Hello Wisconsin: The Only Thing That Can Stop the Packers is Themselves

It's put up or shut up time for the Green Bay Packers.

We’ve finally reached the playoffs. 

This entire season has really just been a prelude to the one part of the year that actually matters for the Packers this season. If there was ever an all-in year for Green Bay, this was it. They got creative with the cap to bring the whole group back, they made offseason and midseason additions to flesh out the team, and they made sure they got Aaron Rodgers in the fold and even gave in to some of his wishes regarding how the team was composed.

The only thing that has ever mattered for the Packers this season was getting to and winning the Super Bowl. Anything short of that is a failure for this year’s team.

I’m not even someone who typically believes in that. After all, there’s only one team that can be the champion every year. Failure to win a championship does not necessarily mean the season itself was a failure. Sure, I can see why players or coaches might feel that way, but as a fan? You can’t expect your team to win a championship every year. I’ve gotten quite a bit of enjoyment out of my life as a Packer fan, regardless of the number of championships.

But this year is different. This could be the last shot with Aaron Rodgers. Even if Rodgers stays in Green Bay next year, much of the team’s core will likely be gone due to cap purposes. 

The Packers have had two consecutive losses in the NFC Championship. A third would be absolutely devastating.

It could have been argued last year that the Packers were the best team in the league and should have won the Super Bowl. The loss of David Bakhtiari made that path difficult, but it still shouldn’t have been an excuse.

This year, there are absolutely no excuses. The team is getting a bunch of its crucial players back heading into the playoffs and is healthy and ready to go. They are and have been the best team in football and once again have homefield advantage.

This year, anything short of a trip to the Super Bowl is a crushing failure.

Give the team credit for getting this far. They came into this season all knowing that this was quite possibly the last, best opportunity to get a championship. That’s a lot of pressure for a team to put on itself. But despite that, they won 13 games for an unprecedented third year in a row, got a second consecutive #1 seed, and once again have the likely league MVP. 

But that’s just the business part of this season. None of that really matters at this point. This era of the Green Bay Packers has achieved all of that already. It’s time for bigger things.

That’s why I’m both more excited and more nervous than I’ve been for postseason football in a LONG time. It feels like greatness is just around the corner. This really feels like it’s finally the Packers’ time. Everything is falling in place exactly as it needs to for the Packers to “make a run,” as Aaron Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee show the other day.

All that’s left for them is to actually do it.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

I’ve been so busy the last week that I haven’t once had time to sit down and enjoy a beverage outside of the Packer game. It’s been wild! 

So for this week I’m doing a minor throwback to about five weeks ago, when I was in Green Bay for the game against the Bears. My friend Matt and I arrived to town early and explored around the stadium, and our first stop was Hinterland Brewery right across from the stadium in the Titletown District.

It was my first stop to the brewery and the district in general, and I enjoyed a couple Hinterland beers right in view of the one and only Mark Murphy sledding hill.

This particular beer pictured was its Blueberry Wheat beer. It wasn’t a particularly noteworthy beer–the blueberry didn’t come through very strongly, which I think is probably actually a good thing for a wheat beer. There was a faint fruitiness and sweetness in the aftertaste, but nothing at all overpowering or obvious about it. Certainly nowhere near the level of fruit you’d find in a lot of fruited sours. 

In general, Hinterland’s stuff is just sort of passable to me. However, the food we had there before the game was quite good. There are a few of the company’s flagships that are pretty solid standards and idea for tailgating purposes when you’re just hangin’ out and not worried about drinking anything particularly fancy. 

Not my favorite, but also certainly drinkable and one I’d happily imbibe if someone handed it to me. And I gotta say, it looked great in a photo with the Titletown District in the background.

An update on the NFC North firings

As you know by now, both Chicago and Minnesota cleared house this week. The Bears fired general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy, and the Vikings fired general manager Rick Spielman (with the team since 2006) and head coach Mike Zimmer. 

These firings were quite expected. Nagy has generally been awful despite taking the Bears to the playoffs twice in his tenure. His offense has been perpetually anemic and it often looked like he was purposefully setting Justin Fields up to fail this year.

Zimmer seemed to resent being a head coach this season, and specifically seemed to harbor great resentment for several of his players, particularly Kirk Cousins. He was very clearly over the whole COVID situation, especially with the players of his who refused to get vaccinated, and his relationships with the team had been reportedly souring. Respected linebacker Erik Kendricks went so far as to say he hoped the next coach didn’t have to rule by fear–an indictment of the kind of culture Zimmer had in place in his final years.

