Confessions of a Polluted Mindset 2020 - Packers Ravage the Rams

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

 

 

Three-man Rush: 

I should have included this in my "three plays..." yesterday, so you get a bonus here. Everyone loves a three-man rush, right? Well, here's that three-man rush from the Rams game that results in a 28 yard completed pass from Goff to Josh Reynolds. The matchups the Packers end up with on this play are just horrendous. Gary, Clark, Lancaster and Lowry are the front four. Of those four, who would you say ends up dropping back in pass coverage? Wrong. it was Lancaster. Add to that doozy is that Preston Smith is matched up with Robert Woods and Krys Barnes is tasked with Josh Reynolds. You can take this play and just shoot it into the sun. 

But wait, let's look at the circumstances. Seven minutes left in the first quarter, first and 10. The Packers are likely expecting a run, which is why Lancaster is in there, and it's a rare play when the Packers are not in nickel or dime - there are only four defensive backs in the game. The Rams, however,  who are in a 12 formation (1RB, 2 TE and 2 WR), come out in a five wide look. Uh-oh, now what? Well, a three-man rush call makes sense, as the Rams have the Packers in a bad spot and their best shot was to get as many bodies in the defensive backfield as possible. Lancaster, however, would not be the body I would choose, nor would I put Preston Smith on a WR instead of one of the tight ends. But hey, that's just me.

 

Rick Wagner:

I believe I've given every Packers starting OL a shout out in this space except for Rick Wagner. Well, It Is Time. Wagner has been utterly reliable (save for the one time they threw him out there at left tackle) and he came up huge against the Rams. He was mostly tasked with handling Leonard Floyd, a player coming off what has been a career year, with 52 QB pressures, 12.5 QB sacks, and 31 defensive stops. Floyd has always been a long, athletic, and fluid pass rusher. As I watched him take running starts at Wagner, I expected Wagner to have a tough time coping with his speed and variety of spin moves. Wagner, however, never flinched, keeping Floyd in front of him at all times. It was a truly impressive performance I wasn't expecting.

 

Aaron Donald:

All week we heard that Donald was fine, both from Donald himself and the Rams. Donald was never listed as doubtful or even questionable by the Rams. So don't dare come at me with, "yeah, but Donald was injured." I don't want to hear it. He was just owned - pure and simple.

 

MVS:

Marquez made some really fine catches of some off-target Rodgers passes. Even more impressive, he twice fought for extra yards after the catch to gain important first downs. He also could have had two TDs if Rodgers just put the ball in the right place, first in the end zone where he could only get a few fingertips on the ball and then on that awful Rodgers throw on the go route where MVS was behind the DB by 5 yards. This was not his best game statistically, but it was perhaps his steadiest game. 

 

Quarterback Sneaks: 

With Brady's propensity for QB sneaks, If the Bucs have a third and one or fourth and one, can the Packers please, please, please expect it and not have the DL spaced out like it's a third and four? Asking for a friend.

 

Three-headed monster:

(movie trailer voice) Imagine a world, where a football team can send not one, not two, but three different running backs onto the field to ravage opposing defenses into submission. 

 

Rodgers:

Despite the overall success, Rodgers had some real accuracy issues against the Rams. Multiple receivers had to pull in passes that were thrown behind them. And, as in the game against the Bears, he threw a couple of passes that should have been intercepted. Should we be concerned?

 

Alexander vs. Ramsey:

If you're using this game as a comparison, Jaire is a first-team ALL-Pro and Ramsey doesn't make the team.

 

__________________________

"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 (76)

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Bure9620's picture

January 20, 2021 at 06:26 am

Agree on Rodgers accuracy...The endzone pass at the end of the half should have been picked too. He was off on crossing routes and way off on the MVS throw. I noticed Rodgers getting a bit lazy with footwork again.

There have been 5 passes between this game and the Bears game which could have easily been picked, but the defender simply did not make the play.

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Razer's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:19 am

Rodgers accuracy in the Rams game is an honest point by Bure9620. He did not have his best throwing day BUT he made it work. I like our QB's confidence but he no doubt reacts to the pressure of these games. If our game plan and play calling can keep the Bucs out of step the advantage to Rodgers is huge. It will also help to keep him out of the gambles that can derail a pretty good offense.

