Cory's Corner: The NFC North has juice again

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have won the NFC North five times in the last six years. And now that Rodgers is out, the division is about as tight as a holiday sweater.  

Apparently teams in the NFC North are sick and tired about getting kicked around. And because of that, the division is finally getting some juice back to it.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have won the NFC North five times in the last six years. And now that Rodgers is out, the division is about as tight as a holiday sweater.

“You want to be physical, but you don't want to be dirty,” said Packers’ sixth-year defensive tackle Mike Daniels. “We have had two division games and we have had a guy get knocked out in each game. When are we going to retaliate? I'm not saying knock a guy out, but I am saying make opposing offenses not too excited about having to line up across from us.”

The great thing about Daniels is that he’s honest. Green Bay’s defense must impose its will. With Davante Adams and Rodgers having suffered injuries to the Bears and Vikings, Daniels is being proactive about not letting anything like that happen again.

Daniels is the Packers’ bad cop. He will punish you physically, verbally and mentally before you understand how to become a Packer. Morgan Burnett is the good cop, or the ice to Daniels’ fire and brimstone.

Every football team needs a guy like Daniels. Mainly because football is a rough game and every team needs a sheriff to uphold the law between the white lines.

“We have to deliver some blows ourselves,” said Daniels. “I'm not saying knock anyone out, but let them know we are there and we mean business.”

Now if you’re a teammate of Daniels — especially if you’re Adams and Rodgers — you have to love what Daniels is saying.

This is the perfect time for something like this to come out. With the bye week littered with chatter about Martellus Bennett’s potential retirement distraction, this is something that will bring the locker room together.

Brett Hundley is going to need all the help he can get against a Detroit run defense that is entering Monday night’s game as a top 10 unit in the NFL. Which means, Hundley will be forced to be an actual NFL quarterback — not the quasi version everyone saw vs. New Orleans.

Will the refs be watching this game closer because of Daniels’ comments? Maybe. But proving intent is hard enough when you’re not playing a collision sport. The Packers must own the line of scrimmage to give Hundley a chance and if that means getting something extra after the whistle, so be it.

These words won’t make the Packers more talented, but it makes them a more cohesive unit. This team only trails the Vikings by two games in the win column, and we all know how unpredictable Minnesota is. Remember last year when the Vikings started 5-0, only to finish 8-8?

This division isn’t over folks and a statement like what Daniels said is what gets the juices flowing and kick starts a winning streak. 

-------------------

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

0 points

Comments (31)

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

November 06, 2017 at 06:47 am

To bad the Packers don't have a few more Mike Daniels on the roster. I'd say we USED to have a couple Guards who were the "Enforcer" type but we cut one and low-balled the other. Now I love me some Kenny Clark and Blake Martinez but they're not really the enforcer type players. Actually the ONLY player on the Packers who will knock out your two front teeth and step over you on his way off the field IS Daniels. Hopefully my Christmas wishes come true and John Dorsey will be named the Packers GM the Monday morning following week 17 and we're here starting talk about the draft.

As far as this week goes I'm not ready to buy into the Lions run defense being so tough, not just yet anyways. The Lions played the Cardinals week one and Giants week two. Neither of those teams has a RB to speak of. Johnson was out already and AP hadn't been signed. The Giants haven't had a RB since 2007! The Falcons ran well on them and the Saints shredded them before their bye. Now they did limit Bell to 76 yards on 25 carries but got toasted by a rookie WR to the tune of 176 receiving yards. They were also coming off their bye so I'm sure they spent 2 full weeks on how to stop Bell.

This might sound messed up but even if Rodgers was able to make it back the Packers won't have Home Field advantage. IMO without it they wouldn't have a prayer on the road in the playoffs. I'd much rather draft near the top 10 then to draft 22nd and get blown out again in the playoffs. Lets give John Dorsey some decent draft spots to work with his first draft in 2018.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:06 am

If you watch Clark play, he will knock your ass out. He constantly takes on double teams and rarely gets moved. He is an anchor to the DL. Daniels also does that.

