Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with Peter King of NBC Sports being the next stop on former Packers coach Mike McCarthy's media tour. King rehashes much of what's already been written, but does reveal this nugget pertaining to McCarthy's longtime embrace of analytics:
During his Green Bay tenure, McCarthy once asked an analytics candidate for a Packer job to spend a couple of days observing everything they do on the football side of the business. Come up with a few suggestions how we could do things better, McCarthy asked this young math guy from Harvard. He observed a ball-stripping drill, where defenders tomahawked down on the ball, trying to force fumbles. The guy came back a few days later, with math formulas suggesting that it would be more efficient to punch from below the football in the ballcarrier’s arms. McCarthy was convinced. The Packers changed the drill.
I asked McCarthy if he watched “Jeopardy!” He didn’t. I mentioned the summer run of the brilliant James Holzhauer, who obliterated opponents for 32 straight games and won $2.7 million. Holzhauer’s model: be very aggressive, very fast, and always bet big. I met Holzhauer in July and wrote about him, and he had different ideas about football strategy and football betting that I hadn’t heard before. McCarthy knew of him, and when I told him Holzhauer told me last summer he wanted a job in analytics for a baseball or football team, the coach perked up.
“I want to talk to him,” McCarthy said.
You can read the entire column here:
The 2020 NFL draft should provide plenty of wide receiver candidates for the Packers:
Aaron Jones was a surprising omission from the NFC Pro Bowl team:
Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler and Tom Silverstein examine a couple of big plays from the Bears game:
ICYMI, Eric Baranczyk and Pete Dougherty write that it's time to take the bubble wrap off Aaron Jones and turn him loose:
Ticket prices are climbing for Packers at Vikings:
David Carr of the NFL Network projects Green Bay as the No. 6 seed, meaning he either doesn't fully understand the tiebreaker scenarios or he thinks the Packers will lose at Minnesota AND at Detroit:
The Packers still hold the tiebreaker edge over the Saints for playoff seeding:
Green Bay holds steady in NFL.com's power rankings, with this evaluation from Dan Hanzus:
Previous rank: No. 7
The Packers' offense is fairly one-dimensional as the season reaches the home stretch. Well, really two-dimensional. Aaron Jones is a reliable touchdown monster, up to 17 after two more scores against the Bears on Sunday. Then there's Davante Adams, who went over 100 yards with a TD on Sunday and has easily outproduced all other Packers receivers despite missing significant time to injury. Aaron Rodgers must make the most of his two stars, because another reliable option hasn't materialized ( Marquez Valdes-Scantling's whiff on a would-be 70-yard TD springs to mind). It's perhaps a minor quibble for a Packers team that's now 11-3 and closing in on a postseason bye, but it's fair to wonder how this Green Bay attack will function when the beasts of the NFC start popping up on their schedule. A big test comes Monday night with a treacherous road matchup against the Vikings. It could decide the NFC North.
You can check out the entire rankings here:
So the Lions will host their season finale against the Packers knowing that their coach and GM will return in 2020:
Mike Daniels was sidelined by injury for the Lions' game in Green Bay, and the former Packers defensive tackle will miss the rematch:
As expected, no Matthew Stafford in the finale:
Why the Bears' regression this season comes as no real surprise:
And finally: Former Packers offensive lineman Justin McCray is one of the good guys:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt