2020 Week 08

Packers 22 Queenies 28

The following statements are true: “Statistically, always punting on 4th down makes no sense. When the team gives up the ball on their own 5 yard line their opponent has a 92% chance of scoring. When punting the opponent still has a 77% chance of scoring. But since a team converts on 4th down 50% of the time, the math says they should never punt.” – Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Professor, Astrophysics, Cal Tech. This is also true when your kicker is hurt, and the wind is blowing at 35 mph.
I’m still waiting for someone to get me Marv Lewis’ number! They gave the ball to Cook, you KNEW they were going to give the ball to Cook, you knew they weren’t going to run towards Kenny, how are you going to stop him? That was the question Mike Pettine had to answer Sunday. His answer was a shrug apparently, or “Wait 15 yards and have Jaire and Darnell tackle him…sometimes!”
Dalvin Cook ran roughshod over the Packers on a windy Sunday. The wind was whipping through the stadium at times gusting to 35 miles an hour. Kirk Cousins was efficient with 160 yards. 50 of that was a reception by the aforementioned Cook. When the wind is whipping like that, you knew they were going to run!
Do you guys remember Raheem Mostert? He was the guy last season wearing Scarlet and Gold that gashed the Packers for 226 yards in the NFC Championship game. He made it possible that Jimmy Garropolo only had to pass 8 times in that game, Cousins threw it 14 times as Dalvin Cook got 220 yards and 4 touchdowns. Last time that happened for Minnesota was when Ahmad Rashad wore purple! It also happened in SF last season.
There’s a reason why Dalvin Cook isn’t making headlines as a Running Back. He’s often injured. When you run like him it’s easy to see why. When you run like him it’s easy to see that you need to stop him. How do you beat the Packers? It’s surprisingly simple, play physical and run the ball.
So, what did the Packers do to improve their run game after it weighed on them for an entire offseason? (see comments about NFC Championship game above)
Less than a month after the NFC Championship game, Matt LaFleur announced that Pettine would stay on as the defensive coordinator. He thought Pettine was worthy of another chance if they could add a few more tools at his disposal.

The Packers went into the offseason knowing what they needed to strengthen the middle of their defense. They started by letting their best run-stuffing linebacker Blake Martinez walk in free agency. It wasn’t the wrong decision. Martinez was paid like a playmaking linebacker despite lacking obvious playmaking traits. 
Green Bay replaced him with Christian Kirksey, who was far cheaper but also less durable. Kirksey missed a combined 23 games in 2018 and 2019 due to injury. This season he’s missed 4 games so far. Linebackers Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin look like two pretty good finds. However, games like this one against Minnesota show how easy it can be to exploit two young and inexperienced starters.
The Packers did have a chance to win this. Equanimious St. Brown had the ball thrown at his hands and couldn’t catch a cold! I hope Brian’s able to pull out a trade and get a WR, or this recipe will be playing over and over again, at least for teams that have a running game. We shall see if this was an aberration or if Pettine can scheme a better defense and stop the Minor 49ers.
Author’s Note: This article focuses heavily on Packers defense. It also focuses on DC Mike Pettine. I think Defense has been the Packers’ Achilles’ heel ever since Dom Capers was figured out by the league. In 2011, the Defense didn’t win any games, Aaron and the offense simply outscored our opponents. I would love to see the Packers come out and destroy San Francisco, we’ll see what happens Thursday.
(Ken Hill)

 Just Sayin’

