Even Clay Matthews can't believe how quickly the national media has jumped off the Packers bandwagon. Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Packer Forum writer
Let's start by saying this:
NFL power rankings mean nothing.
They are a form of infotainment spawned by the digital era. Our forefathers of NFL fandom did not need power rankings to know if a certain team was just downright awful or vice versa a team was really good.
With that being said, power rankings do seem to be a mirror into the soul of a very fickle national commentary on the NFL. They tend to bring out the outrageous. In fact, one prominent national NFL media commentator suggests the Packers could possibly miss the playoffs. We'll get to that in a moment.
ESPN began the Packers at No. 1 in their Power Rankings. After Sunday's loss to a good 49ers team, the Packers are at No. 5 in the latest installment from the World Wide Leader.
Another ESPN writer is ready to crown the 49ers so to speak in, "San Francisco, the NFL's new beast"
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports is hitting the panic button for you re: the Packers pass defense. As if the Packers haven't known about their secondary issues for the last three years he drops the Packers from 1st to 8th quicker than you can say, 'send help now!' he writes, "If they don't tighten up the back end of their defense, even Aaron Rodgers might not be able to bail them out."
Brian Bilick really doesn't like an NFL team with a questionable defense, he won a Super Bowl in 2000 with the Ravens who had a record setting defense but an offense ranked 13th in the league in scoring (333 points), 16th in total yards (5,301), and 23rd in passing yards (3,102).
Bilick writes for Fox Sports, "The Packers were up against the best defense in the NFL, but I still expected more from them at home. The lack of running game is once again very prevalent and the inability to defend the pass is a huge concern. Both came back to bite them in the playoffs last season."
Bilick for his part was not buying the Packers all that much in his preseason rankings putting them at 4th when many others ranked them No. 1. This week he drops them to 7th.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com takes the cake where his creativity gets the better of him and suggests a scenario in which the Packers miss the playoffs.
He writes, "Thursday night’s game should have a postseason feel, because if the Packers fall to 0-2 with two home losses before the second Sunday of the season, the Packers may not feel the postseason this year."
He also dropped the Packers from first to fifth in the website's latest rankings.
Of course there is also the school of psychology which believes that it's easier to play from behind. See the Packers descent compared the to ascent of the Giants in 2011.
It was Vince Lombardi who said, "Teams do not go physically flat, they go mentally stale."
Greg Jennings Injury Jennings may miss Thursday's game with a groin injury. More than likely he'll be a game-time decision.
Walden is back Erik Walden has been reinstated to the team after serving a one-game suspension by the NFL. The Packers have also released CB Brandian Ross.
Cutler's audibles: Jay Cutler carved up a week Indianapolis Colts defense on Sunday, and said afterwards he audibles about 60 percent of the time. A season ago under offensive coordinator Mike Martz Cutler had zero control of the offense and some felt Martz was micromanaging the offense to earn himself another shot at a head coaching job.
In reviewing the 49ers game film it does appear there were times when Packers defensive backs appeared confused as to what scheme they were in or what the play was.
The Packers have communication issues in the secondary writes Rob Demovsky of the GB Press Gazette.
NFL Network will broadcast Thursday's game at 7:20 CDT. It is the Packers’ third-ever appearance on NFL Network and their first since Nov. 29, 2007, at Dallas. Locally it will air as a simulcast on WGBA (NBC, Ch. 26) in Green Bay and WITI (FOX, Ch. 6) in Milwaukee.
Scheduling anomaly: At 1/16ths of the season completed, the Packers are the only NFC north team with a loss. Thursday's game is the only NFC North game for the Packers in the first 10 weeks of the season. Could it set up for a much tighter division race than the last couple of seasons? That is yet to be seen.
Lately, the Packers have done very well against the NFC North. In 2011 the Packers became the first team since the '87 Bears to go undefeated in the division. Since McCarthy became coach the Packers have a .750 win percentage in the division, second only to the New England Patriots in that timeframe.
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