Sunday, December 25, 2022

2022 NFL Week 16: Packers vs. Dolphins Preview & Prediction

First things first: the Green Bay Packers have won two in row to get back on track and stay mathematically alive in the hunt for a playoff wildcard spot. Yes, a long shot. the Christmas Eve games in which the Pack needed help, each of the teams ahead in the standings that needed to lose did: the Seahawks, the Giants, the Lions, the Commanders. Now the Pack just has to beat the Dolphins on the road today. And then beat the ViQueens and the Lions at Lambeau Field in the last two weeks of the regular season. In fact, if they do that and the Seahawks and Lions wind up splitting their last 2 games (with the latter still losing to the Packers, of course) both could still wind up losing a tiebreaker to the Packers if they finish with a similar 8-9 record.

But let's take a closer at the game versus Miami. Have to win that one first.

Packers RB Aaron Jones and QB Aaron Rodgers will have to have
big days against the Dolphins to keep the team's slim playoff chances alive.
(Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

The Packers, as fans so well know, have underperformed in terms of expectations all season long. They have yet — as we enter into week 16 of the 2022 NFL season — to play a complete game in all phases. They sit at 6-8 coming into this game. There are a lot of things to watch and consider about this game. The best summary you'll find is by Tom Silverstein in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Be sure to check it out here.

News arrived Saturday evening that LT David Bakhtiari is unlikely to play Sunday, but beside that it seems all hands are on deck. The offensive line, without Bakhtiari for most of the season, has been doing a good job, generally, of protecting Rodgers, as well as opening holes for the running game. One other bright spot for the Packers recently has been the emergence of returner Keisean Nixon who is opening up that aspect of the game that has been nothing short of a disaster for several years running. If he can continue his recent streak of productivity that will be a big help in the game overall. It should also be noted that Nixon has apparently been pressing coaches to put him in as receiver. That would raise some interesting possibilities and it would be interesting to see if the Packers were actually able to scheme something in the form of a trick play of some kind to make use of Nixon's talents, although we wouldn't expect that anytime soon.

But, we have also seen more moments of, well, possibilities recently. There's rookie WR Christian Watson's emergence. Add in the return last week of WR Romeo Doubs. QB Aaron Rodgers' thumb seems to finally be back to near normal. The running game of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon can get things done if head coach Matt LaFleur sticks with it. In fact, as Silverstein notes in the aforementioned article, "When the Packers have an explosive run (10 or more yards) on one of their drives, there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to get in or near the end zone. Of their past 13 drives in which they had at least one rush of 10 or more yards, six resulted in touchdowns and three resulted in field goals." Most of these runs have been between 10 and 17 yards. The Pack will need a few of these runs on Sunday to keep things close. Watch for them.

That's because it's expected that the fast offense of the Dolphins will create problems for the Packers defense, particularly the secondary. The expectation is that Miami will put up points as the Pack defenders struggle to contain their receivers. QB Tua Tagovailoa can cause problems off the run-pass option but is more apt to get the ball out of his hands quickly than to run. It will be a challenge for the Packers defense — which has shown moments of greatness as well as moments of ineptitude — to contain Tua and the offense. If they can do so, and the Pack's offense continues on its upward trend, can eat up the clock through sustained drives, the Pack could win a close one.

The Prediction

While the Packers have won a couple in a row and the Dolphins have lost a few in a row, the pundits have the Dolphins set as 3-1/2 point favorites at the time of this posting. The Pack are 2-5 on the road this season and have been outscored by 41 points total in those games. On the flip side, and perhaps surprisingly, the Pack's defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in four of the team's six wins. So, if the defense shows up ... and the offense is able to run the ball well, be balanced, and keep Miami's offense off the field ... there's a real shot at this game.

Not many are calling for a Packers win. And I guess we've done it a few too many times already this season, but we're going to put on those green 'n' gold-colored glasses once more and call it Packers 30 - Dolphins 27.

Go Pack Go!!!

Monday, December 19, 2022

2022 NFL Week 15: Packers vs. Rams Preview & Prediction

So, in our preseason prediction, we had the Packers sitting at a possible 8-5 going into this last "quarter" of the season. So much for that idea. That record is the inverse of the actual current record of 5-8. Not the season anyone had imagined. Not even close. We don't need to reiterate the many reasons for why the Pack's season and playoff chances are hanging by an icicle.

We do need to just mention, as all Packers fans are aware, that the team is coming off its late-season bye week. Lots of time to rest and recoup. Still, the Packers waited until a little after 11 a.m. CT today to announce that they were releasing veteran WR Sammy Watkins after an experiment that obviously didn't work for either party. Couldn't have done it over the bye. Had to wait to game day ...? OK, so it goes. No seemingly corresponding roster move was announced at the time. The team will, however, be getting rookie WR Romeo Doubs back for the first time in weeks so expect to see him and fellow rookie WR Christian Watson on the field at the same time ... to see what might have been if both had been able to stay healthy earlier in the season. But we're veering into preview territory right now, so we might as well get on with it.

The Green Bay Packers will need a big game from QB Aaron Rodgers,
and all the team, in tonight's game vs. the Rams at Lambeau Field.
(Photo by Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

The Preview

First thing to mention, it is going to be classic Frozen Tundra weather tonight, i.e., cold. Maybe even a few bits of snow floating around. This should favor the Packers (a-duh). But as has been the case in recent memory, that hasn't always played out the way expected. So who knows? Yes, the mediocre team from LA really isn't going to want to be there. So every member of the Packers knows — and the coaches will no doubt reiterate it before and during the game — that they need to get up early and big on the Rams and not let up. All gas no brake. Start to finish.

The wind is not supposed to be much of a factor tonight. But how well the cold ball will feel in QB Aaron Rodgers' hand, with a still-recovering bad thumb, remains to be seen. If he can maintain a decent grip, the Pack's receivers should be able to stretch the field, particularly with Watson. And that will open up the running game. Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon could both have big games with the Rams' big run stopper Aaron Donald out of the game. One would think the odds would favor whoever can run the ball better. That should go the Packers way, although we also know that stopping the opposing team's running game has not been among the Pack's defense's strong suit this season. 

New LA QB Baker Mayfield won in his debut last week. Good to see after what he's been through with unfulfilled expectations. But he doesn't need to do that again. At least not in Green Bay. The Rams are banged up and nowhere near what they were as last season's Super Bowl champs. Mayfield is a young, mobile QB, exactly the kind who typically presents problems for the defense, as well. We'll see how defensive coordinator Joey Barry schemes for Mayfield.

