Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - 2019 Game 9, Packers - Chargers

The weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

Allen Lazard: How crazy is it that Lazard, an UDFA free agent cut in training camp, is the Packers most productive wide receiver not named Davante Adams? Against the Chargers, Lazard saw 25 snaps, was targeted four times and caught three passes. Those three receptions were the Packers' longest plays from scrimmage all day. Crazy.

Offensive Line: It's been quite some time since the Packers' offensive line looked as awful as they did on Sunday. Without taking credit away from the Chargers, you have to say the Packers OL was just not ready to play. There have been whispers of too much "fun" being had in Los Angeles, and these guys sure looked the part of hungover party animals. Of course, I don't really believe that was the case, but they sure played like it was.

Bosas: I want to find out what Mr. & Mrs. Bosa fed their kids growing up.

Kenny Clark:  I've seen people disparaging Kenny Clark, saying he's not that good, "just a guy," etc. Mainly because he doesn't have meaningful "stats" to speak of. Of course, most of you here know that his position isn't about stats. It's about clogging the middle, eating up blockers and setting up your teammates to make tackles. He's been doing that, but his teammates up front haven't done their job. He has little help on the defensive line and Blake Martinez as the primary run-stopping LB on this team (enough said?). He's been over-used (necessarily so), has been playing through some nagging injuries, and has done as much as he can for this team. He just needs some help - as in some actual playmakers on the DL and ILB.

Run Defense: Until this game, I didn't think the run defense was as bad as people weere making it out to be. However, when one of the worst running teams in the league breaks out of their rut against you, it's serious cause for concern. And with their current personnel, I don't see many options for fixing this problem.

Penalties: If ever in the future you need an example of how early penalties can ruin your entire game plan, queue this game up on the ol' DVR. That is, assuming you haven't already deleted it and thrown your DVR out the window as well - just to be sure.

Forcing it to Tae: I saw that being bandied around as well. Was Rodgers forcing it to Adams or was he just the only guy getting open? We know he has the best moves off the line of scrimmage and is usually able to get open. But this game, it was only on short, quick routes because the Chargers' scheme does a great job of keeping everything in front of them. Seven catches with a 5.9 YPC average? Rodgers wasn't forcing it - he just had few other options.And that leads me to:

Chargers Pass Defense: Man, these guys can cover. And their job is so much easier when your offensive line can't slow down Bosa or Ingram from bearing down on the QB like a freight train. A heavier dose of the run game and some well-timed draw plays might have helped, but it's hard to do that when penalties move you backwards.

Polluted Mindset: The responses were pretty mixed on what to do with the name of this column. I've decided to finish out the season with Polluted Mindset and start fresh with a new title next year. 

ADDENDUM:

 

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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 (86)

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LambeauPlain's picture

November 06, 2019 at 05:31 am

Pettine has declared pass D takes priority over run D. The Packers are weakest in the middle. Opponents have happy to take the gift from Pettine and ground pound them to set up big gainers through the air...especially with TEs.

Pettine has had no answer except to rely on turnovers and red zone D. And when the D doesn’t get turnovers, they lose.

I know ML has stated he lets Pettine run the show on D, but The D is slipping....fast. Back in 2015 I think, MM finally decided to coach the entire team and insisted Capers move CMIII to ILB to fix his hemorrhaging defense. It worked and CMIII had his last best season with the Pack. Then, for some strange reason moved Clay back outside and he again played below average edge all they way to LA. Had CMIII stayed inside I think he'd still be a Packer.

Maybe try Fackrell in the middle...even Gary. Something! Because Martinez is looking like AJ Hawk 2.0 and Burks is so bad he can’t even get a snap on D and is invisible on STs.

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Houndog's picture

November 06, 2019 at 06:55 am

You might have something there LambeauPlain,
The Packers claim Gary might be the best pure athlete on the D. If that's true, trying him in the middle would at least show some form of effort to fix this mess while getting Gary more snaps.
Sitting back and doing nothing is reminiscent of TT, MM, and Capers.

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MarkinMadison's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:10 am

I'm with you. I've long felt this team neglects the ILB way too much. CM3's move inside was one a revelation. Blake Martinez with a cast on his hand is not getting it done. Fackrell and Gary? Why not try it? Try something.

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cuervo's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:03 am

Solution for a pourous run defense is to replace the middle linebacker with a couple of players that have never played the position before...that might work in High School, not in the NFL..SMH.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

November 06, 2019 at 01:22 pm

So not knowing if a player can be MLB or a down/distance specialist is WORSE than having a player who you KNOW can't do it?

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MarkinMadison's picture

November 07, 2019 at 05:38 am

And when did CM3 play ILB before they switched him? You need playmakers everywhere you can get them. The Packers don't have the bodies at the position to even fill the holes right now. Unless you want to keep watching Martinez with a club and safety X at ILB, you might want to try something else. SMH.

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dobber's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:55 am

Teams figured out pretty quickly against the Packers that if they can keep an extra man (or two) in to block, they can slow down the Packers pass rush enough to get the ball out. King, Alexander, and TWill have been remarkably average in coverage since the pass rush got had. Pettine's got to be willing to take a few more chances: they're already giving up big plays. Might as well take a shot at forcing a few for the good guys.

We keep romanticizing CMIII as an ILB. All the metrics from that 2015 season said that CMIII was only an average ILB. The reason he looked good is because he forced a far poorer player off the field and essentially replaced him with a better player on the edge (more snaps for Peppers). I agree that the Packers desperately need to do something to upgrade their front 7, but force-feeding a rookie (Gary) or an underphysical edge player (Fackrell) ILB at the midpoint of the season doesn't sound like the answer. I'd give Ibreheim Campbell the first shot to fill Raven Greene's shoes before I went that route.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:25 am

. You're right but it sure is tempting. Play has been abysmal.

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Guam's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:20 am

I don't think fixing the ILB position is the answer. In a 3-4 defense, the D-line is responsible for eating the blockers and freeing the ILB's to run to the ball carrier. Other than Clark, that is not happening. Opposing O-lines are brushing aside Lowery, Lancaster and Adams and getting to the linebackers. Better D-linemen are the answer, not bigger ILBs.

Gary is an elite run defender according to PFF and to his stats while at Michigan. I know the Packers drafted him as an OLB, but I would like to see him play at DE this year and see if he can help our run defense. He is undersized as a 3-4 DE, but may be good enough to help. He certainly can't be worse than the other three currently playing that position.

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Hematite's picture

November 06, 2019 at 05:37 am

McCaffrey is going to produce 300+ yards on Sunday.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

November 06, 2019 at 06:14 am

I would think so.... I also thought Zeke Elliott would rush for a minimum of 200 on us..but we got lucky with 3 interceptions, which helped us get a big lead & took them out of their regular offense.

Our D is lacking ILBers and Dlinemen.
Kenny Clark is worn out already because he's doubled more than anyone, even Aaron Donald.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:24 am

I agree

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dobber's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:01 am

They haven't seen a back like McCaffrey--or who is featured like McCaffrey--yet. Elliott is more of an interior runner playing behind a very good OL. McCaffrey is a BETTER Aaron Jones...he doesn't need his OL to be great because he'll kill you catching the ball, too. He IS the Panthers' offense, though. If you contain him, you'll contain their offense. Kyle Allen is not a good QB. Packers must play with a lead in this one.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:33 am

They have Dobber, Dalvin Cook.

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dobber's picture

November 06, 2019 at 01:46 pm

IMO, Dalvin Cook is no McCaffrey...

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Coldworld's picture

November 06, 2019 at 06:44 am

I agree with your point on Clark. One man can only do so much and so often.

Martinez suffers from a similar lack of support, but I think while this highlights his limitations, it doesn’t entirely excuse them. While the loss of Greene has been a significant factor, and remains so, it looks like Pettine’s desired approach requires a premium player in his position.

As I suspected, this season has given us the answer as to whether Martinez is that. He is not on the evidence so far. Either adjustments and help around him or we need to move on, at a significant investment, both at ILB one and ILB2/3. Summers and Greene may be part of that but we need a significant upgrade in depth and competition. Greene playing mor safety 3 would be an improvement in depth there too.

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dobber's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:48 am

Like any other ILB, if you can't keep blockers off Martinez, he's going to be ineffective. Watch opposing OLs against the Packers: they're getting upfield at an alarming rate. That's bad news all around.

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:00 am

When I focus on the D line it seems that they're always slanting instead of creating a pile. Many times slanting can produce negative run plays , but it seems that teams are just driving our players out of the play.

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Turophile's picture

November 06, 2019 at 01:01 pm

Jersey Al is on point with Clark. He needs to play less snaps and he needs to recover from his two nagging injuries (help is coming there with a bye week after the Carolina game).

The Packers have Rashard Gary to be brought on to add another guy (along with Fackrell) to the pass rush and give the Smiths more rest. they also have Keke who can grow into the DE role. But, after Clark there seem to be problems with both M.Adams and Lancaster subbing in as a NT. Maybe that needs addressing in the draft with a run stopping DL in the 3rd or 4th round.

2020 seems to be an excellent draft for ILBs, as good as the 2019 draft was bad. I'm guessing the Packers pay for another guy there, somewhere in the first four rounds. How high they prioritise this depends on whether they retain Martinez after this year, but they need more help anyway. Another problem is how often Pettine plays dime defense........ I think he should mix up the defense personnel groups more, not giving up so many light boxes for the opposing offense to run into.

