Hello Wisconsin: Don’t Count Out the Packers on Thursday Night

Tim's weekly column compares tonight's matchup to a certain Packer game from 2010.

On a December evening in 2010, the Green Bay Packers played the New England Patriots in Foxboro. In a season that would eventually see the Packers go on to win the Super Bowl, the Packers were 14.5 underdogs in a game that was a presumptive cakewalk for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and company.

The Patriots entered the game at 11-2 and were en route to a 14-2 season that would see Brady selected as the first unanimous MVP in the history of the league. 

(They would eventually be bounced in the divisional round in one of the greatest postseason upsets of the last several decades by the New York Jets.)

The Packers were such significant underdogs primarily because they were missing quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a concussion in a dismal loss at Detroit the prior week. For the first time since 1992, the Packers would have to start a quarterback other than Rodgers or Brett Favre, and oddsmakers did not like the team’s chances.

But it wasn’t just Rodgers the Packers were missing. To that point of the season, the Packers had already lost the following players to injury for the remainder of the season: Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, Mark Tauscher, Nick Barnett, Morgan Burnett, Brandon Chillar, Justin Harrell, Spencer Havner, Brad Jones, Derrick Martin, Mike Neal, Brady Poppinga, and Anthony Smith. Meanwhile, for this particular game they were without Cullen Jenkins, a forceful starter on the D-Lnie.

The 2010 season was a bloodbath for the Packers. They entered this game at 8-5, with their playoff dreams teetering on the brink of falling apart. 

There was little reason for anyone to think that the Packers stood a prayer in a game against a team everyone expected to romp to the Super Bowl in the AFC, let alone in prime time at their home stadium.

But the Packers came out ready to play, looking like a team that knew it had nothing to lose. 

Matt Flynn played the game of his life (to that point). The Packers gave a hell of a game to a Patriots team that certainly wasn’t expecting this much of a challenge. 

Ultimately, the game is remembered for Dan Connelly’s big man kick return and for the miscommunication and poor time management on the part of Flynn in the waning moments of the game. 

But it is also remembered as a “galvanizing moment” in the 2010 season for the Green Bay Packers. Despite all of the odds they faced, they rallied and kept the game close for its entirety, even takin ga lead into halftime and into the fourth quarter. Though they lost 31-27, the team somehow managed to gain momentum coming out of that game.

They would not lose again for the entire 2010 season.

There’s something extremely freeing about knowing no one is giving you a snowball’s chance in hell. All of the pressure is taken off. If you fail, so what? Everyone’s already expecting it anyway. But if you succeed, it will be remembered forever.

Tonight’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals almost feels allegorical to that 2010 game. Though Rodgers is playing, a significant number of key contributors and all pros are not, and the Packers are being given about as much chance to win this game from national pundits as the Lions have of winning the Super Bowl.

As of Wednesday evening, the Packers were still a somewhat respectable 6.5-point underdog. But you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone without a rooting interest for the Packers picking Green Bay in this one.

The freedom this gives Matt LaFleur and his Packers cannot be understated. They’ve got a short week on the road against the top team in the league with a major disparity in health between the two sides. They get to come out of a mini-bye to face another powerful offense in the Kansas City Chiefs.

There are those who would have the Packers simply roll over, take the L and move on.

But this is precisely the type of opportunity the Packers should cherish. This is where you catch teams napping. 

A well-designed game plan and excellent execution from the players on the field should be enough to make a game of it in Glendale. 

If the Packers manage to pull off this upset, it will be easily the best coaching work of LaFleur’s brief tenure in Green Bay. 

Furthermore, it will be a testament to the depth built by general manager Brian Gutekunst, and the ability of this team to compete with top-notch competitors, even without many of their best players.

So don’t listen to the blowhards to give the Packers no chance. 

Ignore the fools with the losers’ mentality who think the Packers should sit their starters and count this as a preseason game.

This is the kind of game that can launch a title run.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

The Black IPA (also known as a Cascadian Dark Ale) is one of my favorite styles of beer, but it’s almost impossible to find these days. It had its heyday around 2013 or 2014, but for whatever reason fell out of favor not long after. Basically, think about an IPA but with a dark-roasted malt instead of that pale grain you’d typically use for the style.

