Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.


Green & Gold


Keys to the Game: Packers vs. Vikings

Green Bay Packers

Stop Peterson

Any conversation about beating the Minnesota Vikings begins with 2012 NFL MVP running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson is fourth in the league with 851 yards. The Packers took him out of the Week 8 game, holding him to 60 yards on just 13 carries in the 44-31 victory. Since then, the Packers defense has allowed Chicago’s Matt Forte (125 yards) and Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy (155) to run with abandon. Last week the Packers held New York Giants running back Andre Brown to 66 yards on 18 carries.

Get Lacy involved

The Packers rookie running back was held to just 14 carries and 27 yards last week as the Packers offense tried to catch up to the Giants. When he faced the Vikings in Week 8, Lacy put up 94 yards on 29 carries. The Packers will need Lacy to be much closer to 100 yards than 27 if they want to win without quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.


Packers in must-win mode

The good news?

If the Green Bay Packers win the rest of their games, then they will win the NFC North and make the playoffs.

And the bad news?

That is about the only path the Packers (5-5) have to make the playoffs.

If the Packers lose to either the Detroit Lions (6-4) on Thanksgiving Day or the Chicago Bears (6-4) in Week 17 — and both those teams avoid a complete collapse in the rest of their games — the Packers are likely to lose the NFC North, and with it a chance at the playoffs.

The Packers’ path to a wild-card berth is even harder to map out. San Francisco (6-4) and Philadelphia (6-5) each have better records and tie-breakers against the Packers. Carolina (7-3) and Arizona (6-4) are also ahead of the Packers.

The Packers were in a perfect playoff position just three weeks ago. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone and a three-game losing streak has the Packers feeling desperate.


Keys to the Game: Packers at Giants

Green Bay Packers

Get Lacy Going

As impressed as Packers coach Mike McCarthy was with practice squaddie-turned-starting-quarterback Scott Tolzien on Sunday, the Packers offense will still be run by a third-stringer in New York this week. Whatever Tolzien is capable of, his job will be made infinitely easier if rookie running back Eddie Lacy gets moving early and often. The Giants’ defense has been stingy against the run and hasn’t allowed a 100-yard running back since Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams ran for 120 in Week 3.

Get Turnovers


Defense needs a vocal leader

The Green Bay Packers are in a crisis.

Their two-game losing streak has darkened once bright postseason prospects, and it’s likely the team will face a must-win game on the road at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.

Finding a way to win the next three weeks will be critical for the Packers (5-4) to get to the postseason, which may take at least a 10-6 record, if not an outright NFC North Division championship.

Surprisingly, the team’s biggest problem hasn’t been the offense, which is missing quarterback Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) and is starting former practice squad player Scott Tolzien at the game’s most important position.

The problem undermining the Packers right now is their defense. The unit has allowed 27 points in each of its last two games, allowing fourth-quarter drives of 8 and 9 minutes, killing any chance of a comeback.

In the locker room, there weren’t many answers for what the defense needs to do.


Hobbled Packers lose to Eagles

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers receiver Jordy Nelson dives for the end zone during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lost 27-13.

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers coach Mike McCarthy talks to quarterback Scott Tolzien during a game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lost 27-13.

Another game, another injured Green Bay Packers quarterback.

Thrust into duty just a few days after being elevated from the practice squad, quarterback Scott Tolzien took over the Packers’ offense Sunday in a 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

After losing Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone on the Packers' first drive last week, the Packers lost his replacement, Seneca Wallace, to a groin injury after the team’s first drive Sunday.

“It’s two weeks in a row,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on the difficulty of losing a quarterback in each of the last two games. “You have a guy that goes through the week and takes all the reps. Unfortunately, he suffered the injury there in the first series.”


Packers stunned by Bears

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers receiver Jordy Nelson runs after a catch during the first half of Monday’s game against Chicago at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lost 27-20.

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers running back Eddie Lacy runs during Monday’s game against Chicago Bears. The Packers lost 27-20.

The Green Bay Packers may have lost much more than a game Monday night.

It was the nightmare scenario for the Green Bay Packers, losing to NFC North Division rival Chicago, 27-20, at Lambeau Field and losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

A wild first quarter that saw an interception by Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, a blocked punt by Jamari Lattimore and a 32-yard touchdown run by James Starks couldn’t rival the drama of Rodgers leaving the game after the Packers’ first drive.

Rodgers suffered a shoulder injury when he was sacked by defensive end Shea McClellin on third-and-8 on the Bears’ 9-yard line. The Packers settled for a 30-yard Mason Crosby field goal. After being looked at by trainers, Rodgers ran to the locker room.


Packers’ red zone woes curious

Riding a four-game winning streak, there’s not a lot the Green Bay Packers are doing wrong.

Averaging 438.9 yards and 30.3 points per game has the Packers ranked near the top in most offensive categories.

The defense is not far behind, ranking 11th overall and fourth against the rush this season.

All that success makes one statistic more glaring: the Packers are bad in the red zone.

The red zone offense is getting touchdowns 50 percent of the time, tied for 18th in the league. The defense, meanwhile, is dead last in the league, giving up touchdowns 72.7 percent of the time.

While red zone statistics may not directly correlate to wins and losses, it suggests something is not clicking with the offensive and defensive units.

The Packers’ offense finished the 2011 and 2012 seasons ranked third overall in the red zone, converting 66.2 and 68.1 percent of the time, respectively.


Keys to the Game: Packers vs. Bears

Green Bay Packers

Avoid turnovers

The main goal for the Green Bay Packers on Monday night against the Chicago Bears is to avoid turnovers. Chicago is ranked fifth in the NFL with a plus-7 turnover ratio. The Packers are minus-2. The Packers are riding a four-game winning streak but could lose if they give the Bears extra chances.

Throwing contest

With Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on the sideline with a groin injury and Josh McCown making the start, the Packers want to score early and fast. Forcing the 11-year backup to try to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense will likely lead to good things for the Packers. The more pressure McCown feels, the more likely he is to make mistakes.


Chicago Bears

Stay balanced


Keys to the Game: Packers at Vikings

Green Bay Packers

Ball hawk

With the Minnesota Vikings playing musical chairs at their quarterback spot, as of early Thursday it wasn’t clear who would get the starting nod on Sunday. Newly acquired Josh Freeman was expected to be the starter but was suffering from concussion-like symptoms early in the week. If Freeman can’t play, expect them to start Christian Ponder, who lost his starting job this season. Whoever ends up behind center, it’s a good bet they will give the Packers’ secondary plenty of opportunities to get the ball. The Packers have to take advantage of those opportunities.

Get Rodgers going


That's a wrap for Metrodome

One last dance in the Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome.

On Sunday the Green Bay Packers will bid adieu to the Metrodome, as the Minnesota Vikings play their last season in the stadium that has been their home since 1982.

“There’s been a lot of great games there, I’ll say that,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “There’s so many good memories, there’s some tough ones, too. It’s a very difficult place to play, always has been.”

The Packers have a respectable 14-16 record in the Metrodome, including plenty of good and bad memories.

The first Packers-Vikings game at the Metrodome was played Nov. 13, 1983, and pitted coaches Bart Starr and Bud Grant against each other. The Packers won 29-21.


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