Game Thoughts Packers/Lions

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  • The Packers aren’t very good. Like a company that just a few years ago dominated its competitors, it’s like the Packers simply didn’t invest in R&D and figure out ways to grow. It’s like we just assumed we could walk onto the field this year and our offense would dominate. It seems very little work was put into drawing up new plays, being more creative/unpredictable, and finding new ways to play to the strengths of our players. It’s not happening and that is squarely on McCarthy. He got tons of credit when the offense was clicking and dominating and creative and there was much talk of the thickness of his playbook. What happened to all of that? Were we spoiled there for a bit? Was a guy like Philbin more involved in the offense than we realized? Whatever is going on, the Packers need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a bunch of new plays that PLAY TO THE STRENGTHS OF THE PERSONNEL WE HAVE. Or, trade for Andre Johnson and stop worrying about stuff.
  • The Packers defense played reasonably tough today for 3 quarters. They caused some good turnovers and had some rare moments of seriously sure tackling. It was nice to see. But the defense crashed in the 4th quarter in particular. The defense on that Bush TD was horrid. I think it will be the kind of defense that will occasionally have decent games but when under constant pressure to get the ball back like today, it is not the kind of defense the team can rely on.
  • Rodgers started off OK but faded fast – in part because McCarthy wasn’t calling the kinds of plays that make him so effective. But Rodgers is also not making good decisions out there and it’s disconcerting at the least. One of the reasons many regard him as the NFL’s best QB (I don’t, I think Drew Brees is), is because he had built a strong body of evidence to support the argument that he’s a fantastic decision-maker out there. Not this year. He had several questionable decisions Week 1 and several more today. He was awesome for most of the Jets game and I am hoping like crazy he can get back to that level but I’m really doubtful right now. I don’t like how he’s playing and I’m not keen on his attitude frankly (though that was definitely Adams fault on that one play…and it was costly). While the O-Line’s issues certainly contributed to Rodgers having to make quicker/tougher decisions, there were several plays where he had tons of time (or even bought himself some time) and then just puked it. Not like him.
  • I think the Packers running game really needs to be worked on. The offensive line has been very bad blocking and the RBs (with the exception of Starks – who mysteriously barely plays) are either not reading the right cuts or not having any openings to run through. I think McCarthy came into this season thinking Lacy would run over people. Not happening…at all. Starks is definitely the better runner this year.
  • The Packers offensive line hasn’t looked this bad for a long time. They look out of sync and it seems at times they aren’t really even sure what play has been called. It’s not pretty to watch.
  • Friend and Packergeeks co-founder just emailed to say the team really misses Dietrich-Smith, James Jones and Finley. I very much agree. I am trouble by TT’s lack of interest in keeping some consistency with at Center. But the guy I think we really miss is James Jones. Jones made it that much tougher for opposing secondaries because they couldn’t just focus on Jordy and Cobb – they had to deal with Jones and if Jones was matched up with #3 CB he was going to win that most of the time.
  • Josh Sitton was awful today. I don’t often notice what he does in good part because I think he does his job. But he had 3 very evident errors today and generally didn’t seem to push plays the way he normally can. Hope that’s not a sign of things and that it’s just an isolated bad game.
  • I liked watching Lattimore. I’m guessing he was out of position more than once and has a few things to learn, but why is it that in his few minutes of play today, it is ALREADY obvious how much more effective he is than Hawk? I’ll tell you why – because Hawk sucks. It seemed like Hawk was in there on quite a few more plays than Lattimore but Lattimore ended up with 9 total tackles vs Hawk’s 7. I would much rather see Nick Perry and Lattimore in the middle right now. It couldn’t hurt to try (though someone will now likely have to step in for Matthews on the outside due to another apparent injury).
  • It was nice to see Peppers make a huge play. I think that is what we can expect of the guy. Great play there.
  • Nice to see Ha Ha get a pick.
  • I liked seeing Quarless (or any TE for that matter) get involved. He was often wide open today I think because defenses are so busy playing the edges of the field against us because that’s where Jordy and Cobb often do damage and that’s where, for whatever reason, Eddie Lacy often heads right when he gets the ball. When we’re throwing to TEs, especially when Finley was there, there was a constant threat in the middle of the field. We lose that when we don’t incorporate TEs, or screens, or FB dump off plays.
  • Clay Matthews isn’t reliable and it hurts the team. We build the defense, in part, around guys like Matthews. And when the guy can’t stay on the field, it then upsets the order and dynamic of the defense. It’s a problem and it was a problem again today.
  • It’s super tough to cover Calvin Johnson. What a professional. Honestly I don’t know if there is another player who can just get the job done week in and week out, injured, with 3 guys hanging on him or even having not-so-great passes thrown to him. He is just an incredible player to watch.
  • The Packers have a lot of work to do. I’d say at this moment, it’s more than fair to be pessimistic. This team isn’t very good right now. They have a lot of things to work out to get things back on track. I won’t rule out the possibility that they turn it around but it doesn’t look good right now. The thing I seem to forget is that this team was 8-7-1 last year, barely sneaking into the playoffs. Doesn’t seem like they have made a ton of progress after last year’s iffy season.
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7 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Lions”

  1. Frank G Says:

    Very good points. Adams/Boykin are not filling the shoes of the underrated James Jones. It’s been very disappointing to watch the Packers play this season. Never would I have envisioned a scenario in which GB, with a healthy AR, would score only 7 points. The Lions were as usual very gracious in messing up at critical times, yet the Packers offense was incapable of taking advantage of it. Instead of calling plays dictated by the Lions defensive alignment, the Packers should have aggressively attacked the hobbled Detroit secondary. They didn’t and now have a humiliating loss to show for it.

