Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - 2019 Game 3, Packers - Broncos

The weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

The Defense: There isn't a doubt in my mind that if the Packers had played these three games with last year's defense, their record would be 0-3 right now. Agree or disagree?

 

Throwing the Runner: Putting aside the fact that on Lindsay's goal-line TD, the Packers had him stopped 2-3 times, the zebras completely missed the fact that Lindsay was, in the end, picked up and thrown over the goal line by Dalton Risner. (Risner was the guy I hoped the Packers could steal in the second round, but I think Jenkins will do fine), Take a look:

From NFL Rule 12, Section 1, Article 5:

No offensive player may: (a) lift a runner to his feet or pull him in any direction at any time; or; (b) use interlocking interference, by grasping a teammate or by using his hands or arms to encircle the body of a teammate; or (c) trip an opponent; or (d) push or throw his body against a teammate to aid him in an attempt to obstruct an opponent or to recover a loose ball. Penalty: For assisting the runner, interlocking interference, tripping, illegal use of hands, arms, or body by the offense: Loss of 10 yards. A.R. 12.2 Second and goal on B2. Runner A1 gets to the line of scrimmage and is stopped but A2, who is behind him, pushes him from behind and shoves him over the goal line. Ruling: Touchdown.

As the rule states, you can't do what Risner did, but it's perfectly legal to push a runner from behind, and that's something you see done regularly.

 

Pass Targets: What is it that the Packers (or maybe just Rodgers) have against throwing the ball into that vast area known as the middle of the field (inside the numbers). It seems to me a disproportionally high percentage of their pass attempts are between the numbers and the sideline. Rather than leave this as a "gut" feeling, I took a quick look at nextgen stats to view Rodgers' chart for the game:

If you eliminate the dump-offs behind the LOS, you can honestly say that at least 20 of the remaining 25 pass attempts were at or outside the numbers - 80%. To be fair, I looked at the first two games of 2019 as well. Those are not quite as dramatic, but still in the 66%-72% range for passes thrown outside the numbers. Whatever the reason (I think it's a bad Rodgers' habit), this just makes the defense's job easier and could be one reason why Packers receivers have had some issues getting open.

 

Kevin King: No need to belabor the fact that King had a really bad game, and some people have been using the wet filed as an excuse, but it wasn't just this week. I wasn't happy with his performance against the Vikings, either. Remember, he got burned way too easily by Stefon Diggs on the long TD that Alexander should have intercepted. The negatives on him coming out of college were concerns about athleticism, slow feet in backpedal & turning, and lack of makeup speed. Unfortunately, those are things I'm seeing. He does make plays when the ball is in front of him, and he did play safety in college as well - just thinking out loud, here...

 

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"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  

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Comments (102)

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Lphill's picture

September 25, 2019 at 05:34 am

I agree about last years defense, I also thought picking up the runner and tossing him in the end zone was very unusual . King maybe just needs reps remember he hardly practiced in the pre season.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:52 pm

It was a violation of the Rules of the Game. A Vegas call.

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albert999's picture

September 25, 2019 at 05:46 am

Excellent Al
Cobb being gone is one issue for not throwing in the middle but MVS could be targeted there with his speed and or any tight end and or Kumerow so no excuse....would also help the 2nd/3rd and long issues
You nailed it on King......not worth the hype he gets

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WinUSA's picture

September 25, 2019 at 06:43 am

Just befuddles me why we have seen so little of Kumero?

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albert999's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:39 am

COULDNT AGREE MORE

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croatpackfan's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:50 am

He is injured (again!)

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WinUSA's picture

September 25, 2019 at 12:59 pm

I haven’t heard him on the injury report?

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JHitTheB's picture

September 25, 2019 at 04:20 pm

https://packerswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/25/packers-list-olb-zadarius-sm...

Kume was inactive last week, listed as questionable this week

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croatpackfan's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:50 am

He is injured (again!)

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dobber's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:23 am

A few names to think about when talking about the middle of the field...

Jackson
Harrison
Kendricks
Smith

The Packers have played teams that it makes a lot more sense to attack to the outside. Does that justify ignoring the middle altogether? Nope. But there's some traction for why they might not aside from a QB who seems to be seam phobic.