Ahh ... there's also the slickness of the ball in the cold to consider. There should be opportunities for takeaways ... let's just hope the turnovers come from the Rams and not the Pack as the conditions should play out in general in the Pack's favor.

Still, the Packers aren't anywhere near where anyone thought they'd be at this point in the season. Imagine how ESPN is feeling after what could/should have been one of the top Monday Night football games of the season playing out this way with the teams' current standings. Oy.

The Prediction

The pundits are favoring the Packers by 7-1/2 points at the time of this writing. Former Packers right tackle and member of the Packers Hall of Fame, Mark Tauscher, said on his radio show this morning (Wilde & Tausch), that the Packers need to win this game "in a romp". Said it shouldn't be close and, as noted earlier, the Pack need to get up on the Rams early to put them away.

With all that being said, we're calling this one Packers 27 - Rams 17. Not sure if that's exactly the romp Tausch had in mind but we'd take it at this point. One game at a time. Let's get this one and then see how things play out on a short week for the Christmas game at Miami.

Go Pack Go.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

2022 NFL Week 13: Packers vs. Bears Preview & Prediction

Before we look at this weekend's game in Chicago vs. Da Bearz, let us first pause for a moment of silence for the repose of the soul of the Green Bay Packer defense. It's demise last weekend vs. the Philadelphia Eagles was a true — and embarrassing — exercise in futility. Depending upon who was providing the statistical analysis, there were somewhere around either 15 or 20 missed tackles, many of which were directed toward QB Jalen Hurts, who ran for miles against this inept Packers defense. Oy. What more can you say?

Let's move on to the game at hand.

The Preview

The Packers are sitting at 4-8 while Da Bearz are 3-9. Both teams have their issues, as evidenced by the records. Da Bearz, especially after trading away some their better players, have a woeful defense. But at this stage of the season, and after last weekend's debacle, can we say anything different about the Packers? Not really.

The difference in this game will be the offenses. Chicago has a banged up QB in Justin Fields, who, while not a great passer even when healthy, can still beat you with his legs. In that last regard, it's potentially a Philly deja vu moment if the Packers can't contain him. And tackle. Especially the tackling thing.

Chicago also has a good RB, so there again are problems to be dealt with. Receivers? Meh. On the other hand, if the Pack's secondary continues its defensive scheme of playing opposing receivers as if in a different zip code, that won't work so well even if the team was the Little Sisters of the Poor. With defensive coordinator Joe Barry at the helm, the Packers defense seems uninspired and confused most of the time. Really don't expect that to change in this game. Or the remainder of the season for that matter. Head coach Matt LaFleur has said he sees no reason to change direction with a new coordinator at this stage. Keep digging that same hole deeper, coach.

That leaves it to the Pack's offense to outscore Da Bearz. Now, despite a very banged up QB named Aaron Rodgers at the helm, that should be possible, even probable. And, we can at least feel a bit better if backup QB Jordan Love comes in as he did in last week's game. The kid's got spunk. And an arm. An arm that was quick and accurate in that brief showing. But Rodgers gives the Pack the best chance as long as he can remain upright. Especially against Da Bearz. In Chicago.

The emergence of Packers rookie WR, Christian Watson, has been one
of the bright spots for the Pack over the past few weeks.
If he continues his progress, the Packers should have a good day in Chicago.
(Photo by Eric Hartline, Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

Oh, about that last point, about staying upright. We just learned Friday that LT David Bakhtiari had a spur-of-the-moment appendectomy that day. Surprise to him, the coaches, and us. So he's out again for a bit. Figures doesn't it?

But Chicago's defense is not Philly's so Rodgers should still have more time to find his receivers. Of course, he'll be throwing to Rookie of the Month for November, WR Christian Watson. And, it's possible rookie WR Romeo Doubs might also be available, coming off his high ankle sprain injury. Toss in the dependable Allen Lazard and Rodger's best buddy and Bearz destroyer, Randall Cobb, and there should be opportunities to stretch the field and open things up for running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Or vice versa: get that running game going early and often and it could lead to a big day for the receiving corps.

This would be a good time for the Packers to play a nearly complete game. We've been waiting a long time to see that out of this team. The entire season, really. Perhaps going into their bye week, they can finally put things together by putting Da Bearz away. And the earlier the better.

The Prediction

At the time of this writing, the Packers are favored by 3-1/2 points. That doesn't mean much in these rivalry games ... despite the fact that Rodgers has indeed owned Da Bearz for his entire career. It also doesn't mean much give that the Packers have been favored in games more often than not this season only to disappoint fans and pundits alike.

Still, despite the ineptitude of the Packers defense we believe their offense has more weapons available and should be able to outscore Da Bearz.

That's why we're calling this one Packers 31 - Da Bearz 27.

Let us pray ...

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

2022 NFL Week 12: Packers vs. Eagles Preview & Prediction

OK, Packers fans ... on to the next. (Yes, we're bypassing the review of last week's disappointing  — again!  — loss, this one against the Titans. There's only so much self-abuse we can take, right?)

So in this evening's primetime game, the Pack travel to take on the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles. Oy. What can be said by way of a preview? At this point in the season, sitting at 4-7, the Packers are who they are. Which is inconsistent and underperforming in every phase of the game. Hence, the mediocre record. While QB Aaron Rodgers' broken thumb is part of the story, it is by no means the only reason the Pack's dwindling playoff hopes rest on winning tonight ... and every remaining game following their long-overdue bye week.

We can only dream of seeing the Packers celebrate tonight in their
game vs. the Eagles in Philly.
(Photo by The Associated Press)

The Preview

Do the Packers have a chance in tonight's game vs. the Eagles? Yes. If they play mistake-free football. Is that likely? You tell me. It really has not happened much at all that way this season. If the Packers can play as they did against the Cowboys two weeks back, they could pull an upset. And, truth be told, as it was versus Dallas, the key in Philly will once again have to come via the ground game. Green Bay needs big performances out of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. They also need rookie WR Christian Watson to stretch the field once in a while to help open up the ground game. And, of course, continuing his hot stretch of TD catches would be helpful, too.

