Hello Wisconsin: What the Packers are Chasing in 2022

The Packers are chasing history in quite a few ways this year.

The top priority for the Green Bay Packers this season is, of course, winning a Super Bowl. A return to the big game has eluded the team since its February 2011 coronation after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, and given the quality of teams produced in Green Bay in the years since, the Packers are undoubtedly long overdue.

But a 14th World Championship is not the only thing the Packers have their sights on this coming season. Here are just a few examples of some of the other accomplishments the Packers will be chasing in 2022.

  • Fourth consecutive 13-win season: In 2021, the Packers achieved a third consecutive 13-win season for the first time in their franchise history. The Packers have a chance to extend their unprecedented run of regular season success in 2022.

 

  • Winning pace for Matt LaFleur: Matt LaFleur’s record after three seasons as a head coach ranks among the best in league history for that number of games. Continued success will keep him on an all-time pace for racking up victories.

 

  • Fourth consecutive NFC North championship: Since realignment in 2002, only one team has managed to capture the NFC North four consecutive times: the Packers from 2011 to 2014. Another division championship would tie that division record. You’d have to go back to the 1980s Chicago Bears since the last time an NFC North OR NFC Central team won five consecutive division titles.

 

  • MVP history for Aaron Rodgers: Another Most Valuable Player award for Aaron Rodgers would tie him with Peyton Manning (5) for the most in NFL history, and would place him alongside former teammate Brett Favre as the only players in NFL history to win the award three times in a row.

 

  • All-time wins leader: The Chicago Bears have been the NFL’s all-time wins leader since the league’s inception. The Packers enter the 2022 season a single win behind the Bears on the list. This means that at some point this season, for the first time in more than 100 years the NFL will have an all-time wins leader other than the Chicago Bears, and it will be the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers would gladly sacrifice all of these accomplishments for a Super Bowl, as would any reasonable Packer fan. But it’s still a cool slate of potential accomplishments that lies ahead of the Packers this year, and one more reminder of how much success the Packers have had for the last three decades. 

As the preseason winds down, the focus will begin shifting toward achieving these and many other goals that the team has lying  in front of it for the 2022 season.

Can’t wait

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

In one of my most recent trips to the liquor store I was looking for a few good, refreshing pilsners and lagers. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit IPA-ed out, and with it still being the summer beer season I wanted something smooth and easy drinking.

On a whim I grabbed this beer, Leaping Lemurs Cream Ale, from the shelves at Woodman’s. It’s the first beer I’ve ever had from Hillsboro Brewing Company in Hillsboro, Wisconsin, and I have to say I was impressed.

This is a really smooth light ale brewed in the cream ale style and adding some Madagascar vanilla. It’s an ideal summer sipper at just 4.9 percent and tastes great right out of the fridge. It’s also a highly versatile beer; enjoy it on its own while relaxing in the backyard, pair it with dinner, or drink a bunch of em.

I don’t know much about Hillsboro Brewing Company; I’d never even heard of them before I grabbed this off the rack at Woodman’s. But I enjoyed this one quite a bit and will happily try some of the company’s other offerings after this experience.

The Rise of Rashan Gary

In my “fan expectations” poll for this season, far and away the most common response to the question asking who (other than Aaron Rodgers) would be most important to the team’s success this year was Rashan Gary.

How far we’ve come since the Packers took Gary 12th overall in the 2019 draft, and a significant portion of the fanbase nearly immediately proclaimed him a reach or a bust. The backlash for the pick was significant all throughout the 2019 season as Gary learned while playing mostly in a relief role behind Za’Darius and Preston Smith. Part of the issue was fans wanted an immediate impact player with the highest pick the team had had in quite some time. Another part was the knack Packer fans have for thinking they know better than actual football professionals.

But here we are, with Gary entering his fourth year, and he has undeniably become a major team leader and one of the Packers’ most important players. Gary played at a pro bowl level in 2021, and should he play to his full potential in 2022 could easily be an All Pro and a contender for Defensive Player of the Year. Gary has a pressure rate that ranks among the best in the league, and he’s been getting home more often with sacks. His ability to defend the run makes him an extremely versatile and valuable player.

Perhaps most impressive about Gary is his hunger for excellence. The man seems to be obsessed with becoming the best player he can be. He’s a football junkie. 

Many people have been very wrong about Gary – and I’m sure they’re happy to have been wrong. Just another reminder that it’s folly to judge a draft pick so quickly.

The Lord of the Rings film adaptations have held up really well

So one of the things I like to do while I”m writing my Packers content or working on things around the house is throw on a movie I’ve seen numerous times before. Right now as I’m typing this I have on the extended edition of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, having just got through The Fellowship of the Ring over the prior couple days.

I’ve always been a big Tolkien fan; I remember reading The Hobbit for the first time with my dad in elementary school, and eventually reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Silmarillion and more. I still read the series again every few years.

I have to say, the film adaptations from the early 2000s have held up tremendously well. I remember going to see them in the theater and being absolutely blown away, not just at how good they were, but at how good they looked. There are movies that have come out much more recently that have aged much worse than these movies. 

I think a big part of it is the use of practical effects when possible. The Star Wars prequel trilogy is one I always point to as having overused CGI to the point where all of the action and environments just look bad now, some 20-plus years after their release. While the Lord of the Rings films do have plenty of CGI, they don’t generally substitute entire environments for green screens, and they manage to blend the CGI they do use well into surrounding action and environments.