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Barazinho's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:56 am

Also remember that Graham got the long PI on a seam route (that probably would have been completed without the PI)

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Tundraboy's picture

September 25, 2019 at 03:21 pm

Very true, but this has been going on for too long. We've conceded the middle of the field to the extent that now it's just counterproductive at times. It has made us that much more one-dimensional. LeFleur's challenge will be figuring out a solution to that, although I think he'lll find that out once he pulls Graham and starts playing the other guys and uses Vitale more he'll come to that same conclusion.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 26, 2019 at 12:48 am

This is a long term issue. Folks have been publishing AR's passing chart on APC for quite a long time, at least mid-2017. Some weeks are better than others. I agree with Tundra.

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albert999's picture

September 25, 2019 at 05:53 am

Tired of LaFleur saying we need to do a better job and it starts with me.....THEN DO IT
and Rodgers saying offense needs to do their part....THEN DO IT
Al....please send NEXT GEN STAT to them and Gutey
GO PACK GO

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croatpackfan's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:51 am

Maybe MLF has to go back to fundamentals!

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carlos's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:08 am

Remember A999. We’ve played some tough defenses who have a job to do also. Pack is 3-0..Go Pack!!

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Tundraboy's picture

September 25, 2019 at 03:07 pm

Deleted

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albert999's picture

September 25, 2019 at 06:06 am

Tongan should be used more than Graham.....It would also provide Tonyan with a chance to make his mark. Some combination of Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis and fullback Danny Vitale would give the Packers a better mix of heavy personnel and legitimate receiving threats. (over the middle also) It could improve the efficiency of the run game and put more speed on the field while also inviting the Eagles to play more base personnel.

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Donster's picture

September 25, 2019 at 06:23 am

I agree albert999. More Tonyan for sure. See if he can take advantage of Graham not playing, as he might not Thursday night.

But otherwise, Graham will be on the field all the time if Rodgers has his way. Here's a bit from Rob Demovsky's interview yesterday...

"Jimmy's the best," Rodgers said. "He's a great teammate. He's a one of my best friends, not just as a teammate. I love our conversations, getting to talk to him. He is a very positive person. He's a realist. His focus and preparation has been second to none, as usual."

He might be the best at being Rodgers friend, but he sure as hell isn't the best TE in the league. He may have been close to that a long time ago, but not now. If he continues to struggle, then LaFluer better yank him to the sideline and play Tonyan and Lewis more, for the good of the team.

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albert999's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:40 am

Couldn’t agree more I really think they should trade Graham now

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WinUSA's picture

September 25, 2019 at 06:47 am

They just have to cut Graham. The only flaw in an otherwise flawless FA and draft management by Gute! JG.is taking up a valuable roster spot.

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carlos's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:10 am

Agree A999. Graham has been underwhelming. Getting old and injuries seem to seek him out.

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dobber's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:16 am

I'm not going to say a healthy Graham would be a revelation, but he's been dealing with both a broken finger and a groin injury. He's in a no-win situation: if he plays, he's not 100%, and if he doesn't play, the fan-base eats him up.

Management needs to make the decision to let him heal and feature other players while he sits. If they take off? Great. No need to rely heavily on #80 anymore. If not? He comes back healthy and maybe they get something out of him in the LaF offense.

I don't see a lot of benefit to dragging this dog out while he can't run, though.

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Thebearsstillsuck's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:39 am

Unless Graham has been hurt every single week since he's been signed, it's not the current injuries. And if he has been hurt every single week, that's a sign it's time for him to go. Jimmy Graham is probably the most overpaid player in the NFL, and it's time to move on.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 26, 2019 at 12:45 am

You got my vote, even if my reasoning is more cynical. Yes, let Graham sit and heal. With a little luck, fans will change his name to Wally Pipp. And if Graham is still better than Tonyan and Baylis, so be it, always play the better player (well, almost always).

As an aside, Hockenson had the big splash in his first NFL game with 131 yards, but it was against ARI. Since then, he has 2 receptions on 7 targets for 8 yards against LAC and Philly. If circumstance permit, I'd love to get Sternberger some snaps if and when he is recalled from IR just so he can get his feet wet.

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Slim11's picture

September 26, 2019 at 06:14 pm

Interesting comment...especially since this is word-for-word from Zach Kruse’s article at USA Today’s Packers Wire site! If you are using someone else’s words, give them credit!

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Razer's picture

September 25, 2019 at 06:25 am

...There isn't a doubt in my mind that if the Packers had played these three games with last year's defense, their record would be 0-3 right now...

