Hello Wisconsin: This Team Can Win With Who it Has

A trade could be beneficial, but this Packers team already has championship potential. That and more on this week's Hello Wisconsin!

It’s a new week of football. The Packers are winners once again, they get to essentially end the Minnesota Vikings’ season on Sunday, and they’re heading into November with just a single loss on their schedule.

But despite all this, it feels as though the shockwaves sent through the online fanbase by the embarrassing loss to the Buccaneers are still controlling the discourse surrounding this team. Far more than once I’ve seen Packer fans on Twitter say this team cannot win a championship in its current state, a position I find laughable.

It is unsurprising, then, that with the trade deadline looming fans are clamoring for some additional help to come to this roster, and fast.

Now, I have to confess that I’m fully over all of the trade speculation I’ve seen online over the last few days.

It just seems as though there is a large portion of this fanbase (and even NFL media… hint hint Mike Florio) that doesn’t understand how trades work. So, for future reference, consider the following:

  1. There has to be reason to believe the trade partner would actually be willing to trade the player you’re pining for

  2. Any trade speculation is completely worthless without considering salary cap implications

  3. You have to consider whether or not the compensation you’d have to give up would be worth what you’d get in return

The Packers currently have somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 million in cap space, which leaves very little room to take on new contracts. Certainly, some of the bigger trade wishes I’ve seen hovering around on Twitter (JJ Watt, Amari Cooper, AJ Green) would be essentially impossible even if the Packers had any interest in them. They’d have to do release some players from the roster and do some significant contract adjustments. 

There are very few trade proposals I’ve seen that I think would actually be both affordable and actually something the Packers might consider. Michael Gallup from the Cowboys is one of those few, but who knows if the Cowboys even have any interest in trading him. Quinnen Williams from the Jets is another, but he’s certain to have a lot of suitors and the team denies reports that he’s available.

Basically, most of the conversation surrounding potential trades is either uneducated, unrealistic or both, falling to take into account the Packers’ current financial situation.

But it also fails to take into account the idea that the Packers are fully capable of winning with the team it currently has.

Before I expand on this point, I should first say that I most certainly do not believe this team is without weakness, or that there are not areas on the team that could stand to be improved. I think if the Packers can find a reasonable, realistic possibility to improve their roster at any position, they should jump on it. But at this point in the season, and given the Packers’ cap situation, those possibilities aren’t exactly growing on trees.

But yes, I believe this team can be a winner. I believe this roster is capable of winning a championship. They’ll need to play consistent football, and like all champions they’ll need a little bit of luck on their side, but they can get it done.

First, this is still the best offense in football. Even taking the tough loss in Tampa into account, the Packers are still averaging more than 30 points per game, and Aaron Rodgers is still playing MVP caliber football. It’s a balanced offensive attack with players who have been producing well at every position, and one of the best offensive lines in the league. 

Nearly this exact same Packers team scored more than 30 just once all of last season, and this year they’ve done it five times in six games.

I understand the concerns about the defense, and believe me, I’d love to see more help up front to spell Kenny Clark as well. But there is tremendous talent at every level of this defense right now. It’s on Mike Pettine to make sure this talent gels and comes together as a unit to play to its full potential. 

You’ve got strong pass rushers who just need to produce to the level of their capability. You’ve got an all-pro level nose tackle, and a pair of highly promising rookie interior linebackers. You’ve got the best cornerback in the game this season shutting opposing receivers down every single week, and other strong play coming from contributors in the defensive backfield. The safety play is up and down, but the talent is still there.

Yes, there is literally ALWAYS room for improvement, but this team can win with what it has, and if the Packers do not “make a move” before the trade deadline as so many are screaming for, it absolutely does not mean they’re punting on the season. It just means your ideas of the moves the Packers *should* make are most likely unrealistic. 

It also doesn’t take into account the fact that Brian Gutekunst already has shown a willingness to make moves this season, having been in trade talks for the Eagles’ Zach Ertz before he went on IR.

It is far more likely than not that the Packers will not be Super Bowl champions this season. And if their season ends before hoisting a Lombardi, it’s not because this roster isn’t good enough.

Props to Jamaal Williams

I just wanted to give a quick shoutout to Jamaal Williams, who’s fast becoming one of my favorite Packers, both on and off the field.

Williams filled in admirably for Aaron Jones in the starting role last week. He wasn’t asked to be a bellcow on the ground, but he still tallied up more than respectable numbers even when the box was stacked. He’s been highly valuable both as a receiver and as a pass blocker this season, and just seems to have even more energy this year than ever before.

It’s almost certain that the Packers won’t have both Williams and Jones on the roster next year, but with the way Williams has been performing, and with how often Aaron Rodgers sings his praises, it wouldn’t surprise me if Williams is the one the Packers end up bringing back in 2021.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

For the second time, I’m featuring a delicious stout from Central Waters Brewing Company out of Amherst in central Wisconsin. This time it’s a delicious seasonal treat, their Pecan Kringle Stout.

Kringle is a top 3 pastry (there’s no room for disagreement here), and while pecan probably wouldn’t be one of my absolute favorites (I’m more a fan of the berry flavors, apple and chocolate) there’s no denying that the pecan flavor is perfect for autumn. It also lends itself extremely well to stouts, which are already roasty and ideal for cooler weather days.

