Within the confines of 1265 Lombardi Avenue in Green Bay lies one of the most iconic football stadiums in the National Football League. Lambeau Field has definitely had its fair share of memorable moments, from the Ice Bowl to more recent memories such as Al Harris’ infamous pick-six against the Seahawks in the playoffs, Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary Part III against the Giants in the Wild Card round, and most recently, Rodgers heroic comeback effort in Week 1 against the Bears on a sprained MCL.
As of January 2018, the waiting list to purchase season tickets sat at 133,702 names (per 247Sports.com) with only 90-100 tickets being given up each year. If we do the math, that is about 100+ years a person towards the back of the list - which grows yearly by about 850 names - will have to wait to just have the opportunity to purchase a season ticket.
Any football fan who has the opportunity to visit this iconic field, regardless of what team you cheer for, should absolutely make the trek to the “frozen tundra” and witness in person what it is like to see the game’s greats enshrined within the Packer’s Ring of Honor and Hall of Fame (Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Brett Favre; just to name a few).
This past weekend, the Buffalo Bills and Bills mafia came to town in a sea of blue and red, looking to take over another midwestern state after throttling the Minnesota Vikings the previous week in Minneapolis. After personally making the trek to Green Bay to watch the game on Sunday, it was evident Bills mafia is alive and well. Many Packer sports taverns were crowded with upstart Bills fans, including several occasions where they out cheered Packers fans on their own turf.
Sunday morning finally came and the smell of tailgate heaven was in the air in the wee hours of the day. Green Bay is one of the best in the league for tailgating. The smell and sight of brats, burgers, hot dogs, wings, and other delicious food is one thing even Bills mafia acknowledged was better than most stadiums.
Bills mafia is widely known for being one of the more daring and outgoing fan bases in the NFL. Although no tables were broken from my vantage point in my tailgate area, Bills fans came out in droves to have a grand ol’ time in the pregame festivities.
When it came to the actual game, however, the Green Bay Packers dominated from start to finish, including prized offseason acquisition Jimmy Graham scoring his first touchdown for the green and gold. Running back Aaron Jones looked explosive with his touches, finishing with 11 rushes for 65 yards and one score while catching one pass for 15 yards. Aaron Rodgers may still be battling the MCL sprain, but he looked sharp outside of the pocket with his legs, totaling 31 yards on a handful of rushing attempts.
The Packers defense pitched their first shutout at Lambeau since 2010. The two young corners for the Packers, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, looked like a strong duo in coverage and in run support, totaling five tackles with Alexander securing his first interception in his young NFL career. The defense sacked Josh Allen seven times while holding the Bills to only 209 total yards of offense.
With Randall Cobb sitting out with a hamstring issue, rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling got the start in his absence. Valdes-Scantling had an up and down game, catching a deep ball in the fourth quarter for 38 yards but also running a lazy route on a fourth down attempt in which Rodgers’ pass was nearly intercepted for an easy pick-six. Luckily, it was dropped by cornerback Ryan Lewis in Kyle Fuller-esque way.
From a fantasy perspective, these players should be considered in all formats if your roster limits allow:
Running back Aaron Jones. It was only a matter of time until Jones got the nod at running back in key situations. Jones averaged a tasty 6.0 yards per carry (YPC) in Sunday’s contest, compared to fellow backfield mate Jamaal Williams who had the same amount of touches but finished with a dismal 2.5 YPC. Jones is dynamic playmaker that should receive more touches in the weeks to come, especially with the endorsement of Rodgers.
Wide receivers Valdes-Scantling, J’Mon Moore, and Equinameous St. Brown. Valdes-Scantling got the first crack at WR3 duty with Cobb sitting; the rookie showed flashes of potential, but will have to start to gain Rodgers’ trust immediately to stay on the field. Geronimo Allison, the Packers’ third receiver, suffered a concussion against the Bills and must pass concussion protocol to play this week against the Lions. Moore is the next candidate to replace Allison should he be unavailable this week. Moore has battled drops all throughout preseason and training camp, but did rebound in the final preseason game with a pair of nice catches to help boost his confidence. With injuries to Cobb and Allison, St. Brown is a deep roster addition based on potential, especially with Rodgers in control of the offense.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander. Alexander was the Packers’ first round pick this past draft, and after four games he has lived up to the billing of what the Packers were looking for after cutting ties with Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. Alexander has played in over 60% of defensive snaps - mainly in the nickel and dime defensive packages - but has made the most of his opportunities, totaling 20 tackles and one interception to go along with 0.5 sacks (Packers.com).
The Packers sit at 2-1-1 and now face the Detroit Lions this week in a pivotal division matchup at Ford Field.