Hello Wisconsin: Consistent Improvement Sets Packers Apart from the Crowd

The Packers are increasingly looking like the cream of the crop in the NFL.

No, they’re not running through the competition with ease and blowing out teams left and right.

No, they don’t have a quarterback playing like a most valuable player.

But despite these facts, the Green Bay Packers have managed to outperform preseason expectations en route to an 8-2 start.

Had Aaron Rodgers not had to sit out a game due to COVID-19, the Packers would almost certainly be 9-1 right now and alone at the top of the league in with their record. As it is, their 8-2 record is matched only by the Tennessee Titans, who lost an MVP contender of their own, and the Arizona Cardinals, who the Packers already defeated on their home turf.

The Packers are in the midst of what was supposed to be the toughest stretch of their season. If they take down the Vikings this weekend, they’ll be a win against the Rams away from getting through a difficult five games with a cool 4-1 record.

The Packers have also played primarily on the road in the first 10 games of the season. After a trip to Minnesota, four of their final six games are at home in Green Bay.

Most importantly, the defense is playing the best football we’ve seen out of it in quite some time.

The advanced analytics still don’t like the Packers very much, on offense *or* defense. But if there’s any team in the NFL that has been consistently passing the eye test, it’s the Packers. Other than a couple outliers (a stinker to open the season in New Orleans and the game without Rodgers in Kansas City), the Packers have provided a remarkably consistent output from week to week, and have steadily improved throughout the course of the season.

But here’s a big deal: only two teams in the league (New Orleans and New England) have allowed fewer points than the Packers, and one of them (New Orleans) has only played nine games. This despite that 38-point embarrassment the defense allowed in week one.

I tend to roll my eyes when people look for parallels between Packer teams and past iterations of the team, particularly championship squads. But the parallels with the 2010 team (and I know, I’m cringing as I type this because it’s so overdone) are almost too glaring to ignore.

The massive number of injuries. The tough defensive play. The offensive struggles and less-than-perfect quarterback play. The midseason additions. The presence of strong veteran leaders combined with young up-and-comers making a name for themselves.

Last year’s Packers felt like they were on a storybook march to a championship that felt almost inevitable. They were winning pretty, they had the talent on both sides of the ball, and they were remarkably lucky with injuries.

There’s not a whole lot that’s pretty about this year’s Packers team, and rather than a romp to the postseason it’s been more like a slog. 

But perhaps that’s going to make all the difference once the postseason arrives and the Packers need to finish off tough opponents. They’ve been put through the ringer and despite all the adversity they continue to improve. The defensive play is significantly improved from last year, and could finally be enough to put this team over the top.

I’m not making any predictions at this point. There’s a lot of football left to go. 

But what I do know is that the Packers don’t have anything to fear from other teams in the NFC. In a season with a lot of flawed teams, the Packers have been on a consistent upward trajectory. They’re not the stars of the highlight reels this year, but they’re winning football games in tough, sustainable fashion.

That’s something to be excited about.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

In a bit of a departure for me, I’m not going to discuss one of my recent favorite craft beer finds. Instead, I’m going with a macro standard that is pure Wisconsin: Miller High Life.

I was out at a local corner bar the other day, where I always grab High Life on tap (it’s just a buck-fifty, after all). There’s just something really satisfying about sipping on the champagne of beers when you’re sitting in a townie bar surrounded by regulars and your standard Wisconsin corner bar decor. 

I don’t really drink a whole lot of macros, because I just don’t really enjoy most of them. The flavor is weak or unpleasant, and I much prefer to give my money to hyper-local companies that produce better-quality beer, especially given the sheer variety of options available.

But that being said, if I’m going to drink a domestic macro, it’s almost certainly going to be High Life (or Miller Lite, if I’m going to a tailgate). There’s nothing particularly special or frilly about High Life, but you know exactly what you’re going to get every time.

I also have a lot of positive memories associated with High Life. 

It was one of the first beers I started drinking, and it brings me back to days in Madison sitting on the front porch waiting to walk over to Camp Randall.

It was the beer that was always in stock at a friend’s cottage on the Rock River in Janesville. We’d spend long days out there at their homemade shooting range, or playing paintball, or throwing the frisbee, or messing around in the river, and there would always be plenty of High Life in the fridge to refresh yourself.

It’s the beer I always drink when I go to a bar in my hometown owned by a friend I graduated high school with. 

It’s a beer you can always expect to find on tap at random supper clubs in the northwoods.