There is also a very clear understanding of and appreciation for the source material, which is evident in the writing, direction and acting all throughout the trilogy. Where Peter Jackson really struck gold with the adaptations was that he trusted the audience would appreciate the stories for what they were, and that he wouldn’t have to “dumb them down” or eliminate some of their more intense fantasy genre elements to appeal to a broad audience. Jackson respected the source material and the audience, and that produced a classic result that more than holds its own today.

I still strongly believe Fellowship to be the best film of the trilogy, but every one deserves the label of a classic at this point, two decades after they first hit theaters.

Speaking of Tolkien

One of my absolute favorite things to have come out of training camp so far is the “Zach Tom Bombadil” moniker a CHTV viewer shared in a Packers Daily with Nagler. In case you haven’t seen, CHTV now has a very niche t-shirt available with a depiction of Zach Tom Bombadil. I’m very tempted to place an order as this represents a great overlap of my interests.

Around the NFC North

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

  • The CHICAGO BEARS got Roquan Smith back right after I noted his contract dispute with the team last week, meaning the Bears have their best player in the fold. It would have been quite a disaster for the team to lose Smith and Khalil Mack in the same offseason. I’ve seen a few recent headlines from Bears blogs about potential additions the Bears would make at wide receiver after cuts start happening. The Bears certainly cannot feel good about their wide receiver depth chart. Darnell Mooney has been getting a lot of hype from Chicago fans, but he’s unproven at best. And with Justin Fields, who was the worst starter in the league last year, still throwing the footballs, it would really help the Bears to have someone who can be relied upon.

 

  • The DETROIT LIONS put their rookie first round wide receiver Jameson Williams on the PUP, so he’ll be out for at least the first four weeks of the regular season. Once of the team’s most intriguing camp battles is Jeff Okudah vs. Will Harris for one of the starting cornerback positions, and when you’re looking at Jeff Okudah playing significant time for your team, you’re not having a good time. Finally, a viral video of Jamaal Williams getting heated during training camp was a lot of fun and was a great reminder of how much spirit Williams brings to a team. Glad he’s getting opportunities somewhere else in the league. 

 

  • The MINNESOTA VIKINGS are in a familiar spot in late August–they’re beginning to get a lot of hype from other pundits around the league that see them as a potential NFC North champion and dark horse contender. But those of us who have watched the Vikings for enough time know better; the talent is always there, but the franchise’s baggage transcends regimes. The VIkings have about as much chance of contending for a championship as I have of getting a good night’s sleep in a house with three small children.

Preseason Love Watch

For better or for worse, the part of the preseason fans are most interested in at the moment is how Jordan Love performs–specifically, whether he appears to in fact be worthy of being the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers.

Even skeptics have to have been heartened after Love’s performance against the Saints. Love made some of the best in-game throws of his career, and had his receivers not dropped quite a few balls, the box score numbers would have ended up looking pretty good. 

There is a very clear progression from last year. Love looks to be much more confident in his decision making and is throwing the ball with a bit more velocity and into tougher spots. 

Are we yet at the point where Love is very clearly going to be “the guy” for the Packers? Well, I’d say it doesn’t really matter at this point. I would say last week’s game was the first time I really ever felt like there was reason to believe Love could be a starter in this league. There are some who will say that is far too low a standard for a player in his third year who was drafted in the first round, but also, the rate with which Love progresses doesn’t really matter until it’s actually time for him to take over.

All that matters at the moment is that Love is, indeed, progressing. If he keeps doing so, the Packers have no reason to send him elsewhere.

Gin: the new wedding drink of choice?

I was at the wedding of a good friend of mine a couple weeks ago, and as is often the case with weddings that have open bars, I overindulged in brandy old fashioneds a bit. I mean, you have to at a wedding in Wisconsin, right? 

I was surprised, though, that brandy was not actually the liquor flying off the shelves behind the bar. Nor was it whiskey, or vodka, or tequila. Far and away the most popular liquor of the evening was gin.

This was a wedding that seemed to skew younger. As I’m well past my 20s at this point I am unfamiliar with the drinks that are most popular. When I was in college and shortly after it would have been whiskey sours or rum and cokes. But when I was talking to the bartender out of curiosity, they remarked that the gin was going faster lately, and at this wedding was going faster than they’d ever seen.

I’m fine with gin in the right cocktail, but these days I am not really interested in the gin and tonic, as the pine needle taste is a bit too forward for my liking. But I must say, I was surprised to be at a Wisconsin wedding where brandy old fashioneds were not the clear drink of choice.

What to watch for against Kansas City

As is typically the case in preseason games, most of the attention is going to be paid to the continued progression of Jordan Love. But there are a few other things to watch for:

  • Who is going to stake their claim to the final wide receiver spots? Will Juwann Winfree solidify a spot on the 53? Will Samori Toure get some more work in? Will Amari Rodgers show continued development?
  • What starting group will take the field at offensive line, and how will that depth chart shake out?
  • What different types of packages will the Packers play with in the defensive backfield?

Looking forward to this and more as the Packers take the field against the Chiefs in their final preseason action. 

 

__________________________

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.

8 points

Comments (79)

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

August 25, 2022 at 06:35 am

"This means that at some point this season, for the first time in more than 100 years the NFL will have an all-time wins leader other than the Chicago Bears, and it will be the Green Bay Packers."

Tim, I like it that you have this as a done deal! 😊

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DoubleJ's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:30 am

What is even better is that there is a real chance that this could happen in week 2 when the Packers play the Bears. The Bears have the 49ers at home in week 1 and that is probably a loss right there. The Packers should be able to handle the Vikings in week 1 but you never know with the Vikings.

