Archive for December, 2009

McCarthy to stick with the starters?

December 31, 2009

Read here from the Arizona Republic – apparently McCarthy said in a press call that he will be taking a normal approach to the game Sunday, playing his starters and playing to win. Now, I’m not sure of his exact quote, but judging from this article it seems he leaves open the possibility that he will play the starters but then bench them after a short time in favor or back-ups. He can still “play to win” the game with back-ups in there.

I sure hope our starters don’t play the whole game. We have nothing to play for. Unless McCarthy and staff have thought this through and would really rather play a certain team – a team we’d only possibly play if we win, I just don’t want to go full steam in this one and risk injury. And, even if there is a certain opponent we’d prefer playing against, too much is dependent upon the results of other games. One other reason to play the back-ups mostly is that it may serve as a great opportunity for our back-ups to get some live, semi-meaningful action which could help us out depth-wise come playoff time if we encounter injuries.

I know injuries can happen at any point, but unfortunately for us, a few key injuries could make us significantly less competitive in the playoffs. Rodgers sitting a lot Sunday is an obvious move. Same with Woodson, Collins, Barnett, Pickett, Jolly. But one group I might consider sitting for almost the whole game would be the O-Line. This group has solidified over time and they have become quite reliable. I would hate for a freak injury to upset the cohesion this group has worked hard to establish.

Your thoughts – just keep the starters in all game, half the game, or bench them for most of the game?

Rodgers goes down in the books

December 30, 2009

I believe this was mentioned during the telecast Sunday, but I recently read something about it as well and wanted to make sure to post something on it. Aaron Rodgers is the only QB in NFL history, yes, the only QB, to pass for 4000 yards in his first two seasons starting. That’s impressive. Sure, McCarthy’s pass-happy offense contributes to this, but so does Rodgers’ massive talent for completing lots of passes – and especially completing lots of passes of 20+ yards. It’s not surprising he made the Pro Bowl – we’ve got a really really good QB.

The more I watch Rodgers, the more I understand why TT and MM had such unwavering faith in the guy even before he’d started one NFL game. I credit them both for their talent assessment of Aaron Rodgers. I think it’s significant that there is almost a 100% chance Aaron Rodgers will finish this season with the highest QB rating from a Green Bay QB in the last 20+ years. (Not sure if it’s the highest in Packer history – anyone know the previous high rating?). Again, we have a really really good QB.

Mike McCarthy’s proudest accomplishment

December 30, 2009

Read here from packers.com – quoting from the Elias Sports Bureau. If Donald Driver has 4 yards receiving on Sunday, the Packers will be the first team in history to have a 4000 yard passer, 1200 yard rusher and 2 1000 yard WRs in 2 straight years. McCarthy has to be pumped about this as it statistically anyway, demonstrates nice offensive balance.

Packer Pro Bowl alternates may surprise you

December 30, 2009
  • Clay Matthews – makes sense. Not surprising.
  • Ryan Grant – makes sense, he’s played well and as usual, he’s getting better as the season goes on.
  • Chad Clifton – some serious crack smoking going on. Clifton’s improved health has helped to stabilize a shoddy O-Line, but Clifton also has committed a huge number of penalties for a veteran and given up his fair share of sacks. This just doesn’t make sense.
  • AJ Hawk – more crack smoking. Hawk has played progressively better with each game, yes, but to throw him into consideration at ILB for the Pro Bowl is ridiculous – especially when you consider his competition at that position (including his very own partner in the middle, Nick Barnett – who has played considerably better than Hawk this year).

2009 Pro Bowl rosters

December 29, 2009

Read here for the full list.

  • 3 Packers made it: Rodgers, Collins and Woodson. I’d have to say that’s probably fair.
  • I do think Clay Matthews could easily replace¬† OLB Brian Orakpo from the Redskins, who made it. Matthews had 10 sacks, Orakpo had 11. Matthews had 51 total tackles, Orakpo 48. Matthews had 3 forced fumbles, Orakpo 1. Matthews had 1 TD, Orakpo (and interestingly, almost every other top flight LB) had zero. While I’m not sure either Matthews or Orakpo should have made it, I do know that Matthews had better stats than Brian Orakpo.
  • Interesting that nobody from Cincy’s division winning team made it. I would have thought one of their two quality CBs would have.
  • Ryan Pickett has had a very solid year, but his injuries and his competition probably kept him out of the discussion.
  • Finley will make it next year.
  • It’s hard to see London Fletcher miss the Pro Bowl again after a top notch season for a crappy team (Wash, MLB), but the fact is Jonathan Vilma (who made it) had a quality all-around year too. (And Patrick Willis was his usual dominant self.)
  • While few would consider this a serious point, I actually think Packers’ right guard Josh Sitton has played so well that suggesting he should have at least been in the conversation isn’t ridiculous. Not only has Sitton held his own assignment-wise (from what I’ve been able to tell), but he’s had to deal with incompetence at times from coworkers on the O-line – probably making his job that much harder. I wouldn’t be surprised if his name starts coming up in the next year or so as a big-time guard.

