Tag:Green Bay Packers
Posted on: December 4, 2011 8:59 pm

Patriots retake top seed in AFC playoff race

New England

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The CBSSports.com Playoff Race has been updated following the 4 p.m. games, and there are quite a few things which we can take away from the graphic, if the playoffs started today.

-New England is back as the No. 1 seed in the AFC followed by the Ravens at No. 2, and both wild card spots would go to the AFC North. Oh, and right now, the Broncos, based on tiebreakers would win the AFC West.

-Obviously, the Packers get No. 1 seed in the NFC, followed by the 49ers, and both wild card sports would go to teams in the NFC North.

-San Francisco has clinched the NFC West division title. In Week 13, mind you.

-Green Bay will clinch the NFC North division title if Detroit loses tonight vs. New Orleans (the Packers clinched a playoff berth earlier today when Chicago lost).

-In the AFC, the Titans, Raiders and Jets (in that order) are on the outside looking in. In the NFC, it’s the Falcons.

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: December 3, 2011 1:35 pm

Green Bay Packers stock sale starts Tuesday

Posted by Will Brinson

Owning an NFL team is a pretty difficult thing to pull off. In fact, only the Green Bay Packers represent a chance for members of the public to invest some of their hard-earned money into an NFL team, and even they only have a limited number of shares.

But here's some good news -- starting on Tuesday, the Packers will kick off their fifth-ever stock offering and make 250,000 shares available to the public at the low cost of $250 a share.

“We appreciate the interest that fans have expressed in our fifth stock offering,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement released by the team. “We are not yet in a position to fully discuss the offering, however, this information will answer some of the initial questions that we’ve received.”

The details Murphy and the Packers did offer include: only US citizens can purchase shares (with the exception of people who live in New Hampshire, who may not); up to 200 shares may be purchased by each individual or spousal pairing; shares can be purchased online with credit and debit cards, or via mail; the 200-share limit includes any shares purchased during the last offering in 1997-98.

Additionally, you can't transfer the stock, you shouldn't buy the stock hoping that the Packers win another Lombardi Trophy and you make a profit, and each piece of stock isn't worth $250 if you want to sell it back to the Packers.

Also, be aware that there are currently 4,750,397 shares owned by 112,158 shareholders, so you probably won't have much say in whether James Starks gets more carries than Ryan Grant the rest of the year.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 12:59 pm

Giants need to fix defense for stretch run

Perry Fewell was angry with New York giving up seven TDs to New Orleans Monday night. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Giants were embarrassed on Monday night in New Orleans. That was nothing compared to the no-show performance the Eagles put on in Seattle Thursday, but relative success compared to Philly is nothing to brag about in the NFC East, and that by itself won't get you into the playoffs.

Heading into Week 13, the Giants, 6-5, are one game back of the Cowboys in the division. But they're behind two teams for the final wildcard spot (the Falcons and Lions). They also have an impossibly difficult schedule ahead (GB, @DAL, WAS, @NYJ, DAL).

But as the old coaching bromide goes, it is what it is. And right now, with five weeks left in the regular season, it's a chance fix a leaky defense and try to win out.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who doesn't usually call out his players through the media, was fired up Thursday when he met with reporters. This is what happens when your unit gives up seven touchdowns, even to a Drew Brees-led offense. And it wasn't so much getting outplayed in New Orleans that had Fewell going, it was the lack of effort.

“I was (angry), okay?” Fewell said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo. “I was getting them going Monday night and we’re getting going this week. So player-friendly or not, it’s all about winning. … And I think they got the message and they understand what’s on the line for us.”

Three weeks ago, the Giants were 6-2 and preparing to play the 49ers. They had just defeated the Patriots in Foxboro and did it with a stifling pass rush and final scoring drive engineered by Eli Manning. Opponents have since gone with max-protection schemes to protect the quarterback and it's worked. New York has dropped three in a row and now they have to face the Packers, the only team in the league that can regularly score more points than the Saints.

“We look forward to the opportunity to play these guys. That’s my confidence level,” Fewell said of the Packers. “We’re going to show up and we’re going to play on Sunday.” Fewell also doesn't care about the max-protect his pass rushers now regularly face because he's seen them beat double-teams in the past. And they're going to need that if they're going to slow down Aaron Rodgers, the runaway choice for NFL MVP.

“More so than discipline, we just have to get after his (butt), okay? And if we do that and he scrambles, then that’s the price he’s going to have to pay because we’re going to hit him," Fewell said. "We’re going to hit him.”

