Packers being unwisely written off this week?

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Man – I’ve listened to and read plenty of experts weigh in on this Sunday’s match-up with the NYJ. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY thinks the Packers will win. The spread is even a fairly monstrous -6.5 for the Jets. I feel like I’m missing something here. I know we’re beat up and I know that we’re not the same team right now that was a threat to go to the Super Bowl earlier this year. I realize that. But here is why this game will at least be close and why the Packers just might win.

  • Our defense is a concern, especially facing a strong running attack like the Jets have. The key there will be our LBs as the NYJ’s O-Line will have its way with our limited D-Line. But if our LBs can rise up and at least slow down the run, that will put the game in the hands of Mark Sanchez – which is what we want.
  • I am one guy who is not sold on Mark Sanchez. He has played really well in a few games this year, no question. And his offense is moving the ball far better than it appeared they would after their Week 1 debacle against Balt. (Though the offense was sluggish again in its last game against Denver.) But Mark Sanchez is still young and while watching 3 different Jet games this year, I’ve seen moments of significant impatience on his part. Yes, he’s maturing and making some better decisions – but  I don’t think Balt-type games are totally out of his system yet. Rattle him early and he could have a long day.
  • Brian Shottenheimer’s game plans for Mark Sanchez are quite simple. Unlike what many coaches do to their young QBs, Shottenheimer sets Sanchez up for success. But I believe good D-Coordinators can see through the simplicity of the NYJ’s offense and attack it. Balt did and I kind of wonder if Capers is drawing something creative up to exploit this fact as well.
  • None of the NYJ’s WRs are too scary. Dustin Keller is a concern because of our historical problems covering TEs. But maybe if Harris and Bigby are back, we’ll get some coverage help there.
  • (One guy I do worry about here, ironically, is Jim Leonhard. I lobbied hard for the Pack to go after him when the Ravens weren’t going to re-sign him. Of course we didn’t and now I truly think he’s one of the most reliable safeties in the league.)
  • We are total underdogs here. We haven’t really enjoyed that status all year but now finally there seems to be less pressure – which is good for us. The Jets meanwhile, have lots of pressure because they have a better record, they are favored and they have a loud-mouth coach who puts more and more pressure on his team every time he talks.
  • Aaron Rodgers got a gorilla off his back last week. He may not state it publicly (though Darren Colledge practically did), but that win was extremely important to Rodgers. I think it will help him refocus his career going forward on simply being awesome – and not on past Favre-centered stuff. I expect Rodgers to start looking a lot sharper as the season goes on – starting this week.
  • We still have a very potent passing game that may in fact be developing. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t even sacked last week – against a defense that likes to sack. Our better use of the running game and some play action kept MN’s defense honest (I saw Ray Edwards hesitate at least 3-4 times) and I think our WRs will find that when Rodgers has a little extra time, he’ll get them the ball. Of course for this game, hopefully, McCarthy will prepare Rodgers and co for frequent blitzing – the effect of which can be wiped out by well-planned screens, good quick passes or aggressive 1-on-1 go routes.
  • Despite our defense being ravaged by injuries, we still have 3 guys (4 if you want to include Collins) capable of changing the game with one play: Bishop (as he did last week), Matthews and Woodson. I expect Matthews to get it going again this week (despite the NYJ’s solid O-Line). I think he’s the kind of guy who is seething right now that he has been shut out the last 2 games. I’m hoping that Bishop’s huge play last week will simply open up the floodgates for some more huge plays going forward. (By the way, be patient with Bishop – he’ll make some errors as any first-time starter does. He’ll probably even get some flags for unnecessary roughness etc – but remember, ultimately that’s better than AJ Hawk who helps guys up before they’ve been tackled). But the guy who really needs to get his head back in the game is Woodson. He was so unbelievably dominant last year from the corner position – he simply cannot continue to be as much of a non-factor as he’s been this year. He’s overdue for some big-time plays (and believe me, he has not enjoyed Rex Ryan’s BS about Woodson not deserving the DPY last year).
  • Yes, as much as I hate Rex Ryan, I am a bit concerned about my perception (at least) that he’s a better coach than Mike McCarthy. Mike McCarthy, Dom Capers and Aaron Rodgers need to put their collective heads together to come up with a game plan that can dismantle a very good team in a very important game. The Jets are good, but not as good as they think they are. They could use a humbling loss – why not here against the Packers in a game that almost seems they could overlook?
  • Green Bay 24, Jets 23.
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12 Responses to “Packers being unwisely written off this week?”

  1. nate Says:

    I agree with the pack being written off this week, this will be a tuff game , if Al and Atari can come back ,and Jenkins and Pickett can play i think we can stop the Jets

  2. christo Says:

    When EVERYONE picks one team to win, you know there’s something not quite right. This offense has yet to play an entire game and sooner or later it will…. it could happent this week.

  3. Dave in Tucson Says:

    Another reason to think the Jets are overrated: they came >< this close to losing to a pretty pathetic Broncos team a couple weeks ago.

    They were down 4 late, and only survived thanks to a DPI call at the goal line on a 46-yard throw.

