Packers XLV

Is Your Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

Posted September 26th, 2016 @ 02:09am

There are two paths you can choose to take following the Pack's 34-27 win over the Lions. You can take the path that celebrates the first half offensive awakening and stout defense that had the Pack up by 28 points. Or you can take the other path, the one that can't get past the Lions comeback, where Marvin Jones channeled his inner Stefan Diggs and the Packers offense went dormant.

I'll be taking the first path. Was I thrilled with the second half? Of course not. We'll get to that in a bit. As usual, Aaron Rodgers responded to the national criticism as he always does. Four first half touchdowns and a near perfect opening 30 minutes--hitting all kinds of throws to all kinds of receivers and suddenly it was 2014 all over again. And the running game was humming along as well.

The only thing that gave us pause, was the end of the half bomb to Marvin Jones, sprung when Josh Hawkins lost his footing and missed a tackle. Suddenly it was 31-10, the Lions had a faint pulse and they would be getting the ball to start the second half.

Credit Matthew Stafford, who got into a rhythm in the third quarter, even though the Pack's run defense--along with its big lead--made the offense one dimensional. The Lions have plenty of receiving weapons and Jones and Ebron were tough matchups for the depleted Packers defense.

Much was made of the defensive injuries to both teams going in, with the Lions missing their top two players, Ziggy Ansah and DeAndre Levy. The Pack had to dig even deeper, missing five defensive starters and causing Dom Capers to rely on guys who have had few, if any snaps before this game--guys like Brian Price, Marwin Evans, Kentrell Brice, Jarwin Evans and Dean Lowry. Plus Jayrone Elliott and Chris Banjo were getting their first snaps of the season.

That's one reason I'm not going down path number two. It's not realistic to expect defensive excellence when the unit is missing half of its starters, including key guys at each level: Guion, Matthews, Shields and Burnett. Yet the defense was more than sufficient in this game. Things started to break down late, but the guys were gassed--a number of guys were asked to play a lot more snaps than usual, including Peppers and Perry. Perry was the   defensive star of the day, with seven tackles, two sacks, a pass defended and two QB hits.

And when the game got a little too close for comfort in the fourth quarter, the defense got a stop, when it needed it most. Hopefully the unit will be a lot healthier when they take the field next, in prime time against the Giants (the G-men will be coming off a short week, playing that Monday night at US Bank Stadium).

As for the offense, when you put up 31 points in a half, it seems you invariably slow down in the second half. The Pack only got the ball once in the third quarter, when a nine play drive stalled and they settled for a field goal. The Lions hit pay dirt before and after that drive and it was 34-20 early in the fourth quarter.

The teams traded punts, and then the Packers had their worst drive of the day--at the worst possible time: a three play series with Eddie Lacy on the sidelines, featuring a run and catch by James Starks that netted eight total yards. Punter Jacob Schum may have saved the day by leaping for a high snap and getting a punt off. The Lions hit again when Damarius Randall tripped in coverage allowing Jones to score and pass the 200 yard mark. It was another tough day for Randall, despite an early interception, when he wrestled the ball away from Eric Ebron.

As you know, the Packers iced it by keeping the ball for the final eight plays, featuring a heavy dose of Lacy, who cracked the 100 yard mark on 17 carries. With Rodgers in sync with his receivers and Lacy looking like Lacy, all was right again for the offense. Except for the Jared Cook injury. He re-injured his ankle in the second quarter and was in a boot and on crutches after the game. Tests are forthcoming, but it doesn't look like he'll back on the field for a while.

It was the only real negative coming out of this one, except for those of you who are dwelling on how close the game got late. I'll still chalk it up to a defense stretched thin by injuries that was on the field a bit too much in the second half. Some of those young guys got some invaluable experience. Hopefully they'll be relegated to the bench in a couple of weeks as the regulars get back on the field.

Finally, gotta give my kid some kudos. Jackson predicted the score on the nose on "Packer Preview." He also thought his Vikings would win and their performance in Charlotte will have many across the nation jumping on their bandwagon. And rightfully so. With Arizona, Seattle and Carolina looking vulnerable, the Vikes will be atop the NFC power rankings heading into week four.

The Packers showed they're starting to figure things out. They're not yet where they want to be, but Aaron Rodgers looked like his old self, as did Jordy Nelson. And for this Packer fan, that's what I really wanted most to see on this September Sunday.

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Comments (29):

Talking about collapse or hopeing for one by you go pack go fans. You hope the Vikes wheels fall off but that is not going to happen with Zimmer who is a better coach than what you have. In fact the vikes have better coaches all around and that goes a long way. I am a Patriots fan first vikes fan second (and your team cannot hold the patriots jock strap with your classic super bowl argument as who has more the over your beloved discount double suck or Brady?) To all of you saying high draft picks your forgetting Hunter (4th round) Brian Robison who took The ball from Rodgers like a loaf of bread (4th round), Griffith (not a first along with most of the dline and Kendriks). Not to mention before Favre you guys sucked so that's how it goes and Rodgers is not getting younger ether. Oh and who won the division last year as well as two in a row against your squad. Hmm seems like the pack are the ones with a little egg on there face or should say cheese and beer.

on October 1st, 2016 at 03:19pm

It was classic Packers. They took the foot off the gas and coasted in. Stafford is wasted in Detroit. Still happy for the win. It going to be long early bye week. Luckily I've got a lot of work to do.

on September 25th, 2016 at 10:18pm

Umm, it's spelled StefOn. A tip for got Stepped On by Stef-On. Also, you guys legitimately have guys named Marwin AND Jarwin on your team??

on September 26th, 2016 at 01:21pm

Looks like the line was long today waiting for the welfare checks in MN. When did this sight get overrun by trash? I know we've always had Cane wheel his fat ass in here but damn they are coming out of the wood work. Loved listening to you Dave on PA today. I can see why that guys wife left him. You didn't fall for any of this crap. As for the game I loved it. Yes they took off the gas in the second have but I love the play of Perry this yr so far. As for Randall didn't get to see the game at Tax payer stadium so can comment on that but yesterday he was sick and still was out there playing. He will turn this around and be just fine. Also love the run def on this team. Held the child abuser in check even before he tore his knee up. Now let's tweek afew things during the needed week off and get back to business. PS one thing I would like to see changed is maybe find a replacement for Starks. Had enough of his dancing around in the backfield. Cane get out and about. Go for a jog and blow off some steam.

on September 26th, 2016 at 03:48pm

Allow me to get out my "deranged fan of a mediocre team to English" dictionary and translate some of these phrases. "Take the foot off the gas" = terrible defense stopped us for a half. Rodgers is losing it. "Rodgers back on track!" = We think 1 have against a crap defense outweighs 14 shitty games in a row. Wisconsin math ftw! "Need to scrap the prevent defense" = our defense sucks dick

on September 26th, 2016 at 04:20pm

I find it rather amusing how cocky these Viking fans have been with their comments so far. It's a long season and you are better off being humble and respectful of others on this site since your teams track record is nothing to support your cockiness. So just relax and enjoy the temporary high so you don't look foolish when January arrives!

on September 26th, 2016 at 06:25pm

Packers fans who look back and see posts of them saying ANYTHING positive about Randall will be an embarrassment to history in the same way all those pictures of people protesting white people and black people going to the same public schools will be embarrassed*. That's how bad he is. *Those pictures have most recently been taken at a Scott Walker rally two years ago

on September 26th, 2016 at 07:02pm

Nothing like eeking out a 7 point victory against the Kitties on your own home field, eh? You guys must be so proud. Try checking out the Vikings on your bye week to see how a real NFC power plays. You guys couldn't carry my team's jocks and you know it.

on September 26th, 2016 at 07:43am

Rodgers back on track! I'm sure it had nothing to do with playing a MASH unit detroit squad at home, instead of playing the Vikings Dominant Defense. Nah! Couldn't be that.

on September 26th, 2016 at 07:52am

Must be comforting to know your team won't get swept by the division at home THIS season, hmm?

on September 26th, 2016 at 07:58am

I pulled it off! You are welcome. Your OL leads the league in uncalled holding. Be proud.

on September 26th, 2016 at 09:28am

glass half empty definitely. your squads 2 wins are against 2 poor teams. Why was Mathews inactive? Is he breaking down after PED use?? Wow you have a Bye then 3 home games very fortunate! this will be an interesting stretch. I would put TT & McCarthy on Notice.

on September 26th, 2016 at 09:44am

Glass is half full. And the season has just started. [drops mic]

on September 26th, 2016 at 10:01am

You packer fans crack me up. You get all hot over beating a team that isn't a contender, nor does it have very good on defense. If there is one thing that has been consistent about your team's offense, is that it for yet another week they moved the ball thanks to terrible PI or missed holding calls. Dave, you seriously overrate your team, and it causes me to be embarrassed for you.

on September 26th, 2016 at 10:11am

Great to see the offense come out blazing in the first half, but another questionable decision by McCarthy to take the foot off the gas. Also, Capers needs to scrap that prevent defense, it is brutal. Speaking of brutal, Randall's play the past two weeks has been down right terrible, they need to get Shields back. Some good things came from yesterday, but also have some things to work on. Glad to see that McCarthy finally gave some more touches to Lacy.

on September 26th, 2016 at 10:17am

Remember when A-Rodge had to tell our fan base to relax....and then they blew a chance to go to the super bowl?...classic

on September 27th, 2016 at 01:20am

I think the game was what was expected, under the circumstances. The Packers showed enough to be encouraging yet left enough to keep from complacency or overconfidence going forward. The early bye comes at an opportune time to help the injured return for a big push following.

on September 27th, 2016 at 05:58am

My wife is a Vikings fan and I have for a long time been in the champion seat. Now not so much well we barely beat the lions at home the Vikings went on the road and beat the conference champs. I unfortunately have to admit the Vikings are the best team in our division and maybe the nfc. Dave you said our defense was not far behind and I'm not sure how you even came to that conclusion. They beat us in every aspect and have proven to be a force. This will be s 9 or 10 win season and m not sure if the rematch at our house will even matter.

on September 27th, 2016 at 06:08pm

Memo to the real guys on here...Dont get sucked in by the trash!....lets talk Packer football. GO PACK GO !!

on September 27th, 2016 at 08:33pm

Nice bounce back for the offense, but it was against a banged up defense at home. I'm still not sold on this team. They still look like a 9/10 win team that gets bounced out of the playoffs early. The Vikings have clearly passed them and are a legitimate Super Bowl team. That defense is scary.

on September 27th, 2016 at 09:16am

3 games is way too small a sample size to make any sort of judgment on how the course of the season can be accurately projected. At 2-1, the Packers are in good shape, and I'd rather have the team get hot after Thanksgiving than to be hot now and fizzle out later on, which is pretty much the current track the Vikings are on. As for you Vikings clowns, I'll just sit back and calmly wait for the wheels to inevitably fall off. Admit it - the Vikings have managed some sort of collapse every year since 1961; they haven't failed us yet...there's no reason to consider this season won't follow a similar pattern.

on September 28th, 2016 at 11:36am

well I waited till thursday to get all the experts to say there piece, good to see our regulars getting back in. did someone say 12 would throw 4 td's , who was that man? wrong on 320yds , didn't have to throw in 2nd half, as you all talk about the did, u realize that they had 9 rookies playing in 2nd half on defense so. b4 you vikes fans keep writing , know the facts. keep writing though, very entertaining for us Packer fans. I know u can't find your own site to write in. vikes win 17-13 monday, see , I use my brain , not faith and heart when I make predictions, go Packers

on September 29th, 2016 at 01:24pm

If what Larry said is true (I didnt get the count) that 9 rookies hit the field for the packers defense then this old cheddarhead is going to change his tune to "Pleased" with the output of the 2nd half....Actually, if thats the case what you have is the Packers coaching staff treating the second half like a Preseason game before a Bye week, and thats F$#%ing brilliant given how many injuries they have right now...let the kids get some (regular season) gametime experience and rest the starters for the better part of two weeks to play fast and fresh in Week 5. Seems like a better way to judge the 2nd half of the Lions game in Week 3 is to see how the Defense holds up in the second half of Week 5.... So I was down on the allowing the Kitties to come back, but with this in mind I will take it. I too am going to watch this season unfold....The Packers have more in common with the Patriots in this regard. Let the Queenies fanboys go apeshit after what appears to be the start of an unusual winning season. Im waiting for the Viking ship to right itself by going under pretty much every year since 1961. Go Pack Go!

on September 29th, 2016 at 05:15pm

I was wrong on rookie players on d, it was 8 and 1 on offense. they didn't play all at once but they played.and 3 2nd year guys. that is what larry MaCarren said in post game.pretty young, Packers are in top 3 in youth again. TT wants to keep the hungry and not fat and wallets full.

on September 29th, 2016 at 09:40pm

Come on Dave. This is still a very average defense lead by a terrible defensive coordinator named Capers.They have been blown apart in there pass defense. The Vikings have shown all of us what a good defense looks like

on September 29th, 2016 at 10:45am

Here's something to consider...before you start anointing the Vikings' defense as holier than thou, remember they built that defense with a lot of high draft picks. And you know how teams get high draft picks? By sucking for an extended period of time. But again, since we are only 3 games into the season, a lot can change quickly. All things considered, the Packers' defense being built with late draft picks is performing well, especially with all the injuries. Maybe that's the solution - suck for a number of years like the Vikings have and load up on the high draft picks...or not. Fret not, Vikings trolls. The collapse of the purple is inevitable. And it'll come at the most inopportune time. The tradition continues...Your Minnesota Vikings - breaking hearts since 1961.

on September 29th, 2016 at 12:54pm

I know it's a long bye week. Lots of "deep takes" out there. We won a division game at home. We won it comfortably. You can say it was only 7 points in the end, but the game was really not in jeopardy. My take away from this game, the only thing that keeps coming to mind is the 2 to 4 dropped picks that the defense almost had. I'll be watching the vikes/giants game Monday. That'll be a fun preview. Feels like a no lose situation there.

on September 30th, 2016 at 02:58pm

As Head coach I have decided to make some Bold moves during the Bye week ...... Starting next week .... ARog will be coming out of the closet as 'Bye sexual' ...... also, I will be participating in a Chicken Wing eating contest with Eddie Lacy .... It'll be close but, I'm sure I'll win !

on September 30th, 2016 at 05:30pm

Typical lavender fans. Three games into the season they've already anointed the queenies as paper champions. For the 56th year in a row. But fear not lavender trolls. Heartbreak awaits. You know it and Packer fans know it and it'll be new and delicious when it happens.

on September 30th, 2016 at 12:16pm

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