2020 Week 10 - That’s What Cheese Said

Hear from the head coach, general manager, and players following Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Through nine games this season, the Packers sit at 7-2 atop the NFC. While the wins haven’t always been as pretty as the coaching staff or players would have liked, this team is finding ways to get the job done. 

Sunday’s victory over the Jaguars at Lambeau Field was another example of the team starting flat but finding its momentum as the game went on. It didn’t help that, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers put it, the team had so many “uncharacteristic” things happen in one day, like him throwing his third interception of the season, Davante Adams’ fumble, and special teams allowing a punt to be returned for a touchdown. 

One thing the Packers won’t do is blame the weather, because it is Lambeau Field after all. 

“We live in these conditions every day, we practice in them every day, so we’re pretty used to being able to go out and throw in the winds and know what passes we can throw and what passes we can’t throw,” said wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling who had a career day. “And then we’ve got Aaron Rodgers, he can pretty much get any football through any wind so it doesn’t really matter.”

Valdes-Scantling hauled in four receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown, his highest yardage total as a pro. His quarterback, despite windy conditions, had 24 completions for 324 yards and three total touchdowns, throwing another to Adams and rushing for his third. 

Adams left the game with an ankle injury mid-way through but returned in crunch time to snag Green Bay’s go-ahead score that would seal the game 24-20. 

“17’s built different,” Rodgers said of Adams and the way he fought to get back into the game despite battling through an ankle injury. “The dude’s a special player. He’s one of a kind. He never ceases to grow my respect.” 

Despite having no fans in the stands, which players have admitted to missing in regards to getting amped up to make plays, Rodgers thought the team brought the energy it needed on Sunday. 

“I think the energy was really good today, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” he said, adding that it felt reminiscent of a game from 2019 where they needed the defense to come through in the clutch to secure a win.

“We have got to do a better job from before we start the game to show that kind of energy, show that kind of emotion, show that kind of support for one another that we saw at the end of the game, and if we don’t get that, we aren’t gonna be at our best,” added Head Coach Matt LaFleur, saying there needs to be more energy as a whole starting with him and his coaching staff. 

The defense did its job, too, allowing only one touchdown all game, even with starting corners Kevin King and Jaire Alexander out for the matchup. 

“I thought our secondary did a really nice job,” said LaFleur, adding that his guys were asked to play a lot of man. 

Safety Adrian Amos snagged his first interception of the season against the Jaguars, bringing the team’s turnover total to seven. His pick gave the Packers an opportunity to score before halftime. 

“We try to play complementary football,” said Amos. “We want to give the offense the ball with good opportunities and good field position.”

Amos felt the defense made the plays it needed to, adding that they “just need to find more ways to get after the ball.”

Defensive lineman Kenny Clark agreed. “Happy about how guys played. Guys are way more locked in with the run. But we’ve still gotta be more consistent on stopping it and putting guys behind the sticks and all that stuff.”

On Jacksonville’s final drive, the Packers got back-to-back sacks from Rashan Gary and Preston Smith to force a 4th-and-26 that the Jaguars couldn’t convert. 

“When we needed to make stops we made stops today and I just think we played good football as a whole on defense today,” said Amos. 

Of course, the biggest news of the day came off the football field, as news of David Bakhtiari’s contract extension broke mid-game. The four-year deal makes Bakhtiari the NFL’s highest paid offensive lineman. 

“That was something that I had been chasing for a while,” Bakhtiari said, adding that it’s a title he’s chased and a goal he’s set for himself since entering the league. “To have that monetary validation for all the hard work I’ve put in really meant a lot.

“I always wanted to say that I was the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history, and today I get to say that.” 

General Manager Brian Gutekunst spoke with the media post-game to discuss the Bakhtiari deal, calling him a “consummate pro” since he’s been in Green Bay. 

“David’s a very important part of our team,” said Gutekunst. “He approaches it the right way. Takes care of himself, works really hard. It’s very important to him, I think he really wanted to be here."

While Gutekunst added that the ‘21 cap situation is “problematic,” the emphasis has always been on taking care of Green Bay’s own players first whenever possible. 

The Packers will travel to Indianapolis next with the league’s highest paid offensive lineman in tow to take on the 6-3 Colts. 

