Inconsistent chatter from a Sacramento-based 'Sconi attorney.

Monday, June 11, 2007

2007 Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers predicted finish, by StreetCred's Blog:

Strengths: The strength of the Packers for the last 15 seasons has always been their offense, led by Brett Favre. While he was not 1996 Brett Favre, he showed that he was still capable of leading this team to victory. What is surprising is that in the 4 game winning streak to end the season, Favre had only 3 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. The Packers defensive side of the ball made that streak happen. This may be one of the first seasons in recent memory where the defense enters the season as the strength of the team. The Packers ranked 12th in total yards and 13th in rushing defense. Charles Woodson was a nice addition to the defense last season, with his 8 interceptions. AJ Hawk had a great rookie campaign. Aaron Kampman had a breakout year with 16 sacks. While the defense allowed the 26th most points in the league, they closed the season on a 4 game winning steak, giving up just 10.5 points per contest. Some of that was due to playing the Lions, Vikings, and Bears on New Years Eve Vacation. Some of it had to do with moving Jenkins to defensive end on running downs, and having KGB in the game on passing situations. That move seemed to sure up there run defense. Some of it had to do with their young players growing up. If draft picks Harrell and Rouse can have an immediate impact, along with the young players continuing to grow; the Packers have a chance to enter the top 10 defensive units in the NFL.

Weaknesses: The Packers at times looked like a team that was dazed and lost last season. While they won their last 4 games, they were also 4-8 prior to that streak. They lost games to the Bears, Jets, and Patriots 0-26, 10-38, and 0-35. All of those games were at home. If the Packers want to become a playoff team again, they have to play better at home against quality teams. While the Packers were 9th in total yards and 8th in passing yards, they were only 23rd in rushing offense. That explains a lot of the problems they experienced in the red zone, where they were the worst team in the NFL. Teams could double team Driver and not respect the running game. That is one reason why I do not believe the Packers will miss Ahman Green this season. If this were the Ahman Green from 2003, the Packers would be in horrible shape. Since 03, Ahman Green has not rushed for more than 1,200 yards or more than 7 touchdowns. A lot of that has to do with injuries. He also cost the Packers with his fumbling problems. The problem isn’t so much that the Packers let Green leave, it’s that they haven’t replaced him with anyone who has proven himself in the NFL. The other reason the Packers were so bad in the red zone last season was the tight end position. It seems impossible that Bubba Franks had only 25 receptions and no touchdowns. He has never been big with receptions and yards, but when he was going to the Pro Bowl, he was good for 7-9 touchdowns a year. Since the Packers did not add a tight end this offseason, he needs to return to his 2002-2004 form. Finally, Brett Favre has to make better decisions in the red zone. The Packers were devastated by a fumble in the redzone against the Rams and an interception against the Bills. Those plays came at critical times in the game, and might have been the difference in the Packers failing to beat out the Giants for the wildcard.

Prediction: Even though I was very disappointed in the offseason, I think the Packers should be able to improve from last seasons 8-8 record. One thing that helps them is the Lions and Vikings being in there division. The Vikings are woeful at quarterback, and the Lions have been woeful in general. The Packers had one of the youngest teams in the league last season and seemed to put it together at the end of the season. While they didn’t make a lot of additions in free agency, Ahman Green was really their only notable loss. History shows that it is not necessarily a bad thing to be young at running back. While the league doesn’t see a lot of rookie 1,000-yard receivers, the league is filled with rookie running backs that have topped the 1,000-yard plateau. Terrell Davis, Curtis Martin, and Fred Taylor, and Cadillac Williams all rushed for 1,000 yards in their rookie seasons. Look at lat season. Even though Reggie Bush was the big name in last years draft, Joseph Addai had 1,000 yards as a late first round pick and Maurice Jones-Drew scored 15 touchdowns as a 2nd round rookie rusher. If the Packers have found the right guy in the draft in Brandon Jackson, Morency and him should be able to carry this load. It is nice that Jackson played in a zone blocking scheme for Nebraska. The schedule maker was generous in giving the Packers the Eagles and Giants at the beginning of the season. With McNabb’s knee injury and Tiki Barber’s retirement, it is probably a break to play those teams early in the season. Even if McNabb starts that game, it will be his first regular season game back from major knee surgery. The schedule maker was also brutal giving the Packers back-to-back games at Denver and Kansas City in weeks 8 & 9. Those stadiums are as difficult to win in as any in the league. Even though free agency was a non factor, this was the youngest team in the league last season. The NFC is down and the Packers finished the season on such a strong note, that it isn’t that unrealistic to think that the Packers improve just one game. If they can, they should be able to sneak into the playoffs.

Record: 9-7, 2nd NFC North, NFC #6 seed

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