Well, when I found out the best brewery in Wisconsin was making one as part of its month of Halloween beer releases, I knew I was going to have to pick up a bunch. And thus I did, while also enjoying one on tap at the brewery (as seen above).

1840 Brewing Company’s Bats on the Bine Black IPA was released last week, alongside its Schwarzen Katze schwarzbier. This Black IPA is exactly what you hope for out of the style: moderately boozy, some good roasty character to the malt base, and a pleasant (but not excessive) amount of bitterness. 

The beer was brewed with CTZ, Chinook and Centennial hops and comes in at around 7.5% ABV. It’s a very difficult style to do well--a lot of breweries end up hopping it too much, which creates a really weird flavor profile when paired with the roasted malt. The bitterness needs to be present but not overpowering, and it can be difficult to maintain that balance. 

Happy to say that, as always, these guys have done an outstanding job with the brew. Very highly recommend.

New faces powering the Packers’ success

Brian Gutekunst said in his introductory press conference several years back that he would use all avenues to build his ball clubs. And boy, he wasn’t lying.

This year’s Packers team would not be 6-1 without some crucial additions made since the start of the 2021 offseason. As the Packers have lost key veterans to injury, other players have stepped up (or been added to the roster) and taken on major roles.

I’ve already talked at length about De’Vondre Campbell, but it’s worth talking about him one more time. Campbell is currently rated the #8 player in the entire league by Pro Football Focus, and the #1 linebacker. Think about that for a second. This guy is on his third NFL team at 28 years old and was a street free agent not many months ago. The Packers brought him in on a one-year prove it deal and, well, he’s more than proven it to the point where the team needs to be considering how they’re going to manage to get him back in 2022.

But there are other players who have also been key contributors who were not on the 2020 team.

Eric Stokes has been everything you could reasonably hope for out of a rookie corner. Cornerback is one of the hardest positions to adjust to in the NFL, and while Stokes occasionally gets beat, he’s almost never out of a play. For what he lacks in ball skills he makes up in stickiness in coverage, blazing make-up speed and pure swagger and confidence. He looks like the real deal, and I cannot wait to see him meet his full potential opposite Jaire Alexander.

Corey Bojorquez may be a punter, but you cannot understate how much of a different a high-quality punter makes. During the offseason I said punter may have very well been the weakest position on the Packers’ roster, and that the team could not go into a season with JK Scott for a fourth straight year. The team listened and traded for Bojorquez, who has shown tremendous versatility, in addition to a booming leg. Bojorquez’s punting performance this week was once again outstanding.

While everyone was begging for the Packers to find a way to trade for Stephon Gilmore, some joked the Packers would instead end up signing a guy off a team’s practice squad. And that’s exactly what happened, as the Packers brought in Rasul Douglas. Douglas had to enter the limelight sooner than expected thanks to injuries to Kevin King, but he has played extremely well in King’s absence. In fact, against Washington, Douglas was PFF’s highest rated Packer on either side of the football. It’s gotten to the point where, when King returns, he may have trouble getting back some of his playing time.

Offensive line rookies Josh Myers (currently injured) and Royce Newman have had their fair share of struggles along the offensive line, but they’ve also been a key part of a unit that has an excellent pass block win rate and has shown tremendous toughness and versatility against some very challenging defensive fronts this season.

Randall Cobb is back in Green Bay and has had a variety of critical catches in clutch scenarios. Rodgers clearly trusts him to be exactly where he needs him to be.

The jury is still out on what Jaylon Smith and Whitney Mercilus will bring to this team, but both had several impressive plays in Sunday’s game against Washington, and Mercilus looked like he still had plenty left in the tank as a situational pass rusher.

What a job Gutekunst has done putting this team together this season and surrounding his core with strong role players who can contribute to a title run.

A quick note about LaFleur

Should the Packers manage to find a way to win this week’s game, Matt LaFleur would move to 33-7 in his first 40 games as head coach of the Packers.

