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Gut Reactions: Week Five

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Gut Reactions: Week Five

  • Two back-up tackles. Down 14 points. And it just didn't matter.
  • Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL right now.
  • I was as pissed as any fan when Finley dropped that touchdown prior to the half - but the guy has the best hands on the team. Just an off night. But here's hoping he learns to keep his complaints in-house from now on...though I doubt that happens.
  • Grant's fumble was rough and very uncharacteristic. Coupled with Finley's drops, it was a wonder the Packers were even in it heading into half time.
  • But the reason they were in it was because of the turnaround by the defense.  I mean, it was night and day between the first two Atlanta drives and, well, the rest of the game.
  • Great adjustment by Capers to realize that he needed to force the issue and stop letting Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularky and quarterback Matt Ryan dictate the tempo of the game. Once Capers saw that Ryan was taking the play clock down on nearly every play and getting the Packers to declare early, he had his guys hold their water, not give away their assignments so readily, and started bringing more pressure than we've seen all year.
  • That said - the pressure needed to be brought because his defense couldn't get anywhere near Ryan on straight rushes, though Matthews came THIS close a few times.
  • It's telling that Randall Cobb was in the game on the crucial 4th quarter drive that netted a field goal and put the game away - instead of Donald Driver.
  • The running game provided by Grant and Starks was instrumental in allowing Rodgers to hit some big plays downfield off play action, including the 70 yard touchdown to James Jones.
  • Speaking of play action - Rodgers' ability to whip his head around after the fake, see the receiver, know the coverage and fire a strike - is inhuman.
  • My lord Jeff Triplette is awful.
  • Bring on Throwback Weekend.
  • Like Like
  • 0 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (92) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

BTF's picture

Courage and performance in adversity is becoming this teams hallmark. Fantastic gutsy win against a talented (if horrible) team. Sherrod and Newhouse superb. Hope that stops the Sherrod bust talk...

ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

Being a Sunday night game, a lot of the national press, as well as other teams, were watching. They saw an MVP-like performance from Aaron Rodgers. He keeps playing half as good as he was tonight, and he'll easily get the MVP at the end of this season (though I'd prefer another Lombardi trophy and another Super Bowl MVP).

TPackers's picture

Hells bells. Aaron is a beast. Both Nagler and Rodgers.

bogmon's picture

Greg Jennings has better hands than Finley. He proved it today.

packeraaron's picture

One game does not mean anything.

Idiot Fan's picture

I remember one of the local beat guys writing during training camp about how Finley was dropping more than normal back then too. That being said, the reason it stood out was because his hands are normally the best on the team.

Tommyboy's picture

Yeah, we've all seen Jennings have his bad days, too.

Finley has novely-sized hands, man. Whenever I see him coming off the line, he looks like he has on clown gloves or something. He'll be fine.

Simon's picture

My God, Peprah is burned every play

Tommyboy's picture

Finley has an off night, Nelson was largely taken out of the mix, and Grant has a fumble. So, we just rip throws to a bunch of other dudes and let James Jones take the lead. How the HELL do you stop this offense?

One question - after the Packers 12th man in the huddle (b.s. call, by the way, there were only 10 in the huddle), shouldn't it have been 2nd down? I thought Starks had just gained 2 yards or so? Am I missing something? I'm probably missing something.

hyperRevue's picture

There were 11 - I kept counting as well but Wells was bent over and obscured.

But talking about BS calls, WTF happened with the coach on the field thing?

Tommyboy's picture

Yeah, I don't know. I saw Rodgers and Nelson out of the huddle. The coach thing - no idea. I didn't have a problem with the refs picking up the flag on the fair catch thing - it was close. But to throw a penalty for what appeared to be Slocum coming onto the field? Well geez, get you flags out because that happens 20 times a game.

The only thing I can hope for is that there was something that we missed.

ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

Per Wayne Larrivee on Twitter, the Packers were warned twice to keep the coaching staff/players from coming onto the field. Third time got a penalty.

PackersRS's picture

I don't know if the no call after the blalant hit when Cobb called fair catch and the subsequent invented fault was worse than this call, but both were bulshit.

Rodgers never formed the huddle, and there weren't 12 people.

Those refs should be suspended.

Jeremy's picture

I think that the NFL officiating is the best in pro sports. Last night however, was some of the worse officiating I've seen in over 25 years of watching football.

PackersRS's picture

Having watched soccer all my life, yes it is an it's not even close.

