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!!!