Packers Turn the Page to the Minnesota Vikings

Following an emotional victory on Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers turn their focus on hosting the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday.

Coming off of an emotional and historic win on Sunday night against the rival Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers now turn their attention to the impending visit to Lambeau Field by the Minnesota Vikings this coming Sunday.

To begin preparation for yet another NFC North division battle to start the season, the coaching staff must first focus on grounding the team following the events that happened less than 48 hours ago.  The players, like the fans, experienced the entire spectrum of human emotion in a period of a little over three hours and the hangover from those emotions can have lasting effects.  The challenge for Mike McCarthy and his staff will be to regather the team and ensure that all focus moving forward is on the task at hand when the Vikings come to town. 

The motivation to refocus should come easy due to the simple fact of who their opponent will be.  While the rivalry with the Chicago Bears comes with a wealth of history to open the season, the NFC North division’s primary rivalry in recent years has been between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.  The division will likely come down to the two teams once again come December and while the losing team on Sunday certainly isn’t out of the race for the division, the winner positions themselves a step ahead of their competitor with a huge divisional win.

On top of being a game ahead in the standings early in the season, this game has all of the storylines to give the winner both momentum and the ability to flex their muscles until the two teams meet again at the end of November.  When Mike Daniels called the 2018 season Aaron Rodgers’ revenge tour, you would have to think that the game this weekend had a large red circle around it.  After suffering the collarbone injury in Minnesota last season, the perfect next step in the revenge tour would be a convincing victory over the Vikings.

But, that potential victory won’t come easy against a Vikings squad that will enter Lambeau Field Sunday featuring many improvements to a team that was 60 minutes away from a Super Bowl appearance last season.  Both the Vikings team and their fans are absolutely pumped for this early divisional game where they will have the opportunity to head east and play spoiler to a fast start for the Packers.  With Kirk Cousins now under center, Dalvin Cook fully healthy and the defense looking as strong as last year, the Vikings will provide a large challenge to a Packers team that will be looking to send a message come Sunday.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of the Packers coaching staff will be to avoid a rough start like they experienced against the Bears.  A victory against the Vikings will likely require a full 60 minutes of solid, mistake-free football.  Spotting the Vikings a handful of points at the half will be much more difficult to overcome, even with an Aaron Rodgers led offense.

While still a solid unit, the film room will show the Packers that the Vikings may come to Lambeau Field as a vulnerable opponent if their play last week against the San Francisco 49ers is any indication.  On the offensive side of the ball, the Vikings were limited to just 17 points and their run game failed to get any momentum going.  On defense, the unit did put up a touchdown and caused four turnovers while allowing just 16 points.  But 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the team’s offense certainly left some plays on the field with dropped passes, a red-zone fumble and costly interceptions. 

Any way you slice the matchup between the two teams this coming Sunday, chances are highly likely that this game will be a dogfight to the end.  With the Vikings having won four of the last five matchups, the motivation to win on each side of the matchup will be sky high.  Coming off of the emotional swings this past Sunday, preparation for the Vikings is of utmost importance and I fully trust that Mike McCarthy and his staff will have the Packers ready to rumble come Sunday.

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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 (63)

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

September 11, 2018 at 06:07 pm

I hope Burks is ready to go. We need him to cover Cook.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:25 pm

"...the coaching staff must first focus on grounding the team following the events that happened less than 48 hours ago. "

Coming back to Earth ( crashing ) has never been an issue for most players in GB.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:45 pm

There's a vast difference between being the glass is half empty type that you claim to be for this site, and the absolute ball of negativity that you truly are. I truly hope you are not so ridiculous in real life.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:56 pm

I only use the half glass thing because most here do. I'm a realist and that makes me a winner. I can understand both takes, pro and cons, but I don't make decisions on hope,fantasy but what I see and can base on facts as best possible.
I'd bet some are already boasting the new guys are awesome, freaky athletic and darn good players and not even getting a uniform yet.

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The TKstinator's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:34 pm

Quoth the raven, “nevermore”.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm

I think that's part of what I like about being a fan is the hope. I know some of it for me isn't realistic and I'm fine with that. Once I saw Rodgers come back onto the field and I had hope. Everything in the 1st half looked hopeless and watching the game was awful. As the hope grew in the 2nd half it was amazing. Give me hope over reality when it comes to football life is depressing enough already.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 12, 2018 at 03:24 am

You are not realist, you are troll!

