This week – the Green Bay Packers rise to the top


There have been many words that we’ve been hearing around the Green Bay Packers the past few weeks.

Words such as “hot,” and “number one.”

These old familiar words are good to hear when describing the Packers and/or individuals and their contributions to the high-powered offense or yard-stuffing defense now that winning is back, full swing.

What’s the hottest thing in the NFL?

Josh Sitton. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

If you guessed the Packers, you’re spot on.

Life in the trenches has given the Packers some tough injuries in recent years. Pro Football spells hard hits on game day for what now adds up to four months of contact.

We’ve lived with the injury report as our game day bible. Who was out? Who was in?

Not so much anymore … knock on wood.

This week’s injury report moved to eight players; up two from last week.

Again, Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang get the outstanding star on their reports for a nice job well done, despite some tough competition coming to town in the likes of the New England Patriots – these Packers kept playing through painful injuries.

All too often we praise the top rated quarterbacks, receivers or ball handlers.

Without protection, that star quarterback would have a long hard afternoon, with a few bumps and bruises on his back side.

During one play last week, we saw Rodgers drop back, step up in the pocket with the leg giving a one-two pump, then stop pumping as he viewed the field.

Not seeing any defensive pass rush, Rodgers stopped the leg and stood still, not for two or four seconds, more like 6 or 8 seconds, until a receiver opened up, then he let it fly.

That kind of coverage does not happen often in pro football, especially against a top-ranked team like the Patriots.

While most of the day Rodgers had to keep the play flowing, that kind of play is a tribute to those working the line-of-scrimmage.

That said Green Bay had some linemen added to the injury report – Mike Daniels, Josh Boyd and Lane Taylor were all added to the injury list for a total of five linemen going into week 14 game at Lambeau Field against Atlanta.

The ability of Sitton and Lang over the past couple of weeks to play injured has held ground for Green Bay and has helped move them up the Power Rankings to a number one ranking once again – it’s been a while since they’ve been there.

With defensive line newcomers added to the injury list, things could get hairy as the season winds down. Let’s hope the proficiency the Packers built does not start to crumble, as backups maintain the status quo during the changes.

Sam Shields, who had put together a great season, sat out with a concussion. If ever a big defensive name needed to stay healthy, Sam is the man, right behind Clay Matthews.

Nick Perry did practice on a limited basis only.

But with the injuries at a minimum there is the need to keep winning at home.

If loose lips sink ships, all the talk again about the Packers not losing a game at home needs to stop.

Even with the Packers (9-3) ranked first in the power rankings and Atlanta (5-7)  ranked 21st  really makes no difference when it comes to the game.

Any team can win on any given Monday Night.

Aaron Rodgers. Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports photograph

The Packers are 13-8-1 on Monday Nights, while Head Coach Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers are 3-1 in the Monday spectacles. All in all, even with several new injuries, the team is in good shape. If there is anything that puts them at risk of losing, it’s overcompensating their abilities after a four-game winning streak, that might put some players in the “take it easy mode,” giving the Falcons incentive and a shot at momentum in this contest.

Will this team get complacent?

I doubt it.

It’s Mike McCarthy’s winningest time of the season – through past years, December is the team’s winningest month.

Green Bay, with only a one game lead over Detroit, will control their own destiny.

It’s all smiles for Packers fans, as once again the Pack is the cream of the crop.

Being on top of the NFL charts is a position that does not last forever, so enjoy it while it lasts … and our hope is that they can make it last the rest of the season.