PACKERS REVIEW, TIP OF CAP TO BREWERS
The best thing about the Green Bay game on Sunday was that it was a win. The first game of the season is always a crapshoot, especially on an opponents field against a team with an improved defense with the stadium as hot as the Sierra Desert.
I felt the Packers deserved a C+ for their efforts on offense. Even though we’ve been hearing how great Lane Taylor is against the run and the new svelte Eddie Lacy (who are they looking at?) is playing for a contract (61 yards), their offense got by with a victory.
Aaron Rodgers was rusty – but effective – that’s why he’s A-Rod – and Jordy Nelson was eased back into action and had a TD.
But I felt the most impressive Packers on offense was WR Davante Adams, who is not one of my favorite players. He grabbed three catches for 50 yards with a beautiful diving catch of an impossible Rodgers’ throw, showing when his hands make an appearance, he can play in this league.
I felt the defense deserved a B- because they played – and will play short-handed – until DL Mike Pennel and Demetri Goodson serve their suspensions. Then Sam Shields got a concussion and DC Dom Capers moved his players around like chess pieces. People who don’t appreciate Capers just show how little football they know.
If the Packers weakness right now – their defensive line – can control Adrian Peterson, who ran for 39 yards (1.6 average) against Tennessee – and I don’t think they can – this game might not be as close as people think.
The reason is their defense can survive because of the QB situation (Shaun Hill/Sam Bradford). But if AP runs wild like he has against the Pack, the Vikings excellent defense will give the Packers offense a hard time. Add to this the opening of the new stadium and the place will be rocking.
I did pick Green Bay to lose this game in August, but that was with Teddy Bridgewater, who I think is a good game manager, whose offense believes in. But a Packer win would be huge, because their schedule finds them playing Detroit at home, followed by a bye, and then three more home games against the New York Giants, Dallas and Chicago.
Want to take a minute to tip my hat to Brewers manager Craig Counsell. He has this team giving an effort in 99 percent of their games even though the final results are meaningless.
Taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs and splitting a two-game series at St. Louis was impressive.
Orlando Arica, Jonathan Villar and Keon Broxton are the kids who have stood out, Domingo Santana has shown some flashes when healthy and Hernan Perez has surprised everyone with his offense and versatility. Veterans Ryan Braun and Chris Carter have also done their share.
It will be interesting to see if the Brewers trade Braun in the off-season – and I wouldn’t do it for a head case like Yasiel Puig – because anyone who complains about Braun’s contract doesn’t know much about the finances in the game today.
My biggest worry is that “Dealin’ Dave” Stearns will sit on some of the young talent another year – it seems like the Brewers are the only team who can’t bring a stud up from Double A to make their roster.
Making their young stars play at the next level at a Mickey Mouse stop like Colorado Springs does nothing to develop talent. They say they can’t use it as a crutch, but why let it kill a young man’s confidence. On the hitters side it makes .300 hitters out of people who are average.
I would sooner see a Double A stud ease in with the Brewers than play at Triple A.
Overall, though, I’m seeing progress.