7-15-14: The Packers said goodbye to running back Johnathan Franklin (neck), who may be done with football due to a serious neck issue. In that same breath, former Packer Jermichael Finley is still trying to work his way back to the green and gold. In lieu of his absence, rookie Richard Rodgers has reportedly been the “MVP” of Green Bay practices and will look to widen the gap for the starting tight end gig when camp opens on July 25th. The Packers are said to be aiming for a faster approach on offense, as head coach Mike McCarthy said 75 plays per game is the new goal. That isn’t likely, but the fact that Green Bay wants to get faster on offense bodes well for a team that already boasts one of the most potent offenses in the league.
6-5-14: Jermichael Finley is having a difficult time being cleared by NFL team doctors, which to this point has kept him from re-joining the Packers. Green Bay has taken measures to protect themselves at the tight end position going into 2014, one being signing undrafted Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla. A troubled individual, Lyerla has the talent and upside to be one of the best undrafted free agent signings of the summer. The Packers also continue to knock out their rookie contracts, as they locked up first round pick Hasean Clinton-Dix on May 29th.
5-19-14: The Green Bay Packers were pretty much set on offense entering the 2014 NFL Draft. Rather, their biggest glaring holes were all over their defense. Let’s see how they aimed to eradicate those issues with a breakdown of their 2014 draft class:
Round 1. Pick 21 Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
Round 2. Pick 21 Davante Adams, WR, Fresno St.
Round 3. Pick 21 Khyri Thornton, DL, Southern Mississippi
Round 3. Pick 34 Richard Rodgers, TE, California
Round 4. Pick 21 Carl Bradford, DE, Arizona St.
Round 5. Pick 21 Corey Linsley, OL, Ohio St.
Round 5. Pick 36 Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
Round 6. Pick 21 Demetri Goodson, CB, Baylor
Round 7. Pick 21 Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State
Green Bay started things off right with their first pick in the draft, nabbing stud safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix out of Alabama. While not the most athletic safety in the draft, Clinton-Dix is the most well rounded and should easily help improve Green Bay’s defense.
The Pack slid back to offense to grab a potentially elite receiving prospect in Davante Adams, who has the size and ball skills to be a key player in Green Bay’s passing offense. The Packers also went on to add two more solid receiving prospects later in the draft, protecting themselves from the loss of James Jones in free agency.
Defensive line and tight end were two other sore spots, and Green Bay addressed both concerns by taking Khyri Thornton and Richard Rodgers. Thornton has the size and athleticism to play all across the defensive line, while Rodgers has proven to be a reliable pass catcher than can help move the chains.
5-9-14: The Green Bay Packers entered the 2014 NFL Draft needing one thing: defense. They could have gone in numerous directions to get things started, but ultimately just took the best player available pertaining to their needs. That ended up being stud Alabama safety, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Clinton-Dix was arguably the most complete safety in this draft class and fills a major need at the back of Green Bay’s secondary. He has the talent to step in and start right away, potentially helping a bad run defense and giving quarterback’s something to think about when they go deep on the Packers.
4-28-14: Green Bay has a litany of needs for a defense that wasn’t particularly great against the run or pass in 2013. With A.J. Hawk a growing liability in the middle of the field and Nick Perry a shaky pass-rusher opposite of Clay Matthews, wither linebacker spot is worth taking a look at early for the Packers. While prospects like C.J. Mosley and Kony Ealy will be tempting, Green Bay also have issues at safety and could even look to replace Jermichael Finley (neck) at the tight end position. That opens the door to guys like Calvin Pryor and Jace Amaro. Heading into the second and third round, though, Green Bay can find a little bit more value at tight end and safety, where guys like Troy Niklas and Dion Bailey could make fine additions. This is a Ted Thompson-run draft, we should remember, so the Packers trading down or simply taking the best available player can’t be ruled out, either.
4-18-14: Aaron Rodgers aims to stay healthy and get on the same page with his offense in August, which could have him playing less than handful of series in week one against the Titans in Tennessee. Rodgers should look to get much more involved in Green Bay’s week two battle with the St. Louis Rams however, as they take to the road to compete against a very solid pass rush. Week three brings the Oakland Raiders to Lambeau Field, giving the Pack a likely easy win in front of their home crowd, while week four closes Green Bay’s preseason schedule with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town.
4-7-14: The Green Bay Packers were routinely burned on the ground and through the air on defense in 2013, setting the tone for a bit of a defensive makeover. The Packers wasted little time in free agency, holding onto key contributors B.J. Raji and Mike Neal up front, while adding pass-rush help via Julius Peppers. They added even more depth up front with former Vikings defensive lineman Letroy Gion and brought back stud corner Sam Shields. While the Packers are on the right track with some solid moves, they will enter the 2014 NFL Draft with safety, tight end and outside linebacker as some real problem areas.
3-21-14: Normally not major players in free agency during the Ted Thompson era, the Packers actually made some major waves when they stole 34-year old pass-rushing specialist Julius Peppers from the Chicago Bears. Peppers is in his decline phase, but it’s still a solid signing for a team trying to get better on defense in any way possible. Green Bay was also active with their own expiring players, as they brought back running back James Starks to make sure their rushing attack didn’t suffer a drop-off in depth, while also held onto cornerback Sam Shields, and defensive linemen B.J. Raji and Mike Neal. Green Bay did lose wide receiver James Jones to the Raiders, but with great depth at the position, it was a loss the team felt they could absorb.
1-7-14: Green Bay faced a tough road to the Super Bowl. However, had they won and the Saints gone on to beat the Seahawks, they could have potentially had the NFC title game in their own backyard. That wouldn’t happen, though, as the Green Bay offense was stifled early and the defense caved late in a tough 23-20 loss.
Aaron Rodgers was sacked four times and threw for just 177 yards, but Eddie Lacy grinded out 81 tough rushing yards to keep the Packers balanced and effective. On the other side of the ball, Green Bay’s defense missed a perfect opportunity to change the game on San Francisco’s game-winning drive, as they had a dropped interception and a blown pass-rush assignment that contributed to San Francisco’s eventual win. The loss ends Green Bay’s roller coaster 8-7-1 season.
12-31-13: Aaron Rodgers returned just in the nick of time. Despite getting off to a slow start with two early interceptions, A-Rod bounced back with two touchdown passes - including the game-winner - as the Packers leap-frogged the Bears in Chicago, 33-28. The win helped Green Bay lock up the NFC North and earn a trip to the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
12-24-13: Matt Flynn was nearly a hero for the second week in a row. The Packers couldn’t get it done in week 16, though, as Flynn and the offense misfired on their final chance, falling to the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers in the final seconds, 38-31.
12-17-13: Things were looking pretty bleak for the Packers in week 15, as they went into halftime down 26-3. Eddie Lacy fueled a massive comeback with a 60-yard run in the third quarter however, and Green Bay used four Matt Flynn touchdown passes in the second half to help earn a 37-36 win on the road in Dallas.
12-10-13: Matt Flynn proved to be better than the inept passer he was a week ago, guiding Green Bay’s offense to 22 points and the Packers’ first win since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. Running back Eddie Lacy got the job done on the ground, running for 65 tough yards and a touchdown to get Green Bay the 22-21 win at Lambeau.
12-3-13: Matt Flynn came to the rescue for the Packers (sort of) in week 12, doing enough to avoid a loss. He couldn’t come close to even mustering a tie against the Detroit Lions on the road, however. Flynn could generate just three offensive points and looked lost all day as the Lions steam-rolled the Pack on Turkey day, 40-10.
11-26-13: Matt Flynn came to the rescue in week 12, as the Packers were down 23-7 and needed a miracle. A miracle, they nearly got. Flynn helped the Packers to a 16-point fourth quarter to force overtime, and also guided the offense to a field goal in overtime to give the Packers the lead and potential win. Green Bay’s defense couldn’t stop Minnesota, however, as the Vikings nailed a field goal of their own and the game ended in a 26-26 tie.
