Hello Wisconsin: It’s the Bye. Now What?

Four weeks to go and not much to play for.

The Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears yet again. And now we wait.

For what? Who knows.

The Packers are on bye, their latest bye in recent memory, and the rest of the season feels like it has a lot of question marks hanging over it. When will the team finally be officially eliminated? Will the Packers play Jordan Love over Aaron Rodgers once eliminated? What will the team look like in its remaining contests? Will the defense ever resemble a professional squad?

It’s always great to see the Packers beat the Bears. I saw a lot of people advocating for the team to start the tank and improve its draft position. That’s a lot of nonsense. I don’t care about draft position, especially when it comes to the Packers/Bears rivalry. I ENJOY seeing the Packers win football games.

But that being said, the results of these final games are nowhere near as interesting to me as what they could potentially say about the Packers moving forward from this season. And with so much uncertainty, it’s kind of hard to predict what will happen. 

The issue most people are focused on is who will be playing at quarterback. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers have made it clear that so long as the team is not mathematically eliminated, Rodgers will be the quarterback.

That means it’s very likely we have at least two more games of Rodgers under center this season. 

But earlier this week, Brian Gutekunst mentioned that he didn’t need to see anything else out of Jordan Love to make the decision about whether to take on his fifth-year option. To me, this indicates he will definitely be doing it, because if he was feeling like Love might not be ready, it seems to me there would be a lot to gain out of seeing Love in action this final month. 

So to me, it sounds like the plan is for Rodgers to play the rest of the year, and likely be back next year, WITH Love back for a fourth year behind him. And if I were a betting man, I’d say 2023 is Rodgers’ last year in Green Bay.

So if that’s the case, some of the intrigue of these final few weeks is gone. By now, we know exactly what to expect out of this offense with Rodgers in it. The emergence of Christian Watson has been fantastic, and it will be fun to see Romeo Doubs get back on the field with him. Rodgers is clearly hampered by injury, but it’ll take a lot to drag him off the field. 

And so, we go into the bye week with a very “Ok, what now?” sort of feeling. There’s no promise of the postseason on the horizon. Instead of having four games left to build toward a championship run, as the Packers have been doing for the last several years, it’s four games of purgatory. 

What an unsatisfying end to a disappointing season.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

Who doesn’t love a good dunkel lager? This one, Ryed of the Valkyries by Gathering Place Brewing Company, has a really gorgeous red-amber hue that makes it look incredibly appetizing. 

It’s got the warm malty flavor you want out of a dunkel, especially at this time of year. The rye malt adds a bit of extra spice that you wouldn’t find in your standard dunkels, increasing the complexity of flavor. Here’s how the brewery describes it:

“A spicy pumpernickel bread flavor from the addition of three types of malted rye complemented by a floral and slight cucumber hop aroma. Single hopped with Pekko, a new dwarf varietal, creates a clean but sensitive bitterness.”

It comes in at a moderate 5.2 percent ABV, so you’re in no danger of getting a little tipsy from drinking a few of these. 

Grab em today at the brewery or at your local liquor store! Not sure what Gathering Place’s distribution reach is like, but their stuff should be fairly easy to find in southeast Wisconsin.

Keep an eye on those Bengals

Completely unrelated to the Packers, but keep an eye on those Cincinnati Bengals.

They’ve now defeated the Kansas City Chiefs three times in a single calendar year, something that’s difficult for most teams to accomplish just once. They’ve pulled back from a tough start to the year to an 8-4 record and the lead in their division, and they have a ton of momentum heading into the final portion of the season.

I admit that I discounted them after their slow start; I thought their coaching and offensive line would hold them back from being able to repeat last year’s success. But quietly, they’ve come along and suddenly burst onto the scene as a major contender in the AFC, interrupting the narrative that the conference is Buffalo’s or Kansas City’s to lose. Especially after the Dolphins’ loss to the 49ers, the Bengals suddenly appear to be the hottest team in the conference.

The Bengals entered the playoffs last year as a dark horse. They very well could arrive this year as a primary contender.

Christian Watson: Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Last week I briefly talked about how Christian Watson looked like a potential star in the making.

This past weekend he added another two touchdowns to his recent run of excellence, bringing him up to eight touchdowns in four games. This puts him among an elite list of performers who have ever accomplished such a feat. 

It’s hard to believe, but after missing most of the first half of the season, Watson has a legitimate chance to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. His skills have been on full display in recent weeks. He’s showing off a full route tree in addition to his blazing speed. The way he outran a very fast defensive back who had an angle on him in his jet sweep the other day was pretty incredible and the kind of play that we haven’t seen out of Packers skill position players very often.

It’s becoming clear that the Packers have found a very special talent in Watson. If he’s able to keep improving and building on the skills he’s already shown, he could become an elite playmaker in this league.

The possibility of him and Doubs both being around for quite some time is very exciting, especially if we’ve only seen their floors so far. The Packers could go from having a dire need for receivers to potentially having a top-3 receiving tandem in the league within a few years after finding both of these guys in the same draft.

Just goes to show that you don’t need to take receivers in the first round to find stars. Packer fans should have known this already given the team’s history of finding outstanding receivers in the second round and later, but this is just another nice reminder.

Around the NFC North

Once again we’ll take a quick look around the NFC North at what the Packers’ rivals are doing.

  • The CHICAGO BEARS still cannot beat the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have never lost to the Bears in the LaFleur era, and seemingly in my lifetime. This sad-sack franchise of losers continues to let leads slip out of their grasp even when the Packers have their worst team in more than a decade and a half. With Jay Cutler in the house watching, Justin Fields threw a pair of backbreaking fourth quarter interceptions to hand Green Bay the game. You gotta love it.

 

  • The DETROIT LIONS are on a roll. At 5-7, they’re now peeking into the playoff race, and have a chance to make some noise by taking down the Vikings at home this weekend. This might be the first time I can remember a 5-win team being favored over a 10-win team, but here we are. This is a team that plays with grit and fight and, while they are certainly not contenders, just feel like a team that COULD pull off an upset over anyone at any moment. And thanks to the Rams’ tough go of it this season, they’re going to have great draft position no matter how many games they themselves win the rest of the year.

 

  • The MINNESOTA VIKINGS continue to eke out close victories. I’m hearing a lot of people say that their style of play isn’t sustainable, but that’s what people said about the 2019 Green Bay Packers, who made it a game away from a Super Bowl. In a weak NFC, the Vikings are still somehow being overlooked, as the assumption is it’ll be Philadelphia (or maybe Dallas) representing the conference in February. But I wouldn’t rule Minnesota out. Surely they will, at some point, collapse hilariously, because they’re still the Vikings. I’m just saying that collapse could happen quite a bit later than usual this year.

Let the Jim Leonhard rumors begin

This week, Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard announced he would not be returning to the team in 2023, despite recent rumors that he would hold the same job under new head coach Luke Fickell.

Packer fans have been thirsting after this guy since right before the Joe Barry hire, so of course, people jumped on that right away and started preparing to roll out the proverbial red carpet for him in Green Bay.

However, there’s no guarantee he will even want to come to the Packers. Remember: he turned the job down once, and that was when the team was looking like it was in a much better position with its personnel and potential than it is now. Plus, Leonhard has drawn interest as a head coach in the college football world. Being a head coach in college could be more attractive to him than being a coordinator in the NFL.

Finally, there’s the little fact that the defensive coordinator is just about always the scapegoat in Green Bay. I’m not saying that’s without good reason all the time, but there’s no denying fans are very quick to call for the coordinator’s firing, and that the job seems to be a bit cursed. The pressure of stepping into a place like Green Bay as the coordinator could be immense.

All that being said, if Leonhard were to step into Green Bay and transform its defense, he would immediately be a god among the team’s fans, and he could even potentially set himself up for being head coach of an NFL franchise.

I imagine we’re going to continue having this discussion until Leonhard has a job somewhere else this offseason. Leonhard will certainly have his pick of places to go, college or NFL.

It’s the bye week!

There is, mercifully, no game for the Packers this weekend. But here are my picks for the rest of the week’s action!

WEEK 14 PICKS

RAIDERS over Rams

LIONS over Vikings

STEELERS over Ravens

BENGALS over Browns

BILLS over Jets

COWBOYS over Texans

EAGLES over Giants

TITANS over Jaguars

CHIEFS over Broncos

SEAHAWKS over Panthers

BUCS over 49ers

DOLPHINS over Chargers

PATRIOTS over Cardinals

 

LAST WEEK:  10-5

SEASON TOTAL: 113-82

 

__________________________

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.

3 points

Comments (83)

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

December 08, 2022 at 06:32 am

Jim Leonhard is saying all m the right things indicating he wants the job in Green Bay and should have taken it the first time, the Packers should already be if allowed reaching out to him , its incomprehensible to imagine the Packers sticking with Barry.

7 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:52 am

Lets go get J-Lenny!

3 points
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EnemyTerritory's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:10 am

Incomprehensible is the front office slogan…

5 points
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Art's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:41 am

Gutey should be in contact with Leonard already and offer him the DC job, if MLF doesn't like it than he can leave with Barry. MLF needs to think and act as a HC not a glorified OC.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:59 pm

Gute does not have the authority to appoint coaches. LaFleur does, reporting to Murphy directly.

0 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2022 at 06:46 am

Fun read Tim, thanks.

Take whatever Gute says with a grain of salt. Of course, he's going to say great things about Love. They are all true even. It's just posturing for the offseason. You can't tell what he means at this time of year. He could even sign and trade Love without playing him any more this year. I hope not, because the Packers have had the luxury to be able take the time to school him, which is unheard of for a first rounder in the NFL today.