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Houndog's picture

November 06, 2019 at 06:47 am

We are seeing the results of the Packers ignoring the ILB position in the draft for years, choosing instead to fix TT's numerous mistakes at DB. Not only did he make some poor draft choices (moving back to take Kevin King over TJ Watt) but also in the guys he cut or let walk, Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde come to mind.

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Gort's picture

November 06, 2019 at 06:58 am

Nailed it.
Thumbs up × 10.

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murf7777's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:30 am

Hound dog you are correct in your analysis the unfortunate part is the salary cap does not allow you to do all things. With every team there will be weaknesses. As a GM you have to pick your poison. Then the coaches much find away to motivate the players to a higher level. That is what makes Bellichick so great in both the GM and coaching role.

I think a bigger issue is the strength of the defensive line. If we had a stronger line the inside linebacker position would not be as big of an issue.

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fthisJack's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:52 am

Not to mention Hunter Henry and Cook. The TE on this team are non-existent.

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:00 am

We just got our heads handed to us and you're referencing the past. Where would we be without Bac -4th round, Aron Jones-5th round. We can go round and round with that and not get anywhere. It's 2019, we're 7-2, Panthers next.

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:17 am

Meanwhile back in the year one
when you belonged to no-one
You didn't stand a chance son
if your pants were undone

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JerseyAl's picture

November 06, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Are you saying we're "skating on thin ice?"

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Hahaha- I knew you would get the lyrics. As close to a must win as possible at this stage of the season.

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Turophile's picture

November 07, 2019 at 04:03 am

@Hounddog who said: "We are seeing the results of the Packers ignoring the ILB position in the draft for years"

I've seen this stated multiple times and it's dead wrong. I just don't know why people say this. Here are the facts.
In 2015 Packers spent a 4th on Jake Ryan
In 2016 Packers spent a 4th on Blake Martinez
In 2017 Packers spent a 2nd on hybrid S/ILB Josh Jones
In 2018 Packers spent a 3rd on Oren Burks.

This is far, far away from 'ignoring' the position'. Now, not all the guys they drafted turned out well, BUT THAT ISN'T THE SAME AS IGNORING THE POSITION.

I'm guessing they go ILB again in 2020, somewhere in the first four rounds, because so far only Martinez has worked out reasonably well.

As to the other part of your post, if you look only at the draft failures on any team it won't be pretty. It's the ratio of 'losers' to 'winners' that matters. Finally, with the often cried lament over choosing Kevin King over T.J.Watt, I'd say that it's only part of the picture, because if we had Watt we never would have acquired the Smiths, who have transformed the team in a way I don't think Watt ever could.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:00 am

I totally agree the Packers have some problems and holes. But I also don't think the sky is falling like some of my fellow Packers fans seem to think on this site especially. I get it, they stunk up Los Angeles last weekend in front of a crowd that was about 80% Packers Fans who paid A LOT of money to come and watch their favorite team. They were expecting fireworks galore since Adams was coming back into an offense that had been lights out for 4 weeks. Instead, they got soggy sparklers that wouldn't even light...Not even ONE SPARK.

Moma said they'd be days like this and the Packers had their's this last Sunday. It HAPPENS. It happens every year to every team. BUT this team is 7-2. Gute has done a pretty damn good job in LESS THAN 2 YEARS to get them back on top of the NFC North and one of the best teams in the NFC after 9 games. I went back and looked at some of the comments we all made after the schedule release and I'd suggest some of you do the same. Some of the very same posters who are BLASTING the Packers, Gute, Martinez, or anyone else for this event last Sunday in LA, were telling us the Packers would finish no better than 8-8 or 9-7.

I just think we should slow our roll on the Packer's demise a little. It was ONE game. Gute chose to fix the Pass Rush, Safety, and O-Line positions in FA this Spring and IMO he did just that. He couldn't fix every hole Thompson left behind but he's doing his best WITH the Cap $$$ he had.

Gute may or may not go out and sign a FA who's on the street for help at ILB or DL. BUT if that happens it will happen after this weekend BEFORE the bye. I also don't think there's a hell of a lot out there who can come in and fix what ails the Packers.

My hope is simple and I think MLF and his staff will accomplish it. Get Adams integrated back into this offense with what was working when he was out. When that happens it will be all gum-drops and gummy-bears on CHTV in the comments sections again.

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porupack's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:19 am

eEEH, that was a fine post, allgas

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:06 am

Allen Lazard:
While Gutekunst has been good overall he made a HUGE mistake by cutting Lazard. He is VERY lucky he wasn't picked up by anyone else after getting cut. Lazard needs more snaps and more targets. He has become that good!

Offensive Line:
Packers OL struggled. No question. This is a big reason why we lost. The OL couldn't hold up. The OL better have a BIG chip on their shoulders this week.

