Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Jared Cook having the Jermichael Finley effect

January 18, 2017

It is no coincidence that the Packers offense has opened up (and become unstuck) ever since Jared Cook came back from his injury. Rodgers clearly likes throwing to Cook and this isn’t lost on opposing defenses. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where it seems he’s having the same effect on the field (whether he’s the pass target or not), that Jermichael Finley did in his prime. Finley could run down the seam and would command attention from usually a decent defender, and sometimes two of them. And he was the guy just nagging safeties mentally. If teams put an afterthought kind of defender on Finley, Rodgers exploited that matchup all the time just crushing opposing defenses. Cook is doing the same thing now. Some teams try to put quicker but smaller DBs on him but they can’t get around him to make plays because he’s so massive. And the bigger LBs are often not as fast (though Cook is not a burner), but they also cannot contend with his super long arms and his overall range. Just like Finley.

This is so nice to see. I think most spectators are clearly noticing the matchup issues he causes whenever he’s on the field, but the quieter and I think more profound effect, is what he does then for our WRs. Until 7-8 games ago, the Packers went through a painful, embarrassing stretch of about a season and a half, where our WRs just couldn’t seem to get open. I went to several games and saw first-hand just how incredibly bad the team was at getting open. Some of that was due to McCarthy/Rodgers being stuck in a rut of calling similar, predictable plays. I also think our personnel on the field often contributed to these bland play calls (when Lacy was in, it was likely going to be a run, etc…). With the personnel we have now, it’s different – especially with Montgomery because he is truly a dual threat every time he’s in there. But the real change for this team, came when Cook started playing and started catching the ball. Defenses, especially safeties, started having to think WAY more about this tall lumbering pass catcher with pretty good hands wandering across the middle of the field. And this has necessarily opened things up for the WRs. Sometimes this might mean our WRs see less safety attention and sometimes this means they might draw a weaker #3 or #4 DB. And sometimes, it’s just a game of numbers – they put a #1 DB on Jordy, a #2 on Davante, that leaves them thin then trying to cover Cobb and especially Cook. Whatever the case is, the lock down coverage on our WRs that plagued the Packers for a season and a half, is now just gone. And I think Jared Cook’s presence on the field (and him actually being a pass catching threat) is a huge reason for this.

In fact – just came across this Packergeeks post from the beginning of the season where I talk about Cook being a key to the Packers winning the Super Bowl. Check it out.

 

Game Thoughts Packers/Cowboys

January 15, 2017
  • Wow. What a game! Always feels good to beat the Cowboys. Just can’t stand the Cowboys. I’m super excited the Packers are heading to the NFC Championship. Should be a great game against a very good Atlanta Falcons team.
  • The first half was fantastic. McCarthy and Rodgers had one of the best stretches of play calling in a long time. Just awesome. Dallas was totally out of rhythm and just not sure what to do and it seemed nearly every single play call was the right one. Haven’t seen that in a while. We had them on their heels the second we scored TD #1. When it was 21-3, it looked like a route was on.
  • Prescott really looked like he was nervous in the first half. He settled down and played well eventually, but initially he was nervous – as evidenced by the number of early passes that were thrown high. Just off. But he’s a good player – he’ll be back in big games again.
  • The loss of Morgan Burnett hurt. On that play I thought Gunter might be the injured guy but Burnett’s loss really hurt us. It left us extra vulnerable in the secondary.
  • Rodgers was dialed in in the first half. Just unstoppable. The plays called were creative and well-timed. McCarthy and Rodgers both had a great sense for the flow of the game and Rodgers was just on fire. That was fun to watch.
  • It was frustrating to see Dallas score a TD and then get a FG at the end of the half. I felt like this was as close as we’ve been in a while to just busting a game wide open early on – but as is our habit, we let them back in.
  • Elliott certainly didn’t make things easy at all today – he is a good back and he had a really good game.
  • We started the 2nd half well with the TD drive, taking a 28-13 lead. I was pleased to see this as I thought it would set the tone for the rest of the half. Unfortunately it didn’t.
  • Letting Dallas back into the game was really frustrating. Packer fans get nervous when we have a lead like today because we’ve puked up that lead in big games before. Our defense was a big part of the reason we just couldn’t hold them off. Capers called a shaky game today.
  • I’m concerned about our pass rush. I know the Dallas O-Line is really good. But Matthews and Peppers did absolutely nothing today. Yes, Matthews was held on at least 3 occasions that I saw – and he might have had a greater impact on the game had those been called or the O-Lineman not held. That was frustrating for him I think. But still, these two guys are the highest profile guys on our defense and they are just not getting it done. Matthews – 1 tackle, Peppers – 1 assisted tackle. That’s horrible. I don’t know how much the injury is still affecting Matthews, but he’s not helping the team. I’m at the point where I think Nick Perry should just start over Matthews. And Jayrone Elliott if he can overcome his hand injury. It’s funny – in the last 3-4 games, Peppers and Matthews have each had 1 big play that has sort of made us all forget just how invisible they’ve been for the rest of these games. But for the number of snaps they get, they are just not getting it done in my mind. I’m hoping they can prove me wrong next Sunday and just be the disruptive guys we know they can be.
  • Brice was really good today. He gave up a couple plays but his huge hit on Beasley really had an effect on the game. After that Beasley didn’t do much. Coming into this game I had real concerns about our inability to defend Beasley. And we struggled early on but after that hit, it seemed that somewhat took him away as a big threat.
  • Hyde was also really good. I would have put Hyde on Bryant in the second half after Bryant just used Gunter. I was super frustrated that Capers just left Gunter on him and didn’t seem to offer much help over the top. I know we didn’t have much DB depth but when they kept throwing to Bryant and he kept hurting us, you have to make an adjustment or two.
  • Demarious Randall just takes plays off. I am not one of those people on his bandwagon – he has a lot more to prove to me. That TD to Witten and the play right before that – the inexcusable 3rd and long completion to Witten were both on Randall. I know he was playing hurt – and if he didn’t play things might have been uglier. But he needs a huge game to modify my opinion of him.
  • Another guy I’m iffy on is Jake Ryan. I don’t know if people think he’s been “assignment-sure” like they used to say about AJ Hawk – which really just means “ineffective”. In fact, checking the stats, Jake Ryan only had 3 tackles, 1 assist, Joe Thomas only had 1-1, Matthews had 1-0 and Peppers had 0-1. Against a run heavy offense, you’d think the LBs would be more involved in tackling than they were. But generally speaking, the LBs just need to be more involved in these games. Not really sure what they’re doing out there if they’re not tackling people.
  • Our offensive line was really good tonight. They blocked well on the run and they did a really good job against a touch Dallas D-Line. I hope everyone is healthy.
  • Jared Cook continues to change games for the Packers. I think he’s a huge part of the reason our WRs seem to be getting open much better than we were earlier in the season. He’s opening up the field to some extent, like Jermichael Finley used to. He himself doesn’t seem to get much separation and he has a sort of lumbering, gradual way about him – but with a QB like Rodgers and Cook’s massive size, he just gets the job done. The catch at the end was amazing. What concentration. It was pretty hilarious though because Cook was just jogging around out there drifting toward the sideline when he sort of surprisingly became the target. And he made the play.
  • Montgomery had a nice game today. He had some big runs and big first downs.
  • Surprised to see that Cobb led the team in receptions with 7 – don’t remember him being THAT involved.
  • Mason Crosby was awesome today. Just clutch. As a former soccer player who has actually gone out on the football field and practiced kicking FGs, I can tell you it is really, really hard to kick a 50+ yard FG without any pressure. With guys coming at you and the season on the line, that’s just really tough. Crosby has been fantastic for the last few years really – ever since he was on the brink of being canned. Credit to McCarthy and staff for sticking with him as he’s proven to be pretty valuable to this team.
  • Will Jordy be back next week? I doubt it but that would be fantastic if he could go.
  • What a run the Packers are on. McCarthy, Rogers, and the whole team really deserve a ton of credit for pulling the streak. Impressive. I feel a bit unsure about this next game. While we’re playing sort of like a team destined to at least get to the Super Bowl, I think Atlanta is too. I think there is a chance this could be a big-time shootout next week. If nothing else, should be fun to watch!

Crosby !!!!

January 15, 2017

Huge pass there by Rodgers – and brilliant catch

January 15, 2017

Buck wanted that to be incomplete!

January 15, 2017

Finally a screen that worked!!!

January 15, 2017

Interference!!

January 15, 2017

5 seconds off the clock!!??

January 15, 2017

We still have time here

January 15, 2017

Huge Crosby!!

January 15, 2017

But the problem is they still have 1:33 minutes left. Poor playcalling though at the end. Just not good. We needed a TD there.