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Cory's Corner: Attrition will decide Packers' season

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Cory's Corner: Attrition will decide Packers' season

Now that the Packers’ schedule is out, everyone is giddy about the easiest slate in the league.

But Green Bay’s fate won’t be decided in the sweltering September humidity in Jacksonville, opening the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium against the Vikings or welcoming J.J. Watt back to his home state in a December date against the Texans.

Next season will come down to one thing and one thing only. Because the Packers were given the easiest schedule of opponents, the NFL upped the difficulty level by making them go on the road for a month starting in August and also handing them a three-game road trip in November.

And the toughest task is going to be overcoming the Week 4 bye. Every year teams anxiously await the schedule release and hope for a bye in Weeks 8-10. And when it gets an early bye, it’s a double-edged sword. First, any momentum that was generated must get placed on hold with the hope that the same momentum and chemistry pick up where it left off.

The next issue and, arguably the most important, is attrition. This team has certainly had its fair share of health issues. From Week 10-Week 17 last season, the Packers averaged 13½ players on the Packers injury report. Just think about that. If a starting offensive lineman or a key member of the secondary goes down in the middle of the year, this team will have to a find a way to close out the season.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think the Packers will go 12-4 with losses at Minnesota, vs. New York Giants, at Atlanta and at Philadelphia. And the reason they will rack up that many losses won’t be due to the opponent as much as it will be due to either a short week or lengthy road swing.

We’ve all seen how much coach Mike McCarthy has stressed preventing injuries in the last few years. He has made it his mission to do as much as he can to rule out the soft tissue injuries by handing out snacks in practice to giving more time for rest and recovery. Now he has the virtually impossible task of keeping this team healthy for 13 straight weeks while peaking into the playoffs.

That’s going to be a tough task and if this team brings home another Super Bowl title, it will be due to some of McCarthy’s best coaching. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (62) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

MarkinMadison's picture

Somebody has to get an early bye. Maybe somebody even has to take a bye as early as week 4. Nobody has to get these ridiculous road stretches. NFL screwed the pooch here.

croatpackfan's picture

I tend to agree with you. But I would also remind that Packers had bye week as week 4 in 2013.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"everyone is giddy about the easiest slate in the league."

Not me. I prefer they play a few games against hard teams. We got a false sense of what this team was last season until they played the Broncos. As it stands now they won't face any real competition until the playoffs. That's not a good thing.

Rossonero's picture

Good point. I'm glad we play Seattle toward the end of the season. Beating up on cupcakes doesn't prove much.

The TKstinator's picture

In order to view opponents as "cupcakes", a team has to be at least "pretty good". Ask the Cleveland Browns how many "cupcakes" they have on their schedule this year.

marpag1's picture

There was a cupcake on the field in all 16 games involving the Browns.

Nick Perry's picture

The only thing worse than this schedule would be the Packers playing a game in London too. Like everybody else I'm not a fan of starting with 2 games on the road, 4 at home, then 4 of the next 5 on the road with a early Bye Week.
It seems every one of those game by game predictions for the upcoming season has the Vikings beating the Packers in week 2. I call BS!!! I can't think of a more positive start to a season than beating the Jags and then crapping all over the Vikings on their big night!

Bearmeat's picture

And it'll happen too. I'm very confident about that. Last year was a fluke and the Vikings O isn't going to get better - not with AP aging and Teddy at the helm. They need offensive weapons fast (other than a 31 year old RB) and they don't have them.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I disagree on the Vikings. I really like their Defense and all they need is a running mate for that Stefon Diggs kid. That offense will be better than average. I'm worried about them. The rest of the NFC North I could care less about.

Nick Perry's picture

See that's the way I see it Bearmeat. I'll give em credit for having a good defense but they don't have anyone on offense other than A/P. They have a above average TE and a 2nd year Slot Receiver in Diggs but not much more. The most important fact is A/P is going to be close to 32 when the season ends. The man has over 2600 touches between receptions and rushing attempts, that's a lot wear and tear.

Tarynfor12's picture

Injuries is the undisputed winner vs the Packers but the cure, depth, seems as equal a foe against the next man up mantra which is defined by the Draft and Develop ideology which has fallen ill some what by player selection and failed coaching.
This assumed easy schedule which is based on prior years win percentage is a greater challenge because of its scheduling and less than the opponents who are already being taken much to lightly for our own good by some.

The TKstinator's picture

Your style of writing is often difficult to follow.

holmesmd's picture

Were you born in the 1800's?;)Lol, SMH. I have no idea what you're saying.

Tarynfor12's picture

I cannot help but be more than ....See Boots run. See Jane run. See Boots and Jane run. : )

What I said is pretty clear...injuries beat the Packers...Packers cannot get the depth to beat the injuries...failure at coaching and misses in draft hurt the D&D.

holmesmd's picture

"See Jane run" is an example of the extreme. There is some writing style in the middle somewhere between first grade and the 1800's style;)

As for injuries, it's part of NFL. All teams must deal with them. The Packers have been one of the most successful team in the league over the last decade. They seem to have had some bad luck the past couple of seasons but if anything, that's been a catalyst for our young players to get earlier playing time than they would otherwise. Injuries are never welcome but they can be a catalyst for accelerated development in certain circumstances.

ray nichkee's picture

It's about useless to comment on her Shakespeareian posts. We at least got her to use the space bar after punctuation. Most of us are the beer drinking, farting, scratching, and swearing whenever you want outside of work type of guys. She continues to post that way and some people like it. It takes all kinds i guess. Every once in a while she has something good to say in plain english.

Since '61's picture

First off, this easiest schedule in the league is meaningless. Dallas and the Giants will both be improved teams in 2016 and we haven't even had the draft yet. Dallas will get Romo and Des Bryant back. The Giants have added 3 very good defensive players via free agency and let's not forget the Bears defensive signings. The Colts will be better if Luck remains healthy. So I do not believe that this schedule is as easy as it looks. We will have a mini bye after our Thursday night game which hopefully will provide some relief. At least our game prior to the Thursday game is at home. As for bye weeks, the first bye for any team should not occur until week 5, after the first quarter of the season has been completed. However, due to money as usual, the league will not want to reduce their weekly schedule by more than 2 games, ridiculous. The 13 straight regular season games will be a challenge but if the Packers can remain relatively healthy they should be able to achieve great consistency and continuity going into the playoffs. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Samson's picture

I see 3-3 against the North and another 3 or 4 loses elsewhere. --- The Pack will not see the playoffs if they go 9-7. --- But you're correct. --- If the 'old' AR doesn't return, it could be a long season for fans. --- TT hasn't plugged any of the holes on the roster (maybe TE, we'll see). --- The draft is still a crap shoot.

4thand1's picture

you both suck

DrealynWilliams's picture

@4thand1 you have no idea how much I appreciate these types of posts from you.

Samson's picture

You appreciate his posts because you two are mentally at the same level. (that's not a compliment)

dschwalm's picture

They may suck but they make some very good points with which I agree!

Nick Perry's picture

9-7?? If the go 10-6 will you take your Minnesota loving ass back to the Daily Nooseman?? BTW, I'd bet anything Cook has the better year over any Minnesota TE.

Rodgers is the highest rated passer in NFL History. Has multiple records for his achievements, 2 MVP awards, a SB MVP and as many SB Trophies as ANY QB other than Manning since he's become starter. He has one "Off Season" where the whole offense is a Mash Unit so you and Cow hope and pray it's going to be the Norm and come here to spew your crap? Sorry dude, the Packers win Championships, can your Queenies say that? Christ why don't they Ban these guys? I was banned on a Queens Website after 2 comments!

holmesmd's picture

"The front 7 was atrocious"?! Lol. Well half the rest of the league was worse thsn they were. They were the strength of the team and gave up some lucky BS play or would have been in the NFCG. You have a lot good perspectives but when you spout this silliness, you really lose me.:(

Oppy's picture

There's an entire slice of the population who simply can not fathom that there is anything besides "#1" and "Garbage".

It is a digital world for some football fans. There is no analog gauge.

holmesmd's picture

Isn't middle of the league and "average" synonymous? Lol. Come on dude, their defense was ranked near the middle of the league of a bit higher for most of the season. Your description of them as an "atrocious front 7" is one of the more ridiculous things I've seen you post. Other than reenforcing my point that they were average at worst, please illustrate why they were "atrocious"?! That's as subjective as you can get. At least I described them with numerical descriptor as average. SMH

Nick Perry's picture

Obviously injuries are part of the game but if the Packers offense can stay somewhat healthy and "The Worst Collection of Offensive Players They've had in Years", will be a Top 5 Offense. Rodgers didn't miss any games last year and had a old HIGH SCHOOL injury cleaned out, big deal.

