Packers Stock Report: Nitpicking a 4-0 team edition

Before getting to this week's Packers Stock Report, we nitpick the team a bit.

The Green Bay Packers are 4-0. Along with that perfect record comes a MVP quarterback playing at the top of his game, a defense that's hell-bent on sacking the quarterback and a special teams unit that no longer appears to be a glaring weakness.

Life is good if you're a Packers fan right now, isn't it?

It sure is, but we're Packers fans. Even if life is good, we want (and sometimes expect) it to be better.

Even though the Packers are 4-0 with an all-world quarterback, a solid defense and a non-embarrassing special teams, that's not going to stop us from nitpicking areas where the team could improve. Before getting to this week's stock report, let's nitpick the Packers and point out some areas that could be a cause for concern. 

  • Beating up on bad teams. You can only play the team's on your schedule, but the teams on the Packers schedule haven't been very good. The combined record of the Bears, Seahawks, Chiefs and 49ers is 5-11 (and that includes Monday night's gift-wrapped-by-the-refs win for Seattle over Detroit). Beating Jay Cutler, Alex Smith and a broken Colin Kaepernick also isn't anything to write home about.
  • How 'bout a non-free play big play? I'm all about Aaron Rodgers using his cadence to draw the defense offside and get as many free plays as possible. But as the season wears on, team's aren't going to fall for that stuff as often. The Packers big-play offense hasn't really been there unless Rodgers knows he has nothing to lose on a free play.
  • Holding...on the Packers...again. It seems like the offensive line has been very grabby this season. The Packers have been flagged eight times for holding and several of those calls have come at less-than-ideal times as the offense is just starting to roll. With three holding calls already under his belt, David Bakhtiari leads the team.
  • Shot plays, anyone? Remember when Rodgers would play-fake, roll out, and hit Jordy Nelson on a deep post for an easy 65-yard touchdown? I knew with Nelson injured, those plays would be more rare, but I thought we'd at least get a couple of shot plays through the first quarter of the season. So far, unless it's a free play, we're not seeing any receivers getting over the top of the defense.
  • Those damn injuries. The injury to Bryan Bulaga finally caught up with the Packers against the 49ers as Don Barclay had a rough day. Is it only a matter of time before the effects of losing Nelson, Sam Barrington, Davante Adams and Morgan Burnett are magnified as well?

All of these are legitimate concerns for the Packers. Good thing they haven't knocked Green Bay off course yet. Let's hope the Packers keep rolling as we roll into this week's Packers Stock Report: 

Rising

Clay Matthews
Where would the Packers defense be without Matthews? Here's hoping the hamstring gods lay off Matthews this season and he's able to get through 16 games and the postseason.

James Jones
A dude cut by two teams this offseason is not supposed to make catches like this one.

Mike Daniels
The Packers defensive line seems more explosive this season and Daniels is a big reason why. In year's past, the main objective of the Packers d-line was to hold their own and not get blown up. Now, Daniels and company are doing some blowing up of their own and it's making this defense much more aggressive.

Steady

Sam Shields
Perhaps nobody told Shields that the Chicago game was the season opener and not a final exhibition tune-up, because ever since stinking up Soldier Field, Shields has been exactly the type of No. 1 cornerback the Packers need him to be. On Sunday, he made a great play on the ball to snag his second interception.

B.J. Raji
Setting an early tone against the run gives the Packers offense the time it needs to establish a lead. It also helps boost the defense for the remainder of the game. Raji's play in first quarters has helped the Packers blow up several running plays and knock opponents off course early when it comes to trying to run at the Packers defense.

Falling

Don Barclay
I suppose it was only a matter of time before Rodgers was unable to fully compensate for Barclay's weaknesses at right tackle. Full credit goes to Barclay for battling out there, but it's time Tom Clements and Mike McCarthy get him some help with a tight end or running back on a regular basis.

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Comments (64)

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

October 06, 2015 at 02:24 pm

So what you're saying is that the Packers are undefeated and can improve. I'll take that.

