Confessions of a Polluted Mindset 2020 - Packers are Vanquished by the Vikings

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

Run Defense: It's not like the Packers didn't expect to be run on all day. A defense that always plays the vast majority of it's snaps in nickle or dime flipped the script completely for this game.And they still couldn't stop the run (flashback to SF). 

Fire Pettine: I'm not here to defend the guy. But the perception that he's not doing much to get better play from the unit is a bit off base. When the complaint was he doesn't blitz enough - that was proven here to be false. Yesterday it was, "why can't he scheme to stop the run." Well, as the stats above show, he changed his scheme completely to address the run threat and they still got torched. At some point, you have to stop blaming the DC for EVERYTHING and just realize that some of these players (especially in the front 7) are soft or just not that good. You can still want him fired, but I caution you that there may not be much of a difference. I'll give you this: one area you CAN argue with is the choice of personnel up front. Billy Winn inactive is a mystery. Montravious Adams only playing six snaps is puzzling. Dean Lowry, not the most stout against the run, with the second-most snaps after Kenny Clark. You've prepared a game plan to stop the run and don't use some of your beefier and better run stoppers? 

The Smith Brothers: Been holding on to this thought through 2020, not wanting to be knee-jerk about it, but after what I saw on Sunday, I felt it was time. 

Raven Greene: Think the Packers defense missed the guy I think is the surest tackler on the team?

Vikings Tight Ends: Evidently they are using offensive linemen as tight ends because they just destroyed the Packers' OLBs all game (see my video from yesterday's "3 Plays..." post).

Weather: Thursday afternoon, I placed a bet on the Packers to win, giving 6.5 points. I saw this as a two touchdown win with the Viking's depleted secondary. Early Sunday morning I heard the GB weather forecast and immediately ran to the computer and cashed in that bet early, recouping 95% of my original wager. At that point I saw it as a field goal game either way. Why either way? Because the high winds would play perfectly into the Vikings' hands, forcing them to run the ball all day and minimizing the Packers chances to capitalize on the mistake-prone Kirk Cousins. See, in normal weather Zimmer/Kubiak would have likely outsmarted themselves and passed downfield more. The windy weather handcuffed the offensive minds and in the end, was the "perfect storm" for the Vikings.

Darnell Savage/Will Redmond: After Redmond's solid play vs. Houston and Savage's nondescript (again) play vs. the Vikings, I'm pretty undecided on who is the better safety at this point. I have to see more, but as you can probably tell. I'm pretty disappointed by Savage so far. 

TJ Lang: The normally entertaining former Packer weighed in on the Packers loss and took the opportunity to pump up his old buddy DBak. Lang admitted to not seeing the game, so I helped out a bit.

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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.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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Comments (78)

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BBlake's picture

November 04, 2020 at 06:31 am

I'm certainly not a Pettine fan, but I don't think any other DC in the league could do much better with what he's been given to work with.

Agree on the Smiths. The Packers are paying them over $30 million this year. Are they getting adequate return on that investment?

Savage appears to be yet another high draft pick that doesn't play up to his hype.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 11:44 am

As regards the Smiths, or edge rushers in general.....

Let's say your guy plays 50 snaps a game all 16 games. And he gets 12 sacks on the season, which is pretty good. What did he do the other 788 snaps?

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 12:50 pm

Our rushers are driven 3 yds back watching another nice run.

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NickPerry's picture

November 04, 2020 at 06:36 am

Excellent post as usual Al...I'm SO frustrated with this team right now even though they sit at 5-2 and are still in excellent shape for ANY playoff seeding. BUT...

I can tell you I'm thoroughly frustrated with Gutekunst at this point. I find it IMPOSSIBLE today to continue to defend a guy who has at least at this time, TODAY, he has pretty much whiffed at 90% of his draft picks, maybe higher.

2018 was pretty much a disaster except for Jarie Alexander.

In 2019 armed with a extra 1st round pick we took/have 2 players who either can't start or shouldn't start. Jenkins was a HUGE hit and it's too early to judge the others. Actually it's a little early to judge any of them but for my purposes here play along.

