The Packers Have Fared Well After the Bye Week Under Mike McCarthy

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Since Mike McCarthy became head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 2006, the team has had an 8-2 record following the bye week.

The Packers didn’t have much good fortune last year following the bye week, as they went into Denver to face the Broncos with a perfect 6-0 record. The Broncos totally dominated the Packers 29-10 in a game which was played on a Sunday night on national television.

The Packers only had 140 total yards, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked three times and hit a lot more often than that. No. 12 only had 77 yards passing in the game as he seemed to be running for his life on every passing play.

This year, the 2-1 Packers will also be playing on a Sunday night following their bye week. This time the opponent will be the 2-2 New York Giants, plus the game will be at Lambeau Field. The G-Men have been hampered by injuries on both sides of the ball and lost on the road Monday night to the 4-0 Minnesota Vikings, who lead the NFC North.

Under McCarthy, the Packers have never lost a home game following the bye week. That being said, the Giants behind quarterback Eli Manning, have won three straight games versus the Packers, which includes winning the 2011 NFC Divisional Playoff Game 37-20 at Lambeau.

The Packers came into that game with a 15-1 record, but Manning threw three touchdown passes to lead New York to victory. The G-Men went on to win Super Bowl XLVI later that postseason against the New England Patriots.

That was the second time Manning and the Giants upset the Packers in the postseason at Lambeau Field. The first time was the 2007 NFC Championship Game, when New York won in overtime 23-20. Like they did in 2011, Manning and the Giants also won the Super Bowl later that postseason, also against the Pats, who were undefeated at the time.

This is the history that the Packers will be up against when they face the Giants next Sunday night at Lambeau.

Even though the Packers are 2-1 and are coming off a 34-27 win against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau in Week 3, the Packers seemed to sleep-walk through the second half of that game and almost let the Lions back in the game after holding a 31-10 lead at the half.

The good news in that game was that Rodgers had his first over-100 passer rating (129.3) in 15 games, as he threw four touchdown passes without a pick.

Still, there are issues for the Packers on both sides of the ball, especially in pass coverage on defense. That is never a good thing when one is facing Manning and his talented receiving corp, even with Odell Beckham Jr. struggling somewhat.

On offense, the Packers are still only ranked 29th (293.7 yards per game) in the NFL, even after their output against Detroit. That includes being ranked 29th (193.3 yards per game) in passing offense and 16th (100.3 yards per game) in rushing offense.

The Giants meanwhile are ranked sixth (382.2 yards per game) in total offense. That includes being ranked fourth (288.5 yards per game) in passing offense and 19th (93.8 yards per game) in rushing offense.

On defense, the Packers lead the NFL in stopping the run, as they have only allowed 42.7 yards per game. But Green Bay’s total defense ranking is only 13th (350 yards per game) because of the issues the team is having in stopping the pass.

Currently, the Packers are ranked 29th in passing defense, as they have allowed over 300 yards per game, plus have allowed six touchdown passes. Overall, the opposing quarterbacks have had a passer rating of 105.3.

When one looks back over the first three games of this season defensively, compared to expectations going into the 2016 campaign, it’s almost as if Rod Serling has written this script.

The Packers were expected to struggle somewhat on the defensive line and excel in the secondary this season. But the opposite has happened, at least through three games.

Part of the reason the secondary has struggled has been the absence of cornerback Sam Shields for two games due to a concussion. Shields is still in concussion protocol and his status for the game against the Giants is uncertain.

The Packers will be facing a tough New York defense that has also had to overcome injuries in their secondary, as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie didn’t play against the Vikings due to a groin injury.

The G-Men are ranked 11th (346.2 yards per game) in total defense, which includes being ranked ninth (84 yards per game) in rushing defense and 18th 262.2 yards per game) in passing defense.

For the Packers to have success against that defense, the Packers have to continue to protect Rodgers in the passing game and also be productive in the running game.

The Giants have just four sacks in four games, but are tough to run against. Running back Eddie Lacy is off to a great start in 2016, as he has rushed for 214 yards in three games (71.3 average), plus has a 5.0 rushing average per carry.