I agree about the Lions run defense. And also Jones is special. He has vision to find creases. He isn't like Lacy who needs a hole to run through. He can fine a crease and make people miss. We haven't had a running back that can make the quick cuts like Jones in a quite a while.

There are different reports out about Rodgers. Who do you believe? Personally, if Rodgers can come back, I go for the Super Bowl. I don't care what the path is. I'm not afraid to take on anyone anywhere. The only 2 teams that I would not want to face on the road are Atlanta and Seattle. But honestly, both are beatable in there homes.

I'm not ready to sell out on the season.
I will say though in hindsight (looking at it from a post season view), if Rodgers 100% will not be back, then it honestly would be nicer to pick closer to top 10 then 20's. We can say what we want about Thompson but his average draft spot over the course of his 13 drafts is 23. How many instant impact players come from 23-32? Not as many as come from 10-20. It would be nice once and a while to pick up higher.

That being said, I'd rather be picking in the 20-30's then the teens each year.

0 points
0
0
HankScorpio's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:22 am

"The only 2 teams that I would not want to face on the road are Atlanta and Seattle. But honestly, both are beatable in there homes."

Atlanta is 4-4, good for 3rd in the NFC South. I doubt anyone has to worry about playing them in the playoffs in Atlanta. They are really looking like the proverbial fart in the wind (to quote the Pack's colorful ex-GM)

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:33 am

Honestly Atlanta might not even make it to the playoffs. Hell the Packers might not. I'm just saying that they are just one of the few teams I wouldn't want to face in the playoffs at their place.
Saints would be another one with the way their offense is playing.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:43 am

Seattle looks very flawed this year, too, and they'll have to scratch and claw to get a playoff spot. In all the quality of play in the league is down. It just makes the loss of #12 all that much more painful...

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:49 am

In all honesty, no team really scares me. Probably Philly is playing the best. Seattle is beatable. Dallas is beatable.
If we have Rodgers I would take anyone on.

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

November 06, 2017 at 05:05 pm

Clark doesn't have nearly the mean streak Daniels has. I hope I'm wrong but unless the Packers get Rodgers back I don't see them making it past 6 wins. I would rather pick in the 20's as well unless I KNOW they don't have a farts chance in the wind of doing anything in the playoffs. Hell Rodgers might not make it back.

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:13 am

Don't Agree on John Dorsey. The first thing he'd do is fire MM. Dorsey would suck up to the fans. I wish I knew a draft site that had his success rate. Reggie McKinzie was a better scout and GM. Packers management will not Force TT out. TT will endorse the next GM. My guess is still Wolf.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:30 am

I agree.

Everyone wants to talk about Dorsey and Schneider. Schneider goes for the homerun all the time and is willing to make whatever move, but not all of his moves have worked out. What made their team was his drafting the first few years.
His first draft he added Okung, Earl Thomas, Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond, Kam Chancellor. His 2nd draft he added KJ Wright, Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell. His 3rd draft he added Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson, Jeremy Lane. He built the core of his team in those 3 drafts. Since then, he has had more misses then hits.

In all honesty, I would rather go with the guy that has been groomed to take over. Which would be Wolf.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:45 am

In the end, doesn't Pete Carroll have some power in personnel decisions in Seattle? I don't think Schneider is running the show...he's got a copilot.

We keep saying "Wolf" for the next guy, but I'm willing to bet you he's not. Just a hunch.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:53 am

He might. I'm not sure to be honest how much either power either has. Regardless, Schneider was the GM during that stretch.

Wolf may not be. But to me I'd rather go with the guy being groomed to take over then to take someone else's cast off.

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

November 06, 2017 at 05:06 pm

He has final say in ALL personal moves.

0 points
0
0
HankScorpio's picture

November 06, 2017 at 08:01 am

Seattle is too aggressive and it has hurt their team. Whether that is Schnieder or Carroll or both is something I don't know.

Seattle''s o-line has been an issue for a good long time. I think it is the #1 reason why they don't have another SB title, or at least another appearance. That D is outstanding. At the start of their issues up front, they traded their best OL for Jimmy Graham. That move drew oohs and aahs from the "go all in' crowd. On field, that move has been a complete disaster.

