Monday, October 31, 2011

My Take -> Bye Week

Greetings, G-Force.

7-0. Just enjoyed a bye week by drinking too much whiskey and recovering with a boatload of coffee. It's Halloween weekend. And, it's fun to bring a bit of craziness to life, while in costume. Though the Packers were on bye this weekend, I was wearing my Packer gear as I went to the Lions v Donkeys game in Denver. So, the take is a little late, but better late than never, I hope.

To spice things up a bit, I've asked my good mate, Stack, to break down some college football via his early Mock Draft. Further, I've provided mine. Call it the "Buzz & Stack Vibe." Be ready. Stack can write with the goodness!

Prior to the season, I wrote that I felt the ultimate goal of this organization should be the 3-peat. Not the Repeat, but the 3-peat. Though the Packers won it all from 65-67, it's does not receive the recognition it deserves as a 3-peat in the annals of most football fans minds. Sadly, most consider the birth of the sport to be Super Bowl I. Therefore, the mission of the Ted Thompson-Mike McCarthy-Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay Packers should be the 3-peat. And this happens one game at a time.

In order to achieve this 3-peat, not only will the Packers have to finish business this year, but once again, Thompson is going to have to engineer another brilliant offseason. So, during the bye week, the thought turns to the 2012 NFL Draft and thus, it's the annual "Who Are You Watching Now?" Mock Draft take.

At this stage, I'm projecting that the Packers will receive 4 compensatory picks due to the offseason losses of Cullen Jenkins, Daryn Colledge, Ras-A-tari Bigby, Anthony Smith, B-Jack, Jason Spitz, and Korey Hall. Presently, I'd think the Packers would get a 4th round pick for Jenkins. After 7 weeks, Jenkins is tied for 9th in the NFL with 5 sacks. I'd project the Packers would get a 5th round pick for Colledge who has started in every game thus far for the Cardinals. And I'd guess the Packers would get 2 7th round picks for the losses of Smith, Bigby, B-Jack, Spitz, and Hall. B-Jack has been hurt all year, so that would either limit or eliminate his compensatory value. Smith has appeared in every game except one. Bigby has played in every game so far. Hall has played in every game except one for the Saints. Spitz has made a couple of appearances for the Jaguars. In all, I expect the Packers to have 11 Draft Picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. In the mock, as always, I don't select OL. Though it's worth noting that I've seen David DeCastro, G, Stanford and he's an absolute superstar in the making.

Here you go. Brought to you by Stack.

"There’s an insane amount of bullshit in life. On a daily basis, I can’t imagine that there’s ever been a time so filled with bullshit as these days. Thus, I find that it is important to reward yourself in life, and sometimes that reward gets a little too frequent. Sometimes frequent is just about right, and other times, frequent isn’t nearly enough. Indeed, it’s been a season of indulgences here, and it’s been a beautiful fall. Football weather.

It’s good to be 7 – 0. But the bye week always sucks. So I’ll cram in some extra college football and focus on the future. Draft information is still so diffuse and varied that assembling opinions on value and positioning is impossible, yet further complicated still by the inability to exist between Ted’s ears. Nonetheless, some of the most important tasks in life are impossible in one sense or another. I find defeat to be best left unconsidered.

Round 1: Chase Minnifield. CB – Virginia.

Of course we’re picking 32. Someone will fall to us like Sherrod the year earlier. I’m taking Minnifield here because I’m old enough to remember his dad, plus he’s a confident young guy with the game, the frame, and the desire to be good. I like what I’ve seen out of him and we need a player to be Wood’s protégé. I think Minnifield could be that guy. Looks to have nice longs arms. Good tackler, patient, sits on routes. At 32, I doubt that Devon Still will be available. If he is, I would have to consider him here as at least an equal quality prospect.

Round 2: Kawann Short. DE – Purdue

For better or worse, the worse usually arriving during Bowl season, I always affiliate with the Big 10. I guess, for lack of a better description, the teams just feel closer to home. Short is a beast. He is stout at the point, and has a nice little burst that really closes that yard of space that gets him onto people as a tackler. Pretty well-spoken guy. He’s got a little extra around the waist, but he is visibly a thick body with good lower body strength and balance.

