Packers/Bengals Thoughts

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  • I’d pin this loss on Rodgers and McCarthy. McCarthy’s playcalling did pick up in the second half some, but he made some questionable playcalls at critical times in the game (especially the 4th and short with Franklin). And you could tell early on that he and Rodgers were just off with their read of this game. Offense looked really bad early on (with the exception of Starks). His calls on that last series were questionable I thought too – though I’m not sure if he was making the calls or Rodgers was.It’s rare that Rodgers’ poor play contributes so heavily in a loss, but he was just off today. (That last 4th and 5 pass was horrible – the guy was jumping around right in front of him, I can’t believe he threw it in that direction…). Rodgers finished 26 for 43 with 2 picks and just 1 TD. He threw a bunch of passes that were knocked down and made some seriously questionable decisions in the pocket. (At least two of Cincy’s 4 sacks were on Rodgers.) Also, I gotta say it – we pay Rodgers the huge $ for situations like having 4 minutes left in the game and needing to drive down the field for a TD. Though that’s a tough task for any QB, it was disappointing that he couldn’t close the deal. The O-LIne didn’t help matters in pass protection on several occasions but Rodgers just seemed off all around today.
  • To lose the game after going up by 16 is inexcusable. Just terrible.
  • I really did like the fact that the team came back after that early 14-0 deficit. They could have crumbled but the D made some surprisingly good plays to not only get the team back in it, but bust us out to a commanding lead. Showed a certain mental strength I didn’t think we had.
  • Jonathan Franklin, despite the fumble, was awesome. He looked really good – I hope he’s not too badly hurt. I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that Franklin deserves a true crack at the starting job. He did things out there that a GB back hasn’t done for year – on several occasions getting some yards when there was nothing there at all. It looks like he had some special qualities.
  • Franklin’s fumble came obviously at a horrible time. But I just didn’t like the play call there – giving the ball to a rookie who likely hadn’t even practiced such a play, in a huge situation like that. Nor do I like the call to run an over the top jump. If Franklin were an infrequent-fumbling-seasoned-vet I would think differently because Rodgers was off today and Franklin clearly had the hot hand. But I would have put the ball in Rodgers hands there – probably a naked bootleg.
  • Brad Jones, despite my criticism looked good today. He did give up a number of pass plays that I think exposed an inability to cover but he made a few other nice plays like the strip. He also ended up with 9 tackles.
  • Sam Shields was awesome today. He pretty much shut down AJ Green who is probably among the top 3 WRs in the game. Just shut him down. I even think on that TD, Green pushed off just enough to get separation.
  • Injuries do matter. While we should not have lost this game and we certainly didn’t lose it because of injuries, when you lose Matthews, Finley and your starting RB, things should become more difficult. While we clearly missed Matthews after he went down, the big injury was to Finley. He commands the entire center of the field out there and his mere presence opens up so many passing lines for our other guys. While Rodgers was awful before Finley went down, after Finley went out Rodgers didn’t improve much I think in good part because Cincy only had to defend the sidelines. We still managed to make a number of plays and watching Jordy Nelson along the sidelines is like watching Cris Carter on the sidelines – unreal. But I think we sorely missed Finley’s middle-of-the-field presence after he went out. I believe all 5 of the passes Quarless and Taylor caught were along the sidelines.
  • You’ll see, that Iloka guy will get fined by the NFL for that hit on Finley. I thought that was a clear penalty.
  • No screens today. I just don’t get it. It is a play that works incredible well with this team in particular because so many defenses when they play against us rush upfield so aggressively to try to limit Rodger’s time that they are totally exposed to the damage of a screen call. I just don’t get it. Wasn’t the one called for Starks last week like 40 yard gainer? Just not smart to exclude that play.
  • Cincy strikes me as a dirty team. I thought there were a number of plays that were just plain dirty – and not all of them were flagged.
  • This is a really disappointing loss that I didn’t expect. I thought we’d run over Cincy mostly because of Marvin Lewis’ ineptitude. But they played with some toughness today and they made some big plays when they needed to.
  • I am very concerned about this Packer team. I know there is a lot of season left and a lot of things can still happen. So I’m not done with them. But I am already on record picking the Pack to finish 2nd in the division and picking them to miss the playoffs so sadly, I’m not totally surprised things aren’t going that well early on here. The defense has been playing with a surprising toughness, but they have still managed to give up a number of points and big plays at big moments. The offense was absolutely flawless against the Redskins but they were average or below today and up and down at San Fran. Injuries are taking their toll to be sure and I just don’t know if this team truly has the depth it will need to go far this year. But importantly, I am just not seeing that connection and rhythm between the offense, defense and special teams that good teams have. It seems whenever one facet of the game is going well, the other two aren’t. That needs to change.
  • The Pack can either come back from the bye week ticked off and go on a nasty, tough-playing win streak – or they could continue to slide. I obviously hope for the former..
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10 Responses to “Packers/Bengals Thoughts”

  1. Dave Says:

    Good analysis of the Packers. They do not have mental toughness, especially our QB today. There were ample opportunities for Rodgers to run up field and he didn’t do it. The middle of the field was open, especially without Finley. Run Aaron Run, especially when it means keeping a drive alive. Remember the playoff game last year? Now that QB took the game into his own hands. I expect more from Aaron.

  2. Daybreak Doppler: Well, That Was Disppointing | PocketDoppler.com Says:

    […] From Packer Geeks, Packers/Bengals Thoughts. […]

  3. Frank G Says:

    The Bengals have been an erratic mess under the ”leadership” of Marvin Lewis. Today, they gave GB the game…and GB gave it right back.

    Franklin’s fumble, to me, was immaterial. I have no confidence in the defense’s ability to come through with the game on the line. Now I will have to give credence to those pointing out Aaron Rodgers’ failure to bring his team back in the 4th quarter. He had a chance to erase his horrible performance with a comeback…he failed. His last 2 passes were awful. Sadly, I think GB’s defense will afford him other opportunities this year.

    Still, he is a superb QB…he is entitled to have an awful game every 3 years or so…

    • awhayes Says:

      strong point Frank – Rodgers should be “allowed” a bad game once every few years! The guy does come through for us pretty much week in and week out. I think that’s why his weak performance yesterday stood out – so different than normal.

  4. Dave K Says:

    I come away from this game almost encouraged. Yes, the offense sh-t down it’s leg more then once but my long term concern hasn’t been about the offense. Finley will be back. Lacy, Stark, Franklin, and Kuhn are going to make a outstanding backfield once they all get healthy. And, I thought the o-line did fairly well against maybe the best front 3 or 4 in the league. Rodgers and MM were off but I wouldn’t count on that happening too often.

    The defense played well enough to win…easily. And, that was without Matthews for the 2nd half and Burnett/Hyde in the secondary. Shields and Williams were just outstanding. Nick Perry was also making some noise.

    They spotted Cincy 14 points in this game and gave up two fields goals they should have kicked. That is a 20 point swing. You are just not going to win very many of those games.

  5. packergalmke Says:

    http://thepackmentality.com/posts/14853 about the argument between Rodgers and McCarthy during the game.

  6. Dave K Says:

    Just read the Packers had 182 yards rushing and averaged a whopping 6.1 yards per carry. And we still lost. Wow.

  7. 56coop Says:

    The injury bu in GB over the past 3-4 years is almost freakish. Obviously I don’t have any answers but they just drop like flies. If they could ever get thru a season with the majority of the team at least healthy enough to play could be quite a sight.

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