“It’s going to be a really good game,” said Clark, calling the Colts offensive line one of the best the defense will face this season. “It’s going to be a really good test for us to see where we’re at as far as defensive line, our run defense and all that kind of stuff. We’re going to be excited for the challenge and we’re going to be ready to go.”

For LaFleur, he summarized his feelings by saying he’s happy his team found a way to win against the Jaguars “without playing our best,” but he knows there’s more out there for Green Bay. 

There will be fans in the stands at Lucas Oil Stadium when the game kicks off at 3:25 p.m. central time. Maybe there will be juice, too. 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV, podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said, and hosts a weekly live show called Happy Hour through Game On Wisconsin. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (30)

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Jonathan Spader's picture

November 17, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Glad to see Bahktiari get his extension he's earned it. A future in GB just got more dim for Jones, Williams, Linsley, King, and company.

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lawatrain's picture

November 17, 2020 at 01:12 pm

King is the only one I won’t be crying too much over. The sad part is some team will over pay for him even though he seems to be made of glass. If we were to re-sign him it needs to incentive laden. The best best ability is.......

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lawatrain's picture

November 17, 2020 at 01:12 pm

King is the only one I won’t be crying too much over. The sad part is some team will over pay for him even though he seems to be made of glass. If we were to re-sign him it needs to incentive laden. The best best ability is.......

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nostradanus's picture

November 17, 2020 at 01:11 pm

Turn loose the juice on Sunday! They are going to need it against the Colts!

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Lphill's picture

November 17, 2020 at 01:41 pm

The Packers will go as far as Pettine takes them , which is not far , once the Packers meet the Bucs in the playoffs and they run all over the Packers and Pettine's 3 man front then he will be fired , too little too late.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 17, 2020 at 02:12 pm

I have to say, Lphill, I think this is a very odd take.

We have a Top 3 offense, an MVP candidate at QB, a top offensive line, one of the better WRs in the league and a very good running back. But you think we're only going to go as far as our defense takes us?

By my count, this is our 3rd "off" performance by the offense, and we lost the previous two.

I think, when you spend as much money as you do on Rodgers, and Adams, and the offensive linemen, then these guys have to deliver. You're going to go as far as they take them.

The defense, IMO, has been unfairly maligned from the start. We crushed Minnesota, on their home field, and then while giving some playing time to reserves we gave up a bunch of garbage points. So the bashing started. Next week, following two early scores, we shut out the Lions until garbage time and gave up another seven. So we held the Lions to 21, which is below their average, and people complained.

Then we went to New Orleans, where the Saints average like 35 points a game with Brees, we contained these guys and held them to 30, below their average.

Then we crushed Atlanta, and held a pretty good offense under their average.

We lost in Tampa Bay.

We came back and crushed the Texans, holding them under their average.

We could not stop Dalvin Cook, and the Vikings beat us on our homefield. And no sugarcoating it, it was hard to watch. But I remember a defense full of HOFers get shredded by Gale Sayers, so I know that when a good RB is getting good blocking and he's feeling it.....it's really hard to stop. Some times you can't.

Then we crushed the replacement 49ers.

Then we held the Jaguars to one offensive TD, on a 16 yard drive set up by a turnerover. That's "dominance" In like 12 possessions, one 16 yard drive for a score.

Brady and the Bucs put 30 something on us on their home field. The Saints put 30 on us in their crib. But other than future HOFers, nobody has made a dent. We're holding people. We've held 5 opponents to 21 or less.

IMO, the offense has to show that they can get something accomplished against better defenses, like Indy and Chicago. The Packers can hold most teams to 30 or less.....we should be able to score more than that against anybody.

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Bear's picture

November 17, 2020 at 03:20 pm

We are currently ranked 9th in total defense at 335 yards per game. Defense is giving up 110 yards per game rushing for 12th and 225 yards per game passing for 13th ranking.

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Lphill's picture

November 17, 2020 at 04:33 pm

Bear , against 1 team above 500 , we will see the Bucs in the playoffs ,remember that.

