Brutal game. I am definitely not in the camp of “a win is a win”. The Jaguars are awful. Just a terrible team. They had no business hanging around with us for so long. Bill Johnson from the local radio show Green and Gold today, wondered why fans just don’t “get the NFL” yet – suggesting that those of us who were not pleased with the win don’t understand that every game is difficult etc etc…and that we should just be happy with the win. Not the case here. This was one really bad team. But the big reason why I’m not happy about the win is that we didn’t make adjustments throughout the game. There are games when McCarthy can have stunningly effective and precise playcalls, make fantastic mid-game adjustments, ultimately just destroying other teams. He can be a genius. But then there are other times when he’ll turn around the next game and barely figure out a team that much worse NFL teams have easily figured out. We can’t afford to have these kinds of efforts from McCarthy as the games start counting more and more soon.
The Packers, especially Rodgers, looked tired out there. Disinterested. Seemed like everyone was just ready for vacation or something. In fact, at one point, I was pretty certain Rodgers was playing with a concussion. There was something about his demeanor that at one point really struck me as the kind of demeanor one has when recently concussed.
Injuries are not a good excuse for yesterday’s weak performance. Yes, they did affect us some, but we still have the talent to work through that. It was nice to see Driver get into the action a bit – but what I wonder about is why we seemed to change up Cobb’s role from his normal role. Driver and Jones should have been pushed out wide and Cobb should have continued to operate out of the backfield, as a slot guy – moving all around per norm.
While Davon House had one missed assignment that I saw, he was mostly quite good again today. I like that guy. The blocked punt was of course fantastic. But he also plays solid coverage and seems to have a good bit of toughness. As Hayward and House pick up needed experience, I’m suddenly feeling a lot better about our secondary.
The Alex Green experiment is over. Yes, our offensive line yesterday was as bad as they’ve been in a while. And yes, he did not have a bunch of holes to run through. But he had some – and against St. Louis, he actually had quite a few. He just can’t get it done. Time to move on to Starks, or better yet…
Steven Jackson. I think the Packers should look seriously at Steven Jackson. I know I wrote a post lobbying for Darren McFadden as a trade option a few days ago (actually I was just supporting a suggestion Nate Davis threw out there). But I think Jackson might even be a better fit. The guy runs hungry, he always gets tough yards, he’s a very good pass catcher and a solid pass protector – and perhaps more than anything, he would be so excited to play for a contender. Imagine having both Benson and Jackson when Benson returns.
I am usually a fan of a fake punt. In fact, I subscribe to ESPN’s Tuesday Morning QB Gregg Easterbrook’s philosophy of essentially never punting. (There is a high school coach Easterbrook often refers to who refuses to punt. Always goes for it on 4th down – he’s won 2-3 state championships in a row. It’s simple math. Watching New Orleans chicken out repeatedly last night in the 4th quarter on 4th downs is torture for people like us.) Anyway, when I saw the Pack pull that wild fake punt situation, I really wondered. I actually said “oh…no”, which is the opposite reaction for me usually on fake punts. It looked too contrived and destined to fail perhaps in part because Masthay seemed to pause for a moment to ALLOW Jax make quick defensive adjustments. Anyway, I suppose to be consistent, I have to ultimately support craziness like that – it’s just that that particular play was a bit hard to watch.
I have a hard time seeing Finley in a Packer uniform next year. Don’t think Rodgers isn’t aware of Finley’s (and his agent’s) gripes in the press.
James Jones has stepped up in a big way this year. The guy is having a very good year. Not only scoring TDs but getting needed first downs. For the first time in years, watching him, I’m reminded of the potential I saw in him from the start. He has an unusual body motion about him and I think this is part of what makes defenders struggle to cover him.
