Poor Playcalling

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Not going to liveblog the end of this game, but why — with four minutes left in the third quarter — are the Packers not running the ball or throwing it short?  Mike McCarthy is executing an offensive gameplan that entirely dependent on throwing the ball downfield.  WTF?  We have seen very little running and our short passing game has been almost abandoned in favor of intermediate or long-range passes.

On defense, we are getting very little pressure on Drew Brees.  Bob Sanders seems totally incapable of making in-game adjustments.  The Saints can seemingly do whatever they want on offense.  Anytime Brees has as much time to throw as he’s had, he’ll throw darts all night and win handily.

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7 Responses to “Poor Playcalling”

  1. Rich Beckman Says:

    Because with four minutes left in the third quarter, the game was already lost.

    The play calling becomes irrelevant when the defense can’t keep the other team out of the end zone.

  2. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    Is this some sort of parody of a knee jerk blog post? Are you really asking why the Packers are not running the ball when they are down by 17 late in the 3rd quarter?

  3. Scott in wisconsin Says:

    I quit watching after the second interception in the 3rd qtr. Not wasting sleep over a game this bad. It was like getting leg humped by a dog. I could not take even another second and I had to leave and I felt a bit sick.

  4. sfhayes Says:

    Ummm, no, this is not some parody of a “knee jerk” blog post. The reason to run — at least on occasion — was to keep the defense off the field for more than thirty seconds. The defense hadn’t stopped New Orleans all night and, with interceptions just outside our own end zone, they needed a breather. Grant looked decent at the beginning of the game and with a sustained drive to end the quarter the Packers could have headed into the fourth quarter down 10 with a defense that had at least a few minutes of rest.

    You might think that’s a stupid idea. Fair enough. We can disagree. In a sense that’s what this blog is for. But if you do can you please come up with an insult that’s a little more creative? And if I’m not mistaken this is the third time you’ve accused us of being “knee jerk” over the past week or two. That seems to be your, um, reflexive response to anything you don’t like here. Change it up a bit, okay?

  5. verno329 Says:

    I understand your thinking about giving our D a breather at least, even if they were just running a draw in there on one down it would give those guys a little more time to rest. Throwing on 3 downs and not picking up yards is not going to give our D a chance to regroup.

  6. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    I did change it up, I hadn’t accused this blog of devolving into self-parody before. That is new. At least give credit where it is due.

    By the third quarter, the defense was doing an outstanding job getting itself off the field. The Packers need as many points as they could get as fast as they could get them. The defense has the rest of the week to catch a breather. Last night the Packers need points.

    This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Every single loss, the playcalling is either “too conservative” (if McCarthy calls too many unsucessful running plays) or the Packers “abandoned the run.” But every loss, rest assured, it’s **always** one or the other (sometimes the playcalling is “too vanilla, but I consider that a subset of “too conservative”). It’s total “dumb fan” commentary. I have come to expect a little more intelligence on this blog.

    But complaining that the Packers aren’t running the ball enough when they are down by 17-24 points late in the 3rd quarter is just absurd.

  7. awhayes Says:

    DDD –
    1) abandoning the run mid 3rd quarter probably couldn’t have worked out any worse than it did. So, our offering a suggestion for a different approach can’t be “absurd”.

    2) Play-calling is a very important part of a football game and in a good number of losses (and during Mike S herman’s years even wins), questionable play-calling can hurt teams a lot. (Remember John Shoop for the Bears?) I don’t think that it’s “dumb fan” commentary if you can provide legit reasons why the play-calling could have been better. Last night, it didn’t cost us the game, not even close, but I don’t think it’s dumb to question an approach that clearly didn’t work.

    3) My problem with the 2nd half play-calling last night (not the 1st half play-calling) was not just that we abandoned the run, but that we abandoned running backs. So many of our plays from mid 3rd quarter on were run with an empty backfield. Going empty backfield with 4-5 WRs can be a great play-call and work effectively at the right moment. But when you do that play after play like we did last night, playing defense becomes so easy that horrendous CBs like Jason David can come away with 2 picks. They just dropped 7-8 guys into coverage and plugged up our passing lanes. By running an occasional running play or just having Grant or Jackson out there most plays, we could have given them different looks and taken some pressure off of Rodgers – who last night, completed barely over 50% of his passes. And, because our RBs would have been running against just 3 or 4 guys up front, chances are quite good we could have doubled our per carry average. And, our defense could have gotten rest.

    4) Also, passing on every down doesn’t necessarily save a bunch of time. When you average 3.5 yards per carry and 5.4 yards per catch as the Packers did, you’re not getting down the field too fast either way. At least with a better play mix, we might have continued to score points like we did in the first half on their weak defense.

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