Archive for October, 2011

Rodgers salivating on that Nelson TD

October 16, 2011

Rodgers took one look to Nelson’s side, saw Harris on him in single coverage and knew exactly what was going to happen. Very nicely done.

Game over.

Finally – great play by Hawk

October 16, 2011

That was a nice move on Hawk’s part and he closed in on Bradford fast. Very nice.

Packers getting schooled

October 16, 2011

Rams looks good – better than the Packers.

Packers should have gone for in on 3rd and 2 there. That was a very bad decision. They could have gotten the first, scored a TD and set the Rams into a mode of desperation. Instead, we’re only up 3-0 and the Rams have had a chance to get some momentum here. Come on.

Rough start so far

October 16, 2011

That was a nice catch and run by Kendricks – again, I’m not surprised. The guy was REALLY good at Wisconsin. But I’m not liking the tackling so far by Tramon Williams. He missed Kendricks after a mini-move that shouldn’t have juked him and then he made a lame effort on tackling Jackson. Come on Tramon.

Rams/Packers preview

October 16, 2011
  • Stop Steven Jackson. Even if Sam Bradford goes nuts, there is no way the Rams can trade series with our offense if Steven Jackson is mostly rendered ineffective. If the Rams manage to get him going, however, they could eat up clock, keep the game close and give us a scare. And stopping Jackson, by the way, is not an easy task. Even when his offense has little balance and his line is providing marginal blocking for him, the guy can be a beast.
  • Raji, Pickett and Green should be busy today (and may in fact be the unit Capers goes with on 1st and 2nd downs.
  • McCarthy and Rodgers may need to have a plan B in mind for lots of their plays today. While the Rams’ D is definitely not stellar they have some good players (like Chris Long, James Laurenitis and even Al Harris – who will have an idea re what’s coming). But more concerning, they have a head coach who has drawn up some scary good defensive gameplans in his career.
  • We need to keep an eye on Lance Kendricks – former Badger TE who figures to get a lot of looks today. He was targeted 9 times last week (though he dropped 2 TDs) and if there is one very obvious spot the Packers are deficient, it’s in pass coverage over the middle. Kendricks I’m sure also wants to have a huge game in front of family and friends.
  • Rodgers just has to be Rodgers today. Even if he’s mostly himself, I just can’t see the Rams hanging in there. I don’t care if we were playing the Ravens, if Rodgers/McCarthy continue to include so many different folks in the passing game (12 players caught a pass last week), no defense can stop that. It’s a defensive coordinator’s nightmare.
  • This could be a sneaky good game for Starks – as the Rams are mostly likely creating a defensive gameplan to contain our passing game. Defenses can’t really afford to think about stopping both the run and pass because it’s kind of a waste of time. So Starks may have some good holes to run through today.
  • This could be an opportunist’s game for our defenders. My guess is that if the Rams fall behind and take to passing, as good as I think Bradford will be some day, he’ll be forced into taking chances in this one that will result in turnovers.
  • One thing I’m betting will happen today at lot is pressure on Bradford (also forcing mistakes). Matthews is ready for a wild game one of these weeks and I suspect it will be today.
  • This is the kind of game we just want to win and come away from with zero injuries.
  • Packers 37, Rams 13.

Whatever happened to ring around the collar?

October 12, 2011

Remember that? Seemed that every laundry detergent commercial talked about it. I remember some woman narrating and/or being in the commercials saying “ring around the collar” in a deep, raspy, smoker’s voice.

Clifton out for at least a few games

October 11, 2011

Read about it anywhere. Not good. I think Clifton’s presence gives Rodgers a lot of comfort out there. Without Clifton, Rodgers looked edgy immediately – something we rarely see from him anymore. While he did get taken down a few times Sunday night, he/McCarthy/Newhouse/Sherrod figured out a way to make it work and it ended up being fine.

But my concern is that we will be playing against some fairly disruptive pass rushers in the coming weeks. Chris Long for StL is a good rusher, but more concerning are Minnesota’s Jared Allen and Brian Robison. Allen leads the NFL in sacks at 8.5 and Robison has 4.5 – tied for 9th. Allen is particularly scary at home (where the Pack plays in 2 weeks) and because he’s coming from the left side which is Rodgers’ blindside.

Get ‘em coached up McCarthy – protecting Rodgers is critical.

Few thoughts watching Bears/Lions

October 10, 2011
  • The Lions’ vaunted D-Line is indeed scary – as pass rushers. But the D-Line and the entire defense struggle against the run. Tonight, Forte already has 116 yards rushing. A few weeks ago, at Minnesota, the Detroit D-Line couldn’t stop Adrian Peterson in the first half. (Of course, MN mysteriously abandoned the run in the second half because it was working too well.) Anyway, overall the Lions ranked 17th in the league w/respect to yards rushing given up per game, coming into tonight’s game. This is a defense that struggles with the run. And it’s also not great against the pass (ranked #12 in average yards allowed per game). So while this is a good team to be sure – they are perhaps not as good as hyped.
  • Stafford is really good. His TD pass behind Urlacher to Pettigrew was really good. He realized instantly that Urlacher hesitated for just a moment and that he’d have a small window to chuck the ball in there. He did and it was an easy TD.
  • Sloppy game – lots of penalties (23 so far).
  • Former Badger DeAndre Levy leads Detroit in tackles tonight.
  • LB Stephen Tulloch, who is a good player, looks like he ate a 15 pound cake before the game. He looks fat for a LB.
  • It’s weird to see a seriously charged up home crowd in Detroit. As much as I realize this means that Detroit has perhaps arrived as a new competitor in our division – it’s nice to see anyway.
  • I’ll start saying it now – told ya about the Bears. Just not a good team. They started the year with Cutler throwing constantly. Then they realized it wasn’t working so they started giving it to Forte all the time. But what they haven’t figured out is how to balance the offense. And they continue to have a tremendously bad O-Line. How does Mike Tice still have a job? It’s absolutely stunning.
  • The Bears defenders are aging. Just watched Urlacher miss an open field tackle on Best. Best is an elusive dude and has played a good game tonight. But Urlacher would never have missed that tackle 5-6 years ago. Never. This D is getting old.

