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Gut Reactions: Week 9

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Gut Reactions: Week 9

  • The injuries keep piling up with Matthews and Bulaga. This is a team in desperate need of the bye week.
  • Erik Walden with another strong game
  • Starks certainly looked rusty, with the fumble and some extremely bad pass pro. 
  • Randall Cobb and James Jones are keeping the Packers alive on offense with Jennings and Nelson out. 
  • Speaking of Cobb, what a weapon. Catching, running, whatever. The guy is exciting. 
  • Of course Tom "The Puma" Crabtree has the two longest Packers touchdowns of the year. Of course. 
  • Mike Daniels and Mike Neal both got sacks today. Good to see depth guys produce. 
  • Speaking of pressure, why does Capers refuse to get creative with his pressure calls? Again and again we see four man rushes with the odd cross-dog thrown in. I'd really like to see the safeties and corners start to get involved. I know he has a history of shying away from sending young guys, but he needs to look at this during the bye week. It's way too predictable at the moment. 
  • Aaron Rodgers reminds me of Favre (calm down) in that he starts games wild. It's something no one talks about but his accuracy is brutal at the start of games this year. 
  • Alex Green ran much better today but he's still seemingly missing cutback lanes. 
  • Mike McCarthy needs to stop challenging plays on emotion. 
  • Nice to see a couple of slant plays again. 
  • That touchdown catch by James Jones was unbelievable. What a throw and catch. 
  • You have to say the bye week is coming at the perfect time. This team is despearte to get some starters back. I know fans get frustrated with the team's inability to put teams away, but they are playing without a boatload of starters. Many teams would be losing these games. Here's hoping the week off leads to getting a bunch of starters back. 
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (110) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

1. Aside from the fumble, I think Starks showed a nice burst.

2. The interception sure looked like a completed pass. I don't mind the challenge.

Jack's picture

Agreed on Starks. He looked better than Green. It seems whenever somebody puts a solid hit on Green he goes backwards, while Starks keeps struggling forward

Evan's picture

Yeah, Green got absolutely stood up on at least 3 runs.

Nerd's Laptop's picture

I'd have run Starks on that third and one.

And not to the outside either.

Jay's picture

Green is a third down back. Plain and simple. He's the replacement of Brandon Jackson, which is fine by me.

Jamie's picture

I agree completely about Starks. Outside of the fumble, I thought he looked far more dynamic and effective as a runner. He should be the number one back.

jmac3444's picture

Starks problem is he can't pass block

markinmadison's picture

Too often when he runs he holds the ball out and away from his body. Made me nervous on a couple of plays today. Glad he had one fumble and not more. Green looked really effective to me.

Evan's picture

That is true. The fumble wasn't even a a direct hit or anything. It just squirted out.

Mike's picture

We all know that McCarthy won't stand for fumbles...

Fish . Crane's picture

Can't is not the right word...go back to the Super Bowl year and watch some of the biggest plays in the playoffs and you'll seesafaris doing his best. Is he the best at it? Perhaps no...but he can do it

dullgeek's picture

MM didn't challenge that one. All turnovers are reviewed.

Evan's picture

Right. Good call.

Nerd's Laptop's picture

-Tcrab=Spencer Havner 2.0

-Cobb is AWESOME.

-Neal played well today.

-I thought Moses stepped up nicely in relief of Clay. Walden looked good too.

-Nice recovery by Bush. Yet another big play by our ST.

-How good is Lang? Dude is worth every penny. Not only is he a G playing T, but he's doing it one handed.

-JJ continues his YOTTO. Not to jinx him, of course.

-Green and Starks looked decent running the ball. Cobb did too.

Mojo's picture

Lang may not be a great LT, but I thought he played very well at RT. He and Sitton looked good on the right side.

{sarcasm} Odd that the about the only player not injured after this game is Neal. {no sarcasm} He did play well.

After ARod and CM3, Cobb is the Packs MVP.

Jamie's picture

I think it's fair to say that this was the worst showing by Casey Hayward thus far in his professional career. He looked lost at times out there.

Jack's picture

Disagreed.

