December 8, 2017

Packers Playoff Hopes Hanging in the Balance--NFC Playoff Picture

By: Calvin Skalet

Folks, there is still life for Packer fans. For now. The Green Bay Packers postseason hopes are just barely alive. Green Bays postseason chances rely on whether or not Brett Hundley and company can win the remainder of the games leading up to a possible return from former Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.

However it will take some luck from the rest of the league to solidify a possible Wild Card spot. With the way the schedule sets up, Green Bay (6-6) still has the opportunity to get to ten wins at the end of the season with four games remaining in the regular season. The Packers will still need a tremendous amount of help from the rest of the NFC.
Can Brett Hundley+Aaron Rodgers Execute Run the Table II?

The Atlanta Falcons are still on the outside of the playoff picture with a 8-5 record. Green Bay is joined by 2 other teams with the same record in the Detroit Lions (6-6) and the Dallas Cowboys (6-6). Currently the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers own the rights to the Wild Card spots. However with the way the schedules look for the remainder of the season, there’s a path to a Wild Card spot for the Packers. Bear with me, but let’s try to organize the chaos that is the NFC playoff picture.
NFC Playoff Picture as of Friday, December 8


Wild Card Leaders & Contenders 

Carolina Panthers (8-4): Of the teams fighting for a wild card spot, the Packers will see the Carolina Panthers in week 15. Theoretically speaking, if the Packers win the remainder of their games and Carolina does the same, this still gives the Panthers only 5 losses and the edge over Green Bay. However, if Carolina can lose just one more game aside from a loss in week 15, the Packers have the upper hand via the potential tie-breaking win over the Panthers. Besides Green Bay, Carolina has to play the current number one seed Minnesota Vikings and the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. If you’re looking for hope, Carolina needs to lose at least one of these games.

Atlanta Falcons (8-5): The Falcons are a big road block in the Packers postseason plans. With Green Bay losing to the Falcons early in week 2, this gives the Falcons the tiebreaker over the Packers. This means the Falcons need to lose 2 games in the remaining weeks to move to 7 losses. On the bright side, the Falcons play the Saints once more. Atlanta also has to play against Carolina. Green Bay needs the Falcons to lose twice more this season for them to set themselves apart from Atlanta. 

Seattle Seahawks (8-4): Seattle appears to be in prime position to make the playoffs. The Seahawks remaining schedule includes: at Jacksonville (8-4), vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-3), at Dallas (6-6) and at home against Arizona (5-7). I could see the Seahawks potentially dropping two games here. The Jacksonville Jaguars present an interesting matchup with their fierce pass rush and outside cover skills. The Jaguars did have an impressive 30-9 win over the Steelers this year in Pittsburgh. With the Detroit Lions having the same record as the Packers, they don’t present as much of a challenge. It’s quite simple, if Green Bay wins their remaining games they would have one more win than the Lions as the two will face off in Week 17.

The Bottom Line

It’s a long shot, but with Aaron Rodgers showing great signs of a potential comeback for week 15 against Carolina, it’s definitely acceptable to think about a potential Run the Table part II. Packer fans can look back at Green Bay’s 2010 Super Bowl winning season to help motivate them into cheering on a team that has won just 2 of the past 7 games since Rodgers went down. Let's hope the Rodgers X-ray after the Cleveland game shows a healed collarbone and that other NFC contenders stumble down the stretch.

November 1, 2017

Arman Three Pack Podcast #7: Saints Recap, Bye Week & Brett Hundley

Good evening Packer Fans - Arman Titletown Talk's seventh podcast is here to continue our coverage of the Green Bay Packers.

 In this episode, Adam, Shane and Mitch recap the Packers tough loss to the New Orleans Saints, Brett Hundley's first career start and what to expect from the Aaron-Rodgers-Less Green Bay Packers. Give us a listen, share and comment with thoughts of your own and thanks for listening! Arman's Titletown Podcast (episode seven) embedded into the post below.

October 31, 2017

Recapping Packers vs. Saints - Brett Hundley's First Start

By: Calvin Skalet 

For just the sixth time since 1992 the Packers had a new quarterback under center. Brett Hundley made his first career start last Sunday in Lambeau and the Packers fell to the Saints 26-17.

The Packers got off to a promising start, forcing two interceptions in their own territory. Green Bay was spurred by their up-and-coming, rookie running back Aaron Jones who racked up 131 yards and touchdown in the game, including a big TD run on the Packers first possession. For Packer fans, there was a sense of hope going into halftime leading the Saints 14-7.

Breaking down Hundley’s debut

Hundley struggled through the air in his first start completing just 12 of 25 passes. However the young quarterback did prove to be a mobile threat out of the pocket.
Drew Brees and Brett Hundley after a 26-17 Packers Loss


Hundley ended up scoring on a 14-yard run in the second quarter to give the Packers a 14-7 lead and finished the game with 44 rushing yards on 3 attempts. Being mobile helped, but Hundley could not seem to connect with his receivers on the deep ball. The first-time starting quarterback threw for just 87 yards in the entire game.

Many fans expected the Packers to be more conservative without Aaron Rodgers under center and even for Mike McCarthy it was very conservative. The Packers ran the ball just as much as they threw the ball. Green Bay had 25 pass attempts and 24 rushing attempts in the game. For a career debut, keeping it as simple as possible is ideal. However, there’s not a ton of time for McCarthy to wait for Hundley to gel with the offensive playbook.

The nonexistent pass-game can be summed up by the last play of the game for the Packers offense when Hundley threw a ball 10 feet in front of Martellus Bennett and into the hands of Kenny Vaccaro for an interception to solidify the loss for Green Bay.

Hopefully this bye week will help this offensive staff regroup and prepare for the next couple of games. The Packers have the Lions and Bears coming up, which I am already talking myself into the Packers winning these games. Mike McCarthy said he was all in on Brett Hundley because he has “three years invested,” but it did not feel like that on Sunday.

Defensive Mishaps

The inexperience showed on Sunday both offensively and defensively. For the second time this season, the Packers defensive staff and the defensive play caller on the field were not in communication which resulted in the Packers playing a snap with only 10 players on the field. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is just beginning the role of on-field play caller because of Morgan Burnett’s continued injury absence.

The defense proved it can force turnovers in key moments after the Packers forced Drew Brees to throw two interceptions deep in the Packers territory. However, Brees still played well enough to defeat the Rodger-less Packers by throwing for 331 yards and scoring two TDs, one throwing and one rushing on a QB-sneak from the one yard line. The defense also gave up big plays that led to the Saints tandem of backs to rush for 161 yards including a rushing TD from Mark Ingram.

It was a very odd game because I think most people went into the game feeling very little hope in this Packers team. But with the 14-7 lead, it started to look like the Packers had a chance to get out of there with a victory. But a multitude of things happened that caused that feeling to change. The obvious being the limited playbook being used with a new quarterback. But the defense has to step up a little more if the Packers are going to have a shot. They played well enough to win with Aaron Rodgers, but clearly it was not enough with Brett Hundley.


October 19, 2017

Vikings Week 6 Recap: Down Goes Rodgers, Packers 2017 Hopes?

If Green Bay Packer fans didn’t have a sour taste in their mouth following last year's 24-10 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings to open U.S. Bank Stadium, this year's week six road divisional rematch should have provided fans with enough gut-wrenching, sucker-punching fervor to make up for 2016.

The Packers had every reason to enter week six of 2017 believing they could avenge last year’s defeat - at the time, riding a substantial wave of momentum after an epic comeback road victory against the Dallas Cowboys.

Namely, last Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis would mark the first time since week one that Aaron Rodgers had his full arsenal of pass-protectors intact; Green Bay welcomed back left tackle David Bakhtiari and right guard Bryan Bulaga in hopes of keeping the two-time MVP quarterback upright against a speedy, violent Vikings pass rush.

Breaking Down The Rodgers Injury
By most measures, all was well in Packer nation — until it wasn’t. After a three-and-out on the opening possession, Green Bay stifled the Vikings offense into a punt, giving the ball back to Rodgers. On 2nd-and-9 from the GB 39 yard-line, Rodgers scrambled right as the pocket collapsed in front of him, and flipped a short pass over the outstretched hands of linebacker Eric Kendricks.

Intended receiver Packers TE Martellus Bennett dropped the pass, (which continues to be an issue for the former Super Bowl Champion) and that resulted as the lesser consequence in a sequence that ended with Aaron Rodgers curled over on the ground, grimacing in pain.

The hit, delivered by linebacker Anthony Barr, would be the last snap Rodgers took in the game and possibly his last snap of the 2017 season. After a short retreat into the convertible tent on the Green Bay sideline, Rodgers was carted off the field and into the locker room. Back-up QB Brett Hundley replaced Rodgers, leaving Packer fans in a state of disbelief, wondering the severity of what looked like a throwing-shoulder injury.

Packer Fans’ Worst Fears Become Reality

 Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is carted off the field with a broken
clavicle in Green Bay’s 23-10 loss at Minnesota Sunday

Shortly after the start of the third quarter, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports confirmed the fears of Packers nation; Aaron Rodgers was out for the game and much more with a broken clavicle. The same injury that sidelined Rodgers for seven games in 2013, but this time on the $110 million arm side. So the Aaron Rodgers-less life began for the Packers as they struggled to move the ball, protect the ball and protect backup Brett Hundley, in route to a 23-10 loss and surrendering of first place in the NFC North. 

The Vikings swarming defense, coupled with the losses of David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga and Lane Taylor, proved too much for undermanned Packers to handle. With Aaron Rodgers sidelined for a minimum of 8-10 weeks, Green Bay must now hold on for dear life just to keep the rapidly sinking ship above water; a daunting task that will placed, in large part, on the shoulders of third-year backup Brett Hundley. Hundley, a fifth round pick out of UCLA, has never started a game in the NFL, and has seen limited action since entering the league in 2015. In just over a half of play relieving the two-time NFL MVP, Hundley threw for 157 yards and a touchdown; he also turned the ball over three times via interception and was under-duress for the majority of the snaps he took.

Season Over, or Hope with Hundley?
If there are any positives to take away from the crushing defeat in Minneapolis, it may be that Brett Hundley has shown signs of being a more-than-capable backup. Late in the third quarter with Green Bay down 7-0 Hundley used his feet to stepped up in the pocket, avoid rushers and deliver a 14 yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams to tie the game. After a long Minnesota touchdown late in the fourth quarter, he connected with Jordy Nelson on an impressive and Rodgers-esque back shoulder throw for 24 yards and a first down.

So what should the Packers expect moving forward in the 2017 season with Hundley under center? Unless the team can find a way to get key offensive and defensive players healthy and back on the field, Green Bay’s league-leading playoff streak of seven could be in serious jeopardy.

A banged up offensive line and decimated secondary provide the Packers with serious issues that stem far beyond the loss of Aaron Rodgers. Up next for Green Bay is a Lambeau Field showdown with the resurgent New Orleans Saints, who are coming off an impressive, but sloppy 52-point win against a Packers NFC North-division rival, the Detroit Lions.

The impact of Rodgers’ absence is crystal clear already — the Packers went from being a six point favorite against the Saints when Rodgers was healthy, to being a six point home underdog with Hundley at QB. After week seven, Green Bay will have a much-needed bye week before returning to action Mon., Nov. 6 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at home against the Detroit Lions. Buckle up, Packer nation — it’s going to be a tumultuous ride to week 16.

September 26, 2017

Arman Three Pack Podcast #6: Bengals Recap & Bears Preview

Good evening Packer Fans - Arman Titletown Talk's sixth podcast is here to continue our coverage of the Green Bay Packers.

