Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 NFL Week 17: Packers vs. Vikings Preview & Prediction

Happy (almost) New Year, Packer fans! And what will make it very happy is if the Packers get a win in Min! Gotta get this game against the ViQueens to keep slim playoff hopes alive.

What could go wrong? Well ... it begins with "d" and ends with "e". Specifically, defense, as in even more specifically, the Pack's defense. What a train wreck it has become especially over the last half of the season.

That has been particularly true when facing rookie and iffy quarterbacks, whom the Packers defense have made look like MVPs these last three weeks. The tales of woe in this regard are well known among Packer fans so no need to rehash here. Other than to say two players on defense that would be helpful in today's game against Minnesota's very good receivers — Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes — will not be playing. Alexander because of his well-documented error in judgement at the time of the coin-toss against Carolina, resulting in his one-game suspension by Brian Gutekunst, and Stokes because of a hamstring injury which now sees him on the IR list, which has been the bane of the Packers existence this season across many players. Oy.

Yet again today, the Packers defense will face a rookie QB, Jaren Hall, who is very mobile. And you know how mobile QBs do against this Packers defense, right? Yeah: have career games. Let us pray ...

Anyway, let's just get on with the prediction, shall we? No preview needed. We have New Year's celebrations to get to (along with the game, of course!).

The Packers offense will need a big game from QB Jordan Love
today to overcome expected lapses by the Packers defense.

The Prediction

Minnesota is currently favored by 1 to 1-1/2 points depending upon what source you are looking at. So, basically, a pick 'em game.

Both the Packers and ViQueens come into this game at 7-8. The Packers offense, statistically, have scored more points over the course of the season than have the Vikes. But Minnesota's defense have given up 32 fewer points over the 15-game span than have the Packers. In fact, the Packers offense has only scored 2 points more than its defense has given up. That helps explain our meh record at this point in the season. To the Packers advantage, statistically, is that Minnesota has a 2-5 record at home and 5-3 on the road; the Pack is 3-5 away from home. So...hmm. What to make of that?

If the Packers defense can get back to its early season form, and create at least one turnover today, they should pull off a tight win. If it once again makes a MVP out of a rookie QB, and doesn't get lights-out play from the offense, playoff chances for the Pack will go from slim to none.

Still, we're going to wear the green 'n' gold glasses yet again. We're call this game Packers 27 - ViQueens 24.


Saturday, December 23, 2023

2023 NFL Week 16: Packers vs. Panthers Preview & Prediction

So-o-o-o-o...for the second straight week...looking back...the Green Bay Packers disappointed fans with poor performances. Coming off two great wins no less. Up and down. The story of a young team. But at some point, as even head coach Matt LaFleur acknowledged, that "young" bit doesn't hold water any more.

The season is 3 games from being over. Either the team wins out against poor to so-so teams and keeps their now-slim playoff chance alive, or we start looking to next season. We have said for the past couple weeks that each game was a must-win. Well, if the upcoming Christmas Eve day game vs. the lowly Carolina Panthers isn't a must-win, then Santa is just a fat ol' man. And we know that's not true!

Of course, the Pack have seemed to nearly always make a looser into a winner. Check the performances of the last two winning opponent quarterbacks, for example. Oy. The biggest problem in the last two losses, of course, has been the Joe Barry-led defense. Or, as The Onion declared in a headline following the most recent defensive debacle, "James Webb Telescope Finds Evidence Of Packers Secondary Lined Up 20 Million Light Years Off Receivers".

Let's hope we don't see this Packers secondary coverage scheme any longer.
(Image via

The Preview

Do we really need one at this point, Packer fans? We know the Pack is a toss-up team at this stage of the season. When they show you who they are, as the saying goes, believe then. They have shown us that they are a 6-8 team. Meh. So close and yet so far. Yes, they are/were "young". Yes, they've had a lot of injuries at key positions (btw, will Jaire Alexander ever see the field again for the Packers???). Next man up. And with 8 first-round picks on defense as we were reminded ad nauseum this week in the aftermath of the defensive meltdown vs. Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers. Time for these guys to step up. Especially the defense. If going against rookie QB Bryce Young isn't an occasion for feasting on sacks and turnovers...check please. You know what we're saying.

The Panthers are 2-12 for a reason, just as the Packers are 6-8 for a reason. The Packers have better talent on the field. But in sports, especially football, commitment to show up and perform to the best of one's capability is all on the field. This will be a telling game for the Pack. Will they show up and perform? Or have they already packed it in, so to speak (no pun intended), especially on the defensive side of things? We will find out shortly.

The Prediction

The Packers are favored by 4 points. They have won something like 7 straight Christmastime games. Matt LaFleur is 16-2 in December since becoming the head coach of the Packers. This is a game the Packers should win. But we've said that the last 2 weeks and where did that get us? Up the creek without a paddle.

So now what? We're sticking with the Packers because of the "should win" part of the prediction equation. We're calling it Packers 27 - Panthers 17. Confidence level? Take a guess.

Still ... GO PACK GO!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2023

2023 NFL Week 15: Packers vs. Buccaneers Preview & Prediction

The Packers had it...then didn't.

How many times have we said this over the course of the 2023 season? More than we'd like.

And it was the case yet again last Monday night against the Giants. Snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. In a game where the opposing offense was starting a third-string quarterback and with a line that had given up 69 (?!) sacks going into the game, the Packers defense didn't get one sack. Not one. And it allowed a QB that still lives at home with his parents to beat them with his legs throughout the game and hit a few throws down the stretch that allowed for a winning field goal. C'mon, say it with me: "Thank you, Joe Barry. Once again." SMH

Of course, the offense and special teams performances left much to be desired, as well. QB Jordan Love was off his game, turning the ball over twice with one fumble on an ill-advised run and one interception...his throws were off most of the night because, as he admitted after the game, his footwork and mechanics were not the same as they had been during his hot streak. And head coach Matt LaFleur's play-calling was not the best. How many times do you run a wide receiver (i.e. Jayden Reed) end-around before the defense knows exactly what you are doing? Oh, and Keisean Nixon, you're great. But when you muff a punt, get on it and stay down. A horrible decision to try to advance the ball after the muff. And you knew it immediately. But by then...well, only a few plays later...the damage was done in the form of 7 points going to the Giants. An early Christmas gift. Oy.

