Sunday, September 15, 2019

NFL Week 1 Review of Packers Win at Chicago, NFL Week 2 Preview vs Vikings — A twofer!

Just as in the first week back to our Packers blogging endeavor for 2019, we find ourselves in a time crunch. So we're doing a combination review of the Packers' win vs. Da Bearz from the Thursday night NFL 100th Anniversary opening game plus a preview of today's game at Lambeau Field against the ViQueens.

Week 1 — Packers Beat Da Bearz

It's been about 10 days now since the first game of the 100th year of NFL football which was, so fittingly, Green Bay vs. Chicago. And, also fittingly, the Packers beat Da Bearz in Chicago by a final score of 10-3. (Sorry to my dear friend, Billy Da Bearz Fan.)

If you love defense, this was the game for you. Chicago's top-ranked defense from 2018 seems not to have lost anything at this point. Still stingy. The Pack's new offense, under equally new head coach Matt LaFleur's direction, had a difficult time getting untracked due to that defense and the fact that the offense for the Packers really hadn't played much or at all in the four-game preseason schedule.

It especially showed for QB Aaron Rodgers, who never took a snap during preseason, and looked a bit rusty and had a lack of timing with some of his receivers. It wasn't until the second quarter that he seemed to establish a bit of a rhythm for a bit, which led to the go-ahead TD pass from Rodgers to TE Jimmy Graham. But the Pack's running game — which was supposed to be at the heart of this new offensive approach – just couldn't get going.

This was a game won be an impressive effort by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's unit. The offseason free agent pickups have already made a difference, actually pressuring and getting to the opposing quarterback, which was something not seen much in recent years. The Pack's defense, at least on this night, was the equal of Chicago. If that holds true for the remainder of the season, the Pack will be in good shape once the offense kicks into gear.

A great win, despite the 10-3 score, for the Packers!

Packers WR Davante Adams will likely be doing battle most of the game
with Minnesota DB Xavier Rhodes. Could determine much in the final outcome.
(Photo: Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis)

Week 2 — Packers take on the ViQueens

The kickoff for today's game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay is less than two hours away as this is written. So let's not waste time with too many particulars.

The Pack is coming off a hard-fought defensive win in Chicago where the offense was able to do just enough, generate one TD and a field goal, to beat Da Bearz. A similar defensive effort will be needed today against a better offense than what the Pack faced in the opener.

But a better offensive effort will also be needed. Let's hope the 10-day interim since the last game allowed for a lot of tweaking and timing fixes. In particular, let's hope the Packers running game is able to get a bit more untracked today, although it's said that Minnesota's defense could be as tough as Chicago's at this point. If that's the case, this game could come down to a turnover or a late field goal.

The oddsmakers have given the Pack the 3-point home field advantage, effectively indicating it's a toss-up. Combined point total is projected to be in the vicinity of 43 points, so scoring is anticipated. (We anticipated that for the opener, as well, and were way off!)

The Prediction

With the Alumni Weekend and halftime tribute to the late, great Packers QB and head coach, Bart Starr, we have to believe that this 2019 team will rise to the occasion. Going 2-0 against NFC North Division rivals to start the season would be a great advantage as the season rolls on.

We're calling it 20-17 Packers.

Go Pack Go!!!

Thursday, September 05, 2019

2019 NFL Season Packers Prediction Plus Packers vs. Bears Preview

Hello again, Packers fans! We're back after an extended hiatus.

As we've done at the beginning of every season since the inception of this blog in 2010, we've made a prediction as to how the Packers would wind up at season's end in terms of wins and losses. We don't do it game by game at this point — although we do individual games week by week — but rather break the 16-game season down as if they were quarters in a football game.

So let's begin with the first four games of the season. Games include Chicago, Minnesota, Denver and Philadelphia, the first away and the last three at home. Given the schedule and the nature of a new system under a first-year head coach, we're predicting 2-2 coming out of this first quarter of the season.

As we go to the second quarter of the 2019 season, the Pack plays Dallas, Detroit, Oakland and Kansas City. Two games at home and two away. Initial reaction is to again go with a 2-2 prognostication here, but we think the Pack will pull a victory out of one of the possible two games they could just as easily lose. As a result, the Pack will go 3-1 to take us up to the halfway mark of the season.

The third quarter of the season includes the Pack's bye week in week #11. The Pack plays San Diego, er, oops, the LA Chargers...a-hem, Carolina and San Francisco, with two of the three on the road. But let's add in week #13 to this quarter (the 16-game season is spread over 17 weeks anyway, right?) just to keep things balanced. So that additional game is away against the NY Giants. We're saying the Pack will go 3-1 over this period despite three of the four games played on the road; the bye week comes well-placed after the first two games to help break up this road-heavy segment of the schedule.

The final quarter of the season has the Packers playing Washington, Chicago, Minnesota and Detroit, the first two at home and the final two on the road. With the three final games against NFC North Division opponents, this is where the season could be made or broken in terms of division championship prospects or even a playoff appearance. We'll say the Pack will be firing on all cylinders at this point of the season and will take three out of the four to go 3-1 to close out the regular season.

So, in review, we have the Packers going 11-5 for the season which should put them in contention for the NFC North championship and at least a spot in the playoffs.

Packers vs. Bears Preview

We'll make it brief. The Packers have done very well in recent years against Chicago, even in enemy territory itself. QB Aaron Rodgers typically makes those infamous plays that ultimately put a dagger in the heart of Da Bearz. Chicago had the best defense in the NFL last season and that front seven is perhaps as good as they've had since the 1985 season...or so it's said. No one has really seen what the starting Packers offense or defense can bring to the field under the new head coach and staff. But the Packers have a better quarterback than Chicago and a better place kicker. Games are typically close and decided late.

If that holds true tonight, under perfect weather conditions, we have to go with the Packers, of course. But as my dear friend, Billy Da Bearz Fan points out, when don't I pick the Pack? Well, I don't, sometimes. But this isn't one of those times. Sorry, Bill. I also consulted with another dear friend, Jim the Roofer (in the interest of full disclosure, also a Packers fan), and we agreed.

We're calling it 27-24 Packers over Da Bearz.

Go Pack Go!!!

P.S. We know we're a bit behind with some updates here on the site, but we hope to get to them soon. At least before the end of the season.   :-)