The Packers defense also has to play one of its top games of the season. Likely? Who knows? And that's the problem with this Packers team, and the defense in particular. Despite all the investment on that side of the ball, to say the defense is underperforming is an understatement. Things that should have been corrected a couple games in, haven't been. And that's a direct reflection on Joe Barry, the current defensive coordinator. He should be sent on his way at season's end. (By the way, University of Wisconsin-Madison interim head coach Jim Leonhard, who had interviewed for the defensive coordinator job with the Pack previously and reportedly turned it down, will now likely be available once again as Luke Fickell from the Cincinnati Bearcats is apparently being named the Badgers new head coach. Packers? Are you on the phone???)

The Eagles offense and defense will present all sort of problems for the Packers. On offense, a QB in Jalen Hurts that is playing at an MVP level — and can beat you as much with his legs as his passing — throwing to a couple of great receivers who will give the Packers secondary fits. On defense, Philly has brought in some aging but A-list players to supplement an already decent defense. It does not set up well for this Packers team right now.

A near-perfect game by the Packers could keep things close and maybe, just maybe, they find a way to eke out a win.

The Prediction

The Eagles are favored by 6-1/2 points at the time of this writing. Seems quite reasonable given the relative state of the two teams right now. Anything can happen, of course. But ...

We're calling it Packers 17 - Eagles 34.

Go Pack Go!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

2022 NFL Week 11: Packers vs. Titans Preview & Prediction

Have we exhaled yet from Sunday's overtime thrilling win vs. the Cowboys, Packer fans? Wow. Down 14 and ultimately giving the 'boys their first loss with a lead by that much in the 4th quarter in 196 games. Yay. They finally showed up on both sides of the ball. Special teams? Well, a missed FG early by Mason (even a long one) usually is not a good harbinger of things to come. Then toss in the now-departed-from-the-Packers Amari Rodgers' punt problems and it nearly looked as if things were just too much to overcome. Thought my prediction of a loss would unfortunately come to fruition.

But not.

Thankfully, rookie wide receiver Christian Watson had his coming-out party with 3 touchdown catches, including a few long ones. Finally. Finally. If he can keep the injury bug away, and keep hanging on to the ball, he will continue to create issues for opposing defenses.

While it was a gutsy win, and not perfect, it sure was the best we've seen the Packers perform all season. That level of play will need to continue this evening, on a short turnaround, vs. the Titans.

QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be wearing their all-white 'color flash'
uniforms tonight at Lambeau Field. Let's hope they bring the team continued luck.
(Photo by Jonathon Daniel/Getty Images)

The Preview

We know that the Packers may have found a winning formula on offense: running the ball at least as much or more than passing it. That includes having the starting 5 offensive linemen start and finish the game for the first time this season. That was huge. The trick tonight will be how well David Bakhtiari's and Elgton Jenkins' surgically repaired knees hold up on a short week. This will be a key to success tonight against one of the league's top rushing defenses.

The Packers will need to stick with the run early and not become one-dimensional in the passing game, as was the case for most if not all of the 5-game losing streak. Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon will have to really pound the ball tonight, and to open up passing opportunities. WR Randall Cobb will be coming off IR and will likely see limited play, but may come up with a key catch or 2 to keep drives alive. Watson will stretch the field. Allen Lazard can be the mid-range over-the-middle guy. But in those passing situations that line is going to need to give Rodgers time as it did on Sunday. And if nothing is there, and the field opens up ... "Run, Aaron, Run".

As for how to handle the Titans' offense, that really boils down to handling that beast-of-a-running-back Derrick Henry. He's fast and as big or bigger than some linebackers...a one-of-a-kind threat. The Packers will need to jam up the inside lines and contain on the edges. A tough challenge. If Henry could be limited to under 100 yards that would be a win for the Packers defense. As would minimizing explosive plays, something which hasn't been the Pack's strong suit much of the season. We have been witnessing better play out of Joe Barry's defense over the last several games. So, maybe. But with De'Vondre Campbell being out again tonight that doesn't help. Young players such as linebackers Quay Walker and Isaiah McDuffie will have to fill the void in major ways tonight. If the Packers can hold Henry in check, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill will have to win the game. Not impossible. But the Packers secondary should be able to hold down the Titans' passing game if they continue to play the way they did vs. Dallas.

Tennessee will be missing some key players of their own tonight: K Randy Bullock, OL Bud Dupree, S Amani Hooker, DB Lonnie Johnson, and C Ben Jones. Those missing pieces are not insubstantial. If the Packers can get through the game as relatively unscathed as on Sunday, they have a great shot of emerging on top tonight.

The Prediction

Given the prime time focus of this game tonight — on which Rodgers seems to thrive, as we know — and the 3 out of 4 wins in prior games wearing the all-whites, the cohesiveness we saw play out on Sunday should continue this evening. The weather advantage favors the Pack, as well: it will be cold, with air temps about 24 F and with wind chills likely in the single digits. Perhaps even some flurries. Yes, both teams have to play in it. But this is the time of the year when the Frozen Tundra feel starts to work its magic for the home team.

The Packers are favored by 3-1/2 points at the time of this posting.

We're calling it Packers 24 - Titans 21.

Go Pack Go!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

2022 NFL Week 10: Packers vs. Cowboys Preview & Prediction

Let's take a moment to review last week's loss by the Packers to the Lions, shall we? OK, that's enough. Trying to put any positive spin on that debacle in Detroit would be like putting lipstick on a pig. No insult to pigs intended.

Yes, the Pack have now lost 5 games in a row. Including to teams they really should have had no business losing to. But what's a team to do with a $50-million-a-year quarterback and no receivers to throw to? And a defense that has been underperforming since the regular season kickoff? Special teams that are not horrible, but not making much of an impact in the way expected either. Toss in a coaching staff that just seems to not know what to do about much of it at all ... and then injuries ... yeah, every team has them ... but the Packers have just seemed to be snake-bit at so many positions that it has really made a struggling team even more inept.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur trying to figure out where the
season went off the rails. Sunday's game against the Cowboys
will do little to help the situation.
(Photo by Lon Horwedel, Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports)

The Preview

The Cowboys come into Lambeau Field off their bye week and are sitting at 6-2 with more going for them in all aspects of the game than the Packers have going right now. Plus, the 'boys have a head coach who knows a little bit about the Packers from the inside: former head coach Mike McCarthy. He still loves Green Bay — still has a home there, actually — but also has a bitter taste in his mouth for the way his tenure came to an end. He'd like nothing more than to make his first trip back a winning won for his new team. Given the comparative positions of these two teams right now, that seems quite likely.

