Packers Question of the day - Expectations for the next Four-game Stretch

In three of the next four games, the Packers' secondary will face the likes of Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard, who occupy the Giants' wide receiver trio in New York. After, comes Dez Bryant and two weeks later, Julio Jones who is coming off an eye-popping performance against the Panthers in which he recorded over 300 receiving yards.

If there was a month for the Packers' defensive backs to prove their worth and silence any skeptics, October would be it. Are you holding out belief that Joe Whitt and co. can rally the troops and make the necessary adjustments to halt the opposing passing attack, or will they continue to flounder?

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (53)

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mrtundra's picture

October 03, 2016 at 09:25 am

Everyone has seen that Randall had trouble covering his receivers the past few games. Getting him help or straightened away should be job 1.

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al bundy's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:27 pm

How about forever. Randall Rollins are developec. The learning curve was last year. Cant make em faster, taller quicker or better in coverage. What you zee is what you get.

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NickPerry's picture

October 03, 2016 at 09:33 pm

Dude, if you're going to come here and comment at least make it so we don't have to decipher what they heck your saying.

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2016 at 09:33 am

Rush the passer well and the secondary will look that much better.

One week at a time: the Giants will be on a short week after a physical challenge at Minnesota this week to play a rested Packers team coming off it bye. Who knows what they'll look like when they'll get to Lambeau?

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NMPF's picture

October 03, 2016 at 09:40 am

It all starts with pressuring the opposing QB. Also if a DB/LB gets his hands on the ball getting the INT would be nice. Go Pack!

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ejr450's picture

October 03, 2016 at 09:54 am

I do expect improvement - Burnett / CMIII / Datone all should be back, which will help the organization and experience of the overall defense. It puts Hyde back in a more familiar role too.

As for DR and Q, well, time to ball out fellas. Sam will be back at some point but for now, it's your show.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:09 am

First things first.
Our next game is against the Giants. The trio of Beckham, Cruz and Shephard will be a tough one.
A couple of things that will help us, is having the bye week to regroup. Also the Giants are playing tonight (MNF), and then have to come to GB Sunday. That helps a bit. We have 2 weeks for rest and they will be on a shorter week.

We will have to see if Shields comes back this week. And if he does, do they limit his snaps on the field?

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The TKstinator's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:41 am

Better than limiting his snaps off the field.

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Isn't that what they've been doing?

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The TKstinator's picture

October 03, 2016 at 12:16 pm

That's classified, sir.

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The TKstinator's picture

October 03, 2016 at 01:05 pm

Btw, I have no idea what "off field snaps" are.

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zeke's picture

October 04, 2016 at 01:33 am

Something to do with towels and locker rooms, I think.

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rdent's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:45 am

This will be their toughest test yet,not one but 3 good WR' s to cover,I hope they have used the bye week to get the glitches straightened out

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EdsLaces's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:50 am

Been tons of injuries lately. Not wishing injuries on any team but who knows how healthy the gmen are after a tough one in Minnesota. This is a put up or shut up month for the pack. I hope we shut some people up but I definitely have my reservations...more about Q than Randall tbh. We gotta get that pass rush rolling opposite Perry and I think we will be just fine. I also look for Martinez' first big play as a packer....

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dschwalm's picture

October 03, 2016 at 12:25 pm

You are right, Eds Laces: "Put up or shut up". Unfortunately, the 3 teams they played to date do NOT have anything close to the G-Men. It will be even uglier when they play the Falcons & Julio. IMO, they can't turn those two guys around that quickly - perhaps by week 10 if they still have a shot at the play-offs. Don't count on Burnett and Shields to make that big a difference

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:11 pm

The Giants are max protecting to give Eli time to throw and he's still not finding receivers. They haven't sacked him all night (5 min left) and he's not finding anyone open. Yes, these are quick, fast receivers, but they're struggling tonight and so is Eli.

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Since'61's picture

October 03, 2016 at 11:19 am

The Packers will need a strong pass rush to help out the secondary. Also improved play from our CBs is a must. Finally, our offense needs to play to form (as in first half of the Lions game) and keep the opposing offense on the sidelines as much as possible. The Gmen pose the biggest threat because of their 3 WRs and their QB. Prescott from Dallas has not shown a great arm so far. Julio Jones will be a problem unless we get to Ryan consistently. One game at a time. Go Pack go ! Thanks, Since '61

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marcopo's picture

October 03, 2016 at 11:20 am

It's pretty basic. The secondary has to start living up to expectations. Randall has had two bad games, but we've already seen what he's capable of. Part of it is the loss of Shields and Burnett, but most of it is on his own makings. He was gambling too much. He's got to cover better and let the game come to him. The same for the other newbies. Unless the secondary improves, there goes the season, with the way other offences are playing.

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SpudRapids's picture

October 03, 2016 at 12:16 pm

" The secondary has to start living up to expectations."

Our expectations needs to change if two starters are out

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Gianich's picture

October 03, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Starters out or not, the transition pass off from the CB's area in the zone to the Safety's area of the zone has been a weakness even with all the starters healthy. Burnett, Hyde, and Dix haven't been over the top to help on a corner fade route EVER in my memory. So my expectations aren't very high, nothing to change as far as my expectations go. If the run defense stays stout and they get pressure the secondary's inability to play zone defense will be masked enough to make a damn good run in the next month.

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PortlandMark's picture

October 03, 2016 at 05:20 pm

They did drop 3 interceptions against the Lions. If they don't drop the picks the stats will be great.

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cuervo's picture

October 03, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Will our group improve? Probably, but they've been so bad that even a large improvement still says the other teams are going to score points. In other words, we aren't going to win 13-10 games.
We need to score....a lot. That is where my worries are....is our offense going to be potent enough to keep us in games.

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2016 at 03:28 pm

"In other words, we aren't going to win 13-10 games."

Hard so say. Look at the Giants: they won a 16-13 game at home against New Orleans a couple weeks ago. I know that Brees has become a different player away from the Superdome, but all the Giants could hang on that lousy NO defense was 16 points...and, actually, it was 9 points because they returned a blocked kick for a TD. Three games in, and they're already -6 in turnover margin. They don't run the ball much. It's all on Eli. Sure, with those WR they're going to smoke some teams, but they're going to lay some ugly ones, too.

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 03, 2016 at 01:29 pm

My "Bold Prediction" was that the Packers would start 2-2, but go on to win the division. The Giants have a good and deep group of receivers. I don't see Sam Shields coming back this week. So I'm feeling pretty good about that prediction right now.

Next up we have what, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta? Yeah, I'm expecting the Packers to go 3-0 through that part of the schedule. Dallas looked better than I expected yesterday, but I'm hopeful. Chicago and Atlanta don't scare me at all. Julio Jones is great, but he's one guy.

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Oppy's picture

October 04, 2016 at 08:33 pm

It would be fun if someone revisited all of our bold predictions at half way point and years' end.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 03, 2016 at 01:47 pm

Funny how fast the preseason rankings change. How when they come out with schedules, the 'easy games' become hard and the 'hard games' become easy.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:17 pm

I totally agree. The match-ups change as personel gain experience, newbies are added to a roster, and of course, injuries.

Though the theme is to look at the pass defense (and rightfully so), I tend to wonder why we play off of receivers so much, when our strength has been one-on-one, physical jam and challenge. In my opinion, our DBs are small and we have to play to their strengths. The different teams we are about to play pose different match-up issues. Giants have 3 fast/athletic receivers, The Cowboys & Falcons are dominated by the big receiver-types in Bryant (may be a non-issue with injury) and Jones, but are NOT one-dimensional teams. I would like us to jam on the line & play inside-out, physical one on one, more. IMO this plays to our DBs abilities. But, (do I dare say it!), this may leave the middle more vulnerable if we provide support with our safeties. Our DBs will be challenged. The best pass-D, is a great defensive pass-rush.

Out of all the upcoming games, I am more concerned about Atlanta and Chicago. Chicago more so because it is a rivalry/ divisional game that always brings something extra.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 04, 2016 at 08:21 am

I completely agree... I would prefer our CB's playing more bump and run then to play off coverage. Shields is about the only one that I like playing off coverage.

Randall I think is a lot better playing man then zone too...

I think Capers went to more zone in the 2nd half because Hawkins got burnt at the end of the first half.

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PaulRosik's picture

October 03, 2016 at 02:51 pm

I always expect the Packers to win their home games and these next three games are no different. Whether the defense plays better or they win shootouts we will have to see.

On the road in Atlanta is tougher but they will have 10 days to prepare after tuning up on the Bears in Lambeau on a Thursday.

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mrj007's picture

October 03, 2016 at 02:55 pm

Giants = Loss for sure. This is a Nationally Televised game for one, AND GB has given up an AVG of 330 yds passing in first 3 weeks, so not much of a chance to slow down 3 receivers who are all faster than our best guy (Sheilds) who likely won't even play.
Cowboys = Win, but only by a slim margin. Bryant could get 200+ receiving yards, but this is at home.
Bears = SHOULD be a win, but hold on - this is a Nationally Televised game and GB likely loses this one.
Falcons = Loss almost for sure. Atlanta has the best offense and the entire world know Ryan will throw to Jones, but GB won't be able to stop it. Just like they couldn't stop Diggs, or Jones, or the Allens (Jax) in the first three games.

The run Defense is great - but unfortunately, that is forcing teams to throw and exploit the most glaring weakness on defense - the secondary and their extreme inability to cover.

Until something changes, no game is a gimme because like we saw against Detroit - even a 4 score lead isn't enough to make anyone feel comfortable. Unfortunately, the offense isn't helping much either, so I doubt GB can keep up with the quick scoring of New York or Atlanta.

I would expect the 330 passing Yd/Gm AVG that GB is giving up through the air will likley increase over the next four games. (Julio Jones might have more yards BY HIMSELF against the Pack)

Before the season began, I thought things would be different. But this is the teams identify through 3 games this year GB is ranked 29th in the PASSING DEFENSE AND OFFENSE categories... not where you want to be against 3 of the next 4 opponents. (The Bears still suck! But even they squeaked out a win against Detroit.....)

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PaulRosik's picture

October 03, 2016 at 03:16 pm

Every week in the NFL is different. Are the Steelers as bad as they looked in getting pummeled by the Eagles or as good as they looked in destroying the Chiefs a week later? Are the Patriots the world beaters that can score with anyone at QB like we saw against the Texans or the hapless team that got shut out at home the next week?

To simply say the Packers played like this against the Lions so this is how they are going to look the rest of the year is being way too simplistic.

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Since'61's picture

October 03, 2016 at 03:42 pm

Paul - nice post. 007 already has the season figured out based on only 3 games so there is no need for him to comment in the future and hopefully he won't. Thanks, Since '61

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mrj007's picture

October 03, 2016 at 03:57 pm

That's like,, your opinion , man...

I just happen to think GB goes 1-3 over the next 4 games. I would expect you to think they will go 4 -0.

I don't like it, but that's how I think they've played. Pretty bad for and against the pass. It IS pretty simple. Most obvious observations that are true are.

Here is another simple concept: The same group that creates a problem is generally NOT the same group to solve the problem. So what is going to happen when the same group plays on Sunday night? Logical conclusion is that they will play the same as they have been.

I love betting against the Packers and the spread this year - haven't lost yet.....

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 03, 2016 at 07:53 pm

I doubt any team has 3 WRs that are all faster than Shields, who runs in the 4.3s. It is not unusual for young starters (Randall, Rollins + Gunter and Hawkins as back-ups) to improve, so the improvement in our secondary is very possible, though I grant it is not certain.

That said, I cannot say that mrj007 is obviously wrong - his opinion could be correct.

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mrj007's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:17 pm

Yes Redondo. My sarcastic point you get. I hope I am wrong. But it seems everyone is assuming this second year "jump" is such a certainty that it has almost become part if the DNA of Packer fandom. Yet each year this jump doesn't happen, the whole team suffers. I like mostly how the team is managed, but a few vets may be necessary as insurance. I don't like the investment in hope. I would rather pay a FA who can stay on the field and do his job while time will tell if the youth develops

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mrj007's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:23 pm

But you assume Shields plays...... He may never again

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dobber's picture

October 03, 2016 at 03:37 pm

Mooooo!