That would put him in first ALL-TIME in NFL history for coaches at that point in their career, ahead of:

Don Shula (31-7-2)

Chuck Knox (32-8)

George Seifert (32-8)

LaFleur still does not get the national credit he deserves for the job he’s done with this team. The naysayers say “yeah well he has Rodgers,” but Rodgers wasn’t exactly looking fantastic in 2018, the year before LaFleur took over. 

What a hire he turned out to be.

Around the NFC North

Here we go once again around the NFC North leading into week four.

-The CHICAGO BEARS are going to be an absolute laughingstock until they have new ownership. Matt Nagy should have been fired after 2020 but because they backed into a 7th seed they didn’t deserve he got another year. Justin Fields is nowhere near ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and the more he is exposed to the Nagy offense the worse it’s going to set him back. They need to burn this whole thing down and start from scratch.

-The DETROIT LIONS are now the league’s only 0-7 team. For as much love as Dan Campbell got for his emotional press conference a week and a half ago and for going all-out with the fake punts and onsides against the Rams, one has to really wonder whether he’s cut out for being a head coach in the NFL. I’ve seen all kinds of people saying “I’d run through a wall for him!” Which, great I guess, now the Lions have gone from a bad coach who everyone hated to a bad coach who people like, so at least that’s a moral victory of sorts?

-The MINNESOTA VIKINGS are about as average as it gets in the NFL this year, and it’s difficult to see a path to the postseason for them at this point when you’ve got teams like Dallas, Green Bay, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles and Arizona all clearly ahead of them and several other mediocre teams fighting to be the seventh best team in the conference. If anything, they’re an argument for why it was a bad idea to add a seventh seed.  Minnesota takes on Dallas on Sunday Night Football this weekend, so we’ll get a sense of how they stack up against legitimate playoff competition.

I will hear no candy corn slander

Hear ye, hear ye: Candy corn is not bad.

This seems to be quite the controversial take in certain corners of the internet lately, but I will say it loud and proud once more:

CANDY CORN IS NOT BAD!

Now, I do get grossed out by these viral pictures of candy corn bratwurst and abominations of that nature. But let me tell ya, there’s something about candy corn that feels like… going home. We always had it around the house as kids, as well as the candy corn pumpkins. It was always extremely satisfying to bite off the different levels of color to try to get it as close to a perfect, clean color cut as possible. 

The flavor is fine--it’s not one of my favorite candies, but I don’t see anything particularly objectionable about it. It feels like it’s almost become a meme to just hate on candy corn. 

This confection is a staple of the fall season, whether THE HATERZ like it or not. I will happily take on the unwanted candy corn of my fellow internetsfolk.

Trade deadline looming

I’ve already talked at length in this article and in last week’s column about the various midseason additions the Packers have made this year. It could well be there are more on the way with the trade deadline looming, and the Packers having a bit of extra time after tonight’s game to consider their options and scout potential targets over the weekend.

Kyle Fuller? Brandon Aiyuk? An edge rusher or two?

It wouldn’t at all surprise me if Gutekunst still has one final trick up his sleeve before the deadline hits. The team has already been quite aggressive (sort of out of necessity) with its midseason additions, and now there’s an opportunity to do it once more.

Prediction for Packers vs. Cardinals

As I said in the first section of this article, you would be a fool to count out the Packers in this game. LaFleur has shown himself numerous times to be capable of drawing up outstanding game plans in potentially adverse situations, and I think he can come up with a game plan that will take advantage of matchups against the Cardinals defense and keep this one competitive.

The smart money may be on the Cardinals to win, but this week I’ve just had a gut feeling that this is one that’s going to go the Packers’ way. It’s a similar intuition I had leading up to last year’s games against the Titans and the Rams.

Based on no logic whatsoever, I’m taking the Packers to win, 27-24.

Go Pack Go!

 

__________________________

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 (46)

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

October 28, 2021 at 06:53 am

UGH!!! I will never forget that kickoff return by Dan Connolly against the Packers that Sunday Night. I'm not sure which was worse, watching that or listening to Collinsworth laughing and talking about it.

UGH...Just rewatched it...NO ONE even touched him. I guess watching it was worse than listening to Collinsworth.

