Game Thoughts Packers/Patriots

  • Huge victory today over a very good Patriots team. No, we didn’t get their best effort but a lot of that was due to our defense canceling out their best effort. Loved seeing the D step up for a huge game. But our offense also was able to get it going and cruise against one of the games better defensive minds. We should feel good about that.
  • Despite the victory, the Packers almost got hosed today. When it was 23-14 and they had 3rd and 6 deep in their territory, the officials called a penalty against Tramon Williams that was one of the worst calls I have ever seen. It gave the Pats a fresh set of downs and of course they marched down and scored. Officiating should never change a game and it changed this game. (And not long after that Gronk had a huge 4th down conversion after shoving Hyde out of the way…)
  • Capers called a good game (though seemed to lose focus toward the end). He made it extra tough for a super good offense. And I think just pulling Hawk out alone was enough to really throw NE off. I’m sure they expected Hawk in there and had big plans to run and throw over the middle all game. And they seemed genuinely surprised when Barrington was not only in there but making strong contributions.
  • I loved not having Hawk in there. Watching Barrington make plays out there in place of Hawk should send a clear message to everyone concerned that Hawk doesn’t contribute like he should. Barrington made tough tackles and provided a much stronger effort in pass coverage than Hawk ever does. I am hoping that Capers finally realizes this and starts doing this more often.
  • Rodgers started off a bit today but warmed up and delivered another beauty. While I think Rodgers has been better than Brady for a while now, I do think this game had at least a small bit of symbolism – the passing of the torch from Brady to Rodgers. Nobody has been better this year than Aaron Rodgers.
  • Cobb is nearly impossible to defend. He is quick, smart, a great route runner, has incredible hands and is a gamer – he shows up when it counts the most (think last year at Chicago). Just a delight to watch a guy like him grow into his immense potential.
  • Jordy did what great players do tonight. When shut down by an elite player, he made a sneaky good play at a critical moment in the game. As elite CBs like Revis know, you can’t give an inch to great WRs like Nelson or you’ll pay. And Jordy made him pay.
  • McCarthy stepped up his playcalling at critical times. It was iffy on the first few FG drives but he started injecting more creativity in his play calls and it totally paid off (though the second half saw him struggle again with getting the flow right). The play call (not sure if it was MM or Rodgers) on that pass to Jordy at the end of the first half was huge for several reasons. Not only because we scored a TD and it was an awesome play but because it opened up the field for us. It showed NE that Rodgers was not afraid (as he seemed to be in the first half) of throwing at Browner or Revis. It really opened up the offensive game for us (even though we only ended up with 3 points in the second half).
  • I realize that this was the kind of game where “every point counts” but I was frustrated with all the FGs today. If we got the Pats best effort, that may have been costly on a different day.
  • I’ve noticed that our running game seems to be feast or famine lately (even last week when Lacy seemed to dominate at least with his stats). But he seems to have many short yard gains and then just mixes in a few long runs. I would like to see our running game be more consistently productive.
  • Our offensive line is amazing at pass protection. They are totally on the same page with Rodgers – especially when he scrambles around, which is the hardest time for an O-Line to be on the same page as the QB. Just awesome to watch these guys play lately.
  • Peppers continues to make huge contributions, some of which may not get the attention they deserve. His tipped passes today were huge. Outside of throwing a stupid pick, there is almost nothing more frustrating for a QB than a guy who keeps tipping passes.
  • I felt really bad for Davante Adams when he dropped that easy TD at the end there – and of course I was pretty ticked off at him at the same time. But he came up huge today. While I don’t fully agree with offensive game plans that throw away from elite CBs, he delivered when we did that in the first half – big time. As I wrote during the game, think what you might of TT, but nobody has ever been better at drafting WRs than TT. Amazing.
  • Huge victory. Nicely done!

5 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Patriots”

  1. Frank G Says:

    I dunno…I didn’t think the Patriots played poorly, as you seem to suggest. They dropped very few (if any) passes, committed a paucity of penalties, and Tom Brady seemed to really, really want this one (perhaps he surmised that the winning QB would be favored to win the NFL MVP award). The Packers played an outstanding game.

    I’m completely blown away with how the Packers defense played today. Who would’ve thought the answer to solving our perennial ILB problem would be to move Mathews inside and play the hard-hitting Sam Barrington? Credit the much-maligned Dom Capers for making that move. Absolutely nothing came easy for the Pats today–the defense made them work for every yard. The Pats were on a roll…and were held to 21 points. GB’s offense is/was/will be top-notch as long as AR is behind center. This defensive performance has me as hopeful as I’ve been in years about the Packers’ chances of collecting another Lombardi Trophy. Gotta secure home field advantage, though. I’d much rather have the Packers face the Seahawks on the tundra than under the shadow of the Space Needle!

    (Great posts, btw. I enjoy reading your thoughts as the game unfolds. Keep up the good work!)

  2. Dave K Says:

    The Packer offense scores three points in the second half and the Packers win? The Packer defense was just outstanding against a really good offense today. And, it wasn’t the usual bend and don’t break and hope to get a turnover defense we have become accustomed to of years past. Plus, they did it without a starting CB most of the game. They lined up and flat out won match ups all over the field and held Brady to 21 points. Hats off to Capers for again making the right adjustments during the week and being a step ahead of the other team.

    The offense certainly left points on the field but accomplished a lot towards victory by sustaining long drives and limiting the number of possessions for the Patriots. Only one punt today for the Packers. Rodger’s has to be the MVP. Some of the throws that guy made today into tight coverage were amazing. I was also really impressed by McCarthy’s play calling and new play designs today.

    This game, especially the defense, left me optimistic. If they can get home field advantage I think they will have a great chance at playing in February.

  3. RayMidge Says:

    Barrington in particular was a revelation today, but the tackling by the entire team (both teams really) was excellent. It seems like ages ago that Des Bishop made a similar type of impact and the Pack has never really replaced him. Hopefully Sam is the real deal.

    Along the same lines, Ha Ha seems to be the guy at S that we have been missing ever since Nick Collins got hurt. the breakup of the Gronk TD was huge.

    Rodgers was the difference. He confirmed his status as the best in the game. He is a joy to watch and root for.

    I think the compliments paid by Belichick after the game to Rodgers and McCarthy were very classy. Belichick has a reputation for being surly but he acted like a true sportsman and I take any praise that he hands out as very significant.

    Great day for the entire organization and for the NFL. Two great teams played a tough, clean game and the home team hung on. Although it would make for a great matchup, I hope we do not see the Pats again because they would be tough to beat twice in one season.

  4. Ace Says:

    Give the D Line some credit also. Brady faced more pressure than Rodgers. Sack numbers don’t tell the whole story. Neal and Daniels did well. We have been helped hugely by a healthy Morgan Burnett who must be leading the in tackles. He is everywhere-sort of like Chris Borland when he was a badger. Maybe one the best Packer games to watch in years.

  5. Adam K. Says:

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