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NickPerry's picture

August 25, 2022 at 06:55 am

13 Wins... I honestly could care less if the Packers win 13 games again this year. I care about qualifying for the playoffs, advancing through the playoffs, and WINNING the SB. As long as they go 4-0 or even 3-0 in the playoffs, if they were to secure the 1st round bye, that is ALL that matters IMO. Obviously, 13 wins in the regular season make for a more enjoyable season, but NOTHING compares to winning the SB for a Packers Fan.

Vikings Hype... What else is new? Every year Vikings fans are running their mouths in August and September, start getting quiet by October and November, and have pretty much turned their attention to a different loser, the Timberwolves, by December and January. They could very well win in week one since I have no idea what Rodgers and the Offense will do with ZERO preseason work. But just like last season, it won't matter by week 17 when they play again and the Vikings have been eliminated from the playoffs...AGAIN!!

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mrtundra's picture

August 25, 2022 at 07:58 am

I love the vikings' truths, here, NickPerry! Absolutely spot on! I wonder what it's like to play their version of a Super Bowl, in week one. Gotta be hard with 16 weeks of games left, after that Super Bowl with the Packers!

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Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:25 am

it's the NASCAR Daytona 500 opening the season for them!

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2022 at 06:55 am

The Bears are praising ST. Brown. Love faced the Saints all week. He now gets to prove; he's improved against a team he didn't practice with. That he can still protect the ball. No INTs.
I'm still pulling for Toure. The guy has Footwork and gets open. Do the packers really understand what they need for the slot?
Or will they put him on the PS, because Amari Rodger's spot is guaranteed.
If we drafted guys better than Winfree. Why are they still willing to keep Winfree? He may look better, but is he? Or did too much development time go into him.

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mrtundra's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:00 am

Aaron Rodgers likes Winfree. That's all!

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Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:27 am

case closed!

Stock, you of all people should abide by the AR rules all paradigm!

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:31 am

Until he drops one.

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PeteK's picture

August 25, 2022 at 10:14 am

For answer check last season's game vs Cards.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 25, 2022 at 12:14 pm

If Rodgers feels more on the same page with Winfree right now, then keep him on the roster, in a year with so many question marks. He has a lot of time in the system and he's not without talent. He has decent size and speed, the ability to go up and get balls, and is a willing and decent blocker. Let Toure continue to develop. I do love the thought of Toure making the squad and really hope he can stick on the PS. But I wouldn't feel bad about Winfree making the team.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 01:20 pm

I’m a big believer that we shouldn’t risk Toure, but Winfree has earned it. He was looking great this time last year till he got injured too. He doesn’t get a lot of highlight reel routes, he just takes the dirty work and just seems to come up with the ball in contested situations. He’s got good hands and plays tough and can play any WR position.

If we need a game day replacement he is the ideal guy. Every team needs that and I think he’s underrated by many. He just makes plays. He’s been consistently ahead of, and better than, Rodgers. If anyone is hurt he can sub in and do a good job.

The argument for keeping Toure is undeniable potential. However, if it’s him or Winfree, it has to be Winfree on his value now. I’d keep Toure over Rodgers in a heartbeat. I think he will have a much better career than perhaps Winfree and certainly Rodgers (even this years’ version), but one can only carry so much potential and a receiver returner who isn’t a receiver in reality.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 25, 2022 at 01:40 pm

I have been advocating all along that I didn't think another team would put in a claim on a 7th round rookie receiver, knowing they would have to carry him on their 53.

But then, and I believe it was you, brought up the Bears. Looking at their current receiving corps, I'm kind of rethinking my position on him clearing waivers. Would GB actually waive Rodgers to make room for Toure, who is all potential at this point? Plus, I'm not so sure about having 3 rookie WRs on the team in an "all in" year.

I'm just glad I don't have to make that decision.

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GregC's picture

August 25, 2022 at 07:28 am

If they don't win a title, all of those other accomplishments (except surpassing the Bears in wins) will seem like more of a negative than a positive. It's like being that golfer or tennis player who wins X number of titles without winning one of the majors.

I'll be watching the WRs again tonight. I think they are going to keep seven, with Toure as the odd man out, but I don't really know what they are thinking. I'll also be interested in the CBs. If they keep six, Kiondre Thomas is probably the one who makes it. Also, will Caleb Jones force the team to keep ten O-linemen? And maybe Jack Heflin forces them to keep six D-linemen.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 25, 2022 at 12:18 pm

Those accomplishments will still be a positive though they will be lambasted by angry, entitled GB fans. I would dearly love another Lombardi to shut up all the "fans" that bemoan the Rodgers era and him as a player and/or person. I just know that I will see a lot of really good football. Last year was really fun to watch, with Dillon developing, Adams running circles through defenses and Aaron Jones being Aaron Jones. Watching Rodgers throw into tight windows and celebrating with his teammates always makes me happy, title or not. I will be sad, disappointed, etc if they can't get there, but it won't take away from the validity of a great season.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 01:26 pm

At this point, with Rodgers contract and this roster there really aren’t any excuses (save injury decimation) for less and there aren’t many, if any, redos.

13 and 3 ought to mean nothing at this point. Besting the Bears record will be nice, but ultimately won’t make up for another year as also rans when it matters. LaFleur needs to make a big jump this year.

