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 Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press recounting how unheralded Lions rookie quarterback David Blough engineered Purdue's shocking upset of second-ranked Ohio State last year, so he knows a little something about springing upsets.
A year after he starred in one of the biggest upsets in college football, David Blough will try and lead the Detroit Lions to a win of similar magnitude Sunday.
Blough threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns last October as Purdue stunned No. 2 Ohio State, 49-20.
The Boilermakers were 14-point home underdogs, while Ohio State was riding a 12-game winning streak.
The Lions, losers of eight straight, enter Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers as 12½-point underdogs. Green Bay (12-3) clinched the NFC North with its win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday and can secure a first-round bye with a win this week.
"They’re playing for a lot, so are we," Blough said. "Pride means something around here and these guys are going to fight and I hope you guys have seen that in the way they’ve carried themselves all season. We’re not going to let up now with one to go."
You can read the entire story here:
Albert Breer of The MMQB puts the Packers at No. 3 in his power rankings behind the Baltimore Ravens and (more notably for NFC title purposes) New Orleans Saints. Breer notes that the Saints could get the No. 2 seed (and a first-round bye) behind the Packers should the 49ers fall to the Seahawks on Sunday and says they have perhaps the best talent in the league.
Writes Breer in his rankings:
2. Saints (12-3): They’re probably not getting a first-round bye, but I still think they may have the league’s most well-rounded roster. If the team does have to go through the wild-card round, that experience in Nashville on Sunday—coming from behind on the road, on grass, outdoors against a good team—should be valuable.
3. Packers (12-3): The win over the Vikings was impressive, and now we get to see what Aaron Rodgers can do in the playoffs with, for the first time in a while, a defense with high-end potential. Interesting side note: If the Packers win and Niners lose, Green Bay gets home-field, and the Saints, a dome team, would be No. 2.
You can read Breer's entire column (which leads with a look at rising young GM candidates, including the Browns' Eliot Wolf) here:
In their Green 19 Podcast, Tom Silverstein and Jim Owczarski map out the Packers' possible paths to playoff success:
Pete Dougherty fields questions in his Packers live chat:
Packers coach Matt LaFleur devised a plan involving kick returner Tyler Ervin that helped spring Aaron Jones for a 56-yard TD run:
The Packers have been rock solid up front on offense:
Packers rookie guard Elgton Jenkins does fabulous work in springing Aaron Jones for his 56-yard TD gallop at Minnesota:
Rob Reischel writes about the Packers' defensive dominance for ForbesSports:
Twenty years ago, the Packers faced a wild tiebreaker scenario that led to frenetic finales across the NFL:
The Packers won't come out flat against the Lions with a playoff bye on the line:
Here's what Marshawn Lynch is capable of doing to the 49ers (in a game the Packers need Seattle to win so Green Bay can get the No. 1 seed):
A look back at December gifts given to the Packers:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt