Tag Archives: Green Bay Packers

Green Bay and Atlanta set for showdown in NFC Championship

This Sunday, at 3:05 p.m. ET, in the Georgia Dome, the Green Bay Packers will face off against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game to determine who will go to play in Super Bowl LI against the AFC Champion. both teams come into this game with winning streaks, are potent offensively and with the struggles that they have had defensively, this game has the potential to be an offensive shootout.

Atlanta is led by their record-setting NFL offense. They have scored 540 points this regular season, which is tied with the 2000 St. Louis Rams offense for the 8th most points scored in a NFL season. The Falcons offense also ranks 1st in the NFL in points scored per game with 33.8 a game. None of this would be possible though without their leader of their offense in quarterback Matt Ryan.

Matt Ryan has had one of his best years statistically this season. He finished the year with 4,944 yards passing, 38 touchdowns, seven interceptions and quarterback rating of 117.1. These numbers are all career-bests for Ryan. While he is the driving force and the manager of the offense, he has been aided by great players at the skill positions.

Wide receiver Julio Jones leads the receiving group with 83 catches for 1,409 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Free agent wide receiver additions Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel have combined to catch 94 passes for 1,232 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. The Falcons wide receivers are a difficult matchup as they present size and speed that are difficult for a defense to matchup with.

The rushing attack, led by Devonta Freeman, has also been a huge part of the success of the Falcons offense. Freeman has rushed for 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns. Fellow running back Tevin Coleman has also added 520 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. Both Freeman and Coleman have also been key part to the passing attack as they have combined for 85 catches for 883 yards receiving. While the Falcons have been lethal and a difficult opponent all season, there may be no team hotter in the NFL than the Packers.

The Packers had a very up-and-down season throughout the year. By mid-November, the Packers had a record of 4-6 and there were rumblings from Packers fans that it might be time to move on from head coach Mike McCarthy and/or general manager Ted Thompson, quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be nearing the end and the Packers were going to be heading for an early offseason and a top-5 pick in the draft. Heading into an important game against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road, as the loser of the game would likely not make the playoffs, Rodgers made a declaration that sent shockwaves through the NFL.

“I feel like we can run the table,” Rodgers said.

The thought by many people was that Rodgers was either arrogant, or over confident when he made this statement. The Packers were struggling both offensively and defensively during their four game losing streak and they were going to face off against several tough opponents to close out the season. The likelihood of a struggling team being able to flip the switch was not likely.

What this statement was though was a message from Rodgers to the team that he felt like the team could go on a six game winning streak to conclude the regular season and make the playoffs. Basically, it was a shot of confidence in the arm of a team that seemed to be lacking confidence at times in games. It seemed to have worked as the Packers won six straight to close out the regular season and won their first two playoff games against the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.

There has probably been no player hotter in the NFL than Rodgers these past eight weeks. In this eight game winning streak he has thrown for 24 touchdowns to one interception. For the season, he has thrown for 4,428 yards passing, 40 touchdowns, which led the NFL, and only seven interceptions.

What makes these numbers even more impressive is that the Packers have struggled with their rushing attack all season as their top three running backs have dealt with injuries and are either on injured reserve, or still injured. In this eight game winning streak, the Packers moved wide receiver Ty Montgomery to running back and have relied on a combination of him and fullback Aaron Ripkowski to lead the rushing attack.

The receiving group has been led by Jordy Nelson who finished the season with 97 catches, for 1,257 yards and led the NFL with 14 touchdowns. Wide receiver Davante Adams has also had an impressive year with 75 catches, for 997 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Tight end Jared Cook and wide receiver Randall Cobb have also been key players during this run. Cook finished the year with 30 catches for 377 yards and Cobb has added 60 catches for 610 yards. Cobb and Cook will be key in this game as Nelson and Adams may be hampered by their rib and ankle injuries respectively.

This game will probably be an offensive shootout. Both the Falcons and Packers’ defenses have struggled throughout the year especially against the pass. This may be a game where if one of the teams gets at least one stop, that team might win. Ryan and Rodgers are both playing at a very high level and while Ryan may have the more impressive supporting cast, there may be no player hotter in the NFL than Rodgers right now. This should be a great game. Matt Ryan and the Falcons could go to their first Super Bowl since the 1998 NFL season, or Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will continue to “run the table” right to the Super Bowl.

