Around the NFC North

New from around the NFC North and defending champion the Green Bay Packers and their rivals the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.

Chicago Bears:  Playing for nothing but pride and draft position the Bears host the Lions this week to close out the 2015 season.  It has been a season of highs and lows for the Bears but for the most part the team is riding a positive vibe that they have the leadership in place for long-term success.

This next Sunday will certainly spell the end of several big-name Bears players including Matt Forte, whose contract is expiring, and TE Martellus Bennett who carries a prohibitive contract number for 2016.  Wide out Alshon Jeffery’s rookie contract is also about to expire and would be one of the team’s top off-season decisions (Author's Note:  Jeffery has now been placed on IR - could spell the end for him in Chicago).

 Last Week:   Won at Tampa Bay

This Week:   Home vs. Detroit

Season Record:  6 - 9

Place in NFC North:    Tied for last

Detroit Lions:  With the Lions going nowhere and a search committee looking for their next President and GM, sweeping changes are expected in Detroit before the beginning of next season.  Head Coach Jim Caldwell and his entire staff will almost certainly be let go so that the new regime can choose their own guys. 

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has blossomed since OC Joe Lombardi was fired in mid-season and Jim Bob Cooter named to replace him.  It is no secret that Stafford would like to see Cooter retained as a member of the new coaching staff given the success the two had together.

Last Week:   Won at home vs. 49’ers

This Week:   At Chicago

Season Record:    6 – 9   

Place in NFC North:  Tied for last

Minnesota Vikings:   The last game of the season on the road against the Packers will be a much anticipated winner-take-all affair and the Vikings are a confident group.  After easily dispatching the New York Giants at home last week while the Packers were being pummeled in the Arizona desert, who could blame them?

Win and they capture the third seed and would host the Seattle Seahawks at home in round one.  Lose and the Vikings would end up in the fifth or sixth position.  Should the Vikes claim the sixth seed they would be headed right back to Green Bay for their first playoff game just one week later.  

 

Last Week:   Beat Giants at home

This Week:   At Green Bay

Season Record:   10 – 5

Place in NFC North:    Tied for First

Green Bay Packers:   It’s put-up or shut-up time for the Green Bay Packers.  After a humiliating loss against the red-hot Arizona Cardinals, the Packers have little time to pick up the pieces to face the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field this coming Sunday night.  The game, originally scheduled for noon, has been flexed by the NFL to prime time on Sunday Night Football.  At stake is the NFC North crown which the Packers have owned for the past four years.

All six of the NFC playoff contestants are already set.  Only the seeding remains to be established based on the results of this week’s games.  The Packers will end up with either the third seed, should they win, or the fifth seed should they lose.  After Seattle’s loss at home to the Rams, the Packers could not slip to the sixth position.

It sets up an interesting scenario.  By claiming the third seed with a win over the Vikings the Packers (11 – 5) would host the sixth seed in the Wildcard Round.  If Seattle (10 – 6) beats the Cardinals the Vikings (10 – 6) would claim that sixth-seed based on losing the head-to-head competition with Seattle earlier in the season.  The Vikings would then travel to Green Bay for Wild Card game-one just one week after the two teams played one another at the same venue.  Should Seattle lose to the Cards the Packers would be hosting the sixth-seeded Seahawks (9 – 7) in game-one.

Should the Packers (10- 6) lose to the Vikings (11– 5) they would (most assuredly) not host a post-season game at Lambeau Field and would instead claim the five-seed and travel to play the four-seed NFC East Champion Washington Redskins in the Nation’s Capital.  Social media is all over that possibility with many fans insisting that a loss to the Vikings actually favors the Packers for a prolonged playoff run ala the 2010 sixth-seed run.

Vegas Betting Line:  The Packers are currently 3-point favorites at home.

Key Injuries:  The entire Packers Offensive line starters are dinged up with the starting tackles Bakhtiari and Bulaga the biggest questions marks. Sitton and Lang, the starting guards are also injured as well as their starting center Corey Linsley.  Starting CB Sam Shields has still not been cleared to return from his concussion after having missed the past two games due to that injury.  If Shields or the offensive tackles are not cleared to play it would represent a major blow in their quest for a fifth straight NFC North crown.

Last Week:   Lost at Arizona

This Week:   Home vs. Minnesota

Season Record:    10 – 5

Place in NFC North:    Tied for first

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Comments (98)

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:21 am

"Should the Packers (10- 6) lose to the Vikings (11– 5) they would not host a post-season game at Lambeau Field"

I think we would host the NFC Championship against Seattle, no? Not expecting it but...

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:22 am

Darn double post.

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Nick Perry's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:30 am

A article written by Adam yesterday asking the question Are The Packers better Off Losing?" Social media suggesting the Packers LOSE Sunday to make it "Easier" on Green Bay in the Playoffs?

I mean God Damn, what the hell has happened to our team and it's fan base? To suggest losing is a "Losers Mentality", one I'll never support for the Greastest Sports Franchise ANYWHERE!

As Lombardi would say, "What the HELL is going on around here?"

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WKUPackFan's picture

December 30, 2015 at 07:10 am

Happy Holidays Nick! You're right again, as usual.

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Nick Perry's picture

December 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

Hey WKU, Happy Holidays to you as well! I see your Hilltoppers won their Bowl Game, Congrats!! I read that you went to the game in one of your comments, hope you had a good time!!

