Gregor’s Packer Analysis
Week 11 Recap
In this issue:
The Packers get past the Lions
The Bears get Crushed
Detroit / Houston
The Green Bay Packers didn’t have a huge game in total yardage (319 to 362), didn’t score the most points of the season, and didn’t kick the ball very well, but they found a way to beat Detroit 24-20 at Ford Field.
A few things that stood out:
• They got five sacks without Clay Matthews.
• The new O line (TJ Lang moved to right tackle and Evan Dietrich Smith at left guard) gave up 3 sacks and some pressure, but did OK against a very good front four.
• The drops continued, with Jordy Nelson dropping what would have been a first down on the first series, resulting in a three and out.
• Jermichael Finley showed up and made some big plays, something he hasn’t done this season.
• Mason Crosby missed two field goals including a 38 yarder before making one from 39 yards. Early in the game, Mike McCarthy decided to go for it on 4th down rather than attempting a 49 yard field goal in a dome. Crosby isn’t the only one who doesn’t have confidence in his ability to make a field goal. He still has plenty of distance, and he needs to find a way to get it between the uprights. It sounds easy, but hasn’t been so far.
Things don’t get easier when Green Bay goes to play the Giants Sunday. They need to get Jordy Nelson, BJ Raji and Clay Matthews back for the game. And while Crosby still has the job this week, things have to turn around. He’s been good, he needs to get it back.
The Bears were dominated by the 49ers Monday night, 32-7. The loss drops the Bears into a tie with the Packers for first place in the NFC North. For anyone who thinks the Bears would have won if Jay Cutler had played, stop. The facts are that Cutler struggled against teams that put pressure on the quarterback, like Green Bay and Houston. Detroit got to him and the Bears only put up 13 points, it was the shutout that got them the win, not the offense. On Monday night, the Bears couldn’t protect Jason Campbell, who was sacked 6 times. Colin Kaepernick looked calm and very accurate in his first start, going 16 of 23 for 243 and 2 TDs. Total offense was 355 yards for SF to 143 for Chicago. Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall played on offense. The Bears defensive stars were on the field. They just got crushed. Sweet.
Looking ahead to the Thanksgiving Day game, Houston is a 3 point favorite over the host Detroit Lions. If the Green Bay game was a must win, does that mean the season is over, or that the Lions are even more desperate? The Texans looked good on Sunday Night football against the Bears, then had a big letdown game against the Jags on Sunday. The Lions have a few things going for them. It’s a national TV game, and over the years they’ve come up big against teams that probably would have dominated them if it was a Sunday afternoon game. It’s a home game on a short week. And the Texans have to be a little concerned after giving up 37 to a horrible Jacksonville offense.
Surprisingly, the Houston road numbers and Detroit home numbers look pretty similar. Houston has more talent and more confidence. But on a national game, if the home underdog can hang around, they can win. Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford can come up big. It’s the secondary that’s the issue. Unless they play their game of the season, Matt Schaub lights them up. I like Houston by 7.