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Packers vs. Falcons: Five Questions to Ponder Ahead of Week 14

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Packers vs. Falcons: Five Questions to Ponder Ahead of Week 14

In all reality, the deflated Green Bay Packers (5-6-1) are just one loss away from flat-lining their 2013 season.

And it doesn't appear as if Aaron Rodgers is coming to the rescue this week, when the Atlanta Falcons visit what should be a frigid Lambeau Field.

Now over a month removed from fracturing his left collarbone, Rodgers still hasn't received clearance from the Packers medical staff. It remains unlikely that he will before Sunday's must-win tilt with the Falcons, putting the onus once again on a backup quarterback situation that hasn't produced a win over five tries since Rodgers went down.

Now 11 days removed being routed on Thanksgiving Day, the Packers should be as rested as they've been since the bye. There should be a sense of obvious urgency. And the weather, with temps that are likely to be in the low teens, should play right into the Packers hands.

But will any of it matter?

Here's five questions the Packers need to answer in Week 14.

1. Can the Packers Stop a Running Game?

For the last five weeks, that question has been answered with an emphatic "no." A top-five rushing outfit for the first seven games of the season, the Packers now rival the Chicago Bears as the NFL's worst against the run. That's obviously not good company. The Bears have allowed 504 rushing yards the last two weeks, while the Packers aren't far behind at 473. Coming in at 31st against the run since Rodgers' injury (only the Bears have been worse), Green Bay now ranks 26th overall (125.9 yards/game)—which would mark Dom Capers' worst ranking against the run since taking over in 2009. The Falcons may be 29th in rushing offense this season, but Atlanta has averaged over 130 yards on the ground over the last three weeks. Getting Steven Jackson healthy has made a world of difference. And don't think for a second that Jackson and the Falcons are hopeless of coming into Lambeau Field and dropping 150 or more rushing yards. The recent trends say Atlanta is more than capable of making the Packers run defense look silly again.

2. Is Eddie Lacy Due for a Big Day?

If the Falcons have been consistent at anything this season, it's been an inability to stop the run. Nine straight teams have rushed for more than 100 yards on Mike Nolan's 30th ranked run defense. Even when Nolan calls for eight men in the box, opposing offenses are running it right down the Falcons throat, mostly because Atlanta can't tackle a running back to save its life. The Packers must continue these ills on Sunday with Lacy and James Starks. For the most part, the Rodgers-less Packers have been competitive on offense only when the running game has pulled its own weight. The numbers spell that out: In the two games Green Bay rushed for over 100 yards since Rodgers' injury, the Packers scored 20 (Chicago) and 26 (Minnesota) points. In the three others, which saw Green Bay average just 59.3 rushing yards, the Packers scored a grand total of 36. To win with a backup quarterback under center, running the football is an absolute must. Surely, the Falcons understand this, too.

3. Have the Packers Learned How to Block and Tackle?

No matter how much the game evolves, blocking and tackling will still be at the heart of winning football. The Packers have stunk at both recently. The tape from Detroit's Thanksgiving thrashing should really be played at every defensive line clinic in the country. On every single snap, the Packers were mauled at the line of scrimmage by a hungry, more talented defensive line. For all the strides the offensive line has taken this season, Thursday was a significant step backwards. But if there's any silver lining for Sunday, it's that the Falcons don't possess many consistent pass rushers. Tackling has been an obvious problem for the Packers for most of the season, but also one that hasn't been close to fixed. In fact, Green Bay is now on pace to miss more tackles on defense and special teams than in any other season under Capers. They better have it figured out before Sunday. Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White are all physical runners with the football in their hands, and the freezing temps won't make it any easier to bring these big bodies down. The Falcons can rupture their way to a big day on offense if the Packers tackling is once again below par.

4. Will Pressuring Matt Ryan Solve the Defensive Problems?

The Falcons $100 million quarterback has received some outside heat this season, but none of that compares to the pressure he's dealt with from his own offensive line. In just the last two games, Ryan has taken 11 sacks and dealt with 48 instances of pressure. Even the elite quarterbacks struggle to deal with that kind of disruption. For the Packers, such pandemonium up front in Atlanta should present an opportunity to right the ship—if only slightly—on defense. As Brian Carriveau pointed out this week, the Packers haven't had much problem registering sacks this season, or in any season since Capers arrived. Those sacks just haven't translated into consistent defensive success. Sacks remain one of the game's most overrated statistics, because other pressures that don't result in sacks can be just as important as getting a quarterback on the ground. The Packers obviously still want sacks, but keeping Ryan under constant duress on Sunday is infinitely more important. The fastest way to fix a struggling secondary is through the defensive front dominating the line of scrimmage.

5. Can Matt Flynn Score Enough to Save the Season?

Boy, the novelty of Matt Flynn wore off in a hurry in Detroit. Granted, Flynn was operating from a collapsing pocket on every snap, and the Packers couldn't run the ball more than an inch. But you got your first real glimpse as to why the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills all said quick goodbyes to Flynn within the calendar year. Flynn has never possessed a big arm, but even in the warm, controlled conditions of Ford Field, Flynn struggled to throw the football down field. His arm looks shot, and now he'll have to try cutting through the cold, harsh air of Green Bay on Sunday. Coach Mike McCarthy is rolling with Flynn because of his game experience and understanding of the offense, but Scott Tolzien could at least threaten defenses vertically. If you're Mike Nolan, what's stopping you from playing a safety in the box on almost every snap, much like Gunther Cunningham did in Detroit? Unless the Packers defense suddenly awakens from its slumber, Flynn will need to score at least 20 points to win. Color me skeptical.

