best interior rusher in Bedard's Pressure Points column with 4.5 sacks, 16 hurries and 5 hits on the season. While the defense has struggled, at least the team has appeared to have found someone who consistently provide an interior pass rush for the first time since 2010.

Packers listed as 4.5 point favorites for this weekend's Vikings game

Earlier this week, Vegas released their NFL Week 12 odds, with our Green Bay Packers being listed as 4.5 point favorites for their upcoming home game against the 2-8 Vikings. This prediction isn't surprising to me and really shouldn't be to you, since, whether Rodgers plays or not, the Pack are just a much better team than Minnesota in every way. 

While I don't think this contest will be a blowout, I will say that I think Green Bay has a 99% chance of winning it.  The Vikings are simply too bad of a team to win at Lambeau. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two Areas To Improve On Before Facing The Vikings

QB Scott Tolzien's game against the Giants was "one of the better zero-touchdown, three-interception games you'll ever see" according to Football Outsiders.
It's obvious that going from QB Aaron Rodgers to Tolzien has been a step-down. While I'm not trying to ignore that fact, I'm focused on the defense which (with the notable exception of CB Tramon Williams) has taken a step back over their last three games.

The pass defense has been a mess all season long, but now the previously stout run defense has fallen apart. I don't know who leaked the supposed terms of DE B.J. Raji's contract extension, but I did find the timing curious because it came right after RB Brandon Jacobs described how easy it was to run against them. If Raji's going to find a big free agent contract next year, it will be based on his ability as a run defender. The team might be sending him a message that if he thinks he's really an $8 million a year player, he better start showing it on the field.

Before Rodgers returns, they need to win a game or two to keep up in the NFC North playoff chase and Tolzien has to get better. I'm not so much worried that he's not finding the end zone but he can't keep throwing one dumb INT per game. While the Giants don't have an elite pass defense, he'll likely be better at Lambeau against an inferior Vikings pass defense (No. 28 according to Football Outsiders). But the defense has to get better too. If nothing else, their run defense (which was ranked No. 8 overall during Week 8 but has fallen all the way down to No. 21 by Week 11) has to improve. I'm not hoping for anything more from the pass defense by this point in the season.

Rodgers: Injury no longer an issue of pain, but of risk

In an article published recently by Bleacher Report, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers told reporters that pain affiliated with his current collarbone injury is no longer his biggest problem, but that risk of getting hit too hard is.

"I think the biggest issue is not the pain at this point," Rodgers said. "It is the risk of taking a shot like that and what it would do if [the collarbone] displaced. Obviously, I'd be out for the season and worried about any type of complications going forward."

He's right about that, but I must say if he's not quite 100% by Thanksgiving he still should play. The Packers simply can't win that game or any other one without him.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Could Sunday's loss end up being the Packers' last one of the regular season?

First off, nobody will deny that Sunday's loss to the Giants was terrible. Going into it, I didn't expect the Packers to win, but they did more than just lose. They didn't compete. Their defense was terrible all game while Tolzein threw a whole, 3 interceptions. You simply can't win playing that way. But, on the bright side, an easy schedule's coming up. And, if all goes well, the Pack could easily be 11-5 come January. 

Who who will they have to beat in order to get to that record? Just the Vikings (at Lambeau, but with Tolzein), the Lions (with or without Rodgers), the Falcons (Rodgers'll definitely be back by this game), the Cowboys (who are very overrated), the Steelers (who are good, but not good enough to win in Green Bay), and the Bears (in Chicago, but since the Packers only fell to them by 7 when they didn't have Rodgers, God only knows what'll happen when #12 does play). So, looking at it that way, I see there being a 75% chance the Pack will win out from this point on. I won't guarantee it, but it's definitely gotta shot. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Recap: Packers Outplayed By Giants, 27-13

If there's one thing to be learned from Sunday's loss to the Giants is that QB Scott Tolzien will be the first QB in four weeks to start consecutive games for the Green Bay Packers:
Mike McCarthy never had a QB complete every big shot he took down the field until Tolzien. He went 4 for 4 with 151 yards on his deep pass attempts. Even with the 3 INTs, his QBR of 29.6 was about what should be expected from a backup QB. He's a big improvement on the little they've gotten in recent seasons from QB Graham Harrell and QB Seneca Wallace.

