Confessions of a Polluted Mindset 2020 - Packers Bow to the Bucs

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

 

 

This is one Polluted Mindset I really didn't feel like writing. Procrastinated all day... Well, here goes.

 

Pass Interference:

Yes, the Bucs were guilty of it on numerous occasions, but here's the thing. They are savvy enough to not make it obvious. When they did it, it was when they were in close contact with the receiver, no reaching out with extended arms with obvious shirt pulls like you know who. It sucks, but it was too obvious to not call.

 

Cornerbacks:

Speaking of Packers cornerbacks, one has to give credit to Arians, Brady and the Bucs for a sound game plan: namely, throw to whoever King and Sullivan are covering. It worked to perfection. The few times Brady threw in the vicinity of Jaire Alexander, bad things happened for them.

 

Game Plan: 

Certainly, we've heard LaFleur expound on the importance of running the ball more, especially after some not-so-good Packers performances (losses and even some wins). You would have to believe, after an excellent execution of that principle against the Rams (the #1 NFL Defense), that it was in the game plan against the Bucs. So who are we blaming fro 48 passes and only16 rushes? Did LaFleur panic and abandon the plan after falling behind? Did Rodgers revert to his days of hero ball the last few years of MM's tenure and always take the pass option? Whatever the cause, they sure shot themselves in the foot.

 

LaFleur:

Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy LaFleur is the coach of this team. I had grown weary of MM's lack of offensive creativity long before most of you did. Scheming players to get open just did not exist the last four years of his tenure. As a play design geek, I love the play design creativity of LaFleur/Hackett, he has the respect of his players and can create a helluva game plan. The issue is, can he resist the temptation to abandon it when the defense has dug a hole? Or can he control his MVP quarterback, if the blame for that falls on Rodgers? 

 

Running Game:

Ironically, the Packers ran the ball exactly 16 times against the 49ers and the Bucs in both NFC Championship games. Now with the 49ers game, they can be excused because they got down so far and so fast - there wasn't enough time to be balanced. that wasn't the case in this game. On possessions where they mixed in the run and pass, they moved the ball with ease, but then blew it going all pass in goal-to-go situations. The perfect example was their third possession of the game. Starting at their 25 yard line, they matriculated down the field (who used to say that?) to the six yard line in eleven plays - six passes and five runs. Was Rodgers sacked at all on this drive? No he wasn't. Is that coincidence, happenstance or is it the cause and effect of Tampa Bay having to honor the run? 

 

Jordan Whitehead:

Watching the game again, this guy was not just noticeable on the two fumble-causing tackles, he was making those kind of hits the entire time he was in there. What's most striking is the lack of even a bit of hesitation. He doesn't worry about getting juked by a ball carrier, his plan is simply attack at full speed so the ball carrier doesn't have the time to react. Boy was I impressed.

 

Tramon:

So it appears Tramon was signed for nothing more than emergency depth. I would have liked to see him get a few of Sullivan's snaps and evaluate from there.

 

Last Drive of 1st Half:

Searching for answers on this. First, the timeline.

2:10  After a punt, the Packers start out at their 13 yard line. Jamal Williams runs off right tackles for zero yards.

2:00  2nd and 10 at the 13 yard line.  After the two minute morning, Rodgers throws a dump-off to Jamal for four yards. The clock is running.

1:14  3rd and 6 at the 17 yard line. Packers (with two timeouts) allow 46 seconds to run off the clock. Rodgers completes a 23 yard pass to Lazard.

0:38  1st and 10 at the 40 yard line. Packers (still with 2 timeouts) allow another 36 seconds to run off the clock. Rodgers is sacked and Tampa Bay calls time out.

0:34   2nd and 18 at the 33 yard line. With only 34 seconds left, now Rodgers tries to get it all back with another throw to Lazard. Interception.

Ok, we all know what happened after the interception, and I don't feel like talking about it anymore. Frankly, I'm still sick about it. But let's examine the sequence of events above.

When the Packers let the clock run down to 1:14, my reaction was, ok, I know they're really confident in their ability to get downfield, so they're killing off some clock to minimize time left for Tampa Bay if they get the ball back. That's playing it a bit conservatively, but ok. After the next play, they gain a first down on the 40 yard line with over a minute left. Instead of using a timeout or lining up quickly, they inexplicably let another 36 seconds off the clock. This is where they lose me. Were the Packers more concerned about leaving little time for the Bucs if they were to get the ball back than trying to get points themselves when they're at their own forty with a minute left and two timeouts? I'm flummoxed. Would love to hear your theories.

 

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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 (88)

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Rossonero's picture

January 27, 2021 at 04:01 pm

So many mistakes and blame to go around. I ultimately blame LaFleur and Pettine for breakdowns at various points in the game. I absolutely thought Turner or Wagner would get some help when it was clear they were struggling....don't know why they never did. I wanted to see Tramon too.

I've never seen the Smiths have a more insignificant game as well....for the amount of money we're paying them, that was very disappointing.

It definitely seemed like LaFleur panicked and the stage was too big for him. Going 6 passes and two three-and-outs after both of Alexander's interceptions was baffling. Pettine's single high safety call was stupid. Kevin King proved why we need a CB opposite Jaire. So many baffling things in this game. I wonder how many snaps Snacks Harrison played? In a game where we won the time of possession battle, the turnover battle, and held Fournette to under 100 yds rushing, and STILL lost, just goes to show you that we shot ourselves in the foot several times to find ways to lose this game.

