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Gut Reactions: Week Two

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Gut Reactions: Week Two

  • Congratulations to Donald Driver for passing James Lofton to become the All Time Packers yardage leader in receiving .
  • Really hope Nick Collins is alright.
  • That was just about as ugly a start to a game as we've seen in some time, but the Packers did what good teams do. They stayed calm and took care of business. Reminded me of the Rams game in '96 when the Packers looked terrible in the first half and then completely turned it around in the second half. Not exactly the same here, but I had the same feeling during the game as I had back then.
  • I can't believe people (and there were many of them) were Tweeting at me how Greg Jennings needed to "stop Tweeting about being great" and focus on football because he dropped a pass. Jennings has always had his share of drops, but nothing today was particularly egregious. In fact, there were plenty of throws early Rodgers just flat-out missed. Jennings is fine - as his TD and TD-making block on Nelson's TD showed.
  • Speaking of Nelson - will the Green Bay media make a big deal about his lack of targets?
  • Charles Woodson looked both old and brilliant. But mostly brilliant.
  • Undrafted rookie tackle Byron Bell held up very well against Clay Matthews, who was wasted on the couple of plays where he was asked to spy on Cam Newton. Bell got help sometimes but when he was locked up one-on-one he did very well.
  • Speaking of pressure, or lack-thereof, the Packers couldn't get close to Newton. Sure they got to him when Carolina (brilliantly) left Clay Matthews unblocked and Bishop cleaned up for a sack. But most of the game Packers defenders couldn't win one-on-one.
  • The Panthers did a great job keeping in extra blockers and then letting the back slip out after the coverage was run off deep. Its the same thing the Lions did when they came to Lambeau last year.
  • Would have liked to have seen more points after all those turnovers generated by the defense.
  • Back shoulder throw? Not so much.
  • That roughing the passer penalty on Desmond Bishop was an absolute joke - THAT IS HOW YOU ARE TAUGHT TO TACKLE. Ridiculous.
  • Also ridiculous? That whole "ground can wipe out a touchdown" rule we saw on display on the Finley non-catch. Don't get me wrong, the officials made the right call. That's what the rule says. But its a beyond-idiotic rule. My whole life, football has been about "once you have control of the ball across the goalline, its a touchdown." What happened after that was immaterial. Then, a few years ago, they changed the rule to what it is now. Asinine.
  • You just knew Rodgers would hit for some big plays eventually.
  • I don't know why the Packers are fooling around with Ryan Grant. Just make Starks your back and use Grant when Starks needs to tap out. It takes Grant forever to get to and then "explode" through the line, and it gives safeties a ton of time to diagnose the play and then crash down. There were a couple of 1 and 2 yard runs by Grant that would have been 7 or 8 yard runs by Starks.
  • We saw the good and the bad of Morgan Burnett today. He struggled a bit in man coverage but played well in space generally, wasn't afraid to get physical and made a fantastic play on the strip of Steve Smith.
  • Speaking of "afraid to get physical" - Sam. Shields. That is all.
  • Here's hoping everyone is healed and ready to go next week for the big game down in Chicago.
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (62) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

bigfog's picture

Pass rush is suffering thus far into the season. Has to get fixed somehow.

BrianD's picture

I thought we got consistent pressure on Brees in Week 1. The Panthers O-Line did an incredible job of picking up the blitz today. I don't recall a single time one of our blitzers ran through the offensive line freely. Pass rush can always be improved but I'm not worried after 2 games.

PackersRS's picture

Only an idiot doesn't see the difference between Grant and Starks. It was obvious in preseason, it's obvious now. Starks is just so much more explosive.

It's time to end this. Enough with the egos, let's start playing to win games and not to please people and get stats.

bigfog's picture

Yep. Grant, you had one heck of a year and a playoff game for the ages, but Starks is just so much better.

PackersRS's picture

Grant is a very mediocre back.

That being said, he has amazing stamina, and is a great mudder.

Grant is a valuable back to have late in the year, when the conditions are bad.

I'm not saying get rid of him, but in normal conditions Starks is a much better back.

BrianD's picture

After Starks took that huge hit and looked dazed, I thought he might leave with a concussion. I'm relieved that we'd still have Grant if Starks has to sit out.

Oppy's picture

Grant and Starks make for a fine one-two tandem, but Starks should be getting the majority of touches.

Again, I have to believe it comes down to Starks' inconsistent pass pro as to why he's not getting the lion's share of touches straight from the get-go.

Don't worry, after this season, it's going to be Starks and Green, and Grant will be elsewhere. He's a decent back, and reliable, but he's not the future.

fishandcrane's picture

way too harsh on the talents of mr. ryan grant.

