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"Chips Report" From Packers Loss At Lions

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"Chips Report" From Packers Loss At Lions

Our weekly designations from the Green Bay Packers' 7-3 loss to the Detroit Lions...

Blue Chips

  • Tramon Williams–Tramon Williams, without a doubt, has had the best season of any player on the Packers' roster, because he's done it week and and week out with no exceptions. And Sunday was no different. His interception of Drew Stanton in the endzone prevented a potential Lions' scoring drive. And his breakup of 40-plus yard pass to Calvin Johnson prevented another. He held Johnson without a catch in plays that he covered the star receiver. Add to that 14.0 yards per punt return and more smart decisions on fair catches.
  • Charlie Peprah–It was another solid day for Peprah, not getting beat in the passing game and helping to stuff the run when used as an extra safety in the box. His interception was nothing special, the pass was over thrown and came right to him, but credit Peprah for holding onto the ball and securing the turnover. He also had seven tackles and a pass defensed.

Red Chips

  • Tim Masthay–In a performance reminiscent of his game at the New York Jets earlier this season, the punter did arguably one of the best jobs on the team. Masthay had eight punts for an average of 50.5-yard gross with a long of 62 and three pinning the Lions inside the 20. He's far from leading the NFL, but Masthay now has more punts inside the 20 than the Packers had in either 2008 or 2009 with three games left to go. Progress.
  • A.J. Hawk–The inside linebacker was active, tying for the team lead in tackles with 10, including one for a a loss and a pass defensed. More importantly, several of his tackles were able to take down the ball carrier right before the first down market, one of the reasons the Lions converted only three of 15 third downs on the day. Other candidates for red chips were Desmond Bishop and Ryan Pickett.

Cow Chips

  • Offensive line–Seemingly everyone had their fair share of struggles, including Josh Sitton who had a tough time with Ndamukong Suh. Turning in an even worse performance, however, was Chad Clifton who was guilty of a false start and gave up a sack to Matt Flynn. On the day, the Packers gave up four sacks and the running game never could get going. They rushed for only 66 yards on 20 carries, a majority of them coming from the quarterbacks. The game of musical chairs the Packers were playing at left guard was embarrassment.
  • Turnovers–Whether it was Andrew Quarless, Greg Jennings or Matt Flynn, the turnovers add up. Quarless fumbled after what would have been a first down, Jennings dropped what would have been at least a 40-yard catch if not a touchdown and Flynn threw an interception in the redzone. Taken together, it's points off the scoreboard.
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (66) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jack in jersey city's picture

add mccarthy to the cow chips

Dave's picture

i fully agree with that statement, I mean, go for it all on 4th & 1?! what coach in his right of mind does that?!

redlights's picture

Please give up play calling to the OC. Or anyone! You're not an offensive genius; you're just offensive!!

tony's picture

I like how Flynn went for it, it was just a shitty throw. If that's on the money, it's six. Not like there was a chance to run for it.

No Rodgers, no offense.

Oppy's picture

Tony, on this day, Rodgers couldn't make the Offense go either.

Drop the "No Rodgers" and just go with "No Offense".

bucky's picture

You meant to say: please giving up playcalling to that drunk woman at the end of the bar. Because she, and every other person currently drawing a breath in this country, could have done a better job than our coaching staff.

Oppy's picture

I think McCarthy IS an offensive genius- this scheme he's created and the personnel packages he utilizes is pretty unique, potent, and extremely well respected by DC's across the league.

However, it certainly seems that Mike McCarthy has very little "feel" for the tempo of the game and makes sometimes horrific decisions on the field in the heat of battle when it comes to actually calling an appropriate play for the situation.

He's Dr. Jeckal and Mr. Hyde in that respect, IMO's picture

Vince Lombardi, that's who. Watch the HBO special. We should have one this game well before that point.

Ron LC's picture

MM is a liquid cow pie. 4th and 1 deep when you needed the four downs. What an AZZhead.

Josh's picture

How does Mike McCarthy not get a cow chip? He continued to make Flynn run the same 4 WR sets.

Josh's picture

Raji for red chip mccarthy for the donald trump "youre fired" chip

Josh's picture

Wait are there 2 Joshs?