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:31 am

Rodgers was under pressure with the throw to MVS in the end zone. He missed it but perhaps a little harsh to blame it on technique. As to the throws at the end of the half, my take was that with minimal time left, Rodgers was willing to take the risk he supposedly never does and go for the killer blow. Certainly both were risky throes we seldom see.

I certainly agree that it wasn’t his most accurate day. However, I think there are situational reasons for some of the throws.

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:55 am

There was also the slant-and-go to Davante that was completed but could have been a touchdown if it had been more accurate.
Even the greats have off days. Fortunately, Rodgers is so great that, with some help from his receivers, this particular off day didn't seem so bad, was hardly noticeable, and actually seemed a very good day.
However, this is why I don't like quarterbacks calling out receivers on the field for mistakes; do it discreetly in the huddle or on the sidelines. After all, the QBs wouldn't want wide-open receivers jumping up and down if a pass is overthrown.
In any case, let's hope that all that this means is that Rodgers is due for a couple of particularly good games of excellent decisions and precision passing.
Remember that pinpoint pass to Jennings in the middle of the field late in the Super Bowl against the Steelers -- which converted a third down, drained the clock, and led to an important field goal to increase our lead.

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Thegravedigger's picture

January 20, 2021 at 12:18 pm

You are correct sir. On both accounts. Especially before half. He was going for 7. Taking risks when we are up to try and put them away.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2021 at 05:22 pm

It's getting colder out there this time of the year. A bit of a slip in the grip or setting the feet can cause a misfire.
He will have a very good game vs Brady.

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Packers0808's picture

January 20, 2021 at 06:36 am

It seems so many times these players and teams say a player is fine after being injured and they then don't show up in the game! Seems all show and game man ship when this is a question on their health! With the points on Rodgers accuracy exactly what my thoughts were, he was lucky at times for sure! Would be interesting to see a full back field of Dillon, Williams and Jones at same time as to the throwback days and see what would be run out of that formation!

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mrtundra's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:51 am

Hurt or not, Donald was owned by Elgton Jenkins. The frustration felt by Donald, not being able to beat Jenkins, came out when Donald was penalized for face masking Jenkins, giving GB a 1st down 15 yards closer to the end zone than the previous play. Donald is, no doubt, one of the finest defenders in the league. Last Saturday, Elgton Jenkins showed why he is one of the finest LGs in the League.

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:55 am

Jenkins did a nice job of baiting Donald there and knowing the ref was right there, not retaliating further. Vet move.

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Packers0808's picture

January 20, 2021 at 01:01 pm

Agreed!

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 10:00 am

On the second throw to the end zone at the end of the second half, it seemed MVS did a good job of preventing an interception.
That would be another kudo to add to the game for MVS in addition to the ones given by Jersey Al.

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egbertsouse's picture

January 20, 2021 at 06:44 am

If you think that Donald wasn’t playing hurt, you’re delusional. Anyone could see after 2 plays he couldn’t get off the ball.

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GregC's picture

January 20, 2021 at 07:20 am

Agreed. It was a great win by the Packers, but there's no need to pretend that Aaron Donald wasn't playing hurt.

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blacke00's picture

January 20, 2021 at 07:31 am

Agree! But he wasn't the only player on defense!

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:11 am

Agreed that he was injured, but every team has injuries this time of year. At least the Rams had some play from Donald. The Packers were without the best LT in football (Bahk).

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PewAuKeeFan's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:44 am

Delusional? De-lusional?? Delusion-al???

You step on the field, you're a player. Not an "injured player", but a "player". Spelt P-L-A-Y-E-R.

Don't be cute and then come crying when you get cuffed behind your ears.

Also, last time I checked, football was a team game. 53 players on the team, with 11 on the field at a time for each team. I didn't know that the RAMS were only allowed one player; that is totally unfair. Wait! I did notice the RAMS with 11 players (well, once they did try 12 :)).

So, crybaby should have stayed in his crib if he couldn't play.

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frankthefork's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:01 am

I think it's 46 healthy players on a team at game time or on game day; but yes 53 contracted players from week to week for practice plus the extras (12-16) on the scout team.

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Thegravedigger's picture

January 20, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Yeah. But then you have to say the bucks owned kenny clark his first game back from injury week 6. K clark is two different guys when he is injured and when healthy. Elgton jenkins is fucking awesome. We already know this. But theres a reason donald sat most of the game.

