Game thoughts (from Lambeau)

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Yesterday I went to the game and had a chance to see a few things I think TV viewers might not have been able to see. Let me just start by saying it was a very, very nice victory but I wasn’t shocked because I’m not sure the Cowboys are THAT good (as I said before, they almost lost to KC in KC).

  • Not once, after all of those stupid penalties (especially the dumb Havner one), did a coach come over and let the player have it. Not once. A special teams’ coach approached Havner 2 plays later to communicate something about special teams. But for all the other penalties, these guys walk off the field to nothing. That is on Mike McCarthy. Other great coaches would make it their personal mission to come over and let the guy hear it.
  • That said, Mike McCarthy was fired up yesterday. Granted it was usually about a poorly executed offensive plays (again, highlighting my concern that he’s so offensively focused, he’s not focused enough on the whole team). Still, I counted 5 times when McCarthy was visibly worked up on the sidelines yelling or carrying on. This is good and I hope it continues. I hope he coaches like his job is on the line going forward.
  • While I won’t say the offense played great (lots of dumb penalties and sacks again and some specific/untimely bad playcalls), I was encouraged that there were several clock-eating drives. That 3rd quarter drive that ate up so much clock time and ended in a TD was textbook. Using Grant to set up the pass and using short passes as essentially another form of protection for Rodgers was smart.
  • Dom Capers was money yesterday. He had Romo very edgy and confused. I spent quite a bit of time watching Romo’s feet – they were all over the place (just like what happens to Rodgers when he gets panicky). That was because Capers (and the defense) executed their plays. Sometimes in a game, it seems like a defense is constantly adapting to what and offense is doing – and the defense is usually losing that battle. In the game yesterday, Romo and the offense were spending lots of energy wondering what was coming next from our defense. And clearly, they weren’t adapting quickly enough.
  • Barnett and Hawk were active again last night. That play where both are called to blitz worked beautifully (it actually is the exact same blitz call that worked magically in preseason for Desmond Bishop and Lansanah).
  • Nick Barnett has come back from a major injury and injected some fire into this defense. He has been playing particularly well the last 3-4 games.
  • Not sure how it looked on TV, but BJ Raji had one of the more amazing tackles (I believe on T Choice) in the second half. He closed like a LB showing quickness that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen from someone so big. Several people around me thought it was Hawk (they saw the zero on the uniform) until he stood up. We were all shocked to realize it was Raji who just swallowed up an elusive Choice like that.
  • Brad Jones looked OK. He’s a big dude (not sure re his exact size, but he has a tall/big physical presence out there). He had 2 great chances for sacks, one was thwarted by a juke from Romo and the other from a weakish chip block. But he wasn’t bad. I’m a little surprised Dal didn’t game plan to go at him more esp w/their RBs on runs/screens.
  • There were several moments in the game when the whole Packer sideline was waving towels and arms in an effort to get the crowd even more worked up. There were several coaches doing this as well (couldn’t figure out which ones, though I believe Kevin Greene may have been one of them). There was far more passion in our ranks than either of the last 2 home games I’ve seen (MN and Det). Our team was ready and fired up – and to that end, I think we need to tip our hats to Mike McCarthy.
  • I love Dom Capers’ genius idea of putting Charles Woodson on opposing TEs. I told my dad prior to the game that Woodson guarded Kellen Winslow quite a bit in TB (though not on his productive catches or his TD). It just works. Put our best player on the opposing teams’ best receiver and in the case of last week, yesterday and next week, the best receiver was/is/will be a TE (Vernon Davis next week). Witten looked really frustrated after a while out there, uncharacteristically so.
  • Dallas’ decision to throw for a TD with 1st and goal at the 1 yard line with 6 minutes left in the game was unbelievably stupid. I was watching the bench and there seemed to be open wonderment re why Marion Barber wasn’t called into the game (T Choice was there). Marion Barber is one of the best RBs in the NFL in terms of getting into the endzone because he runs so hard. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I had Barber on my fantasy team… – but still, it didn’t make any sense to throw that one to Witten when he’d been frustrated all game by tight Packer coverage – and when the guy who would obviously be assigned to him had already had a game for the ages. Really dumb.
  • I’m not sure what the replay on TV showed, but after Woodson sacked/FF on Romo and Clay Matthews eventually recovered, it sure looked to me like Felix Jones had possession of the ball while on his back before being stripped by a Packer. Is that what happened?
  • Wade Phillips pulled a Mike McCarthy by dropping the run in the second half. That is the strength of the Cowboys and he just plain abandoned the run. That decision helped keep our defense fresh. Bad coaching.
  • While I certainly have my questions re Mike McCarthy, I am really glad Wade Phillips isn’t our coach (and he very well could have been if he hadn’t already been with the Cowboys – one of TT’s closest friends is Bum Phillips and he’s also good friends with Wade). Phillips has more of a vacant, deer-in-the-headlights look than Mike Sherman, who patented that look. He was unemotional and clueless on that sideline yesterday. Inspiring nobody.
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6 Responses to “Game thoughts (from Lambeau)”

  1. Joe Says:

    “I’m not sure what the replay on TV showed, but after Woodson sacked/FF on Romo and Clay Matthews eventually recovered, it sure looked to me like Felix Jones had possession of the ball while on his back before being stripped by a Packer. Is that what happened?”

    yes. we caught a break from a very crappy officiating crew

  2. 56Coop Says:

    They need to change that rule and make that reviewable (even though we did catch a break on it). Also, need to make throwing a 3rd challenge flag at least a delay of game penalty–MM just showed the whole league how to get an extra time out. I’m still not convinced he did it intentionally.

    Terrible, terrible officiating

    Glad to hear Raji had a good play.

  3. 56Coop Says:

    Just read MM’s presser’s after the game and today’s. Thought he did a very good job of explaining his reasoning for the Nelson challenge and accroding to one of the reporters he was supposed to get a 15 yarder for the 3rd challenge flag. Didn’t mention what the call would/should have been. If that’s the case, then that just makes yesterday’s officiating that much worse.

    What really made me shake my head in amazement was him talking about the adjustments and the new stuff they had added. Don’t want to get carried away over one win (but it was Dallas which makes it oh so satisfying) but maybe, just maybe there might actually be some improvements.

    When you say he was worked up on the sidelines and yelling was he actually yelling at somebody or just in general. It would be nice to know that he actually is youo know, human.

    Scarey to think how close we could have been to having Phillips as our coach.

  4. Ron La Canne Says:

    The offense didn’t make mistakes and AR was very good. DD was as usual consistent and played with fire. They still need much improvement to become as consistent as they need to be. Dallas was progress but don’t stop now.

    Defense played an outstanding game. Romo’s eyes were bugging out of his face guard. Roy Williams had his usual inconsistent performance and the Packer LB’s played a great game.

    Keep working hard once again. Alex Smith is terrible, but Gore can burn you. They need to be just as aggressive next week.

    My prediction that it would have to be a defensive win came true. Next week I think the O & D should share the victory.

  5. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    i really can’t decide who i’m more impressed with this year – woodson or driver. woodson has produced more this year i suppose, but driver never ceases to bring his best effort – i suppose part of that is not always getting a team’s 1st corner anymore, but his determination to get every possible inch is really admirable. and he recognizes that he isn’t going to beat most defenders with straightline speed anymore – so he jukes 22 year olds out of their jockstrap for the first down.

    that said, woodson is clearly a reasonable mvp candidate, although he will never get recognized as such outside of packerfandom enough.

  6. Ax in Dallas Says:

    Nothing like a good ‘ol Texas BBQ…and yesterday Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett were the ones in the fire, here in Big D. Wade’s press conference was essentially “we didn’t execute well.” and the media here is taking them all to task about abandoning the run, when they have Barber, Choice, and Jones. I think Barber had 1 carry in the entire 2nd Half.

    All in all….very entertaining for a Packers fan. Of course, one of the guys on the local sportstalk radio (“KTCK-SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket”) is a guy by the name of Bob Sturm, who is a Wisconsin native and dedicated Packers fan…so he was in a great mood.

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