Packers XLV

Discipline Departs: Pack Falls Short in Atlanta

Posted November 28th, 2010 @ 09:11pm

A four game winning streak gives you reason to believe. It makes you believe that early season issues like penalties and special teams are a thing of the past. But it was costly mistakes in those areas--along with an Aaron Rodgers fumble at the goal line--that cost the Packers a chance to grab the seeding edge against the Falcons.

A stirring late game drive, culminating in a heart-stopping fourth down touchdown pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson, was wasted when the Pack surrendered a big kickoff return and added a facemask penalty, giving Matt Ryan the ball at midfield with just under a minute left and one timeout. Too close to FG range, too much time for a QB who is now 19-1 in his home stadium. Throw in a top-5 kicker like Matt Bryant and the Packers were sunk.

There were too many penalties at the wrong times by all three units. It took away from a strong defensive showing that kept Roddy White and the passing game in check and gave the Pack a chance.

The first turnover by Green Bay in four games was as costly as they come. Rodgers lost the football on a QB sneak at the goal line, erasing a chance at a 10-3 lead late in the second quarter. Ryan and the Falcons then engineered their best drive of the day, scoring at the end of the half, reversing the score and taking a 10-3 lead, and all the momentum into the locker room.

We'll look back at that Rodgers fumble. We'll look at the fourth down catch by Tony Gonzalez that would have been erased had Mike McCarthy challenged and wiped out the ensuing TD that gave them a 10-3 lead. We'll look at the untimely, indisciplined penalties. We'll look at all these things and then we'll look at the scoreboard and realize we still only lost on a last second field goal.

Yes, it might cost the Pack a home game in the playoffs. But it also proved that the Pack can play with the best the NFC has to offer at their place. You have to learn from the mistakes in this one. You also need to be more productive in the running game if you want to beat good teams on the road.

Four losses on the season, all by three points, two in overtime. All four losses have been decided in the final possession. You hope this young, talented team learns from the errors of its ways. So as the games gain importance in the coming weeks, we watch them grow up before our eyes and hopefully win one of these road battles when the lights are brightest.

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Comments (37):

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on May 20th, 2012 at 05:48am

Another difficult loss to take on last plays. Here are the negatives: (1) Poor special teams play....you can not give up 93 yards on 3 kickoff returns. (2) 8 penalities were back breakers. (3) Very poor tackling and not finishing (4) ARod is now 2 for 8 on quarterback sneaks for first downs or touchdowns. He is obviously better out of the pocket or on draw plays. (5) Lack of key challenges by Mac....does he not have help from the guys in the upper booth on these? (6) Lack of a dependable running back....you can not have ARod as your primary runner with 12 rushes. I have said all season....the lack of Thompson to not get Marshan Lynch will haunt us in close and cold weather games. McCarthy obviously have no faith in Jackson, et al. All of this having been said Rodgers and the receivers were brilliant. Lets go forward against SFran.

on November 28th, 2010 at 04:43pm

Tough loss today. But next week is a new day. Packers can take out their anger on the 49ers!! Go Pack!

on November 28th, 2010 at 06:17pm

Simply put there is NOTHING special about our special teams.. between the failed kick cover in the final minute to the very poor field position all day long.... they costed us the game. I am getting tired of 2/3 of the team doing there job with just 1/3 costing us time in and timeout ... I also would like to see someone else get more carries running the ball.. Jackson is a very good 3rd down back but thats just that, a 3rd down back.. He is way too slow and not quick enough to hit the holes when they are there... and yes they are there including today... lets work in Starks and Nance see what they can do with a few carries... You have to feel for A-Rog.. all the guy does and lead us back every week and to get his heart crushed in the end... lets learn from these mistake and take to San Fran. GO PACK GO

on November 28th, 2010 at 08:07pm

Special teams continue to haunt us. I am really happy that we saved 2 timeouts going into halftime, you never know when you might need them. Why would we not use one to let the booth take another look? We sure were not going to use them on offense. That is on the coaches. Why not pooch that last kick on the ground and let the clock run. Again on the coaches. Great throw and grab at the end. Go Pack Go

on November 28th, 2010 at 10:36pm

Always blaming the running game on the RB is just wrong. A portion of the time, yes, but this line is a pass blocking line and really doesn't do a good job of run blocking. It's really hard to gain yardage when there isn't a hole. Cliffy, while taking care of business, isn't a run blocker. Quite honestly College needs to be gone, he wiffs on his guy way to frequently. To help the run, keep drafting 1st round O-lineman so that we can protect AR and ALWAYS be able to pick up short yardage with a RB not AR.

on November 29th, 2010 at 01:55pm

It was a horribly regressive day for Brandon Jackson. He looked awful. He looked slow and indecisive. He is too much of a dancer for a zone blocking scheme. Even on the screen play he danced and was cut down immediately. I was shocked we didn't see more of Nance in the game, especially after his nice performance at Minny. Got to disagree with OSSG's take on getting Lynch - he went 10 carries for 29 yards yesterday and has looked bad this year. Its time to move forward with Nance on 1st down and move BJ back to being 3rd down back.----- This game was coached poorly. There was no excuse to take those TO's into the lockerroom. Either use them on the 4th down call, to get more time to look at it, or use them when Atlanta had 1st and goal at the end of 1st half so you save yourself about 1 minute to work with after their score--- really poor choices by MM on that. ------ Tough opponent, tough loss, sounds familiar this year. Need to pick it up and look forward to SF. Bears look for real. Makes that game at the end of the year look more and more important. GO Pack!

