Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Take -> Week 12

10-0. 16 in a row. Protecting the home turf as the opposition throws their best punch. Almost oddly, Tampa is built for the cold weather, while Green Bay is best constructed to play in weather controlled environments. Regardless, the Yucs came with everything they had. They tried to steal possessions. They played well on the outside. Their DL played as well as it could play. And – we still walked away with victory. Remaining unbeaten. Clearly, through 10 games, the Packers are the class of the NFL. Prime for a repeat. Remember, Mike McCarthy teams will continue to improve. We’ve yet to hit our stride. I’m confident it’ll happen in the coming weeks.

Quick hits from the victory on Sunday:

· Mike McCarthy is a player’s coach. Let’s face it: BJ Raji is struggling. If the Packers are going to Repeat, we need more out of Raji. Raji has Hawaii bound skills. He has not played to his potential. So, what does McCarthy do? He unleashes the Freezer! Epic. Great form, Mike McCarthy! It was great to see Raji smile. His confidence needed that. He needed a little swagger to his step. McCarthy tried to provide him with that.

· Aaron Rodgers continues to be the NFL’s MVP. A “down game” for Rodgers is 299 yards with 3 TD’s and 1 interception.

· Thankful the injuries to Starks and Jennings don’t appear to be serious.

· Jordy Nelson – once again, I’ll say – the best #2 WR in the NFL. Sure, Rodgers makes everyone better. But, Nelson can flat out play. He’s a gamer.

· Double-D showing up as the weather turns bad. Then calls the Packers “the Greatest Show on Grass!” Lovely.

· Time for Ryan Grant to step up. Grant is playing for his career right now. He’ll get a chance to show his worth this week. Time to perform, Ryan. He looks slow to hit the hole and when he hits the hole, he’s lacking acceleration. Thought he’d be further along at this point of the season.

· Tom Crabtree! Get in the stands, young man!

· J-Mike may have dropped the ball, but he’s still the focus of Defensive Coordinators. On nearly every play.

· The interior of the OL is struggling. Josh Sitton, come on, man. Wells & Lang didn’t seem to be on the same page on a couple of plays.

* Is this the real James Jones? Or is he in a funk? Can’t figure it out. Looks like he doesn’t care. And the penalty on the special teams play was unnecessary. And the non-attempt to tackle after the interception is absolutely unacceptable. That's how you play yourself off the team.

* Randall Cobb in Green Bay is totally spectacular. Guy has superstar skills. A game changer. And the ability to win us a playoff game. A true difference maker. Can’t wait to see him throw a TD pass. He’s getting more involved in the offense. Soon – expect trickery. Possibly this week.

* Congrats to Sir Charles! While I haven't seen this documented anywhere, I believe he became the first player to notch more than 50 interceptions and 15 sacks for a career. I'd love it if he could get 2 more sacks this year. Would be sweet to see him finish his career with over 20 sacks!

* While the Claymaker did not get home for a sack, his pressure has been more vibrant since the bye. Good things are coming to him. It was interesting to see the Packers trying to rush Clay from the inside, while either Hawk or Bishop pursued from the outside on the blitz. Capers is desperately looking to find ways to get CM3 to the QB.

* T-Mon playing as though he's among the best cover CB's in the NFL. Clearly, once again, T-Mon is healthy. Tramondous!

* Really wish Morgan "the Predator" Burnett could rid himself of the cast.

* Walden getting to the QB!! Need more of this.

* I thought that AJ Hawk - at times - was playing his best football of the year. Really pursued with intensity. Until the big run by Blount, I thought Hawk was having his best game of the year.

* Surprised to see Mike Neal standing up on a couple of occasions. Wish they'd plant his hand and let him attack.

* Ryan Taylor continues to impress on special teams.

* Love to see Kuhn punching the ball into the end zone!

* AQ81 continues to improve as a blocker. He's a fighter.

This week - it's the game that we've all been waiting for. Thanksgiving. In Detroit. This place will be mayhem. The Lions have waited more than 15 years for a game to matter this late in the season. They feel relevant. They played well against the defending Champs last year. They have reason to believe.

