Hello Wisconsin: Alright Packer Fans, Super Bowl Dreams are Now Warranted

This week on Hello Wisconsin: Green Bay's Super Bowl aspirations, the NFL's first COVID scare, scary movie recommendations and a beer of the week from Three Sheeps.

This one feels special.

I try not to get too far ahead of myself early in the season with my season-long outlook for the Packers. Teams very often look quite different in December and January than they do in September and October.

But after three weeks, it’s hard for me to contain my giddiness.

So far in this young season, this is the best Packers offense we’ve seen since the all-timer that was the 2011 unit, and it has the potential to be even better. The Packers are averaging more than 40 points per game and easily lead the league in scoring and many key offensive categories. Aaron Rodgers is playing MVP-caliber football, and Matt LaFleur is rapidly ascending to being one of the league’s best coaches, and certainly one of its best offensive game planners and play callers. 

The defense is, of course, the weak spot, and there are plenty of causes for concern. The thin defensive line is still susceptible to a strong running game, and is likely to be the team’s Achilles heel if the Packers do end up getting eliminated in the playoffs. 

The Packers do have plenty of defensive talent at the second and third level, and a more than capable pass rush. They’re making just enough plays at crucial moments that they’ve been able to escape significant negative results. Is that sustainable? Well, we’ll see.

But if the defense is able to get caught up at least to an extent to the offense after an offseason without work, this could be the most complete team the Packers have had since those 2010-2011 squads, even besting the 2014 unit that should have reached the Super Bowl.

Ultimately, the 2020 season is more likely to be defined by offense than defense, given the abbreviated preseason and the types of offenses and quarterbacks that are among the league’s elite. Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers all have among the league’s most efficient offenses largely due to their outstanding caliber of quarterback play this season, but also due to the creativity and caliber of their coaches. 

With September in the rear view mirror, I feel better about this team after the first calendar month of play than I have any other Packer team since that 2011 unit. 

So while my feeling coming into this season was that of cautious optimism, I’m now a believer. This can be a championship team. It’s not going to be easy, and as with any championship team it will require a little bit of luck, but with an offense and a quarterback playing to this elite level, this is a team that can compete with anyone, and bring home a fifth Lombardi Trophy.

Packers get some lucky scheduling breaks

Some quirks of football during the COVID-19 pandemic have definitely worked out in the Packers’ favor so far in this young season. Notably, the Packers got to go on the road to Minneapolis and New Orleans to play in traditionally loud, raucous indoor environments without having to worry about opposing fans in the stands.

Talk about a treat for Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has to be considered one of the all time greats with the hard count and drawing players offsides, and he accomplished this several times both in Minneapolis and New Orleans. One such incident was quite significant in New Orleans--Rodgers managed to draw a defender offsides, saw he had a free play and threw up a jump ball to Allen Lazard in the endzone, who was then interfered with, giving the Packers the ball at the one yard line to set up an ensuing touchdown.

The Packers hadn’t won in the Superdome in their last several tries there, and the Drew Brees-led Saints had never lost at home on Sunday Night Football. You have to feel as though the results of this one could have been different if there were fans in the stands. 

The Packers certainly don’t need to apologize for this victory; it was well-earned and does not come with any asterisks. But it’s worth acknowledging that the schedule has actually worked in the team’s favor so far, at least in this regard.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

I’ve been on a bit of a stout kick lately, now that the weather’s cooling off. During the fall and winter, probably a good 50 percent or more of my beer fridge is stouts and porters, and there are some pretty outstanding 

selections available from Wisconsin breweries.

One of my personal favorites is from Three Sheeps, based out of Sheboygan, a brewery that is rather underrated on a statewide level, I think. Every year Three Sheeps releases a new version of its barrel-aged imperial stout The Wolf, which is, for my money one of the best barrel-aged stouts you’ll find anywhere.

At 12.3 ABV, this one is pretty hefty, so it’s a sipper for sure. But despite the high alcohol content, the booziness is balanced really well by a thick, smooth mouthfeel and molasses flavor. It’s got a very low 13 IBU; this one is sweet and enjoyable. The name refers to the phrase “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” because this is a beer that packs a punch, but dresses itself up as a sweet, easy-drinking stout.

I highly recommend you seek this beer out each year upon its release. You can also find some variants. For example, this year I picked up versions of The Wolf with vanilla and blueberry. I always enjoy the original the best, but these specialty variants are also quite excellent.