The KILLER of them all...The 2020 draft after an NFC Championship appearance. Are you KIDDING me? Especially after adding no one in FA OR the trade deadline. The Packers front office wasn't all on board for Fuller. Well what about a DT?...ANYONE?

Gutekunst hasn't shown me shit other than FA last season. I want a GM who's IN CHARGE of obtaining players to win a SB...Not one who's satisfied with one and done in the playoffs and HUGE profits.

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Razer's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:12 am

Nick - I feel your pain - I think a lot of us do. My biggest frustration with the front-office and our 2020 draft is that we really didn't do much to help THIS team win. The obvious holes on defense were not addressed and we will early exit another season because we can't stop the bloody run. Maybe the biggest irritant from Gutekunst's tenure is the two first round picks from the previous draft. Gary and Savage are 1st rounders who are having trouble distinguishing themselves from 4th rounders and UDFAs. And, don't get me going on trading up for a project QB.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:57 am

I was really hoping that Gary would develop into a movable force that we could use at DE and OLB. He certainly has the size and speed. Will and ability........

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Lare's picture

November 04, 2020 at 01:11 pm

My biggest frustration with Gutekunst is him acting like draft picks are gold when discussing free agent acquisitions, and then trading away draft picks like they are chewing gum to move up during the draft (i.e. Burks, Savage, Love).

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Razer's picture

November 04, 2020 at 02:09 pm

Lare - Stop boiling my blood. So true. Gutekunst keeps talking about "falling in love with a pick" and feels the need to move up for these love affairs. Someone needs to be around to slap him sober when he gets goggly-eyed.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 05, 2020 at 05:29 am

Trading picks in season is vastly different than maneuvering during the draft. Preserving picks (by not wasting them on declining veterans whose contribution for the remainder of the season is questionable at best) allows teams to move up to draft players that teams have highly rated.

Same commodity, different usage.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:53 am

Even though we need defense the Fins traded Ford, a young up and coming slot to Pats (same division ) for a 2022 6th rounder. This player would have been a good fit.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:55 am

The Packer Way

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Bearmeat's picture

November 04, 2020 at 11:37 am

Dead on, NP

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 04, 2020 at 06:40 am

Al, I am glad to see your extended thoughts about the weather. Not only did it help prevent the Vikings from outthinking themselves, it also prevented the Packers from exploiting Minnesota's depleted secondary. The wind was an issue that has not adequately addressed in the overall post-game analysis.

Your point regarding Raven Greene's absence is also well taken. I was very concerned when he appeared on the inactive list.

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nygary's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:06 am

Nick Perry I agree with you. I wish Gute would have gone after a run stuffer in a trade. With all the bad teams without hope of the playoffs I find it hard to believe he had no options. Other then Clark Our d line wouldn't start for almost any other team. The contract Gute gave to Lowry was a joke.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:58 am

Like Al said, the Smiths are part of the problem in the run stop game. They hold edge the safety/CB can get to the ball carrier. Winn inactive is dumbfounding. Four man fronts are their only hope with this cast of characters.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 04:15 pm

There’s six gaps. Who do we have in those six gaps?

Ideally, most of the time, we’ve got Clark, Lowry, Lancaster, clogging up the A gaps and trying to disrupt the B gaps. We have the Smiths in the C gaps. A linebacker and 5 DBs. We should be able to control the run better than we did last week.

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Razer's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:09 am

Al - I am Glad that you balanced the "fire Pettine" cries. Watching our D-linemen getting washed out by an average Viking O-line should tell us to look past scheme. Dalvin Cook is a good RB and he is a great RB running through the lanes available last Sunday.
Leaving the Smiths on the field for anything other than obvious passing downs is also becoming problematic. Of course, this starts with our front office and scouting. If you are not going to provide talent in the trenches and at linebacker then you have this "shootout" defense. We ignored obvious deficiencies.

As much as I appreciate the weather argument, this offense was shutdown by practice squad corners and a no-name d-line. I must admit that I was wrong about Mike Zimmer. He brought a ragtag squad to Lambeau and shut the Packers down. Hard to keep a decimated 1-5 team playing at a tough level but the Vikings have grit.

