Thursday, November 6, 2014

NFL Preview: The Green Bay Packers vs. The Chicago Bears

It doesn't get much better than this. The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will renew their historic rivalry Sunday night at Lambeau Field. This will be the second matchup between the two this season. Both teams come into this game in much different situations than they were for their week 4 matchup. The Packers are 4-1 in their last five, and the Bears are 1-4. Going into the week 4 matchup. Aaron Rodgers assured the Packers faithful to "R-E-L-A-X" and it seemed to work as the QB went on a tear, and is in the middle of one of his best seasons. The Bears probably wish their fans and Chicago media types alike would take Rodgers advice. But to do that they'll have to beat the Packers on Sunday night. At this point I think it's very possible, so the Packers will have to be play like they have been on offense, and continue to improve on defense.

The Packers must not overlook the bears who are very desperate for the a win at this point. Here are a few things they'll need to do to pull off a prime-time dvisional win.

1. Health: The Packers seemed to have shaken off their bad luck with injuries this season, but then they went to New Orleans. The Packers left the Super Dome in week 8 a beat up team. Even after the bye they seem to still have some lingering injureis that could be an issue on Sunday. Guards Josh Sitton and TJ Lang both had significant injuries that have kept them out of practice all week. Sitton tore ligaments in his big toe, and Lang suffered some ligament damage in his ankle in New Orleans. With offensive lineman their legs and feet are a big part of their position. They must be quick off the snap of the ball, and be able to react quickly on their feet. It seems that both will likely miss the game due to the nature of their injuries. In their absence Lane Taylor and J.C. Tretter would step up, and start their first games in the NFL. Taylor played a good portion of the Saints game, and struggled in run-blocking. He'll need to step it up. Tretter will be making his season debut. He was slated to be the teams center, but fractured his knee in training camp. Rookie Corey Linsley has a strangle hold on the center postion at the moment so Tretter will get his shot at guard. Rodgers and McCarthy have a lot of confidence in Tretter. The line must protect Rodgers so look for the offense to be a little more fast paced than usual with the injuries at hand.

2. Defense: During the 4 game win streak the Packers enjoyed much success on defense. They were able to create turnovers, which was a big problem last season. They were getting pressure on the opposing QB, and most importantly stopping the run. All of that was undone with one sour performance against the Saints. Drew Brees carved the Packers secondary through the air, and Mark Ingram gashed them for 172 yards on the ground. The Packers can only hope that this was a small hiccup in the process of fixing a poor defense. The Bears bring a potent offense that has been relatively quiet over the past 5 games. With receiving options like Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett it could make for the long night for any opposing secondary. Matt Forte is an elite running back who had a massive game against the Packers in week 4. But the Bears offense lives and dies with QB Jay Cutler. Cutler's issues with turning the ball over alway seem to surface against the Packers. The Packers defensive line must shut down Forte, and force Cutler to pass. If Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews can pin their ears back and blitz it could be a long night for Cutler against an injured Bears offensive line. If they're going to force Cutler to pass though it'll be on the secondary to create turnovers. There can be no miscues against Marshall, a psychical threat, and Jeffery, a speed threat.

3. Run The Ball: The forecast for Sunday night calls for a high of 37 and low of 29. That's December football in November. The Packers wanted to build themselves into a team that could play in the winter weather. The addition of Eddie Lacy gave this team that separate dimension to be able to play deep into January at home. The run game has been decent at best so far this season, but as the second half of the season starts it'll be a great opportunity to get the run game going. With the offensive line being beat up it'll be key for the Packers to run the ball to take some pressure of Aaron Rodgers as well. Lacy put up his best game as a pro against the Bears at home last season, and it'll be important for him to build on this home success against the Bears. The Bears defense is in the middle of a rough patch, and the Packers should be able to take advantage of some of the weaknesses. Look for Lacy to put together a solid performance under the lights on Sunday night.

Final Analysis:

I'd be more worried if this matchup was in Chicago due to the desperate nature of the Bears to get a win, but being at home there's no reason the Packers should not be 6-3 by the end of Sunday. Most people will predict that this game could be a rout, but it'll be the opposite. Look for a close tough fought game as I believe both offenses will be quieted by the weather condtions. In the end the Packers are just the better team at this point, and Aaron Rodgers is playing some of the best ball in his career.


