Happy New Year to all! A new year means this is a new season, right? Fresh start?
Yes, that would be nice. But a similar result to the last meeting between these two teams would be great.
Packers D-Line vs Vikings Adrian Peterson
Plug the holes before the water gets through. Catching AP is only slightly easier than trying to catch water in its liquid form, but still possible (I learned that from the week-long Mythbusters marathon on the Science Channel.)
B.J. Raji, Datone Jones, and Mike Daniels are doing well this season, and they set the standard for the defense. The linebackers should get there if the line can hold their own, whether closing a gap or holding desperately onto Peterson as he tries to get upfield. Peterson is and should always be the number one person accounted for on every play. The second person? Also Adrian Peterson. The third is also Peterson.
Basically, don’t let Peterson get away.
Richard Rodgers vs Anthony Barr
Whether Barr is battling a pass or a run, he may end up dealing with Rodgers (the tight end, hopefully not the other one) a lot Sunday night.
Rodgers has wound up being a heavy-volume receiver this year, but with McCarthy leaning a bit more on the running game, Rodgers may be asked to stay on the line (or get pulled in favor of a tight end who can, you know, “block.”) Barr isn’t the greatest coverage-linebacker in the world, but he’s certainly not awful at it either. Barr should be a tough matchup for Rodgers when they go head-to-head.
Clay Matthews vs Teddy Bridgewater
I seem to remember picking on Teddy Bridge-over-troubled-water before. I always bring that nickname up because I don’t believe in him. He can be a quarterback who has a very good game now and then. I certainly grant that. He’s also the type of quarterback who will have a couple really crappy games. I don’t buy him as a franchise quarterback or as a great leader. I believe there was a very good reason he fell dang near out of the first round a couple years ago (picked 32nd overall simply because Minnesota had acquired Seattle’s pick.)
If the linebackers get pressure, Bridgewater will begin to crumble. It won’t happen right away, but consistent pressure will get to him. If you watched the Holiday Bowl, Jack Cichy had 3 sacks in a row on USC quarterback Cody Kessler. That type of performance will rattle Bridgewater for the rest of the night. That is what I’m talking about.
And if you didn’t watch the game, go back and watch him in the 3rd quarter. It’s awesome!
Randall Cobb vs Terence Newman
Nuts to Terence Newman. He’s an old man. Still plays well though. If Cobb is at 100%, he needs to light this guy up. If the Packers offense is going to get back on track, he needs to light this guy up on short routes and long routes and slant routes and corner routes and frontways and backways and everyways known to mankind.
Seriously, nuts to Newman. Looking for him to get shredded this weekend.
Jake Ryan vs Kyle Rudolph
Urban Dictionary defines “Jake Ryan” as…”a term used by women to describe the ‘perfect boyfriend.'”
Is that why we were all so crazy about him when he was drafted? Makes you wonder…
Oh gosh…heaven help us if Rudolph is feeling frisky on Sunday night. Ryan has been getting better with his increased playing time, but last week in coverage, he looked terrible. I think he’s been dumped on pretty unfairly for that one rough performance. Expect a better game from him this week, and…hope Rudolph isn’t his assignment very often.