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"Chips Report" From Week 3 Win vs. Bears

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"Chips Report" From Week 3 Win vs. Bears

Our weekly "Chips Report" will always include two blue chippers (outstanding, exceptional play), two red chippers (good, though maybe not great) and two cow chips (dud performances). From the Week 3 win against the Chicago Bears...

Blue Chips

  • Jermichael Finley––There is not another tight end in the league more dangerous than Finley right now. Yes, he's tall and he can go up and make catches higher than anyone else, but it goes beyond that. He knows the offense inside and out. He can catch jump balls and go down and cradle others a foot off the ground. He can work the middle of the field and then catch back-shoulder throws along the sideline. And he's an improving blocker as well. His stat line speaks for itself: seven catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns. 'Nuff said.
  • Ryan Grant––Just when James Starks was looking like the best option worthy of receiving a majority of the carries this season, Grant has his best game in literally years (albeit due to injury). He had 17 carries for 92 yards, good for 5.4 yards per carry. If you subtract the last few carries of the game after Grant got hit in the head and the Bears knew the Packers were trying to run out the clock, the average would have been even better than that. It seemed like every carry was for at least seven yards.

Red Chips

  • Morgan Burnett––With Nick Collins out for the year and the safety position in need of some stability, Morgan Burnett provided it with two interceptions. He showed a knowledge of being in the proper place, great hands and better range. He also tied for the team lead in tackles with five. The Packers need another elite performer in the secondary and so far this season, Burnett is providing it.
  • Marshall Newhouse––Considering the circumstances, a better performance could not have been asked from Newhouse. In the face of adversity with Bryan Bulaga exiting with a knee injury, Newhouse stepped in and generally did not miss a beat. He had one false start penalty and another penalty declined by the Bears, but he did a fantastic job in pass protection keeping Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije away from Aaron Rodgers. It was Newhouse's first career appearance on offense after being inactive all of 2010 and playing only on special teams the first two games of this season.

Cow Chips

  • Charlie Peprah––Replacing Nick Collins in the starting lineup, Peprah did little to instill confidence in observers. He got beat for three "explosive" plays. On the first, he dove attempting to break up a pass intended for Sam Hurd and missed. The pass was completed for 17 yards. On the second, he got beat on a corner route by Johnny Knox for 24 yards on the very next play. And then on the third he got turned around on another route by Knox for 40 yards to the deep left side of the field. All of them happened in the second quarter. With the Packers giving up more than 300 yards passing in all three games this year, they need more from Peprah.
  • James Starks––Starks had 11 carries for only five yards and three catches for only nine yards. Certainly, there were times where he had no room to run. But there were others when he tried to cut and change his direction, which slowed him down, instead of putting his shoulder down and getting what was available to him. Against good linebackers like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, any bit of slowing down isn't going to work.
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (36) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Kathy's picture

Couldn't agree more with the blue chip for Ryan Grant. I'm so tired of those fair-weather fans that call for Grant to be sat down and Starks to be handed the ball carte blanche. There's a reason Thompson & Co. kept these two backs. That reason was quite evident today.
Welcome back, Ryan. The Packers may have won the Super Bowl without you last season, but your place on this team is a valuable one. So glad to have you.

PackersRS's picture

GREAT Red Chip for Newhouse. Using my PKism, what an underrated job he did today, coming from the bench, in a position he, IIRC, only practiced for during this shortened offseason, going against Julius Peppers often times, and handling his job so well that Peppers was forced to move back to Clifton.

He doesn't have the power of Bulaga in the running game, but THAT guy is an offensive tackle. What a find. Who knew TT knew about Olinemen.

Bearmeat's picture

Completely agreed.

Good stuff Newhouse. I hope you don't have to play more - but if you do this was a GREAT start.

Oppy's picture

Thanks for expanding on Peprah's bad play.
To be honest, I still -feel- like he played a decent game overall, regardless of getting beat very deep twice.

