After the Chicago Bears lost to the San Francisco 49ers 32-7 on Monday Night Football, the Bears fell to 7-3 and are now tied with the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North. “If the NFL needed to break the tie, the Packers would get the virtual nod because of their Week 2 victory over the Bears,” writes Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com. “The Minnesota Vikings are just one game behind at 6-4, and in reality all three teams have a clear path to the division title by winning their remaining six games.” Of course, the Packers and the Bears will play once more head-to-head in a few more weeks, but at this point, all division games are of utmost importance.
Head coach Mike McCarthy reiterated his stance on kicker Mason Crosby on Monday saying that the Packers kicker will be keeping his job. And apparently, the Packers don’t have any plans to check out any backup plans. “An NFL source said the Packers told the agent for at least one of the available kickers that they were not bringing any of them in for workouts,” writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. A couple of the options available as street free agents are ex-Packers Ryan Longwell and Dave Rayner, but at least for the time being, the Packers won’t be bringing any of them in.
While praising James Starks for his physical running style, the Packers coaches on Monday admitted that he also missed some holes and would share the load at running back going forward. “Alex Green not getting carries was a poor performance by myself managing how we were running the ball,” said head coach Mike McCarthy as quoted by Wes Hodkiewicz of the Press-Gazette. “We’ll continue forward working both James and Alex and get those guys ready in our preparation for the Giants.” McCarthy was also critical of his play-calling in general on Sunday when the Packers ran the ball more than they passed against the Lions.
The play of the Packers’ young secondary has been a revelation and was praised by defensive coordinator Dom Capers on Monday. “On Sunday, first- and second-year players throughout the secondary made plays for the Packers. Hayward, Jerron McMillian, M.D. Jennings and Davon House — all non-factors last year — accounted for nine pass break-ups against an offense ranked first in passing yards,” writes Tyler Dunne of JSOnline. “Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed only 44% of his passes, was sacked five times, picked off twice and finished with a passer rating of 54.0.” Hayward in particular has been amazing as a rookie and has entered the discussion for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.
The injury to defensive lineman B.J. Raji does not appear serious, according to ESPNMilwaukee.com.
Aaron Rodgers is shown in a video visiting a girl who battled childhood cancer that’s released in coordination with David Gruber law offices.
The improvement of the defense will be put to the test against the New York Giants next Sunday, writes Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel.
The Packers signed offensive lineman Joe Gibbs to the practice squad and released Justin Cheadle.
Mike McCarthy’s comments from his Monday press conference are summed up at JSOnline.
Randall Cobb answers questions on Inside the Huddle in a trivia quiz.
Video: Cheesehead TV’s own Aaron Nagler helps break down the Packers’ upcoming game against the Giants at Bleacher Report…
Brian Carriveau is the author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America,” a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.