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NFC North Champ Packers Scream Geronimo! and Rip Rip Hooray!

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NFC North Champ Packers Scream Geronimo! and Rip Rip Hooray!

There is no debate that the Green Bay Packers offense has established a familiar identity, one which imposes fear and helplessness in opposing defenses. There are many reasons that attribute to this history of success, but one of the major keys is the number of weapons that the Packers attack with on offense. The 2016 campaign in Green Bay seems to keep adding offensive weapons to an already volatile squad.

Look no further than last Sunday’s 31-17 NFC North division-clinching dismantling of the Detroit Lions in which the Packers flexed their offensive muscles, paced by productive performances from Geronimo Allison and Aaron Ripkowski.

Allison, the 6’3” lanky rookie receiver from the University of Illinois, posted 4 catches for 91 yards against the Lions including a precision Aaron Rodgers pass for a touchdown that will be shown in Packers lore for years to come. The catch was not easy, but was wildly overlooked because of the pinpoint throw and the 8 seconds Rodgers danced around before throwing the dart. Allison’s performance against the Lions came one week after posting another solid game in which he caught 4 passes for 66 yards against the Minnesota Vikings.

This production couldn’t have come at a better time with Randall Cobb sidelined the past two contests with an ankle injury. The last game Cobb played was against the Chicago Bears, a game he failed to get targeted for a pass. Understandable that Allison would not receive these opportunities unless Cobb was hurt, but it is possible Allison has propelled himself into a larger role moving forward in the Packers postseason run. His size offers Green Bay a third legitimate big bodied target along with Jared Cook and Jordy Nelson. This is an asset Green Bay lacked a season ago with Jordy Nelson sidelined. Cobb offers the knowledge of the offense and awareness on broken plays, but he has failed to produce explosive plays as he did in previous years. It could be argued that Cobb could be expendable at the conclusion of the 2016 season and the emergence of Allison, especially if he continues to flash during the postseason, could further push that thinking.  

In Ripkowski, the Packers have a 246-pound sledgehammer that seems to relish contact on opposing defenders with his kamikaze-style running attack. The second-year fullback often stuns the opposition with initial contact that he provides as a ball carrier, typically concluding with him gaining more yards than he was granted. Though he is known for his “bull in a china shop” style of carrying, he also proved last week that he can make the right reads as explained by Rodgers.

“The first run out of split backs with a two-tight-end set on the right, he had kind of a nice clean hole. But then you saw him with the reading. He made some really good reads today.” Rodgers told the media after Sunday’s game.

With the playoffs starting, it is evident that Mike McCarthy trusts Ripkowski the most in regards to single back sets and protecting the quarterback. It’s no secret that newly transitioned running back, Ty Montgomery, has struggled in pass protection. While Montgomery offers explosive plays both in the running and passing game out of the backfield, it is clear that Ripkowski is the better option in pass protection. He has garnered the trust of Rodgers also who prefers him on key third down situations, like his relationship with former Packers fullback John Kuhn.

“Where if Mike says, ‘Hey, who do you want back there on the big third down?’ I want Rip back there, just like I wanted John back there.” Rodgers explained.

Ripkowski’s skills have trickled into the passing games as well, he caught a 7-yard touchdown reception on the Packers first scoring drive. He has shown flashes in previous games catching the ball which at least gives the defense another thing to worry about, especially as a check down after pass protecting.

Having two more viable weapons for the opposing defense to worry about only makes the Packers offense more dangerous, and gives McCarthy a bevy of options to incorporate into his weekly playoff game plan. Depending on the opponent, this offense can operate and be successful in multiple ways. Unfortunately for Green Bay, Dom Capers does not have this luxury of options on the defensive side of the ball. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (28) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

I have to wonder: WHY is our defense ALWAYS average to bad? It has been since 2011? It is talent? Coaching? What....

HOW do the Pats have a top ranked D and O so often?

Tundraboy's picture

Agree with a lot, but we do have a running game. Question is will D show up each game. TBD

Point Packer's picture

"The lack of a run game is all on TT.
Counted on a 30 year old and fat guy with a bad wheel."

I couldn't agree with this more. Hated the Starks resigning from the get-go and all the extreme homer/TT apologists thought it was a "team friendly deal". My ass, there's a chance Starks would have landed on the street had he not re-signed with GB. In the list of needs this off season, re-signing an aging RB with a history of injuries and mediocrity was not one of them.

I can hear the extreme homers now, "he was injured!", "how'd you know he was going to be below shit given his track record?!?", blah blah blah.

Answer: he is old and never was that good and was constantly injured.

Bearmeat's picture

He's not wrong.

He's also annoying as hell though. So I'm disinclined to listen to him.

longtimefan's picture

Offense, 8th in rushing yards per carry..

DEFENSE, 12th in rushing yards per carry, 8th in total rushing yards given up.

DEFENSE 5th in rushing to given up

DEFENSE, 5th in rushing 1st downs given up..

The rush Def is fine

dobber's picture

Where do numbers come from?

...the games.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

GB yards per carry allowed:
3.3 Games 1-8
4.7 Games 9-16

pacman's picture

Why does anyone respond to this guy? If nobody replies, he will stop. There is enough to debate about the Packers without 'he who should not be named'.

Tundraboy's picture

So hard not to. His stupidity at times knows no bounds. I will bite my tongue, at least until Monday. After we win he will disappear for a week anyway.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

The scheme is a terrible fit. It's based on tricking the other team with complexity and misdirection. It works ok on inferior offenses with inexperienced QBs. As soon as you get a top qb or a hard nosed offense that will stuff it down your throat it falls apart.

The scheme is also a terrible match for young players. Increasing the complexity to the point that it will confuse a veteran offense just ends up confusing your own younger players, especially the secondary.

I don't hate the defense or Capers but I would definitely never choose it for a young team or a cold weather team and the Packers are both. There is a reason that it was impossible to beat Fritz Schumer in the cold. He kept it simple and brought in vetern players that where big and strong and held up well when the game slowed down. He kept it simple and focused on winning matchups. The NFL never scheduled the Cowboys in GB until thier run was over.

Todays game is faster but I think that also favors simplicity. I would much rather have a scheme like the Seahawks or gasp the Giants use.

Read this, Brooks lays it all out. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.nfl.com/superbowl/story/0ap200000032367...

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

How can I put it now, I loved Kuhn but man Ripkoski is just ripping thru the line with power. Allison was and is fabulous this kid is a keeper. They are going to produce for years unless the injury bug hits them.

Duke Divine's picture

Geronimo!!! Already better than Janis will ever be.

pacman's picture

I was a fan of trying to figure out how to get Janis more involved. They seem to have tried and been unsuccessful. If Geronimo is the new guy, that's great. But what I don't understand is what did he show to move ahead of Janis and to finally get more reps that he didn't show earlier.

Team should be fired up to get the Giants 'curse' off their backs and they are not the Giants of 2011. Packers should win. We've got the big MO and more hunger. Now that AR is doing so well again, I don't care that he is passing so much vs running. But the D has got to carry some weight in the playoffs. Peppers - do you want a ring?

Lphill's picture

I think the Packers offense is already game planned and will be effective , I also think the Packers D shows up Sunday, HA HA needs to atone for past games , Peppers last shot at the big game, Clay is back , bring it!

Tundraboy's picture

Agree. I believe the whole team needs to atone for recent playoff losses, especially 2011. Sick of one and done, and to win and also put Giants back where they belong will make it even sweeter.

croatpackfan's picture

When was last one and done game in play offs for Packers? Can you remind us? I might have some problems with memory, but I think that Packers lost WCG 2009 and 2013, 2011 it was divisional round (but 1 and done) - 2010 SB, 2012 divisional round (not 1 and done!), 2014 NFCCG, 2015 divisional round (not 1 and done)... So, what are you tired off, or maybe I really have bad memory and Packers are 7 previous post seasons 1 and done? Not to mentioned that 2013 Packers enters post season as 8-7-1 team which did not have enough healthy players on the roster in WCG against SF so Packers played with 4 players on D which played on one leg - honorably mentioned Mulumba...

Tundraboy's picture

Ok, I'll clarify . I'm sick of losing in the playoffs when we have ARod at QB. On top of that I'm sick of losing to the Giants in the postseason. That was never the case when I was a kid so losing in the 2007 and 2011 seasons still bugs me. Maybe the Lombardi years spoiled me but isn't that our DNA.

croatpackfan's picture

Well that is different compared to 1 and done... I know that one and done sounds more dramatic and allows you stinkier spit on MM, but that is just not truth!
Btw, only that game in 2011 was game lost clearly. All other loses comes either in OT or on 3 point difference (2013 - for which year I already mentioned that it was the worst injury rush in Packers SB history!). That is not that bad record... At lease Packers played in 7 post seasons in the row and will play in 8th extending that presence...

Tundraboy's picture

So I guess 2014 was OK with you.

Amanofthenorth's picture

NFC East...overrated ....except cowboys

Tundraboy's picture

No one expects a monster game from Clay anymore, at least not me, but I do expect a total team effort ala Seattle game. Don't be such a downer.

marpag1's picture

"I'm trying to keep my chin up... but I can see what's coming."

Awesome. Is this the same sort of keen vision which enabled you to "see" that the Packers would get blown out by the Seahawks?

COW says:
December 11, 2016 at 09:11 am

Irrelevant.
Packers lose by 3 scores.
30ish - 10ish.

GB can not run. Period.
Having to throw through weather and into the Legion of Boom won't work.

GB's D is putrid.
Rawls/Graham/Baldwin/Wilson will take whatever they want.
Who's gonna stop 'em? Datone Jones? Ha ha. Micah Hyde? Pff.
Watch out for a good game from one of L. Wilson/Lockett/Richardson.

Bet on Carrol punking the entire state of Wisconsin with Tanner McEvoy somehow.

Can't wait for C. Michael to get 6 carries. Idiot MM.

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Duke Divine's picture

He may have practiced but it will only take a few snaps for him to get too cold and sit on the heated bench the rest of the game....

croatpackfan's picture

COW, you do not have permission to talk for me. And I'm Packers fan who do not consider Clay Matthews as disappointment against any OL... So please, speak in your name only!

ricky's picture

Interesting. So, perhaps Cobb is expendable because an UFA has flashed in two games. Similar to Jarrett Boykin a few years ago. A very promising first season led to a huge disappointment the second season. But by all means, let's get rid of a very good WR for a two game wonder.

Thank goodness there are others in charge of running the team.

Tundraboy's picture

Must say you are in rare form today.

Lphill's picture

You have to excuse COW look how his Vikings season ended and losing Prince too? So he has to take it out on the Packers, even his purple rain CD skips in his Walkman.

4thand1's picture

Cowsuck mustva gotten a lump of coal again for x-mas. Now he's mad at all the Packer players again. The future looks bright, he had the Packers for dead and they explode back to life. What ever he predicts , the opposite occurs. Cow, like the Bears, you still suck.

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