Nice play. We need more of that from him.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
- Cam Newton could be a problem today. I’m guessing they’ll call a number of QB keepers for him. They should. Stopping him in the middle of the field will of course be a problem.
- I think the key to this game though will be getting Eddie Lacy going. Newton is playing well enough to want to keep him off the field. Winning time of possession and keeping our defense as fresh as possible will certainly help in keeping Newton under control.
- I see an energetic effort today from the Packers for some reason today.
- Packers 26, Panthers 20
As more information comes out about the Harvin situation, it really seems like he was a major headache in Seattle (causing fights, being a div…o?. And as readers have pointed out the contract would have been difficult to absorb. Verdict – not worth the headache.
But the main impetus behind my last post was a look at matchups. While I’m somewhat pleased with Davante Adam’s last game and I hope he can really develop fast, the truth is the Packers have 2 reliable targets in the passing game and need a 3rd really good one, I believe, in order to go anywhere in the post season (if they get there). Right now there is way too much pressure on Aaron Rodgers delivering perfection each game – especially with Lacy’s contributions being irregular. Another really good target would relieve lots of pressure.
One option may be Jeff Janis – I’d like to see him get an opportunity here.
Wow. Read here – Percy Harvin traded to the Jets. Not sure what was REALLY behind this (I’m guessing some kind of attitude problem or something), but this seems crazy. I know he’s injury-prone but he is a rare talent. My understanding is that the Jets only gave up a conditional mid-round draft pick. That seems crazy to me for someone with Harvin’s talent. Imagine the match-up nightmares for other defense if the Packers had Lacy, Nelson, Cobb and Harvin. Just having Cobb and Harvin on the field at the same time would be brutal for defenses.
This move by Christian Ponder and his wife was really neat. Can’t imagine what this family is going through. Even if it was only a momentary elevation of their mood – pretty cool thing for the Ponders to do.
Last week, reader DaveK made a good point about Clay Matthews’ play recently: not good. He was positively a liability in the Miami game – how many times did they run inside through the huge gap he left when rushing up field? It was like he wasn’t even trying to anticipate what kind of play they were going to run. He had no tackles, no sacks. And the truth is, this year, he hasn’t seemed like himself out there. Now, I know we’re going to start hearing things like “he’s playing his role and covering his assignments as asked….etc…etc” as we’ve heard about Hawk now for 9 years. But if that is the case, then Capers needs to find a different assignment for the guy. Right now, it’s not a stretch at all to argue that Nick Perry is outplaying Matthews right now. (The other thing I’ve noticed that is frustrating is he continues to have untimely injuries – he’s not been on the field in big moments of a few big games because of those injuries…frustrating.)
Even Clay admits he’s not on his game. Read here.
Interesting. I decided I should take a full look at stats before completing trashing Matthews’ season and I’ve uncovered something notable. Matthews is tied for 5th in the NFL – the entire NFL – in passes defensed with 5. He leads LBs in this stat and his name is listed among a whole slew of DBs, hardly any other LBs. And who is tied for 6th in the NFL and 2nd among LBs for passes defensed? You guessed it – Julius Peppers. As I had suspected watching the games, Capers seems to be dropping these guys back into coverage a lot (might also explain why they both have a pick). I don’t like this. I think Capers sometimes gets too cute with his schemes and this to me is an example. I can understand dropping these guys into coverage occasionally so there is a surprise element but the number of times it happens I think takes away from the surprise. And most importantly, it also takes our two best pass rushers away from pass rushing (only to be replaced by some ill-conceived inside pass rush attempt by guys like AJ Hawk). This may also explain why the Packers are very much average in terms of overall sacks. Let these guys do what they do best – rush the QB.
- Wow. That was close. Not a great game for the Packers, Mike McCarthy or the officials. But a win.
- For starters, I ended up having to watch the game at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Minnesota after a round of golf and couldn’t live blog. Oh well. It was an interesting experience watching the game in the presence of some Vikings fans who were watching their team deliver one of the all-time most listless efforts I’ve seen on a football field. Horrible game. (Of course there were far more Packers fans there than Vikings fans). Anyway, unfortunately I can’t say the experience was that great – Vikings fans were obnoxious as many for some reason decided to talk trash and loudly root for the Dolphins (of course all while their poor team was getting handled). Needless to say they didn’t feel too great about themselves when Rodgers delivered the final blow.
- I was not happy with the officiating today. I thought the call on Davon House when defending Mike Wallace was really bad – and it was super costly. What was that like a 35 yard penalty? I thought for sure the flag hand been thrown on Wallace. That gifted the Dolphins a TD and changed the game.
- I was not happy with the performance of the offense – in good part because it reminded me so much of my own shoddy performance on the golf course (start slow and only start making nice shots when I realize my score could be super bad). The offense seemed to have no answers for the game Dolphins’ D. Nothing was working. Now I don’t know this for sure but I didn’t see any/many (?) screens or short dump offs to Kuhn or a TE today – the kinds of passes that just burn an overly aggressive pass rush. Either way – McCarthy didn’t make the kinds of adjustments during the game that he should have.
