Green & Gold

Tue
05
Nov

Packers stunned by Bears


Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers receiver Jordy Nelson runs after a catch during the first half of Monday’s game against Chicago at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lost 27-20.

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers running back Eddie Lacy runs during Monday’s game against Chicago Bears. The Packers lost 27-20.

The Green Bay Packers may have lost much more than a game Monday night.

It was the nightmare scenario for the Green Bay Packers, losing to NFC North Division rival Chicago, 27-20, at Lambeau Field and losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

A wild first quarter that saw an interception by Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, a blocked punt by Jamari Lattimore and a 32-yard touchdown run by James Starks couldn’t rival the drama of Rodgers leaving the game after the Packers’ first drive.

Rodgers suffered a shoulder injury when he was sacked by defensive end Shea McClellin on third-and-8 on the Bears’ 9-yard line. The Packers settled for a 30-yard Mason Crosby field goal. After being looked at by trainers, Rodgers ran to the locker room.

Fri
01
Nov

Packers’ red zone woes curious

Riding a four-game winning streak, there’s not a lot the Green Bay Packers are doing wrong.

Averaging 438.9 yards and 30.3 points per game has the Packers ranked near the top in most offensive categories.

The defense is not far behind, ranking 11th overall and fourth against the rush this season.

All that success makes one statistic more glaring: the Packers are bad in the red zone.

The red zone offense is getting touchdowns 50 percent of the time, tied for 18th in the league. The defense, meanwhile, is dead last in the league, giving up touchdowns 72.7 percent of the time.

While red zone statistics may not directly correlate to wins and losses, it suggests something is not clicking with the offensive and defensive units.

The Packers’ offense finished the 2011 and 2012 seasons ranked third overall in the red zone, converting 66.2 and 68.1 percent of the time, respectively.

Fri
01
Nov

Keys to the Game: Packers vs. Bears

Green Bay Packers

Avoid turnovers

The main goal for the Green Bay Packers on Monday night against the Chicago Bears is to avoid turnovers. Chicago is ranked fifth in the NFL with a plus-7 turnover ratio. The Packers are minus-2. The Packers are riding a four-game winning streak but could lose if they give the Bears extra chances.

Throwing contest

With Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on the sideline with a groin injury and Josh McCown making the start, the Packers want to score early and fast. Forcing the 11-year backup to try to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense will likely lead to good things for the Packers. The more pressure McCown feels, the more likely he is to make mistakes.

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Chicago Bears

Stay balanced

Thu
24
Oct

Keys to the Game: Packers at Vikings

Green Bay Packers

Ball hawk

With the Minnesota Vikings playing musical chairs at their quarterback spot, as of early Thursday it wasn’t clear who would get the starting nod on Sunday. Newly acquired Josh Freeman was expected to be the starter but was suffering from concussion-like symptoms early in the week. If Freeman can’t play, expect them to start Christian Ponder, who lost his starting job this season. Whoever ends up behind center, it’s a good bet they will give the Packers’ secondary plenty of opportunities to get the ball. The Packers have to take advantage of those opportunities.

Get Rodgers going

Thu
24
Oct

That's a wrap for Metrodome

One last dance in the Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome.

On Sunday the Green Bay Packers will bid adieu to the Metrodome, as the Minnesota Vikings play their last season in the stadium that has been their home since 1982.

“There’s been a lot of great games there, I’ll say that,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “There’s so many good memories, there’s some tough ones, too. It’s a very difficult place to play, always has been.”

The Packers have a respectable 14-16 record in the Metrodome, including plenty of good and bad memories.

The first Packers-Vikings game at the Metrodome was played Nov. 13, 1983, and pitted coaches Bart Starr and Bud Grant against each other. The Packers won 29-21.

Mon
21
Oct

Packers beat Browns 31-13

The Green Bay Packers just plug away.

Dealing with a slew of injuries, and suffering another one Sunday, the Packers continue to be productive, winning easily 31-13 over the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field.

Already missing receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones, Aaron Rodgers lost tight end Jermichael Finley in the fourth quarter to a scary neck injury.

A silent Lambeau Field watched Finley get carted off, but, as with the team’s other injuries, the Packers went back to work.

“I think players on both sides of the ball were obviously concerned for Jermichael,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I thought the officials did a nice job there of not rushing back into the game. (We) were able to have communication, kind of reset our clock there. … You just have to give credit to your players in those types of situations.”

Fri
18
Oct

Packers counting on reserves

The phrase next man up is back in Green Bay.

The Green Bay Packers are once again dealing with epidemic-level injuries. In response, the draft-and-develop team is relying on young players to get the team through the rough patch, just as it has in past seasons.

“At the end of the day, we always talk about next man up, and that’s what we have going on here,” tight end Jermichael Finley said.

The injuries are forcing second- and third-stringers into starting roles, putting extra pressure on the starters who remain and limiting what the Packers can do.

“It’s a lot of adjustment, a lot of planning for different scenarios and things like that,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Obviously personnel groups on both sides are stressed. We feel like we have a good plan and we’re ready to go.”

Fri
18
Oct

Keys to the Game: Packers vs. Browns

Green Bay Packers

Next man up

The Green Bay Packers have seen this script before. The injuries are piling up. The game-day roster is starting to fill with rookies and free agents. The Packers don’t skip a beat. At least that is what happened in 2010 when the team overcame injuries to win the Super Bowl. The injury bug has hit again, and again the Packers will need the next man up philosophy. At some point the Packers will start to get healthy again, but until then the cast of practice squaddies and third-stringers will have to get the Packers through a few games.

Get turnovers

Fri
11
Oct

Packers rushing to victory

The Green Bay Packers have a running game.

Not only that, it’s the kind of running game that is helping the Packers win games.

Rookie running back Eddie Lacy’s performance Sunday — 23 carries for 99 yards — is exactly the reason the Packers committed to improving the running game and moving away from a pass-happy, one-dimensional offense.

Following a 15-1 season in 2011, but a one-and-done playoff run, the Packers’ coaching staff identified the running game as the only way to improve on offense. That year the Packers’ offense set records for yards and points, but was famously one-dimensional. It was good enough to win games, but not championships.

Lacy, who has been part of a backfield that is averaging 141 yards rushing per game and is ranked No. 5 in the NFL in rushing, ran the ball hard Sunday. While few of his plays were flashy, and he didn’t reach the end zone, Lacy’s running threat changed the flow of that game.

Fri
11
Oct

Keys to the Game: Packers at Ravens

Green Bay Packers

Don’t Miss Matthews

The Green Bay Packers will have to adjust quickly to life without Clay Matthews, who will miss multiple weeks with a broken thumb. Someone on the defense will need to step up and provide the pass rush. The absence could be an opportunity, as the Packers’ outside linebackers feel the pressure to perform with the spotlight trained fully on their performances. When Matthews does return to the lineup, the Packers could find themselves with more dependable players opposite their star pass rusher.

Get Rodgers Right

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has played fine in the last two games, but the performances have not been up to the level everyone has come to expect from Rodgers. With big question marks on the defensive side of the ball and facing a tough run defense, Rodgers needs to bring his A game Sunday. A stellar performance by Rodgers can mask a lot of deficiencies elsewhere.

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