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Green Bay Packers 23  Chicago Bears 16

-Winning is fun. It's easy to forget that.

-Brett Hundley plays great. Will that continue?

-The Packers running game performs. How will they cope with the injuries?

-Devante Adams is the Packers No. 1 Receiver.

-Jamal Williams is a bruiser

-Chicago Newspapers are outraged that the Bears lost to the Packers

-Mitchell Trubisky actually looked like an NFL Quarterback proving Dom's defense is still bad. 

-John Fox has the best challenge ever.

-The Packers have the biggest head-to-head lead on the Bears since 1932, giving Eric the chance to talk about one of the weirdest seasons in NFL history.

-Wisconsin vs. Michigan. Will the Badgers make the College Football Playoff?

-Who is the biggest bust in Packers history? Who are some underachievers?

-We rank the best seasons in Packers history by decade.

-Submit your own topics for future episodes!!

-The Packers can beat the Ravens. Will they?

www.facebook.com/GreenandGoldForeverPodcast

@GreenGold4Ever 

Download the Podbean App and Follow Green and Gold Forever!!

 

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Detroit Lions 30  Green Bay Packers 17

 

-After two weeks of preparation, the Packers are worse than they were before

-Is the coaching or the players to blame for the poor play? Yes.

-The defense is awful. Clay is old. Dom Capers has to go. All the other familiar talking points...

-Brett Hundley is worse than 2013 Scott Tolzien.

-Did the Packers recent collapse started with the 2014 NFC Championship Game loss?

-Will Aaron Rodgers ever be the same?

-Martellus Bennett released

-How bad to the Packers have to be to put Mike McCarthy at risk of being fired?

-Would you trust Ted Thompson to rebuild this team?

Classic Talk!

-Super Bowl XXXII still hurts.

-Was there serious thoughts of giving the quarterback job back to Don Majkowski in 1992?

-What were the most surprising and disappointing seasons we remember?

-Why did Brett Favre have to throw that damn interception in the 2007 NFC Title Game!?

-Reggie White needs more credit for turning the Packers around.

-Will the Packers beat the Bears? Probably not.

 

-Submit your own topics for future episodes!!

www.facebook.com/GreenandGoldForeverPodcast

@GreenGold4Ever 

Download the Podbean App and Follow Green and Gold Forever!!

 

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New Orleans Saints 26  Green Bay Packers 17

-Brett Hundley throws for just 87 passing yards. He has to be better than that right?

-Mike McCarthy had a very conservative gameplan. Did it cost his team the win?

-The Ty Montgomery Experiment is over. Aaron Jones needs to be the Running Back.

-The defense was horrible. Stats and history suggest the Packers could've lost even with Aaron Rodgers because of their performance.

-Dom Capers defense has had the same problems no matter who is on the field.

-Is it possible to build a team that can win without it's superstar quarterback? History says this very hard.

-We go to Facebook to discuss YOUR Throwback Topics

  • Who is our favorite Packers Backup Quarterback in recent history?
  • Chris shares his firsthand experience cheering for Don Majkowski and the 1989-90 Cardiac Packers.
  • What bad season from recent history has been like this one?

-What should we look for during the bye week?

 

 

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Minnesota Vikings 23  Green Bay Packers 10

 

-Aaron Rodgers Breaks His Collarbone and is Possible Out for the Season

 

-A once promising season is ruined

 

-The hit by Anthony Barr was legal, but still dirty.

 

-Did Aaron Rodgers Prime end yesterday?

 

-As a fan, how should I root for this team to do the rest of the season? What if Brett Hundley is TOO successful?

 

-Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson have an opportunity to prove their success is more than just Aaron Rodgers. But is it?

 

-Dom Capers defense is needed now more than ever.....but why should we expect them to succeed?

 

-SO MANY INJURIES!!! What can be done? Probably nothing. 

 

-Tony Romo and Colin Kaepernick are not viable options for the Packers.

 

-Brett Hundley has been set up to succeed. Will he?

 

-Are modern Packers fans prepared to be a loser?

 

 

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Green Bay Packers 35  Dallas Cowboys 31

-Aaron Rodgers and the Packers make Magic in Dallas Again!

-Few (if any) in NFL history could've made the plays Rodgers did on that final drive

-Davante Adams not only plays, but shines

-Aaron Jones may be a new weapon for the Packers

-The Defense is....still the defense

-Should Dak Prescott have taken a knee at the one yard line to run off time?

-How good is Ha Ha Clinton Dix?

-The Packers have become Dallas' nightmare. What a role reversal from 20 years ago

-We discuss some of the pre-Rodgers wins in Dallas in 1975 and 1989.

-Who is good in the NFL this year?

-We take YOUR questions from Facebook?

  • Is Big Ben done?
  • Is Frank Gore a Hall of Famer?
  • Remembering YA Tittle

-Will the Packers win in Minnesota next week?

 

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Green Bay Packers 35  Chicago Bears 14

-Packers take the lead in the rivalry for the first time since 1932

-Packers make easy work of the Bears despite the injuries

-Clay Matthews is the All Time sack leader in Packers history*. *He's likely not, but it's impressive nonetheless

-Lane Taylor and the patwork offensive line saves the day, but how long can this continue to work?

-The Mike Glennon Era is over - its Mitchell Trubisky time in Chicago

-Danny Trevathan makes a violent hit on Davante Adams. How can the NFL prevent hits like these?

-Damarious Randall leaves during the game. Is he done in Green Bay?

-How do we feel about the Packers after 1/4 of the season?

-Tom Brady gets to feel like Aaron Rodgers: it doesn't matter how great you are when your defense stinks

-Jared Goff is the MVP of the NFL after one month. He's playing as well as anyone ever has. Seriously.

-Dalvin Cook tears his ACL

-CrossFire Returns!

  • Who is Chris' all time favorite player?
  • How much would Lombardi's Packers have won without Bart Starr?
  • Pair one offense and one defense throughout history to make the ultimate team!
  • Will Wisconsin ever win a National Championship in Football. 
  • And More!!

-Dallas looks to be slipping. Can the Packers take advantage?

-We share YOUR Facebook comments!

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Green Bay Packers 27 Cincinnati Bengals 24

-Eric is flying solo

-It wasn't pretty, but the Packers won a hard fought game

-Both the Offense and Defense came up big in the 2nd half

-Aaron Rodgers is on pace for over 5100 yards

-Josh Jones was impressive

-Mike McCarthy wins his first overtime game in 10 years and end his embarrassing record

-Does Aaron Rodgers have a shot at breaking Peyton Manning's passing touchdowns record? It may surprise you...

-Jordy Nelson passes Sterling Sharpe with his 66th touchdown reception. Does he have an outside shot at passing Don Hutson and making the Hall of Fame?

-Detroit loses to the Falcons in bizarre fashion. I feel bad for them....almost.

-Bill O'brien acted cowardly

-Tony Romo is a great football announcer and a breath of fresh air to broadcasts

-We share YOUR Facebook comments!

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Atlanta Falcons 34  Green Bay Packers 23

-This lose looked a lot like the last time the Packers were in Atlanta. Can the Packers beat them?

-The defense struggles again. Do they have the players to compete? Can scheme help them?

-Injuries everywhere! What is going on!?

-Rodgers struggles without his top offensive teammates

-It's only Week 2, but this lose may still hurt the Packers in the Playoffs

-The "Get in and anything can happen" playoff mentality is a myth. To road to a championship often never leaves home.

-We share YOUR Facebook comments

-The Packers will definitely beat the Bengals....right?

 

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Check out this week's regular episode recapping the Packers/Seahawks game

What If…? Wednesday Debuts!

-Thanks to John Bellish for the topic

-What if Arizona's Nate Poole didn't make the catch in Week 17 of the 2003 season that knocked the Vikes out (and put GB in)?

-Does Mike Sherman still make a change at Defensive Coordinator?

-Does a better defense put the 2004 Packers in the NFC Championship Game?

-Can the 2004 Packers go to a Super Bowl?

-Missing the Playoffs changes the Packers position in the 2004 NFL Draft.

-The Packers would not have picked Aaron Rodgers in 2005. Who would be their quarterback in 2017?

  

Your 'What If...?' Topic could be next! Submit it at....

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On yesterday’s episode of Green and Gold Forever, we discussed this comment that longtime listener Cory Bhend had posted on our Facebook page:

"Scoring is noticeably down in week 1: Teams averaged 19.3 points through Sunday night's game, down a full 3.5 points per team from last year. Will this continue? Are offenses rusty? Are defenses improving? Or is it just a fluke?"

On the episode, we speculated that it was a combination of rusty offenses due to lack of preseason reps and defenses being ahead of the offense at this stage of the season do to requiring less precision to be at their midseason form. But mostly, we dismissed it as probably being a fluke. However, I wrongly interpreted Cory’s stats to mean scoring this week was down from last years’ season average for points per team. Cory clarified today on the Facebook page that he was making a comparison to last year’s Week 1 average:

"On the issue of week 1 scoring: the final number this week was 20.2 points per team. That's down a full 10 percent from a year ago, when teams combined to score 718 points in week 1, an average of 22.4 per team. That was less than half a point off the final season average, 22.8. In 2015, teams averaged 22.6 points in week 1 and 22.8 for the season.

The idea that scoring would be down in week 1 because defense is easier to play early in the season doesn't seem to hold up against that data unless teams are holding offensive starters (and not defensive starters) out of preseason significantly more than they were even the last two years. I admittedly have no data on that. I will be interested to see if the scoring reduction we saw this weekend becomes a trend, though."

 

Now that I more clearly understand the comparison Cory was making, I wanted to look at how opening week scoring in 2017 stacked up to recent years. Cory is right, it is WAY down:

Year Avg Week 1 Pts Scored
2011 23.5
2012 24.7
2013 23.2
2014 22.4
2015 22.6
2016 22.4
2017 20.2

 

I only went back to 2011, because that is when the modern collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the NFL Players Association was signed. That is when current training camp rules went into effect. The 2011 CBA eliminated two-a-day practices, greatly reduced the number of padded practices, and restricted the amount of contact you can have in those practices. The fact that under the same rules, 2017 Week 1 scoring is down so much makes this even more intriguing. Let’s more closely examine the explanations Cory proposed.

 

1. Offenses are Rusty

You don’t need any statistics to have noticed that there was some pretty sorry quarterback play in Week 1. From Andy Dalton’s four interception game in a 20-0 home loss to Scott Tolzien throwing two pick sixes, nothing came easy through the air. Even the great Tom Brady looked pretty bad. The stats back up what we saw. By a wide margin, quarterbacks who played in Week 1 combined to have the worst league-wide passer rating since the new CBA went into effect:

Year Avg Week 1 Passer Rating
2011 92.6
2012 89.9
2013 91.8
2014 90.8
2015 91.1
2016 91.6
2017 86.1

*Minimum 12 Pass Attempts

 

Could rust be causing this? One of the things we have been discussing for years now on the podcast is how little quarterbacks, particularly star quarterbacks, play in the preseason nowadays. It seems the risk of injury is too great for most coaches and they opt to get their quarterbacks ready almost exclusively using practice reps. Is this a perceived trend or is this real? Turns out, 2017 Week 1 starting quarterbacks threw nearly 35% fewer preseason pass attempts than their counterparts did in 2011:

Year Starting QB Avg Preseason Pass Attempts
2011 41.5
2012 43.4
2013 36.2
2014 36.8
2015 31.0
2016 31.6
2017 28.4

 

The figures above show the average number of pass attempts over the entire course of the preseason for quarterbacks who saw significant playing time in week one of a given year. I can understand why this is happening. A coach can immediately get himself on the hot seat if his star quarterback is injured in a meaningless game when it could have been prevented. And one could argue that an extra series or two worth of throws shouldn’t have that great of an impact on Week 1 performance. But the NFL is now a passing league. Offenses need more precise timing than ever before in order to be effective. With the modern CBA, the game situations in which that precision will be necessary are nearly impossible to simulate outside of actual games. It’s no surprise that quarterbacks that averaged 32.4 pass attempts in their Week 1 starts would be a little rusty with just 28.4 game snaps in a month of preseason action.