Rodgers, unlike Brees, doesn't benefit from great pass protection. According to Football Outsiders' metrics, the Packers rank 20th in adjusted sack rate (defined as "sacks per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent"), just ahead of the Chiefs, Bears and Steelers. The Saints rank third.

So, yes, the Giants can get to Rodgers, it's just a matter of whether they can contain him once they arrive. Because in addition to having a strong arm and uncanny accuracy, Rodgers is extremely mobile, not just in the pocket but in the open field.

The undefeated Green Bay Packers will travel to MetLife Stadium this week and take on Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Who has the advantage in this matchup? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview this game.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 4:15 pm

Packers RB thinks Suh's suspension is 'absurd'

Grant on Suh: 'It was about as overboard as you can get what he did; it’s just not football' (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

As expected, Lions defensive tackle and amateur kickball player Ndamukong Suh was suspended two games for stomping on a Packers lineman during last Thursday's Green Bay-Detroit Thanksgiving Day get-together.

Suh is appealing his suspension. The decision is expected by 3 p.m. ET Thursday, though we expect the hearing to go something like this:

NFL appeals board: "Mr. Suh, we're prepared to hear your opening statement but just know that whatever you say we will deny your appeal. So either we can wrap this up now, call it a day, and beat the traffic, or we can drag this out. Whatever, you ain't playing again until Week 15."

This is only the second time NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended a player for more than a game. The other instance came in 2006 when then-Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth got a five-game suspension for stomping on the head of Cowboys center Andre Gurode.

Haynesworth's actions were malicious and if he had been suspended for the season we don't imagine anybody would've protested. Suh wasn't going to hurt anybody, but what he did certainly merited a suspension if for no other reason than to send the message that we're all tired of the way he plays the game after the whistle.

Well, some people don't think two games is a punishment that fits the crime. Take Packers running back Ryan Grant, for example.

“I think it’s absurd. It was about as overboard as you can get what he did; it’s just not football," Ryan said during an appearance on WSSP (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "Can’t have that. It was ridiculous, and it’s not something you want to see regardless. I’m not a fan of the apology, I’m not a fan of what he said. Anybody in hindsight can say all that, but we’re talking about something that’s not exactly a first occurrence. There have been issues, there have been talks and communication with the commissioner and across the board.”

This Sunday night, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will take on Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. Who will get the victory? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz go inside the numbers and preview this intense matchup.

The man makes some good points but like we mentioned above, Suh wasn't malicious, just stupid. Then again, if the punishment is based on the act regardless of intent then Suh (forgive us in advance) doesn't have a leg to stand on.

But as PFT.com's Michael David Smith wrote earlier today, "Suh could point out (to the commissioner at his appeals hearing) that his ejection and two-game suspension is a much stiffer punishment than other players received for dirty plays: Grant’s teammate Charles Woodson was neither ejected nor suspended for punching Saints tight end David Thomas. Vikings defensive end Brian Robison was neither ejected nor suspended for kicking Packers guard T.J. Lang in the groin."

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Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:07 pm

Walden apologizes for arrest, still will play

E. Walden was arrested no suspicion of domestic battery (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Packers linebacker Erik Walden was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery last Friday morning, a few hours after his Green Bay teammates polished off the Lions during their Thanksgiving matchup. After spending the weekend in jail because of the holiday weekend, Walden has emerged apologetic and, according to his coach, ready to play this weekend.

So, apparently, he will.

That’s the word from ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde, who writes that coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t believe a suspension is warranted for Walden at this point.

“Based on the information we have to date, Erik will play in the game," McCarthy said. “I have every anticipation for Erik to start.”

Will there be any type of discipline?

“That's really something that, once again, we'll watch the process, gather all the information," he said. “Those types of decisions are in-house decisions anyway. We've never discussed discipline publicly. We're respecting the process and collecting the information."

The case, since Walden was arrested, seems to have gotten less airtight. Originally, Walden’s live-in girlfriend (and the mother of his two children) said she and Walden were involved in an altercation, and he pushed her. But later, the woman -- who was treated for a bump and a cut on her head at a local hospital -- changed her story, saying that she was the one who started the fight and that Walden was only trying to defend himself.

Charges have not been filed, but Walden still said he was sorry.

“I want to apologize to the entire organization, my teammates and the fans,” he said. “You know, it’s an ongoing process, I respect that process, and it’s just unfortunate that I brought something negative from so much positive that’s going on with this organization. … I’m cooperating fully.”

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Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:54 pm

Film Room: Giants vs. Packers preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

What you’re about to read is not a prediction for the Giants to knockoff the undefeated Packers. The Giants are banged up, have lost back-to-back primetime games and are coming off a trouncing by the Saints offense.

