Green Bay Packers: Games are won and lost along the line of scrimmage

Listening to the boys at The Old Water Hole the other day, it didn’t take long for talk to turn to sports, and the Green Bay Packers.

The news was on, sparking talk of how Mike McCarthy has the right to brag when addressing the press about the line-of-scrimmage this season, on day one, then tear the entire line a new one on day two.

McCarthy will be tuning things up again. After all, what’s the preseason all about? A change here, a bump there, stand higher, squat lower and walla-walla, to the top of the world.

We’ll be even better than last season, if our guys stay healthy, or at least enough to play all year. This line grew by leaps and bounds over the past few seasons the old-fashioned way, working to better it as a team, they all did their parts, and did them very well. In fact you can say. I’m talking the entire offense: coaches, scouts, upstairs support all included. The 2014 season fell into place and was very well done. The exception being the Seattle opener, lost along the line of scrimmage.

“This offense is unstoppable,” to borrow a John Madden line. The boys at “The Hole’ as it’s fondly called, had a few words to say on that. We’ve seen improvements every season since that bruising, broken bone year. During those past few seasons, one by one, each new talent started slowly building unit-chemistry. Then last season the Packers were clearly dominated in the opener last season. As the season played out, the third game was an embarrassment, losing to Detroit, and after that, things came together.

Two and three seasons ago, the Seahawks manhandled the Packers’ offense, starting on the line. The far taller and far heavier Seahawks defensive and offensive lines had control. Tripping through the record books, we could see the domination and low offensive statistics for Green Bay when going against them. Matching up player to player on both lines, we saw match-ups going nearly like this, in favor of Seattle: plus 45 pounds, plus 37 pounds, plus 26 pounds… (examples). Do I need say more?

Seattle may still have a few pounds or inches on them, but Green Bay can play a dead heat. The January

Aug 3, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plays with the football during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

NFC game showed that; even though the Packers lost in OT.

And Vince is up there, looking down, nearly smiling.

With no reason for No. 12 and the 2015 Bombardiers not to continue where they left off last season with nearly 4,400 yards of offense with only 3 interceptions and nearly 40 TD passes caught, Rodgers should continue to improve with yet another year in the McCarthy system. Offensively, the Pack ranked fifth in the NFL based on average total (340.4) yard-per game.

There again, Seattle is going to continue making improvements, too. The Packers next logical step is not just to win a season game, but also win the playoffs against those world champion Seahawks.

“Knock on wood,” as the old wise-tale goes, that no key player injuries this season hold back the Packers – on both sides of the ball. While we know the Packers offense is possibly becoming one of the all-time NFL greats, Rodgers and the Bombardiers will need a couple rings in the next few years as time ticks away on Rodgers. Yet there are no worries.

Even so, it’s time for the team to step things up to his (Aaron Rodgers) level of play. He needs to be contagious in this area and demanding perfection. He’s their graced leader.

The defensive line: Questions continue for some Packers, as the make it or bust season approaches. The pickup from Chicago proved Julius Peppers, to his credit has been gold. This could be his last season, and he wants his ring, so stay tuned to the new-look defense.

A healthy defense will drive this team with perhaps deep into the top 10. It’s a “put the best out to roam on the fly” scheme. Last season the Packers defense rose from near the bottom to 15th after the half-way point when the change was made. Cornerback (1st round pick, #30 overall -Damarious Randall) should improve the depth of the defensive backfield.

If an average of .75 to 1.0 interceptions per-game extra are made in 2015, and if the offense delivers at the same rate as last year, they will have created a major NFL Powerhouse.

There is no looking down on expectations in Green Bay. This team is expected to win when it is all said and done. The trophy comes home, and Vince smiles down once more.