When you coach in Green Bay, where they name streets and stadiums after those who get the job done, it's not easy and perhaps not even advisable to dream of cracking the pantheon of Lombardi, Lambeau and Holmgren. But Mike McCarthy, head down and grinding away in his trademark no-frills fashion, is working on it.
It's unlikely helicopters will be involved in the news coverage of where fourth-year Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn lands in free agency, but that doesn't mean the pursuit of the second most sought-after passer in this year's market will lack for significance or intrigue.
The Green Bay Packers finished the season with a 15-1 record, but there are some obvious needs on the defensive side of the ball. With possible upgrades along the D-line and at the LB position, let's take a look at some options for GM Ted Thompson as the Packers prep for the upcoming NFL draft.
The first day of NFL free agency -- March 13 -- can't come soon enough for Matt Flynn. The soon-to-be ex-Green Bay Packer backup is expected to be the league's most in-demand free-agent quarterback --once Drew Brees is signed or franchised by the Saints and outside of Peyton Manning being healthy and released by the Colts.
The road map to success in today's NFL starts with the quarterback and revolves around the passing game. Look at the league's top teams -- the Super Bowl champion Giants, runner-up Patriots, regular-season-best Packers, etc. -- most boast top QBs and highly productive pass offenses.
I sure didn't see that coming. Except for a minor blip in Kansas City a month ago, the Packers were an efficient and precise scoring machine all season. Although their defense certainly could be porous, it made enough plays to win when combined with an offense that scored 35 points per game.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap our brains around the new realities that the divisional playoffs have wrought: The Giants and 49ers move on, and the Packers and Saints don't. There's nothing like the plot twists you get in the NFL's postseason....
GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Four years ago the Giants changed the course of the Packers season and, really, Packers history. They upset Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game, Brett Favre never wore a Packers uniform again, and the Giants completed an unlikely sojourn to a Super Bowl title.
Grading out the performances from the New York Giants' impressive 37-20 upset win at Green Bay in the NFC divisional playoffs.
1. It's beginning to look a lot like 2007, down to the smallest details.
Can the Giants limit the Packers on Sunday playing 2-Man in the secondary? A topic I have discussed throughout the week when it comes to game planning QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense.
There has been no greater National Football League dynasty than the Green Bay Packers of the 1960s.
In the sport of table tennis, the emphasis on neutral playing conditions is a heavy one. So much so that even at low-level tournaments, the organizers will regulate temperature, humidity and the current from the arenas' air conditioning vents. Contrast with the NFL. Teams can play alongside the beach -- under a cloudless sky in 90-degree heat -- on one Sunday; and then play alongside one of the Great Lakes -- in a heartlessly cold blizzard -- the next Sunday.
The son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin died from "fresh water drowning" and there was no evidence of foul play, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, police said Wednesday.
A body pulled from a Wisconsin river is identified as the son of Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.
A body pulled from a Wisconsin river has been identified as the son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, police said Tuesday.
Police in Wisconsin have asked for the public's help in locating the 21-year-old son of the Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we break down the NFL's 12-team playoff field from as many angles as occur to us...
1. A new meaning for the L word, as in Lockout. Talk about your labor pains. The NFL and the league's players went at it for more than four months, negotiating, posturing, pontificating and threatening, but in the end, a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement was forged in late July, averting any loss of games except the excruciatingly boring Hall of Fame Game to kick off the preseason. At 136 days, it was the longest labor stoppage in league history, and both sides took turns looking like the Grinch who wanted to steal Christmas from the nation's rabid football fans. The new CBA strongly reworked the parameters of rookie contracts, but players won plenty of concessions on safety issues, health care coverage, the terms of free agency and the length of the regular season (remaining at 16 games for now). In the end, it really was the rich fighting the richer for the right to get richer, and naturally both sides benefited. As if to prove it, the NFL announced new TV contracts with
Making the playoff math look nice and easy with two weeks to play (plus one very important game tonight in San Francisco):
DENVER -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight in a Week 15 that fairly well turned things upside down in an NFL that officially just stopped making sense, at least for a day....
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Arrowhead Stadium, ending the defending Super Bowl champions' quest for a perfect season.