*Originally posted on TheSkyBoat.com

Playoff Time!


The anticipation is building. There is excitement in the air but it’s filled with nervous energy. It’s playoff time in the National Football League and it’s time to see what teams will reach the ultimate goal of winning Super Bowl 50 and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. As a Green Bay Packers fan, I hope the Packers will win the Super Bowl but it may be difficult for them to get there.

This season has been filled with many exciting and stressful moments for the Packers with many close games coming down to the wire, resulting mostly in loses. Against the Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers were just one score away from either tying, or winning the game. In these games they were plagued by drops from wide receivers, up and down offensive line play, miscommunication between Aaron Rodgers and his receivers and some poor throws as well. There are roughly one or two plays from each of those games that if they had gone the other way, the Packers win those games.

The fact that they have switched player callers from Associate Head Coach Tom Clements back to Head Coach Mike McCarthy, may have had some affect on the team. The offense looked out of sorts for the majority of these games but managed to get hot and make things interesting at the end of games. Unfortunately, they couldn’t close the deal.

The plus side though is that the defense behind Dom Capers has been pretty good this year and has kept the Packers in games late. They have bended a few times allowing opposing teams to drive up and down on the field but have held firm in the red zone. Special Teams has also been vastly improved from last year’s horrendous play and that’s a credit to new Special Teams Coach Ron Zook.

This afternoon the Packers will play the Washington Redskins and this game could be very interesting because for all of the Packers offensive issues this year, their defense has been very good, special teams are pretty good and the offense has shown the ability to get hot and be dangerous in games. The key is consistency. If the Packers can find some consistence offensively by either running the ball, or passing against a suspect Washington defense, the Packers will have a great shot at winning the game. The Packers defense will also have to limit the red-hot Washington offense led by Kirk Cousins in order to give Aaron Rodgers and the offense a shot in this game.

I’m very excited to watch the Packers this afternoon but I’m definitely a little nervous about their chance. Hopefully all goes well and the Packers win this game and continue on their quest to bring the Lombardi Trophy back home to Titletown!

What are your thoughts on the game? Share them in the comments below.

Superstitions and the NFL….


Superstitions are a funny thing, some people have them and some people don’t whether it’s regarding sports, a job interview or day to day life. Probably the area where superstitions are most prevalent has to be sports.

Fans with superstitions have the belief that they can somehow effect the game with something they do, even if they aren’t involved with the game at all. From the point of view of fans who don’t have superstitions, it must be kind of funny to think that someone who has no impact on the game whatsoever could think that something as small as wearing a certain shirt or do a certain routine, could have any effect at all on the game. But for some reason, with no logic at all (probably) fans think and continue to believe in their superstitions.

While fans have their superstations, players and coaches also have superstitions. For instance, Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has to have a black, or blue sharpie for the first half of a game and have a red one for the second half and New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton always has to chew Juicy Fruit bubble gum during the game. A superstition a little on the strange, or crazy side was that former NFL defensive lineman John Henderson needed to be slapped in the face, hard, a couple times before each game. To each his own I suppose!

I’m one of those fans who believes in superstitions. During the AFL season when I was working for the Orlando Predators, every home game when I would be there prepare for the game, I had to wear the same pair of khaki shorts and either a plain red shirt, green shirt or gray shirt. Every game-day before I would leave home, I would remind myself that I needed to wear those khaki shorts and one of those shirts, or it could be bad. Then during the game, I always needed to have a pen in my possession so sometimes, I would bring three or four pens with me to make sure I had a pen!

I’m not sure how these superstitions started but for some reason every game before I thought they had an effect on the outcome of the game. I don’t know if these superstitions had any effect or not but I’d like to believe that if I hadn’t been wearing those clothes, or had a pen, things could’ve been a lot worse!

During the NFL season I also have a couple superstitions that I must do before and during any Green Bay Packers game, as they are my favorite team. The first thing that I have to do is visualize every night leading up to the game that the Packers are going to win and I have to imagine the feeling I will have one they win. Then I have to repeat five times that “the Green Bay Packers are going to beat _______.” During the game, I have to repeat that mantra at least once a quarter. More if they are losing.

