Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Bucky Five: I Think We Might Be a Playoff Team

1. Wild Card Leaders - Two weeks ago, I wrote an article talking about how the 2009 Green Bay Packers season was for naught. A few days later, I tried to take a look at the rest of the schedule, and decided that even by dumb luck, the Packers could still wind up around 10-6. Now, after a 30-24 victory against the San Francisco 49ers, I'm feeling especially good about the Packers playoff chances.

Of course, that could all change if the Packers blow it on Thanksgiving this Thursday, but as of the conclusion of the afternoon games for week eleven, the Packers are the current Wild Card leaders and would be the 5th seed in the NFC. With teams like Seattle and Chicago still on the schedule though, I'm already bracing myself for not only a postseason run, but an inevitable rematch with Favre and the Vikings.

2. Perfect Rodgers - We members of "G-Force" (ha) have started to become a little critical of our beloved Aaron Rodgers lately, as some of the things he's been doing wrong have been put under the microscope. The problem isn't his stats - he's putting up great numbers and has only a handful of interceptions - but rather that a lot of these stats are coming in garbage time when the game has already gotten away from the Packers. That, and his holding onto the football problem, and we've started to wonder just what was going on with Rodgers mentally.

The last two games though, he's really stepped up his play. Against Dallas, he lead a spectacular drive to secure the victory, and today he was almost flawless. Rodgers went 32 for 45, throwing for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 13 yards, and it seems like every time he decides to keep the ball himself he finds a way to get the first down. Rodgers is doing everything he needs to do and more lately, and is on his way towards a Pro Bowl season.

3. I Can't See Real Well, Is that a Running Game Over There? - Well that was unexpected. Not only did Ryan Grant run for 129 yards (a 6.1 per carry average), but Brandon Jackson is starting to provide an excellent change of pace and has become a great compliment to Grant. The Packers are so much better when they have a legitimate running game, and it showed against the 49ers, especially in the first half. I'm not sure why McCarthy got away from the running game a bit in the 2nd half, but thankfully they came back to the run and sealed the victory.

4. Let's Give Some Love to Jeremy Kapinos - Overall, this was a great game, and when all facets perform well then there's really little to complain about. The defense played well, the special teams was solid, and we've already talked about the offense. For those reasons, let's give a little props to Jeremy Kapinos today. He's not going to win a Ray Guy award anytime soon, but the fact that we don't have to worry week in and week out about our punting situation like we did last year is a welcome things. So there you go Jeremy, some Bucky Channel love.

5. And Now, The Bad News... - This was a solid performance by Green Bay, although I would have liked to see them close out the Niners sooner instead of allowing them to creep back into the game at the end there. Part of why that happened though was because of injuries to Aaron Kampman and Al Harris. It's already been confirmed that Al Harris is out for the season with an ACL tear, and it looks like the same may be true for Aaron Kampman. Two huge injuries in one game is really going to be difficult for this defense to overcome, but I'm confident that they can fight through this.

The Kampman injury might be the easier blow to take, if only for how well the defense was still able to play in his absence against the Cowboys. Brady Poppinga and Brad Jones should be able to take over and play well at the outside linebacker position, even though it did appear as if Kampman was becoming a little more comfortable in the 3-4 defense. For all intents and purposes though, Sunday very well could have been Kampman's last game as a Packer. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. As for Harris, that injury is absolutely going to kill us, and expect quarterbacks to target Tramon Williams week in and week out. If this team is going to make a playoff run, Tramon Williams absolutely has to bring his game to the next level. He's not a guy that's going to match the talent level of Harris, but if he can just do his job and limit the amount of Jarrett Bush appearances to a minimum, then I think this might be a storm the Packers can weather.


Unknown said...

Special teams gave up another big return that led to a TD pass to Davis. You must've missed that. Special teams has been terrible every game and has already cost us a couple of games. We need to do a complete overhaul of the special teams in the offseason. New Coach. New punter. Crosby can stay but he needs to start being more consistent.

The Al Harris Injury could hurt alot b/c Jarett Bush sucks.

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