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Minniman's picture

November 04, 2020 at 03:11 pm

To your point about roster construction Razer, it puzzles me that the Packers haven't looked at the teams that they play 6 times out of 16 per year and worked out that minus a run attack, these teams need to rely on Cousins, Trubisky\Foles and Stafford.

John Harbaugh highlighted the lesson in the 2012 Ravens SB victory - "I will make your suspect QB beat us with his arm".

Sure, rules have changed since then (roughing the passer and pass interference) but this should be a perennial focus for the Packers.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 05, 2020 at 06:05 am

I appreciate your analysis Razer. However, I also believe that the beginning of your comment indicates that there are also scheme issues.

If the D coordinator knows that his D-linemen are subject to being washed out there must be a scheme to cover that issue. The successful blocking of one defensive line man on the side of the run should not lead to consistent big gains.

A major part of coaching any team sport is designing schemes to compensate for personnel weaknesses. The results thus far indicate that the Packers defensive staff is failing short in crucial coaching aspect.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:17 am

Run Defense:
I don't know what the answer is to be honest. I think a few things need to change personnel wise. I don't think Lancaster is as good as the Packers think he is, (at least as a DE). This year Adams has proved to be one of the better run stopping DL. Yet he only got 6 snaps? I don't understand that one. Also Billy Winn who has performed well was inactive? Against the team they knew would run the ball, and when they knew the weather conditions were going to force them to run the ball. I think it starts with getting the right guys in the right spots.

Fire Pettine:
I just mentioned above about the use of personnel. I have to admit I question Pettine's use of personnel more. Lancaster IMO is playing out of spot. He is NT only. He should be in filling in for Clark or used along side Clark in the middle, not starting and playing 50+% of the snaps. One move I was really wondering what they were going to do when I saw Greene was not playing. How would Pettine fill that spot. Right away he puts Redmond in there. Sorry but Redmond is not Greene. They always talk about adjusting your plan to the personnel you have. Well Pettine doesn't seem to do that.
There are other things that happen over an over with Pettine and it drives me nuts. This is his defense. When its 3rd and 2-5, the CB's are usually 10 yards off the LOS. Sorry but how many 'easy' completions do teams get by us not getting up and challenging WR's at the LOS? Not necessarily bump and run with them, just getting up to not make easy throws. The other reason why this pisses me off is it doesn't give our rush a chance to make an impact on the game.
I don't expect the Packers to fire Pettine, but he better start changing things or he won't be returning next year.

The Smith Brothers: Preston has really been struggling this year. Really bad! Z has been better but he hasn't been as good as he was last year. If our defense wants to improve it has to start with those 2 guys.

Raven Greene: He is so underrated! Our defense is so much better with him on it! The problem now is he doesn't seem to stay healthy. I like Greene a lot but he has to find a way to stay on the field. He is one of the best defensive players on the team. He needs to stay on the field!

Weather:
That was a perfect storm game for the Vikings. They play against the Packers without their best RB in a game that the wind made things very difficult to throw the ball. Going against a Packers defense who struggles to stop the run. Packers couldn't take advantage of the Vikings weak secondary because of the wind.

Darnell Savage/Will Redmond:
I'm not a fan of Redmond on defense to be honest. Savage has not taking a 2nd year jump like I expected. But my question with Savage is if Pettine is using him in ways to truly be a playmaker. Now the missed tackles are huge. He has to stop throwing his shoulder into guys legs. He needs to wrap up and tackle. But my question about him being a playmaker is because he seems like one that could be a playmaking/ball hawking type of safety. But is Pettine forcing him to play 20+ yards off the LOS down after down eliminating him from that role? Is he being used in ways that don't allow him an opportunity to be a ballhawk?

TJ Lang: I will say that Turner has been ok filling in for Bakhtiari. Honestly I was impressed that he has played as well as he has there. The final play of the game though is on Wagner. The Vikings run 3 DL, and his guy still gets to Rodgers. Yes it was on a scramble but Wagner has to stay with his guy longer then he does. Who knows what happens if Rodgers is able to actually throw the ball. Bakhtiari and Turner are our best OT's right now.