Perhaps it's a byproduct of the league-wide obsession with all things Tebow, and the remarkable story that just keeps raging on in Denver, consuming more and more oxygen every week. Maybe it's a bit of perfect-season fatigue, with the 2007 Patriots and the 2009 Colts having trod this same parcel of ground so recently. And without a doubt, some of it can be attributed to the Packers themselves, a small-market team almost devoid of drama, with no prima donnas or screaming need to draw attention to itself.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- You watch the Green Bay Packers play these days, and the thought keeps occuring to you that only one team might be able to stop them from getting where they want to go. And that team would be the Green Bay Packers themselves.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If perfection comes to pass this season in Green Bay, remember this one. It was as close to defeat as the Packers have come this season, and like an accident narrowly avoided, it sent the adrenaline surging and brought out the best possible reaction from the defending Super Bowl champions.
The end for coach Jack Del Rio came sooner than Jacksonville owner Wayne Weaver had hoped. The owner, one of the most patient of his ilk in the NFL, had planned to make a decision on Del Rio's future at the end of the season. But the Jags had played so haplessly on offense, and Del Rio couldn't turn the ship around in any tangible way, and there was just no hope in a town that goes week-to-week to sell tickets. So Weaver fired Del Rio today in the midst of his fourth straight non-winning season -- on a day when it was also revealed that Shahid Kahn will buy the franchise and keep it in Jacksonville.
CHICAGO -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we digest a Week 11 that looked dreadful on paper but wound up playing out as one of the most entertaining Sundays of the NFL season....
In a league where the quarterback news cycle never really ends, we've got plenty to chew on again this week: Matt Schaub out for the time being and maybe longer in Houston, with Matt Leinart getting an unexpected chance to restart his career for the first-place Texans; Tyler Palko taking over for the injured Matt Cassel in Kansas City; John Skelton's continued emergence in Arizona, and his outperforming of injured starter Kevin Kolb thus far.
The defending Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers are planning to sell stock to the public next week, the team's first stock offering since 1997.
With Week 9 finished and 130 of the NFL's 256-game regular season now in the books, we're almost exactly halfway through the story in 2011. The second half of the season shapes up as an intriguing and wide-open affair, with 20 of the league's 32 teams still playing .500-or-better ball, and 18 clubs either in first place or within two games of the lead in their division.
With 10 games remaining on their schedule, of course it's way premature and patently ridiculous to start speculating on the Green Bay Packers' chances to go through the regular season a perfect 16-0. And of course we're going to do it anyway. Premature speculation comes with the job when you cover the NFL these days.
Green Bay Packers (4-0) at Atlanta Falcons (2-2)
Every once in a while, we're reminded that maybe the NFL schedule makers really do know what they're doing after all. Week 5 provides us with ample evidence.
CHICAGO -- Dispatches from the Packers' more-impressive-than-it-sounds 27-17 win over the befuddling Bears at Soldier Field ...
GREEN BAY -- "Do we play some of the most dramatic games in NFL history?!'' Greg Jennings said to me on Lambeau Field Thursday night, still short of breath from the end of Packers 42, Saints 34. I should think so. Let's try to make sense of the 10th Thursday night opener, the best one since the league went to the new concept in 2002:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Dispatches from the Packers' wildly entertaining 42-34 win over the outgunned Saints in Thursday night's NFL regular-season opener at a celebratory Lambeau Field. (Lockout? What lockout?) ...
The Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints Thursday night in a star-studded NFL kickoff game that pits the last two Super Bowl champions.
SI.com is previewing all eight divisions throughout the week in anticipation of the 2011 season kicking off. (Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)
More than any other month, even April, August in the NFL is all about hope. A new season looms, and the possibilities seem endless, even for the downtrodden teams of the league who perennially pack it in and head home after Week 17 rather than play on into the postseason.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we run down the winners and losers in Week 1 of the NFL's preseason. The games don't count, but the perceptions sure do....
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Five thoughts looking back at my day with the Chiefs:
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- We'll get to the news of the weekend in a few hundred words, to touchbacks and Starcaps, to playing for now and playing for later, to Colt McCoy taking a big step and Matthew Stafford taking a healthy one, to the first week of the silly season and the panic it induces, to the team trying to figure how the coin toss works and the team trying to figure where to kick off from, and to the NFL player with a tattoo thing for Elizabeth Taylor. In due time. Oh, and reading between the lines, the NFL is not happy with the Bears Wildcatting their own kickoff spot. But more about that later.
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on NFL training camps across the country. Here's what Don Banks had to say about Packers camp in Green Bay, Wis., which he visited on July 30. For an archive of all camp postcards, click here.
