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Preseason Packers vs. Jaguars: Previews

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://deadspin.com/sports/nfl-season-preview/nfl-season-preview-green-bay-packers-292191.php

    NFL Season Preview: Green Bay Packers

    Brett, I owe you an apology. I have broken faith. I have sinned against you in my heart. A year ago at this time, I was saying unkind things about you to other Packers fans. Things like "It's time for him to retire before he ruins his legacy with another 30-interception season." And: "Every season he plays just postpones our next Super Bowl hopes by another year." And: "He's the only quarterback alive whose decisionmaking gets worse as he gets older." Brett, I'm sorry. All those things I said about you? They were true. Face it: You're just not the same quarterback you were 10 years ago, and I don't mean physically. Half the time, you don't seem to have the heart for a whole 60-minute game. You'll squander a perfectly promising drive by throwing deep into double coverage, for no apparent reason other than to cut the tension. (Holmgren would've kicked your *** for it. Sherman didn't, which is probably why you keep doing it.) Then, you'll make that ridiculous little-boy grimace-face, like "How could this have happened?" which makes me want to reach through the TV screen and shake you. Afterwards, you'll say something preposterous about how your mistakes weren't really mistakes because you were just trying to "make something happen."

    But you know what? None of that matters. After last season ended, I realized something had changed. I wanted you to come back. And it wasn't because you'd managed to lead the Green Bay to a perfectly respectable and better-than-expected 8-8 finish. Nor was it because this season's prospects look even better, with a core of talented young defensive players (Aaron Kampman, Cullen Jenkins, A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett) who should guarantee the Pack a playoff spot no matter what happens on offense. Nor is it because, seriously, Aaron Rodgers? Brett, I don't care about those things. I don't care if we make the playoffs or not. I don't care if you throw 40 picks this year, and you make that stupid face every time. If I wanted to watch someone execute perfect plays, I'd root for Peyton Manning. I don't. I want to watch the guy who got called for a late hit against the Vikings after decking the cornerback who'd picked him off. The guy who got knocked silly in the Jets game, then popped up and threw a touchdown he didn't remember afterwards. The guy who played the best game of his life the night his dad's body lay cooling on a slab -- turning a throwaway Raiders game into the most poignant night of my career as a fan. If the other stuff -- the insane decisions, the dumb risks, the misguided belief in an ability to turn any broken play into six points -- if all that comes along with the package, so be it. I just want it to last as long as possible.

    (Confidential to Coach McCarthy: First time he lobs an easy one into the waiting arms of a safety, you have to tear his ******* head off. It's what Holmgren would do.)

    :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
     
  2. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    thats pretty freakin awesome. And I totally agree.

    :rotflmao:

    Thanks Tophat! :thumbsup:
     
  3. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://www.nflmedia.com

    THIRD WEEK, FIRST CUTDOWN. IT’S PRESSURE TIME IN THE NFL

    The veterans will see a lot of action. For the rookies, it may be their last action. The first cutdown day in the NFL looms - to 75 players next Tuesday, August 28. With only two games left in the preseason, the proving time for rookies and veterans on the bubble is getting short. Time to impress the coach even more. Those evaluations will continue to be made through the next two weeks. And fans can make their own during four national television games this week:

    • JACKSONVILLE at GREEN BAY (Thursday, FOX, 8:00 PM ET): The QBs look hot! Off last week’s performances, starting quarterbacks BYRON LEFTWICH of the Jaguars and BRETT FAVRE of the Packers look like they’re ready for the season. Learning his third new offense (under new coordinator DIRK KOETTER) in the past five years, Leftwich led three first-half scoring drives last Saturday against Tampa Bay. "We started off slow, but we finished the first quarter and the beginning of the second strong," he said. Favre, who can become the NFL’s all-time TD pass leader this year, definitely looked ready for the bell in a 48-13 win over Seattle on Saturday. He drove the Pack to 17 points in its first four drives. He also
    seemed to be in sync with two rookies. Favre handed off to running back BRANDON JACKSON (second round, Nebraska) for a one-yard score, and connected on a 16-yard TD strike with wideout JAMES JONES (third round, San Jose State), who is vying for the No. 3 receiving spot.
     