Excited with Watson, Douds, Toure and the rest of the rookie class. I want them to get through the rest of the season in good health.

The rest of the year should be focused on establishing an O and D line. Till they can dominate or at least hold their own, to tell the truth, it actually doesn't matter who's under center. It's been proven year after year.

7 points
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dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:18 am

"He could even sign and trade Love without playing him any more this year."

There's no pressure WRT Love's contract: yes, they'll have to make a decision on the 5th year option prior to May 1 or so, but his cap hit is still small in 2023, and--if used, and I think it will be--the option can be reworked into a new deal at any time. They could choose to NOT exercise the option, and still write him an extension.

4 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:25 am

That's what I mean dobber. Gute can say anything and still do something else. That's the game in the NFL. I HOPE they actually extend Love's contract instead of the 5th year option, to help with the current cap issues. That of course, still kicks some problems down the road, but I think that's where the Packers have left themselves.

2 points
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dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Agreed!

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 02:02 pm

I don’t think an option can be reworked once taken up. As I understand it that money is locked and fully guaranteed. It can be assumed into a longer term deal (or exceeded), but not otherwise altered for that year (or cap).

1 points
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NickPerry's picture

December 08, 2022 at 07:04 am

The Packers and Aaron Rodgers have made it clear that so long as the team is not mathematically eliminated, Rodgers will be the quarterback.

I'll admit, I don't know exactly what has to happen for the Packers to make the playoffs other than to win out and winning on Sundays is always more enjoyable than losing. But after the bye week I don't want to see #12 on the field. Also, I don't know exactly why but it pisses me off to no end every time I read "Aaron Rodgers has made it clear". Maybe because it's been such a long year. Maybe it's because Rodgers has continued to throw others under the bus when his own play has sucked most of the year and at least for a stretch of EVERY game.

As great as it's been to watch Watson's tear up opposing teams the last 4 weeks, lets slow our roll on naming him OROY. Hey, if the kid scores another 8 Touchdowns in the final 4 games and averages like 8 receptions a game then possibly...Maybe. All I know is IF this continues and the kid is tearing it up next season too, I'll be thanking the Vikings each and every Sunday AND letting them know what dumb shits they were for making the trade with their rival for the Player the Packers CLEARLY wanted. The Vikings MADE that happen.

Speaking of the Vikings... I'm hoping they lock up the #2 seed in the NFC and have to play the 49ers in the Wildcard Round. Kurt Cousins will once again WILT under the pressure and the ONLY thing the Vikings will have from the 2022 season is a NFC North Banner. IIRC they actually hang those up. LMAO!!! What a bunch of putzes!!! Matter of fact, they were in 2017 at least...

https://totalpackers.com/2017/12/vikings-hanging-banner-shit-doesnt-matter/

5 points
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dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:30 am

"I don't know exactly what has to happen for the Packers to make the playoffs other than to win out and winning on Sundays is always more enjoyable than losing."

The fact that the NFCE has gotten fat on the NFCN is a real problem. There are just too many teams between the Packers and the last WC spot who have beaten the Packers for this to be a real possibility. It would be a feel-good thing if the Doughboys completely fell apart and the Packers sneaked past them on head-to-head, though...

"Speaking of the Vikings... I'm hoping they lock up the #2 seed in the NFC and have to play the 49ers in the Wildcard Round. "

We'll have to see what happens to SF without Garoppolo. They've brought in Baker Mayfield off waivers, but he's turned out to be really bad. Maybe that's an offense any yokel can run? They'll have their hands full staying ahead of Seattle...

2 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:44 am

The Rams have Baker. SF is sticking with Purdy.

Cowboys are not slowing down anytime soon, and in my opinion could go all the way this year. I know it is an unpopular take.

2 points
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dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 12:20 pm

You're right on Mayfield. <<tips hat>>

Dallas was actually my preseason SB pick from the NFC...I don't think they'll get there, now, but I can claim to have some kind of foresight if they do! ;)

0 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:03 pm

Cool. Dallas is actually my current projection to win the SB. They are much, MUCH better than I expected this season. I think that, for Philly, Dallas is a bad match-up. They excel at running the ball with Zeke and Pollard, and that is the Eagles' biggest weakness (run defense). On defense, they have a playmaking secondary and a defensive front that leads the league in sacks. Cowboys DL vs Philly's OL should be fun to watch. Everyone else is a pretender. 49ers aren't as good with Purdy, Bucs are banged up, Commanders are missing some key pieces and Seahawks can't stop the run for their life.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:54 pm

They brought in Suh and Joseph for the homestretch and can let Cox rehab his neck. It will be a good match up if they meet.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

December 08, 2022 at 07:44 am

Don’t Tank Period! Whats more important? The development of the offense? Or Love getting playing time? If they know what Love is. Why do we care more about Love than the offense? Yep he can start. Yada, yada, yada. I say it’s time to draft someone behind him. There are many back-ups in this draft, that you don’t have to pay 20 mil. Too. That can fit the windows better, as this offense becomes less experimental .But does Packer Nation have the confidence in Gutey, MM, LEF, and Barry.
Christian Watson can take the top off a Defense. If Gutey gets another it’s OK by me. Regardless of the round.
Because Draft Bust happen. Remember Amari Rodgers.
Hire Jim Leonard. The Defense still Sucks. And we just don't have enough picks for Barry to waste.