Maybe next week I'll pick something other othan a stout. Maybe.

The first COVID-19 scare of the season in Tennessee

As of the time I’m writing this paragraph (Wednesday morning), the NFL has officially had its first COVID-19 scare of the season, resulting in the postponement of the game that was scheduled for Sunday between the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Titans had three player positives and five personnel positives, and were thus forced to shut down operations for the bulk of the week, which would have made game preparation nearly impossible.

I’ll be interested to see the NFL’s official plan for how they handle the delay. Again, the current sense is that the league will either look into placing the game on Monday night, or perform some switcheroo magic with the bye week schedules. 

This also brings to mind the circumstance with the Metrodome roof collapse some years back, when the NFL ultimately rescheduled the Vikings/Giants game to take place at Ford Field in Detroit on a Tuesday night. Different circumstances, but you wonder if the NFL would consider another Tuesday Night Football situation like that at some point if it needed to get creative with COVID-related reschedules.

The reaction on Twitter was predictably varied, with plenty of people panicking that this could be the end of the season.

Had this been even just a month or two ago I may have been one of those people, but the NFL has done a far better job than I ever could have anticipated with managing the pandemic and testing so far. I could not have foreseen myself doing this in early August, but I have to give the league props for the way it’s handled safety so far.

In addition, let’s not forget that Major League Baseball ran into an early outbreak, but quickly got things under control. While there is much greater flexibility with baseball rescheduling, the good news is that like with baseball, this outbreak happened early in the season, giving the NFL plenty of wiggle room for how it will address necessary rescheduling.

So far, the NFL has earned some faith that they will handle this first bump in the road the correct way.

Around the NFC North

As always, it’s time to take a brief look at what the rest of the NFC North accomplished (or failed to accomplish) over the weekend’s action.

Are the Chicago Bears for real? Well, I’m not going to go too crazy singing their praises yet as their competition hasn’t exactly been stiff, but you can’t sneeze at a 3-0 record no matter who the victories are against. The fact that the Bears were able to find an excuse to put Mitch Trubisky on the bench and still win games is bad news for the rest of the NFC North, as this is a team that’s better when Trubisky is on the sideline. This Bears defense is still legit, and while a Nick Foles-led offense isn’t particularly frightening, he can at least do enough with the pieces this team has on offense (particularly Allen Robinson) that this team could wind up being a wild card contender. But will they threaten the Packers for a division title? Heh, no.

The Detroit Lions notched their first victory of the year over the Arizona Cardinals in a bit of an upset, and a rematch from the wild week one game from last year that ended in a tie. The Lions still need to get healthy on the defensive side of the ball, but they showed some feistiness in a game few predicted them to win. They get the Saints next week in what is an important game between a pair of 1-2 teams; 2-2 looks a whole lot better after the first quarter of the season than 1-3.

The Minnesota Vikings can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye; it is incredibly rare that a team comes back from an 0-3 start to reach the postseason. The Vikings are in sole possession of last place in the division, and while they showed some signs of life against the unbeaten Titans this week, their defensive deficiencies and offensive inconsistencies indicate this will be a long year for the men in purple. This could very well be the beginning of the end of Mike Zimmer in Minnesota.

The Packers and Rodgers are lethal in October

I was curious about how October has traditionally looked for the Packers, because I was remembering several years in a row during the Mike McCarthy era when the Packers would get off to slower starts in September, only to quickly dig themselves out of a hole.

I went and looked back at the team’s schedules since Rodgers took over as a starter, and by my count, the Packers are 32-10 when Rodgers starts and finishes a game in October. What’s more, half of those losses came in Rodgers’ first three years.

Now, of course, this doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on what’s going to happen this October. But it is a sign that the team tends to start hitting its stride in the second month of the season. 

Can you imagine the kind of magic that could be coming our way if we can assume this team hasn’t hit its stride yet?

Here’s hoping that October mojo continues through 2020!

Some spooky season movie recommendations

We’re now into October, and with it comes everything spooky, from decorations to horror movies. Now, I’m nowhere near the connoisseur of horror that my CheeseheadTV colleague and film guru Dusty Evely is, but if you’re in the mood, here are a few that I’ve seen over the last couple years that I’d highly recommend, that will most likely be available on one of the major streaming services:

  • The Conjuring: Who doesn’t love a good exorcism horror movie? By now it feels like most people have seen this one, but if you haven’t, it’s a good popcorn horror movie that will provide plenty of enjoyable scares. The sequel is also enjoyable, though not quite up to par with the original.