Both teams are casting a wide net in their searches. The Bears have already even requested interviews for Eliot Wolf for the team’s GM job and Nathaniel Hackett for head coach.

The Bears are making the unfortunate (or fortunate, for Packers fans) mistake of working with Bill Polian as their primary advisor in the search for the next general manager. Polian has been out of football for well over a decade, is nearly 80 years old and has been very, very wrong in just about all of his recent personnel statements (he was one of the foremost Lamar Jackson should be a running back guys). 

Polian is a legend and a deserving Hall of Famer, but no franchise that’s actually interested in winning would bring him in as a consultant at this point for such a crucial, franchise-steering decision.

The entire press conference held by George McCaskey was a gift to Packer fans, as it seemed pretty clear McCaskey was way over his head in this decision making process. The Bears will likely continue to be a joke for the foreseeable future. We love to see it.

The Vikings… who really knows what’s going to happen there? A lot depends on who they end up bringing in for general manager. 

There are going to be a lot of coaches that get interviewed in this cycle. Far more qualified candidates than openings. Former Miami coach Brian Flores will probably attract a lot of attention. Hackett has been a popular name among league circles. Former Eagles coach Doug Pederson will get plenty of interviews as a Super Bowl winner, and there will be other familiar names that get brought up, including Eric Bieniemy, Josh McDaniels and Dan Quinn. Other candidates to watch include Todd Bowles, Byron Leftwich, Brain Daboll and Leslie Frazier.

It will be fascinating to watch how all of this plays out. I’ll be particularly interested to see the coaching philosophy each of these teams try to go for. Zimmer was very old school and defensive in nature. Will the team try to completely switch it up and go for someone young and dynamic with an offensive background?

Nagy was heralded as an offensive mastermind, but could never piece together an effective offense in Chicago. Will the team try to stick with offense or will it embrace the franchise’s longstanding tradition of hard-nosed, grind-it-out football with someone like a Bowles or a Quinn or a Frazier?

At this point, your guess as to how all this shakes out is as good as mine.

Does your town have a “Suicide Hill?”

So in the town in which I live (and grew up) we have a large hill located near Lake Michigan lovingly referred to as “Suicide Hill.” Every year it’s the biggest attraction for sledders in our town. Mostly kids in middle and high school who want to hit the steep parts in the evenings after dark, but there are also smaller sections ideal for younger kids during the day time.

There are very clear “NO SLEDDING” signs placed around the area, which is on city property, but no one ever listens to them. The police will drive by every now and then, but really only to check that people are being safe. It’s pretty much understood that people are going to sled, regardless of what the signs say.

I was telling someone about Suicide Hill the other day, and it turned out their town also had a large hill they called Suicide Hill. And when I was in college, I remember at least several other folks mentioning they had hills in their area named Suicide Hill.

So is this a pretty ubiquitous midwest thing, or have I just had a lot of crazy coincidences in running into other people with basically the same story?

As some background, the reason this particular hill is known as Suicide HIll is not because it’s particularly steep (it does have some steep parts), but rather because there is a fence along the bottom, a good distance away from the bottom of the slope but still close enough that you could easily run into it if the conditions are right and the snow is packed and slick enough. The fence separates the hill and grassy area from the city’s water treatment plant.

There also used to be a section of trees and brush located at the bottom of the hill. However, that has long since been cleared away. The only hazard remaining at this point is the fence.

I spent many winter afternoons and nights on that hill growing up. My friends and I would do all kinds of stupid things, including building ramps out of snow to go off in our sleds and snow tubes, playing games of “chicken” with the fence, and attempting to plow each other over as we walked back up the hill. We’d link arms and go down the hill in a big line, or form a long train of sleds and go down single file. 

There was one time when I was probably around eight or nine years old that I went over there with a friend of mine who lived a couple blocks away, and we dragged a massive refrigerator box with us. This was during the summer, and we thought it would be hilarious to roll down the hill inside the box. 

Spoiler alert: did not end up being hilarious. We emerged heavily bruised from flying all over the box, and my friend’s little brother (who rode down with us) ended up vomiting. 

Anyway, I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to take my oldest son over to the less-steep section some winter afternoon for his first sledding experience sometime this year. Gotta pass on the traditions!

The absurdity of made-up stories

I don’t want to give too much space to the hilarious absurdity that was the Boomer Esiason report that Aaron Rodgers would consider boycotting the Super Bowl over COVID protocols, but we all can admit that was one of the most obvious made-up stories of all time, right?

