Lovin’ this bye

The Green Bay Packers withstood a scare from the Vikings to go 7-0 for the first time in 49 years. Now they have two weeks to get ready for San Diego and the second half of the season that has them playing five times in Lambeau Field.

To say the Packers are sitting good would be an understatement. They have a two game lead in the division and a game-and-a-half lead over the 49ers for home field advantage in the playoffs. And of course the aforementioned 5-of-8 games at home.

I don’t like to get to carried away looking into the future and I like the way head coach Mike McCarthy put when he said he’ll worry about the playoffs when they get to ten wins. That could be before Thanksgiving if they keep this up.

It doesn’t seem to matter that the Packers’ defense is not playing very stout because the Packers simply cannot be stopped on offense. The only thing standing between Aaron Rodgers and the league MVP award is an injury. That may be the only thing standing in the way of back-to-back Super titles too.

Looking at the 49ers’ schedule tells me the Packers will probably need 13 wins to secure home field advantage. The NFC West is just so pathetic. The West De Pere Phantoms could win that division in most years.

For now I’m going to enjoy the next two weeks as the only undefeated team and hope that the Chargers back-to-back road trips east plus a short week leave them ripe for the taking when the Packers come to town.

The Lions should pick up a win this week at Denver, but with Tim Tebow playing I wouldn’t bet my life on it. That place will be rocking if Tebow gets going early. Tebowmania is almost as big as Favremania. Can’t wait to watch that one.

The Vikings should lose at Carolina, but who cares? The Bears are also on bye. The Bears are the one to watch out for in my mind. They are coming on strong after losing to the Packers and Lions. The Bears hardest game outside of the Packers is at Philly in two weeks, other than that they have a very easy schedule the second half.

Relax, kick back, and get ready for the ride. Hopefully it ends in February again.

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  • I Luv Brats

    Hopefully it does end in February…….with a WIN!

  • Monkeon

    I am the only who feels cheated that the Post Superbowl win celebrations /events seemed half-assed due to the lockout?

    We need to win another one so it can be done right!

  • Deek

    The Packers’ season of record starts with their first game in Dec. MM wants to go undefeated in the last quarter. That makes our record 12/0 with 4 games in Nov. How many of them games do you think we’ll lose? SD? The worst I can see is 14/2 or 15/1!

    • http://www.kevinroth.com Kevin Roth

      Don’t get too excited, Deek. A lot can happen in 9 games. The Packers still have a lot of improving to do if you ask me, especially on defense. And Al is right, just a few injuries could wreck this team. The Packers only have one team remaining on the schedule with a losing record (Vikings), so they will not be able to coast, which I think is good. Also, like Al, I worry about the Packers being undefeated as a distraction and reason to get over-confident. I just hope that if the Packers do have a letdown, they do it sooner rather than later. The key to getting to and winning a super bowl is to get hot toward the end of the season.

  • http://www.kevinroth.com Kevin Roth

    I want to see a Super Bowl 31 Packers-Patriots rematch in February. Then we’ll really know which is the better team. I just hope to God it’s the Packers :)

  • Larry

    Without a pass rusher like Jenkins to aid Raji and CM3, Brady will have all day…between he and Rodgers they might complete 80 passes.

    Here’s hoping Neal can come back and collapse the pocket.

  • Jeff

    A few injuries could wreck this team Kevin????? I guess you just became a fan this year and forgot what happened last year.
    San Francisco is not winning 12 games..
    I would not assume Detroit wins in Denver , they have never won in Denver before and the Lions still are not the best when they play on grass , teams that are not used to the altitude have priblems in Denver.
    Since 1992 the Packers are almost unbeatable in December.
    So what if we only play one team with a losing record the rest of the way , do you really think teams can stay in the game with us at Lambeau like the Vikings , Bucs , Raiders , and Bears ?? As for the Lions , they have not won in Wisconsin since 1991 and they wont this year either in the cold. Packers will be favored in every game the rest of the way.
    As for a letdown , we already had it last week against the Vikings , we took their best shot and still mauled them in the 3rd quarter.
    At the very worst we will finish 14-2.
    Does anyone really think team like Frisco can make up 2 games on us with 2 to go ??
    We are good, very good , enjoy where we are now and know where we are going is going to be great.
    And by the way , we win a shootout against Brady because Brady has been turning the ball over and Rodgers does not turn the ball over. Some want to say our defense is not doing their best , the Pat defense sucks and now the Haynesworth effect has got them.
    The Pats have not won a playoff game in a long time.

    • http://Orlando Mark

      Jeff, it only takes 1 injury to wreck our team(#12). Detroit was doing OK until they lost their top 2 RB’s and now it looks like the Bears will end up second in our division, but they are still dangerous. Brady will only turn the ball over if he gets pressure, hence any game between out teams, as it stands now, will be a shootout. Hell, we just had a shootouts with NO, the Panthers and even the Vikes.

      • dave76

        You are right, Mark. Detroit knocked #12 out last year at Detroit and won the game 7-3. Wonder if Jeff realizes the Colts, ” injured # 18,” has made a difference for them? Keeping Aaron away from injuries is critical to this team.

