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Jaguars vs. Packers: The Aftermath

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Jaguars vs. Packers: The Aftermath

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday by the score of 24-15.

Special Teams

In his post game press conference, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy cited the special teams as leading the way in Sunday’s victory over Jacksonville. And while things certainly began that way, the special teams failed to live up to their name as the game wore on.

With Green Bay leading 7-3 early in the game, defensive back Davon House moved away from the Jaguars gunner on the outside of the punt formation to join the linemen for a punt block attempt.

Although the Jacksonville punt team pointed out House’s shift, no one bothered to block him. House sprinted off the left end, fully extended his body into a leap and blocked the Bryan Anger punt.

After the ball bounced off of the Lambeau Field turf, and a couple of players, linebacker Dezman Moses fell on the ball in the end zone to put the Packers up by 11 points.

The second half was a different story for the Packers special teams as the units failed to execute their jobs as smoothly.

In attempting a trick play on a field goal attempt, the team instead turned the ball over on downs.

Facing a 4th-and-6 from the Jacksonville 37-yard line, the Packers opted for a field goal attempt. Prior to the snap, kicker Mason Crosby vacated the backfield and other Packers players ran into alternate positions as the team left the Jaguars to wonder whether the lone player remaining in the backfield, Tim Masthay, would punt or attempt a pass.

Masthay took the snap, moved to his left and attempted a long pass back across the field to tight end D.J. Williams. The pass was well short and the Packers’ trickery failed.

The Jaguars could not convert the turnover into points, however, and on the next series, the Packers defense forced Jacksonville into a three-and-out before the offense put together an 11-play drive that started from their own 20. Stalled at the Jacksonville 14-yard line, Mike McCarthy elected for a field goal.

Mason Crosby’s 32-yard attempt began straight but sliced badly to the right before hitting the upright and bouncing to the ground. After the game, McCarthy cited the wind as a possible explanation for the miss, but regardless of the circumstances, the failed kick marked Crosby’s first miss from inside 50-yards this season.

The Running Game

To his credit, Mike McCarthy never abandoned the run, but the team’s execution on running plays remained a concern.

Starting running back Alex Green finished the day with 22 carries for 54 yards, averaging a paltry 2.5 yards per carry.

Prior to the game, ESPN’s Adam Schefter started up the rumor mill with a story of the Packers’ interest in Rams’ running back Steven Jackson.

While an in-season trade would be out of character for Packers general manager Ted Thompson, something needs to change if the Packers hope to successfully run the football.

Injury Report

The Packers list of players who did not suit up for the game read more like an all star roster than it did an inactive list. Without Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Charles Woodson and others, the Packers’ “Next Man Up” philosophy was tested.

The first half was injury free, but in the second, the injury bug hit two Green Bay players.

Rookie defensive lineman Jerel Worthy was hurt on the opening kickoff of the second half. The former Michigan State standout suffered a concussion and will be monitored and evaluated as the week progresses.

Fellow defensive lineman Mike Neal also left the game with an injury. Neal injured his right ankle and was unable to return to the game.

As Rodgers Goes, The Offense Goes

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished the day with two touchdown passes, but the Packers’ signal caller was out of sorts all afternoon.

Rodgers looked somewhat dazed and unenthused throughout the game as he finished with 186 yards on 22-of-35 passing.

Add in two fumbles, one of which was called back due to a Jaguars’ penalty, and QB1 had an afternoon to forget. Perhaps he’s playing hurt, perhaps the numerous sacks and hits are taking a toll, but for one reason or another he did not look like his fiery, focused self on Sunday.

Fortunately for the Packers, point differential in the NFL is unimportant. No matter the score, a win is a win, and even with a less than stellar day from their MVP, the Packers found a way to victory.

Good teams find ways to win games and despite a lackluster and dull performance, the Packers proved their worth on Sunday.

Up Next?

With the victory, the Packers improved to 5-3 on the season and have put together a three-game winning streak. They remain in Green Bay to face the Arizona Cardinals next week, who have lost three in a row and host the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football this evening.

The Cardinals are the last stop before a much needed bye week for the Packers as they hope the rest will help shrink their lengthy list of injured players.

 

Max Ginsberg is a regular contributor at CheeseheadTV, blogs at PurplePantsGreenJersey.com and can be reached via Twitter @MaxGinsberg or at maxginsberg[at]yahoo.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Hands's picture

It wouldn't suprise me to see Tampa Bay's reserve RB, Blount, become a Packer. They want to get rid of him and he does have some skills. He needs some motivation and that might keep that trade from happening.

lebowski's picture

Blount has looked horrible this year. Pass.