I'm not going to defend every INT, but if there's one thing he and Mike McCarthy should have learned by now is that Tolzien isn't a good bet when throwing on the run. Two of his five INTs have happened when he escaped pressure and tried to make something happen on the run. Right now, McCarthy should tell him to play it safe and throw it short or away when the pocket collapses. Take those two INTs away and the Packers can live with 3 INTs in 2 games.

For the second week in a row, RB Eddie Lacy was limited as defenses turned their focus on him. It didn't help that RG T.J. Lang said the line was missing assignments. They eventually got away from the running game, but going run-run-pass-punt on their first two possessions, when the Giants were focused on the running game, got them off to a very bad start.

This was the best defensive game in a few weeks, but it's still a far cry from where they should be. RB Brandon Jacobs was amazed at how easy the running was in short yardage situations. The decision to cover WR Victor Cruz with CB Micah Hyde (and LB Clay Matthews on Cruz's 30 yard reception) was bad. I like Hyde, but he's limited by his lack of CB Sam Shields-like speed and he's probably not one of their top five pass defenders. The defense is struggling with their coverage in the middle of the field, it was another bad game for S Morgan Burnett and LB A.J. Hawk often seems to be leaving someone wide open. Matthews had a sack and he batted down a pass in the fourth quarter, but he looked like an ordinary player for the first three quarters.

The promising signs on defense is that LB Brad Jones and Matthews looked better at the end of the Giants game then they had since their returns. CB Tramon Williams has played great over the past couple games and is looking like the playmaker of old when he's playing against the slot receiver. There are still a lot of questions, as Bob McGinn wrote almost no one stepped up when the Packers needed it, but there is some sign of hope on defense.

The Packers looked overmatched on both sides of the ball, especially on the offensive and defensive lines against the run, and it's hard to watch them lose a winnable game. They've just got to try harder next week.

Why didn't Matt Flynn play yesterday?

Yesterday, as you all probably know, the Packers lost their third straight game to the Giants, 27-13. In the contest, recently-signed backup QB Matt Flynn never appeared, surprising me and probably many others. In his career, Flynn hasn't been that good, but at least he's had a career. So, I must say that I am very disappointed in the fact that Scott Tolzein was the only man we saw play in the loss. Tolzein wasn't good last week or this week, so it's a mystery to me why everybody keeps praising him. He only deserves criticism. So I beg Mike McCarthy, give the actual professional a chance here. Because if the Packers keep gambling by only playing Tolzein, they'll defintely stay at 5 wins as long as Rodgers is out. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Favre: "I'd be leery of my son playing football"

In a recent interview with the Today Show, former Packers QB Brett Favre, who by some is considered the best quarterback of all time, was quoted saying that, if he had a son, he'd be "leery" of him playing football.

"I would be real leery of him playing football," Favre said. "In some respects, I'm almost glad I don't have a son because of the pressures he would face. Also the physical toll that it could possibly take on him, not to mention if he never made it, he's gonna be a failure in everyone's eyes. But more the physical toll that it could take."

I don't know about you guys, but this seems pretty big to me. Favre, whether you liked him or not, was one of the best players in NFL history. So for him to say that he might not let his son play the game is incredibly news-worthy. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Matthews fined $15,750 by league for "roughing" Nick Foles

Well, this just keeps getting better and better. Apparently, Packers LB Clay Matthews has been fined $15,750 by the league for a stupid "roughing" penalty on Nick Foles in last week's loss to the Eagles. Now the hit was somewhat harsh, but it definitely wasn't fine-worthy. I'm fine with the 15 yard penalty, but for Matthews to be fined a penny because of this is absolutely ridiculous. 

So yea, the NFL's concussion paranoia is apparently not slowing down. In my opinion, sometime in the next decade we as a society are just gonna have to decide if football's worth it anymore. Right now, it seems to be a choice between two-hand touch and killing each other. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Preview: Packers at NY Giants

In most previews I look at how the two teams have played over the past few weeks to get an idea of what to expect. However, there have been two big changes for each team and it's changed what to expect.
Mike McCarthy really likes what he's seen from QB Scott Tolzien, and I can understand why. While the complaints about him (not much of an arm, not very accurate) are legitimate, he's reading the field well and making good decisions. His game stats against the Eagles were poor (26.4 QBR) and it was because of two obviously bad plays.

2nd Quarter, 8:57, short left pass for WR Jordy Nelson intercepted. He made the right decision, throwing to Nelson in single coverage towards the front pylon, but he missed. He should have thrown it further in front or over the top (your choice as to which would have been better) but instead he threw it behind Nelson where the DB could make a play on the ball.