11-19-13: Aaron Rodgers sat out yet another game in week 11, and third string quarterback Scott Tolzien was simply in over his head in a 27-13 loss to the New York Giants. Eddie Lacy struggled to run the ball all day, but brought the game to within a touchdown with a late score. That’s as close as Green Bay would get, however, as one of Tolzien’s three interceptions was soon returned for a score to end the Packers’ run at their sixth win of the season.
11-12-13: Green Bay lost starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago, and early in week 10 they lost his replacement, too. Seneca Wallace started the game perfect against the Philadelphia Eagles (5 for 5) before exiting with a groin injury, giving way to inexperienced third stringer, Scott Tolzien. Tolzien performed better than expected, but wasn’t able to produce enough points as Green Bay dropped their second straight game at home, 27-13.
11-5-13: It was supposed to be a blowout by the hands of the Packers. Instead, it was a battle of the backup quarterbacks as Aaron Rodgers exited week nine with a shoulder injury. Green Bay converted an onside kick and scored 17 points without their star quarterback, but backup quarterback Seneca Wallace simply wasn’t enough in the end as the Packers dropped this one at Lambeau Field, 27-20.
10-30-13: Aaron Rodgers was flawless on third downs and throughout as the Minnesota Vikings simply had no answer for Green Bay’s offense in a convincing 44-31 road win for the green and gold. Eddie Lacy powered the Packers to nearly 200 rushing yards and helped control this one, too, as the Packers moved to 5-2 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.
10-22-13: Eddie Lacy earned his paycheck in week seven, rushing for 82 tough yards and a touchdown on 22 carries against a stout Cleveland Browns run defense, as the Packers won their third straight game at home, 31-13. Aaron Rodgers did his part in the passing game, hitting three different wide receivers for scoring strikes and playing flawless football as Green Bay got to 4-2 and took over first place in the NFC North.
10-15-13: The Green Bay Packers endured two huge injuries to wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb to hold on and beat the Baltimore Ravens 19-17 on the road in week six. The defense played exceptionally well until allowing Baltimore to comeback with two late touchdowns, as they sacked Joe Flacco five times and forced a fumble. Eddie Lacy was the star of the day on offense, putting the team on his back for his first ever 100+ yard rushing day. Lacy went for 120 yards on 23 carries and had the deciding carry to get a first down to help put the finishing touches on the close road win.
The Packers were staring at a possible 1-3 start and an end to a 22-game winning streak at home against the division rival Detroit Lions. They knew they couldn’t allow either to happen in week five, and they acted accordingly. The Green Bay defense was all over Matthew Stafford early and registered five sacks, while allowing the Lions to score just two times all day. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense didn’t bring their A game, but James Jones busted out for an 83-yard touchdown to help the offense do just enough to extend their home-game winning streak against Detroit to 23 games, while also evening out at 2-2 on the year.
9-18-13: The Redskins and Packers were expected to combine for a heated, explosive battle between two desperate 0-1 teams in week two. Instead, the Redskins came off desperate and the Packers were simply dominant. Green Bay took a commanding 31-0 lead in the third quarter before grinding out the game with James Starks (132 rushing yards) and holding on at home for the 38-20 win. Aaron Rodgers was the MVP in this one, as he put up a career high 480 passing yards (tying a Packers’ record) and four touchdowns. Next week, the Packers head to Cincy to take on the Bengals.
9-10-13: Easily the most hyped matchup of week one arguably ended up being the most entertaining, as well. After being burned by Colin Kaepernick’s legs in the playoffs a year ago, the Packers went into this one prepared to hold Kap’s running in check. They did, but their focus ended up being misguided, as Kaepernick topped 400 yards passing with three scores, while connecting with Anquan Boldin 13 times and helping the former Ravens star to over 200 receiving yards. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were up to the challenge offensively, but in the end there was just too much Kaepernick, as Green Bay fell in the Bay Area, 34-28. Next week, the Packers look to rebound when the host the 0-1 Redskins at Lambeau.
