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More Gut Reactions

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More Gut Reactions

Lots on the mind, so I'll just do a data dump:

  • The Packers are in great hands at the quarterback position for years to come. That said, Mike McCarthy has GOT to figure out the puzzle that is Aaron Rodgers' cold starts. Yet again Rodgers was sailing passes and missing guys throughout the first quarter.
  • Yes, the officiating was bad. That's not why the Packers lost.
  • No one can say for certain that Pat Lee would have made a difference last night or, indeed, down the stretch. But the kid is better than Jarrett Bush, that much I know. Bush absolutely killed the Packers last night. Wisnehunt did a masterful job of designing stacks and route combos that left him in bad position after bad position, that position usually being well behind the intended receiver.
  • Nick Collins reportedly wants to be the top-paid safety in the league. The Packers now have plenty of tape to put on to counter Collins and his agent.
  • I started a mini-controversy last night by merely suggesting that it might be time for the Packers to start phasing out Donald Driver. (Mike Freeman of CBS Sports declared that I was utterly insane, which led to a very nice back and forth. He still thinks I'm insane...)  I don't make this suggestion likely. I want to go back and watch the last 5 or 6 games, but it seems to me the guy faded badly after starting the season white-hot. That could be a sign that Driver is wearing down - or it could be a fluke. But it bears watching. And to be clear - I don't mean that the Packers should cut the guy. Good lord no. Just that it might be time for a little less playing time for Double D.
  • How about the job T.J. Lang did? I thought for sure, when Clifton went down, the Cardinals would run all sorts of blitzes at the young lineman. What little they did, he picked up perfectly and he more than held his own on one-on-ones. I tell you this - McCarthy's biggest mistake this year was handing the starting right tackle job to Alan Barbre and not even giving Lang a shot to compete for the spot in training camp.

I'll have more as the day goes on. Just getting started...

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (55) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

D.D. Driver's picture

Driver clearly faded as the season went along. The problem is that there is no one on the roster that is good enough to unseat him. Jone and Nelson look to be decent/good 3rd/4th options but neither seems to be starter material. All in all, the Packers receiving corps is easily the most overrated unit on the team.
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That said, Jennings was awesome last night. We need to see more awesome Jennings and less pretty-good Jennings going forward.

alfredomartinez's picture

ohh mr. nagler, what can i say about that game...maybe being stuck at work watching it on the big screen, being down at some point by 21...thinking how in the hell is the pack gonna get back? and everytime the would, warner simply put a clinic on the LB corps and secondary...made breston a house name for fantasy freaks perphaps...not enough beer to forget...not enough...

Ryeguy812's picture

Fantasy football owners of Driver were well aware of his post-Thanksgiving drop off. Last season was the exact opposite though in that he started really slow and then came on at the end. So who knows

The refs didn't cost us the game, seemed to me that at times they were just sitting back and enjoying that game as well.

And Aaron....these seem to be way too well thought out to be considered "gut reactions" ;)

bigfog's picture

I really hope that Pat Lee can stay healthy and actually contribute this coming season. Green Bay needed him in the biggest way. I'll never understand why they put him on IR when they could have listed him on PUP. And for god's sake - get rid of one of the extra fullbacks and "Bustin" Harrell.

packeraaron's picture

DDD - agreed on Jones/Nelson (how did our bet end up, by the way? I haven't looked) I would bet they could get someone in the draft. Look what getting Harvin did for the Vikings or what Jackson did for the Eagles. A quick/speedster would help greatly. That said, up until now Thompson and McCarthy have been dead-set on getting bigger WRs in the draft. We'll see...

packeraaron's picture

bigfog - they couldn't have put Lee on PUP. Once he practiced with the team in training camp he could not be placed there. That said, why they didn't keep him on the 53 and just make him inactive instead of keeping 3 FBs or Breno Giacommini, I'll never know.

keeley2's picture

Sorry Aaron - the officials did cost us this game. TWICE Fitzgerald bowls over Woodsen for touchdowns. The outcome is certainly different. Still sick to my stomach.