Anyway...time to turn the page. The Packers are back home at Lambeau Field for a noon  (CT) game Sunday vs. Tampa Bay. Is it yet again the Battle of the Bay of Pigs? No. At least, we don't think so. But let's have a look, shall we?

This is a look from QB Jordan Love that we hope not to see
after the game vs. the Buccaneers.
(Photo by Seth Wenig, Associated Press)

The Preview

This comes across as a pick-em game. The Packers are sitting at 6-7, as are the Buccaneers. The catch is that in the train wreck that is the NFC South, Tampa is basically in a 3-way tie for first while the Pack — with the same record — is in 3rd place in the NFC North.

Bottom line, though, is both are playing for playoff spots. Tampa currently sits in 4th place while the Packers are in the 7th and final spot for a wildcard. According to the latest projections, if the Packers beat the Bucs Sunday, they have a 71% chance (in some models) to make the playoffs; lose and that goes below 30%. With the Vikings loss Saturday to the Bengals in an epic 4th quarter collapse, they are sitting at 7-7. The Packers need to win this game to keep apace.

Both teams come into Sunday's game without key personnel. The Pack will likely be without one if not both of their starting running backs. Aaron Jones may be back — or not. A.J. Dillon, we learned after the Giants game, has a broken thumb on the hand with which he carries the football. Not ideal. In a game where the rushing attack is key to helping take the pressure off QB Jordan Love and open up the passing game, the Packers may be down to their back-up backs. So it goes. WR Christian Watson will also likely not be available. Again. On the flips side, the Buccaneers will be without some of their top defenders which should help a short-handed Packers offense.

That only matters if the Packers offensive line does a better job protecting Love than they did in the Meadowlands. And if the Packers defensive front can get to Tampa QB Baker Mayfield, who has been known to toss a few INTs in his 2 prior visits to Lambeau. Oh, and Packers special teams need to be special.

The Prediction

The Packers are favored in this game by 3-1/2 points at the time of this writing. If they play the way did in their wins against the Lions and the Chiefs, they can beat anybody. If they play the way they did vs. the Giants (and others) they can keep things close but still wind up losing.

We're putting the green-n-gold colored glasses back on and hoping the Pack have worked out at least some of the issues — in all 3 phases of the game — that led to their defeat on Monday.

We're calling it Packers 24 - Buccaneers 20.

Go Pack Go!!!

Monday, December 11, 2023

2023 NFL Week 14: Packers vs. Giants Preview & Prediction

The Green Bay Packers are on a roll. A sweet roll. And it is most yummy indeed for us Packers fans (sorry for the sweet roll pun). But after taking down the Lions in Detroit and the Super Bowl Champion Chiefs at Lambeau Field, the Pack find themselves in the hunt for a wildcard spot in the playoffs at 6-6 after winning 3 out of their last 4 games and 4 out of their last 5. We really didn't see that coming earlier in the season now did we? (Although, looking back at our pre-season prediction, we had them finishing with a 10-7 record ... still in play!)

Still, Green Bay's playoff odds are now set at roughly 72% after a run of thousands of future game simulations by the New York Times. If the Pack wins their remaining 5 games, beginning tonight against the Giants in the Meadowlands, their chances improve to 100 percent. Nice. Drop one? Still good.

But this playoff run starts in earnest tonight. So let's have a look, shall we?

Packers QB Jordan Love has been the talk of the NFL
for the last month or so.
(Photo via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

Perhaps we should begin with a look at tonight's weather and field conditions. The rain and winds that impacted the East Coast over the weekend supposedly will be gone by kickoff. Expect a temp in the upper 30s and winds around 10 mph. Artificial turf. Acceptable December conditions.

The Pack will be without the services once again of RB Aaron Jones, CB Jaire Alexander and WR Christian Watson. Also appears as if LB Quay Walker will be on the sidelines. The Packers have been dealing with key injuries all season and finding ways for the back-ups to step in and make plays...which they have been doing. Yay. Tonight's yet another occasion.

The 4-8 Giants have a backup QB, Tommy DeVito, starting, and a so-so offense apart from RB Saquon Barkley, who could single-handedly deal the Packers a loss if the running game defense doesn't find a way to contain him more often than not. And while DeVito's passer rating is actually slightly ahead of Jordan Love's over the same stretch of last 3 games, he hasn't had to face the kind of pass rush the Pack can bring.

The Giants defense isn't great either. It is ranked 26th in the league in points allowed per game. But that's a bit deceiving because they are in the top 10 in opponent passer rating. So Love will have to continue his sharp ways tonight. And get continued high performances from his receivers and support from RB A.J. Dillion and others, not the least of which is the offensive line who have been performing at a high level during this turn-around.

The Prediction

The Packers are 6-point faves tonight, only the second time they have been favored all season.

We see them continuing their winning ways this evening. We're calling it Packers 24 - Giants17.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2023

2023 NFL Week 13: Packers vs. Chiefs Preview & Prediction

OK, Packer fans ... first things first. The last few weeks, we have not predicted Packers wins. As noted in those predictions, we have said that the team needed to show up in all phases of the game for a full four quarters to help us believe once again. On Thanksgiving Day, in Detroit, the Pack finally put it all together in defeating the Lions. It set a good tone for the rest of the holiday, didn't it? And that was with a LOT of starters missing from action. The backups showed up. Big time. A great win that actually puts Green Bay back into a playoff wildcard race. Long way to go, but at least it's positive. And we believe.

Tonight will be another test for this young team: the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs come to Lambeau Field. Let's consider what might be at play in this game.

It may not be Vince Lombardi leading the way for the Packers against
Hank Stram and the Chiefs tonight, but the pride and history of both teams
will be on full display, with much at stake for both.
(Photo via the National Football League)

The Preview

Can QB Jordan Love and the Packers continue their recent trend of game-by-game progress? Or will there be drop off after the huge win against the Lions? For the Chiefs, will QB Patrick Mahomes recapture his magic performances? And will the KC defense continually blitz to throw off Love's timing with his budding receiving corps, especially given that Packers RB Aaron Jones will again not be on the field and give the offense a way to mitigate the blitz? Will the Packers defensive line be able to contain and pressure Mahomes the way they did Jared Goff in Detroit? Will the defense for the Packers be as stingy and turnover-generating as against the Lions?

So many questions. And we will have to wait to learn the answers. It's why they play the game, as the saying goes.