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Crankbait's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:06 am

Shooting themselves in the foot has been the MO of this team for 10 years in the playoffs. It is cultural now within the organization similar to Chicago Detroit and Minnesota. No discipline and a lack of preparation/game plan in playoff games. Aaron needs a defense ..... and an organization serious about obtaining one.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 27, 2021 at 03:45 pm

Get smarter players.

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frankthefork's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Agree but the common denotator over the years is AR12. I know the thumbs down are coming, but AR12 is a poor time manager who holds the ball too long! If he takes dumps over the middle and calls time outs or spikes rather than the sideline dumps that cause fumbles and interceptions, the Packers would be in more SB games...just a fact.
AR12 is 1-4 in championship games...that's not good folks...weapons' or not! GPG
If AR cared so much do a TB12 and take less money so the Packers can afford the pieces needed to get a chance. Gut, please get rid of Pettine an Meninga(who cares on spelling this POS name) GPG!

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Since'61's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:55 pm

The thumbs down are well earned. In the 4 NFCCG losses which you charge to Rodgers the defense allowed an average of 35 points per game. But I guess it’s Rodgers fault that the defense gave up all those points while he was not on the field

It also means that he would need to score an average of 36 points per game against the best defenses in the league. I know, maybe Rodgers should play CB in King’s place against the Bucs. Or maybe ILB against the 49ers who ran for nearly 300 yards against the Packers defense. Maybe he should have replaced CM3 when he was tired while the defense collapsed and gave up a 12 point lead with less than 4 minutes to play.

Even if we include the win over the Bears the defense allowed 14 points and the PPG average would still be 30.8 points. That is not very good defense and why the Packers are 1-4 in the NFCCG.

By comparison Lombardi’s defense allowed 9.7 PPG in their 10 post season games. That is championship defense and the result, 5 championships in 7 years including 3 in a row and the first two Super Bowls. Give Rodgers Lombardi’s defense and my conclusion would be that he never loses a game.

So yes, the losses should be placed on Rodgers by your logic. Try paying attention. In the meantime, thanks for playing. Since ‘61

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Leatherhead's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:46 pm

We have appeared in 5 championship games since 2010. If anybody wants to make a list of who has done better, I’ll wait. As far as getting the pieces to have a chance......we were two plays away from the Super Bowl. We have the pieces to have a chance. And if we can give Rodgers time to do his job, he’ll get the job done.

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Nate-1980's picture

January 27, 2021 at 01:43 pm

I wanted to believe that this year would be different in the championship game, but once they scored that td to end the half I knew it was going to be a typical game for the pack.. At least it doesn’t hurt as bad when you see it coming.. I’m trying to find any faith that this won’t happen again and again and again, but I can’t..

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 27, 2021 at 03:46 pm

It's like Mc Sweeney said: The only thing a head coach really needs to know during a game is when to call a Time Out. Missed the first half deadline and the 1st and goal at the eight yard line should have called one at least after the second down fail.

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scullyitsme's picture

January 27, 2021 at 07:18 am

I saw pretty much the same game-plan as the first time we played them. Too many outside runs( although they worked better) and too many receivers doing double moves downfield. I also saw receivers open after those moves but if Rodgers is on his back, it doesn’t matter how open you are. I think there is no doubt, last year, and this year Lafleur or a combination of Lafleur and Rodgers panicked, I think it’s not so much that they left their game plan, I think they just had a bad one. That happens, but twice? Same year? Same thing? 2 years in a row? It was hard to watch. Screen them, slant them, streak them( did this twice to mvs at least) or run the dam ball, Something, just stop expecting our line to block it up. That is so McCarthy, so does that point it to Rodgers panicking more so than Lafleur?

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Big_Mel_75's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:41 am

Well McCarthy is now coaching in Dallas.. So I'm guessing this falls squarely on Rodgers and Lafleur not reining in his MVP QB...

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scullyitsme's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:43 am

It’s like the more they stop something the more pissed Rodgers gets and the more he wants to prove they can’t stop it. Kinda like me playing madden after a few too many :)

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frankthefork's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Yes it's AR12. I'll take Stafford and a 1st and 2nd for Rodgers any day going forward.
Attitude is everything...and AR12, although one of the best...has a chip that just won't go away. We are spoiled by 2 greats the last 25 years who try to run it their way, but have just 2 SB Trophy's. Just facts. This is a team sport remember that...not a one man show. GPG

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croatpackfan's picture

January 27, 2021 at 07:08 am

Al, you are right. That last possession from the 1st half was stupidity by itself, like they did not know what they want to do. So, blaming King and D for that TD at the end of the half is little shaky. You did not run down the clock, you do not score and you gave the ball to the opponent in your part of the field with enough time to score (FG or TD). It was obvious that was bad call from MP and bad play from Kevin King, but I say offense is sharing 50:50 blame for that TD at the end of the first half.

And, to made Packers job more difficult, offense fumbled deep in Packers territory and gave TB free TD for the beginning of the second half. I know I thought - the game is lost with that 28-10 result. Kudos to the Packers to fight back and made game close towards the end.

For me, it was not loss because of D, it was joint effort from offense, defense and special team.

Thank you Al.

I like your comments. They make a lot of sense to me.