    The Bears/Packers matchup next week is interesting for many reasons, but I’m interested in seeing the player personnel philosophy play out. TT refuses to dive into the FA market, while the Bears’ Emery goes out and pays for players to address his team’s weaknesses. At the end of the season, we’ll find out if the Packers have been standing still and allowed the other teams of the NFC North catch and surpass them.

  2. Dave K Says:

    Yeah, I watched several different games today and you just get the feeling the Packers are treading water and the rest of the league is getting better. Seattle and Denver are just better coached and more talented teams right now. It’s not even close.

    Detroit had a dreadful group of CB’s out there today. Packer’s offenses of the past would of just chewed that secondary apart ALL GAME LONG. The offense should be embarrased it scored 7 f’ing points against that Lion’s team today.

    Three major problems on offense in my opinion:

    1. The WR’s and TE’s are not getting separation. Cobb was just blanketed all day. (all year really) He is not being used correctly. Jordy is a possession type receiver and makes plays even when covered but he is almost always covered. Boykin/Adams do not stretch the field or get the separation like Jennings or Jones. Our TE’s are just guys and scare no one. This makes life extraordinarily difficult for Rodgers and his frustration is very apparent. He had very small windows to complete passes.

    2. Rodger’s accuracy is not what we are used to seeing. Even on quick outs he is making WR’s reach back for balls allowing CB’s time to come up and make a tackle. He was behind Jordy on the 4th down play which should have been a TD. It required a great throw but it is one we have seen Rodger’s make way more then he has missed.

    3. McCarthy’s lack of creativity (and stubbornness) in game planning is hurting this team. I get the sense he expected an almost dominant run game this year and stood pat with the passing game. With the run game sputtering he is left predicable and stagnant in the passing game. Can he please just call ONE screen play when the Lion’s defense is clearly just pinning their ears back? Even a few more delayed draw plays would slow them down. An end-around with Cobb maybe? I watch how Seattle and MN use Harvin and Patterson with misdirection and I see little of that type of creativity.

    Bottom line, the offense sh-t the bed today and it wasted a great game plan from Capers and a good showing by the defense. You saw some guys step up on defense for the first time and make plays. They forced turnovers and got off the field on 3rd down for most of the game. All wasted by maybe the worst offensive showing I have seen in a long time by a Rodgers led offense.

    • awhayes Says:

      Great points per norm Dave. I too watch Seattle use that play often where Harvin cuts across in front of Wilson after the snap leaving the defense wondering essentially worrying about 4 options: handoff to Lynch, keeper for Wilson, a throw, or a handoff to Harvin. I watched a game Denver D be frozen out by that movement several times last night. We should be able to do more creative stuff like that too – with Cobb.

      • Dave K Says:

        Absolutely agree. Time for MM to look around the league a bit and borrow some plays. I also wonder if McCarthy’s “no huddle” 140 plays a game approach is more limiting then beneficial right now. Yes, it stops the defense from changing personal and in theory that lets the Packers take advantage of mismatches for entire drives. i.e – you catch them in nickel you run, run run. You catch them in base your throw, throw, throw. But, that only is an advantage if your skill players are winning their “mismatches” and your run blocking is adequate. Nether is the case right now. Huddle up, take a breath and get the right play called, then execute. I just get the sense MM out thinks himself and gets too cute every summer and then has to re-calibrate after a stretch like this every season.

  3. Dave In Tucson Says:

    Okay a couple things. First, there is absolutely no way this loss is on the defense. They played valiantly, forcing three turnovers and only allowing 10 points, in spite of being on the field for 38 minutes of playing time. They made some mistakes, but they did what they needed to do to win this game.

    Second, this:
    > the team really misses Dietrich-Smith, James Jones and Finley

    Yeah, the patchwork o-line is a problem, but I think the really key problem is the fact that Rodgers just doesn’t have a lot of experience with his receivers. If you look back to his 2011 MVP season, 4 of the top 5 receivers (Jennings, Finley, Jones, Driver) are all gone.

    Nelson and Cobb are the only wide outs we have right now that Rodgers has significant experience with, and it shows. Defenses know that if they can shut those two guys down, our offense just dries up.

    If the offense can get going (and more than just Nelson and Cobb) we can content for the division, and maybe more. If not… I think 8 wins might be a reach.

  4. Schaefer Says:

    In my scientific and statistical analysis of game film, historical data, player profiles, and social media all of the Packers, and specifically Aaron Rodgers, issues become clear with just two words…Olivia Munn.

    She’s just too cute and it’s distracting Rodgers.

    • awhayes Says:

      Nice Schaef Nice. As ridiculous of a theory as that may sound to some, I now have two words: Rory McIlroy. McIlroy was positively average while dating Wozniacki. Since breaking up he’s back to being the clear top man in golf. I hope Rodgers either dumps her or they get married asap – at which time his game will probably improve.

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