Bulaga will return and help that side of the line. The Packers appear more inclined to leave their shaky tackles on their own and rely on Rodgers to avoid the rush or to throw it before the rush gets there.

Teams will start to sit on the short passes. You have to be able to make them pay for that with a double move and a big play.

Wow, who'd have ever thought all your nitpicks were about the offense and not the defense or special teams.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 06, 2015 at 04:49 pm

Boy was that to the point. Lack of shot plays, function of injuries has had a snowball effect on rest of pass game. Salvation comes from O line getting back to normal. Still nice to see D developing it's own identity, will pay dividends down the road.

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D.D.Driver's picture

October 06, 2015 at 02:33 pm

Most incredible stat: only 1 turnover in 4 games.

Now, I presume we will see some turnovers in the near future, and when they come, they always seem to come in bunches, but...

Right now the Packers are on pace for 4 turnovers for the whole season. That's amazing.

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calabasa's picture

October 06, 2015 at 03:13 pm

Minus losing to the Packers, the 4 teams are 5-7. Not the bottom of the barrel. And all 4 have strengths which GB was able to overcome. I'd say the Chiefs and Seahawks are two solid NFL teams.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 06, 2015 at 04:53 pm

Excellent point.

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zoellner25's picture

October 06, 2015 at 03:17 pm

Richard Rodgers = rising

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NewNikeShoes's picture

October 06, 2015 at 03:22 pm

The way I see it, the team is practically perfect once Bulaga comes back and Adams/Monty develop(hopefully Monty takes that next step, he's got everything)

Any college players catch your eyes? Aside from the obvious, gotta put that TT cap on.

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adamczech's picture

October 06, 2015 at 03:24 pm

Here's a story on why my "shot plays" nitpick maybe shouldn't even qualify as a nitpick:

http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/23767/deep-passes-st...

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EddieLee's picture

October 06, 2015 at 03:25 pm

Maybe they are saving the "shot plays" for a time and a team that is more pressing then what they have played so far.

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Gianich's picture

October 06, 2015 at 03:27 pm

Tim Mastay stinks so there's that to nit pick.

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TXCHEESE's picture

October 06, 2015 at 04:48 pm

Mastay is coming around. He had a couple nice kicks to the boundary Sunday that kept the return to zero or minimal

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 06, 2015 at 04:53 pm

Who would have thought that the D would be this good this early. Sure the team has some issues but the way the overall team has played I will take it at this point.

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John Galt III's picture

October 06, 2015 at 05:20 pm

I would rather have this year's team than any since our SB victory team. Why? Because for the first time since then I have confidence in our defense to limit other teams. In addition, if the special teams just avoid the terrible plays of the last 3 years that is a bonus.

Bottom line: if the offense does not have more significant injuries we have a great shot of not only making the SB but winning it.

I just have a lot more confidence in this team than I had the last (3) seasons.

Anyone else feel that way?

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Tundraboy's picture

October 06, 2015 at 06:31 pm

Yes

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 06, 2015 at 05:40 pm

Last game Rodgers took a shot play w/ Montgomery, week before he did w/ Janis. He's tried to take shots but hasn't connected. I would call the Jones TD against Sherman a shot play. We all knew w/o Jordy the deep threat was going to virtually disappear. They don't have a viable threat downfeild now.

Might as well get used to it. Rodgers throwing deep occasionally is all we can hope for and maybe that'll be enough to keep Defenses honest,but I doubt it.

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thebeast431's picture

October 06, 2015 at 07:54 pm

Could a lack of deep pass plays and a Top 3 running game be a coincidence? Defenses not blitzing, instead dropping extra defenders could be the reason. Opening up the run game at the cost of the deep threat.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:54 pm

If there's not a deep threat why would Defenses drop extra to cover deep? If anything it will draw more defenders closer to the LOS and into the box vs the run.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

October 06, 2015 at 10:58 pm

The man said there is no deep game because of deep defense. Hence the strong running game. Like Edgar said in the linked article above" we take what they give" And therefore don't turn the ball over.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 06, 2015 at 11:57 pm

Your both assuming the D is playing deep. I'm not, and I don't think they are.