Come Sunday, they’ll have had only six days to prepare for the even-more-prolific Packers – a team coming off a mini bye after playing last Thursday. But there are myriad opportunities to read about why Green Bay can further push New York into one of its patented late-season declines.

We already know which is the better team here. So instead of just joining the masses, let’s challenge ourselves by examining how/why the Giants might be able to pull off an upset.

1. Throwing from base personnel
The Giants offense is most comfortable operating out of base personnel (two backs, one tight end, two receivers). Base personnel gives the Giants more opportunities for a balanced run-pass gameplan and aids their play-action.

More importantly, if last year’s Week 16 matchup between these two clubs is any indication, the Packers will match the Giants’ base personnel with their own 3-4 base personnel. Green Bay is considerably less dangerous lining up in a standard 3-4. Most of Dom Capers’ blitzes and subterfuge come from the nickel 2-4-5 package (with Charles Woodson sliding into the slot).

Against the Pack’s basic 3-4, the Giants pass-blockers can worry less about identifying blitzes and more about traditional execution. The front five can focus on sliding protection towards Clay Matthews and the running backs will have a cleaner look at their help-blocking assignments (such as chipping on the edges or covering for a lineman who gets confounded by a stunt).

What’s more, out of base personnel, the Giants running backs would be bigger factors in the pass game, and Eli Manning would also have a chance to attack A.J. Hawk in coverage. Hawk has recently improved as a space player, but offenses still prefer throwing at him inside and down the seams versus throwing at Charles Woodson or the safeties against the nickel look.

Tight end Jake Ballard (30 receptions, 490 yards this season) gives the Giants an auspicious target in this matchup.

2. The Bradshaw factor
If Ahmad Bradshaw does not return from his foot injury this week, you might as well watch Rams-Niners or Cardinals-Cowboys or The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills during the late afternoon window. Without Bradshaw in the backfield, it will be very difficult for New York to throw out of base personnel, as Brandon Jacobs plays with oven mitts over his hands and D.J. Ware has not shown impressive start/stop quickness in the flats.

Bradshaw is a quick, versatile receiver and an underrated pass-blocker. More importantly, he’s far and away New York’s best runner (Jacobs can still plow over defenders when he has a head full of steam, but his lack of initial burst is a real hindrance to the ground game).

Running the ball is critical for the Giants because it helps keep Aaron Rodgers off the field.

3. The Eli factor
If Eli Manning is not in the tail end of that Tom Brady elite class, he’s comfortably at the very head of the class right after it. It sounds implausible, but Little Brother these days is underrated. Manning is having a career-year despite injuries to his receivers, top running back and offensive line (most recently, left tackle Will Beatty, who missed Monday’s game with a detached retina and will sit out again Sunday).

The Giants offense, even with the injuries and disappearance of its rushing attack (82.3 yards per game, 32nd in the NFL) has managed to post 22.9 points per contest (16th in NFL).

Manning, with his audible powers at the line, almost never lets the Giants attempt an ill-fated play. What’s not talked about enough is his arm strength. He has the gun to get the ball outside the numbers or through tight windows – and he can do it while throwing off-balance or falling back with defenders in his face. He’s as tough in the pocket as any quarterback in the game and, in the last year or two, he’s become routinely accurate.

4. How to attack downfield
The Giants may not prefer to spread the field and make this a shootout – they don’t have the wide receiver depth for that, especially if Mario Manningham’s knee remains an issue. But given the brilliance of the Packers offense, it’s possible – if not probable – that Big Blue will have to score 30-plus in order to win.

If that’s the case, the Giants may want to copy the Chargers’ approach from Week 9, when Philip Rivers & Co. hung 38 points and 460 yards on the Pack. In that game, San Diego lined up in condensed formations, with their receivers in minus splits (inside the numbers). With receivers starting their routes closer to the middle of the field, the Packer defensive backs were forced to defend more space, as they could not rely on the sideline for help:

The Chargers have good receivers and they got great protection up front that day, so they were able to capitalize on the condensed formations. The Giants receivers might be a grade below the Chargers’ (it’s debatable), but regardless, they’re capable of winning one-on-one matchups in space. The Giants’ O-line struggled two weeks ago against the Eagles, but it’s been stellar in protection most of this season.

Condensed formations don’t just create more space for receivers’ routes, they also create opportunities for picks and rubs with crossing routes, which present problems for any defense in man coverage.