  • Jeff

    Packers have never lost a game in San Diego , Chargers have not beat a team with a winning record all year and we have beat 2 teams with a winning record on the road.
    Of the Chargers 3 home wins they have been by slim margins against Vikings with one win , Dolphins with now wins , and KC who was 0-2 at the team.
    Chargers are 4-0 against losing teams and 0-2 against winning teams , any team that makes Mark Sanchez look good I am not concerned about.
    About the Bears coming on strong , you are kidding right??
    They beat a Viking team who is 1-9 in their last 10 games in Chicago and beat a Buc tam that never plays good away from home , the Bears are no threat to the Packers this year. When the Bears play teams with winning records like the Packers, Saints , and Lions they get blown away.

    • I Luv Brats

      I guess Super Bowl 32 doesn’t count as a loss in San Diego LOL

  • Mel E Mel

    Jeff I beg to differ Its hard for me to see a scenario where SF does not run the table. The 2 best teams left on their schedule are the 4-2 Giants and 3-3 ‘Skins. They have 2 Rams,2 Cards and 2 Seahawk games left they are right now in better shape than the Pack because no one in their division will make the playoffs.

    • Jeff

      To run the table against anyone you have to have proven talent that has been through this before and the 49ers do not have that , they are a scappy team with a rookkie coach . They will get trpped up 2 times for sure.
      Alex Smith is not a quarterback who is going to run the table against anyone.
      There is no way Frisco will run the table , no way.

  • Jeff

    You are out of your mind if you think Frisco can catch the Packer for the #1 seed.
    Have you missed that the 9ers play in Baltimore ? they are not winning there.
    They have not won in Washington in ages.
    9ers will at least lose one to the Giants or Pittsburgh.
    At the very least they are losing 2.
    The 49ers are not a 15-1 team , that is crazy to even think that.They are really not a team with 13-3 talent either.

  • I Luv Brats

    49ers are an 11-5 team

  • Larry

    Given the “any given Sunday rule” predicting out 8 or 9 games is difficult. Certainly the level of competition is the best indicator of a proposed result so a weaker schedule is an advantage. SF has the “advantage” of winning without spectacular QB play. A. Smith has been OK yet the wins keep coming. This could eventually be what helps this team win in the playoff’s. The ‘D” isn’t expecting Smith to score 30 and therefore must play (and be coached) very aggressively all the time.

    GB expects to score 30 and isn’t particularly concerned going down early by 10.

    The cumulative effect of a tough schedule is injuries. In some areas we’d be fine…but the point to made is that even in the 1996 year, where GB was dominant, a couple of injuries made the difference in a couple of games.

    In the end, the back half schedule will aid GB by preparing them for the better teams they’ll face in the playoff, even if they lose a couple. As long as key contributors like Rodgers, CM3, Raji, Bishop and Woodson don’t find themselves on IR we’ll be favored to make a a second SB whether we play at Lambeau or not.

    • Packer’s Advocate

      I’m w/ya Larry…….. Looking out 8 or 9 games, ha! Have to reset about every 3 or 4 games. If memory serves me, the Bills came out 4-0. Since have been 0-2 (didn’t see last weeks score). At 3-0 they look tough to beat and then looking at the 1-2, they suddenly might look like a W for your team……

    • http://jlworden1@suddenlink.net LarryAz

      Here, here!

  • Rick

    The 49ers have a last place schedule and an vastly improved team. They should win 11-13 games assuming what we have seen so far.

    Green Bay will probably be 12-14 wins if we stay as effective as we have. We know there is going to be a bad game or a bad bounce and penalties (last year’s Chicago game) and the Packers last two games could be and probably will be very very important as it could decide the NFC North crown and BOTH wild card teams.

  • I Luv Brats

    If the NFC comes down to the last game of the season, there’s no way in hell that the Packers lose to Detroit. I would be willing to bet everything I ever own.

  • http://jlworden1@suddenlink.net LarryAz

    Heres one to bolster the confidence of the nattering naybobs out there.
    We were 4-3 at this point last year and averaging an IR player a game.

  • Rick

    NFC North
    Packers (7-0) limited Dline pressure mean more nickel and blitzes. Offense is amazing and able to pass on any team. Running attack comes and goes. Has a very hard schedule to play through. My projection 13-3

    Lions (5-2) are coming back to earth as the pass rush defense is amazing but run stopping is horrid. Currently running out any warm body as a RB and currently has their QB injured again. Average schedule issues. Look to lose games until their QB is healthy. My Projection 11-5

    Bear(4-3) are up and coming. Issues plague the secondary with very weak Safety play. Howeevr the defense front 7 are getting pressure and can maybe mask the secondary issues. QB play has improved as the Oline is at least providing a basic pocket. Primarily a run and screen pass offense right now. Schedule gets a little bit easier. My projection 11-5

    Vikings (1-6) are an enigma. They are team that has a great defense front 7 but runa basic cover 2 and get slaughtered by the TE. They have surrendered 4 games when they had 2 TD leads. A rookie adds a spark as the team will rally around him but look for severe growing pains the remainder of the year. The may steal one against GB but otherwise they are done trying to get to .500 this season. My projection 5-12

    • dave76

      Good stuff, Rick.

