Episode 7 - Can The Packers Run The Table?
Jon Meerdink and Gary Zilavy discuss Jordy Nelson's monster game against the Texans. Is he a favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year [00:40]? With Green Bay's season in the balance, the rival Seahawks come to town without All Pro safety Earl Thomas [16:50]. Gary dissects teams who finished the season on a six game winning streak [21:50], and Jon talks about the 11 upcoming Packers free agents this offseason [30:00].
Jordy Nelson made case for comeback award to chants of 'Jordy, Jordy' - Rob Demovsky, ESPN.com
Blue 58 says: The trend in the five most recent Comeback Player of the Year winners – safety Eric Berry, tight end Rob Gronkowski, quarterback Phillip Rivers, quarterback Peyton Manning and quarterback Matthew Stafford – is recovery from major surgery. Nelson fits the bill. He also historically has played his best in December and January, averaging about three yards more per catch.
Funds being raised for Mitchell Henry after leukemia diagnosis - Rob Demovsky, ESPN.com
Blue 58 says: Henry, who spent time with Green Bay in 2015 in training camp and on the practice squad, has received an overwhelming amount of support since his diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). His brother is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to raise support for Henry's treatment costs.
Packers' Peppers unsure on retirement - Ryan Wood, PackersNews.com
Blue 58 says: If Julius Peppers' career ends after 15 seasons, he will go out on top of his game. Green Bay has managed his workload quite well so far. The edge defender has played primarily on passing downs and just recently started to see his snap count increase.
Pennel to serve second 4-game suspension - Ryan Wood, PackersNews.com
Blue 58 says: The space eating interior defender did not put big numbers on the stat sheet, but has had a solid season. His suspension means more playing time for Christian Ringo and Dean Lowry – both players the Packers have been high on this season. Pennel would be eligible to play in the postseason.
Where do the Packers go from here? [16:40]
Seattle's All Pro safety Earl Thomas was placed on injured reserve this week. The Seahawks are looking to avenge a 27-17 loss in their last meeting against the Packers. Meanwhile, Green Bay needs a win to keep pace in a tight NFC North race and is looking to keep tight end Jimmy Graham in check. Graham has averaged 50 yards per game in four career matchups against Green Bay.
Besides this week's contest, the Packers are facing an uphill battle to catch the streaking Detroit Lions. If Green Bay were to run the table, they would be only the seventh team in ten years to win their final six games:
- The 2015 Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) won 10 straight and lost to New England in the Divisional Round.
- The 2014 Seattle Seahawks (12-4) won 6 straight and lost to New England in the Super Bowl.
- The 2012 Washington Redskins (10-6) won 7 straight and lost to Seattle in the Wild Card Round.
- The 2007 New England Patriots (16-0) won all 16 regular season games and lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl.
- The 2007 San Diego Chargers (11-5) won 6 straight and lost to New England in the AFC Championship Game.
- The 2006 San Diego Chargers (14-2) won 10 straight and lost to New England in the Divisional Round.
Finally, the Packers have a number of hard choices to make in free agency this offseason. 11 players will be unrestricted free agents, including linebacker Nick Perry, guard T.J. Lang, running back Eddie Lacy and safety Micah Hyde.
Four high-profile players have giant cap numbers next season – linebacker Clay Matthews, wide receiver Randall Cobb, wide receiver Jordy Nelson and cornerback Sam Shields – and could be headed for re-negotiation or release.
Whether you're ready or not, next year's Green Bay Packers will have a different look.