29

August

Packers vs. Chiefs – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: KC 30 GB 8

Packers vs. Chiefs

Packers vs. Chiefs

Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs:  2013 Preseason Game 4

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

 

Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers

12 QB Aaron Rodgers
24 CB Jarrett Bush
25 CB James Nixon
29 CB Casey Hayward
42 S Morgan Burnett
52 LB Clay Matthews
59 LB Brad Jones
88 TE Jermichael Finley

Kansas City Chiefs
TBA

 

GAME NOTES:

All eyes will be on Vince Young starting with the first unit and the bubble players – many trying to make an NFL roster for the first time.

Just before game time, I found out something very interesting. Brian McIntyre of Yahoo Sports reported that Mason Crosby agreed to restructure his contract on Thursday. Yes, that’s right. Full details can be found here.

I imagine it went like this:  TT: “So Mason, if you’d like to stay here, what say you take a pay cut – then we won’t call Giorgio back – deal?”

 

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Dujuan Harris injury: Like any injury, you have tomove on. Our responsibility as a coaching staff to taylor plays to the guys we have

OL vs. Seattle: There were some things that frankly weren’t very clean. Our assignment discipline was not what it needed to be. Some indecision there.

Kicking competition: Mason’s been challenged throughout training camp. It’s important for Mason to perform well tonight.

Kickoffs: It’s really about the flexibility to have 2 guys who can do it very well. Crosby is good at it but Tim has been exceptional at it.

Kickoff returns: Alex Green will start back there, Johnathan Franklin will get some reps. It’s still an open competition.

Lower-rung players: You’re playing for an opportunity to play in the NFL. Either at GB or somewhere else.

Quarterbacks: Vince Young to start, BJ Coleman will get a lot of work also.

Injured players: Tramon Williams, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will all start the game.

Hot Night: We’re very conscientious of the heat – we cut the pre-game down.

Feelings about this camp: We grew. I wasn’t thrilled at first, but by the second preseason games, I thought we had come together and were doing things the right way.

 

30

August

Packers vs. Chiefs – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 24 KC 3

Graham Harrel with a perfect passer rating vs Chiefs

Graham Harrel finished with a perfect passer rating vs Chiefs

Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs:

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

Inactive for Packers today:

Inactives tonight: Charles Woodson, Davon House, James Starks, Robert Francois, Jeff Saturday, Andrew Datko, Ryan Pickett, Donald Driver and Tom Crabtree.

Notes:

The Packers have finished the preseason against the Chiefs the last three years.

Mike McCarthy started his NFL career with the Chiefs in 1993.

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

 

Starters: Our starters will play one series, maybe 6-7 plays.

Last week’s game: We felt good coming off the field and even more so after the film study.

Roster: A lot of cometetion throughout the whole roster, not just at the bottom, but for starting jobs also.

Can someone win a job tonight: Absolutely, I’m counting on it. Ted & I have discussed this – it’s the beauty of having a 4th preseason game.

Graham Harrell: GH is just like every other football player competing – he has to play well and he has to earn that opportunity. I don’t really agree with the opinions outside the building. No need for us to address it. GH brings a lot to the table. If we were to play a game tomorrow with GH, our offense wouldn’t need to change… People need to get their facts straight.

 

 

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Packers vs. Chiefs – First Impressions – First Half:

Raji hurt on the first play? Hopefully just turned an ankle.

Sean Richardson in at safety before MD Jennings…

Nice job by Nick Perry on the Richardson tackle for a loss. Got backfield penetration, forced RB wide, couldn’t follow his lead blocker.

For a second, I thought Shields was gojng to try to run that interception out like last year when he would up getting concussed…

Harrell deep to Gurley. Huge play for both of those guys…

Graham’s Law: Harrell + protection = better results.

I’ve been in Alex Green’s corner since day one, but right now, he’s not finding the holes (assuming there are some). Will still give him a pass for most of this season. Usually takes close to 2 years for complete ACLrecovery.

30

August

Packers vs. Chiefs: 3 Not-So-Obvious Things to Watch

Packers Cornerback Sam Shields

Packers Cornerback Sam Shields

Seems like every writer, blogger and fan forum has a “5 things to watch” or “3 things to look for” post to preview an upcoming game. Usually, the items are fairly general and rather obvious; things like, “the offensive line needs to pass protect better  and the defense needs to create turnovers.” For many football fans, that’s good enough.

But you’re not just any NFL fan are you? No, you’re a Packers fan. And if you’re a repeat visitor to this web site, there’s a good chance you’re a rather rabid Packers fan that knows a thing or two about the game of football. From what you readers tell me, you like to read about Xs and Os, break down plays on film and discuss the more subtle aspects of the game of football.

I’m a firm believer in “give the people what they want,” so our “3 things” post will strive to be a little different. We’re going to delve into the not-so-obvious aspects of the upcoming games and give you some very specific things to look for.

Here are three players to watch in this game:

1) Sam Shields #37 - Shields regressed last season, partially because of increased responsibilities in coverage and run defense, according to CB coach Joe Whitt. Shields started slow in camp, then missed two games with an injury. Many Packers fans quickly soured on Shields, still irked from his disappointing play at the ending of last season.

Lately, however, his play is on the rise and the Packers are hopeful it continues. Shields has the one thing you can’t teach, the speed to make up for mistakes in coverage. With Davon House to be affected all season by a shoulder injury, Casey Hayward just too inexperienced and Jarret bush too valuable as a versatile fill-in, the Packers would much prefer to see Shields as the starter this season. What the Packers will be looking for this game is how Shields tackles a running back in the open field. You should watch for it too.

2) Jerron McMillian #22 – McMillian is in a two-man battle with MD Jennings to win the nickle safety position (when Charles Woodson will be moving to slot CB). But that’s not all – according to Dom Capers, the Packers have used him a bit at the dime cornerback spot (something I hadn’t noticed) and like what they’ve seen. I’ll be watching for #22 this game and how the Packers use him. This could open up a lot of possibilities in the Packers’ secondary.

19

December

Packers vs. Chiefs: 5 Observations from Green Bay’s 19-14 Loss to Kansas City

Photo: MCT

The Green Bay Packers (13-1) lost for the first time in 364 days—a stretch of 20 games—as the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off the upset of the season Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, 19-14.

Five observations from the Packers’ first taste of defeat since Week 15 of last season:

1. Playing perfect to end perfection

I said before the game that Kyle Orton would have to play a perfect game for the Chiefs to have a chance. He was about as close to perfect as you could ask for on Sunday, completing 23-of-31 passes for 299 yards. The key stat, however? Zero turnovers. Orton made all the easy throws and avoided that one game-changing giveaway.

The Chiefs offense did a fine job of hurting the Packers in the screen game early then picked apart the Packers’ zone after Dom Capers was forced to adjust. But even with the Chiefs’ offense rolling, there was anticipation for a turnover from the defense that could turn around the game. It never came. With the Packers offense struggling for the first time all season, not getting that one momentum-shifter was huge.

2. Dropping the rhythm

The issues on offense went deeper than just drops, but it was painfully obvious how those missed opportunities in the first half stymied the rhythm of the Packers’ offense. Jermichael Finley saw a couple of easy ones go right through the hands, but he also had a handful of opportunities to make game-changing catches, which admittedly were tough plays, and couldn’t convert. Aaron Rodgers called the drops a “physical mistake” after the game, but it’s mental for Finley. He’s clearly pressing, and dropping the first ball that came to him Sunday only snowballed the mistakes.

He wasn’t alone, as Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson also dropped balls which they normally catch. If those plays are made, the Packers likely score enough points to win. Greg Jennings wasn’t the one dropping those passes, either. His impact was felt in the offense, but not having him on the field had absolutely nothing with the inexcusable drops.

3. Man down

The Packers’ already aching offensive line saw both Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod suffer injuries. Bulaga left in the first half but seemed fine on the sidelines after returning from the locker room. McCarthy labeled his injury as a “knee sprain,” which again, can mean a number of things. Bulaga will have a MRI later today. Sherrod suffered a major injury, which McCarthy confirmed as a broken leg, and won’t be playing football anytime soon.

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.

2

September

Packers vs. Chiefs: Quick Observations from 20-19 Win in Preseason Finale

Photo from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 20-19 Thursday night after Kansas City’s 56-yard field goal attempt with no time remaining was wide left.

Here are some quick observations from the Packers’ preseason finale:

Twos outplay ones:

The Packers can take a lot of positive things away from their preseason finale. They got an incredible amount of positive film on the young guys who needed more evaluation time. The backups played nearly the entire game at most positions. The Chiefs even helped the Packers out by playing their starters well into the second half, which gave Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy the rare opportunity to see how their backups stacked up against the Chiefs starters. For the most part, the Packers twos and threes didin’t look overmatched. In fact, the defense did a number on Kansas City’s offense for a majority of the contest. Overall, to win a preseason game that should have been so undeniably onesided is certainly something to be proud for players and coaches throughout the Packers organization.

So’oto shines

Vic So’oto had the game of his life Thursday when he needed it the most. Many had already pegged him as a player who had a chance to crack the Packers 53-man roster, but his play against the Chiefs all but sealed it. So’oto had 1.5 sacks, another tackle for a loss, a strip of Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave the lead back to the Packers. If that’s not enough to make this team, I don’t know what is. It was an all-around impressive performance from the undrafted rookie out of BYU.

McDonald struggles

While So’oto had a night to remember, backup center Nick McDonald had one to forget. His botched snap inside the 10-yard line gave the Chiefs a safety, but he was also flagged for a false start and got beat up in the running game on several occasions. McDonald hasn’t progressed like the team thought he would after a rookie campaign in which he impressed several of the Packers coaches. Despite his versatility to play both center and guard, McDonald played himself onto the roster bubble Thursday night.

Pat Lee, last game in GB?

1

September

Packers vs Chiefs: Things to Watch In Green Bay’s Preseason Finale

The Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs will close out their preseason schedules Thursday, with the Chiefs traveling to Lambeau Field in a rematch of each team’s 2010 preseason finale. The Chiefs won that game at Arrowhead Stadium, 17-14.

As was the case when these two met last August, the Chiefs come in to the game 0-3 in preseason play. The Packers were also 2-1 heading into their finale in 2010.

These two teams play in Week 15 of the regular season in Kansas City.

Here are some things to watch between the Packers and Chiefs Thursday:

Secondary Blues

Backups in the Packers secondary haven’t played well in three preseason games. Pat Lee and Jarrett Bush have been picked on at times, culminating with the touchdown pass Bush gave up against Curtis Painter in Indianapolis. Both Bush and Lee have struggled finding the football in man coverage, and Lee gets lost sometimes in zone.

The two got a chance to face a starting NFL quarterback in Colt McCoy in Week 1 of the preseason, and he roasted the pair to the tune of 135 yards, one touchdown and just one incompletion in 10 attempts. In the finale, they should get another chance with Matt Cassel. It’s important these two, and especially Lee, start making strides. Another tough outing could spell the end to Lee’s career with the Packers.

Ones vs. Twos

Packers coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t announced anything yet, but it’s widely assumed most of the Packers starters will get the night off Thursday as the team prepares to face the Saints just a week after their preseason finale. McCarthy sat the starters last year at Arrowhead and the Packers weren’t playing the league’s first game of the season.

That’s not the case in Kansas City, where coach Todd Haley said he’ll get most of his starters a good chunk of playing time. How much exactly wasn’t announced by Haley either. Regardless, Haley’s decision should get some of the Packers backup players valuable experience against a starting team that won the AFC West last season. You really can’t beat that from an evaluation standpoint. It’ll help both McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson get a gauge on where some of the second-stringers are and which should make the Packers final 53-man roster.

In the Trenches