The Lions will look to win by the line of scrimmage. Especially on the defensive side of the ball. While much is said about Vanden Bosch, Fairley, Corey Williams (who is injured and in question), and Suh; one guy that can flat out get to the QB is Cliff Avril. Avril is intense. He's tough. He swipes at the football. He gets the edge. He'll be a tough match for Bulaga. Vanden Bosch's grit and experience will be a tough draw for Newhouse. And - as has been well documented - the interior of the Packers OL vs the interior of the DL for the Lions will be a crucial component in determining the outcome.

Look for the Packers to send TE's in motion. Then, I'd expect them to keep them in the backfield to help block. They'll release late and be dump off options. Rodgers' patience will be tested. But, if we can avoid penalties, we'll be able to move the football.

We'll also see J-Mike chip either Vanden Bosch or Avril (likely Vanden Bosch) prior to going out for a route. Much like the Packers did with Allen & Robison against Minnesota.

It's a big game for Ryan Grant. Grant needs to perform. A QB's best friend is the run game, especially if the Lions are coming with heavy pursuit. Grant can also quiet down the intensity of the crowd.

Don't be surprised to see Brandon Saine get his chance. I envision Saine getting the ball on a swing pass or two. He'll fight through arm tackles and pick up first downs if he's put in a 1 v 1 scenario in the open field.

Big plays can be had down the field against the improved, yet still average, Detroit secondary. Chris Harris was a nice recent addition for the Lions. He brings knowledge of the NFC North. He knows what we do. Chris Houston has made some big plays this year. He can't cover Jordy Nelson. He can't cover Greg Jennings. Eric Wright was a nice offseason addition. He's a fighter. But, I'll take Nelson & Jennings. Louis Delmas is a heavy hitter. If history is any indication, you know that J-Mike will be looking to make a play on him. YOTTO!

I really believe that this is the day Randall Cobb comes up BIG on the offensive side of the ball. Be it a reverse. He could throw a pass in some form of trickery. Or it could simply be Cobb operating out of the slot. He's a weapon. Depending on how much McCarthy respects the Lions, it wouldn't shock me if he has something up his sleeve. And, it's likely Cobb will be involved.

The Lions have weapons on offense. Calvin Johnson is a superstar. But, call me crazy, I believe T-Mon will match up with Johnson and T-Mon will have a good game. Sure, Johnson is going to put up numbers. It wouldn't surprise me if he scores 2 TD's, but T-Mon will make a play as well. Titus Young is a good young talent. Sammy Swagga should shadow him all day. Burleson is a good slot option. Sir Charles will eat him up. What scares me most about the Lions is their TE play. We've struggled against TE's this year. Scheffler & Pettigrew are match-up problems for the Packers. Both can run across the middle. Both can get down the seam. Both can make the big play. Both are tough to bring to the turf.

This much is true: Sir Charles will make a play. He loves going back to the state of Michigan. He loves to play the Lions. Since joining the Packers in 2006, in 10 games against the Lions, Sir Charles has recorded 7 interceptions, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 3 TD's. Sir Charles will make a play on National TV. He always does.

It should also be noted that while Stafford has had a very good year, he will occasionally trust his arm too much and throw into traffic. He's thrown 10 interceptions in 10 games. Opportunities will be present.

Kevin Smith had a HUGE game last week. He must be contained. He's a straight ahead runner for the most part. Close the gaps and he's not going to do much. But, if he has a hole, he's a threat to take it to the house.

Throughout the 2011 Season, the Lions have mostly been a slow starting team. They've had a pension for making comebacks. If they fall behind on Thanksgiving, they aren't coming back.

It'll be a dog fight. In the end, there's too much of the NFL's MVP and a big defensive play changes the game.

Packers 37. Lions 31.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Take -> Week 11

Greetings, G-Force.

