Game Thoughts Packers/Vikings

  • Did not enjoy this game much. The Packers were seriously out-coached (until that mysterious decision by the Vikes with 3 minutes left to NOT do an onside kick).
  • The Packers came out flat and just continued being flat for most of the game. I know the guys always try hard etc but sometimes they just don’t come out with much fire. It’s almost like McCarthy over-warned them of coming out complacent and letting the Vikes hang around – making the guys over-respect a team that is really not good.
  • McCarthy never adjusted to the fact that the Vikes were able to stop the run – especially on first down. Lacy’s stats for the game might seem to betray that point but the truth is, he had a few long runs and many more short yard gainers. And Rodgers only had 209 yards passing. McCarthy seemed to be playing down to the Vikings level. This should have been a game with lots of screens and short passes but we ran the ball a ton and threw a lot of intermediate passes. I didn’t like the play mix at all.
  • Our defense was iffy today. Bridgewater certainly had his moments but that offense is not very good – and a defense that has been so hot should probably not have given up over 350 yards. They did enough in the end to preserve a victory but it could have been better.
  • Andrew Quarless and AJ Hawk both seem to run about 8.5 40s. Both of them seemed so slow out there today. Hawk’s lack of speed in particular cost the defense huge yards on 2 plays: one a pass to the injured-playing-at-70%-Rudolph and one to Banyard.  A faster LB would have closed much quicker and hardly allowed any yards after the catch – where Hawk allowed about 7-10 yards after the catch in both instances.
  • The officiating was suspect today.
  • Greg Jennings is not good – at all. He seems to quit running routes routes too soon. He’s like that person you work with who just comes for the paycheck – won’t stay a second after scheduled work time and doesn’t give a crap about the company. Seems very evident to me that he’s just riding out his contract so he can get on with the next phase in his life.
  • McCarthy throwing a challenge flag at the end there on that completion to Rudolph was just plain odd. I don’t know if he was trying to give our defensive guys an extra breather or something, but there was nothing to dispute. Just odd.
  • Really strange that the Vikes didn’t do an onside kick – especially considering they already had great field position because of the Neal penalty. Just can’t figure out why they did that. Why would you give the ball back to the NFL’s best QB (even in a game when the Packers playcalling was iffy). It was just a very bad decision by a Vikings coaching staff that out-coached the Packers coaches by a significant margin today.
  • Today was a classic example of a weak team playing and coaching pretty close to their potential and a strong team playing down a few notches. The Vikings are really weak. But the bottom line is we won. And good teams always find a way to beat weaker teams. In light of that I can’t be too disappointed. Lacy did turn it on there at the end and really made a difference. He’s funny to watch because sometimes he looks like he couldn’t gain 2 yards against high schoolers because he’s so slow and on the very next play he’s dragging five guys down the field for an 8 yard gain on a play that seemed destined to go nowhere. His contributions at the end were big.

5 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Vikings”

  1. Brett Who Says:

    Good to get the win and a game up on Detroit. I’m worried about the matchup with Gronkowski and especially Hawk next week. Outside of New England and Detroit, we have some weak teams on the schedule and I hope we don’t play down to their level, or it could be a “one and done” playoff.

  2. Dave In Tucson Says:

    As I said in a previous post, I think the VIkings are a surprisingly good team this year, considering they lost their all-pro RB after one game, were pretty much forced into starting their rookie QB after Cassell got hurt in the third game of the season. Even with all that, plus a rookie head coach, they’ve got a solid chance to beat last year’s 5½ win total.

    As for the non-onside kick, yeah that was just a flat mistake. A recovered OSK is maybe the Vikings’ best chance to see the ball again on offense, and if the Packers get the ball, you have to get a 3+out either way. Especially for a team that’s probably two weeks away from “mathematically eliminated from the playoffs” status, an OSK seems like a no-brainer.

  3. Frank G Says:

    I thought the Packers would have a tough time getting up for a team that they demolished a few weeks ago. A win is a win, ugly or not…I’ll take it. KC would’ve happily settled for a 2-0 win against the hapless Raiders in the Thursday night game.

    The defense remains our Achilles heal. A team that can slow down AR (cover 2, anyone?), avoid turnovers and commit to the run game will give the Packers fits in the playoffs.

    Still, the best player in the NFL is taking snaps from Corey Linsley. As long as he remains upright, the Packers have a chance to win the Super Bowl. That’s all you can ask for.

  4. Dave K Says:

    It seems the defenses that have the most success against Rodgers are the teams that can play cover-2 shell and get pressure with the front four. (see Detroit game) It forces the Packers to run it more and take the shorter passing game. If the Vikings defense can slow this offense down enough for their awful offense to keep it close then I worry about what a team (like seattle or 49ers) with good defenses and better offenses will do against the Packers. The answer of course is to run it down their throats against cover-two. It would also help if this offense had a TE that could bust that cover-two seam by running past the MLB. Finley, Chmura, and for a few years Franks made a living out of doing that. Regardless, the blue-print is out there for good teams to follow. Can MM figure out a way with his current personal to punish better teams then MN for playing it?

    I’ve been mulling something else over after this game.We all know that Rodgers is super careful about throwing into coverage and just doesn’t pull the trigger without the right look. Now, that is generally a good thing but I think there are times in a game when throwing into that coverage is warranted. One, it makes those safeties honor those routes which may help open up the immediate routes. Second, depending on down/distance and where they are at on the field you can treat them like a punt. Plenty of Favre’s picks where essentially 3rd and long punts into the end zone. Let’s trust Jordy and Adams to go up and get one of those or at least get a flag. I’m not saying this should happen often but a few shot plays from mid-field area on 3rd and long against cover-two might get some results. Not throwing picks is important but some picks are worse then others and playing too conservative has a cost to it also especially when you are playing against a team like New England. They may need to take a bit more risk to keep up with Brady.

    • Dave In Tucson Says:

      Just as a point of information, while the Seahawks defense is still formidable, it’s nowhere near as good as it was last year. Turnovers are way down, goal line efficiency is worse, points allowed per game is up, sacks are down.

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