Just stop hating so much.

ray nichkee's picture

Hey assbag, look up AR's stats last year compared to all other QB's and still say he sucked. His OL was pieced together every week and there was sub par WR play. You just want to bitch or you don't get that this offense is based on rythem and blocking in the short passing game. They dont chuck it down field every play.

You used to whine that the packers are wasting the best QB's time with a shit team. Now it's AR. Flip and flop. Flop and flip. Every so often you come out of your guise and say something that makes sense and immediately go back to saying something that sucks.

If the main cogs stay healthy most of the year AR will be MVP again- in bovine language he will be comeback player of the year since he sucked so bad.

4thand1's picture

If AR was cut today, almost every other team would be killing each other to sign him emmediately. But, what does the rest of the league know? They should consult a cow first.

Samson's picture

"If AR were cut today..." --- You're only changing the topic because you have nothing. --- The bottom line truth is still simple (even for people like you). -- If AR plays similar in 2016 as he did in 2015, it will be a long season. GB is AR.

barutanseijin's picture

Y'know, i did just that. Unlike in past years, you don't see Rodgers names in the top 10 very much for 2015 passing stats. He was tied for 10th in the league in pass attempts, but i don't think that proves much other than the Packers threw more than average. He also tied for 10th in passing TDs, which is slightly better than average. Rodgers was also still pretty good with interception percentage and INTs where he was 2nd & 3rd.

However, Rodgers was genuinely bad in other categories. He was 2nd in sacks and 3rd in sack yardage given up. He was 49th in Yds/Attempt, behind the likes of EJ Manuel & Johnny Manziel and just ahead of Colin Kaepernick. Rodgers completion percentage was 60.7% which is just about 5% off of 2014 and his lowest since 2006.
In sum, Rodgers' first few games of 2015 were OK and he had a few moments later in the season, but overall he was mediocre.

holmesmd's picture

For the last time, reasons #12 had an off year:
1.#1-4 WR'rs missed all or much of the season

2. OL was a MASH unit and was unable to get healthy or develop any continuity.

3.Because of premise #2, the man got sacked close to 50 times!

4. Due to premise #1, the WR'rs either didn't know how to run the correct routes, dropped too many balls, or just plainly couldn't get friggin open

5.The running game took a substantial step back last season due to the oscillating OL health and an overweight #1 RB

What don't you get Bovine? Please name one QB that would put up top tier stats with all of this working against him? I'll wait. Lol

To be candid, I do agree that Rodgers mechanics took a sideways turn last year a bit due to "happy feet" and trying to do too much with too little. There is no reason to assume it was a permanent decline if the above premises I listed are addressed.

Oppy's picture

The play of Aaron Rodgers- not the oline, not the WRs- the play of AARON RODGERS-

-was better than the average starting QB across the NFL in 2015
--
but the the play of Aaron Rodgers in 2015 was FAR BELOW the average play of Aaron Rodgers' career.

If you watched the things that only Rodgers' controls- his vision, going through his progressions, his pocket awareness, and most obviously, his accuracy and touch when throwing the football- he performed far worse than we've ever seen him play in 2015.

None of these things have to do with the team around him. Aaron has to own it, and we fans shouldn't shy away from it. Rodgers had a down year by his standards.

I don't believe for a second this is the start of a downward spiral. I think it was a bump in the road. It was a down year. I also believe 2016 Rodgers will be driven by a huge chip on his shoulder to prove that he's not done playing the QB position at an elite level. And it will be a lot of fun watching Cow shrivel back into the shadows.

Samson's picture

Probably a little extreme. (on your part)
My opinion: AR is setting himself up to move on to a west coast team to finish his career (he'll be 33 this year).---I believe there actually is some friction between him and the hierarchy on how the Pack are being put together (TT) and coached (MM). -- Fans forget that AR is from the west coast, not cold a$$ Wisconsin.

Oppy's picture

Rodgers has seen first hand what it is to have your career play out like Starr's and what it's like to have your career play out like Favre's.

If Rodgers doesn't play out his years in Green Bay, it won't be because he went looking for work elsewhere.

Samson's picture

I expressed an opinion but Oppy once again posts like he has 1st hand knowledge. ---- Quit pretending, you have absolutely no idea what AR knows or thinks.