9-0. It's on. We're for real. Ready to make a "Run at the Repeat." The domination of the 'queens was sublime. Tremendous. Full excitement. On overdrive. Sure, there were still flaws. It was not perfection. But, it was the most complete game of the year. It was convincing. For the first time all year, we looked like were were primed for a repeat. We played defense. We had a strong display on special teams, minus Cobb's dropped punt. And, while the offense wasn't as polished as it has been in previous games, we still threw up 45 points via 4 more Aaron Rodgers TD passes.

Before I dig into the Packers too much, I have to give a massive SHOUT OUT to my Dad! For those that don't know, I proudly say that my Dad is the Producer of the games at Lambeau Field. I often refer to him as the DJ at Lambeau Field. After all, he is the man who both chooses and pipes in the music at the stadium. This Sunday morning on ESPN NFL Countdown, they're doing a special on the "Bang On The Drum" song that he plays after the Packers score a TD. Look for it. It'll be spectacular!

Onto the Packers demolition of the Viqueens:

* Mike McCarthy got what he wanted. He destroyed the 'queens. In every facet. He continues to call the play-action roll-out pass to Jordy. It's a beauty. It has been almost unstoppable.

* Aaron Rodgers continues to be the NFL's MVP. Sure, he hung onto the ball too long - at times. Still, he was absolutely dominant. His mobility. His poise. His confidence. He's playing at a level I've never seen before. Pure brilliance in every facet of his game. He's beating teams with his arm. He's beating teams with his legs. He's beating teams with his mind. He's been athletic. He's been totally cerebral.

* Last week - I wrote that Jordy Nelson is the elite #2 WR in the NFL. Those thoughts were furthered on MNF.

* I normally don't write anything with a negative thought early in the previous week's review, but man, Josh Sitton is not the same player that we've seen. Haven't lost confidence in him. I still consider him a robust bodyguard for Rodgers. But, he's struggled. It seems he's been beat each week. He must buckle down.

* On the other hand, while TJ Lang has had faulty plays, he's been a huge physical upgrade over Daryn Colledge.

* Bryan Bulaga is our best OL right now.

* I give Marshall Newhouse credit. He's in a tough spot. While he practiced at LT, he played RT in the preseason. He's come in and he's learning on the fly. He's been playing with fight. Mostly, he's done well. Jared Allen is a tough match. He stood up to Allen and although, Allen won some battles, for the most part, Newhouse played admirably.

* James Starks falls forward. Every time. Like no other Packers back in my lifetime.

* Another precise route by Greg Jennings leads to another Jennings TD.

* Great grab by Double-D! Turn back the clock!

* J-Mike going up and grabbing the ball in traffic on 4th down.

* Randall Cobb at Lambeau Field. Under the lights. Expect greatness. It's coming. For now, I'll overlook the dropped punt. But, remember to focus, young man.

* Note to NFL Offensive Coordinator: T-Mon is back. He's healthy. And, once again, he's in the top tier of the NFL's CB's. He's a key to the "Run at the Repeat."

* Sir Charles calling out the defense. And then playing as the Leader he is. Coming on the blitz. Covering ground across the middle. Man, I wanted that pick-6. Would've tied the record!

* Des Bishop coming on the blitz!

* Sometimes, in basketball, a shooting guard in a slump needs a lay-up to get him going. Well, the same applies to a pass-rusher. In the case of the Claymaker, look out. 2 big sacks. More to come!

* CJ Wilson with his best game of the year.

* Soon, Raji has to find himself in the backfield. A top-shelf Raji is a necessary ingredient for this team to Repeat.

* Mason Crosby!

* I gotta say that P-Lee and J-Bush have been solid special teams players this year. I've been critical of them in the past. So, I have to give them props when they are due.

* DJ Williams with the big block to spring Randall Cobb free.

* Ryan Grant is not running like I thought he might at this stage of the season. Makes me think Saine is going to get his chance soon.

* Though extremely limited, disappointed in So'oto's performance. Didn't get a long look but I was hoping he'd explode. He didn't burst off the ball. I know that I was expecting unrealistic results and I'm not giving up on him - by any stretch of the imagination - but, I really wanted him to make an immediate impact. Hopefully, that was the first of many opportunities for him. He has the tools to make an extreme difference for the Pack!

* Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Yes, soon, Mike Neal will get his first chance to make a play in the 2011 NFL Season.

This week - it's the Yucs from Tampa. And for Mike McCarthy, this game is personal. He still thinks about November 8, 2009. I was at the game. It was a disaster. The Packers were 4-3. Playing a decent brand of football. The Yucs were 0-7. There were numerous Packers fans in the stadium. Leading 28-17 in the 4th Quarter. Chants of "Go Pack Go" echoed throughout the stadium. And, then, 21 straight Tampa points. 38-28 Tampa. Ugly. Ouch. Painful. It was the worst moment of my Packers-fan life that I've ever experienced in person. For McCarthy, it was his ALL-TIME LOW as a Head Coach in the NFL. After the Super Bowl, as he celebrated with Jennings, he mentioned it. This day is etched in his coaching mind. Forever. He wants to beat Tampa. Badly. Revenge will be sweet. Normally, this would be a trap game. Sandwiched between division rivals. 3 games in 12 days. You'd think that something would have to give. The team will be reminded of the pain experienced on November 8, 2009. The team will taste the sweetness of success. 10-0 is within sight!

After a 3-1 start, Tampa has lost 4 of 5. They're banged up. And with temperatures expected to be in the mid-30's at kickoff, with a chance of flurries, the Yucs won't want to get off the plane. An early lead and this one could be a blowout as the Yucs will simply look for ways to stay warm.

Prior to the season, this was a game that scared me. I thought the Yucs matched up with the Packers really well. They play a slow-paced ball-control offense. Kellen Winslow is a possession receiving TE who has a knack for getting open on 3rd down. Blount is a punishing back. Josh Freeman is a talented QB with a pension for leading late-game heroics.

The upset is not happening.

Jordy Nelson. In college, he ate up Aqib Talib. Talib was at Kansas. Nelson at Kansas State. Talib could not cover Nelson. The same will apply on Sunday.

Like most teams, Tampa does not have the firepower to stay with the Packers lethal offense. Spread 'em out. As long as the winds are light, Rodgers should have another MVP performance. The Yucs are not applying an abundance of pressure on the QB. Our OL should win the battle at the line of scrimmage. When Rodgers has time, look out. He's putting points on the board.

The Yucs will probably try to use zone coverage and jump the short routes. Look for Rodgers to use the pump and go. Probably to Nelson. It'll net a big play.

The middle of the Tampa defense can be exposed. Expect big statistics for J-Mike.

The Packers jump out to an early lead. The Yucs are known for their comeback skills. It's not happening this week. They'll be more concerned about getting back to the Sunshine State of Florida.

Furthering his campaign for the MVP, Rodgers goes for 250 and 3 TD's.

Packers 38. Tampa 17.

It'll be one of those classic November days at Lambeau. Beautiful football weather. A rowdy Lambeau crowd. Chanting "Go Pack Go!" It's a crucial NFC Game. And victory is sweet.


Talkin' S-Mac.!/buzzboy3

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Take -> Week 10

Greetings, G-Force.

8-0. About to embark on the most physically tolling portion of the schedule. 3 games in 12 days. A Monday Night game against our hated rivals, Minnesota 'Queens. A Sunday game - at Lambeau - against a Tampa team that matches up really well against us. And a Turkey Day bonanza in Detroit. The intensity will be extreme.

Quick hits from the Victory over the Chargers:

* Gotta love when McCarthy goes for the early dagger. If you've watched this team long enough, you know when it's coming. Normally, it's the deep ball to Jordy. Yes, Jordy Nelson becomes McCarthy's go-to guy. Usually, it's in a run formation. Often, Nelson is essentially a one-route option. Most times, the Rodgers to Nelson combo has been sublime and it's provided the difference in the outcome. Up to scores. Early in the 4th. McCarthy calls Nelson's number. Of course, Nelson responds. Spectacular.

