Sunday, November 08, 2009

Packers -Buccaneers Preview

If it's one thing we know about the Packers over the last two years it is that they will beat inferior teams. The problem arises, as we also know, against teams with winning records; the Packers have only beaten teams with winning records twice in the last two years.

So, given that Tampa Bay has yet to win a game this season, is there any reason to fear a loss? Well, anything can happen, of course. But the oddsmakers have the Packers as 9-1/2 point favorites. That is on the light side in the opinion of this observer.

If the Pack ever is able to get a running game going, today should be the day. The Buccaneers are giving up over 162 yards per game, 30th in the league. Granted, the Packers offensive line hasn't exactly been able to do great things in the rushing game this season...or the pass protection game, either, for that matter. But, LT Chad Clifton will be starting once again, and RT Mark Tauscher will also be making a start today, his first in roughly a year after coming off serious knee injury and rehab time. Let's see what the old boys can do, both to help get Ryan Grant and maybe even Ahman Green going a bit. And, especially, to help keep QB Aaron Rodgers vertical today. Rodgers was held out of practice until Friday so his foot and toe sprains could heal a bit...although I'm sure the rest of his body also appreciated a few days of rest given the beating it's taken through the first seven games.

Tampa Bay will be starting a new quarterback today, rookie Josh Freeman. This is something like the Buccaneers' 15th starting QB in the last seven years. Yikes. But if this doesn't set up as a perfect opportunity for the defense to generate turnovers today I don't know what will.

Now, there is the jinx that seems to descend on the Packers when they visit Raymond James Stadium. Weird things happen. And if memory serves (don't count on it), the Packers have only won once there. Guys get hurt, strange plays occur. Now, throw in the fact that the Buccaneers will be in their throwback creamsicle/dreamsicle uniforms from their early days of -- what -- the late 70s? Those uniforms were associated with losing teams that set standards for other losing teams to aspire to (I know, the grammar of that sentence leaves much to be desired, sorry, but you get the point...which is the point, right?)

Anyway, with about an hour or so to kickoff, we're putting this one in the "W" column for the Pack.

We're calling it 34-10 Packers.

Go Pack Go!!!

Jason Spitz out for season
After dealing with an unspecified lower back problem since mid-October, the Packers decided to place starting center Jason Spitz on injured reserve, thus ending what started as a promising season for Spitz. Spitz had beaten out incumbent Scott Wells for the starting spot. He was not responding to treatment and after getting a second opinion that confirmed that of the Packers team doctor, the decision was made to put Spitz on season-ending IR.

Spitz's spot on the roster is now being taken by WR Biren Ealy who got promoted from the practice squad. Ealy has only had two weeks of practice with the Packers. According to reports, the decision to move Ealy up to the regular roster came because WR Donald Driver is still feeling effects of a neck injury and WR Jake Allen, who was promoted after WR Jordy Nelson was knocked to the sidelines for a few weeks with his knee injury, is questionable with a thigh injury.