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frankthefork's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Good points...Al and Gil are usually up on the facts. Common denominator is AR12 (1-4). Just wish AR would be more humble and play like a team player. AR12 has one more year in GB to prove he's a champion; hope the FO does their job to help him. GPG

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ricky's picture

January 27, 2021 at 07:10 am

Pass interference- at one point Lazard was getting his jersey pulled so hard his shoulder pad was showing. No flag. The refs then made a bigger goat out of King by flagging him on a pass that was effectively uncatchable.

Game plan: We'll never know, because LaFleur (MLF) will take the blame. But, yeah, I really think Rodgers reverted to his old habits- throw the ball more, focus on Adams almost exclusively in the red zone.

Tramon: Should have seen the field. Period. He didn't. But what probably hurt the Packers more was that Veldheer wasn't available at LT, so Turner could be used at RT.

Last drive of the first half: The last "drive" of the first half by the Packers was more of an amble. But they've been doing that all year. I believe MLF pretty much has left it up to Rodgers to manage the team on the field. Remember the game where MLF called a timeout with a second on the clock, and Rodgers was grinning/grimacing as he went to the sideline? After that, every snap came down to the literal last second. Though, predictably (very, very predictably) Rodgers would do a hard count with about 15 seconds left to try to get a "free play" on an offside. Never worked because it was so predictable. Tampa won because they played their game to perfection: pressure the QB, shut down the run, and get turnovers. That they could survive three interceptions by Brady was either a credit to their defense, or an example of poor execution by the offense. Probably a combination of both.

How much of this loss goes to Rodgers? I really believe that MLF went for the FG from the eight because he didn't trust Rodgers in that situation. Because he knew it would be another pass to Adams- and so did the Bucs. This one hurt- a lot. This was their year, just like 2014. Now, apparently Rodgers is talking about a new contract with the Packers. If true, this is indeed crunch time. How long do the Packers want to commit to Rodgers? And at what price?

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Crankbait's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:13 am

I believe he now wants a one year contract. I think he starting to look towards the door.

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NickPerry's picture

January 27, 2021 at 07:12 am

I get Al's feeling about not wanting to write. I have yet to visit any other Packers site other than one article posted on The Athletic. I STILL can't believe they lost this game with so many chances handed to them by Brady. Right after the game I suggested Rodgers wouldn't have made it to the endzone on that 3rd and 8. I've watched that play at least 25 times and I was wrong...I think he WOULD have scored... Or at least made the 1 yard line. Hell at least TRY!!! UGH!!! I will always support the Packers but this one just sucks.

During the game I kept screaming "Where's Dillon?"... I didn't understand the lack of the run game, BUT I sure in the hell heard a LOT of Aaron Rodgers yelling CAN, CAN, CAN..... My guess is Rodgers went with the pass option over the run option A LOT in this game. Very little jet motion, empty sets, and in shotgun most of the day leaves very for the defense to figure out.

Looking forward the the offseason and the SB just being over. Everytime I hear the name Brady or see his face I want to hurl and punch things. Perhaps this is ALMOST as bad as the Packers losing...Hearing how great Brady is for the next 2 weeks is a close 2nd though.

Gute...Sign Lindsey, HELP Kevin King pack, and let the rest walk.

MLF, Gute, or Murphy.... I guess it depends on who you REALLY think is calling shots about the coaching staff... I think it's MLF or least if it wasn't before it IS now...He deserves that.

...FIRE Mike Pettine...FIRE Shawn Mennegna and don't think twice about it. Go get one of these young defensive wiz kids, no retreads please!

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Bearmeat's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:28 am

NP,

I agree with everything you said except Linsley. Back issues and the 3rd contract for a C when we have numerous replacements on the roster. No matter how good he's been, no thanks...You can't sign everyone, and I think there are damn good arguments to let Jones, Linsley, and King walk.

I agree totally with you on everything else. Fire Pettine and Mennenga and MLF needs to either get rid of "Can" plays when we must run the ball, or find another way to remind ARod that he can't "can" out of them. Or, if the problem is him, he needs to fix that.

PS: Don't watch the super bowl and tune out of the national media entirely. I deleted all my sports apps. I'm angry enough that it's not healthy for me to be involved right now. Screw Brady. I'm not watching him. I hope he loses 50-0.

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NickPerry's picture

January 28, 2021 at 05:19 am

"I'm angry enough that it's not healthy for me to be involved right now. Screw Brady. I'm not watching him. I hope he loses 50-0."

I get it, it's not healthy for me either. That's a good point about Lindsey too. I completely forgot about his back.

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stockholder's picture

January 27, 2021 at 07:37 am

Sign Lindsey, HELP Kevin King pack, and let the rest walk. Let them all Walk! Lindsey has a bad back. It won't hold up. Bulaga had a bad back and he was on the IR most of the year. And lets not forget how many draft choices by TT had back problems, and were busts.

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x24's picture

January 27, 2021 at 07:58 am

It's STILL all Thompson's fault?

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barutanseijin's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:28 pm

King was a TT pick, so it's reasonable to bring him into the discussion.

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NickPerry's picture

January 28, 2021 at 05:19 am

Good point about his back SH, I completely forgot about that.

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Swisch's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:29 am

There's a great episode of "The Simpsons" that satirizes Brady and Gronk in their years with the Patriots -- and speaks to a lot of my concerns and conflicts regarding them.

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gkarl's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:07 pm

NP

I think most of Packer Nation is feeling similar to your thoughts. It was an extremely disappointing outcome.

I'm trying not to be overly critical of players and coaches, I'm sure they are doing a good job of that themselves right now. I'm just hoping 1265 and our players take time to let this get behind them a ways before they start making decisions they might regret later.