Bosas:
The scary part is we have to face another Bosa in a couple of weeks. Hopefully our OL is more ready then they were in LA.

Kenny Clark:
I just saw Nagler posted on twitter today "Clark has played the most snaps of any DT in the league while fighting through 2 separate injuries. Guy is a Warrior".
Anyone questioning Clark needs their man card revoked!

Run Defense:
I'm kind of in the same boat about how I feel about the Packers run defense. I just feel like Pettine has his work cut out for himself. He needs to find a way to stop the run better.
Here is a stat from Ben Fennell that i dont' think should go unnoticed.
"Against the Chargers the light front 7 got chewed up.
1LB: 27 carries 146 yards (5.41 average)
2 LB: 11 carries, 13 yards (1.18 average)

I think this should be a statement to Pettine. Use more 2 LB sets especially on earlier drives.
I really don't get why Sullivan and Redmond get as many snaps as they do. Sullivan had 36 snaps 51% (out of 71), Redmond had 22 snaps 31%. Mean while Goodson had 13 snaps 18% and Burks had 8 snaps 11%. Neither Sullivan nor Redmond are that good to be receiving that many more snaps then Goodson and Burks IMO.
Its time for Pettine to make some changes.

While we are at it. Get Keke on the field more too!

Penalties:
This is what really killed our offense. We would have a good run on first down, penalty on 2nd down to make it 2nd and long. Happened way to often

Forcing it to Tae:
I don't think they forced it to him. Honestly I just think the offense was that out of sync.

Chargers Pass Defense:
They played well. I still feel like the Packers shot themselves more then anything though.

Polluted Mindset:
I like it. Keep it!

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murf7777's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:24 am

RC good comments....I might add that I think we should be a top 10 D and we started out that way but lately it hasn’t been very good. I agree I don’t like the one linebacker set as teams just run down our throat. We’ve invested a lot of capital and draft picks into the D. in addition we stayed away from major injuries this year, so no excuses. My opinion is Pettine Has to coach better the remainder of the year or I think Matt Lefleur will get a new D coordinator. With the talent he has he should be coaching better.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:54 am

thanks.
I really like the players we have. And I think we have the ability to be a top 10 defense.

For me the biggest thing is they lost Raven Greene. He was kind of a rare player that could play ILB and could cover. His loss really has hurt the team. I think Pettine incorrectly hasn't changed from the loss of Greene. They don't have that player on the roster right now that can do as good as what Greene was doing.

I think they need to get more ILB's on the field at once. Meaning he needs to change his scheme a bit more.
Bye getting another ILB on the field they can blitz Martinez more which is pretty good at.

I like Pettine, but I think he needs to change a few things. With the bye week coming hopefully they can re evaluate themselves.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:27 am

I posted this further down before I saw this comment. Pettine is a great defensive coordinator and it would be a huge mistake to let him go.

Why did the Nationals win the world series this year? Why did the Cubs recently break their curse? Or Boston? Why do the Yankees have so many championships?

The answer is they spent big money. Cubs went from middle of the pack, to top 5 payroll. Nats spent big and were 7th in the MLB this year. Boston, Yankees, Dodgers, etc.

Point is, if you don't spend, you can't expect to out-compete those that do on a consistent basis. Sure, there will be a team like the Royals every once in awhile, but not regularly.

GB ranks 28th in spending. Pettine has been handed one of the lowest payrolls to work with in football. The vikings have nearly $40M in additional payroll on their defense compared to GB. GB could add Khalil Mack, Danielle Hunter and Devin McCourty and still not have a higher defensive spend than the Vikings.

There are areas to improve, and Pettine isn't perfect, but the lack of experienced vets on this defense is a problem that no DC can manage around.

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carlos's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:45 am

Great post RC. I’ve been gone from here. Friend passed from cancer recently. A big Packer fan. Been with him a lot. I’m going to wait until next game and see how the Pack responds before commenting. Hope they rebound. Go Pack!

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:56 am

Thanks,

Truly sorry to hear that!

My thoughts are with you, and your friends family.

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carlos's picture

November 06, 2019 at 05:47 pm

Me too Swish. Thanks to u also

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Swisch's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:06 am

carlos, May God bless your friend unto heaven; hope he has a comfy skybox for the Packers games.

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carlos's picture

November 06, 2019 at 05:46 pm

Thanks RC

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ILPackerBacker's picture

November 06, 2019 at 01:23 pm

Is that the same Nagler bragging and talking up the back up WRs?

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MarkinMadison's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:17 am

I have to admit I had to google "polluted mindset" to get it. I never pay that much attention to press conferences. That said, keep it. It's unique. Most hardcore Packers fans will get it. It's a fun reference to a piece of trivia.

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porupack's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:21 am

Always enjoy your posts,, Al.

How about: [ After FERVER Review ] ?