Round 3: Kevin Zeitler. OG – Wisconsin

Okay. I know, first of all, I’m breaking with tradition and drafting an offensive lineman. Secondly, Ted never drafts anyone from UW. And I’m sure it’s not that he wouldn’t but, it just always feels like a reach. Nonetheless, I’m taking Zeitler in the 3rd for excellent value. Zeitler is a stud who pulls and operates in space better than his Badger peers. The guy has played at a consistent level throughout his high school and college career and I think that he has the ability to fit into the zone scheme. Love to see O lineman with the wrestling background, they just understand leverage so well, and this Zeitler has.

Round 4a: Malik Jackson. DE – Tennessee

I watch Tennessee. I’m not sure why. But I do. They’ve always ‘got’ guys. When I watch Tennessee, I see Malik Jackson behind the line of scrimmage on passing downs. The guy could be caught with the ‘tweener tab, but I just see him getting off his blocks and getting after the QB. Listed at 6’5” 265, he’d have to play OLB. When I look at guys who are listed in 4th round, Jackson stands out as a guy who has impressed me.

Round 4b: Marvin McNutt. WR – Iowa

Guy produces. In the Maclin mold. 4th round is a projected spot for McNutt to go. I don’t know if it is reasonable to expect that we see him or not, but it might not take too much to move up a few spots. We do have three seventh rounders in all likelihood. McNutt is one of those guys who seems like he has been around forever, because he’s responsible for highlights everytime the Hawkeyes line it up. Kind of weird that his name is McNutt, but I guess I could get over it.

Round 5a: Davin Megget. RB – Maryland

Come on, how do you not draft Dave Megget’s kid? The guy can return kicks, so while Cobb is excellent at that (as is Nelson, Tramon, etc.), he’d be an option. Diminutive stature, a with a bit more power and a bit less elusiveness than one might expect when you look at him. He’s physical. I question some of his decisions as being a bit reckless, but he is fearless and aggressive. I can see him being a good 3rd down back, especially late in the season when the weather starts to deteriorate.

Round 5b: Kellen Moore. QB – Boise State

Guy puts up the numbers and plays well in big games. He’s a little smaller than you’d like, but seems to get the ball down the field pretty well. We’re going to lose Flynn and Harrell remains a dicey proposition at the moment, so I’m taking Moore here to develop into a QB that we trade in 3 to 5 for a 2nd and a 4th. It’s good value. When they draft a QB late this year and they’re doing all the introduction to the organization and teaching them about the history of the Packers, someone should tell them the story of Doug Pederson.

Round 6: B.J. Cunningham. WR – Michigan State

Drafting two WRs might not be in the cards, but between those cards and Ted’s vest there is only a thin layer of air, which, as a matter of physics, separates any two objects of solid matter. What can I say about Cunningham? First of all we’ve got enough AJ, CJ, TJ, names on our team. Cunningham has an abundance of talent, which he displays from time to time with spectacular catches. But he also has the ability to go passive in a game. He will let things happen to him from time to time. I think Cunningham’s flaws are correctable. His talent stands out to me as I look at where he’s being projected versus his peers. That being said, he’s a big receiver who runs well and plays strong.

Round 7a: Tydreke Powell. DT – North Carolina

Powell is a big body, good thickness and he can definitely still add some weight. Doesn’t offer much in the way of a pass rush, but he knows where the football is. I think he could play either DT or DE in a 3-4. He gets beat from time to time. When I ask myself if it is an upgrade from Wynn or Wilson, I’m hard pressed to find an answer. Coach ‘em up, Trgo!

Round 7b: Manny Abreu. OLB – Rutgers

Guy has played the strong side and the weak side. Plays with force, plays with violence, loves the collisions, has pop behind his pads. There’s a variety of reports on his speed, but I’ve thought that he’s been relevant when I’ve watched Rutgers. He’s a tough guy with a rags to riches type of story, so he’d definitely probably be in the good locker room guy category.

I think Georgia Tech is a team that Packer fans should be tuned into. They play a 3-4 on D. I watched them dismantle Clemson on ESPN3 through my xbox on my tv. I’m seeing Junior DTs Izaan Cross and T.J. Barnes trash the Clemson offensive line, and yet neither of their names appear anywhere in draft talk. What am I missing?

Who knows. This shit is impossible."

Cheers for the words, Stack.

With that the BuzzBoy brings you:

DVR is new to me. It's been great for following the collegiate game. Each week - I've been trying to tape 2 games and then scout a couple of guys. So, everyone that I select will be someone who I've watched play at least one full game.

