The Green Bay Packers have two prime time games remaining on their 2017 schedule, but until Tuesday it seemed plausible that one of those games might get flexed out to an afternoon kickoff.
The Packers and Steelers play on Sunday Night Football in week 12, but with the injury to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ overall struggles since he went down, it was a reasonable assumption to think that that game might get bumped in favor of a better matchup. Instead, the league has decided to leave it as is, likely due to one of the networks protecting an intriguing matchup.
For reference, the other night game remaining is on Saturday, December 23rd against the Minnesota Vikings, and that game cannot be flexed out.
Meanwhile, the Packers are preparing for this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, and the running game is a significant topic of discussion. In fact, the team recorded 160 yards on the ground last week, the third time they have done so in the past five games.
Part of the reason for the success on the ground appears to be Justin McCray, the offensive lineman who has been a blessing for the Packers this season. Once a roster afterthought, McCray has become a critical contributor due to various injuries and his angry blocking style has endeared himself to his teammates and coaches alike.
Look for him to remain in the starting lineup barring further injury, and check out the rest of today’s Packers news in this morning’s curds.
Justin McCray perfect fit for way Packers must play | Packersnews.com
Tom Silverstein argues that even if (when?) Jason Spriggs returns, McCray needs to remain the starter at right tackle as long as he's healthy. It's his demeanor in the run game -- and the success the team has had running the football when he's in the lineup -- that has helped define him.
Patience paved way to Jamaal Williams' big day | Packers.com
Williams' hard running was a welcome sight, and he showed a new decisiveness and power that Packers fans had not yet seen from him in his first season.
Calling the shots: NFL head coaches who refuse to give up playcalling - ESPN
Mike McCarthy gave ESPN a fascinating look inside his head as a playcaller, wherein he approaches each game as a personal battle with the opposing defensive coordinator. He also rehearses for each game three times, once each on the two days before the game and in the hours before kickoff.
Morgan Burnett is Packers’ nominee for Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award | Packers Wire
Burnett is a finalist for the award given to the player who demonstrates fair play, respect, and integrity on the field.
Saints games for Weeks 12 and 13 will be flexed - SBNation.com
There was a chance that Rams-Saints in week 12 might have been flexed into Sunday Night Football, bumping the Packers-Steelers game out of prime time. However, FOX apparently wanted to protect the NFC matchup, and so it moves to a late afternoon start instead and the Packers will remain on SNF.
Vikings unhappy with Greg Olsen calling Rams game - NFL.com
This is odd -- Greg Olsen, the Panthers tight end who is on injured reserve -- is going to be in the broadcast booth for the Vikings-Rams game this Sunday. The Panthers are on a bye, but it's still an odd look to have an active player calling a football game.