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murf7777's picture

November 06, 2019 at 07:35 am

Amen, enjoy the ride, I know I am and I expected at least 10 wins this year as that is what I bet against Vegas in preseason. I was thinking or should I say hoping for an 11-5 season. They are surpassing my expectations.

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dobber's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:05 am

"Bosas: I want to find out what Mr. & Mrs. Bosa fed their kids growing up."

Whatever it was, I think it came out of a syringe...

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JohnnyLogan's picture

November 06, 2019 at 02:00 pm

What did you feed your kids?

Bosa's mother: "Whatever they wanted."

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marpag1's picture

November 06, 2019 at 03:46 pm

"Whatever it was, I think it came out of a syringe..."

Nah, lotsa good juice is topical or oral. Kid friendly, y'know.

"Hey Joey, when you finish your specially fortified Cheerios, don't forget to slather on some of this special 'sunblock' before your morning run...."

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Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:11 am

I guess we all set ourselves up by debating changing from the polluted mindset title.

Yet another great entry this week Al it's amazing somehow you always seem to put down what I'm thinking for that particular week. And this week pretty much to a t.

Case in point.

"Bosas: I want to find out what Mr. & Mrs. Bosa fed their kids growing up."

Lmao

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pacman's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:13 am

Why did Pettine switch from lot's of pressure in the early games to bend but don't break? I hate that phrase. That's a losers attitude. Don't bend either - crush them. Giving up long drives of short gains also really tires out the D and by Q4, they are out of gas. Any decent NFL QB will find an open man if you give him 7 seconds and that's what's been happening. (unless of course, it is AR of last years who was looking for the home run ball all the time when he had the extra time)

Lazard - I remember hearing that he had great hands in pre-season and he showed good moves. I don't know how they pick WR's. Adams would have been cut during his 2nd year drops if it was up to me.

Chargers game - I hope it WAS being hung over. If you get to the NFL and start slow, it should take one set of downs to realize it and get focused. That's why this was so scary. A bad quarter is one thing. The worst game in years is another.

But maybe my mindset is too old fashion.

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jlc1's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:22 am

Good to know that "any decent" QB is better than AR. I am pretty sure that will be welcome and unique news in NFL coaches meetings.

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stockholder's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:17 am

Allen Lazard still isn't the answer. It only shows how desperate we are for better. Agree on Kenny Clark. The longer they wait for an extension. The more he will think twice. The OL is responsible for the lost. The game is won in the trenches. The run defense has sucked for years. But to much of one person never works. You draft players to play. Summers should play. The more I watch the 3-4-4 fail. The more the packers need to change the front. You often talked about MMs offense being old and Stale.. Well truthfully, how stale does the defense look now? It's not about the missing pieces. It's about playing uninspired football. I'm puzzled on their reaction. They beat the odds with the climb into first place. They now must worry about the losing habit again.

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egbertsouse's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:22 am

I love the name and this column. I’m glad to be hearing more comments regarding the overuse of Kenny Clark. It’s criminal, they need to rotate him out. He’ll be injured or worn down by playoff time at this rate. I know that they don’t have anyone to spell him at this point but they need to do something, maybe pick up a journeyman FA widebody if such a player is out there.

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blacke00's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:22 am

In the past I complained about our OL being average at best. In this last game they stunk no if, ands or butts about it. Now was this an aberration or is my original contention correct? We'll see.

Over the season to this date I come to the conclusion that the our "D" is not very good and unlikely to get better. If they do I'll be very surprised.
There are just to many holes in this group. We need two "Tackles". Could the current players help out? Sure. But they are just supplementary players at best. The packers need to two much better DL tackles.
Martinez is also a supplementary player. For him to be really good he needs to have much better co-ILB that will allow him to do what he does best. He just not a complete player so don't try to make one...it won't work (so far it hasn't).

So they are missing at least 3 front line players! Where in the hell are they going to get them?

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:31 am

The bend not break D was in force Sun as Chargers settled for 3 FG in first half. Usually, that spells trouble for an offense, but the pack O never took advantage. I think we panicked and didn't adjust well to a very motivated team. There was one play where we overloaded Bosa's side and just ran right at him for a good gain. We gave up on the run and needed more plays like that especially in the second half.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:33 am

Relax everyone. We haven't played our best game yet, and I'm pretty sure we just played our worst.

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mrtundra's picture

November 06, 2019 at 08:41 am

Yeah, but I hope our worst game doesn't turn into a two or three game losing stretch!

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:02 am

Father and son commenters ?

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Handsback's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:00 am

Green Bay wasn't ready to play and the Chargers were chomping at the bit to get their team into a better position.
I will say two things about the defense; first-Clark isn't playing as well as previous years. The rest of the Dline may also be disappointing, but for whatever reason, it's not the attacking threatening defense it was. The second is Alexander hasn't been that effective either. Since you play with your roster, no help coming, there will be a need to see better play from existing team members. I'm reminded of the Colts SB win. Earlier in the year the Jags killed them by running all over the Colts. Dungy said they would make adjustments and sure enough they won the SB. The adjustment was Bob Saunders came back as their SS. So maybe the addition of Campbell will give new life to the defense.

The offense because of the Oline was non-existent. The only question I have is MVS . If he's not being double teamed then he should be getting more targets. If he is being doubled someone should be open for at least a 8-9 yard gain. Regardless...if the Oline plays like they did last week then Rodgers doesn't have the time to see any open receivers.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:19 am

I wonder what the loss of Daniels has had to Clarks performance this year. It seems clear that GB expected a healthy Daniels to produce, and had to make last minute adjustments when they found the injury was going to be worse than expected.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:17 am

Green Bay is #28 in spending on defense this year, even after the signing of the Smiths and Amos. GB ranks #20 in defensive DVOA.

If you look at the top 10 defenses by DVOA, almost all of them are in the top 10 on spending on defense.

I think the future is bright for this defense, but they're just asking too much from too many young players, if the goal is to be a top-10 defense. GB ranks 28th in defensive spending because they have Savage, King, Alexander, Fackrell, Gary, etc. all on rookie deals. Lots of great talent that I think will get better, but that doesn't help us in 2019.

No team has spent more on their offense this year than Green Bay. The main criticism has been that Gute didn't spend even more to get another receiver.

When you're the top paid offense in the league, it's on you to win the games. When you're the 28th paid defense in the league, middle of the pack is an accomplishment.

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Spock's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:17 am

Al, I vote for keeping the polluted mindset title permanently regardless of where it came from. As usual one of my favorite reads on CHTV. Hopefully MLF will be up to the challenge we've been talking about: overcoming adversity. In this case for IMHO the first time having his players unprepared to start the game. I'm hoping that bringing back Ibraheim Campbell will help some. I don't understand why Rashan Gary isn't being used in the middle to help Clark. I expected that he'd be 'eased in' but he's barely played.

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Since'61's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:22 am

Al - nice job again, your comments are spot on. This week is a good test for MLF and his staff. Let's see if he can get the team back on track to play a good, solid game. To paraphrase Coach Lombardi, "It's OK to get knocked down, it's how you get up that matters."

The staff and the players need to respond this week, hopefully similar to how they responded after the loss to the Eagles.

If I were Pettine I would put Oren Burks on McCaffery this week with a DB over the top. He is the player that the defense needs to take away from the Panthers offense. Beyond that, get some pressure on the QB, Allen. Someone on the DL needs to step up and give Clark a break. He needs the bye week the most. If possible he should have a limit on his number of snaps this week.

Reverse the Charger game. Get some 3 and outs on defense and get some time consuming drives by the offense. Most importantly let's not beat ourselves with stupid penalties. Stick with the run game as well.

We looked bad last week but it was one game against an AFC opponent. I just hope that the Packers are looking to get to the bye week before this game is played. We don't want to go into the bye with 2 consecutive losses. Suck it up, get the win and enjoy the bye week and heal up. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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scullyitsme's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:27 am

Sorry, but I’m not giving Kenny Clark a free pass on the defenses problems. Yes he gets double teamed but good nose tackles beat those at least a few times a game. He’s not. I’ve seen our whole d line get pushed back 5 yards off the line more than a few times lately. It’s awful. I’m tired of the maybe he’s hurt, plays too much, no talent around him excuse. He’s a nose tackle. Nose tackles. especially good ones, get double teamed, good ones win some of those. Right now I wouldn’t give him the 18mil a year or whatever he’d command. Also the idea that raven Greene will turn our d around is definitely optimistic. We need new schemes. I think that’s on pettine. We are stale on d especially between the 20’s. It’s time to scheme more similar to last year, we don’t have the players. We looked fantastic at Chicago, that’s about it. Now we know everyone else looks fantastic at Chicago also.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:35 am

I don't know enough to argue either way. I do think it's funny that PFF just ranked him as one of the best 25 pass rushers in the league this year and you're essentially saying you'd let him walk. Pretty big gap between the two.

"Clark hasn’t quite been able to replicate the dominance we saw from him as a pass-rusher last season when he earned an 88.8 pass-rushing grade, but we’re not going to argue over top-25 play. He’s done it all with an absurd workload, too. Clark has played the most snaps of any defensive tackle in the NFL, as he’s on pace for 871 this season."

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-pff-pass-rusher-rankings-week-9-2019

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scullyitsme's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:49 am

Well, top 25 as a pass rusher is great for what we are paying now. Is that worth best or second best at his position money? (Other than Arron Donald)20 million a year type money? I like Clark, he’s our best lineman, no doubt. Just not making excuses for him like everyone seems to like to do. I’m a homer, and I think this team has a chance, they have played better than we all would of thought, just not into excuse making for poor play.