    The Jets, for the most part, haven't been a real high-scoring team, and I think the Packers D can hold them to ~20 points. I guess I'm agreeing at least partly with your prediction: if the Packers can score 24+ points, the Jets will be in trouble.

    D∈T

  4. 56Coop Says:

    Well, no Al Harris this week. Bigby is still a possibility though, according to MM.

    Hope the new guys can step up and have an impact.

  5. 56Coop Says:

    Not that it mattewrs but di C Wood ever announce why he missed practices. I know MM said it was of a positive personal nature. Just curious & it appears you guys are on top of all things Packers..

  6. Travis Says:

    “The Buffalo Bills defense is ranked last in the NFL in points allowed. The unit has allowed the most rushing yards in the league. Its point differential is an NFL-worst -77. And, of course, the Bills are the only team in the NFL without a win.”

    In an article from yahoo.com, it talks about how the Bills have the worst defence and so they make a point, with Aaron Maybin.

    “It’s quite possible that Maybin is the worst player in the NFL”

    “There’s a good chance Maybin will be inactive again this week”

    He’s only in his second year, and was a first round pick. And they aren’t even playing him anymore? Well look at this, it makes sense..

    “After a year and a half, he hasn’t gotten better. If anything, he’s regressed. Maybin has 21 tackles in 21 games. He has no sacks. This season, he’s been on the field for 66 plays, with few tangible results.”

    “The Bills gave Maybin a $15 million signing bonus after his holdout in 2009. That’s not the sort of return on investment that made capitalism great.”

    Thats terrible. 15 million signing bonus after holding out. Maybe he knew something. Now he’s not even getting playing time. But 21 tackles?!?!

    “Maybin was the 11th pick of the 2009 draft. He’s already been moved from defensive end to linebacker, but hasn’t found his role in the Bills’ new 4-3 scheme. Coaches won’t put him on special teams and undrafted rookies are getting more playing time than him.”

    What is with this guy! Now check this out.

    “Maybin is definitely being discussed heavily in the Packers draft room.”
    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/43030947.html

    Before the 09 draft, there were players talked about who may be picked by GB. THANK GOD we took Raji.

    It’s very interesting to see something this bad. I dunno but I find it real bad, with all the stats and the money and place he was selected.

    Maybe its the move to LB that screwed him? Either way, that is considerably terrible.

    I decided to post this and do a bit of research on all this because of our situation with Hawk. Maybe it hasn’t been so bad, but before I go out tonight at a Halloween social, I wanna share some comments related to Hawk.

    Hawk started off pretty decent in his career. 119 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 INT. Looked like he was on track. Clearly much better than what Maybin has done. Hawk was a 5th in 2006, Maybin was a 11th in 2009. Hawk had 6x more tackles in his first year than Maybin has over 21 games. So Hawk isn’t the worst at least.

    But then you see the numbers drop. 06-08 he started all 16 games. But 06 – 119 tackles, 07 – 105 tackles 1 sack, 08 – 86 tackles 3 sacks, 09 – 89 tackles 1 sack.

    Numbers are really dropping. But 2010 he’s already hit 60, 2 INT (not much to both his INT this year though lol)

    He’s average 10 a game though – through 7 weeks he’s started and played in 6 games (he sat all game that one week).

    Maybe things are picking up for him again? But the other thing is stats don’t show it all. All the plays he misses. If they can get him to move more fluid with a better presence of where the ball is going, he’d do much better and be more dominant. He hesitates too much and waits for things to come for him and doesn’t attack. And then he gets beat.

    I’d love for Hawk to be able to turn things around. He showed promise in his rookie season that he’d be the player he was anticipated to be especially with the strength he showed. But since then it’s like he’s veered off the road a bit and needs someone to turn the steering wheel back on track. He’s making plays, but he’s missing a lot of plays too.

    He’s on pace for almost 150 tackles. And that is more than enough to expect from a linebacker. Although his last 5 games, he’s averaging about half of them solo tackles.

    The leader in tackles this year is Jerod Mayo, drafted in 08. Too lazy to look at what spot but he had a very similar career to Hawk, minus the drop off. 128, 103 respectively, and now he’s at 72 so far this year in 6 games. Just 12 better than Hawk. No INT and only 2.5 sacks in his career. He’s gotten a ton of tackles each week, and MOST are solo tackles.

    I just wanted to point out how our situation with Hawk is looking. Maybe he can turn that corner and be one of the better Linebackers in the league if he can crack down and make all the plays that come his way. He gets a lot of them, but then lets a lot of them go by him. And his coverage. No comment.

    There is still hope for Hawk, because it looks like its getting better, but it better happen cause we could really use his help.

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Is-Bills-linebacker-Aaron-Maybin-the-worst-playe?urn=nfl-280632

  7. keefer147 Says:

    I think Mrs. Woodson had a C-section that day.

  8. CindyV Says:

    Change of topic: The Packers brought in Spencer Havner today. He was cut by the Lions.

  9. Game Thoughts – Pack/Jets « packergeeks Says:

    [...] am not surprised by this victory. Read here. Before this game, I believed the fact that the Pack was being written off didn’t add up. I [...]

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