3rd Quarter, 9:19, deep middle for WR James Jones intercepted. This was a bad decision. Whatever his first option was, it was covered. He held the ball too long, moved to his left, and tried to zip the pass in-between several defenders. I'm sure McCarthy will be all over him this week about it, and he'll be better prepared about what to do when a play breaks down. He can't pretend he's Aaron Rodgers and he'll have to play it safe.

So the first INT was something he probably can't avoid because he's not accurate and he doesn't have the strongest arm, but he can avoid the second type of INT. If he plays like an average NFL quarterback, he'll be a lot better than Seneca Wallace and he'll gives them a chance to win.

The big problem is that I'm completely down on the defense. They're currently ranked No. 29 overall by Football Outsiders and they've been getting worse as the season's gone on. It's going to get better at some point, but it might not be this season and it might cost DC Dom Capers his job. The pass defense has been a mess with no immediate hope for improvement, but the return of a solid run defense would be a big help. They had been good against the run most of this season, but they've been dominated in the fourth quarter by the Bears and Eagles in consecutive weeks.

The Giants have a lousy run offense this season, but they've only had RB Andre Brown for one week and he was fantastic against the Raiders. His DVOA is currently at 17.4%, which would rank him among the Top 5 backs in the league if he had over 80 carries for the season. It's only one week, so take it with a grain of salt, but the fact that he's coming off a great week while the Packers' are coming off two disastrous weeks is a case of real bad timing.

The hope is that QB Eli Manning continues his turnover happy ways. CB Tramon Williams came to life as a playmaker for the first time this season against the Eagles, and LB Clay Matthews is getting rid of his club. If they could force two or more turnovers (something they haven't done since September 22-six games ago) they'll give themselves a chance to win. I don't care how they do it, but they need to find a way to win.

Rodgers plans to return to Packers BEFORE Thanksgiving

According to ESPN, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who has been out since the team's November 4 loss to the Bears, is planning on returning from his current collarbone injury sometime before the Pack's Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. If Rodgers is correct on this prediction, this would be absolutely incredible for him, as right now it's not even certain that he'll play in that Lions game, much less the week before. 

While I want to believe that #12's thinking is correct here, it's just too good to be true. I won't be that surprised if he does play on Thanksgiving, but the week before just seems impossible. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Flynn: I never thought I'd be back in Green Bay

In an article published yesterday by NBCSports.com, recently re-signed Packers backup QB Matt Flynn admitted that he never expected to play for Green Bay again after he left them for the Seahawks in the 2011 offseason. 

“No, I never did, but standing here right now I’m glad I am,” Flynn said. “I’m extremely happy to be back, extremely happy to be back with people who are familiar with me, see familiar faces and an offense I’m very comfortable with.”

Hopefully all this familiarity will help him lead the Pack to victory this Sunday in New Jersey. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Packers listed as 6 point underdogs for this Sunday's Giants game

Earlier this week, the NFL Week 10 odds were released with our Green Bay Packers being listed as 6 point underdogs for their road game this Sunday against the New York Giants. This prediction shouldn't be surprising to anyone, as the Pack are really beat up right now with basically no actual QBs left on their roster. 

While this news obviously isn't good, I don't think it'll matter much. Right now, I see this matchup as a complete toss-up. I believe each side has a 50/50 shot of winning, since the Packers defense was okay in last week's loss while Matt Flynn was recently added onto their roster. Now Flynn's really not that good, but I still have a feeling that he and Tolzein could be a solid QB combination if they do in fact end up splitting playing time. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jermichael Finley Is Having Surgery And It Might End His Career

Ever since he was taken off the field on a stretcher, I've been expecting that TE Jermichael Finley will never play another game for the Green Bay Packers. I've seen too many neck injuries end careers like those of S Tim Lewis, WR Sterling Sharpe, TE Mark Chmura, S Gary Berry, WR Terrance Murphy, OL Tony Palmer, S Nick Collins, and maybe S Sean Richardson.
That C3/4 area is also the same area where Collins had surgery. Mark Chmura says that Finley cannot move his neck. As much as he might want to resume his career, the Packers might not take the chance on him.

Who should the Packers start this weekend?

