Game Thoughts Packers/Vikings

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  • Ok – so the game played out a bit differently than I thought it would (predicted 250 yards rushing by Peterson). Very surprised by Bradford’s performance. I don’t expect to see that very often again – I still don’t think he’s that good. But he did play really well. The far bigger issue though, was that once again, the Packers were thoroughly outcoached. We played scared, intimidated and we had no answers, no response to what the Vikings were doing defensively. True, they have one of the great defensive minds in the game in Zimmer, but it just plain looked like the Vikes knew what was coming when on defense because our offense has become so predictable.
  • We just looked like the stage was too big or something for us tonight. While we’ve sported that look from time to time under McCarthy, usually we get a second wind or something and at least make it a game.  Today it seemed we were overwhelmed psychologically and we kind of checked out after they went up 17-7. You could see it on the faces (especially McCarthy and Rodgers).
  • Mike McCarthy doesn’t scare anyone anymore either. And now I just get frustrated when Collinsworth and others talk about him being “one of the great play callers in the game”. He is not and he hasn’t been for a while. I think for a long time he has ridden the coattails of one the best QBs to ever play the game (though early on he did have some good creative plays…), but that magic seems to have dried up. Week in and week out, defenses do not seem surprised by what we’re putting out there. In fact, they seem to know pretty much exactly what’s coming. This is on McCarthy. We need an injection of creativity into this offense or it will just continue to wilt.
  • There is something wrong with Rodgers. He doesn’t seem right. He’s playing scared and he’s getting jumpy again, which is his tendency when he’s not confident in what’s going on.He also doesn’t appear to be as dialed in and as fired up as he has been historically. I know that can happen to many players as they mature and realize that there is more to life than football. But he doesn’t seem like himself. The real Aaron Rodgers would make plays that cut against the narrative of a game. For example, when playing a good defense, he’d do stuff that made that great defense look silly. Or, if the narrative was Rodgers being incredibly accurate or whatever, he’s play right into that. Now, he plays into the narrative in a negative way – like tonight. The Vike’s D was supposed to be tough so he played almost showing visibly, his worry that that was true. He played into the narrative of this game (tough Vike’s D and their excitement over new stadium) and we lost. He needs to snap out of it with some ridiculous stats games. We all know he can do it but it feels like it’s been a while since he’s taken a game over completely with ridiculous stats. He needs a game like that badly.
  • Need proof that Rodgers isn’t himself? Rob Demovsky just tweeted out that Rodgers hasn’t had a 100 passer rating in 14 consecutive games. That’s a huge fall for a guy who got constant attention for years for being the career leader in passer rating (and back then, nobody else was really even close).
  • Our defense overall played decently. Holding the Vikes to 17 points should be a victory for us but not when our offense offers so little.
  • Randall though, is not very good. Last year people kept talking about how good he could be etc. I see some talent for sure, but my immediate image of him is his look after getting beat again by some WR. He was AWFUL tonight.
  • Schum needs to start punting the ball better. I was excited for a change at punter but he just doesn’t seem to kick the ball that far.
  • I am really concerned that our WR routes are looking the same again – just like last year. The same guys seem to be running generally the same routes every time. Our running game is fairly predictable (but I think we get yards because of our O-Line). But our passing game is very predictable.
  • On top of the route concerns, I am worried that our WRs again do not seem to be getting separation. Jordy can’t get hardly any separation – he still made some amazing plays but that’s a concern. I really think Abbrederis needs more time out there. I know we’re crowded back there but he’s a guy who gets open.
  • Where did Lacy go for a stretch there? McCarthy yanks him at the oddest times – almost like he pre-planned for Lacy to play at certain times and will NOT consider playing him outside of those pre-planned times. Lacy finally gave us some momentum with some nice runs on a drive helping us get deep into Vike’s territory. Then on 3rd an 1 and 4th and 1, he wasn’t in the game. That didn’t make sense. It has to be difficult to get much of a rhythm when a player is used in what seems like such a pre-planned way. It’s as though McCarthy never consider how a guy is going – keep the guy with the hot hand in the game and keep giving him the ball!
  • A couple more crappy losses like this one and I guarantee you we will all start hearing rumors at least about conflict between Rodgers and McCarthy. They haven’t been on the same page for the last year and a half (and they’ve also been off in most of the  important playoff games over the last 5 years).
  • In the end, I did predict a loss anyway. Didn’t feel good about this game. Surprising we did this with Peterson a non-factor, but I’m tiring of this coaching stuff. We need to pick it up fast. If I had one bit of advice for McCarthy for the Lions game, I would say draw up a game plan that gives Rodgers the chance to reassert himself as a top shelf QB. He’s been so bad in the last year plus (compared to his potential) that he is statistically now a mid-tier QB. And surprisingly, for a guy who seems to have plenty of confidence, I think his confidence has been shaken. He needs some ridiculous stats games to get himself going again. Let him let it fly next week.
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3 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Vikings”

  1. Ace Says:

    Key series was 3rd and one 4th and one and poor play call and execution. Let lacy pins on 3rd and one . Then take the 3. Overall a decent defensive effort.that loss is on McCarthy and Rodgers. Taylor has been better than expected 2 games in a row. Lack of separation by wrs is a problem. This is a 10-6 team without big injuries.

  2. Frank G Says:

    Something is seriously wrong with the Packers offense. Whether it’s a league catching onto the trends and play design, WRs not getting separation, or Aaron Rodgers being a shadow of himself, it’s hard to say, but the mediocre results scream for attention.

    Yes, the players need to execute better, but McCarthy could be sued for coaching malpractice for the 3rd and 4th down sequence that resulted in 0 points. I could not believe that with Floyd inactive, and another key Vike D-lineman leaving the game a few plays earlier, McCarthy would leave Lacy on the sideline for those 2 critical plays. MM, again, fielded a question about being an overly conservative coach at a presser last week; I wonder if this botched sequence wasn’t MM’s ego taking charge and trying to prove critics wrong.

    There is no way in heaven or in hell that Aaron Rodgers of 2014 throws a floater late on an “out” pattern. It was a horrible throw that cost the team the game. He also missed some wide open receivers; football is a game of momentum and those errant tosses were very costly as well.

    To end on a bright note, the defense (minus the hapless Randall) was excellent.

  3. Matt Says:

    Let me offer an observation that I know is pretty subjective, but it does capture what I think is the tone and spirit of the team.

    I live in Colorado and naturally follow the Broncos to some degree along with my beloved Packers. In the last year and a half, when I watch the Broncos play I am excited about what *they* will do to the opposing team, on both sides of the ball. When I watch the Packers I find myself more worried about what *the other team* will do to the Packers.

    I very much agree with your point that Rodgers seems to play into the other team’s narrative rather than imposing his will on the opponent. The same can be said of McCarthy.

    I am disappointed at the under-utilization of their rushing attack. It looked like in the second half they tried to get it going with some success only to be hamstrung by holding penalties that put them back in the passing game. Still, I wish they had committed to the run from the beginning of the game. I am worried to think that Lacy wasn’t in on the key short yardage plays simply because it wasn’t his “turn” in the running rotation.

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