Packers XLV

An Offensive Masterpiece.

Posted January 17th, 2021 @ 05:01pm

You know what they always say, "offense wins championships." At least, that's what they say in the new age NFL, where dynamic offenses led by elite quarterbacks can take down even the best defenses.

But never has an offense taken down the league's best defense in more dominant fashion than the Pack did against the Rams at Lambeau. They're the first team to post 475 yards of offense, with more than 175 yards rushing and give up zero sacks and not turn the ball over  against a #1 defense in the playoffs. That is offensive perfection.

Yes, I know Aaron Donald was not completely healthy. You don't tear rib cartilage and not feel it one week later. Yet he was out there and entered the game with no injury designation and Elgton Jenkins handled him with no issues. The whole offensive line did, wherever he lined up. That line allowed pressure on only 9 of 37 dropbacks, while Jared Goff faced pressure on nearly half of his.

Rick Wagner continues to handle his business.  He rendered Leonard Floyd a non-factor. As I said on "Packer Review," the only time I noticed Floyd was when Rodgers broke his ankles on his way to his rushing touchdown in the second quarter. And perhaps most importantly, the line dominated the Rams' #3 rush defense from the opening snap, allowing the Pack's three-headed rushing attack to pile up 191 yards on six yards per carry.

A line playing that level would be any QB's best friend, but when that QB is Rodgers, you're not going to lose too often. It was the 13th time the Pack has put up at least 30 points. And I thought the biggest play of the game may have been the third and three catch that MVS made midway through the fourth quarter when it was a one score game. When he caught it, it looked like MVS had no chance to get the first down, but his deft footwork along the sidelines and tough effort moved the chains. Two plays later, Rodgers used play action, where he is deadly, and found Allen Lazard for the 58 yard touchdown that delivered the dagger to the Rams.

There were other huge moments: Jones' 60 yard gallop that opened the third quarter and put the Pack in the red zone where he punched it in five plays later; the 29-second scoring drive at the end of the half that pushed the lead to nine; the AJ Dillon fumble that Rodgers pounced on and advanced a few yards to keep a drive going late. Each of those were moments that stood out on a night where the Pack were otherwise solid play in and play out.

We know the defense will be tested a lot more next weekend against the Saints or Bucs, but  they handled the limited Rams offense as we hoped they would. There were three scoring drives, but there were also five drives where the Rams averaged four plays per drive. When Cooper Kupp was ruled out, it took Goff's best receiver and security blanket out of the picture. I thought Goff looked much better than he did last week in Seattle, but he was never able to make a play over the top. Robert Woods' longest reception was ten yards. Once again Jaire Alexander led a talented secondary and dominated a receiver group that they should dominate. It will get tougher next Sunday.

Rashan Gary was the Pack's highest graded defender and is developing so quickly that he will allow the team to move on from Preston Smith and use those dollars to lock up one or two of their other free agents after this playoff run ends. Smith has been solid, but Gary is ready for the full time job--he was all over the field on Saturday.

Special teams continues to be a problem. The muffed snap on the first PAT caused the Pack a point and maybe a healthy Mason Crosby, who suffered either an arm or neck injury as he tried to pounce on the ball after the bad snap. He finished the game, but looked a little compromised, so we'll keep our eyes on that. JK Scott didn't have much of a chance to make a mistake since the Pack scored on its first five drives.

But the return game is still a concern and I find myself holding my breath every time a team kicks off or punts to Green Bay. Tavon Austin doesn't seem real comfortable, since fumbling in Chicago and made a bad decision not to field a punt on Saturday. And Malik Taylor has no business being a kick returner. If all the pass catchers raced, I think he'd finish just ahead of Marcedes Lewis, who's as old as Rodgers. At least he's been dependable catching it. I'd just as soon he fair catch every time he fields a kick.

So now we await the opponent: Brady or Brees. An epic matchup between first ballot Hall of Famers. Rodgers finally gets a championship game at Lambeau. And there will be fans on hand. The small crowd made a difference. We could hear it on TV and the players all talked about it after the game. Rodgers got emotional talking about what it meant to hear the fans as he ran out of the tunnel, and then the M-V-P chants late. And he got emotional talking about how special this team is and how close-knit they are.

It feels like something Super is brewing with this group. And now they get one extra day to heal and prepare for Brees or Brady next Sunday afternoon. Whichever legend gets there, he knows he'll have to be at the top of his game to outduel Rodgers in his house.

He's been waiting a long time for  this.

 

Post a Comment:

Name
Website:
Email
Comment
Please Enter the Validation Code Below

Comments (3):

The home field in the Divisional round of the playoffs has been very good for the Pack. Saturday's win was their 6th in 7 Divisional playoff victories at Lambeau since 1996. And only a couple of them have been particularly close. Compare that to their 3-6 record in this round on the road since 1993 and you can say there's no place like home. Now it's on to the the 5th NFC Championship Game of Aaron Rodgers' era with home field for the first time. Only once in 7 title games have the Packers ever lost in Green Bay or Milwaukee. It'll be the long anticipated meeting of Rodgers and Tom Brady. And in their 3 previous duels between the two G.O.A.T s the one playing at home has won.

on January 18th, 2021 at 05:18am

The Bus will be a tough out. They have the confidence as team of winning on the road and of beating this team earlier. They have key players that have played in the cold. We didn't match up well against them last time. The feeling still is that this team is much improved from that last meeting. It seams unlikely that Rodgers will have the same break downs. The run defense has improved as well. I would like them to play the with two safeties just deep enough to take away the center of the field and get pressure up the middle when possible. The bright side of playing the Bucs is we now have a chance to put Brady on his back multiple times. That would be my great pleasure to see.

on January 18th, 2021 at 07:46am

OFFENSIVE LINE won that game, simple as that. RB's were good, But the line was great. I did get one prediction right on Lazzard having big game, Was not feeling good when he dropped that 1ST ONE. I watched the game 3 times. If 12 plays like that we will lose next week. I know most don't notice it, cause he had almost 300 yds. and ran one in, that was huge play in the game. BUT, if you asked him he would tell you he missed 8 throws. That is a lot for his standards he has set for himself I know. We are all very spoiled. 4 times he threw the ball behind the wr on crossing routes. 2 were caught but if you watch his reaction. they got minimal yards and 12 knew it. he missed wide open MVS in end zone in 1st drive. He almost threw 2 Int's before the half, got very lucky to get 3 there. And of course the wide open MVS he threw out of bounds. Even the one to Lazzard for TD was not perfect and the one Lazzard he missed was a little to much on a line should have had more air under it., But he should have caught the 1st one too. I know I'm being picky here, But I tell you, we will not win unless he plays better next week. And Aaron will tell you the same if you asked him. On the 2 point conversion 33 was wide open early to his right and would have walked right in, but he missed him till late and had to force it then. It's what we waited for all year. Here is what 12 wanted, to play a NFC championship at home. Now he has to come thru, as good as our d is playing we will need 31 to win and that will be tough against that d and weather. As Long as I am picking on 12 today. I bet most of you except Packerlifer, He knows his stats. In all of Rodgers NFC championship games, He has more Int's then TD's passing. 7 to 6 in 6 games. Could win a lot of money on that bet. Play well, No turnovers, and if 12 plays like he can we win 31 to 27. ONTO MIAMI

on January 18th, 2021 at 12:58pm

Blog Archive

Poll

Has Rodgers played his last game in green and gold?

Powered by: Avallo Panel