 In this episode, Adam, Shane and Mitch recap the Packers nail-biting overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals, discuss the bleak injury situation and preview this week's divisional showdown on Thursday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. Give us a listen, share and comment with thoughts of your own and thanks for listening! Arman's Titletown Podcast (episode six) embedded into the post below.

September 15, 2017

Arman Three Pack Podcast #5: Seahawks Recap & Falcons Preview

Good morning Packer Fans - Arman Titletown's fifth podcast is here to continue our coverage of the Green Bay Packers.

 In this episode, Adam, Shane and Mitch recap the Packers big week one win against the Seattle Seahawks, discuss surprise roster cuts made by Ted Thompson and preview this week's NFC Championship rematch against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football to open their new stadium. Give us a listen, share and comment with thoughts of your own and thanks for listening! Arman's Titletown Podcast (episode five) embedded into the post below.

September 9, 2017

Arman Three Pack Podcast #4 - Off-Field Topics & Beating Aaron Rodgers

Good morning Packer Fans - Arman Titletown's fourth podcast is here to continue our coverage leading up to the 2017 season kickoff.

 In this episode, Adam, Shane and Mitch discuss Aaron Rodgers life off the field, why Greg Jennings always seems to slam his former teammates and our thoughts on the NFC North competition. Also, what could each of the three brothers beat Aaron Rodgers in? Give us a listen, share and comment with thoughts of your own and thanks for listening! Arman's Titletown Podcast (episode three) embedded into the post below.

September 2, 2017

Arman's Titletown Podcast #3 - Draft, Free Agency and Ted Thompson

Good morning Packer Fans - Arman Titletown's third podcast is here to continue our coverage leading up to the 2017 season kickoff.

 In this episode, Adam, Shane and Mitch discuss the Packers free agency moves, observations from the draft class and the always interesting topic of Ted Thompson and when his tenure in Green Bay will end. Give us a listen, share and comment with thoughts of your own and thanks for listening! Arman's Titletown Podcast (episode three) embedded into the post below.

August 21, 2017

Preseason Week 2: Packers at Redskins ICYMI

Good day Packer Nation!

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers rushes past Washington Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan in Saturday's 21-17 victory
After kicking off the preseason with a 24-9 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field, the Packers hit the road for a week two match-up in Washington D.C. against the Redskins; a place Green Bay has come to be rather familiar with over the last three seasons. The Packers ended Washington's season two years ago in a NFC Wildcard match-up in D.C; in the 2016 campaign, Green Bay fell to Washington's potent offense in a week eleven match-up 42-24, which prompted the infamous "Run the Table" comments from Pro-Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Week two's preseason match-up between Green Bay and Washington certainly did not pack the punch of importance that the teams' previous two match-ups provided, but nonetheless there were a number of surprises from both teams at the conclusion of Green Bay's 21-17 victory Saturday Night. Arguably the biggest surprise from either team came in the form of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting the nod to start in the contest, a move that has been unprecedented in the Packers recent preseason history. What came to no surprise was Rodger's play, which was seemingly in mid-season form. After a Trevor Davis muffed punt prevented the Packers from starting their first drive of the evening, the defense was able to hold Washington to a field goal, putting the ball into the hands of Aaron Rodgers for the first time this season. Rodgers extended the Packers first drive on a number of occasions, catching Washington with twelve men on the field after a failed 3rd down and 5 conversion. Later in the drive, Rodgers showed his top-tier athleticism by rushing for 13 yards on 3rd and long. To Packer fans jubilance, Rodgers capped the drive off by placing a perfect 3 yard fade in the hands of newly acquired tight end Martellus Bennett for a touchdown. Rodgers finished the contest with six completions in eight attempts, for 37 yards and the touchdown pass to Bennett.

Aaron Rodgers participation and performance certainly set the tone for the Packers offense, showing Green Bay's commitment to controlling the tempo of the football game. Rodgers and the Packers dominated the first quarter time of possession, holding the ball for nearly eleven of the fifteen first quarter minutes. More importantly, this allowed for the young, developing Packers defense to remain fresh, as they were tasked with stopping Washington's high volume quarterback, Kirk Cousins. Cousins played the entire first half for Washington, along with most of the first team offense, for a unit that struggled mightily in the 2016 season in nearly all offensive categories.

The Packers young defensive unit showed glimpses of brilliance and a concerted effort towards becoming a more consistent unit from top to bottom in the 21-17 victory. Until the final seconds of the first half, Green Bay had held the Redskins offense to 3 points, which was a result of a short field at the hands of Trevor Davis'  muffed punt. The young defense seemed to have figured out a way to get stops on key third down situations, something last years' unit struggled with all season. The Packers ranked 26th in the NFL in opponent third down conversion rate a season ago, allowing a staggering 45% conversion rate. Consistent pressure from second year man Kenny Clark and veteran Mike Daniels eased the pressure on the secondary to make plays, and Packers defenders, from line to secondary, swarmed ball carriers at the point of attack. The most impressive play of the night on defense came early in the second quarter, when the Packers stalled a Washington drive on Green Bay's 30 yard line. The Redskins passed on a 47 yard field goal attempt and tried to pound the rock on 4th and 1, only to be stopped by a pair of Packers defensive specialists, Jayrone Elliot and Kenny Clark.

With veteran corner Davon House and second-year man Damarious Randall sidelined with injuries, young players in the Packers secondary took full advantage of their opportunities. Former undrafted free agent Josh Hawkins stood out in a crowded pack of young DBs vying for positional relevance on the Packers roster. In 37 plays of action, Hawkins tallied 5 tackles, and two pass break-ups on would-be touchdowns for the Washington offense. A position that plagued Green Bay's Super Bowl hopes a year ago now has a fresher, younger feel at the defensive back spot. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy says he feels good about the mix of young players at defensive back, and he is hopeful that third-year players Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall are able to make significant jumps in order to contribute to a Super Bowl run. With the veteran addition of Davon House and a star studded back end at safety, it looks as though the Packers secondary is ready to leave its performances of last season behind.

Next week the Packers head to mile-high Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO to take on the Broncos in week three of the preseason. Aaron Rodgers, along with the first team offense, is expected to eclipse the two possessions of playing time up to game three, and get significant reps against a testy Denver defense. Stay tuned for our next podcast and don't forget to share, like, or comment ArmanTitleTownTalk on Twitter and Facebook!

August 13, 2017

Podcast #2 - Arman Three Pack Preseason & Position Battles

Good afternoon Packer Fans - Arman Titletown's second podcast is here to kick off the 2017 season, where Adam, Shane and Mitch discuss impressions from the first Packers preseason game (a 24-9 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles) and position battles they are most intrigued by. Give us a listen, share and comment with thoughts of your own and thanks for listening! Arman's Titletown Podcast (episode two) embedded into the post below.

May 19, 2017

Arman Three Pack Analysis: Draft & Offseason Summary

Grade the Packers draft (A-F) and make one surprising prediction about a player or the overall draft pick

Adam: I would give the Packers an A-. Classic Ted Thompson trading out of the first round to acquire the first pick of the second and fourth rounds respectively. This also represented a strategic advantage given that the two picks were the first of day two and three of the draft. Thompson and the Packers have always drafted based on the “best available” philosophy, but in 2017 the stars aligned to acquire a handful of highly regarded talent that also happened to address the Packers most glaring needs. I don’t think fans could have hoped for a better positional breakdown than two defensive backs, one defensive lineman, one linebacker and one running back in just the first four rounds. It was impressive to get a prototype long, rangy cornerback at the top of the second round in Kevin King, which addressed the team’s biggest need, and a hybrid safety/linebacker with Josh Jones later in the round. The Packers, like most teams are in dime or nickel packages 80-90 percent of the time and Josh Jones out of NC State has been getting reps in OTAs with the linebacker groups. All signs point to Dom Capers replicating the personal groupings his 2016 unit was forced to leverage due to injury that featured Morgan Burnett in a free-lance dime linebacker position. In a matchup based league, Josh Jones is the perfect hybrid player who can play the run while having the athleticism to blitz or cover backs and tide ends in the slot in passing situations. I don’t want to overlook the Packs first pick in Kevin King who will be relied upon from the beginning as a physical 6’3’ press corner with fluid hips and 4.4 speed, but I believe Josh Jones will be the biggest impact player for the Packers out of this draft. Both King and Jones address the biggest positions of need and simultaneous fit Capers defense scheme perfectly. For me, Jones has the higher upside from a playmaking standpoint, which is something the defense has fallen short on in recent years. I predict Jones’ physicality and flexibility will earn him significant snaps, increasing the Packers usage of sub packages. My surprising prediction is that Jones is poised for a rookie season with some combination of 10-12 sacks, INTs and forced fumbles.

Shane: I give Ted and Co. a B+. By strategically trading out of the first round, Ted not only scooped up an extra pick that turned into Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel (who I love) but also got his man Kevin King. He is a perennial pro bowl CB in the NFL with gifted speed, athleticism and talent. Exactly what the doctor ordered for a pass defense ranked almost dead-last in the NFL last year. Plus, Ted can’t miss on three CBs in a row, can he?? (see D. Randall and Q. Rollins). Solid pickups in later rounds included a much needed OL prospect, an average-at-best RB (who I am NOT high on) and another big DB. Moral of the story – Ted filled his needs, didn’t overreach for any single pick and bolstered the roster where he needed to. My favorite pick is Biegel and I know it’s unfortunate he broke his foot, which is the result of him playing banged up his senior year. But he’ll be back by training camp and will get snaps both inside and outside throughout the year, helping shore up a shaky LB core from 2016. I think he’s a better overall player than TJ Watt, but again, he played injured most of his senior season minimizing his productivity. I don’t know that he’ll necessarily fill up the stat sheet immediately but I do think he will become a core rotational player who is relied upon much more than anyone would have thought.

Mitch: Moving back and still getting Kevin King was a vintage Ted Thompson move, but once again young, inexperienced DBs will be asked to play a large role in another potential Super Bowl run. I really like the RB out of BYU, Williams. I think he will be able to contribute right away to some extent. Other than these two players, nobody really jumps off the page. Biegel's foot injury now makes his pick seem less fruitful, unless he is able to make a full recovery and get back on the field.

Evaluate the Packers 2017-18 schedule and predict their record, detailing any surprising wins or losses along the way. 

Adam: The first thing that stands out about the 2017-18 schedule is the difficulty of the first seven games in combination with the Packers recent habit of slow starts. Seahawks have an axe to grind from last season, the Falcons Week 2 are opening their brand new stadium coming off their Super Bowl meltdown and then @Dallas, @Minnesota and home to the improved Saints before the bye. Wow! The silver lining is a week 8 bye compared to week 4 last season. McCarthy has been vocal about his preference for a mid to late season bye in previous seasons. The Packer’s won’t have the luxury of a slow start like in years past especially with the need to rely on young talent and early schedule difficulty. In addition, the Pack ends the season with 3 of 4 on the road including the finale against division runner-up Detroit. I believe the cold weather road games along with divisional matchups to end the season sets the Pack up to hit their stride heading into the playoffs.  Prediction: I believe the Packers will go 11-5 and win the NFC North, despite a 3-3 start which isn’t bad considering the early schedule. The highlights will be a 5-1 division record, in addition to key home wins against the Seahawks, Bengals, Saints, Ravens and Bucs.