Packers: 23

Bears: 16

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NFL Preview: Green Bay Packers Vs. New Orleans Saints

Sunday, the Green Bay Packers travel down south to take on the New Orleans Saints in a primetime matchup that is sure to provide all the drama of a shoot out. The main matchup that everyone will be watching will be the quarterback duo of Aaron Rodgers vs. Drew Brees. Head to head Rodgers is 2-1 against Brees and has out-dueled him in every matchup besides the loss; a 2008 matchup in New Orleans during Rodgers first year as starter. Rodgers has grown into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since the debacle in the dome. Rodgers actually comes into the game with 1 interception, and hasn't thrown one since week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks. From an efficiency standpoint this could be Rodgers best season thus far. And it should only get better on Sunday. The Saints have the leagues last ranked pass defense.

It's a matchup that has to have Rodgers and the offense foaming at the mouth. Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb have all stepped up their game during the Packers recent four-game win streak. The trio of receivers could be the best the in the NFL at the moment, and could be a nightmare for the Saints weakened secondary. The Saints could also put much emphasis on stopping the pass, and forget about the Packers talented run game. Eddie Lacy has ran much better during the recent win streak, but still has a lot to improve on. This could be a game in his home state where he can show America that he isn't experiencing the sophomore slump. Apart of it seems to be lack of holes for the second year running back. He is breaking 3 tackles each run, but he's just at the line of scrimmage due to lack of holes opening up. The Packers offensive line could push around the Saints defensive line if they're on their game. And if Lacy doesn't get it going? James Starks will be ready to go. Starks and Lacy make a great tandem that could prove to be too much for the Saints inept defense. But can the Packers defense quiet Drew Brees and his explosive offense?

The past few years the Saints have reminded me a lot of the Packers. Top offense, but weak defense. This season however it seems that the Packers defense has turned a corner. The secondary is finally playing up to its potential. Sam Shields will most likely miss his second game due to a knee injury suffered in week 5. Shields being out shouldn't hinder things that much though. The secondary held their own against Cam Newton last week, but Brees is definitely a cut above Newton at this point. Brees has many weapons at wide receiver that include Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks, and Kenny Stills, but it's not the receivers the Packers should be worried about. Elite tight-end Jimmy Graham poses the biggest threat to the Packers defense. Historically tight-end's have always been a problem for Dom Capers defense in Green Bay.

The middle of the field will be tested, and that's where the Packers are at their weakest. Inside linebackers AJ Hawk and Jamari Lattimore lack the speed and coverage skills to keep up with Graham's talents. They're going to have to find a way to take Graham away from Brees. Pressure on Brees will be a key component in stopping this potent offense. Forcing the Saints to run the ball will be another big key to victory for the Packers. But in the intense atmosphere of the Super Dome it may spell the end of the Packers four-game win streak.

In the end I think the Packers offense will hold their own, and compete in a shootout with the Saints. But the Saints being, at home, a desperate team may be far too much for the Packers to handle  on defense. Brees and the Saints will run away with this game late, but it won't spell doom for the Packers season. You can't win them all, and it doesn't seem like the Packers will pull this one out.

AJ's Prediction:

Packers: 31

Saints: 42

Friday, October 10, 2014

NFL Preview: The Green Bay Packers Vs. The Miami Dolphins

Sunday, the Green Bay Packers will be taking their talents to South Beach to take on the Miami Dolphins. This matchup provides some excitement, and a decent test for the Packers going up against an uncommon AFC opponent. The Dolphins are also coming off of a bye and sit at 2-2 which is good for third place in the AFC South.

The Dolphins were winners of their last contest against the Oakland Raiders which was played in London. In that game Dolphins QB Ryan Tannenhill had a breakout game throwing for 271 yards and 2 TDs. That doesn't seem like that great of a game, but compared to struggles Tannhenhill has had after a week 1 win against the Patriots, it seemed to be a huge step in the right direction. The Packers can't take the Dolphins offense lightly. Although they haven't lit the scoreboards on fire, they are ranked 5th in rushing yards and 15th in total yards. That is troubling for a Packers run defense who ranks dead last in the league at defending the run.

