10 QUESTIONS - Patriots vs Packers Part 2
PackerReport.com Insider Todd Korth is this week's guest on 10 questions.
6) The media have been relentless covering Brett Favre and his future, something which has obviously affected everyone around him. With the intensity of the spotlight on Brett, how has that affected the team? Is this Brett Favre's last season?
TK: Brett Favre will be back to play football next season, and probably the season after that as long as he can stay free from any major injury. Will he be back with the Packers? That's another story. With Aaron Rodgers on the bench, the Packers probably would like to see him play on a regular basis sooner or later, but if he has to sit for another season, the Packers probably will make him sit. Favre simply loves to play football. He loves the competition. What else would he do if he wasn't playing football? He still has a strong arm and McCarthy remarked earlier this week that his leg strength is good. It would be surprising if he retired after this season. He's catching onto the offense and understands his role. He has accepted the fact that all he has to do is direct the offense, not make all the plays, and that has benefited the Packers. The younger players lately are feeding off Favre. They seem to have all the respect in the world for him, like nearly every other player in the league.
7) What do the Packers do well this season? Is it enough to allow them to be competitive against the top teams?
TK: The Packers have been piling up the sacks, 31 through nine games. The defense has had at least four sacks in a game six times this season. Aside from last Sunday when they were held to a season-low 47 yards rushing against the Vikings' top-ranked rush defense, the Packers also have been rushing the ball well. Green Bay's ability to win battles in the trenches has helped the Packers be competitive against better teams.
8) What don't they do well and why?
TK: As I mentioned in first question, the Packers have struggled defending the pass, and are ranked last in the league. Green Bay's kickoff return coverage team also has given up big returns in each of the last four games. Last Sunday against Minnesota, the kickoff coverage team gave up a 101-yard return to the Vikings, but it was nullified because of a Minnesota penalty. The Packers will have their work cut out for them again trying to contain Laurence Maroney.
9) How has the loss of Javon Walker impacted the team?
TK: The Packers' receiving corp has been hit pretty hard by injuries. Robert Ferguson was recently placed on season-ending injured reserve and Koren Robinson was suspended in mid-October for repeated violations of the league's substance abuse policy. Donald Driver and rookie Greg Jennings have delivered a one-two punch to defenses, but Jennings sprained his ankle Oct. 22 against Miami and has been gimpy.
Walker said that he wanted out of Green Bay, so GM Ted Thompson dealt him away for what amounted to five draft picks this season. Jennings, who is a top candidate to make the league's all-rookie team, is one of them.
10) What is it about the Packers that most fans probably don't' realize and the media isn't talking about (positive or negative)/
TK: That's a tough question because most Packers fans in Green Bay and the rest of Wisconsin talk about any and every (I mean every) little detail about the Packers. One thing I think fans often overlook, however, is how players have to deal with pain week after week. Favre is a prime example. It came out this week that he has two sore ankles, but they probably have been sore since 1995. He has a sore groin, but he continues to play and practice. A lot of players play through the pain of an injury because it's part of the game. Some fans realize this, but Mike McCarthy has done a good job of preparing his players for this time of the year. He instituted a strength and conditioning program in March that is keeping many of his players as fresh as possible as the long NFL season heads down the stretch.
Prediction for the game:
TK: The Packers have been playing very well on offense and defense lately, so I will go with an upset. Behind a home crowd that is still pumped from last week's victory over the hated Vikings, look for the Packers to hold off the Patriots, 24-21.
Prediction for the rest of the season
TK: Green Bay finishes 8-8, just missing out on a playoff berth.
Top 5 teams in the NFL:
TK: Indianapolis, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, Baltimore
Check out part 1 where Todd addressed the changes on the offensive line, the addition of A.J. Hawk and more..