Packers take care of business

The Green Bay Packers went to the “Show Me” state and took care of business yesterday in rather convincing fashion. They took the Rams’ best punch early then poured it on late. The game was never really in doubt even though the team still has some problem areas. The offensive line was only marginally better against the Rams and the run defense gave up another 100-yard day to Steven Jackson. Heading to the House of Horrors in Minneapolis the Packers will need to improve greatly next Monday night in both areas to beat their arch rivals.

Had the Packers went to St. Louis and struggled to win a close game I would have had serious doubts about their chances in Minnehaha. The fact that they were able to put the loss to my team of destiny – the Cincinnati Bengals, behind them and focus on the Rams without looking ahead to the Vikings bodes well in my book. I think the Packers will try to use the same strategy on offense against the Vikings that they did against the Rams, which was to try and exploit a suspect secondary with the vertical passing game. Against the Rams it was like the other Al Davis was calling plays as the Packers went deep often and burned the Rams with big plays. If they can give Aaron Rodgers the time they should be able to do the same Monday night.

Obviously it is hard to look back at the Rams game with what is facing the Packers a week from tonight, so I won’t even bother. The Packers turned their attention to the Vikings walking off the field yesterday, and getting fired up for this game shouldn’t require many pep talks. For the Packers it is all about getting a win and taking over first place in the division, for the Vikings it all about revenge, at least for one player it is. Of course it should be all about revenge for all the Vikings’ players because since taking over as head coach Mike McCarthy has owned the Vikings, going 5-1 against them his first three years with the only loss coming when Mason Crosby missed a game-winner with 20 seconds left last year.

Everything begins and ends with Adrian Peterson and the Vikings’ defensive line and nothing changed with the addition of Brett Favre. In fact Favre is probably the least of the Packers’ worries as they know him better than he knows himself. McCarthy is the only reason Favre is still playing football today as he was able to take the gunslinger out of Favre and get him to play within his declining skills. The problem was those declining skills were grotesquely on display late in the year and especially in the playoffs, hence the move to Rodgers. Favre’s desire for revenge however, does have him playing with an energy that was never on display last in New York but it is an energy the Packers should be counting on when they face him for the first time. We’ve all seen first-hand how Favre plays when the stakes are high and you can bet McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers are licking their chops.

I expect Capers to pull out all stops, every scheme they worked on in the offseason may come out Monday night. Favre won’t have a clue where the blitz is coming from and the 3-4 has always been a problem for #4. Having Peterson makes things a lot easier for any QB but there will be times that the Packers will have their shot at Favre and it’s going to be fun to watch. If the Packers can contain Peterson and force Favre into passing another 46 times this week the Packers will have them right where they want them.

It will be a fun week, I can’t wait for Favre’s lies during his conference call with local reporters this week, that will be Comedy Central material right next to his contrived first retirement presser. McCarthy was upfront about the situation today admitting this game is lot bigger than any normal regular season game. Give him credit for not using the “it is just another game” cliche. Stay tuned. It’s Super Bowl week in the fall, and TV ratings will probably reflect that next Monday. I like our chances. In fact, I love them.

NFL futures

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  • jackson

    ooops! you are not worthy of my time…..one too many homebrews. Peace/out

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net Larry

    Hard for some of you to believe, but TT is doing just what Wolf did. Build thru the draft and supplement w/ FAs. Once Wolfe had his leadership on O and D he brought in Jackson, Jones, and Dotson because those were the final pieces in the puzzle (ah, Rison, the final one).
    Well, face it, there is no REGGIE out there and we are more than one OT away so its not like one FA is going to bring the Lombardi back. Hence, the continued reliance on the draft.
    Last time I looked Moss, Peterson, Gonzalez, Birk, and Pace are all playing for different teams and Wahle isn’t in the league. Are you suggesting any one of those players would have brought the title back-don’t think so. If your plan was to have all of them there wouldn’t be any $ left to pay the other (40).
    You postulate, demand, and question. I respond, substantiate, and answer. You then reword, misinterpret, and ask the same question again. Its pointless to re-respond to a closed mind. The problems of the team are obvious as are the solutions, but the how to – there is the dilemma. I’ll leave that to the Troika, as I do know they have a lot more data than I have to go on…….!

  • http://www.packernet.com admin

    New post and prediction coming tonight. This has been a fun week. I thought it would be horrible, but the fact is, the Vikings don’t scare me – #4 or no #4.