This particular stout is part of Central Waters’ acclaimed Brewer’s Reserve series, which comprises its wide range of barrel aged beers. It’s been aged in bourbon barrels and delivers a smooth pecan, caramelly flavor at a low 27 IBU but a high 12.3 ABV. 

Take a sip of this bad boy and the bourbon flavor on the back end is not nearly as harsh as in some of their other beers, but adds very much to the pecan flavor. And it legitimately tastes just like a pecan kringle. Without the hint of bourbon you’d never know this one has the alcohol content it does.

It’s a perfect sipper for fall days, and if you’re a fan of the occasional morning beer, it’s a natural choice given its flavor. 

Good to see Malik Taylor score a TD

Loved seeing the Packers get a couple fresh faces involved in scoring situations on Sunday, including Jace Sternberger getting his first touchdown in the regular season, and Malik Taylor getting his first NFL score.

With Taylor, you could tell how big of a moment it was for him by his initial reaction. Rodgers seemed to be legitimately stoked for Taylor as well after the touchdown happened.

With a roster bubble guy like Taylor, you never know how long he’s going to have in this league. This might end up being the only year he makes the Packers’ 53, or any 53 for that matter. So whenever those guys end up getting to be contributors, even if it’s just a once in a while thing, it’s just kind of a feel-good moment for me.

Hopefully he’s able to continue making plays as part of the Packers’ receiving rotation.

Around the NFC North

Once again, it’s time for us to take a look around the NFC North following the most recent week’s action.

The CHICAGO BEARS decided to make me look foolish on Monday night. I gave the Bears an entire section of this column to themselves last week talking about how they can play with any team in the league despite their bad offense, and then they came out and laid a massive egg against the Rams. I still think this defense is going to cause teams problems, but I think I may have overestimated their offense even in calling it “bad.” It’s, like, really bad. So bad that, according to Brian Griese during Monday Night’s broadcast, Nick Foles often ignores play calls from head coach Matt Nagy if they have him taking too deep of drops behind that porous offensive line. Yikes. The Bears are 5-2, but they have a -2 point differential and in a season with some high-powered offenses really showing out, they’re going to need a miraculous turnaround on offense to really be able to compete in postseason football.

The DETROIT LIONS are 3-3, which has very temporarily taken Matt Patricia off the hot seat--exactly what you want to see if you’re a fan of another NFC North team. With the Lions sending a sixth-round pick for pass rusher and former Viking Everson Griffen from the Cowboys, it appears they’re going to try to push as hard as they can to get to 7-9 on the season! Maybe seven wins will be just enough for Patricia to keep his job, because nothing about the Lions’ decision making ever makes sense.

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS mercifully had a bye week, but that didn’t prevent them from making news. The team traded away its prized pickup from this offseason, pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, getting less in compensation from the Ravens than what they gave up to get him initially. It appears the Vikings have realized their season is over and they need to focus on rebuilding… except they won’t get too far in a rebuild when they’ve already reupped their QB to a boondoggle contract, plus extended their coach and GM. Not a good time to be a Vikings fan… not that it ever is, really.

It was fun while it lasted, Badger football

The UW football season lasted a whole game before the university had to shut down football operations on Wednesday due to COVID-19.

I wish I could say it’s surprising, but it’s not at all. The university has already had well-publicized issues with breakouts in dorms and in Greek houses, and there never seemed to be a real comprehensive plan for how to deal with the virus like there is with the NFL. Plus, let’s be real, these are college kids who aren’t losing out on millions of dollars if they don’t stay on their best pandemic behavior.

But hey, at least Graham Mertz looked like a potential future stud before getting his own positive test. If the team is able to take the field again this season, I’m looking forward to seeing what else he can do.

I love my Badgers as much as anyone, but I’m nowhere near as confident in the ability of the Big 10 to manage the pandemic to the same level of effectiveness that the NFL has. 

Week eight quick forecast

I don’t know what exactly I expected this edition of Packers/Vikings to look like, but it certainly didn’t involve the Vikings coming in as a 1-5 team that was already trading away assets. 

Look, the Vikings still at least pose somewhat of a threat. Dalvin Cook has feasted against the Packers before, and Cousins can make just enough plays with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson to make fans nervous.

But this is still a bad defense that no longer has a pass rush, with Ngakoue traded and Danielle Hunter’s season officially over. Aaron Rodgers already torched this secondary once this season, and can easily do it again even without the full complement of weapons he had one week one. And the Vikings’ offensive line is still a sieve; it’s a great opportunity for what had been a disappointing Packers’ pass rush to continue to return to form after showing some signs of life in Houston.

Ultimately, I’d expect this one to be a little closer for the first two and a half quarters or so than what you’d like out a matchup against a 1-5 team, but such is the way of divisional battles. The Packers will pull away in the end and win without too much difficulty in the end and get to halfway toward a season sweep of the division. 