Knox and Hester have got some wheels, and they do have the ability to get behind most corners let alone safeties.

We know what Peprah is- he's a physically limited safety who mostly plays strong, tough, and sound football. But he's certainly not an exceptionally gifted athlete like Burnett or Collins.

PackersRS's picture

Brian and guys, any word on what the heck happened on that punt return? Because the only thing I saw was yet another motive to fire Slocum.

Bearmeat's picture

It was a hold on Jarrett Bush before Knox even caught the ball...

On the Jsonlin packers blog around 7pm

lebowski's picture

The Bears still suck, and so does Slocum.

CSS's picture

Sherrod will get physically stronger and be a really good tackle, Bulaga can be special and Newhouse performed very well. I'm feeling good about Rodgers long-term prognosis at this point.

Oppy's picture

It will be interesting to see what happens with Sherrod and Newhouse...

Newhouse looked extremely good in practices at LT this season, and was earmarked by some scouts as one of the biggest steals in the 09 draft based on his potential.

If he's capable of improving this much at RT since the preseason, how good could he be at his natural position of LT, and what if he proves a better option than Sherrod?

Do the Packers force SHerrod into the lineup next year due to draft position? or do they let them have a true competition and perhaps look at the long term solution as trading away the lesser of the two when their last year under contract rolls around?

CSS's picture

Newhouse last season looked like Sherrod does now. Both have a great frame and athleticism, both lacked the physical strength to play at a pro level in their first year. Difference is, Sherrod is a superior athlete and capable of being more physical.

Oppy's picture

The only real knock on Sherrod- if you can call it a knock for a LT- is that coming out of college he was considered a finesse tackle and perhaps lacked ideal physicality.

Newhouse lacked upper body strengt coming into the league, much like SHerrod, hence the comparisons in their development and having "red-shirt" like rookie seasons., but I think Newhouse has a bit meaner temperament than Sherrod. They both have good feet for LT's, I think the real difference between Sherrod and Newhouse will end up being that Sherrod has ideal length. His body screams elite LT once he gets some strength and fills out a bit. So in that respect, yes, perhaps he's more capable of being physical. I just don't know if he's got the mindset to be more physical than Newhouse. Not that Marshall is a road grader, either.

CSS's picture

When you watch Sherrod's actual games his senior year you can see his lack of physicality as a run blocker was exaggerated. The finesse thing was a creation of the mock draft alternate universe of amateur internet scouts. The kid will be fine in both phases.

Newhouse is long, really long in the upper body. The comparison is apt all around.

lars's picture

No, Newhouse has a lousy frame/lumpy body which really hurt his draft stock. He worked hard to improve his strength. Tauscher had a less than perfect physique also but he got the job done.

Sherrod has a great frame and really could have used the rookie camps, OTA's, etc.

Evan's picture

I'm also confused because Hester waved for a fair catch. I know he wasnt near the ball, but he was the deep return man, right? What's the rule on the return waving for a fair catch and another player returning the kick?

Evan's picture

Dont know why this comment posted here.

Kevin's picture

How about cow chip for the dead ball penalties on offense?

mitch's picture

I wouldn't blame Starks so much for his lack of production. In the 1st through third quarter, everytime it seemed he was on the field, it was a draw or a called screen to him. I could see it before the play and guaranteed the bears saw it too

Nerd's Laptop's picture

I really really want them to run more screens, but damn, they just CANNOT get that stuff into a rhythmn.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Cow Chip:
Brian Carriveau for picking duh bares.

GBP 4 LIFE

Jeremy's picture

Didn't he pick the Steelers in the SuperBowl too?

Oppy's picture

You know, i just caught a highlights clip on NFL.com and saw that 24 yard reception that Peprah got "burned" on, and have to say, it sure looks like either Charles Woodson or Morgan Burnett completely blew their assignment at the LOS and let Knox run free (from Burnett's reaction, I assume it was burnett).