  • Hereditary: Whoah, this one was weird and a bit messed up, but it was a lot more enjoyable to me than a lot of those cheap movies that rely on jump scares. It deals with a lot of occult/demonic sort of stuff and is just beautifully unsettling.

  • Hush: This 2016 horror movie felt like a classic, taking some elements of “at-home” horror movies like Scream and perfecting them for a modern audience. The conceit here is that the main character is deaf, and thus cannot hear when the intruder breaks into her home. This is edge-of-your-seat suspense horror that had me gripping the arms of my chair. 

  • Midsommar: Not sure if you’d qualify this one as horror or suspense, but it’s by the same director as Hereditary and is one that I enjoyed immensely. It’s rather long, but that allows for the tension to build perfectly. It’s extremely unique and has a very satisfying payoff at the end.

  • The Witch: If you’re into something a little headier, here’s one that takes place in colonial New England that plays on the fears of witchcraft that were common in the area at the time. Really weird, but really excellent.

Other favorites I’ve seen at scary movie nights in recent years include The Babadook, The Grudge, Lighthouse, The Amityville Horror, The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Split.

Week four quick forecast

I actually find myself more concerned about the matchup against Atlanta than I was about the matchup against New Orleans, and think there is a legitimate chance this could be the Packers’ first loss of the season.

I know, I know, the Falcons are snakebitten, and have been finding outrageous ways to lose games this season. They’ve allowed 30 points or more in each of their first three weeks and are tasked with taking down the best offense in the league. Their coach is a dead man walking. 

But this is an offense that’s been putting in some impressive work as well in the first three weeks. Even if Julio Jones doesn’t play, it’s a team capable of hanging a lot of points on defenses, and the Packers’ defense hasn’t exactly inspired a whole lot of faith so far. While the Saints’ only real weapon on Sunday night was Alvin Kamara, the Falcons have plenty more tools in their arsenal that could give the Packers’ disappointing defense fits.

Now, to be clear, I think the Packers win this game. Their offense is playing at such a high level at the moment that I’m taking them in a shootout against just about every team of the league. Their coaching is significantly better than that of the Falcons. 

But I do think this could shape up to be the most frustrating game of the season so far for the Packers. Expect another high-scoring affair that doesn’t get settled until the fourth quarter, with the Packers coming away victorious by less than a touchdown.

Hey, I’ll take 4-0 going into the bye week no matter how it happens.

 

__________________________

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.

6 points

Comments (44)

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

October 01, 2020 at 06:52 am

Good stuff!

I do have a few thoughts to share.

1. You alluded to it, but the defense is not playing well, and if they don't improve, we are going to be looking at a 2011 style exit in January. Painful...

2. Keke is no run stuffer. Lancaster and Lowry and the new guy need to play better, or Gute needs to go dumpster diving, or make a trade. We have no answers there outside of KC

3. Z and P need to be difference makers in the pass rush and not a liability against the run. This has not been the case.

4. Our ILB position is... meh to bad. Not much we can do about it.

5. The safeties have no excuse. They just need to play better and they're capable of it.

6. I'm pleasantly surprised by the right side of the OL, Lazard and MVS and the TEs. There's still no depth at WR, but the quality seems to be there, or MLF is a scheme genius.

7. The Bears are absolutely a threat to GB. They're 3-0 too, and they've benched Mitch much earlier than I thought they would. If Foles stays healthy, they're for real. They've got enough weapons to help him. If Foles catches fire, watch out.

8. If the Vikings fire Zim (and Spielman with him) the Wilfs are stupid. That is the best GM/HC combo they've had since I've been a fan (mid to late 80s). Are they as good as Belichick or Reid? Nope. Are they as good as Gute and MLF? You can make a fair argument they are.

9. I'm very happy the Lions won on Sunday. The Cards are a bigger threat long-term than the Leos. The longer Paddy stays around, the better for Packer fans.