The future is bright for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
The NFL rolled out the 2011 schedule with its usual amount of prime-time fanfare on Tuesday, and yet what do we make of a regular season that has the potential to be anything but regular?
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It probably couldn't have ended any other way for these Green Bay Packers.
DALLAS -- The Packers' defense has been so good since the second half of the season that it's easy to forget how far the unit has come in its second season under coordinator Dom Capers. However for those needing a reminder, take a stroll back to last season's wild-card round, when Green Bay absorbed its last playoff defeat.
When sports television executives dream, they dream of what we saw Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium: With under two minutes remaining in Super Bowl XLV, the game's result remained in doubt. The ratings for the Packers' win over the Steelers are going to be monstrous, but how was the Fox broadcast for viewers? It's time to hand out grades.
Green Bay Packers stories in the SI Vault
Aaron Rodgers inspired the Green Bay Packers to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Sunday night.
Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers gives his thoughts on leading his team to a Super Bowl win Sunday night.
"My friends would decapitate me," says the singer, in Dallas for Super Bowl
ARLINGTON, Texas -- In the happy child's dream, of course, the pass is always complete. That's how it works with kids playing football in the backyard. It's always third-and-10, it's the fourth quarter, it's the Super Bowl. In the dream, every receiver is covered, but throwing the ball away is not an option, and taking a sack is not an option, and the sound of footsteps grows louder, they are getting closer, time runs out. In the dream -- but wait! There's an glimmer of something. A tiny opening. A receiver's hand. Something to aim at. The throw will have to be perfect. But if it's thrown just right ...
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from the Packers' taut and gritty 31-25 conquest of Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV Sunday night in Cowboys Stadium. ...
Grading out the performances by the Steelers in their 31-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium ...
Grading out the performances from the Packers' 31-25 win over Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl:
Among the 100 invited guests on Sunday: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
Like any decent Chicagoan, President Barack Obama supported "Da Bears" in last month's National Football Conference championship game against the Green Bay Packers. But in Sunday's Super Bowl, the president should root all-out for the Packers.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area was hit by a winter storm, but temperatures should be in the 40s by Super Bowl Sunday.
If you want to know more about two of the NFL's smallest-market yet most successful franchises, talk to the fans.
Texans battle the winter snow but also manage to have fun in Dallas.
A Wisconsin neighborhood shows its support for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. Affiliate WLUK reports.
DALLAS -- The early morning ice storm that hit North Texas with a vengeance on Tuesday, just hours before most Green Bay players got their first-ever look at Cowboys Stadium during Super Bowl media day, no doubt gave the Packers even more reason to count the roof over their heads as a great blessing.
A rash of inclement weather shut down Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Tuesday morning, raising questions as to whether Super Bowl fans will face travel problems ahead of Sunday's big game.
The talk will begin soon because, if nothing else, we media folk are a predictable (and jarringly unimaginative) lot come Super Bowl week.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Dispatches from Lambeau Field, where the Packers on Wednesday started stepping up their preparation for next week's trip to Dallas and Super Bowl XLV ...
CHICAGO -- We'll get to the Super Bowl matchup that Doris Kearns Goodwin would love (it's historic, for those not familiar with Ms. Goodwin's work), and to the volcanic Jay Cutler situation, and to one of the greatest predictions in sports history (sort of) soon enough. But I begin this morning with two things -- the Super Bowl XLV Factoid That Will Interest Everyone, and something Packers GM Ted Thompson said, uncharacteristically, in the winning locker room 45 minutes after Green Bay 21, Chicago 14: "I think this game was good for America.''
PITTSBURGH -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from an interesting, but rather uneven Championship Sunday in the NFL ...
Grading out the performances from Green Bay's historic 21-14 win at Chicago in the NFC Championship Game ...
Sportscaster Len Berman, ThatsSports.com, talks AFC, NFC championships and looks ahead to Steelers, Packers Super Bowl.
The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will contest Super Bowl XLV after securing narrow victories in the NFC and AFC championship games Sunday night.
Breaking down the NFC Championship Game, Packers at Bears, Sunday, 3 p.m., FOX:
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we dig into the results and juiciest storylines of the first three games of the NFL's divisional round ...
Grading out the performances from the Packers' 48-21 victory over the Falcons in the NFC Divisional Playoffs ...