Without even going into the Cowboys side of things, this game rests with the Packers. And they are just too out of sync across the board, and have too many injuries, to put up an even fight. As an example of this last point, the Pack have activated a number of players off the practice squad just to fill the active roster for the game including kicker Ramiz Ahmed because veteran Mason Crosby was a limited participant in practice this week with a knee injury. Figures, doesn't it? The hits just keep on coming. And not in a good way.

The Prediction

The Cowboy's are 4-1/2 point favorites at the time of this writing. We hate to say it, but we have been so let down by the ongoing problems with this team — on full display in the embarrassing loss to Detroit last weekend — that we don't see a path to victory against Dallas. Even with all hands on deck and everything rolling, the game would be tight. Not this game.

We're calling it Packers 13 - Cowboys 34.

Go Pack Go!!!

Saturday, November 05, 2022

2022 NFL Week 9: Packers vs. Lions Preview & Prediction

As we pass the midway point of the 2022 season, the Green Bay Packers sit at 3-5 following a 4-game losing streak. Our preseason prediction projected the Pack to be 5-3. So much for that idea. The "Top 5" defense that everyone projected prior to the season has not shown up to play a complete game. The offensive bet that the team could allow their best offensive weapon, Davante Adams, to walk and instead go without a legitimate number 1 receiver, some so-so veterans, and a couple rookies ... yeah, that hasn't worked out so well either. And failing to pick up any help a few days ago at the trade deadline ... as QB Aaron Rodgers said afterwards, it's the guys in the locker room who are going to have to get it done.

That "get it done" part begins Sunday against the Lions in Detroit.

There hasn't been much to smile about for the Packers over the last 4 games.
The two Aarons — Rodgers and Jones — hope to put smiles back in play
with a win vs. the Lions on Sunday.
(Photo via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

Here's the basics on the Lions: while they are 1-6 and holding down last place in the NFC North, their offense leads the league in explosive plays. They are averaging more than 35 points at home. On the flip side, Detroit is the worst scoring and yards-allowed defense in the league.

What to do with that set of contradictions? The obvious answers are for the Packers defense to play a complete game. They did a great job in the 2nd half of the game against the high-flying Bills last week especially and if they can get any carry-over on that in this game it would be a big help indeed.

While the Packers offense has yet to find itself, last week indicated that feeding Aaron Jones and getting the running game going can be a key to a win ... eventually. The passing game is still hampered by the lack of a number 1 receiver. The default number 1, Allen Lazard, is listed as questionable for the game at the time of this writing, as is rookie receiver Christian Watson who had to leave last week's contest after sustaining a concussion. This has really be a dreadful start to the NFL career for the young man due to being snake-bit, as the saying goes. Between ongoing hamstring issues and now a concussion, the injuries have slowed his ability to be the threat the Packers were hoping for when they drafted him early in the second round this Spring. 

Between the shifting players on the offensive line (David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins practiced but in limited ways this week and are questionable for the game), the lack of a commitment to the running game, and no threats among the receiving corps, Aaron Rodgers has also not been his usual self.

In sum, the Packers have yet to play a complete game in all phases. They have also not done well of late playing at Detroit, despite the Lions' record at the time of the game. And this season, the Lions are a better team than their record would indicate. As we have seen throughout the league this season, the difference between winning and losing a game is often a very slim margin indeed.

Win this game and the Packers can keep hopes of a playoff spot alive. Lose this game and it will be one of those "Woulda-Shoulda-Coulda" type years. And with Rodgers future up in the air and major salary cap hits on the books for next year, we could be in for ... sorry, can't say it. Not yet.

The Prediction

The Packers are 3-1/2 point favorites at the time of this writing. If ever there was a must-win game for this team, it is this one. If they can't get it done against the Lions — who will likely give the Pack everything they have — it's back to the drawing board.

We're calling it Packers 27 - Lions 23.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2022

2022 NFL Week 8: Packers vs. Bills Preview & Prediction

So, first things first: for the first time in the Matt LaFleur coaching era, the Green Bay Packers not only lost back-to-back games but back-to-back-to-back games, dropping 3 in a row beginning with their second half collapse in London vs. the underdog Giants, losing at home to the Jets, and most recently the debacle in Washington against a back-up quarterback. This team is badly out of sync, with no receivers to loosen up an opposing defense and inexplicable offensive coaching decisions taking the ball out of the hands of the best offensive weapon the Packers currently have, i.e., RB Aaron Jones.

The result: the Packers are sitting at 3-4 at the near mid-way point of the season. And for comic relief, the NFL schedule has the Pack playing arguably the best team in the league this evening on the road. What are the odds of the Packers winning this game? Not great. In fact, pundits have the Bills as anywhere from 10-1/2 to 11-1/2 point favorites at the time of this posting. Recall, by the way, that the Packers were favored in all three games in the current losing streak. Apparently the pundit good will has finally run out; no more benefit of the doubt ... now just doubt. In fact, Aaron Rodgers has never before in his career as a starter been a double-digit underdog. Yet, here we are. It's f-ugly out there, Packer fans. No other way to put it.

A Packers receiver, Sammy Watkins in this case, in a familiar position:
being a missed target on a throw by QB Aaron Rodgers.
(Photo by Geoff Burke USA TODAY Sports)

The Preview

As we said way back in our season prediction, "In looking at the other teams (in this stretch of games), the Bills are the team to worry about, as they showed in their season opener by man-handling the Super Bowl champion LA Rams in LA." We also noted, "Some pundits are projecting a possible Packers-Bills Super Bowl match-up." The first part of that season prediction is certainly being manifested ... the second part? Not so much. Oh, the Bills still have a great possibility of being in that game, but the Packers? It would take a monumental turnaround ... a miracle of Biblical proportions ... to even get this team competitive once again the way they are playing.

Having said that, here's what the Packers will face tonight: the league's best offense, defense and special teams and a quarterback with the makings of an MVP season. The Packers, first of all, would have to show us something that they haven't yet this season: a complete game in all phases. They haven't done that in a single aspect of the game yet and we expect them to do it in all phases tonight? Not. Going. To. Happen.