The good news for Packers fans is that the team has won three out of its last four games. Love is performing at a high level. His young receivers are learning where they need to be and, hopefully, that part of the job is catching and holding onto the ball no matter what. Head coach Matt LaFleur is gaining confidence in his young QB and offense and starting to open the playbook. Finally. We've also seen defensive coordinator Joe Barry's defense improve itself. It is still somewhat unpredictable in terms of stopping the run, but if it plays with the energy and determination it did against Detroit, they can stop anyone. Even Kansas City. Rashan Gary, Kenny Clark, Preston Smith et al need to once again dominate.

And if the defense can create a turnover or two, all the better.

Oh, and perhaps Packers special teams can pull off a return that helps turn momentum. That would be good. Very good.

In a game such as this, a turnover or big return can be the difference between a win and loss, especially for the Packers.

The Prediction

The Chiefs come into Green Bay tonight heavily favored, but the line has decreased since earlier in the week. KC went from 7-point favorites to 6-1/2 and are now listed as 5-point faves.

This time of year, we also have to start looking more and more at the weather forecasts. The weather shouldn't be much of a factor tonight. Both teams are accustomed to the early December Midwestern conditions. While the snow this morning (about 2 inches in Green Bay as of 9 a.m. CT) should end well before gametime, things will still be seasonable: temps in the low to mid-30s are expected. Wind shouldn't be a problem despite a wind advisory in place until about 3 p.m. So, as the natives in these parts say, "It's a bit brisk". Or, "Perfect football weather" ... depending upon one's point of view, of course.

On a related note, this will really be Packers rookie kicker Anders Carlson' first cold weather game. As Packers great, LeRoy Butler said in his preview prediction, he's gotten a bit nervous whenever Carlson comes out. Carlson has been good for the most part, but has missed some kicks, too, including PATs which is never a good thing. We don't want a missed PAT to decide a game like this. Let's hope that the PAT and FG unit has worked outdoors this week because you know KC will be really looking to get a block or two, if possible.

So, where do we go with our prediction? We're going to call it an upset tonight. We think the Pack will keep ascending. They know that they can play with any team if they come together and play at a high level for a full 60 minutes. But it will be tight, as we should expect from head coach Andy Reid and his team ... and Matt LaFleur and his.

We're calling it Packers 26 - Chiefs 24.

Go Pack Go!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

2023 NFL Week 12: Packers vs. Lions Preview & Prediction

We're happy to note, Packers fans, that our prediction for last Sunday's game vs. the Chargers in Green Bay was incorrect. Or "wrong" as some have gently put it. Whatever.

The youngsters on offense came through in the clutch, taking the lead 23-20 with less than 3 minutes to go on a great pass from QB Jordan Love to Romeo Doubs in the end zone. In the remaining time, they could have held onto the ball once more and not given the Chargers a chance to tie or win outright if only head coach Matt LaFleur had not been so conservative in his play calling (run 3 times and give the ball back to a team with timeouts remaining and Justin Herbert at QB?). Thank goodness, the defense rose up and saved the day.

For a team that had lost 4 of their 5 games going into Sunday by a combined total of 11 points, this was a huge win. A record of 4-6 is a lot better than 3-7, let's be honest.

However, this win over the Bolts came at a cost. Both RB Aaron Jones and his backup Emanuel Wilson were lost to injury. Jones wound up with a sprained MCL, although it looked much worse at the time. Wilson wound up with a shoulder injury and has been placed on the IR list. After the game, TE Luke Musgrave reported a stomach injury. Turned out, he spent the night in the hospital where it was determined he had a lacerated kidney (likely from falling on the ball after a catch). He was also placed on the IR list and will be out at least 4 weeks. A sad turn for the rookie as he was just starting to come on and be not only a good blocker but a receiver Love could look for.

So the Packers have made some roster moves to replenish the squad, including re-signing RB Patrick Taylor; A.J. Dillion can't do it all. In fact, he's listed as questionable for the game, as well, with a groin injury. The Pack also signed veteran RB James Robinson.

This is not the way you want to go into Detroit on a short week. Not at all.

Running backs are in short supply for the Packers
going into the Turkey Day game at Detroit.
(Photo via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

With the running backs in short supply, and Detroit ranked 5th in the league against the rush, expect the offense to run mostly through Love. Good thing he had the best game of his young starter's career against LAC, throwing for 2 TDs and more than 300 yards.

Love will need a career game against the Lions in order to allow his team to have a chance at pulling out an upset win. But In addition to Musgrave, TE Josiah Deguara is listed as doubtful with a hip injury, so rookie Tucker Kraft will no doubt get a lot of snaps. It will also mean that the troop of rookie and 2nd year receivers that have begun to step up their games must take another step Thursday. Putting the bulk of the effort into the passing game (likely), the offensive line will also have to give Love time against a tough Detroit defense. Let's not forget: the Lions are 8-2...8-2! Who'da thunk it?

The Packers defense has been sieve-like for the most part against the run. Which doesn't set up well against Detroit...or any team, for that matter. Oh, and the Lions have a not-so-horrible QB in Jared Goff, despite one of his worst games on Sunday. With Packers defenders CB Jaire Alexander, LB De’Vondre Campbell and S Rudy Ford listed as questionable, and S Darnell Savage out for his fifth straight game, Green Bay's defense will also be put to the test.

It's not shaping up favorably for the Packers.

The Prediction

Detroit is favored by 7-1/2 points at the time of this writing. We hate to say it, but we think all of the injuries, on a short week, on the road, is just too much for the Pack to overcome.

We're calling it Lions 31 - Packers 17.

We were wrong last Sunday and we hope we are again.

Go Pack Go!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

2023 NFL Week 11: Packers vs. Chargers Preview & Prediction

Despite it arguably being QB Jordan Love's best game last weekend vs. the Steelers, and the Packers really being in it till the end, the defense's impression of a sieve against Pittsburgh's running game ultimately led to yet another disappointing loss. We and many others predicted it, which offers no satisfaction whatsoever. As we've said for a while now, until the Pack can show us that they can click in all 3 phases of the game, we're hard pressed to be optimistic.

So what does that mean for Sunday's game against the Chargers? Let's see.

The Packers offense will need to score and score often in order for
the Packers to have a chance at beating the Chargers.
(Photo from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

Every preview you read will say that this is the best QB the Packers defense will have seen to this point in the season. The Chargers are number 7 in scoring in the league. They are averaging nearly 27 points per game. If the Packers defense plays the way it did last week, well, the same result can be expected.

