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Packers Daily Links: Packers Atop NFC North Standings

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Packers Daily Links: Packers Atop NFC North Standings

Yes, the headline is tongue-in-cheek. The Packers haven't even played a regular season game yet, but the Minnesota Vikings and former Green Bay Packer Brett Favre lost their season opening game to the New Orleans Saints last night. ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert tells us what it means, "The Minnesota Vikings fell to 0-1, obviously. But I think this game should relieve some concern about the cloud of drama that hovered over the team all summer. The Vikings withstood the New Orleans Saints' early emotional surge, held a 9-7 halftime lead and really made the Saints work hard to win their home opener." Music to most Packers fans' ears.

After seeing Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis get his, Charles Woodson got a contract extension of his own from the Green Bay Packers on Thursday. "Woodson, whose original contract with the Packers was a seven-year, $39 million deal that maxed out at $52 million, was scheduled to make a combined $21 million in 2010, ’11 and ’12," writes Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. "Now, he’ll reportedly make $33 million over that span, and would make a total of $55 million over the next five years." The money the Packers have dished out to veterans like Woodson, Donald Driver, Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Ryan Pickett and Nick Collins in an uncapped year has been nothing short of amazing. All the chips are on the table.

A little reminder to Packers fans everywhere. "During the preseason, Aaron Rodgers completed 77.4 percent of his passes with six touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 141.2. He wasn’t sacked once. During last year’s preseason, Rodgers completed 70.7 percent of his passes with six touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 147.9. He wasn’t sacked once," writes Bill Huber of Packer Report. Everybody remembers how the Packers offense sputtered to begin he '09 season. The preseason doesn't matter a whip. It starts now.

The offensive line will be in the crosshairs for many observers after such a spotty performance last season. "The Packers can't hide from the pass protection failings that nearly derailed their season last year - they actually gave up a league-worst 51 sacks, as backup Matt Flynn wasn't completely spared from the carnage - but they're using their failures as a rallying point going into Sunday's regular season opener at Philadelphia," writes the Associated Press (and I can only assume Chris Jenkins). All the apprehension aside, I think the offensive line won't have the same pitfalls this season as last year.

A potentially troubling injury was added to the Packers' woes yeseterday. "The Packers added defensive end Mike Neal to their injury report on Thursday with what Head Coach Mike McCarthy called a strain in the abdomen," writes Mike Spofford on the Packers official website. "It’s listed on the report as a 'side' injury, and Neal did not participate in practice." A strain in the abdomen isn't the worst thing in the world and it probably won't sideline Neal very long, but the options on the defensive line aren't exactly appealing. At least until Justin Harrell proves himself.

Apparently Tramon Williams and Greg Jennings could rotate on punt returns. "Special teams coach Shawn Slocum said that cornerback Tramon Williams and receiver Greg Jennings would handle punt returns against the Eagles," writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Williams is generally considered the starter, but Slocum said he may use them both depending on specific situations." Part of the rotation might be to keep both players fresh. If the Packers happen to force a punt after an eight-play drive, Williams might be tired.

A good case is made as to why the Packers chose Daryn Colledge ahead of Bryan Bulaga for the starting left guard job by Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense that Green Bay faces Sunday is as multiple and blitz-oriented as any in the NFL," writes Copeland. "Recognizing and reacting to those blitzes will be critical, and Colledge is a fifth-year pro with 60 starts (including two against the Eagles) while this is Bulaga’s first game in the NFL."

The Nielsen Co. conducted a study that found the Packers are the 5th most-popular team in the NFL.

Ol' Bag of Donuts conducted a Q&A with an Eagles blog.

Seriously, go check out the videos with LeRoy Butler over at JSOnline, especially his Xs and Os stuff.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

foundinidaho's picture

The Bears? #4? Seriously?

PackersRS's picture

Well, one thing you have to admit about them, they're certainly passionate. No bandwagoner bear fan. Unlike the puple pukes...

dilligaff's picture

Much like the viking's offense, the Packers due to injury have not practiced nor played their starting defense together.

This is worrisome, you could see the viking's offense out of sink during the Saints game and it cost them. This very well could happen to the Pack, I hope not but I am fearful.

packeraaron's picture

Offense and defense are two different beasts though. It's much easier for a defense to get up to speed quickly. Offense is all about timing.

