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Heart and Head Predictions For the Packers' 2013 Season

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Heart and Head Predictions For the Packers' 2013 Season

Every year since Corey and I started this website I have offered up a prediction from the heart and a prediction from the head for the upcoming Packers season. And as pundits nationwide have made their picks, I guess its time for me to make mine.

Heart: 13-3 - Super Bowl Champs

Head: 10-6 - Loss In Divisional Round of Playoffs

Look, I've tried. I really have. I've tried to be optimistic about the draft and develop philosophy. I've tried to get on board the "McCarthy is finally going to do something about the running game because, well, because Eddie Lacy!" train.

But I keep coming back to how this team, Ted and Mike's team, tends to crumble against better competition - and there's a lot more of that on tap in the Packers' 2013 schedule than there has been the last few years. San Francisco, Cincinnati, Baltimore (yes, they are better than they looked Thursday night), Minnesota, the Giants, Detroit (on Thanksgiving), Dallas and Chicago. That's a murderers row of quality opponents that the Packers have to face on the road. Throw in NFC favorite Atlanta and what I tend to think will be a resurgent Steelers team and, well, you've got a lot of quality competition on tap for the Packers to face in 2013.

Now, don't get me wrong. The Packers are a damn fine football team, and more than half the league's fans would probably trade places with Packers fans in a heart beat. There is quality talent all over the depth chart (no matter how badly cow42 wants you to believe otherwise) and this is a team that can hang with any one of the teams listed above.

Playing well at the right time, late in the year, combined with a bit of luck, tends to be the surest way of ensuring you have a chance at getting to the Super Bowl. The last three Super Bowl champs didn't even look that hot heading into the playoffs, but all three of them played well enough to get there and win it by elevating their play when they needed it most.

Can Mike McCarthy's club replicate the run they made in 2010? Of course they can. Much will happen between now and the playoffs. Remember as you watch September, October and November come and go that all those ups and downs are only setting the stage for December.

Remember how horrible you felt when the Packers lost to the lowly Lions, Aaron Rodgers having exited early with a concussion. Remember that? Remember how it felt like the whole world was collapsing and that the time had finally come to fire McCarthy? (Not that I was quite there. I was in full-on "let the season play out" mode)

And then McCarthy's men went on to win the Super Bowl.

No, I don't see it happening again in 2013. But could it? Absolutely.

That's what my heart tells me anyway.

Comments (55)

Crefan's picture

Bunch of hacks!!! Just kidding guys. I think you're all great. Nice work Aaron.

Tundraboy's picture

The season?? Who knows when the seemingly endless string of injuries will end. We have a lot of talent AND Rodgers. Funny but this year the season does have to start this way. Redemption and then go from there and see what happens because it will be exciting.

The truth is we NEED to win THIS game so badly and for the obvious reasons. To get THAT bad taste of last year out of our mouths! Redemption, after wasting a chance to put it to them, we were embarrassed. Lots of regrets , dropped punt, lost opportunity, poor game adjustments on both sides. Harris was taken out ….. We know that we have much improved, through experience and additions BUT deep down you got to admit we don’t know? We have no idea what to expect. But I know what I am hoping for . Want them to win soooooooooo bad. As fans I hope the players feel the same all of them, Go PACK go

JakeK's picture

Thompson refuses to use all the tools afforded to him in the creation of the Pack. When you completely ignore free agency and miss badly with too many of your draft picks, the result is always mediocrity.

After this season, it will only get worse. The list of Packer FAs after 2013 is somewhere around 16. (Mostly UFAs) .... Folks ... this is a two year rebuilding project, starting tomorrow..

Nagler ... Be honest. ... 13-3 is your head on drugs prediction. ... 10-6 is your heart prediction .... 8-8 or worse is your reality check prediction.

davyjones's picture

Seriously...mediocrity???? Seriously???? You need a perspective check...and a stats check. What is TT's winning % since he got here (and you can't say he inherited a loaded team)? Try being a Dallas fan...Miami maybe...St Louis maybe...any other NFC North team...that is what mediocrity looks like. we may not win the SB this year, but we are NOT a mediocre organization.

Ya doosh.

JakeK's picture

Teams always have the downs to go with the ups. All a GM can do is minimize the damage. Many of the kids who post here haven't been around long enough to realize this fact.

You want me to switch teams because I'm objective? .... Grow up.

redlights's picture

I didn't see a mediocre team on TV today. They went head to head against a premier team and have nothing to be ashamed of.

hayward4president's picture

We are a ten win club. All we have to do is get to the post season and see where we can go from there. It's not gonna be pretty but who cares. Cow made your article shame on you haha. Go pack go!!!

