Gregor’s Packer Analysis
Week 7 Recap
In this issue:
Let’s Ponder the Vikings offense
Bears Defense dominates the Lions
Packer costly win
Yes, the Minnesota Vikings beat the Arizona Cardinals 21-14. Yes, the Vikings sacked John Skelton 7 times beating an offensive line that’s given up more sacks than anyone (35). Yes, Adrian Peterson rushed for 153 yards on 23 carries. Yes, the Vikings had a defensive touchdown. Which is good for them, because Christian Ponder was a pathetic 8 of 17 for 58 yards, 2 picks and 1 TD. He started the season taking care of the ball, but has turned it over in recent weeks and isn’t offsetting the turnovers with big offensive plays or overall production. They find a way to win at home, but this is a passing league, and this team isn’t going to beat good teams on the road with 58 yards passing.
The Chicago Bears had a big game defensively and did just enough on offense against a below average Lions defense to win 13-7. Some quick thoughts on the game:
The Lions have under-achieved this season, falling to 2-4. Calvin Johnson, the best receiver in the game, isn’t finding the end zone.
Charles “Peanut” Tillman had great position, knocked the ball away, and continually frustrated Johnson who had just 3 catches for 34 yards.
They haven’t run well, although they did have 99 yards on 18 carries.
They haven’t stopped anyone until Monday Night, holding the Bears to 13.
The Bears defense forced 4 turnovers and had a shutout until the closing minute.
The Bears offensive line is a weak link on this team. They gave up 7 sacks to the Packers in their only loss, and gave up 5 sacks to the Bears, including one where Ndamukong Suh landed on Cutler and Cutler left the game for x-rays on his ribs. Get after Cutler, and he doesn’t play well. He was 16 of 31 for just 150 yards (125 yards net) and 1 TD. They lost to the Packers and should have lost to the Lions but the defense bailed him out.
The Packers beat the Rams 30-20 but lost a key player for 6 weeks or more when Charles Woodson broke his collarbone late in the game.
Fortunately, the offensively challenged Jacksonville Jaguars, the Arizona Cardinals, and a bye are next up on the schedule. Not that it’s good that Woodson is out, but he won’t be missed too much in the next three weeks.
Jordy Nelson had another big game. When the offense was struggling early in the season he wasn’t getting huge numbers. Hasn’t been a problem as he was over 100 receiving yards again.
Get the ball to Randall Cobb. He is clearly a playmaker, and whether he lines up in the backfield or split outside, he needs more touches.
The Rams have a good defense so it’s easy to over-react to the lack of a running game with Cedric Benson out. But it’s got to improve or Aaron Rodgers could be taking a lot of hits, any one of which could end his season. And even if Rodgers can play the whole season, it’s easier for defenses to slow down the passing game if they don’t have to worry about a running game. Maybe not a problem against the Jags, but the Cardinals have a secondary—just ask the Patriots and the Vikings.
The playoff picture currently has three NFC North teams in the running, the Bears, the Vikings and the Lions. By the end of the season, expect the Packers to be on top, then the Bears, and the Vikings. The Vikings have to show they can win on the road. They proved they can win at home.