  • Rocky70

    @ Larry

    There are repercussions to all personal moves made by an NFL team…. For the most part, fans haven’t a clue as to what these repercussions are….. They have an attitude of ‘just do it’ as if that is the only consideration at hand … It’s a narrow uninformed approach that would get most if not all of NFL brass fired down the line… Al Davis of Oakland uses this approach… It doesn’t seem to work either…..

    Fans are also, unfortunately, patsies of the media…. They latch on to some article written by a ‘beat reporter’ as if his insight is gold…. When, in reality, this media member has no more access than the average fan.

    ….. If more PackFans scrutinized another team as much as they nit-picked the Pack, they would find that every NFL team has it’s deficiences…. They develope attitudes based on a narrow view of just one team when in reality the success or failure of the Pack is largely based on what 31 other teams are doing or not doing…. It’s disappointing to realize that so many who post here are as closed minded as they appear….. Why else would so much ‘doom & gloom’ exist on this blog…. Last I looked, the Pack is 2-1 & playing for 1st place come Monday night…..

  • Rocky70

    @ Al

    ” I can’t wait for Favre’s lies during his conference call with local reporters this week, that will be Comedy Central material right next to his contrived first retirement presser. ”

    I’ll have to give you credit for this call…… I listened to BF’s presser with the locals & really thought he’d fess-up at least a little….. He didn’t…… He was defensive, stammered when pressed, avoided questions & retracked previous comments … It was embarrassing & disappointing ……………. Not everyone falls for his act but he doesn’t seem to realize this fact.

  • Matt Hayton

    Larry-

    The point isn’t that TT would have made all of the moves, but one or two of them. But your mind, and don’t fool yourself, which is just as closed as mine is, doesn’t get that a couple of these moves would have already made us much closer to SuperBowl than we currently are. As far as Thompson being on the same page as Wolf, we would need to win a SB next year.

    Highly doubt that will happen but if it does, I will gladly eat crow and celebrate winning a SB title, but in your own words “we are more than an OT away”. Which is where we will always be if we stick to this gameplan? Larry when do you just go for broke and try and make moves to win a SB? Don’t you atleast agree that there is a window of opportunity and at some time you have to put the “final pieces in place”?

    Or is that just too open-minded for you to consider? Goes both ways, now doesn’t it…

  • Matt Hayton

    What’s ironic is that of all the players mentioend above: Moss, Peterson, Gonzalez, Birk, Pace and Wahl, all except one of the teams, (which is now a move, 5 years in the past), are arguably closer to a SuperBowl than we are: Patriots (already been there assisted by Moss acquistion), Vikings, Falcons, Ravens, and Bears…being the exception, although they’ve played quite well since week 1, so even that is a toss-up. And Carolina went to a NFC Championship game w/Mike Wahl.

    But I’m sure this is too speculative for you…

    To me this is more of a case study than anything else…history will be the answer. Larry, I might very well be wrong here. Maybe building through the draft almost exclusively si the way to go and we’ll start hoisting Lombardi trophies year after year. I know it is probably hard for you to believe, but I really want the same thing as you do, which is for the Pack to win a championship or two in the next decade.

    And if TT were to start adding pieces to put us over the top via free agency or trade, I would be happy as a clam. What you are saying he will do is what I am asking for.

    And by the way, all of Wolf’s acquisition’s weren’t made in ’96. Guys like Earl Dotson, Keith Jackson, Gilbert, Sean Jones, Doug Evans and of course, Reggie and Favre, were all already there. In ’96 he brought in Desmond Howard, Rison, Beebe and Robinson. If TT would bring in 4 key contributors next year, I’d do back flips!

  • Rocky70

    @ MH

    ” Which is where we will always be if we stick to this gameplan? ”

    Throughout most of your posts, you seem to think you know the gameplan….. The gameplan you know is your own…. You are only guessing as to the gameplan used by the Packer Brass…. Just like every fan, you only have information presented to you that you can then digest, analyze & then spew out an opinion….. You’ll take this as a criticism on my part but I’m only presenting to you what’s true for all fans….

    It would be easier to give you credit for some of your ideas if it wasn’t so obvious that your ideas are motivated by other considerations …….. BTW, I only post in hopes of people reading the posts….. I don’t post to elicit responses.

  • Rocky70

    ” ……Moss, Peterson, Gonzalez, Birk, Pace and Wahl ……. ”

    Just think it & then just do it………….. Like in Madden 2010.