5. Giants defense
As we covered in last week’s Film Room post, the Giants like to use their big nickel defense (two linebackers, three safeties) against an offense’s base personnel – especially when the offense has a versatile tight end (like Jimmy Graham last week or Jermichael Finley this week). Expect to see Deon Grant, Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips all on the field for most of this game.

It’s impossible to devise a gameplan that can stop Rodgers and this Green Bay passing attack. Your best bet is to bank on what you do best. For the Giants, that means rushing the passer with four. They got absolutely nothing from their pass-rush Monday night, which was disappointing given the glaring mismatch they had with their ends against the Saints’ iffy tackles. A four-man rush gives coordinator Perry Fewell seven defenders to play with in coverage, which allows for tighter zones and plenty of freelance defenders in man schemes.

The Giants stymied the Patriots with tight man coverage across the board a few weeks ago. That may not work in this matchup. The Packer receivers are the best in the league at beating man-to-man (in part because Rodgers is a genius when it comes to back-shoulder throws). Plus, the Patriots have a horizontal passing game; the Packers are more capable at beating you vertically. One slip by a man defender can equal six points for the offense.

In all likelihood, there won’t be just one simple solution for Fewell and his men on Sunday. They’ll have to mix coverages and try different things, all the while hoping that their star-studded pass-rush can show up.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 13 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 6:36 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 6:37 pm

Packers center Wells on Suh: 'I saw the kick'

Posted by Will Brinson

We've got plenty of opinions about Ndamukong Suh, although the only one that really matters is Roger Goodell's -- the commissioner decided to suspend the Lions defensive tackle for two games on Tuesday.

And since the hot topic of the day is Suh's suspension, it makes total sense to talk to a guy who was right there when Suh lashed out at Packers guard Brian Dietrich-Smith. Which is precisely what Tim Brando did, when he brought Packers center (and former Tennessee standout, as well as a pretty funny/good guy) Scott Wells onto the Tim Brando Show Tuesday.

"I saw it, and it kind of threw me off a bit, and I reached down and tried to break it up, but I couldn't get too physical because the official's right there with me," Wells said on the "And I tried to pull 'em apart and everything.

"And I didn't see him make contact -- I saw the kick. And I immediately turned to the official and I was like, 'Man that's messed up -- he kicked him!' And everyone on our side is yelling, 'He kicked him!'"

As you can see above, Wells breaks down the incident and whethere or not the suspension was warranted.

"It was a heated moment and he made a bad decision obviously and it cost him," Wells said.

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:28 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 3:54 pm

Ndamukong Suh suspended 2 games, will appeal

Posted by Will Brinson

As CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman noted earlier, Ndamukong Suh was suspended two games without pay by the NFL on Tuesday for his actions in Detroit's loss to Green Bay on Thanksgiving.

Suh received the suspension due to the fact that the incident in the Packers-Lions game was Suh's fifth on-field violation over the past two years, according to the NFL.

"NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks notified Ndamukong Suh today that he has been suspended without pay for the Lions' next two games for his unsportsmanlike conduct in the Lions-Packers game on Thanksgiving Day," a statement from the NFL, obtained by Freeman, reads. "It was Suh's fifth violation of on-field rules in the past two seasons that has resulted in league discipline. Suh may not practice or be at the team practice facility for any other activities during the two-game suspension.

"He will be reinstated on December 12. Under the CBA, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. If appealed, an expedited hearing and decision would take place this week in advance of this weekend's games."

Suh drew a lot of criticism for his decision not to apologize for his actions, then apologize via Facebook (!), then finally call Roger Goodell on Sunday night and apologize for his actions on Thursday.

Suh isn't the only one who stands to lose money here ($164,000, to be exact). The Lions could also be a little lighter in their proverbial wallets. Freeman explains:

"League rules stipulate that when a player is suspended or fined, the amount of the fine, up to a maximum of $50,000 per infraction, counts towards a club's season total.

"If a team reaches $100,000 in fines the club must forfeit $50,000. If a team reaches $150,000, then it must forfeit an additional $25,000, and match any subsequent fine/suspension amounts for remainder of season.

So, bottom line, the Suh suspension put the Lions over that $100,000 season total. Lions players have already been fined at least that much this season so not only is that $100,000 mark already likely been reached, the next mark could be as well. The team fine would happen at the end of the season once all appeals and reductions are accounted for."

There's more (of course there is): a source close to the embattled defensive tackle tells Freeman that Suh has appealed his suspension. "Suh was urged, I'm told, by union and others that suspension was heavy handed and he should appeal. He officially has."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com