I have no idea what will happen tonight, but isn't it only human nature to LISTEN to all the talk? I mean the Cardinals KNOW they should be able to handle a team without 8 preferred starters right? They've heard all the talk all week long? Lets hope they ARE listening. I'm telling you, 45 carries for 200 plus yards by Jones, Dillon and Hill while eating up around 38 minutes of the clock would sure and the hell make this interesting...

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Coldworld's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:20 am

The odds might be against the Packers, but if the outcome were certain there would be no book in Vegas. Conversely, all this optimism is just that. On paper a much weakened Packers face a somewhat weakened Cardinals team away on a short week. Common sense suggests the less injured home team is the favorite.

That said, in a parity league like the NFL, and in a sport where good fortune can tilt a field, nothing is lost. In addition, the nature of NFL rosters and acquisition is such that many worthy players need injuries to get the chance to show they belong. Rasul Douglas may be an example. So roll out replacements and, with luck, one or more may throw the odds out of the window.

To buck the paper probabilities we need to trust our inexperienced players to make the step. If we give them opportunities and they make plays then we stand a chance to win. If we go into our shell and pkay cautiously, we favor the opponent in this match up. Will LaFleur and Barry/Gray come up with game plans that take this game to the Cardinals. Will Rodgers throw to hithertoo bit part catchers? Will the D go after the QB and treat him as the premier ground weapon to be neutralized, or will it play soft and see to minimize?

Unless this is a Packers upset, this game will mean nothing on any level. The exception might be a player like Winfree, Taylor, Hill or EQ, for example, showing he belongs on the active roster and getting regular snaps. That’s what the game referenced in the piece did, it gave players an opportunity to gain confidence and playing time and the coaches confidence to use them. That was where the dividend came from.

If the Packers lose, so what (apart from seeding perhaps). Will anyone really look back on these circumstances and see it as a predictor? If they do, I won’t be giving them any credence. It would be nice to come home with a win. It will perhaps be more valuable to come away with players with enhanced reputations. If we go for it and fail, we lose very little. This game will mean next to nothing 2 months hence should the teams meet again.

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Minniman's picture

October 28, 2021 at 02:05 pm

This is a win-win opportunity for the Packers - for all the reasons that everyone has stated.

Re seeding - I’ve long subscribed to the notion that seeding position is secondary to momentum at the end of the year (although this is hardly a revelation).

In a somewhat perverse and contrarian way I’m personally looking forward to seeing just how Rodgers and MLF adapt for this game………… what did you guys LEARN from the NFCCG failure when you were up against a good D? One that was able to take away Adams; and also pressure the passer…. One where you were gifted 4th quarter possessions and squandered them……what did you learn?

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croatpackfan's picture

October 28, 2021 at 03:39 pm

Coldworld, let the odds always be in the Packers favor... ;-)

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mnbadger's picture

October 28, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Great comments NPerry.
Tim, every beer you've listed since starting this series was credited with being one of your favorites. I think you like beer. This one does look and sound like a perfect mix of malt and hops. Unrelated, any football column that drops an "allegorical" is worth reading, especially Tim's predicted score. I'm calling a closer game, but still a win. GBP 27 - playing cards 26. GPG!

3 points
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Razer's picture

October 28, 2021 at 07:41 am

...Tonight’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals almost feels allegorical to that 2010 game...

Sooo you're telling me there's a chance. With JJ Watt out, the needle tilted back to the middle. Rodgers has a lot of weapons and if he chooses to use them, this offense will give any opponent nightmares. I am looking for a healthy use of the RBs both running and catching and some TE magic. The fundamental difference will be how well we handle Kyle Murray. Could be a good time for Jaylon Smith to earn his badge.

Really like the Black IPA. A balance between IPA hoppy and toasted malt - hell - melt a marshmellow on top and play jingle bells. And there is nothing wrong with candy corn...in moderation.

I am not sure about your assessment of the Lions. That team doesn't have much other than heart. They even have Goff playing to keep games close. Given that they traded or let established talent walk, they don't have a ton of weapons. If their front office is finally fixed, a couple of good drafts will put them back in the mix. I don't know if Dan Campbell will make that timeline.

