Hello Wisconsin: A Huge Win, but Still More to Learn

Five games left and the Packers still have much to prove.

I’m still feeling dizzy from the excitement that was Sunday Night Football.

Entering the game, I tweeted that the atmosphere that was building up for the game was giving it the feeling of a possible first legacy game for the Packers’ young quarterback, despite it being a relatively meaningless interconference game.

And on national television, in the sport’s greatest stadium, on a day where snow had been falling for hours, and in front of the biggest star in the world, Jordan Love had the finest game of his career for the fourth consecutive week.

By now you’ve seen all the stats about Love’s performances over the last month, and about the team’s improvement in overall performance (they’re now 12th in offensive DVOA, a stunning turnaround). 

What we’ve learned is that this Packers team is capable of ascending to the level of competition they play. Many expected the Packers to lose each of their last three games. Not only did they not lose, but they never even trailed in their last two against what many (myself included) would have said were clearly superior opponents.

Now, though, there’s a new task in front of the Packers. We’re about to find out how they can fare when they’re no longer the underdog.

Suddenly, people expect the Packers to be winners, and expect them to make the playoffs. Most people were not talking playoffs at all throughout this season, and only some of us saw it as a realistic possibility before the season started.

They’re heading into the Meadowlands this weekend as clear favorites against the Giants, who have been one of the league’s worst teams this season, and who are playing an inexperienced rookie at quarterback in the absence of Daniel Jones. Are they going to overlook this opponent, or are they going to give them their best shot?

You could really see an argument either way. On the one hand, this is a young team that is not experienced with handling success. It might be easier for them to lose focus and suddenly see even just a temporary regression in their performance.

On the other hand, this is a young team that doesn’t even know what success and failure truly are yet, and that naivety may actually work in their favor. We saw a similar sort of thing happen to the young 2009 Packers, who outperformed expectations in the second half of the season on an unexpected march to the playoffs that was a sort of preview of great things to come.

We’ve definitely learned a lot about this team to this point. We’ve learned that Jordan Love is capable of being the Packers’ long-term answer at quarterback. We’ve learned that Matt LaFleur does indeed still have a handle on this team, and can continue to push the right buttons to help them find success even when things are looking dire.

Now we get a small taste of how this young team is going to handle success.

In Mike McCarthy’s debut press conference in 2006, he uttered a legendary line that many scoffed at, indicating that the biggest challenge ahead of his Packers (coming off a pathetic 4-12 campaign) would be how they would handle success.

That may be the point this current iteration of the Packers is at.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

It’s that time of year! Christmas-themed beers have arrived, and on December 1st I cracked open my first one of the holiday season.

This year, it’s a Belgian quad from Eagle Park. If you’re a fan of Belgian-style ales, you know that a quad is the biggest and booziest of them. You’ve got your standard Belgians, your dubbels, your tripels, and then your quads. Finding a quad that is the right balance of boozy and smooth can be a challenge.

Eagle Park Brewing here in Milwaukee managed to accomplish a pretty good balance with its Christmas-themed Belgian Quad called Last Christmas, a sendup to the classic cheesy seasonal song by Wham!

This one packs a punch. At 14.1 percent ABV, it’s one you’re going to want to sip slowly. But the flavor is nice enough that it’s one you’re going to want to naturally savor anyway.

Here’s the description from Eagle Park:

“Last year’s batch of This Christmas Belgian Style Quadrupel with dark Belgian candi sugar and orange peel was put into bourbon barrels for a full year to create Last Christmas.”

You should be able to find it in cans around your local Wisconsin liquor stores, and can also purchase it at Eagle Park’s locations in Milwaukee and Muskego. 

As always, I give a strong recommendation to Eagle Park, which ranks among the top tiers of breweries in the Milwaukee area.

Give some love to AJ Dillon and the offensive line

Hey, they’ve received plenty of grief from fans this year, but after the last few weeks, you’ve got to give a hand to AJ Dillon and to the Packers’ offensive line.

The line has been much maligned throughout the year, and they’ve gone through a weird process of shifting players around and adjusting snap counts to find the best possible starting five. Their pass blocking the last couple weeks is one of the biggest reasons Love has been able to perform the way he has, and while there are still a couple high-profile whiffs per game, the snap-to-snap performance overall has quite improved.

Meanwhile, AJ Dillon has been playing much better football lately despite nursing injury. I’m not sure if it’s just him embracing his strengths and style once again, or if it’s simply that he gets better as the weather gets colder, but he looks like a different player than he did earlier in the year: more powerful, more elusive, more decisive with his running. 

