It’s Put up or Shut up Time for the 2018 Packers

If the Green Bay Packers really can compete with anyone in the NFL this season, the time to prove it is in Foxboro, MA this Sunday.

Following the Packers loss to the Los Angeles Rams this past Sunday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked if a loss like that to a still undefeated team could be galvanizing to the 2018 Packers team.  The question was posed to the veteran quarterback because not many people gave the team a chance to even compete against the Rams and the Packers proceeded to put together their best effort of the season outside of the Buffalo Bills game in late September.

A frustrated yet confident Rodgers stressed that he knew that the 2018 Packers could compete with anyone before this past week and that bringing the Rams down to the final minutes was no revelation to him or the team.  In the same breath, Rodgers urged that no momentum could be gained from a loss of any variety and that the urgency for this year’s Packers team has to pick up now.

The loss to the Rams surely was a disappointment to the team and fans alike and the reasons for frustration are many.  But by the way that the defense came out and set the tone from the beginning of the game by attacking quarterback Jared Goff, smothering running back Todd Gurley and keeping their dangerous wide receivers in check, the Packers offense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain when they were needed most and too many short drives left a gassed defense to eventually give up points to the Rams in the second half.  Rodgers reiterated the fact that the Packers defense came to play and the offenses stagnant start put them in an easy position for their early lead to be overtaken by the Rams.

With the defense appearing ready to take on any challenge, the Packers offense desperately needs a shot to the arm and no place better for that to start than at Gillette Stadium this Sunday night against the New England Patriots.  In what will only mark the second head to head matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers during their storied careers, a primetime Sunday Night Football matchup would make the perfect setting for Rodgers to lead the Packers offense to their first road victory of the season.  While Rodgers’ confidence in saying that he knows they compete with anyone in the league is great to hear from a team’s star quarterback, the time for the quarterback and the team to cash in on that sentiment is this Sunday.

While probably not a must-win situation against the Patriots this Sunday, the Packers can’t afford to lose any more ground in what is turning out to be the most competitive division in the NFL this season.  The 3-3-1 mark that the Packers currently sit at is disappointing, but the reality is that no other team in the division has grabbed the bull by the horns to run away with the division at this point.  The Packers currently sit in third place behind the 4-3 Chicago Bears and the 4-3-1 Minnesota Vikings.  With the Packers facing all three division foes one more time this season, almost every one of the Packers goals for the season is within reach with the prospect of home-field advantage looking like an extreme longshot.  A division title and a home playoff game are well within reach and it will take a more consistent approach on offense for the team to ensure that happens.

If you are a believer in fate or divine intervention, you would have to believe that a Super Bowl featuring Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady was inevitable to settle many a debate about the two quarterbacks.  While this is no Super Bowl this Sunday, Rodgers has put some pressure on his own shoulders like many times before and I fully expect him to respond in glorious fashion.  And if the believers in a fateful Super Bowl matchup between the two quarterbacks are eventually right, there surely aren’t many seasons left for that to happen. 

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Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Comments (42)

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ollie418's picture

October 30, 2018 at 06:16 pm

Brady and Co will carve up the D.

The offense will score but have a quarter plus of ineptness.

They will waste precious TO in the second half.

They will lose again to another good team.

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jeepingmakooi's picture

October 31, 2018 at 12:26 am

You mean the same Brady and company that struggled against the bills until late in the game? Yeah. Okay.

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Jordan's picture

October 31, 2018 at 04:44 pm

In his press conference, MM tried putting Rodgers in the same category as Tom Brady. What a joke. Rodgers can't even beat Goff or Cousins or Stafford.

Rodgers and MM couldn't even score enough points in SB XLV. It took a Nick Collins TD to win the game.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

October 31, 2018 at 07:04 pm

Hahahahaha you just tried to say Rodgers is not better than Goff, Cousins or Stafford. Quick question please offer rodgers to any of those team, including the ram and see what happens. Just go away I can't even imagine you watch football, with that statement.

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Lare's picture

October 30, 2018 at 06:20 pm

Sounds good in theory, but while the Patriots are on their way to yet another deep playoff and possible Super Bowl run, the Packers are in a full blown rebuild and struggling to stay around average this season.

With good decisions the Packers could be back in contention next year, but realistically it’ll be 2020 at the soonest.

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Coldworld's picture

October 30, 2018 at 06:28 pm

The Patriots haven’t looked great this season, but you are right given their division. Expect a lot of deep passes ... our safeties are going to be tested and then tested again now.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 30, 2018 at 06:34 pm

I disagree with the tenor of the comments. The Packers showed me something on Sunday. Assuming health, I do believe Jones will be getting the rock more and the offense will start to take off very soon. The defense was what I was concerned about, and they stonewalled the best offensive team in the league for the better part of the game, despite being put in awful situations all game.

The offense will be their normal top 10 selves in scoring before the end of the year. If we can get the defense to keep other teams under 24 a game, we're going to win most games.