10. Gute: Pay Bakh.

+ REPLY
3 points
5
2
Guam's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:08 am

Regarding #3: Not so sure Preston is going to have the same pass rushing stats as last year as his role has changed. P. Smith is dropping into coverage much more this year ala Fackrell last year and Rashan Gary has moved into the pass rushing role. Mostly because Gary is not a coverage guy. (Kudos to ColdWorld and Dobber for first noticing this change.)

Regarding #10: Sorry Bearmeat but we disagree on Bahk. I would rather see the Pack sign Jones and King than Bahk. Young, ascending talent over aging talent.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Bearmeat's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:14 am

You're entitled to your opinion, just like me. From what I see, a very good #2 Cb and a RB, no matter how good, is not as valuable as an excellent LT (who plays a position that lasts until 34 or 35). ;)

RE: P Smith. Yeah. I've seen he's being used in the Fackrell role. Good catch.

+ REPLY
5 points
6
1
TimBackes's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:16 am

Agreed Bearmeat, the most valuable guys on the field are the quarterback, the guy who gets the quarterback (edge/pass rusher) and the guy who protects the quarterback (LT). If you've got the best LT in the league in the prime of his career you make keeping him a priority at all costs.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Guam's picture

October 01, 2020 at 10:18 am

In the MM offense I agree that LT is a premium position and should be prioritized, but I am not so sure in an MLF offense. With a better rushing attack and Rodgers getting the ball out noticeably more quickly, a stalwart LT is less necessary. A decent LT with good run blocking characteristics may be more useful than the best pass blocking LT in the game (and a LOT cheaper).

That shift in offensive philosophy as well as Bahk's age and $20+million price tag has caused my preference for signing Jones and King and rolling the dice on a draft choice (or Nijman???) next year. Tough choice, but the Pack can't sign everybody.

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
Bearmeat's picture

October 01, 2020 at 11:51 am

What you say makes sense. With the presence of Dillon and Sullivan, I'd argue that makes King and Jones more disposable. Nijman is not at that level. That said, I want all of them to stay. This is why Gute makes the big bucks.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Guam's picture

October 01, 2020 at 05:59 pm

I agree Jones may be replaced by Dillion. Not so sure I see Sullivan as a replacement for King. King's size and speed make him pretty unusual. I'd love all of them to stay too, but the cap just isn't going to allow that. I think Gute has some tough choices ahead.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
dobber's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:55 am

"Not so sure Preston is going to have the same pass rushing stats as last year as his role has changed."

Agreed 100%, and we as fans can't get caught up in that and letting that stat define his value to the team. That said, he still needs to play well in his current role, but with Gary and Smith (and Garvin after Gary got nicked) manning those edge rush positions, people will look at the stat sheet from last season and then this season and likely judge P. Smith unfairly.

"I would rather see the Pack sign Jones and King than Bahk. "

I just don't think you go into the offseason with what looks like a team in a SB window with no clear plan for succession at LT. At this stage, that clear plan looks like a franchise tag...but who knows? If the plan is to draft, plug, and play a rookie?...or to sign a lesser guy on the open market and hope he has what it takes (because GOOD LTs cost money, and if you get one cheap, he's cheap for a reason)? Then BG has balls of steel.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Bearmeat's picture

October 01, 2020 at 11:52 am

...he's already displayed that he has nuts the size of Mexico City... Drafting Love/Dillon/Deguara with a 36 year old HOF QB and an offense that was "meh" for most of last year... takes huevos.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:28 am

The problem is there isn’t much run stuffing out there at this time of year. Lancaster is pretty much the talent level you are going to get unless you take a flyer on a player like Snacks, whose body may not hold up, the view Detroit took. In doing so we also would eat cap space we can Ill afford to squander.

Personally I think that the loss of Clark has altered the way we are playing up front. I will reserve judgment till he is back. That said, we went into the season with P Smith in coverage and we have to appraise accordingly.

The second problem if at Hybrid. We went into the season relying on Greene, who has hardly played. I think that has had a knock on effect on Safety usage and play.

At some point in any winning season, you have to trust and rely on depth. We had better hope that M Adams shows up. The team bet on him and so we have little choice. I don’t know I agree with your assessment that KeKe can’t be good against the run. He is phenomenally strong in his upper body and added lower body strength in the off season. I’m hopeful he can contribute if there is more around him.

What Keke May do is unlock the rush by giving another person who is a legitimate threat and from the middle. With Clark down, teams have been able to focus on Z and Gary (knowing P Smith is likely covering). Clark plus KeKe is a very different prospect. I’d like to see more of Winn for his attitude. A little fire in that group may work wonders.