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T7Steve's picture

August 25, 2022 at 07:50 am

I don't mind the beer commercial, but I like the dog in the background. Would like to hear about that dog.

Don't know what kind of test this will be for Love? He should look good against the JV defense the Chiefs put out there so, he better make the most of his reps.

We've gone over the O line as much as we have Jordan Love but, won't know anything till the season starts about the most important group on the team (or a close second to the D line).

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mrtundra's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:03 am

Will KCC start their defensive starters? That would be a test for Love, if they did,

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Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:28 am

...and all-out blitz on every play? Again?!?!

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:16 am

Reed was noncommittal on Tuesday, but the expectation is no. They like how their starters have looked thus far in the preseason.

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murf7777's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:01 am

Regarding Gary, yes we do have a lot of wanna bee GM’s on these blog sites:). I really liked the pick at the time. Give me the most athletic, driven freak early, in the middle and late in any draft, especially one who seeks greatness. You can’t teach athleticism or drive, but most else you can. There not all going to be a hit, but your odds are better and that is all you can do as a GM, increase your odds when drafting.

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Since'61's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:53 am

Yes murf. I also supported the Gary pick. He has all the tools and now his time is coming to be a dominant force for the Packers defense. He can be a huge factor in the Packers reaching the SB this season. Thanks, Since '61

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DoubleJ's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:39 am

People forgot that in college it was Gary who was making things easier for Chase Winovich by constantly being double and triple teamed. Ironically after year 1 the talking heads were saying that the Patriots got the better player in Winovich in R3. Now he has been traded to the Browns and Gary looks like he might be turn into the best defensive linemen/edge player from that draft. I personally liked the pick. I knew he was going to take a while to get better and figured by year 3 he would be a stud. I know a lot of people wanted Brian Burns, but he is only a pass rusher and will never be good against the run, ala KGB.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 25, 2022 at 12:24 pm

Agree on all this. Gary's production (or lack of product that was criticized) was more about how he was used in their defense. Coaches said he had a strong motor and work ethic, so I knew the rumblings about his lack of ambition were from people who had not dug into his history. And the athleticism was off the charts. He was young, like Kenny Clark was young. And Clark wasn't very impactful as a rookie, but would you argue now that he was over drafted? Absolutely not. Some folks are sticking to their opinion on Gary b/c they think he should have higher sack #s. But sacks are not the single measure of affecting a game. I'm exited for another year of his growth, not only in experience, but in leadership. With Gary and Rasul Douglas being intense, competitive leaders for the defense, they may demand a higher standard from the whole defensive squad.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:20 am

Yes, that wasn’t the finest hour for some. Lazy, took plays off, was stupid, no production. And that was a lot of the pros people here often cite. I think the wonderlich crap was the worst. Something we always agreed upon Murf. It’s up there with PFF’s continuing take on Dillon.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:52 am

Probably the two players over the last few years that fans lost their sh*t over as far as where they were drafted are Gary and Dillon. Now Gary is being mentioned as a possible DPOY and Dillon is widely regarded as part of one of the best 1-2 RB combos in the league, with many projecting him to top 1000 yds in his 3rd year after over 800 last year.

Yet, amazingly, there are still posters on this site that question Gutekunst's ability to assess talent. Personally, I consider him a top 10 GM in the league, and hope he'll be a fixture at 1265 for many years to come.

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PhantomII's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:35 pm

Pretty sure most wanted an immediate impact player where Gary was drafted because we were in win now mode and like it or not Gary was a bit of a project starting out and we picked up 2 solid OLB's in FA already. We are all presently pretty happy how much of an impact Gary provided last season with Z on the shelf. I never heard anyone talking down Dillon...ML was extremely SLOW bringing him into the game but Dillon did get Covid and I believe it affected his lungs and he was slow coming back. One of ML biggest problems is not getting 3-4 RB's up to speed in his system so he can use them in the playoffs. Gutes top picks have worked out pretty well. Gute should have picked Jefferson at #20 over Love.....That was THE PICK. I think JL will be a solid QB for us if he stays.
I do think that pick inspired AR to play better also....Except when playing SF....The team he swore would regret not drafting him #1....Yea, that hasn't happened. Maybe this year.

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murf7777's picture

August 25, 2022 at 01:02 pm

It’s funny how one person writes lazy and it becomes fact, some of us who do more research found out that was BS.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 01:40 pm

What I got from that is how lazy some of the pundits are. And I don’t just mean the national ones. There are celebrated Packer experts who were just as deep in the mire with respect to Gary and Dillon as the ESPN crowd. That’s one major reason why I put a lot less credence in some who get cited as proof of points here. Some got caught with their pants down creating narratives from stats. Some are still at it today.

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Packers0808's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:13 am

Me I just look for a real competitive fun filled year by my team. Can't ask for more than that and let the chips fall where they may! GPG!

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dobber's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:15 am

"The Packers would gladly sacrifice all of these accomplishments for a Super Bowl"

How about doing all those things on the way?

Rashan Gary--I'll admit that I was not a happy camper with the Gary pick, but most of that was due to the widely mixed reviews he got through the DIC and pundits. If they redrafted 2019, he might very well go higher.

Love/KC game--I'll be curious to see how much Jordan Love plays tonight. He's the #2. If it were me, I'd only play him as long as there's a credible OL in front of him--especially given that Andy Reid likes to rep the top of his depth chart--and let Etling play out the rest. I think that inside 1265 decisions likely are already made for this 53, outside of an attractive piece coming available from another team's camp. This might be an opportunity to showcase another player or two that they might be looking to deal.