Zaphod Beeblebrox's picture

A fast WR/PR and a fast change of pace RB/KR (alon with LT, safety, CB) are high on my 2010 list...

packeraaron's picture

keeley - come on. That's loser talk. Yes, they were bad calls. But the Cardinals didn't magically appear in the Red Zone. They got there w/good offense and by the Packers playing terrible defense. Again - yes, they were bad calls. They are NOT the reason the Packers lost.

D.D. Driver's picture

I think Jones had more yards and catches, but Nelson was missed a few games so whatever.

Mike from G-Town's picture

Driver may have dropped off to maybe a number 3 receiver, but like others have said, the Packers have nobody that can fill the spot.

bomdad's picture

Harvin will probably end up with a career shortened by migranes and chronic dehydration. Something is wrong with that guy.
I love Dockett's spouting, nothing like motivation for next year for ARodg. I guess Whiz is the master motivator, because thats the problem with Dockett and co.

mark's picture

Jones and Nelson are both very good, and will get better. Both will make great complements to Jennings. Driver was/is fine. The puzzle of Aaron Rodgers cold starts? I don't think that's something for the coach (or anything to "figure out") but rather, something that time and experience will take care of. Agree on TJ Lang.

Aaron Rogders's picture

The officiating was very bad... and it did change the outcome of the game. Both of Fitzgerald's touchdowns would of been erased and pushed the Cardinals back. There was a helmet to helmet on Rodgers not called. Late hit on Warner was a joke. Countless holding on the Cards never called. And of course the last play facemask would of changed things as well.
Well, those are the ones that come to mind..

packeraaron's picture

You know what else changed the outcome of the game? Missing tackles and leaving guys wide open.

Aaron Rogders's picture

Oh, isn't there something called "the tuck rule" where if your Tom Brady, you can't fumble the ball?? I'm not sure if Rodgers is eligible for this rule but it sure looked like he tucked it lol

alfredomartinez's picture

...mason crosby's missed fieldgoal...difference maker perhaps...

jack's picture

right on aaron. i will say this. once the game went into over time it's like starting a new game. the score might as well be 0-0. rodgers overthrew jennings on the first play- he's going to have a looong time to think about that play in the offseason. the next play is the one that killed me. colledge gets called for holding and while the IDIOTIC ref is going for his flag he misses a MAJOR helmet to helmet hit on rodgers by bertrand berry. i'm not saying that this non-call changed the outcome of the game but i'm just sayin'. also, regarding the last play. it looks like the facemask occurred after the ball was out of rodgers' hands. so the correct call should've been arizona's ball with a 15 yard penalty. i'm not saying that this non-call changed the outcome of the game but i'm just sayin'....... p.s. the packers have the #1 run defense in the nfl? really? i guess they decided not to make the trip out west this weekend.

Aaron Rogders's picture

Here is more explanation about the tuck rule and about the non-called penalties in over-time: http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/01/10/packers-cardinals-game-ends-in-offici...

AN - I don't think anyone here doesn't think Arizona didn't deserve to win that game. Our defense was horrible. It is just hard to say we got outplayed when the Cards had 7 extra players on the field all night.

packeraaron's picture

Tuck Rule doesn't come into effect because the ball never hit the ground.

AdamInEngland's picture

This D is still learning. You can see that Capers made stopping the run a priority this year, and next year you would hope that with a secondary which isn't screwed by injuries all year, and having OLBs who aren't rookies/halfway converted DEs will make the world of difference in coverage.

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In terms of a "replacement" for DD, I think this O can function well without a big time guy on the other side to Jennings. Jones proved he can play this year, Finley is the best young TE in the league (arguably already a top 5 receiving TE), Jackson is only getting better out of the backfield, Havner and Lee still have their places in the scheme as more traditional TEs, the line is getting there assuming TT gets a solid tackle this offseason, and most importantly, whilst I agree he is declining, Driver is not done yet.

hyperRevue's picture

Aaron - Why are you calling complaints about the refs "loser talk" on here, but bitching about the refs on Twitter?

"Also those 2 calls didn't directly contribute to 14 pts. Indirectly, yes, but not the way the 2 offensive PIs on Fitz did."

