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The other guys: Opposing players who could be a handful for the Packers in 2015

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The other guys: Opposing players who could be a handful for the Packers in 2015

Hello? Testing. Testing. Is this thing on?

Hi. My name is Adam and I've spent the last five years writing for "Jersey" Al Bracco’s AllGreenBayPackers.com website. If you’re reading this, it means that 1) the ALLGBP.com and CheeseheadTV.com merger is real, not a NWO-style heel turn by “Jersey” Al Bracco to wipe out CHTV and take over the Packers’ blogosphere and 2) I’ve managed to post my first CHTV article without accidentally breaking something on the site.

I had an elaborate introduction worked out for my first post, but I spiked it because ALLGBP and CHTV didn’t merge so the writers could pontificate about themselves. We merged because we’ve got a lot of thoughts, insight, knowledge, passion and opinions about the Packers, and we think our corner of the Packers independent online universe is stronger if we work together.

Here's to a long-lasting and productive partnership. Without further adieu, let’s get to it:

A lot of Packers fans circle certain games on the schedule. Packers vs. Seahawks. Packers vs. Bears. Packers vs. Broncos. These types of games are considered marquee for one reason or another.

I circle certain games, too, but I also do something else. Before the season starts, for each of the Packers opponents, I circle a player on each team. This is a player that I think will be a challenge for the Packers to contain and will act as a measuring stick to truly judge how good the Packers are as the season progresses.

For this post, I’m going to highlight two such players for each of the Packers 13 opponents. The first will be an obvious choice, a superstar type of player who everyone recognizes and causes sleepless nights for all teams, not just the Packers.

The other will be a player that’s more under-the-radar and piques my curiosity based on how he’ll match up against the Packers.

Bears
Nobody. Because the Bears still suck.

Seachickens

CB Richard Sherman: Guy was playing with one arm and still handled Jordy Nelson in the NFC title game.

DE Michael Bennett: Mostly because he’s a good player. Partly because I thought he would’ve been a good free-agent acquisition for the Packers a few years back.

(Note to my new readers: I never refer to the Seahawks by their legal name. They are always the Seachickens to me.)

Chiefs

OLB Justin Houston: Any player with 22 sacks in a single season is scary.

WR Jeremy Maclin: No Chiefs WR has caught a touchdown since Dec. 8, 2013. There’s a very real chance that streak could still be going when the Packers play the Chiefs and I don’t want my favorite team to be the one that finally allows a Chiefs wideout to catch one in the end zone.

49ers

QB Colin Kapernick: Because he owns the Packers.

RB Carlos Hyde: Mark t down, Hyde will be a stud and a big challenge for a Packers defense built to stop the pass and try to survive against the run.

Rams

No obvious superstar choices because, well, it’s the Rams.

DT Aaron Donald: It usually takes a season for young defensive linemen to figure things out. I’m worried that Donald will be hitting full stride by the time the Rams play the Packers. Linsley, Sitton and Lang better be ready (and healthy).

Chargers

QB Philip Rivers: Duh.

S Eric Weddle: Just a solid all-around player and the top-rated safety according to Pro Football Focus last season.

Broncos

QB Peyton Manning: I don’t care how old Manning is and how many of his offensive linemen get hurt. He’s scary.

CB Chris Harris, Jr.: A defensive back who can more than hold his own against one of the Packers standout wide receivers.

Panthers

LB Luke Kuechly: Sideline to sideline and up the gut, Kuechly might be the best in the business.

WR Kelvin Benjamin: There’s always at least one big, physical wide receiver who has a monster game against the Packers every season.

Lions

WR Calvin Johnson: Obviously.

LB DeAndre Levy: The best defensive player people haven’t heard of.

Vikings

RB Adrian Peterson: Dude averages 118 yards per game against the Packers. Honestly, before I looked it up, I thought it was more than that.

LB Anthony Barr: Another possible breakout second-year star, especially in Mike Zimmer’s defense.

Cowboys

WR Dez Bryant: You know he’ll be all worked up about last season’s catch-not-a-catch and he’ll probably catch 20 passes against one of the Packers rookie corners.

C Travis Frederick: If BJ Raji is ineffective and Letroy Guion regresses (or can’t stay away from the bong), Frederick will be opening up gaping holes inside all day and keeping throwing lanes open for Tony Romo.

Raiders

LB Khalil Mack: An outstanding run defender.

QB Christian Ponder: Haha. LOL. Just kidding.

Cardinals

HC Bruce Arians: You know he’ll have a gameplan ready to contain the Packers offense and exploit holes in the defense.

RB Andre Ellington: Yeah, he was banged up last season, but if he’s healthy, I can see him running free against the Packers.