  • Larry

    NFC playoff picture looks similar to last year as well with SF being considerably stronger than Seattle.
    N.O, S.F and NYG will join Detroit and Atlanta IMO. 3 teams with wide open offense and 3 with punch you in the face defense.

    Our 2nd half has GB playing both types, SD and Detroit, NYG, Oak. It’s the NYG, Detroit, Oak games that will be most telling! Can’t wait.

  • Rick

    Feels alot better at 7-0 then the Eagles dream team at 2-4 trying to not be 2-5

  • iccyfan

    Very enjoyable year thus far, with the promise of more to come. During the Viking game, my 17 y/o son asked me why I wasn’t upset while the ‘Queens were rallying. My answer is simple:

    Everything about the NFL is set up to discourage “dynasty teams”. The best we can hope for is that our GM puts us in a position where we are competitive every year. We are most definitely competitive! The GM can’t control injuries (Nick Collins, Mike Neal), bad penalty calls to prolong opponent drives (CMIII) or bad luck (tipped interceptions, etc.). We were lucky last season was “uncapped”; players were injured and Ted didn’t have to worry about cap ramifications – he stashed guys on IR and went out for a replacement. He doesn’t have that luxury this year.

    As a fan, I’m as relaxed as I’ve ever been. We have our SB victory in the bag and we’re well set up to compete for at least two more years (if not more). We may get more titles – we might not; but if health can be managed and luck is with us, we’re definitely in the hunt. That’s all we can ask for; everybody needs to breathe deeply and enjoy – we’re in a position fans of other teams can only dream about right now….

    • http://Orlando Mark

      A couple more reasons to relax is we’re a more veteran team now with coaches who are definitely top rated(although I hesitate to say that about Slocum).

      • http://jlworden1@suddenlink.net LarryAz

        Well, I agree veteran status is extremely valuable down the stretch. But DAMN, all those injuries on the D. Its like we seem to get our injuries by position, ala OL in 6-10 and now the DBs.
        I’m as optimistic as the next guy (SD has a very tough game MON) but we have to get Neal, Shields, Williams, and Burnett fully operational for the stretch.

        • iccyfan

          That’s exactly what I’m talking about when I reference “if health can be managed and luck is with us”. I think they’re doing a good job “managing health” – don’t rush the guys back from injury (Neal) and give them time off during the practice week for nicks and bruises (Woodson, CMIIII). Losing a star like Nick Collins is just bad luck – everybody has injury losses over the course of a season but we have to hope the loss of all-pro caliber players is minimal. No matter how deep your roster is, you don’t replace an all-pro with Charlie Peprah and not miss a beat…

      • http://jlworden1@suddenlink.net LarryAz

        Oh, I forgot; throw Zombo and Matthews in there too. Fortunate to only have had to put Collins on IR.

  • Larry

    There is a benefit (call it the silver lining) to an non-IR injury. It gives the player a rest during the season. Last year Rodgers sat a game and came back “rested” for the title run. Neal if he comes back will have fresh legs, same with Zombo, Clifton.

    Given the SB season could be 20 games or maybe 19 if we get the bye I think having a couple of players rested can make a difference.

    • dave76

      Great point Larry!

  • dave76

    Anyone heard anything on Vic So’oto? He had a good preseason, had an injury but is now on the depth chart behind Clay and Jones. Maybe I’ve missed him in a few plays, but was wondering if he might provide a little push for a speed rush on 3rd and longs. His size and energy level kind of remind me of Aaron Kampman.
    A bye week will do us good for a little healing time. Hopefully Williams and Burnett can get back to 100% soon. I think Williams is looking better every week. Hope Neal heals soon and we can add Clifton and Zombo down the road a little.
    Overall, gotta love being undefeated at the bye.
    How fun it has been also to watch Aaron at this level? WOW!! 125 QB rating and the Packers undefeated, and I think he is just getting better. It’s great to be a Packer fan!!

  • Rick

    So’oto is playing hard on scout team but he is limited in schemes and calls. Walden is maybe not as effectiev but knows the calls and adjustments and get to the right spot. Give So’oto some time.

    Also Newton seems a bust as his quickness as an O lineman is good but but his technique is terrible at practice. Look to see roster moves. Word is Saine is going to take Green’s spot on the active 53. With Newton sucking we may grab an Oline man from somewhere to put back on practice squad.

    Update—–

    I had to deal with a work issue and by th etime I have come back the Packers announced Saine officially to the active and Newton cut. They are resigning Anthony Levine (S) to come back onto the practice squad. He was on the squad all of last year until his injury. Also MM is adding another C/G in place of Newton, Paul Fenaroli. Another big body with decent athletics but played at a noname school(Stoneybrook) against no name competion. Well see if he gets it and can develop on the squad.