On offense, the Packers will be without WR Allen Lazard and Christian Watson — he of ongoing bad hamstring — is questionable. LT David Bakhtiari...who knows? Rodgers seems to be off, putting it mildly. LaFleur, for an unknown reason, takes the ball out of Aaron Jones' hands once he seemingly gets close to more than a handful of touches. And with a 245-pound RB in A.J. Dillon, on 4th-and-1s, the call is to toss a short pass behind the line of scrimmage rather than give it to Quadzilla to make something happen. 'Tis a puzzlement indeed.

On defense, the Packers show up for the first half, usually, but don't in the second. With the money that has been spent on that side of the ball for years and years, the expectation is that this should be a Top Five defense...which it was in the preseason prognostications. So much for that. And while special teams has arguably improved over the last few seasons' performances, the continuing miscues and turnovers by returner Amari Rodgers, in particular, has cost the team games.

There are no simple fixes here. And looking to get turned around by shuffling off to Buffalo tonight isn't what the doctor ordered.

The Prediction

Based upon what we've seen since the London game, the injuries, the lack of offensive weapons, the lack of output, the lack of motivation, the mental mistakes, the penalties, the miscues, the coaching name it, this all adds up to very low expectations for this game by the Packers. We hope we are wrong.

We're calling it Packers 17 - Bills 38.

Go Pack Go

Sunday, October 23, 2022

2022 NFL Week 7: Packers vs. Commanders Preview & Prediction

 A quick word about last week's game, Packers fans: blech!

Moving on...

Packers WR Sammy Watkins has been reactivated for today's game.
He was becoming a trusted target of QB Aaron Rodgers prior to his
last injury. With Randall Cobb out 4-6 weeks, Watkins is a much-needed
addition in the offensive scheme.
(Photo via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

With the Pack at 3-3 after losing back-to-back games for the first time during head coach Matt LaFleur's tenure, to say today's game vs. the Washington Commanders is a must-win is a conversation starter, for sure. Polls of many fans indicate the majority think it is. We are among those.

Now fully through a third of the season, the Packers still have yet to play a complete game. The offense has scored 10 points in the last 6 quarters. The defense, particularly in the second half of games has, if not collapsed, certainly not lived up to preseason expectations of a Top 5 defense. Not even close. Opposing teams, as with the statement by the Jets coaches last week, know they just have to keep punching the Pack's offense in the mouth and they will fold, while on defense the obvious way to succeed is to go over the middle where it seems receivers are wide open all season long. These are both situations which should have been corrected by now. But...not.

With the Packers receiving corps still missing in action for the most part, the loss of Randall Cobb for 4-6 weeks with the ankle injury suffered last week and Sammy Watkins returning today but still relatively questionable, the receivers are Allen Lazard, Romeo Doubs, Watkins, Amari Rodgers and Samori Toure being activated today. This is who Aaron Rodgers has to throw to. Not a great position to be in at this stage of the season, but someone has to step up.

In addition, it has been announced that LT David Bakhtiari is inactive for today. So after practicing all week as a unit, the offensive line will again be shuffled. Doesn't help. Compared to past seasons, where there were a number of players who could be inserted at nearly any position along the line, not quite the case this year. Sure, players will be plugged in, but performance? We should expect Aaron Rodgers to continue to be under pressure as he has been all season.

Part of relieving the pressure on Rodgers can come from sticking with the running game more than has been the case, especially during the losses. LaFleur has been far too quick to take the ball out of Aaron Jones' and A.J. Dillon's hands. Of course, as LaFleur said in his press conference the day after the loss vs. the jets, if the O-line doesn't block better nothing good is going to happen ... whether in the running game or the passing game.

We don't really even want to take space here to talk about Washington. You can find that analysis elsewhere. Our focus is on the Packers because, ultimately, it begin and ends with those players on the field...and the coaching decisions that are made regarding them.

This is a game the Packers should win, even on the road. But that's been the case in the last two losses, as well. The team has just not shown up. If they don't today, the issues that have been present all season to this point will likely continue on over the rest of the season. Or so it seems.

The Prediction

The Packers are 4-1/2-point favorites at the time of this posting. This is based upon the relative talent of the two opposing teams. The strength of the the Commanders is their defensive line that ranks first in the league in QB hits. Not great given the Pack's penchant for allowing Rodgers to get hit a lot this season. Washington will also have a backup QB under center today, although he ran to daylight quite a bit in last season's game at Lambeau Field; Taylor Heinicke can compete and keep Washington in the game, particularly if the Packers offense continues to struggle and the defense continues its mediocre play.

Until the Packers show us otherwise, we think this game will be close.

We're calling it Packers 20 - Commanders 17.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

2022 NFL Week 6: Packers vs. Jets Prediction

Hello, Packers fans. Well, after last Sunday's collapse in London vs. the Giants...what can be said? Play another team from New York, apparently, and hope for a better result. Welcome to Lambeau Field, J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.

Because of constraints on time and the fact we will not even be able to view the game live this Sunday, we are skipping the usual preview of the game and going straight to the prediction. Hope that works for you.

Packers head coach, Matt LaFleur, needs to get a full game out
of his team...and coaches.
(Photo from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Prediction

The Packers are currently 7-1/2 point favorites at the time of this posting. Both teams are 3-2. Whether the Pack can play more than a half of football on either or both sides of the ball yet remains to be seen. Perhaps if the Pack runs the ball more ... and occasionally blitzes ... and has man-to-man coverage in the secondary more often ... Let us pray....

We're calling it Packers 24 - Jets 13.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, October 09, 2022

2022 NFL Week 5: Packers vs. Giants Preview & Prediction — The London Edition

Cheerio, Packers Fans! This week we find our beloved Green Bay Packers playing the New York Giants...across the jolly ol' London. Enough cliches for you?

Let's acknowledge, first, another close win for the Packers, this one over the Patriots at Lambeau Field, to go to 3-1 on the season. Our preseason predication had the Pack coming out of the first quarter of the season at 2-2...which it quite easily could have been. But wasn't. So we're ahead of the game at this point. Let's keep that rolling early tomorrow, shall we?

"Green Bay Invades London" is not only the reality but the message 
on a fan's commemorative T-shirt at a London pep rally on Friday.
(Photo by Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

While both teams are 3-1, that's about the only comparison that fits. The Packers are deeper than the Giants on both sides of the ball, despite the Pack's defense not yet living up to its preseason hype. Still, they have done what they needed to do to get stops as the Packers offense is still trying to work out its kinks...which seems to be starting to come into shape.