Probably the biggest superstition I have is that no one can take any pictures during the game. This superstition specifically applies to my mom because she is always taking pictures! This started out in 2009 because I was annoyed that my mom was taking a picture of me when I was watching a game and when the Packers lost I thought one of the reasons for the loss was because my mom took that picture of me! Since then though, I have told my mom she cannot take a picture of me during a Packer game. She has been pretty good with putting up with this superstition until she fell off the wagon in January of this year.

My dad and I were in the middle of watching the Green Bay Packers vs Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship game and I was very nervous since the Seahawks had beaten the Packers the last few times they played each other, starting in 2012 with the “Fail Mary” game. In any case, I was on edge and repeating that mantra I have over and over as many times as I could and it seemed to be working as the Packers were leading 16-7! Morgan Burnett had just intercepted a pass when my mom came over and tried to take a picture of us watching the game and based on my superstition, I tried to tell her no. For the rest of my life, I will never forget what she said and what happened next, she looked over at the screen and said “there are five minutes left! The Packers are going to win the game. You’ll be fine!” So, I let her take the picture and after that, it was all downhill for the Packers.

Suddenly their defense crumbled, Seattle’s offense got hot and somehow a player (who shall remain nameless!) forgot to follow through his simple job of blocking a guy on special teams, to allow Jordy Nelson, the Packers top wide receiver, to corral an onside kick. Needless to say, I told my mom after that game that under no circumstance would she ever take a picture of me during a Packer game again!

Now I’m not sure if any superstitions that fans, players or coaches have affect the game and even though there may not be any logic behind them, I’d like to think that they do have some effect however small. People may not be able to disprove them or prove them but I will stand by my superstition about pictures being taken of me during games!

2015 NFL Draft Wrap Up

(Graphic credit: National Football League via NFL Communications

Excitement mixed with some confusion, remains as the dust settles around the 2015 NFL Draft with rookie mini-camps finished and the start of off-season workouts. Players have been drafted, players who were undrafted have been signed to teams and NFL teams continue to rebuild, or strengthen their rosters for the upcoming NFL season.

In this draft, there was not too many trades, or crazy moves that many had predicted, or had hoped for. Myself included. That is fine though because it shows that many teams were calm, cool and collected and did not want to mortgage their future in favor of getting better right away. As history has shown, sometimes making those moves are not very beneficial. (i.e the Ricky Williams trade) For the most part, I enjoyed watching the draft, even if I was confused at first by some moves that some teams, mainly the Green Bay Packers, made.

Going into the NFL Draft, it was thought by many that the Packers biggest weakness was the inside linebacker position and to a lesser extent, the defensive tackle position as well as the cornerback position. So it was assumed by a lot of people, myself included, that the Packers would draft an inside linebacker with their first round pick but we all forgot one critical piece of information. Packers General Manager Ted Thompson generally does not have the same thoughts that most fans do.

Thompson prescribes to the “take the best player available” theory, which means he will draft the best player that is currently on their draft board. He’s used this method to great success with the most notable time being in the 2005 NFL Draft, when he drafted Aaron Rodgers, with the 24th pick. For his first round pick this year, the highest player he had on his board was safety/cornerback Damarious Randall so he took him. I was pretty surprised Thompson had taken a defensive back that high and even more surprised when he drafted another defensive back, Quinten Rollins in the second round.

Thompson then followed up those two picks by taking wide receiver, Ty Montgomery, in the third round, inside linebacker Jake Ryan in the fourth and quarterback Brett Hundley in the fifth. In the sixth round, Thompson selected his last three players which were fullback Aaron Ripkowski, defensive lineman Christian Ringo and tight end Kennard Backman.

In my opinion, this ended up being a solid draft for the Packers as they have filled the holes at the cornerback position and drafted a potential starter at inside linebacker. I also believe that many of these players could help improve the special teams unit, which was terrible last year so that is a major plus. We won’t really know how this draft will turn out until the players have been in the NFL for at least three years but for at least right now, it looks like Ted Thompson, once again, stayed cool, calm and collected and led another solid draft for the Packers.

The 2015 NFL Draft and Ted Thompson

Photo credit: AP Photo/Morrey Gash per Grantland.com

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson  (Photo credit: AP Photo/Morry Gash via Grantland.com)

The anticipation is building. There’s excitement in the air. Playoffs are going on and the NFL Draft is tomorrow! Right now, even though many other sports leagues are conducting their playoff series, the 2015 NFL Draft is dominating the conversations throughout the sports world. Questions like, “Who will go number one? Who will my favorite team pick and what will happen in the draft?” are asked every single day. Tomorrow though, all of these questions will be answered!

