Packers XLV

Why Sunday's Game Is the Most Important Game of the Year

Posted October 17th, 2017 @ 05:10pm

I realize that there's a large portion of the Packers' fan base that has given up on the season. But if you're reading this, you're either a fan who is interested to watch this team compete in the face of adversity, or you're a Vikings troll.

Until the Packers announce that Rodgers is lost for the season, we can hold on to the hope that if the Pack can remain competitive with Hundley behind the wheel, we can dream that Rodgers could make a triumphant December return and take command of his team down the stretch.

If Rodgers is out till 2018, count me among those who realizes the Super Bowl dream is dead, but I'm interested to see how Hundley performs, three years into his tutelage under McCarthy and Rodgers. I'm also curious to see how the players around him handle their new 2017 reality.

Make no mistake, this week's game will be this season's pivot point as the team heads into its bye week. I understand that the team will play two key divisional games after the break, but with a couple of weeks to catch their breath, get healthier and have enough time to process and tweak the game plan both offensively and defensively, I think the team will be prepared to deal with the season's second half.

But first there's this Saints game against a team that's found its footing after an ugly 0-2 start, winners of three straight and sporting a defense that found the end zone multiple times against the Lions. Sean Payton has feasted on the Pack in recent years, averaging 38 points a game (with more success at home, however) and the Saints will come to Lambeau smelling blood.

Brett Hundley will make his first start and at this point there's no reason to believe that the three starters on the offensive line who dropped out against the Vikings will be ready to play in this game. If that's the case, the Pack will be down six of the nine linemen they started the season with. It will completely alter what McCarthy wants to do offensively and force him to make sure that Cam Jordan isn't in the Pack's backfield all day.

On the other side of the ball, this is a time the defense needs to rise up, something this unit has done in key spots in recent years. But they will need to get healthier at cornerback to deal with Drew Brees. If House and King return, the defense would be close to healthy and have no excuses. If they miss another game, along with Rollins on IR, the trio of Randall, Hawkins and Pipkins will be in over their head. The pass rush must improve against an immobile Brees. The inability to get to Case Keenum was the second most disappointing aspect development last Sunday (granted, it was a distant second).

If the Pack can find a way to beat the Saints on Sunday, they go into their bye at 5-2, still unbeaten at home, filled with confidence and still firmly in the NFC North picture. A loss drops them to 4-3 and there will be a lot of question marks as the team looks to pick up the pieces and prepare for the Lions and Bears the next two weeks.

If the line can get healthy, I believe Hundley can lead this offense effectively, especially at home. But I doubt the tackles will be ready this Sunday, which will make his job infinitely tougher. A win this Sunday will give us some hope that this team, still unbeaten at home,  is ready to fight to hang on to their title. A loss will sap their confidence and reduce their margin for error over the last nine games.

This Sunday's Saints game is the most important game of the year.

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Comments (14):

Sorry...not sorry. Regards, Vikings "Trolls"

on October 17th, 2017 at 02:39pm

I believe! Hundley made some nice throws. He was going vs a top defense with a gameplan not for his skillset and with no team reps. When jordy was out in 2015 our defense stepped up, I expect them to make some plays. I think sunday without the o-line may be too tall of a task but after a bye week, hundley will have had multiple weeks to work with the 1s in a system he knows well. The running game can be good and we still are loaded with pass-catching weapons. we can get to the playoffs with 9 wins - we all know the vikes and lions will do all they can to keep us in the hunt. Lastly, to the does it feel to root for a squad whose best moments as a franchise are the misfortunes of other teams?

on October 17th, 2017 at 03:46pm

The Packers are a different team now playing for a different season in the wake of the foul play in Minisota last Sunday. I'm taking more of a "wait and see" approach with these next two games before deciding whether we should be talking a 9th straight playoff year or who the Packers should be taking with a top ten pick in next spring's draft. The Packers do have about a 3 week window of opportunity here to get things reordered with two home games and the bye wedged in between. If Brett Hundley really has the right stuff to be a good NFL quarterback and an attractive trade piece for the Packers next offseason it should become apparent fairly soon with the 26th and 18th ranked defenses (23rd and 28th in pass defense) coming in to Lambeau these next two games. Whether Hundley is ready and able to engage in and win shoot-out duels with Drew Brees and Matt Stafford remains to be seen. The key indicator these next two may not be so much whether the Packers win but how they play the game. If we assume a "worst case" scenario the Packers won't be any worse than 4-4 and no further back than 2 games at the midpoint with 8 to play. The third quarter of the season offers a beatable schedule of Baltimore and Tampa Bay at home and Chicago and Cleveland on the road. If the Packers get some injured players back and if Hundley can be a good "Matt:" whether Flynn or Hasselbeck - they could sweep that quarter or win at least 3. If the Packers are 8-4 or 7-5 entering the final month they will remain relevent in playoff conversation to the wire. So for now it's stay tuned and don't jump to too many conclusions too soon.