 I have watched a lot of football over the years, college and professional. I have seen teams that play poorly on the offensive side of the ball go into halftime and make adjustments, come out for the second half and light it up. I have seen defenses struggle in the first half, go into halftime, make adjustments, and come out for the second half and play much better. So, I have to say that the game with the Vikings is the first time I have ever seen the defense struggle to stop the opposing offense, go into halftime and basically the pep talk be, “OK guys, we couldn’t stop anything they threw at us. Let’s go out in the second half and play worse.” While the offense looked to be firing on all cylinders and doing pretty much anything they wanted in the first half, went into halftime and made adjustments... to play worse?. I have absolutely no idea what could have been said to the offense. How does a team go into halftime playing like the Packers did in the first half and come out and play like they did in the second half? And I do not think it was halftime adjustments by the Vikings defense that caused them to play that much better. Our offense just played flat in the second half. Would another top notch receiver have made a difference in that game? Possibly. I know ESB had 2 really crucial drops, one in the endzone. Maybe a veteran receiver would have made those catches.
However, no veteran receiver in the NFL, no matter 
how elite, would have been on the field to stop Dalvin Cook from running roughshod over the defense Green Bay had on the field. I was looking at one of the Packers Facebook pages that I follow. I lost count on how many “fire Pettine” posts there were. I thought during the last years of Dom Capers, the Packers had reached the bottom of the barrel. Now, I am not so sure. The defense has some talent; there is no question about that. How they are being utilized is the question. The Smith brothers were terrors last year. We aren’t seeing much of them this season. We see Z sometimes, but I am beginning to wander if Preston Smith is involved in some high crime and has gone into the Witness Protection Program. I think he snuck out for that one play on Deshaun Watson. Then he disappeared again. Again this week, I see where Brian Gutekunst is looking for a possible trade to get Will Fuller from Houston. That could be good. Maybe that will give us a better chance to outscore the other teams since we can’t stop them from scoring at will.  A couple of things that will help against the 49ers is that Garoppolo and Kittle should not be on the field when we play them. I do think that the Packers are a playoff team because of the division they play in. At this point, are they Super Bowl contenders?  I have serious doubts. And once again, it all points back to the GM. I was hoping after the Packers moved on from Ted Thompson, there would be some roster modifications to help Aaron Rodgers make another Ring Run. I don’t see it...
Just Sayin’ 
(Jimmy Smith)


The day started so well, a Packer Backer we hadn’t seen in a couple of years, 484 Sherri Odlevak, joined us, renewed her membership, and cheered with the other 54 fans at Spare Time.  We were all planning for a wild and wooly day, but it didn’t quite finish out that way.  We cheer on our team even in the “thin” days.

As we were getting ready to pull the first lucky door prize winning number, I began my usual chant, “3-2-8” and—wonder of wonders—328 was the first of 8 drawn!  328 Marge was so excited! I chose the Packer facemasks and modeled all three of them.  I did such a great job modeling that 489 Kelly Wolff and 365 Clifford Stiles also chose facemasks.  Maybe we should coordinate styles each week, huh guys?  Other lucky winners chose to dress up Packer style.  453 Leon Stenzel chose a hat, 437 Dan Heltness chose a tee shirt, 423 Melody Cox chose socks, and 289 Kerri Ellinger chose shoes.  And all the while 579 Dan Drake will be sipping from his Cheesehead glasses.  We filled both a $1 and a 50¢ pool.  Winners of the $1 pool were 149 Travis Wieloch, 120 Clark Petersen, 589 Kathy McGraw, and 542 Kathie Mervyn.  Winners of the 50¢ pool were 127 Kent Sergent (2), 289 Kerri Ellinger, and 149 Travis Wieloch.

The winner of the Trivia question was 453 Leon Stenzel.  He was gifted with a $25 gift card from our great supporters at Spare Time.  These great friends also treated the club to a “5th quarter” beer cheese a pretzel party with some other treats tossed in as well.  They wanted us to know that Philly Cheesesteaks and banana pudding would be on special Thursday night…so maybe a late night snack would be in order, yeah?

Our next game is Thursday night at 8:20 against the Santa Clara 9-ers.  I know, I know, night games aren’t my favorite either, but I’ll be there cheering on my team.  I hope you join me for at least part of the game.  Packer Backers are true fans and they support their team in the good times and not so good times—through thick and thin.  See ya Thursday!  
Marge 328

Packers vs Santa Clara 

This has been a week of hate for me.  Not the “I wanna break windows and loot stores” hate.  Not even the “candidate/election” hate.  No, it’s a football type hate.  So let’s let look at each of my football hates one at a time.

First is the Covid virus.  It is something that we need to take seriously.  Cleanliness and social caution is a must.  But what gets me mad is that this unseen virus has taken the soul of the game away from us.  Not only in empty stadiums and fewer fans at Spare-Time but now is threating the game itself.  For the second week in a row, UW has canceled their game because of 21 people affected within the team.  NFL games postponed until Tuesday Night Football and now 3 Packers are on the reserve/covid list (see page 3) and a 49’er (Kendrick Bourne) was also added to the list.  I suspect there will be more Packers on the list over the weeks to come before it’s over.