The Giants have arguably the best running back in the league right now with Saquon Barkley off to a fantastic start. QB Daniel Jones seemed questionable after suffering an ankle injury in last week's game, but word is that he will play. The ankle injury should stifle one of his best attributes, however: his scrambling ability. That probably means even more reliance on Barkley. If the Pack's patchy run defense through the first four games doesn't tighten up it could be a long day. At least Jaire Alexander will once again be in the defensive backfield to help the pass defense.

The Packers offense seemed as if was starring to get into sync last week. WR Romeo Doubs is gaining Aaron Rodgers' trust and Christian Watson, according to Rodgers' own words this week, is open more than Rodgers realized until he looked at the film. All in all, the Packers depth — particularly with 7 Giants out tomorrow — should make the difference.

Still, there's no telling how the travel, venue, et al may affect the teams' play. What might normally be the case is, well, not normal in this instance. Don't be surprised if we see another close game, although hopefully one that does not go down to the wire or, worse, overtime.

The Prediction

At the time of this writing, the Packers are favored by 7-1/2 points. The over-under is set at 41-1/2 points. Apparently a shoot-out is not anticipated.

We're calling this game Packers 27 - Giants 20.

Go Pack Go!!!


Sunday, October 02, 2022

2022 NFL Week 4: Packers vs. Patriots Preview & Prediction

Before we begin our current game review, if you haven't yet exhaled from the Packers hold-on-to-your-hats win in Tampa last weekend, you can now do so: Packers 14 - Buccaneers 12. Whew!

It was a much closer game than it needed to be or should have been. The Pack would have all but sealed things up early on if RB Aaron Jones had been able keep possession of the football as he was tackled just shy of the end zone. That would have given the Packers 21 points in the first half. But...not. Still, thanks to the defense and special teams (who would have imagined ever saying that?!), the Pack held on to go to 2-1 on the young season. Yay.

The Preview

Today, Green Bay takes on the New England Patriots at Lambeau Field. The Pats' starting QB, Mac Jones, will not play today leaving instead veteran QB Brian Hoyer as the man under center. Advantage: Packers. Still, this is a Bill Belichick-led team. He will do the best to scheme with who he has. Particularly on defense. It will be a bit of a chess match at the outset, perhaps, as the Packers offense, especially with the young receivers, attempts to outwit Belichick's defensive calls. Look for rookie WR Romeo Doubs to continue to shine. TE Robert Tonyan could also resume his key-play role for the offense. The platooning of LT David Bakhtiari and Yosh Nijman that worked well last weekend in its first iteration will likely continue today with equally good results.

Packers rookie linebacker, Quay Walker, has already shown his
value as part of the Pack's defense. He's a playmaker.
(Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

We should feel good about where the Pack's defense is right now. It is ascending. And so is its young talent.

Certainly, being able to stifle Tom Brady and the Bucs last weekend has to bolster a unit which already possesses a good deal of confidence in its abilities. Whether or not DB Jaire Alexander is able to play today, the defense knows it can handle whatever comes its way. Rookie LB, Quay Walker, has been making plays like a veteran since the first game. He is an impact player. There are quite a few of them on this side of the ball right now. That means if the offense can do what it is capable of doing, the defense can close out games.

The Prediction

The pundits have put the spread at anywhere from 8-1/2 to 9-12 points, depending upon when and what source you are looking at (bad grammar there, sorry). These same oddsmakers have put the over-under at 40-1/2 points. So, clearly, looking at just these numbers, the Packers are viewed as definite odds-on favorites.

The Pack's defense should hold a so-so, Brian Hoyer-led Patriots offense in check. The only question is whether the Packers offense is able to put together a complete game and not shoot itself in the foot. That, and whether the special teams can hold its own which so far has been the case.

With all that being said, we're calling this game Packers 27 - Patriots 13.

Go Pack Go!!!


Sunday, September 25, 2022

2022 NFL Week 3: Packers vs. Buccaneers Preview & Prediction

 As we begin, let us acknowledge that the Packers did what they needed to do last weekend: beat Da Bearz at Lambeau Field in their home opener. Yay. As Elvis would say: TCB, baby! Takin' care of business!

Which leads us to today when the Pack takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the late afternoon heat and humidity of Florida. Ewww. Plus, that Tom Brady QB guy. Double ewww.

The Preview

This game is being hyped, as expected, as perhaps the last meeting between two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Brady and Aaron Rodgers. This is likely Brady's last season and as for Rodgers, who knows? But as much as fans are interested in this aspect of the game, this is a contest in which the defenses may have more of an impact than the offenses. Who'd ever imagine saying that in a Brady vs. Rodgers game? But here we are.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers hoping to improve today on his record
vs. the Buccaneers against whom he is just 2-4, 1-3 in Tampa.
(Photo by Jason Behnken, AP)

Tampa's defense is arguably the best in the NFL right now. The Packers' defense was expected prior to the season to be a Top 5 defense. A bit of the air in that balloon went out in the opening loss to the ViQueens. Last weekend's game vs Chicago helped a bit, but still a lot of missed tackles. But, after all, it was Chicago so we can't read too much into that, can we?

The Bucs offense, despite being led by Brady, will be down a few receivers today: Mike Evans is suspended, Chris Godwin is out for the third straight week and Julio Jones is questionable. The running game also isn't quite at full strength, according to reports. Brady isn't as mobile as he once was and without his usual weapons, the Packers defense should have the upper hand. Should.

The Packers offense is still a work in progress. The O-line got RT Elgton Jenkins back last week. This week, word is that LT David Bakhtiari will play today. We'll see how well he is able to hold up against the Bucs defense in his first game back after his long ACL recovery. Rushing will be a challenge against this defense which, in normal times, one would look upon as a cue to rely on the pass. Except that the Pack is also down a few receivers right now. The team placed Sammy Watkins on the IR, a place where he has, unfortunately, spent a good portion of his once-promising career. This is a game where Rodgers may need to rely more on TE Robert Tonyan and work on building his trust with his rookie receivers, particularly Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson. And if the Pack can get RBs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon touches out of the backfield that can help open things up a bit, too.

The Pack will need to control the clock today, avoid turnovers and special teams mistakes, and — cliche as it is — make the plays they are supposed to make. Oh, and pressuring and getting at least one turnover against Brady and the Bucs' offense would help a great deal, as well.

