Hello Wisconsin: A Bye Week Breather Before the Sprint to the Finish

The Packers get to rest up before a crucial stretch run.

I’m not sure I can remember a time where the Packers were in greater need of a bye week than they were coming into this past weekend’s game against the Rams.

The fact that the Packers are 9-3 with tiebreaking victories over two of the top teams in the conference despite all of their injuries is nothing short of miraculous, and it’s due to incredible coaching by Matt LaFleur and his staff. Outside of the team’s dud in the opener, they’ve come ready to play every single week no matter the conditions. 

The win against Los Angeles was massive, and in it the Packers showed they’re capable of being the team that pushes people around rather than being the team that gets pushed around.

Too many times over the years we’ve seen soft Packers teams get exposed when they play real hard-nosed competition. Think about the Packers’ struggles against the Seahawks and 49ers in the early 2010s, or some of the early 2000s Mike Sherman teams.

There’s a physicality and toughness to this iteration of the Packers that we haven’t seen in a while. Some of that is due to new additions like De’Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas, who have brought a lot of fight to this defense. Some of that is due to the rise of players like Rashan Gary and AJ Dillon, athletic freaks and throwback players. Some of that is due to the veteran presence of guys like Adrian Amos and Marcedes Lewis, who lead by example with their own tenacious play. 

But every team gets tired. So this week, the Packers rest.

And then… it’s time to buckle up.

The Packers have five more games in what’s going to be a competitive race for the NFC’s top seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. They need a loss from the Cardinals, and could well need to win out given Tampa Bay’s easy remaining schedule (@ATL, BUF, NO, @CAR, @NYJ, CAR). 

The Packers have a tiebreaker over Arizona. They do not play Tampa Bay and thus will not be able to get a head-to-head tiebreaker against them. However, if both teams win out and the Cardinals drop a game, the Packers win the three-way tiebreaker. If both teams win out and the Cardinals drop two games, the Packers get the tiebreaker over the Bucs due to conference record (all of Tampa’s losses are to NFC teams). 

If the Packers absolutely must lose one of their remaining games, it would be in their best interest to lose against either Baltimore or Cleveland, as non-conference losses have the least impact on tiebreakers. They would then need to hope Tampa Bay would also drop one of their remaining games, and that the Cardinals would lose at least two.

Homefield advantage is never a guarantee of anything. We saw that just a year ago. But it certainly makes the road to a Super Bowl a whole lot easier, especially in an era where only one team now gets a first-round bye.

The Packers have earned a restful bye. But there’s still a lot of work left ahead of them. It’s going to be an intense finish to the regular season.

Here’s hoping they can win out and nab that bye.

Wisconsin Beer of the Week

Black Friday is one of the biggest days of the year for breweries. Here in Milwaukee, there are a lot of breweries that released new limited edition brews for Black Friday, but I unfortunately wasn’t able to make it out to any other than my usual stop at 1840. My wife works Black Friday, and with three young kids it’s tough to get out and round up all the beers like I used to.

Of course, I still had some old Lakefront Black Friday beers in the cellar, so I figured I’d crack one out to celebrate a successful Thanksgiving and to watch the first couple episodes of Hawkeye on Disney Plus.

Lakefront Brewery in MIlwaukee is known for its brewery tour, fish fry and cheese curds, but out-of-towners might not be aware of its annual Black Friday tradition that really was ahead of its time as far as breweries go here in Milwaukee. Every year they release one to three new Black Friday beers (generally one main one and a couple variants) and open their doors to the public early in the morning. People begin lining up overnight (often 1 or 2 in the morning) and stay in line all through the night and into the morning, often bringing coolers of rare beers to share with the people in line near them.

It’s a really awesome tradition, and when the weather isn’t awful it’s a memorable way to spend a night.

Anyway, I just so happen to still have three bombers of Lakefront Black Friday beers from recent years. One of these was the 2019 Black Friday barleywine, pictured above.

For the uninitiated, a barleywine is a very complex style of beer with a high alcohol content. Brewers pack more malt into the brew to increase the original gravity, which influences ABV. The result is a sweet, smooth beer with some potency, and some notes similar to what you might find in a wine. You’ll get flavors of caramel, honey, bread, molasses and toffee in most barleywines. They tend to be a clear, dark brown in color, very pleasant to look at.

Lakefront’s tasting notes for this beer referred to it as “a big, chewy Barleywine aged in Bourbon Barrels with notes of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, almond and oak.” It comes in at a whopping 14.8 percent ABV with a dark copper color and a pleasant 40 IBU (IBU rates bitterness on a scale of 1-100). 

Very enjoyable, and has aged quite well. Wish I had another bottle to crack in a couple years, but that’s how it goes with delicious beers!

Underrated players to this point in the season

There are certain Packers who tend to grab all the most praise online and in the media. You get the skill position players like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Aaron Jones, as well as guys who have more than gotten their due for their work this season, including Rashan Gary, Kenny Clark, De’Vondre Campbell and even Rasul Douglas.

But there are plenty of players on the team that seem not to get the recognition they deserve. A few include:

PRESTON SMITH. Smith has significantly stepped up his game this year from a disappointing 2020 campaign. In the absence of the other Smith brother, he’s been a consistent presence along this defensive front and has been much more successful as a pass rusher this season. Without him the Packers would have had some significant pass rush struggles at times this season.

BILLY TURNER. Turner has been a rare constant along the offensive line this season. He’s played really strong football and should be in consideration for pro bowl or even all pro honors. While most of the rest of the line has either been in flux (LT, LG, C) or just bad (RG), Turner has been consistently solid. He’s earned his paycheck this year and then some.

ADRIAN AMOS. I don’t know how it’s possible for a guy of Amos’s skill to be so perpetually underrated, but once again I feel like nobody’s talking about what he brings to this defense. He’s never afraid to make contact, and is a really strong veteran leader. I really hope the Packers find a way to hold on to him for the long run, because he means so much to this team.

MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING. The Packers’ offense REALLY missed MVS when he was out. With him back to take the top off the defense it opens up so much more for the Packers in the passing game. He’s proven himself to be a critical part of this offense.

Around the NFC North

Here we go once again around the NFC North leading into week 13.

-The CHICAGO BEARS can keep right on winning close games against bad teams if it means they’re going to extend Matt Nagy. They get the pleasure of facing the Packers at Lambeau in primetime coming off a bye and hopefully getting healthier with some reinforcements coming back as well. I’d sure love to see a repeat of that 42-point half from a few years back.

-The DETROIT LIONS came close to taking down the Bears for the win on Thanksgiving but just couldn’t get a stop in the clutch. This team has been close several times this year to a victory but just haven’t been able to seal the deal. I’ve been wondering lately who would be more likely to win in a game against each other: the 2021 Lions or the 2008 Lions. I reserve my right to make a decision until the season is over.

-The MINNESOTA VIKINGS are still in the hunt for the seventh seed in the conference, mostly because after the top 5 seeds there’s basically nobody good in the NFC. But they dealt themselves a big blow to their playoff hopes by crashing and burning against the San Francisco 49ers, who appear to be suddenly coming back to life. The inconsistency of the Vikings is truly something to behold. They looked like a really tough out against (a very undermanned) Green Bay, but they alternate week after week between looking great and looking bad. Best guess at this point is they slip in with about 8 wins and lose right away. Also, according to Gil Brandt: The Vikings are the 22nd team in history to have a 7+ point lead in each of their first 11 games of a season. None of the previous 21 were below .500 at that point.

If a Brady/Belichick Super Bowl happens just blast me into the sun and spare me the drawn-out agony

That’s all.

Enjoy the bye!

Abbreviated column for me this week due to the bye, and thus no prediction also. Hope you’re all able to enjoy some stress-free football this weekend, and hopefully some key losses that help out the Packers!

 

__________________________

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.

6 points

Comments (45)

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

December 02, 2021 at 06:50 am

Yesterday I was thinking about Cory Littleton. He was a ILB who was a UDFA signed by the Rams in 2016 who many Packers fans wanted to sign when he became a FA in 2020. The REASON I was thinking about Littleton was Joe Barry. Joe Barry was the Rams ILB coach when Littleton became one the best ILB in the NFL in 2018 and 2019 with the Rams.

Enter De'Vondre Campbell, a late summer signing at ILB. Nobody was overly hyped about Campbell including myself though I did think he was better than anyone on the roster when he was signed. It's no coincidence Campbell has become one of the BEST ILB this season under Barry. I hope the Packers find a way to keep Campbell in 2022 and beyond.