Shane: The Green Bay Packers better be ready to play immediately out of the gate. An 0-2 start is a real possibility and 0-3 isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But Big Mac will have his boys ready and start that stretch 2-1, only falling to the Falcons in their inaugural game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I think Green Bay falls to the Cowboys, who exact some playoff revenge and probably drop 1 of the next 3 NFC north games – likely the road game at Minnesota. Steelers and Bucs back-to-back presents a tough little stretch leading into two road games at Cleveland and Carolina , so 2-2 in that stretch would be a win. New Year’s Eve close at Detroit will have playoff implications on the line, which is what the Packers are built for, so I expect a win in that game and another NFC North title at 11-5, besting the Lions who finish 10-4, the Vikings at 8-8 and the Bears at 7-9. It’s a tough schedule early and tough road tests late at Pittsburgh and Carolina that should prime Green Bay for another deep playoff run. The Lions will be on the heels of Green Bay but per usual, that’s as close as they’ll get

Mitch: Once again the NFL has given Green Bay a tumultuous opening few weeks; continuing the heated rift with Seattle will be a fun way to open the season at Lambeau. Opening the new Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Atlanta week two will likely be the toughest test of the season, but will be a good game to gauge early who will have an impact from our draft class. I think Tampa Bay is an interesting home game on December 3. Green Bay has lost three of four meetings with Tampa dating back to '05 including two home losses. I see Green Bay finishing the year 12-4; notably, I see a 6-0 record versus the division with losses coming to ATL, DAL, PIT, CAR (yes, Green Bay will go 8-0 at home for the second time in 4 years).


What is one position the Packers did not address in the offseason that worries you the most? OR one player you wish the Packers would have signed and why?

Adam: Like most die-hard green and gold fans I was caught holding my breath for the blockbuster signing of a defensive cornerstone to solidify our championship contention. Daydreams of Charles Woodson’s free agent signing and even the greatest free agent acquisition in NFL history when the minister of defense took the Lambeau leap of faith. As only Ted can, he underwhelmed by not making free agent headlines. But in Ted we trust as he quietly put together a stable of veteran contributors with more value than an early bird special at Kohl’s. If you take the emotion out of Jared Cook’s incredible last second catch to help beat the Cowboys his injury plagued season and aggressive free agent posture make it easy to prefer the similar production and better availability of Martellus Bennett not to mention the flexibility of Wisconsin native Lance Kendricks. Former Packer DB Davon House, G Jahri Evans and DT Rick Jean Francois highlight a free agent class of tremendous value and production in positional groups lacking depth. Okay, I guess I should answer the question now. The biggest area of concern not aggressively addressed between the draft and free agency would be at running back. With that said, coach McCarthy has expressed confidence in Ty Montgomery’s ability to make the permeant transition and the team also is high on fourth rd. pick Jamaal Williams out of BYU who was a workhorse tailback in college where became BYUs all-time leading rusher. Williams represents another perfect fit for the hard hat, lunch pail culture that McCarthy instills. I can’t think of a better precursor to life in Green Bay than trying to abide by BYU’s honor code…welcome to the promise land Jamaal. It remains to be seen if Williams or one of the other two RBs drafted have what it takes to share time with Ty Montgomery, but it was clear regardless of most fans affinity for the lovably large Lacy the offense was simply better without him.

Shane: I think Ted should have added a veteran RB on a low-cost, low-guarantee one-year deal. He had plenty of options – most notably Adrian Peterson and LaGarrette Blount – both were available and affordable fits in the Packers offense. Once again the running game takes a back seat and provides zero threat to a balanced offense that is needed to get over the hump of playing in another Super Bowl. Look at the Packers playoff run of 2010-11 and see the RBs stat line – impactful yards-per-carry to hold defenses in key situations and pick up short yardage first down conversions. The Packers won’t win or even get to the Super Bowl without a more balanced running game and sorry to say, Ty Montgomery and rookie Jamaal Williams are NOT the answer.

Mitch: I am not sure that we left a position unaddressed so-to-speak, but I can't help but be frustrated with the "stand by" approach we used as it relates to the back field. Williams will be a nice, big addition, but when you look at the contracts Adrian Peterson (base of 3.5 million, likely to earn around 10 million over 2 years), LaGaratte Blount (1 year, 2.5 million), and Jamaal Charles (1 yr, 3.75 million) got, it is frustrating to consider. I wasn't as disappointed with staying put defensively and saving money, but I thought we had a real opportunity to create a Super offense if we would have added a veteran, ground-and-pound running back.