OK, let's jump right in. Seems like they're better on D this year, but some it depends on whether King (concussion) plays, he's their best CB. I'm interested to see the nitro against the Vikings, I'd guess we'll see a good amount of it this week after playing two run-oriented teams the last two weeks. Jones isn't great in coverage but he closes fast and tackles, which can prevent first downs. Diggs really hurt them last year, that was the beginning of Randall's struggles. No Dalvin Cook is huge.
I didn't find any obvious choices as pass rushers, but that doesn't mean there isn't somebody out there worth going for. That's what the pro scouts are for, to comb through teams and find a guy who could help and that you can pry from a team in a trade. It is hard to do deals, as you say takes two to tango, you can't grossly overpay in a trade, not a good way to do business. But I can't help but think there's somebody out there they can get who can help them some. They should be looking around at CBs too. I know Rodgers-Cromartie's name is going to come up here, the Giants suspended him. He's been a pretty good player but was demoted recently, not sure how much of that was him, and how much was to get the second-year guy Apple in. But Rodgers-Cromartie also reportedly left the team facilities three times in the last week, so you have to ask if you're Thompson and McCarthy, do you really want this guy on your team? They have to do a lot of background digging on that before pulling the trigger. Don't know what the Giants would want, the price is obviously lower now that things were bad enough that he's been suspended indefinitely. But the question is, do they want him in their locker room?
They have looked more vulnerable on the road, though it's early. They're just so fast on that turf, plus the noise helps their defense a lot, their pass rush, slowing the offense from getting a good jump on the snap. But the Packers don't match up well, they can't handle the Ryan-Jones-Sanu combination, at least in that stadium.
An Adams contract extension definitely is a possibility. I don't see all three being back. I'd think Thompson would be willing to pay big money to only two of the three for the reason you state, too much money invested in one position. I'd guess it will be Nelson and Adams back, but we don't know what's going to transpire between now and March. Many possibilities with performance, injuries, etc.
The schedule definitely gets easier. At Detroit to finish the season will be tough if for no other reason than the QB is pretty good. I do wonder if Tampa will improve as the season goes on, that's still a young QB.
Mentioned Rodgers-Cromartie earlier, but as noted then, big question is whether he's a guy you want in your locker room. Have to do your homework there. On the NFL Network, Deion Sanders and Mike Garofolo talked about a possible Patrick Peterson trade -- it was pure speculation -- but it's really hard to see that happening. Arizona just traded for Adrian Peterson to help win now, so why would it then turn around trade one of its best players? The Packers don't even need a top-notch rusher or cover guy, just one who will improve their rush or coverage is worth exploring. These deals are tough to pull off, but the Packers have good scouts, and they have some draft ammo, plus if need be they could trade Hundley, though the trade partner would have to have a need there. So if I were them I'd be looking really, really hard.
Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones. Jones can really help if he can show that last week wasn't a one-off. If the run has to be honored, that slows the rush, keeps the LBs home for an extra beat, makes everything easier for Rodgers. And if they keep Rodgers in the pocket, he'll have to take what he's given.
Playing the way they are now, they'd still probably have a really tough time getting past Atlanta. But as we've all seen over the years, teams are different in January than they are in October. The '07 and '11 Giants, the '10 Packers are prime examples of that. Getting Bakhtiari back, whenever that happens, will help when they're playing a good defense. Pass rush and CB are the weak spots. I think pass rush is the higher priority, others think CB. So getting some help at at least one of those positions would improve their chances. If they don't add anyone, they'll need improvement over the next couple months collectively from a group of young guys who have some talent: King, Josh Jones, Clark, Martinez, M. Adams, Biegel (when he gets off PUP), Brice, young guys like that. It can happen. It happened for Atlanta last year with all the rookies they played on defense.
It's just that he's the No. 4, and McCarthy also likes to mix in the two TE with Bennett and Kendricks. In the heat of a close game, looks like McCarthy's going with his top three if they're healthy. Allison adds something interesting though because of his size, he's a really big target. They can put a big group of pass catchers out there if they want with him, Nelson and Bennett.
I have to agree. If I were a betting man, I'd guess them all being back, but it's not a given. They have depth at safety and Jones for the nitro role, so if the money is too high on Burnett, or they need to save for cap reasons, you're right in thinking he might not be back. But his versatility, including playing LB in the nitro, is a big asset. As said earlier, things can change a lot from now to March, performance can wax or wane, injuries could hit one of these guys and change the outlook. But if I had to bet right now, I'd bet on all three returning.
I talked about that momentarily with a colleague at the moment but never followed up asking anyone with the team or league, so I don't have a good answer. I just found this online, the wording of the rule: “The Forward Progress of a runner or airborne receiver is the point at which his advance toward his opponent’s goal ends and is the spot at which the ball is declared dead by rule, irrespective of the runner or receiver being pushed or carried backward by an opponent." So by that, I'd say the call was correct.
Yeah, that's just a saying teams use when they don't want to insult the fill-in guy when the starter comes back. But guys lose their starting job this way all the time. Yeah, Jones should be the starter.
Jones ran a 4.56 at the combine, Williams a 4.59. Mays didn't run at the combine, he might not have been invited, not sure about that. But according to NFLDraftScout he ran 4.52 at campus. Campus times usually are faster than combine times. Montgomery ran 4.55 at the combine.
He hasn't played football since last season at Wisconsin, hasn't practiced since May. So it's going to be tough. Some scouts liked him as much or even better than T.J. Watt, though those scouts were in the minority. Maybe by late December or January he might add something, but he's been out a long time, has a lot of ground to make up to get in game shape, hone techniques, etc.
That's what I'm thinking. Knees and maybe to avoid hits in general. But for sure the knees, you pick up those feet, it's a lot harder to hurt your knees.
I could see a few scenarios. He's still a good player, though not the guy he was. It could be that they cut ties rather than pay $10.4M. I also could see doing a contract extension where he gets some guaranteed money and adds a couple years, but at a lower cost than he's making now.
For the rush to improve, they'll need Perry to be better once he gets the cast off his hand, and either (or both) M. Adams or Biegel to add something to the rush. Maybe Jones as a blitzer in nitro can help too, he did a good job of that against Cincinnati.
All I know is what's on my Twitter feed from the reporters who were at practice. King (concussion) was at practice but not participating, which is a sign he's progressed in the protocol but doesn't mean he's playing Sunday. Burnett (hamstring) was not at practice.
The Patriots and Giants last year were examples of teams that were good in the red zone but not as good all over the field. They gave up a decent amount of yards but finished high in scoring defense, so they kept teams out of the end zone. Your point is well taken and mostly true, but things change in the red zone because the field shrinks, less ground to cover, easier to flood the field with cover guys. So coaching, game planning can make a difference there. Interesting that the Patriots were the top defense in points allowed last year but No. 31 this year. That's basically as big a change as you can get. Suggests there's some timely playmaking and even good fortune involved sometimes too, back to your point.
I noticed that during the game, Packers fans were loud and noticeable. Couldn't tell by scanning the crowd, but there had to be a good amount of them to make that much noise.
I'm not sure I see enough other RBs from other teams to draw a Jones comparison, at least at this point. Going back through the 25 years I've covered the team, nobody's jumping to mind as being that similar. Rice was really good, especially in the passing game, so I'm not ready to compare them yet, have to see Jones some more. The early read on Jones is that he's better than a lot of the backs he's had. Looks better than Starks to me, not sure about Ryan Grant, Grant was bigger but Jones looks more explosive. Williams doesn't have that slipperiness that Levens had, Levens was very good.
It will be a decent to good sign for the Packers if he's ahead of Fackrell by the end of the year. Perry, Matthews and Brooks are the top three.