Frequently around the holidays I get the champagne bottle style of High Life (pictured above) just because I find it ridiculous.

Is it a great beer? Absolutely not, but I’ll be damned if it’s not satisfying.

Congratulations to new owners of Packers stock!

A hearty congratulations to all those of you who become new owners of the Green Bay Packers this week in the team’s most recent stock sale!

I unfortunately was not among them--just no way I could make the financials work this year. Hopefully someday I can join the ranks.

It was entirely unsurprising to see all the haters come out on the day of the stock sale, Mike Florio chief among them. It feels like every time the stock sale discourse starts up again, there are those who feel it necessary to pretend as though Packer fans don’t know exactly what they’re getting from the stock sale.

Literally everyone knows it’s not stock in the traditional sense. But for some reason, the trolls enjoy portraying Packer fans as rubes who are getting worked over by their favorite team.

The Packers have found a method of keeping the team financially solvent and maintaining high-quality facilities without having to threaten a move or implement massive taxes on Brown County residents. Packer fans from around the world are basically able to contribute a donation to the team to ensure it stays in place. The stock certificate one gets in return is a really awesome, tangible reminder of the connection between the team and the fans.

Those who hate on the stock are purposefully missing the point. And as I said on Twitter several weeks ago, you can immediately tell who’s worth listening to and who’s an insufferable know-it-all asshole based on the way they participate in Packers stock-related discourse.

AJ Dillon has become an important weapon

Before the season started, I predicted AJ Dillon would run for at least 700 yards on the ground this year.

Not only is DIllon on pace to exceed that mark, but he’s also on pace to have over 1,000 scrimmage yards. This means the Packers could very conceivably have two running backs to surpass 1,000 total scrimmage yards, a rare occurrence for any franchise and especially the Packers. It certainly hasn’t happened in my lifetime.

Dillon is an absolute bowling ball of a runner, but has also enhanced his versatility this year as he’s significantly improved as a pass catcher. The Packers are lining him up all over the field and he’s producing everywhere.

He’s a throwback player who’s also capable of playing in a hyper-modern offense. I never was someone who bought into the whole “this is a terrible draft pick” bit with Dillon, but I definitely am pleasantly surprised to see him becoming such an important part of the team in year two. 

He’s easy to root for, is fun to watch, and can we just talk about those Lambeau Leaps this weekend? Sheesh, talk about making up for embarrassment from his attempt a season ago.

With Jones out for at least a couple games with his MCL injury, it’s going to be interesting to watch the AJ Dillon show.

Around the NFC North

Here we go once again around the NFC North leading into week 11.

-The CHICAGO BEARS are coming out of a bye and now get to play host to the Ravens before traveling to Detroit for Thanksgiving football, after which they play the Cardinals and Packers. It’s a tough four-game stretch for a team that’s basically out of it already anyway. There’s a non-zero chance that when the Bears play Green Bay next on December 12, Matt Nagy’s job could be on the line.

-The DETROIT LIONS have figured out how to not lose a football game, so, you know, WATCH OUT WORLD! All it took was a frequently underachieving Steelers team to also lose its starting quarterback to COVID-19. Will the Lions continue this momentum into this weekend against the Browns and pull out another tie?! Only time will tell!

-The MINNESOTA VIKINGS have been alternating wins and losses, and after a victory against the Chargers they now are lined up for defeat at home against the Packers. The Vikings continue to do just enough to keep themselves out of premium draft range and to justify keeping around Kirk Cousins and Mike Zimmer, so good on them for being fully committed to mediocrity. 

Three Packers assistant coaches on the “prospects under 45” watch list on NFL.com

For the fifth year in a row, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero put together a list of coaching prospects under the age of 45 that could draw some attention in the offseason. 

One of the headliners was offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who interviewed in Atlanta this past offseason and has been a favorite of players since arriving in Green Bay. Hackett could well be seen as a high-energy culture changer. Despite the fact that he doesn’t call plays, he’s clearly earned the respect of his players and has been a big part of implementing a very successful offense in Green Bay.

I’d be surprised if the Packers make it through another offseason with Hackett remaining on their payroll.

Two other assistants were honorable mentions in the article: passing game coordinator and QB coach Luke Getsy (37) and OL coach and run game coordinator Adam Stenavich (38).