In the same vein, if Greene isn’t fully back, we need to give Scott and perhaps even Burks a run. A Hybrid is not a 180 pound DB with a different title. We simply need a more physical presence. It’s asking too much of our ILBs to fix problems in front and behind. For goodness sake they are inexperienced enough to start with. We are going to need these players. Blood them now and let them grow. We can go to multiple DBs if we can stop the run, but we need to establish that we can early.

Finally, I want to see swarming like we saw after the Run of Shame on every play. We have inexperienced players, they will make mistakes so this makes a huge difference, as it does when we are undersized. We showed we can tackle when goaded. Now do it every play and this D will be very much better.

Chicago will be better with Foles. The key to him is collapsing the center and getting to him. Hopefully our D line will be healthier and more settled and we will have a solution at hybrid. If Cohen is down I still think it’s pretty much a wash.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:48 am

"The problem is there isn’t much run stuffing out there at this time of year. "

There are always immobile, immovable NT-types (Howard Green, etc.) out there who do nothing but anchor the line. BG has shown no interest in any of those guys.

"Finally, I want to see swarming like we saw after the Run of Shame on every play."

That play was unlocked by Redmond flying in hot on Kamara and whiffing badly... BEHIND the LOS. Terrible fundamentals, and if he breaks down and forces Kamara back toward his help (assuming he still missed the tackle) in the middle of the field, TOWARD Summers, and without a full head of steam, Kamara might get 6-8 yards, but he doesn't get the sideline, outrun what has become Summers' bad angle, and go for points.

"Chicago will be better with Foles...If Cohen is down I still think it’s pretty much a wash."

I think you hit on the important part and that's without Cohen, the Bears almost have to be a downfield passing team. They've struggled to run the ball this season against three bad defensive teams, and now they've lost their outlet guy that keeps defenses honest. Their OL is only average (at best). I think Trubs will be playing again before long and it will be because the fragile and immobile Foles will get beat up.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
NickPerry's picture

October 01, 2020 at 06:58 am

The Packers were lucky? Hmmm... Perhaps getting the Saints with no fans at the Superdome was a bit of luck but getting the Vikings without fans didn't matter. Why you ask? The Vikings are 0-3 and SUCK!! IMO you could have stuffed that bird killing stadium full of purple wearing, horn blowing fools and it wouldn't have mattered!

I've probably mentioned it before but I need to say it again...I was WRONG about MLF. After the initial press conference introducing MLF I was livid they didn't hire Josh McDaniels. But after watching young Matt start 3-0 this year and with some of the best play calling I've seen in years in GB. I LOVE me some MLF and am happy as hell HE'S the coach of the Packers and not McDaniels.

I'm a bit concerned about the Falcons game too but still feel the Packers will win. Matt Ryan has a strong arm and throws the ball further than 4.3 yards downfield. BUT if there's anyone who will know how to slow down Matt Ryan and that offense it's his old QB coach Matt LaFleur. I see another 40 burger for the Packers heading into the bye and a 4-0 record after Monday Night Football.

+ REPLY
0 points
2
2
Bearmeat's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:24 am

ditto, NP. I wanted NWs coach. Someone with more experience who could handle our diva, I mean, QB1.

MLF has killed it. And yes, we should win on MNF.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
RCPackerFan's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:56 am

Sometimes you just have to give players and coaches a chance.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
dobber's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:49 am

Some coaches are better team managers than they show as coaches leading up to their promotion. You never know until the guy has the job.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Bearmeat's picture

October 01, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Kind of like a department chair...

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
murf7777's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:46 am

Nick, from Mlf initial press conference he didn’t show leadership speaking ability. What he did show was great passion, compassion and very much a family oriented man. I choose to hope the speaking ability was just nerves and really liked his compassion so was left unsure about how he felt he would do. I did have faith thou because Murphy and Co. were so impressed with just one interview and nights sleep to offer him the position. That gave me confidence he was the right man for the job. Fortunately, his lack of perceived speaking abilities at the PC was wrongly interpreted by many. He has proven to all of us to be a very good speaker and leader of men.

+ REPLY
1 points
2
1
Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:18 am

Really like this weekly post, but one major correction. The Bears are not 3-0. They are effectively 3-2. And the Pack is 5-0.

