Monday, October 14, 2019

NFL Week 5 Review of Packers win vs Cowboys, NFL Week 6 Preview vs Lions — Yes, Another twofer!

We've fallen into a thoroughly revolting pattern, Packers fans. No, not the Pack...they're doing pretty well, thanks. We refer to our now season-long trend of doing combined posts about the last game and the one coming up. Sorry. But it is time efficient, isn't it it, for both you — dear reader — and yours truly? Yes, yes it is. So without further ado...a very quick look back at the win in Dallas.

Packers Beat the 'boys in Big D

It's always a pleasure to beat the Cowboys, especially in Dallas. Something QB Aaron Rodgers has been pretty good at over time. Last weekend was no different. Racing off to a fast start, with RB Aaron Jones turning in his best game of the young season if not one of his best as a Packer, and the defense holding Ezekiel Elliot in check and generating turnovers. The 'boys made a late run and it got a bit concerning there for a while (admit it), until a late fourth quarter field goal attempt "doink" off the upright really put an end to Dallas' comeback dreams. Final score: 34-24. Sweet.

This was game we and many others thought the Packers would drop. So glad we were wrong as that win left the Pack at 4-1 and atop the NFC North Division.

QB Aaron Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur are still working on their
new relationship. But at 4-1, it seems to be working just fine.
(Photo JSOnline,com)

The Lions Visit Lambeau Tonight

Once upon a time, Detroit couldn't buy a win in Wisconsin. Was years...decades...centuries...something like that before they finally pulled one out. But the Lions have now won four straight (home and away) against Green Bay, including the two games last year by a combined score of 62-23. Now, to be fair, within this four-game streak Rodgers was injured and out of the game for either all or part of the game in two of them and in a third K Mason Crosby uncharacteristically missed 5 field goal attempts. Really, what are the odds of that?

The Lions are 2-1-1. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur says they are one of the scariest teams he's seen on tape. They are, to our view, hard to figure out. They tied the Cardinals in the first game of the season, barely beat the Chargers, just sneaked by the Eagles in Philly (the same Eagles, as you know, who handed the Packers their lone loss on home turf), and then narrowly lost to the very good Kansas City Chiefs. Now, factor in that the Lions have had 2 weeks to prepare for this game against Green Bay and this game is no gimmee, that's for sure.

Detroit has a defense-oriented head coach that concentrates on stopping the run. Expect that to be the formula again. With WR Davante Adams still sidelined with turf toe, other receivers are going to have to step up. Adams was out last week, too, and Rodgers only completed 4 passes to his wide receivers. Whether that was due to their failure to get open or good coverage...? Fortunately, Rodgers was able to work his tight ends and backs in the passing game. Not big yards, and not even a TD pass if memory serves, but effective. And if the Pack needs to do that again, so be it. As Rodgers said after the game, "It's about the Ws" not the stats. The Packers will be without one of their tight ends tonight, though. Robert Tonyan, who sustained a hip injury in last week's game, is out for tonight.

If the Packers can do what they've done so far this season, getting out to a fast start and a big lead, have the defense put pressure on Lions QB Matthew Stafford to generate a turnover or two, have JK Scott boom his field-position-changing punts, it all should be enough to carry the day. If.

The Prediction

The Packers are favored by 4 points in this game. There will be a Fall evening low of about 34 degrees. Good NFC North football weather. The Lions, unfortunately, have experienced recent success against the Packers which will make them a confident team coming in. The division lead is on the line.

We're calling this one Packers 31 - Lions 24.

Go Pack Go!!!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

NFL Week 4 Review of Packers Loss vs Eagles, NFL Week 5 Preview vs Cowboys — Another twofer!

The 34-27 loss by the Green Bay Packers at home to the Philadelphia Eagles a week ago Thursday dropped the Pack from the ranks of the undefeated. It was another surprisingly sieve-like performance by the rush defense.

Conversely, the Packers rush offense was dealt a blow early when RB Jamaal Williams took a direct hit to the helmet that saw him being carted off the field. Luckily, the injury wasn't severe, although he will still be out this weekend because of precautionary measures. Attempts to get untracked with the run were unfruitful.

Anyway, bottom line, albeit with a late goal-line tipped pass for an Eagles interception that should have been a pass interference call (along with another earlier), offensive and defensive deficiencies cost the Packers the game. It's usually how it goes in such situations, right?

Our preseason prediction for where we felt the Pack would be after the first quarter of the season was 2-2; instead, the team is 3-1. We'll take that.

Let's move on.

The Cowboys

The Cowboys also come into this game in Jerry's World at 3-1 following a loss to the New Orleans Saints in their last game. The 'boys have weapons on offense – RB Ezekiel Elliott and QB Dak Prescott in particular.  Elliott had one of his worst games in the loss to the Saints, rushing for only 35 yards on 18 carries. You have to believe he's licking his chops to scorch the Pack's defense. And let's not forget that Prescott can run as well as pass. So lots for the Packers' D to worry about.

Can the Pack pull this game out? Of course, QB Aaron Rodgers always seems to come up big in Dallas. He'll be without his number one receiver, Davante Adams, who is out with a turf toe. That means the other receivers, and especially TE Jimmy Graham, will need to step up. So, too, will rookie RB Dexter Williams, who will be the number two back behind Aaron Jones.

The Prediction

The Packers are 3-1/2 point underdogs at the time of this writing. This is a critical game for both teams: one will emerge at 4-1 and the other will fall to 3-2. While neither record guarantees success or failure going forward the rest of the season, it may foretell directional fortune for a few games, shall we say. The Packers will come home for two games, against the Lions and the Raiders, and then play two away at the Chiefs and the Chargers. How do you read those future games? They will be much better if the Pack pulls out a win in Dallas.

Despite having 10 days to fix some issues, we think the absence of Adams and Williams on offense will prove to give the 'boys just enough room to eek out a win.

We're calling it Cowboys 27 - Packers 23.

Still...Go Pack Go!!!