Earlier this week, in an article published by Bleacher Report, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy let the world know that he plans to start third-string QB Scott Tolzein in this Sunday's game against the Giants. However, now that Matt Flynn's back on the roster after brief failures in Seattle, Oakland, and Buffalo, that decision could change. So, since I have no insider info on this topic, I'll just give my opinion on this piece of news. I think that it would be stupid of the Packers to let Tolzein play this weekend. While it's true that he was okay against the Eagles, that was just one game and he's still just a third-stringer. As far as I'm concerned, he hasn't proven anything. Flynn, however, does know how to play the game of NFL Football and, despite his recent struggles, is still overall a solid arm with plenty of potential. So, who'd you rather have start? The guy with experience who has thrown 6 TDs in a game before, or the guy who has played one game ever that he lost by 14 points? Seriously, who'd you have play?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Packers Sign Backup QB Matt Flynn

I guess his elbow is OK. Per Chris Mortensen, the Packers are going to sign QB Matt Flynn:
I'm glad to see Flynn get another chance, even if he isn't the same player he was back in 2011. But he's not the answer at quarterback either. Here is how each of the three backup QBs have played in their past three games when they were the primary QB:
Player Pass Attempts ESPN's QBR
Tolzien 39 26.4
Wallace 19 7.7
Flynn 32 2.9
According to ESPN, a QBR of 50 is an average quarterback (think Sam Bradford) while 25 is really bad (think Brandon Weeden). Tolzien's clearly the best of the bunch, even if the results were awful last week.

Signing another quarterback was an absolute must because it's not clear that Seneca Wallace will be able to play next week. Even if he is damaged, he's a better option than John Skelton.

Looking ahead in the Packers Schedule

Nobody will deny that yesterday's loss to the Eagles was terrible, but the true is, some good did come out of it. Scott Tolzein did okay, the running game was pretty good, and overall the offense was able to move the ball solidly, despite the fact that they rarely put points on the board. So, knowing that, I think we can tolerate watching this team for three more weeks before Rodgers comes back. But just because it'll be tolerable doesn't mean it won't be rough most of the time. So, my prediction for these next few weeks: the Pack will lose to the Lions and Giants, but beat the Vikings, making them 6-6. After that, Rodgers'll come back and they'll win out, ending the season with 10 wins. Will that be enough to make the playoffs? Hopefully. Because if it is, I, like fellow Packer fan PackfaninFI, believe the Pack will have a nice playoff run like they did back in early 2011. It may not be a Super Bowl win, but I think it'll definitely go to at least the NFC Championship Game. Let's hope I'm right. 

Recap: The Season Unravels, Packers Lose 27-13

It was not a good day for the Green Bay Packers safeties, to say the least. S Morgan Burnett was on the wrong end of two touchdown passes while S M.D. Jennings was spinning around, lost, on another one. Burnett's first one was the worst because he probably knocked an INT right out of CB Tramon Williams's hands. There isn't a safety on the roster with an INT this season (only 3 INTs in 10 games for the entire defense) and the lack of splash plays in the secondary continues to hold them back. But Williams did look better in the slot, playing there after CB Casey Hayward was injured in the second quarter, and Williams almost had two INTs and he did force a fumble on a sack.

The worst part on defense was the 9:32 drive by the Eagles to end the game. That's the second week in a row (an 8:58 drive last week in the fourth quarter by the Bears) that their opponent ran out the clock on them. I haven't seen the defense struggle that badly in the fourth quarter since 2008, and after that season (the last time the Packers missed the playoffs) Mike McCarthy went out and found himself a new defensive coordinator.

And so begins the QB Scott Tolzien era. He's already been named the starter for next week and McCarthy was very impressed though he wasn't good (2 INTs and a QBR of 26.4 against a bad pass defense). But he makes the quickest decisions of any Packer backup I've seen this season. The one pass he waited too long to throw was an interception into traffic. He also has a tendency to throw the ball too high, which will probably lead to more tipped passes for INTs, but it looks like McCarthy has found a player he can coach up.

It wasn't a great statistical day for RB Eddie Lacy (24 for 73 yards) but he was able to get short yardage on third down when they needed it. And the mid-game loss of C Evan Dietrich-Smith made a difference; the running game just wasn't the same with T.J. Lang at center. I didn't see Lang make any obvious mistakes, maybe the bigger problem was bringing Marshall Newhouse in at RT, but they didn't run nearly as good in the second half. RT Don Barclay was also lost to a knee injury during the fourth quarter, but their struggles to run the ball began before he left.

