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Game Thoughts Packers/Eagles

November 28, 2016
  • 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.

OK – I might have thrown there though

November 28, 2016

Odd that we’d just not try to get a first down or a TD through the air there. Especially after being so aggressive just a few plays earlier. Really odd in fact. I guess I cannot expect overnight change, but if you’re going to put the game away, put it away.

4th and 5!

November 28, 2016

How do you like that? McCarthy went for it on 4th and 5 with the game still on the line! Yes, it was a fairly normal situation to go for it – but he did! He didn’t run some give up play hoping to bleed the clock. He finally took the more aggressive path to win the game – not just hope we’d win. Of course, if Jordy hadn’t pushed off, he may not have caught that. But the mere fact that we went or it at a key point in the game and converted what was actually a long pass…fantastic. Really pleased to see that.

Massive push off by Jordy

November 28, 2016

I know other WRs do this all the time, but I find that really annoying. He doesn’t make that catch unless he pushes off.

Rodgers playing well on one leg

November 28, 2016

Wow – how was Nelson so open there?

November 28, 2016

Ok – McCarthy saw my last post

November 28, 2016

That was a great pass but it was massive pass interference. He grabbed his arm. A WR cannot catch it when one arm is being grabbed. Nonsense.

Looks – here comes the Prevent Offense

November 28, 2016

I’m not liking this sudden shift into a “prevent offense” as brother Steve calls it. McCarthy is quickly going to the go-nowhere run plays to burn the clock. Our offense has had their way with Philly tonight. Let’s just drive how we’ve been driving – be smart and get out of here with a win.

So interesting…

November 28, 2016

to me how much more dialed in Rodgers is today than earlier this year. He just seems focused very singularly on winning this game. We haven’t seen that look for a long time and frankly, it’s really nice to see. In fact, it seems the whole team is just here to win a critical game against a decent team. So far so good.

Lots of different offensive looks tonight

November 28, 2016

I really like it. McCarthy got bitten by a creative bug this past week because he’s set us up with a number of very different looks. As excited as I am about this development, I can’t help but wonder where this has been in the past month.