JerseyCheese's picture

But if that 4th and 1 would've worked you would call McCarthy the greatest coach. Like c'mon guys! He gambled and it didn't work. Jennings beat Vasher for what would've been a game winning touchdown but Flynn just overthrew him. I don't blame him for that. I blame him for not running the ball in the redzone earlier in the game which resulted in a turnover by Flynn.

Chad Toporski's picture

That's not a time for gambling. That's a time for getting ONE YARD. There should be at least one high-percentage play to get the first down.

And he didn't use it.

jack in jersey city's picture

mr. toporski is correct

IdiotFan's picture

The Lions had nine men in the box. What do you think are the odds we could have run for that one yard given how our Oline had played up to that point.

I understand the frustration, but the fact that it was 4th down is the reason Jennings was single-covered (and thus open). That was a game-winning play call with a bad throw.

jack in jersey city's picture

it's a decent call if rodgers is in, not the backup

bucky's picture


Real66's picture

We have simply seen too much of this before.

NoWayJose's picture

9 men in the box? Single coverage on Jennings? Need one yard?

THROW A FUCKING SLANT. Throw a quick hitch. Whatever. Get five yards.

Going over the top is always low percentage, especially with a greenhorn like Flynn.

jack in jersey city's picture

i just heard jason wilde (on the pack attack radio show) say that flynn was the one who made the decision to throw the deep ball on the 4th and 1 play. if this is true then he needs to be held accountable and benched. problem is, we don't really have a 3rd qb who is ready to play

jack in jersey city's picture

sorry guys- wilde was wrong. that 4th and 1 play was all on mccarthy. i just saw his presser on the packers website.

A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

If the play had worked, I would have been relieved, but it would still be a foolhardy play call in that situation. Go with a play with a higher percentage chance of working.

Can you do me a Favre?'s picture

Flynn and Quarless seemed to be friends. Why did McCarthy cut that off when the game was on the line?

BrianD's picture

Quarless has been inconsistent. I assume you're talking about the 4th and 1 play. He's a rookie and has been making rookie mistakes all year, notably in this very game. Why would any coach trust Quarless on the most important, clutch play of the game?

Tarynfor 12's picture

Just got home from work and I'm terrified to watch this game on NFL Rewind. We cannot get a touchdown with this offense even with a back-up?

jack in jersey city's picture

please don't watch it. it's best to pretend like this game never happened

IdiotFan's picture

I wish I could un-watch it. Spare yourself the pain...

DBH's picture


nerdmann's picture

Capers should get a blue chip every game.

PackersRS's picture


Chris Davis's picture

Again - poor offensive play calling. the plays we call at off the board. Did we not learn nothing the last 2 weeks? 4th and 1 the ball goes to Kuhn - Period.

IdiotFan's picture

Not too long ago we were all complaining about always using Kuhn on short-yardage plays. Basically, when things work, we agree with the call; if they don't, we moan about bad play calling.

Oppy's picture

A lot of us were complaining about Kuhn getting too many touches, and being used improperly... NOT that kuhn was always being used in short yardage situations.

In fact, the very opposite- Kuhn wasn't being used in many true short yardage scenarios. He was getting tosses and stretch plays on 2nd and 8, 3rd and 5... While our HB's were getting less than 13 touches, our FB was getting 4-8 touches as a tailback in situations where his skill set was clearly not what the doctor ordered.

At any rate, I don't know that there is enough proof to say "4th and 1 the ball goes to Kuhn – Period.". How many times has Kuhn been in 4th and 1 or even 3rd and 1? I'm betting on a lot less than some fans believe.

redlights's picture

I don't think we're dominating enough to go with a "Kuhn on 4th and 1" automatic.

My problem w/MM is, as you pointed out, a FB pitch on 3rd and 5; etc. What genius comes up with this. I can respect that he is an NFL coach for a reason; but with the injuries that we've incurred, why can the D dominate, but not the O?

stinkdaddy's picture

Like having Kuhn run a dive into a 9-man front wouldn't have led to a bunch of "OMG horrible decision!" complaints anyway if it failed as it was likely to do? The running backs had 31 yards on 15 carries. That's 2.06 yards/attempt, and those runs did not come against 9-man fronts. Suh and the rest of the DET D-line were in the backfield blowing up runs before they developed all day. Throwing the ball was absolutely the right decision; I don't agree at all with throwing the fade on 4th and 1, but we don't know what the exact call was or where McCarthy wanted to Flynn to go and from what Wilde is saying it was QB2 who decided to go for it all.