Jamie's picture

he had some breakups, including the one to cause the interception, but he also heavily benefitted from several dropped passes by Cardinal wide recievers. I thought Tramon put a really good shift in today on Fitzgerald.

markinmadison's picture

Ditto. I thought he made some plays. Made me forget he was wearing a harness.

I had goal line seats today. Jones' catch was spectacular.

Evan's picture

House has the harness.

I think it was an up and down game for Casey. Made a few nice plays but benefited from several drops.

Mike's picture

Agree. But it's good for rookies to have games like these - more film to learn from.

markinmadison's picture

Lol.

Pack fan from ATL's picture

He's right, it was Hayward's worst game... since his other games were far better than any rookie should have been having. Had some rough patches, but he did have some good spots as well, especially the defensed pass that lead to the Walden INT.

marcopo's picture

Every snap these young'uns get goes directly into the experience pile. Not a whole lot of all pro rookies.

pkrNboro's picture

"I think it’s fair to say that this was the worst showing by Casey Hayward thus far in his professional career."

WTF is that even saying?

A rookie in what? his sixth game?

In six games he looks apeshit better than Bush ever has in 6 years.

Plus, he appears much more dependable than Shields.

Fuck you and your harsh, needless criticism.

packeraaron's picture

Dude. Easy. No need for the F bomb there. He didn't insult your mother.

jmac3444's picture

well this post esculated quickly

Idiot Fan's picture

Yeah, Brick killed somebody with a trident...

packsmack25's picture

This is clearly a whiskey comment.

Fish . Crane's picture

Lol...vodka does that to a man...whiskey brings tears, and beer bellys

Jack's picture

Good games from Hayward and House again. Both gave up long receptions but other than that were solid.

It doesn't seem like Rodgers is even interested in Finley any more. I don't care how he's covered, 2 or 3 targets for the "unguardable athletic freak" seems like a cause for concern.

Starks > Green running. Green completely missed Rhodes on the JJ touchdown so I'm not sure how much better he is in pass protection either.

Mike Neal and Erik Walden both showed push. CM3 seems to do better against good tackles than bad ones for some reason.

Mike's picture

The bad ones get extra help. In this game, the LT got a LOT of extra help.

Jack's picture

Fair point, makes sense

Spiderpack's picture

The whole D looked great, especially the reserve Dline-man. As far as Capers' calls go, we all need to understand that Capers will limit his creativity appropriately with regard to the enemy/task at hand. That way he will force his (new) guys to think, act, & move on the challenges that appear before them, thus accelerating their growth with careful planning that they don't lose the game. Especially with regard to the secondary.

This comment is directed in particular toward Aaron the Brilliant who never seems to realize that coaches know more than he does, and because they do, those coaches gear/train their Defense for a run at a title for Titletown. Thank God we have insightful coaches.

Oppy's picture

Rodgers' wild starts have been noted for years.. The difference is that back in the day Rodgers early, bad throws were extremely dangerous- the ball used to get away from him and end up 'floating' off the mark on the high side- just asking for an easy pick to occur.

It seems now that his accuracy issues while he's finding his groove err to the side of "low" or just "out of reach" on the lateral plane.

paxbak's picture

- Ugly win today.. If it weren't for the Arizona dropped passes this game might have been unessecarily closer.
- We got the win and that's all that counts. I was worried about a loss before the bye where hopefully we will get guys back.
- The personnel on defense in the fourth quarter looked like the fourth quarter of the last preseason game.
- I hate it when announcers include kickoff yardage in Cobbs total yardage. 20 yards of each return are automatic.
- Why is it that the Arizona WRs were open 13 yards down field and our guys were all defended closely. The way Rodgers holds the ball it appears nobody is open.
- We keep giving up 1st downs on 3rd and long.
- Starks falls forward, Green falls backwards. 4 - 5 yards for Starks, 2 - 3 yards for Green.
- Oh 3rd and 1... Can we convert? When we don't convert, it feels like a turnover to me. Like a punch in the gut!! Maybe that's why we take shots down field - McCarthy figures we won't convert anyway. Treat it like 3rd and 5.
- What a catch by Jones... He has great concentration.
- I hate seeing Driver this way. He has lost his speed, his elusiveness and now his hands. Hate to say it, but it's over. I love you DD!! Think about it, remember when we could throw it to DD out wide at the line of scrimmage, he would make two people miss badly and gain 8. When was the last time we have seen that?
- If Nelson and Matthews don't come back for the game against the Lions, I fear a division loss. Without Nelson and Jennings, our offense is average!! Without Matthews our defense is terrible!! Need one of them to show up to have a chance.
- Packers. please get healthy!!!