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Aaron - agree with you on everything except Driver. Man, folks are ready to 'drop kick' these older guys to the moon the first sign that they are catching their breath. Don't count him out. He stills has the experience, ability and passion to come through in tough spots and he's always a threat. He blew a fumble yesterday ... but that's not why we lost. If Driver decides he no longer has that burn inside, then it's time to leave. IMO
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packeraaron's picture

hyper - where did I say those calls were the reason the Packers lost the game? Big, big difference.

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Refs talk is loser talk. Bad calls on both sides... Cards could have challenged the punt/fumble that wasn't controlled before going out of bounds.... bad call, and missed by the Cards challenge. It's loser talk because it happens to both teams. If the Refs were perfect there would be no need for instant replay, booth review and all the rest.... just part of the game.
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hyperRevue's picture

Fair enough, Aaron.

I was getting the impression that you were trying to squelch any complaints about the officiating. But I guess your "loser talk" comment was more narrowly focused.

Although, I do believe that the blown facemask call did directly lead to the Packers losing.

Ron LC's picture

Tom Florio has a report on the "face mask" controversy. An NFL offfical stated that the face mask, if called, was a personal foul and would have been a 15 yard penalty and automatic 1st down. That would take precedence over the play itself. That doesn't mean a thing because the zebra will say he didn't see it. End of story!
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A whole lot more tackles, a few less dropped passes, and a whole lot of better coverage would have. The Packers have no one to blame but themselves. Let's hope they keep moving in the same direction they did this year. This will likely be a very, very good team next year.
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400+ yards, 4 TD's, 1 INT, and 45 points. And still we have to complain about Rodgers? What am I missing?

Andrew In Atlanta's picture

Wow, where to start? I'm not even close to cutting back DD playtime - yet. If we draft someone, that someone will not be incredible beginning with game one. It will take some portion of the season to unseat DD. That's IF we draft someone. And correct from DDD - Jones and Nelson are not a #2.
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Could not agree more on TJ Lang.
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Pat Lee or not, we need secondary help. Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised Collins stayed fairly healthy. It seems Bigby is always nursing some injury (as is Blackmon) and Harris is of course a huge question mark. The OL and LB positions will no doubt be a big focus of pre-draft talk (as they should), but I think THIS YEAR (not Malcolm Jenkins last year A-Nag) DB is a big draft need.
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I also think Collins needs to be paid. maybe not the higest in the league - definitely not the highest in the league - but he's good, and it's the Packer way to pay within.
_______________________________________
Also could not agree more on A-Rods cold starts. Maybe he's too jacked up at the start of games but we just don't see it from his demeanor. Gotta fix that. I also think he needs to tuck it and head out of bounds a few times a game. For example, he could have had 5 yards instead of an INT if he did that on the first play of the game. Use the sideline as protection and take a small gain instead of holding the ball so long. JMO
_______________________________________
I'm devastated about last night, but two things keep popping into my brain - 11-5, who would have thunk it after the 4-4 start? Not me, that's for sure. Also, it would have been SOOO easy to completely lay down after the start yesterday. The comeback was truly impressive.
_______________________________________
Please God, anyone but favre to win the Superbowl. I can not deal with the Favre apologists in another off-season. A-Rod was CLEARLY the right choice. Let's just move on

Pack66's picture

WELL...I TOLD YOU SO!

One and DONE! hahahaha...

Aaron Rodgers LOST THE GAME by throwing 2 PICKS but the AROD NUTHUGGERS will NEVER admit it, and they will SPIN the hell out of this game...

TEDDYBOY made the WRONG decision by letting FAVRE go, because he is a WINNER, and AROD is NOT. You can't spin that.

and Aaron...I'm waiting for you to PAY OFF on your bet, since YOU LOST...

I don't figure you for a welcher...

packeraaron's picture

Um - Pack66? The bet was for a 'win by 17' - that sure didn't happen. But stay classy. And Favre is a winner? His last post-season pass was a REAL winner...

hyperRevue's picture

Oh, Jesus...

AdamInEngland's picture

"AROD NUTHUGGERS"? Lol.

Jim in DC's picture

AN sez: "The Packers are in great hands at the quarterback position for years to come. That said, Mike McCarthy has GOT to figure out the puzzle that is Aaron Rodgers’ cold starts. Yet again Rodgers was sailing passes and missing guys throughout the first quarter."
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We saw this with Favre, too. I think this comes down to the way the head coach calls the opening drive(s). Give the QB the opportunity to settle in. A highly effective running game (incl. blockers) would be a big help.

seekr's picture

Must say that this site is very therapeutic. It is a wonderful source of comfort following a loss. Best blog period!

Also enjoy all those folks that attribute this loss to not having Favre. Apparently if we kept Favre we are guaranteed to win in the post season!

packeraaron's picture

Thanks very much seekr. Very nice of you to say.

hollycrat's picture

All I can think about right now is how I hope that Jermichael Finley does some work in the offseason. He has almost no ceiling on how great he could be if he details his work a little more.

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Agree ... don't call a pass first play with a QB who is in his first playoff game ...let him settle down. Favre was notorious for that too.

nypacker's picture

So the Packers should cut back on using Donald Driver? You guys have got to be kidding me. Of course he had that fumble early in the game but you don't see Arizona Cardinals fans screaming to get rid of Larry Fitzgerald because of his. Overall it was a great strip by Karlos Dansby, something that our LBs should learn how to do. And about the decline in receptions/yard? You guys need to get TiVo. The Cardinals gameplanned their defense by covering the flats where DD is known to mostly get his curl routes. I even noticed at one point they were even double teaming him and that's why you guys saw that single coverage on Greg Jennings throughout the second half of the game thus explaining his miraculous performance. You guys have to realize that it isn't the players who are stepping up, it's just that the opposing team is outmaneavering us.
And now for my take on the defense. Look Dom Capers has done a good job with the run defense over the course of the season but I was always suspect with our pass defense. Whether you want to blame it on the health of our players is fine but we shall see once the next season starts. However I do think that the Packers should look back to some stuff from old mister Bob Sanders. Yes I know he sucked when he led a defense that immobilized us to go 6-10 but I felt that Sanders was doing something right and that was playing coverage. Even with a depleted secondary in '08 we still played complete pass coverage on the field. I know he didn't dial up a lot of pressure but he did something right that I just can't put my finger on.

fish's picture

Nelson should replace Driver when that time comes. He's almost a Finley in size (F- 6'5" 247lb) (N- 6'2" 217lb) - 3 inches and 30lbs and the same hands. Looking at Drivers abilities, he had some mistakes, but he really started the train rollin from Dallas through the Ravens. A few one handed catches, a 70 yard catch, some endzone miracles really got the games rolling IMHO.

jerseypackfan's picture

After the game I passed out(not from alcohol consumption, cause I hardly drink) but from exaustion and frustration at 9:15PM. This game took years off me I swear!
Well my wife is happy cause she gets her husband back. She says I am are a totally different person during the season and she is thinking about suing the Packers. She also doesn't like the fact I turned my son into me when it comes to following this team. Yes, she really hates football. Do not worry guys, I wont let her sue and she will just have to get over it! Long live the GBP!!!
Time to start looking for a kick returner. I thought Will Blackmon ran scared but Jordy you take the cake buddy!!!! I want Josh Cribbs!!!! You hear me TT??? Josh freakin Cribbs!!!!!

greenbaypackerbob's picture

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Aaron- To end the Favre debate we need a post-Favre playoff win (IMHO) .... Mentioning Favre's INT in his last Pack game (a NFC Championship OT game versus yesterday's 1st wild card loss post 2 yrs) is just throwing fuel to the fire... And what if he is able to beat the hot Dallas team next week??
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We have to get back to winning in the post season.
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Steve in Mpls's picture

Speaking of glaring mistakes,how many balls
thrown directly into Donald Lee's gut (AND
DROPPED) is acceptable for a pro tight end?

fish's picture

That would be another good point about Nelson. You don't have a 6'2" 220lb person trying to return punts where you need to get through small holes. Tyrell Sutton was a small runner.

greenbaypackerbob's picture

jerseypackfan
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Great story. Made me smile again. Fortunately, my wife (and my son) are all the same. We live and die together during football season. We make a big pot of chilly and friends and family come over to eat and watch every week... but they all think we are nuts with all the jumping up and down at the TV. We love the game.
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Jim in DC's picture

greenbaypackerbob sez "We have to get back to winning in the post season."
—–----------------------------------
That pretty much sums it up. Time to turn our attention to the 2010 campaign. Go Pack!

retiredgrampa's picture

DD is NOT declining! He is just human, not a god. I almost got ill watching Nelson return (?) KOs. He was lucky to get to the 20 straight line. TT should be hung if he doesn't address that weakness in the off-season.(and I don't believe the KR/PR is now on the team.) To some extent, I believe the greatness of our WRs was overblown. They are good, but not over powering. Donald Lee doesn't belong on the same field with Finley, IMO.

bomdad's picture

Charles Woodson:
Playoff loss to Patriots for a made up call to prevent a fumble.
Playoff loss to Cardinals on a no call to force a fumble.

ctSharpeCheddar's picture

Packk66 should change his name to "13 years ago" thats the last time Favre was a winner

jerseypackfan's picture

Wow! The picture of Rodgers getting ripped down to the ground by his face mask is everywhere on the net! How do you feel now Cardinal fans knowing your team cheated to win the game? It has to sting a little and it will destroy you all next week. I pray to the football gods you get yours against the Saints.

Pack66's picture

Nope..he had already FUMBLED the ball, like he did ALL YEAR by holding onto it too long, and having NO pocket presence...

So, his TWO TURNOVERS cost the Packers the game....

But you hypocrites won't see that because his last name isn't FAVRE...

How does it feel to be so WRONG all the time...

The rest of the Country laughs at you whiny Packer fans.

PACKERS.'s picture

There's so much to say about last night's game and the whole season. I believe you when you say There's more coming. BTW: Mr. Nagler, if you have the time, please read my longest comment in the gut reactions.

BigbyATTACK's picture

Wow. To those of you that are STILL doing the AROD/Favre thing, the only reason we were even IN this game is because of Rodgers. We were down 21 in the 4th quarter. Dear old Brett threw a pick to end the championship game with the Giants. It'll happen. Everyone expects WAY TOO MUCH out of the passer, these days, which I blame the media and their sheep for. But if we kept Favre for another year or two, do you really think Rodgers would've resigned? I think he would've gone to play starting quarterback for someone else and we don't have our franchise quarterback, who played EXCELLENT football this year and threw for 422 yards in the playoffs while being completely let down by his defense again. Get over it.

greenbaypackerbob's picture

Bigby, you are saying Favre was responsible for getting us to the 07 OT NFC Champ game but loss due to INT... and like Favre, AR is responsible for getting us to a wild card game but loss (due to fumble or overthrowing a open receiver)? And when that happens we are expecting too much from the QB? ... i think we should always expect them to win and not make costly mistakes.
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"But if we kept Favre"..... It certainly appears that if Favre had stayed he was still capable of getting us to a 2nd seed playoff spot. Maybe giving AR Favres 20 million offer to retire would have kept AR around for several yrs ... who knows... doesn't matter much now- we have AR. Time to get him the correct staff, coaches, players etc., that can support his efforts.... throwing for a lot of yrds in a playoff game only matters when you win ..... and AR did get some help from Woodson's forced fumble, cool onside kick, and the Cards fumbled punt recovery. Warner was just to good this go around (no costly mistakes)
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greenbaypackerbob's picture

jerseypackfan
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fyi - many are saying that since the ball came out right before the face mask the Cards would have retained possession... may want to chk rerun... i haven't... but either way, doesn't help loss (there's usually always issues like this)
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MCS's picture

I'm not about to read all 52 comments. I just wanted to say that it seems to me that Driver has hit a wall as well. I mentioned as much to friends after the game. I still like him in the slot running 5-10 yard patterns though. Maybe a reduced role for him?

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