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!!!