Game Thoughts Packers/Eagles

  • An absolute gem. Mike McCarthy stunned me tonight. He and Capers both put together a fantastic game plan to lead us to a victory over a decent team.
  • This is what a well-prepared, focused, coached up Packer team should look like. I don’t think I’m overstating this when I say we haven’t seen as quality an overall effort in a couple years now. Just a very solid effort tonight from the coaches, defense, offense and special teams.
  • Time of possession was pretty key to keeping our defense off the field.
  • McCarthy tapped into what seemed like a huge variety of rarely (or never?) used plays tonight. It was SO refreshing to see us mix things up a bit. We had Ripkowski and Starks split aside Rodgers, fullbacks catching passes, long balls, short passes, 2 RBs line up on the same side as the QB, 5 WR sets…on and on. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t really sure what plays were coming (though most of Starks’ run plays were pretty telegraphed). And most importantly, McCarthy was calling the right plays at the right time. He had a very good sense for the flow of the game tonight.
  • Rodgers looked like himself for the first time in a long time tonight. He was there to play football. He was focused the ENTIRE game on leading the offense (and even the team – loved seeing him come on the field to congratulate the D when they came off with a couple good defensive stands).
  • I’m concerned about Rodgers leg. I hope it’s nothing major. His mobility was key tonight. Philly had no answer for him running tonight. It seemed to work perfectly – every time they tried to leave a LB (or two in some cases) close to shadow him, that seemed to open up the lanes for WRs. Then if they didn’t designate guys to shadow him and dropped them into coverage (or rushed them) that opened up the whole second level of the defense for Rodgers to run through. It worked beautifully tonight and in an interest twist, Rodgers running game opened up the passing game.
  • Speaking of running, Starks just doesn’t do it for me. I like the guy – he was a key reason we won the 2010 Super Bowl. But he is pretty much zero threat when he has the ball. He is a long/lounging runner whose movements are predictable. He did have a nice first down pick up or two, but I would love to see Christine Michael get a decent shot at taking over our RB role. We need someone with different movements back there. I wouldn’t even mind giving the ball to Ripkowski more as he gives us something other teams aren’t as familiar with – and he seems to gain at least 4 yards on a carry every time.
  • Our offensive guys also made some huge plays tonight. Sometimes the skill position guys just need to step up and make some plays. That happened big time tonight.
  • Davante Adams was on a mission tonight. Wow. He was fantastic. Yes, Rodgers throws to him were amazing, but Adams made some beautiful catches tonight.
  • I loved that McCarthy went for it on 4th and 5 toward the end of the game. While it was the kind of situation when many coaches might consider going for it, that’s the kind of situation where McCarthy of old would probably punt normally. Very excited because of what he was doing toward the end, (right after I accused him of moving to the prevent offense), he continued to drive the team and got 3 more points to make a comeback very improbable.
  • Capers got his blitzing going at the right time tonight. Wentz actually had some decent momentum heading into the second half and Capers seemed to fluster him by blitzing from all over the place. He finally called a really good game.
  • At the same time, Philly essentially had Ertz and Sproles as targets after Jordan Matthews got hurt. So, Wentz didn’t really have targets to throw to in the second half and the Philly offense overall was just not very good. So while it’s OK to be excited that our defense showed up tonight, I think we need to take it with a grain of salt.
  • Cool to see Peppers tie Strahan for sacks. He was somewhat disruptive tonight.
  • Clay Matthews played through what seemed like significant injury. I was just about ready to write a post on how we can’t afford to have Matthews anymore because he just gets injured – then he stayed in the game and even had a sack while hurt.
  • We won the turnover game tonight. That pick by Clinton Dix was a huge relief to me as we haven’t had hardly any turnovers lately. And we had some nice sacks as well tonight. Nick Perry really is good at getting sacks. He is becoming a better edge rusher this year – I think we’re all starting to see what Ted Thompson saw in him a few years back.
  • I am concerned about Rodgers leg. He is clearly hurt again. Ugh. I hope it’s just a in-game type injury and not an ongoing nagging thing.
  • There is still hope – this was a big win tonight.
  • Houston is a good team with some really good players, but I suddenly feel much better about our chances next week.

3 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Eagles”

  1. Dave In Tucson Says:

    * Starks has never done well as a feature back. His best games have always come as a change of pace back for somebody else.

    * I remain consistently surprised at how well our defense has done, considering what a complete disaster the running game has been.

    * In spite of the win, and holding the Eagles to 13 points, I saw a lot of the same old problems tonight. I have seen so many 3rd and long conversions against our defense this season.

    * As an update to a previous observation, the Packers are 5-1 this season when they don’t give up 30+ points.

    > There is still hope

    Depends on what you’re hoping for. The defense is still deeply flawed. Even if they somehow qualify for the playoffs, there’s no way the Packers make it past the divisional round, and could be bounced out by a decent team in the wildcard round.

  2. Frank G Says:

    It’s great to see AR back to his old self; without him, the Packers have no chance. A ball control passing attack should offset a lack of a running game, although I’m curious to see what C Michael brings to the table.

    The defense played a nice second half, but there were still a lot of receivers running free in the secondary at times.

    Still, that’s probably the best overall game the Packers have played in 2 seasons.

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