If Dillon keeps performing to this standard for the rest of the year, he could well earn a second contract offer from the Packers at the end of the year, especially when you consider that Aaron Jones is getting older and is on the field less and less due to his myriad injuries.

For a player and a positional group that have had some struggles this year, it’s great to see them putting it together late in the season while the Packers make a run to the playoffs.

Around the NFC North

As always, it’s time to go around the NFC North. 

  • The CHICAGO BEARS are just hoping that the Panthers keep losing at this point. If they’re smart, they’ve seen enough out of Justin Fields to know that they should be drafting a quarterback high this spring. But this is the Bears we’re talking about, and competence isn’t exactly something that’s closely associated with this franchise. 

 

  • The DETROIT LIONS came out strong against the Saints with an immediate statement in the first quarter, but then rapidly let the Saints back into it. The Lions have the capability of playing with anyone in the league, but it also sure feels like they’re also capable of a letdown in any given week. Consider their bad performances against the Bears and Packers, and their close call against the Saints. Has this team already peaked?

 

  • The MINNESOTA VIKINGS are coming out of a bye, and are going to have to figure out a way to stay afloat in the playoff race while the Packers and Rams are suddenly surging. Is Josh Dobbs going to be able to capture his Linsanity run magic to keep this team in the thick of it, or are they destined to fall apart? We’ll get a sense of that in their work against the Raiders this weekend, who have been playing better ball since their coach was canned.

Tough year for quarterbacks, and the MVP race

With the Trevor Lawrence injury on Monday NIght Football, it’s yet another starting quarterback who will (likely) have to miss significant time, if not the full season, due to injury this year.

This has to be the largest contributing factor to the general lack of quality teams in the NFL this season. With so many quarterbacks injured, it adds to the number of teams that already have bad quarterback play, making it harder to find teams that are actually playing strong football on a consistent basis.

This is also one of the reasons why this would be a prime year for the MVP voters to give the award to a non-quarterback for the first time in 11 years (Adrian Peterson, 2012). If ever there were a year in which someone who did not play quarterback could win the award, this would be the one, especially when you consider the record-breaking pace of a player like Tyreek Hill, or the significant defensive impact of a guy like Myles Garrett.

Right now, the betting favorite to win MVP is freaking Brock Purdy. Now, nothing against Purdy, he’s played really strong, efficient football. But the most valuable player?! The man is on a stacked football team and is rarely, if ever, asked to shoulder the load himself. And that’s fine, it’s not a knock against him; he deserves plenty of praise for his performance. But he’s not done anything extraordinary.

Dak Prescott has probably been the most consistently excellent quarterback in football this year, and the stats would seem to back that up, but for whatever reason, he’s not getting much national hype for the award.

My personal feelings about the man aside, Hill seems to be easily the best choice to win the award. He will likely be the first player to ever cross 2,000 receiving yards in a season, and has been on a record-breaking pace basically all year. He’s helped transform Tua Tagovailoa into a legitimate premier NFL quarterback, and has been the key weapon in Miami’s offensive arsenal.

But what a shame to see yet another quarterback go down with injury. Lawrence had been playing outstanding football, and the Jaguars were in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the AFC. Tragic events all around.

THIS or THAT in Mr. Backes’s room: Week 14 Update

As I’ve done the last several weeks, I’m going to give a quick update as to the latest THIS or THAT polls in my classroom.

Without further ado:

  • Jordan Love defeated Aaron Rodgers (by an absolute ton)
  • Dominos defeated pizza hut
  • Doritos defeated Cheetos
  • Elf defeated The Polar Express
  • Bacon defeated sausage

If you have additional THIS or THAT prompts you’d like to poll my high schoolers with, give your ideas in the comments! I’ve pulled a few from the comments so far.

Predictions for Packers vs. Giants and Week 14

I’m done underestimating this Packer team. The last two weeks I picked them to lose to “better” teams, including the prediction of a large defeat in Detroit. That didn’t happen. In fact, they never once trailed these last two weeks. 

As I said at the start of the article, this is an interesting new challenge for the Packers, because they’re now the favorites for the rest of the season and are in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth. How are they going to handle that pressure?

I think they do it just fine this week, with a win, albeit one that doesn’t look as pretty as the last two.