on October 18th, 2017 at 06:35am

I have to laugh at the packer homers. They have no running game to start with and that's with the whole field being spread out for rodgers. Now some chump for a qb is going to come in, and the running game can do well and should do well. WHY? You didn't have a running game before and now your passing game is weak. The running game stepping up or doing well when it sucked with Rodgers is one of the more laughable reads I've had over here. It will be harder to run now, homers. Where could I ever get entertainment like this anywhere else?

on October 18th, 2017 at 07:23pm

No Worries Packer Faithful ! We are getting ready to once again "Cross the Rubicon !" ..... With my legendary top notch coaching abilities, you can rest assured that Dudley or whatever his name is will be ready on Sunday. He will be BETTER than Rodgers and Brady and Montana and Elway combined ! ....... Aaron Rodgers is Nothing without my coaching and, you will soon learn the truth of that statement......MM out.

on October 18th, 2017 at 07:53am

I will call all sorts of phantom offensive and defensive holds on the Taints, to be sure. But all of the cheating in the world isn't going to help your now sad-sack organization out. Mike McFlintstone's awful coaching will be exposed, as will the weakness of the rest of your roster. P.S. quit crying like babies over a perfectly clean hit. If Rodgers doesn't want to be hit, then he should stay in the pocket, quit fake pumping to buy more time to run or pass and quit pulling the ball back in after going through the motion of throwing the ball. Any defender is going to follow through on a hit in those circumstances--and they should.

on October 18th, 2017 at 09:11am

Long time Patriots fan with respect for the packers and the Vikings (wife is a beautiful Minnesota fan)and (from Boston a city of champions in all levels of pro sports). Sad Rogers got hurt but the thing that has baffled me is that your team with two hof qbs the last two decades has only won two SBs. Brady alone in one decade and sometimes with less talent at receiver has won more. Guess I don't understand the MM love as clearly with that talent you guys should have been better. Vikes took down Rogers last year at home and with or without him there are some glaring problems on this team. The defense outside a few names is bottom third, offensive line reminiscent of the Vikings line from last year, running backs are maybe ok but hard to gauge off being stuffed by the Vikings, tight end is ok he drops some easy passes, receivers are good but will they have time with the oline to get open?, special teams is solid though the punting needs to be better. Just hard with all that is wrong to see this year as a playoff year and Rogers time to win another gets less and less with each passing year so maybe it's good they get a high draft choice and help build a better team to try for 2019.

on October 18th, 2017 at 10:10am

RE: Patriotsfanfirst ...... back in Jan 1997 ... a guy named Favre stomped the living crap out of the Patriots in the Superbowl ..... and don't you forget it !!!

on October 18th, 2017 at 10:31am

I remember 97 and I was happy to see Favre get a title as he deserved it. Still like Brett more than Rogers just an awesome guy, hell broken collar bone he may have still tried to play lol. Though since 97 I remember 01, 03, 04, 14, and of course the greatest comeback in SB history last year. Brady has a ring for every finger now.

on October 18th, 2017 at 11:34am

Hey Hey Hey ! ..... watch it with they McFlintstone comments Cheating Ref ..... you were waaaay overpaid for that last game and, didn't come through ...... I expected no less than for you to EJECT the entire Vikes defence from the game after that hit on my fragile Diva quarterback ......If you had come up with the goods ..... then Dudley may have been able to score a few more points ...... puting us in a better position to win.....MM out.

on October 18th, 2017 at 12:08pm

This is a great opportunity for Packers fans, actually. Any Packer fan under 35 is by definition a bandwagon fan as they are just riding the coattails of 2 HOF QBs back to back. Anyone can root for that. In order to be a real fan you need to spend a whole offseason convincing yourself that guys like Brooks Bollinger and Kelly Holcomb aren't THAT bad and maybe you can without despite them. Then you need to spend money to see that team play anyways, despite the sick feeling in your stomach that you just paid good money to see bad QB play. Of course, Packer fans are already showing their true colors by not going to the games, and secondary resale tickets have already been marked 50% off. So much for the best fan base in the NFL, huh?

on October 19th, 2017 at 06:46pm

Da Pack aint got no chance against them dirty Aints...

on October 19th, 2017 at 07:14pm

RE: Screech .... Seriously ! ...... I swear if I wasn't coach I wouldn't attend any of the next 10 games either........ you think this weekend I'm really going to enjoy watching Montgomery run for 12 yard per carry ? .... or Bennett dropping every perfectly thrown pass ? ....... or Dudley throwing multiple picks every quarter ? ..... sheesh !

on October 20th, 2017 at 08:07am

Typo : that should have been a 'Half 'yard per carry : )

on October 20th, 2017 at 08:11am

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