Tag Archive | Clay Matthews

NFC North 2015 Preview – Green Bay Packers

This week is my NFC North preview of the Green Bay Packers.

Last year we finished first in the NFC North, one game ahead of Detroit at 12-4. We earned a bye the first week in the playoffs, but did not secure home field advantage in the NFC Championship game which was one of the multiple factors effecting our loss in the game.

Here is how 2014 shaped up:

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Here is the post-season:

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As you can see, the loss to the Saints and Bills were killer, costing us home field advantage in the NFC championship game. Home field advantage was critical to the Packs success last season as we won every game at home. Perhaps a Lambeau crowd could have helped the disastrous slide into a loss during the 4th quarter of that NFC championship game.

Here is the box score from the championship game:

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 11.55.03 AM

I really don’t have much more to say about it. If you want to know more, you can read my recap from last year. I’m still way too upset about it. I thought I had let it go, but as I’ve been recapping the Packers 2014 season, I’m just getting madder and madder.

Let’s move on to this season.

Here was our draft:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 10.17.02 AM

I’m happy that we took two corners. Our defense certainly needs to improve, however, I worry about developing them in the douchebag Dom Capers system.

Speaking of coaches …

Mike McCarthy is no longer in charge of offensive play calling. It seems even his head was on a platter after the NFC Championship game meltdown. The working theory is that if McCarthy didn’t have play calling duties in the championship game, perhaps he would have seen the bigger picture. That picture being the need for more aggressive play calling. It seemed McCarthy was in don’t lose mode, not finish them mode.

I, for one, am not so sure. Anyone watching the game could see the scoreboard. McCarthy is not a dumb man. He was perhaps dumb for not being more aggressive, but that was the strategy he went with the whole 4th quarter. The last 4 minutes of the game were unheard of. It has literally never happened in the playoffs before to lose that big of a lead in that short of time. Perhaps, we should be looking at the defense as well for not shutting the Hawks down just as much as the non-aggressive play calling. Also, there is some merit behind not turning the ball over when you have that big of a lead. Unfortunately, the real problem arose when those 4 minutes went into overdrive. We did not recover at any point, offense, defense, or special teams to stop the bleeding.

The offensive coordinator is still Tom Clements – he has been since 2012. He just now takes on play calling duties. His new label though is associate head coach.

The defensive coordinator remains Dom Capers. I swear to f’ing God. How is he not demoted? How is he still here!?!?! I think he is blackmailing somebody. How does Mike McCarthy lose title but this ass-clown remains defensive coordinator?

Also, Mike McCarthy having less play calling responsibility is also assigned to provide more focus on special teams. I feel like we made a big leap last year. In 2013 I felt like we were constantly pinned down before the 20- yard line. It’s hard to get a drive going when if you just took a knee in the end zone you would be better off.

I feel like, and have been saying this for years, we need to improve our defense, and not just through the draft.

Our special teams coordinator is Ron Zook. Previously he was assistant special teams coordinator. Shawn Slocum was fired.

In case you forgot, he was fired over the fact that during an onside kick, Brandon Bostick, a tight-end with little playing time, decided to go up and retrieve the football despite the fact that directly behind him, Jordy Nelson waited with his hands to collect the ball. Bostick essentially intercepted a perfect opportunity for Jordy to catch the ball. We would have won if that had not happened.

Here is our upcoming schedule:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 12.17.31 PM

It’s not easy. The bit in the middle is brutal. It has the potential of being catastrophic if there is an injury. Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago, then Detroit. Two of those are Thursday games. To lump that many division games in a row, if there are any injuries … ugh. It could be lethal to the season.

I’m not super happy about that.

FYI, I guess in 2016 we will be going to London, too. I’m beyond not a fan of London games. It’s ridiculous. Greedy f’ing NFL owners.

I digress.

We also play a brutal division in the round-robin scheduling of the NFL. The NFC North has received the NFC West.

Here are their 2014 standings:

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Yikes.

We also pulled the AFC West. Not as bad.

Here are their standings:

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We still have to face Peyton, which is never, ever something that a team wants to do. It will be the talk of the town with the two elite QB’s going head-to-head.

Lastly, we get the Panthers. This is because each team from the NFC North has to face their equivalent opponent in standings from the previous year’s NFC division matchup. GB had the best record in the NFC North, so we get the best in the NFC South.

Here is how that division ended up last year:

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Hm. There is nothing good to say about that division.

All-in-all GB faces 4 opponents who were in the playoffs last year.

Awesome.

Here is our roster for the year so far:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 12.37.53 PM

Good luck Green Bay Packers. Love you and can’t wait for the new season!

 

 

 

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Go For Two: Week 5 games of the week

Welcome back Burnett

There are two games of the week that are worth highlighting.

First off, the Lions at Green Bay 1:00pm EST.

This is huge for GB. They are 1-2 right now. According to me, it was okay for us to lose to the Niners. We played a really good game, and, hey, everyone loses one every once in awhile, right?

The Bengals sting. Bad. Real bad. We went down 0-14 in the first quarter. Second and third quarters we came back and put up 30 points to their 7.  Then GB lose by having 13 unanswered points scored against us. Yikes. How did that happen? Outside of the obvious Ross muff, their was bad passing on the part of Rodgers. Once Clay Matthews went out, guess what? That’s when the Bengals started scoring again. I actually am not too concerned that Franklin fumbled the ball. He was our third string running back, and, actually, before that, I was pretty impressed. The call on that play was what was awful. Finally, the fact that we had to put Ross in, a wide receiver, in place of running back because we were clear out of them …. ugh.

The Packers desperately need to get someone else going besides Matthews to pass rush. You can’t lose a a game defensively because one person goes out. Not acceptable. I’m tired of letting teams put up sick points against us. Cause Even my beloved Rodgers has a bad game, and he deserves to have a break every once in awhile. Our offensive line needs to get their shit together. He can’t keep getting sacked, tipped balls, and no time to throw the ball.

I fear for Rodgers life against the Lions.

That brings me to the point of the long winded rant about why this is the game of the week, or at least, very crucial to the NFC North.

The Lions showed the world the ugly truth about the Bears — the Bears aren’t a 3-0 team. They got to 3-0 against some very, very bad teams. This week the Bears go against the Saints. It’s going to be so ugly. So very ugly for the Bears.

That leaves the fact that if the Lions can beat the Packers, they are in very good shape in the division. That means Green Bay would go (gulp) 1-3, with the Lions achieving a 4-1 record. No one really wants to play the Lions. They are a mean, violent team. The coach, Schwartz, is clearly an asshole. Really? You throw your headset to the ground! Yeah, and people wonder where the bad behavior of the players comes from.

I really don’t even want to watch this game. I very well may wear every single article of Green Bay gear I have to see if that will help us win.

The second game is Houston at San Francisco 8:30PM EST

Both teams are 2-2. Houston was supposed to be amazing this year. Eh. They don’t look so good. As for San Francisco, they were the front runner of the NFC, until they lost to Seattle and the Colts. Teams have figured out the read-option and have limited Kaepernick.

The most interesting thing is, both teams lost to Seattle.

So what will this game tell us? It will tell us whether Houston or SF merely got defeated by a great team, or if they may not be that great after all.

My money is on San Francisco. Kaepernick is an explosive quarterback, and that is where the Houston Texans will realize that Schaub didn’t just have an off game against Seattle, but has bigger issues at being quarterback.

On a side note, I always loved Matt Flynn. Poor Matt Flynn just got demoted to 3rd string at the Raiders. Ugh. Can’t we just take him back in GB?

Good luck, and as always, Go Green Bay.

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Go For Two: Playoffs! Green Bay at Niners

aol.sportingnews.com (image courtesty of)

Come on Matthews, I want the Packers to win!

GB at Niners 8:00PM ET

Okay, here’s the deal. I don’t want to play the Niners. Atlanta? Absolutely. Seahawks? Hell, yes. The Niners? I don’t like the way that cookie might crumble.

Green Bay has some flaws. One big one, protecting against the run, was taken care of last week. But it was taken care of because we didn’t have to worry about the Viking’s quarterback, Webb, at all. We won that game, and I’m pumped. The only problem is, the match-up that it now presents. The Packers now get their second, or maybe first, biggest flaw exposed — our inability to protect Aaron Rodgers. Our offensive line is disastrous. Aaron Rodgers is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league. Not the distinction the current reigning league MVP was hoping to achieve this year.

So, I know! Let’s play the third best team in total defense — the Niners. Yay (insert sarcasm)! Let’s play against the Smith brothers! Yay! Justin Smith will be active for the game, but we can only hope, that after a month off, he’s a little rusty and a bit overwhelmed.

Green Bay needs to hope that Mr. Kaepernick is in awe of the playoffs and is stuck looking at the grand scale of it all instead of putting in a good performance. The Packers also need to be hoping that they got a little practice against the read-option when playing Webb last week. PLUS, one can only hope the ability to stop the run can carry over from the Vikings playoff game to Frank Gore this week, because the Packers won’t get the privilege of playing against such a weak quarterback this time.

Ah, the playoffs. The time I pull out my hair, take tums, and can’t decide between sitting, standing, and pacing during the game. I usually do all three.

As always, GO PACK!

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