This is the true of the season and the team this year. The offensive sputter of this team is going on three years now. We all put a lot of faith in the 'new' offense but poor TE play, lack of separation, inconsistent run game, etc. are still the story.

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Nick Perry's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:12 am

"We all put a lot of faith in the 'new' offense but poor TE play, lack of separation, inconsistent run game, etc. are still the story."

Haven't seen your comments for a while Razer but as usual when you do it's a good one...

I agree on all points but I will continue to believe until Gute overhauls the Packers skill position players (Adams and Jones excluded) the offense is going to sputter, especially against good defenses. I like MVS and for a 5th round 2nd year WR he's doing fine. BUT the cupboard FEELS pretty bare right now.

Christ, I'm only half-joking when I wonder if Jordy Nelson would mind coming back for a few games. As great of a story, Kumerow has been there's clearly a reason he doesn't get much playing time though I'd wish they'd at least try. My point is there's just no one who really scares a defense in that WR room of GB's.

I hope I'm DEAD WRONG about this and it's just because it's a new offense and playing against really good defenses so far. But if I was Gute I'd really start looking for a trade partner or a WR available in trade to add to this roster THIS season.

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Guam's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:42 am

NP: I share some of your concern about our WRs, but have a larger concern about our TEs. Graham has been all but invisible, Lewis is a good blocking TE and Tonyan has been inconsistent. TE's usually make their living in the middle of the field and I think that is part of the reason Rogers has few attempts between the hash marks.

I would rather see Gute trade for a TE than a WR this season. And I hope the draft next year is loaded with TEs and WRs...…..

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dobber's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:18 am

We've seen Jordy Nelson's name invoked a couple times recently, but realistically, folks, if he could still run, he'd be playing somewhere.

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Razer's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:39 am

I agree that we are short on offensive playmakers. Upcoming drafts will need to address the long overlooked deficiencies on the offensive side of the ball. Still, we have some scoring horsepower but inconsistent results. Can't help but look at Aaron Rodgers and wonder how much he is blocking a new look offense. Jersey Al is right to examine the spread of passes and question the lack of attempts down the middle.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:07 pm

Gutekunst would be wise to try the trade route before the deadline to secure another WR. 2020 is too far down the road. This teamand the red hot defense needs help now. Ted's gone and Arron is not getting any younger. Get aggressive and Win.

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cheesy_buffalo's picture

September 25, 2019 at 06:51 am

I think King is best suited as a matchup guy against big and strong receivers like Alshon Jeffrey, Mike Evans, etc... The little guys that are great route runners are going to beat him and that's okay. There are only a handful of guys in the league that can cover Diggs 1:1 and luckily for GB one of those guys is Jaire Alexander. King is a great complement to Alexander and the team is able to employ those looks with Alexander taking the #2 guy 1:1 and giving King help in covering a #1 guy.

This defense will really be cooking when Alexander ascends (and he is very close if not already there) to a guy who can erase a #1 receiver 1:1 leaving the help for King on a #2 receiver.

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Turophile's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:19 am

I'm glad to see Jersey Al has brought up the RB tossed over the goal line.

I saw that at the time and knew the rule that prohibits players being tossed or carried, but no-one else seemed to mention it.

I also found the contention that Rodgers is reluctant to throw into the middle of the field well worth pointing out.

As for the implied idea of King to Safety, ? I wouldn't disagree that it should be considered, with the rider that Josh Jackson should be the first guy in line to be tried at Safety, and King a somewhat distant second.

It should be the aim of any site like this to entertain, inform and educate..............................job done, and thanks.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:51 am

Thanks for reading! Aaron Nagler mentioned on one of his podcasts that Jackson had played some safety this last game.

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Rak47's picture

September 26, 2019 at 05:37 am

Broncos know they got away with one on the Lindsay TD. There was even an article on BroncosWire entitled " Broncos OL Dalton Risner used cattle wrangling experience to get Phillip Lindsay into the end zone ".

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:32 am

"The Defense: There isn't a doubt in my mind that if the Packers had played these three games with last year's defense, their record would be 0-3 right now. Agree or disagree?"
Agreed. Infact I will go one further. I think with any defense they have had since 2010 season, they would be 0-3.

Thank you for clarifying the rule on the TD run. I have seen everywhere that they didn't think you could do it but no one really knew for sure.

"Pass Targets:"
A part of this is the fact that they have not had the TE's involved as much and they don't really have a true slot WR.
And some of it maybe that the WR's simply aren't open in the middle or the progression starts on the outside? There is a lot that can be read into where his targets are. But the chart does paint a pretty good picture.

Kevin King:
While King didn't have a great game he still is a good player and there is a huge difference when he is playing and isn't. But the one play that I'm sure we have all seen is that 3rd and long play from Denver's 5ish yard line and King gets burned deep. It looked as if King had no idea where he was at or what was going on there. I'm wondering what the call on the defense was? I haven't seen the All22 on it. It looked like King maybe thought he had Safety help? Was the Safety late getting over the top? Or did he think the blitz was going to get there and the QB wouldn't have time to throw it deep? I just would like to know what King was thinking on that play. Because that play alone was U-G-L-Y.

Al - Just have to say this is my favorite article on Cheesehead TV. I like what the others do, but this one is one that I look forward to every week!

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Guam's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:50 am

I've been defending King on that play as well since it appeared King believed he was playing the short zone and had help deep. Just not clear whether King didn't understand the coverage he was in or if the safety was late coming over.

Despite that defense I also have a clear memory of King whiffing on the tackle on a swing pass in the flat and the runner then gaining about 30 yards. King was directly responsible for one long gain and may have been responsible for another. Al is correct that King did not play well in this game.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:13 pm

Regardless , he still has to take the WR to the boundary at the short zone, not bite on the double move. It still comes down to basic DB play. Prevent the first down.

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dobber's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:19 am

"Al - Just have to say this is my favorite article on Cheesehead TV. I like what the others do, but this one is one that I look forward to every week!"

Well said, RC. There's always enough salt and sweet to keep us grounded.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 26, 2019 at 08:05 am

Agreed. And when some go way over the top, he pulls the plug on those that need to be pulled.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:45 am

Thanks RC, I mostly try to bring up some interesting topics and then let you all have at it.

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Spock's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:47 am

Always enjoy this article, Al. I especially liked the explanation and video of the TD infraction that was missed. I knew something was wrong when I watched, but was streaming the game and couldn't rewind to see what happened. I'm posting this hoping to see if CHTV has fixed the flaw where my posts take me straight to the top of the article after submitting.

Edit: Yay! This time it didn't. Now my life is complete, lol.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:45 am

Hmm, it still takes me to the top. I don't think they've gotten to that yet?

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snowdog's picture

September 25, 2019 at 02:06 pm

Could something be done about the scroll bar to be more distinguished ?
Thank you

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Tundraboy's picture

September 26, 2019 at 08:03 am

Deleted. Still getting the hang of where I post my replies.

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albert999's picture

September 25, 2019 at 07:49 am

We’ve been so bad on third down,” Rodgers said, “we haven’t had those conversions to get more plays.”
The Packers offense has seen the third-most drives (38) in the league, yet they rank 25th in total plays (182). The Baltimore Ravens lead the league with 228 total plays.
The Packers currently rank 29th in third-down percentage, moving the chains just nine times in 36 attempts.
HELLO?

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dobber's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:21 am

This is despite regularly gaining good yardage on first down.

Let's not get too worked up until they've had a chance to at least middle out against NFL defenses that aren't named "Chicago" or "Minnesota".

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x24's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:05 am

Thanks for continuing to write. Not everybody has time for podcasts and video

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dobber's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:20 am

A thousand likes to this comment.

Who would want to look at Al on a regular basis, anyway? ;)

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:01 am

Only my wife - and even that is debatable...

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Spock's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:15 am

Lol. One of my favorite sayings comes from an old Mad Magazine where they used to print goofy stickers. One read: "He had a face only a mother could love, unfortunately not HIS mother." :)

Edit: Al, ...and this time the submit button took me back to the articles top, so something fluky got me back on the other comment (sigh).

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:49 am

We will always write, but to stay relevant in 2019, we have to do those other things as well. Thanks for reading!