It was still a enjoyable year even though we all didn't get the outcome we hoped for. GPG.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 27, 2021 at 03:51 pm

It was a good play design. He has to look right and hit Lazard, wide open. The scheme was correct and they shaded to Adams, he was the decoy, Rodgers missed the read.

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Razer's picture

January 27, 2021 at 07:16 am

My 'rehash' gland is broken this AM so I will simply thank you for this effort and a season of insight.

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Swisch's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:11 am

I wonder about the creativity of play calling in this game.
There was a game in the regular season not too long ago -- maybe against the Titans -- when on numerous plays we saw the threat of the jet sweep. This game, not so much, if at all.
How many draw plays, screens, shovel passes, rollouts, bootlegs?
How much did we adapt our play calling -- and blocking schemes -- to the fierce pass rush by the Bucs?
Also, I thought maybe we were saving a trick play for this game.
***
Perhaps most important of all, if Aaron Rodgers is undermining MLF on play calls, then it seems best for all that he go to another team.
As was pointed out by Taryn, I think, what works in the regular season doesn't necessarily work in the playoffs. There is less margin for error in the playoffs.
Plus, a quarterback has to listen to his coach, no matter how great the quarterback. If Rodgers is overly stubborn, it can hurt the morale of the whole team.
It's one thing to accept that a great quarterback is still going to have imperfections on the field, but quite another to allow that quarterback to be more or less a disobedient diva -- especially in crunch time.
I don't know, but do wonder, if this kind of thing was at least part of the difference in the postseason success of Bart Starr over Johnny Unitas, and with Tom Brady over Aaron Rodgers.
I hope this is way off, but it is critical for it to be addressed right now.
Otherwise, our successes in the regular season may continue to lead to deep disappointments in the playoffs.

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Crankbait's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:20 am

That has been going on with Rogers for at least five years now. He gets tunnel vision big games in crunch time and his ego takes over. Sandlot mind set.
If we had a better defense it would not be an issue.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 27, 2021 at 03:57 pm

48 TDs 3 on the ground, six picks and you want a game manager.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:50 pm

OK, how many TDs does he have in NFC Championship games? Even in his lone NFCCG victory he had 0 TD 2 INT 244 yds and like a 55 rating. His best play was a shoestring tackle of Brian Urlacher, something he probably wouldn't even try anymore. BJ Raji saved us all from a Cutler or Caleb Haney Super Bowl.

Or how about that 2014 game vs the Seahawks where they kicked 5 FGs, once from the 1 ? If Rodgers had gotten the ball in the endzone on just one of those drives, no one would remember Brandon Bostick's name. Rodgers finished the day with 178 yds, 1 TD 2 INTs & a 56 rating. Terrible! So what if he didn't get the ball in OT. Would he have done anything with it? He'd already had plenty of chances -- Wilson threw 4 picks! -- and didn't do much with them.

And so on. There was 2016 he did better but got outplayed by Ryan, then he lost to a guy who racked up all of 77 yds in 2019. And this year, where once again he wasn't able to capitalize on a poor performance from the opposing QB.

He was great in his one Super Bowl. The problem is he has to win a conference championship first.

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Rebecca's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:15 am

The Bucs beat the Packers physically, but more importantly with fundamentals. They overwhelmed the offensive line and made plays when they needed too. I think LaFleur and Rodgers get too emotional to think clearly in crunch time. It’s almost as if Rodgers tries to wish plays into existence: Adams, he relies on Adams to escape double coverage and get open every time. But really, only Matt and Aaron know what they’re thinking.

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Demon's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:48 am

Im really curious as to why someone down voted rebeccas post. Well written well thought out, and written with an open mind.

No reason to down vote this, so whats the deal?

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:19 am

It goes against every fiber of the blind optimist and the ignorant fool that refuses to see and accept what was and is clear. It disputes their excuses and compels some to log out of all sports media to maintain their denial status.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:07 am

If you look at logic when considering downvoted here you will be baffled. I’d guess that there are some who will brook no criticism of Rodgers, but as Al noted yesterday, there are a few who just down vote. That said, if you believe what you post, who cares?

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Leatherhead's picture

January 28, 2021 at 07:44 am

Because there are chickenshits who downvote.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 27, 2021 at 04:02 pm

Remember, the line was in flux w/out Bhaktiari and Wagner was playing in pain. The Pack inside held their own.
Turner received no help most of the day.

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tonym's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:18 am

Spot on Al. Getting very tired of losing on bonehead plays or lack of execution. Redmond, catch the interception. Jones, secure the ball. EQ, c'mon man. Lazard, look for the pass. King, not even going to list them. O Line, not a good day. And Rodgers, way off on almost every pass to Adams in the end zone and missed the open receivers too often. Like they said going in, they just need to execute and they win. Bottom line is the better team won that day.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:08 am

Better coached team might be more accurate?

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SterlingSharpe's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:18 am

Painful.
All great points by Al.

Let me ask you this: are you aware of the match fix scandals that have hit pro soccer & tennis?
Also in the NBA & NCAA. Pete Rose never was accused of throwing games, but he bet.
Organized Crime has infiltrated sports & politicians hundreds if times.

If someone got to Kevin you-know-who & perhaps threatened him/family to throw the game, do you think he did a great job of making sure?

A) allowed easy TD to Evans to start the game, on 3rd & long. Also allowed another early 3rd & long

B) allowed easy unbelievable touchdown to Scott Miller right before halftime. That's 14 of their points.

C) just for good measure, the dagger. He made sure Rodgers wouldn't get the ball back at the end by not only letting the WR get open, not only holding, but doing so with both hands & SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that even this terrible reffing crew HAD to call it.
King almost got bailed out with it being "uncatchable". But it was Brady, so of course they didn't go that route.....
Or maybe Ted's last 1st round pick (#33) is really that bad. I find it hard to believe anyone is that bad & I've seen Terrell Buckley, Ahmad Carroll, Joey Thomas.....

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:14 am

How about King is slow and Pettine offered no help? King and others should have been in the end zone on the half ending TD. In fact CBs were up and so were both safeties. In short woefully out of position against a speedster. Not players, Coach, as LaFleur said after game.

I would caution against this kind of speculation. We should remember the death threats against MVS. Responsibility is not obviated by grief at a painful loss.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:14 pm

It's possible, but there's no evidence. In any case, it's more likely that gamblers would work the refs, who get paid less & are therefore cheaper. They also attract less attention.

The bottom line is the Packers played poorly and lost. I feel no need to explain that away with conspiracy theories

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stockholder's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:31 am

Al your right. After a tough loss, even a little sunshine goes a long ways. But I'm afraid the packers only care about winning percentage. Great teams find a way to win. You knew the holes on this team before the season started. They over achieved again, because of #12. The Defense is problematic. Hoping for the best, has been managements approach since 2010. And again were still looking at what cost us the season. I Appreciate the effort. But this loss was on the Defense. Drafting the future isn't fixing a Damn thing. And Pettine is the one who should be Fired. He had two years to fix it. Change schemes, and find the answers. Crap flows down hill. Loyalty should only go so far.

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Crankbait's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:24 am

Perfect assessment stockholder. Spot on.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:00 am

I actually think Pettine’s scheme could be effective ... without Pettine. He designed it to be aggressive but wants to play passive. We saw that all season until Tennessee and Z’s delegation, we then watched him retreat from that each game and in the first half we paid for it and ultimately lost because of the resulting deficit. Once he had no choice, the D played lights out ... too late.

When your players are better without the coordinator, it’s time to move on.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:36 am

To be clear, I'm not suggesting he was gambling ala Pete Rose. King's made about $8million & will get another big contract just based off his measurements. He'd be a fool to risk it all for a few hundred k.

And while it's hard to fathom someone threatening his mom, family, him to fix it, it's definitely happened in the world of sports & recently. I just can't believe how horrible he played & can't imagine him making so many huge "mistakes".
Plus the mystery back ailment he showed up with last week... was he trying to get out of the blackmail attempt but the crooks said "that's not gonna work son. Play."

Conspiracy theory I know & for every one that gets caught, they say 100 may have gotten away with it... so we will never know. We'll just have to keep believing King was simply that bad. Sad.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:03 am

Or King is playing injured and Pettine just ran with that. Sort of MM no scheme help philosophy but on D?

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mrtundra's picture

January 27, 2021 at 08:39 am

King will go to a non Pettine affiliated team and play lights out, at the CB position. All the soft coverage he had to play, per Pettine, hurt him, as he is much better in man coverage. However, this last game, he played hurt, and got burned in man coverage, making the case against him, by his detractors, even stronger. As soon as he got beat on a play, the "why didn't we draft TJ Watt?" calls came out. King was the best corner in the draft when he got drafted. TT, rest his soul, made the choice to move down, pick King, in the second round and added a fourth round draft pick, who happened to be Biegel. Good luck drafting players, this year!

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Swisch's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:03 am

After King was beat on the first touchdown, why didn't Pettine have his back, literally, by giving him safety help on future plays?
If King was struggling with a back injury, why didn't Pettine have his back, literally, by subbing him out more often?
A related question is whether Pettine is good with quick decisions in the middle of a game.
I may get an a answer right on Jeopardy, but if takes me a few seconds to do so, then I'm a few questions behind (although in Jeopardy the answers are questions, but you get my point).
It wouldn't be a bad thing if Pettine doesn't have this gift for quick adjustments on a consistent basis. I'm always thinking of witty things I could say long after the person is gone :-).
However, this would mean that Pettine is not the guy to be defensive coordinator making calls in a game.
He could be valuable as another type of assistant in preparation for games, but it's important to know one's limitations.
I don't know whether or not what you wrote is true, mrtundra, but you get a thumbs up from me for a thoughtful comment that's worthy of sincere discussion.
After we let Hayward and Hyde go from our defensive backfield in the past, I'm concerned about writing off King too easily.
One thing I am all in on: Stop the talk about Watt did or didn't happen some four years ago?
We can't change past draft picks. What we can do is learn from mistakes made in letting current players go to other teams, perhaps because they weren't employed properly or appreciated enough.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:56 pm

It's more likely that he goes to some other team and then right to IR.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:13 am

Pass Interference:
What I want to know though what part of Kings penalty was called. If it was pulling the shirt then it should have been a hold not a DPI. if it was from where the WR tripped, that was incidental contact and the WR purely tripped.
I was fine with letting the DB's play physical, until the penalty against King. They allowed physical, grabbing, pulling all day long, until that play. Not right!

Cornerbacks:
Lets be honest. Any coach that would throw at Alexander is a moron. He showed why when they did try throwing at him. This off season we need to find more CB's.

