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Cory's Corner: The Packers are the scariest NFC team

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Cory's Corner: The Packers are the scariest NFC team

It looks like Aaron Rodgers may very well call his own shot.

“I feel like we can run the table, I really do,” said Rodgers after the Packers lost to Washington on Nov. 20. “The offense is starting to click a little bit more; we've just got to put together a game where we're more consistent from the first snap to the last. We’ve been, I think, getting closer to that. We’ve really been clicking, at times, in the last few games.”

After looking disorganized and outplayed, not many people thought the Packers could resurrect a 4-6 start — except the hottest quarterback in the league right now.

So exactly how good are these guys? After destroying Seattle 38-10 on Sunday, the Packers could be one of the toughest teams in the playoffs, despite the fact that Green Bay is currently sitting in third in the NFC North.

The Packers seemed to get every 50-50 ball on defense, which includes balls that bounced off fingertips and a facemask. Damarious Randall showed what kind of a playmaker he is by snaring a pass with his fingertips at the goal line. Morgan Burnett, arguably the best Packers’ defensive back this season, jumped Jimmy Graham’s route and picked off Russell Wilson’s first pass. Four plays later, the Packers got a 1-yard touchdown from Ty Montgomery and the game was all but over.

The Packers are a scary out right now. And as much as it’s been about the defense finding its footing, the offense has rhythm and confidence again. Over the current three-game winning streak, Rodgers is completing 74 percent, averaging 256 yards a game, has seven touchdowns and no interceptions.

Rodgers is absolutely on fire right now. The windows that he’s throwing into are tiny. He was 12 for his first 13 on Sunday. Jordy Nelson wasn’t open on the three-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter. Rodgers threw it to a spot when he knew Nelson was going to cut back to the sideline.

The worst part about the Packers right now is the fact that Christine Michael cannot figure out where he’s supposed to be. Rodgers got crossed up twice and was hung out to dry. When that happens, it’s open season for the defense on Rodgers’ bad hamstring and calf.

Montgomery looks like a real featured back. Is it time for him shed No. 88 in favor of 22? He can take a hit, shed a tackle and get upfield. His 17-yard run was pretty impressive and it shows that Montgomery will do anything to get on the field. His versatility will be a huge source of leverage when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

As long as the Packers can continue to generate a pass rush, this team is the scariest team in the NFC. Especially now that Dallas’ rookies are melting when the season is starting to matter the most.

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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 is also nearing completion of a master's degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (32) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Hematite's picture

If they keep playing like they did against Seattle this is going to be a very exciting finish to the 2016 season.
GO PACK GO!

RCPackerFan's picture

If the Packers make it to the playoffs, I don't think many teams will want to face them.

The team is playing its best ball at the right time of year. It doesn't matter what teams did in September or October or even November. Who is playing the best this time of year is usually the team that goes the farthest.

The truth is the Packers are finding themselves right now. They have figured out the offense is at its best when using Montgomery as the main RB for most plays. Rodgers has been extremely sharp and they are full of confidence right now.

The defense is getting healthier. The CBs are as healthy as they will be.

This could be a year similar to 2010. Get hot before the playoffs and run through the playoffs. Fingers are crossed!

chugwater's picture

I still think Dallas is the team to worry about. Their o line is so good and will travel well. Zeke is Ahman Green-like always falling forward.

Green Bay isn't far behind. GPG.

RCPackerFan's picture

I think Dallas maybe starting to fade. They have been one of the top teams most of the year. But they are relying heavily on 2 rookies at key positions. Will they hit that rookie wall?

dobber's picture

Look at what the Giants did to Dallas on Sunday night: Elliott got some yards, but didn't take the game over. Then they forced Prescott to beat them. He couldn't do it. This is where they miss Tony Romo, because he could get hot. We haven't really seen that from Prescott. The Giants have a pretty good defense and it played well even without JPP, but they aren't a dominating unit and their offense, in general, is not very good.

RCPackerFan's picture

Exactly.. I mean they only scored 7 points against the Giants. While the Giants are good and have good talent, 7 points against the Giants defense?

For example the Packers just put up 38 against the best scoring defense in the league.
And the scary thing is I think the Packers still haven't peaked yet.

I really do question if Romo is going to do anything when he comes back to play. He has now missed nearly 2 full years of football. He has had injuries.

gbpackerowner's picture

Shades of 2010! Get hot at the right time and anything can happen. Only concern I have is the defense. now time to slay the bares.

RCPackerFan's picture

Completely agree...

The key to the defense is getting healthy. If they can get Martinez back, Mathews gets healthy, and Perry can play some, the defense will be in much better position as the season goes on.

The teams that are the most feared are the ones that get hot at the end of the year. Packers are definitely getting hot.

gr7070's picture

The only thing about this team that is scary is Rodgers. Not even Jordy is scary, at least not yet. Now, that doesn't mean Rodgers himself doesn't scare the heck out of teams; he should!

For the last time, the Packers did not just get hot in 2010. They were the best team in 2010 in the *regular season*. This is shown by proper analytics. They had a handful of very close losses that happened to make them look less good than they really were. Once you dig deeper into their play they were the best team.

Amanofthenorth's picture

Legend vs fact? Print the legend

gr7070's picture

I misspoke; they were the #1 team in the NFC. Making it to the Superbowl as the #1 team in the conference is not getting hot. Facts.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teameff2010

dobber's picture

By this kind of measure, the best team in the NFL right now might be...the Detroit Lions. I'm sorry, but I think I just threw up a little bit.

gr7070's picture

Actually, by this exact same measure Detroit is the 26th best team in the NFL.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teameff

dobber's picture

I like that much better!

fourheels's picture

Most amazing stat of any team: 2010 Pack was never behind more that 7 points in 20 games including SB

Kyle Graham's picture

The pack is back. Funny how quickly things can change. Aaron Rodgers might just be the front runner for mvp and ty Montgomery might be the feature back we haven't had in awhile. If down these last 3 games ty can be our version of leveon bell, we could be the most dangerous team in the dance. Go pack go!

dobber's picture

I'll be honest: the Packers still scare me a little bit. Sure, the offense is rounding into shape now that MM seems to have convinced himself of how they need to play, but the defense needs to play at Sunday's level for another week or two before I'm convinced.

If the Packers win out, earn a home game as division champs, and enter the playoffs on a 6-game win streak after beating a series of playoff contenders (Houston, Seattle, Minnesota, Detroit), who in their right mind WOULD want to play them?

Handsback's picture

One game at a time. Beat the Bears on their own home field by making them play catch-up. This is a one game season for the rest of the year.

dobber's picture

^^THIS^^

Since '61's picture

I would say that the Packers were the scariest team in the NFC last Sunday. It's one game and one win. Take it one game at a time and go 1-0 again this week against the Bears. Rodgers has become our difference maker again and I wish he had played like this earlier in the season. My frustration is that we are 4 points and 2 plays away from being 9-4. We should have beaten the Viqueens and the Falcons and we would lead our division right now and with beating Seattle we'd be the # 2 seed in the NFC. Instead we're coming on strong and on the outside looking in. Fortunately, we can still take this thing with a little help in the next 2 weeks. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

calabasa's picture

I'd rather be #6 seed than #2- this team under McC is better as (nobody's) underdog- let's play pissed off and scrappy instead of sitting on a high seed.

Since '61's picture

I don't mind the #6 seed at all but if we win the division we will probably go in as the #4 seed. The 1 or 2 seed has value because of the bye and the home field. After 13 straight games I'm pretty confident that the Packers can use a bye week. However, it doesn't matter since they have no chance for a bye and will just need to suck it up and play through. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Samson's picture

Winning six in a row to finish a season is a difficult thing to pull off. -- But the Pack are now half-way to that finish.

This could be a wild finish to the 2016 season. -- If the Pack, Vikings and Lions all pull out "W"s this weekend, the last two weeks may be classic. --- In fact, the Packers/Vikings clash the day before Xmas may loom more important than GB at Detroit the last game of the season.

dobber's picture

Supposedly Adrian Peterson is starting to practice and is targeting the game at Lambeau for his return.

Of course, if the Vikings lose to the Colts this week, they might not bring him back at all...

NMPF's picture

I love the talking heads claiming the loss of Earl Thomas off of the #1 D the major reason for a Pack blowout. Packers lose Shields, Rollins, Randall, Matthews, Burnett, Ryan, Martinez for most or part of the season and the reason for the team struggling is MM can't coach, Capers can't scheme, TT can't draft.

Lphill's picture

I hope they don't give up on Michael he seems to run pretty hard , this is where coaching comes in , plus it helps to have Edgar Bennett around for mentoring .

calabasa's picture

what's Martinez' status? Forgot about him. Is he coming back?

dobber's picture

He practiced last week on a limited basis but was inactive on Sunday. I suspect he'll be ready to play this week unless there was a setback I'm unaware of.

L's picture

"Is it time for him shed No. 88 in favor of 22?"

Isn't No. 22 Ripkowski's number?

Brian's picture

Elijah Pitts Ripkowski

Couch Cleats's picture

McCarthy needs to learn from what's happening right now. As soon as Rodgers starts taking snaps from the shotgun he sees everything so much faster and clearer.

No more unseen open receivers like earlier in the year when he was under center all the time. He knows everything thats going to happen before the ball even touches his fingers right now and can quickly identify which receiver is winning his route from the shotgun.

People were saying he had happy feet on plays even without being pressured. I think he was leaving the pocket to get a better view of the field and open receivers got covered up again before he got to a comfortable place to throw from.

If I were e defensive coordinator I would hope like hell he lined up under center and NOT in the shotgun. If he's in the zone from back there you are going to need a lot of points to keep up with him. He basically just carved up Seattle while sitting on a barstool thanks to his leg injuries. We dont need to make people guess if its run or pass. When he's seeing the whole field, the best you can do against him is try to make him score slowly.

Graham Crackah's picture

We definitely cannot sleep on the Bears. It's going to be crazy cold and is always windy at Soldier and the Bears have been actually playing hard lately. Have to go in with the same mentality as the Seattle game and take care of biznass.

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