NFL 2015 Season Wildcard Weekend Picks

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2887.gifAlex - 3619 Posts
01/05/2016 @ 12:56:32 PM
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road teams ftw
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 9256 Posts
01/05/2016 @ 04:52:15 PM
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Scott's going for the tried and true "if I get the pick wrong, I'm happy, and if I'm unhappy at least I got the pick right" maneuver.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
01/05/2016 @ 05:00:32 PM
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Plus I have no confidence in the Packers chances offense. Part of me wonders if Washington is as good as they've looked the last few games, but the Packers have to score points too.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
01/05/2016 @ 05:01:33 PM
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Also, I think I picked against the Packers in all 4 playoff games in 2010. It worked then, why not now.
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sarah.jpgSarah - So's your face
01/06/2016 @ 08:30:12 PM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:00:32 PM
Plus I have no confidence in the Packers chances offense. Part of me wonders if Washington is as good as they've looked the last few games, but the Packers have to score points too.

I'm being more optimistic than Scott? What a world....
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
01/07/2016 @ 09:47:11 AM
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There is no predictability in their offense right now. There is nothing to hang a hat on and say, "yes, they should be able to match up well against this guy" or "they should be able to exploit that part of the defense". I'm starting to think that it's not just the lack of a strong receiving corps; Rodgers is off his game too, it seems. He's not seeing open receivers, and when has small windows, he's missing in ways he never would before. The interception late in the game against the Vikings is a classic case. He had time to throw. He had James Jones in the corner of the endzone, not necessarily wide open, but had the ball been thrown to the sidelines instead of the middle of the field the only one with a chance at it would have been Jones. Maybe Rodgers is right that he will "bring it" on Sunday, but over the last 10 games there has been little seen to be able to say "if they can only replicate that..."

Of course, if Rodgers doesn't essentially give up 21 points all by himself in the last 2 weeks, both those games may have turned out differently.

I'll put it another way. I don't put all the blame on Rodgers because obviously the cast around him isn't playing up to snuff either. But this is a guy who as recently as last year was the league's MVP and playing about as good or better than anyone has ever played the position in the history of game. While winning 10 games is probably somewhat of a testament to "a bad Rodgers is still better than most", I would still expect better play when the opportunities are their to make those plays.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
01/07/2016 @ 04:24:02 PM
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I think I've said most of this on here before but:

Losing Jordy hurts because he and Rodgers seemed to just have this telepathic connection working, but IMO it's hard at this point to try and make a case that the difference between last offense you want to see and the "who the hell are these guys?" this year is Jordy Nelson. I suppose you could make a case that in and of itself it isn't that big of a difference, but rather a slight difference that makes a slight difference there, and a slight difference there, and so on and so forth. Still, I think the simpler explanation is Rodgers is having a down year, and that has shone a light on the rest of a roster people assumed brilliant. Maybe age, maybe accumulation of bumps and bruises, maybe teams have figured out how to play him, maybe we don't need an explanation. He's human, not infallible.

The Packers wouldn't be the first team that went from legit Super Bowl team to crap based on their QB. It's barely even an exception at this point, although most of this is exposed by injury to the QB. not a hum drum year by the QB. A good QB can cover up for an otherwise poor team.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
01/08/2016 @ 12:03:50 PM
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Losing a player like Jordy does a couple of things.

1) it forces the 2 receiver to become the 1 receiver, the 3 to become the 2, and so on. Each receiver that may have been good in his role now has to take on possibly a different role.

2) the 2 and 3 or 4 receivers suddenly don't have the 1 receiver to draw pressure off of them. When Davante Adams has Jordy Nelson on the other side of the field, he can "stand out" because defense put one guy on him and 2 guys Jordy. On not just 1 guy, but probably the defense's third best cornerback. Without the number 1, now each of the receivers is being guarded by a slightly better cornerback on top of the fact that the number 1 who isn't there is no longer drawing pressure away from the number 2, 3, and 4 receivers.

That being said, I wouldn't put all of the Packers lack of offensive performance on the loss of Nelson, although it's no secret that it is a big portion of it. But on top of that, Rodgers also seems to be off.

Put in another way, Miracle Hail Mary aside, the Packers lost 2 games by less than 4 points, 1 game by 7 point and another by 8 points; in all 4 of those games the Packers had the ball in scoring distance either on the last play of the game or very close to the end of the game (missed game winning field goal vs Detroit; 2 dropped TD passes with under 1 minute against Chicago). Whether it's Jordy's absence or Rodgers offness, a slight nudge but Jordy's presence or Rodgers playing slightly more up to his standard and suddenly the Packers are a 12-13 win team with a productive offense and a pretty solid defense*.

In conclusion, considering how bad the Packers offense was and how many close games they lost, gaining back a Pro Bowl receiver could be reasonably seen as given them the slight 2-3 additional win edge.

Don't read too much into the "if only these plays went in their favor" thing, because I know every team could try and say that (some would obviously be wrong, some would be right), but from my micro-analysis of the Packers, my conclusion isn't unreasonable.

*If you take out the 21 points the Rodgers gave up in the last 3 games on his fumbles (I know, not really fair, but still--and I'm pretty sure all points against are counted in ESPN's points against per game calculation), the Packers would be 5th in scoring defense.
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Scott edited this at 01/08/2016 12:07:14 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 9256 Posts
01/08/2016 @ 12:40:13 PM
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The Lions were a Hail Mary and the Seahawk's illegal bat away from being the 5 seed. That's pretty crazy really. 3 NFC North teams in the playoffs were that close to reality.

It's easy to what if to death too. The Bears were in the redzone every 20 seconds in week one. What if Carr doesn't spot the Packers 14 10 seconds into the Raiders game. Etc.

The Vikings were a strip sack away from a makable FG for an OT for a bye in the playoffs.
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Jeremy edited this at 01/08/2016 12:52:00 pm
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
01/08/2016 @ 01:01:29 PM
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I generally draw the line in the what-if game to 1 single play*, but obviously people can make their own standards. Like if 1 single play can actually produce/prevent the points needed without reasonable response from the opposition. In other words, a weird play in the first quarter gives both teams the entire game to respond or have things play out differently. I weird play with 1:30 left in the 4th quarter makes it much more certain that that single play will have a more certain impact on the outcome.

Anyway, my whole point wasn't to try and suggest that the Packers are actually better than they are, but rather that gaining a Pro Bowl (nelson) player could very reasonably make a difference in a handful of games that were seemingly decided by 1 play.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 01/08/2016 1:08:30 pm
2887.gifAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
01/08/2016 @ 02:49:00 PM
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Well, their leading receiver by yards is Jones, who was cut by two other teams before the season. Without their clear #1 receiver, every one is bumped a spot (as mentioned) and basically no one has been able to step to their new responsibility. Cobb can't be "the guy", Jones never was better than a #3 type which is why they let him go the first time, Adams sucks as a #2 (qualifier possibly not needed), R. Rodgers is average at best, Montgomery maybe would have had a good year if not also hurt since he had catches in only 5 games and he's still the 4th most productive for the season, and that fact shows that Abbrederis and Janis either aren't good enough are just aren't ready to the even a #4.

Actually, they were undefeated in games Montgomery played in. So they lost a top 5 in the league #1 for the whole season, Montgomery who probably would have been #2 or #3, Adams didn't develop at all, and yes Aaron Rodgers hasn't had "it" (77 QBR last year down to 65).
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 9256 Posts
01/08/2016 @ 03:22:31 PM
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But maybe it's a chicken/egg thing. Maybe it isn't so much that they can't handle their "new roles", but that *they* were never "handling" their old ones. Maybe they look average because they are average, and all it was in the past was that they had the best QB in the world at the helm.

I don't even think that's a particularly "out there" take on it. What's more likely, that Ted Thompson and co had some kind of crystal ball that would find one WR after another, or that a really good QB can make acceptable talent look like all world talent? Cause really, the latter happens all the time. Guys leave their all-pro situation and go on to be middling talents with a lesser QB.

Rodgers isn't playing all world, and as such the cracks in the facade that have always been there are suddenly an issue.
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Jeremy messed with this at 01/08/2016 3:23:29 pm
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
01/08/2016 @ 03:33:22 PM
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You could argue whatever you want (why can't it be that Ted found good receivers AND Rodgers was making them look all world?). But you could also look at the makeup of the roster and how it has changed over time. And you can also look at film study and see differences in how plays transpired compared to prior years (in all fairness, I wouldn't expect a Vikings fan to spend too much time watching Packers film analysis). Do you think that having Jordy Nelson would have made 0 difference in the productivity of the offense? I happen to think that he probably would, regardless if Rodgers had a down year, and since 66% of their losses came down to essentially the final play, that impact could have manifested itself quite differently. QB down year + missing Top 5 in the league receiver would have an impact on the rest of the receivers. It's not an either or, necessarily.

Jordy Nelson had 98 catches last year. It's possible that Nelson would have 50 receptions with a bad QB, but it's also possible that Rodgers has mutually benefited from his all-world skills and have for the bulk of his career to date a really good set of receivers to throw it to.
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Scott messed with this at 01/08/2016 3:34:53 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
01/08/2016 @ 03:37:29 PM
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Besides, if you asked Skip Bayless, it has been 100% the receivers that have given Rodgers the success he has had. Because Rodgers clearly just isn't very good.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
01/08/2016 @ 03:44:19 PM
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Also, it isn't just "Jordy" being gone but his skill set. Without Nelson, the packers don't have a guy who can stretch the field deep with size and speed. So in a further sense, Losing Jordy messes the makeup of the offensive system as a whole. Throw all that into the mix of Rodgers not playing his best and the lower receivers not playing up to snuff and it's combination of the three.
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Scott perfected this at 01/08/2016 3:44:49 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
01/08/2016 @ 04:21:57 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:37:29 PM
Besides, if you asked Skip Bayless, it has been 100% the receivers that have given Rodgers the success he has had. Because Rodgers clearly just isn't very good.


I mean, isn't that what you're kind of arguing? I'm the one "arguing with Skip" here.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:44:19 PM
Without Nelson, the packers don't have a guy who can stretch the field deep with size and speed.


He's tall-ish for a WR but he's not terribly fast. I don't think he'd make zero impact on this season, but I think you're giving him a little too much credit. If you think any large part of the difference between how Aaron looks now and how Aaron looked before is Jordy Nelson, then what are *you* saying about Aaron? I'm the one saying Aaron has been good irrespective of the WR crops. You're implying that the WRs make Aaron go from God to "yikes" (or some appreciable distance along that path) just like that.

Of course it doesn't have to be one or the other, but some of both, but I was never arguing really that there's zero non Rodgers impact, just that one explanation for "why they look so average" is "because they are closer to average than people assumed", Rodgers just had been playing at an insane level. Rodgers was bound to slip from infallible eventually, and perhaps if he has that's casting a light on problems people never saw before.
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 01/08/2016 4:27:21 pm
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
01/08/2016 @ 04:31:01 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:21:57 PM
Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:37:29 PM
Besides, if you asked Skip Bayless, it has been 100% the receivers that have given Rodgers the success he has had. Because Rodgers clearly just isn't very good.


I mean, isn't that what you're kind of arguing? I'm the one "arguing with Skip" here.



I don't think I'm arguing anything along these lines. For starters, from the getgo I've been arguing both sides since about week 8. If anything I'm arguing that the receivers aren't blameless. In fact, my original comment I mostly blamed Rodgers for being off his game. You were actually the one that brought up Jordy. I think it's a pretty even combination of Rodgers being off, Nelson being gone, and the other receivers not stepping up into their new roles.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
01/08/2016 @ 04:34:36 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:21:57 PM
If you think any large part of the difference between how Aaron looks now and how Aaron looked before is Jordy Nelson, then what are *you* saying about Aaron? I'm the one saying Aaron has been good irrespective of the WR crops. You're implying that the WRs make Aaron go from God to "yikes" (or some appreciable distance along that path) just like that.



I'm not sure how anything I've said implied the conclusion that you just drew.

I'm saying that with Nelson the Packers probably make a minimum of 2 extra plays a game and thus possibly win 12-13 games this year considering the very specific circumstances (a nominal positive impact could have had that much of a difference considering 4 of the Packers losses came down to plays not being made on the final drive in those games). Where did I say that Nelson made Rodgers look like Ponder. Or better yet, where DIDN'T I say that Rodgers was having an off year?

It just so happens that Rodgers off-year took place in a year where he also lost his best receiver before the season.

There's also a chance we aren't actually arguing at all.
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 01/08/2016 4:53:18 pm
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
01/08/2016 @ 04:48:37 PM
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I'll put this another way. Yes a good Rodgers makes an average receiver better. But, a good Jordy Nelson also makes average receivers better, and not to mention a role playing receiver like Cobb.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
01/08/2016 @ 05:01:49 PM
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You mean the 11th highest paid WR in the league? emoticon
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Jeremy screwed with this at 01/08/2016 5:02:15 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 9256 Posts
01/08/2016 @ 05:04:29 PM
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Legendary Viking Brett Favre has been named as HOF eligible.
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