Getsy will likely get crack as a coordinator somewhere, and could even be an internal promotion should Hackett get hired elsewhere. What Stenavich has done with the offensive line this season is nothing short of miraculous, and almost certainly has opened the eyes of front offices around the league. 

It’s been a while since the Packers have had a coaching staff that had assistants that were actually seen as potential head coaching material. Matt LaFleur has assembled quite a crew in his time in Green Bay, and the downside of success is that it doesn’t take long before other teams around the league try to replicate your success--often with your own people.

Good luck hunters!

Saturday is essentially a state holiday here in Wisconsin as gun season opens for deer. I am not a hunter myself, not quite having the stomach for it, but many of my family members and friends are, so I get to reap the rewards without having to partake in the actual activity, which is fine by me.

My father-in-law is a particularly enthusiastic hunter. He’s already spent quite a bit of time in tree stands on his 35-acre central Wisconsin property with his bows, but I know he’s been eagerly anticipating gun season. 

My wife was so used to growing up with an avid hunting family that she never actually had a beef hamburger or steak until she was at least in high school. It was always venison steaks, ground venison, venison roasts, and of course, bear meat in the years when he’d go bear hunting. 

Never having hunted myself, I cannot really connect with the experience of heading out to the woods and sitting in a tree stand or shack all day. However, it is practically a religion to so many folks in the state and it is ingrained in our local culture.

If you are partaking this weekend or over the week that follows, good luck!

Prediction for Packers vs. Vikings

The Vikings may very well give the Packers a bit of a hard time this weekend. It’s a divisional matchup between two teams that know each other quite well. You generally don’t expect a cakewalk any time you’re playing a road divisional game.

That being said, there’s just little reason for me to think the Packers will lose this game. There’s a significant deficit in talent and coaching, and with the Packers’ defense playing the way it is at the moment I have a hard time seeing them losing to pretty much anyone.

I’d expect yet another slow start, but ultimately the Packers win by a couple scores and the early frustrations become a distant memory.

Packers 27, Vikings 17

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

5 points

Comments (50)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Turophile's picture

November 18, 2021 at 06:12 am

I don't agree with the "massive number of injuries", though there have been more than in the past two years.

It would be closer to the truth to say that the average number of injuries the Packers have had included key players like Bakhtiari, Alexander, A. Jones and Z.Smith, who are all premium players. The loss of C Myers and TE Tonyan hurt too, as did the clutch of WR injuries.

7 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 18, 2021 at 06:52 am

Compared to last yeat it's massive. Although I agree with you that it's mostly been unlucky and hit oir best players hardest.

7 points
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flackcatcher's picture

November 18, 2021 at 02:54 pm

Yes, the Packers of the past two years avoided the injury god. Just our bad luck that he got around to us this year...

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CoachDino's picture

November 20, 2021 at 12:59 am

last year was bad as well lt,rt,rg for season, hb for season, te, c, all wrs, both rbs, same time for agame. on defense were lower and lancaster the only ones who didnt? 2019 was the anomoly.

0 points
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murf7777's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:40 am

Your right about “key” players being injured. I read some report that we have the most lost time to “key” players in the NFL this season. Quite an accomplishment by the coaching and mgmt staff. GPG

8 points
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dobber's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:12 am

Some of that is real conjecture: in 2020, the Packers lost Lane Taylor right off to injury and he accounted for a large piece of starter games lost to injury...but I'm not convinced he would've held that role and that it wasn't addition by subtraction.

3 points
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flackcatcher's picture

November 18, 2021 at 02:53 pm

That Packer team would have moved Taylor to the other side on the O Line. He was their third or fourth-best player in a transition year. Still better than Jenkins in his rookie year.

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porupack's picture

November 18, 2021 at 06:40 am

<<<<Dillon is an absolute bowling ball of a runner....>>>>

I think he is improving as it seems he is initiating contact with defenders more with his pads, and therefore is becoming more of bowling ball. My impressions of his runs in the first 6 games was that he went down surprisingly easy, and that he often got tripped up or shoved off balance. But now, he is hitting, and maximizing his size/speed combo, rather than try to be elusive. He is becoming more Derrick Henry.

9 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:31 am

He's starting to dictate the contact instead of allowing the defender to. This means the defender is less likey to be able to hang on and drag him down. Ahman Green was really good at that. He dictated the contact and just bounced off defenders and they had a hard time getting a good grip on him for a tackle.

9 points
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murf7777's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:48 am

Dillon seems to always go forward regardless of who hits him. Quadzilla rarely gets stopped at first contact.