So while I wrote the season is unraveling, they can turn it around by just winning some games. LB Clay Matthews returned, but he wasn't much of a factor (probably due to the giant club on his right hand) and the defense hasn't stopped either opponent from running or passing in their past two games. I don't know what they can do to fix their defense this season and it doesn't help that they keep losing players to injury (four more defenders hurt on Sunday). The offense will improve going forward because McCarthy seems to like Tolzien and QB Aaron Rodgers will return at some point. However the remaining three NFC North games are now looming much larger because they'll probably have to win all three to win the division.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

So, Why Seneca Wallace?

Usually GM Ted Thompson has nothing to say but when a reporter like Tom Pelissero gets him to open up he has some interesting things to say. He doesn't say anything bad about anybody, in this interview he takes the blame for when talking about things (like the backup QB position) that haven't worked out. Most of the interview is about where he's been and where he's going in the future, but one question was about why QB Seneca Wallace is the backup before his first start of the season:

Q. So, why Seneca Wallace?
A. I had a pretty good comfort level with him. I was in Seattle when we drafted him out there. I know the kind of person and I know his football intelligence. I know he's got good mobility, has confidence as a player.

Why the Packers can still win today

On Tuesday, the Packers were listed as 10 point favorites for their game this afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles(game will start at Noon CT and air on FOX). By Wednesday, that number had fallen to a still solid, 2.5. But on Friday, it went all the way down to 1. And now today, it has dropped all the way to an awful, -1.5. 

That's right, the Packers are now listed as underdogs for this contest, a home one against a below .500 team. Now when I saw that, I had to deny it. The Eagles simply aren't good enough to beat the Packers at Lambeau, even if Rodgers doesn't play. Why? Because the Pack's running game has been great recently while Philly currently possesses the worst defense in the league. So, knowing that, isn't it reasonable to believe that Eddie Lacy and James Starks will have big games today, especially since they both were so good last week against another bad defensive team in the Bears? I think it is. So yea, keep in mind that, while this game will definitely be close, the Packers winning is still very possible.  

By the way, this post was the 1000th published one in this site's history. Congratulations, Brandon. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Matthews probable to play tomorrow


According to Fox Sports, Packers LB Clay Matthews, who returned to practice just two days ago, is listed as probable to play in tomorrow's home game against the Eagles. Matthews has been out since week 5, when he broke his thumb in a win over the Lions. 

In my opinion, this news couldn't be better. If Matthews doesn't play this week, the Packers defense will almost certainly struggle. But now that #52's likely to suit up, I see the D putting up a decent performance tomorrow. It probably won't be great, but it just might be good enough to win. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

Packers planning to work out former backup QB Matt Flynn

According to the NFL Network, the Packers are planning on working out their former backup QB, Matt Flynn, sometime soon. Flynn last played for the Pack in 2011, when he threw for 480 yards and 6 TD passes in a 45-41 win over the Detroit Lions. 

Despite this somewhat intriguing news, this workout likely won't go anywhere. Flynn recently passed through waivers, so if Green Bay actually wanted him they would've gotten him by now. Still, you never know. Maybe the workout goes great and Flynn gets an offer after all. That probably won't happen, but it's still fun to imagine. 

Preview: Eagles at Green Bay Packers

Without QB Aaron Rodgers, it's hard for me to see how the Packers are going to win their upcoming game against the Eagles. On the other hand, the Eagles have been the most inconsistent team on offense this season, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see them fall apart on any given Sunday. Looking back over the past nine weeks, the Packers and Eagles are both pretty similar teams. Great offenses, lousy defenses, and lousy special teams. Unfortunately those stats are looking backward and don't reflect how lost the pass offense will be without Rodgers.

QB Seneca Wallace won't be as bad as he was last week for a couple reasons. First he'll have a full week with the first team offense in practice to get ready and second he can't go much lower than a QBR of 7.7 against the Bears. Unfortunately he's shown no recent signs that he's any good. His last quality start was in December 2011. The last time he threw for more than one touchdown in a game was 2008. The best thing he can do on Sunday is hand off the ball.

The Eagles' run defense is currently ranked No. 24 overall (much lower than the Bears) so RB Eddie Lacy should have another strong game though they load up the box against him. Even the Raiders, while in complete collapse last week, scored 20 points, so the Packers can probably score 20 points too.