  4. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preview

    http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports//index.php?ntid=206702

    Preview: Packers vs. Jaguars

    Packers' injury report: DE Mike Montgomery (knee), WR-KR Shaun Bodiford (knee), FB Ryan Powdrell (knee), G Tony Palmer (hamstring), T Orrin Thompson (knee), RB P.J. Pope (knee), RB Vernand Morency (knee), RB DeShawn Wynn (quadriceps) and DE DeVon Hicks (groin) won't play. FB Brandon Miree (stinger) and RT Tony Moll (stinger) could play.

    Five things to watch

    Against the grain

    The third preseason game is normally the one fans don't want to miss — if there's such a thing as must-see exhibitions — because the starters traditionally play into the third quarter. That won't be the case tonight, as McCarthy has decided it's more important to get a long look at the competitions for backup spots. Expect plenty of mix-and-match lineups during the third quarter.

    Manuel transmission

    Atari Bigby gets the start at strong safety over Marquand Manuel, and Bigby is a virtual lock to start there when the regular season begins in 2� weeks. Manuel, who started all 16 games last year, is now playing for a roster spot. If rookie Aaron Rouse and second-year safeties Charlie Peprah and Tyrone Culver show more potential and special-teams usefulness, Manuel is a goner.

    Missing in action

    Last week, second-year receiver Greg Jennings openly spoke about his limited opportunities throughout camp, both in practice and in games, as he's yet to catch a single ball through two exhibition tilts. He's seen a few more balls in practice of late, but the can't-miss camper of 2006 would like to get some more action before the games start to count Sept. 9.

    Giving it the boot

    Packers punter Jon Ryan switched to a two-step technique during the offseason, and his already impressively strong leg looks like an even greater weapon so far. Not only is he kicking the ball far, his placement is better and so is his hang time. The Canadian import looks like he'll be in Green Bay for quite a while. Watch him work.

    No reminder needed

    The good news for Packers fans regarding the failed comeback attempt of 1999 No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch, who went to camp with the Packers in 2004 and was released Saturday by the Jaguars, is they won't have to be reminded of one of former coach-GM Mike Sherman's worst personnel follies by watching him tonight. Couch, who signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the team that included a $625,000 signing bonus, filed a grievance against the team after he was cut, saying he deserved an injury settlement because of a shoulder problem. Given how horrible he was.
     
  5. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I like that the 3rd quarter will be competition time. Do we really need favre and driver out there? Not when there's all these questions that need answers.
     
  6. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    NFL Preseason Preview - Jacksonville (1-1) at Green Bay (2-0)

    The Green Bay Packers will try to move their preseason record to a perfect 3-0 on Thursday night, when Mike McCarthy's club plays host to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third tune-up for each squad. Green Bay, which finished the 2006 regular season with four straight wins, has thus far defeated both Pittsburgh (13-9) and Seattle (48-13) in the preseason. In last Saturday's rout of the Seahawks, the Pack took advantage of six Seattle turnovers, including fumbles that were returned for touchdowns by Green Bay linebackers Nick Barnett and Tracy White. On the offensive side of the football, quarterback Brett Favre was a solid 7- of-12 for 74 yards and a touchdown, while backup Aaron Rodgers finished 10- of-16 for 97 yards and a pair of scores.

    Rookie running back Brandon Jackson, who is attempting to win the top backfield job, finished with 54 yards on 13 carries and can secure his first- string status with a strong outing against the Jaguars. Jackson's presumed top competition for the position, holdover Vernand Morency, has been bothered by knee problems throughout training camp and is not likely to be available for Thursday. Fullback Brandon Miree, who has missed Green Bay's first two preseason games with a shoulder problem, is expected to see action, however. The Packers' starters are likely to play the entire first half and perhaps into the third quarter, in keeping with preseason Week 3 custom.

