The Packers are the top 2-2 team in the NFL, according to ESPN’s weekly power rankings. Despite the loss on Monday night to Favre and the Vikings, the Packers only fell 3 spots to #13 in the rankings. Their biggest problem so far has been with their offensive line, which just isn’t giving Aaron Rodgers enough time to make good decisions and isn’t helping the running game much either.
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The Packers will host their final home game during week 16 of the NFL season as the coach-stealing Seattle Seahawks come to town. Tickets are selling lightly for this game, probably because fans are expecting the Packers to have clinched the division, a first-round bye, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs by this point in the season. At least that’s what I’m hoping for. Even though this is an afternoon game with a 12:00 local time start, you’ll want to make sure to dress warmly with all your Packers winter apparel, or at the very least paint you bare chest green and gold.
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The Baltimore Ravens come to Lambeau on December 7. This will be a Monday Night Football game, and the only non-Sunday game the Packers host the entire season. The Ravens are an unpredictable team going into each season. They usually have a really tough defense that hits hard up the middle and defends well at the corners, but their offense can be shaky even on a good day. Getting outscored by your defense in multiple weeks should be cause for embarrassment for the Ravens offense. I’m sure the Packers are well aware of this and will play cautiously in this game, avoiding passes over the middle or basically anywhere Ed Reed might be playing. Tickets for this game are going for about $100 for the cheapest seats, which is about right for a game this late in the season. Those prices will be going up if either one of these teams is contending come December.
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There was a time when Packers vs. 49ers would have been a match-up of two of the best teams in football. Steve Young vs. Brett Favre was one of those classic rivalries that could really get fans excited. Those days are long gone, as the 49ers ownership somehow ended up with the red-headed stepchild in-law of the family and now they’re left with some punk twentysomething year old running the team… straight into the ground. The Packers struggled last season, but look for them to demolish the 49ers so bad the NFL will consider banishing the franchise to the CFL. Some tickets for this game can be found for under $100 if you buy them early (as in, before November or December).
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Brett Favre will sign a deal worth about $12 million with the Minnesota Vikings this afternoon. For some reason ESPN insists that this is a major news event, even though Favre proved last year that his better years are far behind him and the Vikings have shown that they are desperate and really don’t have a game plan for their offense this season. Favre is not going to improve the Vikings fate this season, just as he didn’t do much to improve the Jets last season. In fact, the quarterback the Jets let go to make room for Favre ended up winning the AFC East division crown over Favre and the Jets.
Vikings fans can cheer this signing all they want, it really doesn’t bother me. This is like when O.J. Simpson signed with the 49ers, or Thurman Thomas signing with the Dolphins, or Michael Jordan becoming a Washington Wizard. Favre is never again going to recapture that peak he reached with the Packers, and it’s foolish for anyone to look at his career stats and expect him to put up the same kind of numbers at the age of 40.
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The team that always claims to be “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys, will come to Lambeau to play the team that’s truly America’s team, the Green Bay Packers, on November 15. This will be a late afternoon Sunday game with a 3:15 local start. As one would expect for a Cowboys-Packers game, there is a lot of fan interest in this one. Tickets are selling for about 20% more than average, with nosebleeds going for $170 and the really nice seats down by the field going for as much as $1000 or more (!). There are even some suite packages for this game available in the $15,000 range.
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The Depressing Detroit Lions come into Lambeau Field on October 18. The Lions won zero games last season, and then they went and drafted a quarterback with the #1 pick even though he probably won’t be ready to be a regular until next season. This is why the Lions suck every season. They’ve been drafting QB’s and wide receivers every year and they’ve got nobody to block for them and a swiss cheese defense. They couldn’t take the hint from the Dolphins last season, who only won 1 game in 2007 but then drafted Jake Long and he immediately provided strength to their offensive line and helped lead them to a division title this season. Oh well, enough complaining about the lack of competition from the Lions, let’s discuss how many points the Packers are going to win this game by. Nosebleed seats are going for about $130 a pop. That sounds like a good number. Let’s make the spread 130 points in favor of the Pack.
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There’s nothing more enjoyable than fall football in Green Bay. That is, unless you’re Ocho Stinko and the Cincinnati Bengals, who will be coming to town to take a trouncing from the Packers on September 20. This will be an early Sunday game, so make sure to skip out of church early if you plan on making the kickoff. I’ve been scanning the market for ticket resales, and prices are lower than normal for a Packers home game in the first half of the season. Your only chance of scoring tickets cheaper than these will probably be at the end of the season if the Pack is out of the hunt, and in that scenario why would you want tickets?
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Will November 1 be the day Brett Favre returns to Green Bay? We’ll have to wait and see. Whether that happens or not, the Vikings remain our rivals and we want to crush them. The Vikings are clearly an organization in shambles right now, as they’re begging a elderly man to come quarterback their even though he hasn’t shown his flashes of brilliance since he wore our yellow and green. The Vikings are going to get stomped on in this game, and all of the Greater Green Bay area and the rest of Wisconsin want to be there to see it. I haven’t seen a ticket yet on the resale market sell for less than $300, which is about double the normal secondary market price for Packers “cheap” seats. I’m predicting a Packers playoff run this year, but if that doesn’t happen this will be the one game Green Bay fans cannot miss.