Round 1: Billy Winn, DE, Boise. After investing mightily in offensive weapons in the 2011 NFL Draft, look for Thompson to stockpile defenders in 2012. Players I considered with this pick were Devon Still, DL, Penn State; Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC; Lamar Miller, RB, []_[]; Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama; and Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama. I'd like to consider Brandon Jenkins, OLB, FSU, but it's too early for Jenkins. Winn is the choice. The Packers need to improve the pass rush. Clearly, we miss Jenkins. And Neal's injury trend is becoming a concern. Winn has the size, strength and athleticism to hold the point and pressure the QB from a DE spot in the 3-4.

Round 2: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. While conventional wisdom is to go after an OLB like Bruce Irvin, WVU, I simply can't do it. Wright has been my favorite collegiate player thus far in 2011. Though he's only 5-10, he's fearless over the middle. He'll go up and get the ball in traffic. He's tough to bring down. And the kid can absolutely fly. I see him as being able to play in the slot or on the outside. He'd fit in our spread offense. Seeing that this is likely Double-D's last year as a Packer, Thompson will probably look to add another WR. Wright would further the brilliance of the Packers offense. Don't get me wrong, I'd like Irvin who was a 1st class pass rusher last year, but he's struggled so far this year and with that, his value is diminishing. I'm also considering Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis; Brandon Lindsey, OLB, Pitt; Robert Barron, S, Arkansas; Cam Johnson, OLB, Virginia; and Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall, with this pick.

Round 3: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington. Washington plays awful defense. But, Trufant can play. He's gritty. He's tough. He'll jam you at the line. He can turn and run with WR's. He'll come up and make plays against the run. I find him to be drastically underrated. Additionally, he plays with a physical attitude. Sir Charles and T-Mon would groom him to be a legitimate NFL starter at CB. I'm also looking at Josh Chapman, DT, Alabama; Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri; Robert Lester, S, Alabama; and Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M.

Round 4: Dan Herron, RB, Ohio State. Herron seeks contact. He's a tough runner with good speed. Solid hands. A fighter. He wins 1 on 1 battles in the open field. He makes people miss and has a nose for the end zone. As the Packers spread out defenses, Herron would be a terrific option out of the spread offense.

Round 4a: Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina. Occasionally, Allen struggles in space as a cover safety. He does struggle in space, at times. But, the guy finds the football. He's a great 8th man in the box. He's instinctive. He wraps up. Seeks contact. He plays a similar style as Charlie Peprah. He's athletic and plays with a fun swagga. Others I'm considering in the 4th Round are Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas; TY Hilton, WR, FIU; Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College; Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas; and Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt.

Round 5: Chris Galippo, ILB, USC. Sure, he talks some trash. And probably too much rubbish is spewed from his mouth. But, the kid backs it up. I'm going to the USC at Colorado game next Friday so I can keep my eye on this kid. While not a powerful tackler, he'll take you to the ground. He's a very good cover LB. He'd flash on special teams. He's a risk taker, which sometimes makes him over pursue the play. I was shocked to see that Galippo was a projected 5-6 round pick at this time.

Round 5a: Jacquies Smith, OLB, Missouri. Smith played behind Aldon Smith over the last couple of years, so he's kind of a late bloomer. He has the size and speed to play OLB in the 3-4. He is a legitimate pass rusher who has shown an ability to drop in coverage. At some point, Thompson will have to address the OLB position opposite CM3. Others I'm considering in the 5th Round are Tim Fugger, OLB, Vanderbilt; Tank Carder, OLB, TCU; Brandon Bolden, RB, Mississippi; Case Keenum, QB, Houston; Kellen Moore, QB, Boise; and Nick Foles, QB, Arizona.

Round 6: Tony Jerod-Eddie, DT, Texas A&M. Jerod-Eddie is huge at 6-5, 302 lbs. He's not a dynamic pass rusher, but he'll get a push and disrupt plays similar to the way Johnny Jolly used to. He gets his hands in the air and alters passing lanes. Additionally, he's fairly stout against the run. I'm taking Jerod-Eddie by a hair over Frank Alexander, OLB, Oklahoma. Alexander might be this years version of Ricky Elmore. Not fast enough to get the corner. Not strong enough to stop the run. Doesn't have elite instincts. But, you can't argue with his production and having him available in the 6th round is a value pick. Others I'm looking at are Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas; and Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise.