-1 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:02 am

I don't believe in tanking also.

If Rodgers comes back healthy from the bye and is effective, does he give us a better chance to win than Love? I think that's what people are asking for on this site. A chance to see Love play and improve the Packers chance to win. Hard to believe he'd be better than a former MVP if he's healthy. Just play the guy that gives us the best chance to win, and I'll be behind him too.

5 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:36 am

forest meet trees...

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:56 am

The question should be, at this point, “what actions may help us be better next year?”

Playing players who we know won’t be back will not help us. Therefore if there is a legitimate young alternative that is, give them a run. At worst they get experience that will make them better back ups ir help them step up next year, at best we find a player or two and increase our draft need knowledge and options.

We don’t get any benefit rushing back Bakh. We get a benefit from just letting Tom settle and play. We don’t get a benefit from Reed or Lowry, we are out of it, we do from playing Slaton and Wyatt. It goes on: nothing to gain by playing Cobb or Watkins over Toure. Give Douglas a spin at S. There may be others. The vets that might be retained won’t improve over 4 dead games. The youth almost certainly will benefit. That rationale extends to Love just as much. Even if Rodgers stays, I will be a lot happier seeing Love step in with more experience under his belt next year.

This is about as close to a no brainer question in pure football grounds as it gets. Decisions made for other reasons are almost certainly the wrong ones. We also get to see what LaFleur and these coaches come up with for a team
Led by someone other than Rodgers. LaFleur largely wasted that opportunity last time by not having a Love game plan. Given this year I think that’s something that we ought to consider as important as player opportunity and evaluation.

Just do the right thing for next year and beyond, there is no football downside and maybe an upside. If the driver is trying to make this year look more palatable, then we just confirm that we don’t have leadership that’s putting the franchise first. The existence of debate here should be a red flag if it proves to be real.

3 points
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dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:33 am

"We don’t get any benefit rushing back Bakh. "

Rushing him back, no. But getting him back on the field and showing well will help his trade value this off-season. Recovery time from a laparoscopic appendectomy is remarkably short.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:44 am

His trade value is what it is. There will always be questions about his ability to play every week going forward. A couple of games won’t change that for the good and could make it worse. Playing Tom and the appendectomy may, since a logical move in league practice in our situation, help. It signals to teams that he might be available while not allowing any negative news and in the context of a legitimate look at a young player.

1 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:37 am

I believe you're right in experimenting to help decide on the future. If their priority isn't in getting the O and D lines strong for next year, it's a lost cause and pointless to even play Love. Starting training camp early isn't helping if they're using people and coaches that won't be involved next year, will it?

Any snaps for these guys are good if it's putting them in the best position to win and not expose themselves.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:50 am

None of the moves I suggested are guaranteed to make us worse. In reality, the odds are some won’t help now and others may well. We won’t know till we see extended opportunities for a Wyatt, Tom or Toure etc. On top of that, some that don’t work now will accelerate development for next year. We may also find that one or two are dead ends, which should hone our draft strategy. For example, knowing how Douglas shapes up at S.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:24 am

What you try now. Will change with the draft, and possibly the firing of Barry. But Toure should have a increase in reps. Especially after Amarii Rodgers got cut. Wyatt there going slow with. To many DL have blown out their knees. So I expected a light work load his first year. Tom is going to get a chance. Nijman got his. And Jenkins we might not resign. Bahk health is still a question. But you play him. I would not let Hanson or Newman anywhere this Ol. I say draft a center in the later rds. . Oluwatimi, out of Mi. is my choice.
I still have trouble trusting Gute. Especially with the DL. And when you see his picks fail.
You have to cringe; on why he thinks Love can replace Rodgers.

-1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 02:09 pm

I expected Wyatt to be in the starting rotation by mid-season. He is 24 years old and country strong, quick feet. This guy, Barry, is spoiling his year. A center is necessary and move Myers to guard. Schmitz out of U of Minn is a better player. The brain trust will have to fortify the interior. Did he whiff on Rhyan, or should he have been developed at RT? Agreement number Infinity: Hanson and Newman have to stay away from Game time duty.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:58 pm

You want a winning record every year. Those that tank have money on their teams through the Vegas pipeline. Take a close look at the grifters who own NFL franchises. Some are featured on Crime Stories...

