Packers XLV

Cobb Stars as Pack Hits Bye on 4-Game Win Streak

Posted November 4th, 2012 @ 10:11pm

It's a good thing the Packers have next week off. They might be hard-pressed to field a complete team. After another game that saw three important starters leave with injuries (Bulaga, Nelson and Matthews), the Pack had enough left to dispatch of the physical Cardinals to move to 6-3 at the bye.

Once again, a 24-7 lead in the second half had us breathing easy, but ten unanswered points brought the Cardinals within seven. It didn't take Rodgers and the offense long to provide more breathing room. The 72 yard TD on a seam route by Tom Crabtree boosted the lead to 14 and the game was finally in hand.

The Pack took control early with a productive running attack, with over 100 yards on the ground in the game's first 2o minutes. Early on, it was Rodgers making plays with his feet, but both Alex Green and James Starks had solid games.

The running game offset a passing attack that never really found a rhythm. After the game, Rodgers was critical of his performance, despite throwing four TD passes. He finished an uncharacteristic 14-30 (including a handful of drops), missing a number of throws that he usually makes.

The offensive hero was Randall Cobb, with 191 all purpose yards and two touchdown grabs. He injured his shoulder on a brutal hit on a punt return and played through it the rest of the way. He's such a great weapon in the return game, but he is becoming too valuable as an offensive player to be a returner. I'm not sure who the team could turn to, but Cobb is becoming a stat before our eyes.

Defensively, the Pack gave up another 300 yard day to a mediocre QB, but a lot of it came late when the game was in hand. They bottled up the run game and only let Larry Fitzgerald beat them deep once.

The concerns coming out of this game begin with the injuries. I was surprised to see Jordy Nelson out there as a starter, believing they would rest him and his tight hamstring through the bye. When Nelson came up lame on an awkward catch near the goal line, many of our fears were realized. Often when a player is coming off one injury he's susceptible to another. The ankle injury does not look good; let's hope a couple weeks of rest is all he needs.

Bryan Bulaga was the next to come up lame with what was called a hip injury and was carted off. TJ Lang did a nice job moving over to man the RT spot. But an extended loss for Bulaga will weaken the line and be something to watch. The Clay Matthews hamstring injury is the last thing this defense needs. He just missed a sack on his final play of the day and immediately headed to the locker room. This has been a chronic issue for him and we'll wait and see how significant this injury is.

But the Pack fought through these losses and dispatched of the Cards. Maybe the play of the game was Rodgers covering a James Starks fumble. On a day when he wasn't razor sharp, he made a number of hustle plays that made a difference.

After a painfully slow start, the Packers have won four straight and are back in the NFC mix. The players will get a full week off before they return, hopefully refreshed and healthy to begin the second half with a big divisional road game in Motown.

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Comments (9):

It was nice to see a solid running game today. Even though Starks had a fumble, he ran really hard. Cobb is such a weapon, out of the backfield, lined up out wide, or returning kicks/punts, he is fun to watch. Sad to see again Finley do nothing when he was needed.

on November 4th, 2012 at 07:14pm

Any one else see the Aaron Rodgers feature on CBS' 60 Minutes tonight? Don't anybody call him "Shorty."

on November 4th, 2012 at 07:45pm

I don't want to say "I told you so" but I told you so....GOTTA get Cobb involved big time and they finally did it - better late than never. NOW, somebody wake up Jermichael in time for the 2nd half stretch run OR sit him down and let Crabtree shine. Maybe sitting out and being replaced by Crabtree gets the message across to Finley that his efforts thus far have been disappointing to say the least. Let's get healed-up over the bye and see what happens over the final 7 games.

on November 5th, 2012 at 07:44am

I hate to say it but I think Finley is such a headcase I don't think he'll come out of his funk. It's a catch (or not catch) 22, the more he misses the less he gets thrown to, then he sulks and goes into a deeper funk. I hope he catches on fire but until he catches balls like they're velcroed to his hands I don't see him being targeted, the throws will go to the hot hands which is Cobb. Too bad, because every fan, coach, team, and player knows he's got the potential. What he needs is a shrink.

on November 5th, 2012 at 09:24am

Randall Cobb has out Percyed, Percy Harvin! He looks so explosive! I can't wait to see him run a reverse and then throw it down field for a long touchdown. After the game, Rodgers said they were good in the red zone, but I wouldn't consider starting two drives inside the Cardinals 20 and only coming away with 3 points to be a good showing. Stating the obvious, but hopefully we get some healthy guys back soon and dominate the old Black and Blue in the second half of the season. Let's go!

on November 5th, 2012 at 10:47am

hey be careful Ray, some guys on this blog, don't like it when u pat yourself on the back. even though we all do it. i said u nay see a lot of starks and u did, i said do draws and screens, 5 screens wow! and 4 worked. saturday got blew up the 1st play of the game, but i have to admit he did play better the rest of the day on run blocking. how in the hell do we get all these injuries? we needa new strength and conditioning coach. the queens have lost cook to a broken arm that is it. we have 10 guys hurt, with hamstrings and muscle pulls. it is not coincidence. 4 years now, come on. get healed up and make a run. the 2, i'm worried about the most are 52 and jordy, we have to have him. 85 will be back in 3 weeks i'm guessing. bulaga we need too, but lang did ok. i love the brad jones is playing and neal also. nice week though, we win, queens lose again, and ponder is a talker for loserville usa. go packers

on November 5th, 2012 at 12:06pm

I thoroughly enjoyed my annual trip to Lambeau this past weekend. Good job with the Starks/Green rushing tandem - hey, as long as it works, I'm good with it. Too bad about Perry going on IR, but hopefully the Pack will start getting some of these guys healed up for the stretch run. And even if Rodgers had an off day, I think any of us would take a 4 TD off day performance any time. I didn't catch the 60 Minutes thing since I was westbound on WI 29 at the time, but I heard plenty about it. Gotta like him being feisty like that!

on November 7th, 2012 at 04:24pm

Justin, Sherrod broke both the bones in his lower leg. I don't think it takes much imagination to call that a serious injury. It the sort of thing that if you re-break it coming back to soon, you're done. That said, the Pack has three week of Practice with the guy to put him on the roster or cut him. ( forgive me if I don't know a third option) If he is any where near ready he'll be on the roster , although he may still be inactive for a little while. Bulaga went for a second opinion, I didn't hear the result. The phrase second opinion should give you a clue. As for your dig at the Defensive line... They have done what they have needed to do and I think that sack total is actually pretty respectable. Yeah, third percentage is more important and I don't know it. You're probably forecasting the line to be bad without Matthews. That's reasonable, but let's see them play a game without him before we start pouting about it.

on November 8th, 2012 at 09:29pm

Hate to bring the doom and gloom but the line is a pretty big liability at this point and the guys that they DO have are getting hurt left and right. It is a legitimate complaint to say that the Packers don't have a noteworthy running back but it isn't like they are seeing giant holes and then just falling down - the holes aren't there! Is Sherrod EVER going to play for this team? Maybe it is because I live in MN that all we heard about was how horrific EJ Henderson's broken tibia was but I have seen nothing about Sherrod's injury being of that severity. What have I missed? The Packers are so thin at the line already, if Bulaga is hurt badly, that is a major blow to an already suspect unit. The Packers have so many excellent receivers, it is too bad that they don't have the linemen (on either side of the ball) to go with them...

on November 8th, 2012 at 12:45pm

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