Next on my list is multiple mads.  First the overall way the Packers played on Sunday.  Their inability to stop the run, not just the viqueens but anybody.  Kenny Clark is a very good run stopper, but he is not 12 feet wide.  Put two hats on him and nobody is filling in on the edges. Penalties, or actually the imbalance in the way the pass interference penalties were called for each side just sticks in my craw. Now I might be bias because of my blood type but that last “non-call” on 4th down was reminiscent of the Clay Mathews so called body slam penalty that kept the viqueens drive alive snatching another victory from our grasps.  The biggest thing that got me mad had to be the Lambeau Leap done by Devin Cook.  Be it empty, it is still our house.  I was mad, Javon Wims mad, and yet not a whimper out of our bench.  I remember a time when an opposing receiver (name escapes me) did a dance on the Dalass star; it about cleared the cowgirls bench.  Now, I’m not a big Dalass lover, but I did admire that they protected their house, even if it was a meaningless gesture. Further, we didn’t even use that to motivate us.  Instead, what did we do, we let Cook run roughshod over us to the tune of 163 yards plus another 63 yards in the passing game.  I saw the ghost of Capers out there, where we routinely made the “superstar of the week” out of obscurer players.  The most famous of these has to be Kaepernick.  His only great games were against us when we couldn’t catch him with a fishing net.  His “superstar” status started when he ran for 181 yards in that playoff game.  Since then, we have seemed to have the jinx of the 9’ers haunting us.

This will be two weeks in a row we are playing the last place team in a division.  Next week will be our third in a row when we host Jacksonville.  This should be the easiest part of our schedule, a 3-0 shoe-in.  So far it’s 0-1; we don’t need this to be 0-2.  This week we return again to our Achilles Heal, Santa Clara, licking our wounds from the beatdown we took from a 1-5 team. They too are coming off a divisional loss to the seahags.  Only one will come out of this game with an upturn.

We are potentially lucky in the fact that both QB Garoppolo, TE Kittle, WR Samuel & RB Coleman are out for the game.  But we all know what a Santa Clara backup QB is capable of doing to us.  I hope the league will not be going gaga over Nick Mullens.  With RB Tevin Coleman out that puts the ball in the hands of backup Jerick McKinnon.  Will this help us look like we improved our run defense?  I hope so, we’ll see Thursday Night.

We are not without our problems either.  First on our list is running backs.  Aaron Jones “may” be back, both Jamaal Williams & AJ Dillion are out with covid and Tyler Ervin is playing with a bad wrist, so Dexter Williams (practice squad) is our only other running back option.

Wide receivers have been the topic of conversation as well.  The trade deadline ended this week and any talks of getting someone like Will Fuller died with it. We have Adams, but beyond that EQ St. Brown,  Malik Taylor, MVS and Darrius Shepherd have not shown any consistent  flashes of being the next great thing.  The good news for us is  Allen Lazard “may” be back this week, but like Jones we don’t know how affective he will be.  In weeks past we compensated by using our backs, now almost non-existent and tight-ends, where Lewis & Lovett are injured plus Tonyan and Sternberger are still coming back from injury.  The unknown for SC 49’ers will actually be the injury list status.  Because of the covid threat from Dillon testing positive on Sunday, the Packers Monday & Tuesday’s practices were socially distanced meetings and walk-thru’s.  This will be an interesting game plan LeFleur puts together.  Maybe it will be our turn to pull a Kaepernick out of our hat.  What ever it is, the key to FINALLY getting a victory in Santa Clara is getting a running stopping defense, or any defense for that matter.  In my opinion, it will never be any easier then it is right now!  Finally, I will be mad if Mitch Wishnowsky (punter) doesn’t have a sore leg by games end. 

We went through a “thin” period last Sunday as Marge 328 oft times points out.  To get me through these tough times I am reminded of those great inspirational words “That which made us thinner can only make us thicker.” (Nitschke).  Or the these even a greater inperational words, “We will always...
Bleed Green My Friends!
(Packer John)

My fellow Packer Backers please help me wish Tiffany Bailey-White a Very Happy Birthday on Monday the 9th! Cheers to many more!
Anyone else want us to give you a Shout-out, send you birthday, anniversary, graduation or other congratulations to me, at:
(Heather Bailey)

Help Wanted 

I’m still looking for a few good fans to help with gameday tasks, see sign up at the office table. There are also mid-week tasks plus helping with the newsletter, some taking less than an hour a week. For those come talk to me. I am grateful for those that has helped in the past and the newbies, “Kathy” McGrew (office) & Kerri Ellinger (Newsletter).
(Packer John)