Packers 27, Giants 20

LAST WEEK: 8-5

SEASON TO DATE: 122-70

 

THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

 

STEELERS over Patriots

TEXANS over Jets

RAVENS over Rams

SAINTS over Panthers

COLTS over Bengals

FALCONS over Buccaneers

BROWNS over Jaguars

LIONS over Bears

49ERS over Seahawks

RAIDERS over Vikings

CHARGERS over Broncos

CHIEFS over Bills

COWBOYS over Eagles

PACKERS over Giants

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

10 points
 

Comments (60)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
10ve 💚's picture

December 07, 2023 at 06:52 am

Go Pack Go!

7 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:16 am

"Most people were not talking playoffs at all throughout this season, and only some of us saw it as a realistic possibility before the season started."

I was one that thought we could get to the playoffs. However, I thought it would be easier to win the division than get a wild card. I also thought we'd field one of the top O-lines and running games.

I didn't think the Lions would win more than nine games and with Dallas, Pilly, SanFran, and Seatle fighting out their divisions, I thought a team would have to have 10 or 11 wins to ensure a wild card spot with all the tiebreakers.

I'm worried about a letdown too. Figuring these young guys aren't used to winning isn't why though. Most of these kids don't know about and haven't been losing all their lives. It's more like Tim says about the Lions. We always seem to play at our opponents' level and have been for years. Rarely do we boat race anybody more than once or twice a year. That even counts the Bear games.

3 points
3
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 07, 2023 at 10:57 am

I too believed the easiest path for the Packers to the Playoffs was winning the Division. Strong line and run game to open up the pass and a Defense that would not lose games and competent STs could get it done in a weak division.

Lions are a strong team, but not a cream of the crop team. But they had early what the Packers did not...confidence. The Pack has it now...especially their QB who's calm demeanor and quiet confidence is likely infectious in the Locker Room and on the field.

The Division is likely next year's goal now...but still the playoffs? Playoffs? You talking playoffs?

Confidently I state, YES!

4 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:20 pm

Hang 70 points on SOMEBODY! Boat race, win out, AGNFB, and GPG

0 points
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Packer_Fan's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:37 am

Time for Lafleur to force Barry to be aggressive on defense. Don't let that third string QB of the Giants beat the Packers. Just like the Packers can win these last five games. But if they let these weak backup QB's beat you by not being able to stop the run or get easy third downs because of loose coverage, then the Packers can lose anyone of them. It is that sensitive.

So, Lafluer, don't let the Giants run over the defense. Don't play off on third and eight. Don't rush three on third and 18. Last year the Giants controlled the clock by running the ball and converting those third down passes. It was that silly bend but don't break idea of Barry. This year be aggressive. Don't let those scenarios shared above happen.

Lafluer, build the winning attitude and atmosphere these last five games by not just being aggressive on offense, because you are, but by being aggressive on defense. You can do it!

10 points
11
1
TKWorldWide's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:07 am

Ok so because I trust you, I’m going to let you in on the secret to building a winning attitude: it’s having more points on the scoreboard at the end of the game than the opponent.

Shhhh! Let’s keep that quiet, lest the rest of the NFL pull a Michigan and steal it!

6 points
6
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:21 pm

And call up #99 J Ford. At least 3 down linemen in obvious run situations.

-1 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

December 09, 2023 at 05:08 pm

Aha….do you need to hear MLF’s “edge rushers are defensive ends” thing again?

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:40 am

Give some love to AJ Dillon and the offensive line -
The OL has been pretty good this year. Outside of the first Lions game, they have been pretty good. I think this weeks game was another good performance. Myers had his best game of the season. Jenkins and Tom are studs. I thought Walker did ok overall. And Runyan was good overall.

Dillon I think will get a 2nd contract. But as RB2. Not as a RB1. I don't know what the future will hold for Jones, but I am expecting them to draft a RB high. Hopefully someone with some speed that can stress a defense. But Dillon is a really good compliment RB. I don't view him as RB1 though.

Around the NFC North:

The CHICAGO BEARS
I just want the Bears to win some games. Get them out of having 2 top 5 picks.

The DETROIT LIONS
Lions are good. But I have questioned how good they really were. Great teams don't get blown out. They got blown out basically 2 times. The Packers game wasn't that close of a score. They feel like the overachieving team.

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Vikings are right in the middle. They could go either way. They could win a few and get into the playoffs. Or they could fall apart and miss the playoffs. Either way, our game against them in a few weeks could be the biggest game of the year.

Tough year for quarterbacks, and the MVP race:
This is a tough year for MVP. The normal MVP candidates would be guys like Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts have all been good, just not standing out above the rest. There are some other QB's that could be some love. Stroud being one. Tua another. For RB's, you could be looking at McCaffrey. He has 1000+ rush yards, 400+ receiving. He has 17 TD's.

