Each week, Press-Gazette Media will look at national stories involving the Green Bay Packers as well as stories about their opponents this season:
Packers: Tickets for Green Bay’s game at Denver on Sunday night are selling for more than $3,300 on the secondary market, according to Kieran Nicholson of the Denver Post, who writes that “pursuit of tickets by out-of-town Packers fans, known to be among the league’s most rabid travelers, has resale prices reaching a plateau previously unseen for a Broncos’ regular-season home game.”
Packers: Clay Matthews’ switch to inside linebacker, which came after the 2014 bye week, has “grown into something bordering on the extraordinary,” writes David Fleming in the Nov. 9 edition of ESPN The Magazine. “In the age of the NFL specialist, Matthews’ move is unparalleled. Nobody with five Pro Bowls under his belt just changes positions like swapping a hairstyle and gets … better.”
Packers: Should there be legitimate concerns about the Packers’ offense, even though Green Bay is 6-0? Greg Bedard of SI.com says no. “We’re used to (Aaron) Rodgers doing no wrong, even when the other team is right, on the football field, but the truth is the other team gets paid, too,” Bedard writes in reference to the Packers’ offensive struggles against San Diego after scoring on their first two drives. “And the Chargers and defensive coordinator John Pagano made some nice adjustments. The Packers had a little trouble with them, but it’s nothing that they can’t handle.”
Broncos: In his 18th NFL season, Peyton Manning never has been a more sympathetic figure, writes Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. But when the struggling Broncos quarterback was asked whether fans should feel sorry for him, Manning replied, “No, absolutely not. Absolutely not.”
Broncos: The interceptions tell the story of how opponents are defending Peyton Manning differently, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Nine of his 10 interceptions have come when Denver (6-0) was running a three-receiver formation, Renck notes, and defensive backs are going to certain spots on underneath routes without fear of getting burned deep.
Panthers: Mike Shula has taken heat for most of his two-plus seasons as the Panthers’ offensive play-caller, writes Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer, but he has quieted the critics this season with Carolina (6-0) owning the sixth-ranked offense in the NFL. Shula admits he’s still learning as a coordinator. “Still growing,” he said. “Still got a long way to go. I’m a baby tree right now.”
Lions: Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders says there’s still time for Detroit (1-6) to turn its season around, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “They haven’t handed out any awards yet,” Sanders said in England, where the Lions will play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. “There’s some teams that are 6-0, but they still haven’t won anything, so I think, for the Lions, it’s just important to realize that you’re just now really figuring out who you are, going into the middle of the season, and it’s not over yet.”
Vikings: Minnesota (4-2) looks like the best of the non-unbeaten teams, according to SI.com, whose Doug Farrar writes: “The NFC North is still the Packers’ to lose, and at 6-0, Green Bay doesn’t appear to be ceding the crown anytime soon. But you may want to circle Nov. 22 and Jan. 3 on your calendars — those are the dates for the Packers-Vikings showdowns this season, and the former underdogs appear to be in a far more competitive state now.”
Bears: Chicago (2-4) could be forced to move guard Matt Slauson to center for Sunday’s game against Minnesota after rookie Hroniss Grasu missed practice Thursday with a neck injury sustained Wednesday, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. Grasu had stepped in for veteran center Will Montgomery, who sustained a season-ending leg injury in Week 3.