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Lphill's picture

November 17, 2020 at 03:25 pm

The Packers beat 1 team over 500 , I guess you didn't learn anything from the Championship game last year, run on the Packers , keep Rodgers on the sideline. So when teams do that then what's the difference who the QB is, we have the defensive players , look at film of the Jags game , you know its a run, 2 tight ends in to block so the Jags have 7 personnel blocking 3 Packer down lineman and 2 inside linebackers and the Smith's are so far out they are not even relevant to a run between the tackles. This is not a run stopping scheme , oh and the safeties are deep just in case a QB who can't throw deep plus 40 mph winds decides to turn into Joe Montana.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 17, 2020 at 06:23 pm

Your strategy of "run the ball and keep Rodgers on the sideline" is a good strategy, if you can make it work. Most teams can't.

So, I pulled a "dobber" here and did some actual checking. You're not going to like what I found.

These six teams have the fewest runs attempted against them: Falcons, Saints, Rams, Packers, Ravens, Steelers.

I can't explain the Falcons, but those other teams are generally regarded as having better than average defenses. I think that the Saints, Packers, Ravens and Steelers probably benefit from having leads late in the game.

THE POINT is that as much as people say that teams should just ram the ball down the Packers throats, it doesn't happen. Because running doesn't score points like passing does. It burns clock and usually protects the ball, but it takes a while to run the ball downfield.

And you get stopped, by penalties, poor execution, or the occasional good defensive play. So you have a drive that gets a couple of first downs on the ground and no points.....how does that help?

So if the offense just does it's job and moves the ball and scores some points, the opponent has to try to catch up. That;s why we're not getting run on that much.

4th in runs attempted against us, 10th in yards. That doesn't just scream "terrible against the run" to me. We've lost ONE GAME this season where our inability to stop the run was a primary cause.

I agree with you that we don't play a run-stopping scheme. I've said multiple times that it's clear the priority is pass defense, not run defense. That means guys who can cover and tackle and guys who can bring edge pressure. That's where we've spent our money and draft picks.

End result? Currently 20-5. A #9 scoring defense last year, #15 this year. The conference's best record.

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Coldworld's picture

November 17, 2020 at 06:41 pm

But we are terrible against the run. It is true that often our O can cover that (which reduces the amount we are run on) but we give up huge chunks to runners regularly. The Jags were a good test. Novice QB, not great O, decent but not top flight running back. With the wind we knew it was going to be even more of a run first attack from them. The result, 6.8 yards a carry in the first half.

Why does it bother me? Well our O has some weaknesses too,as Tampa, the Vikings and even the Jags showed. Against good teams our defense needs to do more because it is possible to overpower our O line and disrupt our passing game as well as our running game as Tampa did.

The reason this is worth discussing is because our O can be so good and our D can be better than it is. In my view it’s how we are using players more than not having them. Pettine’s changes this year have been negative and his use of the front 7 is really hard to defend, oddly till late in the Jags game when we started to play like last year. Of course then we weren’t asking rushers to bail out the line in run D.

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Lphill's picture

November 17, 2020 at 07:16 pm

I think we can stop the run with the right personnel, its just Pettine seems to be unable to make in game adjustments, put your big bodies in on first down then bring in your pass rushers for passing downs, Gary gets a nice bull rush when he plays with his hand in the dirt , and more Winn and Keke , keep Lowery on special teams he gets tossed around by tight ends.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 17, 2020 at 07:39 pm

We are not terrible against the run. Compared to the other 31 defenses in the NFL, we're average.

If we're paying the fortune to Rodgers-Adams and the offensive line, I don't see why you'd have the expectation that our defense needs to be able to carry us.

Against good teams......we're going to have to start naming names here. We have two games against good defensive teams, Colts and Bears. Then we've got Eagles, Lions, Panthers. No offensive powerhouses there. We do get Tennessee, and they are a good offensive team. Then we close out against the Bears.

So by my count, we have five offensive weaklings in a row coming up, two on the road and three at home. I think there's an excellent chance we'll hold most of these teams to 21 or less.

We could be 12-2 by then if the offense can just keep doing their job. The defense isn't going to be gashed for 30 or more by any of these teams.

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Coldworld's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:42 am

It depends whether you look at overall yards or yards per carry.

