Packers XLV

Thank Goodness It's Jags Week

Posted October 26th, 2012 @ 02:10pm

Yeah, I know, on any given Sunday, blah blah blah. This one's a gimme for the banged up Packers who couldn't be happier to see the Jaguars coming to Lambeau this week.

Jacksonville probably isn't as horrible as you think. They were tied with the Bears 3-3 at halftime a couple of weeks ago, they led in Oakland 17-3 last week, they took the Purple to overtime in the season opener at the Dome. And they did something the Packers couldn't do: they beat the Colts in Indy.

That's all I got. They've lost their best player, running back Maurice Jones Drew to a foot injury. It looks like young QB Blaine Gabbert will play, despite tearing the labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. But this is a team that's years away from competing and will likely clean house after the season, with new owner Shad Kahn running the show.

They're the perfect opponent for the Pack, who return home after three straight dome games that have decimated the defense (not to mention Cedric Benson). The Pack will take the field without opening day starters Charles Woodson, DJ Smith, Nick Perry and Sam Shields (though Shields hasn't been ruled out). BJ Raji looks iffy. To compound matters, Jordy Nelson is now dealing with a hamstring and Greg Jennings is going under the knife next week and will likely be out till December.

If the Pack can manage things through Thanksgiving and stay in contention, they could welcome back Woodson, Jennings and Benson for the stretch run. But for now, they will count on guys stepping up. From Cobb and Jones taking leadership roles in the offense, to youngsters Casey Hayward, Davon House, Jerrion McMillain and MD Jennings taking over in the secondary. And don't be surprised if rookie WR Jarrett Boykin makes a play or two. He'll be #4 on the depth chart and was released by the Jags earlier this year.

The bye week can't come soon enough for this MASH unit. With home games against the Jags and Cards, the Pack can afford to be careful with players nursing injuries and try to get as healthy as possible for the post bye slate, which includes five divisional games and a Sunday night monster at the Giants.

Although they'll take the field as the biggest favorites all season, likely two touchdowns, the Pack must guard against lethargy early and need to feed off the energy of their starved fans who haven't seen them in weeks. For some guys, it can be tough to get up for an opponent you know you should crush. The Packers are too good to let that happen and the Jags are too limited to keep it interesting.

Their defense ranks 28th, giving up 27 points per game. They may be without their best corner, Rashean Mathis, who's dealing with a groin injury. He's no longer near the Pro Bowler he once was and has lost a couple of steps when healthy. Their best player is free agent pick up Paul Posluszny, the former Bill who runs the show from his middle linebacker spot.

But let's not be afraid to call this what it is. A complete mismatch. And no matter how deep the Packers need to reach on the depth chart to fill out their gameday roster, this one will not be close.

Packers 38  Jaguars 10



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Comments (8):

Graham Harrel under center with 8:37 left in the 4th quarter, Pack up 31-6. And it sure was sad seeing the Queens lay an egg on national TV last night as a 7-point favorite at home against a Tampa team travelling on a short week. I agree, we cannot have a let down and I don't expect MM to allow it. AR, Jones, Cobb & Finley should be plenty of offense to turn this into a laugher by early 3rd quarter. Unfortunately, will need to wait until mid-4th to put in Harrel based on fear (justifed?) that he could find a way to blow it. We need to find out what our backup QB is made of and I hope we get the chance late in this game.

on October 26th, 2012 at 02:15pm

Dave, did you write this before or after the Vikes got crushed by Tampa? Yeah, Tampa is way better than Jacksonville. Yeah, the Pack should win, but lets not assume Jacksonville is going to roll over and take a cat nap for this one. I expect they will try to run the ball, limit our possessions, keep it close and see what happens. I'm not sure how aggressively MM is going to call this game either, with all personnel changes. If it does get out of hand, I expect it will have a lot more to do with players breaking tackles than big throws down field. Confidence is a gift, over confidence a curse.

