Hi everyone. Let's jump into this here chat....
Who do you think will be the 2012 NFC North Champions?
The Packers can clinch it with a win Sunday at Soldier Field. Whether it happens then or later, I think the Packers are sitting with the most advantages at the moment. They were my preseason pick and I've got no reason to change my mind now.
Biggest game of Lovie's career, what do you see happening here? Packers have many holes on their team and were exposed but Lions keep shooting themselves in the foot. I don't think it is out of the question for the bears to win 28-20 here, right?
The Packers have won a lot of games like that this year, though. The thing they're best at is finding a way to win at the end of games. They're not stomping people, other than Houston, and sometimes they've been outplayed. They're much, much more resourceful, I think, then they've been in the past. With that said, the Bears certainly could win this game. I just think it's more likely the Packers will find a way.
A few years ago you were pretty adamant as to how bad a quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was/is. You stated that his 20 starts with the Vikings - over 5 years - gave you more than enough evidence to come to your conclusion. Considering Ponder has 23 starts - all consecutive I believe - surely you will hold him to the same standard, or did you move the goal posts?
Nope. But as you note, Jackson's 20 starts came over a much longer period. Ponder is still not done with his second full season. But I've written several times that he's nearing the danger zone in his evaluation. After 23 starts, historically, quarterbacks are what they are.
Do you think sending Mathews back in for this Sunday might be too soon? Especially if the weather is freezing? (Assuming freezing conditions bring more injuries.)
I mean, there are way too many details about the severity of the injury that we just don't know. The more rest, the better, but at some point you have to see how it goes. If he has three uneventful days of practice this week, it would make sense to give it a shot.
B. Marshall has terrorized MN this year and we've seemingly had no answer. Any other CHI opponents have any luck limiting him this year? Any secret other than putting Darrelle Revis on him?
He's terrorized everyone except the Packers, who got a great game from Tramon Williams in Week 2. He's just really, really good, and Cutler understands how to take care of him. No secrets there.
Welcome to another edition of the Titus Young, Sr. chat, where I will mail in another 35 minute effort for all of my fans and followers... Come on, Kev. Give us max effort!
I've offered refunds to any unsatisfied customers. Trust me, I'm not cutting out early from tending to the blog. Just have to juggle other assignments.
When is the last time a QB threw for under 100 yards and won the game?
Ponder has done it twice this season, to start with, vs. Arizona and Bears.
Consider me one of the Lions fans who is calling for a coach's head. (My preference is Linehan, but I wouldn't be incredibly disappointed if it were Schwartz.) I don't know how you lose three straight home games (5 in a row overall) and not have anyone talk about the multiple hot seats that are being sat on in Detroit. Where will they draw the line?
There has been a fair amount of public discussion about Linehan, but I don't think anyone would say this is a bad offense. As for Schwartz, I guess the assumption is that last summer's contract extension will ensure he returns next season.
What do you think of DuJaun Harris and more specifically the packers new running game as it effects their passing game?
Well, the Packers have left a lot of rushing yards on the table this season because they couldn't take advantage of the two-deep zone looks that limit opposing run defenses. That's why a guy can come off the practice squad and all of a sudden have people talking. You don't have to be Jim Brown to get rushing yards in this offense. Harris looks quick and fresh and that might be enough to give him a long look.
When's Favre coming up to Winter Park to teach Ponder how to be a gunslinger?
I thought that was an interesting suggestion Ponder made. He seems awfully comfortable checking down. Is he hoping Favre can teach him to be more aggressive? You are what you are in that regard, I would think. It's like trying to change your personality. Or the old saying about dressing up a pig. Or something.
There was a play in the second half of the Lions/Packers game in which Megatron went out of the game. It was 2nd and 10. The Lions got minimal yardage, if any, on that play. Megatron came back into the game on 3rd and long (when the defense could play the pass with confidence) and the Lions threw an incomplete pass to Durham, then punted. Nothing was said about why Megatron left the game on an important 2nd and 10. Was he just tired, or was that just Linehan being incompetent again?
I don't know the specific reason for that instance, but it's not uncommon for receivers to take a breather, especially if they have run a bunch of deep routes. Better second down than third, right?
Jim Schwartz is cocky and emotional. The Lions play cocky and emotional. They need to play with more discipline and control. Isn't it time for a new coach?
I've said before that Schwartz and his personality were well suited for a team trying to pull out of 0-16. He'll need to make some adjustments, but after getting to 10-6 in his third year, I don't think it's time to give up and start over.
With the amount of players that need replacing over the next 2 years would this be a good time for the bears to start again with a new coach?
I've got a post coming on the blog to that effect. Another December collapse could really spur major action within the franchise.
If the Vikings could have gotten Alex Smith-type of play from Christian Ponder this season, what would their record be? 9-4? Certainly the playoffs would be a legit possibility.
I don't know. Who knows what Smith would have done with this receiving group. Maybe one or two games better?