Thanks for bring up Preston Smith. Preston has been playing really well ALL season long for the Packers in both the run and pass game. I'm happy as hell that Gute found a way to make it work with Smith without just cutting him. Another SOLID move by Gute and a smart move by Smith.

When Rashan Gary sacked and strpped Stafford on Sunday I re-watched the play about 10 times. Gary is turning into an absolute BEAST. Gary has showed many of us or at least myself exactly WHY Gute cares so much about a draft prospects RAS score. That sack and many, many plays made by Gary this year is from a player with a outrageous RAS score. I love that dude!

Amos... When Amos made that 4th down tackle this weekend giving the Packers the ball back on RAMS 30 the first thing I thought of is the Packers HAVE to find a way to keep him. Ampos makes so many game changing plays in a season and is such a leader, I'd hate to lose him.

Rest up men, and lets get Bakhtiari, Smith, Meyers, and Alexander back on the field at some point before the end of the regular season. This IS the BEST team in the NFL right now without them. They'll only be better with them. GPG!

9 points
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dobber's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:58 am

"When Amos made that 4th down tackle this weekend giving the Packers the ball back on RAMS 30 the first thing I thought of is the Packers HAVE to find a way to keep him. "

I think he's an obvious extension candidate. Playing well, no sign of decline, nobody behind him on the depth chart, can make a major cap savings by getting him 2-3 more years. Slam dunk.

"Yesterday I was thinking about Cory Littleton. He was a ILB who was a UDFA signed by the Rams in 2016 who many Packers fans wanted to sign when he became a FA in 2020."

I seem to remember someone touting for weeks how the Raiders signed Littleton and Kwiatkoski, and were demonstrating how to fix the ILB position for years--and that the Packers needed to sign those guys and take notice....

--looks around--
--hears crickets--
--shrugs--

7 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:28 pm

It starts up front. Barry is letting Montgomery run his scheme and attack the LOS and run stunts. Lancaster is having a solid year by playing HIS position. Slaton getting better every week. As long as the D line stays Healthy they have a chance for the Gold.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 02, 2021 at 10:58 pm

I remember advocating for Kwiatkowski. He signed for $7M with the Raiders and had a nice 2020 for them. GB opted for Christian Kirksey who cost $6.69M on the cap and sucked until late when he was moved to the Will, where he was fairly decent. Signing Kwiatkowski would have worked out for GB in 2020.

Kwiatkowski sustained a pectoral strain grade two in the opening game of 2021 and played just 66 snaps in the first 7 games this year. No idea why LV traded for Perryman, signed KJ Wright or why they paid a fortune for Littleton, who I didn't want.

Kwiatkowski would have been a good signing. Not a great signing like Campbell in 2021, but still solid. GB probably doesn't sign Campbell had they signed Kwiatkowski - funny how things sometimes work out.

1 points
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NickPerry's picture

December 03, 2021 at 06:26 am

LOL... I'm quite certain you're talking about me but I know I wasn't alone. Matter of fact I'm sure I was quite LOUD when it came to signing one of them.

LOL...Good call dobber!

On Amos I think you're right. Matter of fact you're right, it should be an obvious call for Gute.

0 points
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Grimbo's picture

December 02, 2021 at 06:54 am

One more shoutout to Rasul Douglas! Awesome job coming in here and kicking some ass on the perimeter. He is physical and the guy can just play man! Best mid season pickup for this team ever as far as I can remember Gutey! Way to have him ready to play Jerry! And way to take it to the house Rasul! You are the man!

3 points
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jurp's picture

December 02, 2021 at 07:16 am

I'd rate Douglas as a tie with Andre Rison as best mid-season pick-up; I hope he follows Rison's lead and scores us a touchdown in the Super Bowl :)

5 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 02, 2021 at 07:38 am

One might think about Howard Green as well. I'm certain that Nick Collins does.

4 points
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dobber's picture

December 02, 2021 at 09:02 am

Bruce Wilkerson they signed after a couple games early in the 96 season, right? Key player on that SB team.

5 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 02, 2021 at 01:57 pm

Big Bruce stopped the bleeding at LT. Great pick up by the Wolf.

