Packers XLV

Pack Avoids the Agony of Da-Feet.

Posted October 11th, 2021 @ 01:10pm

I couldn't watch the final kick. I'm not proud to admit that, but I just couldn't handle it. I walked to the other side of my house, waited a couple of minutes and then returned and saw the Cowboys-Giants game was on, so I knew Crosby had made the kick--otherwise the game would still be going on. I hit rewind and watched the kick, as my blood pressure slowly lowered.

How do you describe what we witnessed over the final three minutes of regulation and overtime? Five consecutive missed field goals with the game tied. Mason Crosby had put that nightmarish game in Detroit three years ago so far out of his mind that he had only missed four field goals since and had made 27 in a row. It shows you what tricks the mind can play, once it gets into your head.

All of the kicking craziness at the end overshadowed what was a pretty strong road performance by the Pack on both side of the ball. I was especially pleased with how the defense played, completely shutting down the passing game in the first half, until that flukey bomb caught by impressive rookie Jamarr Chase in the final minute. Joe Burrow had an eternity to make a throw and Chase had time to get behind Darnell Savage as he crossed the field. Before that play, that vaunted receiver group had been held completely in check.

The defensive line has gotten better each week, getting Kris Barnes back was huge (he looked like he wasn't ready to surrender snaps to Jaylon Smith), De'Vondre Campbell continues to be a standout and Eric Stokes was more than up to the challenge of shadowing Chase (he wasn't in coverage on the long TD pass).

The defense was solid against the run, made stud slot receiver Tyler Boyd an afterthought and impressively, surrendered just one touchdown in six possessions after halftime. Both Preston Smith and Rashan Gary continue to be disruptive. What needs to be cleaned up: the red zone. They're toothless in the red zone this season, giving up 13 TDs in 13 chances. That almost seems impossible; they're the only defense in the league without a red zone stop.

Offensively, it was the Davante Adams show. What more can you say? He's the best in the game. It would be nice to see Rodgers spread things around a little bit like he did last season, and maybe that will happen as the season plays out, but watching Rodgers and Adams cook is as good as it gets. Seeing Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon post another productive day is also a great sign. Seeing Dillon develop as a receiver is a very encouraging sign.

What's not encouraging is LaFleur's inexplicable conservative play calling in the red zone. Last year this team was nearly automatic; this year LaFleur retreats into his shell. Settling for field goals on the road is a recipe for disaster and easily could've cost the Pack the game in Cincinnati. He admitted as much after the game. Big picture, the team gained 466 yards of offense against a defense that entered the game ranked sixth in the league. And the Pack did it without three starting offensive linemen, and without MVS, whose absence changes how defenses attack the Pack.

Fortunately, the Packers still have a quarterback at the top of his game. Rodgers was terrific all afternoon, passing Phillip Rivers for fifth place on the all time touchdown list. The play of the game was the third and 16 missile to Randall Cobb on the game winning drive. The window was so tight on that play but Rodgers was on target and Cobb made the huge catch. It set up fourth and inches and I figured they would keep the offense on the field and not ask Crosby to come back out and try a 49 yarder. But Crosby assured LaFleur that he would make it and that was good enough for the head coach. I would have handed it to Dillon and try to punch it into the end zone. Obviously, his faith was rewarded.

Special teams had a bad day all around, beyond the Crosby meltdown. They allowed a long kick return, Corey Bojorquez had a lousy punt at the wrong time and the right side of the line on kicks continues to be a problem. I get it, there are a lot of moving pieces on this unit as guys come and go, but Maurice Drayton needs to figure things out quickly.

Beating a 3-1 team on the road without four of your eight best players is an accomplishment and they'll have to keep it up, because three of those guys aren't hitting the field anytime soon. Next up is a visit to Soldier Field against a Bears team brimming with confidence after a suprising win in Vegas.

It will be nice for Rodgers to get back to his home away from home. As you know, it can get rather windy. Probably best not to leave it up to the kicker next week.

 

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Comments (6):

For those of you who are complaining on how this game went (and I know you're out there), have at it. But remember one thing - it's a win. And wins in this league are hard to come by. Sure it was ugly; but ugly wins count the same as pretty wins. And I'll take every last one of them. :-)

on October 12th, 2021 at 01:02pm

The only thing that mattered about this game was getting the win and not adding to the injury list and both those things were accomplished. Except when Cincy got into position for the fg attempt in the OT there was never really a feeling that the Pack was going to lose. Mason Crosby's uncharacteristic kicking malfunction diverts attention from the real issue: the failure of the Packers to complete drives for td's. They should have daggered the Bengals after Aaron Jones long run in the 4th qtr. The real disappointment of the weekend was Da Bears upsetting the Raiders and the Queens slipping the noose with the Lions. Different outcomes there would have created some nice separation for Green Bay in the Division but that will come in the next couple of weeks if the Packers take care of business against Chicago & Washington.

on October 12th, 2021 at 06:08am

I know it's hard to believe, but the Packers had two false start penalties the whole game. That was it for penalties. With this revamped offensive line, not one holding call on the road is truly amazing. With that revamped secondary, not one defensive pass interference is quite impressive against those receivers. Cincy was going in for the kill on 4th and 2 when Burrow ran for the first down, and that hold on Cincy should have been criminal. It wasn't a hold and happened and was called when Burrow was already 5 yards downfield. I've got your backs everyone. Wink, Wink! I never get enough credit. Two false starts is all. LMAO

on October 12th, 2021 at 07:15am

Whining pussy Mudduck Greg(Roger Goodell),Vikings got away with a lot,out played by lions but penalties got Queens the win,I got your back!!! Wink Wink LMAO!!

on October 12th, 2021 at 10:06am

So GOOOOD to be wrong. I thought they would lose 26 to 24. could have went either way. sometimes it goes your way. It was good to see Dillon get used more. keep 33 fresh. Almost a perfect weekend if the Lions could have held on. What a talker that would have been on kfan this week. Hell. It still is and they won . lol. Packers need to keep getting by. I'm in Awe of the O line. all those new guys and no one seems to talk about that much at all in the media. How come the GM doesn't get ant credit for that??? The bears will be tough? I hate when the THC seems so over confident. We seem to lose then. The D for the bears is legit, and were not at full roster right now. 1st team to 21 wins.

on October 12th, 2021 at 10:25am

I don’t know what’s going on with the blog but everything is late or not at all,I know you’re busy with kids,hope everything is okay and everyone is healthy Davey.

on October 17th, 2021 at 12:15pm

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