Game Plan:
I felt they were able to run the ball more in this game. I don't know why they didn't. Was it based on Rodgers changing plays. Was it based on they felt they could attack them through the air better?
The part I was expecting to see more was more jet motion and moving players around. It seemed that we got away from that.

LaFleur:
My question with this is does he have the right guys behind him to say 'hey, get back to our offense'. Its easy for a play caller to start to lean one way with play calls and whatnot. So does he have the guys behind him to speak up and say, we are doing this to much, we need to get back to this...

Running Game:
The run game made the passing game better. Plain and simple.

Jordan Whitehead:
The closest we have to a guy like Whitehead is Raven Greene. We could use more players like that.

Tramon:
I was hoping he would have taken all of Redmond snaps. Let me ask this. If Williams was playing for Redmond, do we believe Williams makes the interception that Redmond didn't? I do believe that.

Last Drive of 1st Half:
I had no problem with the plan at the end of the first half. Did I want them to move a little faster, yeah. But I felt they were trying to run the clock down to not give Brady a chance to get points at the end of the half. It makes sense and overall I felt it was a good plan, but they didn't really account for any negative plays that could happen such as a sack. That is the reason why i didn't like them running the clock down so far.
I trust them, so I wasn't too worried about the clock as much.

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Crankbait's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:30 am

If they were running the two minute drill with negative thoughts of not leaving time for Brady, then they were playing scared therefore doomed to compromise their own execution.

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PeteK's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:05 am

If the pack just ran the clock down most would be complaining that we weren't aggressive enough. I thought they were doing us a favor not kicking a field goal. 8 seconds, no time outs, we don't have 3 deep, nothing before that matters its just nitpicking after the fact. Just my take. Can't wait for the draft.

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Philarod's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:31 am

You make a great point re: DPI v. holding.
I'll comment elsewhere on some other points.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 29, 2021 at 06:51 am

DPI v. Holding really isn't an important point.

What mattered was that the defensive penalty on a 3rd down play gave TB a first down with 1:39 left in the game and GB having just one timeout. Three runs later left 2 seconds on the clock. As it happened, GB ran out of timeouts and TB gained a first down on those three plays. Even if TB hadn't gotten a first down, TB just snaps the ball and has the RB run backwards for 2 seconds to ice the game.

TB would have gotten the ball at the TB 42 with a holding call. With the DPI, they got the ball at the GB 48. Same 3 plays would have ensued. No difference.

Pulling or yanking on the jersey if the ball is in the air is DPI, not holding. Again, it doesn't matter in terms of result.

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Handsback's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:37 am

I do think panic/anxiety affect both MLF and AR when they hit playoff mode. Rodgers going strictly to Adams, get frustrated by pressure and maybe changes the play from run to pass. (Pure speculation on my part but when the Packers are close to the goal, they revert back to what we saw w/ MM. No imagination on play calling.)
MLF will/should get better with his calls. When you see a team like KC., they stay true to who they are no matter where they are on the field. The Packers...not so much.
King was questionable before the game. A bad back isn't going to be easy to overcome. You know Alexander isn't going to see a lot of passes thrown his way, so why not shade help or play another CB in his spot more during the game. I don't know if King was hurt or that bad during the game. If he was that hurt....MP should have kept his snaps to a low volume and take a chance on another guy.

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Pauly's picture

January 27, 2021 at 09:49 am

No one talks about GB losing 5 games over last 2 years to 3 teams all built the same way on defense. A powerful front 7 with 2 fast dynamic ILBs. which hold GB's scoring down. Chargers, Niners, Bucs.
What offense type of players does GB need to defeat that type of defense??
A Randall Cobb type slot receiver who can get open quick for short passes behind ILBs,, or others?

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:55 am

Do what other teams do, run a beast at them consistently, tire them but hold the D in the center. We seem to panic if the run game doesn’t result in a big play every other run. That’s not how it usually works and the point of running is as much it’s affect on the D with respect to calls and stamina as it is yards.

LaFleur again failed to master this type of D. He has to do better if he is to be really successful. That said, if his D was better calked in the first half, it might have avoided this issue. That’s on Pettine’s inept strategy.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:07 pm

"That said, if his D was better calked in the first half, it might have avoided this issue. That’s on Pettine’s inept strategy." Nah. Pettine 'inept strategy' got them back in the game second half. How many points did Tampa score the second half eh. By your metrics Coldword, Matt Lafleur should be shown the exit after his HC job agaist Tampa Bay. Neither Lafleur nor Pettine are going to get the ax. And you need to do a better job if you're going to scapegoat Pettine, the stats just don't support you. (or any of the Pettine haters) But hey, Both Lafleur and Pettine will be in contract years next season. So, there's always hope...

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flackcatcher's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:06 pm

One final point. Why Green Bay was caught in a sub package that they could not aublie out of is on Pettine as DC. Why neither he nor Lafleur called a time out to reset the defense baffles me, and why King was not back playing deep... I could go on but what's the point. So much fail on both sides of the ball in the last two minutes. And credit Tampa for their uptempo, Brady is a master of it.... (Redman UGH)

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 01:05 pm

We got back in because he had no choice to go aggressive. When we play to our strengths we are good. A coach who holds us back by negating them is bad. Microcosm of the season, not a one off.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 27, 2021 at 06:23 pm

Oh, you mean the constant CB and SS blitzs from the 1st quarter on. Right... Pettine ran a high risk 1 high all game, and you are still complaining he wasn't aggressive enough. Microcosm my sweet back end...