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Roadking's picture

October 30, 2018 at 06:55 pm

What about the game before, they made a back up look like a hall of famer.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 31, 2018 at 10:41 am

How many MM-led teams have you seen come out of the gate slow and finish fast? Thinking back on MM's 13 years, I'd say all but 5 of them (07, 08,11,15 and 17) that did just that... Really, 08 and 17 were the only two MM-led years that started slow and ended badly, and both are pretty explainable...

So started slow/end fast under MM: 06, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 and had beginning to end dominance in 07 and 11... Just saying...There's a pretty big pattern there...

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The TKstinator's picture

October 30, 2018 at 07:42 pm

Agree about the tenor of the comments,
But,
The Three Tenors really kicked arse, musically speaking.

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BradHTX's picture

October 31, 2018 at 06:21 am

Tenors? Pfft. Everyone knows it’s all about that bass.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 31, 2018 at 04:24 pm

Touché, señor!

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4thand1's picture

October 30, 2018 at 06:53 pm

I'm shuttin up.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 30, 2018 at 07:11 pm

I’m putting up.

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White92's picture

October 31, 2018 at 11:06 am

I'm trying to keep it up

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JohnnyLogan's picture

October 30, 2018 at 07:21 pm

I'm sitting down, and now I'm getting up.

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Roadrunner23's picture

October 30, 2018 at 07:32 pm

People, it's like iv'e been talking about all along. The Packers are in the midst of a two year re-build, consider this:

*The Packer brass knew they had to pucker up and pay Rodgers the big coin this year. In other words no room cap wise for Kalil Mack.

*The Packers desperatlty needed a Pass Rusher in the draft but traded back to collect another First Rounder.
I loved the move and the Alexander pick was an excellent choice but contenders stay put or trade up for that one piece.

*The trading away of Dix and to a lesser extent Montgomery. If a team thinks they have a chance at the Super Bowl these moves are not made.

*A First year GM is going to be fairly conservative and not shoot the moon in year one.

*The Packers are re-building they just won't tell you that, it's not good for business.

*But cheer up my cheesy brethren, the re-build shall be short. Gute knows he's in a short window with Rodgers and with a great draft this past year and another in 2019 the Packers will be right back in it....just not this year.

~NostraDANus~

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Samson's picture

October 30, 2018 at 07:37 pm

On the road against Brady & the Pats, 3-4-1 is the likely result. --- 2018 is a transition year for the Pack. --- Gute needs another offseason to make the Pack more competitive. --- 2019 may be more realistic. -- TT ineptness along with MM's inability as a HC has put GB in full-blown makeover.

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4zone's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:02 pm

If the Packers played to their talent level they would be the scariest team in the NFL. If we can take the Rams basically to the wire on their home field while not playing a great game, what would it have looked like if our O was clicking on all cylinders?

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:05 pm

We have the same amount of losses as the Bears & Viqueens so we're okay.

We will have to win at Minny & at Chicago later. And win at home vs Minny.

We can beat New England. But I'd love to swap MM & Philbin for BB & McDaniels for this one.

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Lphill's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:05 pm

McCarthy will be gone after this season and straight to the Browns , who the Packers hire I don't know but it's long overdue.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:12 pm

~NostraDANus~*The trading away of Dix and to a lesser extent Montgomery. If a team thinks they have a chance at the Super Bowl these moves are not made...........
---------totally disagree with that....montgomery and dix were team cancers......improvement by subtraction.....good move, to immediately improve.....

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 31, 2018 at 01:07 am

I also disagree with NostradANUS and agree with you Big Cheese. This move doesn't necessarily write off the Packers this season. Desmond Bishop came in after the injury to Nick Barnett and turned out to be the better player and the Packers won a super bowl that year. Maybe the same happens with Dix's replacement, whoever that is. We'll have to see what happens Sunday.

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Rossonero's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:15 pm

For anyone lamenting the loss of Clinton-Dix, just watch the first 30 seconds of this.

You can have him, Washington.

https://youtu.be/POtmShJzcNo

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4thand1's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:27 pm

shattup shuttin up.

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lebowski's picture

October 31, 2018 at 08:49 am

nice Bugs Bunny reference

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Since'61's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:31 pm

Dix has been part of the problem since last season. Monty had to go. Neither were part of the solution for the Pack especially this season. No loss. 3-3-1 with them or 3-3-1 without them.

The key is that this team is still relatively healthy. If they can pick up where they left off in LA minus the Safety and Monty's stupidity they will be fine, especially if they stop beating themselves.

A healthy Alexander will allow Pettine to generate more pass rush. Getting the ball to Jones more frequently will open up the offense. Hopefully Rodgers will eventually fully recover from his knee injury and regain his full mobility.

I have some hope for this team now that they have handled the situation with Monty and have Dix out of our defense. It sends the message that they still believe they have a chance this season and will make moves to continue to improve the team.

Playing the Pats on the road is a big challenge but I like out chances. Thanks, Since '61

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Rossonero's picture

October 30, 2018 at 08:41 pm

Anyone remember the 1997 movie "The Edge?" It starred Anthony Hopkins (as Charles) and Alec Baldwin.