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 02, 2016 at 05:06 am

Thanks! The game was fantastic, and we had a great time. It was a whirlwind trip, flew out of Louisville @7:00am Monday, left Florida at 5:00am Tuesday.

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Nick Perry's picture

December 31, 2015 at 05:53 am

I'll tell you one thing, I'd rather lose giving and putting my best on the field instead of being a little bitch and avoiding the "Tougher" match up. For 16 weeks there's been comments about every team dealing with injuries. "It's part of the game" or "If you can play you play, no one is 100%. Given the choice I'd rather play Washington too, but never at the expense of my core beliefs and pride as a professional. Losing is losing, it sucks no matter what!

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Nick Perry's picture

December 31, 2015 at 05:53 am

I'll tell you one thing, I'd rather lose giving and putting my best on the field instead of being a little bitch and avoiding the "Tougher" match up. For 16 weeks there's been comments about every team dealing with injuries. "It's part of the game" or "If you can play you play, no one is 100%. Given the choice I'd rather play Washington too, but never at the expense of my core beliefs and pride as a professional. Losing is losing, it sucks no matter what!

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Allan Murphy's picture

January 01, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Hope their ready to get beat and on the road like 2010 but out come will be loss in second round bet . I don't have faith in this team at all and 75% feel the same as me . If some how they win out and super bowl 50 would be the greatest come back ever in the Packers history ...................

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egbertsouse's picture

December 30, 2015 at 08:09 am

Most people aren't suggesting they lose on purpose. They are just saying maybe the Packers should rest some beat up starters and think ahead to the playoff game rather than chase a meaningless division title.

This will never happen, however, because management wants that home game and all the bucks associated therewith, not to mention oodles of marketing dollars on Packer gear with "North Division Champions" plastered all over it. This is the NFL and it's not about championships, it's about the benjamins.

This weather sucks. Why am I not in San Diego for the Holiday Bowl instead of shoveling? Oh yeah, the in-laws are visiting. Go Badgers!!

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Portland Mark's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:58 am

People pay a lot of money to come to Lsmbeau and see the win. The idea that they should lose is terrible. I paid over $300 to see the Charger game plus travel costs. It was worth it as I got to see a great win that went down to the wire. My neighbors (in Portland, OR) will be at the game on Sunday. I sure hope they aren't disappointed. Plus, a division title is something to be proud of.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 30, 2015 at 07:25 am

You know,

I've been thinking. Everyone here remembers the dumpster fire that was the FS and ILB and TE positions in 2013. I think that the WR, TE, RB and ILB positions are like that in 2015?

TT is very good at the draft overall. But his main failing is not covering his tracks with surer bets when young guys don't step up.

Perhaps this years offense is simply just no deep balls to Jordy, a lack of ability (or choking) from Adams, RRod, and Lacy combined with a really tough injury year to the OL?

Maybe this team as its constituted just is mediocre and there's nothing anyone can do about it until the offseason? Obviously this would be TTs fault. But it would also be encouraging - when TT recognizes a deficiency he gets rid of the players involved and finds young guys in the draft at that position.

Just a thought.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 30, 2015 at 08:01 am

Stop being a snarky chode. You know the answers to the questions you asked. We all agree with you too. We all know that Mid level FA could help this franchise. It's TTs biggest failing. All things considered though, I'd rather have TT as is than a Jerry Jones or Doug Whaley type. TT is a top 5 GM overall. Not the very best, but very good.

Now, back to the question I raised above...

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Since'61's picture

December 30, 2015 at 09:06 am

Bearmeat - you are correct that this season's offensive woes are due to poor WRs, injuries to the OL and Lacy MIA. As for TT getting rid of players involved let's look at last 2 seasons. After 2013 he jettisoned MD Jennings and our other safety and drafted Clinton Dix. By all accounts the safety position has improved since. After 2014 season he let CBs House and Williams go to FA and Hawk and Jones from the ILB position. He replaced the CBs with Randall and Rollins and at ILB he has added Ryan and Palmer. Plus he has brought Guion and Peppers as FAs. So he has been doing exactly what you suggest and the defense is better for it. As for the offense. He drafted Lacy in 2013 and until 2013 Lacy has been heralded as the savior of our previously missing ground game. TE has been a mess since the loss of Finley but we all had high expectations for R. Rodgers this season. He has not delivered (yet). WRs, everyone was gaga here for Abbrederis and Janis but Janis has not seen the field except for STs and Abbrederis has been oft injured and still developing his skills. D. Adams was to be the next Greg Jennings but he is not even close and TY Montgomery was lost to IR. Now we can say that TT missed with Adams and R. Rodgers, but Montgomery can still become an impact player in the future. Cobb is our best offensive player after Aaron Rodgers but opposing DCs know this and without Jordy they take Cobb out of the offense. The backup OLs have proven to be terrible, but in a salary cap era do we want to be spending big money on backup OLs. I'm not trying to defend all of TTs moves. He has made mistakes and he is ridiculously frustrating about going outside the organization for FAs, but in relation to your final paragraph, he has released plenty of players and has tried to find young replacements in the draft. It hasn't worked this season with the injuries to Jordy, Montgomery and the OL but we're still 10-5 and going into the playoffs again. We may not have much of a shot but we have one in spite of all the issues with this team this season. Look at Atlanta or New Orleans or the 49ers. All serious contenders 2-3 seasons ago, and excellent QBs in Atlanta and N.O., and where are they now? Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

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Bearmeat's picture

December 30, 2015 at 09:49 am

Thanks 61. An objective and thorough reply. Good stuff.