Round 7: Dominique Davis, QB, East Carolina. McCarthy emphasizes good decision making from the QB position. Though I'd like it if the Packers would resign Matt Flynn, it's doubtful that he'll be back with the Packers. Graham Harrell has not shown that he is a legitimate NFL prospect yet. I like Davis. He composed in the pocket. He makes good decisions. He's accurate. He's mobile. He can throw on the run. And he's comfortable in the pocket. In the past, Thompson has shown that he is not afraid to go into the Season with an unproven QB. Unless Flynn is resigned, it's likely that this will be the case in 2012 once again.

Round 7a: Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, DT, Baylor. Thompson will draft DL in the 2012. It'll be a point of emphasis. Howard Green will be a FA. Although Pickett has played really well, he is aging. I'm excited about the potential development of Lawrence Guy, but he'll be a work in progress. CJ Wilson and Jarius Wynn have not taken the next step. And Mike Neal can't stay healthy. Jean-Baptiste is a big boy. A run stuffer who plugs the middle. He's quick for a 330 lb DT. Moves well side-to-side and hasn't received the recognition he deserves.

Round 7b: Brandon Taylor, S, LSU. Yes, at this stage, I'm drafting 2 safeties. But, Nintendo Nick's career is in jeopardy. And J-Bush is not a safety. MD Jennings has shown a lot of promise, but we need to ensure depth in the secondary. Taylor is assignment sure. He has displayed good hands. Because the secondary at LSU is so good, Taylor is often overlooked. While Allen would be a safety in the box Safety in the 4th Round, Taylor has the ability to play CF. Others I'm considering in the 7th round are Travis Benjamin, WR, []_[]; Jerrell Young, S, South Florida; Jordan Jefferson, QB, LSU; and Jarrett Lee, QB, LSU.

Enjoy the bye week. Happy Halloween.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Take -> Week 7

Greetings, G-Force.

6-0. Defending Super Bowl Champions. Relishing the notion of living as the elite. The Lions of the Football Kingdom. And the most encourage aspect is that Mike McCarthy's teams improve. They play their best football in December. It was true in '06. They played terrific in '07. They play very well in '09. In '10, they won two must-win games to propel them into the playoffs. Mike McCarthy teams improve. And there is no reason to think that they won't improve in 2011 as well. After all, there has been obvious areas to improve. But, I'm not going to focus on those aspects. I'm going to leave them to the National Media who seem to be more focused on the imperfections of this 6-0 team.

Sure the pass rush has us all yearning for Cullen Jenkins to return. But, I'm confident that if the "Z-Man" & Neal get healthy and when So'oto makes his presence felt...well, I'm confident that the pass rush will improve. So, will the motor of the defense. And, yes, I know Zombo was back last week, but he did leave the game with an injury and he's out against Minnesota. I also think that T-Mon's injury has hurt the pass rush. Sammy Swagga's early season coverage hurt the pass rush. Sir Charles' nagging injuries have hurt his blitzing abilities. So have the Claymaker's nagging injuries. But, the bye week is coming. It's a time to get healthy. A time to study. A time to refresh. A time to retool. And while the Packers have other deficiencies, I'm not going to focus on them. I'm going to treasure this 6-0 start. I'm going to cherish the highlights of the way the defending champions are playing.

Some takeaways from the Packers thrashing of the Rams:

* Had to love McCarthy going for a 2nd Quarter dagger. Leading 10-0. Ball at his own 7. I turned to my wife and said, "*, we're 93 yards from a 3-score lead. And there's no way the Rams come back from that deficit." The next play, McCarthy picks on Ras Al. Beautiful pump fake by Rodgers. Jordy is open. You know the rest. Props to McCarthy. Great play design. Great call. Ball game.

* It drives me crazy to hear that the Packers lost aggression or got lackadaisical during the 2nd half of the game. Sure, I would have liked Jordy to hold onto the 3rd down ball. It was unacceptable. It was also ridiculous that Jennings lost focus and dropped what was a potential TD and it turned into an interception. But, let's face it. It's a long season. The NFL Season is long. And there are times in which you can't show your hand. Clearly, McCarthy wanted to end the game as soon as possible. Rightfully, he took his foot off the gas pedal. And the team followed the leader. They were in cruise control. And the Packers left with a healthy 21-point victory.

* Cheers to CM3! The Claymaker played his best game of the year. Great motor. Great effort. Great to see him taking Bradford to the turf and giving us his signature pose.

* Sir Charles with a sack! I believe he's 1/2 sack from being the FIRST PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL to record 50 interceptions and 15 sacks. I haven't seen this published anywhere, but I gave a quick check at those with 50 career interceptions and I didn't see anyone that has such accolades. "HOF, dude." Had to love Sir Charles talking to Jim Rome and saying that he'd probably hang it up rather than playing for another team. Totally epic!