Dolphins running-back Lamar Miller has carried the load while starter Knowshon Moreno has been out with an elbow injury. The Packers defensive line must build off the success they had last week against the Minnesota Vikings. They held Vikings running-back Matt Asiata to 72 rushing yards, and it is the only time they've held an opposing rusher under 100 yards this season. Mike Daniels and LaTroy Guion had great performances against the Vikings. Both were great at stopping the run, and accounted for 1.5 sacks. Along with that Julius Peppers also seems to be having a comeback season. He fits in perfectly as a 3-4 linebacker. Peppers intercepted an easy pass, and showed some great athletic ability in returning it for a touchdown last week against the Vikings. He's proven thus far that there is a lot left in the tank. Look for him and Clay Matthews to tee off on Tannenhill all game when he's passing. If the Packers can control the line of scrimmage and take Tannenhill off his mark early then it'll bode well in the long run for the Packers. Then there's the red-hot Packers offense.

after the Packers lackluster 1-2 start, their offense and mainly their quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been unstopable. They didn't punt against the Chicago Bears in week 4, and literally ran away with the game last week. Eddie Lacy finally seemed to get on track last week, and it was much needed. In the rain Lacy ran for 105 yard and added 2 touchdowns. In the process he was putting his head down and laying the wood to defenders trying to tackle him. This really set the tone for the rest of the game as the Packers had their way with the Vikings.

 It'll be interesting to see if Lacy can continue the success against the Dolphins 12th ranked rush defense. If Lacy and Rodgers are both on point then this offense is one of the more complete units in the league. Rodgers will look to continue his success after a somewhat slow start to the season. The Dolphins pass defense is ranked 9th, so it will be tough sledding for the Packers talented receiver duo of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Nelson leads the league in receptions and yards and Cobb leads the league in receiving touchdowns. The Packers have one of the best receiver duo's in the league, but they are very undderated. This will be the most talented quarterback, and receiver combos the Dolphins have played thus far. If the offensive line continues their success and gives Rodgers time it could be a long day for the Dolphins, but if the offensive line falters in the heat we could be looking at Rodgers being rushed all day. That never bodes well for the Packers. Look for rookie receiver Davante Adams to get more involved in this game. Rodgers is on record saying Adams is open quite a lot on film, and he just has to find him. If Rodgers can build that trust up then this offense will only flourish.

In the end I think this game will be close early, but look for the Packers to escape Miami with a close win.

Packers: 28

Dolphins: 24

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NFL Preview: Green Bay Packers Vs. Minnesota Vikings

Thursday will cap off a short week for the Green Bay Packers as they welcome their rival, the Minnesota Vikings, to Lambeau field. This will be the Packers third straight NFC North divisional game, and their first Thursday night game since the 2012 season. The Packers and Vikings are both coming off of impressive wins against the Bears and Falcons respectively. The Vikings seem to be catching fire, and are clearly better than their 2-3 record says. The Packers have to keep their offense rolling if they want to get to 3-2 and 2-1 in the North.

The short week may prove costly for the Packers defense. The run defense ranks dead last in the NFL, and Mike McCarthy admitted on Tuesday that they look "run down," and that doesn't bode well going into a game on 4-days rest. Most would think the Vikings pose little threat running the ball without the best running back in the game, and Packer killer: Adrian Peterson. Peterson was suspended after week 1 when he was brought up on child abuse charges. Peterson will most likely miss both matchups against the Packers this season, but they still bring a strong running game to the table. Former fullback Matt Asiata is the type of bruising runner that gives the Packers fits.

The Packers defensive lacks the toughness to keep hard-running running backs bottled up. Marshawn Lynch and Chris Ivory have already made the linebackers and safeties look like children. And to switch it up the Vikings have rookie running back Jerick Mckinnon. Mckinnon is a speedy back who can run between the tackles. He posted 135 yard on 18 carries against the Atlanta Falcons in week 4. The other factor that kills the Packers defense is speed. The Vikings pose the perfect threat to rip the Packers apart. The Packers must get psychical if they want to stop the Vikings now underrated running game.

This psychicality starts upfront with Mike Daniels, Josh Boyd, and Latroy Guion. Guion, a former Viking, may have some extra motivation coming into this game. He has to perform better than he has the past four weeks. DT Mike Pennell got a chance last week against the Bears, but he failed as Matt Forte shredded the defense. Jammari Lattimore and AJ Hawk have also been pushed around way too much in the last few weeks. The inside linebackers must get stronger on their run defense, and get that inside pressure on the quarterback. It's been clear thus far that Hawk has lost a step this season. I look for the Vikings to exploit this weakness on Thursday. But the Packers can't overlook the Vikings passing game either.