+ REPLY
-3 points
1
4
Handsback's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:49 am

This seems to be year that will have an asterisk beside any stats that are record setting. Depth will probably be the key and beating the Chiefs to win the SB.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
egbertsouse's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:00 am

Woooooo-woooooooooo! The hype-train has left the station. Right now MLF has done a masterful job of succeeding with scheme football. This surprised me. After the draft I thought he was going for Tennessee Titan smash mouth and instead we have LA Ram scheme ball. Anyway, he’s done a good job so far. However, I’m curbing my enthusiasm until I see if this offense is still working the second half of the season when DCs have more film of it. And the defense, it seems to be like last year’s; weak at the point of attack and needing a couple of big plays a game to succeed. Let’s hope all the OCs are like Payton and try to get cutesy-poo instead of just running it down our throats.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
Coldworld's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:40 am

Peyton lost that game by overlooking Lazard. He and others won’t make that mistake again. That said, LaFleur’s system has multiple threats that may do multiple things. Can’t cover everything and it stretches horizontally and vertically. We haven’t seen much fro Deguara, nothing of Dillon and the TEs have only just begun to emerge. I’m impressed with the flexibility of this O to provide diverse challenges and to switch between them mid game and in many cases at the line of scrimmage.

The key for me will be seeing LaFleur out coach San Francisco. He needs to show that he can consistently take his team beyond that of his mentor, who schooled him badly twice last year. At that point, we are no longer imitators but innovators.

Certainly LaFleur is showing considerable promise, but the journey has really just started now he has a team approaching the design he clearly desires.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:58 am

"Peyton lost that game by overlooking Lazard. "

...but he was still in a position to win that game until the fumble. And MAYBE if they'd let the Packers score after the DPI with 3+ minutes to go.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
PackfanNY's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:20 am

Way too early to start talking/thinking Super Bowl. 3-0 is nice. It’s a good start. However, lots of football left. Lots of injuries left. Lots of peaks and valleys. Major questions remain. What about our defense? Is it good enough? Can they stop the run? Do we even know who the “good” teams are yet. I mean we beat the Vikings, Lions and Saints. I’m not sure of the quality yet but they are 0-3, 1-2, 1-2 respectively. Sure we helped put them there and I love it but let’s give it some time. Atlanta is next. Packers need to beat them and go into bye at 4-0.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
dobber's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:27 am

Ya know, before the season started I would have been perfectly happy to hit the bye at 3-1 and I probably would've expected that loss to come to the Saints in NOLa. I think I would still be fairly satisfied with a 3-1 record at the bye, but it would probably come with a feeling of a real missed opportunity.

+ REPLY
2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:47 am

I am very satisfied with 3 and 0. I am more satisfied with the development of the shape and approach of the offense.

Teams will look very different by December. Some will improve markedly while others will be hamstrung by key injuries.

All we can do is get better at what we do and pray to the injury gods. So far, LaFleur’s vision is definitely elevating us offensively as players individually and as a whole. Impressive. Now we need to fire up the D.

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
PackfanNY's picture

October 01, 2020 at 10:40 am

Agreed. The Falcons are a great example of a team the Packers “should” beat. However, on any given week the Falcons have the offensive personnel to give the defense fits. Gurley, Julio, Ridley, Ryan etc. Get into a shootout and anything can happen.

All that being said, I would be disappointed. They should not be able to stop the Packer offense and playing at home (even an empty Lambeau and not on the turf) should be a winner for the Packers. Like the Eagle game last year it would be an unacceptable letdown.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
PeteK's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:20 am

Falcon's game brings back memories of the loss to Chargers last season. However, we'll be on home turf for this one.

+ REPLY
2 points
4
2
dobber's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:32 am

"I actually find myself more concerned about the matchup against Atlanta than I was about the matchup against New Orleans, and think there is a legitimate chance this could be the Packers’ first loss of the season."

Very possible. Certainly the Packers track record with the Flaccons recently hasn't been great, but they also haven't played them since 2017. Atlanta can hang with the Packers, but they're also going to play more to the Packers' strengths defensively than the Saints did. I think this is one the Packers SHOULD win, but the law of averages on TOs can't catch up to them this week and they can't get themselves into a position where they have to make up 10-14 points like they did against Detroit.

