Category Archives: I Have a Feeling

29

May

I Have a Feeling: Atlanta Falcons Most Important Packers Opponent in 2013

The Atlanta Falcons could be the Green Bay Packers most important 2013 opponent.

The Atlanta Falcons could be the Green Bay Packers most important 2013 opponent.

Last offseason, our fearless leader “Jersey” Al Bracco predicted that Ryan Grant would return to the Green Bay Packers. Though the circumstances were different from what he envisioned, Al’s gut feeling came true, and Grant signed with the Packers in December as back-up insurance. This year, I am going to announce my own bold prediction that the Atlanta Falcons will be Green Bay’s most critical opponent in the coming 2013 season.

I was sizing up the schedule recently, wondering to myself what the most important game of the year would be for the Packers. Many fans have the Week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers circled in fire engine red, but for me that game comes way too early to have a truly significant impact. As a conference opponent, it will certainly have some sway on playoff seeding; nevertheless, there is still plenty of time to recoup a loss.

That line of thinking led me to the latter portion of the season, where the playoff picture slowly starts sliding into place and a single win or loss could change things drastically.

Within the final six games, the Packers face off against all three division opponents, two conference rivals in the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys, and the lone AFC foe Pittsburgh Steelers. There is a strong chance that the Week 17 game versus the Chicago Bears will be significant when it comes to the playoffs, especially after last season. We shouldn’t soon forget that Green Bay’s loss to the Vikings in 2012 bumped them out of the #2 seed and a first-round bye.

However, my sights are set on Week 14, when the Falcons travel to Lambeau Field for a Sunday night showdown in the December cold. At that point, both teams will have played twelve games and should have a rather clear idea of their chances in their respective divisions, as well as in the NFC. The outcome of the match-up will certainly affect the urgency with which both teams approach the remaining three games.

But even beyond that, the Atlanta Falcons could be a top contender in the NFC next year. Many folks are focused on the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks as Super Bowl prospects, but as Jeff Fedotin of the National Football Post points out, Atlanta is quietly flying under the radar as the team to beat.

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11

May

I Have a Feeling: Ryan Grant Will Return to the Packers

Ryan Grant Green Bay Packers Free Agent

Packers Free Agent Ryan Grant

Since this has unofficially become running backs week at AllGBP.com, I’ll chime in with some thoughts on the one guy who hasn’t been mentioned, Ryan Grant.

This is also the first in what I hope will become a series of “I have a feeling” posts, based on nothing more than what my gut tells me and intended to spur active discussion and debate. So, let’s get started.

Earlier in the week, Matthew Stein asked the question, “Which running back gives the Packers the best chance to win?” That was followed up on Thursday by Adam Czech, who gave us a look at some other players in the mix; the Packers UDFA running backs.

After reading and dissecting both posts, I came to this rather unlikely (for me) conclusion; Ryan Grant could be the guy that gives the Packers the best chance to win.

Those of you who remember some of my past posts on Ryan Grant, (like “Ryan Grant can’t cut it“), can all pick yourself up off of the floor now. But lets remember that several years have passed since that particular post. In the time that has elapsed, I came to accept what Ryan Grant provides (when healthy) to this pass-first Packers offense; dependability and accountability.

While I’ll always be yearning for a more dynamic running back, having a big-time running back like Adrian Peterson, let’s say, would be a waste on this team. It’s apparent to anyone paying attention that the running game is given just token consideration in this offense.

What the Packers mostly want from a #1 running back is to not fumble when given the ball and to be able to occasionally block when you’re still in the game on a passing play. Grant has had 6 fumbles in 924 career carries, Peterson 22 in 1400 carries. Grant fits for the Packers.

Mike McCarthy is very comfortable with Ryan Grant as his running back. So is Ted Thompson, but Thompson knows how to play this game. He did it last year with James Jones. He feigned disinterest and let Jones test free agency, all the time knowing there wouldn’t be much of a market for Jones, and that he would come back to the Packers on their terms.