NFCN
The Bears are a six-win team. Maybe. Fields is going to get killed behind that OL. Outside Quinn and Smith, the defensive personnel are sub-par. This is a bad football team.
The Lions have added nice pieces in the trenches in recent years. They just need to get it on the field and keep it healthy. They're coached by a cartoon character, but he gets his guys to play 60 minutes every week. Back 7 on defense are not good. If they can keep D'Andre Swift healthy, which they haven't been able to do, he'll be very productive, but the WR position is meh. They could still win 8 games, though, if Goff limits his mistakes.
The Vikings will only go as far as Cousins, Cook, and Jefferson will carry them...and Cook misses 3-5 games every year (notice that every time he fumbles he gimps to the sideline and heads to the blue tent), and Cousins has too many games where he shits the bed. Still in an offensive league, these three have the potential to light it up any week. Thielen is in his downward spiral, but is the key red-zone target. Spielman could never put together an OL to carry this offense very far...we'll see if this current group is any better--if it is, the Vikes look like they'll score in bunches. New schemes on offense and defense (a switch to the 3-4) mean there will be some issues early. Front 7 on defense has playmakers, but the DBs let games get away from them too often in 2021...and they're not any better. 8-10 wins, but if it gels early, they could get to 12 wins and challenge for the division.

Tolkein--if you start with a great story and let that story take center stage, you can't go wrong.

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DoubleJ's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:43 am

In a redraft of the 2019 draft Gary is a top 5 pick at worst, maybe even top 3. I could see Murry and Bosa going 1 & 2 overall again.

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dobber's picture

August 25, 2022 at 10:09 am

Yeah, I went back and was looking at that draft as I wrote that part, and I think there's at least four who go ahead of Gary, and then a bunch of guys who could go in that same tier as him. I agree: Murray and Bosa go early, but you'd probably still see Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen (the LB) ahead of him. So maybe 5th...

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jannes bjornson's picture

August 25, 2022 at 12:56 pm

Gary was projected to the Giants with pick six, but Gettleman did the Pack a favor and reached for Jones. Gary should be allowed to do some hand-in-the-dirt technique a' la Bruce Smith.

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PatB's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:33 am

Gary has been good and has certainly disproved some of the naysayers, especially anybody who questioned his focus or work ethic. I think #12 was about right. To me there's a clear top 4 (Murray, Bosa, Metcalf, A.J. Brown) and then a group of about 15 guys that Gary is in the middle of. I'd put Jenkins in that group too.

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DoubleJ's picture

August 25, 2022 at 02:15 pm

I think you are over-valuing receivers. There have been more receivers drafted in R2 that have gone on to the Pro Bowl than there have been from R1. While Metcalf can be a big play WR, it will be interesting to see how he does with a lesser QB. I don't think Brown is as good as people think. He was on a team with a great running game and that really helps out WR. Overall unless someone like Jerry Rice is in the draft I personally wouldn't draft a WR in R1.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:21 am

Is this the year the Lord of the Ring becomes Lord of the "Rings"?

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 01:02 pm

Will the key character, the leading player, in our drama turneth away from arrogance?
Pride goeth before the fall in the playoffs, and the rings remain elusive.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:33 am

The Rise of Rashan Gary -
I was one that didn't like the 12th overall pick. But after the draft and when camp came around I started rooting for him because he is a Green Bay Packer! He has definitely made most people that disliked him early change their minds on him.

The Lord of the Rings film adaptations have held up really well-
(So one of the things I like to do while I”m writing my Packers content or working on things around the house is throw on a movie I’ve seen numerous times before.)
I also put movies I have seen a numerous times when I'm working.
I recently rewatched the Lord of the Rings Trilogy with one of my daughters. I hadn't watched it in a quite a while, and I felt the exact same way. That they have really held up well considering they are 20 years old.

Preseason Love Watch-
While we still don't know what the future of Love will look like, the one thing we can look at and say is that he has improved from last year. I'm not saying he will be our future at QB or anything like that. But one thing I feel better about is that if he has to come in and play, is that I feel better about our chances that we can win the game. I feel a lot better then last year.

What to watch for against Kansas City-
-For me I'm watching Love. I want to see him continue to improve.
-I want to see Goodson earn the RB3 spot. I think he adds a lot to the team, and recently there have been a lot of talk of them only keeping 2 RB's. I want to see Goodson make it impossible for them to cut him.
-Next I want see how the WR battle shapes up.
-After that, I just want to see who shines. A lot of the final preseason games someone steps up and forces the team to keep them. I want to see if anyone does that tonight.

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Yooper's picture

August 25, 2022 at 08:41 am

Really a good article. Kept me interested. Not just same old - same old. Thank you!