Rodgers is having another fabulous season in terms of his touchdown passes vs. interceptions ratio. No. 12 has thrown seven touchdown passes compared to just one pick.

But even with those great stats, the passing yardage has been somewhat minimal, as Rodgers has thrown for just 617 yards. The passer rating for Rodgers this season now stands at 98.6.

eli-manning

Manning on the other hand, has been struggling. No. 10 has thrown four touchdown passes, but has also thrown four interceptions for 1,186 yards overall. The passer rating for Manning currently sits at 87.8.

But before Packer Nation gets too comfortable about expectations regarding the game on Sunday night versus the Giants, know that Manning has sort of been kryptonite to the Packers when he plays them.

Yes, the Packers have beaten Manning three times when they have faced him in his career, but he has also beaten Green Bay four times, including two postseason games at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers and the Packers did beat Manning and the Giants 45-17 at Lambeau late in the 2010 season, which was a game the Packers needed to have to keep their playoff hopes alive for that season.

The Packers went on to win five straight games after that victory against the Giants, which included a 31-26 win in Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ironically, the Giants now essentially use the same offensive system the Packers use under head coach Ben McAdoo. McAdoo coached tight ends and quarterbacks under McCarthy from 2006 through 2013.

Bottom line, even with their success at home after a bye week under McCarthy, the Packers still have a lot of details to improve upon, both offensively and defensively.

In addition to that, the Packers will be facing an opponent in Manning who has been victorious at Lambeau Field when it was truly win or go home.

A Journey Back to Life Through Stem Cell Therapy: How NFL Greats Are Finding Relief From Injury, Part 3

 

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Don Horn and Dan Pastorini

Statistics are an important category in the NFL. Some stats stick out more than others. Like when a quarterback throws for over 5,000 yards in a season or when a running back runs for over 2,000 yards in a given year.

In the real world, there is another statistic that leaps out at you. That’s the fact that there are over 800,000 hip or knee replacements every year in the United States.

There are definitely a number of former NFL players who have had those type of replacements over the years, as one might expect. Players like quarterback Dan Pastorini, who has had both hips replaced, not to mention a shoulder as well.

But thanks to Don Horn being a liaison to the former players, along with his corroboration with Kandace Stolz of Premier Stem Cell Institute, former NFL players like Pastorini now have another option.

That would be stem cell therapy.

Stolz believes that orthopedic surgeons can merge their practice with those in the stem cell treatment field.

“I do believe that we will be able to work amicably with one another in the future,” Stolz said. “I’m trying to pull them in to learn this skill set. And try and train them on how to do stem cell injections.

“You have your conservative care on the left side. Things like physical therapy, chiropractor care and pain management. Then in the middle you have cortisone shots. Cortisone shots are for pain reduction, but what the shots also do is strain the lining of all the cartilage and the tissue.

“And then there is the far right side, which is the invasive mode. The total hips, the total knees and the back fusions. We would like to add stem cell therapy right there in the middle, and negate or replace the cortisone shot since it does strain the tissue. Put stem cell therapy and the level of modality in the middle, so people could exhaust this possibility before they went on to the more invasive procedure.”

Stolz first joined Premier in November of 2013 as director of marketing, vice president and stem cell counselor. By July of 2014, Stolz was named president and that promotion has led the growth and expansion of the stem cell institute.

That growth has led to many more former NFL players receiving help, with Horn being the main connection between the players and the institute.

“In terms of the NFL Alumni, Joe Pisarcik and I met in March,” Stolz said. “We met initially at a Super Bowl party that Mike Ditka and Ron Jaworski held. I told Joe how successful we were treating former NFL players.

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Mike Ditka and Kandace Stolz

“I told him about the three studies we had done with the NFL and that we wanted to show him the results. Later, I flew to Philadelphia and I showed Joe all the data we had compiled. We ended up signing an exclusive contract with the NFL Alumni, which provides stem cell treatment to five players per month, if the players are qualified after the vetting process.