2 points
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dobber's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:00 am

"I am looking for a healthy use of the RBs both running and catching and some TE magic. "

It might be oversimplifying, but I'm putting this game on the Packers OL. Simply put, the Packers need to put up points on pretty much every possession (preferably 7s) and they need to eat clock to limit AZ. The more 'elite' unit needs to be elite tonight, even if it's shorthanded. If the OL bounces back and plays at a high level so the run game is a threat and ARod can get passes out on rhythm, they can make this work.

Another perspective would be that AZ isn't going to ace the season--hell they'll probably lose 3-4 games minimum--and they might just be due to take one on the chin.

"I am not sure about your assessment of the Lions. That team doesn't have much other than heart."

If they don't pull off those fake punts and onside kick, the Rams would've buried them early. The Lions can't do that every week. I think they had a good draft this year, and they've got ammunition to keep rebuilding. They'll need to find a QB--which will either be luck, or cost some of that draft capital--but if the 2021 draft is any imdication, they're building from the lines out, which is the right move. They're still going to suck for quite some time, but you're right: Campbell is the sacrificial lamb to preside over the hardship of rebuilding. Someone else will reap the benefits (assuming they play their cards right).

5 points
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Razer's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:20 am

...I'm putting this game on the Packers OL...

Absolutely true. You are talking to a trench guy. All good things start or stop with great O-line and D-line play. If our O-line is making holes or providing time we have the people for the points. Similarly, if our D-line can push the pocket and maintain gap integrity, Kyle Murray will have to beat us with his arm (which he can do). Our lines need to have great games - Rodgers will take care of the rest.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:34 am

We can not be one dimensional. I agree that the OL is critical to that, but so is the willingness to use the players we have. To win we have to plan to use them and actually do so. The OL is critical to enabling that to be realized. We should have no excuse for inadequate run blocking against the Cardinals and should be able to get yards that will open up passing as well. We then need ESB and co to show they belong.

Where I differ is that that is half the battle. Our D should treat their QB as a legitimate ground threat and seek to contain, but it is essential that we disrupt him all night. Let him sit in a pocket and he is good enough to win it from there. Passive D won’t cut it, nor will one that does not account for his feet.

This is a game to go out aggressively, with an adjusted game plan on both sides of the ball. There is nothing to lose by trying to win despite depletion. Playing not to lose will simply end up in a loss.

3 points
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porupack's picture

October 28, 2021 at 10:02 am

Exactly right. Since the packers are shorthanded on preferred starters, it is not going to be a victory unless three of the following: 1) play aggressive, take risks on blitzes on D, and be aggressive on O, 2) add some well timed trickery fake punt, or better yet KO return lateral, 3) Play lights-out like Flynn and co, with outstanding execution and but better clock management, 4) a few lucky bounces or tipped passes, and no costly penalties. 5) mix up strategies and tempos, when they smell blood; press the pedal.

Ok, I'll go for the unreasonable; Packers win, but no idiot's guess at the score.

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HarryHodag's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:09 am

There's always a chance of victory, but the likelihood of it is less.

If the Packers can't get the run game going they are DOA. I don't think they can stop the Cards offense much so the only hope is the Packers are close at the end.

Regarding Matt LF: Packers fans are so used to winning that they have stepped over the fact that without MLF's steady hand and wisdom this would be a different team even with Aaron Rodgers. The team had Aaron Rodgers during Mike McCarthy's last year. Ironically, on Dec 2, 2018, the Packers fired McCarthy after an el-stinko performance against the 3-9 Cards. That's the NFL the weak get strong and the Packers keep winning, but not tonight.

I wonder how many "Fire Matt LF " posting there will be?

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dobber's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:23 am

I think the Cards play a lot of single-high safety--Baker is really good--tonight and try to crowd the LOS. Essentially, they'll anticipate the Packers trying to run the ball and throw short on rhythm. That should open up shots over the top and down the seam if the Packers can protect #12 and find a WR or TE who can get the better of a CB/ILB/S.

4 points
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Minniman's picture

October 28, 2021 at 02:13 pm

Agree, I think that the Cards will come out expecting the Packers to have little legit deep ball or mid receiving threat and will preference run stopping until the Packers prove otherwise.

