Game Thoughts Pack/Falcons

  • Howie Long is exactly right – the Packers’ are one-dimensional and it cost us big time today. Jackson was weak, our running game overall was weak – and good teams continue to not see our running game as a threat. That Rodgers and co still move the ball downfield against defenses anticipating it is a credit to just how good our passing game is (and by the way, McCarthy does deserve lots of credit for developing the passing game like he has).
  • Big difference today was coaching – as I suspected it would be. Mike Smith took calculated risks by going for it on multiple 4 down situations in this game and they paid off. The tempo and flow of the game orchestrated by the Atlanta coaches and Matt Ryan was really quality – they looked very polished eating up clock and doing what they had to in order to win.
  • McCarthy on the other hand, blew at least 2 challenge opportunities that could have dramatically changed the game. Whether it’s his coaches in the booth who blew it or not, the bottom line is that good teams don’t make errors like that. And, at the very least, McCarthy should have taken note of the fact that Altanta was rushing to the line of scrimmage after that Gonzalez “completion” in the first half. Bad coaching.
  • The play calling at the end was bad. Rodgers got a TD there in spite of McCarthy, not because of him (unless Rodgers called those 3rd/4th and short plays – which I doubt).
  • Our defense put in a big effort today, but fundamentally, we were weak. Our tackling was really questionable – some of it is understandable considering the guys we were trying to bring down (Turner, Snelling), but some of it was just poor fundamentals.
  • Brandon Jackson was very bad today. He wasn’t committed to his lanes and his hesitation cost him several times. I had low expectations for our running game anyway today – Atlanta’s D is quality against the run – but our output in the run game ended up being positively embarrassing.
  • I think Rodgers ended up calling those goal-line sneak plays in the first half – the second of which he fumbled. Can’t really blame him for the calls – he’s done well with that before, but the fumble obviously really hurt.
  • Bishop, Peprah and Zombo were very good today.
  • Interesting that Matthews was dropped back into coverage again this week – more than I would have expected. Last week it caught MN off guard, but this week, it just seemed to have the effect of slowing our pass rush (and Atlanta probably wasn’t caught as off  guard because they saw it from last week’s film).
  • Not sure how much people should be ripping into Matt Wilhelm for that facemask penalty. Weems already had a great return going and likely would have had those yards anyway if Wilhelm hadn’t done that.
  • A coach with real stones (like Brother Steve, who was lobbying for it), would have gone for 2 after our TD.
  • Man would this have been a different game is Michael Turner were OUR running back. Very different game.
  • As angry as I am that we lost – I’m not terribly surprised. Atlanta is very good and Matt Ryan is the real deal.
  • I’m not too worried by the loss here. It does affect NFC tiebreakers etc, but it also does won’t kill us. We’re playing well and we played a tough team in a tough place and lost.

19 Responses to “Game Thoughts Pack/Falcons”

  1. Ron LC Says:

    If the Bears beat Philly today, the Packers will effectively be two games back with five to go. The Bears have the tie breaker. So, no more losses for the rest of the year. It’s a bad position to be in when you have to rely on others to achieve your goal.

    So, go Philly! GB needs your help.

  2. bucky Says:

    I think this loss hurts more than you think. It’s another conference loss, and one against a team whom we will be battling for home field advantage. I’d sure rather play the Falcons at home in the playoffs that in Atlanta, and now that is unlikely.

    The Falcons are a good team, and losing to them is nothing to be ashamed of, but we have now lost four games that we really ought to have won. And I think at least three of the four were lost because of poor decisicions by our coaching staff within the game. That’s troubling, and needs to be fixed ASAP.

  3. mark Says:

    no play-offs this year sad to say-and well any year unless we get a real running game (unfortunately we seem to be committed to Grant) and fill a few other holes- then as i said at the start of the year just sit back and enjoy watching Rodgers and forget about wins and losses. could be a long frustrating career for him though.

  4. Rusty Says:

    Packers hung in there, and came out looking like a good team, but it might take 11-5 to get to the play offs. The bears are winning, and likely to win. While they have a tough schedule most of those games are at Soldier. Meanwhile the WC race is real tight.

    GB could very well win all five remaining games. They might have to to win the division.

    Another reason this lose is disappointing is because a win today virtually assures a playoff spot. Packers will need some help now.

    • mark Says:

      maybe they beat SF-(they should but with the way things are going i wont hold my breath- Detroit is a ? again they should win that but NY – NE -and Shitcago-not likely- so just enjoy the passing like i said.

      • Rusty Says:

        I think they’re passing offense can take care of NE, so again they have a shot. But they had a shot today too.

        The question is will both TB and NYG giants reach 10-6. My guess is that they will. If GB goes 3-2 (and I think they will) the WC is left up to tiebreakers. I’m not sure how that would shake out.

        Alternatively the Bears could suck the last few games, but at 8-3 how likely is it they don’t reach 11-5? The Packers need to rebound quickly and win the next two games. Hopefully the Bears will drop @ DET and/or NE.

  5. 56coop Says:

    Ah, this is the 3rd post I’ve started and deleted.. I just don’t know what to say or who to be angry with. Players play, coaches coach & GM’s GM. Seems none of them did their job today. Frustrating, very frustrating. Especially since I will not be picking up my $350,000.00 check for this weeks work. Gotta get my perspective back in order….

  6. Bob Schnell Says:

    This is just typical of MM. He, like certain players, is very erratic in his ability to plan and call a good game. MM’s in-game adjustments are pathetic to say the least. This in the end makes him just an average coach. Someone that will just get by and never create or orchestrate anything special.