0 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:35 am

I agree that the Packers should not tank. However, you are invalidly associating tanking with playing Jordan Love. If we played Jordan Love, we would not try to tank - players should always play to win. It is just we wouldn't be playing to win with Rodgers.

You say all of the "yada yada" about whether Love can start, but in all seriousness, do you actually know? We have seen immensely promising flashes, but there is nothing more we can do to explore him other than actually start him in a game.

You say we can just draft another QB in the draft, but our pick won't be high enough for Stroud or Young, and all the other QBs are mediocre. Love has looked more poised than any rookie in the draft likely will be in their first year. Besides, Jordan Love has studied for 3 years behind a future Hall of Fame QB in his prime. That is an irreplaceable experience.

You talk about "The development of the offense." What does that mean? MLF already has his game-plans worked out. There is nothing on the offense to develop. And even if there is, there is no reason Love can't develop that also.

You cannot say that Love should not be our future QB until we have actually seen what we can do. Of course, the inverse is also true.

7 points
7
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Johnblood27's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:37 am

pre-judgement is a prerequisite to comment on Jordan Love here att CHTV.

haven't you read the previous posts?

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:10 am

TT moved on from Favre. Yet he also had the courage to draft Brohm 3 years later to hedge his bets because he hadn’t seen Rodgers in meaningful game action. TT knew that the test is in games and that it was foolish to rely on anything else. TT was right. He also had the guts to replace his pick Brohm with a 7th round flyer, Flynn. He knew that you can’t leave QB decisions to guesswork and assumptions. That made TTs career.

3 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:27 am

...and to a certain extent ron wolfs as well.

he drafted a qb in almost every draft he presided over and it paid dividends on the whole with trades and quality back-ups that were never needed with iron man favre in place.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 03:03 pm

You have to obtain capable backup QBs. Guys who can get wins and manage a squad, not UDFAs or Hundley.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 03:02 pm

He brought in Brohm to be a backup, but Flynn beat him out and he was delegated to the P Squad. His brother Jeff, was more mobile and a better Pro.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:39 am

Love was mediocre too when drafted. You can't judge Love on Rodgers history. The development is the Rookie WRs and Tom. And I should include Nijman at RT.
You must trust Gutey's opinions. I don't.! There has been too much bitching. Not to mention the persuasive thinking he's given us, in regards to All in. Contracts. And traded picks.

0 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:47 am

He was mediocre, sure, but in his rookie year he didn't have 3 years of studying under a HOF QB under his belt. He does now, and is an astronomically better player. We have seen it to some limited extent on the field, and MLF and Gutey have seen it in practice.

In an unfortunately mis-run organization, Brian Gutekunst has been a bright spot. He is the only person I trust to make level-headed decisions. He was correct in not trading for a receiver at the deadline considering what draft compensation was being asked of him. In Gutey we trust!

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 03:09 pm

If they wanted to replace Rodgers, they should have moved up for Herbert.

2 points
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Oppy's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:38 am

Aaron Rodgers has a limited shelf life.

3 points
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2
Untylu1968's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:03 am

Just stop it! He's the "GOAT" and will play forever.. I mean, what's the odds of a first round quarterback, sitting for three years, with very little playing time, ever succeeding? That shit will and can not ever happen, right? Oh wait...

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:22 am

I was struck by how similar to Favre Rodgers has started to sound. Not only has he regularly left open his decision about returning but we are seeing the need for validation and reassurance that defined the late Favre years.

It’s worth remembering that, at the time, Murphy was heavily criticized for his handling of Favre, culminating in a visit to his home in Kiln. Favre had announced his retirement earlier but since made it clear he was returning. Murphy was reported to have personally offered him $20 million to stay retired. That was said to have tipped him towards wanting to play for the Vikings.

1 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:27 am

and that fish is beginning to smell a little "off"...

0 points
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2
cben67's picture

December 08, 2022 at 07:45 am

If Hackett is let go by Denver the Broncos DC; Ejiro Evero, could also be a solid candidate for the Packers DC position

4 points
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1
PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:05 pm

If we can get him. He was the 3rd candidate back in 2020 to be the Packers DC, too bad we didn't get him. He may be a Head Coach candidate in the offseason. If he is available I would be amazed with either him or Jim Leohnard

0 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:12 am

At least we won't lose Sunday...

5 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:39 am

pure genius!

given the timing of the bye and the retrospective stoopidity of the gbp to ELECT to take this late bye vs a bye after the London trip. I see that as yet another in a loooooong list of absolutely stoopid mistakes that this management/coaching staff has made that contribute to the shitstorm of a season we have endured.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:39 am

What it signals is that this leadership were confident that they were contenders.

0 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:25 am

what it signals is that this leadership team has absolutely no idea what it takes to have 53+ human beings able to focus and pull in the same direction for a 17 week season and a grinding playoff run.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 02:13 pm

I’d say it’s indicative of a wholly distorted ability to asses their own position, as well as agreeing with you.

-1 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:46 am

Even if the Packers win out, they likely still wouldn't make the playoffs. Almost certainly, now, because of the Giants and Commanders tying.

Here is the way I see it playing out:
Philly wins the rest of their games except for against Dallas. They then hold out their starters in the final week against the Giants, because at 14-2, they will already have locked up the #1 seed.
The Vikings lose to Detroit on Sunday but win the rest of their games. They hold out their starters in the final week against the Bears, because at 13-3, they will already have locked up the #2 seed, and Philly owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The 49ers go 3-2 in their final 5 games, losing to the Bucs and the Seahawks. That puts them at 11-6, with the 3rd seed.
The Bucs go 3-2 in their final 5 games, losing to the Bengals and Falcons, putting them an 9-8 and with the 4th seed
The Cowboys end up at 12-5, with the #5 seed.
The Commanders end up with the #6 seed at 10-6-1, only losing to the 49ers for the rest of the season.
The Seahawks go 3-2, losing to the Chiefs and the Jets, and end up with the final playoff spot at 10-7.

The Giants, who almost made it, only win against the Colts and the Eagles (when they are holding out their starters) for the last 5 games, putting them at 9-7-1.

Even if the Packers win out (which means beating the Dolphins, Vikings, and Lions), which is extremely unlikely, I would see them as ending up two spots short of a wild-card berth, and even then, they would likely just be eliminated in the first round. One thing that makes it difficult is that the Giants and Commanders have a tie, which means that even if both teams won equal games, both of those teams would get the nod before us.

As you can see, they only have a small chance of a small chance of a small chance to win a playoff game, let alone even make the playoffs, let along finish with a winning record.

It is time to salvage what we can of the season and look to the future. Play more of the younger guys like Devonte Wyatt, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, Jack Heflin, Micah Abernathy, and yes, Jordan Love.

8 points
9
1
T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:18 am

Well thought out PC500. What happens if the Giants tie the Commanders again, the Lions and the Seahawks lose out? Any chance?

0 points
0
0
PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:51 am

We will be eliminated if, throughout the next 5 weeks, the Cowboys win one more game (with the Texans next week that shouldn't be too hard), and the Giants and Commanders win two more games each. WAS and NYG have tiebreakers over us. This helpful article explains it:
https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2022/12/08/green-bay-p...
Basically, the Seahawks losing all but one of their games is our best chance. With games against the Rams and Panthers coming up, I don't see that happening.

1 points
1
0
Razer's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:21 am

Thanks for the playoff recap. My gut told me that our playoff hopes ended with the loss to the Titans. The math of the loss was one thing, the lack of physicality was the nail for me. Hoping for some crazy combination of wins/losses means little if we are going to get pushed around and shown the door on day one.

3 points
3
0
T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:55 am

I've been preaching this too Razer (add to the choir here). Play whatever quarterback you want. If you're getting pushed around instead of pushing around it doesn't make any difference. If you have to allow for a weak line, you can't play your offense as designed. Wouldn't even be fair to Love. The line looked much better against the Bears??? I guess we can only go up from there.

1 points
1
0
PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:52 am

That is because the Bears have the worst defense in the NFL by a wide margin that is also injury ravaged currently

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 12:14 pm

I would argue that as long as Fields is playing, they've got a puncher's chance in just about every game they play. Even with that terrible defense, the Jets game (where Fields didn't play) is the only one in their last 6 that wasn't a one-score game, or a one-score game late. Fields will make things happen for them...until someone breaks his legs.

2 points
2
0
PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:51 am

That is what my gut told me too. Cowboys game gave me some hope, but it was over after that.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:37 am

"I would see them as ending up two spots short of a wild-card berth, and even then, they would likely just be eliminated in the first round. "

Philly is the most impressive team in the NFC. After that, everyone's beatable...especially by a Packers team--if they sneak in--that will have won 6 of their last 8.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:52 am

We could barely beat the Bears. They won’t sneak in. Yes miracles happen, but not on that scale or that often and not with a D and O as erratic as ours are.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:53 am

"They won’t sneak in."

Oh, I don't disagree with you. They're about as long a long-shot gets. But if they DID get there, we shouldn't discount a team that won its last 5 games and would be--presumably--playing with confidence as a result.

1 points
1
0
PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:53 am

Philly and Dallas, and maybe SF are the only two teams I think are the real contenders. Everyone else is pretending.

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:54 am

An SF team without a QB. At this point it's Brock Purdy, and they're beat up all over. They'll have to hold off an overachieving Seattle team to win the division.

Packers have already beaten Dallas. They're no juggernaut.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 03:25 pm

The Pack over the purple. I'm going to that game.

0 points
0
0
fangirl's picture

December 08, 2022 at 08:51 am

Gute knows what he has in Love, but it may be risky to let him play too many games if he doesn't do well in some of them. If they are thinking trade potential, they may wish to be strategic

5 points
6
1
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:54 am

FG,
There is truth what you say....should Gute want to trade Love, however even in my wildest dream I cannot envision Love being traded. If Love has his 5th year option signed he is with the Packers through 2024. Someone has to replace Rodgers at some point and Love not only is athletically talented talented, but he knows the offense. Personally, I just cannot see Love traded as the team would be set back several years.

2 points
3
1
fangirl's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:01 am

Agree, but won't they need to pay him $20 million if he signs a 5th year option? On top of Rodger's $59 million?

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:36 am

If they go the option route, then either they truly believe he’s the future or they’ve lost their senses.

That means paying him a fully guaranteed salary for one year calculated from those paid to the top QBS in the league and averaged. The entire sum hits the cap in that 5th year (2024) and the player becomes an unrestricted FA after it, giving him huge leverage if good. Most then sign a long term deal, but that can’t reduce the cap hit or payment in the 5th year.

The Packers would be better off signing him up on a long term deal without the option being exercised if they want to keep him. Gute’s answer doesn’t state it’s the option that are considering, just that they believe they know enough to follow the path they intend to.

1 points
2
1
T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:58 am

Thanks for explaining what I've been trying, but unable to say. Seems easy after you say it.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

December 08, 2022 at 12:10 pm

Even if they exercise the option, it's unlikely that he'll be playing under it---meaning, they'd likely tear up the option in an extension and push his cap hit out several years through roster and option bonuses.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 03:33 pm

It will be an annuity plan.

0 points
0
0
Razer's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:11 am

I am not worried about the Rodgers, Love, Bak or other player dramas. The rest of the season will define our direction on those fronts. My concern is with this coaching staff and some of the front office mud. Is coach LaFleur capable of pulling together the team and his staff? The Joe Barry and Detroit Lions secondary coach (advisor) additions have been strange sidesteps. The team is under performing and our headcoach shows more bewilderment than decisiveness. The failure of this staff to recognize the best players for the job (O-line, D-line, secondary and punt/kick return) is so fundamentally bad than you gotta wonder if there is a head coach.

If the team folds in these last games, LaFleur should be gone. In any event some of these coaches need to be replaced but I wouldn't trust LaFleur to make the changes.

The front office needs to shit or get off the pot with some of its personnel decisions. They missed the Rodgers cash-in opportunity and created a CAP collar that prevents us from getting the missing pieces. We know that rebuild is necessary in some form but the denial from the front office has put us in no-mans-land.

In all cases, the Packers suffer from a leadership issue. The only guy leading has been Rodgers and we all know where that will take us.

7 points
7
0
fangirl's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:06 am

I would try to put myself into Murphy's mindset which is where all things emanate.

Unfortunately, that is the conundrum. I don't see a groundswell of resolve to shake up that system if the Cheesehead TV fans are an objective sample size.

0 points
0
0
PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:06 pm

A rebuild is necessary to make this team a true contender once again, and that is what we should do.

-1 points
0
1
beerandbrats's picture

December 08, 2022 at 09:30 am

Nice write up Tim, and 'now what' is an excellent question! The chances of the Packers getting into the playoffs are slim to none because the Giants and Commanders have the tie breaking advantage over us. It's time to look to the future because this will be a year to forget. I would like to see JL10 get some playing time to gain some experience and hopefully build some more confidence. It would also be awesome if the Packers could win out and build some momentum for next year!

1 points
1
0
PatrickGB's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:21 am

Whoever is DC, will be scrutinized closely. That’s a job that candidate’s might be hesitant to take. And I am not sure that a college coach would do as well in the NFL as they did in college.

-1 points
1
2
Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 11:04 am

Defenses under new coordinators often take a year to gel and probably mean a draft focus on getting pieces the new guy wants ti run his scheme. If they really believed in Leonhard, since he runs a Pettine type D that we have most pieces for still, we should already be tying him up—if he wants to have anything to do with LaFleur, of course. If they don’t move now, I’d say the chances of us getting him are small at best,

2 points
2
0
PackyCheese500's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:07 pm

Leonhard would be ideal , but if they don't get him, I would try to hire Mike Zimmer or someone else who uses a 4-3.

-1 points
0
1
BirdDogUni's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:34 pm

Did you mean a 3 - 4? Cuz we're supposed to be running a 3 - 4. Or do you mean you want to switch to a 4 - 3 when we have all 3 - 4 personnel? That doesn't sound like a plausible move to me.

0 points
1
1
stockholder's picture

December 08, 2022 at 01:58 pm

I think we have the personal for a 4-3-4. DL- Lowrey ,clark, slaton/Wyatt, Reed LBs- Smith, Campbell, Walker,
CBs- Alexander, Douglass. S- Amos, Savage/ Ford. You also can switch Gary like Kampman. If you remember him.

