Recently, I went back and forth with a great Green Bay Packers blog, Ol’ Bag of Donuts. Adam, Chris, and Gene do a great job with their blog, and are a great source of info from a Packer perspective. I answered their Bills questions, which you can find at their site, and we thank Adam Somers who did a great job answering some Packers questions for us.
What are your general thoughts on the Bills?
It is tough to see the Bills continue to go through a constant rebuilding process the past decade because our their history and such a strong fan base. Green Bay is probably more similar to Buffalo than any other city in the league and the fans’ passion and dedication is on par with the Packers. When I was an impressionable kid in the early 1990’s, I loved watching the Bills almost as much as the Packers, so I’m rooting for them to turn it around. I think even though running back wasn’t an area of need, C.J. Spiller could be a godsend to the city if he reaches his potential because of the energy he brings. That being said, the Bills need a quarterback. The days of an average quarterback being a caretaker are gone. If Trent Edwards has a great season and turns around his career, fantastic because he has shown the potential before, but the team can’t wait around any longer if Jake Locker is available.
Is there anything specifically about the Bills that worries the Packers?
Even though Miami shut him down, C.J. Spiller worries me because I think he will figure it out sooner than later and I don’t want the Packers to be that opponent when he does. However, Green Bay has one of the best run defenses in the league so the area that worries me is the defensive unit as a whole. They played Miami a lot tougher than I thought and if they can continue that into this week it could keep Rodgers at bay longer than expected. If they can force any early turnover or a few punts, it may start to worry not only fans, but players who think this could be a cakewalk game. So overconfidence may be the biggest threat to Green Bay this weekend.
The Packers are deemed Super Bowl contenders, what potential flaws could hold the Packers back from a potential title?
Three things in my mind: 1) The health of the offensive line. The unit has gotten a lot of flack (and rightfully so) for all the sacks they have allowed. Rodgers can’t take a beating again, but last year the line wasn’t fully healthy until near the end of the year when they started to play better. If all five can stay healthy, they will be fine. But that is a big ‘if’. 2) The secondary depth. I will go to battle with the Packers’ four starters: Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Nick Collins and Morgan Burnett, any day of the week. There isn’t much behind them though and until Al Harris returns midseason, this team is vulnerable to multiple receiver sets. 3) Aaron Rodgers ability to take the next step. Many claim Rodgers hasn’t won the ‘big game’ yet, but I think that is overrated. However, you need to win ugly in the playoffs sometimes when things aren’t going your way. Rodgers played poorly last week against Philadelphia and still won, so that is a definite step into the right direction. You can’t put Rodgers on the level of Brees, Manning and Brady yet, but he is very close and needs to make that step this season. Can he win the big game if things aren’t going well?
Who is a player, or players, on the Packers that may not be getting a lot publicity but is vital to the Packers’ success?
Their defensive line, hands down. Everyone knows Woodson and Matthews, but the starting D-Line of Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji deserve a lot more accolades. These guys play a lot more snaps than most linemen on the 3-4 and tie up multiple blockers constantly to open up rush lanes for guys like Matthews and Nick Barnett. Jenkins has been on a Pro Bowl for the last couple years and don’t be surprised if Raji makes it there soon. A lineman in this scheme is a very inglorious position, but as vital as anyone else. Look at the championship teams of New England and Pittsburgh, they most likely wouldn’t have won it all without their dominant play of their D-Lines. This holds true with the Packers.