Since Jeff Berckes was burdened with talking to Packers fans (ewww) just a few weeks ago in anticipation of the Bears week 12 bout with that small town franchise northish (?) of Chicago, I volunteered to step in and take on the cheese stench for this week’s exchange. Jon Meerdink of Acme Packing Company was suspiciously cordial throughout the whole affair, I can only presume because he underestimates the Bears and assumes the Packers will luck into another victory this Sunday. Here’s what he had to say:
1. WCG: Only the Buccaneers have kept the Packers offense under 20 points this year, but the Vikings, Jaguars, and Panthers all managed to keep points in the low 20s with mediocre defensive personnel. Have you noticed any trend in those games for how defenses can slow the Packers down? (I promise not to tell Pagano.)
APC: The most consistent feature in each of those games is bottling up Davante Adams — he had 66 receiving yards or less in each of those games you mentioned. And look, it’s no secret that Aaron Rodgers wants to find Adams, and stopping him is much easier said than done. But teams that have limited his impact have made great strides toward stopping the offense as a whole.
2. WCG: With his self-satisfied smirk and incessant success, Aaron Rodgers has played the role of NFC North villain admirably over the years. This year’s story arc with an MVP season following the draft of his presumptive replacement has been a riveting penultimate chapter. What do you think the final chapter of his time in our division will be?
APC: I think the final chapter will be the rest of the NFC North finally recognizing Rodgers as their rightful king and pledging their unending fealty to him before he finally ascends to his throne on Olympus. Bring to him earth and water, mortals, and he will offer you mercy.
No, but seriously, I’m very intrigued by how Rodgers handles the end of his time in Green Bay. He had a front-row seat to Brett Favre’s unseemly exit from the Packers, and I think he wants to avoid repeating that at all costs. Rodgers is incredibly conscious of his image and legacy, and on top of playing well in his later years, I’m sure he wants to protect that however he can. I think he’s proven he can still play at an elite level, but maintaining that is no sure thing. If the Packers can continue to put playmakers around him and protect him with a solid offensive line, he’s probably got at least two elite years left.
3. WCG: Who is your favorite Packer and why is it Kenny Clark?
APC: My personal favorite player on the Packers right now is David Bakhtiari, but Kenny Clark is way up there as well. I love his power rushing, I love his two-gapping, I love his friendly personality. He’s a gentle giant, except to opposing linemen.
4. WCG: The Packers defense embarrassed the Titans run-focused play-action heavy offense last weekend. The Bears offense has found recent success in large part because of an increased focus on the run game and play-action passing. Should the Bears be worried about rolling out a similar game plan on Sunday?
APC: As great as the Packers’ defense played last week, I’d still count myself as somewhat skeptical of the unit as a whole. I think betting on running the ball is never a bad thing, and David Montgomery seemed in line for a big game until things got out of hand the last time the Packers and Bears played. I’d feel pretty comfortable asking the Packers to try and duplicate their performance if I was the Bears.
5. WCG: A bear and a packer meet in the woods. A frantic baker has prepared a thousand huckleberry pies that she needs packaged and shipped before wild card weekend. She gives 500 pies to each of them and tells them the first one to finish will be rewarded with a collectors football autographed by George Halas and Vince Lombardi. Who finishes first?
APC: If pies are involved, I’d bet on the bear. Huckleberry pies sound delicious!
That last question was meant to be a trick, but somehow the Packers fan got it right. I thought for sure he would see the challenged involved packing and shipping and assume the packer and his opposable thumbs would shine. The full correct answer is that the packer would run away from the bear, and the bear would eat all thousand pies and the football then roll on her back in the sun before napping for four months.