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Friday, November 12, 2004

The Packers control their own destiny...



by Frozen Tundran
for PackerChatters

...that is the advantage of playing so many good teams later in the season. We can knock them off and improve ourselves at the same time--a double victory. We're also a better cold weather team than just about anyone in the league, we don't fear December matchups against anyone, and they do fear playing us.

AZ Fan has it right--there's no dominant teams in the NFC, and every one of the best AFC teams has chinks in their armor. This is the modern NFL. The Giants and Lions--two teams tied or above us--simply aren't that good at all, winning too many games with the benefit of lucky breaks and not their talent on the field. We shoulda blown out the Giants but lost our nearly invulnerable HoF QB halfway through the game, with no reasonable replacement--that was their lucky break that game. We did kick the snot out of the Lions--and will do so again--they'll remember playing us and how helpless they were. These teams--though improving--aren't ready for prime time. No team sans Philly is really all that much better situated than the Pack in the NFC, we'll be playing in the NFC Championship game against the Eagles this year I strongly suspect, and will have the second best record in the NFC at even 10-6. Who else is gonna beat us out---the Eternally Damned Vikings having to play without Moss? The Wams who've certainly not looked very impressive in most their games? Who besides Philly and maybe the Vikes is really talented enough and in position to beat us out? We're not the only ones having a tough go of it this year, it's endemic to the NFC it seems. Some thought I was being unfair and snotty at the Panthers website for telling them they were basically a 7-9 team that got lucky last year and would be fortunate to break .500 this year, yet now they are more likely to attain the #1 pick in the draft than they are a non-losing season.

We gotta fix the defense though, no more 40 point debacles like we had at Indy and Tennesee. Thankfully those two are beyond us, and we've the less dangerous Texans and Jags to face from the AFC the rest of the season. Those are two good teams this year (the AFC South is *dangerous* this year) but they are beatable and don't have Manning or McNair, instead having young QBs who will make the sorts of mistakes all young QBs do eventually---even Big Ben will come down to Earth--you heard it here first.

We coulda been in a dominant position at this point--and should have been, but couldas, shouldas and wouldas don't amount to much at this point. We're still in it, with a better chance than most in the NFC to be masters of our destiny and must make the most of the rest of our chances. We can score points with just about anyone, and still haven't gotten our running game on track. If we do, and can keep the ball out of the hands of our opponants--this means Brett, Javon and Green gotta cut out their charity turnovers--we can give our rather suspect defense the help it needs to keep us in contention for the ring. We've got good players on defense, but they've not played very well in at least half our games, and if we're gonna win a championship we gotta be giving them all the help they need.

You gotta beat the best to be the best--and the Packers are quite capable of beating anyone. We won't be the favorites--we don't have the 'D'---but any given Sunday we've got the personnel to score more points than just about anyone else, and I've reason to believe our defense can improve enough to keep us in contention.

It don't really matter how many points you give up early in the year, if you don't give them up late. It's just an indication and an inexact science, after all, whoda thought the Pats coming off a non-playoff season and getting spanked silly by the Bills 31-0 in the opener would be champions by the end of the year? Or champions at all in '01? It can always happen, the Red Sox proved that, and they overcame far more intimidating circumstances than the far easier road we face.....


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