Rookie Teddy Bridgewater made his first start against the Falcons in week 4, and he lived up to expectations. Bridgewater threw for 317 yards and rushed for a touchdown. He didn't turn the ball over, which goes a long way in showing that he's not your average rookie. Bridgewater seemed to build a rapport with receivers Jarius Wright and, Former Packer, Gregg Jennings. They also have the explosive Coradelle Patterson who can score anytime he touches the ball. Bridgewater showed pin point accuracy, and elusiveness in the win against the Falcons too. The fact that he showed elusiveness should worry the Packers defense. Elusiveness quarterbacks have given the Packers fits since 2011. They must keep a spy on Bridgewater, and try to confuse him with some exotic blitz's.

Dom Capers can never put a great gameplan togegther to confuse rookie quarterbacks. It's maddening to watch rookies, and inadequte QB's alike tear the Packers defense apart. This is going to be even more of a tougher test for the defense though after seeing a full game out of Bridgewater last week. Bridgewater did sprain his ankle in the win, but it seems as if he play on Thursday. The Packers best defense could be their offense though.

If the Packers can get a complete game out of their offense on Thursday it will be a long night for the Vikings. In both wins this season, Aaron Rodgers has been on fire, but the running game was lacking. Last week against the Bears, Rodgers put on an air raid, and basically controlled the game through the air. Eddie Lacy struggled again to break tackles and get to the next level of the defense. With rain in the forecast for thursday the Packers will need to get the run game going. The struggles aren't all on Lacy though. It doesn't seem like the offensive line is getting a good push or holding their blocks long enough. Everytime Lacy gets the ball he's surrounded instantly. You can't expect him to break 4 tackles at a time on every run.

 If the run game doesn't get going though, I think Rodgers found his groove last week, and will continue to light it up. The Packers did what they needed to do last week: get all the receivers involved. Plays were called for Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. They opened up the playbook and looked like themselves. Rookie tight end Richard Rodgers even contributed, and looked a little like Jermichael Finley. The Packers need to get that tight end presence felt as they move forward. I think the Vikings secondary is somewhat strong, but Rodgers should be able to have a lot of success if he's given time. Adams needs to be a bigger part of this offense as well. He flashed a lot of signs of great talent against the Bears, and this confidence needs to carry over against the Vikings.

The Packers special teams have also enjoyed a great run recently against the Vikings. In 2011, it was Randall Cobb who returned a punt for a touchdown, in 2012 Jeremy Ross put on a clinic at kick returner, and last season Micah Hyde returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown. Could the Packers weak special teams be poised to break out on Thursday?

I believe being at Lambeau, this game should swing the Packers way all night. It'll be close early, but look for the Packers to pull away late in the third quarter.

Packers: 24

Vikings: 13

Friday, September 26, 2014

Week 4 Preview: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

Sunday marks the 189th meeting of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. This matchup looks to provide more fireworks than any other matchup in their long rivalry. Both teams have the ability to light up the scoreboards. The Packers have failed to do so thus far, but the Bears have gotten into a offensive groove since their week 1 loss against the Buffalo Bills. This game is winnable for the Packers, but they'll have to capitalize in certain areas to give them their 5th straight win at Soldier field. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense must start out fast.

Through the first 3 weeks the Packers haven't exactly been getting off to a quick start. Week 1 in Seattle they moved the ball, but ended up punting almost right away. Weeks 2 and 3 against the New York Jets and Detroit Lions they started the game off with fumbles. This is unlike the Packers recent offenses who pride themselves on not turning the ball over. The most frustrating part of it is that they know it's fixable. It's just a matter of playing the way they know how to. Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy must get into a rhythm early enough so they can set up the play action. Rodgers loves play action passing, and that's where he's at his best.

The Packers are going to need to receive the ball first and put up points. It'll be a long game if they can't score points within the first two drives. The Packers must get the run game going, and get their fourth and fifth string receivers in the mix. Using three receivers and one tight end isn't suiting this offense well. Jarret Boykin and Davante Adams must pick up the slack. Teams are smothering Nelson, and covering Cobb so easily that it gives Rodgers no options. Adams could be the guy to step up, but thus far he hasn't shown much. Sunday could be the game that the Packers get the "other guys" into the mix.

Going into Sunday Eddie Lacy has been quiet, too quiet. He's only rushed for 113 yards and no touchdowns through 3 games. That sounds like a line from just one game in his rookie year. Yes, the Packers have played three stingy defenses, but that's not an excuse. Since Lacy suffered a concussion in week 1 against the Seahawks he's been running scared. He even admitted early this week he was running with his pad level too high. Lacy is the type of runner who's going to make his money putting his head down and plowing forward.