There is absolutely no chance Rodgers would EVER consider sitting out a Super Bowl for any reason. The fact that Esiason thought that story had enough merit to put on the air means he knows nothing about Rodgers, or is just extremely desperate for attention.

Esiason has never come across as a drama-seeker before, so this really surprised me. But what a weird, CLEARLY fabricated story to just throw out there as something legitimate.

The predictions

So there’s no Packer game today, but I still have plenty of other predictions for how this weekend’s action will go. Let’s see how I do.

RAIDERS AT BENGALS: Saturday Afternoon

I love the adversity the Raiders have overcome this season to get to this point. But they feel awfully overmatched against a Bengals team that is capable of exploding against any given team. These two teams have two of the longest playoff victory droughts in football right now, so it’ll be great to see either of them get a victory, and I think the Bengals finally snap the longest streak in the league and move on to the next round.

 

PATRIOTS AT BILLS: Saturday Evening

These two teams haven’t really played a normal game yet this season. The Patriots beat the Bills in crazy weather conditions while throwing only three passes, then the Bills beat the brakes off the Pats at home. Here we are once again in Buffalo and the Bills have a chance to knock their hated rival out of the playoffs, which would be the sweetest rivalry win this team has had in quite a while. But I have a gut feeling about the Patriots in this one. They’re less talented but better coached and have the ability to slow down this Bills offense. I think they pull off arguably the upset of the weekend. 

 

EAGLES AT BUCCANEERS: Sunday at Noon

I do think the Eagles pose a bit more of a threat to the Bucs than most people are giving them credit for, but ultimately this isn’t going to be the team that knocks Tampa out of the playoffs. It just feels like we’re destined for a Tampa/Green Bay rematch, and that can’t happen without a TB win this weekend.

 

49ERS AT COWBOYS: Sunday Afternoon

My other upset pick of the weekend. The 49ers are entering the playoffs arguably hotter than any other team in the league. They’re clicking on both offense and defense at the moment and are a threat to anyone they play. Mike McCarthy has done a pretty good job with this Dallas team but it’s been five years since he last coached a team to the playoffs and if there’s anything the man does well it’s knock the Cowboys out of contention. Give me the 49ers to move on and travel to Green Bay.

 

STEELERS AT CHIEFS: Sunday Night

I really wish this wasn’t the Sunday NIght contest. Would have loved to get home from a day at the theatre and watch Niners/Cowboys instead. But alas, we’re stuck with the worst game of the weekend. The Steelers are the “just happy to be here” team and will be swiftly eliminated with little drama, unless the Chiefs utterly implode.

 

CARDINALS AT RAMS: Monday night

I really hate the addition of Monday night playoff games. There should be no short weeks in playoff football. At least, no shorter than necessary. Anyway, the Rams have won nine of their last 10 against the Cardinals, and Sean McVay really has this team’s number. The Cardinals have lost six of their last 10 and enter the playoffs with little momentum and are not really frightening anyone at this point. Give me Los Angeles to move on.

 

Enjoy postseason football folks, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

 

__________________________

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.

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Comments (68)

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HarryHodag's picture

January 13, 2022 at 06:34 am

As scary as this appears, the Packers could become the "New Vikings(or Bills)" if they bomb in the playoffs. Teams that were very good that couldn't win the big one.

What troubles me about this team is the lack of consistency. All teams experience this to a degree, but the Packers tend to do well against better teams and struggle against lesser competition. Injuries certainly are a factor. Has anyone satisfactorily explained the opening day loss to the Saints? It tells me the problem isn't physical ability but mental determination.

What needs to happen is for Green Bay to come out of the gate strong and use it's talent to punish the competition. No more shaky first quarters to be rescued by the HOF QB.

Dominance at both lines of scrimmage. Authoritative running. Crisp passing. Sure tackling. Kicking and punting on point. Swagger.

Time to step up and prove you are the best team in the league or go home as "The New Vikings".

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NitschkeFromTheGrave's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:58 am

Excellent Post !

1. Stop playing down to weaker teams.
2. Come out and be the the Bruiser, make a statement from snap #1.
3. STOP PLAYING A SOFT DEFENSE.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:00 am

Hodag…..if we tend to play better against better teams, then why should anybody be scared? This is the playoffs. All that will remain in a week will be , by definition, better teams.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

January 13, 2022 at 12:52 pm

One obvious explanation for the Saints game is that the QB missed the entire offseason and then didn't play in the preseason. If you look around the league, there are zero teams with the kind of consistency you are suggesting. Even good teams have had real ups and downs. I am thrilled with the regular season win/loss record, given the jarring number of injuries to key starters. Imagine the team with all those guys healthy all season. That might have led to the consistency you seek. What we will find out now is whether they are ready to play their best when everything is on the line. They haven't done that for a few years now. Let's hope for a turnaround. The last GB title was won by a team that had awful inconsistencies and countless injuries. I like that comparison.

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Tingham's picture

January 13, 2022 at 06:31 pm

WestCoast. I agree wholeheartedly with your preseason take. The offense needed at least some reps. But what really puzzled me is they were installing an entirely new defense and none of the starters played in the preseason on the defensive side. They didn't have a clue in week one.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 13, 2022 at 08:50 pm

90 F in the Shade, the game changed to a neutral site in the middle of a swamp in Jacksonville. The Pack Fans were given the short shift so they could not make travel arrangements and the NOLA vacation was out the door in a hurricane. It was the 17th game to throw away. Yesterday is dead and gone, this is where it all gets real, WIN or go home. Mercilus is trying to get back on the Field. A Player. Will Za see the Divisional Round? In any case the reinforcements are being positioned.

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NickPerry's picture

January 13, 2022 at 06:43 am

"I’ve gotten quite a bit of enjoyment out of my life as a Packer fan, regardless of the number of championships."

I've had a lot of enjoyment myself as a Packers fan too Tim, from that first time I vividly remember to this day Tom Brown picking off Don Meredith in Texas Stadium (I think it was called Texas Stadium) to get the win and put the Packers in the first ever SB, to just last weekend watching Jordan Love hit Josiah Deguara for a 62 yard TD and ALL points in between.

The last 3 seasons especially have been a blast. I love MLF as HC and Gute as the GM. I think this team is in great hands for seasons. BUT this season, this team was built for one reason...To win Championship #14.

This year FEELS different and I agree with Tim, the ONLY thing that will keep the Packers from winning that 14th Championship is the Packers themselves. The Packers have gotten 3 All-Pros back for the Playoffs and if you think about it, don't have a glaring weakness offensively or defensively as long as they play tpo their talent levels. This team CAN stop the run and they've been especially good defending the deep ball this year. IF ZaDarius Smith's back holds up, tis pass rush is going to be epic for this run. I love this defense, especially at Lambeau.

Offensively the Packers have seemed to finally gotten that much needed #2 WR with the way Lazard has been playing and catching the ball. Combine that with the best 1-2 punch at RB in the NFL, and an O-Line with so much depth, it didn't matter FOUR starters were out.

This is it, THIS IS THE TEAM that will do it and I'm going to enjoy every second of it, just like I've enjoyed all 56 years of Packers football that I can remember. From Tom Brown, to Nick Collins, to who knows this year making that crucial pick.

#12 Quarters to go!

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Bearmeat's picture

January 13, 2022 at 07:54 am

Nick,

DOES it feel different than 2014 and 2020 and 2007 and 2003 and 1997 though? I'm not sure it does. Those teams could have won it all - they had the ability. But they didn't. I think this team is in the same boat. They actually have to DO THE JOB - something that a majority of Packer teams who could have done it in the last 30 years didn't.

That, and I do think the 9ers are a really tough pull in the divisional round. I also expect them to beat the Cowboys, who are a paper tiger. Then there's the Bucs, and a whole host of demons. Then, if they win that? The Super Bowl of course wouldn't be anything easy.

I'd expect 9ers, Bucs, Chiefs (or possibly Bengals?). Not easy, indeed.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:08 am

SF/Dallas will be all about whether or not Dallas can force TOs--their success seems to hinge on that. If SF can get an early lead and make Dallas play a tight game, I like the 9ers chances, too....and I agree: after TB, SF is a team I really don't want to see in GB. I think Dallas escapes this one, though.

My guesses:
Bengals over Raiders
Bills over Pats
Chefs over Steelers
Dallas over 9ers
TB over Philly
Rams over Cards

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Bearmeat's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:51 am

WC weekend always has at least one road upset. Always.

I'd bet this weekend it's Pats over Bills and 9ers over Cowboys.

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jurp's picture

January 13, 2022 at 10:36 am

I think the Bills will win, but the 9ers will be here next week. I just hope the 9ers aren't this year's Wild Card in the Super Bowl team.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:12 am

Dobber, the Cowboys are the classic definition of “front runner”. And when they’re at home, they feed off the energy of 75000 screaming cowpokes and it can get crazy in a hurry, but if you can make them grind it out..,.they usually make enough mistakes to lose close games.

For all the big names, their defense couldn’t stop a fat lady from grabbing another donut. I would relish the opportunity to beat the heart out of them in Jan

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Leatherhead's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:13 am

Duh!”

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:31 pm

"their defense couldn’t stop a fat lady from grabbing another donut."

So what you're saying is that if I'm in Dallas, I've got a shot at making it to the donut table? That's all I need to know...

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PeteK's picture

January 13, 2022 at 04:39 pm

Be careful, you guys are triggering Terrible Taryn .

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Savage57's picture

January 13, 2022 at 07:06 am

Who will be our Tramon Williams?

Someone needs to emerge from the shadows and step into the spotlight during this tournament, much like TW did in 2010.

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mrtundra's picture

January 13, 2022 at 08:23 am

It could be Jaire. It could be Rasul Douglas, or Stokes, or even King. It could even be Devondre Campbell, who, IMO, is our most unsung defensive hero, this season.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:05 pm

It may be Gary with a strip sack.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:20 am

Allen Lazard. He's healthy, has picked up a lot of Tonyan's routes, and is playing well. Teams will be taking away #17, and I think Lazard continues to break out.

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Coldworld's picture

January 13, 2022 at 06:02 pm

A fit MVS is a big factor in stretching the D. I certainly hope that we have him, because it gives opponent DCs more to plan for and opens space for other catchers as well as the run game.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:07 pm

Randall Cobb in the red zone may lead to multiple TDs.

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Ya_tittle's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:49 pm

Whitney Mercilus

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NickPerry's picture

January 14, 2022 at 05:22 am

Good question Savage...My guess it isn't one guy this year, it's a total TEAM effort. I'm really curious to see what they do with Alexander. In a perfect world, one they wouldn't have to worry about that shoulder, they could put him in the slot and keep Douglas and Stokes outside. IF that were to happen, I'd fear NO ONE'S WR group in the playoffs in ANY stadium.

Where Alexander plays and how much they need to protect the shoulder will be huge in these playoffs. The young man hasn't played since week 6 so stamina is going to be an issue in the divisional game.

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stockholder's picture

January 13, 2022 at 07:29 am

I think your correct. I believe the Packers can beat anyone. How can anybody not gamble on these play off games.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:21 am

"How can anybody not gamble on these play off games."

With great ease...

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Starrbrite's picture

January 14, 2022 at 02:52 am

Dittos on your picks.

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Since'61's picture

January 14, 2022 at 08:24 am

Cookie! Thanks, Since ‘61

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Todd's picture

January 13, 2022 at 07:41 am

“It's put up or shut up time for the Green Bay Packers.”. A thumbs up for that line alone, Tim! Another fun read. Thanks!

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Razer's picture

January 13, 2022 at 08:41 am

Well written Tim. The beer was the lowest part of the story. I too have appreciated the wins posted by this team and the chance to get to the top. As was mentioned, there are no points for previous attempts. Both the Bills and the Vikings have gone to the dance numerous times (4 I think) and left brokenhearted. There can "only be one" is the harsh reality of sports. But I will be grateful for whatever is left of this season regardless of the outcome.

I agree with your picks and the unfortunate potential for the 49ers being our next opponent. They are a power football team and they will be tough. They are well coached and we are prone to coaching beatings. I do not want to go out by being out-schemed and out-muscled - to me, this is what the 49ers represent. Buckle up kids the ride is about to get rougher.

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egbertsouse's picture

January 13, 2022 at 08:00 am

I’ve also gotten much enjoyment watching the Packers over the years. (Since the Packers/ Eagles championship game in 1960.) However, my enjoyment has been tempered for about the last 10 years. Part of it is the NFL as a whole; rules favoring the offense, interminable delays for replays and officials conferences, constant showboating and taunting by guys who are just doing their job. Mostly, though, I’m tired of the endless Groundhog Day seasons; beat up on mediocre teams during the regular season, make the playoffs, and choke big-time in important games. Here’s to hoping that it doesn’t happen again this year. If it does, I’m all for blowing it up and doing a total rebuild, even if it means having to endure a few Dan Devine clown-show seasons.

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Razer's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:42 am

...I’m tired of the endless Groundhog Day seasons; beat up on mediocre teams during the regular season, make the playoffs, and choke big-time in important games...

Like in hockey - there are regular season teams and then there are playoff teams. Some teams can rack up points and wins when the mix of poor teams or "teams in progress" are the diet. But the playoffs represent the cream, the well coached and every step is earned. We wouldn't get near the playoffs if it wasn't for Aaron Rodgers and we won't get to the top without the best Rodgers. But we won't win it all if Rodgers doesn't use all his players and doesn't avoid the trap of forcing the ball into the teeth of defenses.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:50 am

Yep!👍

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Leatherhead's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:41 pm

See, we say things like "choke", and we give all credit to Rodgers for the wins, but when we go out in the playoffs and underperform on offense, it's always something else.

Choke or not, I prefer it to the Favre years, where every season ended in a turnover....or hail of turnovers.

We have to take care of the ball on offense. We're undefeated this year in games where we don't turn it over. Rodgers is the most careful QB in NFL history , Jones and Dillon and Adams are pretty careful with it.. Everybody has to protect it.

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Coldworld's picture

January 13, 2022 at 06:20 pm

This team is built to win in the Tundra more so than any on more than a decade, probably back to Ahman Greene’s pomp. Now we have to go in and be prepared to use power on O, use the ground game as well as the pass.

On D, we have to take on opposing QBs and it looks like we have the power to do so now. We can then return to more aggressive secondary play like we were seeing mid-season, that plays to our strengths.

What we can’t do is repeat the timerity to the point of fear approach of Pettine in the last championship game and dig ourselves into a hole that even 3 interceptions couldn’t overcome. Likewise we can’t afford to abandon Dillon or focus only on Adams. Cobb may be a savior in that regard.

We are better at CB (Stokes over King as a starter) even if Alexander is not starting, he will play. Douglas is also better than the very hobbled King was. We are better at ILB, because, well we have a real one. We are better I think overall at OLB now Z snd Mercilus are coming back. I think marginally better on DL, through Slaton to some extent, but primarily better usage.

We are similar at WR, if MVS is healthy, but a veteran Cobb makes that better on key downs. That probably makes up for the loss of Tonyan somewhat. We aren’t as good at C or G but we are adequate, as we have seen this season, and possibly deeper. We are better at running, particularly we now have a true power game (and some depth with Taylor).

STs, well all I can say is pray and hope Moore is our starter. We are better at punting. In that I have faith, despite recent blips.

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mrtundra's picture

January 13, 2022 at 08:19 am

Way back, before this season began, I picked Buffalo and Green Bay to meet in the Super Bowl. Nothing has made me change my mind on that, so, I disagree with you, Tim, on the outcome of the Bills-Patriots game. The Bills should beat the Patriots and advance all the way to the Super Bowl, where I predict they will meet the Packers and lose to them. The Packers get their 5th Lombardi trophy while the Bills go to 0-5, in the Super Bowl. The only bad thing about the Bills going 0-5 is that it lets the 0-4 vikings off the hook as having the worst Super Bowl record, in the NFL. Since the Bills are an AFC team and the vikings are an NFC team, I guess I will take solace in the vikings having the worst record, in the NFC, for Super Bowl losses. Gotta have my silver lining somewhere! GO PACK, GO!!! ALL GAS, NO EFFING BRAKES!!!

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Razer's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:07 am

I like Buffalo, they are another small market team slugging it out. I don't think that they have enough ground game to give Allen the help he needs. And, I don't think they are stout enough on defense to keep teams from pounding them. Sounds like the Packers prior to Aaron Jones and Dillon. And like the Packers - I will root for them.

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jurp's picture

January 13, 2022 at 10:38 am

Buffalo might be helped by the weather there on Sat night - no snow and relatively mild should dictate a pass-first offensive plan for them.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:32 pm

The Pats have enough of a run game to exploit them on the ground if they can keep the run game viable....

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Ya_tittle's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:37 am

I agree on the lack of ground game, though they've been using Singletary more effectively in recent games.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:25 am

In the middle of the ARod mess in July, my projection was a Buffalo-Arizona superbowl. I think both teams are too flawed to get there, but Buffalo could make some noise, yet.

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ricky's picture

January 13, 2022 at 08:30 am

Quite possibly the best thing that could happen is if Brady won the MVP. This would give Rodgers added incentive (the proverbial "shoulder chip") that could make the difference. Because if Rodgers wins, expect Brady to be the one with the "chip" adorning his throwing shoulder. And the Packers are going to need every ounce of whatever to beat the Bucs. Because Brady has shown time and again he has what it takes to get his team to the Super Bowl. Rodgers? Not so much.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:37 am

I hope you're right about Arod, because the MVP is announced the day before the SB--and we'll want ARod focused to win the whole damn thing!

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13TimeChamps's picture

January 13, 2022 at 10:15 am

I just really think this "chip on the shoulder" thing is way overstated and media and fan driven.