packeraaron's picture

If you think that was an ugly win I invite you to watch most of the games the Packers won while Forrest Gregg was head coach...

paxbak's picture

I've seen a few.. or were those losses (8-8 seasons are kind of blurry) - I didn't get to watch them much back then

OK, I admit it... I'm a little spoiled through the Favre Rodgers years!!

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

"If you think that was an ugly win I invite you to watch most of the games the Packers won while Forrest Gregg was head coach…"

Ouch...that hurts. However....an incredibly accurate assessment Mr. Nagler.

tundravision's picture

"If you think that was an ugly win I invite you to watch most of the games the Packers won while Forrest Gregg was head coach…"

Your memory fails you, Nagler. Those were all ugly losses.

Evan's picture

"Average" is an exaggeration. They did put up 31 (could have been 38) on a very good defense. Obviously Nelson and Jennings make it better, but the offense has plenty of weapons to take on a weak Lions D.

Oppy's picture

Wait- a pass-first team without it's two starting, star WR's is average?

Stop the presses, hold the phone, sound the alarm, round up the townfolk and tell them to bring the pitchforks and torches...

We've got a HC/GM to tar, feather, and boil!

Fish . Crane's picture

Nice perspective A. .N. Imagine a year of third and 15 screen passes to Kuhn as your offense and you will understand the Gregg years.

pkrNboro's picture

There are times when I watch the Patriots and I really don't have any idea if Tom Brady will pass or hand-off.

Not so with the Packers.

Pack fan from ATL's picture

Honest question though: is it because you watch alot more Packers games than Patriots game and have more familiarity with Packers formations?

Oppy's picture

RE: Starks v. Green:

Just for the record, Alex Green had a higher YPC than Starks (4.82 to 3.59, respectively).

Oh, and just for your "Well, take away that one big run and the story changes" peeps out there, I took the liberty of doing that for both backs.

Green had a long of 21 on ten attempts for 53 total yard, Starks a long of 14 in 17 attempts for 61 total yards. Recaculated:

Green, 3.2 YPC
Starks, 2.94 YPC.

To my eyes, before looking at the numbers, I felt there was no tangible difference in production between the two backs, except Starks looks totally lost in pass pro and fumbled, and doesn't offer any real value out of the backfield as a reciever,

But, hey, to each their own. I hope Starks picks it up, but I don't really see any tangible production on the field to suggest he's better than Green.

Oppy's picture

*Correction, Green had a long of 21 on ELEVEN attempts for 53 yards.

The math is correct, I just typed it incorrectly :/

Jack's picture

The yards per carry isn't the point. I agree Green looked much better today than last week and he's probably better than Starks in space and pass protection (though he missed Rhodes on the JJ TD). But it's pretty clear (at least to me) that Starks has better vision and is a much stronger runner after contact, and is a better candidate to get consistent yardage then Green. Also, while its a pipe dream at this point, he may one day in the distant future help the Packers convert a 3rd and 1.

Oppy's picture

while I understand that averages can be skewed by extreme outliers, aren't you kind of contradicting yourself when you say "The yards per carry isn’t the point", only to summarize that you feel Starks is "a better candidate to get consistent yardage then Green"? I mean, Yards Per Carry is supposed to reflect the."average" yards gained..

Again, I get it- you can run for 1 yard this down, and 10 yards the following down, and have a YPC of 5, but still be inconsistent.. But that's why I tossed out the high gain outliers.

Jack's picture

I guess I worded myself wrong, you're right about tossing out the outliers but I guess my point is just that Starks LOOKED like a more legit running back regardless of what the numbers say. Of course, there's a reason I'm not coaching...