A runner who reminds me of Henry is Wisconsin 17 year old kid wonder Braleon Allen. This kid will be in the NFL and unless injured, will become a valuable starter.

3 points
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Razer's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:50 am

...Dillon seems to always go forward regardless of who hits him...

Dillon is good at this but Aaron Jones is always falling forward for extra yards. Jones has been the best value for the draft buck since Bakhtiari. We have an awesome backfield on this team

6 points
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NickPerry's picture

November 18, 2021 at 06:42 am

I really like this years team. Last year was FUN, I love when the Packers score 40-burgers and blow teams out. I'll take a blowout win anytime over a tightly fought 2 point win. The blowouts are much better for me and my blood pressure. That Cincinnati game damn near killed me as did the Arizona game, and last weeks game vs Seattle I damn near wore a hole out on my rug in front of the TV pacing.

BUT, the defense this year has been fun to watch. I kept waiting for the bottom to fall out but it hasn't despite all the injuries. Now, I can't wait to see this defense playing (crossing fingers) with Z Smith and Alexander. Can you imagine a rotation of a healthy Za'Darius Smith, hopefully a healthy Gary by years end, Preston Smith with the way he's been playing? Add in "Alexander Island" with the way this secondary is playing, and having a All Pro ILB in Campbell...Oh hell yes!!

Prediction for the Vikings... I predict Mike Zimmer will get all red in the face, just like he always does when he starts whining. BUT I think this game will be close foe about 2 1/2 quarters. The Packers and Dillon will start to wear down the Vikings defense and win the game pulling away in the 4th. Packers win 31-16 holding yet another offense UNDER 17 points!

Awwww Deer season... I used to go hunting for one reason...My dad LOVED it. Personally it was one of the most boring things in the world to me, especially since I was such a hyper kid and young adult. Had they known about ADD or ADHD I'm sure I would have been diagnosed with it. But that time in the woods, especially in my early 20's with my dad was special. It meant SO much to him. My Dad passed when he was young otherwise I think I'd still be deer hunting in Wisconsin every November.

13 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:34 am

Sorry about your Dad. I'll send him a thought when I'm sitting in the woods this weekend. I'm looking forward to the boredom, AKA peace, and having things slow down for a change.

12 points
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NickPerry's picture

November 18, 2021 at 04:38 pm

Thank you Jeremy, that's very kind. Actually I kinda wonder if I would enjoy it much more now. I'm older, MUCH older and a lot less hyper. I hope you have a great weekend of hunting!

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dobber's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:46 am

Good memories with loved ones are priceless, Nick. Thanks for relating that.

8 points
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croatpackfan's picture

November 18, 2021 at 10:46 am

"Memories make us rich!" - remember who owes that sentence?

3 points
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NickPerry's picture

November 18, 2021 at 04:41 pm

Thanks dobber, they certainly are priceless.

