Category Archives: Recaps

20

February

2013 Packers Position Group Analysis: Inside Linebackers

Packers Inside Linebackers:  If nothing else, the 2012 team showed us how deep we are at inside linebacker. After losing two starters in Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith, the Packers were still able to keep things together with Brad Jones in the lineup. The caveat, however, is that while the group is deep, there are no real “blue chip” players to be found.

(Note: Listen to the combined linebackers podcast at the end of this article:)

Where are we now:

Here are the current suspects:

A.J. Hawk (1st Round, 2006)
Desmond Bishop (6th Round, 2007)
Brad Jones (7th Round, 2009)
Robert Francois (UDFA, 2009)
D.J. Smith (6th Round, 2011)
Jamari Lattimore (UDFA, 2011)
Terrell Manning (5th Round, 2012)

For all the talk of the deficiencies at defensive line and outside linebacker, we seem to forget about the fact that inside linebacker is leaving us with something to be desired. It’s not a horrible group by any means, but there’s also nothing special about it. Desmond Bishop is currently the best player of the bunch, A.J. Hawk isn’t worth his contract weight, D.J. Smith was a bit of a disappointment this year, and despite his solid play, Brad Jones wasn’t much of a playmaker either. Terrell Manning seems to be the current roster’s last shred of hope among an otherwise lackluster crew, but he needs to make it onto the field first and foremost.

  • Hawk: Even though A.J. Hawk had one of his best years in 2012, it was still not great. He’s no Vince Young when it comes to first round busts, but he lacks the playmaking ability and athleticism you would expect from a player drafted at his position. His work ethic and football intelligence have kept him around for seven frustrating years, though it’s clear his salary will be more than his worth in 2013. The Packers could save $5.45 million in cap space by releasing Hawk.
  • Bishop: It’s hard to believe that Desmond Bishop will be going into his seventh season in 2013, because it took him so long to gain a starting role. His lack of consistency held him back until Nick Barnett’s season-ending injury in 2010. Since then, he has proven himself to be a hard-charged thumper that brings an attitude to the defense. More of a red chip than a blue chip player, he is easily the best inside linebacker on the squad right now.
18

January

Two Simple Things That Beat the Packers in San Francisco

Colin Kaepernick 49ers Packers

Colin Kaepernick owns the 2 things that beat the Packers

In the aftermath of the Packers’ loss to the 49ers, there were fingers pointing in every direction. If you were a Packer, there was no escape from the scrutiny, whether it was deserved or not.

Players, coaches, GMs, scouts, everyone except the owners were raked over the coals (we never do anything wrong, right?).

But in reality, and despite the final score, this was a game that midway through the third quarter was still tied. This despite the offense hardly being on the field in the first half.

This also despite the Packers’ gift of two turnovers which resulted in 14 points for the 49ers. You could easily make the case that those were the “two things” I alluded to in the title. But it’s not.

There are, in fact, two reasons the Packers are not travelling to Atlanta for the NFC Championship game. They both happen to be attached to be attached to Colin Kaeprnick’s body: They are his legs.

There is little doubt in my mind that if Alex Smith were quarterbacking the 49ers on Saturday night, we would not be listening to season-ending press conferences this week. We would not be hearing chants of “Fire Capers,” and “Our defense still sucks.”

You hear the term “favorable down and distance” a lot. Mike McCarthy uses it a lot. Any NFL coach will tell you that maintaining favorable down and distance improves your chances of winning dramatically. Especially on third down.

The Packers defense (the one that improved greatly this season but seemingly everyone now thinks is so awful), were able to put the 49ers into unfavorble down and distance on third down a total of eight times in the first half. EIGHT TIMES the 49ers were looking at third down distances of  8 to 12 yards.

Think about that a bit. Does that sound like a “horrible” defense? Any defense would take that performance in a heartbeat, knowing that they would probably get off the field at least six times out of those eight.

Instead, five times Colin Kaepernick’s legs kept the ball in the 49ers hands and kept the Packers’ offense off the field.

10

January

Packers Playbook (aka Hobbjective Analysis): Divisional Playoffs – Packers at 49ers

Looking back at the Wildcard game two things became rather apparent: the first was that the Vikings gave up by around the second quarter which lead to the Packers giving up (or “protecting an outrageous lead”) around the 3rd and the second was that the Vikings did not know how to handle quarterback Joe Webb (Football Outsiders mentioned that it appeared if Webb’s progressions were actually more complicated than Ponders, which is probably not what you should be asking your backup quarterback who hadn’t thrown a pass all season to be doing).

Either way, outside of the the Packers’ mistake that costed them the Vikings only touchdown (which I reviewed and can’t decide who’s at fault) there really wasn’t a play that really stood out to me; the Vikings were atrocious beginning to end and the Packers did nothing entirely special when there were trying (which apparently was enough to win the game in the first 30 minutes) and then proceeded to sit on the ball for the 2nd half.  So instead, I’ve decided to look forward to the 49ers game (which I didn’t analyse since I started this series in week 2)

When you look at the 49ers defense, you don’t see a lot of flaws; for them it starts with their front 7 starring Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman.  Simply put they don’t need help defending the run (while the Packers are a considerably better running team than what the 49ers saw on opening day, I still don’t think the Packers running game has much of a chance) and to make matters worse, they really don’t need help rushing the passer, as Aaron Rodgers was running for his life the entire game last time they met.  So with the deep passing game a risky proposition and the running game likely not to be much of a factor, what are the Packers going to do on offense?

The answer is probably going to be the short passing game.

The Situation: It’s opening week for the NFL and the Packers are starting the season at home against the San Francisco 49ers.   There’s 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and the Packers are trailing 10 to nothing, which isn’t a insurmountable hole with so much time left.  The Packers just ran a Randall Cobb RB/WR trick play on 1st down and netted 6 yards, which gives the Packers options on 2nd and 4.

30

December

Must See Video: Green Bay Packers Tribute

If you haven’t seen this (and since it only has 3000 views on Youtube, I’m guessing you haven’t), it’s one of the best Packers tribute videos you’ll ever view. Dale Decker brings us a finely crafted video made by a Green Bay Packers fan, but one that could easily pass for an NFL Films feature.

I can’t imagine how much time it took to find all these classic clips and put it all together is such a well-made video, but I can tell you this: If you’re a Packers fan, this is some of the best eight minutes you can spend.

Do yourself a favor: watch and enjoy!

 

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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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16

December

Packers vs. Bears – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 21 CHI 13

Packers 21 Bears 13, Packers vs. Bears, Packers Bears, Score, Packers Score, Packers Bears score, Packers Bears results, Packers Bears recap, Packers @ Bears, Packers - Bears, Game Day, game results, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, First Impressions

Packers 21 Bears 13, Packers vs. Bears, Packers Bears, Score, Packers Score, Packers Bears score, Packers Bears results, Packers Bears recap, Packers @ Bears, Packers – Bears, Game Day, game results, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, First Impressions

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears:

My unfitered game day running blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today: 

21 DB Charles Woodson
44 RB James Starks
56 LB Terrell Manning
80 WR Donald Driver
84 TE D.J. Williams
87 WR Jordy Nelson
98 DE C.J. Wilson

Inactive for Bears today:  

12 QB Josh McCown
26 CB Tim Jennings
54 LB Brian Urlacher
58 LB Geno Hayes
69 DT Henry Melton
80 WR Earl Bennett
99 DE Shea McClellin

 

Game Notes:

Clay Matthews returns to the field today, a huge boost for the Packers’ pass rush. Matthews had 3.5 sacks in the first game against the Bears.

Tim Jennings being out for the Bears is as big, if not a bigger loss than Urlacher being out.

With a win today, Green Bay would clinch their second straight NFC North Title.

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Due to some “technical difficulties” WTMJ didn’t have tape of McCarthy’s interview with Wayne Larrivee. But here are some things MM supposedly said.

Matthews will play and they will monitor his progress. Expect him to be a major contributor.

TJ Lang is back at left guard with Don Barclay at right tackle. Josh Sitton will start at RT.

Running game is important but we need to get the perimeter of our offense going  today.

 

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Packers vs. Bears – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and defer.