Oppy's picture

I didn't think I said anything harsh about the talents of Ryan Grant at all...

He's 30 and most would contend that the 22 year old James Starks has shown a bit more explosion and versatility than Grant.

I don't think that it's harsh to say that Grant is not the future. He is what he is, a reliable, decent back.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Last paragraph = spot on.

Ian's picture

The Packers need someone who can get to the passer other than Matthews & Raji, and until they do their pass defense will suffer. The loss of Cullen Jenkins and Neal's injury are killing them right now.

BrianD's picture

Wynn had a hell of a game in Week 1. He did disappear this week so the jury's still out on whether or not he's for real this year.

davyjones's picture

If by being 2-0 you mean "killing them", you are correct.

They ARE 2-0 against a couple of pretty hot QB's.

Ian's picture

No, by 'killing them" I mean giving up over 400 yards in the air 2 weeks in a row.

davyjones's picture

This from Tyler Dunne this morning,

"First thing's first. The Packers won, 30-23. At key moments, the defense thwarted Newton. They picked him off three times and stopped him on a critical fourth down late. Dating to last season's playoff run, that's been the MO for this unit. Step up in crunch time. Above all else, win."

Nuf said.

BadgerDave's picture

Prolly want to slowly ease Starks into workload, got a bit of an injury history. We'll be seeing Starks grow into a fulltime starter shortly.

John Holmes's picture

Unable to defend deep ball.

AndrewInAtlanta's picture

It's a good point on making Starks the starter. MM tends to either be too loyal or too slow to make these changes. I can't quite figure out which

Bearmeat's picture

And I quote:

"Speaking of pressure, or lack-thereof, the Packers couldn't get close to Newton. Sure they got to him when Carolina (brilliantly) left Clay Matthews unblocked and Bishop cleaned up for a sack. But most of the game Packers defenders couldn't win one-on-one."

Sound familiar Nagler and RS? Maybe GB does need more pass rush from the DL, since they obviously aren't going to get much of it from Walden. Maybe counting on Harell, I mean Neal, to replace Cullen's ability there was a "mistake".

Call me a hater all you want. Until I see others step up and take some pressure of Raji and CM3, I will continue to state that Capers can't scheme around so many defenders losing their one on ones.

PackersRS's picture

Hater. It's 2 games with the secondary depleted.

Never counted on other players to generate consistant pressure.

What I did say is that with Matthews, Raji and the secondary, it's enough pressure to win.

This D goes as long as the secondary takes them. It wasn't different last year.

Bearmeat's picture

We shall see. We shall see.

Like I said last week. I hope you make me eat crow. I really do.

Obviously, I don't think I will at this point.

PackersRS's picture

Lemme give you this.

I really wish we would've re-signed Jenkins by now.

Bearmeat's picture

THANK YOU! This is what I was very afraid of in the offseason.

I have followed football my entire life, and it was evident to me right after round 4 of the draft that TT wasn't going to add any immediately impactful talent to the front 7.

You have to hedge your bet as much as you can. Free agency is fool's gold for the most part, but there can be value in mid tier contracts (which Cullen's turned out to be.)

TT is a master of catching unseen talent in the draft, but if he misses there, he has no answer.

He.. Should. Have. Resigned. Cullen.

Period.

sammer's picture

Sorry, still not buying it.

Don't me wrong - I like Cullen Jenkins, and I acknowledge he can be an impact player. But this isn't about whether we want him on the team - it's about whether Thompson was willing to pay a player of his age (and reliability) what he eventually got from the Eagles.

It's easy to say in hindsight that we should have gone with Jenkins instead of Neal now that Neal is injured. But what if Jenkins had been hurt? Wouldn't you be screaming about how TT wasted money on an aging, "injury-prone" player?

I stand by what I said earlier: it's too early to say whether or not failing to resign Jenkins was a mistake, for one simple reason: THE PACKERS ARE 2-0. If we had resigned Jenkins and traded for Ndamakong Suh and Julius Peppers, our record wouldn't be any better.

The sky is not falling.

Bearmeat's picture

Sammer,

Yes, GB is 2-0. They were 2-0 last year, and what happened the next 3 games? No, the sky is not falling, but neither is all well in candyland just yet.

If they can't rush the passer and keep CM3 and Raji from getting double every play, then they needed another impact player on the front 7. Neal had an injury history - as does Cullen.

I'll revert to what I said earlier - you have to hedge your bet. They are thin in the front 7. No OC is peeing their pants to play this D right now, and it's because we can't rush the passer.

Between Cullen and Neal, that problem had a much higher liklihood of being solved.

PackersRS's picture

@Bearmeat

Pay attention to the "by now" at the end of the sentence.