 
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

Nice intro Adam, welcome to Cheesehead TV!

I just watched that NFC Championship Game again on NFL Network, well at least until 5:07 was left in the 4th quarter. Still can't believe the Packers didn't go after Sherman after he was hurt, not once. This year we beat the Seachickens!

I'm still wondering why Ted doesn't draft more Badgers, most notably Levy.

I'm going to the game in San Francisco this year, I think this is the year the Packers start "Owning" Kapernick. No muscle kissing this year Kapernick!

The Bears DO Suck!

Tarynfor12's picture

" I just watched that NFC Championship Game again on NFL Network, well at least until 5:07 was left in the 4th quarter. Still can't believe the Packers didn't go after Sherman after he was hurt, not once."

But...but...that had no factor in why the Packers lost as does also the offense taking a nap the entire second half...that would take away from the belief that the whole devastating loss was totally on the SPT's fiasco and anything prior is of no consequence. :)

Since '61's picture

Hi Taryn - good to see that you're here. Thanks, Since '61

Tarynfor12's picture

Thank you Since '61 but I have been here for as long as I was at Jersey Al's site and I'm happy you will now be a frequent visitor also. Hopefully this merger works out well for all. :)

Steve Cheez's picture

How'd you get a thumb-down on that one?

Since '61's picture

Taryn - to some extent it's up to us to make the merger work. Just continue to make your insightful, well thought out and well written comments. We (the bloggers) decide to be positive or negative with each post. Beyond that, time will tell. Thanks, Since '61

Nick Perry's picture

Lol...Good one.

Handsback's picture

Al, I have been reading your comments since the Packer Chatter days.
I like the article. The Seachickens will be a tough win, but expect the Packers to stumble against the Rams. They seem solid front to back and are built to play bleed-the-clock so Rodgers won't have time to beat you.
Anyway...look forward to this season.

RCPackerFan's picture

Welcome Adam to Cheesehead TV.

Just to add a few players to your list.

Rams - I wouldn't just go with Aaron Donald, I would go with the entire DL. They have a very deep and good DL.

Chargers - Melvin Gordon. He is going to help the Chargers out a lot. And namely Phillip Rivers. I think he will provide Rivers with a running game similar to how Lacy provided Rodgers one.

Vikings - Teddy Bridgewater. He could be poised for a breakout 2nd year. Getting Adrian back along with Mike Wallace should give a boost to their offense.

Mike Zimmer - He has been a thorn in Rodgers side. His defenses have been able to slow Rodgers down.

Since '61's picture

Hi Adam, Jersey Al, et. al. Looks like I successfully navigated over to Cheesehead TV from AllGBP. I hope that the rest of our crew (bloggers) make it over as well. Adam, good article as usual. You mentioned many worthy opponents but a healthy Aaron Rodgers still tilts the field our way. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Nick Perry's picture

Hi Since '61, glad to see you made it. One thing you'll notice here is you'll get thumbs down for no reason. Just keep making your comments which were always some of the best at ALLGBP.com!

Since '61's picture

Thanks Nick! I enjoy your comments as well. Since '61

Ferrari Driveer's picture

Adam,

Outside of an injury, I don't expect much trouble from opposing defenses in 2015. The home opener at Green Bay against Seattle will be an interesting game and I plan to fly out to watch that one at Lambeau.

I look for the Packers offense to be slightly better in 2015 because of younger assending players such as Adams at WR and Rodgers at TE and the Seattle defense to regress slightly. I expect the line to favor the Packers by 3-4 points with a Packers victory by 5-10.

Idiot Fan's picture

This feels like the first week of high school, where you've got all your friends from your middle school around, but all of a sudden there's this whole other crew of people from the other middle school, and you're suddenly trying to figure out who all the cool kids are.

Anyway, I agree. I expect the Packer players and coaches to still be uber-pissed and do everything in their power to beat Seattle. I wouldn't be shocked with a double-digit win.

To be honest, I think the defense that might give us the most trouble this year is the Viking defense. They were frisky last year and only got better since then.

TheLegendary52's picture

Welcome, Mr. Czech, glad to have you here. Nice job on your introductory article, loved your analysis on the Bears.

Mojo's picture

Seachickens? Somehow I'm offended by this.

croatpackfan's picture

Well written Adam. Only one thing. Peyton? He is scary? Really? Ask Seachickens if he is scary!

I predicted 13-3 season for Packers. My scary teams are Chiefs, Cardinals and Vikings. Those are my predicted loses. It can be only better if Vikings will not play up to expectations...

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Cowboys are in decline, as well as Seahawks. Peyton already fell of the cliff. Of course there can be some surprises, but not with Broncos...

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"The Bears still suck!"