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PeteK's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:26 pm

You beat a powerful ,fast front seven by throwing over them and run to keep them honest.( 346 yds) red zone beat us.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:39 am

There's no secret to beating that type of defense. Run the ball inbetween the tackles. Force them to honor the run and beat them off play action. Packers for whatever reason do not want to do it in this game. When they did late third, they crushed Tampa's defensive front four and froze the LB. Why the Packers stop doing that in fourth is a major question.

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PeteK's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:46 pm

On the first red zone FG drive , we gained some good yardage with AJ. Three second half long drives amounted to 13 carries for 35 yds. I am of the option that especially since AJ( he can squeeze through those small holes) was hurt, throwing the ball proved to be successful until the red zone and even then it was close. I know it only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.

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Since'61's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:48 am

I don’t think that Rodgers was undermining MLFs play calls. MLF and Rodgers appeared to be on the same page all season long and acknowledged that throughout the season.
Nearly all of our red zone plays had empty backfields. Why?
Rodgers may be changing the plays but I doubt that he is changing the formation they come out of the huddle with.
Same with our 4th quarter plays after the Alexander picks.
My thinking is that MLF was trying to get mismatches against the Tampa secondary and hoping for Rodgers to read mismatch. The problem was the Packers did not use play action or our TEs to chip the Bucs edge rushers to slow down the pass rush which not give Rodgers time to finish his progression. MLF put everything on Rodgers shoulders when it wasn’t necessary given the amount of time left in the game.

As I posted on other treads we should have run the ball more often with Dillon.

The end of first half drive drove me crazy. No reason to be running down the clock. Get to the LOS snap the ball and run your plays. If you get down inside your opponents 30 then you can run some clock down. But keep it moving until you can either reach the end zone or kick an FG. That is also on MLF. By this point in the season you should be able to execute your 2 minute offense much more efficiently than the Packers did in that situation. Tells me we had very poor preparation during the week.

I think Tramon was an emergency back up only.

Officials make poor and untimely calls. We got beat on third and long throughout the game. Where were the Smiths and the sacks during this game? A sack or 2 on some of those 3rd and longs the Bucs converted and we would never have been in that situation at the end of the game, not to mention King’s poor play and Redmond’s dropped pick.

Bottom line it looked like we were not very well prepared for situational football on either side of the ball. That is on MLF and Pettine primarily. I’m happy that MLF is our HC but it is time to send the message that lack of preparation is unacceptable. Chuck Pettine, Mennega and King. Get coaches who pay attention to every detail. MLF needs to improve in this issue as well. Simple example; we know Alexander is a shut down corner so why aren’t we helping King with a safety especially if he is playing hurt? Why are we leaving him one on one deep on his side of the field.
Also we forced a few bad throws when we sent an extra pass rusher, e.g. resulted in dropped pick by Redmond and pick by Alexander. Why didn’t we do that more often. Again to help King.

Too many questions and too many poor coaching decisions and preparation. Little details make a big difference in the playoffs. If Lombardi and probably even Holmgren is our HC we win the Bucs game with our current roster.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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tonym's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Maybe Rodgers is channelling Bart from the Ice Bowl when he suggested the sneak to Vince who said "Run it ...and let's get the hell out of here."

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LombardiSince65's picture

January 27, 2021 at 04:06 pm

Lombardi would have sent King packing after the first 3rd and long touchdown he allowed and not even waited until the game was over.

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Since'61's picture

January 27, 2021 at 04:23 pm

Yes, that is probably true. For sure it would not have happened for a second time at the end of the half.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Razer's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:34 am

Lot of good comments and insights into why we lost this game and similar games in the past. Aaron Rodgers speculation aside, I have one big question mark. It is the same question going back to McCarthy's last years. Did/does Aaron Rodgers hijack the offensive game plan and eliminate the run? If Rodgers is going rogue and forcing the game to his preference then there is a serious problem. LaFleur could have had a solid plan to balance the attack and Rodgers could have twisted each call to play his own game. LaFleur is taking a lot of heat for a poor call at the end of the game and for abandoning the run game. LaFleur may be the victim of poor decision making by his not-so-sharp quarterback.

The question of poor game planning (coaching) versus poor quarterback execution bothers me because it points to a bigger issue on this team.

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Swisch's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:14 pm

It seems the most important and urgent question to resolve going into next season: Is Rodgers being cooperative or contrary?
The question matters most when the pressure is on in the biggest games.
Even more than a dynamic quarterback, we need one who is reliably coachable in the most critical situations.
Maybe Don Shula learned that a Bob Griese in crunch time is more humble and responsive and dependable than a Johnny Unitas -- and thus better for the huge wins in the playoffs.
A rebellious quarterback, or even subtly subversive one, may pile up the victories in the regular season and accumulate gaudy statistics, but ultimately drag the team down in the most important moments.
I'm not saying anything certain, or even probable, about Unitas and Rodgers, but am concerned enough to ask these questions.
I would be truly glad if my concerns are way off.
I want Rodgers with the Packers, but to me, no quarterback is worth it if he undermines the coach.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 29, 2021 at 07:05 am

Fans don't know. LaFleur knows exactly how many times AR changed the play altogether or chose the 2nd option. Moreover, he will break down the film and determine exactly how many times AR followed the game plan philosophy and how many times he reverted to MM tactics. For example, on RPOs, LaFleur will be able to see on film whether AR used the correct read to decide whether the play would be a run or a pass or if he went against the probabilities.

