Packers Draft Needs and Preview

                                                    The Packers’ 2017 Draft Needs

Last season was one to remember for sure, Green Bay entered week 12 with 4 wins and 6 losses, only to go on a magical run that ended in the NFC Title game in Atlanta. As Green Bay gets ready to reload for this season, there are a few pressing needs in the draft that need to be addressed if they are to have a repeat performance or go further in the 2017-18 season. There are a few aspects of the current roster that present problems that need to be addressed.

As the season ended, SI Writer Chris Burke mentioned that Green Bay would be up for the 29th pick of the draft, and they should look for an edge rusher. Star Linebacker Clay Matthews was out with injuries throughout the bulk of last season and the Pack, (“Owes him over $26 million for the next two seasons,” Burke, p. 1) Matthews only managed 5 sacks in 12 games this season, so Green Bay may be taking a risk on him if they hope for a bounce back 2017 season.

Furthermore, Nick Perry and the aging veteran Julius Peppers became free agents as well as Datone Jones who alternates between DE and OLB, only contribute more to the problems that plague the pass rush. Especially when you consider the fact that Jones is looking to play elsewhere and Peppers has signed a contract with the Carolina Panthers. Peppers came to Green Bay in 2014 from Chicago and has enjoyed three playoff appearances as a result. Since 2014, Peppers has had 25 sacks, 2 interceptions, and over 100 tackles, but there’s no telling how age will affect his production at 37. But the Panthers will find that out for themselves this year, and the Panthers will host the Packers at an undetermined date.

One possibility for the Pack, is to draft T.J. Watt from Wisconsin to try and fill the void at Linebacker, the Younger brother of Houston Texans’ star J.J. Watt just might be able to help Green Bay become dangerous again. Plus, Watt won’t have to move very far if he is drafted by the Green and Gold.

The Packers have also parted ways with DBs Sam Shields and Micah Hyde, losing two veterans in the secondary may do more harm than good. Dumping Shields makes some sense because he’s been constantly sidelined with concussions the past few seasons. But getting rid of Hyde might be the point where these moves on the defense are poor. The Packers were one of the worse teams in the league defending the pass, giving up 269.2 passing yards a game ranking 30th in the league. So getting rid of these players aren’t the best choices. The Packers were more competent at stopping the run, ranking 8th in that category, giving up only 94.7 yards on ground per game. This puts the Packers at the 22nd best defense in the league, leaving a lot to be desired and a lot of room for improvement.

The second most pressing need for the Packers is on the offensive side of the ball, the running game took a huge hit last year with Eddie Lacy being out for most of the season due to injury. This forced second year wideout Ty Montgomery to take over as the running back. Montgomery’s best game was against Chicago in week 15 when he ran for 162 yards and 2 tds in a 30-27 win at Soldier Field. As for Lacy, he is currently in the free agent market having finished a promising meeting with the Vikings. The Packers have been rumored to go after Adrian Peterson, but the former Vikings RB seems more interested in other teams as opposed to the Green and Gold. Forcing the Packers to think outside the box for what they want in the running game. Montgomery is a solid back, but unlike Lacy, Montgomery doesn’t have the power to plow through defenders like Lacy. He does possess agility so Green Bay’s going to need a strong O-Line to plow the lanes out for Montgomery.

Another possible need in the draft is a TE, Jared Cook is no longer in Green Bay, but the team has signed Lance Kendricks and Martellus Bennett. The Packers will have new version of their offensive game for the 2017, with 3 Tight Ends on the roster, this isn’t as much of a pressing need for the Packers, but these moves have been a bit unpredictable so there’s no telling what the Packers may do for the remainder of the offseason.

The Packers have high hopes for this season after falling one game short of the Super Bowl the previous season for the second time in the past 3 seasons. Getting rid of Lacy, Cook, Shields, and Hyde seem like foolish moves, but we’ll just have to wait until the season starts to know for sure if these moves were truly worth it.


Romo: Where and Should He play Next Year

                                                Tony Romo, where will he play next?


Veteran Quarterback Tony Romo has certainly fallen from grace the past few seasons hasn’t he? He missed virtually the entire 2016 season, and only played in four games in 2015. However, this doesn’t mean that Romo’s value as a potential free agent is low. There are reportedly 9 NFL teams that could be a possible new home for the 37 year old QB. According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, “The teams he’s looking at most closely are Denver, Kansas City, and the one he’s most interested in is the Houston Texans.”  The Houston Texans, one of the teams that are probably in the most need for a QB, Brock Osweiler wasn’t a huge playmaker for Houston in 2016, throwing 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Sure the Texans made the playoffs, but they were blown out by the Patriots, with Osweiler throwing 3 turnovers in the process.

As for the other teams Romo may join, Kansas City is the place that needs him the least, because the Chiefs already have a solid QB in Alex Smith. Smith came to Kansas City from the 49ers in 2013 and has been to the playoffs in 3 of the last 4 years. Bringing in Romo would just be heartbreaking for Smith, who already lost his job in San Francisco to Colin Kaepernick in 2012. So having this happen again would be an insult to Alex Smith and what he’s accomplished in KC.

The 49ers are a team desperately in need of a QB, Kaepernick and Gabbert have done nothing of value for San Fran and could use a competent QB to lead the team. The same thing can be said for the Cleveland Browns, both teams need a leader, and in Cleveland’s case they don’t have a useful signal caller either.

Two of the best places for Romo to land would be either Houston or Denver, because those teams have strong playmakers on both offense and defense. The Broncos have an intimidating Defense lead by Von Miller and they have a good running back in C.J. Anderson, which can take the pressure off of Romo to produce. Houston has pieces of a good offense but they (as said before) lack a QB that can make a difference. But according to Mike Florio of Profootball talk at Romo may just be content with the idea of being released, that would give him the freedom of doing one or two things, 1. Choosing his next team, which would allow 2. His alleged new team to not get hurt by this, or 3. Romo will receive a new contract on the market. The price in this case would be 14 million dollars reportedly, Romo could face an even bigger paycheck if his new team doesn’t give up a draft pick in the process.

It has also been reported that the Chicago Bears may be interested in Romo as a potential tradeoff to get rid of Jay Cutler. Cutler hasn’t been very successful as of late for the Bears, and his ability to throw interceptions in bucket loads has made Cutler wear out his welcome there in the windy city. This would be an average option for Romo, the Bears may have a running back in Jordan Howard, but outside of a few receivers, the Bears aren’t strong defensively (Which historically has been their trademark) and it would seem that the Bears would be depending on Romo too much to make some plays. As said before, going to Denver would be a better fit because Romo would have a talented offense and a strong defense to support him.

Romo could also still be paid by the Cowboys to stand on the sidelines or they could cut him, either way it doesn’t seem promising. Romo hasn’t play a full NFL season since 2012, his age and knack for getting hurt may ‘hurt’ (pun intended) his viability as a starting QB. But then again, Peyton Manning joined the Denver Broncos at age 36, coming off neck surgery and he ended up leading the Broncos to 2 Super Bowl appearances, including a win in Super Bowl 50. If the Cowboys cut Romo, and none of these 9 teams are interested in him, it may be time for Romo to retire. I personally think that Romo may have at least ONE more good season in him, but he’s so injury prone that it may be time to hang’em up. This whole situation is much more complex than a simple “Yes or No,” decision, but perhaps Romo has played his last down, time will tell though.

Packers plow through Pats in Preseason opener

Hello everybody, I’m going to start off this blog where I’ll give you my thoughts and analysis of a notable football game I’ve recently seen. With that said, let’s talk about the Green Bay Ppackers preseason opener in New England. Seeing how these two teams boast 12-4 it’s safe to assume both teams would trade game changing blows. Especially considering the fact that Green Bay defeated New England 26-21 last season, however that game was at Lambeau Field, not Foxboro.

If the first preseason game teaches us anything, it certainly teaches us that one must finish off a drive with a touchdown. Especially when said team makes its way into the redzone, which the Packers have struggled with recently. Thursday’s game was no exception, despite Green Bay’s 22-11 victory, the red zone offense wasn’t very good. Even with the starters on the field, league MVP Aaron Rodgers finished 11-17, 117 yards, no TDs or Ints wasn’t too shabby.

Tom Brady on the other hand looked very rusty, and possibly a bit distracted from his off the field problems. The Super Bowl champ went 1-4, 10 yards and was used sparsely, obviously to give backup QB Jimmy Garappolo a chance to show he can play. Jimmy G took quite a beating while the Packers backups shined brightly. All told the Packers’ backup QBs combined for almost 200 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.

In short, what started off as a competitive game became a decisive 11 point win for Green Bay that showed exemplary play from backup QBs Scott Tolzien and Brett Hundley. Garappolo struggled mightily, so while it seems the Packers have answers for their offense, the Patriots definitely are in need of some answers for themselves. If Brady’s suspension is to be upheld that is.