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Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2020 at 08:08 am

I’m not a fan of Redmond playing hybrid. I do appreciate his willingness to do what the team asks, but willingness doesn’t make him Greene. Unfortunately Greene can’t stay on the field. When Redmond has played deep safety, I’ve been impressed. With more opportunities he may well push for more playing time back there.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 11:01 am

I think we have a very good secondary. Alexander, Amos, King , Savage, Jackson, Sullivan, Redmond, Greene...that’s a pretty decent group. It’s helped through injuries.

My .02 on Savage is that he was thrown into the fire and he’d benefit from fewer snaps so he could observe and study more. Redmond looks OK at safety, so why not take advantage of that?

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 01:02 pm

Yes, free safeties need time to progress. Even that sick bastard Sharper took two seasons.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 05, 2020 at 02:27 am

Abram, Thornhill, Adderley, etc seem to be put in position to make plays as rookies and now advancing their game.. What is the issue with Savage?

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stockholder's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:30 am

How can any coach keep making excuses for this DL? Trade deadline- Nothing. LeFluer nobody has your back. Fire somebody. OL- Start over.

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NickPerry's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:56 am

I actually feel sorry for MLF. I think Pettine was SHOVED done his throat in year one and it was strongly suggested he keep Pettine in year two. If you remember Pettine was told he was coming back by MLF WAY after all the other coaches had their end of season meeting with MLF. I think MLF wanted Pettine GONE, and Murphy, Ball, and Gute "Suggested" he keep him in 2020.

Everywhere I've read it was the Packers "Front Office" couldn't agree on the Fuller trade. Fuller would have helped and D-Linemen even more but the Packers did nothing. I KNOW Ron Wolf or Ted Thompson (if he would have ever did anything) wouldn't have had to fight with the front office.

We keep HEARING the Packers were in the bidding for this player or that player yet NONE of them ever sign in GB...WHY????? I have a very ugly feeling Murphy and Ball tie Gutekunst's hands on many decisions involving player acquisition.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:46 am

I could see that! I could see that Gutekunst wants things but Ball doesn't want to work with it financially so Gutekunst gets handicapped by things.

Now I will say that if the Texans wanted a 2nd round pick and wouldn't come off of that. I wouldn't have made that trade either. If they had him under contract for next year, ok yeah. But a player for 8 games at most. No. I'm not using a 2nd round pick on that.

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Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:52 am

The current Packers structure is inherently opaque. It’s impossible to know who is responsible for many things. That becomes an issue when things start to go wrong. That’s also the test of the validity of any organizational structure.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 04:58 pm

The GM, the HC, and The FinanceGuy ( Ball) all report to Murphy, the Prez.

This requires that people work together. The HC might want a guy and the GM is responsible for the personnel but FinanceGuy has to make it work. In theory, they’ll agree if they can before involving the boss ( Come on, you know that’s exactly what happens). Then the boss says go. Or not. It keeps everybody on the same page.

I like it. It’s the kind of structure that teams like Detroit can’t put together.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 04, 2020 at 06:16 pm

HA! Their operating more like some kind of secret society than a professional front office this year... :-)

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:01 am

That's about right.

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stockholder's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:23 am

MLF did have Pettine shoved down his throat. The Fuller trade should of happened. But BG wasn't about to give up a #2. He also lost any chance for a comp pick when he signed Kirksey and Wagner. Wagner should never have been signed. And I would have passed on Funchess. He should of signed his OWN first. He also could have dealt/Traded a pending FA. As more of his picks fail. His only hope now is Rodgers wants out. Doubt anything came from Murphy or Ball. Except Cap Questions.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 04:43 pm

We’re already a top 3 passing team in TDs and QBR rating and yards per reception. We don’t turn it over much or get sacked much. How much is Fuller going to improve that?

As regards the DL, I never really thought some magic run-stuffing bargain was going to fall out of the sky. It would have helped more than Fuller. Was there somebody we could have afforded who would improve the defense? Who?

LaFleur and Pettine are 18-5 together and went to the Championship game the first year. If that’s the result of having a DC forced on you ............we should be so lucky.

People.....this is just a little rough weather. We’re going to win the division and have no worse than the #3 seed.

