Chad, Kris and Marques get together on this podcast to review the Lions game and get you ready for Bears week. With the Packers winning their 22nd straight regular season home game against the Detroit Lions and the Bears losing, they are in sole possession of first place in the NFC North. A win against the Bears will clinch the division for the Packers
Yes, it’s Bears week!
Join the writers at AllGreenBayPackers.com for a fast hitting discussion of all things Packers for the current week. There will be plenty of talk about the previous game and a look towards the next. Some regular features are “Game Balls and Lame Calls” and the “Packers Stock Report.”
OK, I’m having a little problem here. Admittedly, I’m still pretty shocked about the Packers loss to the Giants. I sat down to write a post-mortem, but I’m just staring at this blank computer screen and pondering where to begin. So, I think I’m going to need some audio and video aids to help me express my feelings…
Mike McTrautman:It’s over Johnny. It’s over.
John “Rambo” Rodgers: Nothing is over! Nothing! You just don’t turn it off! It wasn’t my war! You asked me, I didn’t ask you! And I did what I had to do to win! But somebody wouldn’t let us win!
Um, yeah, the Giants… Again.
As much as we all rejected the comparisons to 2007, the rosy-cheek Coughlin, Manning-face Eli and this band of underdog Giants marched onto Lambeau Field and once again took away what rightfully belonged to the Packers – another win on the way to the Super Bowl.
Both times, it was more than a loss, it was an embarrassment. In the 2007 playoffs, the Giants came into the frozen Green Bay tundra and won a game in elements only the cold-hardened Packers could supposedly withstand. The image of a thoroughly frozen and not wanting to be there Brett Favre (on the sideline just before he would go in and throw his final pass as a Packer) still haunts me.
This time around, the Packers were the de-facto best team in the NFL, with a 15-1 record and the probable NFL MVP at quarterback. But the Giants had an excellent game plan and other ideas. They forced the Packers into turnovers, and took advantage of their best mismatch – their wide receivers against the Packers’ secondary.
Just like Plaxico Burris in the previous playoff meeting, the Packers could not deal with the Giant’s big receiver, Hakeem Nicks. The Packers couldn’t tackle Nicks, couldn’t cover Nicks and couldn’t catch Nicks. The Hail Mary completion just before halftime will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in Packers history.
The Packers continued to fumble their way through the game (literally), yet despite being outplayed, still found themselves only 7 points behind with the ball on the Giants 39 yard line. Rodgers could not connect with an open Jermichael Finley on 3rd and five, and then was sacked on fourth down. The Giants marched down the field for a field goal, and after a Ryan Grant fumble on the next series, a Giants TD pretty much sealed the Packers’ fate. Read more...(656 words + 2 images, estimated 2:37 mins reading time)
It was just a week ago that Jermichael Finley was upset about not being thrown the ball enough in the Denver game. Here were his comments:
“For sure, they took me out of the game. I don’t know what I came out with, but hopefully we can go back and dial something up for the double teams. We’ve got to have something for it. We’ll have to go back, not being selfish or nothing, but go back and dial up something so you can get your playmaker the ball in games like that when it’s close.”
From reading that quote, one would think that he was totally ignored in that game. Not having seen the game live, it’s certainly the impression that I had. But looking at the game stats told a different story. Finley had been targeted 6 times but caught only 3 for completions.
Fast forward to the Falcons game, which I did see live. Finley appeared to me to be a big part of the game plan. He was thrown to 7 times and caught 4. He did not always display the excellent hands he possesses. In fact, Finley had a particularly egregious drop at the goal line just before the second half, which cost the Packers 4 points. Here it is:
Five out of the seven times Finley was thrown to in the Atlanta game, it was on a third down. Here’s the breakdown:
1st Q, 4:21: 3rd and 2, complete for 24yds.
2nd Q, 0:18: 3rd and 12, incomplete (drop at the goal line)
3rd Q, 6:26: 1st and 10, incomplete
3rd Q, 1:57: 3rd and 10, complete for 22 yds.
3rd Q, 1:03: 2nd and 10, complete for 7 yds.
4th Q, 11:27: 3rd and 11, incomplete
4th Q, 6:18: 3rd and 2, complete for 24 yds.
The 22 yard gain in the third quarter was a particularly important play. It was a tight 15-14 game at that point, and Finley’s catch and run kept the drive alive and put the ball in Falcons’ territory. Just a few plays later, Greg Jennings would take the ball to the house to put the Packers safely ahead for good. An excited Finley felt the importance of his catch, doing a rather amusing dance after the catch. Here it is:
Read more...(558 words + 3 images, estimated 2:14 mins reading time)
The Green Bay Packers used 25 unanswered points, including touchdown receptions from receivers James Jones and Greg Jennings, to stun the hosting Atlanta Falcons, 25-14, and improve their record to 5-0 in 2011 with an 11th straight win overall.
Here are five observations from the game:
1. Bouncing back
There simply aren’t many teams in the NFL that could have rebounded the way the Packers did after falling behind 14-0. The Falcons had steamrolled them on both sides of the ball through the first quarter, amassing 125 yards and holding the ball for over 10 minutes. A second 10-play drive led to another Falcons’ touchdown following Ryan Grant’s first fumble in over 300 touches. And after seeing your starting left tackle hobble off the field while your starting right tackle is on the sidelines in street clothes, other teams might have just packed it in on the road. But the Packers slowly got their offense back on track. Despite settling for two field goals in the first half, it looked as if the offense gained confidence marching down the field on those two possessions.
The Packers defense held serve, and going into the half down just 14-6 was a huge boost after such a disastrous start. Remember, Sunday night was the first time the Packers had been down by 14 or more points in a game since 2009. They faced that adversity well against the Falcons, which is always something Mike McCarthy stresses. By overcoming all those potential road blocks, the Packers’ 25-14 win was undoubtedly the team’s most impressive of the 2011 season.
2. Defensive response
Enough can’t be said about how the defense played in the second half, and really, on each possession following the Falcons’ first two touchdowns. Atlanta made it looked frustratingly easy in racking up 140 yards and two scores in the first half, but the Packers clamped down after that. The Falcons had just 111 total yards during the final 42 or so minutes of the game. On Atlanta’s six possessions after their second touchdown, they gained just 14 yards and punted five times (one drive was a kneel down before the half). That’s an incredible turnaround and it saved the game for the Packers. The Falcons did threaten on their final two drives, but each ended with a Matt Ryan interception. Read more...(1629 words + 1 image, estimated 6:31 mins reading time)