Not only do we not know for sure if the (mini) deep ball was McCarthy's idea, but what information we do have indicates that it wasn't. If Wilde's correct then there are still things to be upset w/ the coaches about from this game, but the 4th-and-1 playcall is not one of them.

packeraaron's picture

I don't mind the 4th down call. At all. He's trying to win the game. There were a ton of other things leading up to that point, starting with the way his offense opened the game, that landed McCarthy in the "Ugly" in my Good Bad and Ugly post.

zub-a-dub's picture

Jennings on that INT played like a spoiled child, pouting and not realizing the play is still going on and he needs to make a tackle, very unprofessional.

He had an opportunity to tackle that defensive player, he just stopped playing.

BrianD's picture

I don't think he realized that the ball was intercepted before the defender was 5 or 10 yards downfield.

mel's picture

I blame MM for lack of coaching, and TT for the players or lack of them he gives MM.!!!

stinkdaddy's picture


Honestly if this season doesn't at least get some people to appreciate TT's approach to roster building I don't know what ever will.

I guess this is about him not signing a running back? Because the problem with the running game today had nothing to do with the backs. Maybe Barry Sanders could've made something outt've the blocking the backs were given today, but unfortunately he's not available.

The O-Line was the problem today. Didn't we just spend a first-round draft pick on the O-Line? I mean, what could TT do that would lead some of you guys to actually give him credit?

Ruppert's picture

Today was the first Packers game that I did not drink a few beers during in at least a decade. Of all the days...

I wonder why our O line cannot play in a dome.

Honest John's picture

Detroit's secondary is nothing special. Why was it so hard for our receivers to get open?

Paul Ott Caruth's picture

Well Honest John, let me help you out with that. McCarthy is a vertical ball coach. He believes in pushing the ball down field. For those that think he's a WCO disciple....think again. He's a Schottenheimer/Hackett guy.....not exactly WCO. I know Hackett coached for Walsh in the early 80's but he's as far from the WCO tree as you can get. Now, the problem is Honest John that when all you do is run your receivers on 10+ yard routes you don't space the defense. There are no short, intermediate, and long reads. All teams have these concepts and so do the Packers but McCarthy fails to use them on a consistent basis from game to game. Falcons.....all vertical push and no levels. Lions....same thing. Same goes for Washington and Dolphins. The problem is that these teams played A LOT of 2 Man. Essentially the underneath coverage plays trail man technique with safety help over the top on either side. Now, from a formation standpoint, some type of trips is good. However the key is to run some routes with receivers crossing underneath (think 2 Jet flanker drive and mesh routes) to rub the underneath coverage off. We have not seen ANY of that this year when facing teams that run this coverage on a primary basis. Frankly, McCarthy is a stubborn coach when it comes to offensive play calling. He wants to do it his way and not the smart way. He’s often quoted as saying, “the defense dictates what we do as an offense.” If that were the case he’d attack in the passing game much more efficiently than he does. Gone are the simple slant/out concept, Hank (TE middle hook route at 6 yds) or anything that has to do with the 3 step drop. Our passing plays take such a long time to develop it’s no wonder why our QBs get killed. And to keep using playaction in the second half was nothing short of absurd. He wasn’t fooling anyone on the Lions defense.

jerseyAl's picture

Hey, You're stealing my stuff! LOL You are so right. I wrote about this last week. In addition to the general points you make about routes, let me add this: When teams blitz and Rodgers needs to get rid of the ball quickly, receivers are still running their vertical routes. Most teams have at least one hot receiver that changes his route to give the QB a real option. Rodgers never has that, and that's why he has had to run so much.

And you even echo one of my favorite lines, "McCarthy is a stubborn coach when it comes to offensive play calling."

great comment...

Oppy's picture

Both of you guys are in my head. Please, get out.

both Echoing sentiments I'm screamed at the TV and the Live blog for the last two years

stinkdaddy's picture

You guys are tripping, that's really all I can say.

1) If you get passblocking of the quality that Rodgers received today you aren't going to get any sort of game going, not even a 3- or 1-step drop game. You can't throw a pass instantly.