* Speaking of Nelson. Man, did we get a deal on his 3-year extension. I'm not crazy when I say this: At present, who is a better #2 WR in the NFL? Seriously. Name one. Pierre Garcon? I'd take Jordy. Julio Jones? Not yet. Jeremy Maclin? Possibly, I suppose, but I'll take Nelson. Dez Bryant? Sure, if he'd ever stay healthy. Mario Manningham? I'll take Nelson. Plaxico or Santonio in NY? Maybe. But, I'll take Jordy. His rise has been a crucial development.

* Aaron Rodgers. Statistically, we'll hear about his first 8 games for a LONG time. Possibly forever. And I'm not exaggerating. It's hard to imagine a QB playing any better than Rodgers has played thus far this year. MVP!

* Greg Jennings is the best route runner in the NFL.

* Good to see the YOTTO!

* Lambeau West! You deserve big ups! You brought it! Chico, well done, mate. Josh King, it looked like you were there...judging from FaceBook. Great work, men. Victory was yours! And - clearly - you played a difference.

* Loved the BJ Raji comment before the game via NFL Films. "We came out here to take care of business. It's that simple. Go Pack Go!" Gotta love Raji. Even if he's not playing at the level that we're accustomed to seeing him play. To me, they need to move him back inside if Neal comes back healthy. He's a good player at the end, but he's a difference maker at the tackle spot. Sure, Pickett has been stellar, but Pickett was solid last year and he'd be a nice rotational player for Raji. And - who knows - it's possible that a fresher Raji would be a more productive Raji.

* Des Bishop punishing the QB!

* T-Mon taking it to the house! Great read!

* Charlie! Yes, I'll take some Peprah with my salt! Do a little dance, brother. OH BABY! Not only the Pick-6, but the game sealer! And here's the thing about Charlie Peprah: Sure, he makes mistakes. He's occasionally a liability on deep balls. But, he's also a guy that can play on my team any day. No one is working harder. He sticks his nose into every tackle.

* Sir Charles got his forced fumble last week. We didn't pounce on it, but more to come...and if we would have touched Rivers down on the forced fumble, it would have put Sir Charles as the first ever player to have more than 50 interceptions and 15 sacks. Bummed me out!

* Bulaga had a nice game. He's a solid RT. Hopefully, he'll be the RT for the next 10 years.

* Marshall Newhouse! Remember, he was a 5th Round pick! Gem, TT. Gem of a find. Sure this is a ton of room for improvement, but he's filled in beyond admirably. With Sherrod in the mix, TT has found himself a load of youthful Tackle talent.

* I enjoy watching Starks fight for extra yards.

* Kuhn on 3rd & 1 has been a first down.

* The catch Jennings made in the end zone was ridiculous.

* Keep on keepin' on, Mason Crosby.

* Saine with the tackle on special teams! I really like this kid. I did in the preseason. Was happy he stuck around.

* Really with the "Z-Man" could stay on the field.

* As for the communication issues in the secondary, it's scary. But, when you have ZERO pass rush, these things are going to happen. Need Mike Neal to get healthy. It baffles me that So'oto can't get on the field.

This week - it's the Minnesota Viqueens. The eye is on the Repeat. But, first things first, let's qualify for the playoffs. Wins in the Division. Wins in the Conference. These are necessities. Tie breakers at the end of the year. And, while it would take a huge collapse to prevent this team from heading to the playoffs, let's not take anything for granted. This is a MUST win. It absolutely appears to me that McCarthy's least favorite franchise is the Minnesota Viqueens. He'll look to vanquish the 'queens in convincing fashion.

This topic is so important to me that I'm going to start off my breakdown of the game with it: So'oto gets his chance this week. It's mandatory. What we're presently doing is not working. So, I'm expecting a mix. Not that So'oto is a savior, but he's an option and it's worth seeing what he can bring to the table. On 3rd downs, I'm expecting to see either So'oto coming after Ponder or we'll see Walden shadow him to limit his ability to make plays on the move.