    • mark Says:

      which is why i said no Super Bowl with him at the helm- unfortunately we will win enough games to give TT not enough reason to fire him-ok now im depressed-fuck it

  7. Bob Schnell Says:

    MM coaching tanked this game, as it has done at other times. He plays things way too close to the vest, always believing all he needs to do is win by one point. In theory and fact that is true, a one point victory counts as much as a thirty point winning margin. However, what MM fails to understand is that the philosophy of having to just make one more play than your opponent to win a game, leads to an overall team attitude and effort, that can best be described as a malaise, in close games, wherein you lose your killer edge. Doing so, allows your worthy opponent to always stay within striking distance and to be the aggressor. This, in my opinion is a major fault with MM and his ability to steer the team to victory in important games. Sure we really swamped Minnesota and Dallas, and sure, one can always make the case that all games are of equal value and importance etc. However, real champions don’t stand around hopefully waiting for a game break that they will ride to victory. True champions, coaches and players alike, stay motivated and stay focused, and are intelligent enough to be flexible in their plan of attack to change it if it is not working, at any one moment of a game. In my opinion, MM has always lacked this insight and professional gravitas.

  8. DaveK Says:

    The Packers did some good things today. Long drives on offense. That 90 yard drive to tie it up was a beauty. The defense holding Atlanta to 20 points. But, the little things matter when playing against a good team at their place. Your QB can’t slide a yard short. Your coach can’t miss throwing a challenge flag on 4th down or on key plays. You have to tackle the 5 yard check down on third and long. Then there are the big things. You have to be able to gain ONE F’ING YARD running the ball when the defense knows you are running the ball. (How many 3rd and one or 2nd and one situations were their today that we didn’t convert?) You can’t allow the other team to start at the 50 yard line when the game is tied and their is less a minute left. And, you simply cannot get inside the five yard line twice and come out with three points.

    My biggest beef today is with Jackson. I know the run blocking was crap at times but Jackson was awful. He has no vision. He runs too tentative when the blocking isn’t perfect. A good back will break a tackle or pound it out to get back to the line of scrimmage if needed. Jackson too often tip-toes around and loses yards. He just doesn’t have the ability to bounce it or break a tackle for a long gain. Defenses just don’t respect it as a threat. They’d rather risk a big play by Jackson then a big play in the passing game and it allows the LB’s and Safeties to sit back in coverage more then they should.

    Look, the Packers are 7-4 with 5 games to play. They are a good team. They can and should make the playoffs. But, this game showed me the Packers are not yet over the hump. Still missing a few cogs to make this all click and get a championship. Disappointing loss on a number of levels.

  9. Kozak Says:

    This loss gets pinned on lack of a running game, and special teams. Again.
    4 losses by a field goal. In every case, a huge part was not being able to control the clock by running the ball and lousy special teams play in either covering returns, or lousy kicking.

  10. Ron LC Says:

    Four 3pt. losses in one year and one has to look at the coach. He is about to get hung with the title of “Choker.” This has got to be turned around now.

  11. Katie Says:

    I think the ESPN NFC blog summed it up nicely, “Looking for great, Packers stuck at good.” We are a good team, but we lack some things that would make us a great team. Unfortunately, with the Bears win, we face a very uphill road to the playoffs. I think it can be done, but we are 2 games back in the division and the wild card race looks tight. Our last three games are tough – Giants, Pats, Bears. We’ll need to take at least 2 of those to have a chance (and this is assuming we beat the 49ers and Lions).

  12. jimthepackertfan Says:

    we have one of the best teams in the nfl but it is all going to wste because we have not adressed the fact we have no threat of a running game. when you have so many short yardage situations and you cant take advantage of them. actually we are better when its 3rd and 8 than when its 3rd and short because we r so predictable when we go to the no receiver sets. and one more thought, do we have a blind man looking at replays, all year long we have challanged some that wernt close but not some that were no doubters. the gonzales catch eas easy to c that the ball hit the ground on the initial catch and even more obvious from the back view. i knew on tv before atl snapped the ball how could someone in the green bay both not know? instead of the go ahead td for atl we get the ball near midfield. frustrating because when we lose we beat ourselves more than get beat!!!!

  13. Dave in Tucson Says:

    I agree coaching is an issue (1-4 in games decided by 3 points or less is really not good), and the Packers are really hurting for a lack of a running game.

    But the Falcons are a good football team right now, and Mike Turner’s running was huge on Sunday. It seemed like it was really tough to defend against him. He was getting big runs up the middle, until the defense sold out to protect the middle. Then, they ran to the corner, or called play-action.

    Very effective for them, very frustrating for the Packers and their fans.


  14. nik Says:

    An important scenario to keep in mind coming down the stretch:

  15. Kozak Says:

    Okay, maybe heresy but here goes, the Packers may very well benefit from having to play on the road in the playoffs ( if they get that far) if they get to play in warm weather or dome locations. Without ANY running game to speak of, it will all be on Rodgers and the receivers to score, and that’s not a given in Lambeau in January.

  16. CindyV Says:

    I was at the game in Atlanta and it was depressing to lose by the Packers were outplayed. We had no running game, accept for Aaron Rodgers. Not good. Our defense had no answer for Michael Turner or Tony Gonzalez or Roddy White. Special teams sucked with giving up way too much field. I saw the Packer starting on their 7, 10, yard lines time after time. I can only hope that the Bear collapse in the weeks ahead.

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