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Turophile's picture

September 12, 2018 at 04:14 am

@Tarynfor12. All pessimists claim they are realists.

Your quote "Coming back to Earth ( crashing ) has never been an issue for most players in GB." illustrates it perfectly. Coming back to earth means you must have been flying, so I'll enjoy that part. Concentrating on the crash is like the guy who was completely obsessed with dying his whole life............and when it was his time to go, he realised he had missed out on all of life leading up to that point.

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SpudRapids's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:29 am

Your perceptions don't count as facts... You perceived Kyler Fackrell would overtake Nick Perry as OLB...

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Demon's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:41 am

Should I start listing the people here that said Randall Cobb and Gmo should both be cut? How about all the guys that thought Biegel was going to be the savior to the pass rush? Everyone here has their opinions even thugh a large number of them are just plain silly.

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Oppy's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:57 am

I believe that's spud's whole point.. people's personal opinions don't constitute facts.

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Since'61's picture

September 12, 2018 at 09:04 am

We are all entitled to our own opinions but we're not entitled to our own facts. Thanks, Since '61

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SpudRapids's picture

September 12, 2018 at 09:55 am

Agreed... I just can't stand generalized negative comments from Taryn. Like the whole stint about "Packers D will be swiss cheese again" prior to them even playing a regular season game under Pettine.

You can't claim to be a realist just because your a pessimist. That's not the same thing. You can have tempered expectations but that's not what Taryn does.

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

September 12, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Since 61, I'm replying to you, because I'd probably get Smack!!, & probably will from everyone else on this board. Taryn is a Better, a Gambler, like I am. She has her own style, like I do. It puts money in her pocket. That's all that matters to us. I've been on this post 6 years or more. I don't always agree with Taryn, but she's been right, more than she's been wrong. Same with me. I picked a lot of games when everyone in the world was the other way. You were the only one to credit both Taryn & me. I didn't look at the picks or even read the posts before last Sunday's game, but I'd bet everyone of you picked GB. I know Taryn didn't, & I didn't. I cashed, & so did she. We look at the games differently than you do. I don't think I have to prove my worth to anyone. I've picked enough games on here. Not all were right, but most were. I wouldn't dismiss what she says. Surprisingly to me, she knows more about Football than most people on this board. I'm trying not to post on here, because No One is interested in what I have to say anyway. I don't know why Taryn wants all the aggravation she gets here, but I don't want it anymore. I personally tried to add something here that everyone could see, but as clear as it is, No One can see it, So I'm going to keep my opinions to myself. You've always been a Decent Person, & I think I got through to you, At least a little bit.
LVT

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Since'61's picture

September 12, 2018 at 01:46 pm

LVT - I regret the fact that you don’t post here regularly any longer. To me you are an asset to the blog and I appreciate your generous comments. Taryn is also an asset to our blog even with her sometimes contrarian point of view which I enjoy and find enlightening often. But then I believe that the more variety of views the better our blog.

As for me I did pick the Packers, but I am not a gambler. I pick as a fan and straight from the heart. I never give up on the team at least not during the season. Also, I believe that if Rodgers doesn’t get hurt the Packers beat Chicago 31-16 or 34 -16. Which means they would have covered the spread.

A positive attitude is a lot more fun for me than bing negative.
But most fans are not happy unless the Packers score on every drive and win their games 56-0. As a result they are never happy and of course it’s MMs fault even though Rodgers calls the plays and drives stall because of poor execution, penalties, our players except for Rodgers aren’t great and oh yeah, there is another professional team with some really good players trying to win the game as well. But why confuse the issue with facts and reality. Stay in touch LVT, hope to hear from you again soon. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Jonathan Spader's picture

September 12, 2018 at 09:03 pm

LVT I was wrong about the Titans over Miama pick but was right about all my other picks this past week. If you ever want to talk lines I'd love to learn more. [email protected].

