I got a DVR. I must say it's much nicer rewinding and fast fowarding than it ever used to be. And skipping through the commercials is so easy. I love it.
- Jarrett Bush didn't make any tackles on special teams, so his value wasn't immediately obvious. But it's clear Shawn Slocum had a plan for keeping Pro Bowl return specialist DeSean Jackson in check. On each of Tim Masthay's first three punts of the game, all three were to the left side of the field where Bush lines up as a gunner. On the first two punts, Bush was able to easily beat his man and force a fair catch from Jackson. On the third punt, Bush was double teamed and forced out of bounds, but with help, Jackson was still only held to a 7-yard return. Jarrett Bush receives a bulk of the credit for making Jackson a non-factor on returns.
- Tom Crabtree was the unsung hero on special teams fighting through a two-man wedge to make a tackle on kickoff plus being a key factor on several of Jordy Nelson's long returns.
- In Tim Masthay's first regular season performance as a holder, he cleanly picked the ball out of the air (including one low snap) on all of Crosby's kicks.
- The Packers didn't play a single snap in the base defense. Of the 66 plays I charted including penalties, they played nickel 60 times and dime six times. They stayed in nickel even on the handful of goal line and short-yardage situations, including the 4th-and-1 stuff of Michael Vick to preserve the victory.
- On four plays, the Packers only rushed three players and were able to get a surprisingly good rush with only three thanks in no small part to Clay Matthews. On three out of the four plays they rushed three, Brad Jones dropped in coverage. Cullen Jenkins dropped once.
- I'm sure you noticed Clay Matthews lining up at an inside linebacker position several times throughout the course of the game. He rushed the quarterback from his ILB spot three times. Of those three plays, one ended up in a sack and another ended up with him laying out Michael Vick shortly after releasing the ball.
- On two of the plays Matthews lined up at ILB, the Packers showed some exotic pressure with Jones and Jenkins. One one play Jones and Jenkins stunted and on the other play Jones and Jenkins lined up on opposite sides of the field with Jones rushing from the left side.
- When the defense lined up against Michael Vick in the first half, it was the first time they'd seen the Wildcat since last season at Cleveland. And even then, I think Josh Cribbs only ran it for a play or two.
- On Frank Zombo's sack, it was the first and only time on Sunday where they brought a safety blitz. Both Morgan Burnett and Nick Collins rushed up the middle drawing attention from additional blockers and aiding Zombo in getting to Vick.
- B.J. Raji rarely came out of the game. It was primarily Jenkins and Pickett rotating plays.
- If there's one position (aside from kicker or punter) that can afford to play with a club-like cast, it's the defensive line. The club didn't seem to affect Jenkins much at all. That shouldn't be much of a problem moving forward.
- Ryan Pickett dropped into coverage once when Tramon Williams and Brandon Chillar both blitzed.
- Both Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar had quietly solid games even though they didn't tally a single "impact" play (sack, interception, forced fumble, recovery, etc.) between the two of them. Best of all, they held their own in pass coverage.
- I'm still trying to decide how much of an impact A.J. Hawk not playing on defense had an effect on the team's performance.
- I think I saw only one cross dog all game.
- There's definitely something to be said for sacrificing fewer blockers for more available receivers. On the 9 plays the Packers kept either 7 or 8 players in pass protection (whenever the Packers kept 8 in protection, it was always out of the "full house" inverted-wishbone formation), Aaron Rodgers was 2 of 6 passing, suffered two sacks and had to scramble for a first down when he couldn't find an open receiver.
- I'm not excusing the play of tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton on the plays in which they gave up back-to-back sacks, but Ryan Grant offered almost no assistance in pass protection. He stayed in to block both plays and he may as well not have been on the field. He did nothing.
- Trent Cole was giving out football lessons on Sunday. He just wins 1-on-1 battles. He gave Clifton trouble against both the pass and rush, and threw around Tom Crabtree on a couple of plays as well. Of course, it's really unfair to expect a first-year player like Crabtree to win 1-on-1 battles with a guy like Cole.
- On the touchdown pass to Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley and James Jones drew the coverage deep into the endzone while Driver ran his route just deep enough to barely get beyond the endzone line. Perfect timing, perfect execution.
- Asante Samuel is the first player to my memory to break up the run/pass option slant intended for Donald Driver. The Packers have to be careful. They go to the well on that one a lot. Other smart corners around the league could probably pick up on that as well.
- Korey Hall sacrificed his body several times while lead blocking. That's the most effective I've seen him in the run game in a while.
- Jordy Nelson continues to the primary wide receiver in 1 receiver sets. That's not surprising because they do a lot of running out of those sets and Nelson might be the best blocking receiver on the team.
- The Packers ran the "Big Five" formation one time with Brett Swain out on the field.
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