They bought high (1st rnd pick) on Percy Harvin and sold low (6th rnd pick) a short time later.

Certainly the Carroll/Schnieder duo have had more than their fair share of success. But they have failures too. Big stinky failures that have hurt big.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 02:12 pm

He is on there.

That kind of shows you some of the mistakes Schneider made. He signed Flynn to a huge contract and basically was saved by Wilson. People don't talk about the huge contract they signed Flynn for because of Wilson.

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

November 06, 2017 at 05:14 pm

I'd much rather have a GM with a little hair on his than one without, just saying. I'd rather go down swinging not even take a swing.

You and I are never going to agree on Thompson and that's okay. I happen to think he's cost the Packers at least one maybe 2 more trips to the SB. There's no way of proving this obviously, just like there's no way of saying it wouldn't have happened.

0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

November 06, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I agree with everyone on this thread. The Packers will have an orderly process to pick TT successor. Still, to have such a deep bench at the front office (including Ball) is something most teams would beg for.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

November 06, 2017 at 03:13 pm

Is it possible that the deep bench you're talking about is CREATING the roster problems we've been talking about?

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 06:54 am

'This division isn’t over folks '

Wait for the pitch forks to come out...

In all honesty, no the division isn't over. Despite what most fans think. I'm not saying the Packers will win it or anything. I'm not saying they will make the playoffs. I'm just saying that nothing is set in stone as of today.

Last year the Packers record after 10 games was 4-6. Currently they are 4-3. Yes we don't have Rodgers, but we still have talent on our roster. And yes, they do have enough talent to win games. How many, that is to be determined.
Quite honestly, I think its more on the coaches and scheming to use the players the way they should be.

As far as talent we have more then enough fire power on offense. Nelson, Adams, Cobb, Jones, Montgomery, Kendricks, Bennett, plus an OL that is looking to play a full game together for the first time this year. On defense, Mathews is having one of his best years. Perry should be getting closer to himself. Daniels and Clark form one of the best groups of interior DL in the league. Martinez is playing at a pro bowl level right now. Clinton-Dix while he has struggled, he was a pro bowler last year. We should be seeing Biegel and Adams getting playing time tonight.

Again, we have enough talent, but now its on the coaches in getting the most out of those players, and its on McCarthy to scheme a game plan to work with Hundley. And its on Hundley to at the very least be an Average NFL starting QB. If he is an average NFL QB, the Packers will be right in it with the division leaders.

0 points
0
0
egbertsouse's picture

November 06, 2017 at 07:58 am

I feel like Jim Mora.....Playoffs!! playoffs??You’re talking playoffs?! Let’s see if we can beat somebody before we talk playoffs.

AR ain’t coming back this year, folks. We’re gonna be riding the Hundley train this year. Frankly, I’m concerned with how much his injury will affect AR long-term, will he return to 100% or will we he be less than that in the future.

0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

November 06, 2017 at 10:15 am

Yep. Win the next 2 division games, THEN talk about getting Rodgers back and going on a run. Minny will not go better than 3-2 in their next 5, and I really think 2-3 is what we can expect. But it won't matter by week 15 if the defense and Hundley don't pick it up.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 08:57 am

While I agree, why throw the towel in today? Last year we were 4-6 after 10 games. Lets let it play out and see where we are. So many people are already talking about the draft and throwing the towel in on the season.

I have heard different things. That Rodgers can come back, that he won't. I have no idea. But if he does have a chance, I'd rather be in position to go to the playoffs with Rodgers then to have him ready and not be in position.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

November 06, 2017 at 09:48 am

All we know is that with #12 on IR, we know when he COULD come back. That means that this team needs to be at least .500 over that stretch to preserve what's left of the record he built, and to give them a chance to win the division with a couple late-season divisional wins.

If they can't play .500 ball with Hundley over that stretch--and these next two divisional games are key to that--it's pretty much over. But they need Hundley to set them up for that...and to potentially build some confidence so that HE could be the one to orchestrate the late-season divisional wins.

0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

November 06, 2017 at 10:41 am

Right on Dobber.