I rather think AR was in tune with LaFleur. If in fact he was not, the question is what to do about it.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 02:06 pm

I can’t really find a basis for the assertion that Tampa didn’t perpetuate obvious dpi (or holds). There were a number that looked pretty darn obvious as well as many more subtle ones. Moreover, they did the same thing the prior week, equally glaringly too.

I can’t say we didn’t have some ignored, but nothing close to as many. If the officials/NFL wants to change the rules, do so in season and make the parameters clear to all. I’m actually in favor of that style of play if it’s open and equal.

Even if you disagree on the above, officials should never determine a game by making a call they have not made all game. Any game ended by an official is a failure. I’m not even convinced this was the most game changing call: the non call on the Lazard interception actually was both as obvious in real time and more significant. The call on King just killed the game and countered everything previously. Ironically the same play had an equally obvious hold ( one of many) by Tampa.

Coaching was the primary issue for me. But yet again officiating left a bad taste. Not acceptable in the post season.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:21 pm

For what it's worth, a lot of teams in the league are questioning if the New York lost control of the game crews this season. There have been some wild swings game to game this season depending on the crews. But that is a very disturbing trend, going back now to at least the last two seasons.

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Swisch's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Coldworld, to me this issue of officiating is huge.
It can affect a game to the point of rigging it, whether or not it's intentional.
In this case, allowing holding in coverage and pass interference in a game allows thuggery and trickery to triumph over skill.
We got rid of that hyper-physicality in the 1970s, it seems, because it was dragging down the game of football.
I hate the idea that a team can flaunt the rules and play it overly aggressive because the refs won't call a penalty on every play.
If the refs throw the flag two or three times early in the game, the defense will likely adjust by backing off.
Otherwise, throw the flag all game long. Don't reward bad behavior. Penalize it until the bad actor pays the price for borderline cheating and rank un-sportsmanship.
The integrity of the NFL is at stake.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:48 am

It’s been a great season with wonderful moments. I think that the team played way above expectations. The Packers are the team to beat in this league. They were much better than in year’s past. The ups and downs have made for excitement and entertainment. I think that we all believe that the team had a real shot at the super bowl. How many teams and their followers can say that? I love the articles on this site and look forward to the ones yet to be posted.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 27, 2021 at 10:48 am

Rodgers folded and then MLF folded, and the failure is on both for not going all-in on each one's moment at the end. Rodgers afraid to run for the TD and MLF opting for the FG.

These are the plays that make both player and coach winners in the big moments and both failed. Rodgers and MM did it and now Rodgers and MLF do it.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:22 am

Rodgers would not have reached the end zone. Probably not if he was 25. Rodgers didn’t chose RB free personnel, that’s LaFleur, as LaFleur admitted.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:31 am

Making the end zone or not is not the issue. It possibly would have altered the mindset of MLF and given the Bucs something to think about instead. A few yards gained would change everything.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 01:09 pm

Maybe, maybe not. I wanted him to run but he wouldn’t have got that close on rewatching.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 27, 2021 at 01:42 pm

There is no way he doesn't get inside the 5 at least, and that changes the play call from a game quitting FG to keeping the ball in the hands who got you where you are.

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Packers0808's picture

January 27, 2021 at 11:44 am

Why don't people just admit it, the game was too big for LaFleur and he simply choked!

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flackcatcher's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Hey, at least you didn't call him Mike Sherman...

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Philarod's picture

January 27, 2021 at 12:36 pm

Good thought-provoking piece.
RC Packer Fan made a good point about defensive holding v. DPI above.
Given the location of the pass, I don't think it was DPI. The jersey grab was holding, but yes,m the refs had not been calling it.

The sequence before halftime was horrible, but I don't blame MLF/AR too much for how they handled the clock. We've seen teams do similar a million times before halftime. Cautiously aggressive. If a play works and they start getting into FG position - or better - then you speed it up. Keep in mind that our defense did not play well at all in the first half. As for Pettine/King, no more needs to be said for that atrocity (football atrocity).

It's easy to design plays from our respective couches, but per the pass/run imbalance, are we overlooking the fact that Aaron Jones was out of the lineup after his fumble early on in the 3rd Q? Yes, there still may have been room for more balance and more versatility (motion, play-action, a run or two) in the "gold zone", but our best RB was out.

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Coldworld's picture

January 27, 2021 at 01:28 pm

Was he our best RB that day and is he the best pounding the middle generally?

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Philarod's picture

January 27, 2021 at 02:55 pm

Going in, wouldn't you say he was easily our best RB?
Losing him -- whether to fumbles/ineffectiveness or injury - affected the game plan.
I'd say that while he's our only real speed back, he's still a better inside runner than JW, and Dillon is still a bit unknown.
But sure, a few carries by Dillon would not have hurt the cause -- or simply, having him in the backfield in the Gold Zone to take some pressure off the OL.

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RayL1122's picture

January 27, 2021 at 01:48 pm

PI was "too obvious to not call" but, it took 5 seconds for the flag to be thrown. Why? Receiver flop made him throw it? Ball was uncatchable.

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Gman1976's picture

January 27, 2021 at 03:07 pm

Al, pertaining to managing the clock: There doesn't seem to be any hurry in the hurry up offense. In the few games I've seen, I've found myself telling our team on TV, "Let's go!" more than once. I don't know if it's the coach, Aaron, the lack of practice, or the scheme, but it was frustrating to watch precious seconds ticking away.

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