Packers XLV

U-G-L-Y. But Maybe Pack Has an Alibi.

Posted September 18th, 2017 @ 12:09pm

When it was announced that the Packers would be without both starting tackles for their showdown with the Falcons, I had one overriding thought: let's just get Rodgers through the game in one piece.

Heading into the season, offensive line depth was maybe the biggest roster concern. Little did we know it would be tested this early. Asking Kyle Murphy and Justin McRay to step up in this spot on this stage was too much to ask. They weren't disasters by any means, but it was clear from the start that Rodgers would be running for his life for much of the night. The play of the backup tackles was not the biggest problem on this night. The play of the cornerbacks was.

When Jordy Nelson and Mike Daniels exited in the first quarter, it was obvious this would not be the Pack's night. But as ugly as it was early, they were in the game until late in the first half when the game turned on one play. Trailing 17-7, and backed up inside their own ten, Rodgers found Randall Cobb for a big gain that put the ball around midfield. But Martellus Bennett was called for a pick, which wiped out the play. It was a borderline call (Allison's similar offense later was much more obvious) and it was followed up by a rare Rodgers interception that led to a score and put the game out of reach.

As frustrating as it was to watch the offense struggle without Bakhtiari and Bulaga, there were some bright spots on that side of the ball. Ty Montgomery is showing that he will be a dual threat--though he'll need more than ten carries a game. And Davante Adams made some big catches--his touchdown was a thing of beauty.

The most disappointing aspect of the game has to be the play of the defense, which was shredded almost as thoroughly as it was in last year's title game. No doubt the loss of Daniels early was critical; he's the emotional leader and best player for the defense. But you have to be able to withstand injuries and the team didn't on this night. Most upsetting was the play of Randall and Rollins who reverted to the 2016 versions of themselves.

We knew the Falcons would make it a point to get the ball to Julio Jones early, after targeting him only five times in the opener. But just like last year, the Pack had no answer as he carved them up right from the start. Mohammed Sanu also had a big night as the Pack's corners struggled. The one bright spot was the play of rookie Kevin King, who got the call when Randall got yanked. King showed he belonged and deserves to start from this point forward. With home games against the Bengals and Bears coming up, it's the perfect time to get him acclimated to the role.

What we learned on this night is that the defense still has a long way to go against elite offenses, especially on a fast track. The development of King and fellow rookie Josh Jones gives us hope that the unit will get better as the season goes along. And getting Daniels back on the field is an absolute must.

Now we'll wait and see if the tackles are able to go on Sunday and we'll wait to hear about the injuries to Nelson, Cobb, Daniels, House and Brice. With two games coming up in a five day span, the team is likely to be very careful, knowing a mini bye will follow, leading up to tough road tests in Dallas and Minnesota.

Going into the season, I thought the Pack needed to start 4-2, which meant winning their home games and then winning one of the three tough road matchups. They failed their first road test; now we'll see what a dash of humility, along with a hopeful return to health will mean when they head back on the road in a couple of weeks.

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Comments (15):

OSSG...just for the sake of clarification, I didn't proclaim the defense "fixed" based on last week, or at all for that matter. It's a long season, and the entire squad will be vastly different 10 weeks from now, as a result of rookies getting experience, regulars getting injured. Daniels going out as early as he did made a huge difference. Better schemes won't fix this situation - better play from the players we have will. If schemes could fix this, we could put anyone out there (including you and me) and it would work. Players - not plays.

on September 18th, 2017 at 02:58pm

Oh, now injuries can be an alibi. Why of course? LMAO

on September 18th, 2017 at 08:32pm

Voice....Read my post...I mention players by name...Burnett, Jones, King. Fancy it any fancy name or scheme you want...Pack calls it nitro. Put your best players out there and I mentioned who and who should be replaced. I think even you will agree we need a better defense with better players to fit the modern NFL. Those better players at the right key positions need to provide tackling and speed !! GO PACK GO !!

on September 18th, 2017 at 08:35pm

Sigh. As you said when Daniels went out, we were done. So I'll take what positive I can out of this , which seam to be about the same as THC. King got some good work in against a top receiver. Allison is back and although he's no #1 , he's a good #3-4.

on September 18th, 2017 at 09:22am

Time for Dom Capers to go. Our defense is bad and has been bad for years. We usually hide/mask it behind 30+ points from Mr. Rogers.

on September 18th, 2017 at 09:36am

Packers seem to have a lot of hamstring/muscle injuries the last few years, maybe they should look into a new conditioning/stretching coach.