There are reasons why our yards per game are low. The test is whether, when facing one dimensional teams without an early lead, we can regain possession. If that was the case, we wouldn’t be having this debate. If we can’t do it then, we aren’t going to be able to do it against a team that can run and pass and if so we are in trouble every time an opponent can shut down our offense somewhat. This has become an identifiable pattern going back to last season.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

If you want to go with yards/carry, we can do that. We’re 23rd. That’s right behind Titans, Cardinals, and Ravens...solid defensive teams that look playoff teams. 23rd is better than Buffalo or KC.

The top teams in yards/carry defense are Tampa and the Saints, followed by Colts, Seahawks, 49ers, and Bears. We’re 2-1 against them so far. Seattle actually has a worse scoring defense than us.

After that top group of six you’ve got a bunch of teams with losing records except for the Rams. Unbeaten Pittsburgh is #13.

The Point is that there doesn’t seem to be a real strong correlation after those first couple teams. You can be average-ish at stopping the run and still be a decent defense, and if you’re Seattle, you can be good at that and suck at defense. We scored 38 in New Orleans without Davante Adams.

Here’s what I believe: Scoring Defense is the most important measure, and right now we’re #15. Last year, we finished #9. We have some lesser offenses on our schedule and I’d expect us to move up from #15.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

November 17, 2020 at 11:50 pm

Packers are 12th in the league in yards given up running per game. Again it only feels like they suck because they don't make big plays and are boring to watch on D.

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WisconsinStrong's picture

November 17, 2020 at 04:13 pm

I'm confused and concerned about the energy question. Coach eventually back-pedaled on his initial energy and emotion comments. Kenny Clark admitted to energy issues in his presser, referring to player lulls. The DC has assigned blame to execution and getting the little things right, not energy. What really is going on? I'm far from an expert analyst, but as a fan, I just don't perceive the same level of hype and swagger within the D that we saw last year.

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Lphill's picture

November 17, 2020 at 04:31 pm

Lets get some fans in the stands at Lambeau , its an open stadium ,enough of this nonsense.

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jurp's picture

November 17, 2020 at 04:51 pm

I don't think the relatives of the 250,000+ dead covid patients would think this is "nonsense".

Brown and Ashwaubenon County hospitalizations (10/30/20): https://943jackfm.com/2020/10/30/brown-county-officials-issue-second-pub...
Things have gotten worse since then.

Current information, Brown County: https://www.browncountywi.gov/community/covid-19/dashboard-data/
Positivity rate is 40%.

These numbers are likely to get even worse by the end of the year, what with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.

The Packers are doing the right thing by not having fans in the stands, even though it's hurting them in terms of revenue. Although I suppose YOUcould make the argument that it doesn't matter how many season ticket holders die because there are plenty of people on the waiting list for tickets.

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Lphill's picture

November 17, 2020 at 05:44 pm

You mean the 250 k probable covid deaths of people who unfortunately had underlying conditions? let the people decide if you’re afraid you stay home if your not afraid then you go to the game. I will gladly take someone’s ticket if they allow fans in.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 18, 2020 at 01:24 am

Diseased freaks like Lphill are the reason that the virus is spreading. He and his fellow deplorables refuse to wear masks. They have no compunction about spreading their infected droplets to their fellow citizens.

Be sure to lick the handrails when you go to a game Lphill. After all, the virus is just a hoax, right? Or are you in the group that believes it is a Chinese biological attack? You regressives really need to stick to one fantasy.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

November 17, 2020 at 10:01 pm

Covid is not a civilization killing disease. It is way too survivable for that. And that makes people feel like they should take their chances and get on with it. But, Covid is a highly communicable, dangerous disease and is totally consuming the hospitals in many areas of the country. Wisconsin right now is at a danger level with 90 % of hospital beds filled. And there is not a single county in the state where hospitalizations are decreasing. A surge of cases at this point and they'd be doing the rented hotels to put patients in and tents to hold patients already seen in Texas. The current disease burden rate for Wisconsin is 1310 per 100,000 which is considered critically high. It will take a while before it even reduces under the critically high threshold of 1000 per 100,000.

Bottom line no large crowds are coming any time soon in Wisconsin.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

November 17, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Colts lost to the Jags. SO this game is a cakewalk right? :)

Defense has given up 21 points per game over the last 4 games. They are 12th in the league in points given up for the season. They are 9th in the league in yards given up per game. So it only feels like they suck because they don't get turnovers and make big plays.

The Colts give up the fewest yards per game in the league so might be another ugly game.

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Coldworld's picture

November 18, 2020 at 07:44 am

The Colts have an excellent D. If they can exert pressure it will be a real test of whether we can find a way to move the ball and get it back.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

November 18, 2020 at 06:22 pm

Arguing that this is a good defense is ignoring the obvious. Forget the stats, just watch. See Lowry on his face. See Gary and P. Smith crash inside as the runner runs outside. CB's grabbing at ankles. LB's nowhere in sight. No pass rush. Teams don't score against us because they can't get their hands on the ball. Our offense keeps their offenses off the field. This team wins only because of the offense. An offense with a Hall of Fame QB, the best WR in football, All-Pros at LT, RB, and C, and a potential All-Pro at LG. On defense?... one great player, Jaire, two really good players, Z. Smith and Clark, and the rest are mostly JAGS. Come playoff time, you'll have to stop Brady throwing to Evans, Godwin, and Antonio Brown, that is if you can keep Ronald Jones and Fournette from running down your throat. You may have to beat Minnesota again, after they ate our lunch. How does this defense corral Kyler Murray of Arizona? Beat New Orleans now that they have Thomas back? And in the SB, if we somehow get there, how do you plan on stopping KC with no pass rush? Mahomes will set records against Pettine even greater than the records Kaepernick set against Capers. We've had great offenses and lousy defenses for decades and won 2 SB's with two of the greatest QB's to ever play the game. Don't tell me you don't need a defense.

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porupack's picture

November 18, 2020 at 06:09 am

Thanks Maggie, for the Cheese Said columns.

I can't resist with; this is what the mouse asks the cheese:

>>>We have got to do a better job from before we start the game to show that kind of energy, show that kind of emotion, show that kind of support for one another that we saw at the end of the game>>

The Mouse: We've been hearing this all through the MM years. Whatever battery pack Jacksonville brought, what kept the home team from deciding they were going to prepare and charge their battery packs?

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porupack's picture

November 18, 2020 at 06:12 am

The Mouse asks the cheese (#2)

The cheese: >>>“When we needed to make stops we made stops today and I just think we played good football as a whole on defense today,” said Amos. <<<<

The Mouse: There were many, many chances for the defense to make stops all game and Jacksonville cranked off big runs. Did the defense think those were not needed?

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porupack's picture

November 18, 2020 at 06:20 am

The Mouse asks the cheese (#3)

The Cheese: >>>>“It’s going to be a really good test for us to see where we’re at as far as defensive line, our run defense and all that kind of stuff. We’re going to be excited for the challenge and we’re going to be ready to go.”>>>

The mouse: We saw where you've been as far as the defensive line and the run game; swiss cheese. yummy. That was against one of the bottom dwellers. If you weren't ready and excited, and didn't pass the last "good test", shall we conclude you weren't excited and weren't ready to go against Jviille and Minnepo? WHen do you decided to actually get excited or not, and how does the team plan for the games they choose to be excited?, watch a stimulating movie, or turn up some tunes?

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Leatherhead's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:56 am

One TD drive in 12 possessions, and it covered 16 yards following a turnover. What were you expecting?

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MITM's picture

November 18, 2020 at 11:54 am

We wont beat the Colts. If we do, feel free to let me HAVE IT. But we wont. Its an AFC playoff team, on the road with a VERY good and fast defense. Rivers SHREDDED us last year even though he was AWFUL the rest of the year. This Colts team is very similar to the Bucs team that put us on our backs. I would even say they are better.

Look I obviously want us to win EVERY week. But in the last DECADE this is not a game we win. If we do, like I said let me have it, call me out by name. But we arent built to beat teams like the Colts. Had we have had a normal functioning draft class -hey maybe it would be a different story.

In the even they DO win - I'd feel alot better about our chances in the playoffs. But we need to beat a team like this to change the narrative. And yea I know we beat the Saints. So did the Vikings - in the playoffs, on the road, packed house, WITH Michael Thomas.

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