I have a hard time seeing players in their 22nd (Brady) and 17th (Rodgers) seasons still having to resort to something like missing out on a MVP, particularly seeing as how they've both already won 3 a piece, to motivate them.

The only "chip" I think...at least hope anyway...that Rodgers is concerned about this year is that 2nd Super Bowl champion"chip"

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Razer's picture

January 13, 2022 at 10:37 am

...The only "chip" I think...at least hope anyway...that Rodgers is concerned about this year is that 2nd Super Bowl champion"chip"...

Well said. I too think that the "chip" thing is overplayed. But you never know with these stars/celebrities and their egos. The worst thing Rodgers could do is try to win it all with hero ball. He has a pretty good team around him. If he works his resources, he will be the best and we will win it all.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 13, 2022 at 09:46 am

Last game I attended a game at Lambeau was 96 NFCCG. Hadn't been back to Green Bay until this year's training camp.

Perhaps I am a good luck charm and can help put us over the top. The excitement is killing me, yet I will not yield to the pressure!

GPG

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mjbrogno's picture

January 13, 2022 at 10:02 am

I feel confident that getting our core players back will be the key to winning it all. This does not and should not be a so called last dance scenario. Yes, there will be changes on the roster. If Rodgers is backed, which I believe will happen and resigning Adams which will get done with the players that are already in place, the team will still be solid. Keep the faith and let’s bring the Lombardi Trophy back home, Go Pack Go!!!!

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NitschkeFromTheGrave's picture

January 13, 2022 at 10:04 am

As Monty Python would say, "...and now for something a little different..."

BREAKING NEWS:
Vikings request to interview Eagles exec Catherine Raiche for general manager position. ROFL !

I guess WOKENESS is here to stay....
Who else is on the viQueen's short list, may I suggest Pee Wee Herman or AOC.

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jurp's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:02 am

OK, are you one of those men who think women should be in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant? Perhaps you don't know that there are two female referees in the NFL and 21 female assistant coaches in the NFL; I couldn't find the exact number of female execs, but as of 2019, 18% of VP-level jobs were held by women; the Eagles had the most women execs in the league at that time. In addition, Amy Trask was CEO of the Raiders for while a few years ago.

Ms. Raiche has held a number of executive positions since 2015, starting in the CFL. She's currently the Eagles' VP of Football Operations. This is the same position held by Russ Ball with the Packers. She's also served as an Assistant GM at Montreal, during a weird season in which the GM appointed himself interim coach for 7 games. She's obviously experienced and has helped build the Eagles into a playoff team. You obviously think she'll be a huge failure as a GM, just because she's a woman. Misogynist much?

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Razer's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:40 pm

Well said Jurp. Being business astute, able to identify good people and good with communicating the direction has little to do with gender, age or race. There is no reason why a smart woman can't steer an NFL organization. Given the hurdles that Ms. Raiche has cleared to even get consideration tells you that she is smart and tough. Good luck to her - except - if she takes the Vikings job :o)

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:34 pm

If I'm trying to not be the purple mess of recent years, I'm not leaving any stone unturned, either.

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cheesehead1's picture

January 13, 2022 at 10:34 am

We’ll go as far as our D takes us, IMO. Time to tighten up and get back to playing like we were in Nov.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:07 am

Yes, this Packer team is the best since the last SB victory team and another elimination this season, regardless of the round will be a failure of epic status, and yes, there will be excuses, in fact, the list of excuses will be never-ending mere seconds after the ousting loss, if it were to occur.

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Coldworld's picture

January 13, 2022 at 06:36 pm

This roster is good enough. Can we remain healthy? If so, it’s up to the coaches and the players not to lose it. Not many excuses at this point. I’d argue we did lose it last year with a terribly passive game plan. Watching Brady have all day in the first half is burned into my mind.

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Starrbrite's picture

January 14, 2022 at 03:05 am

Yep—he wasn’t pressured much—when he is pressured up the middle, he gets frustrated—ask New Orleans.
Tampa had/has a good O-line—it bugs me however that they are seldom ever called for holding.
Brady threw three picks against us —should have been four. How he escaped for a win —I don’t know—-not this year.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 14, 2022 at 09:13 am

It wouldn’t take that long. People pick their whipping boy before the game ends,

Or in some cases, before the game starts.

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jont's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:21 am

If I were a Vikings fan, I would drink heavily. That aside, if I were a Vikings fan I'm not sure I'd have much confidence in Ziggy to make the right choices about GM and coach. I never liked the deal they made with Cousins, and their comments about the changes to come sound a bit off to me and give little hope for anything more than continued mediocrity.