I don't know how Purdy could be the MVP when its debatable that he isn't the mvp on his own team.

1 points
3
2
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:28 pm

Dillon is not a #1, but I never doubted him. The O line was outright bad early in the season, and why 28 got nowhere. Their turnaround is astounding! Not consistently dominant yet, and most often JL10 is getting the ball out as fast as possible and still barely beating pressure. Run blocking is merely adequate, creating a run game defenses have to respect but we aren't winning games with it. Plenty of room for improvement still. Fortunately the rest of the schedule should be more like practice than a challenge. Hopefully MLF tests O line depth this season to see what the draft needs really are, and more than just Mt Caleb.

0 points
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HawkPacker's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:47 am

As you stated, Brock Purdy, is the early favorite for MVP. I watched Stephen A yesterday and noted as such. Also, there were quite a few qb's right behind him. No mention of Love for MVP and at this point there probably should not any yet?

I try to keep an even keel about the packers but my negativity does show up. I realize that things are never as bad as they appear and never as good as they appear.

On a positive note: Let's say the Packers win out and go a long way in the playoffs. Is it possible that Love could nab the MVP?

Boy that is pretty positive for me but just sayin!

3 points
3
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:31 pm

GB can win out! If they do it's not impossible that JL10 at least enters the MVP conversation. Dak Prescott has been playing outstanding football. McCaffrey, Tyreek, and Tua too. (It feels like there should be a Tippecanoe in here?)

0 points
0
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HawkPacker's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:51 am

Regarding your take on the Packer Giant game, I think we all realize that this is such a young team and anything will happen. Sure, on paper it looks like they should win out or have just one loss but we need to realize that any team in the NFL can beat any other team at the right time.

I want us to win for sure but will not pick them to win. I try to stay grounded and a bit on the negative side since in the past when I expected them to win and they did not.....I was so disappointed and it took time for me to 'get over it'.

I just want them to continue to excell, especially Love. I want there to be no doubt that Love is the answer for us at the most important position in football!

10 points
10
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NickPerry's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:19 am

"I just want them to continue to excell, especially Love. I want there to be no doubt that Love is the answer for us at the most important position in football!"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This comment by Hawk is exactly what's most important about THIS 2023 Packers season IMO.

What we're finding out this season is IF Love is the next (hopefully great) QB in Green Bay. Right now it's looking more and more like he IS the next great QB in Green Bay. HOF worthy? Don't know, don't care...Let the man play and that will sort itself out.

I'll say this...I'll take 4 more Lombardi Trophies from Love and his teammates over any number of MVP awards and HOF talk. That's not a knock on Rodgers. That's just where THIS Packers fan is.

Playoffs? Well okay, I'd be really happy about that. But 2024 is where my eye is and something tells me 2024 is going to be a REALLY good year in Green Bay.

8 points
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Racingdad's picture

December 07, 2023 at 09:24 am

Well said. To me the most important thing JLove can do is keep this a we team and not a me team !!! If he does that their will be many great years ahead for the pack

2 points
3
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HawkPacker's picture

December 07, 2023 at 10:38 am

NP-Ditto for me for 2024 and 2025 sb even better as their CAP situation will improve immensely.

1 points
2
1
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:38 pm

Yes. It's the next DECADE I have my eye on. This core roster can be something great! Just lay the foundation of 100% effort from every player on every down, which I think we saw against KC. Build on THAT. Make that automatic, every game That transfers into a "culture of winning." And consistently playing like that, the reputation for "soft" will vanish.

By 2025 any roster weaknesses should be few, known, and filled via top free agents while young players continue to develop behind them. This is about building a DYNASTY, and redeeming the pas 30 years with only 3 SB appearances.

GPG!!

0 points
0
0
mrtundra's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:03 am

This is no time to let a "floundering" team like the Giants throw a wrench into our gears. We need to take it to them and come away with a win. We can win out this season, which would have been wishful thinking on the Packers' part, just a few weeks ago. So, let's not get ahead of ourselves, here. Let's take care of business with the Giants and go on from there. One game at a time. Get everyone healthy and GO PACK, GO!!!

6 points
6
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T7Steve's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:22 am

Getting healthy is the key to this season. It also will help to build for next season.

Getting starters back and in game shape with less miles on their bodies at the end of the season can create all sorts of sicarios we didn't expect at the beginning of this season.

2 points
2
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:46 pm

Steve,

part of that is playing depth while your preferred starters actually heal up instead of running their battery down. We have serious talent on the bench and PS.