2) There are outlet guys available all the time; ignoring them is one of Rodgers' biggest problems. I'm not some Rodgers hater but I can't count how many times I've been reading the JSOnline live blog and seen Bedard (or now Silverstein) point out that Rodgers decided to go deep when there was an open receiver over the middle, etc. There was a press conference earlier in the year where McCarthy even criticized Rodgers for this, saying there were plays open underneath that needed to be taken or etc. Not exactly a righteous chewing-out, but probably the closest I can recall from MM.

Blaming MM's playcalling and system -- rather than perhaps his coaching -- when his QB holds the ball too long and ignores the checkdown? Come on now.

Rodgers breaks off and runs because that's his game. He's kind've like a mini Big Ben, with all the ups and downs that a QB with a tendency to hold the ball brings. Analyzing this all down to the scheme level... that just isn't accurate. This is on the QB too, moreso him than the coach in fact.

stinkdaddy's picture

Oh and just to add: just because the outlet guy isn't visible on the broadcast angle doesn't mean he isn't there. Often when I'd be reading that JSOnline blog I'd be looking at the play going, "Where's the outlet guy?!" only to have the writer who actually had a view of the game point out that the checkdown was present.

packeraaron's picture

Case in point - on the play where Rodgers was injured, he has a wide open Donald Driver cutting across the middle of the field. He sees him - he PUMP FAKES to him - and then takes off. You have GOT to hit Driver there.

redlights's picture

to stinkdaddy,

I overlook the lack of PR from TT; his vision of how to operate an NFL team in GB is fine w/me.

You bring up valuable points about the Oline, but it has sucked for years. Now maybe that's on TT; but tell me why the D can have so many injuries and still play lights-out, but not the O? I think its MM.

Paul Ott Caruth's picture

Stinkdaddy: I understand what you are saying. The TV broadcast doesn't show the whole fact, our receivers are running vertical stems at an alarming rate. The route may end up coming across the field (to the middle) but it has everything to do with the stem off the line of scrimmage. Our receivers do not stem inside much, if at all, from the LOS. McCarthy does not use his receivers to stretch the field vertically. (Think 5 -10-15 yd spacing generically). A perfect example of stretching a team vertically is the classic WCO play Flanker Drive. You have the Z running a drive route at 5 and climbing to 8 yards as he runs under or over LB depth depending on the LBer drops. You have the TE running the 10-12 yard skinny post vs. 2 high (MOFO)or a seam route vs. 1 high safety (MOFC). You have another receiver (HB in a near set (to the the TE) running a take-off route to the flag (it's called a 7 route in the NFL). The X receiver is running a go route to clear for the Z that is running the drive route from right to left (we'll say TE is aligned to the right in 21 personnel (2 backs, 1 TE, 3 receivers). The remaining back (FB) helps in a 6 man protection, which in this case is 2 or 3 Jet which is a slide protection. It is possible to free release the back by calling "scat" leaving you with a true 5 man protection in which the QB is responsible for the unblocked defender in a blitz. That's how you space a defense and attack cover 2 or 2 man. In fact, most WCO pass plays attack any coverage and receivers adjust their routes accordingly to what they see coverage wise but some concepts work better against certain coverages. McCarthy hardly (I won't say never because he's done it in the past...think 2007) does this. That's because he's not a true WCO guy. It looks like he's trying to fit the mold of the Patriots offense only he doesn't use his receivers like the Patriots by spacing the defense vertically.
As it relates to the "checkdown".....well, all I can say is, yes, SOMETIMES they are there....BUT....they are an after thought. I thought McCarthy did a great job in emphasizing the checkdowns in the game at Minnesota. He used Kuhn and Jackson effectively by releasing them right away, calling "scat" or getting them out quickly from their check release responsibilities. It showed in that 2 minute drive especially. However, that was the only time I saw him do this. Every other time I see our backs getting caught up in the wash of pass protection and not really releasing vigoriously in to a checkdown position. And that progression has to be repped in practice. 5 step with a hitch checkdown. It's a repetitive process. If that's being repped on a consistent basis it would show up in the game. It's not showing up consistently. Is some of that on Rodgers? Perhaps. But from what I've seen McCarthy is more intent on pushing the ball vertically without stretching the defense vertically first and when teams sit in 2 Man all day, it makes it tough to raise the roof of the coverage when you run in to their territory. Guys like Silverstein are a dime a dozen. What is the definition of deep and short? It's all relative to the depth of each route. Deep could be a receiver sprinting to 20 yds making the 10 and 15 yard in breaking routes short by comparison. It has a lot more to do with just saying "going deep" or "hitting the short man" if you don't take in to account the different levels. The intermediate middle zone is deeper than the bottom of the seam but the bottom of the seam is deeper than the 5 yard no cover zone most teams employ when playing zone coverage. It's all relative. Sorry for the wonkish talk.

