Packers XLV

Will This Be Hundley's Final Act?

Posted December 8th, 2017 @ 01:12pm

The Packers begin the fourth quarter of the season in Cleveland on Sunday, the first of three road games left on the schedule, with zero wiggle room in their chase for an unlikely ninth straight playoff appearance.

We all know the storyline: if the Pack can dispatch the winless Browns, they will likely get Aaron Rodgers back for next week's clash in Carolina in a showdown for two teams chasing a precious wildcard invitation. As it stands right now,  the Packers have a five percent chance to reach the post-season (the Falcons win on Thursday night did them no favors). We'll have to root for the Vikings to take down the Panthers and then hope the Pack can deal them a second straight home loss next week.

But first things first. How dangerous are the winless Browns? They shook up their front office on Thursday, firing GM Sashi Brown, who collected draft picks like they were rookie cards. The success of two QBs he passed on, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, likely sealed his fate. He was instantly replaced by former Packer John Dorsey, who will begin the task of evaluating his current roster beginning with the Packer game on Sunday. Will that galvanize the players, knowing that the new boss will be scrutinizing them very carefully?

The Browns are 0-12 and 1-27 under Hue Jackson, but he's been told he'll be back for a third season. They've actually been competitive in almost every game they've played, especially at home, where they lost by three to the Steelers and Titans. They tend to play well into the second half and then shoot themselves in the foot, and then the other foot.

They seemed electrified by the return of Josh Gordon last week, who's been out of football for three years as he wrestled with personal demons. He caught four balls for 85 yards against the Chargers and they just missed on a couple of big plays. With the Packers hurting big time in the secondary, there will be chances for rookie DeShone Kizer to hook up with his speedy receiver.

With Kevin King on IR and awaiting shoulder surgery and Davon House unlikely to play after missing practice this week, Green Bay will line up with Damarius Randall and Josh Hawkins on the outside and probably Morgan Burnett taking on most of the slot duties. The Pack will have to activate one of two young corners: Donatello Brown or Lenzy Pipkins. The pass rush will need to provide a boost, as it did last week against the Bucs. Besides Gordon, rookie tight end David Njoku has proven to be a dangerous red zone and third down target and second year WR Corey Coleman can be a difficult matchup.

You have to believe the Pack will want to rely on its running game, after Brett Hundley's miserable passing performance last week. He has been better on the road and the Browns don't resemble the Steelers defensively, but they are a top 15 defense, sixth against the run. The run defense has sagged since they lost DE Emmanuel Ogbah and Green Bay will deliver a healthy dose of their new thunder and lightning combination of Jamal Williams and Aaron Jones. Mike McCarthy unwrapped some read option with Hundley in overtime last weekend and its success should mean we'll see a little more on Sunday against an aggressive pass rushing unit led by last spring's #1 pick, Myles Garrett.

Will Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb continue to be faces on a milk carton or will Hundley figure out a way to get them involved? If Nick Perry misses the game, will someone step up so the Browns can't just double Clay Matthews all afternoon?

The Browns are winless, but not hopeless and this figures to be a game that will be decided in the fourth quarter. With so much to play for: the pending return of Rodgers and a slight chance at the playoffs, I have to believe the Packers will do enough things right to keep the Browns winless and their flickering playoff hopes alive.

Packers 20  Browns 16

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Comments (7):

sure fire win 4 da pack today......the pack is back with Aaron Rogers cumming back gainst Lina...then the Queens....

on December 10th, 2017 at 07:12am

I see mu buddy synny, still has no brain. We have been lucky all year as I said before in my previous post. playing teams with injured key players. I know my my viking rubes, don't like to admit it, but we have been very lucky this year.seems like every team we play, 2 or 3 starters are out. I know we lost our qb and rb, but that is it???? look around the league. the Packers have lost 13 guys. and many injures over the year. when we played the browns , we were behind just b4eforethe half, and got some turnovers and won in London. Packers play them in Cleveland. they don't have a chance. Packers can't throw it and browns can throw to there rb Johnson, he will be the key. Crowell will get 70 yds rushing, BUT Johnson will kill them in passing game. Hundley will use a lot of the read option in this game. but not enough to win, Browns win 20 to 17. sure am glad we have been lucky this year. good and lucky can take you to the super bowl. BUT,we lose this week to panthers 16-13.

on December 8th, 2017 at 07:18pm

Dangit anyway ! ..... Favre quit answering my calls. He musta got caller ID :-( .... Maybe I'll try calling Majkowski ...... or maybe Dickey later on today ....... where's my Vicodin ? ....... MM out.

on December 8th, 2017 at 09:36am

MM here again ..... I gotta admit. I admire that Hue Jackson ...... Guy goes 0-27 and still gets re-hired ? ...... I don't think even I could pull that off ..... one more thing ...... Dangit anyway Sinykin ! .... Don't give away my Read Option with Dudley in overtime ! .... that was TOP SECRET !!! ....... MM out.

on December 8th, 2017 at 10:25am

The play action will to help us move the ball with some down field throws. Hundley can't really handle a 80 yard drive with an explosive play or two. I wonder what this week's featured wrinkle will be. Last week it was the Nelson quick throw, those didn't really work out. I expect it will be the screen pass this week. Crazy how much is depending on this game. Truthfully, I would still like to see Rodgers come back this year even if it just for one or two games with us not going to the playoffs.

on December 8th, 2017 at 12:54pm

Brett Hundley could be auditioning for his next employer in this one. It has been speculated that Cleveland would be the most likely trade partner with the Packers for him next offseason. But with his current stock now as valuable as a Confederate bond Hundley will have to be really sharp and crisp in this one to entice even an outfit like the Browns into giving anything for him. Hopefully his pattern of playing better on the road will continue both for the Packers' season and trying to get something for him next winter. Even the Packer defense should be able to handle the Browns offense. They average only 14.7 ppg and have allowed 39 sacks and turned the ball over 30 times this season. The Packers' playoff chances dimmed with Atlanta's win on Thursday and Seattle's on Sunday. But I think they'll steel themselves to avoid becoming Cleveland's first and maybe only victim this year and keep faint hope alive 24-17.

on December 9th, 2017 at 03:41am

The packers play at noon. The Vikings play at noon. Let's face the facts.......most packer fans will be watching the Viking game.

on December 9th, 2017 at 05:17am

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