Pack Fan in ATL's picture

@Lebowski +1

@Hands: I was in favor of us signing him as a free agent after the draft the year he came out, but not as a target of a trade.

I would much rather them give Starks a fair shot at some carries. I don't know what's going on in the locker room for him to be so scorned right now, but whatever it is, it needs to get worked out pronto so we can at least see what he can bring to the table.
If Alex Green can't get 3 ypc against one of the worst rush defenses in the league this year, why not give someone else a shot? Can't understand how he got 22 carries with those kind of numbers while Starks only got 1 which was for 8 yards...

markinmontana's picture

My guess is that they still don't have confidence in Starks' understanding at the total system. He seems to have go run instincts, but struggled last year with assignments and blitz pickup.

packsmack25's picture

It would surprise me because they DON'T want to get rid of him. His contract is next to nothing.

NoWayJose's picture

I'm with lebowski. Blount is lead-footed.

Glorious80;s's picture

Commentary in Tampa is that he can't do short yardage runs.

Chris's picture

Can we trade for a center(or any o lineman for that matter) that can open lanes for the rb instead? When Green is getting pummeled in the backfield before he even gets a chance to look forward that tells me the o line can't open holes for any rb no matter who he is

Brian's picture

+1

Mel's picture

We need to teach cobb to hold for crosby just once in a game so we can have a real threat on the fake fg/punt. Remember he played QB in college also!!!

trvs's picture

I dont see us going after a free agent RB, We got Benson and unfortunately he got hurt. So the back up plan was Green, Starks, and now White. Those three should be able to run the ball effectively. Not having Kuhn and Nelson really affected Rodgers and the run game.

With all of our players healthy, this team is solid. Take away a few of the top players, and you see the leaks. I just hope we can clean up a little bit for Arizona, we cant have another sloppy attempt next week.

cheesewhizzer's picture

In a pretty good article by McGinn in the Journal Sentinel website several coaches and scouts agreed that the weak points in the Packer Oline were at center and left tackle. Newhouse is not an adequate left tackle and I fear is going to get AR hurt before the season is over. Saturday's best years are past. He is not a good run blocker anymore. Our running backs are running up the backs of the Olinemen who are not opening any holes. I don't expect us to ever make progress until we make changes in the Oline at these two positions. Teams are just daring us to run.
They will all play an overloaded cover 2 and continue to frustrate Rodgers until this problem is fixed IMHO.

woodson4president's picture

If Blount showed up in our locker room after making us look like a jv hs team last year on that crazy run....he might get murdered haha. God i hate that highlight.

PackRat's picture

When will it dawn on us that the problem with the offense is simple: THE OL is just TERRIBLE this year, the worst its been in years. Best player on the line? Easy. MARSHALL never thought I'd be writing this) NEWHOUSE! Jeff Saturday has been non-existent in help and NEVER makes it to the second level--two tiers below Wells. Bulaga MUST be playing hurt because he is being dominated by types he used to shut down. And Sitton and Lang, thought to be on their way to all-pro year after year, have played like average journeymen, whiffing on so many plays during the game. 28 SACKS!! We LEAD THE LEAGUE and it would be more except for Rodgers amazing agility in the pocket (not withstanding his holding onto the ball too long). Here's hoping the bye week gives them time to install EDS at center and think about significant playing time for Don Barclay. He's a mauler who won't go down due to lack of effort (think Tauscher).

Cuphound's picture

I don't think McCarthy really has any goals for the running game other than making the opposite defense having to divert manpower to stopping it. He just wants them to not have all their resources focused on covering receivers. I can't imagine him trying to develop an offensive line that could open holes for running backs. Honestly, if they could protect Rodgers, I'd be giddy. McCarthy just doesn't care about that stuff. We know him now. It's important not to hold out hope of running to daylight. Just keep praying that Rodgers doesn't get another concussion.

McCarthy won a Super Bowl this way. Bearmeat said it best. This offense is like a Jaguar. Sexy as hell when it's working, but breaks down too easily. Pray McCarthy gets the Jaguar fixed to be sexy for a while. There's no hope of a different engine. Mikey likes it just fine.

Jake's picture

This season is eerily starting to remind me of the super bowl season. I remember the season starting out a little rocky too. I remember us losing to teams we shouldn't have early. I remember us squeaking out a win against a not very good lions team, and everyone talking similarly to how they are talking after this Jags game. I remember injuries piling up. I remember a lack of a run game early. I remember strong questioning of McCarthy's coaching and playcalling early.

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