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Kubyskins12's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:15 am

Thank you for bringing up the fact that Rodgers never throws the ball in the middle of field. I’ve been thinking and saying this for years. My Theory is it all comes down to him playing too safe and being scared to throw pick. He’s scared that an overthrow or a tip ball will turn into interception but not throwing the ball in the middle of field definitely leads to the offense being stagnant and guys not Supposedly being open. When I go back and watch games I always see guys open in the middle of the field and I always wonder why Rodgers never throws those balls. This is also the reason that our tight ends never seem to do anything in our offense. Where do tight ends do most there damage in the middle of the field. He needs to be willing to throw it up a little higher and let Jimmy Graham and the other tight ends use there big bodies and long arms to make plays for this team and hit them with quick throws when they run curl routes. If you make those throws on time and in rhythm they’re pretty hard to defend. The defenders have a hard time getting around the big bodies. I see other teams making those throws all the time. He also needs to be willing to throw some balls In the holes in the middle of the field and also throw some of those balls over the top of linebackers and In front of the safeties. I watch all the other quarterbacks in this league throw those balls and making big plays in the middle of the field and it just angers me when I watch Rodgers just completely ignore this part of the field. He needs to stop playing scared of throwing picks and start trusting himself to make those throws because I know he can.

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packerbackerjim's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:31 am

I concur. I suspect part of it is Rodgers doesn’t trust what he sees and doesn’t believe those are high percentage passes and that they come with a huge downside—INTs. Other than Adams, he does not have that confidence in other receivers. And unless LaFleur is going to scheme Davante to that area, nothing will change until AR is feeling it.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:23 pm

Yes, that's it. He's scared. A lot of QBs are schemed to middle tosses because they do not have the Arm to drill the ball on the outs--the most difficult passes to complete. Graham is still hobbled. If Tonyan was the man , he would be getting the targets,but he couldn't sight down a perfect toss by Rodgers last week. Once again, we are not viewing pre-season scrimmages. Lewis is doing His Job by blocking and setting up for the release plays that secure first downs. Adams is getting the doubles and triples as the D coordinators have little respect for what remains of the receiving corps. That's the way it is. I would give Shepherd and Lazard every opportunity to push the rest of the group. Let's see what LaFleur has up his sleeve for the Eagles. Should be a wide-open game coming from Doug Pederson and the Pack has to respond in kind.

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blacke00's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:24 am

Thanks Al for pointing out what I pointed out the other day.

The Packers should have(had) sent a formal complaint to the league about the sloppy officiating.

Also, why didn't the "review" see the problem? Reinforces what many view as "corrupt" or incompetent or both?

How do you explain such an obvious error in officiating?

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Barazinho's picture

September 25, 2019 at 12:35 pm

Only PI is reviewable, not other penalties.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 12:53 pm

But all scoring plays are automatically reviewed, so someone messed up.

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Norm's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:11 pm

True, but can they review that aspect of the play? I thought only PI could be considered during a review (whether through a coaches challenge or automatic scoring review), not other penalties. But admittedly I was wrong once before, long time ago.

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Gort's picture

September 25, 2019 at 03:46 pm

All scoring plays are reviewed.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:28 pm

He forward progress was stopped TWO times and the whistle was not blown. It was reviewable as mentioned by all
knowledgable football fans. A vegas call.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:32 pm

They get paid a lot of money in Pro Football to stay healthy. Youn will not see someone stone a runner or WR until the air gets cooler and the scent of playoff positioning is in the air. Late October into November game sget a bit meaner.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:55 am

Seems like forever since I've seen a TE play over The Middle. Or a draw play for that matter.

Also that penalty on Brown during that punt, still has me scratching my head.

Perhaps that will change this week because we may not be always ahead against the Eagles Being behind might force them to be more diverse.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:33 pm

Cook ha s been gone for three years.

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Since'61's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:31 pm

Al - I agree completely that we would be 0-3 with our old defense. As good as our defense has been, and they have been great so far, they can still afford to improve their tackling.

I don’t know why we’re not throwing into the middle of the field, other than Rodgers is not confident that he has accounted for every defender or that our receivers are not open or a combination of both. But if we see it opposing DCs see it as well and will plan accordingly.

As for Kevin King he is going to be the CB who is picked on by opposing QBs. They will reach a point, if they haven’t already, where they won’t even throw to Alexander’s side of the field.
As a result King is going to see plenty of passes come his way and you just can’t stop everything.

Keep writing Al. Your articles are spot on, well written, and more effective than the podcasts, videos, etc. Secondly, IMO the written articles and the resulting dialogue have created a sense of community among the AllGBP bloggers and subsequent CHTV bloggers despite being separated across the country and around the globe.

Speaking for myself that sense of community has been a major differentiator first for AllGBP and then for CHTV. That sense of community is somewhat weakened with the new format and the increasing podcast/video approach. I realize that there is a need to keep the site contemporary and to continually attract younger, screen centric, users/subscribers. However, I hope that you and other CHTV decision makers will keep the sense of community that has evolved in mind as you move forward and consider that there is value in that sense of community for the bloggers.

Speaking of the community, I haven’t seen anything from Andy Herman or James Reynolds (TGR) lately. Anything up with them?
Take care Al and as always Thanks, Since ‘61

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:10 am

Thanks 61, We will always strive to keep that sense of community you reference. When it comes to the videos/podcasts, we have to do them for the reasons you mention, but that doesn't mean you get less written content. So if you like, you can look at the video/podcasts content as "extra sauce" for those that want it. Personally, it still amazes me that we can get thousands of viewers for a YouTube "Watch Party" who come just to watch Corey and Aaron talk about the game live. But, that's where we are in 2019 - we want to be the place for ALL Packers fans. As for Andy, sadly he accepted a great opportunity to become the editor over Packer Report. James is not a regular writer here, he just pops in when he has some time and a good topic.

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Spock's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:31 am

Al, That's a bummer that Andy won't be doing his analysis of the games; that was one of my favorite articles to view/read. :( I agree with '61 about the "community" for this site. CHTV has GOT to get that glitch fixed that doesn't take you back to your "hold" spot when submitting a comment; it really disrupts the flow of the community dialogue. Hopefully that happens soon!

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:38 am

It will happen - patience required.

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Gort's picture

September 25, 2019 at 04:52 pm

Pass on my best wishes to Andy in his new adventure. Really miss his grading the Pack columns.

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Slammin'CharlesMartin's picture

September 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm

I don't comment much, but I totally agree with Since '61 about the community at ALLGBP and here. I feel like I have gotten to know many of you well over the last 10 years. I'm relieved that there is a commitment from you in this regard.
It's disappointing that Andy has left. His player grade articles were always a favorite of mine and I was wondering today why they weren't around this year.
Thanks Al, for everything you do to make this site great!

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Since'61's picture

September 26, 2019 at 06:57 pm

Al, thanks for taking the time to reply. Sorry to learn that Andy moved on but also happy that he received an opportunity which he deserved.

No worries, I’m sticking with the best Packers site on the internet. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:14 am

I'm trying to remember when it happened but Lang did near the same thing with Cobb and I'm not sure if one person here complained.

Rodgers not throwing over the middle must be a ' trust issue '...it just has to be. Just not sure what or who he doesn't trust.

Each week we'll likely see one DB look bad but as long as the front 7 get it done we won't see again what has plagued the defense in the secondary because of the front 7 play.

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Spock's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:55 am

"'I'm trying to remember when it happened but Lang did near the same thing with Cobb and I'm not sure if one person here complained." Well, Duh, why would a PACKERS FAN complain about the ref's missing a call that helped their team? With calls like the "Fail Mary" call and those ridiculous penalties against CM3 last year of course Packer fans won't "complain" about "getting away with one". Someone here posted that the fans on the Broncos site were chortling about their guy using some "cattle wrangling" move or some such thing to toss their guy over the goal line. That's called Fandom. What's your point? Just seems like a silly thing to say IMHO. I mostly agree with the rest of your comments but that first line is a head scratcher to me.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 25, 2019 at 10:40 am

My point....Stop crying about things being done to you that you do to others and it isn't limited to football.

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jlc1's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:46 am

If it is a trust issue might it be that he doesn't trust himself to throw there accurately? The overthrows we saw last week could have been picks in the middle of the field, not unlike the one Savage made.