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PAPackerbacker's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:30 pm

I hope the whole team is ready to go. It will take a total team effort to defeat the Vikings. And for the whole 60 minutes not just for a half. A solid running game would go a long way to securing a win to a team with an outstanding defense. And some great special team effort as well. The Packers will have to fire on all cylinders to put up another one in the W column. But it can be done. I hope they can start out strong, unlike last week, and finish strong, like last week. Go! Pack! Go!

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holmesmd's picture

September 11, 2018 at 06:44 pm

Some of the Ortho guys out of MCW believe Rodgers has a low grade MCL sprain. If so and they are able to manage his swelling, it seems probable that he will play. I think he realizes we don't have a shot at this juncture without him! I hope he can move around a little bit. Having a pocket statue against the MN defense is not ideal:(

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:20 pm

Yes ACL's and PCL's are typically the result of rapid acceleration\deceleration forces (e.g chop block or plant+go events).

AR's leg looked to be rolled on the outside --> putting pressure on the inside Medial Co-lateral Ligament MCL. Providing there's no meniscus (cartilage) damage and the MCL is sprained then a hydrocortisone injection and some strapping and AR would be ready to roll next week......... this is a best case scenario obviously.

Humorously, one of the rare "side effects" of corticosteroids (hydrocortisone) is that they can elevate the mood........ as if AR needs any more titillation after Sunday night!!

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Bearmeat's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:24 am

His postgame onfield presser was funny as hell. Dude was high as a kite.

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Oppy's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:59 am

I'm fairly sure Rodgers got two needles at half time.
One to drain fluid, and one to fill the joint with cortisone and/or god knows what else.

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BELIEVER's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:06 pm

For the Packer offense the wide receivers need to get open, we don’t have a lot of speed but we are shifty. Aaron can’t hang onto the ball. I believe the defense can more then hold its own. I’m looking for the Pack to be ready.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:42 pm

A dog fight!

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PackfanNY's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:55 pm

I'll feel a whole lot better about next week and "turn the page" once I hear that Aaron Rodgers is ok and cleared to play on Sunday.

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PackfanNY's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:57 pm

Comment doubled up. Not sure why. You get the point. I hope Rodgers can play

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Since'61's picture

September 11, 2018 at 07:57 pm

This is a game for screens to the Rbs and quick passes to the TEs. Keep the Queens off balance by running when we should pass and pass when we should run. Wear them down with the no huddle. Add in a ground attack and slow down the Queens pass rush.

Get another solid performance from Pettine's defense and we should be OK. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:06 pm

This is a game I think we see the TE's used a lot more.

Vikings really struggled to cover the TE's last year against Philly and again against the 49ers.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:28 pm

If the Vikings O-line remains as spotty as last year then it also should be an appropriate litmus-test of GB's ability to get after the passer.

I think that the packers defensive front's performance is going to determine the outcome of this game.

Not that you need my affirmation, but all of your other points re strategy i agree with Since 61. Chip Kelly wasn't wrong with an up-tempo offense, it just needs an experienced and cohesive offensive unit to pull it off.

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cuervo's picture

September 12, 2018 at 07:09 am

This is the game we'll miss Aaron Jones. I just hope MM uses Monty as the primary runner vs Williams, William is assignment sure and can block, but he can't hit a hole or a cutback lane if he had a sign directing him to it. Williams offers little in the running game other than 3 yards and a cloud of dust.
The Eagles showed everyone last year how to destroy the Vikings vaunted defense...let's hope 'ole MM watched the film.

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SpudRapids's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:43 am

Screens work when you have over aggressive linebackers that aren't very smart... you don't screen vs. Minnesota with Kendricks and Barr running around on that field. Minnesota will drop back into coverage knowing Rodgers won't have his mobility to break the pocket. The combo of using TE and running backs as receivers (not screens) will be important to suck up the D backs. I don't see the running game doing that because Jones won't be available.

I feel find about the defense. The only thing they didn't do was generate turnovers... Nagy comes from the Andy Reid offense that focuses on short low risk throws so I'm not surprised the Bears didn't turn the ball over. I think Pettine can make Cousins uncomfortable given the O line is not that great in Minnesota. Daniels, Wilkerson, Clark will hopefully cause pressure in Cousins face and cause his to throw a few INTs.

If they can turn Cousins over they'll win but I predicts a 17-14 type score.