Coach Mike McCarthy called Lacy out earlier in the week saying "Eddie needs to play better," before stopping himself from ripping into Lacy in a public form. Hopefully that was a good wake up call for Lacy. A lot of people have compared Lacy to fellow Alabama running-back Trent Richardson in the last couple week. Richardson had a solid rookie year, and has since turned out to be a bust. In my mind, I don't believe Lacy is a bust, and I think he's going to get on track sunday. If not it could be a long season for the Packers run game, and Lacy. If Lacy is struggling we may see a switch to James Starks, who has been somewhat impressive thus far when given an opprutunity. The defense will have its hands full against an explosive Bears offense.

Jay Cutler has only beaten the Packers once his career with the Bears. But Cutler has never had such a complete offense at his helm. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are a new version of Randy Moss and Cris Carter in the division. Those two gave the Packers big headaches back in the day, and the new duo will look to do the same. The Packers secondary did a good job quieting Calvin Johnson last week, but that is really the Lions only option. The Bears have 3 solid receiving options in Marshall, Jeffery, and tight end Martellus Bennett. Not to mention they have an all-purpose running-back in Matt Forte. Forte has underwhelmed thus far, and the Bears are ranked 26th in rushing offense. I feel that Forte has been quiet because the offense has been able to pass it so well. Cutler may have turned a page in his career, because he doesn't seem to be making the same errant throws that he was known for.

If the Packers defense wants turnovers this week they're going to have to work hard for them. Cutler seems poised for his best season in years, and rightfully so he has one of the better supporting casts in the league. The defense must get him out of rhythm early and often. They know from prior experience that if you get Cutler rattled he'll get frustrated and start making mistakes. Julius Peppers will be a key player to watch on the Packers defense. The former Bear may be a little more motivated this week to show he has something left in the tank. It'd be nice to see Peppers get a couple big sacks or even an interception.

This will be a tough game, and I don't think fans or anyone in general will have a feel for how it's going to go until the fourth quarter. But in the end I believe the Packers will get out of the losing column and score a much needed divisional victory.

AJ's Prediction:

Packers: 34


Follow me on Twitter: NFLOwnerGBP

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Green Bay Packers: Here's How The Next Five Weeks WIll Go

After the Packers worst offensive performance in 4 years, it would seem that Packer Nation is ready to jump off the proverbial edge. As I scrolled through my twitter feed I realized that many Packers fans are anxious about the teams quiet 1-2 start. Bears fans are also ready to pounce Packer Nation if the Bears happen to beat the Packers on Sunday. If you followed my posts last week you'll know I had predicted the Packers to lose. I just felt that this team needed a wake up loss, and that it would come against the Lions. Aaron Rodgers told Packer Nation to "R-E-L-A-X" on his tuesday radio show. I'm with Aaron on this one, it's going to be alright, and I'm here to let you know how it's going to do down for the next five weeks.

Sunday the Packers will go into one of the more hostile environments in Chicago. The Bears fans will have Soldier Field rocking. Coming off two straight victories where their subpar defense has looked decent, the Bears will be coming in with much confidence. A lot of people will be down on the Packers this week, and you will probably hear the talking heads asking if there is a changing of the guard in the north at some point. That's just what the Packers want.

This team plays it's best football when they're behind the 8-ball. During the McCarthy and Rodgers era, the Packers have been the most dangerous when the chips are down. Everyone has already begun doubting Rodgers, and are blaming his love life on his play thus far. That's a bunch of garbage, and that's tabloid material that I won't put into my posts. But that makes Rodgers even more of a threat when he's doubted. So here's how Sunday will play out.

This game will start out much like the first three did for the Packers. The Packers will punt after a three-and-out, and the Bears will go right down the field and score. After that the Packers will get into a rhythm that will help them in the coming weeks. Eddie Lacy will run through the Bears defense, and Rodgers will have time to pass and the play action set up. This will be responsible for Rodgers having his best game of the young season. The defense will then pick up where they left off last week, and quiet the Bears explosive offense. They'll be a certain point in the game where the defense will have to come up with a key stop, and they will. The Packers will take the win and build momentum going into a thursday night matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

Against the Vikings, the Packers will play their first complete game of the season. I think they'll be firing on all cylinders. Offense, defense, and special teams. At this point they'll be 3-2 and a game behind the 4-1 Lions. Everyone will start to jump back on the bandwagon, and all fellow Packers fans will step away from the ledge. This will lead to their game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami.

The Packers will win a relatively easy one in the warm weather against the underachieving Dolphins. Then comes one of the toughest match-ups of the season, a visit to Lambeau field from the Carolina Panthers. Which will be the toughest matchup of this stretch. The Packers will struggle against the Panthers elite defense, but in the end will win a close game.