    Real life is much more complicated ……………. especially in the NFL.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net Larry

    Perhaps there is a practical way to prove the implausibility of your premise, Matt Hayton. My response is consistant and can be countered easily. All you have to do is cost out your solutions, in any combination; the data is readily available with a little research which you do all the time. Tell me the impact that the Wolf moves had on the salary cap, then tell me the impact that your desired moves would have on the TT cap. By the way, I’ll give you all the $ you want but you’ve got to stay within the cap. Also, while you’re at it I want a guarantee. You might have a hard time bringing back REGGIE, however.

  • Rocky70

    Gotta love AJ Hawk’s attitude about his QB:

    “Any type of adversity builds your team up and brings you together. I don’t know if you call this adversity – it’s Week 4 for us, and there’s a long season ahead – but it’s the Vikings, it’s Monday Night Football, and it’s all kind of set up for us. We’re going to fight for four quarters because Aaron’s everything that our quarterback should be.”

    “I was answering these kind of questions about Aaron’s leadership a lot last year,” Hawk said. “But the bottom line is, Aaron never needed to earn our respect. I think he had it from how he handled himself when Brett was in Green Bay and when Brett tried to come back. And then after the trade, he was playing so good – people talked about our losing record, but he was the reason we stayed in every single one of those [close] games we didn’t win.

    “We’ve been behind Aaron the whole time, and I think the front office showed him they were behind him, too, when the stuff was going on with Brett. So I think he knows we’ve got his back.”

  • packer_bob

    Just thought I’d throw this in, since Orlando Pace’s name has been brought up. Some seem to think he may have been a help to our O-line, some seem to think he has been a mistake.

    I live near Chicago so I listen to alot of Chi sports radio. This morning’s show they were talking about the Bears and the lack of a running game, and a fan called in bitching about Pace. The consensus amonst the two announcers was that Pace is better and more athletic now then he was in game one, that it didn’t break the bank to bring him in, and that he is an upgrade over what they had. Evidently the guy he replaced wanted some big money, so the Bears let him go to Cleveland where he has given up 3.5 sacks. Pace has given up a 1/2 sack, and the Bears also brought in some other Tackle to be swing man and be available as a replacement.

    Just wanted to give you guys some insight into what the Chicago media thinks of the Pace acquisition (and believe me, they’d crucify him if they thought he was a joke) and give an example of how a relatively low dollar pick up can help. I’ll grant that the decision makers have access to more info than we ever will, but let’s not use that fact as an excuse to say they shouldn’t have made a move. In all the personnel bandied about here lately, some other teams did make the move, so that means TT is smart and they are morons? Kind of a homer attitude, in my opinion.

  • packer_bob

    “he has been a mistake”—I mean would have been a mistake.

  • Rocky70

    Orlando Pace signed with the Bears….. He made that decision.

    I would have loved to see Pace as a Packer.

    Just because a team or a fan may want a specific player doesn’t mean that’s the deal clincher………. Wanting & getting are two different animals…….. In the end, the FA player decides where he’s going to play ….. No one knows if GB had any interest at all in Pace ……… If they did, it didn’t matter, evidently.

  • roy jamison

    Here’s a chant for Monday Night. “Close the door on number 4!”

  • O’Jeff

    I speak only for myself and my own abilities. But as far as my football knowledge goes, Rocky and Larry are entirely right in some of these statements. I don’t know the gameplan. I’m just a fan, and something of a casual one to be honest. I don’t own tickets. I rarely go to games. I only read a few articles a week, and I don’t watch the full NFL. I suppose Rocky’s right. I can’t honestly get into the details of individual acquisitions. I simply lack the knowledge.

    But I can see the team results.

    Here’s the premise. The players are responsible for games. The leadership is responsible for seasons – especially multiple seasons. If the players don’t get it done, it’s up to the coaches to teach them, prep them and use them better, and if necessary, it’s up to the GM to replace them.

    Thus – a team’s long term record is a reflection of how good a job the leadership is doing. I think that’s pretty solid logic. Any disagreements to this point? Moving on.