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billybobton's picture

September 12, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Clearly you don't screen against the bears either
or with a center who does not get the concept

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SpudRapids's picture

September 12, 2018 at 02:21 pm

Anecdotal

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Qoojo's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:38 pm

I think they need to take a page from the Sunday game. Quick hitting passes, but add some runs to keep the defense honest. Never go empty backfield. Go up tempo, and keep applying the pressure.

Need to tire the defense out before looking for longer developing plays.

Defensively, they need to learn from the mistakes from the bear game. Fix the tackling issues. It's probably going to take more blitzing to apply pressure.

If Kizer is the starting QB, then I don't really see much chance in the packers winning. My advice would be don't throw screens to opposing team, and don't run into the defender and hand the ball to him.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:37 pm

Some good points Qoojo however if Kizer is the starting QB and they try and play him like AR then I agree with your game outcome prophecy. If they plan the offense around Kizer's strengths then I think that he has a punchers chance. I think that Rodgers will play though.

If the Defense can perform and get off the field, then that too will give the team options (as MN will not be scoring and making GB chase a number). If the Defense can't get off the field then Rodgers will be put behind the 8-ball and have to conjure another miracle

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dobber's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:55 am

" My advice would be don't throw screens to opposing team, and don't run into the defender and hand the ball to him."

Wiser words have never been spoken! ;)

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dfarmer's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:40 pm

Why does it take a leg injury for the coaches to realize that quick passes work for this offense???

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Cubbygold's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:46 pm

Seriously. It could be a blessing in disguise if GB is forced to do that and that gameplan ends up sticking around all year

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Qoojo's picture

September 11, 2018 at 08:46 pm

I think it might be more about Rodgers, not so much the coaches.

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SpudRapids's picture

September 12, 2018 at 10:00 am

I think it's shared blame but so many people only complain about McCarthy's play calls when I think Rodgers holds the ball too long hoping for some of his improv plays.

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Demon's picture

September 12, 2018 at 03:38 pm

You may be right Qoojo. But please answer me this, whos running the show here? In MM's much respected QB school was it taught to NEVER pass up an open receiver? That has been rule 1 since I've been alive.

We have a QB that doesn't run the play thats called and passes up open receivers? Its also reported that last season Mike Daniels did not want to follow instructions or leave the field when told to.

This must be a great team to play for. You can do whatever you damn well please.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 11, 2018 at 11:58 pm

Why does it take sometimes up to 4 consecutive 3 and outs before we realize that?

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Jonathan Spader's picture

September 12, 2018 at 01:43 am

Why did it take an injury to TY and William's before Jones got a chance at RB last year?

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SpudRapids's picture

September 12, 2018 at 10:01 am

Pass protection... Jones wasn't ready yet

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WMA's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:39 pm

Williams is very good at pass protection. He is even more valuable now with Rodgers being less mobile.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

September 12, 2018 at 09:05 pm

Pass protection is relevant for 3rd and long and obvious passing situations. Jones should still have been given a chance to show what he could do well before he did.

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Cartwright's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:24 pm

I'm still pissed they gave Aaron Jones a 2 game suspension instead of one. We need him on Sunday and could be the difference between a win or a loss. Thanks Roger Allbad.

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Minniman's picture

September 11, 2018 at 10:39 pm

it sucks, but least he'll be fresh for week 3 - that's at least something that (with 1 win already under GB's belt) they can look forward to.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 12, 2018 at 12:37 am

It wasn't Aaron Jones' first time driving under the influence. The maximum penalty was being suspended for 4 games.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 12, 2018 at 09:56 am

Yeah, I don't see where Jones's suspension was that heavy.

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Demon's picture

September 12, 2018 at 03:15 pm

Are you blaming the league because Jones made a piss poor choice? Marijuana is still illegal in the state of WI. It is also against NFL rules. When Jones signed his contract, he agreed to follow all team and NFL regulations.

Why not blame the cop who pulled him over and ticketed him? I dont remember the specifics of the case,but I hope he was arrested and lost his license.

Maybe you would have a different opinion if your wife and kids were sharing the same streets that he was driving under the influence on.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 12, 2018 at 09:54 am

I wouldn't play Rodgers against the Vikings.

It's one game. Let it go and get your franchise healthy.