The special teams have been lousy this season, especially on kickoffs, but they were great overall against the Bears. The blocked punt and recovered onside kick led to 10 points and it kept the game close. They'll need another play from their unit to help give them an advantage.
I was really down on the defense after the Bears game. They haven't been forcing any turnovers this season (only two in their last four games without Matthews). I was hoping the return of CB Casey Hayward would help but instead he's just turned out to be a liability in run defense and he missed a huge tackle on TE Marcellus Bennett in the fourth quarter. I'm not expecting a lot from Matthews on Sunday (assuming he plays at all) but at least when he does lineup opposite LB Mike Neal, it will give them their first quality outside pass rush tandem in almost a month.

The Eagles have scored over 31 points in four of their previous five road games. While they scored 49 last week in Oakland, they only managed 10 points at home over their previous two games. A large part of those problems were related to playing Matt Barclay. Injuries to Michael Vick and Nick Foles created a mess in both of those games. They enter this game with Foles healthy and he's clearly the starter.

I'm not going to predict a score because it wouldn't be predicting a Packers win. An offense with a washed up veteran and a defense that can't stop anyone is no way to run a football team.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Injured Packers LBs Clay Matthews and Nick Perry finally return to practice

According to the Green Bay Packers Official Blog, Packers LBs Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, who have missed the team's last 4 and 3 games respectively, returned to practice yesterday on a limited basis. Matthews is currently recovering from a broken thumb he suffered Week 5, while Perry is coming back from a foot injury he suffered Week 6. 

In my opinion, these two guys playing on Sunday is needed for the team to win. Against the Bears, the Pack's defense was absolutely terrible, so having these two back definitely would help. It wouldn't necessarily be a quick fix to all of their defensive problems, but it wouldn't hurt. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Roster Moves: Packers Open Up A Spot For Scott Tolzien

It doesn't look like the Packers are going to make a move for a quarterback, except to promote QB Scott Tolzien to the 53-man roster. They might have signed QB Matt Flynn if his elbow was OK, but the fact that he cleared waivers unclaimed is a sign that he's probably still injured. Going with only Tolzien and QB Seneca Wallace makes sense because QB Aaron Rodgers could return by the end of the month. Here are the other roster moves they've made, including one to open up a spot for Tolzien.
I'm still in the camp that believes Finley's career is over, though that's not his current plan. Barrington is a surprise, he was injured at some point on Monday night, and his injury would have been a major problem a couple weeks ago because back then he was their only depth at linebacker. But now LB Brad Jones is back (with LB Clay Matthews not far behind) so they should be fine without him.

While the return of Sherrod helps at practice while RG T.J. Lang is recovering from a concussion, his return to the 53-man roster was more about timing because he's been practicing for the past three weeks. They had to take him off the PUP list or place him on season ending I.R. He doesn't appear to be ready, he's been practicing but no padded work, so he should be inactive for next week's game.

Packers listed as just 2.5 point favorites for this Sunday's Eagles game

No surprise here as the Packers, now without star QB Aaron Rodgers, have been listed as just 2.5 point favorites for their game this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are just 4-5, but beat up the Raiders pretty good last week, 49-20, behind 7 TD passes from Nick Foles. So if you think this game's gonna be an easy win, you're wrong. 

In my opinion, the Pack will be able to pull this one out as long as they play well on defense. For the past few years, Green Bay just never tried on D. So far this season, that's kinda changed, but in Monday's game against the Bears, everything that's been going right lately started going wrong again. They left receivers open, they didn't rush the QB enough, and most importantly, they couldn't get themselves off the field. Maybe it's just me, but the Bears picked up a lot of first downs Monday night by just throwing to open guys. That can't happen on Sunday. They gotta come in with a better game plan and maybe, just maybe, they'll be able to win. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Looking ahead in the Packers schedule

As you all know, last night's Packers game could not have gone worse. Not only did the Pack lose a game on national TV to the Bears, but they lost their star QB, Aaron Rodgers, for around 3 weeks. Before last night's MNF appearance, I thought Green Bay would finish 14-2. But now, I'm not even sure they'll go 10-6. 

Luckily, the Packers next three games are all pretty easy, as they'll host the Eagles, visit the Giants, and then host the Vikings. Now, in my opinion, they'll win those two home games. They won't win them by much, but they'll still win them. As for the game in New Jersey, that one will be a loss. The Giants are getting better, the Packers are getting worse, and it's at MetLife Stadium. That's just a recipe for disaster. 

After those three games, which will likely be started by Seneca Wallace, Aaron Rodgers could return for the Thanksgiving game in Detroit. If Wallace plays on that Thursday, I see a blowout loss. But if Rodgers is healthy by then, I predict a pretty solid victory. 