Take out the starters

December 27, 2009

I know there are still 9-10 minutes left, but now is the time to take out the starters. Charles Woodson should not be on the field, nor should Collins, Barnett, Raji, etc. Driver and Jennings and Finley should sit РClifton, Wells and Tausher too. Put in the back-ups now and give them some real game experience.

Crosby FG huge

December 27, 2009

That was a huge play. I’m really glad McCarthy game him that chance. The best was that Driver, Jennings, Barnett – all those guys ran out on the field to celebrate with Crosby. He needed that big-time, especially if we’re not going to pick someone else up. I must say, if we’d picked up one of those older guys, they may not have had the leg to make a kick like that in the cold. (I still think we should have picked one up for insurance but…)

Great game- Seattle sucks but we’ve played really well.

Seattle not good

December 27, 2009

I’ve been impressed that Seattle started pumped up and seemed to want to win. But they are not good.

Go Carolina. How great is that!

Pregame thoughts – Seattle

December 27, 2009
  • Seattle, frankly, is not good. They do have a veteran QB in Hasselbeck who has been decent in his past, but is not that good now. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he lasts maybe 1 more season in Seattle, if that. I would wager they will be trading for a QB or drafting one in the next year. But Hasselbeck’s lack of production hasn’t totally been his fault this year – in fact some would argue it is mostly the fault of a banged up O-Line. If I’m not mistaken they’ve gone through at least 3 starting left tackles alone this year. Their line is so bad that break-out 2008 rookie TE John Carlson has been relegated to a role as essentially another O-lineman to help in protection and it still doesn’t work – and in the process his receiving talents are being wasted. It was only last week that he finally got some attention, but of course, they were already getting crushed by Tampa in Seattle.
  • Following up on the previous point, in the first half especially, Dom Capers should blitz the ____ out of Hasselbeck. We should EXPECT to force 3+ turnovers in this game. Hasselbeck has thrown several picks this year and the team fumbles too.
  • TJ Housh is a solid WR, but has not had that great of a year. He is not a danger after catching the ball despite his insistence that he is. He also has proven to be a tool this year by being unnecessarily outspoken at times.
  • Justin Forsett is a good RB. How Jim Mora justifies continuing to start Julius Jones is beyond me. He is slow, has no juke moves, and is injury prone. Forsett, on the other hand, has done well with his opportunities. We need to especially keep an eye on Forsett catching passes out of the backfield.
  • Offensively, we should be able to run over these guys and throw past them. The Seattle D just isn’t that good. Grant will continue his late season run and I’d be surprised if Rodgers doesn’t throw for 3+ TDs.
  • A quiet key to this one may be special teams. We don’t want to give them a short field or a TD on a return or something because those are the kinds of things bad teams can pull off to keep games close.
  • I hate to be so confident like this – especially when Jim Mora’s last team marched into Lambeau facing a Packers’ team that historically had never lost a playoff game at Lambeau, and beat the Packers soundly (Mike Vick, Falcons). But something just tells me that this will end up being what I’m going to start calling a “formality” game – a game that is on the schedule that has to be played, but probably doesn’t need to be played because the odds of the underdog winning are ridiculous – kind of like playing the Washington Generals.
  • I’m really looking forward to a dominant defensive performance. I think as much as the defense tries to comfort itself with the thought that the Pitt game was an aberration, they were embarrassed big-time. And they should have been. So, I can’t help but think our guys are going to come out charged up and ready to take care of business.
  • Packers 45, Seattle 13.

Merry Christmas from Packergeeks

December 24, 2009

Just wanted to wish all readers a Merry Christmas. We truly appreciate you and your comments, the discussion, the insight, the hilarity. I really mean that. We really appreciate it. It is so much fun to write posts knowing that those reading them are to a person (except for an occasional Bear fan commenter), intelligent, thoughtful and as into the Packers as we are. It’s just plain fun.

Again, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and…Go Pack Go!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.