Personell decisions like that aren't made with only 2 weeks in mind. There's much more to it, like re-signing your own players.

Jenkins' pass rush is being missed right now, but it doesn't mean it was a bad decision letting him go.

But, for now, we're feeling his absence, no doubt.

Bearmeat's picture

RS you are right. I get it. I'm sure TT has a long term plan.. but boy does Cullen look good tonight...

Could have used that this afternoon... and last week...and....

LACheez's picture

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reports that a CT test on Packers FS Nick Collins' neck game back negative.

Collins has movement in all of his extremities. All of the early signs are positive for Collins, who left Sunday's game on a stretcher but was waving to fans as he was carted off. His status for Week 3 at Chicago is uncertain.

mark's picture

This is great news, thanks for posting.

FITZCORE1252's picture

I know the "complete the catch" rule, and it might be the dumbest fucking thing in football. The guy had 2 feet and an ass down. Now I know that if you go "by the book" it's not a catch, but can anybody tell me why Brady's TD pass to Hernandez just now was? Stupidest fucking thing ever. If you're gonna enforce that piece of shit rule, be consistent.

GBP 4 LIFE

BrianD's picture

I was told that Hernandez had possession for a couple seconds while he was on the ground. I still saw him sliding so why wouldn't that count as part of the catch process, much like when Bush was sliding into the endzone last week? The NFL made the rule to keep everything consistent and leave fans satisfied with the calls, but I'm still scratching my head over that Hernandez TD.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Hernandez caught the ball, went to the ground and the defender knocked it out. He didn't maintain control... just like Finley.

Stupid fucking rule, they should both be clear TD's, but if you're gonna call it...

fishandcrane's picture

finley only had four feet down.... It should be the Thuderdome on every ball in the end zone..never stop assaulting the receiver:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/460847-lions-bears-process-rule-begin...

Oppy's picture

Fishandcrane is absolutely right.

Every defensive player in the NFL should be trained to blatantly attack the ball carrier in the endzone, regardless if they are upright or already on the ground.

Since the rule states that they must have possession throughout the process, defensive players should be scratching and clawing at the receivers until the refs physically pull them off the pile.
...

MarkinMadison's picture

You have to give credit to the Panthers for their game plan. A lot of dump off throws to the running backs will slow the pass rush. CAR RB Stewert had more receiving yards than any GB WR. CAR game planned to their strengths very well, and took advantage of the lone GB turnover to build a nice lead out of the gate. On paper the Packers got four sacks today and seven QB pressures. I think we were all expecting Matthews to just eat the lunch of that rookie RT all day long, and it didn't go down that way. It's a win. Book it.

WisconsInExile's picture

This. +50
Though Matthews often held back to keep contain on Newton, which took away some potential for the Panthers.

JonBob's picture

These roughing the passer calls are getting absolutely ridiculous. The one called on Bishop was awful, but there was one called on a Panthers player that was absolutely egregious. Not late at all, didn't hit him in the head, but gets called for a perfect form tackle. I ignored the dooms day prophets before, but now I'm really worried about the direction this league is headed.

MarkinMadison's picture

It was so bad I wondered if they were evening out the calls.

BrianD's picture

It looked to me as if Bishop "launched" himself into Newton and lifted the QB into the air a bit as they went to the ground, though I could be mistaken. As far as I know, that fits the definition of roughing the passer. Again, I could be wrong about both; gotta rewatch the play.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Yeah, this is getting out of control. It's not two hand touch, these are grown men that signed up for this shit. Where's it gonna stop? Two hand touch? I am absolutely in favor of penalizing a flagrantly malicious hit, but these guys are executing damn near perfect form tackles and getting flagged. It's hurting their team, and it's hurting the game.

GBP 4 LIFE

Ken's picture

Great chance to kick dirt on the Bears next week.

Doesn't matter how it looks in week two, all that matters is the W. They all count the same in four months.

PackersRS's picture

Amen.

This team doesn't need to prove itself with amazing performances, what they need to do is reach the playoffs.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Sure will be nice to get duh bares off to a 1-2 start... Lions look good.

packsmack25's picture

The team came out absolutely half-assed. Can't do that crap against the higher quality teams.

Cam Newton is a really good QB. He's still gonna take some lumps, but he has a GREAT pocket presence.

Nick Collins needs to be ok. You hate it when anyone is motionless, but it is absolutely terrifying when it is a guy on your favorite team. Just an awful feeling.

It was obvious that the Panthers game-planned to go after Burnett. They were mostly successful. Only enhances the importance of Collins getting back.

PackersRS's picture

"The team came out absolutely half-assed. Can’t do that crap against the higher quality teams."

Oh, absolutely, but then again, when have they done that against higher quality teams?

I kinda felt like this would be a minor letdown, with just the mentality of this team, but the talent was too much for us to lose.

This is exactly why I can't see a 16-0, even though I think we're far ahead of everyone else.

They clearly came less prepared against the Panthers, but it's because it was the Panthers.

I doubt it happens against a better team.

WisconsInExile's picture

Keep in mind, this was the first road game of the season, coming off a mini-bye week. The Packers seem to do best when they are under the gun, whether by gameplay, injury, or standings.

PackersRS's picture

Yes, that's kind of what I'm saying. When the lights are brightest, this team excells.

In the end, that's all that matters.

Idiot Fan's picture

Subjectively, I have always felt like the Packers tend to play to the level of their opponents, both good and bad.

The Dong Slinger's picture

After two games the Dong Slinger could have the Pack at 3-0.

PackersRS's picture

If you think about the number he did on the Vikings' organization, and if you count their losses as wins as I do, the Dong Slinger has the Packers 4-0.

Ruppert's picture

Umm...OK. Sure, sure.

TNPackerFan's picture

Great half time adjustments by both the offense and the defense.

The D rush kept Cam contained instead of over pursuing and allowed him to make dopy throws.

The receivers figured out how to break the zone and got open for Rodgers.

I will promise to now start Nelson on my fantasy team. (stupid me).

I too think Starks needs to be the #1 RB.

Good win going into Chicago.

davyjones's picture

Rodgers looked uncharacteristically off today...just plain missed some throws and failed to get rid of the ball a couple of times. That won't happen very often. He missed Jennings at least twice today on throws he's normally incredibly accurate on. May it was that the route was messed up, but it looked like he just missed on a few throws.

Ruppert's picture

Cam Newton looked really, really good, especially early in the game. The first couple drives, I can't really even gripe about how the Packers d played because Newton just looked so good.

But from the 2nd quarter on, Newton was not as comfortable in the pocket. He was probably looking at strange matchups and the ol' unscouted looks. And this is where I have a problem with the Packers D. Newton stopped and paused about 10 times in the last 3 quarters back there, and we should have cashed in with sacks on half of them. We should have had 8 or 9 sacks today. We need to generate some pass rush from someplace. If that happens, the rest of the defense falls into place, IMO.

Aside from all that, it was a great comeback that showed a lot of composure. The Packers are better than Carolina. They knew it. Carolina knew it. We all knew it. The better team won. Next.

WisconsInExile's picture

Newton is incredibly elusive. Against a less mobile QB, I agree, and we *would* have had 8-9 sacks. Credit Newton's athleticism. Just like the two Eagles games last year.

fishandcrane's picture

Is he coachable- or being coached? Seems like he knows it all- and when it doesn't go his way- he is hiding under a towel rather than burying his face into photos or talking with coaches/wr's.

When you are a super talent- perhaps you can get away with it...I do.

NoWayJose's picture

It seemed like Walden was temporarily benches for Brad Jones?

In any case, I think the door is open for So'oto and/or Zombo to help this team out when they are ready.

Jordan's picture

Isn't the Panther's left tackle (Jordan Gross) rated 4th best in the NFL? I'm not sure what anyone was expecting at ROLB.

CM3 didn't fair too well against undrafted free agent rookie. And he blew at least one play while he was in spy.

JesseG53's picture

I agree with basically you posted. Morgan Burnett looked so lost in the 1st quarter but ended up playing a pretty solid game. Woodson on Smith isn't a great match up for Woodson. He got beat a couple times but he did end up having 2 interceptions off of him being brilliant.

Starks needs to get the bulk of the carries. He had 85 yards on 9 carries. He is more explosive and is just the better back.

I am not sure if you watched the game or not on TV. But I am surprised you didn't mention the terrible announce team again with Pitts and Mora. It really was all the Cam Newton show. Even his interceptions were the offensive coordinators fault according to them. It was ridiculous. But whatever, hopefully Collins is okay and we head to Chicago next week for the showdown with the Bears.

Ray Rhodes's picture

The announcing crew was embarassing At one point in the game Mora said "When the offense is looking at a third and long, the defense has a decision to make, either play coverage or blitz"

Idiot Fan's picture

I generally think Pitts is decent, but Mora was insufferable. I did appreciate that, when Cam misfired on a throw in the 4th quarter that should have been a TD, and Mora defended Cam by saying that that was a really hard throw to make, Pitts came back with, "But when a team picks you number one overall, you should be able to make that throw."

foundinidaho's picture

Pitts may have been trying too hard. God knows he loves the Green Bay Packers. He was a sideline announcer for the last (before this) SB win and I got the sense he was dancing with joy. Now he has to be "impartial". I will admit there was no audio where I was watching the game.

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