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Packers 31 Lions 24: Game Balls & Lame Calls

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Packers 31 Lions 24: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers entered this week 17 game knowing they were already in the postseason.  But there was more to be gained.  A win over the Detroit Lions would mean a division title and the fourth seed in the NFC and that's exactly what the Packers ended up with.  After a back-and-forth battle with a Lions team that has made a living off of coming back late to steal wins and give their opponents fits, the Packers finally pulled away and finished a running of the table that was the goal set six weeks ago.  Head coach Mike McCarthy helped get his team ready to play a big road game even after learning that they'd live to play next week either way.  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had another great showing in a big road game.  And this Packers team overcame yet more injuries to hang on and win another game.  How long can it continue?  Fortunately, we have at least one more week to ask that question.

On to the best and worst from week 17 against the Lions.

Game Balls

Aaron Ripkowski

Nine carries for 61 yards and a touchdown catch.  An average of 6.8 yards per carry.  That sounds about right.  .for what we'd expect from Ty Montgomery.  Instead it was Ripkowski who the Packers were able to lean on early in this game.  He single-handedly kept the ground game relevant.  He ran hard and found the crease.  61 yards from your lead blocker is a nice contribution in a big game.  This could become a nice wrinkle during the postseason if he's healthy enough to carry on (pun intended).

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers does it again.  His mobility looked back to normal, which is near miraculous considering how he looked in the Seattle and Chicago games.  Rodgers stayed in the pocket, took his shots and continued his resurgence in the passing game.  He was 27 of 39 for 300 yards and four touchdowns.  Quarterback rating of 126.0.  The bigger stat: 10 rushes for 42 yards.  Rodgers was without that ability to run for a few weeks and this game might have been very different were it not for Rodgers' ability to extend plays and pick up first downs with his feet.

All of this MVP talk for Rodgers is going to continue.  And it should.  While he may not win it, this team has nothing without this quarterback.  Their defense is a "who's who" and become more and more of that every week as defensive backs continue to go down.  They aren't stopping teams for four quarters.  They're having a tough time closing out games.  But they're winning those games because of one Aaron Rodgers.  What a great first game of 2017 for #12.

Geronimo Allison

Allison filled in for Randall Cobb for a second straight week.  He had just four catches but they were all key grabs, especially the touchdown.  The play turned into a scramble drill and while the Packers do that all the time in practice and have found success with it time and time again, to see a young player like Allison get himself the slightest of windows for Rodgers to fit the ball into was a thing of beauty.  An undrafted free agent, most guys like that aren't having the type of production Allison is.  It helps that he has one of the best passers in the game throwing him the ball but it's clear that that very passer has a lot of confidence in Allison.  Cobb should return but until then, the passing game is going to need more big moments from Allison throughout the postseason.

Lame Calls

Damarious Randall

I've seen many comparisons between Randall and former Packers first-round cornerback Ahmad Carroll.  For those of you who remember Carroll, that's not a good thing for Randall.  While I don't quite know that I would go as far as to compare Randall to Carroll, it's clear that the second year corner is struggling.  He was benched for a the second time in three weeks after blowing coverage and allowing a deep completion in the first half.  There is still a question as to whether Randall is hurting more than we know, as it was reported that he would likely have been inactive last week against the Minnesota Vikings had the Packers not been so short on bodies in the secondary.  It's tough to hand out this lame call but Randall has to perform if he's going to be out there.  This defense needs his best.  Randall also had a penalty on special teams right after the misplay, adding to the "when it rains, it pours" trend with #23.  

Clay Matthews

You're not paid to catch footballs, you're paid to drive quarterbacks into the ground.  But when it hits you in both hands with no one around you, you have to catch it, Clay.  It would have erased a touchdown by the Lions and may have possibly been a touchdown for the Packers.  Those types of squandered opportunities will end the Packers' season in a hurry starting next week.  A 14 point swing lands you right in here in the lame call section.

Hail Mary Coverage

Last year in this same building the Packers did the improbable when Richard Rodgers hauled in a prayer for the win.  It wasn't for the win, but of course it's Anquan Boldin once again making a big touchdown catch against the Packers in a big game.  Please cover old boy!  Please!  That should never be a completed pass and it made this game just a touch more than it needed to be.  Ironically, it was Richard Rodgers with the ball in his hands again in Detroit after a last desperation play to seal the win on the ensuing onside kick.

Jerome Boger & His Crew

We aren't at, watching or experiencing NFL games to listen to referees over the mic all night.  As has been said many times recently, we shouldn't know who the refs are by name.  We shouldn't be worried about which crew is officiating games.  But this game was a reminder that some crews are determined to be a major storyline in the outcome, which is never going to be a good thing for the league, teams or their fans.  15 penalties on the night and often coming in bunches.  The officials need to enforce the rules and there were plenty of infractions but it seemed excessive.

 

Others to mention:

  • Blake Martinez appears to be back from his knee injury.  He was credited with a sack and another tackle for loss.  With an injury to Joe Thomas, Martinez and Jake Ryan will need to fill in in that nickel and dime linebacker role
  • LaDarius Gunter had two pass break up's and continues to be a steady performer.  Still waiting for him to nab a big play
  • Kentrell Brice filled in nicely and sent a message to Marvin Jones on a catch that Jones made.  He sent the receiver wobbling to the sideline and I don't believe Jones was able to return after that.  If he starts getting in the heads of receivers, he could turn into a nice addition to the regular rotation in the secondary
  • Injuries to the secondary keep me from harping on the pass defense.  Dom Capers is the easy target week after week but he's working with a patch work group at this point.  Quinten Rollins is likely done for the season so there's another man down.  Hopefully Randall can go and is ready to step up and improve.  It's terrible timing heading into the postseason where it's premiere pass catchers every week.  The defense has to somehow find a way to rise up.  Detroit was only 5 of 12 on third down in this game
  • Micah Hyde with a big interception late to keep points off the board for the Lions.  It's scary to think Hyde is going to see more time in coverage with all of the injuries to the other corners, but if he's going to make plays like that, the Packers may come out ahead
  • Jacob Schum had some clunkers in a dome, yet he was kicking so well outdoors in the cold.  I can't figure this guy out but he did have a few nice kicks
  • Mason Crosby missed an extra point late and it had that feel of something that would factor in the outcome.  Fortunately the Packers weren't having any of that noise and a two-point conversion later made up the missed point
  • Mike McCarthy called a pretty good game.  The third down quarterback run was possibly his best call of the season.  It helps when your stars are all coming through for you, especially the quarterback.  Hopefully it's just the beginning
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (38) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bearmeat's picture

NFC NORTH CHAMPS BABEEEE!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Let's talk about NYG tomorrow. WOOOOOOOOOOO!

Rossonero's picture

Feels great to say Division Champs!!

Maybe not a game ball, but Nick Perry's sack was impressive.

The six first half penalties were lame for sure, but I'm glad McCarthy was just as upset and obviously addressed it at halftime.

Is it just me or does Datone Jones have one stupid penalty per game? Every week he jumps offside, roughs the QB or does something stupid.

Giants are very beatable. Manning has been erratic, but with those Giants receivers, it's gonna be a tough test. I hope Rollins is ok.

dobber's picture

"Is it just me or does Datone Jones have one stupid penalty per game? Every week he jumps offside, roughs the QB or does something stupid."

With Brad Jones and Erik Walden gone, someone had to take on those responsibilities...

Rjrussart's picture

I get that same feeling, happening too often.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Datone Jones was all over the edge as well. He does some bonehead things but played tough.

Amanofthenorth's picture

I said that third and five in the third was a key play and then Perry made a great sack. Key play made by Perry! Awesome.

WKUPackFan's picture

Following up on infinitely correct Boger lame call: Lame call on the NFL for "celebration" penalties. Who cares if the football is dunked over the cross bar? Who cares if Elliott jumps into a Salvation Army kettle? There has to be a debate as to whether making a snow angel should be a penalty?

Enough with the rules that cater the 1950s demographic. Make the NFL fun again!

chugwater's picture

What drove me nuts was the quick WR screen Detroit threw in the second half. Hyde was clearly picked (blocked) before the ball was half way to the receiver!

Maybe I'm missing something...

guenaj15's picture

The offense is allowed to do that within one yard of the LOS... Not sure if that was the case on that play, but ,maybe

chugwater's picture

I thought so too, but I've seen GB WRs get penalized for making contact at the LOS before the ball arrived.

Who knows...

lebowski's picture

I think it was Gronkowski who dunked over the cross bar and bent the goal posts, delaying the game for like 45 minutes. That's why it's now a penalty.

Nick Perry's picture

Game balls... Adams..With those 2 TD''s he finished tied for 2nd in the NFL with 12 TD Catches. He also caught 75 balls, 60 for 1st downs. Well done young man!! BTW... Jordy was first with 14 TD's. ....Ummm, All you Adams Haters please stand up.

McCarthy running the ball.... Rip and Monty 17 carries for 105 yards. I thought it would be Michael and Monty but who cares, as long as production is there. Ripper is a beast and Montgomery's patience is outstanding. Once he learns Pass Protection he'll be just fine.

Lame Calls... Boger, Boger, and Boger. Please NO Boger and his Crew next week at Lambeau.

Edit... Adams actually had 45 1st downs, not 60. It was 60% of his catches that were 1st downs. Still pretty good for a "Bust".

Ferrari Driver's picture

I agree with you. Thumbs up!

croatpackfan's picture

I think (and hope) the same comments next season we will have regarding Randall and Rollins. Some people do not understand meaning of injury. How bad injury can influence your execution. Especially, when you are playing on the edge when you are healthy, every injury make you reaching that edge impossible...
Give those two guys some time and patience...

Houndog's picture

Once again I gotta agree with you Nick, Adams has had a fabulous year! I live in the SF Bay area and loved the kid in college, but still I have to admit, last season he looked like he might be a bust,
Damn, if Albino Ted could only learn to draft D-Linemen, Cornerbacks, and Backers like he does receivers we might be a Superbowl lock.

Houndog's picture

Once again I gotta agree with you Nick, Adams has had a fabulous year! I live in the SF Bay area and loved the kid in college, but still I have to admit, last season he looked like he might be a bust,
Damn, if Albino Ted could only learn to draft D-Linemen, Cornerbacks, and Backers like he does receivers we might be a Superbowl lock.

Houndog's picture

Once again I gotta agree with you Nick, Adams has had a fabulous year! I live in the SF Bay area and loved the kid in college, but still I have to admit, last season he looked like he might be a bust,
Damn, if Albino Ted could only learn to draft D-Linemen, Cornerbacks, and Backers like he does receivers we might be a Superbowl lock.

Houndog's picture

Once again I gotta agree with you Nick, Adams has had a fabulous year! I live in the SF Bay area and loved the kid in college, but still I have to admit, last season he looked like he might be a bust,
Damn, if Albino Ted could only learn to draft D-Linemen, Cornerbacks, and Backers like he does receivers we might be a Superbowl lock.

Houndog's picture

Once again I gotta agree with you Nick, Adams has had a fabulous year! I live in the SF Bay area and loved the kid in college, but still I have to admit, last season he looked like he might be a bust,
Damn, if Albino Ted could only learn to draft D-Linemen, Cornerbacks, and Backers like he does receivers we might be a Superbowl lock.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Just once, I have to agree with you, Houndog.

Nick Perry's picture

LOL...That was pretty funny.

Savage57's picture

My Game Ball adds:

OL - In that environment, they held their own in spite of playing against the Lions and the officiating crew.

Jared Cook - Nice to see.

Richard Rodgers - I actually saw him make two blocks.

My Lame Call adds:

MM - Overall a good game, coach, but I will never understand why you go away from what's working before someone proves they can stop it. See, Cook, Jared and Ripkowski, Aaron.

Golden Taint - Being a POS comes natural to him.

Nick Perry's picture

Golden Taint...Priceless!!!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I read multiple times his teammates at ND called him that. You have to be a sad excuse for a human for your teammates to talk about you like that so often that it's public info.

egbertsouse's picture

Boger's crew is the worst, and that includes Triplette's.

I hate celebrations but, really, tossing a ball over a goal post is somehow evil. Meanwhile, I watched the weekend's games and saw 3 face masks and a helmet-to-helmet on Oakland's QB not called. On one the ref was 3 feet away and looking right at the play. I guess King Roger has decreed that player safety no longer matters now that the lawsuit is over but dancing will destroy the league.

Savage57's picture

NFL fans can thank Jimmy "No Vert" Graham for the ban on dunks.

Ever since he tried, and failed, to make a clean one and bent the crossbar, the league said no more of those.

The NFL needs to change the rules: If you have a 43" vertical at the combine, you can dunk over the crossbar with impunity.

Duke Divine's picture

How was it not a penalty after the Geronimo TD when the Detroit linebacker just laid in the back of the endzone yanking on Allison's facemask over and over again before, during, and after the whistle???

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"Ironically, it was Richard Rodgers with the ball in his hands"

That's happenstance, nothing ironic about it.

Duke Divine's picture

What do we call it when he actually breaks a tackle and gets some nice YAC for the first down for the first time EVER in his career and it didn't just go down like Randy all bundled up in "A Christmas Story?" He actually made someone miss!! There's got to be a term for that.

packerbackerjim's picture

Game: Joe Thomas was having his finest game prior to his injury, including a play where his defensed pass over the middle was as fine as I've seen.

Lame: The CBs manage to let receivers fly by as if stuck in the mud despite playing well off the line. No closing speed whatsoever. Whytt can't coach them up because of his or their deficiencies. Maybe they will make a jump up in their 3rd camp but I wouldn't bet on it.

croatpackfan's picture

I do not get it. In Philly we all agreed that that hit on Clay was legit. So, why Lang's hit is not?

dobber's picture

Lang hit that guy from behind. Clay took a shot from the side (Barbre got his head in front). I thought it was legit.

Duke Divine's picture

Both Lang's hands were in front of the shoulder pads. Bad call.

vj_ostrowski's picture

The Ahmad Carroll comparisons are really dumb and convenient for fans that only watch football through a Packers lens. Every bad player is Cletidus Hunt or Carroll and every good player should be Sterling Sharpe or Charles Woodson.

Carroll couldn't stay away from PI penalties and only had 3 INTs in a 3 year career. His brand of suck is not the same as Randall's brand of suck.

dobber's picture

I still have images of him chasing a WR downfield waving his arms in the air as if he were at a WHAM! concert. Some things don't go away easily...

Houndog's picture

A Wham concert, LOL, Really? Carroll really sucked, but a Wham concert, now that's funny!

Nick Perry's picture

LMAO..... OMG that was one of the funniest comments I've read in a long time!

Since '61's picture

Game balls: A. Rodgers, RIP, Monty, D. Adams, OL, Burnett
Lame calls: CM3 dropped pick, Injuries to Rollins, Bulaga and Spriggs.

Except for our injured CBs our defense played well and held a good offense to 17 points in their home field, except for the very late garbage time TD. Hopefully we get some healthy bodies back by next Sunday. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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