This time against Minnesota, there will be no surprises. The big play to start the game won't happen. We'll be ready. We've seen Ponder's mobility. The game plan will be prepared to keep him in the pocket and force him to step up. Step up - right into the lap of BJ Raji.

Sure, AP will get his. And, if the 'queens are smart, they'll watch the San Diego replay and they'll see that the biggest mismatch on our roster is to put a solid route running TE on a LB. So, if they're smart, we'll see a lot of Shiancoe coming across the middle. They'll mix in some short routes to Harvin. They'll keep the clock running. Limit possessions. But, Ponder will not the success on 3rd down that he had last time we played. That will be the big difference.

*** Side note: Against the Pack, on offense, patience is the key to beating the Packers. It has to be ball control. Sure, the deep balls can lead to big plays, but every game, eventually our secondary is going to pick one of those off. And this defense lives for the big play in the secondary. Against the Pack, on defense, you have to pressure Aaron Rodgers. If he has time, you can't stop him. In fact, when I look at the Packers remaining schedule, 7 of the games are against teams that have what it takes to beat the Packers. The 8th - being the Chiefs - is at Arrowhead, which is never an easy place to play.***

Stating the obvious, the Packers must be able to slow down Jared Allen & Robison. Both are talented. Both pursue with a vengeance. Slow them down and this could be a blowout. Early. The 'queens cannot cover us. We have too many weapons.

If it's close in the 3rd Quarter, it wouldn't surprise me if McCarthy turned to a little trickery. Possibly a reverse to Randall Cobb. Look for Cobb to throw a TD at some point this year. Possibly this week. But, more likely against Detroit on Turkey Day.

We know the 'Queens. They know us. Let's play ball. Under the lights. On Monday Night Football. Shine those helmets. Give 'em some polish.

With weather expected to be in the mid-to-high 30's, this is Football weather in Green Bay, WI. Again, Rodgers goes for 300 and 3 TD's. James Jones has had a pension for making plays against the 'queens. He has another nice game against Minnesota this Monday Night.

Packers 34. Queens 20.

Bring it, G-Force. Elevate. Leave hoarse. Let's celebrate 9-0.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.!/buzzboy3

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Take -> Week 9

Greetings, G-Force.

Welcome to the 2nd Half of the NFL Season. Thus far, at 7-0, we've played to perfection. We're well conditioned. Poised to improve. Ripe to Repeat. Offensively, we're loaded with weapons. On defense, although we've struggled to apply pressure on the QB, each week, we've had a defender make a crucial game-changing play. On special teams, we're seeing results that we haven't seen before.

As Packers fans, we've been blessed to watch the NFL's MVP play QB for our team 3 times over the last 20 years. Yet, we've never seen a QB play as exceptional as Aaron Rodgers is playing right now. He's completing more than 71% of his passes. He's thrown 20 TD's compared to only 3 interceptions. He's averaging more than 320 yards per game.

After 7 games, 7 different players are on pace to surpass 20 receptions. 3 are on pace to exceed 50 receptions. 7 different players have caught TD's. Meanwhile, we're averaging nearly 100 yards rushing per game. This offense has diversity. It's unpredictable. It's playing SUPER!

Defensively, we've given up a lot of yards. But, we've also forced turnovers. After 8 weeks of the NFL Season, the 35 year old, Sir Charles Woodson is tied for the NFL's lead in interceptions. The greatest thing about Sir Charles is that he never gets a cheap one. They're all meaningful. It's never the Hail Mary interception at the end of the game. They've been momentum altering plays that have helped propel victory. Sir Charles Woodson in Green & Gold has had a Hall of Fame ring to it. In 5 1/2 seasons as a Packer, Sir Charles has picked off 35 passes. He's also had 9 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, and 10 TD's. Brilliance!

In all, the Packers have picked off 13 passes. What's wild is that T-Mon has yet to record an interception. The Packers have 17 sacks. What's wild is that Jarius Wynn has totaled as many sacks as the Claymaker. The Packers have forced 5 fumbles. What's wild is that Sir Charles has yet to force a fumble this year. The Packers are 7-0 and a couple of their most prime time players have yet to statistically dominate like we've become accustomed to seeing them play. The defense will continue to make game-changing plays and you'd have to figure that - as a whole - the team will statistically improve in the 2nd half of the year.

On special teams, we've seen some absolutely dynamic plays. We've seen Randall Cobb go 108 yards in his career debut. We've seen Mason Crosby go 14-14, including a Packers Record 58 yard FG. We've seen Tim Masthay average nearly 44 yards per punt with 7 downed inside the 20 compared to only 2 touch backs. Don't get me wrong, the special teams has not been flawless, but unlike recent memory, the special teams units have consistently made a positive impact on our team.

After 7 games, the Packers record is perfect. And, as has been documented, there's plenty of room for improvement. Enter Mike McCarthy. As I've said before, McCarthy's teams improve as the year goes on. Typically, his teams have peaked in December. I expect the same to happen in 2011. The Packers will improve.

This week - it's the San Diego Chargers. It'll be Lambeau West. I'd guess that there will be 30% Packers fans at the Stadium. Unfortunately, it appears, the Packers will be bringing the weather with them to San Diego. There's a 40% chance of precipitation with High's in the 50's. With this roster, poor weather isn't what I was hoping for. With the 2011 Packers, as long as the weather is positive, I have a hard time seeing anyone beating an Aaron Rodgers led offense. Poor weather can be an equalizer.

This Chargers team cannot be overlooked. Although Philip Rivers has had a poor season, he's capable of a breakout game. He's due. Like Rodgers, Rivers has plenty of weapons on offense. While the health of Floyd and Mathews is in question for this week, Rivers will still be equipped with Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, Mike Tolbert, and Curtis Brinkley, who impressed mightily on MNF.

If the Packers can't apply pressure and if Rivers is patient with the underneath routes, the Chargers will be able to move the football. I'd imagine that the Chargers will have some success running the football - especially with runs that are kicked to the outside against the right side of our defense. There could be times the Chargers will gain double digit yards on those carries. Additionally, say what you will about Norv Turner, but his teams always move the ball via the crossing route. Thus far, the underneath drag route and the dump off to the RB have been routes Capers has been willing to give up. If Rivers sticks with the game plan, the Chargers will cause a heavy scare. At some point, you know Rivers will test us deep on a long ball to Vincent Jackson. We have to be ready to make a play. The ball will float. The secondary must pounce.

The Packers should be able to protect Rodgers. The Chargers will be without Shaun Phillips and although, OLB's, Antwan Barnes and Travis LaBoy are high effort guys, they're generally not high production guys. In the secondary, Eric Weddle is among the best safeties in the league. He's tied with Sir Charles for the interception lead. He's always around the ball. Quentin Jammer is also a gifted player in the San Diego secondary. But, outside of Jammer and Weddle, this secondary can be had with average talent. Considering the precision that the Packers offense is playing with thus far and this game has the makings of a shoot-out. With Takeo Spikes and Donald Butler at ILB, you can throw the ball between the LB's and the S's. Spikes simply can't drop like he used to.

Expect the Chargers to attempt to slow the game down. Generally, they like to play high-powered offensively. But, that's not how you beat the 2011 Packers. Rivers and Turner will be smart enough to know this. The Chargers will move the ball effectively. They'll find a rhythm. They'll have success running the ball.

But, in times of trouble, the Packers turn to the League's MVP. The most high, he's Aaron Rodgers. He's our leader. When this team needs a play, Rodgers will make it. Looking toward Nelson on deep crossing routes, Rodgers connects on a big play. Then it's Finley down the seam. Finley and Nelson each grab 5 balls and a TD.

Sir Charles grabs his 1st strip of the season.

Randall Cobb finds a big return against the oft-sluggish San Diego special teams unit.

It'll be a tight one. But, Lambeau West prevails.

Packers 34. Chargers 30.

Buckle up. It's going to be a thriller of a 2nd half to the NFL Season.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.!/buzzboy3