    History –
    RW and MH – take over miserable team and never post a losing record
    Ray Rhodes – 1 split season and gone
    Mike Sherman(GM) – 0 losing seasons, 5 winning, and replaced
    Mike Sherman(HC) – 5 winning seasons, 1 losing and gone

    Ted Thompson – 2 losing seasons, 1 split, 1 win
    Mike McCarthy – 1 losing season, 1 split, 1 win

    Now, Ted and Mike have my support this year – not that it matters. But the die is cast, and I think you have to dance with the ones you brought. Regardless of my opinions, I would not be in favor of a midseason replacement – absolute horror show for the team. (Barring something freaky like a sudden 9 game losing streak.)

    At the end of the season however, if we can’t even get past 8-8, would you agree that would indicate less than steller long term performance by our leadership and merit at least consideration of a change – if the right person or people are available and would come to GB? Not a big fan of change for change’s sake.

  • packer_bob

    I think that’s a pretty fair assessment, O’jeff. I’m not in favor of change for change’s sake either. I’ve said, and continue to say, that if we post a winning record, I think current leadership deserves another year. Otherwise, I think I’m ready to move on.

    Maybe this team pulls it together, who knows? I remember the one season under Sherman where we started 1 and 3 or 1and 4 and still won the division. We’ve all seen teams that started 3-0 or 4-0 and went into a tailspin, so the future of this season is yet unwritten.

    If I end up seeing the same old same old we saw much of last year, and so far that’s exactly how I feel despite our record, this year, I’m in favor of some heads rolling. Maybe just one head rolling, maybe just change the HC, I don’t know. There’s some good ones out there.

    Anyway, it’s all just speculation at this point. I just get a little worried about the prospects of a team that can’t run, protect the Qb or stop the run. Maybe we get those problems solved, but if we don’t we won’t be successful and someone has to go imo.

    We’re all just fans, obviously none of us has any influence or inside information. I don’t think that means that we shouldn’t express our opinions though. As you said, the end product is there for all of us to see and comment on.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net Larry

    O’Jeff, you’re going to destroy the blog with that logic; we won’t have anything to argue about! Right on, I’ll buy in. Caviat, however, its got to depend on what’s available – to repeat your wrap, no change just for the sake of change.

  • roy jamison

    Don’t understand why number 4 was so curt with his answers to Wisconsin sports guys on Thursday. Maybe his ego is far bigger than I ever imagined.

  • http://www.packernet.com admin

    The only way Thompson and/or McCarthy get fired after this year is if the Packers go 2-14, and that ain’t happening. Might as well save your breath on this one.

  • packer_bob

    That’s part of the problem Al. So by your own admission we could 6-10 this year and their jobs are still safe. I just ask why. Who anointed these guys royalty?

    Whether you’re right or wrong about that, it shouldn’t matter as far as commenting on it, btw. If we don’t look very good, I think we should call them out about it whether it has any impact or not.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net Larry

    Unlikely either are gone, but I’d bet MM would go before TT.

  • Rocky70

    ” The only way Thompson and/or McCarthy get fired after this year is if the Packers go 2-14, and that ain’t happening. Might as well save your breath on this one. ”

    Geez, don’t say this……… we’d have to lose our last 13 games to do this…….. I’d end up having to follow the NHL to fill in the NFL season….. and I like Pro Hockey like a stick in the eye ………

    On the other hand, I believe MM & TT are joined at the hip…. If either were fired due to team performance, both would be gone in the same 24 hour period…… I put the onus on MM at this point………. He’s got his 53 or so & it’s his job to produce a winner with what he has….. Once the season begins, the only player movement is usually coming from the scrapheap…. No one gives up good players during the season.

    IMO, would 6-10 get them fired ?…….. No. ….. but it might cause them to jump deeper into free agency in 2010 or you may see more player movement via trades, releases, etc….. Depending on the results of the upcoming CBA, GB can’t help but have more player movement after this season………. They will lose some players to FA…. they will have to fill those roster spots somehow.

    TT’s approach to the draft in 2009 was different & unexpected by most…. You may find his approach to free agency in 2010 to also be radically different in 2010…. To pigeon-hole any GM as this or that is usually a mistake…..

  • Jeff

    I agree with your statement about the draft, but I think the reason we can say Ted Thompson’s draft was different and unexpected is because there had been a pattern established of trading down to accumulate picks.

    Tell you the truth, I like the plan. I like this year’s first round. I’m just getting a touch bit impatient waiting for results. I confess – I got used to winning. Every appearance is that Matthews has it. He’s already shows as much as Poppinga ever has in my opinion. Raji needs to get on the field, but I don’t think there’s any way you can hold Thompson for that.

    Damn! I love this time of year! Where the hell is Monday when you need it?