"Had this been even just a month or two ago I may have been one of those people, but the NFL has done a far better job than I ever could have anticipated with managing the pandemic and testing so far. "

MLB has shown that you can't completely avoid the outbreaks, but can make travel (and they do far more of it) and games work. It's still early and we're coming up on the "confined indoors in the north" part of the year that has many epidemiologists nervous, but I'm optimistic that they'll get through. The fundamental inequities that come from adjusted schedules might be the biggest challenges that come from Covid.

"The Minnesota Vikings can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye; it is incredibly rare that a team comes back from an 0-3 start to reach the postseason."

Is there a less clutch team in the league right now than the Vikings? Let's keep in mind that they could go 1-5 or 0-6 at the bye and still finish 8-8 with their schedule. They'll beat Houston in Houston this week (if they're allowed to play).

"The Detroit Lions notched their first victory of the year over the Arizona Cardinals in a bit of an upset, and a rematch from the wild week one game from last year that ended in a tie."

This is who the Lions are every year. They nip a couple teams early, get people to start looking at them, and they crumble down the stretch. Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn are on their way out...and, frankly, the unpopular Patricia would have been a better cut after last season rather than eating up their cap trying to prop him up with more Patriots castoffs.

"Are the Chicago Bears for real?...But will they threaten the Packers for a division title? "

They're lucky to be 3-0 (how many 3-0 teams make starting QB switches?). Is Nick Foles the answer? Foles is a streaky passer who hasn't been able to hold onto a starting gig either because he can't stay healthy or because his play ultimately leaves coaches and fans wanting more. He's lost his most dynamic reciever (Cohen...yes, a RB, but in a dumpoff offense, he's the QBs best friend and keeps the safeties honest). Statistically, that Bears defense has been nearly identical to the Packers with the exception of the fact that they haven't had the 'garbage time' inflation the Packers D has dealt with. They play with some swagger and give you a particular expectation, but they haven't been able to live up to it so far in this season. If Rivers can play OK this week, the Colts' OL will pound the Bears and send them to 3-1. The Bears might play better...they might end up being the class of the NFCN...but their schedule isn't very forgiving from here on out.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
murf7777's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:52 am

Right on about the Bears and I might add I’m very happen they blew their SC & draft on Mack and not us.

+ REPLY
1 points
3
2
Lphill's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:32 am

A movie you missed is Dr Sleep the sequel to the Shining .

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
mnbadger's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:42 am

Best weekly article on CHTV, followed by Polluted Mindset IMO. We can debate the football content, but you can't argue about Tim's beer and movie recommendations. GPG

+ REPLY
4 points
6
2
TimBackes's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:57 am

Thank you, I appreciate this!!

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
dobber's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:05 am

I like it because--like Al's piece--it doesn't pretend to be any more than an informed fan's musings on what's going on the field and in his world. It's like sitting at the end of the bar and having a good evening with someone who knows his stuff. Congrats, Tim.

+ REPLY
3 points
5
2
Since'61's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:55 am

For me it’s still too early to begin musing about the Super Bowl. Let’s beat the Falcons and enjoy the bye week and go from there.

While I don’t think the defense is as bad as some seem to think, I don’t think they are at championship level either. As I’ve been posting on other threads we need to get Clark, Gary and Kirksey back. Hopefully after the bye at the latest. Getting Clark back changes everything because then Pettine knows he can get some pressure and some run stuffing from the interior of his DL. Gary and Kirksey bring speed which helps fill gaps and chase down runs to the edge. I agree with NP, Dobber and Bearmeat that tackling needs to improve regardless of who is on the field as it did towards the end of the Saints game.
As long as our OL executes the offense will be fine. We have weapons, we create confusion with motion and we can run almost any play from any formation. When all else fails we have Aaron Rodgers, who can improvise, buy time and still run for first downs as he did against the Saints on one or two occasions to keep drives alive. The offense does need to works on short and goal line.
I would to Deguara when he comes back as lead blocker for Dillon or maybe even Ervin who hits the hole very quickly. On the other hand Jones has a way of squibbing through at the goal line.

As for signing Bak, King and Jones, one of them should be franchised. Probably Jones. Then we work on adjusting ARs deal in an attempt to generate the funds needed to keep Bak and King. AR will understand that it’s in his best interest to do so. In return AR gets to stay in GB until his current contract expires. Why? Because if AR continues to play at his current level who cares about Love.