Evan's picture

"I believe there actually is some friction between him and the hierarchy on how the Pack are being put together (TT) and coached (MM). "

"Quit pretending, you have absolutely no idea what AR knows or thinks."

Ahem...

Oppy's picture

It's not pretending, it's a prediction, and it's my opinion. Much like yours, I guess.

The difference is, I don't get offended when someone voices their differing opinion. I may disagree, I may even argue.

Lighten up, Francis. It's football.
:)

Oppy's picture

There's a reason guys like Jordan like playing Golf with A Rod.

Like many of the all time greats, he despises losing above all else.

You're kidding yourself if you question his drive to excel.

holmesmd's picture

Opppy,
I get your point and agree to a certain extent. My point is that a lot of the rushed decisions, jump throws & throwing with poor mechanics, and the resultant accuracy all can be effected by the WR & OL play. If you're rushed, running for your life, and lose your confidence...don't you think even the most skilled QB would have an off season? I think at the end of the game pressers that Rodgers frequently stated that he "missed some throws". Some QB's would have thrown the rest of the team under the bus much more than Rodgers did. I agree that he needs to own his part and play better but few things in a team sport like pro football fail or succeed in isolation.

Oppy's picture

I should clarify, I think fans are more prone to giving Aaron a 'pass' on his performance last year (by blaming all the other positions for the offense's relative lack luster output) than Aaron is.

When I say Aaron needs to own it, (and I think he does), what I mean is that Rodgers needs to focus on what he can do to improve his performance, because it wasn't up his standards last season. I believe that he does own it, hence why I think his 2016 campaign will be perhaps record setting.

A lot of fans, however, sure are happy to direct all blame anywhere but at Rodgers. I don't think that's a realistic standpoint.

4EVER's picture

Oppy, bingo, a direct hit! Doubting what I saw in AR last year, I re-watched and re-watched a number of the games, only to find that most certainly AR would like to have a 2015 do over.

To all, this was a fun read!

dschwalm's picture

NP, you like dealing in hypotheses don't you. IF "ifs" and "buts"..........

dschwalm's picture

NP, you should be banned on this site too, because it seems you despise anybody who doesn't have the same perspective as you. Grow up, and stop the whining.

Lphill's picture

I don't see the Healthy Packers losing to the Giants, Falcons , Eagles etc...., If the Pack has a improved Lacy as well as improved passing game I say it's at least a 12 and 4 record , the losses will be against un expected teams , not those mentioned.

cheesehead1's picture

I really don't buy into the easy schedule thing. Every team each year is different (coaches/players). These guys are all pros. I've seen GB over the years lose to teams that we should have beaten and GB has surprised by winning games people didn't think was winnable. You've just got to prepared and show up every game.

LeagueObsrvr's picture

Agreed, cheesehead1, I've never bought into it either. It just serves as a distraction. It also ignores the fact that in today's NFL a team can flip it's fortunes very quickly from the previous season, They need to take the 'one game at a time' approach and treat each weeks opponent with the respect they deserve. 'Any given Sunday' as the saying goes.

Oppy's picture

It would be nice if the NFL committed to having just two weeks- weeks( 7 and 8, or 8 and 9 ) set aside for byes.

Basically, two weeks right smack dab in the middle of the season with 8 games instead of 16.

Everyone's on pretty much the same playing field then.

marpag1's picture

OK, so I'm finally getting it through my thick skull: This little "Corner" of the CHTV board just isn't for me. I don't know why there needs to be at least one ludicrous comment or one egregious abuse of logic and the English language in every "Corner" piece, but there is. Like clockwork.

"NEXT SEASON WILL COME DOWN TO ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY!!!!!" Sensible people might think that such a bombastic proclamation might be followed by a concise statement of what that "one and only thing" actually is, but... um... no, I guess not. Instead, we have a reference to a four game road trip, then another to a three game road trip, then "the toughest task" (a week 4 bye), and then "the next and arguably most important issue" (injuries).