3 points
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Swisch's picture

November 19, 2021 at 10:37 am

As a fellow sufferer of ADHD, I can relate Nick. I would love to hunt and fish, but it would be so boring to me as to be almost an agony. I'd either be sleeping or pacing.
I would also love to read more, but there again there's the ADHD. I'd love to be a better listener with my wife, but alas.
I had a bittersweet relationship with my dad, but am glad to have spent some good time with him in his last years before his death in 2012. He grew up on the northside of Milwaukee near Hampton and Sheridan in the parish of Holy Redeemer; went to Messmer High School; then worked his way through Marquette as an engineering student in the 1950s (the first of all his cousins to get a college degree from seven aunts and uncles on my grandfather's side).
Only in recent years am I beginning to appreciate how hard life was for him and his family. My grandfather was a German-Slavic immigrant as a child from Central Europe (what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and -- after being one of the last of the horse cavalry out West in the 1920s -- became a bus driver for the City of Milwaukee.
***
Although I may come off here at CHTV as overly idealistic, and moralistic, and Pollyannaish, I came from a background in which my father and grandfather were both severe alcoholics. My dad and mom had a contentious divorce in my teens. My dad was alternately charismatic and cruel in unpredictable swings of mood like the weather, and never seemed to realize how savage he could be.
I still love him very much without wanting to minimize his faults. When I was almost 11 in 1973, we moved to suburban Chicago -- and he eventually defected to the Bears, while also also rooting for the Packers secondarily; while I stayed loyal to the Packers, while also rooting for the Bears secondarily. He was somewhat mystified by my intense devotion to the Packers, since we moved away from Wisconsin when I was age 3 (although we visited Milwaukee, and my mom's family in Cedarburg, for vacations).
The day for me and my two brothers and sister to visit him and my stepmom after the divorce was Sunday, so we watched a lot of Bears and Packers games together, playing touch football with a Nerf ball in the backyard during halftime. He wanted me to be a sports announcer or writer in part because I would make observations during the games that would be uncannily echoed by the announcers.
My dad chafed against my idealism to the point of anger as far as being my being actively pro-life in college, for example, and much later opposing Barack Obama getting an honorary law degree from Notre Dame.
Also, after working so hard all his life, he was exasperate by my health problems that limited my working career, and which were elusive to understand. As an example, it was just last summer that I went to the Mayo Clinic and was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome -- for the first time in all my life.
As I understand it from subsequent reading, this condition (ME/CFS) can be caused by inflammation of the brain (possibly caused by an autoimmune reaction to an illness, or perhaps even an adverse reaction to certain vaccines made from mouse brain tissue). Also, there may be a family history of mental health issues that were unknown and untreated, and were coped with by alcoholism -- although, fortunately, that's one problem I haven't had.
***
However in the end, thanks be to God, my dad and I reconciled to a good extent. Sports had always been one of the things in which we were compatible for camaraderie. Along with sharing television games and the Chicago Tribune sports page, he went to a lot of my football and basketball games from grade school through high school. Plus we seemed to never fight on the golf course.
To conclude, please forgive my length. Since this thread has been around for a good amount of time, perhaps not that many people will read this long comment. I just put it out there in case anyone may appreciate it -- and thanks to anyone who has listened..
Now, at 59, I'm getting to be a rambling old-timer (if I wasn't already in younger days, due possibly to the racing mind of ADHD). Over the years, I've learned more and more that life is a mix of good and bad experiences for just about everyone. I try more and more to see the virtues in people even in disagreements. With that perspective, my sincere best to all of my companions here at CHTV.

2 points
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NickPerry's picture

November 19, 2021 at 05:45 am

Swisch...Wow thank you for sharing that. I did read the entire post, some parts more than once. We have much in common in the way we grew up and some other things.

It's cool to learn about some of the people behind these names here on CHTV. I appreciate what you had to say here in this post and all your other posts. Thanks again for sharing that.

2 points
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Swisch's picture

November 19, 2021 at 10:32 am

Thanks to you, Nick.
Coming here to CHTV this morning, I wasn't so sure that what I wrote above was a good idea.
I really appreciate your positivity.
All the best to you.

0 points
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porupack's picture

November 18, 2021 at 06:54 am

Yeah, have to predict a Packer win this weekend, but I'd never count any NFL team out. This year was a bit exaggerated in the bottom feeders coming in to knock off top teams; the jaguars, Jets and Dolphins knocked down some championship contenders. Every top team laid some stinker of games this year. And the spell of RWilson, PMahomes, LJacksond and all, you just can assure that no pedigree, even one earned with an 8-2 record wins games, but meticulous preparation and game strategy and ingame adjustments....(and individual performance, a little luck, and refs....and...etc). So, MLF, Barry and the staff you mention are really doing their thing, and yeah, GB might lose a few of their assistants. I've harped on leadership for long time, and now I'm here to acknowledge my respect for the coaching staff minus the Jeffe de Special Teams.

5 points
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stockholder's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:20 am

I believe your scared. Rodgers has been amazing. He continues to deal with new faces week after week. This Defense has stepped up. And we have been treated to the best LB play in years. This team has shown so much versatility. And Rodgers is the main reason for that. His Confidence is contagious. The defensive unit now believes in themselves. ( And were just not use to that.) We look for those who are injured to return. The Bust labels are off. The Nick Perrys were dumped. And players are making the most of their chances. So Barry can coach!!! But it still starts with Rodgers. If you want to win. He's still are best chance.

3 points
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jurp's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:24 am

Dude, is English your first language? Not trying to pick on you, just trying to decipher your posts and it'd be easier if I knew what your first language is. I love hearing from our non-US fans like CroatPackFan and Fabio.

Oh, and you're still a lousy football analyst, but again, if you're not from around here, so to speak, that makes some sense.

2 points
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croatpackfan's picture

November 18, 2021 at 10:49 am

I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say/write, and that my restricted football knowledge is not so terrible...

Thank you for reading my comments!