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stockholder's picture

November 04, 2020 at 08:02 pm

The packers won't go all in. And thats their problem. Fuller is a #2. But BG isn't going to do Rodgers any favors. So in regards to DL. I say they should have went after Dalvin Tomlinson. Regardless of cost! The biggest mistake the packers make with their picks is this. They don't take players that LOVE the Game. They take the athlete. They take a player and try to force them into their fit. Or spend 10mil on players that are past their prime. How many players do we draft from National champions??? We Don't.

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gkarl's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:38 am

Excellent article Al, especially agree with you thoughts on Pettine and the Smith brothers. It seems when we get gashed by the run, teams don't try very hard to block the Smith's they let them run themselves out of the play getting to the QB and their OL goes after our ILB. Trench warfare is a dirty business and I don't think we have the players that have the ability or desire to stop the run.

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Razer's picture

November 04, 2020 at 08:00 am

...Trench warfare is a dirty business and I don't think we have the players that have the ability or desire to stop the run...

Well said GKarl. Going to take a couple of years of solid 'big man' drafting by people who know big man talent. Not sure this organization values or knows how to identify these D-linemen.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:05 am

49rs started DTs, Bryant and Stubblefield as rookie #1 and # 2 picks and won another SB. Walsh had three rookie DBs in another SB win, including Ronnie Lott. The theme seems to be drafting and coaching.

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Guam's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:42 am

I understand Pettine played far more base (three down lineman) than usual, but I still have grave concerns about his decision making. The D averaged 2.54 true defensive lineman per defensive play, so on about half the defensive snaps one of the three "down lineman" was an OLB. Couple that with the fact our best run stuffers (Lancaster, Adams and Winn) played fewer snaps means our defensive line may have had three players with their hand in the dirt, but they were not our best run defenders. They were our lighter defensive linemen, our poorer run defending defensive linemen or OLBs. If you actually want to stop the run, then commit to that strategy and play our better run defending defensive linemen. Pettine sort of half committed to stopping the run and wouldn't change even at half time when it was obvious the Vikings were running the ball down the Packers throats. I am not ready to let Pettine off the hook.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:16 am

He should go.

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Guam's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:54 am

I was deeply disappointed that Gute did not seem to even try to plug our defensive line shortcomings before the trade deadline expired. All of the trade conversation was about Will Fuller and there seemed to be zero conversation about acquiring another DL. The fact that neither a WR or a DL was acquired tells me that Gute is not all in on 2020 and is looking long term.

What does that imply about Rodgers status after this season? Do you keep Rodgers and lose a bunch of free agents or do you trade Rodgers and acquire draft picks and save enough money to sign most of your young free agents? Tough choice, but the Packers seem to be at a crossroads of some sort.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 11:17 am

Guam, I never thought there was a DL that we could afford who was going to make a difference, and I’m guessing the Packer brass reached the same conclusion..

As far as another WR, we are a top passing team. Even when Adams and Lazard and Jones miss games, even without Will Fuller. As long as we protect our QB, we can pass, even on windy days.

As far as not being all in.......Tampa beat us and the Seahawks look good. I don’t believe any one player makes THE difference against either of them We should be no worse than the #3 seed, regardless.

This is our team, and it’s a good team. I could see us being 12-4.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 01:07 pm

Have you been formally introduced to Taryn? It would be balance at its level best.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 03:55 pm

I enjoy Taryn’s articulate perspectives. Like me, she’s not a big fan of conventional wisdom and is always looking deeper. She’s willing to swim against the current.

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Guam's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:38 pm

I have no idea what was available at DL. Maybe there was nothing, maybe there was something that the Packers weren't prepared to pay for. I just keep seeing other teams (Steelers) finding players to fill gaps and not break the bank. Why can't the Packers do that?

I haven't been on the WR bandwagon, but use that more as a barometer of what Gute's intentions are regarding 2020.