I didn't say anywhere up above that I was throwing in the towel or giving up. On the contrary, I'll be watching, screaming my lungs out. I just so happen to think with my head (not my heart) that GB's D is trash and that Hundley won't be able to get the O to 25 - which is what it will IMO take to win tonight and next week. So, yeah, I think we're going to lose.

What I did infer (but didn't state explicitly) is that Hundley isn't as good as ARod and almost surely never will be. He's therefore not going to be able to pick up the slack for an eternally deficient defense. And further, that even if they improve, this defense will NEVER be a top 5 unit this year. They're not going to dominate teams on that side of the ball like Minny can. Ergo, "If Hundley and the defense don't both pick it up, it will be a moot point by week 15 anyway."

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2017 at 11:11 am

My post was kind of vague. I didn't really mean that your were saying to throw in the towel, more of other people are and I agreed with what you said.
We win the next couple of games who knows what can happen. So why throw the towel in now. That is essentially what i meant. Maybe if they lose the next few games, then we could, but even still we could go on a run. Last year we were 4-6 and won the remaining 6 games.

The defense doesn't have to be top 5 to be successful. If they are in the top 10-15 they can still win games. But Hundley has to play better.

The Packers remaining schedule looks like this.
Lions (3-4)
Bears (3-5)
Ravens (4-5)
Steelers (6-2)
Buccaneers (2-6)
Browns (0-8)
Panthers (6-3)
Vikings (6-2)
Lions (3-4)

That's a combined 33-39. Its a manageable schedule, even if we have an average NFL starting QB. The toughest remaining game will be the Steelers. I'm not saying they will win them all or half of them. Maybe they will win none. I have no idea. I'm just not throwing in the towel like a lot of people seem to have already.

0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

November 06, 2017 at 12:48 pm

This has been a real crazy year in the NFL. And not in a good way. Football wise, there is not one team in the league that is one injury away from having their season wiped out. Off the field, if half the stories I'm hearing about the NFL commissioners office are true, then Jerry Jones has a real good reason to end Goodell's tenure as soon as possible. Even with Rodgers out, with the NFL teams being as bad as they are, the Packers can still make a deep run this year. How nuts is that?

0 points
0
0
fastmoving's picture

November 06, 2017 at 01:44 pm

for every undereachiving team there are overachivers, like every year. the NFL is as good as ever. It was alway about parity and thats what makes football special.
the NBA complains about superteams, so there is always something to cry about.
Goodell is a normal commissioner and compared to Jones a genius. In such a position you have no chance to do it right. you will catch fire from all sides all the time, no matter what you do. and that would be no different even when Jones brings a handpicked guy in.
Football gets faster, more ahletic all the time and maybe that has something to do with the piling up injuries.
I got tickets for the game tonight and Im pretty excited about it. I know a lot of people think everything was better, even 10 years ago. If you know something about football, go and check the tape...........

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2017 at 10:18 am

Deleted

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2017 at 05:17 pm

I'm not throwing in the towel, but at the same time getting Rogers back at the very end of the year, if it means making the playoffs and having a quick exit, I rather he not come back. I'd rather just settle for beating the hell out of the Vikings at the end of the year, knocking them out of the playoffs and going to the draft with top 10 picks. Along the way I hope Hundley shows something, we play the rookies and other young players and get them some great experience. Losing a lot of close games if we are competitive is fine with me. Obviously not what I hoped for this year, but going into another post season with a Capers D?? I'll pass. Rather live to fight another day (next year) and save ourselves the embarrassiment he brings to this team. I'm pretty sure we want to trade Hundley anyway.

0 points
0
0
Point-Packer's picture

November 06, 2017 at 10:46 am

Hey Oppy -

Jarad Cook goes for 8 catches and 126 this past Sunday. Meanwhile, Martellus Bennett is "injured" - i.e. already retired. Stand by your defense of TT's off-season handling of the TE position?

Should have just re-signed Cook.

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2017 at 05:20 pm

Just our luck. Has Cook played every game so far? Good bet he does.

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2017 at 05:32 pm

.

0 points
0
0