on October 26th, 2012 at 12:44pm

Sorry but I have to call-out The Head Cheese here. This is what he responded to a comment of mine with in his Aug. 28th blog: "I respectfully disagree Cane. Pack will ink Jennings to a long-term deal. If they move Jones, they go into next season with GJ, Nelson and Cobb as the top three. Whoever they keep at #6 this year (Gurley) becomes #4 and the bottom guy could be a practice squad guy from this season (Boykin) or a middle/late round pick next year." If you caught THC on In the Zone this morning---he now says the Pack will NOT extend Greg Jennings after this season because they need to extend AR, Roid-Maker, and Raji--i.e. EXACTLY what I told him in MY blog comment back then. So THC--is this just your politician-like flip-flop or do you just like talking out of both sides of your face? You can at least give ME credit (on Pack Preview tomorrow morning) for telling you how it was going to be with Jennings BEFORE the season even started.

on October 27th, 2012 at 02:19pm

I know football is a rough game but all these injuries piling up is getting ridiculous. I'd like to find out why the Packers seem to always have such inordinately long injury lists. It's not just this season. For most of the last decade it seems the Pack just can't keep a full strength team on the field for long stretches of seasons. To me it seems more than coincidence. It suggests poor fundamentals of football, too many guys too often not knowing or doing their jobs right, and maybe some issues going to the team conditioning program, training and medical staff. How do they nurse Jennings along for most of the seaon as a groin injury then now find an abdominal team requring surgery, which extends his absence time further? The Packers could almost field their own pro bowl team from their injury lists. Yes, it's fortunate they have a weak opponent with their own injury issues. But lest overconfidence be their curse, it might be remembered that about this time two years ago Miami came into Lambeau and pulled a 23-20 overtime shocker, with Chad Henne quarterbacking the visitors. If Gabbert can't stay in this game the Jaguars will turn to their back-up - Chad Henne.

on October 27th, 2012 at 06:25am

Been a busy week, and strangely enough, it still is - have been off the grid for most of it. So here you go, Larry - Pack 34 Jags 10.

on October 27th, 2012 at 09:20pm

You know... I'm starting to think Cane is actually a Packer fan really deep down and that he just won't admit it to himself. He seams to be addicted to something that he probably won't admit he likes, at least that's my theory. I was telling jokers a month ago that I didn't think he was a troll, he just has a harsh disgruntled opinion of his favorite NFL team.

on October 27th, 2012 at 09:21pm

Hey guys, I normally agree with u trashman, but not his time. I agree with lynndicky fan on this one. jennings will get 25 touches between rushing and receiving. I am also more scared of henne then gabbert. if we turn them over twice we will win easy, but they will try and keep the ball away from 12 and it will be close until mid 3rd qtr. I see it 34-20. Packerforlife, right on with the injuries, Do they stretch out right before the game? my buddies and I have been saying this for 5 years about the injuries. the talking heads on tv, all talk about smith out and jennings, they always forget about bishop, our best linebacker besides 52. because it happened so early on. I told my wife 2 months ago, jennings sounds like he has a hernia, I had mine done last year. now they wasted 2 months. by the way, jennings, please don't go to the queens next year, they stole enough of our players. nedd your prediction voice. go packers.

on October 27th, 2012 at 10:28am

PACKERLIFER ....You are right on....these injuries cannot be all coincidence....yes it is a rough game and all teams have injuries. But...I also echo your thoughts...something is not quite correct and my bet is on maybe questionable conditioning....both in and out of season. The Jennings situation is as confusing as the Benkazi it is adominal surgery when we were told groin all along. Now to the game....I will again say...lets keep "Playing Fast" ....meaning coming to the ball fast on both our pass routes on both sides of the ball ( lets hope Jared Bush only stays on special teams) and MM using the no huddle more often and staying with it even if we get up early. This is the time to build momentum and not get too conservative. GO PACK GO !!

on October 27th, 2012 at 11:16am

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