* After 6 weeks, Aaron Rodgers is the MVP of the NFL. And it's not even close.

* I'm stoked to see Vic So'oto this week!

* Morgan Burnett lowering the boom with one hand!

* Loved DJ Williams' effort on the Jordy 93-yard TD. Though Williams did not make a crucial block, he certainly put himself in position in case it was required. Good work, young man.

* Two years in a row the Packers have busted out the 1929 jerseys - which I like by the way - and two years in a row we've convincingly beat an NFC West opponent.

* Desmond Bishop playing with a righteous viciousness. Playing hard. Seeking contact.

* AJ Hawk flipping the "Hawk" to the sidelines. Comedy. Gotta admit - I missed it during the initial action. And while it was not a classy gesture - I can't say I have a problem with it. And I don't see it as a big deal.

* Sammy Swagga playing as he did during the stretch run last year! He is a key to a repeat. And I really like the way he's turning to see the football as of late.

* Saw what you want, T-Mon is not healthy. Still shying away from contact. The bye week will do him good.

* Josh Sitton has been the biggest disappointment of the year.

* Marshall Newhouse continues to make Bruce Wilkerson like strides.

* While Lang has not been as powerful as he was early in the year, he's still an upgrade to Colledge.

* Really liked the play of Howard Green. Going to need him to be plugging holes this week as well.

* Charlie Peprah is finding his groove and playing as well as he can play right now.

This week - the Packers travel to the Dome. You know - the one that's named after a shopping mall. And, there will probably be as many Packer fans as there will be Viqueens fans. And Mike McCarthy wants this one. After dealing with the Brett Favre in Purple drama for 2 years, Mike McCarthy is ready to take his team to 7-0 as he heads into the bye! Clearly, McCarthy hates the 'queens. More than any other team, McCarthy wants to beat the 'queens. And, he will.

Don't get me wrong. The 'queens have the tools to play with the Packers. Offensively, they have a ball control offense. Similar to the City Chickens from Atlanta. They can pound the ball at the heart of your defense. A.P. is legit. Shiancoe can give the Packers match-up problems. Percy Harvin is a nightmare. And - if the 'queens can stay patient - they should be able to move the sticks and eat clock...keeping NFL's MVP off the field. Even with a rookie QB, if Ponder stays calm and doesn't panic in the pocket, he should be able to dump off the ball for 1st downs. Further, Ponder is elusive in the pocket. He can avoid the rush. He can make plays in the pocket. Additionally, on the defensive side of the ball, the 'queens have a DL that is capable of giving the Packers headaches. It's also noteworthy that the 'queens have blown big leads three times this year. They could easily be 4-2 right now. But, they aren't. And they won't have 2 wins after this week.

The 'queens have significant offensive limitations. They never replaced Sidney Rice and thus, they have no deep threat. 8 in the box. Peprah takes A.P. head on. Holds him up. Help comes. And if A.P. gets through to the second level, which we know he will at some point, hopefully, "The Predator", Morgan Burnett takes the right angle to prevent the Home Run.

Expect Capers to unleash a couple of different looks. Obviously, with Ponder making his first start, he'll be easily confused. Throw the kitchen sink at him. 7-0 would be tasty. We'd also move to 6-0 in the Conference. 2-0 in the Division. Christian Ponder, meet the zone blitz. And, I'm certain you'll meet Desmond Bishop on that blitz.

The 'queens have some significant injuries on the OL. While it looks like Phil Loadholt will be able to play, he is not 100%. Additionally, John Sullivan, the starting C, looks to be out. Just the remedy a struggling pass rush needs. Further, Charlie Johnson is a liability at LT. It's a chance for So'oto to apply a rush!

On the defensive side of the ball, if we protect the MVP, the 'queens can't guard us. Winfield is banged up, but it looks like he'll play. We saw last year that Asher Allen and Chris Cook couldn't guard any of our WR's. Cedric Griffin is a nice player, but he's still not the same post his ACL injury. The 'queens are a disaster at Safety and it sounds like Jamarca Sanford might also miss this week's game. Trouble in the Minnesota secondary.

Spread 'em out. Protecting the XLV MVP. Light 'em up!

Packers 34 Queens 16

7-0 heading into the bye.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Take -> Week 6

Greetings, G-Force.

5-0. With a date at Lambeau to move to 6-0. Fairly epic. It's never too early to start thinking about the playoffs. In no way does a win this weekend guarantee a playoff berth, but needless to say, a 6-0 start would put the Packers in prime spot. Throw in a 5-0 record in the NFC along with the Eagles, Bears, Giants, Cowboys, and Falcons struggles and a playoff berth is within sight. Granted, as the defending Super Bowl Champions, we expect more out of this season than a playoff berth, but the only way to repeat is to qualify for the playoffs. One step at a time and the playoffs are the first step.

A few takeaways from the beauty of a victory at Atlanta:

* Aaron Rodgers. Put us on your back, young man. Carry us, mate. On the move. In the pocket. He was lethal. Unstoppable. Connecting with 12 receivers. Sublime play. After 5 weeks, Rodgers is unquestionably the leagues MVP.

* Props to Mike McCarthy. Even with the shuffling of the OL after Clifton's injury, McCarthy stuck with the game plan. He stayed aggressive. He trusted his players. He trusted his staff. And he came away victorious because of it.

* Cheers to Ted Thompson. In past years, this would have been a loss. But, finally, it appears we have youth, athleticism, strength and most importantly, DEPTH along the OL. While it was totally sad to see Nintendo Nick hit IR for the year this past week, the move was inevitable. What excited me about the transaction was the promotion of Ray Dominguez. Kid has potential. He has the size. He has the athleticism to make it in this league.

* Mason Crosby from Wonderland! Arguably the play of the game.

* Huge ups to Marshall Newhouse. Keep it up, Marshall, and we'll categorize you in the same class as Bruce Wilkerson.

* Greg Jennings' TD was a thing of beauty. Watching him dance down the sidelines was a total treat.

* James Jones getting deep and beating the safeties. What was so sweet about the play was that the Falcons loaded up on Sherrod's side. Sherrod held the point of attack, while allowed Jones to be matched up with a safety. Word up!

* It was telling that on the crucial game-sealing drive, Randall Cobb was on the field instead of Double-D. Was this the changing of the guard? Operating out of the slot, Cobb gained 16 on 2nd and 18.

* I'm not going to make a big deal out of J-Mike's drops. He knows he's better than that. He will be better than that in the future.

* Nor am I going to make a big deal out of TJ Lang's 5 false start penalties in 5 weeks. He's been a significant upgrade over Colledge. He's more physical than Colledge and he's solid at the point of attack.

* I expected more out of Josh Sitton this year.

* I hope we see more of Alex Green catching the ball in the flat. Are we saving this for Detroit? It's possible. In the past, McCarthy has saved players for big games. It wouldn't surprise me to see more of Green after the bye week and then to see him get the ball out on the edge against Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.

* Keep the chin up, Ryan Grant. In order for the Packers to leave the 2011 season with the Super Bowl trophy, we're going to need you to make plays.

* Congrats to DJ Williams on the first catch of his NFL Career.

* J-Bush & Charlie Peprah grabbing picks! That's two picks in two weeks for Peprah!

* Love watching Desmond Bishop fire through the gap.

* Clay Matthews might be struggling with regards to sacks, but one of these games he's going to get multiple sacks. He's oh, so close to getting home! I hope he doesn't get overly frustrated.

* Raji & Pickett are immovable.

* Sammy Swagga's playing as he did late last year offered tremendous hope for the future.

* Soon T-Mon is going to make a game changing play. I can feel it.

* With the "Z-MAN", Frank Zombo, back at practice and with Neal/So'oto coming back soon, there is hope that a pass rush is coming soon...

* After 5 weeks, the Packers have 12 sacks and they've forced 13 turnovers.

This week, it's the St. Louis Rams. And, while St. Louis' baseball team might beat Wisconsin's team, there is no way it'll happen on the football field. So, it's up to us, the G-Force, to ensure that we are wild in the stands. If you have tickets to this game, bring the volume. Let's jump on the Rams early. Let's jump on them often. If we get an early lead, this could be a 30 point win. But, the crowd has to make it difficult early in the game.

It appears as though the weather will be beautiful. Mid-to-high 50's. In October. Green Bay, WI. That's football weather. A terrific fall day. A day for Aaron Rodgers to top 350 yards. We're going to attack the rams. Blessed with the NFL's finest arsenal of Receiving options. Defensed by a Rams defense that is floundering with injuries. They've already lost their top-3 CB's. Expect the Packers to come out gunning. And if our young tackles can contain the underrated pash rushing DE's from St. Louis, the Packers should be able to score at will. But, let's not take the Rams for granted. Long and Hall can pressure the QB. They're high effort guys. Newhouse and Bulaga better be ready.