- Cameron Wake is really, really good. How that guy avoids the limelight is beyond me. He can flat out play. And not just pressure the QB – his stop of Cobb on that well-executed Percy Harvin special was just awesome. I believe his story is that he was up playing in the CFL before making a name (sort of) for himself in the NFL. Would love to see that guy in a Packer uniform.
- I liked seeing Davante Adams really make a difference today. Were starting to see the kinds of plays he can make and the more he emerges, the more options Rodgers will have, making it more difficult for defenses to know who he’ll throw to next. His development is super important to this team.
- Rodgers had an up and down day. If he didn’t pull off that massive last drive I would have given him a pretty average rating – despite being under a lot of pressure today. One of the things I think McCarthy and Rodgers need to incorporate into their playlist going forward is Rodgers running on a called run play. Tannehill did that a couple times to brilliant effect (though one time it was, surprisingly stuffed out by Brad Jones…). What it does, if nothing else, is very quickly remind the defense that there is yet another option the offense can resort to at anytime – the legs of the QB. It is essentially why Redskins safety Ryan Clark ended up calling Russell Wilson the best player in the NFL. It’s super frustrating to defend against guys that make you feel like they can run a huge variety of plays. (Russell Wilson is very good, as I thought he’d be in the NFL, but he is not the best player.)
- Rodgers last drive was just awesome. I kept worrying about the time and nearly lost it when Cobb caught the ball in bounds there for 4 yards and the clock just got killed. But Rodgers then did my favorite QB play (edging out the naked bootleg) – the fake spike. It’s so smart. Everyone is expecting it and just sits back and that’s exactly what happened. And Adams very nearly scored. But that play call on the TD to Quarless was so good for so many reasons. First of all Quarless is a comparatively bigger body (than the DB on him) and on such a quick timing pass can use his body effectively to shield the defender. Second, Rodgers threw that super quick – with the clear thought that he needed to take one quick attempt in case we needed to run one more play. And finally – it was an absolutely perfect pass. Stunning really. Just an awesome pass.
- Brad Jones was more effective than usual (though he was only credited with one tackle – doesn’t seem right to me.) His tackle on that Tannehill keeper was very difficult and it came at a hugely important time.
- Clinton-Dix is causing more and more problems out there. He’s really stepped up his game and adjusted to the NFL quickly. I like his future.
- Capers called a great first half and the defense was really solid for that half. And then it all fell apart. And no, it wasn’t just losing Shields and Tramon. Of course that hurt but that’s not what led to the meltdown. The officials didn’t help in the second half but the Dolphins deserve some credit for just attacking the right spots on the field (and running up the middle).
- Quick comment re McCarthy’s decision to kick a FG with 4 minutes left. I know. I know. It ended up working out how he wanted it to. But it was not a good decision. We ended up having to complete a 4th and 10 from midfield instead of having just 4th and 6 from their 13 yard line. Also, to turn the ball back over to an offense that had just started to pick apart our depleted and exhausted defense was not a good idea. We were fortunate to get it back and even more fortunate to have a QB like Rodgers to engineer an unforgettable drive. Lucky McCarthy – lucky.
- But a win is a win and the team as a whole deserves credit for playing until the final seconds of the game.
- What a game. This was as close to a perfect game as there could be. The offense dominated, the defense had its best game in years and the coaches came with a fantastic game plan. I’m not sure I can think of anyone who didn’t play well (even Flynn looked better after the initial pick).
- Minnesota didn’t have 1 offensive play in Packers territory until the 2 min and 58 second mark in the 3rd quarter. That is positively amazing.
- We needed a game like this. The Vikings and Christian Ponder came to us at the perfect time.
- I thought Morgan Burnett really asserted himself tonight. He was all over the field tonight.
- Lattimore had a nice game – and deserved the pick for the way he played.
- Was awesome to see Peppers really just wreak havoc on the MN O-Line. He was a menace and then had the awesome pick 6. Mike Daniels also did a number out there – had 1.5 sacks.
- One of the great parts of the game tonight is that Rodgers completed only 11 passes – but 7 different guys caught the ball. Distribution is such a critical part of this offense. If we don’t distribute the ball like this the offense becomes somewhat predictable and not nearly as effective. Really glad to see McCarthy and Rodgers get back to this.
- Was great to see Lacy go nuts. For some reason, I knew he would tonight. Something about Rodgers going off on the Bears last week I think had the Vikings super worried about getting lit up on national tv by Rodgers. So I think they spent a ton of time gameplanning to slow Rodgers down. But Lacy is a competitor and has not been pleased I’m sure by all the worry about his game.
- I want to end this by making specific mention of the job McCarthy AND Capers did tonight. I have been really harsh on these guys, Capers especially, over the last few years – and especially this year. And I won’t take back what I’ve said because I believe it – players weren’t prepared and we’ve watched some highly questionable game plans and play calls over the past 1.5 years or so. But starting with the second half of the Bears game and then this game, the two coaches appear to be onto something. The team has come out fired up and ready to play 2 games in a row now. The offense has looked FAR more creative than in previous games and the defense has played with WAY more energy and purpose. Just a great game.
I think he could actually contribute this year.