DBs will likely rotate more. Done effectively, fresh legs will both be more dominant and reduce risk of injury. Currently I'm preferring the opposite approach with WRs, allowing somebody to become the hot hand. Reed, Wicks, and Kraft. #28 is already hot, catching everything thrown his way. And gaining very respectable YAC, too.

Before the regular season's over, they have to test depth in the O line room to help Gutey assess draft needs. There should be times we're ahead by enough that that's no problem.

11-6 😎

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:28 am

Weather is supposed to be windy and rainy in Jersey on Monday (admittedly, a long ways off, yet, for predicting weather)--a tremendous equalizer for teams of any quality. I think that, and the possibility of a let-down after beating two high-end teams, makes this a really dangerous game. The Giants are terrible with a QB who scares no one, but they do have a RB who can take over games (Barkley) and the Packers are notoriously generous to RBs. I have a hunch this will be a real grinder of a game, and the Packers best keep the intensity at a Lions-Chiefs level or they run the risk of getting "trap-gamed".

The Packers SHOULD win...they should've won last year v. the Giants, too. Last week I predicted 34-17 Chiefs, and the Packers won. So I'm going to say 34-17 Giants. ;)

"MVP Race"

Not that it really matters because sportswriters will always pick a QB, but Christian McCaffrey should be the winner here. He's the straw that stirs the drink in SF, not Purdy, and is having a great year. He's also due to get hurt with the beating he's taken in SF, where they've run the wheels off him since acquiring him in trade. There's a lot of football to go, and the MVP attention will really focus on performance over these last few weeks.

"But what a shame to see yet another quarterback go down with injury. "

The weird part is that even though the NFL is placing more of a premium on two-dimensional QBs, a lot of these guys have gotten hurt in the pocket rather than in the open field. What kind of knee-jerk reaction rules will follow now that will "protect" QBs from routine tackles in the pocket or from their own OL falling on their legs?

"NFCN"

The Bears are not as bad as people think, and I think they'll win a couple games, yet. Somehow they start a stretch of 4 in a row at home this week with the Lions...who they put a real scare into a couple weeks ago in Detroit. The defense is better of late--this seems to be where Poles is focusing--and Fields will throw up a knockout punch every now and then...just enough to really force the Bears to think long and hard about whether to keep him. In all, I think they trade him prior to the draft for picks, and pick a QB early.

The Lions are getting beat up and it's making it harder on Goff to stay clean and play well--he's "goffed it up" the last three games or so. The OL has taken its lumps and is down a couple starters. Teams have been able to stay with them and keep their whole playbook open, which means they've been able to exploit the Lions' iffy secondary. They have one of the weakest SOV of all the high-end teams, meaning that they've beaten a lot of softballs. 4 of their last 5 are against playoff teams or hopefuls...they'll drop at least 2. The Vikings defense might be a bad matchup for their OL if it doesn't get healthy, so it's possible they lose their last 3...they'll still win the division, though.

The Vikings get Jefferson back, but the QB situation is going to hold back the offense. The defense is aggressive, though, and keeps them in ballgames. Their schedule is challenging down the stretch with 4 of 5 v. playoff hopefuls and 3 on the road. As I said, they COULD give the Lions fits in those last 3 weeks, but I expect this offense to struggle with turnovers and they'll finish with a whimper.

5 points
6
1
Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 07, 2023 at 10:05 am

Good post dobber.

"...just enough to really force the Bears to think long and hard about whether to keep him. In all, I think they trade him prior to the draft for picks, and pick a QB early."

Your quote is what most of the Cheesehead TV guys here think they should do and what most people who are knowledgeable about football think...BUT we are dealing with the Bears who time after time will made decisions such as drafting Mitch Trubisky as the second player taken in the first round of the 2017 draft.

7 points
7
0
LambeauPlain's picture

December 07, 2023 at 11:10 am

Nice summary of the North.

Regarding the Ugly Purple's D: "The defense is aggressive, though, and keeps them in ballgames. "

MLF could have had Brian Flores in Green and Gold. Maybe he viewed Flores as too much of a threat. Flores is already a top candidate for a HC vacancy. What he did with a bare D cupboard is remarkable.

Imagine what he might have done with a full cabinet in Green Bay?

5 points
5
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:51 pm

LP,

I have seen Flores' defense this year and it would succeed with our roster. I haven't been able to analyze that with Vic Fangio's.

-1 points
0
1
barutanseijin's picture

December 07, 2023 at 02:34 pm

The forecast is for rain to end by early afternoon. The prediction for Monday night is: mostly clear with a low around 30.

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

December 07, 2023 at 03:29 pm

Thanks!