We are good enough to make the playoffs but I do not believe we are good enough to win the SB and that is what is frustrating me. I will always root for the Packers and have since the 1950's, but I expected more than one SB with an all world QB.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 07:18 pm

I think we’re good enough to win the division. I see Tampa and Seattle as the biggest obstacles at this moment. We could/should go about 11-5 and win the division, which would give us no worse than the #3 seed. Let’s at least wait until the playoffs start before we throw in the towel

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Nate-1980's picture

November 05, 2020 at 01:48 pm

Then why couldn’t we score points Thru the air in the two embarrassing beat down losses this year? They just double Adams and no one else is good enough to make a difference, the Vikings dbs were 5th string..How do you know who was available on dL? It’s like the FO can never do any wrong in your eyes.. So yeah we’ll make the playoffs, but who do you think we’ll have to beat to get to the super bowl?? Both of those two teams you mentioned of coarse..Winning the division is great and all, but it’s pretty meaningless if every year you get demolished in the post season..

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UGDR's picture

November 05, 2020 at 01:56 pm

Al,

Really nice job as usual. Thanks for taking the time each week to research and write this column.

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Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2020 at 08:14 am

Serendipitous keeping the polluted mindset title.

As to the Smiths, they were brought here to rush. The Oettine scheme relies on such players. I don’t think it should surprise that they aren’t great against the run. I also think, that with the benefit of hindsight, this scheme and its personnel have an Achilles heel. Force them to defend the run and it unravels.

Yes, there are mitigating circumstances. We are playing 2 promising but nevertheless rookie ILBs. They made plays but also were out of position at key points. That is to be expected.

Raven Greene is great because of all of the things you mentioned and particularly because he has great instincts. Sadly, Greene can’t stay healthy and we have as yet found no real backup in that role. There is a problem when a key role is one deep.

The D line is risible. But it’s not just the players. We went heavy with Lowry playing 75% of the snaps. Yet again he was a turnstile as was the (usually OLB) on the other side of Clark. Winn who in limited action has been stout wasn’t even activated. Adams and Keke, who have flashed, played less than before.

To my mind, a “heavy” set focused on Lowry as number 2 heavy is somewhat misleading. That it has been ineffective for a long time renders it more head scratching.

Is firing Pettine a miracle cure? No. What tips my opinion is the lack of consistent effort and aggression. We have seen some of that in Pettine in playing soft in games, but I’m really talking about the lack of fire, of swarming throughout, a phenomenon LaFleur recognized after the last game. That is on the coaches. Moreover, perimeter aside, there are a lot of players seemingly not playing as well as last season. That, after this long, suggests the scheme/ coaching is impeding performance to sone extent.

Taken together I believe that Pettine is now getting less than the sum of the parts from his group. I fear that they have lost belief. Talent and health have been a factor but they don’t explain us being rated the worst tackling team in the league by PFF, and let’s face it, the eye test in effort as well has efficacy supports that.

Overall, I think the talent is there to be better than we are but that the players no longer have confidence that they can be. Kenny Clark’s bafflement reinforced that impression. If I’m right, Pettine is now a negative. An interim may in fact lead to more.

Thanks for this column. It’s the piece I look forward to whether I agree or not because you don’t pull your punches and have plausible reasons for throwing them, not merely a desire for click bait. Thanks Al, and long may this column continue!

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splitpea1's picture

November 04, 2020 at 11:37 am

I think you've covered all the bases here--both players and coaches share responsibility for our defensive debacles. First we need better talent and more experience at a couple of positions; then we need to coach all of them to play well both individually and as a unit. So there's a lot of work ahead to remake this defense into a respectable outfit.

We're far too reliant on Raven Greene--a nice player, but one who's seemingly out of action half the time. If a hybrid is this important to our success, then depth should have been addressed in the draft.

Depending on our upcoming performance, I don't see what we have to lose by appointing an interim DC if things go sour again. It would give us another opportunity/angle to assess the talent we actually have....

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:25 am

There is no doubt that all the negative comments after the recent loss to Minn will subside with the next victory, especially if over SF come Thursday. Damn, I can imagine the over-zealous hyperbole of the again easily duped SB bound Packers fan base, if that happens, which undoubtedly will make it an even harder to reach reality or basic common sense levels.

Enjoy all the half-full glasses of blind optimism the many here can accommodate onto themselves, but my half empty glass, as so many allege me to reside, is the only glass that allows for improvement by accepting that much is needed, while the former continue to be deceived by that full-glass of bs called a defense with a dose of lacking offense, (less when facing the inferior) as the cherry on top savior.