2 points
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PatrickGB's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:09 am

It feels like the Cards are stacked against us and we have been dealt a bad hand. We need to be sharp and find an ace in the hole. GPG

3 points
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Johnblood27's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:11 am

Thanks for your weekly column Tim, I enjoy it a great deal.

To your point...

The GBP are nobodys' underdog!!!

I gotta give large Mike credit for that quote, it should live in perpetuity!

I have the Pack by a 31 - 27 final count. GPG! It's Gameday!

4 points
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murf7777's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:21 am

Two thumbs up for Matt Lafleur and Gutey, they have done a wonderful job. Credit must also go to Murphy as he is the main decision maker. GPG and beat Arizona tonight!

5 points
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Bearmeat's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:29 am

I was at that game in 2010 with my wife (who by this time had been converted to a GB fan!) and lifelong Pats fan father in law. I was challenged to a fight by a drunk Bawston moron for daring to cheer for my team. I refused to engage with him and by the end he was friendly and even took our picture. It was a great game. I had a big work morning in Boston the next morning on 4 hours of sleep haha! Despite the loss, it is a memory I will forever treasure.

The difference between the 2010 team and this team? Defense. That defense by the end of the season was NASTY. This defense isn't terrible, so far. But it hasn't played any good offenses and I'm not expecting good things tonight. I think we will get beat like a drum. Too many things running against us: Injuries. Short week. Road game vs good team. And frankly, our personnel on defense isn't in the same league. We will get another shot against these guys in January, possibly at home. The NFCW will be a blood bath, and I don't see the #1 seed coming out of any NFCW team. It's between us, TB and DAL.

That said, I'll be watching and rooting for my team. Any given Sunday...err.. Thursday.

2 points
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Minniman's picture

October 28, 2021 at 02:20 pm

Is anyone else starting to think ahead to a potential playoff matchup between GB and Dallas…….. MLF and MM.

Old “mashed-potato mike” is quietly putting together a good season there in Dallas.

If we think that this ARI game has meaning……. Just wait and see if that one pans out!

1 points
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murf7777's picture

October 29, 2021 at 08:17 am

After last nights game they have showed they can contain a high powered offense, even on short rest while traveling out west. Impressive and we might find some of that 2010 nastiness in this D as well.

0 points
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ApplesAndTons's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:27 pm

That's forgetting that it still can be much better. Look at LA and Denver, and what they're doing. Look at what Tampa has done.

Then imagine what LA will do against GBs front and then check how GBs overall D stacks up against LA, esp now. Their long-term planning, great thinking, and execution will pan out for both Denver and LA—each are trying to rebuild and grow, respectively, whereas Green Bay is all in on this year and their players are not only disgruntled but they hold the cards and can very easily tank out of spite....

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ApplesAndTons's picture

November 02, 2021 at 09:16 pm

You forgetting the thorn in your spine coach....McVay.

When this west coast way of thinking and working together on things helps shed light on Minnesota/GB provincial way of doing things, I suspect Lord Gute will end up banished along with his King Smurf

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:37 am

With Rodgers they can always be in the game. They just have to be careful they don't do another clunker game like New Orleans, Tampa Bay or San Francisco. Go Pack

2 points
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Razer's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:42 am

I will add that this game is also a chance for Aaron Rodgers to shake the monkey of not winning the bigger games. I love him and his heroics but his championship and big stage performance has been on the other side of great. Maybe teams play his tendencies or maybe he reverts to something predicable but he has a chance to show that he still has what it takes against the BIG teams. Maybe not having Davante Adams is not a bad thing. Rodgers spreading the ball around is a better formula and crazy dangerous.

1 points
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Philarod's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:58 am

For anyone that has watched Rodgers rise to the occasion in so many big moments and big games - and has actually watched the games - I don't know how that "monkey" still persists.

I get it: Just one SB win, and one SB appearance for that matter. It will be fruitless to spend time making a case for him as a terrific big game QB, but I easily can do that.

Bottom Line: For those who still see that monkey, a Week 8 upset win would mean nothing for them, anyway.