This from a JSOnline article would seem to support that teams aren't playing deep coverage.

"The Packers were not able to coax the 49ers Safeties to play deeper and open the field."

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4thand1's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:09 am

The Packers have thrown more deep balls thru 4 games this year than last year.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 07, 2015 at 09:25 pm

Have to connect deep to force teams to honor it. Rodgers throwing downfield more doesn't necessarily force the Safeties deeper.

Still have to take some shots, but until they strike deep a couple times, it won't help much, IMO.

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PETER MAIZ's picture

October 08, 2015 at 12:29 am

The current deep is Jones and he's not as fast as he once was. Foles has a strong arm and a couple of good receivers and a really fast running back, not to mention the Ram,s defense. Even so, the Pack has more receiving yards than the Rams. So too, it's really hard to beat Rodgers at his own game.

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:02 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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NewNikeShoes's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:37 pm

tf u even talking about?
QB rating has been below 90, 80 if you exclude Wilson.
The only reason big plays happen is cause of the rookies, so please stfu.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

October 06, 2015 at 11:10 pm

In glad we have wide open receivers not being covered rather than wide open receivers being covered.

Like a football star once told me, "you are wide open because you ain't any good"

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4thand1's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:15 am

Imma ,you are so off the wall, you make everyone here, well most here, feel like Einsteins. I have no idea what games you watch or where you get your insane information, but keep it up, I know i'm not nuts.

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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Imma Fubared's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I still believe teams have gone to the passing game too little too late. I agree the pass rush and run stopping is much better and if it wasn't for Barkley the o line would be solid. The pass defense scheme is poor. Either our d backs cannot cover one on one due to lack of speed, or they are too short to cover the taller receivers so were using gang tackle swarm defense?
All I know is there are way too many wide open receivers not being covered!

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vj_ostrowski's picture

October 06, 2015 at 08:28 pm

Jesus, Imma, we get it

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Bearmeat's picture

October 06, 2015 at 10:11 pm

lol. Vikings trolls don't know how to use an iPhone. Imma - DON'T PRESS SEND AGAIN UNTIL THE PAGE RELOADS! TRUST ME, IT WENT THROUGH THE FIRST TIME!

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porupack's picture

October 07, 2015 at 12:24 am

Adam,
We're fortunate to have an article called Nit Pick to debate. I think you summed up the nitpicks, but add Masthay.
I agree with Calabasa on the first one (about bad teams) only applies to the Bears. The others were quality teams though with deficiencies.
It seems that every season MM generally keeps the playbook conservative in the first quarter of the season, which makes sense. As Ty, RRodger, DAdams get into sync, we'll see an offense we anticipated, with more mid-deep balls at least. The three most important games from here forward are with Minne and to some extent, Rams&Cards (for home field), so maybe MM is not putting up much tape on his most aggressive schemes. Chip Kelly did that during the preseason, and look where that got the Eagles in their own division.
I would expect (hope) they are conservative with Bulaga this week and not bring him back too soon to risk further damage. Save him for the remainder and the 3 post season games.

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adamczech's picture

October 07, 2015 at 03:25 pm

McCarthy does usually wait until later in the season to really open things up, but I've been happy to see him use Cobb and Montgomery in the backfield the way he has so far early.

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Icebowler's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:20 pm

Thanks for getting the dialogue back to football, instead of Housewives of Wherever.

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sheppercheeser's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:12 am

Love the comments, can't stand the blogger bickering and name calling- NOT the reason I'm on here!

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4thand1's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:19 am

Welcome to the club shepp. You gotta just learn not to read certain posts, its easy.
GOPACKGO.