Be prepared you foolish faithful of blind optimism for another season that will look pretty by the win-loss record, but will leave you shivering in the cold watching two other teams in the SB, again.

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mrtundra's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:36 am

The loss to the worst team in the NFC North will take a long time to get over.

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Dragon5's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:02 am

Well stated. There's a reason it is said TRUTH HURTS. It amazes me how critical thinking has been subdued to the point where I question if it's nearing extinction. Fans want to go "all in" every year yet business operations must practice risk management to promote sustained revenue growth. A mere quarterback can be the difference between 3 decades of success or failure as demonstrated by the Packers & Browns organizations respectively.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:08 am

Wow, a semblance of positivity with the win call versus Niners. We all know what that means, the kiss of death from Terrible Taryn. Just kidding with you. LOL

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JerseyAl's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:30 am

haha. I think you misinterpreted her comment.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:30 pm

I have a glass half full story.

I went to the high school prom with a girl I’d had some classes with and had known for years. Not like a cheerleader or anything. Not real tall, or ..developed, but she did have a nice smile, she smelled good, and she looked real nice in that dress.

So was the glass half full? Half empty?

The Secret of happiness isn’t having what you want; it’s wanting what you have.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:31 pm

Double

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mrtundra's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:33 am

Savage wasn't even in the Top 5 available Safeties in that draft. GB overlooked Adderley, Rapp, Gardner-Johnson, Thornhill and Abram. I also seem to remember that GB moved up to grab Savage because they feared the team they moved above, was going after him.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:09 am

To be fair most thought his speed would be an asset at the position.

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Coldworld's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:55 am

It may yet be. It took Collins over three years. Sharper too.

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CheesyTex's picture

November 04, 2020 at 01:24 pm

Right on. It's easy to forget about a "sophomore slump" when the bullets are flying.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:20 am

He is not being used correctly. The choice for Abram was negated when Gutedkunst signed Amos as a SS.

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Booner's picture

November 04, 2020 at 09:53 am

This Defense lacks speed and talent! That falls on Gute's shoulders first! Murphy hired Gute and he let peanuthead McCarthy and Thompson do what ever they wanted while wasting the best years of a HOF QB's career! Time to make some changes at the top!

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 11:39 am

Laughing My Ass Off!!. I remember after Kaepernick shredded us in 2012 that was the same song...We lack speed and talent. Last year, after we lost to SF, I remember Al saying "speed and talent". Mike Sherman, after Favre threw 6 picks in the playoffs, said we needed more speed and talent on defense. When we ran off Micah Hyde to replace him with Josh Jones, it was because of "speed and talent". When we drafted Randall and Rollins, it was because of their speed and talent.

Defense is about getting people on the ground. A fast defender who doesn't tackle isn't that helpful. It's difficult to prevent completions but you have to apply the punishment. On run defense, everybody has to control their gap....that's more important than speed or talent. Desire to hold your ground.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:38 pm

Yes, defense can be dirty work. That's why there might be hope for Lancaster because he will at least give up his body and create a pile instead of being driven back 5 yds.( Damn! what's wrong with me. I've been agreeing with LH too many times.) LOL of course just kidding. By the way, reading Chernow's Grant very good.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:02 am

" he changed his scheme completely to address the run threat and they still got torched."

Nah, his scheme is not able to stop the run. He went to "heavy" pieces of his scheme and they couldn't defend the ground game. The scheme needs to actually change to something that can defend what teams are doing in 2020, it's designed for 2005.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:23 am

Can't stop the run standing on your heels, lowest man wins. That technique went away with Mike Daniels.

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Lphill's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:15 am

I find it hard to believe that there was an after no D lineman to be had before the trade deadline , when Clark was out Lancaster was good at nose , why not keep it that way with Adams and Clark as tackles that’s a pretty solid front . Or on running downs go with a 4 man front ?

