August 29, 2014
As always, the exact W-L numbers won’t totally add up but this is a general idea of how I think each team will finish this year. Be sure to see the bottom for playoff thoughts and then of course share your thoughts/predictions.
- Packers (12-4)
- Detroit (10-6)
- Chicago (9-7)
- Vikes (7-9)
- Phil (11-5)
- Wash (9-7)
- NYG (8-8)
- Dal (5-11)
- Sea (11-5)
- St L (9-7)
- SF (8-8)
- AZ (6-10)
- Saints (13-3)
- Falcons (11-5)
- TB (7-9)
- Car (5-11)
- Pitt (12-4)
- Cleve (9-7)
- Cincy (7-9)
- Balt (5-11)
- New England (13-3)
- Miami (10-6)
- Buff (7-9)
- NYJ (4-12)
- San Diego (12-4)
- Denver (10-6)
- Oak (8-8)
- KC (6-10)
- Houston (12-4)
- Indy (11-5)
- Tenn (6-10)
- Jax (5-11)
NFC: Saints, Packers, Seahawks, Eagles, Lions, Falcons; Packers over Saints for NFC Championship
AFC: Patriots, Steelers, Chargers, Texans, Broncos, Colts; Patriots over Steelers for AFC Championship
Super Bowl: Packers 31, Patriots 23.
August 29, 2014
The last time I made this prediction was…in 2010. This year feels odd to me. As I went about making my season predictions I really struggled. As with any season there are a number of factors that could quickly derail many of the predictions. And that is certainly the case with the Packers. But barring a major injury to a major player (like Rodgers, Peppers, Matthews or Jordy) or a crazy run of form by either the Saints or Philly, I think the Packers will be the team to beat.
I expect, as in years past, that the offense will carry the team this year. In fact I am anticipating an absolutely wild season from the Packers offense. I think Rodgers will have his best overall year yet and our running game will be very difficult to stop (Lacy of course and both back ups – DuJuan Harris looked fantastic in the 3rd preseason game – wow). I am guessing that several offensive records will be broken this year.
While the offense will carry us this year, I do expect more significant contributions from special teams and the return game in particular (though it would have even better potential had Abbrederis not gotten injured) – and from our defense. I think TT’s acquisition of Peppers is really one of the major reasons why I am picking the Packers to win the Super Bowl. I am convinced this will prove to be a quietly huge move (and of course I love it because he FINALLY picked up a high impact veteran in free agency). With Peppers opposite (or even next to) Matthews, the Packers pass rush becomes instantly legit. Even considering Peppers age and even allowing for the likelihood that he’s lost a step – opposing QBs can’t feel too good knowing Peppers and Matthews will be in pursuit. Perhaps more important than anything though, a better pass rush should help our young but talented secondary and our overall pass D. With talent like Hyde, Hayward, Burnett, Tramon, Shields and Clinton-Dix – and now a quality pass rush – I think the Packers pass D could go from near the bottom in 2013 to top 5 this year. Seriously. (Not so sure about the run defense though…actually pretty concerned about this…as well as concerned about screens/passes to RBs/TEs given what appears to be a weak middle of the defense…yet again…) Of course, a bunch of talent on the field doesn’t mean squat if it’s not managed correctly. And while I have been an advocate of dumping Capers due to several years of poor coaching, I’m willing to give him another shot here (mostly because I suppose we have to). Yet for some reason – I think he’ll manage to pull things together this year.
Super Bowl – Packers 31, New England 23.
August 29, 2014
Read here. Agree 100%. Jayrone Elliott should make the team – no question about it. I realize that at times he was going against lesser competition but the guy has a motor and a nose for the QB that reminds me of a young…dare I say it…Clay Matthews. The only place I disagree with Tom Silverstein’s take on this really, is when he says Elliott won’t need to help the team this season. Yes, with Peppers and Matthews out there, it may seem like he’s squeezed out – but really, why not put 3 solid pass rushers in there on a key 3rd down (removing Neal or Perry – neither of whom excel at it)? I think he’s the kind of guy who has nothing to lose and the kind of mentality that would enable him to just come in and start making plays.
July 30, 2014
Read here. Thoughts on this? Excited about this or not so much?
For many, I’m guessing the thought is that this is a no-brainer (…and perhaps a bit surprising as there had been rumors over the last year that he was getting ready to hang it up). After all, as the article indicates we’ve been to the playoffs 5 straight years and he has a Super Bowl. That certainly sounds like a good case for extending a GM especially in today’s NFL. However, I don’t know if that record really reflects how the team has done under TT.
Despite making the playoffs a bunch – which absolutely counts for something even if we squeaked in a few times – the Packers only did real DAMAGE in the playoffs once in the TT era: 2010, the Super Bowl year. Setting aside the 4 playoff wins in the Super Bowl year, the Packers playoff record under TT is an iffy 2-5, with the two victories coming against the toothless 2008 Seahawks and the hapless 2012 Vikings. While nobody can take the Super Bowl or the general winning culture he’s helped re-establish away for sure – and those things are huge – I don’t think it’s a stretch to question whether he’s making shrewd enough moves each year to fill our roster with guys that can take us deep into the playoffs. He goes overboard with his reliance on draft picks and I think there have been several playoff years that were cut short in good part because we didn’t have the veteran leadership and presence needed on the field at critical moments.