Packers 34, Vikings 17

 

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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 (70)

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porupack's picture

October 29, 2020 at 07:13 am

Hey Tim, great article. You have me sold....almost. Yes, they can win. But if the teams has jumped out and laid a pretty strong case for being in the top seeds of the playoffs, seems like a good time to go-all-in considering the landscape and 30% of the season is now data. Yes, all teams need a little luck, and never more so than this year with COVID, as well as injuries can derail any team. But if the Pack is solidly in the upper tier, why not place any reserve assets now, if it can inch up the probability for a Lombardi this year by shoring up a weak spot? Next year (i.e., the future) as always is so unpredictable, that investors are prudent to shore up the current business plan first (not saying not to mortgage the future). Well, maybe sometimes one does decide to take a mortgage on the future; buy now pay later. I got my house that way. It is unlikely to retain many of the critical pieces next year....so in many ways, this is a great window (some of JWilliams, AJones, Bak, Linsley, etc may be out). So this is my case for adding via trade, or pick up a post trade release.

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TimBackes's picture

October 29, 2020 at 07:25 am

I agree with basically all of this. I think my point is not so much the fact that the Packers SHOULDN'T make a trade, but moreso the fact that if they don't, all is not lost. They have to be *very* careful with any kind of trade they make given their very tight cap situation both this year and next. If they can find the right deal that will actually work for their situation then by all means, take it and improve your odds, and we KNOW Gutekunst is at least looking around.

But if the trade deadline passes and the Packers haven't made a move, this shouldn't be a sign that, as many will say, this team is resting on its laurels and being complacent. This is is probably the first time since 2014 where I've been completely confident the Packers have a team capable* of winning the Super Bowl with the pieces they have in place.

(*"Capable" doesn't mean they WILL, just that they CAN)

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 29, 2020 at 07:27 am

I completely agree that this team can win the way its constructed.

They lost bad to the Bucs. Ok, for one it happens. Not making excuses or anything like that, but they were without 2 of their top primary weapons on offense for that game. Lazard and Ervin. Both add a lot to the offense. They were up 10-0 with the Bucs looking like they weren't doing anything until the 2 turnovers that completely changed the game. They also didn't have a great game plan going into that game. Both the QB and coaches said that.

The good news going forward is that it looks like they will be getting both of those guys back really soon as they have started practicing this week. Getting back both of those players along with Jones will really help the offense. Also EQ is getting back into things. He hasn't played in nearly a year so it will take him some time to get going again. I'm curious if Seth Roberts can offer something. He might be all that we need?

As for trades the 2 positions that I think they could use the most help are with the WR group and the DL. The WR group could use a guy like Will Fuller (one person they are rumored to be linked to). The WR position even when Lazard comes back could use some extra juice. MVS is a 3rd or 4th option. He is not a 1 or 2 option. Though, I did like seeing them using him on a jet sweep this last week. Getting the ball into his hands one way or another is good with his speed. Finding ways to get him involved in the offense I think is a really good thing! Behind MVS is a lot of questions. Maybe Taylor can start contributing more. Shepherd perhaps can do some things if needed. But an upgrade over those guys would definitely help the offense.

We could use extra depth on the DL. Clark is a stud. I really like Keke. He has taken a good year 2 step. Adams has played really well this year. He is starting to come into his own. But Lowry doesn't do much, Lancaster filled in nicely for Clark, but he is just ok. I do like what Winn has provided so far. I just think if we could go out and find our next Howard Green, that would really help the DL.

I will honestly be surprised if we would trade for anyone. And I do think we can win the way we are constructed. The biggest thing is to stay healthy!

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Turophile's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:16 am

I liked your take RCPackerFan..............and I liked how you broke down a big post so it wasn't just a giant wall of text. Well worth an upvote.

There was just one minor point. Instead of saying "behind MVS is a lot of questions", I'd say behind D.Adams is a lot of questions, because to me MVS IS a big question.

While I do think Lazard (pre-injury) looked decent, the Packers are still in need of another 2/3 option. Fortunately RBs and TEs expand the Packers receiving targets, so the lack of a proper no.2 at this time is not a game-breaker.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 29, 2020 at 11:22 am

Honestly I was more looking at it as we know what Lazard and MVS can do. We really don't know what Shepherd or Taylor can do. We just haven't seen much of them.

I do get your point though.

I do think if we could add a play like Fuller, it could add a lot to the offense, and would make our 1-4 WRs a lot better.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2020 at 11:29 am

I don't know what Shepherd or Taylor can do, but I know that we're scoring at a phenomonal rate with guys we have. It doesn't seem to matter if Adams is out, or Lazard, or Jones or Bakhtiari. It doesn't seem to matter that MVS has butterfingers. It doesn't seem to matter if it's home or away. As long as we're keeping the pressure off Rodgers, it doesn't seem to matter who we have, or don't have, at the skill positions. We're going to score and keep scoring.

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CoachDino's picture

October 29, 2020 at 03:09 pm

Never understand the thumbs down LH. Your points are well made. One may not agree but , to date, you have been exactly right. 2 TE's, 2 RBs, 2 WRs have all shown themselves to be excellent at best to above average at worse.

If we judge our "Weapons" based on Wrs only then yes, its not good, you have and Elite #1 and and Good #2 rec on the Roster. That's it, the rest are 4 or 5s. So like most thing when evaluating Receiving weapons it's in the eye of the beholder.

Best case scenario, pick-up a speedster that replace MVS at #3. That said how much impact does that make and what are you willing to give up? IMO - not much - no more than a 6th unless its a multi-year guy with a favorable contract.

The author nailed this article on his two main points.

It takes two to make a trade and no one is giving things away. In fact most are trying to extort a bit extra, that technique only works with fools or desperate negotiators. Gute is neither.

The packers can certainly win with what they have:
1) Health!!
2) Play to potential
3) Extras - Home Field/ bit of luck/ someone has a career playoff run

Problem is this goes for 8 other teams as things stand. So the odds with or without a trade are still against you.

Why am I not the #1person in my field of endeavor, why isn't even one person on this board be it author, poster, tech?

Because it's near impossible, not because we are losers but it takes sooo much to be the WORLDS best that no matter who you are just doing it once is a long shot. Many of us act like it's something that can be done if you just make the right moves... Why hasn't that worked for you then? Ok i digress. point is the Packers are good enough to win and I do hope they can be even better by making a move that helps them w/o it being a losers desperation decision.

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canadapacker's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:58 am

I am quite happy with the receiving corps. I am not going to dump on MVS - even last game -AR did not throw the ball to him accurately. Even Rodgers said on the long td pass to Adams that he underthrew him by 4 yards. He was just not his accurate self and both balls to MVS were not good throws. Now MVS had a nice first down on the jet sweep. He was also doubled at the goal line which let Adams get open. So we cannot judge MVS on this one or two games ( including the Tampa dud). Without Ervin our game plan has not had enough motion, They have added Shepherd and Taylor into the motion but it is just not the same. Only Adams can do that and he brings a lot of coverage with him. Once Ervin and Jones are back I really like our receiving corp and now that Shepherd is not dropping the ball on the punts - he can replace Ervin there which is good injury wise and Shepherd and Taylor are coming along receiving wise as well. With Ervin back our tight end packages should also do some damage as well - Sternberger is playing better as well as Tonyon and the bid dog is the big dog.
If we need to get somebody as I would prefer if the price is right another inside linebacker - somebody with some smarts and a little bit of gas left in the tank - Kerrigan, Mingo etc - dont mind a rental if not too expensive.

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CHESSEHEaADDALLAS's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:13 am

What are you smoking if we make the playoffs it will be a one and done unless we make some major improvements on the offensive line defense line, Quit being Dallas cowgirls we suck when we have to play someone that is actually worth a dam wait until we play the bears 'san Fran and Tennessee they will kick our ass all day long

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:42 am

I do admire your ability to see the future. So if the Bears (twice) , SF, and Tennessee "kick our ass all day long", we'll finish 11-5. Personally, I don't see the future in exactly the same way.

This "everybody you've beaten while going 18-4 is a weak team" story is wearing kind of thin to me. By this definition, the only teams that are "actually worth a dam(n) " are teams that shut out offense down. That would be SF and Tampa, I guess. Not Minnesota last year when they made the playoffs, not Seattle last year when we beat them in the playoffs, not New Orleans, Just teams that are able to pressure Rodgers and shut down the offense. Those are the only decent teams.

Let's just win the division and see what happens in the playoffs. If we fail to advance in the playoffs because our #3 WR isn't good enough, then everybody can say 'I told you so'.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 29, 2020 at 11:17 am

Honestly. I'm just happy each week that we get to have Packers football!

With what has happened in 2020, I'm just happy to have something to look forward to!

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 29, 2020 at 11:06 am

I think I have to ask you what you are smoking since you wrote that entire thing in one sentence. Impressive!

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mnbadger's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:20 am

Don't forget there may be veteran defensive linemen waived as cap casualties. they can be be signed to minimal contracts for the remainder of the season. I think that's how we picked up Howard Green. I agree we should try to get stout in the middle for a serious SB push this year. We will lose good players next year no matter what. Pack 27-20. GPG

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:35 am

Like the un-productive Dontari Poe?

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Bure9620's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:32 am

You are making roo much sense Gimmee the hot take!

No in all seriousness, I do not see the Packers pulling the trigger unless it is a team looking to unload, Gute will part with nothing more than a day 3 pick, event that is unlikely. The Will Fuller talk was likely just Gute and pro personnel doing their homework, nothing more. Likely his agent trying to generate demand to inflate his contract extension talk. Maybe a vet in a position of need is released as a cap casualty but then the you have to justify bringing the guy in, learning the d or offense, fitting the culture......etc.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:55 am

"Likely his agent trying to generate demand to inflate his contract extension talk. "

I doubt it. Fuller is probably worth more on the open market in March, given that few teams are likely to fire up an extension in the uncertainty of next season's cap. I agree that it's more likely the Texans are trying to generate more suitors to get better draft capital in return. Fuller is probably at least a 4th if not 3rd round comp pick if he just walks this off-season.

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Lare's picture

October 29, 2020 at 11:41 am

"Gute will part with nothing more than a day 3 pick".

I think Gutekunst would rather have a root canal instead of trading any draft pick outside the draft itself.

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egbertsouse's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:32 am

Wow! Everyone just needs to take a deep breath and watch the tape of the Tampa game and remember what this team looks like when playing a quality, playoff-caliber team.

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Bure9620's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:42 am

You have to look at all the film from all games collectively........The Packers stunk it up in TB, Rodgers was awful as well.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:44 am

So in going 18-4 we've only played 4 playoff-caliber teams?

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Guam's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:26 am

I have been advocating for D-line help for some time, but I am changing my mind. The last two games the Packer rush defense has been pretty good. Keke and M. Adams are playing better, Lancaster was playing well before his injury and Winn looked good in his few snaps. Only Lowery has been playing poorly. There are players that could help - Dontari Poe was just released by the Cowboys - but the D-line is playing well enough now and I would prefer the Packers save their salary cap for other needs.

Our local newspaper carried an article today that indicated D. Adams said he would be ecstatic if the Packers traded for another WR (said in connection to the rumors the Packers had made an offer for Will Fuller of Houston). If D. Adams is advocating for help, that says volumes about his assessment of the Packer passing game. Since Fuller is on the fifth year of his rookie contract he would only be a half season rental for the Packers so that doesn't thrill me. However it would be nice to have anyone who could take some of the pressure off Adams since no one other than Lazard on the current roster has been able to do so.

Like the author I am not sure the Packers need to acquire anyone, but the Packer WR corps is the most likely target for help.

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TimBackes's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:46 am

Poe has put some absolutely awful football on tape this season and was released in part because he's also overweight and out of shape. Anyone that signs him will have to be desperate. Doubt the Packers look his way.

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Guam's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:25 am

Thanks for the update Tim. I haven't seen the Cowboys play this year so I knew Poe by reputation only. There had to be a reason the Cowboys cut him........

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2020 at 02:46 pm

You are lucky you haven’t seen them. This is one of the worst teams I’ve ever seen.

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splitpea1's picture

October 29, 2020 at 03:13 pm

I foolishly thought they were going to be good this year. Maybe Garrett did a better job than we thought, discounting some of the poor strategic decisions he made in games vs. the Packers. Jones would be smart to hire a GM; this team is a total disaster.

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marpag1's picture

October 30, 2020 at 01:37 am

Somewhere on CHTV I actually said that I thought the Cowpokes could be a dark horse for the Super Bowl. Yikes. I said, "If they can do anything at all on defense, their offense might be good enough to steamroll everyone." Well, their D is atrociously and historically bad, and now they're down to their 3rd string QB and I'm gonna have to find that CHTV comment and delete it. Good God they are bad....

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dobber's picture

October 30, 2020 at 07:33 am

I thought for certain they'd bowl over their division and the weakness there would give them a pretty good playoff seed--and a chance to get to the SB. What we've discovered is how thin their depth is at just about every position but WR. Their OL is destroyed which makes their run-game in effective, Dak is gone, and they don't have any defensive chops to fall back on. When they had their preferred starters early, they were formidable offensively.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:41 am

There are lots of Dontari Poes out there. Even going back to free agency last winter, BG has never shown an interest in any of them. I don't expect him to start now.

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:48 am

I don't believe they will make a trade. And the Packers will make it to the playoffs. But they have to figure out how to avoid the bugaboos they have with San Francisco and Tampa Bay. Against good defenses, they have problems working back from setbacks during the game. Part of it is play calling, Rodgers getting scared and the defense not being aggressive. Whatever, they need to resolve those issues and overcome problems during a game.

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TimBackes's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:54 am

I'll be interested in seeing what the Packers can do against the 49ers next Thursday. That, I think, is going to be a big gauge of what we can expect from this team in the postseason.

Of course, it's still highly possible the team looks very different in January than in November... there's still a lot of season left.

But if the team comes out looking completely flat in San Francisco and gets steamrolled once again, AFTER having had the "wake up call" in Tampa, that to me will be much more concerning than anything that came out of the Bucs game itself.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:59 am

And that's part of the issue: the last best chance to add higher-end help ends on Tuesday. The game you're talking about is after that. Again, I'm not endorsing an arms race and I think that any carefully laid plan for roster development needs to win out, but if this is a team that's all-in for this run, we'll see moves by Tuesday.

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CoachDino's picture

October 29, 2020 at 05:27 pm

Mr Tim,

I agree on coming out flat, the packers biggest obstacle is themselves, if they can come out and play their best games against their toughest opponents it will go a long way it giving both the team and us fans a boost in confidence.

Arod to me is the key. He has to come out hot and give the team that feeling that they can win. It starts with him. SF and Tampa, two games he came out cold, tentative, off etc. hey he can't do it himself, so guys have to make plays (catch the ball/pass protect) but its how sports work. When your Star is on it makes the whole team better, your Star is off, the whole team can get down (w/o him we don't have a chance) The best teams don't need that, I think the packers team does need it.

To your point on Jan vs Nov. exactly right. My hope and its what Arod has been preaching for years, make teams come through GB in Jan.

Go Pack Go!!

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:43 am

This is not the same SF team that ground the Packers to a pulp last year...they're short-handed on both sides of the ball, and injury depleted. That doesn't mean that they can't still handle the Packers. Kyle Shanahan has had a lot of success as an OC and head coach vs. the Packers. I think your point about in-game adjustments is the key one.

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Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2020 at 03:14 pm

I agree on the roster make up. The big test against them will be not coming a distant second in the coaching stakes.

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PatrickGB's picture

October 29, 2020 at 01:51 pm

“ Basically, most of the conversation surrounding potential trades is either uneducated, unrealistic or both, falling to take into account the Packers’ current financial situation.”
Nailed it.