The upcoming Atlanta game could be tricky. They probably know that they are playing for their season and their coach’s job. It may be that the coach has lost the team already given their late game collapses. We’ll see. I’m hoping that the Packers do not come out flat. I’d like to see them come out and open at least a two score lead on the Falcons and hopefully put them away early. We need pressure up the middle on Ryan since he does not move very well.
Keeping the Falcon offense off the field will help as well which our offense has done very well for the first 3 games. Go Pack Go!
Thanks, Since ‘61

+ REPLY
0 points
3
3
JohnnyLogan's picture

October 01, 2020 at 10:35 am

Offense excites more than defense so everyone is giddy at the moment. We've had great offenses before with Rodgers but the only SB win was with Woodson, Collins, Raji, Picket, Bishop, Burnett... Clay. This current D has three above-average players; Clark, Z. Smith, and Alexander. The rest are average or below. King is lauded around here but he's the one opposing teams go at when they need a 1st down and he usually gives it up. Gary is a one-trick pony, bull rush. That's it. We are sorely lacking talent on this D and have a defensive coordinator who drops P. Smith and Gary into coverage, where they can do absolutely nothing. My fervent hope is that MLF will become a defensive genius coach and start to demand better players from Gute and better schemes from Pettine. You can't stop KC, Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco in the playoffs with this D, and relying on winning a shootout is no different from how we went into all those other playoffs we lost. Emphasis has to be on improving this D. This week will be a fascinating test. I expect us to score. But if we win 47-41 it won't be very encouraging.

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
Spock's picture

October 02, 2020 at 01:04 am

"Gary is a one-trick pony, bull rush." Disagree. Gary has worked on other moves in the off season and actually used Reggie White's "patented" club move earlier this season to make a play. I think you are selling him short. He's young and still learning, but this season I'm seeing major improvement.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
Leatherhead's picture

October 01, 2020 at 11:03 am

I certainly think we can win our division. I’m kind of thinking Seattle, Dallas, and Tampa Bay will win theirs. Those are the hurdles between us and theSuper Bowl.

Bears are the second best team in our division and should win 10 games. You’ll notice SF isn’t in my picture....I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs.

Win the division. Win the division. We can go 4-0. After Atlanta, we have a bye and then play on the road against Tampa Bay, one of our toughest games this year.

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
Spock's picture

October 02, 2020 at 01:05 am

Dallas? Really? I'm not buying that at all. Jerry's "America's team" still sucks.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
splitpea1's picture

October 01, 2020 at 01:09 pm

I suppose stranger things have happened, but I can't see how the league's worst defense is going to deter our offense in any way, shape, or form. On defense, make sure J. Jones (possibly a little gimpy from a hamstring) doesn't get behind you. Bend but don't break is fine here--just limit the scoring to mostly field goals and we should be fine.

Horror movie recommendations: Nosferatu (1922) and Eyes Without A Face (1960). The second one contains a scene showing some blood seepage around the face from the surgeon's scalpel, but it's still safe enough to watch while eating dinner.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:55 pm

Excellent movie recommendations. Thanks, Since ‘61

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
fansince1959's picture

October 01, 2020 at 01:46 pm

Atlanta is a "trap game" and we better be ready and someone better stick to Julio like glue(if he can play)---i'm extremely disappointed in Gute at this moment---doesn't seem like he has even tried to find a run stuffer---ignoring weaknesses is what got Ted kicked to the curb----i am sick of this defense all the way back to 2009!!! We could have won multiple super bowls if we had the 1996 or 2010 defenses

+ REPLY
-1 points
1
2
Dragon5's picture

October 01, 2020 at 02:43 pm

I only drink nut brown or darker, preferably stouts...best two beers I've had since moving back to WI in '15...

Untitled Art Hazelnut Imperial Stout (11%...seems to appear annually during stout season, often in barrel-aged form)
https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/47802/273228/

Lakeshore "My Turn Mike" (unfortunately discontinued...a travesty in my book...I bought the last 2 six packs at M.F. Woodmans a few years back and tried to make them last a year for special occasions)
https://untappd.com/b/lakefront-brewery-my-turn-021-mike/1886765

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
TimBackes's picture

October 01, 2020 at 05:16 pm

I still have a couple cans of that Untitled Art Imperial Hazelnut in my fridge. Saving for a special occasion!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.