3 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

December 02, 2021 at 07:12 am

The Bye week we could have used it weeks ago. That being said I believe we are going to take full advantage of it and make a hard run these final games of the year.

Underrated Players:
I agree with the list above.

I just have to say something about Amos. The more I watch him play, the more I like. Every year he simply gets better. And this scheme fit is perfect for him. Him and Savage have formed one of the best duos in the league.
A good defense has players right up the middle. Packers have Clark, Campbell, Amos/Savage. That is probably the best we have had in a long time. Obviously Campbell is the reason for that as he just got here this year.

Here are a couple of more to add.

Eric Stokes - He definitely has taken some rookie lumps. But imagine where our defense would be if we didn't get him in the draft. These last few games minus the Vikings game, he has almost essentially shut down his side of the field. He has been that good!

Dean Lowry - With the new defense he has elevated his game. He has been getting pressure and he has been very good in the run game. He has honestly surprised me.

Krys Barnes - The fact that the Packers went out and got Jalen Smith and started playing him over Barnes made most people probably think Barnes was a problem spot in the defense or they needed an upgrade over him. But he simply has been really good. He made us quickly forget about the Smith experiment.

NFC North -
Its hard to say that we lost to the Vikings. Had we came down with 1-2 of the dropped interceptions we win I believe.

Bears - So they aren't firing Nagy?

Lions - Are they going to go winless, again?

Bye week, a little time to rest and hopefully get some key players back for the stretch run.

3 points
3
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dobber's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:22 am

Solid safeties like Amos are money. He's been worth every penny. He's got one more year on his deal, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers add a couple years, drop his cap hit, and net some cap savings in 2022. They could cut him and save significant $$ in 2022, but that's just punching yourself in the face. Watching Henry Black play, and seeing Vernon Scott's inability to be active on game day (he's healthy), the Packers probably need to add S depth in the upcoming draft.

Barnes--Jaylon Smith just looked that lost. Nobody has picked him up to my knowledge. Given who he was just two years ago, that's hard to believe. That said, Barnes is playing well...well enough that Barry is playing him more and that 3rd safety (Black) far less than Pettine did.

Vikings--Aside from it being the Vikings, I don't think there was any shame in losing to them at their place, especially as hobbled as the Packers are. They can score, and they look better than the Rams do over the last couple weeks. Cousins has been on a streak of good play (which means he's about ready to lay a couple stinkers). They struggle to get their defense off the field, though, and I think they lose at least two games yet. That's 9 wins and nets them at least the 7--and maybe even the 6--seed in the playoffs. It might save Zim's job.

Bears--they're firing Nagy. They just decided the negative press of doing it midseason, and the disruption to Fields' development, wasn't worth it. This is an organization that's been more about consistency in management than quality for years...it doesn't seem to matter that it's consistently inept. The ineptitude of leaking the chance that he MIGHT be fired last week to the media before the game on Thursday was utterly laughable...and completely in line with their track record.

Lions--yes, it's 0-16-1. The Bears at home behind Andy Dalton on Thanksgiving were their chance to notch a win...Goff was even serviceable and they hosed it. They cleaned house leaving a bad football team with one playmaker (Swift) and now he's hurt, too. That said, the new management team is making more sound decisions (they're fortifying the trenches)...it will just take a year or two for it to start to play out. For the Tim Boyle truthers out there, he couldn't get a second start on a team with a down-and-out Goff and nothing to lose.

4 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:30 am

On the Lions, they did what they had to do: strip out a roster that had failed. In the modern NFL, that means getting worse in the hope of getting better and shedding contracts to open future roster space to rebuild. It’s likely to be a multi year process, but they have given themselves a chance to start a new era from a near clean sheet. That takes some courage, but the hard part is coming. Can they build well enough to be a force in future? We’re I a lions fan, I’d say it’s better to try than continue to tinker. That may mean they should have more hope than the Bears.

4 points
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dobber's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:46 am

I agree with you. You can suck with the same old core group of players, or you can retool--still suck--but give yourself hope that you'll land an improved mix. This wasn't a modest rebuild, they stripped it to the studs and are moving walls. After the ineptitude of the Quinn regime, I think it's what they needed to do.