The Pack's post-Thanksgiving schedule, with the exception of the Bears game, is very easy. By then, #12 will definitely be back, so them losing more than 1 of their final 4 contests is very unlikely. But still, it could happen. I'm not gonna guarantee them any late-season wins. 

 

Offensive Review: Packers Lose To Bears, 27-20

This game didn't hurt as bad a loss as either of their last two playoff losses, but otherwise it was their worst regular season loss in the last four years. Losing to the Bears was bad enough but it was the way they lost it.
I'm a little surprised it's a collarbone injury. When CB Charles Woodson broke his collarbone, he stood on the sidelines with a sling and his shoulder was sore to the touch. Rodgers didn't look in that much pain on the sidelines and he wasn't wearing a sling. So now we know and it's time to look at what's going to happen over the next couple weeks.

QB Seneca Wallace. I've watched him a decent amount over the years so I think what we saw on Monday night is pretty much what he is. He's not very accurate (career completion percentage under 60 percent) and he can't throw it deep. In that regard, he's exactly the worst fit at quarterback for their current team. They need a deep threat to keep the safety out of the box against RB Eddie Lacy and Wallace doesn't provide that sort of threat. As an added negative, Wallace seemed to have zero pocket awareness. The Bears didn't provide that much of a pass rush, but he kept running into the oncoming defenders and he didn't step up to avoid the rush. He'll get a little better after a week of reps with the first team offense, but not by much.

QB Scott Tolzien and QB Matt Flynn. They just gave Tolzien a raise, so they obviously like him. However, he's not much of a deep passer either. There are no NFL highlights to watch, but here's Tolzien against Ohio State in 2010. The video doesn't have every pass attempt, but I only saw one pass attempt of greater than 20 yards. He's probably the same type of player as Wallace with the hope that he's actually better, but I doubt he'll be named the starter.

Signing Flynn seems like an obvious move; he was great in 2010-2011 and he knows the offense. But that might as well have been a life time ago. Since then he's been battling injuries and now he's been released by two NFL teams (Buffalo and Oakland) this season after getting beaten out by undrafted rookies. The Packers could sign Flynn to provide them with three weeks of depth. Still, the current competition at quarterback is so weak that I wouldn't rule anything out.

The saving grace is that the next three games, assuming Rodgers is out for only three games, are all winnable without him. If QB Nick Foles brings his record setting day from Oakland to Green Bay, they'd have a tough game anyway, but the Eagles have been all over the place (they have the highest variance from week-to-week of any NFL team on offense) so it's just as likely they'll tank next week. Then they have two games against two of the worst teams in the NFL (at Giants, home for Vikings). There's so little margin for error now that they could lose all three of those games, but it's definitely the easy part of their schedule.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Full list of inactives for Packers-Bears

Earlier, I posted that I couldn't find the full list of inactives for tonight's Packers-Bears game. But, now I have. So here they are:

PACKERS
10 WR Chris Harper
25 CB James Nixon
52 LB Clay Matthews
53 LB Nick Perry
88 TE Jermichael Finley
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

BEARS
6 QB Jay Cutler
19 WR Joe Anderson
55 LB Lance Briggs
78 T/G James Brown
79 T Jonathan Scott
94 DE Cornelius Washington
96 DT Zach Minter 

James Jones will play tonight

I was hoping to be able to post the full list of inactives tonight, but since I couldn't find it I guess this little shred of news will have to do. According to ESPN's Monday Night Countdown, Packers WR James Jones, who has missed the team's last two games, will play tonight. I've been talking about Jones all week, so I'm pretty happy that he's active, even if it is in a game that they'll definitely win. 

As you all should already know, this one will kickoff in a little over an hour, 7:40 CT to be exact. Like all Monday night games, it'll air nationally on ESPN. Enjoy it. 

Waiting For Monday Night: Bears at Packers

There wasn't much news from the NFC North this weekend, except the Vikings' latest collapse has brought out the back stabbing and that former Bears LT J'Marcus Webb has officially begun his revolving door act with the Vikings.
It looks like this picture above is from 1996, with S Eugene Robinson, DT Santana Dotson, and DE Reggie White. I don't know (probably don't care) who they're tackling.

As for tonight's upcoming Bears/Packers game, Marc Trestman says he won't change the game plan with Josh McCown at QB, and the Bears recently signed DT Jay Ratliff to provide depth to their struggling defensive line. Once upon a time, Ratliff was a very good player, but it's still an open question whether he'll be able to play at all this season due to injuries. He certainly won't play tonight. Also, it doesn't help the Bears that he was a big off-field/locker room problem for the Cowboys.