I think more than starting the game on defense, MM love having the ball to start the second half.

If the Bears are planning to run like this, I’d much rather see McMillian at S than MD Jennings.

Packers first drive starts on their 2 yard line.

Again, not one short route for Rodgers to find. Has to hold the ball and take a sack.

Nice work by Brad Jones on the outside staying with Forte down the field one-on-one.

11

December

Packers Stock Report: Shooing Away the Lions, Bringing on the Bears Edition

Packers CB Casey Hayward played his way onto the rising list this week.

Since the Packers handled the Lions on Sunday, they should be able to handle the Bears this week, right?

Think about it. The Lions have:

  • A talented but erratic QB
  • One dominant receiver
  • A tough defensive line
  • A cover-2 strategy designed to contain the Packers

Sounds very similar to the Bears. The main difference is the Lions have a better offensive line and the Bears have a better secondary and running back. The Bears are also beat up.

That’s my preliminary analysis, anyway. Very in-depth, right?

We’ll see if my perception changes later in the week, but I don’t see many reasons to pick the Bears, especially when you factor in the hopeful return of Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and (maybe) Jordy Nelson.

It was good to get the Lions out of the way. They annoy me for multiple reasons.

On to the stock report:

Rising

Casey Hayward
For some reason, Tony Scheffler was giving the Packers some trouble on Sunday. So the Packers called on Hayward and soon Scheffler wasn’t a problem any more. The rookie played all 84 snaps and had another strong game despite dropping another interception late. Now if he could only get home on blitzes like Charles Woodson used to….

Mike McCarthy
Bashing McCarthy’s decision-making and infatuation with calling downfield passes is a very popular thing to do during games. I do it myself. Every fan gets mad at the head coach of his favorite team on ocassion. But if you’re going to bash, it’s only fair to praise when praise is deserved. McCarthy seems to have the Packers living in their own world, a world where throwing in the towel because of injuries and bad breaks is not acceptable. Having Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback helps make this world a better place to be, but McCarthy still deserves a ton of credit. Getting the most out of reserves and young talent has become the norm with McCarthy. Whatever you’re doing behind the scenes, Mike, keep it up.

9

December

Packers vs. Lions – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 27 DET 20

Packers Mike Daniels Fumble Recovery TD - JSOnline.com

Packers Mike Daniels Fumble Recovery TD

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions:

My unfitered game day running blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today: CB Charles Woodson, LB Clay Matthews, WR Jordy Nelson, DL CJ Wilson, DL Mike Neal, LB Terrell Manning, RB James Starks

Inactive for Lions today:  DT Corey Williams, S Louis Delmas, WR Lance Long, QB Kellen Moore, OT Corey Hilliard, OT Jason Fox, DE Ronnell Lewis

 

Game Notes:

The Packers have beaten Detroit  in 20 straight regular season games at Lambeau Field – an NFL record.

The Packers have won 10 straight divisional games – a franchise record.

Thanks to the Vikings win over the Bears today, the Packers have a chance to open a two-game lead (with tiebreaker) over Chicago with 3 games left in the season after tonight.

The Packers have only 4 DL active in this game – expect them to play most of the game in nickel or dime with only one or two DL.

Tonight’s weather at Lambeau: 33 degrees, wind 10mph from the east, 92% humidity, light snow through 9pm CT

It’s snowing at game time. I was at the Seattle playoff snow globe game. What a treat fans at the game are in for tonight.

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Divisional games against same team so close together:  You definitely plan for 2 games before the season even starts, we just stuck to our 2-game plan. We’ll have some wrinkles for them and I’m sure they’ll have some for us.

Ryan Grant: He looked very natural coming back – there have been some terminology changes from last year. He’s comfortable with the game plan and I would not hesitate to use Ryan.

TJ Lang: We’re going to work Lang in pre-game and then come back in and make a decision on him.

Bears loss: I’m sure everyone’s aware of it. Hell, we’ve been here all damn day waiting for this game to start.

Lions record: Very talented football team. they have lost a lot of close game.

Stafford:  I think he has a lot of arm talent. Has great confidence – not afraid to stick it in there on tight coverage.