Offensively coached by Josh McDaniels, you know that the Rams are going to try and find short passes. And, then they'll get the ball into the hands of Cadillac Williams and Steven Jackson. If they get some rhythm, you know McDaniels is calling play-action and he'll try to hit us deep. Denario Alexander was a nice college player at Mizzou. He hasn't been able to stay healthy, but he remains a threat deep down the field. The Rams also have a couple of quality prospects at WR in Greg Salas and Austin Pettis. They can't be overlooked and are due for a game in which they surprise the opposition.

But, really, the only way the Rams can win this game is if they have success running the ball. They'll need Jackson and Williams to pound away at us, however with the talented Raji & Pickett manning the front, I don't see it happening.

In fact, I see a blowout. No one loves Ras-Al more than me. He's a Packer HOF'er. A great player for us for a number of years. But, he's too old to play with the likes of Greg Jennings. Early in the game, off play-action, I expect the Packers to test Harris deep. While Harris will want to have a big game, it's unlikely.

I see big games for Jennings, Nelson and Cobb. I foresee Cobb grabbing 4-5 balls out of the slot. Working out of the shotgun, once again, Rodgers will be brilliant. Throwing for more than 350 yards and also throwing 4 TD's.

Packers 45. Rams 13.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Take -> Week 5

Greetings, G-Force.

4-0. Feelin' Super. And, why not? After all, we are the Champs. And, convincingly, we're on a mission. This team has the capacity to be righteous. Offensively, we show signs that the path to repeating undoubtedly runs through Titletown, USA. Our special teams has displayed the potential to be lethal. Though our secondary has been beaten - at times - they have also been ballhawks! Sure, the pass rush has been poor. And the LB play has been below expectations. But, this team has swagga. They have confidence. They have belief. And, to steal a line from Andre Rison in the '96 Bowl, "We got the fuckin' MVP throwing the damn ball!"

A few takeaways from the slashing of the Donkeys:

* I've always been a Mike McCarthy fan, but it is easy to be critical of him. Like when it's 2nd & 1 and we throw two balls into the end zone followed by a slow developing 4th down run to the outside. With this team, just give it to Kuhn on 2nd down and refresh the down and distance. I also don't like the 2nd & 1 draw out of shotgun. On the other hand, the onside kick was pure brilliance. A game changer. Nearly a 1st Quarter dagger!

* Aaron Rodgers. Be fanatical. Based on the Lambeau Faithful's reaction to his Leap, it is possible that he is the 5th Beatle. And, frankly, it's exactly the way he should be treated as he continues to dazzle NFL defenses. He is playing at a ridiculously high level.

* Sir Charles. Dear Football Gods, thanks for sending him to Green Bay! 50 career picks. And the 50th, naturally, goes for 6! Tying him for the 2nd most pick-6's all time with 11. I want this record to be in the hands of Sir Charles. Add it to the mantel!

* I disagree with the harsh criticism that the WI media occasionally gives the Predator, Morgan Burnett. Without him, where would this defense be? He has been a playmaker. Again, not to analyze via statistics, but in Week 1, Burnett led the team with 14 tackles. In Week 2, The Predator had 7 tackles - 2nd on the team - and he also had 2 passes defenses, a sack, a forced fumble and a pick. Against Chicago, The Predator led the team with 6 tackles. He also had 2 picks and 2 passes defended. And against the Donkeys, The Predator was 2nd on the team with 6 tackles and he also had a fumble recovery and a pass defenses. Sure, he has been beaten in coverage. He has been turned around, but he's also been a difference maker, arguably our best defender, each week. Rasta On, Morgan Burnett!

* If you can pressure the QB, the address is 1265 Lombardi Ave. Please report. ASAP! I hold out hope that a pass rush is on the horizon via the likes of So'oto, Zombo and Neal. And when, it happens, the be -unquestionably - the best team in the NFL.

* Let's hope Sammy Swagga gets back on track after that pick. We need you, mate!

* Marshall Newhouse was a fighter. Von Miller is a beast. Newhouse competed and will improve. While Miller was fierce, if Newhouse is properly tutored, he'll learn to stay low and use his feet with a wider base against a pass rusher who has a variety of moves.

* Jordy for 3 more years!!! Where does the Tight Teddy nickname come from? I don't get it.