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Cubbygold's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:48 am

Well, I guess the alternative would be to let him walk. We'd either fill that role with an unproven rookie, or have to pay big dollars in free agency to get someone better. Not sure I love those options.

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:11 am

He's not a free agent until 2021.

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scullyitsme's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:17 am

If he’ll play on his 5th year option( huge if) I’d love to go that route at this point.

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scullyitsme's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:14 am

I hear ya, I don’t really like those options either. Especially since I’d guess we won’t pay Martinez either and it’ll ad to the endless cycle of drafting D. The flip side is paying for potential instead of actual production, that has its own salary cap hell downside.

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nostradanus's picture

November 06, 2019 at 09:45 am

The Packers will be much better this week I predict. They know as a team they shit the bed last week and will want to clean up the nasty mess this week.

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:17 am

I fully agree. Sundays game was an anomaly compared to the the games so far. Also, having the bye the week after will motivate the team.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:01 am

I'm hoping Ibraheim Campbell can do some of the things Pettine wants out of the ILB/S position. the defnese has looked much worse since Raven Greene went down and they've been killed up the middle.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:40 am

Completely agree!

Since Greene has went down Pettine really hasn't adjusted.
They either really need Campbell to come in and play that position or he needs to change the looks of the defense more often.

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PeteK's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:20 am

Any idea if Greene can/is coming off IR?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 06, 2019 at 12:29 pm

It's hard to know because of how the rules work. This is the NFL so the rules have to be convoluted and inscrutable.

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JerseyAl's picture

November 06, 2019 at 12:38 pm

He is eligible to - the Packers have one such move left. Depends if he is fully recovered, I guess.

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Swisch's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:07 am

Keys for the Rest of the Season:
(1) Mixing it up on offense: Short and long, left and right, run and pass. Get various guys involved to keep everyone energized and alert. Also, run guys in different directions in crossing patterns to create natural picks from causing the defense congestion and confusion.
(2) Mixing it up on defense: Don't play soft every play; don't blitz every play. Cover with both man-to-man and zone, or combinations of both. Try some run blitzes. Clog the middle at times and see if the other team can run outside. Never rush only three guys, please.
(3) Use the whole team: Don't wear out Kenny Clark, or anyone else. Perhaps even substitute on the offensive line to keep guys fresh. Give Martinez some rest by giving a few plays to Gary and Summers in the middle. Design some plays for guys like Vitale and Tonyan. Let's see if we have any more Allen Lazards on offense and defense who are ready to contribute this season.
(4) Highlight special teams. Grade them each week, including smart blocks made by just getting in the way. Remember the Chiefs' special teams players putting their arms up high in the air to show the refs that they didn't do anything illegal. Reward the standouts, while also creating a group identity of energy, but also intelligence.
(5) Aaron Rodgers: Through thick and thin, Rodgers has to be upbeat and supportive; keeping any concerns private with Matt LaFleur, and primarily after the game. He has to run the short game with craftsmanship to set up a few long passes. He has to move the chains, especially on third and short (on third on long, once in a while go deep, even on a contested pass, risking an interception 40 yards down the field that would be like a punt). Aaron has to be an all-around MVP.
(6) Keep perspective: We're ahead of schedule on team development. So let's try some originality in play calling; let's take some chances on defense; let's give some new guys some opportunities. We can do this while always playing to win, and always maximizing this season. Let's be daring without being predictable or reckless. Have fun, but celebrate mostly after the game. Risk failing at times, while not being afraid to succeed wildly. Stick together as a team.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:44 am

We score 3 points and then tack on a late TD and we're insinuating...or stating....that the problem is the guy who's leading the league in tackles.

Let's pump the brakes a little. First off, in order of importance, a game on the road against an AFC team is about #15 or #16 in importance. And we'd already won the other road game against the AFC team (KC). So if you were going to lay a Cleveland Steamer, this was as good of a game as any to get it out of the way.

Let's look at the defense after 9 games Most of our preferred starters and primary substitutes are still healthy. Raven Greene is not, but the rest of them are. That's better than a lot of teams have, and it's a plus for us as long as it lasts.

We're tied for 12th in scoring defense at 21 ppg. If the defense gets a little better, we finish the year as a Top 10 defense. IF it gets a little worse, we'll still finish average, which should be plenty enough for an offense that should score 30 points a game.

Aaron Rodgers at QB. Jones and Williams. Adams. MSV. Lazard. And an offensive line that after 8 weeks was considered the best in the league (the line didn't play well at San Diego, and that's the truth. Various theories have been advanced as to why....I tend to subscribe to the "lackadaisical approach" theory).

