Ted Thompson deserves some credit for picking up Howard Green during the week. We knew we’d be without Pickett and we knew we didn’t want Raji to have to play 65 of 68 snaps again (which is what I believe he played last week against the Vikes). Green not only caused a fumble on one play but he (and his masssiveness) helped clog the middle and may have somewhat discouraged the Jets from running more. Nice pick up TT.
I think the Pack game-planned to throw to Jordy Nelson. Jones was totally absent (except for his big drop) and Driver, was still hurting so he was eventually brought out of the game.
It was nice to see Anthony Smith come back to the team and make a big play. He was the guy who tackled punter Sean Weatherford on that crazy fake punt. I’m a full supporter of all fake punts/kicks under most circumstances – but what I didn’t realize right away when they called that was that they had to get 18 yards for a first down. Not sure I would have even called that one. Extra risky – or more accurately extra cocky.
Imagine in the coming weeks if Harris and Bigby can truly return, just how suddenly deep our secondary will be. Peprah deserves to stay in as a starter after yesterday’s game. Adding Anthony Smith was smart. And though he wasn’t dominant, Woodson was a bit better yesterday (should have had another pick…). Tramon was fantastic (forced fumble and a pick) and Collins has been really steady.
Desmond Bishop led the team with 10 tackles. It’s still too soon for me to launch into an “I told ya so” to Packer Nation re Bishop etc, but the fact is the guy brings it. What I like most is that he has a bit of nastiness – he nailed Shonn Greene and he blew up Cotchery on a late catch by the sidelines. Players see that and though most NFL guys don’t shy away from contact, it does create an element of fear for offensive players that I just don’t think was there before Bishop started. (By the way, it’s the same kind of nasty streak in Clay Matthews that keeps me thinking he has an unbelievable career ahead of him. QBs are just plain afraid of him. That was no more apparent to me than when Sanchez, standing in his own endzone without any pressure on him whatsoever, just threw the ball away. He had plenty of time and I think he just got really worried that Matthews was lurking somewhere.)
I’ve been somewhat impressed with Hawk lately. I know I usually criticize him, but to be fair, he has been pretty solid lately. Kind of seems like he and Bishop like playing together. I remember one play in particular in which LT seemed to have room to cut through the line – but Bishop was sitting in one gap and Hawk was sitting in the other. LT chose to go at Hawk (probably was afraid of Bishop) and Hawk made a solid tackle. It was a classic holding assignment play by Bishop and a quality tackle by Hawk to stop him.
Once Pickett returns, this defense will be even better against the run while still being able to call some of the wild packages Capers calls.
I’ve read several quotes from some of the Pack’s defensive players (over at cbssports.com’s Rapid Reports) that indicate pretty clearly to me that 1) NYJ’s offense was as vanilla as I thought it would be and 2) that Dom Capers prepared the players for what to expect.
Yes, I think it is time you say “I told you so” with Bishop. I was a Bishop doubter. Very glad I am wrong. On the flip side, I have been a Hawk defender when most wanted to trade him!
Two things that MM teams have routinely failed in the past have turned around the past two weeks: punting and penalties!! Five penalties in the last two weeks and a punter that actually improves field position rather then putting us in a hole. Nice!
Did anyone notice that New England yesterday used their inside LB to cover Moss on the line with a CB over the top? Got to give Capers some credit for giving them (and the rest of the league) the blueprint.
DaveK – you’re absolutely right re the penalties and punting. Two big reasons we won yesterday. I did not see how NE covered Moss – but very interesting that they did that. Moss didn’t do anything yesterday did he?
Capers has generally been a very good hire. There are times I wonder, but most of the time, he seems to have a creativity about him that is a key to success in today’s NFL.
Moss had one catch for 8 yards. The guy is emotionally fragile. He wants to run free on a go route every play. Make him run around or through a LB and he gets frustrated. His route running suffers and he takes plays off. It probably doesn’t help that Chilly can’t see to adjust to it. Might want to put him in motion or stack him at the line. Thank God for Brad Childress. Doing less with more offensive talent then anyone in the league.
In regards to the fake punt – I read / watched some interviews with Rex Ryan and he pretty much threw the punter under the bus. He basically said they allow him the ability to run with the ball if he chooses to and that it’s not necessarily a called play on the field. Kevin Siefert from ESPN also refers to it on his blog. Seems strange putting that much on your punter?
Change of topic: This from msnbc.com’s pro football talk:
Report: Vikings waive Randy Moss
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on November 1, 2010 2:58 PM ET
Randy Moss’ bizarre press conference Sunday night wound up being his farewell to Minnesota.
NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi reports that the Vikings waived Moss on Monday. At his Monday press conference, Vikings coach Brad Childress mentioned that he allowed Moss to stay back in Boston for a few days before re-joining the team. Looks like he can stay there.
We have no reason to believe the story is not true, but PFT can report via a league source that Moss is not yet aware that he’s been released.
Moss would now be subject to leave waiver rules and could be claimed by any team. The Bills would have the first crack at him because they have the worst record.
Lombardi writes that Childress inform the Vikings in a team meeting that Moss was out.
Perhaps there was more to the story of Moss not returning with the team on Sunday night. Maybe Moss’ press conference frustrated Childress more than he let on and they say the direction his lack of cooperation with the team was going.
Either way, two different teams have decided in the second time in a month that Moss’ declining production was no longer worth all the trouble of keeping him around.
At least the Patriots got a third-round pick out of it.