CSS's picture

The videos with Leroy Butler were fantastic, saw them yesterday. Man, Tom Silverstein definately belongs in print and neither on video nor audio, that's all I'll say....

PackersRS's picture

Lol. But I think you were too polite on that one, actually.

It's not as easy, though. Would you rather have someone that knows what he's doing, but is awful to see and listen to, or a gorgeous babe that you know is clearly just reading what's in front of her, like this: http://sports.yahoo.com/video/player/nfl/Y_Sports_NFL/21794520 ?

CSS's picture

Not trying to insult Tom, I just like a really succinct question. I'm not tuning in to listen to Tom, it's Leroy I want to hear. Don't freestyle Tom. Write down the question, 20 words or less, and stick to the script.

I'm not sure if that's his typical style, but he spent 100 words to ask a 15 word question.

lebowski's picture

I agree that he was a little shaky, but will probably get better. I really liked that he'd stop LeRoy once in a while to get clarification on terms, player responsibilities, options, etc. Sometimes the pure football guys forget that the average rube (me) needs things explained a little more. Looking forward to more of these.

CSS's picture

BTW - Didn't understand the Saints gameplan last night. They destroyed the Vikings vertically on intermediate to deep routes on that first drive. The Vikings look extremely vulnerable at safety and corner. Perhaps Lezlie Frasier made some defensive adjustments, because the Saints went almost exclusively underneath after that opening series. Curious.

The Packers verticle game and Rodgers intermediate accuracy seems like a great matchup against the Vikings if they can protect on a 5 step drop. Great having the NFL back on TV!

PackersRS's picture

I think they were doubling Henderson, the Saints deep threat. He was sheer abusing Asher Allen.

misterj's picture

love how the vikings are behind the lions!

PackersThad's picture

Watching Bulaga play LG in pre-season, he not only covered his position, he was able to recognize stunts and other delayed blitzes and help to stop them from reaching Rodgers. I've seen things from Bulaga that I never saw in Colledge. Hopefully Colledge has learned some new tricks for the Philly defense...in the last game he played with some new found aggresiveness. I hope that continues into the regular season.

I really hope Mike Neal is fully recovered by Sunday. His best attribute is his strength and I hope nothing saps that. We need him out there full strength if we are going to get any kind of pressure on the opposing offense.

PackersRS's picture

Agreed on Bulaga. Yes, it was preseason, but Bulaga's recognition skills are excellent. And I can remember more than once that Colledge had mental lapses during games...

jeremy's picture

I have to agree on Bulaga as well. I'm convinced if it wasn't for his groin sprain he'd be the starter. The Packers are wise for not rushing him to play.

That said, Dougherty's column about Colledge is myopic because it fails to point out that Colledge led the team in three important negative O-line stats last season; Bad Runs, QB Pressures, and Sacks. It's not like there wasn't stiff competition for those dishonors last year. He has however played much better this preseason, and as a Packer fan I will root for him to keep it up.

Wgbeethree's picture

While I agree the preseason means very little the way AR and the offense went about putting up those stats this year has me a lot more hopeful that it will be a smooth transition into the regular season. This year they faced more blitzing against the first string and the ball was getting out A LOT faster. Last preseason while facing little pass rush We ran a lot of 5 step drops and downfield patterns that just didn't work when the regular season started. It seemingly took MM a long time to realize that wasn't working. This year the play calling was more "realistic". I may be just overanalyzing in order to justify my expectations but I'm much more confident in the offense's ability to hit the ground running because of those things.

FITZCORE1252's picture

The Neal injury is worrisome to say the least, here's hoping he's a quick healer.

That Butler breakdown is just awesome. What a guy. What a Packer!

GBP 4 LIFE

Ryeguy812's picture

So wait: "The Vikings withstood the New Orleans Saints’ early emotional surge, held a 9-7 halftime lead and really made the Saints work hard to win their home opener.”

Really ESPN blogger?! You're letting the Vikings off the hook with this "made the Saints work hard to win" BS?!?!? This is a super contending team with high expectations and you're taking your cue from their QB and lowering expectations for them!
Making a team work hard for a win MIGHT be a consolation prize for a team like Detroit, but not the 2010 Vikings. Give me a break!

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