18

December

Packers Lose to the Chiefs. What Happened?

Packers lose to the Chiefs - Quest for undefeated season is over

Packers are undefeated no more

The Packers’ undefeated season is over. Exactly 364 days from their last loss, the Packers were soundly defeated by the 5-8 Chiefs, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I say soundly because this game was nowhere near as close as the final score might indicate.

The Packers were dominated by the Chiefs. New head coach Romeo Crennel came up with an extremely efficient  game plan to send the Packers to their first loss of 2011. . On offense, he kept things simple and short for Kyle Orton. He put him in the best possible situations for success. On defense, he did everything possible to disrupt the Packers flow. As Mike McCarthy said after the game, “they pressed us from the minute we got off the bus.”

Despite their record, I think we all knew the Packers were not a team without flaws. Yet they had enjoyed 13 straight games worth of success (19 including last year) thanks to two main things: Creating turnovers on defense and making big plays on offense. In this game, they got neither.

DEFENSE:

The Packers’ defense was it’s usual yardage sieve, giving up 438 yards to the Chiefs, and allowing them a 36 minute to 24 minute time of possession advantage. Limit the amount of time Aaron Rodgers has the ball is  priority #1 for any team wanting to beat the Packers.

As is also the case, the Packers defense stiffened when it needed to. But how many times can you let a team inside your five yard line and keep them out of the end zone? For the Packers, the magic number was four, as Denver was finally able to cross the goal line on their fifth try.

More than criticize the Packers defense, I think we need to give credit where credit is due – the Chiefs did their home work and devised a perfect game plan for the Packers.  They mixed the pass and the run beautifully, and killed the Packers with the screen pass in the first half.  They seemed to anticipate when the Packers would be bringing pressure, and had the screen pass call at the ready.

The Packers defense has pretty much been the same all season. We knew what we had (and didn’t have). We also knew that eventually, they would not come up with the big turnover, costing them a game. Let’s just be glad it happened now, rather than in the playoffs.

OFFENSE:

As most people expected, the Packers looked to Jermichael Finley to fill the void left by the absence of Greg Jennings. Finley was targeted ten times in this game, but unfortunately, only caught three of them. Compare this to Randall Cobb, who I had hoped the Packers would use more, who was throw at four times and caught them all. Finley had his opportunity to shine and just didn’t.

The Packers offense could have hurt the Chiefs defense with passes to the running back. Unfortunately, James Starks and Brandon Saine, either of whom could have had a big day, were both on the sidelines. Ryan Grant is not a great runner of routes and his hands are average at very best. With the Chiefs secondary blanketing Packers receivers downfield, and their DL getting into Aaron Rodgers’ face regularly, Green Bay could have made them pay if either Starks or Saine were available for check downs or designed pass plays.

With the Chiefs secondary playing so well on the deeper routes, and Rodgers’ not displaying his usual accuracy, I kept waiting for Mike McCarthy to simplify things for Rodgers as the Chiefs had done for Orton. Not to mention keep running Ryan Grant, who was having a pretty good day.

Instead, he stuck with his game plan and kept calling routes into the heart of the Chiefs’ secondary. Perhaps not having Starks and Saine and Finley’s drops prevented him from making many adjustments, but I thought McCarthy showed some of his patented stubborn belief in his game plan, come hell or high water. After the game, McCarthy commented that Rodgers was put in some tough spots in this game. I agree, and I think McCarthy contributed to the problem.

Of course, it’s possible that Rodgers is mainly responsible for forcing multiple pass attempts in the 10 – 20 yard range. Without the benefit of watching the game back again, I don’t remember a lot of short routes from the Packers’ receivers. It also seems this would have been a good game to use the slant pass more frequently, but it only appeared a few times.

And of course, providing more consistent help for Newhouse on Hali might not have been a bad idea, either.

I’m not killing McCarthy here, but in a loss like this, everyone gets some blame.

COACHING:

The Packers were thoroughly out-coached in this game. The only obvious adjustment came on defense in the second half, when the Packers were ready for and stopped a few screen passes, which had been so successful for KC in the first half. The Packers were allowing both receivers and tight ends to get wide open in the middle of the field, and little changed over the course of the game.

The Chiefs had game-planned very thoroughly for the Packers, employing a strong formula on both offense and defense. The Packers were never able to solve the Chiefs on either side of the ball, and the frustration level was high. Only a handful of goal line stands prevented this from being a shellacking at the hands of the Chiefs.

SUMMARY:

The Packers were out-played and out-coached. Thoroughly. No reason to sugarcoat it. On the other hand, there’s no reason to panic. Unless of course, the Packers have no offensive linemen left…

 

 

 

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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23 Responses to “Packers Lose to the Chiefs. What Happened?”

  1. Ron LC says:

    Lot of things led to the loss. Most importatn in my opinion was the very poor Oline play. Newsome is going to get Rodgers killed. Then when they moved TJ to right tackle and put EDS at LG next to Newsome it was apparent that there is absolutely no depth in what remains of an Oline. They’ve got to find someone who can at least get in the way of the rush.

    Let’s hope Bulaga will be back next week. Newsome and EDS on the left is never going to work.

    The loss os no big deal but they will have to patch a semblence of an Oline together ASAP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Art Rosen says:

    With the Packers’ loss today we now hope for a 49er loss tomorrow to clinch home field. But that would put the Saints as the #2 seed which is not good. We don’t want the Saints to get a bye, we want them to have to play two games before going to Lambeau, not one. The Saints scare me.

    Okay, so we hope for a 49er win tomorrow to keep the Saints as the #3 seed without a bye and rely on the Packers winning one of the the the two remaining games. I like this alternative better. Thoughts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Interesting thought. The Saints are definitely peaking at the right time, while some other teams are coming back to earth. And we better hope to God the Eagles don’t pull off a miracle and win that division. They scare me when they’re all on the same page…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Mojo says:

    I hate bend don’t break. I would rather give up the occasional home run than have the opponent chew-up so much clock and limit A-Rod’s touches.

    Of course without a pass-rush we can’t stop either the mid-or long range passes anyway. IMO that is the Packs biggest weakness. I know the O didn’t play well today, but the lack of pass-rush has been a season long malady.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. Adam Czech says:

    Dom Capers needs to tell his D-lineman that it’s ok to get a QB pressure every now and then.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Ron LC says:

      Neal has zero tackles since he’s been back. Virtually all running yards are gained on the right side of the Packer Dline. Much due to Walden been trapped inside, over and over again.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. kdawg says:

    With all the problems on the o-line you would think they would’ve started to roll Rodgers out of the pocket some. As far as Finley I think he is way over rated. He always looks angry but he sure dont play that way. He plays like he’s affraid to get hit. With his size I would really like to see him deliver the hit for a change but first catch the damn ball!! He seems to think that he’s the best in the game though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. packett says:

    This one is on the coaches…McCarthy and Capers. Oh, and Finley’s hands. Their job is to respond to problems..and match wits. Why every time inside your 5 yard line…do you have to run it up the middle to get a few yards…when you know chiefs forming a brick wall? Predictable.

    Why he didn’t design a response for the pass rush with first half screens, quick slants, sideline routes? Jeez.

    Capers? Ok, its time he carries some responsibility. All season with no pass rush? What’s up with that? Is he safe from criticism b/c of his past reputation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. ELo says:

    This game was simply an illustration of the Packers weaknesses we’ ve discussed all year. Still hard to freak out with 13 wins, but our defense really is terrible. If we cant score 40 plus points in the playoffs, we may be in big trouble.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • BTF says:

      I’d disagree that this was a continuation of the years problems (and there have been problems I accept). While allowing clock chewing drives didn’t help the D gave up one TD and 19 points. You’d expect an offense oriented team to win given that. The offense’s misfires were largely to blame. IMO.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • caesar fiorini says:

      McCarthy admitted as much by attempting the on sides kick with the 2:00 timeout and 3 others left.
      He knew the defense was gassed !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Dan says:

    The Packers have a lot of things to “clean up”. Not only are they not physical enough up front to put pressure on the opposing QB, the other teams receivers are absolutely wide open have the time. Mean while, A-ROD is running for his life and has to squeeze the ball into his covered receivers. I pray Bulaga is ok. They need Starks back soon and Clifton and Jennings for the playoffs. And whats up with Finley?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Dan says:

    I agree Art Rosen, I have been saying the same thing. I want the 49ers to win tomorrow, and the last 2 games, to lock up the 2 seed. The Pack needs to beat the bears next week and lock up the 1 seed. If the Pack cant beat the bears with out Cutler and Forte,at home, then they dont deserve the 1 seed. Although if they play like today it wouldnt happen, But, I think the Pack, when healthy, can beat the 49ers. Alex Smith dosn’t worry me. Has anyone heard anthing on Bulaga? Need him next week.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. packett says:

    Any player can turn it around. Ya hope Finley sees film and is thoroughly embarrased…and it motivates a focus that just hasn’t been consistent this year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. Dan says:

    Pipe dream ,… the pack should trade James Jones, a 1st, 2nd and 4th to Denver for Von Miller, CM and VM on the edges, pass rush solved

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  12. looked to me like the chiefs knew what was coming AWWWWWWWWWW-DAY.i think MM lost this one on purpose.no 2nd half adjustments at all.grant looked great[fast]when they actually let him run the ball.but hey,why run when the defense has its ears pinned back…hello.just cannot believe that MM was outcoached by a ROMEO.cannot believe it,cannot believe it. one more thing can anyone out there play tackle or guard.cannot believe it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. AL,did not read your 1st impressions column when i posted my 1st thought.you even thought that the play calling was just a little off,okay way off. looked to me the packers telegraph when and where they were blitzing from all game.your thoughts please. tyvm

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I’ve been done with the fullback dive on 3rd/4th and one for over a season now. For a head coach to be that predictable is really unfathomable. As many others have said, Grant should have gotten more than 12 carries. And not giving Newhouse any significant help? Poor decisions.

      Capers got burned early with the blitz, especially with the screens. He made adjustments, but then the lack of pass rush gave Orton time to find receivers open downfield. Not being a defensive coordinator, can’t tell you how you find a successful balance there…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Ron LC says:

    Apparently, Ol’ No Tackle Neal wasn’t the answer we’ve been waiting for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. George D says:

    There seemed to be something “inside” that was almost a give away game.Think about this a sec.Clay M. didn’nt like giveing the 2nd the chance to finsh the Raiders game with the big lead so seems like a hold back that got out of hand ???

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