* J-Mike as a decoy was comedy. The Donkeys were not going to let him beat them. Instead, JJ, Double-D, Jennings, and Jordy all found pay dirt! Randall Cobb also got loose. Man, did I want him to outrun Brian Dawkins.

* Speaking of Brian Dawkins. I have great respect for his game. But, dude, it was sweet when he was shown The Championship Belt!

* Charlie Peprah is not a capable safety when he is required to play in space. Need to keep him in the box.

* Totally disappointed with the play of AJ Hawk. No aggressiveness. Afraid to take on blocks.

* T-Mon is not healthy.

* Small reminder: Aaron Rodgers became the first player in the HISTORY of the NFL to throw for 400 yards while rushing for 2 TD's and throwing for 4 TD's. That could be defined as SUPER QB play. MVP. MVP. MVP!

* Liked the quick glimpse of Alex Green. Had me yearning for more. Like the way he plants his foot and goes.

* After 4 weeks, the defense has 11 sacks and they've forced 11 turnovers.

This week - the defending Super Bowl champions travel to the Georgia Dome. For those of you that have followed the blog, you know I went to the two games last year in Atlanta. For those that have just joined, welcome. And here is the long, in short. The first Packers v Falcons game was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My in-laws live in Atlanta. So, I orchestrated a Turkey Day gathering that included 12 of us sitting together for the game. The fans were friendly. Sure, they wanted the win, but in reality, the G-Force received Southern hospitality. Nonetheless, Packers fans littered the Dome. Thus, there was a scratching of the rivalry surface. Next was the playoff game. It was intimidating. The crowd was loud. It was rowdy. And, then the greatest 2nd Quarter in my memory bank occurred. Aaron Rodgers was epic. "The Falcons tried to bite off more yardage and they just got burned." T-Mon became a household name. It was Tramondous!

After T-Mon went ATL on Atlanta, it became a G-Force celebration. I was hoarse for 10 days and after almost 3 weeks of a constantly throbbing throat, my wife wondered whether I had permanently damaged my vocal chords. I'm certain there were 10,000 other fans who felt the same way as I did that next morning. And, officially, the newest rivalry in the NFL was born. This Sunday, we are going Dirty on the Dirty Birds. The city of Atlanta is famed for the words "Peace Up. A-town Down." Yes, this Sunday Night the G-Force will walk away from the Georgia Dome with victory and Atlanta will be feeling down.

Matty Ice is a gamer. If it's close in the 4th and Matty has the ball with a chance to win it, he's tough to beat. Therefore, it's important for the Packers to come out gunning.

The Falcons were aggressive this offseason. They went out and Ray Edwards and Then they pulled off the blockbuster trade for Julio Jones. But, last I checked Jones doesn't play defense. So, while I admire the aggressive approach, the Falcons are still best suited to ground and pound. Eat up clock. Play defense. Keep the oppositions offense off the field.

Michael Turner is a bull. Tough to bring down. Peprah must be the 8th man in the box. Woodson's versatility is on display as he is able to beast up against Tony Gonalez. Though those duties will also fall on Hawk. While Gonzalez can still play, he is no longer getting down the seam. See the down and out. Read the curl. Jump those routes! A record tying pick-6 can be had for Sir Charles. This week, Woodson was quoted as saying, "I want. I think about it. Hopefully, I tie it this year and break it." Go get it, Chuckie! It will be there for you.

The physical nature of Roddy White and Julio Jones will be tough for a banged up T-Mon and a passive Sammy Swagga. Time to nut up, men.

The Falcons defense cannot stop the Packers offense. More precisely, the Falcons have no match for Jordy Nelson. Expect Jordy to top 100 yards and to find the end zone. Remember that J-Mike didn't play last year. We are a match-up nightmare for the Falcons. There's no reason to pretend that we are going to run the ball. In fact, it would surprise me if the Packers run the ball more than 12 times. Spread 'em out. Play from shotgun. Make them guard us. And if we get a 2 score lead, know that Mike Smith teams normally abandon what they do best and they'll try to score with us. Thankfully, we all know the Falcons offense can't keep up. It's a race to 30 points.

With the lead, we must go for the throat. Clearly, the Falcons are still hung over from last years crushing defeat. With a victory, the Packers would move to 4-0 in the NFC and they would take a 3 game lead over the Falcons in the playoff race.

It's a PrimeTime game and we have the NFL's PrimeTime player. Strap the belt, Aaron. You are deserving.

Packers 34. Falcons 23.

Go Pack Go.

Talkin' S-Mac.