ATLANTA -- One subject was off limits, too sensitive for discussion. This was on Friday morning, and Packers executive vice president and general manager Ted Thompson was talking on the phone as the Pack awaited their departure to Atlanta for a divisional playoff game against the Falcons. They would leave their Lambeau Field headquarters at precisely 12:45 p.m., because that is when they always leave Lambeau for away games. Head coach Mike McCarthy, like most coaches, worships the sanctity of routine, so soon the buses would arrive and the team would leave promptly at 12:45.
Breaking down the NFC divisional battle, Packers at Falcons, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap up the NFL's wild-card weekend of playoff action and start counting the hours until next weekend's intriguing slate of divisional-round matchups ...
PHILADELPHIA -- The Packers-Eagles wild-card game was supposed to be a showcase of quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick. No one expected it to be running back James Starks' coming-out party. Not even Starks.
Grading out the performances from the Packers' 21-16 victory over the Eagles in the NFC Wild Card playoffs ...
Musings, observations and the occasional Week 16 insight as the NFL's 12-team playoff field continues to come into focus ...
CHICAGO -- Musings, observations and the occasional Week 14 insight as we take in the wild winter carnival between the cold-weather Patriots and the cold-weather Bears at the big snow globe known as Solider Field ...
Quick-hitting insight from today's 1 p.m. games ...
Quick-hitting insight from today's 1 p.m. games ...
Musings, observations and the occasional Week 12 insight as we thankfully get treated to another eventful Sunday of NFL action ...
Quick-hitting insights on today's 1 p.m. games ...
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Musings, observations and the occasional Week 11 insight as we take in the NFL's premier rivalry, Colts versus Patriots, with its ultra-glamorous undercard of Manning versus Brady ...
Musings, observations and the occasional Week 8 insight as we take in an NFL Sunday chock full of both tricks and treats ...
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Dispatches from Green Bay's eventful 28-24 win over reeling Minnesota Sunday night at a giddy Lambeau Field ...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional Week 6 insight as we watch the NFL's most desperate two teams, Dallas and Minnesota, fight it out for an all important second win at the Metrodome ...
There's a tough balance in this job. First and foremost, I have to give you good information. I'm not perfect, but I hope you readers get some value out of this column. Judging from conversation on Twitter, many of you are. Second, I have to educate you. I have to explain why a specific injury is a problem, why it affects a player in a certain way, and I have to help you understand how it affects your favorite team or your fantasy team. Sometimes that's harder than others. I'll often feel like I'm repeating myself over and over -- "a sprain is a tear" comes to mind -- but with each new reader that comes in every week, they might not have heard that. So this week's theme is "injury stack." An injury stack is a series of injuries at one position or unit that taxes the depth of a unit and puts pressure on the already overtaxed medical staffs of a team. There's several of them around football and how teams deal with them can make or break seasons. Let's take a closer look:
Six quick topics, and a good dose of your e-mail:
Five things we learned from watching the Bears pull out a rather-improbable win over the error-prone Packers at Solider Field ...
I have plenty of scatterbrain thoughts for the Week 3 slate of games, but limited space available in today's Clicks. So, to combat this problem, we'll simply interject random, in-paragraph-form tidbits around the Friday staples -- a move that's guaranteed to leave you exhausted, but one that offers a reward of comedy gold at the finish line.
It seems so ridiculous now -- or maybe it's a sign that the USC football team should actually have been the 33rd NFL franchise in the Pete Carroll years.
As a member of roughly 384 fantasy football leagues in the last seven years, I do not recall ANY 0-3 club ever winning the Fantasy Bowl -- regardless if four, six or eight teams qualified for the playoffs. So, if you're sitting at 0-2 but realistically harboring thoughts of a championship ... welcome to your first must-win week of 2010!
There's nothing like a season-ending injury involving a top-12 tailback to shake things up in fantasyland. But in a very sad and perverse way, Ryan Grant's loss ... is Fantasy Clicks' gain.
We'll keep today's Clicks (relatively) short and sweet, just in case you haven't finished devouring Monday's PPR spectacular, which might've gone on even longer if Brett Favre had played more than one series against San Francisco on Sunday -- or attempted more than one pass. Oh, those attention-loving Vikings!
This week, SI.com is rolling out previews for all eight NFL divisions. Today, we tackle the NFC North and AFC North, following up earlier breakdowns of the AFC East, NFC East, AFC South and NFC South. The AFC and NFC West conclude things Friday.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we run down the winners and losers in Week 3 of the NFL's preseason. The games don't count, but the perceptions sure do. ...
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