Still flawed. Still needs to correct their errors. Not only the Packers game, but the Patriots-Jets game was borderline absurd.

aussiepacker's picture

aaron where you surprised that they moved newhouse to the left side? Greg jennings touchdown was insane and the reason he is our no.1 reciever. James Jones proved why he was resigned tonight. and shields had a good solid game. Overall a slow start but a good come from behind win.

MarkinMadison's picture

I really enjoyed seeing Finley make that clutch catch for a first down with around six minutes left to go in the game. I enjoyed it even more that when he got up he didn't make some dumb-ass first down signal. I hope his dropsies tonight may finally be the thing he needs to get himself focused on just being a bad-ass football player first.

I'm really impressed with how well Sherrod played. Kudos to MM for trusting him enough to start calling the down-field passes that broke the game open.

some guy's picture

spot on for all points.

Sherrod was very solid. The line overall had issues but held up reasonable well, albeit against a depleted defense. I hope Cliffy and Bulaga are back soon.

Nerdmann's picture

Does Bulaga stay at RT next week if Cliffy doesn't play?

Paul DelVechio's picture

Yes

Mr. Red's picture

Oh, to be Aaron Rodgers right now. At the peak of his skills, with a brain to match his moxie, a sense of humor, a sense of history, and leading the greatest franchise in sports.

This is special. Almost ineffable. Or effin' awesome. Both, really.

hyperRevue's picture

I love that deep post play. It seems every week it's a different receiver's chance to run it. Jennings then Finley and today it was Jones. I guess Cobb is up next week?

BC_Cab's picture

Good thing Atlanta spent all those draft picks on Julio Jones to close the gap on the Packers....BWWHAHAHAHAHA!

Jay's picture

Julius Jones ratio of picks traded for/catches against Packers: 5:1

murphy's picture

HOO LEE OH Jones

MarkinMadison's picture

Did the refs have a conference in the off-season and decide to focus on throwing flags on Sitton? I can't remember him getting flagged so much all of last year as he has through 5 this season.

packeraaron's picture

Sitton clearly held on the run by Rodgers tonight...

murphy's picture

Yes. I can't think of what else he could have done at that point, though.

MarkinMadison's picture

No doubt. Just wonder if he is getting a little extra attention. Kind of like Woodson a couple of years ago with his physical coverage style.

Jeremy's picture

Sitton didn't have his best game as a Packer last night. I think not having Bulaga next door has caused some problems for him.

Stanislaw's picture

Time for Driver AND Woodson to bow out gracefully once the season is over. Did you see those 2 wiffs by Woodson on Turner? The man is old and he is just going to embarrass himself.

Yah, I said it . . .

BC_Cab's picture

Woodson argument FAIL.

murphy's picture

Indeed. Woodson only has a few INTs and a TD after 5 weeks...he's old and washed up. He made a few mistakes tonight, but he's still a damn good player. Driver...unless he's got some injury I don't know about, he's not done this season.

buckyor's picture

Yeah, Woodson's whiffs were both on the first drive of the game. After that Turner got bupkis. I think I'll keep Mr. Woodson, thank you very much.

johnnie walker's picture

So any CB who misses a tackle on a 245-pound halfback is washed up? Sure thing, whatever you say.

Oh man, you "said it." Anonymously. On an internet comment section. What a bold rebel you are.

Tommyboy's picture

Yes. Did you also see every time that Turner touched the ball, it took about 28 guys to bring him down. Losing a one-on-one to Turner is hardly a career-ender.

murphy's picture

I'd agree there...anyone who expects a CB to stuff a RB with 70% of his bodyweight in his legs is smoking something that probably requires a prescription. That said, Woodson did seem to whiff on a tackle...but later in the game I saw him slam Turner down.

I'm not worried about Woodson.

Idiot Fan's picture

Turner is a beast, anyone Woodson's size is going to struggle bringing him down.

MarkinMadison's picture

I kind of get where you're at with Driver. I wrote something similar last week. I expect he'll go the Jerry Rice route and play somewhere else next year. He can play for a more receiver-needy team.

I don't get your Woodson comment at all. With Williams out the last few weeks he was still the Packers' best corner. Even if you think he can't play corner, he can play safety. He is a long way from done in the NFL.

Nerdmann's picture

He might very well be Nick Collins' replacement next year.

MarkinMadison's picture

Exactly right. But I do like Peprah more than I probably should. Dude just won't quit trying.