Prediction: Atlanta 27, Green Bay 13 (8-4)

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (118) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

What's the explanation for why the run defense has fallen off a cliff so drastically and suddenly?

RC Packer Fan's picture

My explanation... They removed Lattimore from ILB and put Jones back in.

I understand that isn't the only reason but I did some research and look at these numbers.

In the 3 games that Lattimore played, they gave up an average of 80.33 rushing yards per game. They gave up a average of 3.7 yards per rush.

In the 5 games that Jones has come back to play, they gave up an average of 185.2 rushing yards per game. They gave up an average of 5 yards per rush.

That was startling to me. I know that's not the only reason, and stats can be misleading at times. But that really jumps out to me.

C's picture

I like Lattimore's physicality, but the defensive line has done an inadequate job keeping the linebackers clean. Raji and Pickett are being handled by guards leaving opposing centers free. With Wilson and Jolly playing hurt or not playing at all you have Daniels and Jones getting base looks. You can't keep em' clean, they can't engage. And tackling is historically bad...

UP-Packer's picture

Looks like 'selective research' from here. Why skip the first 4 games of the season? Jones started all 4 at ILB. The Pack gave up 344 rushing yards on 94 carries for a 3.6 per carry average.

Lattimore is just another player. Jones is just another player. The Pack's effort at stopping the run is much more involved than comparing these two C+ players.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, I did selective research because my whole point is, that ever since Lattimore stopped playing ILB, and Jones went back in the run defense has tanked.

The run defense played arguably some of their best defense when Lattimore played. Since Jones has returned they have played absolutely the worst.

Lattimore is a lot more physical then Jones, and has more speed. He runs through blockers more and doesn't get engulfed by them like Jones does.

Jones is not the only reason why the run defense has been bad, but he is a big contributor.

UP-Packer's picture

You still haven't addressed the first 4 games of the season when Jones started & the run D gave up 344 rushing yards on 94 carries for a 3.6 per carry average.

Somehow they don't matter ??

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yes they count.

But the whole point is the fact that the defense has fallen flat on their faces in the run game. That started the week Jones came back from his injury.

I said it is a part of the reason. Not the whole reason. Is it a coincidence that after Jones came back they started allowing a lot of rushing yards on them. could be, I don't know.

I just like Lattimore, and what he did in that 3 game stretch. I would rather see him start.

billy's picture

Jones is just another mediocre...or worse...guy who somehow gets all the love from the staff...has he ever tackled anyone below the shoulders?? We need middle linebackers baaaaad...

Barutan Seijin's picture

I'd say the problem is that they're playing from behind all the time.

The offense goes 3-n-out & the other guys have the ball the whole
I think that's more likely than the difference between a couple of
linebackers.

JonnyG's picture

Ding ding ding! The defense is always playing from behind, so teams run more. They're also on the field more so they're getting tired out. It isn't one linebacker vs another that's the problem, it's that they're tired out constantly and demoralized.

Morgan Mundane's picture

A big part may just be the talent we've faced in the last three games: teams that run the ball well with top running backs. Forte, Bush, Pederson. These guys will get their yards no matter what.
However, I think it's a combo of who were playing and whom were playing.

razor's picture

No talent or leadership. Bad drafting and weak coaching.

zub's picture

Raji upset and mentally not in the game since the contract offer was not big enough and Mathews in the same draft got paid

lmills's picture

Matthews produces. Raji doesn't.

The only way Raji should come back is if he signs for half of what his original offer was.

The one gripe I currently have with TT is who he's offering contracts to. Why are Brad Jones and BJ Raji getting big contracts? They are not great players. They are just guys. Save your money and offer contracts to Shields, James Jones and extend Jordy. I think it's because he doesn't have a good replacement for them so he has to offer them something to stay or he will be even more S.O.L. I like TT and think he is a pretty good GM. However...he seems to have a problem finding good defensive players. I'm not saying every player on defense is bad, because that's obviously not true. But he has some glaring holes at important positions that he is failing to address and it's very frustrating. Most namely, safety and ILB. Cornerback isn't great either. My .02

C's picture

"Matthews produces."

I've been challenging my own beliefs on this one. He's become very well rounded. Sets an edge, can rush the passer and much improved in coverage. That being said, it's starting to feel like he's a 'really good' player that only dominates in very small bursts, even when healthy. Feels like he disappears way too long against some inferior tackles. And he's not being double-teamed. Maybe I'm the only one and my change in attitude is due to the losing streak.

PackerPete's picture

I'm with you on that. Riley Reiff handled him, so did Allen Barbre... He is a good player, but he has zero lane discipline and dominates in short bursts, and sometimes against real good players. but then he has a series of games where even the least talented tackles simply handle him. I feel that even Newhouse would shut him out if he was in such stretch...
For me it's the same every year: He starts out great, one expects a lot, then he gets his annual injury and he disappears for some time, and then he comes back towards the end of the season and one thinks "if he was healthy for a full season...". He is overpaid for his production. No doubt about that...

Longshank's picture

Damn right he's overpaid. I agre 100%.

