Category Archives: Game Recaps

18

November

Mike McCarthy Did the Packers No Favors Against the Giants

Mike McCarthy disapoints on and off the field

Mike McCarthy disapoints on and off the field

The Packers entered the game yesterday with a desperate need for a win against the Giants . I expected Mike McCarthy to dial up an aggressive game plan, one that would attack the weaknesses of the Giants defense. Instead, they went at the Giant’s strength.

The first two possessions of the game saw runs on first and second down for little gain, as the Giants did what they’ve done to other running attacks, despite their poor record. Both possessions resulted in punts – so much for getting the Packers off to that rousing start I had hoped for.

Just after the start of the second quarter, there was another set of first and second down runs, this time to James Starks, again with little gain and again, resulting in a punt.

I don’t know how it looked on TV, but watching the game from inside the stadium, in my nosebleed third tier seats, I felt an early listlessness in the Packers’ offense. As if there was a resignation that giving even their best effort would still not be enough without Aaron Rodgers. While that may be true, you don’t go out and concede right out of the gate, do you?

Luckily, the defense was playing better than they have the last few games (though still giving up some big plays), and kept the Packers within four points at halftime. I was pretty happy about that, especially with the Packers having the ball to start the second half. Surely, they would come out with a more balanced attack and march down the field to take the lead. Um… not.

First and second down runs again, for a total of 3 yards gained.  I’m not saying that shouldn’t have been running, but I am saying a little more creativity was needed.  And there other ways to get the ball in the hands of your running back if the defense is packing the line of scrimmage against runs. Packers did it only twice, for a 10.5yd average gain. With that kind of success, should we have seen it more often? One was actually a screen pass – a play McCarthy has seemingly moved to the back of his playbook.

Can you say “Predictable?”

And that brings me to my second point. The Packers are fooling NO ONE (or at least they sure weren’t fooling the Giants).

10

November

Packers vs. Eagles – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: PHI 27 GB 13

Burnett and Williams fight each other for the ball - TD Jackson.

Burnett and Williams fight each other for the ball – TD Jackson.

Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles:  2013 Game 9

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

There’s really only one thing that matters in this game – can the Packers find a way to win games with Seneca Wallace in place of Aaron Rodgers?

Clay Matthews hurries back to try to give the defense and the Packers an emotional boost. His OLB bookend, Nick Perry also makes it back this week.

Nick Foles threw seven touchdown passes last week. He did a great job of going through his progressions because he had time to. Packers can’t allow that to happen this week.

 

Tonight’s captains for the Packers: - David Bakhtiari, Brad Jones, Chris Banjo

 

Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
10 WR Chris Harper
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
25 CB James Nixon
55 LB Andy Mulumba
78 T Derek Sherrod
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

Philadelphia Eagles
7 QB Michael Vick
24 CB Bradley Fletcher
39 RB Matthew Tucker
54 LB Jake Knott
64 T Matt Tobin
67 T Dennis Kelly
89 WR B.J. Cunningham

 

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Panic when Rodgers went down?:  You really don’t have time for that. He told me on the sidelines they just want to take a picture. It happened at end of series, so the transition was as smooth as it can possibly be. You have a chance to warm your backup QB up and get him in there to start the next series.

Adjustments when Rodgers went down: Last week was particularly tough because of where we are as an offense with Aaron Rodgers and the responsibility we put on to our quarterback. Ad dto that our injuries on the perimeter – it was a big adjustment. With a week of preparation, we’ll be much more ready today.

Eagles uptempo offense:  -  It’s a challenge. I thought our opponents team did am great job replicating it this week in practice. Just have to make sure you have the right defensive sets and not get caught by surprise.

Nick Foles: H can really throw – has always been impressive. Our defense has a big challenge – More importantly we have to go attack them.

4

November

Packers vs. Bears – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: CHI 27 GB 20

Aaron Rodgers injured on this play

Aaron Rodgers injured on this play

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears:  2013 Game 8

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

Good news announced just before game time: James Jones is active and will play.

Packers staring outside linebackers tonight are Mike Neal and Andy Mulumba… dramatic pause…

The Packers have won six straight and eight of the last nine meetings against the Bears (including playoffs).

Packers CB Tramon Williams and Bears T Jordan Mills are cousins; both attended Louisiana Tech and Assumption High School in Napoleonville, La. …

 

Tonight’s captains for the Packers: - Jordy Nelson, Tramon Williams, Davon House 

 

Inactives for today:

 

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
10 WR Chris Harper
25 CB James Nixon
52 LB Clay Matthews
53 LB Nick Perry
88 TE Jermichael Finley
93 DE Josh Boyd
98 DE C.J. Wilson

96 Mike Neal will start at OLB in place of Perry; 55 Andy Mulumba will start at OLB in place of Matthews; 81 Andrew Quarless will start at TE in place of Finley.

 

Chicago Bears
6 QB Jay Cutler
19 WR Joe Anderson
55 LB Lance Briggs
78 T/G James Brown
79 T Jonathan Scott
94 DE Cornelius Washington
96 DT Zach Minter

59 Khaseem Greene will start at LB for Briggs; 12 Josh McCown will start at QB for Cutler.

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Mon nightexcitement:  It’s a great atmosphere – Lambeau  under the lights, especially a Monday night

Playing a night game: It’s a long day. got up early, had a team meeting. All our guys are here and ready to go.

Jones: James Jones will play – he wants to go and he;s ready – we’ll see how he feels.  Same for Brad Jones.

Jarett Boykin: He’s a hard worker – does everything right – tough kid making the most of his opportunity.

Good health of two lines: (knocks on wood).

Kick returns: Will start with Micah Hyde, would definitely like to get Johnathan Franklin another opportunity.

Different Bears: with Trestman: Definitely. They’re dynamic schematically on offense.

Josh McCown: He played really well last week. He’s had a long time to get ready for this game. He has experience. This is a very productive offense.

28

October

Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 44, Vikings 31

Jordy Nelson caught two touchdowns, giving Myles White and the rest of the team reason to celebrate.

Jordy Nelson caught two touchdowns, giving Myles White and the rest of the team reason to celebrate.

The opening kickoff made it look like the Minnesota Vikings would have a shot to upset the Green Bay Packers in teams’ final meeting at the Metrodome, as Cordarrelle Patterson raced 109 yards for a touchdown.

But from then on, it was all Packers.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense moved the ball up and down the field with ease throughout the game. Despite having Myles White as his No. 3 receiver and Andrew Quarless as the starting tight end, Rodgers threw for 285 yards and a pair of scores to go along with just five incompletions.

His two touchdowns–both to Jordy Nelson–were perfect. There’s no other way to put it, really. Rodgers zipped the ball right past the defender’s earhole on each throw, leaving the defender with no chance at deflecting the pass.

After the first scoring connection from Rodgers to Nelson, I tweeted, “If I’m Aaron Rodgers, I’m putting an ongoing loop of that throw on a projection screen. Maybe in every room of my house.” And I meant it.

Then, after Nelson’s 76-yard score, I, again, wanted share my admiration. However, I just couldn’t seem to think of the words. It was simply another perfect throw by one of the best quarterbacks in football.

That touchdown, ironically, reminded me of Rodgers’ crucial third-down dart to Greg Jennings in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLV. Jennings, now with quarterbacks Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman, Matt Cassell and the Minnesota Vikings, was targeted three times Sunday night and only caught one pass for nine yards.

It’s safe to say that, while wealthier, Jennings is not having a lot of fun wearing purple this season. And that’s nothing against the color.

Speaking of Jordy Nelson, I think it’s worth revisiting the unwritten rule that you can’t compare white wide receivers to anyone other than white wide receivers. Nelson isn’t Eric Decker or Ed McCaffrey. He’s not Wayne Chrebet or Wes Welker.

The guy is every bit of 6’3″ 217 pounds. He’s not the fastest receiver in the world, but he does everything you could possibly ask a wide receiver to do, and he does it well.

27

October

Packers vs. Vikings – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 44 MIN 31

Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:  2013 Game 7

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

The 1-5 Vikings host the 4-2 Packers in the teams’ first meeting of the season. Though the Packers have rebounded from a slow start and fight through a number of injuries to key starters, the Vikings just seem to be in shambles. Christian Ponder will start today after recently-signed Josh Freeman took the nod last week. Greg Jennings will want to light up his former team, especially after all of the controversial sound bites, and Adrian Peterson will want to get back to form after rushing for a total of only 90 yards across the past two games. On the other side of the ball, James Starks is back to possible spell Eddie Lacy in the ground game, while the Packers defense looks to maintain their dominance at the line.

Today’s captains for the Packers: - C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith, DT Johnny Jolly, K Mason Crosby.

 

Inactives for today:

The following players have been declared as inactive for tonight’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
25 CB James Nixon
52 LB Clay Matthews
53 LB Nick Perry
59 LB Brad Jones
82 TE Ryan Taylor
88 TE Jermichael Finley
89 WR James Jones

Starting lineup changes: 81 Andrew Quarless will start at TE in place of Finley, 11 Jarrett Boykin at WR for J. Jones, 96 Mike Neal at OLB for Perry, 55 Andy Mulumba at OLB for Matthews, and 57 Jamari Lattimore at ILB for B. Jones.