As for the Bears, much the same. The owners and FO pushed Nagy to play Fields, and now they're making the decisions on a new coach. No hope there.

Picks?

RAIDERS AT BENGALS:
Although they have a truly screwed up FO and ownership, the Bengals are a team you can root for. I pick 'em by 8.

PATRIOTS AT BILLS:
Dislike the Pats, like Buffalo wings, not much more thought than this. Bills by 5.

EAGLES AT BUCCANEERS:
Upset pick of the week. Hurts is under-rated, not great but dangerous. Philly by 3.

49ERS AT COWBOYS:
I like Mike and he's doing wonders with Dak. 'Boys in a shoot out.

STEELERS AT CHIEFS:
Good bye, Ben. KC by a lot.

CARDINALS AT RAMS:
Best game of the week. Hope to see Aaron Donald crying on the sidelines again. Birds by 9.

PS:
"We thought it would be hilarious to roll down the hill inside the box. Spoiler alert: did not end up being hilarious... and my friend’s little brother ended up vomiting."
FWIW, on the hill near where I grew up this would definitely be seen as hilarious.

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Ya_tittle's picture

January 13, 2022 at 11:31 am

If what you predict above happens, the Bucs will boatrace the Rams to get their rematch at Lambeau. Niners will be a great running threat at Lambeau with Deebo, and they will haul out the trick plays like the Lions did, but that secondary will be torched by Adams and Lazard.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:35 pm

I think that it was the noted philosopher, Forrest Gump, who said - "playoffs was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”

With that in mind plus the specter of the omicron virus still present - this could be a very unusual playoffs. Still, I expect the Packers to be one of the SB teams. As the article suggests - they fully control their own fate.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:38 pm

Whitney Mercilus (torn bicep) back at practice for the Packers. Might not be ready for the divisional round, but if he's available at all and close to full strength, an OLB group of Gary, P. Smith, Z. Smith, and Mercilus sounds like a formidable group of pass-rushers.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:47 pm

My thought - that the Packers would not have bothered taken Mercilus off the IR if they thought that he could not play at some point. So a question of when - not if. However I would not be entirely surprised to see him get some reps in the divisional game.

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dobber's picture

January 13, 2022 at 01:55 pm

NVM...

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Bigdogbonz's picture

January 13, 2022 at 04:20 pm

I predicted before the season (documented on FB) that GB would win the SB this year AND resign Rodgers and repeat. I received a lot of FB backlash. Hope to rekindle that moment with my haters! I never predict things like this, but this season I really felt it. Cobb added a lot. If the team would play on all 8 cylinders at the talent level they have they’re untouchable. Big IF, but no excuses! Play each down as if your moms life is on the line. Of that doesn’t inspire then IDK what will.

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PeteK's picture

January 13, 2022 at 04:55 pm

Alexander has been running drills and should be in good condition especially since the injury was to his shoulder not legs. He could make the biggest difference along with Turner.

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Since'61's picture

January 13, 2022 at 07:31 pm

With the exceptions of Jenkins and Tonyan it looks like we will have all of our players back for the playoffs. The Packers have no excuses. Home field, healthy roster, weather, and rested. It’s all in front of them.

Show up and play. All gas, no breaks. Go Pack Go!
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Starrbrite's picture

January 14, 2022 at 03:18 am

I’m originally from North Dakota - what hill(s)—what tree(s)?
If I wanted to see the other side of the State, I stood on a picnic table.
Suicide Picnic Table…

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Spock's picture

January 14, 2022 at 06:17 am

LOL, Reminds me of when I was in college at U.W. Stout and a bunch of us decided to go to a place called "Afton Alps" about 50 miles from the twin cities in Minnesota. We drove for miles seeing nothing but flat snow covered fields and were wondering where the hill was. Then we started seeing signs, "15 miles to Afton Alps","10 miles to Afton Alps", "5 miles to Afton Alps" and STILL no hill in sight! Then came the sign, "Put car in low". Suddenly we were on a winding road DOWN into a valley filled with long beautiful ski runs. Some of those could have been for "Suicide Sledding".

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Leatherhead's picture

January 14, 2022 at 02:27 pm

Have you ever been to the Llano Estacado? I'm telling you, it's a flat place in the middle of a larger flat space. I've crossed it several times going from Texas to Colorado and back and there are some flat spots where you can watch your dog run away for two days.

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Starrbrite's picture

January 14, 2022 at 07:19 pm

“Watch you dog run away for two days”——lol —that’s excellent!!

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