Game Thoughts Packers/Bucs

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No in-game blog today as I was at the game.

  • I want to make this point first because this was the most important thing I noticed today watching the game: Mike McCarthy’s offensive plays are incredibly well-conceived. Just watch over the next few games for how incredibly well-conceived these plays are. The TD to Crabtree. The Kuhn decoy for the Raji TD. The one sideline route he often calls to Jordy right over the CB – timing it to arrive right before the safety gets there (and then Jordy always cuts in between the CB and the safety…usually for a long TD). The back shoulder passes (though much of that is in the execution by Rodgers). The series of damaging dump off passes to Starks. The screens. The way he uses Finley. The way he spreads the ball around. (I’m not necessarily talking about play-calling here by the way – more just the plays themselves.) But more impressive to me than anything is again, just how well-conceived these plays are. I know that there are still some McCarthy doubters out there – but seeing the game today and thinking about all the different plays we’ve seen over the course of the last year, I’m in the camp that believes McCarthy is at the least an offensive genius.
  • It’s nice that the Packers can play poorly and still come away with 35 points and a 9 point victory.
  • Rodgers was not quite himself today – despite having nearly 300 yards and 3 TDs to 1 INT. He threw a number of passes behind WRs.
  • Being at the game, I had the distinct feeling that many of the players on the Packers were adjusting to the colder temps. It’s harder to execute sometimes in colder weather and I think we saw that today.
  • The Bucs had far more fight in them than I thought they would. If Blount wouldn’t have rumbled off for that long TD, I think they may have folded right there already down 14-0. But that was a big-time run by a back with the ability to pull something like that off. It was also atrocious tackling. (Not this is no excuse, but the Packers aren’t the only D to get run over literally by Blount. The guy is a good back I think will continue to run over defenses – because he’s super tough to bring down.)
  • There was lots of atrocious tackling today on the part of our D. Once again we gave up tons of yardage to an offense that coming into the week, has struggled. Concerning.
  • We continue to be vulnerable over the middle. Kellen Winslow had the run of the entire middle of the field for much of the game. A team like New Orleans, with stud Jimmie Graham would really make us pay for such lax coverage.
  • I really liked a series of play calls in the 3rd quarter (I believe) when Rodgers kept dinking the ball off to James Starks. I know the crowd was wanting deep passes at that point and I realize several of those passes were more dump off situations, but the fact was TB was simply not accounting well enough for Starks and he was getting first downs. He finished with 6 catches for 53 yards – and did some real damage as a receiver. I hope his injury isn’t too bad.
  • Jordy is very good. He’s sneaky. He gets behind CBs so effectively. And he again showed today why he is so good on broken plays. He and Rodgers have a pretty cool understanding of what the other is going to do and this came in handy at least a couple times today.
  • I like seeing So’oto in there a bit more. Walden had a couple nice plays today but I’m thinking we still need a super aggressive pass rusher who in time could intimidate offenses to some extent. I think So’oto has that kind of talent. It’s interesting because I’m writing this as I watch the Eagles/Giants and keep thinking about Cullen Jenkins and how much we miss him.
  • The more I think about it and watch Finley, the more I think TT has accumulated a number of TEs because he has no plans on bringing Finley back. Finley is a freak physically and a game-changer, but I don’t think it’s a stretch for me to believe that TT may just not like the guy.
  • Odd that Crosby’s only miss comes on a chip shot like that. Just odd.
  • The Packers’ D has to get this figured out. I thought their performance last week was a sign of things to come and instead it was more a reflection of just how bad the Vikings are. 342 yards to a struggling Josh Freeman? 121 yards rushing? Not good. Capers has to sit and think a bit more about how we’re covering teams and just what we might be able to do about the middle of the field in particular. Our pass pressure has also been inconsistent making the coverage job tougher for both DBs and LBs.
  • Big game coming up for Thanksgiving. I thought that if Detroit blew it today against Carolina, we might have an easier time of it come Thurs. But considering how Detroit’s offense finished off Carolina and then also the shoddy play of our defense – we could be in for a tough game. Could also be the rare game when both teams score 50+ points!