2 points
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stockholder's picture

November 18, 2021 at 11:10 am

Jurp?

3 points
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jurp's picture

November 18, 2021 at 04:58 pm

My name is my initials, pronounced as a word.

0 points
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jurp's picture

November 18, 2021 at 05:00 pm

I have no problems with your posts, and I've had a warm feeling for Croatia since the 1980s, when my wife worked with a lovely person who was a Croatian ex-pat. About 6 years ago, my daughter spent a week in Croatia, based in Zadar, and absolutely loved the country and people :)

0 points
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Razer's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:36 am

...They’re not the stars of the highlight reels this year, but they’re winning football games in tough, sustainable fashion...

Well said Tim. I like this team. It is playing solid football on two sides of the ball. I like the balance on offense. Rodgers isn't playing great ball but he is using more of the players, particularly the backs. The preoccupation with Davante Adams was helping teams defense our offense. Need a TE to step up.

Adam Stenavich is a must keep assistant. He is coaching up the middle and late rounders to form a decent O-line. We should have a very solid line once Bak and Meyers get back.

If there is a game that the Vikings should win against the Pack it is this weekend. We will be without Aaron Jones, Rashad Gary, Mercilus and generally running on fumes. The defense needs to get pressure on Cousins or that offense will do damage. Need Aaron Rodgers to have a great game and convert on long drives. Packers 24-21

5 points
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murf7777's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:55 am

From what I read this morning, Gary is expected to play with a brace on his elbow. That is great news if it comes to fruition. Gary, Preston, Clark and the improved Lowry will get the necessary pressure.

One very important ingredient to our recent success is our new punter, he is now leading the NFL in Net punting yards. Gutey continues to do wonders picking up cast offs that are performing at a high level. I think your 24-21 is pretty accurate, but I’ll go with 24-17 Pack. Once again the defense holds a team to under 20.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:37 am

Playing with that kind of bracing means playing with a significant functional loss. It may be better than the alternative, but it’s still a significant downgrade.

4 points
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dobber's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:50 am

I think the key will be honesty: when will his limitations make him a lesser player than the next guy on the depth chart? They need to make sure they utilize Garvin or Galaieiaouia in those situations where Gary's lack of functionality might work against him.

5 points
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dobber's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:16 am

I keep coming back to Milt Hendrickson, who the Packers brought over from Baltimore early in Gute's tenure as GM, who had a reputation as being an OL scout specialist. I think the Packers have taken shrewd shots at OL in the middle rounds and as UDFAs since then, and he might have a lot to do with that. I think the Packers have done a good job of locating moldable pieces at low cost.

10 points
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Since&#039;61's picture

November 18, 2021 at 09:41 am

Excellent point Dobber. That has proven to be a key move for the Packers. Thanks, Since ‘61

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 18, 2021 at 06:53 pm

He should be the next GM. You see his fingerprints all over this team.

1 points
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Lphill's picture

November 18, 2021 at 07:48 am

Nothing more refreshing than Miller Lite .

-5 points
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jurp's picture

November 18, 2021 at 10:07 am

Uh yeah - just about any other non-light beer. Warm piss tastes better than Lite, according to an old roommate who was given a beer bottle full of it instead of a beer, as a "prank".

I will say, though, that after any physical activity in the sun on a 90+ degree day, any non-dark beer at or near 35 degrees always does taste great.

0 points
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dobber's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:07 am

I think the Packers are at a "turn" in the season. This is a point where championship teams really start fine-tuning and turning it on, building momentum, and looking like championship teams. I would argue that the 2020 season in GB was mostly level: they were basically that same team in January that they were in September, and the growth curve was fairly flat. We're seeing that growth now on the defensive side of the ball...this has become a very formidable unit, and its physicality has grown indicating better comfort and confidence in what they're doing. When they line up against a physical OL that's pretty darn good (their Achilles heel in the past) I don't think they'll be intimidated.

I didn't think I'd be saying this, but the turn has to come from the offensive side of the ball. Sure, they can control TOP and they don't turn the ball over, but they've got to become a unit that finishes and more reliably scores 7s. Teams that don't finish drives let opponents hang around at the end of games. Just like teams with a high-powered offense and weak defense, teams with a dominant defense and a middling offense--and by most measures, that's what this is--have a hard time winning titles and get bounced in the playoffs. I'm hoping that getting Bakhtiari back and settling the OL will be the key. I want to believe this is a title contender, but until it becomes more proficient at finishing those long drives, I'm not there yet.

