Week 11 had a different kind of feel for Packers fans across the country. For the first time since August 8th, we had no Packers game to watch.
While that may be a downer for the fans, it may possibly turn out to be a good thing for the team. This bye week happened to come later for the Packers than ever before. While the bye week may be late in the season, the team could still greatly benefit off of it.
A bye week is a good way for teams to recoup and to recover. For player like Davantae Adams it could be even more crucial. Adams spent the bye week in Green Bay rehabbing the turf toe injury that he sustained in week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Adams had a big game against the Panthers in week 10, having over 100 yards receiving, but a little rest this week could really benefit him against San Francisco.
The open week also gave the Packers a leg up in scouting the 49ers. San Francisco had a nice second half showing in their game against the Cardinals on Sunday. I think LaFleur and his staff will be able to watch plenty of tape over the Niners and find an edge against their strong running attack. This also will help in practices leading up to the Sunday night match-up in week 12. With more time to study their opponent, the Packers can get nice quality reps in practice.
Jamaal Williams spent his bye week at his alma mater in BYU. Williams shared how thrilled he was to come back to campus and take in the game. Time away from the game can be beneficial for any player. Players like Williams can come back with a fresh mindset as he gets back to work preparing for a big game. While Williams spent his time at BYU, the other side of the running back duo, Aaron Jones, spent part of his time at NFL Network.
There were a couple of games during the bye week that were important to the Packers as it relates to postseason implications. The Minnesota Vikings took on the Denver Broncos in Minneapolis, which came down to the wire. The Broncos got off to a hot start, but in the second half were ice cold. Minnesota was able to go on an impressive run and escape with a win, which now matches them with the Packers at 8 wins.
On the other side of the division, the Lions fell to the Cowboys 35-27. I wasn’t too surprised about the outcome in this one, especially since the Lions were missing Matt Stafford for a second week. With the loss, the Lions fell to 3-6-1. The Lions don’t pose a threat at all when it comes to the postseason, but I’d still be leary of them down the road. Teams that are knocked out of the playoffs can have a knack at making it their sole focus to beat a division rival.
As I mentioned earlier, the 49ers got a 36-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in a game which got off to a slow start. After the first two quarters, I really thought the Niners were in danger of getting their second loss of the season. It was a strong finish for San Fran though, as they were able to pull out the win. Again, it helps the Packers coaching staff to be able to have 2 recent games for them to review before they take the field. I’ll have a scouting report of the 49ers coming out later this week here at PTTF.
Teams can come off a bye week one of two ways; they can get refreshed, focused, poised and have a hot game, or they can come out stale and cold. The most important thing for the Packers is that they keep their focus and used the bye week wisely.
Follow me on Twitter: @PTTF_Ben