Cow42's picture

There is only 1 position group on the entire team that could withstand the loss of a starter due to injury... Defensive line.

Problem is - you can pretty much guarantee that a starter from another position group will be lost. It's inevitable.

There is no depth on this team.

Time for TT to ride off into the sunset. The Packers need someone who will "go for it" while Rodgers is still around. The draft only thing is great for rebuilding a team (like TT had to do when he got here) but once you get that stud QB and that stud pass rusher, you have to do everything you possibly can to shoot for a ring every year. That means trades. That means free agents. That means filling holes with experienced players as opposed to hitching your entire wagon to a bunch of first and second year question marks.

The Packers also need to dump Capers. He's too old and too "comfortable". He could give 2 shits if he lost his job. He's been around forever. His bank account is bloated. There is no incentive for him to break from what he's always done and be creative.

They need to get someone with fire. With balls. Someone who's working his ass off to PROVE HIMSELF.

I love the Packers.

I hope they win every game.

But there's just not enough talent to compete withe the elite teams.

6-10.

Oppy's picture

LB's are crazy deep this year, especially inside, and with Neal looking pretty good outside, we could probably sustain a loss of Perry. Obviously, CMIII is irreplaceable, but then, that's why he's a star player, right?

CB is crazy deep.

WR can sustain a starter loss.

OT already has sustained a starter loss, and with Newhouse riding pine, it looks as though it could sustain another starter loss (god forbid).

OG could probably sustain a loss, we'd just slide Barclay in and move NewHouse to RT.. Or even plug in Van Roten so as not to disturb the rest of the line.

K could probably sustain a starter loss (lol), but seriously, I would not be surprised if Mathsay hasn't been worked at FG behind closed doors- we already know he can kick off.

Considering what the Packers have gotten by with in the past for some perspective, RB could sustain a starter loss.

Cow42's picture

LB's are not deep. Just because there are a lot of them doesn't mean they're any good. Deep? They don't even have quality starters.

There are 2 quality corners... Shield and Hayward. And one is out.

WR is debateable. Lose Cobb and they're in big trouble.

T. Really. One injury and you get Newhouse. Newhouse does not equal depth.

You're crazy.

Oppy's picture

You're ignorant. But I digress.

Hawk is dependable, Brad Jones was rated as one of the best 3-4 ILBs in the league last year in terms of actual performance.

Francois stepped in for 2.5 games when Hawk/Bishop went down and not only held up the expected level of play, but made big time plays as well.. So did Lattimore.

Tramon WIlliams, despite fan objection, was a pretty good coverage corner last year, with his shoulder still not 100%. Davon House played well down the stretch last season, and also played well the rest of the preseason after his first lousy showing.

Micah Hyde has done nothing but make big time plays all preseason. There's plenty of reason to believe he's going to turn into a pretty decent CB.

You should stop being such a complainer and take a look at what the rest of the league knows already.. Packers have actual depth at a number of positions.

Cow42's picture

Hyde looks good when he does stuff other than actually cover pass-catchers. Too bad he's probably going to have to do some of that.

Williams has been done for a while.

If you're cool with Francois/Hawk, so be it. I guess my expectations for ILB are a bit higher than yours.

Burnett will never be in the same universe as Collins.

Anthony's picture

Why are you on here if you dont like the packers?

A Dude's picture

He's a troll. He's probably LOL-ing when he posts.

Cow42's picture

I love them.
I want them to be better than they are.
I'm tired of watching slow regression from year to year.

packeraaron's picture

Back to back division titles, losing in the exact same round of the playoffs is not regression.

Cow42's picture

Talking about the talent.

Stanislaw's picture

Cow,

If the Pack goes 6-10 or worse (barring an Aaron Rodgers injury) I will pay $500.00 to the charity of your choice.

If the Pack beats that record, I'd ask that you stab yourself in the eye but would accept 1 year hiatus from your troll postings on this site.

What say you smart guy?

Cow42's picture

No.
Don't want to bet against the Packers.

But if they win more than 7, I'll just leave on my own.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Please explain to me how we can afford high-end, older, UFA with the salary cap. Please - just explain to me how.

Cow42's picture

Doesn't have to be high-end. Just better than Jennings. Or McMillian. Or Barclay. Or Crosby. Etc.

JakeK's picture

"Time for TT to ride off into the sunset."

Imagine going 16 years with Favre as your starter & only appearing in 2 SBs winning just one. ... Now imagine going 12+ years with Rodgers as your starter with only one SB victory. ... This is the direction the Pack are headed unless TT hangs it up or changes his approach.

Wow ... 28+ years with 2 elite HOF QBs and 2 lousy SBs. ... This is proof that a team needs more than just an elite QB.

TT & Mac have been riding Rodgers for years ... My contention is both would have been shown the door years ago if it weren't for the play of an elite QB. ..... That's sad.

Erich's picture

Aaron most times you're spot on but this time i feel you're taking an attempt to be objective a bit too far. Fire mm and tt? Really?

They're the reason we are where we are, and will continue to be as long as they keep doing their thing. You're complaining about them melting against better competition the last two years.. But that can happen. It's the NFL. The superbowl is a crapshoot. To say the two best teams make it every year is a lie. Constructing the 'best' team is an exercise in futility. To get more super bowls, the most logical way is to have the most chances. Sure we may never have a veteran juggernaut of a team, but we're going to be constantly in the mix at the end of the year. One less fumble by Ross or one less off the field tragedy the week of the game and we're in the championship game. Two things that are beyond the control of even the combined minds of every great coach and gm.

Sure we're not physical in the lines, but that's something that is being worked on. Every 1st since he got here apart from Aaron has been someone in the trenches. Maybe our scouting sucks there or the line coaches could do better, but I think injuries could be a big reason for the 'letdowns' Look at all the 'better' teams we played, were their lines decimated even half as much as ours? I'm excited for this year because it looks like we finally have a fantastic line to compliment our dbs.

Deep breaths Aaron

packeraaron's picture

Um, nowhere above did I say anyone should be fired. I did say many Packers fans wanted MM fired in 2010 (I was not one of them.)

I think you're the one who needs to breathe while reading before hurrying down to the comments to tell the author to breathe.

Erich's picture

Ah you are correct. my apologies, it was late for me and my reading comprehension failed me

mudduckcheesehead's picture

I share your excitement over the new and improved D-line. It's my fondest wish that it will allow us to play tough like 2010, not soft like the last two years.

I personally blame our early playoff exits on a lack of toughness, of grit, of nasty, of whatever you want to call that thing we've spent this last off-season chasing. A sub-par run game and a sub-par pass rush lost us those games, not one turnover and one tragedy.

Here's hoping that MM and DC have learned from the past couple seasons' failings and that we win some tough ones in 2013. Go Pack go!

4thand1's picture

Salary cap creates parity. There are a lot of good teams. The trend is the hot team going into the playoffs. Wait till Kapernickers and Russel Wilson become free agents. They better win and soon. LMFAO at people wanting TT gone. Packers are a playoff contender.

Bearmeat's picture

cow got called out IN the actual article!! LOLOL! Man, that made my night.

I bleed Green More's picture

That was something and I bet it went right to his head.

Mojo's picture

It's not a one or two year window TT is working with but more like five to seven or eight with ARod. Look what Manning did Thursday at 37. The Broncos are one of a handful of SB favorites this year. The league is intent on protecting QB's and there's no reason to believe Rodgers can't be elite for many more years - if he remains motivated.

Because of the large contracts given to QB1 and CM3 and even Burnett, the Packers are hoping to remain competitive with a fighters chance to win it all for the next few years. They can't make a big splash in FA as long as they have these contracts and some key core guys to resign next year.

They don't have consecutive years of drafting in the top half of the draft to restock that way. Would you want them to suck as bad as the 9ers did a few years ago so they could? Should they go for it all like Philly did a few years ago. Certainly no guarantees to that strategy as Eagle fans can attest.

What I see for the near future is the Packers remaining in the upper third of the league. That will give them a chance to win it all. Next year Arods contract gets larger and they have to resign a number of other players, but large contracts like Picketts and Finley will fall off. They'll probably insist Tramon take a cut.

Losing Bulaga, Harris for the year and Haywood for at least a quarter of the season almost seems unfair(and I don't feel too good about Burnett and Jones either), but they'll all be back next year. In the meantime this years team is pretty good if the young tackles hold up.

I look at this years team as a playoff contender. I think the D will be legitimately better. It reminds me of 2010 when I thought that team would be playoff bound, not elite, but building to a SB win in 2011. I was pleasantly surprised how that season ended up.

If 12 remains healthy I'll go with a 11 or 10 win season(which should win the division) and then see what happens in the playoffs.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Clear, well-thought out, logical.

packsmack25's picture

Every off-season, I forget. I forget just how good Aaron Rodgers is at football. I forget because it doesn't make sense for anyone to be as good as he is at throwing the football. I forget because the throws he can make are sometimes so perfect, they seem to be computer generated. And every year, I tune in to the first game, and there is Aaron, doing ridiculous things. I'm so excited to remember, you guys. It all happens again tomorrow. For real.

Here is where I disagree with your assessment, Aaron: the tough competition is GOOD for the Packers. There may be no way in hell they go 13-3, but that's a good thing. You see, way back in 2010, there was an upstart, YOUNG team in Green Bay that was struggling to stay healthy. Their defense had been exposed in the previous season's playoffs. How were they going to stop anyone? Kurt Warner had hung half a hundred on them! Favre had gotten his revenge, and had his way, twice! They had a brutal schedule coming up, with 6 games against playoff teams, 2 against the always tough Bears who were getting Urlacher back after a knee injury ended his 2009 season in week 1, and a game against the Falcons in Atlanta, a team that had narrowly missed the playoffs the prior year and a team that everyone thought was going to make noise in 2010.

What did the Packers do? They played football. They battled through the tough games, week in and week out, never losing by more than 4(!) points. They hung in there, lost some close games, battled through all sorts of adversity, and scrapped their way into the dance.

When the playoffs rolled around, it was nothing to them. They had been in a dogfight every week. You couldn't punch them in the mouth, because they were already missing their teeth from being punched all year.

And you know what happened? They rolled. They had NO FEAR in the playoffs. Nothing could happen to them that they hadn't already experienced as a team, and they were ready for anything that you could throw at them.

The 2010 Packers were a highly flawed team. They played a guy named Frank Zombo and another named Charlie Peprah for a majority of the season and in the Super Bowl AS STARTERS. They had a guy named Sam Shields, a rookie they signed off the street, and another guy named Tramon Williams, whom they had signed off the street a few years before, playing lockdown coverage in the playoffs. But they won. Because they had battled their way through it.

I don't think any of those things happen if they didn't get embarrassed on defense in 2009 or if they played an easy schedule in 2010. You could make an argument that the Giants and Ravens have since followed the same blueprint, battling adversity and playing tough games throughout the season, only to thrive in the playoffs because they were the most playoff-ready teams out there.

So where you think this team will crumble, I think they'll be ready. Where you think this team has deficiencies, I think embarrassment has turned those deficiencies into strengths. I know you want to go with your head. I just think your head is wrong. This is a team that is going to go 11-5 and scare the living shit out of everyone come playoff time. Just like 2010. It's time to use your head to remember.

A Dude's picture

Loved this post. I am truly speechless man.

ZeroTolerance's picture

Applause. It's 2 am pacific time and I can't wait for kickoff. GO PACK GO. And thanks to all my friends here that help me enjoy the game.

I bleed Green More's picture

Very nice if we had a thumbs up you would get one from me.

mudduckcheesehead's picture

Hell yeah!

Cow42's picture

Very inspiring.

Problem is you need talent to overcome adversity.

This team does not have a...

2010 Woodson
Collins
Bishop
Jenkins
Clifton
2010 Bulaga
Wells

Hope you're right, though.

Oppy's picture

Both Hayward and Hyde have shown they are cast in the mold of Charles Woodson.

Collins was a once-in-a-decade talent; but Burnett has the tools and is still improving and shaping into a fine S.

Brad Jones actually played as well as Bishop has last season.. people just don't want to admit it.

Datone Jones is supposed to be the new Cullen Jenkins. Oh, and by the way, Mike Daniels was as dominant in one-on-ones as any linemen in recent history for the Packers during camp. Neal could possibly see time inside as well, and he's a handful as well.

Clifton/Bulaga? Well, that's a tall order, but we'll see how Biakhtiara grows. So far, he's looked pretty good. He's got a very tough road ahead of him this season.

Surprisingly, Bob McGinn just commented that EDS's hand work looks just like Scott Wells and he's so much stronger. I was surprised by his endorsement of EDS and his comparison to Wells; McGinn usually errs on the side of cautious will his appraisals.

Quit living in the past.

JakeK's picture

Quit living on hopes & dreams .... Your analysis isn't rooted in anything except what you wish for. Try being objective instead of a dreamer.

Oppy's picture

Um, Did you happen to miss Casey Hayward being a tough-nosed defender out of the slot who was dangerous on the blitz and stole away 6 interceptions in limited snaps last season? He was in the top running for ROY.. And that role looked an awful lot like the role Charles Woodson played in the Packers defense.

Um, did you happen to see Hyde's play this preseason? Looked quite a bit like Hayward.

While Burnett has not been a ball hawk, he's been a tackle machine and has full command of the defense.. He's also flashed the same kind of range that Collins was famous for. He's not in the same caliber as Collins, but then, only Polamalu and Reed were.

Datone is a projection, but as far as Mike Daniels and EDS are concerned, it's from Bob McGinn's mouth..

"Watching Dietrich-Smith work his hands in the pass-rush drill, you'd have thought it was Scott Wells."

"Primarily a bull rusher, (Daniels) was able to get on the edge of blockers more this summer. His winning rate of .545 in one-on-ones was best by a Packers' D-lineman in six years."

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/ranking-the-packers-b9986681z1-22...

Brad Jones' play in 2012 has been the subject of statistical analysis of more than one football site; he had a great season. Here's a quick free link to PFF on the subject, more in-depth stats, grading, and ranking can be readily found in the usual places..

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/05/24/secret-superstar-brad-j...

So, Basically, I guess what I'm saying is.. I'm not living on hopes and dreams, except where I've denoted it's a projection. You seem to be dead set on the fact your negative outlook is the only "factual" reality. Any outside opinion that doesn't jive with that must be the stuff of fancy and wishful thinking. Please.

JakeK's picture

@ packsmack25

Ridiculous ... This is professional football. ... Not a Knute Rockne movie. .... Only in your head is it as dramatic as your post states.

Spiderpack's picture

Packsmack, you are the Rock of Ages. Great perspective.

VApackerfan's picture

People need to calm down. We are the winningest team the last two years. A teams identity is not established during the first week of the season. It plays out throughout the season. There are too many factors that play into a super bowl team. Sports psychologists refer to "peaking at the right time". Many super bowl teams peak right before the playoffs. The important thing is that this team is in a playoff position when they start to pull things together and gel.

zeke's picture

Exactly. GB could rout the 49ers tomorrow and miss the playoffs entirely, just as they could get crushed and end up winning it all. The season is too long and there are too many variables to draw many definitive conclusions after one game. (Unless Crosby misses a FG. Then it's armageddon).

Christian's picture

The only thing I know is that the Packers cannot lose Rodgers and make it to the playoffs. Other than that, everything is possible.

I bleed Green More's picture

Yup that pretty much covers it.

cincypackfan's picture

the complexity of the nfl is something we armchair guys will never completely understand. I chuckle anytime somebody starts a question with "why don't they just......" Anybody out there remember the lost decades of the 70's and 80's? I grew up in the 70's where we were the division bitches every year. its huge to put together a winner every year like GB seems to do more than anyone else. and, simple probability says that once in awhile, like 2010, all cylinders will fire, the team peaks at the right time, and you'll get that ring. I will take this pattern of winning every year. the risks of plugging holes with free agents? usually results in salary cap hell.

The TKstinator's picture

+1

4thand1's picture

Right on. From the same period too. Maybe some of these armchair experts would like to be in Buffalo. Mario Williams has really turned that franchise around. Bills could win as many as 4 games this year. They get to play the Jets twice.

Cow42's picture

I'm also from that era.

Problem with those teams was the lack of a franchise QB. This team has one. They should act like it. Take advantage of it.

4thand1's picture

They had John Hadl. Devine traded away for a old has been. Took the Packers a over decade to recover.

marcopo's picture

Sorry Brian, I don't buy what you're selling. This is the time of year for UNBRIDLED optimism. After all, the Packers are undefeated to date. Every year I read the same stuff from every expert in the universe. The only thing that's consistent is that they're always wrong. Like every year, this year will have it's share of surprise teams both way. This year the Packer's are under the radar. Clearly, you and the experts have them inferior to the 49'ers, or Seahawks. Guess again. It's going to be the defense that is going to surprise everyone and be a difference maker.

packeraaron's picture

Um, Brian didn't write this post. I did.

Eric's picture

Well done. Going through a season simulator to predict every game taking into account a couple of different strategies had me in the same range of 10-6 to 13-3.

My prediction for NFC north is that no one will be over 10 wins. The schedule is just too brutal.

I suggest everyone use this simulator to see their predictions. http://clinton-morell.com/n.html

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Why does cow have a 49er gravatar in this link?

http://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/taking-the-best-and-worst-of-mccarthy

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