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How good is this Packers team? We'll find out over the next month

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How good is this Packers team? We'll find out over the next month

It’s been nice watching the Green Bay Packers beat up on the likes of the Bears, Chiefs and Chargers so far this season. But things are about to get much more interesting over the next month.

Three of the next four Packers games are against contending teams, two of which are currently undefeated. If the Packers come through this upcoming month-long stretch undefeated, it’s safe to say we have a really special team on our hands. If they go 3-1, that’s still really good. Even 2-2 wouldn't shake my confidence in this squad.

The NFL changes week-to-week, but that doesn't’t stop those of us in the blogosphere from peering out into the future a bit. Let’s look into the Packers future right now and see the different types of challenges they’ll be facing over their next four games.

at Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1
The same thing worries me about the Broncos that worried me about the Chargers: Presnap defensive looks. Philip Rivers knew what Dom Capers was doing early in the play clock and was able to adjust accordingly. Manning will try and do the same, so Capers better do a better of disguising his calls presnap, or at least building in an adjustment or two once Manning makes his presnap reads.

at Carolina Panthers, noon, Sunday, Nov. 8
I will be in a deer stand during this game, so my main worry is 1) not shooting myself in the foot and 2) the Packers getting run over. The Packers will be coming off consecutive games against wily old veteran quarterbacks looking to pick Green Bay apart in the passing game. Carolina will likely use its power running game to take a completely different approach, topped off by Cam Newton doing some power running of his own.

Detroit Lions, noon, Sunday, Nov. 15
The only thing that worries me about the Lions is whether the Packers will win by seven touchdowns or eight.

at Minnesota Vikings, noon, Sunday, Nov. 22
The Vikings roster isn’t loaded with top-tier talent, but it’s stacked with consistently solid players who play consistently. So far this season, Mike Zimmer’s team hasn’t gotten too high or too low. Plus the Vikings are young and naïve enough to think that they can beat the big, bad Packers at home in what amounts to Minnesota’s Super Bowl every season. Of the four games listed here, this one against Minnesota might very well be the biggest one. You don’t want to give the young Vikings any kind of hope that they can sneak up on Green Bay for the division.

So, what’s your prediction for this stretch? I’m calling 3-1: win at Denver, win at Carolina, win at home over Detroit, lose to the Vikings in Minnesota. Get ready for drooling Vikings fans on social media making cringe-worthy homophobic jokes.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (54) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I filled out a schedule before the Pre-Season at work along with some coworkers and I have the Pack going 14-2 (losing back to back games at Denver & Carolina).

Those games are definitely winnable and I never go into a game thinking the Pack will lose a game, but I took a guess and tried to be realistic with the final record.

At this point of the season (with only one major injury to the team) I'm still confident. Of course, missing Jordy makes the odds of beating a Denver Defense and Carolina Defense unfavorable, it's hard to go against Aaron Rodgers.

croatpackfan's picture

I'm more with Adam on this. If there will be 14-2, it would be Vikings and Arizona!

DrealynWilliams's picture

I just can't see us losing to Bridgewater. Sorry.

I can understand the Cards w/that Defense and Carson Palmer though.

croatpackfan's picture

It is OK! But Vikings has pretty good D. they let only 1 point lesst that Packers D did! And, they have Adrian Peterson... You never knows what suit he will wearing that day....

DrealynWilliams's picture

We have a pretty good defense as well. So what will the game come down to???

Evan's picture

#1 in points per game.

Is that good?

chs's picture

Arizona is waiting on a shoot out to win, and Palmer can be Rattled.

joe packer's picture

Just absolutely amazing that being "realistic" yeilds a 14 - 2 predicion.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Aye,man. We're spoiled rotten.

RCPackerFan's picture

For me in this next stretch of games, I want to see the real Packers team come to play.

We haven't been able to see our real team yet due to so many injuries. Our defense until the last game was pretty healthy and really good. The last game missing 3 starters definitely affected them.

Offense, our OL has been banged up, Lacy, and all of our WR's have been hurt and missing games.
I want to see what our real team is with all of its preferred players playing.

That will tell me how good this team really is.

