Sunday, October 18, 2009

Packers - Lions Preview

The cure for what ails most teams in the NFL -- sorry, Washington -- pays a visit to Lambeau Field today. The Detroit Lions come to town as a wounded and anemic team, with the result being the Pack favored by 14 points. Yikes! Almost sounds like one of those set-up games, doesn't it? Well, kids, if the Pack loses to Detroit...nah, not gonna happen. Detroit has lost 18 straight in the state of Wisconsin. Make it 19 when the game ends today. They are without their rookie megabucks QB and best receiver. Veteran QB Daunte Culpepper will get the start and, in his younger days, was known to give the Pack problems. He's not the player he was before blowing out his knee and being out of football for a while; but he's no chump either. The Packers better not take him for granted or he could do a bit of damage, particularly if he starts running. The lines on both sides of the ball for Detroit...not good.

On the other hand, we know all too well about the Packers' problems ever since the preseason ended and the regular season began. Won't rehash them here. Mainly because we're hoping that at least some of these issues -- primarily pass protection! -- have been addressed since the game in the Humpty Dump.

The Pack gets Chad Clifton back at left tackle but center Jason Spitz is questionable; word is that Scott Wells will get the start at center and rookie T. J. Lang, not Daryn Colledge, will be Clifton's backup. S Atari Bigby is also back in the lineup. And RB Brandon Jackson finally will get in a game as the backup to Ryan Grant. Fullback Korey Hall is out for today, which means John Kuhn will get all the work unless rookie Quinn Johnson is ready to go. B. J. Raji is still dealing with his gimpy ankle but will see action. And, yes, right tackle Mark Tauscher is back in the fold but will not play today.

Oh...Donald Driver needs only one catch today to become the Pack's all-time leading receiver in number of receptions.

So, what are we left with here? If the Pack doesn't dominate Detroit and play a full four quarters, well, let's not even go there. This is a game the Pack should win as long as they show up and play. We're taking the Packers 31-13 over the Lions.

Go Pack Go!!!

Kampman on the trade block?
There are starting to be rumors both in print and on TV -- including today's NFL on Fox pre-game show -- that Aaron Kampman is out of place in the new 3-4 scheme and, paraphrasing Howie Long, the best thing for both the Packers and Kampman would be to trade him before Tuesday's trade deadline. Others, quite naturally, disagree, suggesting instead that the Packers should roll with Kampman for the rest of the season, place a tag on him after the season is over and thus be able to get more in the way of compensation for him should he depart. See this article for more. Would hate to see Kampman go. So far, the experiment of moving him from a down defensive end to upright outside linebacker has been less than effective. Perhaps it will be become better as the season goes on. Personally, I can't see Ted Thompson pulling the trigger unless it was to get someone of the caliber of a starting offensive lineman like Joe Thomas, as has been previously rumored. My guess: don't count on this move until after the season concludes.