Yes, the Packers offense got some things clicking against the Steelers last week. In large part, it might be argued, because RB Aaron Jones was back on the field and involved. A lot. That always bodes well in terms of giving the Pack a chance. RB A.J. Dillon also had a good performance. If the two of them can establish a ground game this weekend and keep LA QB Justin Herbert on the sidelines, that will help. Control the clock. Please.

Jordan Love looked confident last week, made some nice throws, but also missed a few he needed to have, especially in the closing minutes. Let's hope he learned from the mistakes and kicks his game up a notch, as Chef Emeril might say. Need to find a way to close out a game with a W for a change instead of the L.

But it was the Packers defense, particularly against the run, that failed miserably. Two down lineman? How often did we see that scheme? Without adjustments? The Joe Barry approach. Oy. And still the Pack had a shot.

This game vs. the Chargers, who may be as vulnerable as the Steelers on defense, seems like one in which it will come down to how the Packers defense shows up. They have the talent. But, at least to this writer, they don't have (and haven't had for a few seasons now) the defensive coordinator to put them in position to succeed more often than not.

The Prediction

Despite the game being played at Lambeau Field, the Chargers come in at the time of this writing being 3-point favorites.

We hate to say it, but — once again — until the Packers can show us that they can show up in all phases of the game — for all 4 quarters — we don't see this game going the Packers' way against the Chargers offense. Hope we are wrong.

We're calling this game Chargers 34 - Packers 24.

Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2023

2023 NFL Week 10: Packers vs. Steelers Preview & Prediction

OK, Packer fans: we finally got a win last week over the Stafford-less LA Rams. We'll take it. Definitely. It showed what could be possible given the presence and performance of RB Aaron Jones. Also showed what could happen when a young defense flies around with some energy. What are the lessons that can be drawn for today's game against the Steelers? Let's see.

The Preview

Unfortunately, it appears as if CB Jaire Alexander will once again be missing from the playing field. Not good when the Steelers will have a receiver the calibre of George Pickens coming at you (btw, the Pack selected Christian Watson ahead of Pickens in last year's draft). On the other hand, Pittsburgh also has a young QB, Kenny Pickett, running the offense. So if the Packers defense can get pressure on Pickett and hold down Pickens ... well, both would be good. (Thank you, Captain Obvious!)

Rookie safety Anthony Johnson Jr. had a big day
against the Rams. He may or may not see the field today
if Rudy Ford is able to play.
(Photo by Mike De Sisti / The Milwaukee Journal)

The Packers will also likely be without LB Quay Walker and have listed as questionable DL Kenny Clark, S Rudy Ford, C Josh Myers, LT Yosh Nijman and RG Jon Runyan.

The latter three are concerning because the Steelers have a servicable defensive front, led by edge rusher T.J. Watt (remember that draft where the Pack could have picked him and instead went with DB Kevin King? Yeah... "Hulk sad.") The Packers offensive line has been a problem area all season, with very little continuity because of injuries. This has led to a plethora of pre-snap penalties and pressures on QB Jordan Love, who needs all the help and time he can get to connect with his equally young receivers. If Aaron Jones can replicate his game of last week and take pressure off Love, and the O-line can hold its own and minimize the pre-snap mistakes, the Packers have a chance today, despite being on the road.

The Prediction

The Packers and Steelers have both had their challenges this season. The Pack are 3-5 despite having chances to pull out at least 1 or 2 more wins. The Steelers are 5-3 despite, as Ryan Wood notes in his prediction for the game (see here) "an offense that ranks 28th in yards gained and a defense that ranks 31st in yards allowed. Both marks are worse than the Packers (24th offense, 11th defense). The Steelers have one of the few NFL quarterbacks with a lower passer rating than Jordan Love (Kenny Pickett is 26th in the NFL with 81.6, Love 25th with 81.9)." Wood also notes that Steeler head coach Mike Tomlin seems to always put his team in a position to win despite their deficiencies, which are more than they have had in past seasons, it seems.

So it seems as if the game is close, the Packers have tended to not get it done while the Steelers somehow find a way. Pittsburgh is at home and with a crowd that can get into the game if you let them. Neither are to the Pack's benefit.

Pittsburgh is favored by 3 at the time of this writing. Yup, home field advantage.

We're calling this Steelers 20 - Packers 17.

Still ... as always ... GO PACK GO!!!

Sunday, November 05, 2023

2023 NFL Week 9: Packers vs. Rams Preview & Prediction

Remind me again: who did the Packers lose to last week?

This has been a recurring question for a few weeks now. Extremely slow starts by the offense, penalties, injuries ... it's been a dumpster fire ... that just won't go out. We said in our brief (and, unfortunately, correct) prediction last week, that "... until the team shows up … in all 3 phases of the game … for all 4 quarters … we regrettably see this game going in the loss column."

So, did anything change in that point of view from last week to this? You tell me. Plus, add into the mix that one of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball — DB Rasul Douglas — was traded to the Bills for a 3rd round pick in next year's draft...along with a 5th round pick for the privilege. Didn't seem to make sense to many, including this writer.

But it is what it is. The season is bumpier than anticipated by far, perhaps even by the team's general manager and coaching staff ... which is perhaps also a red flag about where the Packers are headed not only this season but next, as well. That's a whole other conversation.

It's time for Packers QB Jordan Love to raise his game.
(Photo by Tork Mason, USA Today NETWORK-Wisconsin)

The Preview

You know what the read on the Pack is: issues. Lots of issues. The offensive line play has been inconsistent at best and abysmal at worst. And, due seemingly largely to Aaron Jones' ailing hamstring, the running game and much of the offensive schemes have been stuck in neutral over the course of this now four-game losing streak. Play-calling by head coach Matt LaFleur has been uninspired. Defensive schemes ala defensive coordinator Joe Barry have been hit-and -miss. Still it must be said that, generally, the defense — while not creating turnovers — has usually done enough to keep the Pack in the game ... if there was any semblance of an offense, that is.

Any opposing team knows that if they can put pressure on QB Jordan Love, which has been the case give the spotty O-line play, they have a great chance of winning the game. With the anticipated return of Jones against the Rams, that should help open things up a bit more for the Pack. We'll see.

The big question for the Rams today really centers around whether or not QB Matthew Stafford will play. He injured the thumb on his throwing hand in last week's game and his ability to grip the ball will likely be the determining factor as to whether he plays or not. A game-time decision, no doubt. Despite notable weapons on offense and defense, Stafford's absence would be a plus in terms of increasing the chances for a Packers win as LA's backup QB isn't a game-changer. Or at least, hasn't been.