Longshanks

billy's picture

oh, ok...then lets trade him for a couple of TT's famous late round cheap draft choices...a few more Brad Jones will do....your right, he's crap....

Longshank's picture

Billy, all we said was the guy is overpaid. For the amount of games he misses, the times he gets shut down by the Allen Barbre's of the world and the fact he's not even remotely close to being the leader of that defense, hell yeah, he's not worth all that money.

The Packers won 4 games in a row without him for the most part. The Packers have lost 5 games in a row with him for the most part. Based on this I would take half of Matthews salary and give it to Rodgers because as we now know, Aaron Rodgers is worth every fucking penny and more. Maybe 200 million seems about right.

A big part of why I write this is I know he reads this and I would hope he uses this as a wake up call that people are starting to call the guy out.

Longshanks

Stroh's picture

Because Matthews has almost always played ROLB he has far more freedom that the LOLB. LOLB has to be cognizant of lane discipline. ROLB doesn't have to worry about lane integrity much if at all. Just get after the QB and make plays. Its part of the reason Perry wasn't getting pressure rushing from the Left side. The 2 sides at least for OLB are very different in responsibility and freedom.

Stroh's picture

Matthews also had 2 sacks vs Kalil and Minn. So just cuz he didn't vs Reiff doesn't mean he had a bad game. He also gave away quite a few LOLB snaps to Perry vs Det and isn't playing every down. SInce his injury he's getting his share of rest during games.

Al Katraz's picture

I disagree. I thought (Raji) all of last year he looked very out of shape and watched as linemen simple got over the top of him and shoved him in the dirt. Ditto this year, nothing has changed.
Lets be honest, he never had the speed to rush the passer or get sacks. His role was to stop the run up the middle. They don't run up the middle, he doesn't have much effect on the field.

cLowNEY42's picture

Pack loses even if #12 plays.
Quitters.

cLowNEY42's picture

"F" THIS!
I'M AN IDIOT!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

RODGERS IS OUT!

GOOD!

Atl Off > GB Def - - - - - I. DON'T. CARE.
Atl Def > GB Off - - - - - I. DON'T. CARE.
Atl ST > GB ST - - - - - I. DON'T. CARE.

Despite the lack of talent.
Despite an HC/OC and DC who call games like they're scared.
The Pack gets this one.

"F" the division.
"F" the playoffs.
"F" the Super Bowl.

It's bigger than all of that!

Pride's gotta kick in sometime... doesn't it? I mean... these are men, right? They gotta eventually get sick enough of getting their asses beat and getting roasted by every media source in the universe to finally stand up and fight... don't they?

I don't care if they are down to Newhouse having to take snaps in some sort of wild-fat formation... they just gotta get it done.

One.
Time.

Winning a game right now - without Rodgers - would be gigantic for this team.

Absolutely.
Huge.

ENOUGH FUCKING AROUND!
STOP THINKING!
STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELVES!
STOP ABSORBING PUNISHMENT!
START DISHING SHIT OUT!
PUNCH SOMEONE IN THE FACE!
CELEBRATE EVERY TACKLE LIKE YOU JUST WON THE SUPER BOWL!
11 GUYS TO THE FUCKING BALL EVERY FUCKING PLAY!
KNOCK THE BITCH IN FRONT OF YOU ON HIS BITCH ASS AND THEN JUMP OFF THE TOP ROPE ONTO THE DUDE - ELBOW FIRST!
MM AND DC - CALL THE GAME LIKE IT'S THE LAST GAME YOU'RE EVER GOING TO CALL IN YOUR LIFE!
PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS!
DO IT FOR YOURSELF!
DO IT FOR THE GUY NEXT TO YOU!
DO IT FOR EVERY PACKER THAT PLAYED BEFORE YOU!
DO IT FOR EVERY PACKER THAT WILL PLAY AFTER YOU!

IT.
IS.
TIME.

cLowNEY42's picture

YOU'RE UP 20... FIGHT!
YOU'RE DOWN 20... FIGHT!
YOUR LEG IS BROKEN... FIGHT!

JUST FIGHT!

cLowNEY42's picture

I WANT TO SEE...

D. JONES GET A SACK AND PULL OUT THE TIM HARRIS SIX GUNS!

DANIELS GET A SACK AND DO THE GRAVE DIGGER!

RAJI DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING! AND THEN DO THAT STUPID ENDZONE HULA DANCE THING YOU DID! C'MON FREEZER! EARN SOME $$$$$$$$$$$$!

FLYNN RUN FOR A FIRST DOWN AND THROW ON THE BELT!

MATTHEWS RIP SOMEONE'S HELMET OFF (I DO NOT CARE ABOUT FLAGS - THE MORE THE MERRIER. MAKE IT RAIN FLAGS) AND DO YOUR BEST PREDATOR EVER!

SHIELDS GET A PICK AND DO THE WOODSON HANDSHAKE WITH THE REST OF THE D-BACKS!

RunAndHyde's picture

Ffffffffff me I miss that WOODSON HANDSHAKE! I'm with ya ....have some f#ckin pride pack! Win the game n give us a shot!!!!

themasterfake's picture

DAVE ROLLER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Al Katraz's picture

If Datone gets a tackle, that will make 9 for the year to go with two sacks. We could have gotten that output from a 5th rounder.
Another waisted pick. Worthy is a total bust and thats a 2 and until Perry puts his big boy pants on and plays consistently we got two one's and a two that did very little to improve the d.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Is this what a stroke looks like?

BradHTX's picture

Or is it crystal meth?

MadJam's picture

You're so soft and cuddly.

billy's picture

like Pack defense...soft and cuddly...

RC Packer Fan's picture

My question is when are we going to be seeing some changes in personnel and formations/packages?

I want to see Lattimore take over for Brad Jones.
I want to see Richardson take over for Jennings.
I want to see Perry rush from ROLB more and basically just move CM3 around.
I want to see CB's up and jambing WR's at the line to throw off the timing of the QB's.

I want to see the RB's used in the passing game.
I want to see some miss directional stuff, a reverse, maybe a trick play or something. Maybe put Lacy and Starks in the backfield together. Something to confuse the defense.
I want to see something other then Run, Run, Pass, Punt for a play call selection.

I want to see Bostick used more. He seems to be our only threat at TE, and makes big plays when he catches the ball.

Ohh, and for a change, I want a win this weekend.

UP-Packer's picture

You're making change just to make change. That very rarely works during the season.

Replace both TT & MM during the offseason and you'll have a better chance to see change. Face it, the Packers are in disarray at this moment. AR has been covering all of the flaws for years & the hierarchy looks clueless.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I'm making change to try and win...

So your telling me that Lattimore is not better then Jones? Your telling me that Richardson is not better then MD Jennings? Your saying that Perry is not better at rushing from ROLB then LOLB?

What are the changes that I suggested that can't work?

Since you seem to know 'everything' please enlighten me.

Sorry for you 'UP', but getting rid of Thompson and McCarthy is not the problem.
They are not the reason why the Packers are 0-4-1 in the last 5 games. As much as you would hope they would be, they are not.

Packers lose Rodgers, the very next week they lose there #2 QB. Is that McCarthy's or Thompson's fault? Did one of them go to the witch doctor and cast some spells against them that I'm not aware of?

UP-Packer's picture

You really have no idea if one player is actually better than another. It's only an opinion on your part--- an opinion that you seem to use 'selective research' to support.

BTW, the buck stops at the desk of every GM & HC in the NFL. TT & MM are not immune to responsibility because they don't suit up on Sundays.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I let my eyes tell me if a player is better or not. Do you use yours?
I am not the first or last person to say that Lattimore is better then Jones. I am not the only person hoping that Lattimore starts over Jones. Its not only my opinion on this.

So you are saying that its 100% McCarthy and Thompson's fault for losing Rodgers, Wallace and having to play with their 3rd and 4th string QB's? Gotcha.

On a side note:
Here are a couple of articles that talks about what I said with starting Richardson over Jennings.

http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/4528/starter-pack-op...

http://www.acmepackingcompany.com/falcons-vs-packers-week-14-2013/2013/1...

UP-Packer's picture

You watch games on TV like everyone else. This really limits anyone from drawing solid conclusions about the play of most players thru an entire game.

This is the real NFL, not a video game we're talking about.

Arlo's picture

Many people post here about the game & then admit that they didn't even get a chance to watch it. Don't think it works that way!

RC Packer Fan's picture

What are you talking about? Yes I watch the games on tv like everyone else. Doesn't mean I can't see talent, or see that someone plays better then another player.

How do I not know if a player is better then another.
So since I'm watching games on TV, I can't tell that Aaron Rodgers is better then Scott Tolzien, Matt Flynn or just about any other QB in the league, right?
How about other players, I can't tell that Finley is better then any other TE on the roster? I can't tell that Sam Shields is better then Davon House? I can't tell that Nick Perry rushes the QB better from ROLB then LOLB?

I am talking about the NFL, the games I watch on TV. And yes, I can tell when a player is good or not by watching games on TV.

I really don't know what your talking about, especially video games?

gbslapshot's picture

UP-Packer----That is very interesting that you claim that a person can not have opinions based on watching the game on TV considering that every single coach states after games that they have to see the film to make opinions on how players played.

UP-Packer's picture

Slapshot
Ever heard of 'coaches film'? This is what MM is referring to, not TV replays.

"Coaches Film" is the term used to describe certain camera angles used for game analysis by NFL coaches, scouts and game officials."

Fans can actually buy access to coaches film through several outlets.

gbslapshot's picture

Film is film... I can see every player on the field on almost every play short of outside dbs and wrs.

gbslapshot's picture

I fully understand that with more angles you can make a better judgement. My point is that to say that someone watching on TV s not allowed to and can not make an accurate opinion is just wrong. I played football and I have been watching football for over 30 years. To say that mine or anyone's opinion is not valid is just crazy.

gbslapshot's picture

You would also do well to get rid of your condescending attitude UP-Packer.

UP-Packer's picture

Slapshot
TV replays don't provide enough to draw solid conclusions. That's why coaches for 32 NFL teams use coaches film. ---- What part of that is so difficult (for you) to comprehend?

I've played, coached & watched a long time also. --- So what.

Stroh's picture

UP... Coaches film is really only one angle. Its a panoramic view of the entire field that shows all 22 players and how each is carrying out his role. You see every player and can determine if each player made the correct choices or played his role correctly. At least that is what is available to the public. Certainly the coaches use all camera angles to breakdown technique also. But the "coaches film" that's available is just one view of all 22 players.

Aaron Nagler's picture

UP Packer: "You really have no idea if one player is actually better than another. It’s only an opinion on your part"

This is hilarious.

MY GOD! SOMEONE WROTE AN OPINION! ON THE INTERNET! CATS AND DOGS! LIVING TOGETHER!

UP-Packer's picture

Aaron Nagler: Of course if you use the entire post then the meaning is much clearer. You know as well as any that some people believe that their opinions are fact. ---- That was the crux of this entire back & forth.

A point was clearly made. Both RC & yourself need to attempt to read & comprehend the details. A little more effort always makes a difference.

Stroh's picture

Yes UP. A little extra effort goes a long way. I think YOU Should put in A LOT of extra effort studying football before you comment next! Come back next year when you've learned something. That might do it...

lmills's picture

RC---completely agree with every single thing you just said about changes. If even 2 or 3 of those would happen I would be excited. But it won't...and I'm not sure why they're so reluctant to try some new things.

RC Packer Fan's picture

To me this is the time for a change. Obviously what they have been doing for the last few weeks hasn't been working.

Teams are playing us differently so its time to change some things up.

I doubt any of the changes will be made. I am guessing we'll see Richardson play more though, and I'm guessing we'll see Perry take more snaps at ROLB, but I wouldn't hold my breath on the others...

Stroh's picture

Those would be 2 of the 3 changes I want to see. They need to find out what they have in Richardson before the draft to know when to use a pick at Safety. I've been saying play Perry at ROLB since Matthews got hurt and Perry got a couple sacks. Even before that some, cuz I remember seeing Perry rush from there in college. The other changes is Lattimore playing ahead of Jones.

themasterfake's picture

RC I agree with that entire post. Those aren't major changes...seems pretty basic and far from radical.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, to me those are basic things as well. Basic things that can help the Packers win.

I think the 2 personnel changes that I have suggest could pay off huge for the defense. Both Lattimore and Richardson are more physical, and from what I have seen so far seem to be better tacklers.

Scheme wise, I would like to see a little more pressing at the line by our CB's just to throw off those timing routes. Maybe it will allow our pass rush to get there. Little things like that could really make a difference.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Spot on with it all! the Pack are so predictable and both sides of the ball. Spice it up a bit. God forbid they use Lacy and Starks on the same drive let alone at the same time! McCarthy needs a good coordinator to call plays and thats obvious since the luxury of Arodge calling some plays is gone. Capers needs to just nap full time instead of taking them in the booth on Sundays. And Slocum, where to start! Oh Shawn, another year at the bottom if the league in ST rankings and its AOK, status quo, complacently just fine with everyone in charge!

C's picture

Curious to see if Flynn challenges the seam or anything beyond 10 yards between the hashes. If McCarthy doesn't attack the middle it's because Flynn physically can't do it, not because McCarthy is neglecting it. If that's the case for the 3rd consecutive week I hope Flynn enjoys the roster spot for the remainder of the year, because he's no longer an NFL quarterback if he can't.

The only hope with Flynn is tempo, no huddle and misdirection. Otherwise, 8 defenders in the box and the offensive line in a no-win situation.

Arlo's picture

You're right. If MM doesn't call something downfield, it'll be because he doen't trust Flynn to do it. Flynn just doesn't have enough arm. It's not hard to see why three other teams said, thanks but no thanks.

Stroh's picture

I would disagree about making a full assumption regarding Flynn. He showed he could handle the offense in his previous stint. They need to bring him back in the offseason to get him re-acclimated in the Packers scheme, which has some major differences from when Flynn was here in the past. Namely using a lot more no huddle and the run game, which was changed dramatically this past offseason. Plus if his elbow is an issue let him get healthy and work him back to where he was before he left.

JonnyG's picture

His arm just looks different....weak almost, he looks like he's shotputting the ball down the field on deep throws. That isn't something that an off-season can usually fix; if it can, why did his off-seasons in Seattle and Oakland go poorly?

4thand1's picture

I'm a Yooper. I'm embarrassed if UP Packer is a Yooper too. He's the type of fan we need though, to remind us what not to turn into when things don't go well.

UP-Packer's picture

You should be embarrassed. I've read your posts.

Here's a "4thand1" gem.

"Sissy QB’s are easy to tackle."

Hey, thanks for all your ingenious insight.

packeraaron's picture

Both of you need to chill. Good god, take this 6th Grade bs somewhere else.

UP-Packer's picture

Hey, I said nothing to 4thand1. He and all his ids are always attacking. It's called defending one's self.

Longshank's picture

Nagler you out of all people should not be instructing people how to act considering your embarrassing drunkin rant after the Packers loss a few weeks ago. The best part about having discussions is disagreeing. You should feel honored there's a few dicks here.

Longshanks

MarkinMadison's picture

Dude, you don't even know how to spell your own pretend macho name. Just sayin'.

WKUPackFan's picture

Disagreements get old after certain people (not you Longshanks) post for the 50th time ignorant statements like "TT has constructed a roster of 5-7 picks and UDFA's" or "small school players are more frequently injured". An uninformed opinion is useless.

4thand1's picture

Bad joke I admit. But this doom and gloom is getting real old. Everyone is too spoiled. Winning is everything in the NFL.

billy's picture

yup, winning is everything, wanna see what losing looks like, check out the Jags stadium last night...half full at the most...sweet stuff....keep on with the mediocre cheap players, its fun stuff....

Longshank's picture

UP, I have to admit I was shocked that he was allowed to use that term.

Longshanks

Barutan Seijin's picture

You're "shocked" by something you might hear on HBO, but abusive sexism is somehow permissible?

4thand1's picture

OK, now I'm confused lol. The term Yooper if its what some are referring is someone who lives in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I never felt it was offensive to live here.

Point Packer's picture

No, he is referring to "shortdicks" continued sexism when commenting on CHTV's blog posts. Nothing to do with being a Yooper and everything to do with that idiots sexist remarks.

Uncle Louie's picture

Hopefully soon, the Packer Defense will realize they are wearing pads and a helmet. They can actually get in front off and square up to a ball carrier and not get hurt. Quit tackling like frick'n Matadors.....O'le

themasterfake's picture

I wonder if the entire team has known for a long time that Rodgers isn't coming back this year..and they know..the season is lost. It would explain what we are seeing.

4thand1's picture

The same subject seems to come from just about everywhere. Seems like the team has given up. What you say makes sense. If they think they have no shot, why go out and preform like there's no tomorrow and risk getting hurt. The initial diagnosis was 4-6 weeks. We all new it wasn't going to be 4, it never is with this team. Every injury seems to be a lot longer. Hoping for a speedy recovery is just inviting frustration. I guess its best to not get your expectations to high.

jack in jersey city's picture

you could be onto something themasterfake. i also heard jason wilde float the idea that caper's might be retiring after this year (although i'm not sure how many years he has left on his contract). it could explain what we've seen happen with the defense. after listening to a lot of the player interviews, they certainly don't have any answers for what has happened to this team after rodgers went down

Walty's picture

I can't think of many reasons as to why we should be starting Flynn over Tolzien.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think the Packers have to be hoping that last week was just a bad game. After they are eliminated from playoff contention I'll be disappointed if it is not all Tolzien, all the time.

Stroh's picture

As soon as Rodgers is healthy he'll finish out the year. Tolzien and Flynn will have all offseason, training camp and next preseason to show themselves.

Point Packer's picture

Neither of them are worth starting. Both have been bad. However, last week, Flynn had next to zero time in the pocket. Rodgers would have had some of the same troubles in a similar situation.

I'm trying, but I can't defend either. At the end of the day, TT is to blame for not getting an even adequate back-up on the roster.

Coleman was bust.

Harrell was a bust.

And as a result, we have to mid-season train two QB's to save our ass mid-season. Even .500 would have gotten us into a solid playoff contention picture. Its on TT for this shit show.

Stroh's picture

Yeah and neither Coleman or Harrell is on the team taking up a roster spot is he? He made a mistake and cut his losses and got better. Tolzien hasn't had the practice reps to learn to run the offense and Flynn hasn't been here in 2 years. Neither one knows the offense well enough to make the reads. Flynn did pretty freakin well vs NE and Det didn't he? Only reason he's not now is having to learn 3 other offenses in the past 2 years. That and maybe his elbow is an issue. Both will be just fine next year.

Longshank's picture

Stroh, it's like talking to a brick wall. It's futile. These people like Point Packer are incapable of seeing the greatness of TT. All they want to do is point the finger when things don't go their way.

Longshanks

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

If we are eliminated from playoff contention, ill be disappointed if we win another game. That's tough to write, but around here it's about titles, if not attainable, great draft position wouldn't hurt us... Been a long time.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

A blue chipper or two on D could make a world of difference. Many teams drafting in the top 10 will be looking QB or O-line, if we're close to that, we can score an impact player, yo.

Point Packer's picture

Totally agree. If we don't win this game, no reason not to start Turdzien and tank the rest of the year. No way that "folk hero" is going to get a win at QB. Hell, let him load em up. Be somewhat entertaining to watch our WR's attempt tp tackle would be defensive backs.

This season is god awful. And really, its is on TT in not finding an even adequate back-up, among many other deficiencies. Among them signing both Burnett and that pussy Brad Jones to long-term contracts. I've been a TT defender until I've watched this team melt down post Rodgers injury.

Capers should be canned. Neither MM or "Teddy Tee" will have their job security threatened. However, both deserve a severe scolding. MM for his wretched play calling. TT for his Jones/Burnett signings and for not finding an even half ass back-up QB. God awful. Seriously.

As CD said, "all that glitters is not green and gold". How true.

Longshank's picture

The only thing that glitters with you Pointed Packer is your sparkly shoes. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Longshanks

JonnyG's picture

Neither of them should be, but this is the jam we're in. Flynn's arm is shot, and Tolzien isn't mentally ready for the big stage. This is one of those things where the team (TT, and I'm one of the biggest TT fans around) failed. At least now they'll go get a decent backup this year (hopefully)

fish and crane's picture

I think Flynn is going to have an excellent game. A full week's work and the astroturf game in Detroit was simply too fast for him. Back on grass, a bit slower game... 31-13 GB.

Point Packer's picture

Man, that must be some good meth you are snorting.

Or perhaps crack?

4thand1's picture

So if TT is to blame for this losing streak, who gets the credit for 4 straight years of making the payoffs and winning a title? If Rodgers didn't get injured , we would be looking at 5 straight years. This team is built around a player TT drafted. As for not resigning Jenkins, what has he done since he left GB? I know beating a dead horse , but people still talk about how wrong it was to let him go. Sure, sign 1 or 2 high priced FA's and live in cap hell.

Point Packer's picture

Good point.

As TT deserves credit for drafting Aaron Rodgers, he deserves the same criticism for his inability to find an even remotely adequate back-up QB in 2013.

No back-up should be expected to consistently win. Hell no. However, they should be able to get a win or two over what would be considered an inferior opponent (see MN and NY). TT failed big time. Big time.

And at the same time, we get to watch ass-clown Burnett and wimpy Jones for the next few years after we over paid them for their critically severe mediocrity - at best.

Like most NFL teams, I am on the draft and develop train. However, TT has failed big time when executing his philosophy on this front.

4thand1's picture

Well back to Ted's defense. 2 years ago he and the staff went almost strictly on the defensive side of the ball. DAP young players taken near the end of every round to fill a glaring need. Last year they drafted Lacy and Franklin to bolster the running game along with a couple of promising o-linemen. Back to injuries, Bulaga going down after revamping the o-line and the Sherrod serious injury. We may never know if Sherrod will pan out, we all hope so. So we had what looked to a really good o-line with young back ups along with a vastly improved running game. Then we lost Harris for the year in pre-season too. Talk about being snake bitten.

4thand1's picture

*DAD*

Point Packer's picture

Not disagreeing. Injuries have been awful. But after years of thinking this guy was a golden god, I've finally witnessed some cracks in the emperors crown.

At the very least, MD Jennings is a severe "DAD" failure.

Same could be said for a handful of others drafted in high rounds.

Burnett is and will continue to be a bust. Put him in that category. He is severely over-rated.

Same with Hawk.

I was and still am baffled by the Jones signing. All that guy does is get rocked in the middle of the field. And then make an occasional sack or tackle in the back-field to trick us into thinking he is something worth admiring. Guy is not worth the cash he was given. I hope he gets cut next year.

Raji - dare I say, another failure. I wouldn't pay 8 million for two BJ Rajis. Fat, slow, soft is how I would describe that giant of blubber.

Newhouse? Wouldn't be on the roster of any other team. Only on the GB Packers due to TT's DAD philosophy. The guy sucks.

Stroh's picture

Don't know how to break this to you but Jennings wasn't drafted! He was an UDFA that at best should be a backup. McMillan was a mistake. One Thompson came to terms with and cut loose. Just like the QB's in training camp. He's not a God, he's freakin HUMAN! He made a couple mistakes, acknowledged them, cut his losses and moved forward! Missing on a 4th rd Safety and a couple developmental QB's doesn't in ANY way diminish his tenure! Not like a safety and backup QB is the reason the Packers aren't SB contenders! They would be if Rodgers was healthy.

Point Packer's picture

Stroh - First off, I usually agree with you. However, I disagree with this:

"Yeah and neither Coleman or Harrell is on the team taking up a roster spot is he? He made a mistake and cut his losses and got better."

Sure, he did. However, that ignores the investment (most notable time) into those two idiots. Both of which were clearly unable to handle the back-up gig. And as a result, we had no one with the ability to win a game at QB not named Aaron Rodgers post collar bone injury. It was no one's fault, minus TT's. Ignoring this is irresponsible.

4thand1's picture

OK back to TT defense. Seneca Wallace was 5 for 5 on the 1st drive, then got hurt. It was his 1st full week of practice before starting. I thought it was a good pick up by TT after Coleman/Harrell experiment. He had experience and played enough at the NFL level. We'll never know if he could have pulled out a win or 2.

Point Packer's picture

Sure. But I don't think anyone thinks this season went to the toilet after Seneca Wallace tore his groin.

Longshank's picture

He was our backup qb moron!! He was prepared and like Rodgers and everyone else, got hurt. You blame TT for not having an adequate 3rd and 4th string qb ready to win a game. TT cannot control injuries and you sir are a moron!!

Longshanks

Point Packer's picture

Further, not a soul believe Seneca was the answer. Dude has probably played in his last NFL game.

Point Packer's picture

"Don’t know how to break this to you but Jennings wasn’t drafted! He was an UDFA that at best should be a backup. "

Then why in the hell is he our starting safety?

4thand1's picture

Guys like Raji and are 2 gap players meant to glog running lanes. He went to 2 pro bowls with his peers voting for him, not just fans. Hawk is a good player, not great and I think Jones is there for speed. Hawk at times has played some of his best football this year. Newhouse does suck, your right. MD Jennings is young and who knows. Burnett is average. There's no doubt they need help at safety. In the salary cap era, where do you spend money? They had the makings of a great offense and the makings an average defense. This defense cannot spend to much time on the field.

Point Packer's picture

"Guys like Raji and are 2 gap players meant to glog running lanes."

I understand this. So either he is not doing the job or our LB's are shit. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Someone needs to be blamed for our porous run defense.

"Hawk is a good player, not great "

At best, he is inconsistent.

"I think Jones is there for speed."

He's certainly not there to stop the run then. Unless its 14 yards down the field.

"MD Jennings is young and who knows."

The doctor won't be on on NFL roster next year. You read it here.

"Burnett is average."

Then he is overpaid.

"They had the makings of a great offense and the makings an average defense. This defense cannot spend to much time on the field."

If our offensive was so great, then we should have a back-up QB that can beat shit teams. We have two back-ups who at this point in their career couldn't beat a top tier SEC team. I 'd take LSU, Alabama, Mizzou and probably Auburn over a Turdzien lead GB Packer team. No joke.

Keep your blinders on.

4thand1's picture

Your so wrong. There's no way any college team could stay with any NFL team. Your basing a lot on a "back up QB" talk about blinders! I understand your frustration , its not easy watching this team lose, but in all fairness, this isn't the team that started the season, not even close. The Pack will be back stronger and better, you'll just have to learn to be patient. It comes with age. TT would have no problem finding a job as GM in the Packers took your advice and fired him.

Point Packer's picture

I may have overacted slightly. However, I think Alabama could play with some of the NFL's worse teams- somewhat closely. That being said, we will never know.

Consistent with my position in the past, I believe TT is a great GM. However, I reserve the right to question some of his moves. I believe both the Burnett and Jones signings were ridiculous. Neither of which deserved or deserve their pay.

Tramon Williams doesn't deserve his salary.

As of today, Datone Jones is a bust.

AJ Hawk can barely keep his helmet on let along tackle.

Further, TT is squarely to blame for his inability to place a solid back-up QB. Not asking for greatness, just proficiency. TT provided neither at this position. No reason for us not to beat at least a couple sub-par teams (NY - MN) during this Rodger-less stretch.

Point Packer's picture

Stroh -I usually respect your opinion, But post Rodgers injury, you live in a different universe. This team is one great player and a buncy of average Joes. TT has done a shit job building a solid supporting cast around #12. Sure, injuries have played a huge role - especially on offense. But no other team in the NLF would start a MD Jennings and perhaps, a Morgan Burnett at safety Our LB crew is vastly over-rated and over-paid. Same with our D line. BJ Raji is average at best this year. Doesn't deserve 8 million a year. One could argue he is quite sub-par. And our legendary coordinator at the top - Capers - constantly out gunned.

Stroh's picture

That, according to you, motley crew would be 10-2 if Rodgers doesn't go down to injury. In the race for 1st rd bye and homefield advantage in the NFC. That's a SB contender.

4thand1's picture

Hope the Falcons get off the plane , turn around and get right back on. I'll take a forfeit , any win will do.

Uncle Louie's picture

Heck the Falcons Offensive unit will be out-running the bus to get to Lambeau Field to face the Packers crappy defense. Take Atlanta and the points, easy money.

Al Katraz's picture

I read a piece by Ketchum that I would have never have thought of: Why the 3-4 versus the 4-3. May explain perfectly why they love Dom.
The 4-3 requires a team to spend a lot of money on top defensive ends. Guys who for the moment are commanding top dollars when drafted in the lower first.
You can play cheaper ball by using safeties, late round linebackers to rush the passer with the so called 3-4.
When I read that I agreed that Ted, the cheapest guy in football, would want a 3-4 coach. He is saving this team a ton of money versus a Jared Allen, Pierre Paul's, Ansehs, etc.
Ya I'm sure the pack have this all figured out how our fourth rate linebackers can play just effectively as a good defensive end.

JonnyG's picture

Ketchman makes a solid point. A) it's impossible to afford everyone. It's a qb-driven league, so you have to pony up for a good one. If not you're not going anywhere. There just isn't enough money going around, there will be holes in every team. As much as it sucks, it's reality now. B) there aren't a lot of guys who are freakishly athletic and big (like ansah, jpp, clowney). Usually it's one or the other. There re a lit of guys who are athletic enough but not big enough that would be passed over, but do great as 3-4 guys. Like CM3 even. He isn't big enough for a 4-3 end. Could he do it? Sure, he's skilled enough and has a good motor, but he's get put on his ass a good amount.
But the safety thing you mentioned? Im on board. We need better safety okay, especially since it is one if the biggest parts of our d and it is nowhere near where it needs to be.

The TKstinator's picture

Tell that to CM3.

4tyhand1's picture

The highest paid player of every team is QB. TT can trade Rodgers and pick up JPP and JA in free agency. As usual you and other arm chair GM's have it all figured out. Total disregard for the salary cap. When the Pack goes 6-10 next year you guys will ask for TT's head because he got rid of Rodgers. We see where this team is without Rodgers, maybe they can trade up with Houston or the Vikings and take a rookie QB and start all over. Wouldn't that be wonderful, watching Rodgers torch us as a Viking for the next 7 or 8 years.

Longshanks's picture

I don't understand how you can call Ted "the cheapest guy in football" when he currently has two of the highest paid guys in the NFL on offense and defense in Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers.

Al, there is something called the salary cap. You might also want to refresh your math skills at a local community college. Jeezus!!

Bill Bidwell, Donald Sterling, Art Rooney, The McKaskey's of Chicago. Now these were four notoriously cheap owners. Ted Thompson always pays a fair market price for his players. He's not cheap. His problem usually is he is so damn good that he can't afford to keep all his players he picks up thru the draft.

If Rodgers and Matthews sucked he would have plenty of money to pick up free agents. Now you see what I mean?

Longshanks

razor's picture

Team has gone backwards since 2010. Serious lack of talent. Rodgers is being wasted.

Why: Ted and Mike not getting it done.

JonnyG's picture

I think a lot of teams would take the 2nd best season record over the last 3 years, an MVP, and a super bowl. The team wasn't physical enough, but this year they stepped it up. And then Rodgers got hurt. This team was going to make a deep run. You cant just make a blanket statement like that, MM and TT are getting it done, but losing your MVP QB will expose a lit of flaws on any team.

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