Nerdmann's picture

Peprah's solid. All the defenses are struggling right now.

aussiepacker's picture

I cant see driver playing for anyone else?

LACheez's picture

really? hatin' on c-wood? he is normally one of the best tacklers on the team! so has a couple bad series and you want to send him packin'? are you forgetting the pick-6 from last week?

gbfninminnolnd's picture

I'll keep dd as long as he can walk. He may have lost a step but still good enuff to start on 90% of teams. He is born leader amongst talelent that would otherwise let their egos go unchecked. And james jones c'mon man! He had 1 good game And he is the new superman? Did we forget all the critical "easy" drops last year? Have always been impressed with his ability to catch imposible stuff but drop routine in the hands balls.

Point Packer's picture

I have a hard time seeing DD playing anywhere else but Green Bay. That may just be my own personal liking for the guy clouding the situation. Donald's a leader and the other WR's clearly respect him greatly - both are intangibles that even ol' "cut-throat Ted" likely appreciates. I think Donald will be back for one more year and then hang up his cleats as a Packer. Then again, it is a business.

As for the comment about C-Wood missing a step - it's so ridiculous to almost not be worth mentioning. He probably is not as spry as he was in his younger Packer days, but he's still better than 90% of the guys at his position.

NJ's picture

That's the kind of win I've been waiting for since the season began. When the Packers were rolling on offense the past 4 weeks (aside from a little blip in the Carolina game) A part of me couldn't shake the thought it was a little bit of smoke and mirrors -- catching people off guard, front-running, not having to overcome much adversity. Tonight, seeing the defense finally man up, seeing the corners mostly play really good coverage and the way they climbed out of a hole against a team that is better than their 2-3 record was exactly the kind of gritty, physical, "impose-your-will-on-the-opponent" victory this team needed.

Idiot Fan's picture

Yep. And ATL REALLY wanted this game - they gave us all they had. We took their best shots early on, then calmly went about our business. Love it.

atheist4thecause's picture

Lang is horrible at OT. Sherrod is horrible at OG. I'm glad that the coaches realized this in training camp and ended up putting the right OL's in the right places.

Saying Finley has the best hands on the team is just crazy talk. See Jennings, Greg.

atheist4thecause's picture

Oh, and I saw that someone mentioned that Jennings has better hands than Finley and the response was that this was only one game. My response to that is look at the Super Bowl. Jennings was getting pounded by Polamalu and held on to them...especially that big TD. In Madden '12, Finley has the "drops open passes" tag. I know that's a video game, but it's based off reality. In fact, in August Tom Silverstein wrote an article and mentioned how Finley vowed to stop dropping passes. There has never been any doubt about how good Jennings's hands are.

incognito_man's picture

Go check out Finley's catch rate in his previous games and try arguing he doesn't have the best hands on the team. He CLEARLY has the best hands - it was just an off night for him on that TD drop.

atheist4thecause's picture

Now you are changing the argument from drops to catch rate. This year, however, Jennings has a catch rate of 76.3% to Finley's 71.0% according to espn.com.

packeraaron's picture

Since beginning of 2009, Finley has caught ~75% of his targets compared to ~60% for Jennings.

johnnie walker's picture

What are you smoking dude? He's talking catch rate too. This was over as soon as you tried to reference Madden. Their ratings guy has no idea how football actually works, and taking your cues from him is a great way to fill your head with nonsense.

There are two things that tell you Finley has better hands: stats and eyes. As Aaron has posted, Finley's catch rate is 15 percentage points higher than Jennings'. If we're talking about observation, then think back to last season and all the intermittent bouts of dropsies that Jennings would get. Remember the Lions game where Rodgers got concussed?

http://www.thescore.com/buzz/articles/94309-fail-greg-jennings-drop

Jennings is really, really good but he doesn't have Finley's hands. The reason Finley's drops in the game are so notable is because he normally catches anything that gets near him. You can keep throwing out authority figures -- Donny Moore says this, Silverstein says that. Yeah well, before Bedard left he said Finley had the best hands by far. And FO says, and PFF says, and...