The Prediction

As some others are doing ahead of the game, we're going to offer two predictions: one if Stafford plays and the other if he doesn't. Seems fair.

If Stafford plays, we're calling it Rams 24 - Packers 13.

If Stafford does not play, we're calling it Packers 17 - Rams 14.

Either way, Go Pack Go!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

2023 NFL Week 8: Packers vs. Vikings Preview & Prediction

OK, Packers fans, here we go again. Not much time on this end for a full-on preview due to travels, so will get to the prediction.


For the last few games, we have believed the Pack would get things together, avoid the slow starts, and — very important in football — score occasionally. A rash of injuries and, it must be said, lack of veteran leadership especially on offense, has led to a 3-game losing streak. Players don’t seem well-prepared. That’s on both the players AND the coaches.

So can they get it together against an arguably hot ViQueens team right now, albeit one missing its top receiving threat? We’d like to think, at home and with some key players activated for the Packers, that the answer would be “Yes”.

But, alas, until the team shows up … in all 3 phases of the game … for all 4 quarters … we regrettably see this game going in the loss column.

We ‘re calling this game ViQueens 24 - Packers 17.

Very much hope we’re wrong.


Saturday, October 21, 2023

2023 NFL Week 7: Packers vs. Broncos Preview & Prediction

Wait, you may be saying: What happened to NFL Week 6? It still happened, of course. Just not for the Packers. Bye week and all that. So a couple weeks since the Pack last played. Seems like forever, doesn't it? A really goofy schedule. On the one one hand, it gave the guys time to heal up a bit. And for coaches time to figure out how to put together a game plan to defeat one of the worst teams in the league right now. Which they pretty much had the opportunity to do, as well, in Las Vegas. But didn't. So the Pack went into their early-season bye at 2-3 (we had them at 3-2 in our preseason prediction).

The Preview

Now, Green Bay faces the worst rushing defense in the league and a veteran QB in Russell Wilson who's apparently on the downside of his career. So it would seem there should be opportunities for the Packers to run the ball. If RB Aaron Jones can figure in on at least a portion of plays, that is. Or, if A.J. Dillon can find his form from a few years ago. And the defense can force Wilson into making some bad choices. A few turnovers going the Pack's way would be a help.

Packers RB Aaron Jones has been limited or out since the opener against Da Bearz.
He's listed as questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Broncos.
(Photo by Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Head coach Matt LaFleur will need to have a balanced offensive plan (a-duh, I know, I know). That begins with the offensive line not putting the offense behind the eight ball series after series with penalties and miscues. They have to give QB Jordan Love time to find mid-range receivers. And, have those young receivers, oh, I dunno, run the right routes. And catch the balls when thrown to them. This isn't rocket science. It's football. And other than a few shining moments through these first weeks, the Packers have been grinding at playing the game effectively. Now they need to be effective and grind out a win.

So, as some pundits and fans are asking: is this a must-win game for the Pack? Not necessarily. But it sure seems like it given the opposing team.

The Prediction

The Packers at the time of this writing are anywhere from 1 to 1-1/2 point favorites. So, pretty much a pick 'em game. And the over-under is set at 45.

We've been burned on our most recent predictions for the Packers. Is this a game the Pack could lose? Of course. They have to show up. They have to execute. Especially the defense, who may be called upon to win the game in a potentially close game.

Sure, Denver gave up 70 points against Miami. Well, the Packers aren't Miami-good right now. So toss that anomaly out the window. But Denver is still bad. Are the Packers better? Time to prove it.

We're calling it Packers 23 - Broncos 17.

Go Pack Go!!!

Monday, October 09, 2023

2023 NFL Week 5: Packers vs. Raiders Preview & Prediction

First, a word about the Thursday night game vs. the Lions: patooie!

Can you relate, Packer fans? I thought so. Moving on...

Packers QB Jordan Love will need a balance game plan
to beat the Raiders in tonight's game in Las Vegas.
(Photo by Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

This will be the Pack's first-ever visit to Las Vegas. Let's hope its many distractions can be kept to a minimum for the players. They will have enough to deal with on the field. While the Raiders are 1-3, they could cause problems. Let's not forget that this is the home of former Green Bay receiver Davante Adams. He can cause problems of many kinds. And while Jaire Alexander is expected to be on the field for the Packers tonight, it will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Joe Barry decides to deploy him in coverage. Does he put Alexander on Adams every play? Does he keep Alexander in a particular spot and rotate coverage of Adams? We each likely know what we would do. But Barry??? Let us pray.

The Raiders also had a great ground game last season which hasn't quite come around yet this season. Let's hope they don't decide to make tonight the night they choose to return to old form. Because, as Packer fans know all too well, the Pack's run defense still leaves much to be desired.

The Raiders QB is someone who is 3-1 against the Packers, including playoffs: yes, ol' Jimmy Garappolo. But that record was with the Niners; the Raiders are definitely not the Niners. While he is coming off the concussion protocol for this game, Garappolo has been consistent in his propensity to toss interceptions. If the Packers pass rush can put pressure on him, Jimmy G should put a couple of passes up there for picks.

On the Packers side of the offensive ledger, QB Jordan Love should have Elgton Jenkins back to help protect his blind side and give some stability to the offensive line, which has been less than stellar the last few games. John Runyan should also return. In terms of weapons, RB Aaron Jones and WR Christian Watson should be on the field more than versus the Lions, which bodes well for the offense. (LATE UPDATE: RB Aaron Jones has been declared inactive for the game. Packers elevated RB Patrick Taylor to the 53-man roster.)

The Prediction

At the time of this writing, the Raiders are favored by 2 points...which amazes many. Not the full home field advantage, but...

This is another one of those early season games where both teams are still trying to figure out their identities. Granted, injuries for both teams have played a role in their respective records to this point. 

But it's about time the Packers took hold of that challenge on both sides of the ball. With a Week 6 bye coming up for the Packers following this game, it should be all hands on deck. They need to go into the bye at 3-2, which would put them right where we predicted they'd be in our pre-season prediction (look for yourself in the prior posts).

We're calling this game Packers 31 - Raiders 27.