With Burnett playing within 5 yards of the LOS, my guess is Peprah's assignment was to play deep and at all costs keep the deepest WR in front of him, which is what he did. He makes the sure take down and takes out Knox's legs as he goes up for the ball. I certainly can't fault him for that.

packeraaron's picture

Re Peprah. Obviously the guy can play. They won a Super Bowl with him. But there were three or four plays during the last month of last season and through the playoff run where guys had Peprah flat beat and the quarterbacks just missed the throw. It happened at least three times. The guy can be taken advantage of - which is exactly what the Bears tried to do today.

All I wrote was that they are playing with fire vs the pass with him in the lineup - but what choice do they have? I'd much rather have him back there than some shmoe off the street.

Oppy's picture

Fair enough, Aaron. There is no question he has to make up for athletic limitations with savvy and technique, but when an error is made, he doesn't have the ability to make up for it with raw physical ability.

That's what makes Collins such a huge loss. Thank goodness we have Burnett, who as I've stated before is, IMO, one of only 3 or 4 safeties in the league who are as rangy and dynamic as Nick Collins from a physical standpoint.

jeremy's picture

This is probably the reason for the appearance of the "Corner Okie" on passing downs. It worked pretty well. I expect to see more of it. Especially next week with Orton throwing the ball up to 40 times a game.

PackersRS's picture

Peprah needs to be protected in the playcalling.

Anything deep and he is a liability.

packeraaron's picture

Agreed.

Oppy's picture

Burnett was often put near the LOS yesterday and Peprah was often the deep man..

Also, Peprah was ranked as one of the best safeties of 2010 season by Football Outsiders metrics if I'm not mistaken.

I don't think Peprah is a liability playing deep, per se. Peprah is most certainly not cut out to handle man coverage on any sort of talented WR, however.

For the most part, he plays smart and takes good angles. As discussed earlier, he doesn't have the speed or athleticism to make up for mistakes or lost ground. But I would not go so far as to say he's a liability deep.

Just my opinion.

PackersRS's picture

"I don’t think Peprah is a liability playing deep, per se. Peprah is most certainly not cut out to handle man coverage on any sort of talented WR, however."

Exactly why he can't line up deep... And it's not just talented receivers. He doesn't play the ball well in the air period.

Playing deep he'll be targeted often with those kind of throws.

Oppy's picture

PackerRS,

How often do we find safeties 'lined up deep' and in man coverage?

Typically, if you are pushing your safeties back, they're playing a deep zone, often over the top of man coverage.

I don't want to see Peprah with his hips turned trying to run with a WR. on that, I agree. There's a reason he's a safety and not a corner. But lining up Peprah in a deep zone is not the same thing.

Spiderpack's picture

Starks had an "I'm a Dumbass Game." But in all fairness, it seemed like the playcalling set him up for the more poorly blocked plays. Is it possible that MM knew how the Bears D might be zeroing in on him based on his success so far? And also knew how Grant can read this particular defense and so MM called plays correspondingly? Grant has been lights out against the Bears all his career. We mustn't underestimate the intelligence of our offensive playcaller's minds.

CSS's picture

Starks just had a bad day, nothing to do with play calling. It happens and I doubt fans really think less of him for an off day. His game is planting his foot and getting North/South. He danced, hesitated and over-processed. Plant a foot and go.

Easy corrections.

Spiderpack's picture

Marshall Newhouse is my Hero.

Majik Man's picture

right on

calipackfan's picture

Peprah made a huge hit to knox I believe it was, he will get better.

Darrin's picture

Peprah leveled Knox across the middle. Knox juggled the ball before Peprah got there anyway. But still it was a big time hit.

Beep's picture

On tiny bit of criticism of Finley, he did line up on the wrong side in the 3Q or 4Q that caused Rodgers to burn a time out. Turned out to be insignificant, but stuff like that could hurt more in a closer game.

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