I stopped short of saying the Lions will be the better team of the Bears, Lions, and Vikings in about 3 years, but that's because they have a sucking chest wound at QB that they need to fix that will have a lot to do with that. Maybe Goff gets better as his line and supporting cast improves--he's got precious little to throw to and demonstrated with the Rams that even with a good cast, he struggles mightily at times. They'll be solid--or even good--in the trenches, which will make them more competitive than people think, though.

4 points
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jurp's picture

December 02, 2021 at 05:15 pm

I think they take a flier at QB in either this year's draft (thin as it apparently is) or next year's. Goff is a placeholder, IMO.

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

December 02, 2021 at 10:07 am

Completely agree about Amos. I would not be surprised if he was a guy they extended sooner then later.

With Smith, I do wonder if he could have improved over time. Not saying he was going to be a stud, but maybe improved as he got more comfortable with the schemed/team. But clearly they didn't think so.

Vikings definitely have the talent. Had we had Gary, I think we win that game honestly.

Bears - He will be gone. But my question is why did they not fire him? Clearly info got out that they didn't want out. Or it got out and they didn't like the backlash so they retreated on it.

Lions - Will be interesting to see what QB they go with the 1st pick.

4 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 02, 2021 at 02:04 pm

I am reading and hearing the 2022 draft is one of the weakest QB classes in years. The Lions would get more impact from top players at other positions with #1 selection. Then again, they are the Lions.

3 points
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dobber's picture

December 02, 2021 at 02:20 pm

Yup. And it will help fuel he market for veteran passers. Weak QB draft tends to mean devalued draft picks, though, too.

1 points
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TheKanataThrilla's picture

December 02, 2021 at 04:31 pm

If he declares I would go with Sam Howell. I like the skills he brings to the table. He reminds me a bit of Baker Mayfield with his running ability and throwing. Unfortunately a bit on the short side. You also see some of the inconsistency that Baker also possesses.

1 points
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jurp's picture

December 02, 2021 at 05:17 pm

I don't think anyone wants another Baker Mayfield. Hell, if the Lions want another Baker Mayfield, they can easily get the ORIGINAL Baker Mayfield from the Browns this offseason.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 02, 2021 at 11:13 pm

Goff has a $31.15M cap hit and $16.15M in cap savings if released or traded prior to March 19. That's too much in cap savings to keep Goff for another year. So I think you're right that Detroit will be acquiring a QB, I assume through the draft but I am not a draftnik.

1 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

December 02, 2021 at 10:56 am

Lowry and Clark are both having tremendous years. I think a lot of this comes down to Barry and the positional coaches really focusing on individual assignments, run fits, etc., and then having LBs that are also doing their job in run support and who are able to beat their man vs. trying to just run around him.

4 points
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jurp's picture

December 02, 2021 at 07:25 am

I said in a different thread that I think the NFL seems to have turned into a "storyline over perfomance" sport, that Goodell and Co. REALLY WANT a Brady vs. Belicheck rematch, and then suggested that they might just "influence" the refs during the playoffs to make this happen. I hope to heck I'm very, very wrong about the refs, and that if the TB vs NE SB happens that it legitimately happens. How will we know if the fix is in? A pattern of missed calls (TB/NE)/phantom calls (their opponents) should emerge during the playoffs, and such calls should mysteriously disappear in the SB itself.

We'll see in 6-8 weeks.

But if we really do get that SB (with two teams that are legitimately better than the rest), all NFL fans will have to wonder hard what they've done to piss off the football gods so much that the most annoying storyline of all is the one we get to see. Ugh.

5 points
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dobber's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:37 am

I dunno on NE--go look at their schedule. That's pretty weak sauce there. Any team of any quality, they've lost to. Yes, they beat Tennessee last week--with no Henry, Brown, or Jones. That's a TN team built to win on the strength of their offense, and thats not a good TN team right now. Other than that, they beat Cleveland without their top RBs and playing Case Keenum and a hobbled Baker Mayfield at QB (I wouldn't be surprised to see Cleveland shopping in the elite veteran QB trade market--ARod, Wilson, Watson--next spring and dealing away Mayfield).

That said, you can only play the teams that show up on your schedule, and the Pats have been opportunistic. Belichick has them playing really good defense, Mac Jones has been the best QB in this rookie class--bar none (including Fields)--and they're running the ball consistently for the first time in years. They play at Buffalo, at Indy, and home against Buffalo in their next 3. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them lose all 3 of those and sitting at 8-7 needing to win out to make the postseason.