Justin's picture

I think he means that Starks runs better downhill; if he gets stuffed at the line he can scratch forward for a yard or two instead of getting pushed back like Green.

markinmadison's picture

I want to say halfway through the 3rd today they flashed ypc on the scoreboard and Green was sitting at 6.3 and Starks was around 4. That was before we got to the point in the game whee they were just grinding clock.

Speaking of which, was it just me or was did they really cut back on throwing the ball after Bulaga went out?

And ugly win? Really? This is the NFL. The Cardinals have a good D and a great receiver. They are a team that will upset folks down the road this year. The Packers were in control from start to finish.

Charlie M's picture

Re:: Starks being a "Fall forward" Rb: this statement was completely true in January 2011. Starks is not that guy anymore for whatever reason. Back then I thought his best quality was his decisiveness and suddenness. Also loved the fact that he ran behind his pads at contact. Now he hesitates to figure out where he's running to and too often ends up east and west.

marcopo's picture

Starks hasn't had enough carries this year for anyone to have a grasp as to what he can or can not do.

Original Jamie's picture

I don't think you can make a judgement on Starks v. Green based solely on looking up ypc on the stat sheet. I think you should judge it based on the kinds of runs where each gained those yards.

The distinction between Starks and Green to me, is that Starks had more bruising and dynamic runs, where he'd cut back, wait for his blocks, bounce it outside, and most importantly, stay up on after first contact. He turned 1 and 2 yard runs into 3 and 4 yard runs, which is something Green has struggled with.

Where as Green's big run came on a well blocked play, getting a great block from James Jones to spring him into the second level.

Turophile's picture

Crosby's missed kick must have been a brutal extra blow to his confidence. He needs to get his head in order.

McGinn did an interesting piece about the many injured guys who are starters having enough time off so their season total of snaps played are much less than last year. the idea is that as the many guys come back, (ie Jennings, Kuhn, Perry, Nelson, Raji, Woodson, House, Worthy, Starks) they are re-invigorated by having time out in the season for bodies to rest. This makes a bunch of (we hope) fairly fresh guys as starters, come playoff time.

The other 'benefit' of injuries is the time young guys (or backups) are getting on the field. Moses, Daniels, Brad Jones, Hayward. Just today we have EDS in for Lang (who moved over to RT). Down the road the playing time the young guys are getting will make this a better and deeper team.

Oppy's picture

I call this the "2010 effect" :)

BTW, just commented on Al's site about EDS. I have never thought much of him, but he came off the bench and did what was asked of him. Kudos to EDS.

Evan's picture

Agreed. They hardly seemed to miss a beat when Bulaga went down.

Pack fan from ATL's picture

I would argue that things seemed a little better. >_>

mark's picture

Great point/great post.

marcopo's picture

Implementing science into coaching is really the gist of McGinn's article. This is an area that McCarthy is way ahead of the curve. Just a few other comments. I was thrilled to see a screen pass. It didn't work, but hey. There is no denying that Cobb is a serious weapon, but Rodgers was way over using him, and ignoring open receivers. That's certainly not Rodgers usual style of spreading the ball around. Perhaps the drops have crawled into his head. Finley is totally outside the weapon list. This is a big mistake. Targeted only 1 or 2 times. Finally, IMO, fans have to be thankful for every snap these young defenders are getting while still winning. The improvement, with experience, is palpable. In a years time, the Packers may have the best defense in the game, certainly when depth is factored.

Evan's picture

Aaron - you tweeted about Slocum screwing with Crosby's steps. Can you elaborate?

KurtMc's picture

Both Starks & Green are awful. Both dance and stutter before hitting the hole and have poor cut back.

nice to see D 2nd and 3 rd stringers step up. A win is a win.

Dom does need to mix it up. if its a player issue, then quit carrying 48% of your team as 6th, 7th rounders.

Lions next. Go Pack

Oppy's picture

FYI, Green is, just right now, only one year removed from ACL surgery.

Most people agree that while you can typically play on a reconstructed knee within a year, it is usually considered a two-year rehab before a player maximizes stability and flexibility in the joint, and before full confidence in the knee is attained.

Perhaps CSS could chime in on this- he would have far more insight than I do.

Green might never be a great cutback runner, but before we pass judgement on his ability, we should take into consideration his knee injury.