on September 18th, 2017 at 09:44am

The Pack had a very good O line the last couple of years. What is with this idiocy of getting rid of anyone who's any good ? (like Sitton ) etc. ----- idiots )

on September 18th, 2017 at 10:26am

One thing we can always count on: GB fans overrating their team. Last week your D beat a terrible offense and the SB tickets were being bought. This week it was exposed for the fraud that it is. It's going to be yet another year wasted for #12. Don't be shocked if a desperate Cinci team comes in and steals one.

on September 18th, 2017 at 11:30am

Speed and Tackling, Speed and Tackling, Speed and Tackling. Same thing the last few years under Capers defense. VOICE....my good friend....we are going to start another year the same. Me looking thru my clear lenses and you thru your very dark rose colored glasses. We both love The Pack the same we just see them differently. First some facts: During the Aaron Rodgers years we have never put a top ten defense on the field. We are consistently bottom ten. We don't need a top five defense just give us a top ten defense. Yes ...in this last game we had injuries but it would not have mattered. Teams with speed consistently expose our slow linebackers to poor coverage and tackling. This is a common recurring year after year issue. Joe Thomas and Jake Ryan are backers who run 4.8 or slower 40's and they are exposed to quick crossing patterns. Claymaker is more of an edge rusher and can be exposed in the passing game. If when healthy we will see if Brooks is an upgrade at least in tackling. I hope we go more consistently to the nitro package as this gives us Brunett as a LB with some speed and tackling. I would like to see Thomas and Ryan out replaced by Brunett and the rookie Jones both in the nitro at the same time. Jones can run a 4.4 and is tough enough to cover speed and tackling. I like that we are getting King in their early with his size and speed. The modern day NFL is about matchups and slow poor tackling linebackers and dbacks do not have a place. We have one of the greatest QB's in history. Please get a defense that does not require him to win shootouts. Voice...you will say we had the defense against Seattle....but teams with speed will out scheme us. Speed and Tackling is where we have to trend for modern day NFL. I still think we will be fine but you have to be realistic on where the trends are going. GO PACK GO !!

on September 18th, 2017 at 11:55am

Synner - Sorry about giving your team the injury plague. Regards, Viking Fans P.s. Sorry not really sorry.

on September 18th, 2017 at 11:57am

Just salt this one away in the rear view mirror and move on. It wasn't exactly an unexpected loss and the only thing about it that raises any serious concerns are the injuries. Right now playing the Falcons in Atlanta is what we've seen in earlier years playing the Cowboys in Dallas, the Vikqueens in the Metrodome, the Seahawks in Seattle. The Packers aren't built to play those kind of teams on artificial turf. But just as the Pack got back against those clubs when they got them at Lambeau so will they have their day against Atlanta sometime. The Packers lost this one with a bad second quarter and a disastrous start to the second half. Atlanta won those 17 or so minutes 24-0. The first quarter and the rest of the second half went to the Packers 23-10. The Falcons will probably be almost unbeatable at home but take a look at their road schedule and home field for the playoffs is still in play for Green Bay.

on September 19th, 2017 at 06:31am

Packerlifer, you make some good points and I'm with you. As for the defense, it'll be better at home and with Daniels in it.

on September 20th, 2017 at 01:09pm

on September 21st, 2017 at 05:35am

Just one last revisit before moving on. The Packers outgained the Falcons 367-364 and reduced Atlanta's offensive yardage output from the championship game by 129 yds. They had 24 first downs for their 19. The Pack held almost a 3 minute time of possession advantage. They converted 3 of 3 fourth downs and were essentially equal with Atlanta on third downs 5 of 12 to 5 of 11. Atlanta got 14 points off Green Bay's 2 turnovers while the Packers had a touchdown and a possible second scoring drive called back by offensive pass interference penalty calls. Those 4 plays alone represent a potential swing of some 20 points. As for those "pick" plays I recommend every one take a look at Larry McCarren's review of them on his "ROCK REPORT video on packers.com.

on September 21st, 2017 at 05:51am

Let's see over ratted first and foremost. All you have to do is look at the last few games against my dirty birds as we have crushed your so called super bowl contenders worse than the drunken hangovers you guys wake up with. Your team cannot win or loose with class. Also the falcons could care less what you did at the end of the game as they had it after the first and beginning of the third. Prevent and let you guys get some slow scores. When my team sucks or blows a big game like we did in the super bowl at least I admit it.

on September 24th, 2017 at 12:12pm

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