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:18 am

Here are my postseason predictions:

NFC:
Buccaneers
Packers
Rams
Cowboys
Eagles
Saints
Vikings

AFC:
Bills
Chargers
Ravens
Colts
Bengals
Chiefs
Broncos

WC:
Colts over Bengals
Saints over Rams
Packers over Vikings
Eagles over Cowboys
Chiefs over Ravens
Chargers over Broncos

DIV:
Chargers over Colts
Packers over Eagles
Bills over Chiefs
Buccaneers over Saints

CCG:
BIlls over Chargers
Packers over Buccaneers

SB:
Packers over Bills

While this may not be the best WR group ARod has played with, this is definitely the most well-rounded team he’s played with since 2010. There might be some bumps early in the season, but with the fulll return of EJ, Tonyan and DBakh and more adjustment to the WR group, they should get rolling later in the season. Running the ball more also helps tremendously, as Dillon and Jones are one of the best RB duos out there. Having a great defense (which is, with good reason, projected to be top-5 this year) also helps in the playoffs (see 2020 Bucs and 2021 Rams) and I think if the Packers can get to the SB, it is theirs to lose. I like how their d-line matches up with the bucs’ now weak interior Oline and the Bills’ weak right side of the Oline. As far as the Eagles, I think it will be close, but ARod is better than Hurts. The Packers’ run D should also be much better, which will help too. As far as the Vikings, the Packers have always had their number late in the season, and there are questions about the secondary, run D, and Oline (all of which bodes well for the Packers). Their secondary, dline, pass rush, and linebackers should be able to handle the Vikings and eagles run/pass games too. I think this is the year the Pack pulls it off!

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 25, 2022 at 12:28 pm

I don't know about the Bucs being better than the Rams. Haven't they lost 3 of their 5 offensive linemen to free agency or injury? I don't think they will be better than last year.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 27, 2022 at 08:26 pm

The Bucs went 13-4 last year too. They also got Julio and drafted a LG in the 2nd round and traded for Shaq Mason. Their interior OL will not be great like it was (and that’s where I think the Pack can beat them with their strong DL), but it will still be decently good. Tom Brady is Tom Brady, and their defense should still be good.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2022 at 09:34 am

Keep an eye on Abernathy at Safety... the MASH unit at S has opened up an opportunity.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 10:59 am

Gaines too.

Watch list for me:

Abernathy, Gaines, Shawn Davis (S)
Ento, Gafford, Thomas. (CB)
Hamilton, Garvin, Kobe Jones, Galeai (OLB)
Wilborn, Carpenter (ILB/Hybrid)
Slayton, Heflin (DL)

Toure, Winfree, Rodgers (WR) and Watson of course
Goodson, Taylor (RB)
Davis/Becker ( traditional TE)
Hanson/Newman/Tom/Jones (T/G)
Who, if anyone, runs option plays.
Returners not named Rodgers.

Of course I can’t not watch Love, but unless he blows us away one way or the other, I don’t expect that needle to move much.

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T7Steve's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:17 am

Complete list but, you didn't mention Coco or the kicker. But, I suppose that goes without saying. Just wish there was more people trying for long snapper job that are starting caliber blockers. Did JRJ look good at it?

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:25 am

If I don’t notice either kicker or LS. that’s a result. I will watch STs but more how the rest do and who does it (with TGR’s help via his snap counts).

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T7Steve's picture

August 25, 2022 at 03:07 pm

If JRJ was the L.S. that would open a spot to keep the big legged kid for kick offs.

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 12:06 pm

It's such stories as that of the heretofore unheard-of Abernathy that greatly help the attraction of preseason games.
A recent comment from a good fan here at CHTV seemed to say that the decisions about keeping or cutting players is made solely, or at least mainly, in the practices of training camp -- without regard for the preseason games.
I have to think, though, that the dashing interception by Abernathy against the Saints, as well as his exceptional effort to bypass blockers in making a striking tackle on a screen pass, greatly helped his cause in getting the attention of the coaches.
If a player pops in a preseason game, he's likely to get extra consideration for making the team.

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 10:48 am

Heartbroken in the playoffs against the Bucs on first-and-goal from the 8; then heartbroken again in the playoffs against the 49ers on the incompletion to Davante in double coverage while Lazard roamed free -- why would we think we won't be heartbroken again this season?
After all, it's the same arrogant quarterback usurping the roles of GM and head coach, still generally doing his own thing, and so likely to let us down in a crushing way once again.
Which means the other accomplishments won't matter all that much, will indeed make the heartbreak even more agonizing.
Those who refuse to learn from history . . .

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Fubared's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:14 am

Rodgers now has two weeks after tonight to get those peskly little receivers on the same page. All I know is I dont want to hear him pissing and moaning on espn about how these new guys arent fitting in considering he passed on OTA's.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:26 am

Yes, Adams comments this week were accidental maybe but can’t have pleased Rodgers.

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:56 am

Appreciating your opinion, CW, what was it specifically that Adams said that you think would be displeasing to Rodgers? Does what Adams said ring true as being fair to Rodgers?

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2022 at 01:47 pm

He made them in a podcast, so I’ve found a quote and source that links to it in case you want to listen:

“Adams explained that Rodgers has the “the Michael Jordan effect” on teammates. Like Jordan, Rodgers makes other players better simply by being present. And Adams specifically used Rodgers’ presence at OTAs to illustrate the point Adams was making.

“You would always notice in OTAs . . . there would be times he wasn’t practicing, and you would just notice people start to like, not fall off [by] not practicing hard, but it wasn’t the same as when Aaron is out there,” Adams said. “Like you don’t even think about it, you know what I’m saying? It’s like somebody doing something versus like with nobody watching-type thing. You’re obviously gonna run a little harder [if] your coach is watching you. So it was kind of that type of effect, and he made me a better player out of that, because the consistency came from that.””

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2022/08/24/davante-adams-mere-pres...

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 03:19 pm

Whatever was intended, it turns out to be a compliment from Adams that calls into question Rodgers not participating in OTAs.
In effect, it's Rodgers being damned by strong praise, or so it seems, again regardless of whether Adams meant it that way.
After all, Packers pay Rodgers a record $50 million per season ($200 million total contract) in a push for the first team title since 2010 -- and Rodgers couldn't spare a few days this past spring. Is that a fair summary?

