DUD NFL Preview: Green Bay Packers
by Tommy Gimler
As our friends at Total Packers put it, the Green Bay Packers’ 15-1 season last year can be summed up in two words: total failure.
Never before had fans and “experts” expected more from a Packers squad going into the postseason, only to have their dreams and credibility crushed by the perfect storm of Eli Manning, a hail mary before halftime, dropped passes, a suddenly inaccurate Aaron Rodgers, and a horrific defensive performance. I was so depressed that I turned down sex that night, and that never happens.
But with every new year comes new hope, higher expectations, and more sex. And why not? The Packers have the best quarterback in the game in Rodgers and weapons like Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Jermichael Finley on the receiving end. Packers fans will also get one more year of DWTS champion Donald Driver, although once you win on that show you have to spend the rest of your life proving you’re not gay, and your playing career is pretty much over (see Hines Ward).
Look, the Packers are going to score points. A lot of them, in fact. But to avoid being a total homer, here are three things I don’t like about the Packers’ offense:
1) James Jones can eat my ass. He sucks. Always has and always will. This guy drops the ball more often than Congress. What Ted Thompson was thinking when he drafted him over trading that pick for Randy Moss is anybody’s guess.
2) The Packers have a running game that’s about as gross as Teri Hatcher without makeup. This isn’t too big of a concern, though, as the Giants won the Super Bowl last year with the worst rushing attack in the NFL.
3) Packers’ tight end Tom Crabtree listens to Celine Dion: http://www.totalpackers.com/2012/08/08/tom-crabtrees-secret-weapon-is-celine-dion/
The offensive line is nothing to write home about, kind of like the girl you hooked up with on a regular basis back in college who had huge tits, but you just couldn’t get past the fact that she was a communications major. But with Rodgers’ ability to scramble and make plays happen out of the pocket, their deficiency isn’t as big of a deal as it would be for somebody like Peyton Manning. And hey, would you look at that. Jeff Saturday is the new Packers’ center.
If the Packers don’t make it back to the Super Bowl this year, it will be because their defense again failed to stop anybody. Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji, Charles Woodson, and Tramon Williams are Pro Bowl caliber defenders, but after that, there are more question marks regarding talent than after you leave a Kings of Leon concert.
Desmond Bishop was a solid inside inebacker, but he could be lost for the season with a hamstring injury. D.J. Smith will take over for Bishop, and that unfortunately also means more playing time for Rocky Dennis (aka A.J. Hawk).
The Packers have high hopes for third-year safety Morgan Burnett. He’ll join a pretty solid defensive backfield consisting of Woodson, Williams, M.D. Jennings, and 2012 draft picks Casey Hayward and Jerron McMillian. Jarrett Bush, though, is another guy who can eat my ass. He has played one great half of football (although it was the Super Bowl) in his career. Otherwise, he has been a liability. And what happened to Sam Shields? He might not even make the team.
But as good as most of those DB’s have been, a pass rush that resembles the dog shit the Packers brought to the football field last season will render any secondary useless. Linebacker Nick Perry was drafted out of USC in the first round to help solve that problem. Hey, the last time the Packers took a linebacker from USC in the first round, it worked out rather well. Jerel Worthy out of Michigan State in the second round could be a steal as well.
Mason Crosby’s right leg isn’t as sexy as Tina Turner’s, but it’s pretty damn good when it comes to kicking field goals. And in Randall Cobb, the Packers have their best special teams threat since Desmond Howard.
The Packers’ 2012 schedule is as bipolar as my first girlfriend. It starts with a big kick in the junk (San Francisco, Chicago, at Seattle, and New Orleans). But then four of their five games in a one-month span are against Indianapolis, Jacksonville, St. Louis, and Arizona. Two games against a shit squad like Minnesota in December is also nice.
Unless Aaron Rodgers goes down in Week One, the Green Bay Packers will win the NFC North in 2012. And if they don’t get their shit together on defense, it’s going to be closer than most people think…
2011 record: 15-1 (1st place, NFC North)
2012 DUD prediction: 12-4 (1st place, NFC North)
Vegas says: 12 wins (1st place, NFC North)
CBS Sports says: OVER 12 wins
DJ Gallo (ESPN.com) says: OVER 12 wins
Bleacher Report says: 13-3 (1st place, NFC North)