Go Pack Go!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

2023 NFL Week 4: Wait, what happened to Week 3? Plus Lions Preview & Prediction

Hello, Packer fans! Well, well, well. Some of you may have been wondering what happened with our preview and prediction for NFL Week 3: the game last Sunday vs. the Saints. Funny story. I was traveling. Attending a high school class reunion, to be exact. One of those major ones. Was so great to be back among old friends. And I do mean old. Crikey! Time marches on. As does the 2023 NFL season.

But the other interesting part of things is that had I had the occasion to post a preview and prediction for that Saints game, you know what? I would have actually predicted a lackluster performance by the Packers for the first 3 quarters of the game leading to them being shut out, but...then rallying for a dramatic 4th quarter comeback to win 18-17. Really. No doubt about it. And if you believe that ... I've got some choice swamp land for sale for you in Florida. (Come to think of it, I wouldn't do that to you; it's Florida. Ewww...)

Anyway, on to the quick turnaround Thursday night game vs. the Lions at Lambeau.

The Preview

The Lions and Packers both come into this game sitting at 2-1 with the early lead of the NFC North in play. Both teams have some young players already making a mark in the NFL and some injuries to key players. The teams seem pretty well matched at this point, but at the time of this writing Detroit is favored by the pundits by either 1 or 1-1/2 points depending upon who you're reading. The over-under is set at around 45.

As Packer fans no doubt recall, the Lions knocked the Pack out of the playoffs at the end of the 2022 regular season by dealing them a loss at home in the final game in an uninspired effort by Green Bay. Detroit had nothing to play for. The Packers did. And Detroit won. Not great. It was former QB Aaron Rodgers' last game as a Packer. And his last pass was an interception. Just like his predecessor, Brett Favre, as a matter of fact. Football weirdness.

The Lions have a rookie running back in Jahmyr Gibbs and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta that can both do damage if given the opportunity to do so. QB Jared Goff has seemingly found himself, so to speak, in Detroit. RB David Montgomery is also supposed to be back for Detroit. The lateral running game — getting the backs to the edge — has been a challenge for the Pack's defense going back to last season. What the Falcons did to the Packers in Week 2 this season is a likely template for other teams wishing to take advantage of the lack-of-edge containment ... at least until the Pack can prove they can consistently hold that edge.

And let's not forget WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. He seems to step up against the Packers. He can be particularly dangerous in the slot, creating coverage challenges for the Packers. Do they put Jaire Alexander on him no matter where he lines up or keep Alexander on the outside only and allow Keisean Nixon to cover St. Brown when in the slot? Will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Joe Barry decides to arrange the coverage and adjusts throughout the game.

The Packers pass rush will be key. Goff can get the ball out of his hands quickly, and with the Lions' good offensive line, getting to him will be a challenge. But necessary ... or it may be a long night for the Packers' defense.

Packers QB Jordan Love celebrates the team's 18-17 comeback win
vs. the Saints on Sept. 24 at Lambeau Field.
(Photo via

On the Packers' side of the ledger, they are coming off an improbable 4th quarter comeback win against the Saints, which should boost their confidence that they can overcome a lot of their own mistakes, in particular, to do what they need to do to win. QB Jordan Love continues to impress and so do his young receivers. The offensive line is banged up, as it has been since the first game. But Love has no problems using his legs if the situation calls for it. What hasn't been impressive so far has been RB A.J. Dillon. With RB Aaron Jones out the last few games with a hamstring issue, Dillon has been called upon to carry the load. As much as fans love Dillon for his love of Green Bay, Door County and Wisconsin, that doesn't gain yards, smash through holes, or move the pile when needed. With word out as we write this that Jones might once again miss action Thursday night, Dillon needs to step up. It is time, as a famous saying goes.

While second-year WR Christian Watson said on Tuesday that he will play Thursday (for the first time this season), he is still listed right now as "questionable" on the injury report. So he is once again an unknown. But his absence through these first three games has provided opportunities for the other young receivers to get time and make plays, in some cases, big plays. So there's that.

We also have to give kudos to rookie kicker Anders Carlson who is perfect with his field goals and PATs so far this season, including from long distance. May it continue thusly.

The Prediction

With all that being said, and considering the short turn-around time for both teams, the injuries, et al, and the home field advantage for the Packers (which the oddsmakers still aren't fully factoring in), we're calling this game Packers 27 - Lions 24.

Go Pack Go!!!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

2023 NFL Week 2: Packers still own Da Bearz, Plus Falcons Preview & Prediction

Well, well, Packers fans. Glad to say our win prediction for last week's regular season opener in Chicago came true. Not even as close as expected: 38-20. Yay. The Pack still owns Da Bearz. Won't see them again until an end-of-season game in Lambeau Field. We'll certainly know the tale of these two teams after a long season then. As it stands, and as most national media also opined, Chicago has a lot more work to do than do the Packers.

The new owner of the Chicago Bears: Packers starting QB
Jordan Love had a spectacular opening game vs. Chicago.
(Photo via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

But for this week, against the Falcons, what do things look like? At this stage of the season, do we still really know anything much about either the Packers or Atlanta? Both 1-0. Both young. Heard one pundit say that both teams are actually fairly similar. So where do we go from here?

While it's encouraging to hear that RB Aaron Jones and WRs Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson participated in walk-throughs Friday, Jones and Watson are both listed as questionable on the injury report at the time of this writing. So is LT David Bakhtiari, but that will probably be the case for most of the season, it would seem. While we won't know the final status of these players until 90 minutes before Sunday kickoff, we do know that if the key players on offense are out or limited it will certainly impact the game plan. Conversely, LB Quay Walker got out of concussion protocol and will play, which is certainly a boost to the defense.

And that will be needed as the Pack defense will have to keep speedy rookie RB Bijan Robinson in check, along with tight end Kyle Pitts. There's enough there to present challenges, particularly if it's a tight game.

In a game such as this, a special teams play either way, for either team, could be the difference.

Still, we know that Jordan Love is not one to get rattled easily. He's playing behind a very good O-line. If Aaron Jones can't go, A. J. Dillon will need to step up. He had a bit of a down year last year and didn't show well in the first game. It's a contract year for him, so now would be a good time for him to return to his form of a few years as Quadzilla.

OK, not much of a preview, but for now...good enough.

The Prediction

The Falcons are currently favored by 1.5 points; recall that Da Bearz were favored by 1 last week against the Pack. So, basically the same...not even getting the full home field advantage. The over-under is set at 40.5 points right now; a low scoring event, in other words. To which we say: maybe.