“Within the first week of launching that program, 66 former players requested to be part of the program. I’m also actively working with the NFLPA, so they understand what we are doing as well.”

Speaking of the active NFL players, several Denver Broncos were treated before they went on to win Super Bowl 50.

“The treatment gave the players an immunity boost,” Stolz said. “It’s all natural, because it’s from their own cells. It’s a proactive approach.”

Stolz is also reaching out to the NHL and the CFL as well. Stolz is working with former NHL player Kurt Walker to help out the NHL Alumni and an organization that Walker founded called Dignity After Hockey.

“We are excited about the relationships we are building with former NHL players and CFL players, just like we currently have with former NFL players,” Stolz said. “But we are more excited about the outcome it will have for them.”

Besides the stem cell institute in Johnstown, Colorado, Premier also recently opened a new institute in Dallas as well.

Stolz talked about future plans for Premier.

“Our projected site plan is to have 10 facilities nationwide,” Stolz said. “We are working on our third site in St. Louis right now. I do a strong evaluation of the doctor I want and then I build the clinic around the doctor.

“We would also like to open our own lab in Mexico. We would still use the same parameters in terms of FDA regulations. What we are wanting to do there is to extrapolate and expand those cells over a period of time. Other people are doing that, but I want to do it ethically and so the patients actually benefit from it and that it’s not a cash cow.

“That’s not what we are about. We are about the science. Yes, we all have to make living and cash pay is the only option now, but there are clinics in Mexico that are charging $20,000 to $30,000 an injection. That’s just asinine. You don’t need that type of expense. Right now it’s the wild west down there.

“We want to bring a lot more clarity and vision to the ethical outcomes that we have. That’s our goal.”

Since stem cell therapy is only a cash option now, I asked Kandace when will the general public get an opportunity to use this marvelous medical practice by using their health insurance?

“Right now, it’s a fairly expensive price, when you lump in everything our staff does for the patient,” Stolz said. “But if insurance companies take this on, and I do believe that they will, we are probably about three years out from that happening.”

My next question to Kandace was how the stem cell treatment process actually works.

“We take the cells from your iliac crest, where you put your hands on your hip, where your thumb rests on the back side of your hip,” Stolz said. “We draw about 60 cc’s of fluid and then spin them in our Centrifuge to diversify the levels.

“We have three levels. Your platelets, your plasma and your stem cells are right in the middle. The stem cells are held within a buffy coat. There are held in the middle of that, based on our equipment. Then we pool from the center section and that goes right back into the area of injury.”

In Part 1 of this article, I wrote about how stem cell therapy not only helps patients with bone and joint issues, but also with patients with cognitive issues. Which includes patients who have had a stoke.

Stolz commented on how that process would work, when I mentioned a women who had a remarkable recovery after a stroke in a case study which was done at Stanford University School of Medicine.

“In that case, there would be a direct injection into the cranium or into the spinal cord,” Stolz said. “That really helps as it goes into the spinal fluid, which expedites the process within the body.

“Anything dealing with the heart, the cell source that individuals want to use actually comes from your fat, or adipose. When you are doing orthopedic procedures, we use bone marrow. But for that particular lady who have had a stroke, I’m 100 percent certain that she used adipose. It’s just more replicable to the internal pathology.”

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Kandace Stolz (President at Premier), Don Horn, Meghan Baumann (Director at Premier) and Arba Boci (Vice President at Premier)

It’s truly amazing what stem cell therapy can do to enhance the quality of life for individuals. The best part is that through case studies and further research, the level of care keeps getting better and better.

In Part 4 of this article, we will hear from former NFL players like Dan Pastorini, Lee Roy Jordan and Mike Golic, as they comment on how well there are doing physically after being helped by stem cell therapy at Premier Stem Cell Institute.

To read Part 1 of this article, go here.

To read Part 2 of this article, go here.

Jerry Kramer Talks About the Packers Loss to the Broncos

To be blunt, the battle of the unbeaten teams was simply a beating. The Denver Broncos thoroughly dominated the Green Bay Packers in their 29-10 win on Sunday night at Sports Authority Field.