 

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7 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Bucs”

  1. Rusty Says:

    Just not sure what else can be said for the defense. It’s time to get House on the field. Sheilds hasn’t held up well, and they need to have Woodson moving around.

    TE are the problem. Neither Hawk or Bishop is great at covering an athletic TE.

    Neal’s return to the field should help. If he can get a push in the middle they will improve immensely.

    The coverage wasn’t great, but the pass rush is still the problem. They just didn’t get home often enough.

    If there was a doubt… there should be one now. TT needs to spend the first few picks on defense.

  2. Dave in Tucson Says:

    1) I feel like Finley is a major piece of the offensive system. The fact that opponents must game plan around him really opens up the field for the other guys. We’ll see how TT handles the contract situation, but I think it’ll be a concern if he gets away.

    2) It seems to me it’s always better to play on the road against a contending team coming off a win. If they’re coming off a loss, they’ll be mad and put more effort into preparation.

    3) Reports are out Jay Cutler broke the thumb on his throwing hand, possibly requiring surgery, which would put him out 6-8 weeks. It’s Caleb Hanie time in Chicago!

    D∈T

  3. DaveK Says:

    If Cutler is out for the season then a Packer win on Thursday all but seals the division for the Packers.

    I thought the key to the offense turning this game around was Rodgers going to the check down in the early 4th quarter. Tampa was playing deep coverage and their LB’s were quickly dropping deep into zone coverage because our run blocking was atrocious. Those check downs forced those LB’s up and opened up the passing lanes down the field.

    Offensive line really struggled again. Two weeks in a row where the interior of the line played worse then the T’s. Sitton has been below average the last two weeks and the middle three were terrible in run blocking until late in the 4th.

    Capers seems to have little answers this year to problems that are happening week after week. Maybe it is a function of the Packers playing with a two score lead most games and he plays soft to avoid the big play but this defense seems to be getting beat in similar ways each week. I think maybe not having Collins covering the back-end limits Capers also. ????

    I thought Tampa played inspired enough to win this game and the Packers played sloppy enough to lose it. Those two goofy onside kick failures really helped the Packers put enough points on the board to salvage a win.

    Crosby’s streak has had me worried. A certain Vikings kicker went 38/38 in the regular season before missing a short field goal to seal the NFC championship game. They went on to lose that game in OT. Kickers are all about getting their mind strait and maybe this miss takes some pressure off!

    I think a win on Thanksgiving viewed by a national audience really will ramp up the perfect season pressure on this team. It would be nice to get a win and essentially clinch the division but a loss would be far from a disaster and may actually have some positive benefits in their quest for a championship. I guess that is the luxury of having a three game lead with six to play.

  4. ronlc1 Says:

    Unless the D is fixed and the Oline can stop their sloppy play, there is a real chance for the first L. This would put the Packers behing the 9ers for home field.

    • Dave in Tucson Says:

      (Assuming the Packers lose), 49ers may not have a lead for long. They have to travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens Thursday night. A tougher win to get than the Packers @ Lions, I think.

      The 49ers also have yet to play the Steelers (week 15 in SF), so a 15-1 finish for the 49ers is anything but given at this point.

      Also, a home game and first-round bye have been much more important than HF in the championship game. Frankly, I think whatever team the Packers play in the divisional round (assuming they get the bye) will likely be more dangerous than the 49ers.

      D∈T

  5. 56Coop Says:

    Im sure everyone knows that in 1962 GB went 10-0 & lost the Thanksgiving Day game to Detroit. They then went on to not lose again and win the c hampionship. A loss will not be a disaster b ut I’m certainly not hoping for one.

    Rodgers has an “off” day & still has freakish numbers. Not bad.

    If anyone still has the game DVR’d or TIVO’d (or videotaped if your still in thye last century) go back & count the number of time you hear Buck or Aikmen say “Josh Freeman to a wide open……”. Defense needs some serious help. I’m beginning to worry about Shields & Peprah

  6. Rusty Says:

    I think the past weeks will give the offensive line some urgency. They know the Lions are damn good. The o-line also understands that an above average performance gives the Packers an outstanding shot to win.

    I’m more concerned with the defense.

    The Lions will come to play… but might they get to amped up? They haven’t had many prime time performances yet… just a thought.

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