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Big Moe's picture

December 31, 2015 at 07:13 am

Well said indeed!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 30, 2015 at 09:21 am

"TT is very good at the draft overall."

Is he? Maybe he used to be. Or maybe John Schneider was...

Totally ignoring free agency and it's risks is a risky idea its self unless most of your draft picks pan out. But that is not happening. Look at the drafts from 2014 to 2010 Honestly, Thompson isn't good enough at drafting anymore to ignore free agency, because those five drafts have yielded ONE above average starter! And they are relying on those guys solely to contribute in their model. No wonder the ponied up for Mike Daniels, do you think his agent doesn't know?

2014
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix = Average starter
Davante Adams = Waste of oxygen
Khyri Thornton = Cut
Richard Rodgers = Bench Player
Carl Bradford = Cut
Corey Linsley = Injured
Jared Abbrederis = Bench Player
Demetri Goodson = Waste of oxygen
Jeff Janis = Bench Player

2013
Datone Jones = Bench Player
Eddie Lacy = Below Average starter
David Bakhtiari = Below Average starter
J. C. Tretter = Bench Player
Johnathan Franklin = Cut
Micah Hyde = Bench Player
Josh Boyd = Cut
Nate Palmer = Bench Player
Charles Johnson = Cut
Kevin Dorsey = Cut
Sam Barrington = Injured

2012
Nick Perry = Bench Player
Jerel Worthy = Cut
Casey Hayward = Nickel Cb
Mike Daniels = Above Average starter
Jerron McMillian = Cut
Terrell Manning = Cut
Andrew Datko = Cut
B. J. Coleman = Cut

2011
Derek Sherrod = Cut
Randall Cobb = Average starter
Alex Green = Cut
Davon House = Below Average starter Not resigned
D. J. Williams = Cut
Caleb Schlauderaff = Cut
D. J. Smith = Cut
Ricky Elmore = Cut
Ryan Taylor = Cut
Lawrence Guy = Cut

2010
Bryan Bulaga = Average starter
Mike Neal = Below Average starter
Morgan Burnett = Average starter
Andrew Quarless = Bench Player
Marshall Newhouse = Cut
James Starks = Below Average starter
C.J. Wilson = Cut

Does that look like mastery of the draft? One player on the team from 2011! I think we need to disabuse ourselves from the idea that TT is good at drafting.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 30, 2015 at 09:47 am

I won't answer to CowPie for obvious reasons. I will answer you, but not line for line.

Go look at all 32 teams Drafts in the last 10 years. Now in the last 5. Who has a better track record than GB. Maybe Seattle. Mayyyybe. Maybe AZ. But probably not.

TT has a higher draft win % than any GM in the NFL. And only Belichick is undeniably a better overall GM.

Pull off the butt hurt and look with objective eyes.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:08 am

"in the last 10 years"

I'm talking about the job Thompson has done since Schneider left. Butt hurt has nothing to do with it. Are you telling me you'd give those 5 drafts a passing grade? If nothing else my respect for McCarthy has soared since looking at this group he is expected to work with. It's not like most of the guys they cut are now playing on other teams. That's how it used to be.

Better drafts in those 5 years? How about these guys easily, without even having to go back and look.
Patroits
Minneapolis
Denver
Seattle
Carolina
Arizona
Oakland
Detroit
Cincinnati

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Bearmeat's picture

December 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

Yes. Let's be the Saints instead. Another team with a franchise QB desperate to win one more Lombardi. That worked out so great for Loomis and Payton. And Dungy and Peyton. And Elway and Peyton after that. And Sherman and Favre. And Aikman and Jones. Oh wait. All those teams fell apart.

FACT: The only GMs in the modern game that have put all the chips to the center and won it all because of it are Belichick and Brady in 2014 and Shanny and Elway in 97/98.

It more often sets teams back years than it works.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 30, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Why is being the Saints the only other option? Either spending almost nothing like the Packers or being totally irresponsible like the Redskins are the extremes.

How about signing a guy like Rolando McClain, who went for 1 year 3 mil to fill the gaping hole at ILB and allow Matthews to play OLB on early downs. Or in 2013 a guy like Chris Clemons who signed for very little to keep MD Jennings and Jerron McMillan off of the field?

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Oppy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:31 am

http://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2015/07/21/data-show...

Take a look at the "Starts per pick" data. You could argue that the Packers simply have inferior players taking snaps; I'd counter that'd be amazing that they win so many games if that were true.

As far as your list, a player being injured right now doesn't make that player a draft miss. Justin Harrell? Sure. Corey LInsley? You can't be serious. That kid had less than 7 days notice he was going to be starting at center vs. the Seahawks in Seattle for the opening game of 2014 as a rookie, he played great, and continued to play at a near all-pro level the entire year. Davon House? Walked away from the Packers, but he is currently one of the top ten performing CB's in the league.

M. Neal and Hyde are both significant contributors, etc and so forth. You'll see in that article that talk of getting 'significant contributions' is a benchmark of successful drafting according to some GMs. Today's NFL isn't 22 starters and a bunch of guys sitting around in case someone gets hurt. It's more along the lines of ten to thirteen core players (QB, 5 OL, 1-2 WR/TE, 1-2 DL, 1-2 LB, 1-2 DB) and a slew of situational players that get rolled in and out of packages based on down and distance, game plan, or match ups.