We like the vibe of this young Packers team. They are talented and maybe they just believe it. This is a pick-em type game. And we will.

We're calling it Packers 24 - Falcons 23.

Go Pack Go!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2023

2023 NFL Week 1: Packers vs. Bears Preview & Prediction

Here we go ... 

It's always interesting when Packers-Bears week arrives. Especially when it arrives Week 1 of the season. In Chicago. With a new starter QB ... for the Pack. Without a team's top deep-ball threat ... for the Pack. And the youngest (by age) roster in the NFL ... for the Pack. Toss in a coaching regime change ... for Da Bearz. And a new and proven receiving threat ... for Da Bearz. Interesting, indeed.

Packer fans had hoped to see 2nd-year WR Christian Watson stretch
the field against Chicago. Unfortunately, he's been ruled out for Sunday's game.
(Photo by Megan Briggs, Getty Images, via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

You basically got the overview in the paragraph above. The fact of it is: no one really knows — especially in the first game of the season — what either of these teams actually can bring to the field. The Packers feel good about who they are and where they are at, albeit without their deep-ball threat, Watson. It's also possible that second-year WR Romeo Doubs might also be held out of the game, also with a hamstring injury. Taking your top two receivers out of the mix in the first game of the year is not a plus. A-duh. When Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was asked about Watson's absence for this game, he indicated that the team had basically had all week to plan around that. Probably have planned for either limited or no action by Doubs, too. The rookie receivers and tight ends will be called upon to step up. There's talent there, just not the experience you'd like to have out there. It is what it is.

We may expect as a result that there is a heavy reliance on the running game with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon called upon to take some of the pressure off the receiving game, although we could likely expect that Jones, especially, may be used in screen and outlet passes. It's going to be interesting to see the adjustments that will be made before and during the game. New starting QB Jordan Love is a confident young man and if he can limit mis-reads in the early going, there may be opportunities to take advantage of Chicago's defense.

Conversely, the Packers defense — with its eight 1st-round draft picks — needs to finally earn its keep. They were highly touted going into last season and were a let down. They played soft and defensive coordinator Joe Barry seemingly was unable or unwilling to make adjustments. The run defense was porous and defensive backs often were not even in the same zipcode as the guys they were supposed to be defending, whether near the line of scrimmage or downfield. Especially with the youth of this team on offense, and whether or not the defense could actually win a game, the defense must contain Chicago QB Justin Fields who can and will run at any time and change the complexion of the game. Chicago management also gave Fields a bona fide receiving threat in DJ Moore who will probably give the Packers secondary fits.

The Prediction

At the time of this writing, the oddsmakers have basically made the game a toss-up (Bears -1). In other words, they really don't have special insights to offer either. The over-under was 43-1/2 points, which seems about right for this game under these circumstances.

Whether the Packers continue their dominance of Da Bearz ... we'll see.

While we wouldn't be surprised to see Chicago pull out a close one, we think the Pack will come out on top .. in a close one.

We're calling it Packers 21 - Bears 20.

Go Pack Go!!!

With the 2023 Packers season upon us ... Our season prediction. Crikey!

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

Well, we've had a looooong hiatus, haven't we? Since April, as a matter of fact. Before OTAs, summer training camp, roster cuts, you name it. Now, it's game time (almost). Too much to cover here and you know it all already anyway. So we'll get on with what we see in store for this season. A very different season than the past 18. Ol' #12 is now in New York City (New York City!). We hope he plays at least 65% of the snaps AND that the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets have a dismal record so the Packers get a higher draft pick as part of the trade deal.

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

2023 first game scrum between the Packers and Da Bearz.
(Photo via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

A Quick Season Overview

In the big picture of things, as every fan of the Packers knows, and likely most NFL fans, as well, given all the news and kerfuffle about the youth of the team, the new starting quarterback, etc., etc., expectations for the Pack this season are...basically unknown, but skewing shall we say...meh.

Most teams would be hard pressed, given the circumstances, to be about .500 for the season. That may well be the case when all is said and done here. But, while young at certain skills positiions, i.e., receiver, the Packers are a talented team. In addition to one of the best running back tandems in the league with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, an experienced and good offensive line, first-time starter QB Jordan Love — with 3 years sitting behind ol' #12 — is not the same as a rookie would be. Assuming his young receivers step up, Love will have opportunities to put points on the board. He is as much of an unknown at the start of the season to defensive schemers than those schemes are to him. I give the advantage to Love. Defensively, the Packers have 8 1st-round draft picks on board; it's well-past time they showed up as the 1st-rounders they are.

A big unknown in this whole overview is the kicking game. There's a new long snapper, a new rookie punter and a new rookie kicker. What could go wrong? Lots. Strong legs count for a lot. But so does accuracy and experience. We would anticipate probably losing at least 2 games because of kicking issues which would indeed change our final win-loss tally. Not great. Part of the growing pains that we have to accept will likely be part of things this season.

The Season Prediction

Since the start of this blog in 2005 (18 years ago ... 18!), 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 third consecutive year, we'll have quarters plus one extra game...and the bye week, too, resulting in 18 weeks to examine...not exactly a straight quarterly set-up but 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.

1st Quarter of the Season (+1)

Week 1: @ Da Bearz - Sun 9/10 · 3:25 PM CDT

Week 2: @ Falcons - Sun 9/17 · 12 PM CDT

Week 3: Saints - Sun 9/24 · 12 PM CDT

Week 4: Lions - Thurs 9/28 · 7:15 PM CDT

Week 5: @ Raiders - Mon 10/9 - 7:15 CDT

Note, to begin with, that we have added the extra game into this first "quarter" of the season. Seemed to make sense as the following week is the bye.

Da Bearz are favored by not even the usual home field advantage point spread of 3; instead, they are 1 to 1-1/2 point favorites at the time of this writing. Because the fact is, Chicago is also an unknown under a new coaching regime. Yes, QB Justin Fields is a talented athlete, more so as a running threat than as a passer so far. But Chicago did acquire some receiving help for him. So who knows how that will play out on game day? For the Packers, WR deep threat Christian Watson is likely out because of a late arriving hamstring problem. Not helpful. WR Romeo Doubs was also limited late in the week with a hamstring issue. (What is it with the Packers and hamstring issues seemingly year after year???) So, it would seem the oddsmakers likely have this game figured out as well as anyone...which is...a toss-up.