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al bundy's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:20 pm

The pack canf beat dallas, the giants or the falcons. They will eat this piss poor pass d up. Sooner or later, probably later the die pack fans will get it: rollins, randle and gunther are not very talented.

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SpudRapids's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Moooo

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ray nichkee's picture

October 04, 2016 at 02:49 am

At least Rollins, Randle, and Gunter can type without fucking the words up.

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NickPerry's picture

October 04, 2016 at 06:42 am

Hey Bundy, go look at Rhodes stats his 2nd season, especially against Rodgers...not very good, not very good at all. Like EVERY 2nd year CB, they improve their 2nd season as the season wears on in most cases. My guess is by the end of the year, the Packers Pass Defense will be just fine.

The Vikings Offense is anemic. Had Harris not dropped the ball inside the 30 or 20 (whichever it was, the Vikings would have gone 4 straight games without scoring on Offense. We'll see you week 16. Bring Peg, Bud, and Kelly and watch the Packers spank that ass.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 05, 2016 at 03:25 pm

No expectations at all. Only hope that regardless of who is healthy and able to play, that MM and Capers coach at their best possible level, use all their players and what happens, happens. Btw that was before I looked at who they were playing. Given who they are facing, they better. All plays on deck.

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Lphill's picture

October 03, 2016 at 06:57 pm

Any given Sunday !

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al bundy's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:14 pm

Manning will again eat the pack alive. He will live in the middle of our field. The giants will get healthy and look all world.
Hey this team almost lost to a horrid Jax team, almost let a 1-3 Lions team come back and beat them, not to mention gzve stafford a career day and you guys are still thinking wow what a team we have.
Thid is the worst and cheapest paid pass d in football. Expect nothing going forward.

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mrj007's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:20 pm

That is how it looks to me too.

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SpudRapids's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Moo

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al bundy's picture

October 03, 2016 at 08:15 pm

Manning will again eat the pack alive. He will live in the middle of our field. The giants will get healthy and look all world.
Hey this team almost lost to a horrid Jax team, almost let a 1-3 Lions team come back and beat them, not to mention gzve stafford a career day and you guys are still thinking wow what a team we have.
Thid is the worst and cheapest paid pass d in football. Expect nothing going forward.

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SpudRapids's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Mooo... Moo

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dobber's picture

October 04, 2016 at 01:13 pm

"Manning will again eat the pack alive."

Manning could barely eat his own bagel last night...

I was really hoping that OBJ would go off last night. First off, it would have been nice to see Minnesota scramble to keep up with him when he's on a roll (which obviously wasn't a problem). But secondly because he's really due...and the Packers are up next.

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Icebowler's picture

October 03, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Boy, the Gloom & Doom gang has taken over this thread. I think three weeks of home cookin is just what we need right now. Rodgers has his mojo back and he will feed off of the home crowd. Until Shields comes back, the one thing that we need to do on D is keep HHCD back to support the young CB's. One positive over last year is that we now have ILB's who appear capable of dropping back in coverage against TE's and RB's. If we have all of our OLB's back healthy, we should generate a stout pass rush. The Giants game is key. If we win that one, we will take down the Cowboys and Bears. Then it will be a tough game in Atlanta. Time to adopt the Belichick philosophy: Take away their best player, which is Julio. I would have Gunther challenge him on the LOS and then double team him. We need to go at least 3-1 in the next 4! I'm still optimistic!

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packrat's picture

October 04, 2016 at 09:41 am

I dunno, but to a great extent: as Rodgers goes, so go the Packers. I;ll bet on AR for the season.

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Lphill's picture

October 04, 2016 at 12:50 pm

All these secret Vikings fans here , it's a long season their bubble will burst .

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TommyG's picture

October 04, 2016 at 07:36 pm

Sadly, I have had the Giants match-up as a loss from the first day of announced opponents. The way that team is built is simply a recipe for how to defeat the Packers. While it is certainly possible to beat them (look at the mistakes during the Vikings game) to do so will be very difficult. I would expect a close, single digit, winner of this game. I just don't see a win in our favor. As for the other three games I predict wins. Yes, I said it, three straight wins following the Giants loss. Yes that includes the away Atlanta game.

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