The Prediction

This is projected by the oddsmakers as a relatively low-scoring game with the over-under set at 42. Tampa is favored by 1-1/2 points.

To us, this seems almost like a pick 'em type game. Both teams have question marks, both teams have great QBs, but the Bucs are at home. In the heat and humidity (it's supposed to feel like 101 degrees F right about time of kickoff...and that's not even the on-the-field heat), Tampa players should be more well adapted to the conditions. Not the frozen tundra, but rather the sweltering swamp.

As much as we hope the outcome is otherwise, we see this one going the way of Tampa Bay in a close one. (Please let us be wrong!)

We're calling it Buccaneers 20 - Packers 17.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2022

2022 NFL Week 2: Packers vs. Bears Preview & Prediction

OK, Packer fans ... last week's opener at Minnesota didn't quite turn out the way we hoped...more like the way we feared. As in not ready. (Sigh)

So let's just turn the page on that one, shall we? Instead, as the late Paul Harvey would say, "Page Two...".

Which brings us to the Packers home opener vs Da Bearz this evening in prime time on Sunday Night Football.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers reflecting on how many ways
he has owned Da Bearz over the course of his career.
(Photo by Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

The Preview

Chicago is coming off a slopfest win at home over the 49ers last weekend. Meh. The Packers, as noted, were on the losing end of things vs. the ViQueens. And yet, the Pack are listed as 10-1/2 point favorites at the time of this writing. Sounds about right.

As disjointed as the Packers' offense was last week — with the growing pains of young receivers, a makeshift offensive line, an underperforming defense, etc. — they are still the superior team on the field tonight. As long as they play like it, that is.

For the defense, the Packers should have a bounce-back game after being shredded in their zone pass coverage by Justin Jefferson. Chicago does not have an equivalent, but the d-backs still have to be in at least the same zip code as the receivers to avoid those errors again. The other aspect of the defense that is key tonight is keeping Chicago QB Justin Fields in the pocket. You don't want to let him beat you with his feet, as they say. And that means pressure. Lots of it. While the Pack had some pressure on Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins at times last week, he had too much time to find Jefferson running free. If the Packers can keep contain on Fields, and get to him repeatedly, the Packers will win this game regardless of how much the offense might sputter.

What? The Pack's offense sputter? We don't believe we'll see what we saw last week, regardless of the offensive line makeup. Rodgers will have had another week to get on the same page with his receivers, which should help a bit. But, based upon what head coach Matt LaFleur said after the loss in Minnesota, and all week, expect more touches by the running backs tonight. It has to happen to keep Chicago's defense from just going off on Rodgers the way Minnesota did last week. An indicator, perhaps, of the team's commitment this week to the running game (and passes to the running backs) the team activated RB Patrick Taylor off the practice squad so 3 running backs will be available throughout the game. Good choice. Taylor played a number of games for the Pack last season, knows what to do, and has the trust of the coaches when they call his number.

The expectation is that there will be more balanced run-pass play-calling tonight...more along the lines of what was expected last weekend. If that happens, the young receivers make a few plays, and the defense lives up to its preseason billing, the Packers will get their first win of the 2022 season. And against Da Bearz. Which is always sweet.

The Prediction

As noted above, a number of "ifs" come into play this with every game, really. The big ones here are: getting past last weekend's season-opening loss; maximizing the energy from the home opener on Sunday night; and channeling the history of the Green Bay - Chicago rivalry.

The pundits have installed the Pack as 10-1/2 point faves, as noted earlier. That should be right, although some are noting that historically these are often slugfests between two old division rivals, regardless of relative talent levels. Regardless ... 

We're calling it Packers 24 - Da Bearz 13.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2022

2022 NFL Week 1: Packers vs. Vikings Preview & Prediction

 At long last, the new NFL regular season finally gets underway with the Green Bay Packers meeting NFC North divisional rival the Minnesota Vikings ... otherwise known among many as the ViQueens. The game will take place in Minnesota.

As others have pointed out, most teams don't play many of their starters during the three preseason games so this first regular season game is essentially a continuation of the least for those starters who sat out most or all of the preseason games. The Pack and the 'Queens will be working out kinks, especially on offense, for this game and likely a game or two beyond. Expect defenses to dominate. As it is anticipated that the Pack's defense will wind up being a Top 5 defense when all is said and done, this is something Packers fans should welcome.

Head coach, Matt LaFleur, is set to begin his fourth season at the helm of the Packers. Has achieved record-setting regular season win-loss records during his first three years, but significant playoff and Super Bowl wins have eluded him ...
so far.
(Photo by Samantha Mader/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

The Preview

The Packers will be without LT David Bakhtiari today and probably at least through next week against Da Bearz, as well. RT Elgton Jenkins is questionable, and WR Allen Lazard is doubtful for today, the latter leaving an already questionable receiving corps even further shorthanded. But the Packers still have QB Aaron Rodgers commanding the offense. And head coach Matt LaFleur and his brain trust have had plenty of time to scheme a new offense sans Davante Adams. Even without the arguable number one receiver in Lazard, the Pack still has considerable weapons on offense, particularly in the form of the two-headed running back monster comprised of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The game should revolve a bit more around that phase of the game — both rushing and pass-catching — than we have seen in a while. But that doesn't mean that Rodgers will be limited. With veterans Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins, along with rookie receivers Christian Watson and training camp darling Romeo Doubs, Rodgers will have targets downfield and across the middle. And don't forget the return of TE Robert Tonyan who was lost for most of last season. He gives Rodgers a great and reliable red zone target. The offense will put up points, perhaps just not in as much of a flurry as we are used to, at least not early in the season.

The defensive unit will be more high-powered this year than last, along the line, across the linebackers, and especially in the defensive backfield. The defense will be called upon early to keep the Packers in games...and perhaps even to win one or two early. Let's feel good about that.

As for the Packers special teams ... it can't be worse than last season. A new coach, new personnel — including some starters — and perhaps even new schemes should move the Pack up from the bottom of the pile where this squad has languished for far too long...and which has cost the Packers in the past. That has to change this season. Will see how things look today.