Overkill's picture

Play-calling was horrible. For starters.
Ruppert, I'd offer you one of mine but they're gone.

KurtMc's picture

Lets face it folks, its not the injuries that sank our season, it's McCarthy.

Week after week, the same play calling gaffes, unimaginative play calling, complete "what the hell was that" play calling is simply killing us.

With MM at the helm, we might be a good team, but NEVER a great team. Be prepared for years of 8 to 10 win seasons, but never a Superbowl.

jack in jersey city's picture

i'm beginning to think you're right but want to give him one more season with rodgers, a healthy finley, a healthy grant, a solidified o-line (yeah right, haha), and our receivers. if he can't get us to the NFC championship game next year then he needs to go. period.

redlights's picture

As much as I dislike MM; it would be stupidity to fire a coach unless the CBA gets done soon.

Here's why: if the CBA drags on, as expected, there will be no OTA's, and guys that normally would stay in GB to train on their own will be "locked out". Same goes for rookies. Then, as expected, the CBA does get done (my guess is mid-July); teams will have to rush like mad to get the playbooks "learned" and obtain chemistry.

The Packers have signed so many of their core players that we will ahead of many teams because of our level of talent, and the chemistry that is being built this year.

But if he could PLEASE let someone else call the plays.....

Oppy's picture

With MM playcalling, I might be apt to agree.

but He's a fine coach in many, many other respects., IMO

Badknees's picture

The Pats just blew out da Bears (the score indicate they took the 2nd half off). They also clinched their playoff spot and are two games up on the Steelers with three to play...and the Jets lost, no longer a threat. The Pats have 11 on IR...They are only going to put in a half a game against the Packers...they have bigger goals (Super Bowl and keeping healthy)than beating the Pack next week. Packers will beat NE next week.

Favre will throw a pick six if it helps to keep the Packers out of the playoffs. Fraizer (sp?)is a smart coach and will bench Favre immediately after a turnover.

rickybobby's picture

so flynn's gonna beat NE.
got it.

KurtMc's picture

we might not have one more season. The NFL life is too short & win now is what its about. People change too quickly.

MM has had his time, with great talent & the result is...Bumpkis

jack in jersey city's picture

nah, this team is young and loaded with talent. you also have to figure that we will have a lot of 2nd and 3rd stringers who have valuable playing experience due to all of the injuries next year. factor in ted's very good track record in the draft and this sets us up to go far next year. i predict the packers will go to the NFC championship game next season and if they make it to the superbowl, well shit, that's just a bonus!

jack in jersey city's picture

i meant injuries *this* year

Honest John's picture


Thanks for the insight. Was the scheme different when TE J. Finley was playing? Wasn't he sent on underneath routes?

Paul Ott Caruth's picture

No...the scheme wasn't different. Finley's speed and size were used vertically not on Hank and stick routes. McCarthy simply likes to push the ball vertical. That's how he learned and that's what he does.

Oppy's picture

It's also a factor that MM in near obsessed with Rodgers' knack for throwing the deep ball.

Yes, It's a strength of Rodgers', and it would be foolish not to take advantage of it, but MM goes waaay overboard on the deep routes.

Rick Pisaturo's picture

The 4th & 1 pass should have been thrown on 3rd & 1. on 4th down, they should have rolled Flynn out and either run or short pass to the tight end. The season is no way over, just will need a monster game in New England Sunday night, which without Rodgers, doesn't look probable. Go Pack !!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing's picture

eyCheese says:
December 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm
But if that 4th and 1 would’ve worked you would call McCarthy the greatest coach.
---------------And If I flew out of a skyscraper and managed to land safely,'dcall me 'Superman'!.....wanna try with me?!!!

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