"45's..."

One of the challenges to being a winning team is the desire of other teams to poach your coaches--they all want a piece of what works, which makes continuity a hard thing to come by. There are reasons to think that LaF might be able to weather this--his hiring of Joe Barry--and reasons to think he might not--Maurice Drayton. He's still got mostly his original coaches in place, but that will change. I would not be surprised to see Stenavich or Hackett get a promotion to "Associate Head Coach" just to make it harder for other teams to poach them, but I think Luke Butkus will be running his own OL room next season somewhere.

"There’s a non-zero chance that when the Bears play Green Bay next on December 12, Matt Nagy’s job could be on the line."

He's been riding a privileged hot-seat for two years: somehow he keeps getting the benefit of the doubt and they keep hanging on. It's playoffs or bust for him--and probably Pace, too--and IMO it's been that way since last January. Frankly, I don't want them to win another game--ever--but anything that keeps that bumbling ownership, coaching, and management crew around is a plus. Sadly, I think the Lions beat the Bears on Thanksgiving, and that will seal Nagy's fate.

"Packers-Vikings prediction"

I'm not nearly so optimistic this week. The Packers are going to take a couple knocks, yet, and I think this is one of them. Cousins is playing well and this is a very diverse offense playing on their home turf in a rivalry game that they need. That said, Mike Pettine knew exactly how to humble Cousins--mostly by getting in his face--and we'll see if the Packers can do that this week. Add to that the fact that the Packer passing game hasn't been the unit we all expect to see, and I think the Packers get outscored this week...Vikings 31, Packers 24. I hope I'm wrong.

"Good luck hunters"

Hunting, not just in WI but nationally, is a cultural thing. If you don't come from a hunting family it probably doesn't make sense. Growing up on a dairy farm just north of Lake Geneva, hunting was part of our culture. It's not necessarily about the kill, but about the interaction with family, the planning, and the competition (yes, it's like competing with the deer), not to mention the reminiscing and storytelling. It creates a common bond for us...even now that the family farm is gone and we're hunting in new places.

8 points
8
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:00 am

2010 Parallels - I started getting this vibe the last few weeks. Obviously there are differences, but one of the vibes I got was the loss of Tonyan. Which reminded me of the loss of Finley that year. How it took a while for the offense to gain traction. They found the offense when they found the running game.
On defense we have our best Safety Duo since then. We have our best ILB since Bishop. Our DL is getting pressure, and we have the CB's. We had an UDFA rookie CB that year that was blazing fast. This year we have a Blazing fast rookie 1st round pick. There are a lot of similarities for sure.

Dillon - With Defenses playing so much 2 shell and many going with 3 CB's, this creates a lot of light boxes. This is a perfect reason for the offense to turn to Dillon they will need to start bringing a defender down to stop him. Even when Jones comes back, Dillon is the guy we really need to make sure gets his touches.

6 points
6
0
Hematite's picture

November 18, 2021 at 09:08 am

I'm a beer connoisseur and I always enjoy your beer portion of your articles.
I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so I really don't have access to most of the beer that you promote.
This week is different.
I'm 73 years old and drank Miller High Life for over40 years.
If I walked into a bar they automatically set the champagne of bottled beer in front of me.
Then I got into a beef with the distributor over my youngest sons wedding reception.
Since then I now drink Pabst Blue Ribbon.
And I love it.😁

0 points
3
3
jurp's picture

November 18, 2021 at 10:18 am

My VIkings-Packers predictions:

1. Dalvin Cook will run through the defense on their opening drive, setting up Jefferson or their TE for an easy touchdown. Vikings fans will be skyhigh and noisy after this.

2. The Viking yodeling horn (or whatever the hell that obnoxious POS is) will be annoying.

3. The Packers first drive will be a 3- or 4-and-out, followed by a booming punt.

4. Cousins will throw at least two interceptions.

5. A Viking RB or Cousins will fumble.

6. Adams will catch at least 5 balls, with at least one TD.

7. Dillon will have over 100 yards from scrimmage.

8. The Packers Special Teams will bail out the offense with a long run-back.

9. Crosby will miss one or two field goals.

10. Vikings fans will have hope into the fourth quarter.

11. Packers get the ball in the fourth and finish the game with a 9 or 10 minute drive.

12. Final score is Packers 21, Vikings 20, thanks to a last minute Packers TD by Dillon or a TE.

13. Vikings fans will whine about the refs and come up with a host of reasons why a perfect non-call should've been called and why a perfect call shouldn't have been called. They will continue with their theory that the NFL is conspiring against their team to keep it from winning a Super Bowl, and most of them will call for Zimmer's head.