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:27 am

They have two years of film showing Lancaster is best at his natural position, NT. His rookie tape shows that.
Go 4-2 looks with him and Clark inside. Gary can be a DE and the Keke/Winn/ Lowry sequence. Sounds like politics and money vs fielding the best.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:18 pm

I tend to think we should play 4 DL with an over front and one of the Smiths on first down, and that we shouldn’t play nickel on first down. Basically we’d look like a 5-2 gapped to the strong side and we’d try to keep it inside the tackles.

What do you call a double team on Kenny Clark? A 900 lb plug where the B gap was supposed to be.

Seriously... if you can’t hold your ground, make a pile .

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flackcatcher's picture

November 04, 2020 at 06:34 pm

LH they did play that version with the Smiths and Gray in the LOS. Packers got out played. Which was strange because they played their heavy 3-5 base and were successful the past two games.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:25 am

The players were in place to make a plays ,but were blocked. At least I saw Lancaster create a pile a couple of times which caused Cook to change direction. As an example of our poor play :on goal line, we were in great position to make the play, but Gary got driven back 3 yds by a TE which shielded the LB and resulted in an easy TD run. Offensively, I too regarded that the wind would be a problem, however,I wrongly thought that we would be able to generate some big yardage against their Line. Luckily, all the top teams in the NFC are not dominating , AFC different story.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:46 am

I’m pretty comfortable with the decision to stand pat on offense. We’re already a top passing team....it’s the strength of the team, Another WR at this point isn’t that important. As long as we block people and protect our QB we can pass. We just passed for 291 yards and 3 TDS on a pretty tough day to throw.

The defense is going to have to be rethought. For the reasons Al mentioned and others, we’ve sacrificed quite a bit of run stopping to play better pass defense. Maybe too much. But some miracle defensive player isn’t going to fall out of the sky so we’re going to have to do better, pronto. I didn’t see a single guy that we could afford that would be a big help.

My best stab at this would be a four man front with Clark , two DL in rotation, and one of the Smiths at the other end, at least on early downs. We could put two other run stoppers at linebacker and still play nickel.

We miss Kenny King and Raven Green. They are two of our best defenders.

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PeteK's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:39 pm

Just concerned that we're not getting to the QB as much as last year which might in turn lead to less INTs.

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Since'61's picture

November 04, 2020 at 10:56 am

Great job again AL. Bottom line is that we need guys who can hold the point of attack. Our guys, heavy or not just get pushed out of the way far too often.

This was known and obvious to all after last season but nothing was done to bring in the required support. We can expect to see more of the same as the season goes on.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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scullyitsme's picture

November 04, 2020 at 12:45 pm

To all defending Pettine, Zimmer came in with a college squad on defense and got a win. He schemed to what little strengths he had. Pettine is not in his class. Doubt we’ll find anyone better during the season( I still hope) but he should be shown the door after this season. The idea that we played base a lot so it’s the players not the coach is silly. There are a million different schemes in a 3-4 base defense, Pettine played all the wrong ones with the personal he had. Slant, crash, run blitz, do whatever you have to do to shut down the run and make cousins beat you.

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Minniman's picture

November 04, 2020 at 03:22 pm

Al, I thought that you may also mention another determinant of the game - penalties - some for and some against the Packers.

Sure, there were a whole lot of other ingredients that spoiled this pot, but 9 penalties for 85 "free" yards to the Vikings in poor conditions proved to be a game changer. FYI Offense 5/50 yards and Defense 4/35 yards.

Sure, there were 1 or 2 on Marcedes Lewis that were suspect but the that Packers went from an average of about 5/40 per game to 9/85.

Irrespective of draft position, everyone needs to play more disciplined.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 04, 2020 at 06:55 pm

Thanks, Al. Covered everything. I still don't get why this team was so flat coming out. This was a division game against a hated rival. The stakes are always far higher and yet... Raven Greene: How this defense plays when Greene is in the lineup is striking. Players are assignment sure more often than not, and opposing offensives will not attack the Packers weak side. Gute: I keep hoping that he'll swing a deal to beef up the DL. I know he won't, but I keep hoping.... What a strange season.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 05, 2020 at 04:21 am

Yes Al: "Fire Pettine: I'm not here to defend the guy."
I agree completely. I did not found cook who can prepare delicious meal with rotten ingredients...

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