    The big story for the Jaguars on Thursday night will be the play of a wide receiving corps that has seen contentious competition for jobs throughout camp. Ex-Brown Dennis Northcutt and holdover Ernest Wilford have been running with the first-team for most of the preseason, with former first-round draft choices Matt Jones and Reggie Williams resigned to backup duties. Williams, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2004 Draft, is widely believed to be among those on the roster bubble. One player whose job appears to be set in stone is quarterback Byron Leftwich, who has played well and remained healthy during the '07 warm-up period after injuries and inconsistency has dogged him in years past. Leftwich is 13-of-22 for 159 yards with a touchdown during the preseason, and threw for 81 yards in the Jags' 31-19 win over Tampa Bay last Saturday. On the injury front for Jacksonville, safety and first-round draft pick Reggie Nelson (knee) will be among the notables not able to suit up on Thursday. Jacksonville won the only preseason meeting played between the Jags and the Pack all-time, taking a 9-7 home triumph prior to the 2004 season.
     
  7. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Preview: Five Crucial things

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=651208

    Injury report: Packers - RB Vernand Morency (knee), RB P.J. Pope (knee), RB DeShawn Wynn (thigh), DE DeVon Hicks (groin), OG Tony Palmer (hamstring), OT Tony Moll (stinger), WR Shaun Bodiford (knee), FB Ryan Powdrell (knee), DE Michael Montgomery (knee) and OT Orrin Thompson (knee) are out. Jaguars - DE Paul Spicer (back), S Reggie Nelson (ankle), LB Clint Ingram (ankle), OG Chris Naeole (knee), DT Tony McDaniel (knee) and LB Pat Thomas (hamstring) are out.

    FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

    Mirror image: The Jaguars play the kind of football the Packers hope to play this season: good, physical defense complemented by a strong running game. Jacksonville ranked second in the league in defense last year and will punch the Packers in the mouth if they don't come ready to rumble. This will be the best test for the Packers' run defense thus far even though Naeole won't be in the lineup and it's questionable how many carries starting running back Fred Taylor will receive.

    First things first: The Jaguars intend to play most of their starters through the first three quarters of the game, but the Packers won't match them. Because of injuries at running back, fullback and offensive line, coach Mike McCarthy wants to limit the exposure of the starters and risk losing any more depth at those positions. What's more, he wants to put players who are on the fence - such as ends Larry Birdine and Jason Hunter, safety Charlie Peprah, linebacker Desmond Bishop and defensive tackle Daniel Muir - a chance to play against the Jaguars' No. 1 units.

    Crunch time: So far, neither Dave Rayner nor Mason Crosby has flinched. Both have hit 2 of 2 attempts in exhibition games and roughly the same percentage in practice. Kickoffs could be a determining factor. So far, their distance has been almost equal (Rayner is averaging 70 yards per kick and Crosby is averaging 69.8). But Rayner has two touchbacks to Crosby's one and returns off his kickoffs have averaged 21.2 yards to Crosby's 28.0. The battle continues.

    Block and tackle: Rookie Korey Hall has the team made, the only question is whether he'll start at fullback. Veteran Brandon Miree suffered a setback due to a neck stinger and will be playing for the first time. Either Miree is going to have to play lights out or Hall is going to have to fall flat on his face for there to be a change in the depth chart. Hall's play on special teams continues to be a plus in his favor and he's definitely the fullback of the future.

    Feet first: Rookie free agent running back Corey White is being given an opportunity to show he belongs, but he's clearly on the fence and needs a big game to solidify his spot. White has the second most carries behind Brandon Jackson with 21, but is averaging just 2.2 yards per attempt. Jackson, Morency and Hall are guaranteed roster spots. White could serve as a swing man at halfback and fullback. If he plays well, then the Packers could keep him and either one or two more halfbacks to go with the other three.
     
  8. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    PREVIEW: GOOD DL TEST

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20398740/

    Packers' defensive line seeking true test from injured Jaguars

    GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -The Green Bay Packers think they might have the NFL's best defensive line. Now they need to prove it against a worthy opponent.

    And that might not happen again this week.

    After a dominant performance against an injury-depleted Seattle offense on Saturday, the Packers probably won't get a true test from the banged-up Jacksonville Jaguars in Thursday night's preseason game at Lambeau Field. Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins doesn't want to hear the Packers' defensive success in the preseason doesn't really count because it hasn't come against top competition. "I guess it fuels the fire a little bit, where you're ready to go out there and show people that this is real,'' Jenkins said. "It's not just something that's just a little fluke.'' The Packers had seven sacks and forced six turnovers against Seattle, but the Seahawks were playing without their starting quarterback and both tackles.

    Now the Packers will face a Jaguars offensive line that also is missing two starters. "With their front four, this is going to be our best test so far,'' Jaguars left tackle Khalif Barnes said. "I like challenges. It lets you know where you're at, where you stand in the league and what you have to do to get better. If you want to be the best, you have to go against the best.'' The Packers' defensive line lacks marquee names, although end Aaron Kampman is beginning to earn national recognition after leading the NFC with 15 1/2 sacks and going to the Pro Bowl last season. Beyond Kampman, the Packers have a deep group of underrated players who could form a formidable front four. The Packers will start Kampman and Jenkins, younger brother of Carolina Panthers star Kris Jenkins, at defensive end, with veteran Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila playing on passing downs. They go five players deep at defensive tackle, a talented logjam that has so far made first-round draft pick Justin Harrell an afterthought.

    The Packers still have three major roles up for grabs. Atari Bigby is trying to unseat starting strong safety Marquand Manuel, Jarrett Bush is getting a chance to solidify his spot as the No. 3 cornerback and rookie Mason Crosby is attempting to outkick incumbent Dave Rayner. Packers coach Mike McCarthy will depart from conventional coaching wisdom and pull most of his starters well before the third quarter. The Packers are trying to rest several injured players.
     
  9. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://packers.scout.com/2/671084.html

    Jaguars at Packers: Keys to the game

    The new-look defensive backfield and players on the roster bubble are just two of the things.... The Packers on Thursday night will play the third preseason game of the year, which is typically a dress rehearsal for the regular season. The starters usually play deep into the third quarter in advance of the final preseason game, in which anyone who’s important will barely work up a sweat. Packers coach Mike McCarthy, however, is taking a different tact.

    With that in mind, here are five things I’ll be watching.

    New-look defensive backfield

    In the biggest news to come out of training camp this summer, McCarthy replaced Marquand Manuel with Atari Bigby as a starting safety and Patrick Dendy with Jarrett Bush as the nickel cornerback. Considering the No. 3 cornerback played a shade more than half of the defensive snaps last season, Bush is as much a starter as linebacker Brady Poppinga. That means, with two preseason games left and training camp all but wrapped up, McCarthy has replaced 40 percent of his starting secondary. That makes Thursday’s game against Jacksonville and next Thursday’s game at Tennessee vital, especially for Bigby and fellow starting safety Nick Collins to build the chemistry that Collins and Manuel lacked last season. It will be especially interesting to watch Bigby, who has showed the best blitzing skills from his position since Packers hall of famer LeRoy Butler. His two sacks were impressive against the Seahawks, as was one play when he didn’t get a sack but showed amazing balance by running through the block of a guard and forcing a throwaway. There’s more to playing safety than blitzing, though, so Bigby — who was undrafted and has been cut three times — has to show he’s an upgrade over Manuel in run and pass defense. Unfortunately, neither the Jaguars nor the Titans have big-time, complicated passing schemes to get the new secondary ready.

    Improving Favre

    The Packers say they aren’t worried about Brett Favre, and with his experience and track record, they’re probably right. But Favre hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire during two preseason games, and has had more erratic practices this summer than perhaps the last three training camps combined. Through two preseason games, Favre is 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) passing for 81 yards, with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 76.9 rating. He was improved against Seattle (7-of-12, 74 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 104.2 rating) but even then he missed a couple receivers he could have hit blindfolded five years ago.