Anyway, the defense has contributed immensely to our 7 wins, and after a game where we manage a mere 11 points we should slow our roll.

The points made about the individual proficiency of our various position players misses the fundamental point about a TEAM, and as a TEAM, the Packers do a pretty good job of keeping people of the endzone. We have an abundance of young guys/new players who sometimes aren't all in sync and that's costing us some long plays. We have some good players who are playing too many snaps, like Clark and Martinez, but we can't really fix that this season so they'll have to suck it up and enjoy the bye week.

On the subject of Gary, I think he should be on the field more, as a DE. He's a really good athlete and he helps us against the run, IMO.

If our offense can go out the remaining 7 games and get 25-35 points, our defense is good enough to win with.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 06, 2019 at 11:21 am

I see lot of spitting on Pettine and D, but I believe the main portion of the cap space is eaten by offense. Offense that have one drive (ONE DRIVE) whole game vs Chargers.

D kept Packers in the game till the 4 minutes left of the 3rd quarter playing 3/4 time of total time of the game at that moment. First 5 possessions were punts and only one takes more than 3:30 of the clock. Then Mason Crosby scored FG, but that field goal took only 3:10 of the clock. Then, D stopped Chargers to FG again, but stupid Tony Brown gave them the ball at 1 yard line and they scored TD. Not on Packers D for me! End of 3rd quarter!

Let say this - with FG at the end of the 3rd Q, Chargers would have 22 points. If Packers O played just average game and scored 3 TD plus 54 yarder FG of Mason Crosby, Packers would win that game. So, this game was lost because of the offense and the most expensive player in the NFL and because of ST, not because of D!

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Cubbygold's picture

November 07, 2019 at 09:28 am

Exactly. When you decide to be the top paid offense in the NFL, you should never enter the 4th quarter having 3 points on the board. I don't care who you're playing.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 06, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Special teams boned us twice. Once on the blocked punt, once on the penalty that turned a FG into a TD. Without that help, San Diego only gets 20 on us. Add in very little support, or even time to rest, from the offense and it's a miracle we didn't give up 35.

The offense had it's second poor game in 9 outings. I hope it doesn't have many more. We've spent money on this offense and there's no reason it shouldn't produce.

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lebowski's picture

November 06, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Said it before and I'll say it again, all the hype about Montravius Adams in the preseason had me stoked about our D line. Where the hell is he???

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The_Justicar's picture

November 06, 2019 at 02:43 pm

A lot of posters seem very high, too high in my opinion, on Raven Greene. An undrafted player with about half a dozen or so games played in the nfl to date with no splash plays or signs of dominance is not the key missing piece to make the defense awesome. Green is not Ronnie Lott.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:08 pm

Greene plays a position that is key in Pettine's scheme. Big enough to take on RB in the line, quick enough to cover TE/RB on slants and wheel routes. With Campbell out till now, the Packers had no one to play that slot. Why not play a second ILB in place. Well, I think that's been answered over the past three games. I said this at the beginning of the season. That this team has a real core of talent on both sides of the ball, but a combo of age, injury, and bad picks and bad luck made this team thin across the board. Gute reversed some of that, but rebuilding a football team takes time. Part of that is talent evaluation. Gutes hit on Greene allowed Pettine to move forward full time with the 3-3-5. Yeah, Greene's that good in the Packer defense, and as we found out, that important. Of course, it does not help if your team is playing a top 5 QB in the NFL on your teams day off. It Happens.....

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The_Justicar's picture

November 07, 2019 at 09:17 pm

My point is that people are ASSUMING that Greene is the answer. But we don’t know. He had appeared in 10 games for the packers. In those 10 games he has 12 total tackles, 2 passes defended and one sack. I just find it hard to believe based on that career production from a player that was not drafted that we should assume he is the key to packer defense in 2019. Maybe he is pro bowl player down the line but has shown next to nothing thus far.

While they don’t play the same position....many people bag on R Gary. He is not a starter but in 9 games played, he also has 12 total tackles and 1 sack in his career.

One , Greene, is looked at like he is the savior of the defense and people hope he can return. The other is labeled a first round bust already by many. Neither has done anything really.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 08, 2019 at 06:02 am

Pettine ran a stripped down version of the 3-3-5 last year before injuries cut down the secondary (and most of the defense). He shifted in the second half using Greene and T. Williams starting with the 49ers and using the formation in the second half against the Lions on Thanksgiving. So Pettine had more than enough video on Greene when he installed the 3-3-5 as his primary base formation. Your point about Gray is irreverent. Pettine built the 3-3-5 to protect the weakside against the short passing game. Not an accident that Campbell was kept even thru he would not be ready till midseason. My point stands.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 06, 2019 at 10:11 pm

After last week I still had to keep my mind 'polluted'. The Horror, the Horror......

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