Hey, folks. Ryan Wood here. Lots to talk about after the Packers comeback win in Cleveland yesterday. Let's get to your questions.
I didn't cover the team that year, but remember Aaron Rodgers returned from missing those seven games in 2013 to lead the Packers to victory in Chicago on the last day of that season. The win was punctuated with his fourth-down bomb to Randall Cobb. The Packers lost by a field goal one week later to the 49ers in the wild card, but Rodgers was league MVP in 2014. Of course, this is significantly different, because it was Rodgers' left collarbone in 2013, and this time it's his right (throwing shoulder). But watching him in practice, he sure doesn't seem limited throwing the football.
Helps when your defense makes essentially a game-winning interception, I guess.
I would think the Packers will stay with what they have at that position, but you never know.
Now that the full body of work is presumably available, I'd say Brett Hundley met expectations. It's silly to expect a backup to beat teams with quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Matt Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger. For the Packers to go 3-4 in Hundley's starts, that's very far from the worst-case scenario. Give him credit. The youngster did enough to keep the team afloat.
I'd caution you to not make any real evaluations with Brett Hundley at quarterback. If this is Jordy Nelson's production when Aaron Rodgers returns, that's a problem. I'd be surprised if Nelson's numbers don't balloon with Rodgers.
It's a no-brainer at this point ... YES. The Lions are irrelevant, because tied in the loss column, the Packers will beat ahead if they win in Detroit for their finale. The Panthers and Falcons won their games this week, but you left out a big one: the Jags beat the Seahawks. That's huge because if the Packers win out, the Seahawks must also win out to stay ahead, because the Packers have the head-to-head tiebreaker. Bottom line is if the Packers win out, there's a pretty good chance they'll be in the playoffs. It's almost like last year repeated itself.
This week, if he passes his scan.
The Packers have a "realistic" chance of beating anybody with Aaron Rodgers. But, this will be tough. The Panthers are not quite as good as last time the Packers went down to Carolina in 2015, but that's still a good defense, and Cam Newton is still a load to defend. Considering it's Rodgers' first game back from missing two months, the Packers will be underdogs for a good reason.
You never really anticipate Ted Thompson to make a move. His track record suggests he'll stick with what he has, which would be a heavy dose of Damarious Randall and Josh Hawkins if Davon House can't play. The Packers will also line up Morgan Burnett in the slot, as they did yesterday, and utilize their deep safety position. You're right, though, none of that matters much if the rush doesn't get home, but the trick will be pressuring Newton without leaving those escape valves. Much easier said than done.
It surprises me how clueless a decent portion of this fan base is to the possibility of the Packers making the postseason. Really, the biggest thing is that they don't lose again, and with Rodgers likely return that's a real possibility. Do you already forget last year, when the Packers were left for dead at 4-6 and ran the table to the NFC title game? Crazy, unpredictable stuff happens in December every year. When the playoffs are this attainable, you don't play for the draft.
I think the problem (and I'm guilty of this, too) was expecting him to beat franchise quarterbacks. There are exceptions to anything in life, and this is no different, but by and large backups do not beat franchise quarterbacks. That's the way of the NFL. What Hundley did was beat the 2015 top-overall pick, the 2017 second-overall pick, and a 2017 second-round quarterback. Not bad for a 2015 fifth-rounder getting his first real playing time.
Rodgers has to show no rust, because it's hard to see how the Packers' undermanned defense has a good day against Cam Newton. It would help if Newton's accuracy is off, which happens quite often for a QB of his caliber, but the real problem for the Packers will be containing him in the pocket and preventing him from running all over the field. Not sure how they get that done.
Well, I'll be, I'd hate to see Robert's reaction had the Packers actually lost in the past two weeks.
Completely agree with that, Justin. At no time here have I thought the Packers should spend a premium pick on the QB position. I think they should probably draft one on Day 3, add some competition to the backup job. But with the whole body of work likely in the rearview, the Packers shouldn't feel terrible about Brett Hundley being their backup in 2018. He largely did the job.
I think Kevin King's history of shoulder injuries is a big concern. It's way too early to call him a bad pick, but it wouldn't be surprising if the medical limited him in the future. Have to give it time.
He missed the first six months of his career recovering from foot surgery. This was expected.
And risk repeating a terrible fit like what they got with Martellus Bennett? Think that will be a hard pass, pardon the pun.
Extremely difficult to evaluate given the quarterback situation.
You're not the only one who's noticed that trend. Early in games, the Packers offense has operated well on the pregame script, but once it gets off the script it has struggled. Then late, I don't know what it is, but Hundley has shown some surprising poise for a young guy. Consider how he came back yesterday from the botched fourth-down play in the third quarter. That was a mistake that could've sent some young QBs into a tailspin. He only got better. I wonder if Hundley is overthinking during that midgame lull, and that slows his processing speed. When the game is on the line, perhaps he's just reacting. But that's only speculation.
The Packers "can" beat any team with Aaron Rodgers at QB. Such is the value of the QB position, and having arguably the best player in the world filling that role. I agree with you the odds are against it, but the real question is "will" they beat the Panthers. Nobody can answer it right now. That's why we watch.
I mean, it was basically a game-winning return. So I'd say it definitely did.