Posts Tagged ‘Panthers’

Upon Further Review

November 19, 2007

I was certainly not as impressed with the Packers yesterday as Gred Bedard (as reflected in his Packer Insider chat) or Mike McCarthy (as reflected in his postgame press conference). The offense played reasonably well and the special teams was uneven — spectacular on Tramon Williams return and Koren Robinson’s 67 yard return, but lacking on Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals.

But the defense turned in a subpar performance, especially given the level of talent the Panthers put on the field. The Packers allowed the Panthers to score more points than at any time during their current four-game skid; 17 this week, twice they were held to 7. At times, DeShaun Foster looked like DeShaun Foster used to look at UCLA. He averaged a healthy 4.4 yards/per carry and one of the real questions of the game is why John Fox didn’t just keep feeding him the ball, even after they were down. (It’s tempting to point out that Vinny Testaverde averaged 9.5 yards/carry, but that’s a little unfair since almost all of it came on a 16 yard run late in the game. It is, however, completely fair to ask how Vinny Testaverde could have run 16 yards anywhere on the field without a Packer catching him. Shouldn’t Ryan Pickett be able to beat him in a 40 yard dash?) Testaverde threw for 258 yards, though he was picked twice and his passer rating (69.8) was just over half of Favre’s (126.8).

It was an adequate, if somewhat lethargic performance, that was good enough to beat a really bad team. But if we’d been playing Dallas or even Detroit, it’s hard to see how such an output would amount to a win.

On Carolina, Mike McCarthy, and Sean Payton’s Lameness

November 15, 2007

Last year, I thought we might have missed out on getting the top young coach in the NFL by passing on Sean Payton. He worked a miracle in New Orleans. But now I’m not so sure. His attempts to motivate his team are so asinine that I’m becoming convinced that they actually serve to de-motivate (new word, it’s my blog) his players. Before the season, Payton held a New Orleans-style funeral to metaphorically “bury” all of their accomplishments in order to turn their full attention to this year. Stupid. Then, he reportedly exhumed the awards when the Saints started out by losing their first four games. Are you serious?

Last week, Payton set dozens of blue-and-gold mousetraps throughout the Saints locker room in order to remind them that playing the St. Louis Rams could be a “trap” game. Rams, 37. Saints, 29. I’m glad Mike McCarthy doesn’t use such kindergarten tactics to motivate the Packers.

McCarthy, in fact, might be a bit too blunt about his preparations for the upcoming games. I was going to post a cautionary note about looking past this Sunday’s game against Carolina, after reading in a couple of different places Mike McCarthy talking openly about game-planning for Detroit on Thanksgiving. McCarthy has to be preparing ahead, of course, but I’m not sure he should be talking about it. Might be good bulletin-board material for Carolina. In any case, I don’t need to do that post because Aaron at Cheesehead.tv has done it better than I could have. So just go here.

One newsy note to consider, however: Steve Smith sat out his second practice today with some kind of leg injury. If he doesn’t play, it might be okay to quit game-planning for the Panthers entirely and let Favre just draw up plays on his hand.

UPDATE: More good stuff at Bratsandbeer.com. “t could be argued this is the biggest trap game of the year so far.

The Panthers come into Lambeau Field with a three-game losing streak, but they are still 4-5 on the year with wins over St. Louis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Arizona. All of those were road wins and in each one Carolina held its opponent to 20 points or less. The Panthers defense ranks 13th in the league for points allowed and yards given up and 14th against the pass.” Truedat.


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