 

2. Are Defenses Improving?

Of the reasons we’ll discuss, this is the one that I most hope to be true. I do not long for the days of unchecked helmet to helmet hits or people being slammed onto the old rock-hard Astroturf. I’m all for player safety. I do however long for the days when offenses and defenses felt more balanced. The NFL has made all of their rules changes in the last decade with the mindset that the deep pass is the only exciting play in football. I would argue that few plays are more exciting than a big return after an interception or fumble. I want more opportunities for the defense to force game-changing mistakes rather than passively waiting for the quarterback to make one.

 

With all that said, how do we measure if defenses are improving after one week? You really can’t, but it would be an encouraging sign if impact defensive plays were up. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. Here is a summary of all "impact" defensive plays that occured league wide in each opening weekend since 2011:

Year Sacks Turnovers Def TDs
2011 88 49 4
2012 72 51 7
2013 66 53 5
2014 64 45 3
2015 65 48 7
2016 66 28 2
2017 77 41 7

 

While Week 1 defenses performed much better this year than last year, there is little statistically to suggest that defenses were more disruptive than normal this year. Offenses might have contributed just as much to their own struggles as defenses did. Seems like more of a case of offenses suffering death by a thousand incomplete passes.

 

3. Is it Just a Fluke?

Whenever dealing with a sample size of one week, this is almost always the correct answer. It is safe to say that scoring was down in Week 1 because quarterback performance was down in Week 1. But will that last? How close did recent Week Ones resemble the rest of those respective seasons?:

Year Week 1 Ave Passer Rating Year Avg Passer Rating Diff +/-(Season - Wk 1) Week 1 Average Pts Per Game Year Avg Pts Per Game Diff +/-(Season - Wk 1)
2011 92.6 84.2 -8.4 23.5 22.2 -1.3
2012 89.9 83.9 -6.0 24.7 24.7 0
2013 91.8 85.8 -6.0 23.2 23.4 +0.2
2014 90.8 88.9 -1.9 22.4 22.6 +0.2
2015 91.1 88.9 -2.2 22.6 22.8 +0.2
2016 91.6 88.7 -2.9 22.4 22.8 +0.4
2017 86.1 ?? ?? 20.2 ?? ??

 

Admittedly, I don’t take a ton of stock in this data, but if 2017 trends the way the prior 6 years have, we might have one sorry football season on our hands. The last five years, scoring in Week 1 was within a half of a point of its eventual season average. More alarming, quarterback performance went significantly down as each season progressed. That isn’t all that surprising, as teams have less time to prepare for their subsequent opponents, defenses adjust, weather gets poor in many cities, and several teams will be forced to start backup quarterbacks due to injury. A decline is to be expected. But if our QB starting point is what we saw Sunday, we are in for some colossal stinkers come November and December.

 

What does this all mean?

Beats me. All this might not mean anything in the long run, but perhaps this shows that quality of play is very dependent on good quarterbacking. The rules are designed for them to succeed. But what if we have a crop of quarterbacks that are less capable of succeeding, even under the best of circumstances? Perhaps the NFL Rules Committee should stop making tweaks with Peyton Manning in mind and watch a few more Andy Dalton games. Perhaps then they’ll realize the key to an exciting product is allowing all players on the field a fair chance at creating an exciting play.  

 

Eric Drews 
Host 
Green and Gold Forever 
@GreenGold4Ever

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