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Cartwright's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:43 am

The poster above who mentioned Rodgers doesn't throw down the middle is that he wants to avoid the interception seems spot on to me. It made me see the connection and probably the reason he throws so few. Maybe now that AR sees he has defense he'll start taking more chances.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

September 25, 2019 at 10:23 am

Is LaFleur calling for passes over the middle and Rodgers changing the plays? I still have no clue what LaFleur's offense looks like, it's so disjointed. Is that on Rodgers or LaFleur? This new offense is very similar to the old, even to the point that after everyone was excited about Jones finally being freed to be the main ballcarrier we hear that LaFleur now wants to even out the carries. We don't hear that from the men who coach Kamara, McCafferty, Cook... and a dozen other premium ballcarriers. My impression of LaFleur so far is offensively he still hasn't developed an understanding of how to use a Hall of Fame QB, a top-five WR, and a top 10 running back. He keeps claiming to want balance but that means fewer touches for your stars, Adams and Jones, in favor of less-skilled players. That's a recipe for mediocrity. Jamal Williams isn't Jones, he's a backup. He should never out touch Jones. Get your stars the ball, and sit those who haven't been playing well like Allison and Graham. And for those who keep saying that it will take time to implement this new offense, I say, what new offense? Rodgers is frustrated because he knows what a good offense looks like. He'd throw over the middle if he expected his receiver to catch the ball. Remember those bullets in traffic to Jennings in the Super Bowl. Allison not only can't get open for that if he did he wouldn't catch it. We've seen enough to at least try something different.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

September 25, 2019 at 10:44 am

Regarding the balance of touches, right now I'm OK with it. Last week was a short week, and you want your workhorse fresh. Jones and Williams so have their own styles and will succeed in different environments.

I think MLF is trying to force the ball to get already around for the same reasons. Even if the first team offense played in the preseason, it's different when you're playing defenses that are actively trying to adjust to shut down your offense vs. standard man coverage and a four man rush. The more the Packers can do now to put out tape of other receivers making plays, the more DCs are going to want to account for it vs. just keying in on Adams and the dumpoff option.

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Rebecca's picture

September 25, 2019 at 03:15 pm

I also noticed Allison playing slot and couldn’t shake the linebacker or safety on at least 2 occasions. Looked to me like he’s slow footed and doesn’t use his body in close quarters inside. Rodgers doesn’t have much touch on short passes. Quick short passes seem to be difficult for him for whatever reason.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:39 pm

The Rams have Brandin Cooks, Woods and Cooper Cupp; Rodgers has Adams.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 26, 2019 at 01:59 am

There have been changes. MM trotted out 11 personnel about 72% of the time whereas LaFleur is using 11 about 48% of the time. I certainly agree that the offense is disjointed.

Aaron Jones with 46 rushes is getting 64% of the carries. Jones has 46 and Jamaal has 26.
Dalvin Cook gets 69.5% of the carries with Mattison getting the rest. Cook has 57 rushes while Mattison has gotten 25. The disparity isn't that much between Cook's usage and Jones' in terms of rushing attempts. True, Cook has 10 receptions (Mattison has zero) while Aaron Jones has but 6 receptions and Williams has 7. Finally, yes, you have a point when it comes to snap counts. Aaron Jones has 102 snaps (53.1% of snaps) and Jamaal Williams has 93 (48.4%). Still, Jones averages 15 carries per game while Williams gets just over 8. I am not unhappy with that distribution.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 25, 2019 at 10:27 am

Wow!!! Thank you Al !!! I couldn't figure out for the life of me how Lowery missed that tackle and now I see RISNER CHEATED !!!!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 25, 2019 at 10:31 am

Ii would start sending M. Lewis over the middle and wear that secondary down.

And it is time to play TONYAN full time!!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 25, 2019 at 10:32 am

One of the 3rd receivers has to step it up.
G. Allison
J. Kumerow
D. Sheppard
Lazard

Or a trade has to be made....

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ThxJackVainisi's picture

September 25, 2019 at 04:37 pm

Of the four listed I think Allison would be my third choice. Kumerow uses his body better to shield the defender. Sheppard's quickness would enable him to open quickly. I don't know enough about Lazard to put him ahead of Allison, but they certainly need more production from the slot.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 25, 2019 at 10:34 am

Lastly, I would still like to get Kenyan Drake in a trade and/or maybe even Devante Parker.

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Qoojo's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:24 am

About Rodgers throwing in the middle of the field, for one, this is one game, and without a similar analysis of all games this year, it's hard to know if Denver took the middle away or it is a trend.

If it is a trend, perhaps Rodgers does not trust his vision of the middle. Remember, Rodgers is viewing the field behind 9+ tall guys blocking his vision, not from the side and halfway up the stadium. So Rodgers needs lanes from the OL to get a good vision of the field.

Another point is who besides Adams would you trust to make catches in the middle? Maybe Lewis? Graham is injured and not getting much separation. Pretty much the ball has to be waist high to everyone but Adams.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:57 am

maybe you missed it, but I did mention the first two games a well.