2 points
5
3
dobber's picture

November 18, 2021 at 10:29 am

This sums it up nicely, Jurp.

0 points
3
3
stockholder's picture

November 18, 2021 at 11:19 am

Crosby won't miss.

6 points
6
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jurp's picture

November 18, 2021 at 05:01 pm

I would hope note, but I'm sure he will :(

0 points
0
0
croatpackfan's picture

November 18, 2021 at 11:11 am

Win is a win. This one would be the Win.

Interesting prophecy. I have no objection as it finish with win. But I would prefer easier path to new point in win column.

2 points
3
1
Igotthisround's picture

November 18, 2021 at 03:14 pm

#13 is spot-on! I live in MN, we must know some of the same people.

1 points
1
0
Qoojo's picture

November 18, 2021 at 01:36 pm

It's Vikings' superbowl week.

6 points
6
0
RudeDogDan's picture

November 18, 2021 at 11:40 am

Your mention of Miller High Life brought back memories. 10 years ago my so and I reroofed my daughter's house. Complete strip to the rafters. We got it done in one day, only 13 square, but still a lot of work. When we were almost done one of the neighbors came by with a box in a garbage bag under his arm. He asked if the house was ours. Said my daughter was in the front yard. He walked away but said he had never seen two people work harder than us. After he talked with my daughter we saw him walk home, without the package. My daughter then came back to us with the package, a case of Miller High Life. She said he said anyone who worked as hard as we did deserved a good beer. I hadn't had one in about 20 years, having switched to craft beers too, but it sure tasted good. I still drink it occasionally today.

3 points
5
2
Starrbrite's picture

November 18, 2021 at 08:49 pm

Tim—I thought you might list Drayton as a coaching prospect; I guess you missed that one.
I was in attendance from out of State for the Seattle game. After hearing nothing but rave reviews about the micro brew, “Spotted Cow,” I had one at Sammy’s Pizza. It was very good and I purchased a couple 12-packs to share with friends in my home State.
I salute your comments regarding the stock sale. I’m a stockholder from ‘97 and have now purchased a couple more for my two children.

0 points
0
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Spock's picture

November 19, 2021 at 09:21 am

Drayton, lol. Still don't get the love for Spotted Cow. I got back to Wisconsin 6 years ago (I've lived in Tucson, AZ since 2005) and couldn't wait to try one to see what all the hoopla was about. Maybe it was a bad batch but the beer I tried was completely unimpressive. My dad was in charge of plant maintenance for the entire Miller Brewing facility in Milwaukee so I had a lot of Miller beer in my teens(I always had a lot of "help" emptying my car trunk when I came back to my college dorm at U.W. Stout from a trip home to Waukesha) although I much preferred the "Milwaukee's Best" they bottled back then. Coming from a hunting family it's all about the peace and tranquility in a tree stand and some of the crazy stuff that happens; once I had a squirrel come down the tree I was in and literally walk down my body from my shoulder to my foot! I don't hunt any more but have a lot of good memories and one life-changing bad one (I was shot in the knee by an inexperienced hunter who'd just finished 6 weeks of "hunter safety" training, which he forgot in his excitement to make a shot.). If I hadn't been a good deer hunter my wife and I wouldn't have been able to eat red meat the first 3 years we were married. Lean meat an lean times back then! Once I managed to get a lucky shot with an arrow to bag a partridge which was delicious. My wife said I should try and get another one next time. I said that was a once-in- a lifetime shot so she'd better not expect another, lol.
I think the Vikings game is going to be a close low scoring game. The Packers offense hasn't come close to 30 (and sometimes 20) points since week three against the 49ers. Maybe this is the week the Packers offense gets on track -and- the special teams is at least adequate. I'd feel more comfortable about this game if Aaron Rodgers had at least practiced once! Still, I always "expect" the Packers to prevail and MLF has done very, very, well against division opponents! GPG!

2 points
2
0
Starrbrite's picture

November 20, 2021 at 10:59 pm

I’m not a big beer guy, but I agree with you concerning “Spotted Cow.” It wasn’t extraordinary, but decent. Took some home to appease some friends.

1 points
1
0