1 points
2
1
Coldworld's picture

December 08, 2022 at 02:28 pm

The Kampman switch was not successful. Reed and Lowry are likely gone. As is Amos. We could use that as a chance to reshape, but that’s a tall order if the goal is success next year

-2 points
0
2
jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 10:48 pm

3-4/ 4-2/4-3 /5-2 take your pick use all of them, 6-1 whatever, but do not set yourself up to be picked off like statuary. Barry has to go.

0 points
0
0
Since&#039;61's picture

December 08, 2022 at 02:45 pm

If the Packers know what they are doing (Which is debatable at this point) they have a good chance to solidly reposition this team for the 2023 season. First they need to play Jordan Love to justify what they believe they have in him. Assuming that Love can be the guy they pick up his 5thyear option or extend him during the offseason. Knowing that Love is the guy they trade Rodgers or he chooses to retire. The next key is what happens to Hackett in Denver? If the Broncos chuck Hackett the Packers should bring him back as the OC and the play caller. If Ejiro is available offer him the Packers DC position and offer Leonhard the HC job and chuck MLF. Hackett as the OC can run the offense and make the play calls. Leonhard can work with Ejiro to build an actual NFL defense and Bisaccia can continue to build up the STs.

Another option could to offer the HC position to Bisaccia, the OC job to Hackett and the DC job to Leonhard. Trust Bisaccia to hire his own ST coach.

With a trade for Rodgers the Packers free up some cap space to enable them to keep Jones and Dillon in the backfield for at 2023. Build the WR position group around Watson and Doubs. Assuming we get a few picks for Rodgers the Packers can add another WR and at least one TE in the draft. Continue to build up the OL and DL with other picks and maybe use a pick on a kicker since it's time for Crosby to retire. Move Ford and Douglas to Safety now to see if they can be solid starters for next season. Then let Amos go to FA and Savage also. Amos moving on will free up cap space for signing another vet FA. Depending on his health possibly cut Bak loose as well. Chuck Lowry and possibly sign an NFL player to add to the roster.

New coaching staff, new starting QB, relatively young team at nearly every position with some FAs and hopefully solid draft picks and the Packers future begins in 2023 and should be competitive right out of the gate. As I much as I have enjoyed watching Rodgers over the years I don't see any reason why the Packers should bring him back for 2023. It's time for the Packers to move and out of the TT, McCarthy and Rodgers era and into their future. What could they possibly be waiting for at this point? Thanks, Since '61

0 points
1
1
jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2022 at 03:42 pm

Yes, Crosby is probably moving on, but you never know with kickers. Vinatieri played for 24 seasons. Ruggles from Ohio State may be a good replacement.

0 points
0
0
Packerpasty's picture

December 08, 2022 at 07:27 pm

and if..Rodgers isn't traded and chooses to play, which is what most likely happen, then whats your solution? I seriously doubt a trade as what team is going to go with an expensive older QB, and I doubt Rodgers quits for the amount of money he will be getting next year...so probably forget that trade or quit scenario.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 08, 2022 at 05:09 pm

I don't see the playoffs in our future unless the rest of the NFC collapses. I was kind of hoping we'd get the 7th spot so we could knock of the #2 Vikings, but that's not going to happen.

We can still have a winning season. 9-8. That's something. If we lose out, we'd be 5-12 and that'd be second worst record in 30 years.

Predictions: Neither Murphy, nor Gutekunst, nor LaFleur is going anywhere. They'll all be back. Rodgers, Bakhtiari, Jones, Cobb, and Lewis will all be gone from the offense. Watson, Lazard, Doubs and Toure will be the main dogs in the WR room. We''re going to add some talent to the TE room along with Deguara, who is under contract. We'll keep Nijman and Jenkins and all linemen on rookie deals and try to upgrade the OL room.

Defensively, we're going to get a new DC. You can call it hubris, and you'd be right, but the expectations were higher for the defense because there is so much talent, even when starters are out (Gary, Stokes), that we should be able to prevent anybody from ever getting two first downs in a row. We'll make a change that won't make a difference.....we were an average-ish defense last year, the year before, the year before that, and we will be again this year and next year. You put all 32 defenses on the bell curve, we'll be on the left hand side of the median in the fat part of the curve. Average-ish.

I'd expect us not to resign Amos. Our three top CBs will all be back, we should bring Nixon and Ford back.
Gary and Preston for another year. Campbell and Walker. Barnes, Enagbare, Garvin, ???

Clark, and nobody who's ever shown he can play in the NFL on the defensive line, for the most part. Lowry is going to leave for a better deal. We're going to pay him $3 million to not play for us next year, and somebody will pay him another $3 million to play for them. Probably more. Reed might not be asked back. So it's Slaton and Wyatt rotating with Clark. Maybe Heflin.

So you can bring in any D coach you have, and that's what you're working with. It's still a defense that might give up 19 points , on the road. It's still a defense that won't hold every team they play under 30.

-1 points
0
1