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Qoojo's picture

September 25, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Whoops, so you did, 66%-72%. That doesn't seem bad to me. Not sure what an ideal ratio should be.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm

M.Lewis 264 lbs beast!!!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 25, 2019 at 12:35 pm

89 - Mercedes Lewis!!!! Send him up in the middle!!

HT: 
6' 6"

WT
267

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Rebecca's picture

September 25, 2019 at 03:17 pm

He’s putting on weight.

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stockholder's picture

September 25, 2019 at 02:47 pm

Al Very good article. Nice Points. Rodgers could be avoiding the middle: 1. Cobb is gone. 2. He's over throwing people. 3. The Te's are blocking. 4. He's using the sidelines to protect the ball, WR, and OL breakdowns. So Really it's eye opening. But not alarming at this time. While most want to trade for a WR. It's a bad idea unless theres a discount or Fire sale. Their #1 pick must remain untouchable. I think your a little to harsh on Kings play too. He needs to be in there. The success of the defense has been better with him, then without. And How many times have we seen Shields and Williams play off Wrs, as they developed. He'll tighten it up. As the score tightens. Their 3-0. Nothings broken yet.

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wildbill's picture

September 25, 2019 at 08:11 pm

It’s a lot easier for the defense to get ints over the middle, tipped balls are up for grabs and lbs can jump routes. A sideline pass is a lot more likely to be either caught or out of bounds. I love Rodgers lack of ints but sometimes you got to put the ball in play. I’ve heard from various sources that the middle of the field is the hardest to defend, so why aren’t we attacking it?

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flackcatcher's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:46 pm

Al, the simple answer on over the middle is timing. Most passes are on slants or digs. In Rodger's case, he is releasing before the WR has made his cut. Think he is going to that in a new system he is not comfortable in. I don't think so. Last year, he did throw to MVS and ESB on quick slants and digs before injuries wiped out their season. Also, Rodgers is very sensitive to exposing his WR to high hits, has always been, more so in recent years after Adams in the Chicago opener at LB.

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CheesyTex's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:13 pm

Nice take, Flak.

Darius Sheppard looked like a true slot receiver in pre-season -- very impressed with his quickness and ability to get open in tight spaces. I'm hoping his quad is fully healed, that he is on the same page with #12, and that he gets some playing time at WR soon. All that to say IMO he could be a game-changer over the middle.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 26, 2019 at 02:10 am

The pattern seems crystal clear to me with AR. Give AR 2 great or 3 good receiving threats, get top 5 offense.

Good- 2014: Nelson and Cobb were both #1 WRs that year. Top ranked offense at 30.4 pts/game.

Bad- 2015: Nelson out, Adams/Cobb hurting/ butterfingers leads to 15th ranked offense at 23/game.

Good- 2016: Nelson, Adams, Cook, a little from Cobb when not hurt = 6 win streak and 4th in pts at 27/game.

Good- 2017: Adams, Nelson, Cobb leads to 27.4 pts/game while AR was still upright.

Bad- 2018: Adams, and little else leads to a 14th ranked offense. 23.5 pts/game.

History seems to be teaching us what is necessary to have an elite offense. I’d say it has been screaming at us.

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Minniman's picture

September 26, 2019 at 03:51 am

Thanks again TGR - as always, thought evoking, evidence based posting.

Is it time to kick the tires on someone like Dez Bryant if the Packers a piece or 2 away from making a run? I'm not sold on Dez, just planning ahead.

Granted its still early days but a contingency needs to be in place in the event that one of the other WR's don't have a breakout season and the Packers fair better than previously with injuries (which would indicate that with the current roster they are contending).

.... I wouldn't be trading early round picks though.....

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Leatherhead's picture

September 26, 2019 at 10:31 am

Yes, Rodgers needs better players to carry him, like Lamar Jackson has.

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Rak47's picture

September 26, 2019 at 05:50 am

I like the next Gen stat showing Rodgers throwing the ball outside 80% of the time. I had never thought about it before but as soon as you mentioned it, it just seemed about right. I would have to think covering the receivers has to be easier when you have the boundary to help keep them corralled 80% of the time. And it very well may be a major reason you don't see the receivers getting open regularly.

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Rak47's picture

September 26, 2019 at 05:52 am

deleted duplicate.

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