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marpag1's picture

October 07, 2015 at 06:09 am

LOL. Yeah, the riff raff around here kinda sucks. But on a more positive note, kudos on the profile pic.

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4thand1's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:26 am

I like to see some comments from a year ago when we were 1-3. The nitpicking must have been down right bitching and screaming, and we ended up an onsides kick away from the Super Bowl! Lotta football left and we have an 83% chance of going to the playoffs.

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4thand1's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:31 am

Happy birthday Charles Woodson, thanks for the memories. 39 and going strong, "if the president don't come see us, we'll go see him!"

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croatpackfan's picture

October 07, 2015 at 05:34 am

I will repeat my observation from the last game - James Jones 58 yards catch (no free play), more experienced Ty Montgomery would have 80 yards TD (no free play) just if he was not so scared to catch the ball (I bet he did not expect ball from Aaron and the ball surprised him - that is the reason why he did not catch the ball!)...
So, long shot plays will come, even before Davante come back...

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toolkien's picture

October 07, 2015 at 06:24 am

As has been said, you can only play who is on your schedule. And it is early yet, but the Packers have not had a steep slope with the four teams they've played compared to some other 4-0/3-1 teams.

I just don't see the Packers as some sort of 14-2 type team. I wouldn't be stunned if they go 6-6 the rest of the season, though 7-5 seems more likely to me. If it's better than that, gravy.

The formula today is to make the playoffs and win the turn over margin once there. I WOULD be stunned if the Packers didn't make the playoffs, so that leaves turnover margin. And while regular season turnover margin capability isn't a sure thing for post season capability, I like what I see in that the Packers aren't turning the ball over and they seem to have the players on D to take it away. That was the formula in 2010.

In short, the Packers aren't perfect, and they've got some challenges ahead on the schedule that will further define what they are, but so far this team is the closest to the "shape" the team was in 2010. And unlike that season, I don't think the Packers are going to have to rely on the strength of victory tie breaker to make the playoffs.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

October 07, 2015 at 08:17 am

Wow. So we should be looking at 10-6 or 11-5? Thanks for tempering my enthusiasm, but I think that's crazy talk. In your scenario which home games do we lose? Have you been watching how crummy the rest of the league looks?

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toolkien's picture

October 07, 2015 at 07:27 pm

I said "I wouldn't be stunned if 6-6" and I don't see 14-2. 11-5 sounds about right. I wouldn't pitch over sideways if it is 12-4. While the D is better (and, again, seems to be more ball hawking) the Packers are still vulnerable. The Packers have played a combination of very dismal offenses and one terrible defense and I think people are overvaluing the overall strength of the team. Out of the Rams, Broncos, Chargers, away Vikings, Cardinals, and away Panthers five could be losses. Coming into the season I had 11-5. Then Nelson got hurt, and seriously thought 9-7. Then Jones was resigned and I shifted back up to 10-6. And then the Defense has looked better than I expected, and so am back to 11-5. The Packers aren't a juggernaut, but they should win the division. If they can keep up the turnovers on defense, and get healthy on offense, they have as good a shot for a run in the playoffs. But they aren't a 14-2, 13-3 type team in my opinion.

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 07, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I'm getting really sick of seeing all of the oxygen being eaten up by the ThompsonTwins/Dan show. Almost as bad as Fubared posting the same thing a dozen times. I literally skipped over 90% of the comments on this thread. I'm asking that CHTV consider banning both. Their endless back-and-forth has almost nothing to do with football and just brings the site down.

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murphy's picture

October 07, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Second.

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murphy's picture

October 07, 2015 at 12:45 pm

I should add, turning Fan Friendly comments to "On" makes 83% of the bullcrap disappear. Not as good as banning or blocking, but better than nothing.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 07, 2015 at 12:48 pm

double second!!!

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 07, 2015 at 02:47 pm

All due respect, but he has issues w Taryn, Nick perry, myself, marpaq and a few others. Ihave no issues w/ anyone else.