0 points
0
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:52 pm

That's changed to rain ending by 9 AM Monday.

0 points
0
0
Starrbrite's picture

December 08, 2023 at 12:41 am

Dobber—excellent points concerning the nfc north; I too believe the bears are better than given credit—they should have beaten the Broncos and the Lions.

0 points
0
0
TxFred's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:29 am

Good time to find out how this team plays against losing record teams.
Let's hope the Pack does not play to their level.
Pack needs to roll this outfit & move on. Keep the petal to the metal!!!
The OLine has a choice. Step up & or you'll get gutted when the season is over. Your choice.
Packer backs are taking a damn beating trying to run between the tackles. Running keeps the Packer balanced & even more dangerous.
GPG!!!!!

0 points
3
3
Coldworld's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:34 am

If the Giants score 20 we should be concerned. They’ve managed that only twice this season, once against a Cardinals team in disarray early and once against Washington in a similar state.

I’m a be little bemused by the emerging “success” fear. Yes this is a young team, but we’ve won 2 games we shouldn’t have, not a Division title or championship or even a wild card yet. If those goes to their head then there’s something very wrong with the coaching.

More to the point, this is a very bad Giants team. It’s starting a 3rd stringer behind a line that’s horrid in protection and opening running lanes. The depth of pass is tiny. It’s very limited. The Giants have the least offensive yards per game in football and that takes some doing this year. They have conceded the fifth most.

If ever there was a game a good team should win in the NFL it’s this one. Yes, teams can screw up, as Detroit did, but there really isn’t the excuse of success you suggest. It’s going to take a coaching melt down for us not to our score or defend this team on Monday, even if our players aren’t as good as they have been the last two weeks.

3 points
5
2
dobber's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:39 am

"Yes this is a young team, but we’ve won 2 games we shouldn’t have,"

Arguably, they lost two they shouldn't have, too--Atlanta and Denver. Is what it is.

"If ever there was a game a good team should win in the NFL it’s this one. "

Yes. If the Packers are indeed a good team, they'll put the Giants in their rearview early and not let them back into this game.

5 points
5
0
Coldworld's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:55 am

If the Packers are even a mildly decent team they should win.

This giants team is bad. It’s OL is bad, giving up the most sacks in the passing game and it’s almost as poor a run blocking team as ours is. Berkeley is also not helped by the fact they now run and pass into the same areas—redolent of the impotent offense we had early last year. We know how that could be stifled.

This is even allowing for the fact that we are now giving up the 3rd highest yards per carry in the league (4.5). The Giants give up the 4th most though (4.1) . If the Giants run all over us to victory, this weeks bubble will have truly burst.

3 points
4
1
barutanseijin's picture

December 07, 2023 at 02:44 pm

Preparing to call a potential win against the Giants a moral defeat so you can justify your anti-Lafleur harangues?

No need. Just go on your usual tirade. We all know it’s coming.

-1 points
0
1
Coldworld's picture

December 07, 2023 at 04:30 pm

No, talking about how bad the Giants are and giving some statistical context. The intent was pointing out that the “trap” game would take one hell of a face plant against this particular opposition and that if these young players really have slipped into that mind set then we really have issues already.

All games can be lost in the NFL, but this particular one would take a great deal of doing if we are as half as good as we think. I really can’t see us blowing this one, even if we aren’t at the peak of last week. You seem less confident in the outcome. If LaFleur is so great and the talent is real then I can’t think why.

If I’m wrong, then we will, as you suggest, have some thorny questions to digest. I just can’t see this being that week as long as we approach the game as positively as recently. Have courage if your convictions. If LaFleur can’t navigate this one then maybe rethink them.

3 points
3
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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2023 at 06:19 pm

Winning games on the road, at night, in the winter, is not easy. I would estimate that the road team wins a small percentage of those.....certainly not 50, and probably closer to 25. The Giants aren't good but they have won some games. We're all excited about the Packers but we're only 6-6.

None of the remaining games are "must win". We could lose any one of them and still make the playoffs. But no more than one. This should be a win, but that's what I thought about Denver and LV, too.

Anybody can lose to anybody. In 1997, we were the defending Champions that finished 13-3, but we lost, badly, to a bad Indy team.

3 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:00 pm

any given sunday. no one gave the packers a shot vs. Detroit or KC, and yet.

the giants may be statistically bad, with a journeyman qb, but they get paid, and they're at home. they also have some players who can wreak havoc.

what should happen and what happens is why none of you should be betting on football...

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:20 pm

You've got to earn it and nobody gives you nothing. Expect to be screwed by the refs. And stuff happens that you've never seen before, and never will again.