But that isn't necessary. I have eyes. I've watched the games. Finley has better hands, and that's a fact no matter how some amateur rates him in a video game.

lebowski's picture

I've questioned them re-signing Jones all year, with the amount of weapons we have on this team and the number of other guys we NEED to re-sign, but I guess I gotta eat a little crow tonight. Good game sir.
Triplette and his crew are ridiculous, I hope McCarthy makes it well known to the league office.

aussiepacker's picture

I was in the same boat as you with Jones but have to admit he showed his worth in this game.

johnnie walker's picture

I don't get why anyone would question the re-signing. We know what we're getting outt've Jones; he's probably never going to live up to his potential, but he's only getting $9m over 3 years. It's a very favorable contract, and it's not as though they broke the bank re-signing him.

Tim Backes's picture

Best Packers performance of the season so far, without a doubt. That defense really stepped up in a big way after the first two drives.

foundinidaho's picture

I actually said, "Is Jeff Triplette officiating?" I was in a noisy bar. Couldn't tell. Not surprised to find I was right. What a horrible officiating crew.

djbonney138's picture

Give a little props to Crosby. That was a long ass Field Goal.

Tommyboy's picture

+1

MarkinMadison's picture

With room to spare. Meet the next kicker for your Minnesota Vikings. When this contract is up he'll go to a dome and live the easy life.

foundinidaho's picture

Killed Jersey Al proper, it did. Yay Mason!

AndrewInAtlanta's picture

Your first point is what made this a WOW win iMHO. It's what good teams learn how to do, only it's not the Patriots we're talking about. It's us

Cole's picture

Agree with so many, but no doubt, Finley has best hands on the team, if not, the league. One drop in how many games? The second, he got plowed right in the face. BTW there were many high hits tonight by the dirty birds and one sad flop.

Idiot Fan's picture

That flop was utterly ridiculous. Goodell said he's going to start fining fake injuries; he should add flops to that list...

Mel's picture

I like to think Hawk is just that strong!! He barely touches him and flys back three feet!! lol

LACheez's picture

this is a game we probably wouldn't have won last year or the year before...this team is playing with the quiet confidence of the champs that they are...i have to admit, i was a little nervous though. i think this game was good for them to have to fight and come from behind. I still would like to see a little So'oto out there...we definitely could use a little more pass rush - but finally Capers starting getting creative! was it just me or has Capers' creativity been lacking so far this year??? Why don't we bring the constant pressure all the time?

atheist4thecause's picture

Bringing pressure all the time wouldn't be creative. A lot of times dropping back into coverage is what gets you INT's, too.

mark's picture

1) hats off to the o-line, newhouse and sherrod obviously and especially.

2) don't feel this game was "dirty" by design. a lot of words were exchanged during the week, no surprise the falcons were chippy.

3) funny how rodgers' 396-2 looks somewhat pedestrian after last week's stat-fest. but consider he was 1 finley drop from going over 400 with 3 scores.

4) speaking of, i really hope finley learns to embrace some humility. act like you've been there.

5) all the people who questioned ted's wisdom in re-signing james jones........crickets.

6) another big, yet statistically quiet game from 52

7) LOVED hearing the "Go Pack Go" chants on my TV. best fans in the game.

8) tomorrow night: either the bears or lions will lose a football game. nice.

calipackfan's picture

Come on Chicago beat the lions tomorrow.

aussiepacker's picture

I know it's better for us for the bears to win but i still hope the lions kick the bears ass.

Chris's picture

I wouldn't praise the young tackles too much, even though they did a pretty good job in a hostile environment. But Atlanta's pass rush is not a top address for rushing the passer. Especially if Abrahams is not playing.

CSS's picture

They're deserving of every bit of praise. Atlanta threw multiple looks and pressure from every level at both Newhouse and Sherrod. Once they settled in they were winning their battles to the point McCarthy felt comfortable leaving them on an island. Rodgers made them pay once the linebackers cheated up to rush and the safeties sat.

That was extremely impressive in a dome environment.

Chris's picture

I totally agree they did a great job, especially Newhouse switching sides. But I say it again: The Atlanta pass rush is mediocre, and I am being nice to them here ;-)

CSS's picture

I agree that the Falcons are mediocre if not bad in their one-on-one battles. But that's the point, Sherrod and Newhouse weren't just being tested one-on-one, they had everything but the kitchen sink thrown and them and withstood.

So ya', it was an exceptional game for booth of them considering the circumstances.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Where are cow42 and bearmeat to lay into the defense?

Held Ryan to 5 YPA, turner to under 4 YPA, and the falcons to 14 points.

That's what good teams do, when the offense is struggling, the defense picks up the slack and vice versa. They were leaking like a sieve, and then they realized that for the first time this year the offense needed them, and they flat out got it done. Most impressive win of the season, that's the kind of game this team needed.