A few predictions that I have for the draft are that Jameis Winston will be picked number one overall, as he’s arguably the best quarterback in the draft and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a quarterback and that Marcus Mariota will be drafted somewhere in the top 10. My dark horse prediction is that somehow, someway, Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles will trade up and draft Mariota.

While it will be very interesting to see what every team will do in the draft, especially teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans that are shrouded in trade speculation and intrigue, I’m more excited to see what the Green Bay Packers will do in the draft, as they are my favorite team. Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson has been one of finest overall general managers in the league during his tenure and where he really excels is the draft, building the team from the draft and undrafted free agency.

Thompson has a way of finding great talent during the draft and he never seems to make a decision based on emotions. He always seems to be cool, calm and collected during the draft, which has served him and the Packers well. He never seems to make desperate, risky moves in the draft and is more in favor of good, solid moves.

Sometimes, Packers fans may like it if Thompson would trade up to get more talented players, or make more exciting big moves in the draft by trading players but instead, Thompson stands pat and follows his board, to great success. Thompson rarely has traded up but when he has, he has drafted players such as Clay Matthews and Casey Hayward. When he’s stayed pat, or even traded down, he drafted players like Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton.

While Thompson is usually pretty successful drafting players, he and the Packers Personnel Department are also very adept at finding quality undrafted players and bringing them in. Some of the more notable undrafted free agent signings Thompson has made are cornerbacks Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and offensive lineman Don Barclay. Williams and Shields have developed into Pro Bowl players and Barclay has developed into an adequate starter and versatile backup on the offensive line.

For the draft this year, I hope Thompson does what he usually does in the draft and stands pat, or trades down. He tends to be more successful in the draft when he makes those kinds of moves. There are two players I hope Thompson and the Packers do draft, as I think they could become great players for the team.

I hope they draft Linebacker Stephone Anthony out of Clemson with their first, or second round pick. Inside linebacker is a major need for the Packers and the team needs an athletic linebacker that can cover running backs, tight ends and possibly wide receivers. Anthony excels in these areas. Cornerback Jacoby Glenn out of UCF is also a player I hope they draft in the second or third round.

Glenn is a solid tackler and is a ballhawk with fantastic hands and would be an asset to the Packers secondary. The Packers have lost a couple cornerbacks in free agency this year so by drafting Glenn, they gain a solid player with great potential. Plus, it never hurts to have more solid cornerbacks in league that is passing the ball more and more.

So, while the 2015 NFL Draft is filled with intrigue and speculation regarding where players like Winston and Mariota might be drafted and what moves teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans might make, I am more interested to see what Thompson will do in this draft and what moves he will make. I am confident that once again, Thompson and the Green Bay Packers will have a solid draft and find some great players for the team.

Quick Update!


The days are shorter and the temperature is continuing to drop. It’s Fall here in Florida and Winter is coming in a hurry! Hello all, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog and kept you guys up to date on what I’m doing. I was pretty busy this past summer with work, travel and volunteering with the Orlando Predators. Things have calmed down a little bit and I’m hoping I can use this time to get in a better routine!

As of right now, I’m still working at LeadsOnDemand and it has been pretty busy the last couple of months which has been intense. Lately, I have taken on more responsibilities, which is great; I love the challenge. I’m also looking for opportunities in the law field now because I plan to go back to law school in a couple of years. In addition, I’m always interested in opportunities in pro football since my long-range goal is to work in the NFL. Experience in both fields would be invaluable to me.

Because it’s football season and I’m a major football fan, I’ve been spending a lot of my free time following the NFL and NCAA. I’m more of a fan of the NFL than the NCAA though, because the Green Bay Packers are my favorite team. I even own a share in the team! 

There has been a lot of drama this season in the NFL and NCAA with regards to player behavior and it disappoints me that these guys have the opportunity to do what they love doing and they are wasting it by making poor decisions. I’m not sure why so many players continue to make poor decisions and it frustrates me because they have all of this fantastic talent and a gigantic opportunity to do what they love, and they are wasting it away. Hopefully though, all of these issues will be resolved and maybe more players will become wiser because of it. In any case though, I am happy that many of the Packer players seem to have been able to stay away from these sorts of issues as it allows them to live their lives and do their jobs in relative peace.