Hopefully he improves in this area with time. Mayne he never will. Only time will tell.

Oppy's picture

I'm no expert, though. Maybe CSS could chime in on this?

marcopo's picture

It was the best rush effort of the year, and a HUGE improvement from last week. It would be nice if we had Lynch, but we don't.

Mr.Bigg's picture

It gets hard reading these lately- everything either sucks or is great.

marcopo's picture

AMEN

woodson4president's picture

Looked like a decent enough run game to me. Green is getting better every game line just sucks balls. Cobb is insane. JJ is playin great still. Thought Hawk n Waldo played well.

PackerPete's picture

Did I miss us losing this game? I don't understand the negativity here. The O put up 31 points against a D that gives up 17 pts in average, and that without the 2 starting WRs (don't count Nelson for the game), the starting FB, the starting RB, and for big parts of the game without the starting RT. The D is missing the emotional leader, the best defensive player went down injured, we are playing with our backup ILBs, and still just give up 17 pts. What do people expect??? Take out the starting 2 WRs, starting RB, starting FB, and starting RT from any team, and show me whether they'll put up 31 on the Cardinals. Get real people, we have the bye-week now, and hopefully get a lot of injured players back for the stretch run.

Oppy's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

This week's Voice Of Reason, PackerPete.

packeraaron's picture

Thank you PackerPete. Amen.

marcopo's picture

AMEN, AMEN. I second that emotion.

Chad Toporski's picture

Boom.

OregonPacker's picture

great job of putting perspective into this discussion.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Brav-friggin-O

KurtMc's picture

No doubt about whining. A 15-1 season, plus the crap calls and inconsistent play this season makes us crazy fans either Great, or Crap.

Either way, there are a few consistent forces in nature like gravity and the Bears still suck!!!

Jamie's picture

Green was much improved today using his vision and patience and continued with dynamic play in the screen game. He, IMO was > Starks.

And I could care less if a RB gets stood up. I just saw A Peterson get stood up too...happens when you have two guys waiting for you in the hole with nowhere else to go.

No mention of that fumble recovery by Rodgers. That was HUGE.

Cole's picture

Cobb will really explode when Jennings comes back, assuming McCarthy doesn't bury him on the bench again.

Charlie M's picture

I don't see him being long for the bench ever again.

KurtMc's picture

No doubt 12 had a good game. Just wish he'd quit holding onto the ball so long.

How about the love fest for Cobb? 18 is Aaron's guy right now!

Can anyone explain why the last play was not a) a touchdown or b) AZ ball on the 2, first and 10?

Thx

Jamie's picture

By rule, a muffed (or mishandled) punt is a live ball, but cannot be advanced by the kicking team. Had Peterson caught it cleanly and then fumbled, Bush could have picked it up and scored.

OregonPacker's picture

no, we cannot come up with an explanation; we thought it would be great to give Green or Starks a TD for a job well done.....

EP66's picture

MM made the right decision not to score and run out the clock. Why risk giving the ball back to the Cards and possibly injure more players in a futile attempt to win. Discretion is the better part of valor.

kennypayne's picture

I feel better about this game than many from last year. This year's D is far better than last year's D. Hopefully all the injured can return at crunch time. As many have said, the bye could not have come at a better time.

Only thing that really worries me is Crosby. He is so erratic right now I have no confidence when he trots out on the field.

pooch's picture

lol Rodgers rating 97 bad game,pic should have been caught

Evan's picture

I still think it was.

davyjones's picture

The Pick WAS caught!!

packsmack25's picture

I said way back at 2-3 that we'd be 6-3 at the bye. We would be 8-1 if not for terrible officiating, but hopefully this means we'll get to play in warm weather and/or domes in the playoffs.

3rdigraphix's picture

Starks looks more dynamic than Green but he has too many mental errors and he carries the ball like a loose loaf of bread. McCarthy knows Starks has talent but he can't stay healthy and can't be trusted yet. Availability and accountability. Now for a positive: James Jones is unconscious right now - kudos to him for taking his game to the next level.

trvs's picture

I think the running backs comlement each other well. Fumbles will put you on the bench in GB though. We gained over 150 yds running , Rodgers and Cobb included. No matter who is playing we are doing what it takes to win. That is limit turnovers and penalties, convert third downs, and score in the redzone. Enjoy the bye and let's get healthy, geez.

mark's picture

How about a shout out for Cobb's sneaky spin move on his first TD? If I remember correctly, that was 3rd and goal, so if he's stopped short that's a Mason kick. His spin past that defender was tremendous.