The Broncos are now 7-0, while the Packers are now 6-1.

There is no sugar-coating about how bad the Packers looked in the game.

The Broncos had 500 total yards, while the Packers had just 140. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who seemed to be under intense pass-pressure all night long, had one of the worst games of his career, as he passed for just 77 yards.

The defense of the Packers was nothing to write home about either. The Broncos moved down the field with ease against the Pack. The Denver offense was balanced, as Peyton Manning threw for 340 yards, while the running attack gained an additional 160 yards.

The best players on the field for the Packers on Sunday night were kicker Mason Crosby and punter Tim Masthay.

What does that say about the performance of the Packers?

There was one very interested observer who attended the game in Denver. That would be former Packers great Jerry Kramer.

Kramer knows how the Green Bay players are feeling after the way they were systematically taken apart by the Broncos on Sunday night.

Kramer was also part of an undefeated team in 1962 for the Packers. That team was dominated in a similar fashion by the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day that year.

That 10-0 Green Bay team was taken to the woodshed by the Lions on Turkey Day, as the Packers lost 26-14. The final score was not a true indication as to how badly the Packers played that day.

Going into that game against the Lions, the Packers had outscored their opponents by a 309-74 margin.

But in that game in 1962, nothing seemed to go right for the Packers. Green Bay had only 122 total yards in the game. Bart Starr, who led the NFL in passing that season, was sacked 10 times.

Bart sacked on Thanksgiving

Jim Taylor, the NFL MVP in 1962, was held to just 47 yards rushing.

Starr threw two interceptions, while the Packers also lost the ball three more times on fumbles.

The Packers were losing 26-0 going into the fourth quarter. Green Bay scored 14 points in the final period to make the score look more respectable.

I was able to talk with Kramer on Tuesday, and he gave me his reflections about that Thanksgiving game.

“Detroit guessed right all the time in that game,” Kramer said. “Alex [Karras] was on the move all game long. Sometimes he would line up over me. Other times he would line up in the gap, while other times he would line up over the center.

“The Lions were twisting and doing all sorts of stunts and it was like they were pulling everything out of the bag to beat us. They gambled a lot in that game and were on a mission to get the quarterback.

“They guessed correctly that day and came out and kicked our ass. That being said, it was not a normal type of game, as they took a ton of chances.”

The Lions had been looking forward to that game against the Packers, as they felt they had given away a win in Green Bay earlier in the year.

The Lions were winning 7-6 late in the game, when quarterback Milt Plum threw a pass which was intercepted by Herb Adderley. No. 26 returned the pick 40 yards, which set up the game-winning field goal by Paul Hornung.

Bottom line, the 8-2 Lions were chomping at the bit when the undefeated Packers came into Tigers Stadium on Thanksgiving Day that season.

Starr sacked again by the Lions

Even with that stunning loss, the Packers recovered and never lost another game that season.

Kramer talked about how head coach Vince Lombardi reacted after games like the one the Packers played on Thanksgiving that year.

“After a game like that one,” Kramer said, “Lombardi would say, ‘Put the films away. Let’s not look at them. That was an aberration. That wasn’t us. Just put those films away and let’s get ready for next week.’

The Packers did get ready for the next week that season, as they whipped the Los Angeles Rams 41-10 at old Milwaukee County Stadium 10 days after they lost to the Lions.

The Packers finished out the 1962 season with road wins against the San Francisco 49ers and Rams to finish with a 13-1 record.

Then in the 1962 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants at frigid and very windy Yankee Stadium, the Packers won 16-7. Kramer scored 10 points by himself (three field goals and an extra point) in the game and was awarded a game ball for his efforts.

Jerry's game ball from 1962 NFL title game

Kramer see some similarities between the 2015 Packers and some of the great teams he played on in Green Bay.

“This Packer team reminds me of my team,” Kramer said. “Because for quite awhile we would do whatever we had to do to win. We didn’t seem to get real pumped for some games and if we got behind, we would go score.

“And if we did get a couple of scores, we would kind of relax and the opponent would score. That used to drive Coach Lombardi nuts that we wouldn’t put a team away.

“This Packer team seemed to do the same thing in the weeks leading up to the Denver game.”

Kramer then talked about what he saw during the Packers-Broncos game.

“For one thing, Aaron [Rodgers] was obviously not Aaron,” Kramer said. “Peyton [Manning] seemed to be ten years younger than the way he has played recently. He had a hell of a day. He was quick and his passes were sharp. He was moving well too.

“That whole team [Denver] was emotionally charged. They were really ready for our ass. We [the Packers] came out there with an attitude of let’s see what happens. But the team never caught up to the style of play by the Broncos. The team seemed to be on their heels early in the game and they never recovered.

“The Packers were reacting instead of acting. They were trying to protect instead of going on the attack.

“The Denver defense was awesome. They were pretty good leading up to the game, but they weren’t that dominating.”

So, what to the Packers need to do in Week 9 as they get set to take on another undefeated team, the 7-0 Carolina Panthers in Charlotte?

“The Packers need to realize that this is sort of a critical moment in their season,” Kramer said. “They have to respond. They have to have an emotional interest in the outcome of the game. I mean, extreme emotion.

“The Packers have to get ready to play and they have to play their ass off. Because if they don’t, we don’t know where the hell they are going from here. I would expect that Coach McCarthy will do a little ass-chewing to get the team ready to play.

“I think this will be an interesting game to see how the Packers respond. Are they champions? Or are they pretenders? Are they going to take care of business? Was the game in Denver an aberration?

“This game is critical for the Packers and it could determine how the team plays the rest of the season.”

Kramer has been in the same boat that the current Packers are now in. That 1962 team under Vince Lombardi responded quite well after the dominating defeat they suffered on Thanksgiving Day.

That Packer team never lost another game and also won the NFL title.

We shall see how the 2015 Packers respond after a similar beat down by the Broncos.

The game against Carolina is much more important than the one that Packers played on Sunday night. The Panthers are a NFC opponent, not an AFC opponent like Denver was.

This game could help determine which team might get home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs.

Kramer said it best when he said this about the Packers:

“Are they champions? Or are they pretenders?”

We will find out Sunday afternoon at Bank of America Stadium.

A Heavyweight Title Fight: Aaron Rodgers versus Peyton Manning

Aaron and Peyton

There is no doubt that the marquee game of Week 8 in the NFL will be the Sunday night game, which has the 6-0 Green Bay Packers going up against the 6-0 Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field.

Besides having two undefeated teams playing each other in November, the game also has the distinction of having two of the very best quarterbacks who have ever played the game facing each other.

Yes, it will be Aaron Rodgers versus Peyton Manning.

Rodgers is considered the top quarterback in the NFL right now, although some will say that praise should go to Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

Manning is considered by many to be the best quarterback in the history of the league, although some will defer to Brady here as well.

Rodgers also has a chance to be considered for that prominent honor, depending on what he does the rest of his career.

In the game against the Broncos, Rodgers will face perhaps his most difficult task of the season.

Denver is ranked first in the NFL in total defense. That includes being first in passing defense and fourth in rushing defense.

The Broncos also lead the league in sacks with 26, plus have created 17 turnovers and have also scored four touchdowns.

Denver has also held opposing quarterbacks to a 69.6 passer rating, having allowed only five touchdown passes in six games, while picking off nine passes.

So far in 2015, No. 12 has thrown a league-leading 15 touchdown passes versus just two picks for 1,491 yards. That adds up to a 115.9 passer rating.

It also appears that Rodgers will be getting wide receiver Davante Adams back this week, as No. 17 has been hampered by a sprained ankle for most of the season.

That will be a big plus, as Randall Cobb will not be double-teamed as much with the addition of Adams, plus Rodgers can also utilize savvy veteran James Jones, who has six receiving touchdowns already this year.

Manning, on the other hand, has definitely had a subpar season by his standards.

So far this season, No. 18 has thrown seven touchdown passes versus 10 picks for 1,524 yards. That adds up to a very mediocre 72.5 passer rating.

Manning should expect some pass pressure from the Packers, who are second in the NFL in sacks with 23.

The key to making Manning uncomfortable is moving him off his spot in the pocket. Unlike Rodgers, Manning does not throw very well on the move.

In addition to that, Manning’s passes this year seem to be fluttering without much zip far too often.

Bottom line, The game between the Packers and Broncos should be a classic. The fact that it will be Rodgers versus Manning in this contest, makes it even more of a must-see event.

Let’s now take a look at how Rodgers and Manning compare to one another in the tale of the tape between these two heavyweights:

Aaron Rodgers

Career Quarterback Rating: 106.5

Career Touchdown Passes: 241

Career Interceptions: 59

Career TD Pass to Interception Ratio: 4.08

Career Regular Season Record: 76-33

NFL MVP: 2-Time Winner

Super Bowls: 1

Super Bowl Wins: 1

Super Bowl MVP: 1

Postseason Record: 6-5

Postseason Passer Rating: 101.0

Peyton Manning

Career Quarterback Rating: 96.9

Career Touchdown Passes: 537

Career Interceptions: 244

Career TD Pass to Interception Ratio: 2.20

Career Regular Season Record: 185-77

NFL MVP: 5-Time Winner

Super Bowls: 3

Super Bowl Wins: 1

Super Bowl MVP: 1

Postseason Record: 11-13

Postseason Passer Rating: 88.5

Green Bay Packers: The Game Record Following a Bye Week Has Been Very Good Under Mike McCarthy

Since Mike McCarthy became the head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 2006, the team’s record in the game following a bye week has been fabulous.

In nine seasons, the Packers are 8-1 in those games. The only loss occurred in 2008, as the Packers lost to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville 19-16 in overtime.

Other than that, the Packers have won each of the games following the bye week.

Let’s take a look at the wins:

2006: Defeated the Miami Dolphins 34-24 at Lambeau Field.

2007: Defeated the Denver Broncos 19-13 in overtime at Invesco Field.

2009: Defeated the Detroit Lions 26-0 at Lambeau Field.

2010: Defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-3 at the Metrodome.

2011: Defeated the San Diego Chargers 45-38 at Qualcomm Stadium.

2012: Defeated the Detroit Lions 24-20 at Ford Field.

2013: Defeated the Detroit Lions 22-9 at Lambeau Field.

2014: Defeated the Chicago Bears 55-14 at Lambeau Field.

One of the reasons that the Packers have been so successful under McCarthy the game following the bye week is the performance of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

No. 12 has been under center in seven of the nine games played in that scenario. The Packers are 6-1 in those games.

In those seven games, Rodgers has thrown 20 touchdown passes versus just three interceptions for 2,045 yards. That adds up to a composite passer rating of 119.5.

This year the 6-0 Packers will be traveling again to Denver to take on the also 6-0 Broncos.

The bye week is coming at a great time for the Packers, as a number of players are nicked up with injuries and need some time to heal up.

The list includes Eddie Lacy (ankle), Randall Cobb (shoulder), Davante Adams (ankle), Ty Montgomery (ankle), Bryan Bulaga (knee), T.J. Lang (knee), B.J. Raji (groin), Nick Perry (shoulder) and Morgan Burnett (calf).

As history has proven, McCarthy and his coaching staff have put together some nice game plans for their opponents in the game following the bye week.

The unbeaten Broncos will be a difficult test, especially when going up against their defense. Denver is ranked second in the NFL in total defense. That includes being third in passing defense and fifth in rushing defense.

The Broncos also lead the league in sacks with 26, plus have created 17 turnovers and have also scored four touchdowns.

Denver has also held opposing quarterbacks to a 69.6 passer rating, having allowed only five touchdown passes in six games, while picking off nine passes.

That defense versus Rodgers should be a classic matchup. No. 12 has thrown a league-leading 15 touchdown passes versus just two picks for 1,491 yards. That adds up to a 115.9 passer rating.

Rodgers will certainly be helped in the game if the Packers can have their full compliment of playmakers available on offense.

One of the more shocking details about the Broncos has been the performance of their offense. Denver is ranked just 29th in total offense.