I have a friend who has a side hustle as an NFL bettor. He bets small amounts on parlays and does fairly well. It's at least better than driving for Door Dash or selling used shoes. He's encouraged me on multiple occasions to take advantage of easy money, but I've been cured of that forever.

2 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 08, 2023 at 08:30 am

The house always wins.

0 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 07, 2023 at 11:17 am

Confidence is a powerful motivator. I think the young Packers have that going for them.

Hubris precedes the fall...I don't think they are in danger having that powerful performance killer.

This game is a true test of coaching leadership. I totally agree with you on this.

3 points
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CanPackFan's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:40 am

I am also afraid of a GB letdown for the Giants game. My biggest concern is the defense and Barry. If he goes back into his soft shell, he'll play right into the hands of NY. Remember how he made Zappe look like a Pro Bowl QB last year against the Pats? Get 5 guys on the line to stop the run. Get your corners right up to the LOS and not allow easy 5-8 yard passes. DeVito is a young inexperienced QB. Blitz when u have the opportunity. Play him the way Steve Spagnola played Love last year in KC!

4 points
5
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 07, 2023 at 11:35 am

Barry Ball starts with a 3-4 he rarely plays. Mostly he plays nickel with dime the second most used.

He lines up light boxes on 3rd down or even 2nd and long and shrugs as his defense gives up another first down...after first down. Then he has to rely on a turnover or a red zone pressure and escape with a FG.

I truly believe he has plenty of talent to play aggressive and stop the run/pressure the QB and trust his DBs to make plays between the 20's, not just in the red zone.

He doesn't adjust because his players' talents matter far less than the alignments and situational schemes that are ingrained in his granite hard brain.

At least MFL is showing ability to adjust his offense based on the talent he has. Why he does not demand Barry do the same is unbelievable to me.

Hey Matt...it is ok to coach your assistant coaches too!

3 points
4
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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2023 at 02:47 pm

You are aware that we're 9th in scoring defense, right? Or is that just an accident?

-2 points
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2
LeotisHarris's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:43 am

We still have to worry about the Giants. Remember how last year they took on the personality of their HC while the Packers channeled LaFleur and all was lost due to Matt's personal grooming habits? Same deal. Our potential lack of grit and moxie is going up against a commercial kitchen refrigerator with ears, and Matt better be ready to show up at least a little bit scruffy to counter. If dobber's weather forecast is correct, Matt should refuse raingear, maybe even go with a hoodie with the sleeves cut off. Facial expressions? Scowl 95%.

I think this team is ready to beat the teams they are expected to beat. I look for the Packers to into the Meadowlands with some swagger and get the job done. It feels good to be excited about this team again.

4 points
6
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10ve 💚's picture

December 07, 2023 at 12:02 pm

"Matt should refuse raingear, maybe even go with a hoodie with the sleeves cut off. Facial expressions? Scowl 95%."

I like it! 😁😁😁

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:29 pm

If the Packers beat down the teams they are expected to beat, they'll finish the season on an 8 game winning streak and an 11-6 record. IMO, that's an A. Even if we do lose one of the remaining 5 games, it would still put us at 10-7, and in the playoffs.

I know you're 110% in favor of hypberbolic cliches, so I'll just say the Packers are going to have to take it one game at a time.

1 points
1
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Houndog's picture

December 07, 2023 at 08:50 am

Good morning,
I need to start this with a "This Or That" suggestion, and if you've already done it, Tim, sorry, I didn't see it.
Taylor Swift, Or Simone Biles?
Please allow me to cast the first 1000 votes for Simone Biles, geezus, what an absolute doll.

As for the NFC North, I haven't seen what I normally would have due to a schedule dictated by health issues, and therefore my first time without Sunday Ticket since 1999. But with limited knowledge, here goes.........
The CHICAGO BEARS
Seems to me that since last spring the Bears have waffled between who can have the biggest Dumpster Fire or Fire Sale
The DETROIT LIONS
Lions are good, they're well coached, and it'll be interesting to see how they finish. Goff, who was once the garage sale version of the "Xmas sweater your mother-in-law gave you" has played extremely well, and I'm impressed. Kudos to the coaching staff and to Goff himself.
The MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The Vikings ALWAYS choke. If you look back 40 years you'll likely see that in no less than 35 of those years, at some time they've choked, sometimes for 3-4 games straight, sometimes every other week for 8 weeks. We'll see where they're headed. Cough, cough!

Also, I gotta' say I'm in 100% agreement with Packer_Fan. Barry needs to be aggressive, he has the horses to play that game, so go hard or go home! What bothers me is that it could help him keep his job, and that sucks.
Just my $.02 for the day, have a good one.

0 points
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3
Coldworld's picture

December 07, 2023 at 09:12 am

The Lions aren’t a great D. On offense it’s starting to look like the Goff of old. As his OL goes so does he. For a while the Lions were consistently the best OL in football. Recently that’s no longer been a given. That’s why they’ve stumbled. That may be temporary, but it’s the key to really contending.

4 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

December 07, 2023 at 02:25 pm

"I need to start this with a "This Or That" suggestion, and if you've already done it, Tim, sorry, I didn't see it.Taylor Swift, Or Simone Biles?
Please allow me to cast the first 1000 votes for Simone Biles, geezus, what an absolute doll."

Fortunately, Tim's bright and living in this century, so he'd never consider pairing a talented artist, and a World and Olympic Champion athlete. My guess is Ms Biles would tell you where you could put your 1000 imaginary votes and description of her, and then you could explain how it's your place in the world to rank women based upon their looks. I'd vote for that!

2 points
3
1
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 07:14 pm

Look into how Taylor Swift is marketed and manipulated by the industry. She has become a decidedly NOT healthy influence on society, any part of it.

-1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 07:02 pm

I'm ok with JB learning how to play the game and keeping his job. In that order.

Letting teams get first downs at will will not win games consistently when it matters.

1 points
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Handsback's picture

December 07, 2023 at 09:52 am

Tim, always look forward to your column. I'm going to say this about our favorite young Packer team...anything can happen and probably will before the season is over. They are young and learning how to play winning football as it was mentioned above by numerous posters.
The one thing that I don't know about this team is their mental toughness. Yes, they just beat three teams that they probably shouldn't have...and now face a team they should beat. I'm almost positive that this will be a very close game. Two teams going different directions, but both get paid to play this game and in a test of shear willpower, think it will come down to the last possession. The team that wants it the most will win. If Green Bay wins, I look at it as a major step forward to realizing how good they can be. If they lose, it will still will be step forward in them realizing how they need to approach every team and game as a win or go home situation.
Sorry if this post is too philosophical, but I'm in the process of writing a sports book and sometimes hard to separate reality and what I'm writing.
One last thing...NO WAY Doritos over Cheetos. The youth in this country are disappointing me on a daily basis.
JMHO

4 points
4
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10ve 💚's picture

December 07, 2023 at 12:06 pm

First of all, best of luck on your book.

Secondly, I'm with you... Cheetos over Doritos every time!

1 points
1
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Handsback's picture

December 07, 2023 at 09:30 pm

Thanks, its about an undrafted free agent that ends up starting for an NFL team his rookie year. You have probably heard of the team, they hail from a small town in WI.

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 07:17 pm

This game SHOULD BE a blowout. Part of that is MLF learning not to be merciful. Part of that is JB learning that stopping the run does in fact matter.

-1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 07, 2023 at 11:46 am

This would be the game the HC of the Packers acts like a head coach and tells his DC "I want you to bring the pressure with our front seven all...game...long. Every snap. Any questions?"

I think our Defense would love to play that game...for once.

2 points
3
1
T7Steve's picture

December 07, 2023 at 12:43 pm

Hard to be confident in the D when we couldn't beat a Zack Wilson led Jet team last season, isn't it?

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:42 pm

The current 2023 defense is pretty good. Only one opponent has gone over 25, and most don't get past 20. It's 9th in scoring defense and 8th in redzone defense. We're 2 points out being in 7th place. Basically, we're right below SF and Dallas.

KC..Mahomes.... scored 0 points on their final 3 possessions and only 19 for the game.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:49 pm

LP, I think we're better off being a little more conservative and picking our spots. The objective is to not give up big plays. They literally have ONE weapon on offense and if we contain him, that offense is going to have a hard time outscoring us, IMO, unless we give them short fields after turnovers.

As the Tuesday Morning Quarterback frequently pointed out, blitzing actually increases the likelihood of a big play for the offense, especially against the better QBs.

IMO, we don't have to be tricky against the Giants. Score some points, get a lead, help the Giants self-destruct.

2 points
2
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Starrbrite's picture

December 08, 2023 at 12:48 am

Over the many years as a fan, I recall several times when we allowed mediocre QBs look like HOF’ers. I don’t see it happening this time, I believe we will make DeVito look like the 3rd string rookie he is.
Go Packers!!!

1 points
1
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GeorgeRipley's picture

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0 points
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