Packers XLV

I Found My Thrill on Taysom Hill.

Posted September 28th, 2020 @ 01:09pm

For all you holdouts, can we finally put the Taysom Hill angst in the rearview mirror? Can we all finally move on? After sparring with caller Craig from Brown Deer on "Packer Preview" on Sunday, I tried to implore everybody that it's just not worth regretting the loss of a backup QB three years ago.

And then Hill made my point for me. When Za'Darius Smith caused his game-changing fumble early in the fourth quarter, which resulted in a field goal that gave the Pack the lead for good, all Taysom Hill ghosts were exorcized forever.

The Pack is 3-0 and could we have possibly dreamed up a better start to the season? Granted, winning on the road in Minnesota and New Orleans isn't as daunting as usual for all the obvious reasons, but the way the Packers offense is clicking to start this season is historic.

We all wondered how the offense would evolve in year two of Matt LaFleur's system. Aaron Rodgers said he felt much more comfortable heading into this season. Yeah, we've noticed. Through three games the Pack has yet to come up with a three and out (except in garbage time of the Lions game), they've yet to turn the ball over and the LaFleur-Rodgers play-calling team has dialed up three great game scripts.

In game one, it was Davante Adams. In game two it was Aaron Jones. This time, it was Allen Lazard and, who woulda thunk it, the tight ends that torched the Saints defense. Let's start with Lazard: with the Saints keying on not letting Marquez Valdez-Scantling beat them over the top, Rodgers found Lazard all night, with two explosive plays of 72 and 48 yards leading the way. As expected, Lazard is developing into a terrific number two receiver who can step into the #1 role when needed, without any drop-off in the offense.

The Pack is now 5-0 without Adams over the past two seasons, averaging more than 30 points per game while he's sidelined. All those critics who dismissed Green Bay's passing offense as Adams and the seven dwarfs are awfully quiet right now.

The eye-opening development is the production from the tight ends, who were mostly silent over the first two games. After seeing Darren Waller torch New Orleans the previous Monday night, that seemed like a way to attack the Saints' D, but did the Pack have the weapons to do it? Well, the three-headed tight end monster combined for nine catches on ten targets, for over 100 yards and two touchdowns--giving future opponents something else to think about when they scheme to play the Pack.

Defensively, it was a mixed bag. I figured we'd get a focused Saints offense, anxious to put their Monday night loss behind them and dispel the whispers that Drew Brees was washed. He isn't, not quite, because he's still able to make quick decisions and remains accurate. But he no longer takes deep shots and the Pack's two outside corners were more than up to the challenge. Jaire Alexander pitched a shutout and is rapidly entering the conversation as a top five corner.

After giving up over 100 yards rushing in the first half, the Pack righted the ship, as the Saints finished with 122 on the ground. That said, Pettine's group had no answers for Alvin Kamara in the passing game. His 52 yard touchdown catch and run will be played and replayed this week in the defensive team meetings as the players will use their calculators and compute how many missed tackles they amassed. Yes, Kamara is special, but allowing him to catch 13 balls for 139 yards is shameful--even if it did carry my fantasy team to victory.

A bright spot was the play of Kingsley Keke, tasked with filling in for the injured Kenny Clark. He wasn't perfect, but he recorded the team's only two sacks and showed that he might become a valuable member of the D line, which is much needed. The loss of Christian Kirksey exposed the other thin spot on the roster. The oft-injured linebacker left with a shoulder and the Pack was forced to bring in second year guy Ty Summers. He ended up leading the team with nine tackles, but he missed a bunch too. Hopefully Kirksey escaped serious injury--we'll have to wait and see.

All in all, it's hard to find fault with the Pack's 3-0 start. Rodgers looks rejuvenated and on a mission. The offense has been unstoppable and now gets Atlanta, and one of the league's worst defenses coming into Lambeau Field on Monday night. At this rate the only thing that might slow them down is the Week 5 bye.

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Comments (8):

Hey Larry, just so we have an understanding here, I'm a firm believer in the theory "players, not plays". Sure, it's possible to pencil-whip your opponent with the best scheme in the world, but if you ain't got the players to execute them, it won't carry you very far. Otherwise, Jeff Janis would still be on this team. :-)

on October 2nd, 2020 at 10:00am

Good to hear you too LDF, its just good to have football. Let's hope the virus doesn't spread now with titans getting it. I am sure they are checking the vikings everyday now. Voice, thanks for response, Just something we will agree to disagree on. As I said, you have to win your match ups sometimes of course, But scheming guys open, makes it easier on the qb and the whole team. I am worried about Monday now. Lazard is out for 5 to 6 weeks ., who will step up? Shepherd maybe, still not convinced on MVS yet, tooo many drops. . Tonyan will have to have big game. And of course, lean on 30 and 33. Going to be high scoring game, Packers 34 to 28, Vikes lose 31 to 23. GO Packers

on October 2nd, 2020 at 11:05am

Hats off to the packers,they are playing good ball,might need some linebackers though,my Vikings Suck,don’t know where my fellow Minnesotans are at,Whining Greg and idiot Cane and the rest of the morons,you clearly have the better organization,we gave Cousins way to much and should have let speilman and Zimmer go!! Good luck on your season packers and packers fans!

on September 28th, 2020 at 03:02pm

Let's not kid ourselves. The Saints are still a really good team - in fact, they're the best 1-2 team in the league right now. Sure, Kamara made the D look really bad at times, but keep in mind, it was Kamara. He can make any D look bad. But with all these misgivings, the defense made the most important play of the night by forcing the fumble by Hill. Awesome game!

on September 28th, 2020 at 09:58am

The Saints went away from the plays that were working in favor of the stuff they hadn't run yet. That was their mistake. The Wide receiver screen played to Sullivan's strength and going away from the Murrey runs, also a mistake. Why Coaches don't stick to the things that are obviously working I'll never understand. Excellent game. I thought after the first half, " I won't be ashamed if we loose this game." Well, that seems awfully negative now. There is a lot to feel good about, even if the defense isn't shut down. New challenges will arise, but I trust this staff to face them smartly. Go Pack!

on September 29th, 2020 at 08:32am

Does anyone know if Cane and Greg are OK? Someone check the spacious empty Viking trophy room. They may be hiding in there. With the way the Vikings have been playing it should be nice and toasty in there as Zigi has turned up the heat to fit that caverness space.

on September 29th, 2020 at 08:42am

Very nice to be 3 and 0, Falcons will be desperate. But the way The head coach is calling plays and the guys executing's on offense we should score 41 Sunday. May need it though. w/o Kirksey, sure would be nice to have OLB Queen now right, Instead of 3rd string qb on bench. Hey Voice, Remember 3 years ago when we disagreed on man on man vs, scheme the guys open? How do you like it now? You still need to beat your man sometimes, But it just makes it easier as I always said to scheme something open. They are finally running end arounds, crossing patterns and not just going one and one. Listen to 12, He is almost Giddy, talking about it. Fun to be having football, and watching guys have fun again. Go Packers

on September 29th, 2020 at 11:26am

LARRY! It is good to hear from you! I swear half my post are disappearing. Queen would have been nice. Summers is just a body, but coach-able. Is our O-line this talented or is that coaching? It has held up better than I thought it would.

on September 30th, 2020 at 04:35pm

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