I'd start Kizer, blending quick throws with a number of QB runs to pull the defense up. Replace Williams with Montgomery, and see if he can provide some sort of spark with runs and spread routes. Use the TE's more, both catching and blocking.

On defense, use Burks on the halfback, and blend zone blitzes on some plays with press man on others. Yes, our secondary is too young to face these receivers, but you play the hand you're dealt.

Just don't risk Rodgers. Don't do it. Let this one go.

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SpudRapids's picture

September 12, 2018 at 10:02 am

If he can't do any more damage to it let him play. If he's at risk that's another story

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 12, 2018 at 10:07 am

Lack of mobility alone heightens his risk.

One loss does not a season break. Besides, Minnesota is the better team regardless of whether Rodgers plays. The talent disparity between these teams is substantial.

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WKUPackFan's picture

September 12, 2018 at 12:45 pm

AR > Cousins. Packers OLine > Vikings injury riddled OLine. Packers DBs > Vikings older, slower DBs. Crosby and Scott > Vikings PK and Punter.

Adams, Cobb, and Allison equal to Diggs and Thielen. DLines equal.

Cook and L. Murray > Packers RBs. Harrison Smith > Haha and Brice. Vikings LBs perhaps slightly superior to the Packers LBs.

That is a clear advantage to the Vikings in only two position groups. Hardly a "substantial talent disparity" favoring the Vikings.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 12, 2018 at 01:44 pm

Please don't comment on my posts in any way, WKU. You've referred to me as a Klan member and snake handler, among other ridiculous things.

Though I've not done this to you, I'll still show the same courtesy by not commenting on your posts.

Please leave. For good.

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Spock's picture

September 13, 2018 at 06:28 am

ALP, This a Packers site and WKu strictly gave a response to your Packers opinion with his take on the Packers players vs. the Viking players. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is what the comment section is for. If you two stay away from politics a healthy debate is fine. I think, in this case, you are out of line with your response (my opinion). I know you don't like each other but his comment was strictly on football and that is his right as a blog member to make. Your "don't comment on my comment" is what is out of line here IMHO. Let it go, please. Thanks.

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Oppy's picture

September 12, 2018 at 10:45 am

The whole "you can't do any more damage to it" thing is typically telling of it being an MCL tear/sprain or similar damage.

If that is the injury, it probably won't get worse but it also most likely won't get better without surgical repair. That would be the rub. Either Rodgers plays through it, or you shut him down and throw the season out the window. Potentially no middle ground.

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Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

September 12, 2018 at 11:02 am

I think rushing him back out there is just too risky. If nothing else, the knee is likely pretty inflamed. And a hobbling Rodgers is too easy a target for numerous injuries--not just aggravating this one.

This player is our franchise. This game is not.

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WMA's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:44 pm

If he is cleared to play he should play. Rodgers will want to play. Would Lombardi sit him if he could play?

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Oppy's picture

September 13, 2018 at 09:26 am

Frankly, I don't give a damn what Lombardi would do. The game, rules, players, money, science, medicine, and the architecture of the league itself have changed in drastic ways over the last 50 years since Lombardi left us.

However, I agree- If he's cleared to play, he should play. It would be different if we were playing the Bills. Or the Patriots. Or even Seattle or the Rams. When it's a division game, it's effectively worth two non-division games. Especially when it is a division opponent like the Vikings, who are the biggest hurdle to the Packers sealing a play off birth.

Winning the division is paramount and a loss to a division rival is a two -game swing in the standings. Rodgers should play if cleared.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 12, 2018 at 11:31 am

After thinking about it, I just might agree with the posters who think Aaron should be benched. It’s only one game and The whole season is more important. Yet on the other hand the division is so very important if we plan on making the playoffs. Compromise. How about we sit Aaron for the first half and bring him back for a furious comeback?!
He is good at that.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 12, 2018 at 08:02 pm

One thing's for sure after last week, I have no clue what we're going to do. Anything is possible, but speculating what MM will do is pointless. I'm hoping MM folllows Since 61's approach.

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PETER MAIZ's picture

September 12, 2018 at 07:06 pm

It's obvious tha without Wonder Boy the Packers will lose the game. Perhaps Rodger's injury is not that bad. If he's out, Kizer is not going to complete enough passes to win. And the UTEP back is out.

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