Saturday, December 10, 2011

Week 14: Oakland at Green Bay

Ugh, I really wish the Packers would stop playing teams coming off bad losses who have something to prove. The Oakland Raiders just lost their division lead to the Denver Broncos after being destroyed by the Miami Dolphins. What is going on here? The Miami Dolphins?!

The Oakland Raiders are talented - it all depends on which Carson Palmer shows up. Palmer’s hard to peg. His games have been very up-and-down and it’s difficult to know how much to attribute to the fact that he joined this offense six weeks ago. Palmer threw six interceptions in his first two starts with the Raiders, but only three in the last four games. 

Good Carson? Or Bad Carson?

 This is a big week for the Packers’ defense. They need to force turnovers against Palmer. I’m concerned that Desmond Bishop is out for a second straight week. Again, D.J. Smith has done a good job in his stead, but Bishop is an excellent linebacker, and the Pack could really use him against the league’s fourth-ranked rushing offense. Michael Bush and Darren McFadden provide a potent one-two punch for the Raiders. For as much as the Packers’ defense has been criticized, I trust them to make plays in crunch time. Charles Woodson has been cleared to play, after suffering a concussion last week, and A.J. Hawk has practiced, so he has a chance to play.

James Starks has been ruled out for the game, also. I very much approve of holding Starks out. Even if he could play, he has had an ankle injury in each of the last three weeks. Let him rest. The Packers will need him down the stretch as the weather gets colder. Ryan Grant and Brandon Saine are serviceable against a weak run defense.

With the Packers at 12-0, I’m super stressed about an upset, but I just can’t see the Packers losing at home. Next week at Kansas City is their last away game, which concerns me more as there is a definite home-field advantage for Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium. But, I mean, Aaron Rodgers. That’s kinda the end of the argument, right? Aaron Rodgers. Have you seen him play this season??

Just try to stop him and his dreamy blue eyes.
I think this week will be closer than it should be (as so many games have been), but the Packers move on to 13-0.

P.S. The boring Thursday Night Football match-up provided a couple of interesting subplots that will be explored in my next post: 1) James Harrison needs to be suspended, despite early reports that he will only be fined; 2) What in the heck were the Browns thinking allowing Colt McCoy back into the game after he clearly, clearly suffered a concussion?? I’m no doctor, but if a player does not know who he is or where he is, he probably should not be put back on the field of play. 

More next week. Go Pack Go!

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