Is TT's draft success flawless? No, no one's is. But it's not nearly as poor as you're painting it out to be, IMO

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 30, 2015 at 11:14 am

Thanks for that link Oppy. You always bring the good stuff. This article at least provides some grounding for the assessment that TT is not the loser buffoon that everyone on the page as of late seems to think. Ungrounded assessments are just opinions and not too compelling to me.

It would be interesting to see what the average draft positions were for the teams over that same time so we could see who was getting the most out of the least. I suspect that the Packers organization would be at the top of that list as well.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 30, 2015 at 01:09 pm

Bakhtiari is the shining example of the article? He's one of the lowest rated starting LT's. Having to play a bunch of rookies means your veteran draft picks didn't pan out so not really the stat to lead in either.

"But it's not nearly as poor"

Well, that makes me feel better. You can't say it's been good (and especially not the excellent BS I keep hearing) because it just hasn't been.

"As far as your list, a player being injured right now doesn't make that player a draft miss. "

It makes them a non contributor. The rest of the league doesn't care about the reason why. In fact is amplifies the other the fails because then they are putting even worse players on the field.

"slew of situational players that get rolled in and out of packages"

Right, and I don't think that's important as the star players that put you over the top and for whatever reason Thompson just can't find those guys anymore.

The Superbowl was won by players like Rodgers, Nelson, Jennings, Jenkins, Matthews, Collins and Woodson. Sure Thompson drafted some of those guys a long time ago. But how many guys like that do you see in the five drafts 2010-2014? I see one, Daniels. Thompson's abilities to draft have slipped horribly. Worse yet, he lets Jenkins and Woodson leave and replaces them with Justin Harrell and MD Jennings. Also, he fails to draft even one ILB who can stay on the field and they have to move Matthews inside where he's just barely above average, and he won't sign one either.

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Oppy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 02:38 pm

A little point I'd like to make... Of Rodgers, Nelson, Jennings, Jenkins, Matthews, Collins (players the Packers drafted or developed) that you mentioned that took the Packers to the super bowl:

Rodgers, Collins, Nelson and Jenkins were merely bit players for roughly the first 3 years of their careers, and ALL of them were under attack by a portion of the fan base as being merely stop gap or below average during that develop period. Collins, Rodgers, and Nelson all became top tier players in years 4+. Collins is a once-a-decade type talent and Rodgers a generational talent. Also, you forgot to mention Tramon Williams, another guy the Packers developed who took a few years to mature and put on a clinic in 2010.

BTW, Matthews is a far cry from barely above average at ILB. I would wager that he'd have a starting spot at MLB or ILB on all but a handful of teams in the NFL.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 01, 2016 at 09:34 am

Why is everybody so upset with what Jeremy pointed out. The FACTS are TT has picked TWO PLAYERS (Cobb & Lacy) that have made the Pro Bowl since Schneider left after 2009. Sure there have been a few sent as an alternate because the player voted in was injured or in the Superbowl.

He pointed that out and gets attacked and called names by people who claim to have been around when the Packers were led by guys like Jerry Tagge or Rich Campbell. Seems if you were REALLY around then you wouldn't resort to such childish comments.

@Jeremy, TT didn't try and replace Jenkins with Harrell. Harrell was just a big ole fat bust in 2007. Thompson picked him even though he was injured his Senior year, 16th over all. YIKES!!!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 01, 2016 at 08:34 pm

I want to thank all the posters, especially Jeremy and Oppy, for providing a nice discussion on this issue. I do not entirely agree with either of you, but enjoyed it. I liked the article, Oppy, but think that the stats provided, while interesting, are actually of limited value (but maybe someone else can get them to have more significance than I gleaned).

Polian talks about talent evaluation and ¨draft management" but never really explains what draft management is, or why it is so important. As far as the stats, since GB has only 3 guys on the team who were not drafted, we are necessarily going to have drafted players playing a lot of games and having probably a high Starts per pick. I see NE with 13 starts/pick while GB has 17, but K.C and Atlanta average 18 and 19 per pick. I see little relevance between good teams and bad teams. Again, I do not see any correlation between good and bad teams by looking a average # of Starts per rookie or average games/pick. I think number of picks kept for 4 years (2nd highest in the league - but Tenn is #1, so not sure that is a positive stat) and Most Number of 4th year snaps (again 2nd to Tennessee so again wondering if this is a positive stat) is very interesting, but no context is given as to how good teams ranked. The 7 teams with the most rookie snaps rank among the 10 teams with the worst winning % since 2007 (with GB ranking 2nd in most total games played by rookies and 15th in rookie starts/pick) is hard to evaluate, but does not sound good to be highly ranked. Another interesting comment is that other than the QB, the next 12 players should average $6 million/yr, with GB at $6.3 million. Nothing is added to this, such as some team averaging a lot more or a lot less and their winning percentages.