    Tight ends

    While Bigby’s promotion was the big news of training camp, Bubba Franks’ demotion was the big on-the-field news coming out of the offseason. I said it then and it’s even more true today: What has Donald Lee done to deserve to start at such a critical position? True, he’s faster than Franks and has better hands, so he’s the better on-paper player. But Franks has done it in the games, is a better blocker and showed against Seattle that he still can be effective. Yes, Franks had a horrible last season, but don’t be surprised if he’s starting on opening day, especially if he’s productive against the Jaguars and Titans.

    Fullbacks

    Incumbent starter Brandon Miree is finally healthy, and he should be ready to play against the Jaguars. Good timing, since his lengthy absence was about to cost him a spot on the roster. As it is, he’s going to have to impress if he wants to remain the starter. Then again, how comfortable can the Packers be with Korey Hall as the starter? Hall has some terrific long-term potential, but he was playing linebacker at Boise State just eight months ago. Then there’s big Corey White, who’s been playing halfback through training camp, but can play fullback. He’s playing all the special teams, so he’s clearly in the Packers’ plans. A couple of these guys better impress, or the Packers will be shopping once the first wave of cuts are made on Aug. 28 or the final cuts are made Sept. 1.

    Bubble boys

    The first cuts should be pretty easy, but McCarthy and Ted Thompson probably will have a good idea of who will make their 53-player roster after breaking down Thursday’s game. In fact, even with all the talk of Thompson building a deeper team, there are surprisingly few players competing for roster spots. On offense, Orrin Thompson may be battling Tony Palmer for the final offensive line spot. Clark Harris and Zac Alcorn are battling to be the No. 3 tight end, though both could be released if the Packers find someone on the street after cuts. The Packers might keep only one true fullback, with the tight ends filling in and White able to play both positions. At quarterback, Paul Thompson probably blew his chance last week, but Ingle Martin isn’t a lock. The Packers could go with two, or add someone off the street. The injury to Mike Montgomery made defensive line relatively simple. Fellow end Jason Hunter probably was on the bubble. Now, he’s a relative lock. At middle linebacker, Abdul Hodge needs a big game to earn a spot ahead of rookie Desmond Bishop. The sixth linebacker, either Spencer Havner or Rory Johnson, will come down to special teams. At safety, either Manuel makes the team as a high-priced, veteran reserve, or they go with Tyrone Culver or Charlie Peprah based on special-teams play and long-term potential. At cornerback, Frank Walker — Ted Thompson’s only big free-agent addition — seems to have practically no chance to make the roster, considering the play of Dendy, Bush and Will Blackmon.
     
  10. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com...20070823/PKR01/708230681/1057/PKR&located=RSS

    5 things to watch in tonight's game

    1. Coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Bob Sanders made major changes to the secondary this week, and now it's time to see if they will pan out. Atari Bigby, who had two sacks in last Saturday's preseason rout of the Seattle Seahawks, will start at strong safety in place of the struggling Marquand Manuel. It's too soon to say whether Bigby will be an upgrade in coverage over Manuel, who regularly got beat down the field. Jarrett Bush finally gets his chance in the nickel defense in place of Patrick Dendy, who gave up too many plays deep.

    2. Corey Williams took six snaps at defensive end against the Seahawks after Michael Montgomery left with a knee injury. The subject of trade talks throughout the preseason, Williams has been among the top defensive tackles throughout camp and if he has another strong showing at defensive end, it could solidify his role and make him indispensable. Playing him some at end also would free up snaps for first-round draft pick Justin Harrell, who defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn said is in line to work into the regular rotation for the first time tonight.

    3. After flopping in the first preseason game at Pittsburgh on Aug. 11, the starting offense rebounded in a big way against Seattle. Will that group take another step forward or was its showing against Seattle a fluke? One thing is certain: The coaches want the offensive line to pass protect better.

    4. There hasn't been a major break in the kicking battle between incumbent Dave Rayner and rookie Mason Crosby. Neither has missed a kick in the preseason games and both have been better than 80 percent accurate in practice. Both also have been strong on kickoffs. Something has to give soon.

