Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay in perfect position to earn No. 1 seed
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
Note: The Morning Buzz is on a bye-week schedule and will return to regular schedule on Tuesday.
We'll start with Rob Reischel of ForbesSports listing five reasons why the Packers are positioned to earn the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Of the teams vying for the top-spot in the NFC, Green Bay has the softest schedule.
Four of Green Bay’s final six opponents have losing records. Overall, the Packers’ remaining foes are 25-30-1 record for a .455 winning percentage.
San Francisco, the NFC’s current No. 1 seed, still must play Green Bay (8-2), Seattle (8-2), Baltimore (7-2) and New Orleans (7-2). Five of the 49ers’ remaining opponents have winning records and San Francisco’s foes are a combined 40-25-1 (.614).
Seattle’s remaining opponents are a combined 33-21-1 (.610), while New Orleans’ remaining foes are a combined 33-31 (.516).
Green Bay, meanwhile, has its bye week later than all but four teams. And when the Packers return in Week 12, they should be healthy and well rested.
You can read the entire story here:
The Packers' Nov. 24 game at San Francisco has been flexed to "Sunday Night Football":
Here's how the playoff seedings stand now:
This is an interesting take:
The Saints' lack of explosive plays on offense could be a postseason boon for a Packers secondary that has been vulnerable to the deep pass. At age 40, quarterback Drew Brees is starting to have deep-ball issues, according to Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
In an article about six troubling NFL trends, Rosenthal writes:
The Saints' non-explosive offense: This may be the most complete team of the Sean Payton era, and Saints fans shouldn't panic because of one ugly home loss to the Falcons. Even the best Saints teams seem to have one stinker every year.
New Orleans' margin for error most weeks, however, is smaller than usual, because the Saints have to work so hard to score points. NFL Research notes that the Saints are tied for 21st in big plays. They rank 25th in completions of 20 yards or more and are tied for 15th in rushes of 10 yards or more. Drew Brees only connected on one big play in the passing game Sunday against one of the league's worst defenses.
Like the Rams' offensive problems, the seeds of this issue started to take root late last season, when Brees' deep ball was notably absent. The Saints can still win games in a variety of ways during the 40-year-old Brees' 19th NFL campaign, because of their excellent line play on both sides of the ball, their opportunistic defense and their usually efficient passing game. But they are having a hard time making the big plays that so many Saints teams were defined by.
You can find the entire article here:
A banged-up 49ers team still has to play Arizona on Sunday before hosting the healthy Packers (coming off their bye) on Nov. 24:
The injury news is better for the Seahawks, who showed Monday night why they may represent the Packers' biggest Super Bowl roadblock:
The national power rankings get a shakeup this week:
And here's what NFL.com's Dan Hanzus has to say about the Packers while keeping them in the No. 5 spot:
If the Packers go on to win their first Super Bowl title in nearly a decade, a beefy segment of the eventual DVD season retrospective will be centered on how Sunday's game ended at snowy Lambeau Field. Christian McCaffrey, the NFL's best running back, was 2 yards from the goal line with the chance to put the Panthers in position to tie. And the Green Bay defense rose to the occasion to stuff the Carolina star and clinch a huge win. The Packers' defense has been a problem for weeks: Since Week 4 and entering Sunday, Mike Pettine's unit ranked 31st in yards allowed per play, 30th in completions of 20 or more yards allowed and 30th in third-down defense, per The Athletic. The Pack D nearly collapsed on Sunday, as well: McCaffrey's final carry was the 18th play of an 88-yard Panthers drive. But Green Bay didn't break. It was a dramatic stand to build upon.
You can see the entire rankings here:
The "Good Morning Football" crew sizes up the Packers' offense:
Aaron Jones getting some love from teammates for MVP consideration:
But even just at running back, the competition is tough:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt