As for wins and losses this year, I see a possibility of 10-7 for a high and maybe a 6-11 for a low. If the Packers can split the NFC North and sweep the NFC South … that’s 7-3 right there. Maybe split with the AFC West, due to unknowns with the Raiders and Broncos, and you’re 9-5. rams? Steelers? There are plenty of options. A missed kick here, an interception there. Yikes! Who knows?
Of course, we all want to see how well expectations and performance match up. Analyzing the units, aside from sharp damage, I expect their special teams to be better than most of their opponents. I expect the defense to be better than most of their opponents. On offense, the Packers’ running game should be as good, if not better, than most of their opponents’. However, I don’t expect the team’s passing game to be as good as their opponents. Turnover aside, they should be in every game. thoughts?
Zak from Huntington Beach, CA
Do you think that joint exercises give a greater benefit for the players or for the coaches/personnel departments? It is clear how everyone involved benefits in countless ways, but I would argue that the coaches get more value than the players. Regardless of the vanilla playbooks, they get a chance to see how the players react to increased pressure, their level of self-control in heated moments and how solid they are as a team. All the while scouting the other team for potential acquisitions.
There is a lot of value on the staff side in terms of evaluations. I won’t disagree there. But part of the added value for the players themselves, unlike preseason games, is the lack of vanilla playbooks. The teams will actually run their stuff in joint practices — which benefits players and personnel evaluators — because the two sides agree not to share film.
Cliff from Alexandria, VA
Great “Unscripted” episode. You mentioned that Jordan Love had more interceptions in training camp than we’re used to from Rodgers. I was wondering if you remember if that was also the case when Rodgers was in his first few years? Did he always avoid chops or did he grow into it?
Rodgers threw plenty of interceptions in training camp over the years. He wanted to test some things and take some chances more often in practice even as his career progressed. In the early years, Woodson, Harris and Collins all got him from time to time.
Joshua from Bellingham, WA
I know, I know, no math in the inbox. But since I have nothing better to do at work today, I thought I’d try to calculate the speed of the 2010 Rodgers touchdown throw. The ball actually travels about 22.5 yards in just 0.71 seconds. That puts the speed at an astonishing 65 mph! Around the rain. An absolute laser, as the record appears to be Tebow’s 68 mph throw in 2007 against LSU.
I had never heard of such a record, but thanks for the input.
Regards, Mike’s comment about “the throw that no one remembers” stimulated a question. At what point in the 2010 season did you become confident the Pack would make the playoffs? I was at that game (and will never forget KASTE!). Even though we lost by a field goal, I commented to my (Falcon fan) girlfriend on the way out, “We’re going to see you in the playoffs, and it won’t even be close!” That was the moment for me. That throw was an absolute laser!
I didn’t feel too good about their chances of getting in until the blowout of the fighters the day after Christmas. They looked like a playoff team, played like it and had a home game as their final step. But I felt the same way this past season after the Vikings’ New Year’s Day, and everything was buzzing anyway.
Good afternoon, Spoff! Your mention of wanting to score a Brewers World Series game brought back a memory for me. The 1982 World Series Game 3 against the Cardinals was my first World Series game I attended in person. I was in the left-center field bleachers exactly 12 rows after Willie McGee’s glove came over the fence and robbed Gorman Thomas of a home run. Were you old enough to join the series in 1982?
Game 3 took place on my 10th birthday. That’s all I remember from my 10th birthday.
Good job, Insiders! I love the story of the wrong Pitt jersey from Mike. What else can you tell us about the Dan Marino interview? How was he?
Impressive. To me he looked and talked like he could still play and he had been retired for eight years. He didn’t have to give me the time of day, yet he did so out of respect for my boss at the time, who had worked for the Dolphins in the late 80’s and contacted him on my behalf. He also seemed genuinely excited for Favre to break his record. It’s crazy to think that after Marino broke Fran Tarkenton’s passing TD record, he held it for a dozen years, and now 15 seasons later, he’s tied for seventh on the all-time list.
Mike, was that Pickle Barrel Subs? My brothers are die-hard Packer fans and have a printing business on Main St. They refused to adopt a bear. It made me smile from ear to ear.
It was the Pickle Barrel, and there were always some businesses that declined to participate in the Chamber’s annual competition. It was understandable.
Isn’t anyone picking the Packers or Love as the most overlooked team/player going against the narrative?
Donna from New Auburn, WI
Love to read II. Never miss a day. So Spoff, tell us about the infamous putt.
We were playing a scramble for our department golf outing and I hadn’t made a putt all day. Fortunately, my partners had made a few, so our group of amateurs (or hackers, if you prefer) had managed to stay level throughout eight holes. We made it to the ninth and final, the toughest on the GBCC circuit. It is a long par-4 with two transverse creeks and a large tree near the green. I hit a nice fairway/hybrid wood off the tee between the creeks to put us in good shape. Then one of my teammates, Ben, hit a low iron over the second creek that perfectly avoided the tree and rolled up onto the front of the green. The pin was way back so I decided to go for it and pulled out the fairway wood, I just hit it so well. Only this time I blocked it all the way to the right and it’s adios. It required me to pull out a brand new ball for this monster putt, front to back, at 50 plus feet. I’m last, having seen the line thanks to my teammates, and I knew as soon as I hit it, it had a chance. Once it got within 10 feet we all yelled for it to go in, and sure enough it did. We finished 1-under, a remarkable achievement for our group, and yesterday in the office I gave the ball to Ben to putt his dice as a token of our achievement. The long putt was, and must remain, the ball’s only shot.
Good morning! So is it fair to refer to the 48 hours of sports emptiness after the MLB All-Star Game as the Bummer Solstice?
I actually laughed instead of moaning so we can both see ourselves out. Happy Friday.