At this point everyone will be on the bandwagon. ESPN and NFL Network will be clamoring to get the players on the their shows for interviews before a Sunday night matchup in New Orleans. However, the streak will come to an end in New Orleans. The Saints will put up big numbers against the Packers,  and leave a bad taste in the mouths of the Packers going into the bye. Analysts and fans alike will say the Packers can't win meaningful games on the road after this.

Not sure how the rest of the season will play out after the bye, but this 1-2 start was meant to happen for this Green Bay Packers team. It was a character building loss against the Lions, and will go along way in making this team tough in a pivotal stretch here.

For now I'm putting away my crystal ball, but let's just calm down and let these next five weeks play out.

Follow me on Twitter: @NFLOwnerGBP

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Late Reaction: The Green Bay Packers Vs. The Detroit Lions

Well it would seems like it's deja vu for the Green Bay Packers. This marks the teams third consecutive 1-2 start, but it doesn't mean it's time to panic quite yet. Every season is different, but if the Packers can overcome this start like they have in the past it will bode well for them. The only real worry is that the Lions exposed a lot of weaknesses in this Packers team on Sunday.

The offense had probably one of the most dreadful performances ever with Aaron Rodgers under center. The only other game that I can remember that was this lackluster was in 2010, a loss at home to the Miami Dolphins. Aaron Rodgers and co. could not get anything going even when they were set up perfectly. The Packers defense set the offense up nicely with 3 turnovers. The Packers offense could only muster 7 measly points on those 3 turnovers. Rodgers was holding onto the ball too long, and didn't seem to trust any of his receivers outside of Nelson and Quarless. To me that's one of the more disheartening things about todays performance. Rodgers is a QB who loves to spread the ball around. But today he was targeting Nelson so much that he actually was forcing it to him.

Nelson like usual made a few spectacular grabs,but couldn't do it all. Targeting one receiver is the Lions m.o., not the Packers. I wonder where Rodgers rapport with Randall Cobb has gone? Cobb had 3 receptions for 29 yards. That's a sad line for a guy that is supposed to be a big part of this offense. Could it be that the Packers aren't using Cobb to the best of his abilities? I believe Cobb has thrived the most in the slot. When he can create that separation without getting jammed at the line. You get him in the open field and it's game over. I haven't seen that in 3 games. Also where are the gadget plays we're accustomed to seeing from Cobb? Those draws, and tosses out of the backfield are money plays. It also may have been a different ball game had Rodgers not missed Nelson in the end zone a crucial 4th and 5.

The Packers are becoming very predictable on offense. It seems like we all knew while watching what was going to be run, and who the play was geared towards. Either the play action isn't working or there simply isn't enough of it. The Packers offense, prior to Rodgers departure, in 2013 was different. It seemed that whether or not the run game was working that the play-action was always working. To me Rodgers is at his best on play-action passses. That deep fade to Nelson off the play-action always seems to work at least one time a game, yet they don't try it? Mike McCarthy either has to hold himself or Tom Clements accountable for the lack of offense. This game also had some bright spots.

The defense played lights out for most of the game, and had the offense got a lead I believe the defense would've hung on. The group which had been looked at as the weakness of this Packers team forced 3 turnovers, and had Matthew Stafford shook all game. Rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix snagged his first career interception off a tipped pass by Davon House. This marked the first interception by a Packers safety in a year. House also made a spectacular interception in which he tracked a severe over throw by stafford and hauled it in. It turned out for the worst though as House was downed at 1 yard line, and it led to Eddie Lacy being tackled for a safety.

 Julius Peppers may have made the play of the day though. With the Lions in Packers territory driving deep, Peppers got around the corner with lightning speed and forced Stafford to fumble, then Peppers preceded to recover his own forced fumble. That's why the Packers brought the veteran in. He seems to be fitting in perfect, and is very comfortable with his transition to a 3-4 LB.

The run game seemed to get on track a tad bit this week as well. It wasn't one guy in general though. James Starks and Eddie Lacy showed the promise of being one of the best tandems in the league like they were last year. This is going to be important going forward, or at least until Rodgers calms down and gets comfortable.

This game will leave Packers fans with a bad taste in their mouths, but there's always next week. The Packers will get this thing figured out. Today was a huge wake up for a team who may have thought they were better than they actually are. Let the identity searching start in this locker room.

Game MVP:

 The entire defense