2 points
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fordguy's picture

October 28, 2021 at 03:05 pm

Lets hope the ghosts of Halloweens past still has a little Drumming Denny Greene lurking around

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croatpackfan's picture

October 28, 2021 at 03:52 pm

When it counts the most, older Aaron Rodgers is not relaxed as he was as young QB in this league. he stiffs his arm and decisions and make mistakes. That is his main disadvantage in those "the utmost important" games. You are talking about big moments? How about 4 lost NFCCG?

I believe he can be relaxed today, because if Packers lose this game there will be reason for that lost - playing with 3rd stringer on the team.

I say this game will tell more about Arizona than about Green Bay. And because of that there is the real chance to pull the upset...

0 points
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4thand1's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:51 am

Some are calling this team the Cardiac Pack. I see another nail biter and whoever has the ball last will win. Bet the over on this one. How about a hail Mary to Toyan for the win!

0 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 28, 2021 at 03:54 pm

And how about Hail Mary to Winfree for free win?

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:52 am

As long as 12 is here, we are never out of a game. Just simple facts.

Tonight, I am expecting to see a lot of the 3 RB's. I think Hill plays more snaps then he has all year combined. I think they will use a lot of 2 RB sets. Jones out wide a lot more.
Don't be surprised if the TE's are more involved as well. Deguara could be a guy to keep an eye on. Watch for Tonyan on 3rd downs and in the redzone.

For WR's, Expect to see Cobb and EQ a lot. Rodgers is the one to really watch. I think he shows why he was drafted. He has speed and size. This could be his time to show that he deserves more playing time.

Even though we don't have Adams and Lazard, I still have a pretty good feeling about the offense.

The defense will need to come up with some key stops or turnovers though. This is a very tough offense.

I'm not saying the Packers will win, but I think they can win. Sometimes a turnover or 2 can change a game. Maybe a big play on special teams. I oddly feel good about this game. Not sure why since we are missing so many pro bowl caliber players. I guess I just have faith in Rodgers and LaFleur.

0 points
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dobber's picture

October 28, 2021 at 10:12 am

"Tonight, I am expecting to see a lot of the 3 RB's. "

The Packers need to play from ahead or stay close enough to make those RBs relevant--they've got to be turning possessions into points. That's going to be the key. But when Adams has missed time in the past, they've used more RB and TE heavy sets, and shown looks they haven't used as much as when Adams was available. I'll expect that in prep'n for this game, AZ isn't looking at much film from 2021...they're looking at film from those Adams-injured games in 2020 and 2019.

But then, that's the issue with the short week: how much time do you really have for film study?

2 points
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Bure9620's picture

October 28, 2021 at 09:01 am

If nothing else this game will show what we really have at WR. EQ has been around long enough he should be able to be counted on for 5-6 catches and a few plays. If he can't he should not be on the 53. We will know what we have in Malik Taylor. Can Rodgers (the rookie) handle a bigger workload? Will Winfree get a chance at a few reps and make plays like he did this summer? We know what Cobb is at this stage of his career. Does Deguara finally get involved?

Then again maybe Jones just carries the team and gets 25 plus touches...

3 points
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ricky's picture

October 28, 2021 at 09:49 am

This game reminds me more of the Houston "R_E_L_A_X" game, where Rodgers went off with six TD's. He's a guy who loves to show people are wrong, and tonight will be another chance for him to shine. Especially if MVS is well enough to play, look out. Oh, and candy corn is not as bad as getting apples instead of candy. That was always the pits.

3 points
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dobber's picture

October 28, 2021 at 04:28 pm

This game reminds me more of Atlanta 2016: Packers beat up, Atlanta with plenty of offensive weapons and a hot QB.

0 points
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porupack's picture

October 28, 2021 at 10:13 am

The packers are shorthanded on preferred starters, but it could be a strange advantage in that expectations and underdog status can enter in as a factor, just as you mention a factor in the Flynn @ Patriots. So many classic upsets by underdogs that were written off. This could be one if the team rolls the dice as if "what have we got to lose" by going all out.

If three of the following occurs, then GB can win: 1) play aggressive, take risks on blitzes on D, and be aggressive on O, 2) add some well timed trickery fake punt, or better yet KO return lateral, 3) Play lights-out (like Flynn and co,) with outstanding execution and but better clock management, 4) a few lucky bounces or tipped passes, and no costly penalties. 5) mix up strategies and tempos, when they smell blood; press the pedal.