All in all, without getting into a breakdown of each game at this point, we see the Packers going 2-3 in this stretch leading up to the bye. A lucky bounce here and there (including, perhaps, off a goal post) and the Pack could be 3-2 at the bye.

2nd Quarter of the Season

Week 6: BYE - Sun 10/15

Week 7: @ Broncos - Sun 10/22 · 3:25 PM CDT

Week 8: Vikings - Sun 10/29 · 12:00 PM CDT

Week 9: Rams - Sun 11/5 - 12:00 PM CDT

This stretch of 3 games after the bye should be quite telling as the schedule hits the mid-way mark. Depending upon injuries, of course, and how well the offense and special teams, especially, have gelled, we could have 2 scenarios possible: a team beginning to rise toward a second half push towards playoff eligibility, or a team stuck in neutral. We see the Packers going 2-1 here.

3rd Quarter of the Season

Week 10: @ Steelers - Sun 11/12 - 12 PM CST

Week 11: Chargers - Sun 11/19 · 12 PM CST

Week 12: @ Lions - Thanksgiving Thursday - Thurs 11/23 · 11:30 AM CST

Week 13: Chiefs - Sun 12/3 · Sunday Night Game - 7:20 PM CST

A gauntlet, at least from this far down the road. We would be happy to see the Pack go 2-2 in this stretch. Anything more than that is gravy.

4th Quarter of the Season (+1)

Week 14: @ Giants - Mon 12/11 - 7:15 PM CST

Week 15: Buccaneers - Sun 12/17  - 12:00 PM CST 

Week 16: @ Panthers - Christmas Eve Game - Thurs 12/24 - 12 PM CST 

Week 17: @ Vikings - New Year's Eve Game - Sun 12/31 - 7:20 PM CST

Week 18: Da Bearz  - TBD

With only 2 home games in the last 5 of the regular season, including 2 away games on Christmas Even and New Year's Eve, and with the last 2 against NFC North Division opponents, this is the series of games that, if the Packers have been holding their own as a young team, can seal their fate one way or the other. We see the Packers going 3-2 in this final stretch.


Looking back at our predictions, we have the Packers going no better (or worse) than 10-7, which would surprise many. As fans know, many projections have the Pack going 6-11 or, at best, 9-8. Lots of unknowns this season.

But it seems as if the love for Love among many sports pundits has been trending upward recently. And, if #10 stays healthy — along with his O-line, running backs and receivers — we see this team putting up points, if not initially, as the season goes on. And if the defense can remain consistent — good consistent, that is — we think this team could surprise some folks. While last season's team underperformed on many levels, we think the opposite may be true this season. Let us pray...

As always, GO PACK GO!!!

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Turning the page ... A-A-Ron gone ... NFL Draft done. Hit it ...

Dear fellow Packers fans, yes, I know. There have been no posts here since the debacle against Detroit that dropped us from the playoffs before we could even get started. That was a tough one, as you know.

As QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Randall Cobb walked off the Lambeau Field turf together, you kind of knew: this was it. Yes, Rodgers was still under contract. A big contract. But keeping him on at this stage, approaching age 40 with seemingly declining performance late in the season in the cold, even at home, was problematic at best on a number of levels. The Packers needed to see what they had in backup QB, Jordan Love. Time to turn the page. Not with a rebuild per se, but definitely a new era in Packers football was going to begin. Somehow.

Thanks for the memories, Aaron Charles Rodgers.
See you in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a few years.
You know ... when you retire.
Source: Mike De Sisti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Enter the New York Jets. Yes, the same Jets that executed a trade for our last aging Hall of Fame, MVP QB, Brett Favre. It took a while for the Rodgers trade to get done. But it did early in the week leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft. And GM Brian Gutekunst got the better part of the trade, in the opinion of many NFL pundits. For what it's worth, I agree with that assessment.

So, farewell and thanks for all the years of remarkable memories, Aaron. You will be missed. Hope you stay healthy and play at least 65 percent of the offensive plays for your new team this coming season. And ... that the Jets' record is a poor one. If both happen, the Packers will get a high 1st round draft pick next season to complete the trade particulars.

Turning the page officially ...

The three-day 2023 NFL Draft completed its 7th round yesterday. The Pack wound up, through trades and compensatory picks, with 13 draft picks. Will they all stick? Nope. But, it's interesting that at least one source (see below graphic) thought the Packers had the best draft of all 32 teams.

Pro Football Network declared the Packers to have
the best draft class of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Source: Pro Football Network

With needs in many areas, and with a clear objective to give new starting QB Jordan Love offensive weapons to grow with, the emphasis was on that side of the ball, while tending to defense and special teams, as well. GM Gutey picked up a couple tight ends (needed!) and a couple wide receivers (needed!), as well as a couple edge rushers, among others. Wasn't surprising to see the Packers pick up a QB for camp and to compete with Danny Etling, the current backup behind Love. Plus, there will be the need for arms in camp to keep all the receivers and tight ends busy. The Pack also went with a late round running back; decisions will need to be made about both Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon next off-season, so having some backs on hand...yes.

It also became more of a likelihood as the draft approached that the Packers would likely draft a kicker to replace venerable, aging, and all-time franchise scoring leader, Mason Crosby, who is currently a free agent. Now, Gutey made it clear in post-draft interviews that they had not closed the door on bringing Mason back in. But there would have to be a real failure on the part of this young kicker from Auburn. Stat-wise, he doesn't appear to have been especially accurate from long distance. And kicking in the south, despite growing up in Colorado, it remains to be seen how he'd do at Lambeau and other cold-weather venues come December and January. But with kickers and punters, especially, it always seems to be a shorter leash than with other players. As with all the picks, we just have to wait to see.

Also immediately following the draft the Packers and other teams began signing undrafted free agents. You can see those on and other sites that track these developments. Yes, there are sometimes some diamonds in the rough that actually emerge among this group so it's always interesting to keep an eye on this list, as well.

As draft experts are quick to remind us, evaluating any draft immediately after the fact, is a bit foolish as it typically takes three years before these young players "arrive", so to speak. A big jump usually takes place between the first year and the second. But patience is needed. Think Davante Adams. It took a while. But then ... wow!

As noted earlier, while the Packers assert that they are not in rebuilding mode — and I agree with that view for what that's worth — they are re-tooling. Lots of great veterans. And lots of young guys.

It's going to be an exciting year, Packers fans. Stay tuned.

As always, Go Pack Go!!!