Jack's been writing about WR James Jones, who could play tonight. On defense, LB Brad Jones is back but LB Clay Matthews and LB Nick Perry are still out. That means Dom Capers is going to be creative about playing Jones along with LB Jamari Lattimore (who was great as an injury replacement), and the defense will need something from rookies OLB Nate Palmer and Andy Mulumba.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Jones now listed as questionable for tomorrow's game

As a continuation to yesterday's post, Packers WR James Jones has now been listed as questionable for tomorrow's game against the Bears, Bleacher Report reports. I already said yesterday why I don't think Jones playing or not in the game will matter, but still, this is news. 

The full list of Packers inactives will not be released until tomorrow, so when that happens we'll know for sure if he'll play. But like I said, don't panic if he's out again. In my opinion, they'll definitely win this game, so if #89 has to take another week off let him. It's the Bears at Lambeau, not the Saints at the Superdome. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

James Jones returns to practice; statues for Monday still unknown

According to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Packers WR James Jones, who's been out since Week 6 with a leg injury, returned to practice yesterday. Despite this good news, whether or not #89 will play this Monday is still unknown. 

If Jones does miss this week's game, I don't think it'll matter at all. They're playing the Bears at Lambeau. They'll win for sure whether he plays or not. I'm tired of speculating on this. There is simply no way the Bears will win this game. You know what, I'll take this a step further. I GUARANTEE A VICTORY. You guys should too. 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Preview: Bears at Green Bay Packers on Monday Night

According to Football Outsiders, the Bears are ranked No. 6 overall while the Green Bay Packers sit at No. 9. Factoring in home field advantage, this would be looking like a tough match-up, but the Packers sit as 10 point favorites. Here are the detailed rankings from Football Outsiders below, but they look back at what's happened this season, and now at what's happened over the past few weeks:
Team Pass Offense Run Offense Pass Defense Run Defense
Packers 3 4 28 8
Bears 8 7 25 9
Looking at those numbers, factor in the Bears' advantage on special teams, and it looks like the Bears have the advantage, but the Bears have lost three of their last four while the Packers were unbeaten in October. While the Packers' injuries have been awful (no LB Clay Matthews, no WR Randall Cobb) the Bears have been leveled.

QB Josh McCown. He was pretty good in relief of QB Jay Cutler two weeks ago, so he could do well against a below average Packer defense. For his career, McCown has been turnover prone, and he avoided those against the Team From Washington. The Packers' defense hasn't been very good at forcing turnovers this year. The Packers are going to have to change their turnover-free ways and force a couple this week to keep the Bears in check. Doing this against a backup QB in his first start shouldn't be a difficult task.

LB Lance Briggs is out. The Packers offense is humming, they scored on every possession last week against the Vikings, and the Bears' defense is falling apart. They'll be without DT Henry Melton (lost for the season) and LB Lance Briggs (out for a while), and those are big. The other problem is that the players who remain are struggling badly. CB Charles Tillman is playing with an injured knee and DE Julius Peppers will probably be released this offseason. I had to double-check it to believe it but the Bears' defense is last in the NFL with only 9 sacks. How will any defense look when you give QB Aaron Rodgers time to throw? They were shredded two weeks ago by RG3, in what was clearly his best statistical game of the year, and they allowed 38 points on 6 long scoring drives. Rodgers should tear them apart.

While I expect 35-45 points for the Packers, I'm not sure about the Bears' offense. They haven't been held to under 32 points on road this season, but they haven't started McCown at QB yet. Assuming the Packers surrender points again to a below average QB, such as they did to Christian Ponder last week, the Bears could score 30 points, however the Packers haven't allowed over 20 points in any of their first three home games. This score prediction is more of a shot in the dark than usual. Packers 38, Bears 21.

Packers give practice squad QB Scott Tolzein a raise

According to NBCSports.com, the Packers have given practice squad QB Scott Tolzein a raise in order to make him stay on the team. Before this announcement, Tolzein was making just $6,000 a week, but now, he will make much more, $32,000 a week to be exact. 

I guess the QB market is pretty bad right now, but really, 32k a week to not do anything meaningful? Seems a little much to me. And keep in mind, Tolzein is only on the team to take up roster space. So if that's all they want to, why not just get somebody else who'll never do anything? They'd probably sign for less.