on November 29th, 2010 at 06:29am

Forgot to mention the poor tackling yesterday. Too often waiting for Atlanta's player to reach them instead of moving up and hitting. The 4th down play that should have been challenged should never have happened had the defense tackled Atl where they originally had him (about 5 yards back). Little chance they would have gone for it on 4th and 8 vs 4th and 3. ------------MM said in his press conference that he thought tackling was good but I don't know what game he was watching because it wasn't ours. Go Pack!

on November 29th, 2010 at 06:33am

Tough loss. I wonder how our lack of a running game and special teams play will hurt us down the stretch and in the playoffs. Really wish Thompson would just make 1 trade once in awhile. Im not asking for a ton of trades. Just one trade when we really need it. Could have used a starting running back to help Rodgers out once in awhile. Lets hope the boys keep the passing attack going through January!

on November 29th, 2010 at 12:22pm

Is anybody else sick of penalties costing us a game? I'm so infuriated by stupid mental mistakes. It is one thing if a guy just burns you on an athletic play or is more skilled than you and makes a play but when you bottle up one of the best receivers in football in an away game but p1ss it away on penalties it is REALLY frustrating. Bad coaching was also a factor. A Rodge should NOT have been running the ball twice from the goal line. That is seriously our best option from down there? If they are going to be a serious contender, they have to figure out their red zone offense...

on November 29th, 2010 at 12:44pm

I think most of my packer fans are wrong on Jackson, 1st off on that play early in 1st qtr. he was stopped 6 yards deep and with second effort he got a facemask call and we scored on that drive. The falcons have atop 5 run defense, that was seen at the goal line. i wish they would just roll out rodgers at the goal line and run it or throw it. i'm with u guys, no more qb sneaks. he is going to get hurt and then were done. Finally, i wished they would have sqwibbed that last kick, but be honest, we all were thinking bad things on that kick off. i sure was and they had alot of time. and the next thing i thought of was now there going to say Rodgers is 2 and 12 on games decided by 4 points or less. Was that his fault? i wish they would stop talking about that. give me the stat that shows when we have been tied or behind and #12 has led the team to lead and defense blows it. I reallt can't fault crosby though it was 5 yards deep though. we need to win 4 out of 5 or we may not make playoffs. i thought 10 would do it but bears are ligit with that defense. go pack. 31-10 over san fran.

on November 29th, 2010 at 12:49pm

no playoffs for you!!!!

on November 30th, 2010 at 04:33pm

Siny, I heard you on KFAN yesterday with PA calling up his Atlanta connection so that he could talk smack. PA knew he didn't want to get into it with you since his Queens are really blowing hard. He's the biggest puzzy homer I've heard. The only reason I listen to him is to hear the exasperation in his voice, especially after last year's crowing. The next time they lose, which shouldn't take too long, you should have a Bills or Giants fan you know talk smack back at him. But that won't happen because we are GB fans and above that, right????

on November 30th, 2010 at 09:17am

Alright guys I know you guys are worried now. Yes special teams was an issue and that fumble cost us huge. But you have to see McCarthy for who he is. A POKER Player he keeps his cards close to the chest and often doesn't show a team who we are more than likely we are going to face again all the things we can do. I saw this in the beginning of the year when our offense was pedestrian and vanilla. I saw it for what it was he was hiding things for the first Minnesota game because he knows that game means much more to us. And look how that played out for us we beat them both times. Yes we had opportunities to win that game. But I dearly hope McCarthy wants us to play indoors in middle to late January and is hiding his Ace cards for that final much more important match-up. Thats my perspective have hope and faith we are still a great team.

on November 30th, 2010 at 09:25am

I see the Pack has activated James Starks...the sixth round draft choice in the last draft. He has a history of injuries.....missed his senior year at the University of Buffalo. He has good size 6' 2", 218lbs and power and was a good college out of backfield receiver. Had some good years when healthy. Is he the answer at running back....who knows?....but sure worth a try !! Here is scouting report on him : Inside: Tall, lanky runner who looks like a former quarterback - but doesn't run like one. Shifty runner with good vision through traffic. Lowers his pads to power through defenders when he smells the first down or goal line. Usually falls forward for the extra yard. Will stutter-step to avoid initial tackler in the hole. Secure with the ball inside. Outside: Perfect for offense using zone or stretch plays. Lets blocks develop and picks out holes or cut-back lanes to explode through. Long strider who lacks lateral quickness, but will explode vertically once in the open field. Carries the ball in his right hand and doesn't switch when running left. Adequate at getting the corner within the offense, but doesn't change directions fast enough to reverse a play on his own. Breaking tackles: Will go through arm tackles and runs with some lean, but has troubles keeping his feet (looks a bit out of control at times). Keeps feet moving after first contact at the second level, but struggles to push the pile in the middle. Must show his shoulder injury has not lessened his effectiveness as a power runner. Blocking: Not very physical. Liability as a pass protector, although it's not for a lack of effort. Likes to hit defenders but is just not strong enough to anchor or sustain against them. Hesitates to pick up linebackers on plays where the pocket is moving. Doesn't pick up defenders to aid teammates on the second level. Receiving: Well-practiced receiver who physically looks the part. Used on swing passes, circle routes and in the slot from motion. Snatches the ball with his hands, adjusting to low and high throws. Will hold the ball loosely when trying to make a move in the open field. Some elusiveness after the catch, but is better running north-south than east-west. May be tried as a kickoff returner at the next level. Intangibles: No major character issues. Soft-spoken young man who is well-liked by coaches, teachers and teammates. Gives more credit to his linemen than himself. Successful rehab of knee and shoulder injuries will gives scouts reason to like his work ethic.

on November 30th, 2010 at 12:21pm

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