Minnesota Vikings
12 QB Josh Freeman
27 CB Shaun Prater
40 FB Rhett Ellison
44 RB Matt Asiata
60 G Jeff Baca
83 WR Rodney Smith
91 DT Chase Baker

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Recent success in Metrodome: Communication, verbal and visual. Have to be able to overcome it, especially in big situations.

Rivalries for fans vs. players: Players and coaches still feel rivalry. Not beneficial to get involved in emotions of it. Need to play emotionally, mentally disciplined.

Finley’s health: He’s getting better. Testing is still going on. No timetable at this point.

Bush, Hayward returning: Always want them involved on special teams. How Vikings play will determine Hayward’s participation.

James Starks returning: Would like to get him involved tonight.

24

October

Charting Life After Finley

Much has been made rightly so about Jermichael Finley’s injury; I won’t go too much in depth because it’s been covered by several of my fellow writers but I will add that it’s great to hear that indications point to Finley avoiding a life-changing injury; ultimately the injury may cost him his career as a professional football player but at least he will be able to live a relatively normal life afterwards.  Going back to football, the question becomes “what do the Packer do now without Cobb, Jones AND now Finley?”  Obviously Finley was more a wide receiver than a traditional inline tight end and therefore could compensate somewhat for losing both Jones and Cobb but now that Finley is also out for the foreseeable future, what does the Packers wide receiver and tight end cores look like and how will they operate?  Keep in mind tight end is the joker of the Packers offense as tight ends often play inline, in the slot, as a fullback, as a move tight end and sometimes even on the outside; a lot of the Packers’ creativity, versatility and matchup problems come from moving tight ends around so seeing what they do with their tight ends is often a good indication of what their offense will operate.

I think the simplistic view is to look at body types and try to project players into Finley’s role.  Andrew Quarless is naturally the first option as he has the most experience and receiving production of the remaining tight ends.  Quarless is also a good blocker and thus likely would have seen time on offense even with Finley playing so playing him wouldn’t arouse as many suspicions as any other player.  The second option would be Brandon Bostick, a former wide receiver in a tight end body that has been with the Packers since 2012 who might be the most athletically gifted of the backup pass catchers.  The Packers obviously see something in him by keeping him this long and keeping him on the 53 man roster and his history as a wide receiver could help compensate for the more “wide receiver” like plays that Finley often made. However, just looking at body type and playing history is often misleading, Quarless has been in this situation before in 2010 when Finley was lost for the year with a torn ACL and did nothing with it and Bostick wasn’t even able to beat DJ Williams last year for a spot on the roster.

20

October

Packers vs. Browns – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 31 CLE 13

Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson

Finley TD celebration…

Green Bay Packers vs. Cleveland Browns:  2013 Game 6

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

GAME NOTES:

The walking wounded (otherwise known as your Green Bay Packers) hit the field today in their Throwback uniforms to take on the improving Browns. Cleveland has  a very good unit on defense, but the offense has struggled since Brian Hoyer went down and Brian Weeden stepped in at quarterback.

Packers wide receiving corps will consist of Jordy Nelson, Jarret Boykin and Myles White, fresh off the practice squad.

Today’s captains for the Packers: - OL Josh Sitton, DB M.D. Jennings, LB AJ Hawk.

 

Inactives for today:

 

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
29 CB Casey Hayward
44 RB James Starks
52 LB Clay Matthews
53 LB Nick Perry
59 LB Brad Jones
82 TE Ryan Taylor
89 WR James Jones

Starting lineup changes: 11 WR Jarrett Boykin starts for J. Jones, 96 LB Mike Neal for Perry, 55 LB Andy Mulumba for Matthews, 57 LB Jamari Lattimore for B. Jones.

Cleveland Browns
58 LB Brandon Magee
60 OL Patrick Lewis
64 OL Martin Wallace
65 OL Garrett Gilkey
83 TE Keavon Milton
90 DL Billy Winn

The Browns have only 52 players on their active roster, therefore they have only six inactives.

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Keep calm and carry on: Inspiration comes from my wife – has great appreciation for history. Really helps me on a personal level when the kids are being rambunctious. Very appropriate this week for our game against the Browns.

 

NFL requirement to dress 46: We will dress all 46. there will be a player or two on there we’d rather not play – not going to say who.

Question marks: Hayward not going to play he’s inactive.  Mike Neal is active and ready to go.

Linebackers: Malumba and Palmer have had a full week of practice. First time we’ve had all 7 DL up. Excited for Josh Boyd, he’s been working hard in practice – deserves this chance.

Receivers/TEs:  White, Stoneburner – they’re going to have opportunities to play today. I just want them to not overthink and just go out there and play football.