Oh, and of course fundamentals are assumed; tackling, D-communication.

Ok, I'll go for the unreasonable; Packers win, but no idiot's guess at the score.

0 points
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Johnblood27's picture

October 28, 2021 at 11:35 am

Why insult those that predict a score?

1 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

October 28, 2021 at 10:49 am

I like your prediction Tim, and yes, I do expect the Packers to win. Why? 🤔 no idea....

I will be able to give the reason after the game 🙃😀

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 28, 2021 at 11:12 am

The best course will be owning the TOP and keeping the potent AZ O off the field.

It can be done. AZ has a sublime pass D but their run D is suspect, ranked 31. Lots of 12 and 22 personnel with "illusion of complexity" employing AJ, AJD, and Hill in the pass game. Lots of TE action too.

And ESB, A. Rodgers, Winfree, Blair will present un-scouted looks. Maybe MVS plays...icing on the cake.

On, D....pressure Murray and spy him, maybe with Jaylon Smith. Win the t/o battle and get off 3 and outs.

STs...just be competent.

0 points
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Johnblood27's picture

October 28, 2021 at 11:34 am

You had me believing until the last line...

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 28, 2021 at 01:11 pm

LOL! At least we saw some steps forward for Mo's men last Sunday. Bojo is becoming the field flipper and the weapon some thought Scott would be during his rookie year. Coverage, the ST soft underbelly, looked competent last Sunday too.

Maybe Matt was spending time with Mo last week. They had to get better and they did.

-1 points
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dobber's picture

October 28, 2021 at 04:30 pm

"Lots of 12 and 22 personnel with "illusion of complexity""

This is what I think we'll see: WR room is thin, so get snaps out of those positions that aren't and likely put better players on the field than your 6th and 7th WRs.

0 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

October 28, 2021 at 11:41 am

This game is on MLF and what he can do with the players he has to formulate a winning game plan. This game also will speak to the pomp that has been awarded Gute to bolster the depth of the Packers. A loss isn't devastating, but a beatdown, regardless of any excuse as to why, will make the Packers' all-in mantra look like a bag of air being popped. Rodgers needs this game to be close, win or lose, because they're playing a real big boy team this week as to the SB competition.

0 points
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Minniman's picture

October 28, 2021 at 02:32 pm

I agree with your point that this game is on MLF, then Rodgers.

Respectfully though Taryn, Outside of that, the Packers team that (hopefully) makes the playoffs will look little like this team!

I’m personally not buying “the packers are done for the season” with a team that’s going to front this week minus its top 3 receivers, both [current] starting CB’s , it’s all-pro left tackle and starting Center and OLB 1 (with OLB 2 probably playing injured).

You can’t take 7 starters out of a team (4 Pro bowlers no less) and still consider them whole. You just can’t.

2 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

October 28, 2021 at 03:20 pm

I didn't say the Packers would be done for the season with a loss tonight but merely implied the all-in mantra will look as though it popped. A loss doesn't remove GB from the SB contender list, but it will offer reasons for a drop in the listing, and no injury can be used to deny it. It's what you do when they afflict you, and there is no guarantee to what the team will look like later.

-1 points
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flackcatcher's picture

October 28, 2021 at 02:34 pm

Yeah, this game is on MLF and his coaching staff. Short week games are tough, and MLF has not shown any flexibility in back to back road games. More often than not, his offense planning has awful, leaving the defense out on the field to exhaustion and defeat. If Lafleur has grown as a Head Coach, this is a perfect game which we'll that. (Like fixing special teams for example... :-)

-1 points
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greengold's picture

October 28, 2021 at 02:07 pm

40+ carries combined for Jones, Dillon & Hill.

4+ sacks of Murray.

Keep Aaron Rodgers clean.

Win the TO battle.

Cover the shit out of Rondale Moore.

Do it.

1 points
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PearlyBakerBest's picture

October 28, 2021 at 05:19 pm

The only thing the Packers need to do tonight is get through this game without a significant injury. Other than that, this game means close to nothing.

0 points
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