    5. It will be Ingle Martin's turn this week to run the third-string offense. Martin, who played the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh but not at all against Seattle, has not looked good in camp. His competitor, rookie Paul Thompson, did OK in his fourth-quarter stint against the Seahawks and marginally has been better than Martin in practice. Martin probably needs to be productive in this game to win back his roster spot.
     
  11. packedhouse01

    packedhouse01 Cheesehead

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    what will make this game interesting is to see how our second and third tier players play against the Jags first team. Their first team will play into the third quarter. Which means that our starters will probably play considerable time the next game. There are lots of decisions to make and it wil be fun to watch things develop.
     
  12. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    I am interested to see how B-Jck runs against the Jags defense.
     
  13. Sadie

    Sadie Cheesehead

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    ^ You took the words right out of my mouth. I am very interested to see how well Brandon Jackson performs against the Jags defense and I looking forward to seeing more of this James Jones kid.
     
  14. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

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    I want to see how our O-line stands up against one of the best starting DT duos in the league in Stroud and Henderson.
     
  15. DoddPower

    DoddPower Nick Perry is watching you, NFL QB's!

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    I honestly think our running game will struggle tonight. I mean, the Jag's are tough. Let's hope I'm wrong tho!
     
  16. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    MM has said this will not be the typical third game when you play your starters for three quarters to see where your starting group stands.

    He said this was because of the physical status of the team and that there were still many individual battles for positions he wanted cleard up.

    Having said that the Jags may very well stay with the traditional agenda and keep their #1 guys out there longer meaning we won't be matching the #1's against #1's, and 2's against 2's like you would normally see.

    MM was asked if he would play the #1's for three quarters in game four against the Titans and he said no. If they didn't do it in game 3 it wasn't going to happen.

    I have often seen games like this when players are being shuffled in and out against the other teams #1's and it usually doesn't turn out to great so I'm not looking for a whole lot of what we saw against Seattle.
     
  17. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    if we win this game tonight... after pulling our starters in the first half... thats a statement.
     
  18. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I think if this game is won, it will be due to defense and PASS offense.

    I fully expect our run game to struggle vs. the jaguars, and thats not a devestatingly bad thing, theyre a very good D.
     
  19. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    yeah i agree about the run game struggling. Its a huge test for both teams... as we are built very similiarly. strong D-lines and supposed to focus on running the ball.

    i think our only clear advantage would be at quarterback. and their cornerbacks arent near as good as ours. also linebackers we are a step ahead.

    they have a better run game. so it should be a good test for both of us.
     
  20. dhpackr

    dhpackr Cheesehead

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    JJ and B-Jack, and can Bubba continue to make plays. At one time Franks was money in the red zone, be nice to see Favre hook up with bubba for 6 points.
     
  21. Popcynical

    Popcynical Cheesehead

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    I wanna see how Harris does against number ones.
     
  22. DoddPower

    DoddPower Nick Perry is watching you, NFL QB's!

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    I was watching the Jag's / Tampa game today, and although they STUFFED the run almost every time, I watched Jeff Garcia march down the field through the air one drive completed like 4/4 for 43 yards and then a nice run straight up the middle to find the in zone. So, if Garcia can do it against their first, hopefully Favre can as well.
     
  23. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    cool stuff, dodd

    I'm getting excited...I hate pre-game waiting. CMON CLOCK GO FASTER!
     
  24. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    i have heard rumors of a certain beverage that helps pass the time.
     
  25. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    i'm anxious:
    to see if Bubba puts up another solid performance.
    to see if Jackson can protect Favre if need be.
    to see Jennings get into the action.
    to see if Bigby follows his strong performance from last week with an even stronger one.
    to see if Harrell makes any nice plays while minimizing rookie mistakes.
    to see if our special teams gets us solid field position, since with a high powered defense and a possession offense, field position has become very important for the success of this team.
    to drink some beer and eat some pizza.
     

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