So, if I were the one to decide whether or not TT should be extended, what would I say? I probably would have waited until after this season to extend him. His contract wasn’t set to expire until after the 2015 season (I believe) so there wasn’t that big of a hurry. And while I do think extending TT is something that should have been on the table starting this year, the ultimate decision to extend him should have been made after this year in good part so we could see how the team does – especially in the playoffs. A deep playoff run and I’d give him a significant bonus/extension in part because I’d be so pleased with him for drifting from his “draft picks only” philosophy and scooping up Julius Peppers. But a playoff miss or another playoff dud and I’d consider waiting until his contract expires after the 2015 season or not extending him at all. I know many would say “well it’s cheaper to tie him down now” than it would be after a strong playoff run. Probably right – but if the team pukes it this year I’m not entirely sure having TT there longer-term is the best idea.
July 26, 2014
This is good news. I have read plenty of comments by pundits talking about Nelson’s true value to the Packers over the last few weeks. The opinions range from Nelson being one of the more underrated players in the league to Nelson just being a lucky product of a fantastic system. While the truth usually lies somewhere in between – in this case I think Jordy falls more on the underrated player side. Nelson is a very solid WR. He can make the difficult work-man like plays over the middle but he can also make spectacular one-on-one catches over and around CBs – even #1 CBs. And I think the truth is that Nelson would be a very good player for just about any team in this league. This is a great move by the Packers. Nicely done TT.
July 25, 2014
Check out this video – hilarious.
July 10, 2014
Just starting a rumor of course. Read here. This has been going on for a while now, but Johnson continues to try to force himself out of Houston. Wow, would it be awesome if he somehow landed on the Packers. (I know, I know, not even on TT’s radar – but it’s fun to think about anyway.) With Lacy, Andre Johnson, Nelson, Cobb and possibly Finley – and of course Rodgers – the offense would be completely unstoppable. Honestly how would a defense account for all 5 of those skill players – impossible. Our defense could give up 40 points a game and the team would still be undefeated. (Though I do expect the D to be much better with Peppers opposite Matthews now). And of course he would also be the kind of high character/veteran leader guy that would fit well in the present Packer locker room. I know he’d be expensive but I believe we have some cap space.
July 10, 2014
I’ve been reading a fair amount about the Jermichael Finley situation in recent weeks. I feel badly for the guy frankly as he was due for a huge payday if he hadn’t gotten injured. Now it will obviously be difficult for him to command a huge salary. But that’s good news for the Packers. As other teams continue to be reluctant to go after him (despite having been medically cleared to play by his doctor), I think the Packers find themselves in a good position here. Though they need to be careful not to wait too much longer. Of course, first Packers’ MDs need to determine that he can play – but then I think the team should start having serious discussions with Finley and his agent right away because if he can return to even part of what he was before, the Packers could get a quality TE at a huge discount. If the Packers had great options lined up behind Finley I might feel differently. And while I think Bostick and Richard Rodgers definitely have potential (I’m not big on Quarless), Finley knows the system, has a good rapport with Rodgers and could step on the field and contribute immediately (again, assuming he’s cleared to play by Packers’ MDs).
I say take the gamble. Your take?
June 26, 2014
For those of you who don’t know, the Packergeeks are huge followers of United States Soccer. How could that be? That’s the “wrong” kind of football…for wimps…etc etc etc. Truth is, I started playing soccer when I was really young and played right through college. I also played some informally in Scotland and Costa Rica – so I had the unique chance to see different styles of the game from different parts of the world. I love the game and I always have. When great teams are playing in rhythm there is just something hypnotic about the flow of a well-played soccer game. As a player, I have so much respect for all the small, often unnoticed technical aspects of the game. For example, every time the ball comes to these guys, their ability to control the ball immediately and then make an instant decision about what to do with the ball is so impressive – and so incredibly difficult – it’s hard to describe to those who don’t play the game. Getting themselves out of tight spaces without giving up the ball when 2-3 defenders are all over them – just amazing. The pinpoint passing of players like Andrea Pirlo from Italy, Messi’s sixth soccer sense on the field, the athleticism of the goalkeepers – extraordinary to watch.
But what I love so much about the World Cup in particular is that it is the one time people in the US can take true national pride in the performance of our team in a sport we’re not supposed to be good at. Sure, there are the Olympics – but we always are up there in medal count and the events/sports are usually, I don’t know, odd. I like the Olympics but this is just different. Soccer is the global sport and we have finally arrived at a level where we can be expected to put up a fight against any team – even Germany.
So do me a favor, even if you’re a soccer hater – tune in to this game today against Germany and if we get a positive result – to subsequent games in the tournament. Try hard to appreciate just how difficult it is to do what these guys are doing – especially in horrendous hot/humid conditions.
June 5, 2014
Something tells me that Kaepernick getting this new contract could be the start of the team’s decline. I started this post going into some detail about why this would happen but frankly it got unnecessarily verbose and I decided there is no need to ramble on here. Call it a hunch or whatever, I think this huge contract for Kaepernick will not end up being a great investment for the 49ers. For some reason I just don’t think he’s the kind of player who will end up playing up to a contract like this. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a good QB, but I just don’t think this kind of money will align well with him for some reason.
And coupled with stories I’ve read about possible locker room issues and conflicts between Harbaugh and the front office, I’ll go out on a limb now and predict that they miss the playoffs this year.