Miracle in Motown – Packers Fans: R-E-L-A-X

Yep, I just pulled out the most overused quote in the last 10 years of Packer fandom. Packers fans in Wisconsin and abroad are still overjoyed by the very improbable comeback victory over the Lions last night in Detroit. A game that saw the Packers down 20-0 at one point in the 3rd quarter and looking just as lost on offense as they’ve been for virtually every game this year 1. Traditional rankings have them 28th in total offense (great at running, really really really bad passing) and 9th in total defense (mediocre vs the run, really good vs the pass). Of course, the traditional stats leave out a ton. Their pass defense is likely fairly good, but not great and certainly not top 5 or top 3 as some stats have them. Opponents don’t have to score a lot, because the Vikings offense doesn’t score a lot (21 points/gm, 26th in the league). There’s no garbage time passing in blowouts vs the Vikings either, their average scoring margin is +3.4. And since they run a lot, the Vikings have are top 10 in time of possession, so opponents aren’t getting a ton of changes to move the ball. They have a good third down defense, but that’s hidden by the fact that they don’t get in a ton of third down situations (the Vikings are middle of the league, allowing 0.314 first downs per play – all of these rankings are per teamrankings.com, btw). So all that said, the Vikings have definitely been inflated in stature by who they’ve played and how they play. They’re a good team, but I’d guess they have the ability and performance level of a team with a couple more losses than they actually have. read more

Is Time Up for Mike McCarthy & Aaron Rodgers?

For the third straight year, the Packers lost in the playoffs.  For most teams, this wouldn’t be so terrible, but the Packers feature one of the two or three best quarterbacks of the past decade.  Someone who is believed to be a sure fire Hall of Famer.  A quarterback who has nine seasons behind him and might be seeing his window of opportunity closing.

The early responses point to a few common themes in the Ted Thompson era.  Many critics are saying there’s a lack of overall toughness, citing repeated losses to very physical Giants and 49ers teams.  Others say the defense is terrible.  And there’s a healthy mix of complaints about a lack of veteren leadership / free agents. read more

Green Bay Packers Offseason Wish List

Assuming we actually have a semi-normal offseason, the Packers are quite a fortunate team in that they have few key free agents, are in healthy shape cap-wise, and are going to get a ton of injured players back.  However, there’s still work to do.  Here’s my wish list broken down by activities.

Team Free Agents

There are people to sign, and we certainly cannot or will not sign all of them.  Here’s my list of guys to sign, ordered by priority.  Of course, we have no idea what the restricted free agency, franchise, transition tender situation will be.  They’ve already taken care of a few free agents (notably Tramon Williams, AJ Hawk, Desmond Bishop).  Here’s thoughts on the remaining. read more

Jets playing smart with Revis?

I think of corners like closers in baseball. There are very few that can dominate for a long stretch of time. Very few. Darrelle Revis has been really good for two years, but is he a franchise player?

I think of corners like closers in baseball. There are very few that can dominate for a long stretch of time. Very few. Darrelle Revis has been really good for two years, but is he a franchise player?

9 guys the Packers need to step up

Every blogger writes stupid top 10 lists, I don't think I ever have. So I'm attempting one on my favorite subject, the Pack. The team was better than expected last year and this year is a potential NFC champ. However, if that's going to happen, I've got some guys who will need to step it up.

Every blogger writes stupid top 10 lists, I don't think I ever have. So I'm attempting one on my favorite subject, the Pack. The team was better than expected last year and this year is a potential NFC champ. However, if that's going to happen, I've got some guys who will need to step it up.

Thompson alters approach, drafts on need

Cynical Packers fans likely went into Thursday night expecting to not see anyone added to the team. Many probably thought GM Ted Thompson would simply trade out of the first round and draft the best player available a few picks later. Maybe we'd end up with another try-hard wide receiver or linebacker. Instead, Thompson showed signs that he feels the team might be done simply turning over the roster and ready to build for something.

Cynical Packers fans likely went into Thursday night expecting to not see anyone added to the team. Many probably thought GM Ted Thompson would simply trade out of the first round and draft the best player available a few picks later. Maybe we'd end up with another try-hard wide receiver or linebacker. Instead, Thompson showed signs that he feels the team might be done simply turning over the roster and ready to build for something.

Great Moments in New Orleans Saints History

With the Saints going to their first Super Bowl after 43 years in the league (only 2 teams have existed longer without one), what better time to review some of the milestones in Saints history.

1965: The city of New Orleans votes on the name of their upcoming football team.  The final ballot included “New Orleans Frenchies,” “The Confederate Football Team of New Orleans” and “Noluns Bouyatoufees” (that’s the best written translation of whatever those people were trying to say).  Not seeing a suitable option, the NFL picked “Saints” out of a hat. read more

Cutler Running the Show in Chicago

According to the Daily Herald, Jay Cutler is somehow involved in the interview process of the Bears’ next offensive coordinator.  I shouldn’t need to say one more word beyond that to prove how inept the Chicago staff is, but let’s look closer.  Some of you might think it a good idea to involve your franchise quarterback in the hiring process of the guy who will design the offense.  If your franchise quarterback went by the name of Brady, Manning, maybe even Brees or Favre, sure, it’s a great idea.  Those guys have (most of them, anyway) won titles and MVP awards.  They’ve played the game for a long time with a great amount of success and witnessed every offensive scheme imaginable.  Three of those guys are first ballot Hall of Fame players.  If your franchise quarterback is Jay Cutler, the story is different.  Cutler is entering his 5th year (4th as a starter) and has amassed a 24-29 record, never had a winning season (in college either), throws an interception for every 1.29 TD’s and has yet to play an entire game without crying on the sidelines or insulting a teammate’s mother (I might have exaggerated on the last part, but admit, you believe it).  Essentially, Cutler doesn’t have a successful track record.  He’s new to Chicago and has done nothing to prove he’ll be a starting quarterback 3 years from now.  By involving Cutler in this process, Angelo and Smith are saying that A) They are afraid of upsetting Cutler, B) They are not in complete control of the team and C) They are not capable of hiring a quality offensive coordinator. read more

NFL Feeling the Crunch?

It’s playoff time, but who can afford to go?  There are 4 games this weekend, and two of them were almost blacked out in the home TV markets.  Arizona and Minnesota had to get extensions to sell all their tickets.  Arizona eventually sold out, Minnesota is still trying.  Hmm, how could these games not sell out?  The Cardinals haven’t hosted a playoff game since way before I was born.  The Vikings aren’t exactly seeing the post season on a regular basis either.  Could it be that tickets are selling for $600 a seat and up? read more