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Matthews listed as probable for Sunday’s game

Playing a road game against a division rival raises the intensity for linebacker Clay Matthews.

“They’re fun games to play, and I think more so just talking from the fan aspect of it — the fans hate you,” Matthews said Friday. “That’s something to thrive on when you play on the road.”

After missing Green Bay’s two games against the Chicago Bears last season, the Packers’ defensive standout anticipates playing Sunday when the NFL’s oldest rivals meet for the first time this season.

Matthews, who has a groin injury, is probable for the game against the Bears.

“Provided there’s no setbacks, I expect myself to be out there on Sunday,” Matthews said.

Matthews has practiced on a limited basis this week after suffering the injury in the second half of the Packers’ 19-7 loss at Detroit last Sunday. Matthews didn’t finish the game.


Packers’ Peppers preps for Chicago

Julius Peppers is short and direct when talking in front of the cameras.

Not even a looming trip to Chicago to face his old team Sunday will get the Green Bay Packers’ even-keeled pass rusher to show some emotion.

This is just business, Peppers said Thursday. He would know after getting cut by the Bears in the offseason as a salary cap hit.

“Never hard feelings. It’s the business,” the 34-year-old Peppers said. “People might not go from Green Bay to Chicago, or from Chicago to Green Bay, all the time, but people change teams all the time. It’s nothing really extraordinary about this situation.”

It’s also not often that a team gets to add a 6-foot-7 pass rusher who entered the season with 118 1/2 sacks.


No panic, though Packers look to boost offense

Jordy Nelson hears the concerns among the Packers fan base about Green Bay’s sputtering offense.

The receiver gets it.

He’s not happy about the output, either, just like the rest of the team.

But there is no panic in Green Bay.

“I don’t think anyone’s happy with how we performed,” Nelson said. “But yeah, we’ve got to stay calm, and we’ll stay the course and keep working at it and get better and hopefully go out and play better on Sunday.”

There is plenty of room for improvement after the performance last week in a 19-7 loss to Detroit.

Green Bay’s 223 yards of total offense were the team’s lowest total since a 184-yard outing on Nov. 9, 2008, in a 28-27 loss to Minnesota.

The 51 offensive plays against the Lions were well below the goal of 75 that coach Mike McCarthy likes to run in his up-tempo, no-huddle scheme.


Packers search for answers on offense

The Green Bay Packers began the process of fixing their once-potent offense on Monday morning, with a no-fun film review of the team’s 19-7 loss to the Detroit Lions the day before.

“This is what Mondays are for,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Win or lose.”

Rarely, though, have the Packers spent a Monday poring over the offensive film wondering what went wrong. And plenty went wrong.

Running back Eddie Lacy, who was the NFL offensive rookie of the year last season, had his third straight substandard game, rushing 11 times for 36 yards, with 17 yards coming on one carry. For the season, Lacy has carried 36 times for 113 yards after rushing for 1,178 yards - and registering four 100-yard games — last season. “Disappointing” was the word McCarthy used to describe the minimal production.

“Eddie needs to play better,” McCarthy said, refusing to elaborate. “I don’t correct individuals in the media.”


Bulaga could play against Lions

Bryan Bulaga wasn’t quite ready to say he will be back in uniform and on the field Sunday for the Green Bay Packers.

“I’m not saying I’m definitely playing,” the veteran right tackle said Friday. “We’ve got to still evaluate things that go into tomorrow.”

Bulaga is listed as questionable for Green Bay’s NFC North road matchup against the Detroit Lions.

Bulaga suffered a significant knee injury in the Packers’ season-opening loss at Seattle and didn’t play in their big comeback win over the New York Jets on Sunday.

As he did last week, Bulaga practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday this week. He looked to be moving around better with a protective brace on his injured left knee.

“From last week to this week, it feels a lot better,” Bulaga said. “Mobility wise, strength wise, everything has just progressed really well.”


Matthews on the move on field

No matter how the Packers defense lines up, Clay Matthews is adamant that his top goal is to disrupt opponents and make big plays.

It’s just that Green Bay’s best pass rusher these days may not be getting as much of a chance to do it close to the line, hovering around the same tight end or tackle on the edge play after play.

A major wrinkle to the Packers’ defense this year includes lining up Matthews in different spots, instead of just keeping the long-haired linebacker rushing from one end or the other. The defense overall has had mixed results early with Green Bay (1-1) preparing for Sunday’s game at Detroit.

“What we’re trying to accomplish is the fact that we’re trying to present problems for the opponents’ offense and not just lining me up in one spot,” Matthews said this week. “But I think the thing about it is you look at the personnel on the field, I think that I’m more than capable of rushing the passer and dropping into coverage.”


Packers defense back on track?

Coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dom Capers believe the Green Bay Packers defense is headed in the right direction, and not just because there was no other way to go after its struggles against the defending Super Bowl champions in the season opener.

The unit gave up 398 yards - including 207 on the ground - to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL kickoff game, then helped put the Packers in an 18-point hole in Sunday’s 31-24 come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets at Lambeau Field by surrendering touchdowns on the first three series.


Packers rally to 31-24 win over Jets

Leader Photo by Gerrard Diaz Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson grabs a pass Sunday in the Packers' 31-24 win over the Jets at Lambeau Field. Nelson had 209 yards receiving, including an 80-yard touchdown.

Leader Photo by Gerrard Diaz Packers cornerback Tramon Williams steps in front of Jets tight end Zach Sudfeld to intercept a pass Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Packers rallied from 18 points down to beat the Jets, 31-24.

A horrible start was just setting the scene as the Green Bay Packers rallied from a 21-3 deficit to beat the New York Jets 31-24 Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers took over the No. 2 spot on the team's all-time passing yardage list, and receiver Jordy Nelson had a career-best day, in the victory.

“They have grit,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “That’s something we’ve always felt. I really like the character and makeup of our players. Everyone wants to talk about talent, measurables, experience and production. But this group, they’re wired the right way, they work the right way and we improved as a team today.”

The 18-point comeback victory was a career-best for Rodgers, who was 25 of 42 for 346 yards. Rodgers (24,734) eclipsed Bart Starr (24,718) on the franchise’s career passing yards list and now only trails Brett Favre (61,655).


Bulaga questionable for Sunday

The Green Bay Packers will have one lineup change for their first game at Lambeau Field this season.

The possibility for another one is in play.

The Packers won’t know until Saturday whether injured right tackle Bryan Bulaga will be available for their home opener the next day. The Packers are listing Bulaga as questionable for the game against the New York Jets.

Bulaga suffered an injury to his surgically repaired left knee in the first half of Green Bay’s season-opening loss at Seattle on Sept. 4 and didn’t play the rest of the game. The team’s medical staff re-evaluated Bulaga on Friday morning after he took part in some practice drills Wednesday and Thursday.

“Bryan Bulaga with his exam (was) sore, which I think you’d expect, so we’ll see how he progresses through today and see what he can do tomorrow,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Working both days, I think this is what’s to be expected.”


Packers' offense needs to regroup

The Green Bay Packers were big fans of the no-huddle in the preseason.

It’s time to huddle up.

Not on the field, but in practice. The Packers’ offense needs to re-group after an embarrassing performance in Seattle last week in the season opener.

The team had issues dealing with cornerback Richard Sherman, avoiding — either by plan or by circumstance — his side of the field the whole game. The Packers’ dynamic passing game? Regulated to one side of the field with a stacked defense ready for anything.

Rookie receivers Davante Adams, a second-round pick, and Jeff Janis, a seventh-round pick, who both beat out more experienced receivers in training camp, were nonfactors against Seattle. Perhaps because they are too raw, or perhaps they have yet to earn the trust of their meticulous quarterback. Whatever the reason, a Packers offense that thrives on having multiple targets was reduced to two.


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