Packers XLV

Packers Take a Page from Al Davis and 'Just Win Baby.'

Posted September 25th, 2017 @ 01:09pm

We'll take it.

On a day when the defense got torched early and the offense struggled to find a rhythm throughout, somehow the Pack found a way to pull out a gritty win over the desperate Bengals and avoid a paralyzing early season home loss.

In a game like this, with six starters and a key reserve inactive, we had to hope a few guys would step up and seize their opportunity. Enter Josh Jones and Geronimo Allison, whose heroics made the difference in the Pack's OT victory.

Let's start with Jones. When Dom Capers decided to bench Quentin Rollins and move Morgan Burnett into the slot, it put the rookie safety into a centerpiece role in the nitro defense and Jones showed that his rare athletic ability and instincts will make him a playmaker in this defense as the season rolls on. The result was 12 tackles, 11 solo, three for loss and a pair of sacks. His open field tackle of the Bengals' tight end on a third down play in overtime put the ball back in Aaron Rodgers' hands. His day wasn't perfect: he was mostly to blame when Giovanni Bernard was left wide open to walk into the end zone in the second quarter. But for the most part Jones earned the right to be a focal point of the defense.

Allison's game-changing play was the long catch and run in OT, but he made a handful of great catches late, especially when the Pack was marching toward a game-tying score as the clock ticked down. I loved Rodgers' quote after the game: "How'd this guy go undrafted? He's fantastic." With Randall Cobb's injury moving Jordy Nelson into the slot, Allison got his chance and delivered, serving notice that he has the chance to be a major target in this offense in the next year or two.

After watching the offense struggle without its starting tackles in Atlanta, we saw much of the same for much of this day, especially when Bryan Bulaga re-aggravated his ankle injury and left in the second half. The bottom line is, if this team is forced to play without its tackles for an extended period, it's in for a world of trouble. Kyle Murphy struggled all day and on the back end, the Bengals disguised their coverage enough to make it hard for Rodgers to find open targets. With a short week, there's no guarantee either will be ready for the Bears on Thursday. Let's hope they're good to go with extra rest before the trip to Dallas.

As we headed into overtime, I couldn't believe the stat that flashed on the screen. I knew that Rodgers was winless in overtime, 0-7, with three coming in the playoffs. I did not realize he had attempted a total of just six OT passes in those seven games--the Pack has shown a knack for losing the coin toss and then surrendering a touchdown to lose. When the Bengals won the toss, I had visions of some crazy, missed-tackles kind of play that would keep the streak going.

But the Pack's D, which stiffened in the second half, forced a three and out and Rodgers and company took over, setting up Mason Crosby for the chip shot to allow the Pack to escape with the win. We can also thank rookie RB Joe Mixon, who showed he has the talent to be a star in this league, for slipping before a third and one handoff, forcing a field goal try and giving the ball back to Rodgers. If he converts there, there's a very real chance the Pack is looking at a 1-2 start to the season.

There are plenty of concerns going forward: what's up with Marcellus Bennett? Is Rollins a bust? Will the Pack's running game get untracked? And most importantly, will the Packers have to play another game with six starters (plus key reserve Kentrell Brice) inactive?

The Bears have shown defensive chops so far, with a stunning win over the Steelers and a last second loss to the Falcons. And their running game is a real strength, which will test the nitro package all night long. Not to mention, they've won two of the last four at Lambeau. If we can get one starter back, I'd vote for Mike Daniels, who would be a major asset trying to stop Jordan Howard and electric rookie Tarik Cohen. We probably won't know until Wednesday whether he, or any of the other injured guys will return. The team would love to be able to give them all some extra healing time, but the Pack could use  some familiar faces back against the improved Bears.



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Comments (13):

Right now there's no rhythm to the passing game because they're missing 3 offensive tackles, 2 of them being starters. Get them back, and they'll have all sorts of rhythm. It may also help the anemic running game too...just a thought. Get these important players out of the M*A*S*H unit, and things will start looking up - no doubt about it.

on September 25th, 2017 at 03:32pm

My rule is to watch the packers until the unusual and laughable call. I haven't been able to watch much this year. The flag 35 yards behind the play against seattle is still hilarious. When the Bengals scored and went up 7-0, I thought I'd see a game. Then of course, on 3rd and 10 and your offense looking sick, Rogers heaves a bomb down the field and with pacman looking back, the legs get tangled and interference happens. That never gets called. Talk about a gift that never gets called. Just a pure gift from this WWF organization that supports flag sitting. Someday, I'm going to make it to the second quarter. I promise the NFL will make me wait one of these weeks for more than a quarter.

on September 25th, 2017 at 05:12pm

One of the big takeaways from this game is that Josh Jones and Kevin King played every snap on defense. This is out of the ordinary for a Capers defense. Both these guys can play and will be big contributors. Now we lost another OT in Murphy and our 10 year long snapper Goode just went on IR with guess what...a hamstring injury. We signed 2 new guys Ulrick Earl and OT from the Arizona practice squad and Tayber Pepper from another practice squad as a long snapper. I think we have more new guys on this team then the strike replacement year guys. GO PACK GO !!

on September 25th, 2017 at 07:22pm

Yep, after a horrible first half the Packer hunkered down and eeked one out. There is still no rhythm to the passing game, it appears to be mostly improvised. Bennett seams to loose concentration early on or something. I expect he'll bounce back against the Bears. Montgomery has is also stutter stepping a bit too much and losing his momentum, but then I'm a big just run forward guy. I also vote for Mike Daniels. BIG TIME!

on September 25th, 2017 at 09:36am

I'd feel better about Bennett's horrible body language on the field if he didn't also drop easy passes. I was so hopeful.

on September 25th, 2017 at 10:58am

Lynndickey, I bring it up because it's a weekly occurrence for the packers. Those calls are just laughable. They completely change games. If it's laughable, I stop watching. The fact you don't get called for holding while throwing 50 times with no tackles I can live with, it's the absolute laughable ones that make it WWF. I will give an update after the bear game. In Lambeau on a Thursday night is going to see some unbelievable phantom calls. It should be hilarious.

on September 26th, 2017 at 04:14pm

It's "hold the fort" until the reinforcements arrive for the Packers in these two games this week due to the injury plague that has descended on them. And they still hold the fort after Sunday's game. It's rather remarkable that they were able to come from behind to win with an injury depleted offense against what was, coming into the game, a top 5 defense holding a two touchdown lead at halftime. And speaking of defense: has any one noticed that the Packers currently have one ranked in the league top 10 (8th)? (The vaunted Minisota defense by comparison is 20th.) The performance of the defense in the second half of the games so far this season should be noted. In the second half they've held Seattle to 6 pts., Atlanta and Cincinnati to just 3pts each. They've kept the Packers in the game with the chance to win it at the end. And it's being done without Mike Daniels and Nick Perry, their two most impactful defenders.

on September 26th, 2017 at 05:44am

Gregg, you can make own rules about how to watch the game. I will agree with you, I didn't like that call of pass interference there. It was a bad call. I don't know if I will ever understand the conspiracy though , or why you would bring up the flag in connection with it.

on September 26th, 2017 at 09:15am

Greg is right. But that's what I get paid to do. I also like the bogus 12 men on the field call. Do do Doodoodo CHEAT PACK CHEAT!

on September 26th, 2017 at 11:35am

Synner and Pack fans - Good luck with the OT injury plague. Sorry, not sorry. - Vikings Fans P.s. Your D-backs and Running backs are terrible.

on September 28th, 2017 at 11:11am

That was no 'gritty' win you guys just got. You almost lost to a winless team whose quarterback can't help but give the ball away. And if you wanna talk injuries...first lose Rodgers and then you can start talking about how tough it is to win with injuries.

on September 28th, 2017 at 11:16am

Bahaha look at all the Vike-queens fans posting in Mr. Head Cheee's thread. Sinykin is the most level headed person on KFAN. Sad he has to put up with all you terrible queens fans. Rodgers is gonna throw for 400 and 5 TDs against the Bears. Don't you Vike-Queens fans have your own little nursery-girls thread or something? GO PACK GO

on September 28th, 2017 at 11:26am

Gotta love Gerby, he is one of the only people that can know absolutely nothing about football and still make a living talking sports. As a Vikes fan I'm playing the long waiting game. It will be oh so sweet when Rodgers career is over in 5 years and this team will be perennially 'rebuilding'. Your team as absolutely nothing without him.

on September 28th, 2017 at 11:30am

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