Tundraboy's picture

Agree on that

marcopo's picture

I agree. We haven't seen the best the Packers can be, not even close. This team isn't concerned with the regular season outside of a bye, and home field advantage. Like last year, they've kept a lid on the run game. Rodgers has been just good enough. What has been VERY impressive is the defense. The kids show fantastic promise. Unlike prior years, when they need a stop they manage to get one. Opponents score only when the Pack is skating with a lead. All this without Barnett.
The truth is we may not "know" this team until the playoffs.

RCPackerFan's picture

'The truth is we may not "know" this team until the playoffs.'

I honestly hope we don't know how good this team really is until the playoffs. That is when I want this team to be playing its very best. That is when I want the team to be the healthiest.

dschwalm's picture

There's a good chance you won't see the "real team" this season. Ankle and groin injuries have been known to linger for months. Perry can't seem to stay on the field, which, I think will ruin his chances of staying with the Packers. Lots of potential - just injury prone.
It isn't out of the question that the Packers go 3-7 the rest of the way.

Lphill's picture

Well when the season began I'm sure we were all worried about the Rams, Seahawks, niners and Chiefs but that all worked out fine , I am not worried about anyone else , I think the Pack opens up on Denver and sends a message.

Duke Divine's picture

I sure hope you are right and I love the optimism. I also know recent history. That being Mashed Potato Mike and Arodge's offense struggles against a team the can rush 4 or less and get pressure while pressing the WRs at the line. I think they struggle mightily moving the ball this weekend. The thing that helps me share your optimism is that this Packer defense is able to pressure and press as well and Manning doesn't have the arm or mobility of Arodge to get out of jams nor does Denver possessed a fortified run game to keep the Packer pass rush honest. I think this comes down to defense and special teams. 20-17 PAck

DrealynWilliams's picture

If Rodgers just takes what the Defense is giving him - that rush 4 and drop 7 ish won't last long. He doesn't have to be conservative the entire game, but just enough to prolong crucial drives and force a safety to creep a lil bit closer.

I expect Lacy/Starks/Rodgers to get more passes (especially over the middle) in these next few games.

Dan Stodola's picture

Teams are already playing the Packers w/ an 8 man box. They are basically starting the game w/ the Safety closer. Packers haven't had the horses to bet teams to play the Safeties deep. W/o Jordy and to a much lesser extent Adams the Packers don't have anyone to threaten teams on the perimeter and downfield. 8 in the box has been the norm. What the Packers need to do is get teams to respect them on the outside and deep, so they have to move the Safety out of the box, not bring a safety into the box. The safety is already in close.

Until the Packers show teams they can make plays on the perimeter and downfield, they will continue to see 8 in the box.

DrealynWilliams's picture


The run game of the Packers hasn't been damaging enough or consistent enough to warrant an 8-man box.

Dan Stodola's picture

McCarthy and Rodgers have each said as much if you've been reading around, instead of just the blogs. Starks had over 100 yds last wk, Lacy has had 2 games close to 100 yds and the Packers are #8 in rushing at 128 per game and 4.5 per carry. Run game has been better than the passing, and the Packers have no one to threaten teams downfield.

Their 22nd ranked passing attack is clearly what scares the Defenses I'm sure.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Packers Transplant 147 was interesting. I'm not the only way saying/thinking Rodgers should take more of the dinks/checkdowns.

Dan Stodola's picture

That's not at all what I was saying or commenting about tho! You said the Packers need to run to draw the Safeties in. I responded w/ the fact that the Safeties are already close to the LOS. What the Packers need to do is get the safeties backed up. All the runs and dinks/checkdowns is going to do is pull them even closer. That isn't what the Packers need to do to change the Defensive looks. The Safeties are already in close. McCarthy and Rodgers both acknowledge they have to win on the perimeter and deep to change the Defensive coverages.

Your approach won't change the Defense and open up the field. I don't really care what the bloggers and commenters think. I'll take McCarthy and Rodgers.

DrealynWilliams's picture

" You said the Packers need to run to draw the Safeties in"

I never posted that. Take this L.

Of course the receivers need to win their perimeter match-ups. That's a given. Yes, the receivers winning their perimeter match-ups will help in moving the chains too, but I've seen MANY plays where Rodgers passes up the check-down or shorter routes that possibly could've led to RAC & a first down for a medium-to-long incomplete pass or sack. There's proof of this. This is not attacking Rodgers, so don't take it that way. It is what it is. Many people see the same thing as me.

If we're not consistently winning the perimeter battles then why not go to something else that works? That's all I'm saying.

I bet we see more of them in these next few games (even with Adams coming back).

Dan Stodola's picture

"The run game of the Packers hasn't been damaging enough or consistent enough to warrant an 8-man box."

And your original comment was something about pulling the Safeties into the box.

"He doesn't have to be conservative the entire game, but just enough to prolong crucial drives and force a safety to creep a lil bit closer."

Which is what I disputed, since the Packers were already playing against Defenses w/ a lot of players close to the LOS (in the box).

If you need to get the Defense moved in the best way is to run the ball down their throats.

Packers need to open the field, which means getting the ball on the perimeter and downfield to push the safeties that are close, back.

DrealynWilliams's picture

You're talking about "opening the field" and "moving the Defense"

While I'm talking about moving the chains on a more consistent basis.

Dan Stodola's picture

Opening the field makes it much easier to move the chains. They go hand in hand. It creates more running lanes and more open spaces in the middle of the field for Cobb to work his magic. Isn't that gonna make it easier to move the chains?

DrealynWilliams's picture

And why do you keep focusing on "opening the defense"???

Dan Stodola's picture

Without even looking I came across this.

"Defenses are focusing on slowing down Lacy and pressing the team's other top receivers, who are also dealing with nagging injuries."

Seems to me if teams are focusing on stopping the run and pressing the WR at the LOS, that indicates the D is already right up close.

How do you propose the Packers change that? Dink and dunk and checkdows?

Gettting Defenses out of the box means getting yards on the perimeter and down field.

DrealynWilliams's picture

We've been playing top defenses, smart guy. Top defenses don't have to bring extra guys to stop or disrupt plays (passing or running).

That's why I mentioned the rush 4 and drop 7. It's RARE that teams blitz Rodgers. I don't think the Seahawks blitzed us one time. Rams are great against the run and pass without blitzing or bringing down extras. You might have thought the Rams brought down an extra because their Safety was actually playing LB that game due to an injury of a starter.

I'm not worried about opening up the defense more than I am on moving the chains. The big plays will come. I would just like Rodgers to take what the defense is giving him a tad bit more than he does.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Those "2 games close to 100 yds" were week 1 and week 4. Inconsistent?

The same with Starks. Big game in week 2 and week 6. Inconsistent?

((Again, this is NOT an attack on these players and I am not complaining))

Dan Stodola's picture

No you just don't seem to understand what the Packers are facing from defenses and how to make it easier to move the chains.

The Packers are in FACT #8 in the NFL in rushing and #22 in passng. And talking about moving the safeties closer, when that is what is already being done.

So tell me which is more consistent and productive? Running game or passing game that scares no one.

porupack's picture

I agree to the logic, but seems Rivers proved that you can spread receivers, deliver quick passes, and not even have a run game... and get 500 yards. I don't recall him really stretching the field that much, but maybe I'm wrong on that.

DrealynWilliams's picture


Nor were they beating any DBs deep consistently. The majority of Rivers' completed passes were in routes, drags, option routes and RB flares.

I'm also expecting to see the Cobra formation quite a bit giving Cobb/Montgomery (if he plays) option routes coming out of back field.

dschwalm's picture

I wanna drink what you're drinking!!!

Big T's picture

Our D should be able to get in and bust Patricia Manning in half. Sham Newton will run all over us, however, will throw at least 3 INT's. Sham is an athlete, just lacks between the ears. These 2 games come down to whether or not Aaron's girlfriend flushes his nuts so he can get out of his slump.

NewNikeShoes's picture

You give educated men like us a bad name

4thand1's picture

Why so many dislikes? C'mon man, this is funny. Way to serious people

John Galt III's picture

Said this before. I watch the Broncos every week because my wife is a fan. Their corners are excellent, but the key is Von Miller. He is a menace like CMIII - you don't get him out the picture and we will lose. Solve him and we win.

Peyton Manning has lost accuracy. He misses throws sometimes by a mile. Never seen him do that. His completion percentage is 61% - about the same as Cutler and Kaepernick, not exactly the most accurate guys, and this is a guy who makes a lot short throws - 6.4 yds per catch, number 32 among starting QB's. That should help if we cover well.

Their running game is bad but watch out for Ronnie Hillman - he is very fast and dangerous.

My two cents

phillythedane's picture

I like your two cents. Astute.