I won't get into the absurdity of asserting that anything short of a catastrophic, season-ending injury to a franchise QB could ever be the "one and only thing" that makes or breaks a 16-game football season. (Personally, I think other teams and stuff might have a little bit to do with it). But I think I missed something here... is there, in fact, a "one and only thing" that anyone should care about??

ray nichkee's picture

It's cory's corner. I don't get it. He has had a few good articles here and there and they were good. Most of it is pure crap based on speculation and those are the ones that have 80-100+ comments. They have a skip bayless quality to them. I don't consider skip bayless to be quality but he gets people talking. Maybe that is the purpose. IDK.

holmesmd's picture

Uumm... I think the "one thing" the article was making reference to was the team's health or in other words...attrition. That's how I interpreted it anyway.

marpag1's picture

Playing several road games consecutively adversely affects health and causes an increase in injuries? Does that mean that the Packers are really fortunately to have a four game homestand during which they won't be getting injured? Does a week four bye results in worse health than a week six bye?

And if the whole article is supposed to be talking about "attrition" then how can it be said, "The NEXT issue and, arguably the MOST important, is attrition?"

holmesmd's picture

Lol, point taken. I think there are some assumptions being made for sure but the support for them isn't clearly articulated;)

Lphill's picture

Rodgers so called "off season" was a pro bowl season for any other QB in the league , for all the Vikings fans here and there are a few ,Bridgwater will never have a season like Rodgers did last year as far as stats go.so let's just stop it.

marpag1's picture

C'mon, Cow. You're trying way too hard. No one is saying Rodgers was great last year. Not really even close, in fact. But awful? Pathetic? Or as you've said in previous posts... "his legs are shot? He's done?" And this after one season with a rating of 92.7?

The thing I don't get about you is that you would usually have a pretty valid point ... except for the fact that you almost always woefully overplay your hand and go all hardcore hell-in-a-handbasket.

In 2006, Tom Brady began a decade long run of zero superbowl wins (as we all know, not winning the superbowl means that you totally suck). Anyhow, let's compare Brady's numbers in 2006 with ARod's numbers from last year:

Rodgers / Brady
Comp % 61 / 62
Yards 3821 / 3529
YPA 6.7 / 6.8
TDs 31 / 24
INTs 8 / 12
Rating 92.7 / 87.9

It's just too bad that the Pats didn't dump Brady's sorry ass back in 2006, huh?

barutanseijin's picture

Actually, Bridgewater and Rodgers were pretty close last year. Bridgewater was better with completion percentage and yds/attempt. Rodgers threw fewer INTs (8 vs. 9 for Bridgewater) and more TDs. They both got sacked a fair amount (44 for Bridgewater, 46 for Rodgers). Last but not least, they split their 2 head to head matchups.

Oppy's picture

Head to head match ups between QB's huh?

WHat, did they play Chinese Checkers before kickoff?

Samson's picture

You know what he means. -- The media is always talking about head to head match-ups between players (even though they aren't on the field at the same time). -- You're playing with semantics again. Boring.

Oppy's picture

That's not semantics. It's logistics. And it's logic.

I know exactly what he means. And what he means doesn't make any sense. It doesn't make sense when the talking heads or the reporters do it. It's a moot point. Quarterbacks do not compete head to head with quarterbacks. Attributing the success (or lack thereof) of a team outcome to a matchup between two players who are not on the field at the same time is broken logic.

Samson, If I knew you were so easily bruised, I would have never commented on your post the other day. I'm sorry. Would you like me to kiss the boo-boo?

barutanseijin's picture

Cow is right. It all comes down to whether QB1 can pull his head out of his ass and play at the level he did before 2015. We all know what Eddy Lacy is up to this off season. What's Rodgers doing to improve?

Samson's picture

Oh - OH !! -- Now you're in trouble. -- The (head in the sand) homers that post here don't want to hear the full picture. -- They are content living their dreams regardless of the true realities. -- AR will carry GB once again, IF he can.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Not sure where attrition went. I have to agree with Cow that the front 7 has to look north to see average. Daniels is good. Peppers is a fair amount above average but should be limited to 600 snaps. NT is below average (hope Pennel comes through). I see an abyss at the other DE spot, a gaping black hole. Toss Boyd in there. 1 OLB spot is manned by Perry, who managed to play all of 351 snaps last year. We just need 750 more snaps from Perry, Elliott and whoever else TT provides. I like Ryan, but really am hoping for average from him. Barrington is not terrible if his knee turns out to be okay. I championed Joe Thomas last year in August, but he was far from an ace. This area needs a major infusion of talent. 2 of the first 3 picks, maybe 1 or 2 later picks too. Cow´s comments about AR are mostly drivel, but AR has to play at a high level for GB to be a contender. Go Pack.

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