GBP 4 LIFE

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

YPC that is for turner.

PackersRS's picture

Say to me with a straight face that after the first 2 Atlanta drives you weren't cursing the defense...

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Sure i was, what I'm saying is that when it was evident the offense didn't have it, how did the defense respond? That's what matters. They looked bad early but stepped it up when needed.

PackersRS's picture

I agree with you 100%. And I was never worried, the problems were very correctable, and the defense is very talented.

But the problems were there.

In the end, it's either you trust TT and Capers or not. And we all know that TT is omniscient.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

My 8 year old daughter said I'm gonna have to stop calling her James Jones when she drops the football.

PackRat's picture

Josh Sitton looked atrocious for most of the first half, like a journeyman lineman instead of the best guard in the NFL.

Woodson's freelance being exposed without Collins there to cover the entire portion of the field that Woodson vacates and the deep zone. Peprah doesn't cut it despite the tremendous lift he provides in run support. Imagine playing against Brees LAST NIGHT...that's what the playoffs will be like.

Hard to be dismissive/crushing as a fan when you're tweeting back and forth with all the players?

Finley, Sitton and Tramon made this game a whole lot harder than it had to be. Kudos to the "next man up" tackles.

packeraaron's picture

"Hard to be dismissive/crushing as a fan when you’re tweeting back and forth with all the players?"

What in the world is this supposed to mean? I Tweet back and forth with TJ Lang quite a bit - and there he is in the "Bad" category.

Bohj's picture

A few points:
1. Matthews stats of sacks. Don't care. I will take pressure into forced interceptions every day over sacks.
2. Defense. Is it just me or are others getting a feeling that Capers is purposely showing less in the early parts of the season (ie nickel nickel and more nickel) so that he can bust out his best blitz packages later in the season. Hiding tape. I call it. We're playing well enough to win as to not show too much of your hand. I think it's genius.
3. Woodson. The dude is and will always be a stud. The guy is injured. Foot and Quad. More than last year with just the toe thing. And he's still playing at a high level. Let it slide. He will get his picks and you will all love him again. His gambles sometimes lose. Sometimes he sees formations on tape that dictate a certain play the opponent will use. Well.....sometimes the opponent changes the play with the same look. Big deal. His study will payoff more than not.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Many have voiced their curiosity to your take on #2. If indeed that's what's going on then yes, that would be genius.

PackersRS's picture

I've expressed that sentiment on #2 in the past, particularly at McCarthy and his 3rd down and short yardage tendencies. Was met with ridicule...

atheist4thecause's picture

The problem with that argument is that NOR took us down to the 1 yard line on the final play of the game. Sure, we made the stop, but why in the world would you be playing a limited playbook in that close of a game? The Carolina game was too close for comfort as well. It would be genius if we were blowing teams out. It would be stupid given all of our close games.

PackersRS's picture

What makes more sense than this incredible, but possible solution, is that Capers dialed the D down because of the lack of OTAs and Minicamp.

I know that those new HC have done that, particularly on offense and with rookie QBs, with tons of mirror plays and max protect easy reads...

Bohj's picture

I see your point atheist. I just feel like the new era, coaches are breaking down schemes and matchups so well, that if they figure you out and you cannot evolve, then you will become complacent and lose. In year 3 of Capers, there seems to be an unfolding as the year goes on. Like last year. Having such a deep playbook allows new looks every week. Pulling out the big guns when you need them most. I think those close games are more a reflection of "0 tape" to look at in the new year. Just glad we're playing the Lions later in the season for that very reason.

Bohj's picture

Good example of pulling out stuff when you need it: Matt Ryan saw our Safety loading the box before the snap and audibled to something he thought he liked. Guess what that resulted in? Safety retracted, Bishop got a huge sack. The next play. Same thing only Matthews got a huge pressure and Peprah got the pick. More disguising by Capers. Trick them on a tendency. Opening your playbook when you need to.

Spiderpack's picture

The Finley drops will fuel him to truly be the best TE in the NFL, not just the TE w/the most potential. Things are playing out just right for him this year. From his decent start, to a 3TD game, to a call to attention by ARodge(while Finley's ego is brimming), to a personally-disappointing Denver game, to a game with 2 would-be crucial drops. Wow, does this team have great leadership. No doubt the playcalling has been designed with an awareness of Finley's needs, as is compatable with each opponent.

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