9-4-13: Green Bay Packers final preseason roster cuts: FB Jonathan Amosa, OT Andrew Datko, S David Fulton, C Garth Gerhart, RB Alex Green, OT Kevin Hughes, WR Charles Johnson, C Patrick Lewis, LB Terrell Manning, CB Loyce Means, DT Jordan Miller, LB Dezman Moses, TE Matthew Mulligan, CB James Nixon, S Chaz Powell, LB Donte Savage, CB Brandon Smith, TE Jake Stoneburner, WR Tyrone Walker, WR Myles White, TE D.J. Williams, QB Vince Young.
8-20-13: The Packers defeated the Rams 19-7 to improve their preseason record to 1-1. Aaron Rodgers was his typical efficient self, completing 10 of 12 passes for 134 yards. With both Packers wide receivers out with injury, Rodgers relied mostly on tight end Jermichael Finley, who caught 4 balls for 78 yards. Thanks to 4 field goals--three from Mason Crosby and one from Giorgio Tavecchio--the Packers opened up a 12-0 lead. Backup QB B.J. Coleman connected rookie tight end Jake Stoneburner for a 9-yard touchdown in the fourth accounting for the only Packers TD in the game. The Packers defense was very good, holding the Rams off the board until Austin Davis found Nick Johnson on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 59 seconds to go. On Friday, the Packers will host the Seahawks at Lambeau Field.
8-11-13: Green Bay was shut out in their preseason opener, losing 17-0 to the Cardinals. Aaron Rodgers completed 3 of just 5 pass attempts for 62 yards. Backup Graham Harrell completed 12 of his 19 passes for 76 yards and an interception.
7-10-13: The Packers said good-bye to Greg Jennings, Desmond Bishop and Charles Woodson this off-season, but otherwise remain intact going into 2013. Their biggest additions were easily rookie running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, who will attempt to combine their efforts to improve on of the league’s weakest running back corps. Offense wasn’t really the problem for the Pack in 2012, though, so all eyes will be on M.D. Jennings trying to replace Woodson, as well as the remained of Green Bay’s 3-4 playing more consistently overall.
6-12-13: Green Bay didn’t go 15-1 or earn a first round bye in 2012, but they still took care of the NFC North (division champs) and advanced to round two of the playoffs. The bad news was that their lack of speed on defense was severely exposed against Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, and it’s back to the drawing board in an effort to maximize the potential of their once vaunted 3-4 defense. In addition to some defensive shortcomings, the Packers will be without Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, and will have to find an answer at running back before week one rolls around. The good news is that GM Ted Thompson drafts well, and Aaron Rodgers is still under center.
2013 Packers Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 26: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Round 2, Pick 29 (from San Francisco): Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Round 4, Pick 12 (from New Orleans through Miami): David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
Round 4, Pick 25: J.C. Tretter, OT, Cornell
Round 4, Pick 28 (from Denver): Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Round 5, Pick 26 : Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa
Round 5, Pick 34 (Compensatory Selection): Josh Boyd, DE, Mississippi State
Round 6, Pick 25: Nate Palmer, LB, Illinois State
Round 7, Pick 10 (from Tennessee through San Francisco): Charles Johnson, WR, Grand Valley State
Round 7, Pick 18 (from Dallas through Miami): Kevin Dorsey, WR, Maryland
Round 7, Pick 26: Sam Barrington, LB, South Florida
1-9-13: As the Packers gear up for a week 1 rematch with the 49ers in the bay area, they seemed to tighten up the ship toward the end of the season. Behind MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers they finished the year at 11-5 and won the NFC North Division. After handling the Vikings who were without their starting quarterback, they face a much stiffer test with San Francisco. Rodgers will need all of his weapons in tact if the Packers want to steal this win on the road. The first meeting between the two teams resulted in a 49er win 30-22. Look for Rodgers to seriously air it out against the 49ers because the run game has been pretty nonexistent all year.
12-4-12: It has been an up and down season through 12 games for the Green Bay Packers and they currently sit and 8-4 in first place. With three of their four remaining games against their own division the Packers will be able to control their own destiny heading into the playoffs. Up next for them is the Detroit Lions who they will play in Green Bay. Two weeks ago Green Bay beat the Lions in Detroit by a score of 24-20 so expect the Lions to have revenge on their minds.