Rooting for Detroit or Chicago tonight?

October 10, 2011

This question has been brought up a few times in the comments section. It’s a good question. Here’s why I’m pulling for Detroit:

  1.  I don’t hate Detroit yet. I hate the Bears and the Vikings, but not Detroit. (That may change if they play dirty against us – something they’ve been accused of doing.)
  2. They are good this year no doubt and I picked them to go to the playoffs, but I don’t see them as a huge threat to the Packers just yet. The Packers are still a much better overall team.
  3. The Bears are not good and they might as well duck out of the NFC North race sooner rather than later. They will then be less annoying. I have the Bears going 5-11 – something I still believe will happen.

What do you think?

Game Thoughts Packers/Falcons

October 9, 2011
  • The Pack came out flat tonight and were schooled by a decent team early on.
  • The defense looked lost and out of rhythm. Capers and the whole defense just didn’t seem committed to whatever they were wanting to do.
  • In the second half – the defense looked totally different. They were tackling reasonably well and making big plays at big moments. Capers had to retool everything at halftime to bring about the change – heck of a coaching job and nice execution by a defense that looked borderline incompetent in the first quarter.
  • We were lucky that Atlanta seemingly ditched the run. Michael Turner ended up with a reasonable number of carries (16) but I think they could have run it a bunch more against us. They decided that they needed to pass to catch up way earlier than they needed to. And when they became pass happy – they became easier to defend.
  • Rodgers is amazing. 396 yards passing. He put the team on his shoulders when it was needed most. He is special.
  • At this rate, Aaron Rodgers could be one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game. The stats he is putting up put him in elite company – and he already has a Super Bowl. He is absolutely amazing.
  • How hard is it to defend a team throwing to 12 different guys? This is so smart offensively – McCarthy’s system of including so many different people makes it so difficult to defend because the D just has no idea who is getting the ball on the next play. Only a couple other teams seemed to have figured this out – it has helped New England win several Super Bowls and it helped us win last year.
  • I like the way James Starks runs. He just flattens defenders. And he gets the job done.
  • Eric Walden made his presence known a couple times hitting Ryan. While he didn’t get a sack, those hits were significant because in both cases, Ryan was rattled. He has to get to him if Matthews continues to not get to the QB (0 sacks and only 1 tackle tonight – though he did force a couple mistakes/penalties by Atlanta and forced the bad pass that was picked off by Peprah).
  • Sam Shields had a couple nice plays tonight. He continues to be a bit frustrating as he flashes greatness and then makes bad errors, but it seems to me he is just learning how to more effectively use his strengths (speed mostly) to defend the pass more effectively.
  • AJ Hawk was a bit better today. Again, he had 2-3 blitz calls and he was so slow on each that he didn’t get home – but at least he flushed Ryan out of the pocket on one and forced a throw away pass on the other. I suppose that counts for something.
  • Bishop remains beastly. That sack was huge – and one-armed. I don’t mind calling blitzes for him even though he’s not super fast either – because he’ll get home. He’s a playmaker.
  • Nice for Peprah to make a nice pick tonight. He’s a tough guy who plays hard and for the second consecutive year, he’s had to fill in as the back-up.
  • Finley was up and down tonight. Those drops were costly. But the thing that bothered me most was after a big-time drop in he 2nd half, on the next series he was flexing his muscle after a big catch. I know that’s “just how he plays” or whatever people will say – but I don’t like it. When you’ve made several boneheaded plays (including the TD drop in the first half), you quiet down and just go back to the huddle. Still – he’s a match-up nightmare and I’m not going to make anything more of the drops because I’m pretty sure we won’t see many more of those going forward.
  • Loved how Newhouse and Sherrod filled in tonight. Those guys played really well in a tough situation. And Rodgers and McCarthy for sure helped them by adjusting the game plan some.
  • Speaking of adjustments – I feel especially excited about McCarthy’s half-time adjustments. Whatever he said/did at halftime obviously resonated with the players. He is growing as a coach in front of our eyes and we should be excited that he and Capers not only develop good game plan – but can make some quality adjustments throughout the game. This used to be a criticism I’d have of McCarthy – that he wasn’t great with in-game adjustments. But he’s getting much better and when that is coupled with an already high quality game plan – that makes for some really good coaching.
  • Jennings was hilarious on that last TD. There was no way he wasn’t going to get to the endzone on that one. He knows he missed an opportunity to get a TD in the first half by not slamming on the brakes before drifting out of bounds. Frankly, I’m not sure any WR could have stopped before going out there but Jennings was really upset about it – because he demands so much from himself. That TD was really one of the best efforts I’ve seen in a long time from a WR – though he makes it look so easy.
  • Crosby is quietly having a great year. He looks very solid out there kicking FGs.
  • Jarrett Bush – once again making plays. I believe his final stats should show that he had 1 pick and 1 QB hit in limited playing time.
  • Overall – I’m concerned that we came out as flat as we did in the first half but I’m pretty excited about how we turned that game around. The better team won – Atlanta does not have a deep roster and they REALLY missed John Abraham today (we could have been in serious trouble if he’d played). I give a lot of credit for this victory to McCarthy and Capers in particular. Nice turnaround fellas.
  • Oh – and TT deserves some serious credit for helping this roster be deep enough to survive the loss of 2 starting tackles – impressive.

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