I think Jeremy was harsh in his assessments of our picks, but tend to agree with him in some aspects in the sense that TT´s drafting recently has really fallen off. TT has done pretty well finding average starters or guys who can play in subpackages or rotate in, but lately there have been few red and blue chip guys drafted. The last blue chipper was CM3 in 2009, with only AR and Collins in 2005 clearly blue chippers. Maybe Nelson in 2008, though I count him as a red chipper. Red chippers include Lacy in 2013 (Red minus?), Daniels (2012 w a chance to be a blue chipper), Cobb in 2011, Bulaga (being generous here - when healthy maybe so) in 2010, Lang and maybe Raji in 2009, Nelson and Sitton in 2008, Bishop in 2007 (but he took a long time to develop and was only a red for about 2 years), and Jennings in 2006. For FAs, Woodson was a blue chipper; Pickett was a red+, not quite a blue, and Peppers has been a Red minus, imo. I should also add reds in waiver/UDFA in Shields, Tramon, maybe Kuhn. So, in 10 drafts, I see 3 blues, none since 2009, and 10 to 13 red chippers, with most of the reds and blues now being on 2nd contracts. We will see about 2014 and 2015 in a year or two: at this point I can envision Randall, Linsley, possibly Tretter and Dix becoming Reds, but the rest would be just hopes for those guys. My verdict is that TT started out strong in drafting, FA and UDFA/waiver, but has not been nearly as strong in the last 5 years.

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Dan Stodola's picture

January 01, 2016 at 10:45 pm

"I see NE with 13 starts/pick while GB has 17, but K.C and Atlanta average 18 and 19."

I think its telling that 3 of the 4 teams have already locked up playoff spots and Atl might have a legit shot as well. Don't know about you but that says something to me.

Blue chip player = Difference maker (or at least a player that can tilt the field for his team). Jordy is clearly a blue chip player. Lacy sure looked like one till this year, so call him a blue-/red+. Drafting in the 25-30 range each year makes finding blue chip players much more difficult.

Red chip = Good (or better) starter.

Least that's how I see things.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Can't argue with your post. Seems we have also gambled too much and not hedged our bets with FAs. We really got burned when Jordy went down and there was no talent at TE to make up for it. Worse we counted on Adams and Lacy to improve. They went backwards.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:32 pm

You're right. I would add nobody is that good to ignore free agency to the degree we have.

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4thand1's picture

December 30, 2015 at 07:49 pm

jjbrown you are so full of shit on your assessment of the players you listed. Check your facts. Franklin suffered a career ending injury. Starks helped win a SB. Tretter is a good player, not a bench player, Lacy ROTY back to back 1k seasons playing hurt, also listed a lot of young and upcoming players as bench players or average. You couldn't pick your nose let alone figure out a draft. There are a lot of other holes in your bull shit assessment also, but I won't waste my time going into them.

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Nick Perry's picture

December 31, 2015 at 06:20 am

Those 2011 and 2012 drafts were brutal though I wouldn't call Cobb an Average Starter or some of the others mentioned and Daniels is a beast! The Packers have ONE decent WR with Montgomery and Jordy on IR. Unless you're Julio Jones, AJ Green, or someone of that caliber, it's not that hard to take out a 5'10 1/2" WR who's not very fast.

The main issue with the "Draft & Develop" is you're always trying to "Fix" a weak spot. It takes 2 or 3 years for a player to be really able to contribute and develop, by the time you have those players up to speed age, injuries, or FA have created 3 more weaknesses.

Thompson lost Schnieder, Dorsey, and McKinnzie in pretty much consecutive years. That's a lot of experience and quality personel to try and replace. One or two maybe, but three is almost impossile to replace and expect the same results. Thompson IS Excellent at some things but misses the boat on others. He's running out of years with Rodgers, he can't afford NOT TO start using Free Agency.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Absolutely. I hope they realize that now especially this coming year. They can not go on ifs or assumptions such as Jordy not missing a beat. ..

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Nick Perry's picture

January 02, 2016 at 06:20 am

Not unless you want another season like this Tundraboy, that's just arrogant. I like Abby but can he stay healthy and he's not that fast, he's more quick. I love Montgomery but he was always nicked up his Senior season so is this a look at things to come? EVERYBODY says Jones won't be back, WHY? If he'll sign for the NFL minimum again they should bring him back. There's been several games this year without Jones the Packers don't win. Afterall this isn't the 2009 or 2010 Packers with WR's up the waazoo.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 02, 2016 at 03:41 pm

Nick Perry, I agree with you 100%. I hope Jones comes back for another year. I don't think his speed is the problem with separation. Actually I don't honestly know what the problem is, but NOBODY is getting separation. Realistically speaking, Let's look at this year. Who would you consider GB's #1 WR, Cobb? Adams? With the exception of maybe 2 games, if I said Jones, most would probably laugh, but that's the way many of the games looked to me. I'm probably biased, but I haven't seen any difference between Cobb"s $10 million, & whatever Jones gets. I'm glad at least 1 other person has watched the same games I have. LVT

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Mags's picture

December 31, 2015 at 03:06 pm

You should know that is disrespectful and disgraceful to even question TT and his drafting ability around here.

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CallingIt's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:24 pm

Bearmeat, I don't think this team is mediocre on the whole. I think the starters are definitely upper level(for the most part). It does have holes though without a doubt. Most teams have a few a least. It's the backups that are showing their lack of starter skills, (which is why they don't start obviously).

I think with a draft that is at least decent this year, plus getting everyone healthy again, we will be back up near the top again. We have Ty Mon back and I think he will have a big year next year if healthy. The two new DB kids will have a full year under their belts and if they make the jumps I expect they will, the secondary will be better than this year. If Ryan makes a 2nd year jump as well then ILB will be the best it has been in a while even without a draft pick there.

It's just been a tough year, but one which has afforded opportunities for rookies to gain a ton of valuable experience that will pay off not too far down the road. D-Adams should go golfing for a month after the season, do some surfing and hike some Appalachian trail in the off season to clear whatever brain blockage he has that's causing the dropsies.