As for the ViQueens, the Packers defense will get a good test in this first outing taking on the likes of QB Kirk Cousins (not horrible), Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson. A definite test right out of the box for the Pack's D. On the flip side, former Packers linebacker Za'Darius Smith is out for revenge as he has been proclaiming how badly he was treated last season by his former team. So he'll have an extra little motor going today, no doubt.

Overall, the 'Queens have a new head coach, new schemes, etc. Will just have the same annoying horn and skol sounds as background noise.

The Prediction

Minnesota gets the home field advantage, shaved just a bit, as 2-point favorites at the time of this post. Basically, expect this to be a toss-up type game as they so often are. We just don't know what kind of team we have yet in any phase of the game. Wouldn't surprise us if the Pack came up just short. But also wouldn't surprise us if they pull out a close one.

We're calling it Packers 24 - ViQueens 20.

Go Pack Go!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

With the 2022 Packers season upon us ... Our season prediction.

Hello, Packers fans ... and all who wish they were.

We've had a looooong hiatus...since just before the 2022 NFL Draft, to be exact. A lot of water under the bridge before and since then: comings and goings (most notably and regrettably, of course, WR Davante Adams), injury updates, cut-downs, final roster, etc. Too much to cover here and you know it all already anyway.

So let's just get to the important matters of the moment: the season prediction. We'll do the prediction for Sunday's opener against the ViQueens (in Minnesota) in a separate post. We invite you to please check back for that.

The Season Prediction

Since the start of this blog in 2005 (17 years ago ... 17!), we have looked at the season preview not game by game (those are done individually at the relevant time) but more quarter by season quarter, so to speak. With a 17th regular season game in place for the second consecutive year, we'll have quarters plus one extra game...and the bye week, too, resulting in 18 weeks to examine. You'll figure it out. Home games are in green. Be aware, of course, that the NFL may flex various game times, especially later in the season, so the days/times shown here are as they are now indicated.

QBs Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins will meet
in the first game of the 2022 season.
(Photo by Associated Press)

1st Quarter of the Season

Week 1: @ Vikings - Sun 9/11 · 3:25 PM CDT

Week 2: Da Bearz - Sunday Night Game - Sun 9/25 · 7:20 PM CDT

Week 3: @ Buccaneers - Sun 9/26 · 3:25 PM CDT

Week 4: Patriots - Sun 10/02 · 3:25 PM CDT

We think it's likely the Packers lose one, and perhaps two, of these first four games. Despite the Pack being once again one of the odds-on favorites to make the NFC Championship Game, and, Packer nation hopes, the Super Bowl, and having a talented roster, particularly on defense, we really don't know how it's all going to come together, or how quickly. With Rodgers back at QB and coming off two consecutive MVP season and the weapons on offense, you know that the team will always be in the game in terms of point potential. But with his wide receiver security blanket, Adams, now gone to Las Vegas, and a slew of young and untested receivers, the offense might not be as high-flying as we've been accustomed to especially early in the season. We expect perhaps a more even split between downfield throws and runs and touches out of the backfield. The two-headed monster that is Aaron Jone and A.J. Dillon will be used in new and impactful ways. Will be fun to watch. It will be good to have TE Robert Tonyan back in the mix particularly in the red zone. The new receivers, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, as well as veterans Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins, will also have to have an impact early and often. During this first quarter of the season, but especially down its stretch later in the season, the defensive unit will be called upon to limit the points put up by opponents until the offense finds its footing. And special teams? Can't be worse than last season. Even a modicum of improvement there will help. So, it would seem if the Pack could come out of these first four games 2-2 it would be satisfactory. Not great, but OK, setting the stage for better things moving down the road.

2nd Quarter of the Season

Week 5: Giants - Sun 10/9 - 8:30 AM CDT (technically the home team atTottenham Hotspur Stadium, London)

Week 6: Jets - Sun 10/16 · 12:00 PM CDT

Week 7: @ Washington - Sun 10/23 · 12:00 PM CDT

Week 8: @ Bills - Sun 10/30 · 7:20 PM CDT

This quarter of the season starts with the Pack's first international game in London against the Giants, in which the Packers will be technically the home team. There will be a large contingent of European Packers fans on hand. If the team can handle the jet lag, they should be able to come away with the win there. In looking at the other teams in this quarter, the Bills are the team to worry about, as they showed in their season opener by man-handling the Super Bowl champion LA Rams in LA. Some pundits are projecting a possible Packers-Bills Super Bowl match-up. Long way to go before we get there. But, on a whole, the Packers should come out of these four games with a 3-1 record.

3rd Quarter of the Season

Week 9: @ Lions - Sun 11/6 - 12 PM CDT

Week 10: Cowboys - Sun 11/13 · 3:25 PM CDT

Week 11: Titans - Thursday Night Game - Thurs 11/17 · 7:15 PM CDT

Week 12: @ Eagles - Sun 11/27 · Sunday Night Game - 7:20 PM CDT

The first game of this quarter of the season sees the Packers play the third of three consecutive away games. Oy. Fortunately, it's against the Lions, albeit in Detroit. To be fair, the Lions might be an improved team over what we have come to know over so many years of futility. By roughly the mid-point in the season, we'll have a good idea of who they are. The Cowboys, Titans and Eagles round out these four games. Given the three straight roads trips and the opponents, we can see the Pack going 2-2 in this stretch.

4th Quarter of the Season (+1)

Week 13: @ Da Bearz - Sun 12/4 - 12 PM CDT

Week 14: BYE - Sun 12/11

Week 15: Rams - Sun 12/19  - Monday Night Game - 7:15 PM CDT 

Week 16: @ Dolphins - Christmas Day Game - Thurs 12/25 - 12 PM CDT 

Week 17: Vikings New Year's Day Game - Sun 1/1/23 - 3:25 PM CDT

Week 18: Lions Sun 1/8 - 12 PM CDT

The bye week comes in Week 14. Not ideal, but hopefully can get guys rested a bit for the final stretch of four games, three of which are at Lambeau Field. If the Pack is healthy, here's where the stretch run to the playoffs and Super Bowl gains steam. Given the opponents and being able to finish at home, we see the Packers going 3-2 over this span of games, including the bye.


Looking back at our predictions, we have the Packers going no worse than 10-7. (Many projections have the Pack going 13-4 or 12-5. We hope they are right and we are wrong.) They should handle their NFC North competitors and win the division once again. We'll worry about the playoff scenarios much, much later on. Lot of ball game left, as the saying goes.

As always, GO PACK GO!!!