4 points
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jurp's picture

December 02, 2021 at 09:40 am

That's kind of my (poorly worded) point on NE - at the moment, they are NOT the most talented team in the AFC. you're right and they struggle to make the playoffs and then "suddenly get hot" thanks to timely PIs or "QB touched on the shoulder to Roughing the Passer" type calls in multiple games, then we can start to wonder.

OTOH, NE could be another team like the Dilfer-led Ravens or late-Manning-led Broncos and rely on their defense to carry them in the playoffs. We'll see.

4 points
4
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nostradanus's picture

December 02, 2021 at 07:31 am

Yosh B’Gosh - don’t forget about the BIG man, he’s come in as a “break glass in case of emergency Left Tackle and played very well. Anyone who has not seen his pancake of Aaron Donald check it out! He pancaked him “like a boss”!

10 points
10
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Starrbrite's picture

December 02, 2021 at 09:54 pm

Yes—excellent call nostrdanus.

1 points
1
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stockholder's picture

December 02, 2021 at 07:32 am

I still think your drinking Old Milwaukee with a different Label on it. It's the additives that tingle the tongue. So many players are underrated this season. But the player that I believe that has been the glue, is Amos. They are all deserving of an extension. So I'm hoping Gutey finds way to keep them. Even if it's using The Franchising Tag. Why pay top dollar when the risk is greater then the reward? (Yes; I'm referring to Injuries ). Around the North? IT's who has the best QB!

4 points
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Johnblood27's picture

December 02, 2021 at 07:43 am

Around the NFC North...

Bi-Queens - wildly inconsistent = lucky sometimes

bares - they are exactly who we thought they were

LOLions - kneecap count - 0 bites, 10 gummers and 1 nibble

1 points
4
3
Brockrice99's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:45 am

Cardinals have tough games against the Rams, Colts, Cowboys, and Seahawks (the Seahawks are a team that will upset someone late in the season causing that team to drop in the playoffs, they're a scrappy team and division games are going to be close.) So I could very well see the Cardinals dropping 2 games in that stretch. The Buccs on the other hand, very similar to last year... had a rough patch in the middle of the year then won out I am very afraid of that happening again and them getting the bye and homefield with their cupcake remaining schedule. I do not care how good we are or how much different this year was compared to last year... Tom Brady in the post season is a different animal, all playoffs last year I said "I want Tom Brady at Lambeau" and I got it and it did not turn out good. I have learned my lesson not to mess with Tom, and now I am saying "I want Mike McCarthy at Lambeau" for the NFC Championship game.

5 points
5
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dobber's picture

December 02, 2021 at 08:51 am

I was really hoping that the NFCW would be in a position to beat each other up down the stretch. We'll see what happens. Seattle is as bad as they've been in years right now. There's not much they can do right. Maybe it gets better, and they'll wreak some hovoc, but I'm not counting on it.

4 points
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Starrbrite's picture

December 02, 2021 at 10:03 pm

I wanted Brady and the Bucs too. I believe we were better; still believe we were better. Brady threw three picks and if Redmond hangs on the to the cream puff he dropped just before half (just before the Miller TD), Brady throws and perhaps we win. My point is, Brady isn’t the reason we lost.

2 points
2
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TarynsEyes's picture

December 02, 2021 at 09:03 am

Yes, this team is really, really good because the drop-off of play from starter to backup has been closed. This is the depth that a team needs to win, and win it all. So, if this team cannot win the SB this season, when or how and with what players will they ever again?

This is by far the best group of players the Packers have had since the last SB-winning team with this team emblazing the 'next man up' mantra deeper than the those of 2010-11. There can be no excuse for failure if it comes, other than failing to play to the level witnessed since that week one spanking by NO.

We all see the talent and ability of the players and coaches, so let us hope that the bed sheets stay clean throughout the playoffs and the only goal of every season is achieved....SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS!!!