Basically anyone who disagrees w him, points out his hypocritical comments he calls names.

Have I had problems w anyone else.

Most everyone agrees I bring intelligent conversation and comments. Does he?

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 08, 2015 at 07:31 am

Dan, I have no problems with you. You and I have had great discussions in the past. Your not the problem, but you really need to start ignoring everything that the other one says if you don't want to be banned again.

This whole fighting thing needs to stop. It is getting old when most of us fans are coming here to have rational discussions and almost every comment section is getting filled up with you guys going back and forth.

I understand what is going on, most of us do. The best thing to do is to just ignore it and not worry about what is being said.

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NickPerry's picture

October 08, 2015 at 07:56 am

Excellent post RC. I've suggested the same thing to Dan but we've both caved in to the constant barrage of TT negative comments and fired back. I've suggested the same thing and TT can't keep his word. You'd think Thompson would "Get It" based on his Likes and Dislikes alone but it never sinks in. Cheesehead TV used to be the first site I visited, now it's a distant 7th or 8th. Sad thing is I'm not the only one, a few of the fans I've made friends with have started to stray away.

You and I have had some excellents posts back and forth here RC, you know WHY I'm here. I'll leave it at that.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 08, 2015 at 02:09 pm

We have had great discussions. I have no problems with you at all...

I am getting sick of this comment page being taken over with these feuds.

Lets keep this Packer related and we are great.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 08, 2015 at 08:59 am

I've tried. For a week or 2, but all he did was continually bring me up and in not so flattering a manner. At some point you would cave too. And he's still doing it, in case you haven't noticed.

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Evan's picture

October 08, 2015 at 09:18 am

Get some fucking will power, dude, jesus. Who gives a shit what he or anyone says about you on some anonymous Packers blog. Besides, you're giving him exactly what he wants.

And, honestly, at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if you two were the same fucking person. It's so beyond idiotic.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 08, 2015 at 01:09 pm

Its not just me. In case you haven't noticed. Tried for a couple wks. Your smart enough to realize whats going on. Taryn doesn't post anymore. Nick Perry has issues w him, now marpag. Others too.

Alot easier said than done Evan. BTW i don't appreciate the swearing at me. See not so easy is it?!

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Evan's picture

October 08, 2015 at 01:04 pm

"Alot easier said than done Evan."

It's really not.

But, whatever, keep fighting the pointless fight.

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 08, 2015 at 01:40 pm

You would rather he drive more people away? Or are you OK w that?

Maybe if more people responded the appropriate measures would be taken.

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Evan's picture

October 08, 2015 at 01:38 pm

News flash: You're just as responsible for driving people away as he is. You're not fighting some courageous and noble fight. You're every bit as obnoxious as he is.

And what are these "appropriate measures"? Banning him? Just so he'll come right back under a different name...like you did? Why waste your energy?

And, great, now here I am commenting about this nonsense.

Back to the bushes I go.

https://media.giphy.com/media/jUwpNzg9IcyrK/giphy.gif

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Dan Stodola's picture

October 08, 2015 at 02:34 pm

Really? I havent ha issues w anyone else. And I didnt say anything about my motives did I? Taryn didnt quite due to me. Nick Perry isnt almost gone due to me either.

Only thing he needs is for no one to do anything. You know the saying? All evil needs to prosper is for good people to do nothing.

Get get what you sew. Enjoy that.

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Icebowler's picture

October 07, 2015 at 07:10 pm

Will some of you please take the high road? You know, sticks and stones...

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PETER MAIZ's picture

October 08, 2015 at 12:17 am

On th49er's game, It may be wise to consider that Cobb is playing with shoulder pain and Jones with some sort of quad problem, I won't say injury at this point. But imagine the risk of losing JJ!!!!!!!
But the defense is playing with strength and showing exceptional results, all the way around.
Claymaker also has a quad issue.
If we miss both Jones and Clay for this coming Sunday, we will be in dangerous territory and I'll be crying like a baby.

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