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wildbill's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:36 am

Getting tired of people elevating Love’s performance because of WR dropped passes. Rodgers, Favre, Starr, etc all had passed dropped because humans play WR and stuff happens. How you react, and overcome, those drops is the key. Did Love look better this year? Yup. Are we screwed, blued, and tattooed if Rodgers goes out for an extended period? Yup.

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:53 am

Are you saying we won't win the Super Bowl this year unless we again have Rodgers as our QB to lead us to a title?
At least with Love, we have a quarterback who is coachable and ascending, rather than one who is arrogant and descending.
I realize Rodgers has two consecutive MVPs for himself; but like with Favre, as his ego increases, the team decreases.

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 25, 2022 at 04:20 pm

The emphatic praise that is placed on Love for his small steps can be taken, as he has nowhere to go but up, or a more truthful analysis would be he's growing toward average starter or high graded backup.

I ask this of many, tell me what he does so well, that his negatives are ignorable?

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 07:24 pm

What's so encouraging about Love is that he seems to do everything well, which includes persevering under adversity.
Check out the superb throw and long completion to the sideline by Love to Winfree that was highlighted by Jersey Al yesterday in his weekly column.
Love is still an apprentice, but his strides of improvement seem impressive. There are no guarantees for the future, but other than perhaps Justin Herbert, there isn't another young quarterback in the NFL more promising than Love.
It seems he could be of the ilk of Dak Prescott and Josh Allen.

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PhantomII's picture

August 25, 2022 at 10:05 pm

He will" TRY" to spread the ball around. That's a big achievement in Packer Land these days. I'm also pretty sure he would run the motion concept in ML Offense as it is designed instead of resting the other teams Defense. GB does not need a HOF QB to win a super bowl. We need what the Rams have. A good QB who plays within the system as it is designed with a good Offense supporting cast and a really good Defense and a coach who does not make too many mistakes. We need some work, but we can clean up most of it. Getting our OL back for good will help a lot also.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 26, 2022 at 07:23 am

your perspective is piss poor.

your assumption in your question - that people IGNORE any negatives in Love's game - is just plain wrong.

I do not see anyone calling for Love to start ahead of Rodgers today. So long as the current version of Rodgers and the current version of Love are both on the GBP, Rodgers will be starting and deservedly so... at this point in time.

IF Rodgers was gone, I would have no problem rooting for Love to succeed. Would he be an immediate upgrade from Rodgers? Probably not, however if coachability and MLF's system were to prove to be truly advantageous to the young QB, he just might begin his growth trajectory to become as much of a winning QB in the NFL as AR has. Maybe even with more SB. Maybe - we cannot know now, but that is no reason to argue that present GB fans "IGNORE" any of Love's current challenges.

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:45 am

J.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Catholic whose faith permeates his fantasy work, as if to say you may actually like Christianity if you truly try to understand its authentic spirit, and the grand theme of good vs. evil in the epic of our salvation, with a central character both who is both God and man.
By the way, in the 1920s Tolkien became close friends with a fellow professor at Oxford named C.S. Lewis, and was a key figure in Lewis converting to Christianity -- a faith which Lewis described as a myth that was fact.
Together, they discussed the best ways to write fantasy literature with underlying but understated meaning, and encouraged each other in their magnificent literary output (as part of a small group of friends called The Inklings).
Lewis was also profoundly influenced by author G.K. Chesterton, especially his book, "The Everlasting Man," which explores the revolutionary uniqueness of Jesus in comparison to anyone else in history. Whether one believes in Christianity, it is certainly not just another religion.
Several years earlier, as a soldier in World War I, Lewis had no faith in there being a God when he first began to read Chesterton. Of this experience (at least in part), Lewis would later say that an atheist can't be too careful about what he reads.
Tolkien was also a veteran of the same horrible war of European fratricide among the descendants of Christendom. The two young soldiers had experienced evil in its most agonizing intensity and most abject squalor, and set about to warn the generations to come through the most exquisite and entertaining fictional dramas.
My best to Tim and all the other fans here at CHTV in attempting to provide some helpful background to his musings about Tolkien.

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LLCHESTY's picture

August 25, 2022 at 04:06 pm

As long as it's not the Christians who bastardize the teachings of Jesus to spew hate. Plenty of those types around these days. If you're holding up a poster of Jesus holding a gun you're going to the wrong church and probably have never opened a Bible. But reading isn't exactly fundamental with those people.

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 07:04 pm

I admit to being one of those flawed Christians whose example is often a disappointing representation of my faith.
The more I learn about another imperfect Catholic from the past of the Packers named Vince Lombardi, the more I grow fond of him, and the more I am encouraged to keep trying to improve.
What Lombardi told his players in terms of individual effort and common teamwork seems also to apply to our spiritual endeavors: To strive for perfection, knowing we will fall short of it, but in the process approach excellence. (Bart Starr cherished this saying of Lombardi.)
Like Tolkien with his writing, Lombardi imbued his coaching with Catholic Christianity without preaching. As an example, he was an inspirational pioneer in civil rights by integrating black and white players as equals in green and gold.
Lombardi went so far as to use the word love in describing the sacrifice and camaraderie that went into the making of what would become the winningest team in the history of the NFL -- the stuff of legends (and I hope a model for the Packers always).
***
Again, Lombardi struggled with chronic impatience and a mercurial temper, but he never stopped fighting the good fight of striving to follow God in earnestness.
I also stumble often in my practice of Catholic Christianity, even to the point of intense discouragement, but I try to trust that the grace of Jesus will overcome my clumsiness.
As the two-part biography of Lombardi from the NFL Channel makes clear (from 2013, the 100th anniversary of his birth), our coach saw the virtues of football as closely related to success in life in general.
By imparting this outlook to his players, he helped them to become winners long after their careers on the gridiron had come to a close.

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Gman1976's picture

August 25, 2022 at 04:45 pm

Thanks for the historical background of these 2 writers who have had a profound impact on millions of people for good long after their passing. I especially appreciate the spirit in which you wrote.

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Swisch's picture

August 25, 2022 at 06:35 pm

Thanks, Gman, your kind words mean a lot to me.

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Since'61's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:50 am

The SB victory is all that matters out of this list. The rest are all nice to have but not necessary. Having said that Rodgers will probably need to play at an MVP level for the Packers to reach and win the SB. But playing at an MVP level doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he would win the award regardless. What matters is winning through the playoffs and reaching the SB.

The all-time win record will fall to the Packers one way or the other this season. Again this will be nice for Packer’s history but pales in comparison with winning the SB.

If this team remains relatively healthy for the season, the only questions holding them back would be the receiving corps and/or the OL, especially the OL. The Packers will go as far as their OL takes them. Thanks, Since ‘61

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 25, 2022 at 12:24 pm

But it sure would be sweet holding the all-time win record while simultaneously holding the all-time championship record.

Are the Packers the Yankees of football or are the Yankees the Packers of baseball?

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Since'61's picture

August 25, 2022 at 03:17 pm

13Times - The Packers are the Yankees of the NFL.
Lombardi always said that he would like to build a Yankee type of dynasty with the Packers and he did that at least during the 60s. Unfortunately the Packers couldn’t keep it going after Lombardi left.

As of 2022 the NY Yankees have 27 World Championships while the Packers have won 13. While the Packers are clearly the leaders in the NFL the Yankees remain the greatest team in US profession sports. They are the benchmark against which every professional team in every sport is measured.

Both teams have long histories and glorious traditions. The immortal players, coaches, and managers from both teams and their stadiums have defined the history of their respective sports. The Yankees and the Packers stand once again in the threshold of a dream for 2022 and even the short term future. What destiny awaits them is still to be determined. Thanks, Since ‘61

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 25, 2022 at 03:39 pm

That's fair. It's hard to argue against those 27 championships, and it's really hard to compare teams from different sports. The fact that they each have the most championships in their respective sports is quite an accomplishment in itself.

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Since'61's picture

August 25, 2022 at 03:52 pm

Agree 13Times. Stay safe. Thanks, Since '61

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LLCHESTY's picture

August 25, 2022 at 04:38 pm

Yankees have always been the best team money can buy. Give baseball a hard salary cap and see how they do. Easy to win when you can outspend other clubs 10 to 1.

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Since'61's picture

August 25, 2022 at 07:04 pm

LLChesty - The NFL did not have a salary cap until 1993. By that time the Yankees had won 22 of their World Championships. My point is that NFL teams did not have a salary cap to deal with and yet no NFL team had the same amount of success as the Yankees.

Yes the Yankees have out spent most of their opponents since George Steinbrenner bought the team. Since 2000 the Yankees have been out spent by the Red Sox, the Dodgers, the Mets and a few other teams depending on the season. IN MLB spending more money on players doesn't guarantee anything. The point of the soft salary cap in baseball is that it helps keep the small market teams in the league. When teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers go over the soft cap they pay a penalty which is distributed among the other teams which have not spent over the cap. It's a form of revenue sharing. Bottom line some owners put the additional revenue in their pockets and others spend it on their players and they all get what they pay for. Thanks, Since '61

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Johnblood27's picture

August 26, 2022 at 07:30 am

Let's not forget the dynastic Montreal Canadiens, les habitants of Montreal.
24 Championships.

I am a Bruins fan, but I can recognize greatness in my rivals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Canadiens

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Gman1976's picture

August 25, 2022 at 04:48 pm

Agreed. Our Achilles Heal has been the offensive line in the playoffs the past couple of years.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 26, 2022 at 07:31 am

HEEL

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PhantomII's picture

August 26, 2022 at 06:04 am

We need AR to spread the ball around....That is what we have always needed....And not shrink in the moment.

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jont's picture

August 25, 2022 at 11:53 am

As long as they wear purple, the Vikes will disappoint their fans.

As for Fields, I watched his pre-season appearances and he's still struggling. Being thrown into it as a rookie and poor coaching guarantee a bad year for a QB (see also Trevor Lawrence), and from my couch he looks like he needs a good year to set his confidence and build some skills. Judging by his supporting cast, he's not going to get it.

The Lions really are better than they have been for years. That's not saying much, perhaps, but they genuinely do not suck as excessively as we're used to seeing. That said, it is a virtual certainty that Goff will have mucho problemas with the Packer defense.

GB will go no worse than 4-2 in the division this year. Opening day will be tough, and there might be a slip later. But a sweep is possible.

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dobber's picture

August 25, 2022 at 02:41 pm

"GB will go no worse than 4-2 in the division this year. Opening day will be tough, and there might be a slip later. But a sweep is possible."

Agreed. If they beat the Vikes week 1, anything less than 5-1 in the division will be a missed opportunity.

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