I like the team. It needs some help, it needs to improve, it needs to get healthy. But I still wouldn't trade it for any other team in the NFC North. Shoot, watching the kids grow up is half the fun.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:35 am

Draft and develop is great if you draft great or at least above average. TT has failed of late evidently.

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4thand1's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:13 pm

Draft and develop is great if you're drafting in the top half of the draft. Because of the Packer's success they draft in the bottom half every year or near the end. This shouldn't have to be explained to you. A team needs to suck to draft impact players.Funny though, a lot of teams that suck, KEEP SUCKING! Give cow a big hug.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 30, 2015 at 07:16 pm

Essentially then by your thinking, Randall in this years draft should not be expected to be any good since he wasn't drafted in the top half of the 1st rd. The problem is most of the players drafted are not growing and whether that's via talent or coaching is food for thought.

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4thand1's picture

December 30, 2015 at 07:58 pm

It's not my thinking it's the facts. Everyone thinks any 1st round player should be automatic starter. TT made a few mistakes by drafting for need instead of BAP. No team hits on it's picks every year.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 01, 2016 at 05:30 am

Ummm, Take a look at New Englands picks while picking very close to where the Packers draft. It seems the Pats do pretty well with their first pick at the very least, and normally the second round too. Thompson hasn't "Nailed" a first round pick since 2009. Just saying... I think it has as much to do wih losing Schneider, McKinnze, and Dorsey as much as anything.

Actually go look at TT drafts up to and including 2009 and then from 2010 to the present. Scneiders last year in Green Bay was 2009. Enough said.

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Mags's picture

January 01, 2016 at 09:32 am

That is exactly why Thompson should at least use free agency at positions where the draft picks didn't develop.

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CallingIt's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:40 pm

You've got to be insane to think TT failed last year's draft. Some years before, ya, but, last year we did great with our position.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 30, 2015 at 07:19 pm

I din't single out a certain year, that's your defense with this seasons use, I merely said lately which comprises multiple years.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 30, 2015 at 07:36 pm

Tarynfor12, I can't stand it anymore. I don't much care about the draft.
Are you Over/Under 140lbs, Blond, Brunette, or Redhead, & are you +7 or -7 when it comes to Christi Brinkley? LVT

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ray nichkee's picture

December 31, 2015 at 05:11 pm

She's got hair growing out of the warts on her face. You'd hate everything too if you had that problem. Quit drooling please.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 31, 2015 at 06:00 pm

Guys. That's not appropriate or funny.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 31, 2015 at 06:33 pm

ray, Cut me some slack. Just trying to have some fun after a Bad Loss last Sunday.LVT

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ray nichkee's picture

December 31, 2015 at 06:57 pm

Lvt, no slack needed, just a chuckle. Happy hollidays my friend.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 31, 2015 at 08:07 pm

ray, Back at you!!LVT

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Dan Stodola's picture

January 01, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Is this what you call "flirting"? Really, Really inappropriate. Just pathetic.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 01, 2016 at 04:11 pm

Ok DS, Read my post to TARYN. What did I say that was INAPPROPRIATE or PATHETIC? I think my post to her was one of the Nicer ones she's received. I think my post to her was VERY DECENT, & I don't much care what you think. I didn't ask for your opinion. I only posted to her Twice, & both posts were Decent. She's capable of responding if she thinks anything was inappropriate. I think she'd tell you my posts were 2 of the Nicer ones she's received on this blog. I've read them.LVT

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Dan Stodola's picture

January 01, 2016 at 10:27 pm

Hey I wasn't the only one who thought so.

If you don't care what I think, why did you respond at all? Or why didn't you respond to the other person who thought it was inappropriate?

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 01, 2016 at 11:59 pm

DS, MY post to Taryn, was meant to be Decent, In Football Terms, & was meant in Fun. I don't think I offended her with MY post. Reread what I said to her. It was not my intention to offend her. I believe I did reply to the 2 posts after mine. It was New Years Eve. I hope she got a kick out of my post if she saw it. It was anything but INAPPROPRIATE or PATHETIC. My apologies to TARYN if it was. She's taken a lot of heat here. I thought I would pay her some attention. What's wrong with that, & what I said? LVT

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ray nichkee's picture

January 02, 2016 at 03:03 pm

Lvt, dont feed the trolls!

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 02, 2016 at 04:38 pm

ray, I'd like to be looked upon as a Decent person. I consider you a friend. We never had a problem except for the disagreement over Shields, & we both talked respectfully over that, even if we didn't agree with one another. DS & I have Knocked Heads a number of times, but we're both men, we can take it. For the most part I know who my friends are here & who aren't my friends. Friend or Foe, I try to talk to people the way I would like to be talked to. If someone kicks my ass, I'll kick his ass back, but I don't want to go back & forth. I don't agree with what Cow say's, but I've e-mailed him several times in fun, but always talked decent to him.

I don't know what Taryn's posts have said, because I haven't read most of them, only the reply's. I don't know what a Troll is?? I assume it's someone who is not a Packer fan. If I'm wrong on that, let me know.

I'm as Big a Packer Fan as there is on this site. I may not agree with everyone, & I'm sure many or most don't agree with my thinking. I'd still rather talk decent to everyone, whether we agree or not. If it escalates, I'm perfectly able to escalate it if I choose, but I'd rather not.

I probably shouldn't say this, but I actually get a kick out of reading Cows posts, & the give & take. We ought to be able to have some fun here. I've always talked decent to him & I think in fun to Taryn as well.

Please don't everyone jump on me, but Cow makes me laugh & Taryn seems to be pretty well educated based on the few posts of hers I've read.

Am I correct? Is a Troll a Non Packer Fan? As much as I disagree with Cow, I still think he wants GB to win. Maybe I'm Wrong, It wouldn't be the 1st time, or without question the last. LVT

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ray nichkee's picture

January 02, 2016 at 05:29 pm

Google internet troll. I know you got me by more than a few years and my idea of gambling is putting 30 bucks in my gas tank and going fishing vs buying fish at the store. That being said, al cow da is alive and well on cheeshead tv just so you know. Its for real. Some things will slip through the cracks but we need to recognize the difference between true fans and trolls on here. If it was just cow it would be ok. The tuth is it is not. You are the one to share your wisdom and not argue with STROH-KER. This infestation is way beyond that. Stick to the facts when dealing with trolls otherwise they will try and twist what you say.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 02, 2016 at 06:36 pm

ray, OK, I now know what an internet Troll is. I will pay closer attention to the posts. I can't help it ray, Cow makes me laugh. I can picture him down in his basement beating his head into his pillow. He told me to burn my money. I'm $20K up since I moved here full time in June & I haven't bet football like I used to. I didn't make the GB bet yet for the SB. I was going to bet them @ 10-1, but looked at their schedule & held off. They are now 18-1. I can't pass that up. I will be putting a few bucks on them tonight. They are 10-1 to win the NFC. I'll probably hedge my bet with that. I hate to say it, but it doesn't look good. I just can't pass it up.LVT

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EdsLaces's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:58 am

I will say this there are a few players that have in fact developed. Perry.Datone.Neal. Pennel. Rich Rod to a certain extent needed to develop. If we somehow had that "mojo" from last year and jordy didn't get hurt we would all singing a different tune. Think about last year's team With the addition of Janis doing his thing in the return game. Abby helpin out in the slot and Randall replacing Tramon. To me that sounds like a damn good team.

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4thand1's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:14 pm

Jordy is our Gronk.

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CallingIt's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:45 pm

Agree Eds!
Injuries change a team and you have to deal with it. We just haven't dealt with it well this year.

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Razer's picture

December 30, 2015 at 11:12 am

I've cheered through many losing seasons and heartbreaking losses but this year takes the cake. The discourse and frustration on this forum mirrors the disarray of the current team. I hold little hope that Aaron Rodgers is going to put this team on his back and carry us anywhere. There seems to be a fracture between the players and between the players and coaches. Missing Jordy Nelson is the small end of this team's problem.

I see a bunch of guys playing individual ball and very little team. Just watched the JSOnline, 5 Questions with Leroy Butler and can't help but wonder if we are not watching the end of our run. Very discouraging.

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pointerjeff's picture

December 30, 2015 at 11:49 am

Razer don't be so down. Ask yourself this question: at the beginning of the season how many wins did you project for the Packers? My guess was eleven and the NFC North crown. A win this week and I will have hit my estimation. Yes they certainly have not played well as of late, but they are still one of best teams in the NFL.
Consider this: there are only five teams total (3 in the AFC and 2 in the NFC) with better overall records. Impressive, isn't it? One more win and they are poised for a fifth straight NFC North title and the third overall seed. We are spoiled - but can still be disappointed.
One last consideration: how would you be feeling now if you were a fan of the 20 other teams that will be packing up and going home for the season beginning Monday?
I go way back to when Packers fans thought the championships would just keep going on forever. We quickly learned that it was not our right to those titles and it could go away just as quickly as it came.
Be thankful for what you (and I) have. It is not easy to make playoffs multiple years in a row. But here we are - in the playoffs once again.

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pointerjeff's picture

December 30, 2015 at 11:41 am

A note on the corner backs is in order and may surprise some: According to ProFootball Focus and their compilation of statistics the Packers corners rank as follows league-wide - Randall #46, Shields #32, Rollins #26 and Hayward #25. Davon House is currently ranked #54. House is only marginally better than former Packers throw-away Will Blackmon (remember him?). House was actually benched earlier in the season but has since regained his stating job. Packers fans should wish that he would be playing better as the compensatory draft picks are determined in part based on season-one performance with their new team.
Another player is Tramon Williams who also left the Packers for big money and the perpetual chaos that is the Cleveland Browns. Where does he rank? #46 just one place ahead of Damarious Randall. Randall is an ascending player whereby Williams is older and in decline and with the mess in Cleveland (i.e. rebuilding again) I highly doubt the Tramon will be cashing in at the end of his contract.

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Oppy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 02:43 pm

I have seen House ranked as high as 6th at the midway point of the season based on completion rate when thrown at and passes defensed when thrown at. I will have to try and find that breakdown.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 31, 2015 at 02:00 am

I like stats, but you have to assess stats with care. Practically no one thinks Rollins or Hayward are better at cornerback than Shields. The stats that you cited are meaningless.

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Samson's picture

December 30, 2015 at 01:45 pm

The Packers have won games the last few years because of their elite QB. -- It has had very little to do with anyone else, including TT & MM. --- When AR is out (a few seasons ago) or when AR plays lousy (like now), the Packers are a long ways from being an elite team.

Is the present play of AR the new norm?? -- If it is, the Pack are in trouble for more than just this season.

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ben's picture

December 30, 2015 at 01:54 pm

opportunity mismanaged

Barring major injury, the last 11 years with the best player in football history playing the most influential position in the history of team sports, could not have gone any worse.

Sorry Aaron Rodgers, TT has put "his way of doing things" over immediate interests of the team.

I was a Packer Fan for 38 years, now a Viking Fan for 1. I Put money on the Vikes to win the superbowl after this last draft.

Surprise, surprise, packer fans

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 30, 2015 at 02:27 pm

" now a Viking Fan for 1"

Then there is a blog for you here: www.dailynorseman.com/ We don't troll there so please don't do it here.

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Oppy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 02:44 pm

Awesome

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FITZCORE1252's picture

December 30, 2015 at 04:18 pm

"I was a Packer Fan for 38 years, now a Viking Fan for 1."

Got news for you. If you did that, you were never a fan. You were a poser.

GTFOH

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Curry Rambeau's picture

December 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm

Yes!

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4thand1's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:01 pm

Scum

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Bearmeat's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:18 pm

He's more of a tool. You are more of an Eeyore. Both suck to be around.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:44 pm

For 38 years and you bail. That's just sad. Guess you were never really a true fan. Then again I don't believe it, some story.

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ben's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:36 pm

just not a fan of squandering a potential dynasty

I may no longer be a Packer Fan. But I'm still a Packer expert.

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zeke's picture

December 31, 2015 at 04:41 am

You were never either of those things.

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Nick Perry's picture

December 31, 2015 at 10:20 am

How funny, the last time the Vikings were IN a Superbowl was 38 years ago!! I have one question Ben, do your fellow Vikings Fans know you have a Johnny Jolly and Jordy Nelson as a profile picture???

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Ruppert's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:43 pm

"I was a Packer Fan for 38 years, now a Viking Fan for 1."

You, sir, are no gentleman. Have fun looking for purple clothes and pigtails to wear around parties.

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Ruppert's picture

December 30, 2015 at 05:56 pm

There's nothing wrong with the "Draft and Develop" philosophy. How could there be? To me, the issue is over how you build your team in various stages of the team's development. When your new regime first takes over the team, cleans house,and installs a new, young QB ('05 through '08), it makes more sense to put a bigger focus on developing young players. If you do it right, and they develop over a couple years, you have a strong group of young, developed players and a solid team. No old free agents falling off due to being 38.

But when your team is in a "sustained success" period, like now, where you draft later than 21st every year for 6 years, it hinders your ability to obtain talent strictly through the draft. IMO you must supplement or you end up with entire position groups with issues, like we have now.

It's a credit to Thompson how he has drafted. But it's maddening to think of how much better this roster would be with even a few low risk, cheap FA additions.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:19 pm

100% agreed.

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calabasa's picture

December 31, 2015 at 12:51 am

"Tell 12 to get his hands in that OC's crack"

Who's gonna break the news to Clements? Ouch!

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pooch's picture

December 31, 2015 at 05:01 pm

I cant take the shotgun and pistol anymore.Lacy is not a quick twitch runner,he needs to come out of a sprinter stance.WTF cant they see that on tape

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Tundraboy's picture

January 01, 2016 at 12:09 am

Same here. He's also better off the screen where he has a head of steam and is a bear to tackle. That should be a big part of how he is used. What a waste.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 06:49 pm

Yup

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4thand1's picture

December 30, 2015 at 08:04 pm

Wait til next year. This team made the playoffs with a mash unit. They were healthy last year and were elite. ST's teams cost them a trip to the SB, that won't happen again.

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Mags's picture

December 31, 2015 at 04:11 pm

Next year yup there is always next year lol

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4thand1's picture

December 30, 2015 at 08:06 pm

Cow, your biggest problem is trying to convince other people to feel the same way you do about the Packers. It's your opinion and it sucks.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

December 30, 2015 at 08:24 pm

We have like halves now?

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FITZCORE1252's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Haha, I saw that too.

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Tundraboy's picture

December 30, 2015 at 10:37 pm

Yes. What's that all about.

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Curry Rambeau's picture

December 30, 2015 at 11:10 pm

4quarterz

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 31, 2015 at 12:29 am

Cow, I took my wife & another couple to the Rio tonight for a free Prime Rib & Crab Legs Dinner & Drinks. Hit $280 on the way out. 1/2 of what I lost last Sunday. If I buy the hook on GB Sunday, I can get GB @ -2 1/2. $550 to make $500. What do you think I should do?LVT

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 31, 2015 at 09:28 am

Daniels and Raji didn't practice.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

December 31, 2015 at 03:37 pm

That makes a difference if they don't play. Maybe the Over is in play. The weather is suppose to be decent for the game. The line tells me Minnesota, but I won't bet them. The way things have gone,I think GB's the play. Everything is screwed up. I'm still Banking Big on the playoff's. I don't care what Cow or anybody say's. If I'm Wrong, I'm Wrong, but I've seen too much of this stuff before. I'll be Honest, I'm not a fan of TT, but I think MM is a Smart & Excellent HC. Maybe I'll lay off this one, & wait for next week & Double UP. (Probably Not). I don't like the line, but I still think GB wins this one close. I hope by 3. Go Pack!! LVT

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croatpackfan's picture

January 01, 2016 at 05:15 am

To all Packers nation I wish the best ever year in their personal and professional lives. Let 2016 shine in your life as one of the best. Also, I wish you all early February celebration!

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Since'61's picture

January 01, 2016 at 08:21 am

Happy New Year!!! to all Packer fans. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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