Barclay definitely looks like an able run blocker (not so sure about pass blocking though). Think he might be a missing piece to getting the run game going. They seem to be pretty comfortable running behind him.
Definitely. They have been much, much better running to the right in his 1 1/2 games. I'll have a chart on the blog Wednesday morning on that. But he is a guy the have to help in pass pro. No doubt.
Should Packer fans be worried about 3 poor Lambeau Leaps in a row last Sunday? (Daniels, Rodgers, Harris)
Harris' was bad? I thought he did ok.
Maybe it's because I am a fan, but I think Harrison Smith needs more credit for how much he's positively impacted the Vikings D. He is mentioned in the Rookie DPOY conversations, but is rarely a frontrunner. One could argue that he has won at least two of the vikings 7 wins thus far. What do you think? Is he a strong candidate for Rookie DPOY or am I just seeing purple?
I submitted his name to a colleague who was making a list of candidates, along with Packers CB Casey Hayward. I think Smith has done a nice job. I also think it's been a long, long time since Vikings fans have seen anyone play safety even competently. He has made some plays that good safeties should make, and the best thing is that he will assuredly get better.
How settled are the Packers at O-Line? Have they found a potential starter in Barclay?
I doubt it. Next year, Lang goes back to guard and Bulaga to right tackle I would think. If there are any changes, maybe Evan Dietrich-Smith replaces Jeff Saturday.
What are the chances the Vikings make a run at Greg Jennings in the offseason? The Packers don't seem to need him at this point, whereas the Vikings need multiple threats on the outside...seems logical, right? Or would this upset "Petulant Percy"?
It would probably help Percy to have a legitimate downfield threat. Whether the Vikings will do it, I'm not sure. They sure seem committed to drafting their frontline players.
Mike Tice's playcalling has been underwhelming. He doesn't seem to adjust to what the defense is showing him. Any chance he sees the door at the end of the year?
I mean, I guess it's worth a discussion. But if Lovie Smith stays, can he really admit defeat on another offensive coordinator after only one year?
Kevin, Did you ever think the packers would play a game this year were all the touchdowns were rushing touchdowns?
Just shows how extensive their inseason re-tooling has been.
Kevin, on Twitter you responded to someone about the Lambeau Leap that it was well within the rules for players to take that leap...why? It's bringing attention to themselves and the No Fun League frowns upon that. Can you explain why this is accepted?
Those aren't the rules. The rule is one player can celebrate, as long as he doesn't go to the ground to do it. Lambeau Leap fits the description.
KS, are the Bears the most overrated team in the NFC? Every single time they have been up against a good team this year, they fall flat. They haven't been able to keep up with those teams, and even when they played the Texans, I feel like the only reason the game was close was because of the weather. Thoughts?
I think they're a playoff-caliber team that had an easier first-half schedule than second-half schedule. They're also getting really hammered with injuries.
At this point in the season, it's pretty clear the Packers are way more talented in the back end of their defense than the front, and the trend will only continue with Woodson coming back from injury. Any likelihood that Capers will assemble some crazy packages to keep their best players on the field?
That will be interesting. I wonder if they will keep Woodson at safety even in nickel so that Williams, Shields and Hayward can all be out there.
Why is Linehan getting most of the blame for Detroit's woes when it is the defense that can't stop anyone in crunch time. Detroit can't run the clock out because they don't have enough healthy talent at the RB spot.
That's part of the reason it will be really too bad if Linehan is the scapegoat. The failures have been pretty equal across the board this season.
You said the Lions offense isn't a bad offense, but what was with the play calls on Sunday. The run game is working and you abandon it in the second half of a close game in terrible weather? To me, that signals poor management by both Schwartz and Linehan.
The Lions felt that the early runs brought the Packers down into less favorable run-oriented defenses, which should have opened the door for better passing. The weather had something to do with that. I wouldn't have been offended if they kept pounding it until the Packers stopped them, but I understand why they did.
Why would the Wilfs be fine with Spielman drafting and developing frontline players? Peterson, Allen, Winfield, and Greenway are getting older, why not make a splash I'm free agency?
He has them convinced that free agency in this era is valuable only in certain situations, as the Packers have proved.
OK everyone, a few more here.
Kevin,After seeing Suh get blocked by one guy during running plays, he really doesn't seem very dominate to me. What are your thoughts after his "best game" earlier this year?
He did a lot of things in that game, the second against the Vikings, that went unnoticed and were important to stopping the offense on that play. But I don't think it should be that hard to find plays from a superstar. There should be more game-changing plays mixed in there.
What do you think about the Saints being let off without any consequenses? I think it stinks!
The franchise, coach and GM still got punished. I think Tagliabue's thoughts were that the program originated from the leadership, and they should pay the price.
Kevin, most naturally gifted player in the North since you've been covering it, Megatron, AP, or Moss? I still say straight cash homey...
Man. I think Moss in his prime changed the game. Megatron and Peterson? Probably short of that.
Man. I think Moss in his prime changed the game. Megatron and Peterson? Probably short of that.
OK everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week.