May. 30, 2016
Packers Week 10 Preview
That squirrel in the picture that made a visit to Lambeau Field represents the running game of the Green Bay Packers with Eddie Lacy on IR and James Starks still hurting. Confused, deceptive, and likely to not succeed. Ty Montgomery has been decent running on a few plays, Aaron Ripkowski manages some yards per carry, Aaron Rodgers led the team in rushing one game, Don Jackson has been a bust, and Knile Davis got cut two weeks in. To be fair, in 2010-11 when the Packers won Super Bowl 45, the Packers running game was led by Brandon Jackson, who had 730 yards, and Rodgers was second. But that team had a better passing game, and a more ferocious defense.
Now, the Packers head to Tennessee to take on the the Titans, who are 4-5 overall. Should the Packers lose this game, they will have a worse record than Tennessee with seven games remaining. Ever think that would be the case? Tennessee is also relatively healthy too, with S Rashad Johnson and RB Derrick Henry being the only contributors injured, and both are still listed as questionable. As for the Packers, CB Damarious Randall and C JC Tretter are out for sure against the Titans, but other than that they are getting healthier. CB Quinten Rollins, WR Randall Cobb, and Montgomery are all of the injury report, Starks is questionable, TE Jared Cook is questionable, and so are defenders Micah Hyde and Joe Thomas. Most likely, all but two Packers on the 53 man roster will be available to play.
The Packers offensive line and run defense remain the strengths of this team, and believe it or not but Aaron Rodgers is still having a very good season statistically. Yes, total yardage is down, but halfway through the season he is over 2000 yards, has 20 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions. That means he is still on pace for 4000 yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, which most teams would take any day. However, the Packers lost to the Colts porous defense at home, and it shows that the running game and the pass defense remain to be problems, Special teams also took a big hit out of the scoreboard for the Packers. In order to have success offensively, the Packers will need to find some sort of running threat, and continue to pass with highly effective plays.
As far as defense is concerned, the Packers should have the edge here too. TE Delanie Walker is a good tight end, but the Titans still don't have any world beaters as far as the receiving corps is concerned. If Derrick Henry plays, the running game could be problematic, but the Packers' run defense is the strength. I think this side of the ball will depend on whose strength is stronger on Sunday, and I believe it will be the Packers.
I'm not worried yet, but should Green Bay lose to Tennessee (even on the road), it might be time to start rethinking about the management. The last two drafts were just "meh", the young players aren't performing, and the offense has just fallen apart. The energy is not there, and the defense has shown flaws time and time again. GM Ted Thompson also has been negligent with both the running game and at cornerback, and it is costing games and a valuable season of Aaron Rodgers' career. I mean, c'mon, what are the chances we will have the next best quarterback in the NFL? Anyways, I still think the Packers win, with a final score of Green Bay 29, Tennessee 21.