PaulRosik's picture

Good points.

The Broncos rush well. And they have two excellent corners. So that would seem to mean you need to flood the coverage with multiple receivers and get that matchup you like with your third and 4th receivers or the tight end. And get rid of the ball quickly. This will be a big test of Rodgers ability to scan the field and find the matchup he likes and go to it quickly before the rush arrives.

If you don't give up the pick 6 or the short field, this is the 28th ranked offense in the league and should be stoppable.

Dan Stodola's picture

This will be a game Rodgers will have to win pre-snap, not quick reads after the snap. Otherwise I agree. But Rodgers has to identify the matchup before the snap, look off the coverage quickly and then go to the matchup he wanted before the snap.

porupack's picture

I agree. Run 4 and 5 WRs in the first half, and quick throws. Occasionally attempt deep with Starks as safety valve. Then start running in second half when they get tired. I think that is a win in Denver

I have loss at Caroline and Az, and Minne @ Minn. I had Dallas loss initially, but still tend that way. Their Oline neutralizes GPB and have enough out of the backfield, TE and WR to keep moving the ball.

grbpkr6's picture

I see it as a win at Denver, Peyton is not the Peyton that we all know and love, a lose at Carolina, remember the read-option, and two division wins at Detroit and Minnesota, Lions lost a lot with Suh gone, and Teddy isn't a premier qb yet.

Dan Stodola's picture

" Peyton that we all know and love,"

Speak for yourself. Cant stand him, never could. If he hadn't faced the worst SB entrant in recent history, he wouldn't have a single SB to his name. That would have suited me very nicely.

jh9's picture

The Packers will come out of the bye and win at Denver. It'll be low-scoring and close, something like 20-17. I think we will lose to Carolina. Back to back away games are a bitch and for Carolina beating the Packers would mean more to them than the Packers beating Carolina. Detroit at Lambeau... come on, that's a gimme. The Vikings could be difficult. This one is tough to predict. One turnover could be the difference. I said going into the season that I thought the Packers would be 13-3. I'd be giddy if we ended up at 14-2.

Icebowler's picture

Technically, the order of importance is: Vikings, Panthers, Lions, Broncos. Psychologically, Denver tops the list. One game at a time, baby!

chugwater's picture

You're worried about Carolina running us over, but pick GB to win anyway. Not sure I follow the logic, but you get to the right answer nonetheless.

I think we go 13-3 this year with losses to MIN (away), ARZ, and then our annual should-win-but-inexplicably-don't against OAK.

I'm amazed at how tough our schedule is. Week after week of solid defenses - SEA, KC, STL, DEN, CAR, and ARZ. The only AFC South type team we play is Detroit. Everything else we earn.

porupack's picture

You're right Chugwater. I thought the same. GB plays most of the better defenses in the league.

Bearmeat's picture

If Adams, Lacy, Raji, Burnett and Montgomery get healthy, they'll win all 4.

Quite simply, they are better than all of those teams. I'll say it again - the only team that can hang with GB talent wise this year is New England. Mayyyybe Cincy IF Dalton keeps playing like he has so far this year.

Since '61's picture

Prior to the season I predicted that the Packers would lose at Denver & Minn, but win at Carolina and against Detroit. But now I'm thinking that the Packers, assuming their injured players return, will win at Denver, against Det and Minn but possibly lose to Carolina. I would prefer they lose to Denver because the AFC game has the least impact on the Packers NFC standing but as long as the Packers do not commit turnovers they should beat Denver. As for Carolina, the Packers should know how to stop the read option by now. If they do that they beat Carolina. In any case, I'm going with 3-1 over the next four but hoping for 4-0. Go Pack! Thanks, Since '61

Icebowler's picture

Somebody's got to beat Carolina...might as well be Green Bay.

lucky953's picture

How much will we know after 10 games? Tell me which team was better after 13 games. The 8-5 2010 Packers or the 13-0 2011 Packers?
We already know this is a playoff caliber team. We were a Bostick away from being able to kick NEs butt last year, so how good was that team? Patience, patience.

The TKstinator's picture

I think we'll find out in January how good this Packer team is.

joe packer's picture

Congrats on the usual good article. But special props for the strength it must have taken to suggest a minnesota win. Likely or not, my thumbs would have been virtually frozen at the keyboard.

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
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