After their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness and a massive Kodiak bear is hunting them, they make camp one night.

"You know what people lost in the woods die of?" said Hopkins.

"What Charles?" said one of his companions.

"They die of shame," Charles says.

"They think, 'how did this happen, how did I get myself into this...so they sit there and they...die. But they didn't do the one thing that would've saved them....thinking."

"There's nobody here but us," Hopkins says.

"Am I missing something?"

Baldwin is silent. He realizes nobody is coming to their rescue.

"We're going to have to walk out of here," Hopkins says staring into the vast wilderness and snowy mountains.

That's where we're at now. Nobody is coming to our rescue, there's no miracle trade or anything. If we're gonna make it, we're going to have to climb up that first peak, in the snow, in the wind, playing our style of football.

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cinpackback's picture

October 30, 2018 at 10:18 pm

I really like this

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Rossonero's picture

October 31, 2018 at 07:15 am

Thank you

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 31, 2018 at 12:53 am

I was going to write a snarky comment but Rossonero's comment is so good that I won't befoul the thread.

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Rossonero's picture

October 31, 2018 at 07:14 am

Thanks Reynoldo.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 31, 2018 at 04:28 pm

Nor besmirch it. I hate all forms of besmirchery.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

October 30, 2018 at 10:12 pm

There have been two outstanding breakout players from Gute's draft, Alexander and MVS, and a couple that show real signs of being players; Jackson and EQ. Gute is loaded for bear in the next draft. The 4th for Ha Ha likely will be used to move up into the 2nd or 3rd. The two firsts should be bring two pretty good players or packaged a great player. And there's still this year. We're still in the hunt. Small miracles can happen. Josh Jones could suddenly play as well on D as he does on special teams. Jones can become the lead back now with Monty gone that we've all been asking for and together with Adams and MVS ignite this offense. This second half will be exciting. Next year even more so. Good things coming.

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stockholder's picture

October 30, 2018 at 10:25 pm

After Sunday I like it. I still believe it was sabotage. And now we have two holes. Only on paper! If you want to win. You need a good secondary. Not Cancers. I approve of the trade. Raji, peppers and Randall are gone. The blow up left. It's not sad, It's better for MM. We have are next safeties already. I now want Jones on the field. I want Jackson on the field. And the only way to get them on it , is to move Williams back. He will work with the kids. The packers just got more FIGHT in them. Now they can get solid. Partners! Monty was the next drop waiting to happen. Good for A-Rod.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 30, 2018 at 11:56 pm

" If you are a believer in fate or divine intervention, you would have to believe that a Super Bowl featuring Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady was inevitable to settle many a debate about the two quarterbacks."

What a load of bs. You or any others think that the winner of a SB between Brady and Rodgers, with the play of others dependent on the outcome decide who is the better or GOAT. How can some be this easily swayed.
Brady's accomplishments speak for him where Rodgers doesn't...plain and simple.
Also, don't confuse talent being the end all...the more talented aren't always the best.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

October 31, 2018 at 07:18 pm

Hmm I know that Brady first 3 sb were more on the team, so there's that. Funny you claim people like BearMeat attack you without cause, but you enter comments that are click bait. Sorry but to say Rodgers accomplishment don't stand up, is just funny. You are a packer fan right? Cause if you are what you claim, you have seen the last six years, and know the only reason they have compete on elite level lays with one person. You are usually a breath of fresh air, when we get ahead of ourselves in homer land. This comment is like you say a load of bs.

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EdsLaces's picture

October 31, 2018 at 04:00 am

I tend to agree with most of the comments. You just dont trade away your only decent safety if you plan on contending I dont care what anyone says. If people think we are gonna roll out Brice and Whitehead and keep Brady in check...I mean cmon.

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Lphill's picture

October 31, 2018 at 05:40 am

Packers are not in rebuild mode just some bad luck this season could easily be 6 and 1 but the ball hasn't bounced their way , the defense maybe is shaping up and Rodgers has all his receiver available and the O line held its own against the Rams on the road the Packers can beat the Patriots Sunday if they play like they did against the Rams , and now Tramon will move to safety and Breeland will start to come on .

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PAPackerbacker's picture

October 31, 2018 at 06:28 am

I agree. The Packers need to quit making excuses and start playing 60 minutes of football. if you are sluggish against the Patriots at any point during the game Brady will take advantage of it. If the Packers can win in New England it can be a tremendous boost to their chances of turning the season around. However, they can not take any team lightly for the remainder of the season. Do not look beyond your next opponent and start playing 60 minutes of football. The time is now.

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IamGute's picture

October 31, 2018 at 10:21 am

What a weird year for the secondary. Trade Randall and HaHa, cut Rollins and have a stronger overall group than last year. They shedded two first round picks and a second. They weren’t playing to that level, but it is interesting.

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daveinTX's picture

October 31, 2018 at 11:30 am

The defense will have 11 competitors on the field for the first time in over a year this Sunday. Addition by subtraction. No matter who replaces HaHa Clinton-Dix, he will be better than a player who tried to avoid contact as much as he thought he could get away with.

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