Also, so good in his post-game interview, where he talked about needing to get better! Some guys would be basking in the glow of their 2 TD performance. Cobb focused on improving. Love this dude.

Idiot Fan's picture

That play is a good reminder that everyone in the league struggles with tackling at times. The AZ defense is legit, and Cobb bounced off about five of them en route to the endzone. Missed tackles are a PITA, but hearing fan comments, you would think it's just a Packer problem.

Rich Beckman's picture

Well, it is not a problem when other teams miss tackles! Duh!

Jack's picture

Did anyone see the 60 Minutes piece on Rodgers tonight? Very well done, I think.

Jamie's picture

No...was it any different than the previous 35 pieces on him (that I enjoyed)?

Jack's picture

Not really, I guess, but I'm always impressed by how he handles himself in the spotlight. Very poised and articulate, as usual. And they interviewed a few fans about being owners, including that guy with the "NFL Owner" cheesehead who seems to spend all his time at Lambeau Field.

marcopo's picture

Not according to Shannon Sharpe and Skippy Bayless.

Evan's picture

I never knew he was so sensitive, especially about his height. Weird.

I ran into him at a bar once in Milwaukee and he was a lot bigger than I expected. Not tall, but just beefier.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

So stoked to see 18 and 85 in either slot with 89 and 87 outside! WTF are D's gonna do with that (now that there's ample film showing what a weapon Cobb is)? Pick your poison I guess. We just need Jordy and Greg healthy, then we start boat racing mofos. There's a lot to be excited about with this team.

GBP 4 LIFE

Evan's picture

Hindsight and whatnot, but, man, starting Jordy today sure was a huge mistake.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

That's a tough one because he didn't aggravate the hammy. New injury, could've happened any time ya know.

But I was kinda surprised he suited up, and I was hoping he wouldn't.

Mojo's picture

Fitz with our luck with injuries this year, we'll get 18,85,89 and 87 back at the same time, but Harrell will be behind center.

Anyway, we had all against SF and didn't do so well, but with the emergence of 18 all over the field, things could be different.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

San Fran was a different time. I think this team is learning how to play with each other. Not to mention, SF has a helluva D, and I don't recall 85 and 18 being in the slots at the same time for the majority of the game.

Maybe you're right though about the injuries, it's probably wishful thinking... But it "could" be ridiculous!

Mojo's picture

Yup, would love to see that group together too. Kind of like getting the Beatles back together, but nobodies dead yet.

Idiot Fan's picture

I heard somebody say recently (I think it was Mike Lombardi) that opponents watch tape on San Fran and feel like they have a good gameplan, but once they play them it's a very different experience (or something like that). I think that our experience playing them in week one will be invaluable when we beat them in the playoffs. For starters, we won't play our DBs off (hopefully) for fear of Randy Moss beating us deep. Second, we won't be starting Jarrett Bush.

marcopo's picture

Good Point

woodson4president's picture

Oh yeah n happpy bday crabby!!! Nice TD!

Logan's picture

I really like what I see from Hayward and House, I think our young secondary is raw but extremely talented. As far as the offense damn Cobb looks good, combine him with Jordy and Jones this team is a year or two away from being dominate.

PackersRS's picture

"Speaking of pressure, why does Capers refuse to get creative with his pressure calls?"

Because the last time Capers went with complicated calls receivers were running wide open all over the field.

It's just too complex for a defense relying on so many rookies right now.

He could get more creative with the stunts upfront, like he did against the Bears. But it's not like there aren't stunts.

As for the game, it was an awful game. But it's a win against a good defense, and the Packers ended without their top 2 WRs, their RT, their top RB, 2 of their Dlinemen, without their top OLB and defensive player, without their starting and backup ILB, without their starting CB, and without their starting NB/S.

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