Taking the Pulse of Packer Nation

Most fans surveyed in the Lambeau Field parking lot before the Dallas game like what they've seen from their Green and Gold. The Packers are 6-3 and tied for first place, even with a lengthy injury list.

The 2010 Green Bay Packers season is now past the halfway point. How's it working for you so far? Is the team better or worse than you expected? What's the one thing you wish the Packers brain trust would address with this team?

These are the kinds of questions we posed to Packers fans in the Lambeau Field parking lot as they tailgated prior to the Dallas Cowboys game on Nov. 7. As always, fans were more than happy to share their reviews of this year's team.

"I'm pleasantly surprised, based on all of the injuries, that we're still performing at a high level and are still able to take down teams that we shouldn't be able to with all of those injuries," said Adam Oswald of Fort Worth, Texas. "For me, I wish the team would do something about the running game. I'm all for a balanced attack on the offense. It's getting too predictable and we're going to throw the ball over and over. We badly need a running game."

"I think you have to be really happy with where we are at in the standings, especially with what's happening in the division," added Mark Oswald of New Berlin, Wis. "The most important thing right now is winning the division and I think we're in the driver's seat to do just that. I just wish the Packers would get healthy and get some guys back because if they can stay healthy, they've got a shot."

Satisfaction with the team's record despite the rash of injuries became the theme of the day. Ken Meuruther of Hubertus, Wis., has been following the Pack for more than 50 years.

"It's great this year and I love it," said Meuruther. "They're still playing with all of their injured people. The defense is still great this year. The only problem I see is with the offense and the running game. Brandon Jackson's starting to come around a little bit now so I think we should be fine. I have no negatives. I love the Packers!"

"I'm pretty happy with the team's progress," added Robert Semrow of New London, Wis. "Every game we've lost I think we could have won. But I wish the Packers had a better running game. We can't do it all through the air."

Robert's wife, Michelle, has been living and dying with the Green and Gold for 15 years and she has no doubt how the Packers will fare this season.

"Oh, I think we're going to go to the Super Bowl!" she said matter-of-factly. "I think Mike McCarthy's doing an excellent job. It would be great if they had a better running game but I think we're going to win it all."

The Packers' defense came in for particular praise from many of the fans we surveyed.

"I am really impressed with the defense, especially being so banged up," said Tim Richter of Albuquerque, N.M. "Clay Matthews is just excellent and Charles Woodson has always been one of my favorites on all of the different teams he's played with. I've been a Packer fan since 1965. On the negative side, I wish the Packers would take a couple more chances. They're a little predictable but other than that, I am happy with the way the season's going and I hope it continues."

Perhaps the most critical comments of the day came from Gavin Matteson of Madison.

"I don't think they're living up to their full expectations," Matteson explained. "I think they're just grinding it out and getting by. I don't like some of the decisions Mike McCarthy makes on third down when they run that little draw to the fullback when they could be running slants over the middle to expose different defenses. When they played the Jets, there were times when they had third-down conversions and you knew the Jets were bringing the blitz and Green Bay would throw a wide receiver screen and get nothing out of it. They could have done something over the middle. The injuries do hurt but, at the same time, I think some of the coaching decisions aren't always the best."

While the overall sense we got with this informal survey is that, all things considered, the Packers are in a very good place and are in position to win the NFC North Division title, there will always be those with unrealistic expectations.

"I wish they'd get Mason Crosby to kick every field goal through the uprights!" said Doug Moore of Kansas.

No doubt, Crosby wishes for that to happen, too.

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