Can you say must win? The goal for this year is to win the NFC North Division. Accomplish this goal and it's a great season. Win more than you lose and it's a good season. Anything less & I'm rooting for a top-10 pick. It's that simple.
Injuries continue to mount. Add Chad Clifton to the list. Pickett is also missing practice time. Our current injury list names 13 players that I expected to play a major role for the Packers this year. Yet, in my eyes, solid depth is one trademark of an elite team in the NFL. The Packers are showing a lack of depth at OL, DL, RB, TE, and QB. We also need an upgrade at CB & S.
Our '08 draft has failed us for this year. Prior to the draft, we mentioned names like DeSean Jackson, Steve Slaton, Martellus Bennett and Chevis Jackson. Today - they're all making plays. Meanwhile, we struggle to get any production out of any of our picks.
When you've seen someone's best and their best is simply not good enough, I vote that we move on and bid adieu with him. Tracy White was a solid special teams player, but we'd seen his best football. He had defensive limitations. Thanks for your time, Tracy. Hello Danny Lansanah! I really liked Lansanah's game in the preseason. Along with Lumpkin, he was the surprise of camp. I'm happy he's going to get a shot.
Sticking with this philosophy, I've seen enough of Michael Montgomery. While he's not solely responsible for last week's lost, he was a major underperformer. In fact, I'd go as far as calling him a complete failure. If I were GM, he'd be cut and I'd be scanning others practice squads for a potential pass rusher or a run stopping DE. Hell, I yearn for Don Davey!
I'm calling for an all-out on-the-job training for Jeremy Thompson. I want to see everything this guy has got because if he does not have the tools, we need to look to upgrade at DE early in the '09 draft. He looked unprepared and unaware vs. the Falcons. I'll excuse him as he probably did not expect that much playing time. Montgomery's injury forced him into action. I want to see what #99 brings to the table this week.
In Nick Barnett stuck in mire? What am I missing? Paging Nick Barnett. Nick? Nick, where are you? Please join our defense. We could use our middle linebacker.
I'm absolutely disappointed in our special teams performance. Willie B. has no room to run. Furthermore, we fail to make crucial tackles. Our kickoff & punt coverage is pitiful at big moments. And Frost has been awful. Wasn't he supposed to be an upgrade at downing the ball inside the 20?
I give Aaron Rodgers a lot of credit for last week. He played through pain. He was aggressive. He spread the ball to 8 different receivers. While it's noteworthy that Ryan Grant was not one of them, Rodgers did a much better job getting rid of the ball and using the center of the field. He showed poise, confidence and toughness. He earned both respect and street cred.
Nintendo Nick & Chuckie are playing at Pro Bowl level.
So, we head to Seattle for a bout with HomeGrown. Thanks for the memories, Mike. I'm happy that we get to see you one more time on your Farewell Tour. I wish the game was in Lambeau so we could give you a thanks for the '96 title.
The Seahawks are far better at home than on the road. Even though they, too, are banged up, the 'Hawks will be a stiff test. Seattle's crowd is rowdy. Their defense always seems faster at home. They also seem to get ALL of the breaks at home.
Expect Seattle to run the ball to the left side behind Mike Wahle and Walter Jones. They'll do this early. They'll do this often. We won't be able to stop it. No Cullen Jenkins. KGB at half-mass. Montgomery is bad when healthy - imagine him with an injury. And I doubt Jeremy Thompson is capable. They could rush for more than 150 yards.
The Packers will have an offensive response. It was good to see Ryan Grant running with power and desire last week. I would be surprised if we don't see him carry the ball 20 times this week. We'll also see Rodgers attack the vulnerable Seattle secondary. Spread 'em out and you'll be able to beat the Seattle defense both through the air and on the ground.
This week it's Rodgers finding 9 different receivers. Finding the open man. Using the reignited shovel pass! Where has it been? Third and short - this could be one solution.
I'm looking for the Packers to send an ALL OUT BLITZ! I'm calling for 6 men and sometimes 7. I want our defense at the line of scrimmage in people's face. Let our LB's play. Our DL is banged up. So is our secondary. With the exception of Hawk (whom I expect to play), we are healthy at LB. Let the LB core be active. I want to see them pressuring the QB. If Nick Barnett cannot get there, replace him. Let's see if Bishop can get there. We need to make plays at the LB position. Hawk's inability to cover Justin Peelle on 4th and 1 was telling. Who in the hell is Justin Peelle?
Regardless, Hasselbach is banged up and we need to get in his face and knock him around. Throw him to the ground. We won't have this option often though. Atlanta ran the ball 36 times last week and threw it 26 times. I would think Seattle might do the same.
This one will be a shootout. Again it comes down to the last 10 minutes. A nail biter.
Packers 34. Seattle 30.
OK, so maybe I'm a homer. Sometimes, I've been accused of being too fluffy. Too optimistic. Probably the case. But, that's been the case the last couple of weeks. It'll probably be the case next week as well. HomeGrown, again, thanks for the memories & the Bowl. But, this week, we get you for selling us out.
Stay away from bridges. If you encounter one, don't jump! Everythings going to be alright.
Grab a Pint,