17 points
18
1
Handsback's picture

December 02, 2021 at 09:36 am

Packer fan for life but have lived in Dallas area for the past 24 years. I've come to know the Cowboys pretty well and actually predicted McCarthy to be the next coach for Dallas. Right now Dallas is very similar to the Packers in that they have an injury list a mile long. The exception is that they get a lot of their playmakers back within the next week or so.
I bring this up because I believe the Packers and Cowboys will meet in the playoffs. It could determine the SB winner.
2014 was the last year that I thought Green Bay could win it all. I hoped like crazy they could do it last year, but didn't happen. This year there's a mental toughness that is easily seen and and Rodgers is playing closer to MLF's gameplan.
Keep the injuries to a minimum, get players back from IR and continue to kick butt!
Would love for the Lombardi trophy to come back home.

5 points
5
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Since'61's picture

December 02, 2021 at 10:36 am

4 out of 5 of our remaining games are against teams with .500 record or less as of today. Only the Ravens have a winning record and will likely win their division.

We play them on the road and that should be our most challenging game that remains on the schedule. We need to win our remaining home games at a minimum and we should be able to take Lions in the season’s finale in the road.

We need the Cards to lose at least one more game and we can take the #1 seed if we win out. The Bucs remaining schedule is ridiculously easy but they may trip up one time or two along the way.

We can only control our own games. Hopefully, we will get some reinforcements as our injured players return and we run the table for our last 5 games without any additional injuries.

As Taryn has correctly noted, if not this season then when? If not these players, then who? GPG!
Thanks, Since ‘61

2 points
2
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PeteK's picture

December 02, 2021 at 04:06 pm

It would greatly help if some of our injured made a comeback. To expect all of them to return is fantasy. If I could have one it would be (very difficult decision) Bak. I am confident that Alexander( I believe started running already) and Bak will be back.

3 points
3
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calabasa's picture

December 02, 2021 at 10:47 am

“Best guess at this point is they slip in with about 8 wins and lose right away”

The story of the Vikings.

3 points
3
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jurp's picture

December 02, 2021 at 05:20 pm

As long as a one-and-done in the playoffs keeps Zimmer employed, I'm all for it. I'd love to see the Bears in the playoffs, too - Nagy is my favorite Packers coach :)

2 points
2
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croatpackfan's picture

December 02, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Tim, I agree with the list of underrated players you put out, but I will add AJ Quadzilla to the list. His usage was called so many time on this web page, but broadcasting "experts" did not pay much atention on him. For the rest of the NFL he is not so important player (yet).

His ability to carry 2 or 3 people on his back and still reach 5 or more yards is underrated. He is real strenght of this season for the Packers and rare guy in today's NFL. I do not see any other similar RB.

3 points
3
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THESZOTMAN1's picture

December 02, 2021 at 02:15 pm

Hey, Tim. I don't drink beer, but I like your weekly post. I especially like your inclusion of Billy Turner on the "under-rated" list.
Remember all the people wringing their hands over re-signing Brian Bulaga? (I confess I was one of those people.) Also remember the criticism of spending big $ signing Turner? Well, it seems that (sometimes) all's well that ends well. Billy T is a important cog in a makeshift offensive line that has (mostly) exceeded expectations. Where would we be with him?

4 points
4
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Ya_tittle's picture

December 02, 2021 at 04:58 pm

Beluga has played so few games for the Chargers. Glad he got the payday, but it was the RIGHT CHOICE to let him go.

5 points
5
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jurp's picture

December 02, 2021 at 05:21 pm

Better to release a player one year too early... Actually, the timing was perfect to let Bulaga walk. Good job, Gute!

1 points
2
1
Starrbrite's picture

December 02, 2021 at 10:27 pm

Tim, always like your column.
Your most significant point IMO, is the fact that this team is much more physical (finally) than we’ve seen in the past. It’s fun to watch the energy and hustle by the defense. The biggest improvement is we’re getting off the field on third down— third and long is no longer a hand-wringing experience.
As for beer, a friend told me today of a beer called “Brooklyn—Black Ops”. He said it was excellent!

1 points
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murf7777's picture

December 03, 2021 at 05:42 am

Starrbrite…..my thought exactly. The physicality of this defense is something we have been waiting for since 2010. With the addition of Dillon and the two H-backs our offense is also physical and are ready for winter ball and the playoffs to make a run to the big dance.

2 points
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Starrbrite's picture

December 03, 2021 at 09:21 am

10-4 murph.

0 points
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