Dezman Moses should be starting at OLB. The situation is very much the same as Desmond Bishop’s situation a few years ago. There is absolutely no reason to “slowly bring him along” as they mistakenly did with Bishop. I really don’t want Moses to go through what Desmond Bishop went through. Brad Jones ended up with a decent game yesterday yes (thanks Go Pack Go), so maybe we let Jones stick it out at ILB while Moses starts opposite Matthews at OLB – leaving Walden the odd man out.
Crosby has some issues. We should have gone for that 4th and 1 to put the game away in the 3rd quarter – bad decision by McCarthy – but Crosby made the decision much worse by kicking a positively goofy kick. A 32 yard FG is one most kickers will make easily 98% of the time. Crosby’s effort was just odd – and it concerns me that it looked a lot like his bizarre, flailing 50+ yard attempts.
All the above said, I do get the sense that we’re just limping into the bye week and if we can take care of AZ, we’ll find ourselves in a decent position. We’ll get a much needed break which will help refresh us and lead to a strong push deep into the playoffs.
I love a couple comments:
1) I usually don’t subscribe to unwarranted trade talks but I truly think Steven Jackson would be an outstanding acquisition. It could be the perfect scenario.
2) The never punt on 4th down. This could be a great concept. I definitely agree and it could work well for an offense like this. (well I can dream anyway)
I also think the special teams play in general should be mentioned. Besides the FG misses, there isn’t anything to complain about. I love the aggressiveness, the fakes and the consistency. What nice change from years past!
Corey – great point about the special teams. They really have been good this year. What a 180 shawn slocum has brought about compared to the last few years. For the first time in a while, I’d say our special teams (Crosby excepted), is a major plus for us.
I agree regarding Green, time to turn to Starks. He had some real life in him in his limited play yesterday.
Jackson would be a huge addition. Every time i see Marshawn Lynch run I hope it reminds TT that he let him get away when Buff made him available and he can’t pass up another explosive, strong back in Jackson.
Finley is just another talented guy who doesn’t seem to be very focused. I expect him to drop at least one 3rd down conversion per game- that’s unacceptable for a TE who is supposed to be an outlet.
Fantastic game by Morgan Burnett around the line of scrimmage. If the Pack can hold down the fort until Woodson and Shields get healthy, they suddenly have a very good, deep defensive backfield.
Sorry but if we are fortunate to get by Arizona next week I hope the bye week brings great improvement in the Online, secondary & the running game as well as getting players healthy. If not & we do make the playoffs there’s no way we beat SF, Giants or Atlanta.
I think winning the Superbowl and then going 15-1 with a record breaking quarterback really spoiled a lot of Packer fans, myself included. The fact is that consistent success is hard to come by. We won the game yesterday. It doesn’t matter if we should have won by 4 touchdowns or we should have held the Jags to zero points. Should means nothing in the NFL. What actually happens is all the matters, and what happened is we won. I’m going to appreciate that.
Disappointed to hear MM state we’d not be trying any more fake punts this season. First it tells me our team can’t learn from a mistake. Second it takes an option off the table and opposing teams won’t have to worry about us attempting one, making their jobs easier.
Granted, if MM is being sly, and we really do try another fake punt this year, then I will gladly give him credit for being sly viva that statement. 😉
OK, I finally had a chance to watch this game all the way through, and have a couple observations of my own:
* The defense had a big game. They basically gave up 3 field goals (the TD coming on a very short field), and really shut the Jags down in the second half. I think this is the biggest positive to take from this game–the Packers once again have a defense that can stand up and carry the team when the offense is struggling.
* I think the offense, and particularly Alex Green, missed John Kuhn a lot. He’s not just a ball carrier and an outlet receiver, he’s also a lead blocker. I think Green could’ve had a noticeably better day running with Kuhn’s help
* Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson are both phenomenal receivers, and it’s no surprise the offense (especially the deep passing game) just isn’t the same without them.
* I think maybe Aaron Rodgers’ biggest weakness is that (at least sometimes) he just doesn’t feel the pass rush coming, and (as demonstrated in this game) gets clobbered as a result.