One of the big reasons for that situation is the play of Peyton Manning.

It looks like Father Time has caught up with No. 18, as a number of his passes seem to be fluttering far too often. If opposing defenses can force Manning off his spot in the pocket, his lack of mobility and arm strength will usually mean either an incomplete pass or an interception.

For the 2015 season, Manning has thrown seven touchdown passes versus 10 picks for 1,524 yards. That adds up to a very mediocre 72.5 passer rating.

The Packers are second in the NFL with 23 sacks and should be able to force Manning off his spot, which is a key factor.

Yes, I know the Packers just gave up over 500 yards passing against Philip Rivers, but that was against a quarterback who has a very quick release and has always been able to thrown the ball accurately from different arm angles.

Manning also has a quick release, but doesn’t throw well on the move. That is why it is imperative for the Packers to move Manning away from his preferred spot in the pocket.

Time will tell what will occur on the Sunday night (November 1) when the Packers face the Broncos in Denver, but if history is a blueprint for the future, I like Green Bay’s chances of going 7-0.

Why Montee Ball Could End Up a Member of the Green Bay Packers

After first making the Denver Broncos 53-man roster this past Saturday, running back Montee Ball was placed on waivers on Sunday.

No team in the NFL claimed him on waivers, so the former Wisconsin Badger is now a free agent.

One possible landing spot is the Green Bay Packers.

Why is that? There are a number of reasons.

For one thing, backup running back James Starks will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016.

Also, the Packers searched long and hard to find a third running back this summer in training camp. It was a very spirited battle between Rajion Neal, John Crockett and Alonzo Harris.

All of those backs flashed some real talent this summer, but in the end the Packers decided to go with Harris as the third back. Crockett was put on the practice squad, while Neal ended up signing with the Miami Dolphins and was put on their practice squad.

Ted Thompson and the Packers have always been enamored with Ball. As Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote earlier this summer, the Packers had narrowed it down to Ball and running back Eddie Lacy in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft.

The Packers had the 55th selection of the draft in the second round and when they saw that both Ball and Lacy were still on the board, they traded back six spots figuring that one of the two backs would be there at pick No. 61.

The Packers were right, as Lacy was still on the board. Ball was selected by the Broncos with pick No. 58.

Thompson went to the Wisconsin pro day and actually talked with Ball after his workout.

“He [Thompson] just talked to me about all the good stuff that I’ve been doing on tape,” Ball said. “He said, ‘You know how to play football. You’ve been doing the right things.’ And he’s very excited about it.”

Ball did have brilliant track record for Thompson to be impressed with. As a Badger, Ball rushed for 5,040 yards, plus had 58 receptions for 591 more yards.

He also has the FBS all-time touchdown record with 82 touchdowns. Seventy-six of those touchdowns were by rushing, which also is an all-time FBS record.

As a pro, Ball didn’t have the same impact with the Broncos. Injuries were part of the problem, especially a nagging groin injury in 2014.

In two years with the Broncos, Ball rushed for 731 yards and five touchdowns, while he also caught 29 passes for 207 more yards.

The other problem Ball had in Denver was his competition at running back. When Ball went out with his injury woes, the Broncos found that they had two very talented backups in C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman.

Anderson is now the clear No. 1 back in Denver, while Hillman had an excellent preseason and is entrenched at the No. 2 spot.

The bottom line is that Ball is not yet even 25 years old. The Packers were once pretty smitten with the former Badger, and I would not be surprised if the Packers at least give him a tryout.

The Packers like to keep these type of things under the radar, which is exactly what they did when they signed Julius Peppers back in the spring of 2014.

I surmised that the Packers might be interested in Peppers, when I wrote this piece for Bleacher Report.

The Packers kept a low profile and ended up signing Peppers later the same week I wrote my story.

I’m not saying the same thing will happen with Ball, but based on recent history, we know the Packers liked No. 28 coming out of Wisconsin.

Things have been pretty quiet for Ball since his release on Sunday. That’s just the way the Packers like to do business.

Under the radar.