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Lphill's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:53 am

Will Fuller was coached by Lefluer in the past , I think there is a way to get this done .

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canadapacker's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:31 am

As with everything the price needs to be right. Just look at what got Bill OBrien fired - dumb trades. But we could use some help – help in the form of a real stud linebacker – Is Sean Lee ready to play ? or Mingo from Houston has some gas left. Or maybe Kerrigan ? this is our weakness – much more than the receivers – especially with Lazard coming back. Time to stop the TT approach of doing nothing – Seattle and others are beefing up – We have good/great running backs – we have good offensive schemes and players – our Dbacks can play but we can be exposed if gashed in the running game. Add some depth and meanness in the middle. Or stay the cours - dont believe that Kirksey is the answer and the young guys are coming along but none are THE guy and once we get down to playing Summers bad things will happen.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:40 am

Barkevious Mingo plays for the Bears. Sean Lee activated by Jerry to fill a void in the middle. WR is the target for Gutedkunst. Fuller? Kenny Stills, Tate. Someone who can actually catch the ball and make a big play.

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canadapacker's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:09 am

Sorry my bad on Mingo - but Lee might still be available if Gerry wants to dump guys. VAnder Esche is going to be back soon. Still not sold on WR - even during the draft was hoping for LB's.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:38 am

This was a very well-developed article that supports what I’ve been thinking.....we can win with this group. I don’t see any urgency to upgrade an offense that’s going over 30 every week as long as we protect our QB.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:52 am

The one point that isn't addressed here is that the playing field isn't static. Other teams are stockpiling players, either signing vets who can contribute when called upon to practice squads, or by trading for guys/signing guys directly to their 53s. There's almost a week to go before the deadline, but the Seattles, Tampas, and others are getting stronger in their personnel. My guess is that Sunday's games will spur a flurry of activity prior to the deadline as key players on teams that see themselves as contenders get hurt, or as other teams win a game or two and now see themselves in the hunt (re: the Lions). The MLB/NBA/NHL mentality of trade deadline acquisitions has been slow to come to the NFL, but it is here.

I'm not endorsing an arms race. Unless BG has decided that he's been managing this team for ARod's window, he should stick to whatever plan he has in place. A radical change in approach is a good way to mess up your entire roster building scheme. But a chance to pick up a good player at a reasonable price who makes your team better shouldn't be overlooked. Clearly, BG is kicking the tires on offensive players (e.g. Ertz and Fuller), so he's not sitting still and he kicked the tires on Emmanuel Sanders last year (those are the players we know about). We'll have to see what happens, but I don't think Seth Roberts will be the only addition to this team by Tuesday.

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Coldworld's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:13 am

Well said. Before we rob next year we need to be sure that the return is a significant upgrade. With Lazard coming back and MVS being very successful at pulling defenders and opposing coaches plans, I don’t believe Fuller would represent that, even ignoring his injury history.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:27 am

I think that any TE or WR you bring in, unless the TE is an outstanding blocker, takes 2-3 weeks to get up to speed enough to really contribute broadly in the offense...which ignores the days lost due to Covid testing before they can even practice. So that player makes no impact against MN or SF, and probably minimal against the Bears the following week. A defensive player probably plays against SF next week if acquired now.

I think Fuller is better than any other pass catcher on this roster not named Adams (and I think a 1-3 at WR of Adams, Fuller and Lazard looks pretty good), but the Packers will need to pony up at least a 3rd rounder to get him. Do you give that for 6-8 games when you know your greater impact by an acquisition probably comes on the other side of the ball? And, as you said, his soft-tissue injury history is concerning. Can you get 6-8 games out of him if you get him?

Agreed. Stick to the plan as much as possible, and only make opportunity acquisitions.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:49 pm

The Pack front office plays to their wait and see Fans. See Wolf, Ron and the Favre SB run...The County Fair was canceled due to covid-19, no more need for the tire kickers--get players. Win the Big Game. 2010, ya, ya, ya...Ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun...

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PeteK's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:09 am

Luck, as far as injuries, is a big factor to us getting to the SB. It's that way with most SB teams. We shored up two of our weakness, DT and ILb. I like how our young players are performing and look forward to the test against a very good back (Cook). Lazard was not decent, he is very good , and Tonyan is having a breakout season. Fuller would be a good addition , but will take a second rounder and money we might not have. Keep your fingers crossed , we have enough.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:19 am

"and Tonyan is having a breakout season."

Admittedly, Tonyan has been nicked up the last couple weeks, but...
Tonyan stats when Davante Adams has missed time (2 games): 11 catches, 148 yards, 13.5 ypc, 4 TD
Tonyan stats when Davante Adams has been playing (4 games): 7 catches, 82 yards, 11.7 ypc, 1 TD

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Since'61's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:23 am

When we get Lazard, Ervin and Jones back, I think that will significantly diminish all the talk about the need for another WR. The combination of Lazard, Ervin and our TEs makes up for the lack of a true #2 in our offense. Although I would still prefer to have another legit threat that DCs need to account for especially when we play against the better defenses we can expect to face in the playoffs.

As for this week’s game the Vikings will be playing for their season. First it is a division game and you never want to make it easy for a divisional opponent and secondly with an extra wild card seed this year they may still see themselves with a shot to qualify at 8-8 or even 7-9.

Beyond that after playing a division rival we need to go on the road to SF for a stupid TNF game. Terrible break in our schedule.

Can we win with the roster we currently have? I believe that we can but I also believe that we need to play at home to do so. After these next 2 games we’ll know more about where we stand. One game at a time, beat the Vikings. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:30 am

You can never dismiss a team you know well...like the Vikings. But they know their season is over, and they're going to be dipping into their practice squad for CBs--who will have to play--this week. They're a mess.

If the Packers can keep Dalvin Cook--who is likely to still be a little gimpy--from going off on them to the tune of 200 total yards and 4 TDs, they should win.

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Since'61's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:54 pm

Agree Dobber. We should beat the Vikes, but they will play hard in a division game. Just wish we had a full week to prepare for SF off a division game. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 29, 2020 at 12:44 pm

This team can win games, every team can win games, even the Jets, though not many more than one. The question that still needs to be answered is will they win the last game of the season? The answer, by the loss to Tampa says no, and another meeting against SF will either add to the no or ease it toward a maybe.

They had two weeks to prepare for Tampa and looked liked a disaster. They know SF is coming next Thursday, will they stumble against Minn looking ahead to the punch in the face that knocked them out twice last season.

Again, this team is as good as Rodgers makes them, but they can't stop the attacks from those that can and that's what keeps them Division Champs and nothing more.

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Since'61's picture

October 29, 2020 at 11:06 pm

Taryn, if we can reach the point where we are playing at home throughout the playoffs we can win and be the team that delivers the punches.

Through all the playoff seasons during the Favre/Rodgers era we have had only 2 NFC championship games in Green Bay. Even when we won the SB in 2010 we played on the road in the playoffs. Rodgers has never played an NFCCG in Green Bay. We know his record at Lambeau is much better than his road record. Maybe this can be the year it happens.
We’ll see. Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 30, 2020 at 06:12 am

Four heavy-handed defenses coming up on the horizon: 49rs, Bears, Indy and the Titans. Schwartz can cause trouble with his group even though they are a bit banged up. Can the Pack return the punches? All eyes on Pettine. Winn may have helped the D line rotation. Still comes down to the now. Will Lazard be ready by December?

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JohnnyLogan's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:41 am

The article is simply every Packer fan's best hope, but my hope is that BG doesn't believe in hope. Sure they can win, any team that gets into the playoffs can win, and this article could be written for every one of those teams. But it's all about the odds. Would the Packers be favored against KC, Baltimore, Seattle, or better yet, in another game against Tampa Bay? I highly doubt it. Tampa Bay, that thrashed us, went out and signed Leonard Fournette, and now Antonio Brown. They already had Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, hell their third receiver Scotty Miller would be our #2, and now they get AB. If you ain't trying you ain't winnin'. You can rationalize that AB's a cancer, but deep down it has to scare every Packer fan. The same articles were written when many in Green Bay wanted Randy Moss, who was available fairly cheap. He wanted to play with Favre and Favre wanted him badly. We didn't sign him so he went to New England and scored 20 TDs and Brady threw for 50. Marshawn Lynch for a 3rd and Thompson wouldn't pull the trigger so he takes Seattle to SBs instead. Every team has weaknesses but this team's weakness at WR against a good team is lethal. Tampa Bay's thrashing wasn't a one-off, it showed that good teams can exploit weaknesses. Our pass rush against a barber pole at QB was non-existent, our great offensive line suddenly sprung leaks, our genius highly advanced offense was grade-school, and our MVP QB looked scared. This team needs to shore up and if BG hasn't learned that lesson from years of watching Thompson's failures, then he won't be the one to bring the next SB to Green Bay.

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Lare's picture

October 29, 2020 at 11:59 am

Do I think the Packers need to add WR talent? Yes

Do I think Gutekunst will trade for WR talent? No

Do I think Gutekunst can improve the talent of the WR position? Based on his track record, No.

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ricky's picture

October 29, 2020 at 12:01 pm

The Cowboys just cut Dontari Poe, a 346 pound nose tackle. He's cheap, big, and could make a difference in the run defense, similar to what Grady Jackson did back in the early 2000's. The thing is, he kneels for the National Anthem. The thing is, though, that the Packers stay in their locker room during the anthem. This sounds like an ideal situation, and Poe could be the guy who tips the defense from adequate to good.

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Lare's picture

October 29, 2020 at 01:08 pm

The problem is, Poe is 30 pounds overweight and has only 7 tackles (no sacks) this season so far. Gutekunst also doesn't place much value on the DL, ILB, and WR positions.

If a GM is going to improve positional talent, he has to want to.

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TimBackes's picture

October 29, 2020 at 01:08 pm

Trust me, you want no part of the 2020 version of Dontari Poe.

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PeteK's picture

October 29, 2020 at 02:08 pm

Agree, I'm fine with Keke, Adams. They're improved and don't break the bank.

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PatrickGB's picture

October 29, 2020 at 01:57 pm

As others have noted, I prefer a big run stopper, gap eater at NT. Move KC to DE and let the Smiths pass rush. But, what do I know? ;-)

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 29, 2020 at 09:59 pm

They had the chance to snag Penell last year. A guy who played here previously. They snubbed him and He went to Andy Reid the next day and was solid during their SB run. Helped solidify their run defense while the Pack was annihilated by the 49rs. He is kicking ass for them this year. Flex 4-3/4-2 for KC. Pettine is the obstacle facing the Pack's quest for another title.

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fish's picture

October 29, 2020 at 06:10 pm

Patriots have said everyone is available. How about Lawrence Guy? Last year of his contract, so a little more than a waiver pickup. Belichick likes accumulating picks. Would a 7th do it?

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:02 pm

Lawrence has never forgotten the snub and cut by Ted, so he could put a scrub on the squad to play on special teams. Players have pride. He went to Indy and then Bill put him onboard for a ring. He has gotten better every year he is in the League.

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Philarod's picture

October 29, 2020 at 08:17 pm

I agree with the main point that making in-season trades - and being bound by a salary cap - is much easier said than done.
Do the Packers have enough to win it all?
I don't know.
A healthy Lazard, AJ, and Ervin and Bakhtiari - along with consistent production from TE (hopefully, mostly Tonyan) - will give me hope in the offense, as I still think AR is as good as anyone in the game. If the offense is as good as it has shown 5 of the first 6 weeks for all of the postseason (assuming the Pack gets there, of course), is the D good enough to seal the deal? I'm very uncertain here, unless we're putting 35 ppg with no TOs.

So, right now, I don't really see the Pack as a top 2-3 SB contender (Perhaps, they all reside in the AFC: Chiefs, Steelers, Ravens), but they may be in that next tier with several teams: Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Seattle, and maybe NO and SF...we'll see.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:03 pm

Ask Schneider how he does it.

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PhantomII's picture

October 29, 2020 at 10:03 pm

Our present Offense is built to work efficiently with a lead. What our problem is if we have not built and maintained a lead we don't have the WR combination to exploit another teams defense. This issue is exacerbated by potential WR injuries (Lazard) and lack of playing time we are wasting on MVS dropping the ball. We need Taylor and Sternberger to get a lot more reps. This is about a Super Bowl and I could not care less if all 10 picks were spent to get a good starting NT/DT , possibly #2 WR or very good Safety. We are going to be out 3-4 starters next year due to salary cap limit. Now or never rings pretty loudly with me. Gute didn't do squat last year to help. Our team is so much better than last years. We need a few players. Go get what we need Gute. Picks are for Championships one way or another. We are at that threshold.

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marpag1's picture

October 30, 2020 at 01:56 am

Sorry, but I can't get onboard with the statement that the Packers are "still the best offense in football" just because they've scored a lot of points. The Packers have beat up on awful defenses. In terms of points allowed, Minny is 3rd worst, Houston is 6th worst, Atlanta is seventh worst, the Saints are 8th worst, and the Lions are 13th.

The one team that GB has played that has even an average defense is Tampa Bay, and you all know how awesome the GB offense looked in that game.

Let's just say that GB needs to beat a varsity level defense before I'm willing to say that they are the best in the league.

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PyschoDad3's picture

October 30, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Maybe this isn't the place for this,,, but RIP Herb Adderley, from the great Lombardi Packer teams in the 60's. Just read of his passing on the newswire. A 'shutdown' corner before the term was invented.
The SB talk is nice,, and it has been wonderful to see the new things the offense is doing after all the years of 'predictability'. But, like some of the previous posters have pointed out, this team has won handily against teams with defensive rankings worse than ours, and our defense is ranked about in the middle of pack right now. Our offense got punched in the mouth by a higher ranked defense down in Tampa, and it did not recover after the two Rogers' pics. I hope the good things I've seen keep going, and we can talk SB,, but for now, I'm thinking 'cautious optimism' is best at least until we see how they do against some tougher defenses.

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PhantomII's picture

October 30, 2020 at 09:00 pm

The packers did not pick their competition. We have played who we have on our schedule. The Packers are notoriously slow after the Bye and usually lose that game. Adams just came back and his timing w/ Rodgers was not good. We scored 10 points but did not look good doing it. Rodgers threw a bad ball on him. Adams bobbled a catch resulting in a 14 point gift to the Bucs who weren't doing anything on offense. The Bucs DC started blitzing Rodgers and further rattled him because ML's game plan did not put together a heavy run scheme up the middle which film later showed was working. The Packers lost that game but is more the Offense falling apart than the Bucs great Defense doing it to them. We were also missing Lazard and a few others including Bak. I don't think we lose that game now.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 30, 2020 at 04:51 pm

Nice article and reasoning. I disagree, but the logic is sound. I didn't think Gute would do anything expensive, but the news about Ertz threw that out the window.

I think GB has enough (just enough) if all of their pass receivers (WRs, TEs and RBs) are healthy for all of the playoff games. Playoffs start 10 games from now, meaning that those guys all need to be healthy for 13 games. Unlikely -

Core muscle injuries are tricky as well.

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mnbadger's picture

October 31, 2020 at 08:52 am

Tim, once again great writing on all subjects covered. I'm not sure what your day job is, but can I suggest writing reviews for craft beers and spirits?
I shared the paragraphs about the Bourbon Pecan Kringle with my wife. After learning the closest sure source is Amherst, she wants to take a nearly 3 hour road trip for a six pack. I tip my hat to your way with words. GPG

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