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2021 at 05:29 pm

We did not beat a fully fit Donald. I’m not one to fault a player for playing through injury. It’s the ones who won’t if needed that ought to be vilified. Give him his due, that hurt even with injections. We still whooped the rest of their line.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:47 am

Donald played 53% of the snaps. His usual mark is about 85%. So, yes, he sat more than he normally does, but not most of the game.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:48 am

Well, it is not that we knows for sure that Aaron Donald is hurt, do we?

Is he listed on the injury report? NO! Did he said publicly he is completely OK and good to go against Packers? YES! Did Sean McVay said publicly he is OK, no problems with his injury? YES!

So, who are we to suspect them. I agree with Al. He was not injured but owned by Jenkins. End of story.

Your excuses just diminish how great Jenkins was played. He was playing so good that so called injured player lost his temper because he was not able to do anything he was used to.

Those are all mind games. And if you are right I honestly expect NFL to punish Rams for unfair behavior (incorrect injury report) by taking from them at least 2nd and 3rd round pick for that!

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Minniman's picture

January 20, 2021 at 02:49 pm

Totally agree with your points Croat, this one is on the Rams coaching and medical staff and for the league to work out.

I’ll concede to other posters that Donald didn’t play to the naked eye as he normally does, wasn’t lined up all over the line and moving and attacking as freely as we usually see him; but that’s not the Packers problem, he was on the field, he’s a designated player (like his other 10 D team mates), he got neutralised, end of discussion.

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:57 am

Donald was pushing the pocket with regularity. He was not a non-factor.

That aside, the Rams have a deep and athletic front...and they were had.

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Thegravedigger's picture

January 20, 2021 at 12:24 pm

That is the real point. We handled their entire front.

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2021 at 01:08 pm

Yes, but kudos to the game plan and a hard blocking Jenkins for aggravating the injury early.

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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2021 at 07:51 am

The late 3rd quarter scoring drive by the packers showed 2 - 3man, 2-4man and the rest 5-man rush. They mixed up their looks quite a bit. On the 3-man rush Lowry was the DL who dropped into coverage. Not making any judgement, I’m not an X n O guy, just throwing out the info after I watched the game again. It might be the reason as Al said about the first quarter drive the Rams caught the Packers with the set of players they didn’t prefer. They seemed to do some hurry up O to keep the Packers from substituting players. I suspect the Bucs will try similar strategy.

Regarding three headed monster....I don’t think it is necessary as Williams is balling and made all three 3rd and short plays. At this stage in his career, Williams is a better pass catcher and blitz blocker. Also, Dillon fumbled and might have a confidence issue going into a big game. Stay with the two headed monster of Williams/Jones. That said, I love Dillon’s potential and his time will come.

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fansince1959's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:53 am

Dillon should play if healthy

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dobber's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:59 am

Put your best guys out there. If a hobbled Dillon is better than elevating Mike Weber or Dexter Williams, suit him up. You're playing for this week. Can't hold it back.

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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:12 am

It’s not whether he dresses but whether he plays was my thoughts. I can see packers using him as a decoy for play action. Just doubt he Will get much PT whether healthy or not. Go with who got you there and that is Williams.

Why risk inexperience in a big game especially when one is a better blitz blocker and pass catcher at this stage of their careers. I’ll take experience all day long. I also believe that Rodgers and Williams know each other far better and that is important with protection and route running.

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2021 at 10:36 am

Dillon doesn’t need most of the snaps, but ideally you want him to pound them up early as in the last game, particularly with these ILBs. He is simply more of an impact than Williams, despite Williams being excellent last week. Jones is only going to benefit from a similar approach to last week. Personally, I like the 2 back sets.

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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2021 at 10:56 am

If Williams was excellent then why take snaps from him for Dillon? Williams is the better blitz protector and has a better connection with Rodgers. The last thing we need is Dillon missing a block and Rodgers goes down hard.

I agree he is a better pounder, but at what risk?

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2021 at 05:16 pm

Jones isn’t a punishing back in the same way. Not close to the load. Again, not arguing to replace. Just use for a specific purpose. Dillon is likely a bigger break away threat though.

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murf7777's picture

January 22, 2021 at 10:05 am

I was talking about using Williams vs Dillon, not Jones vs Dillon.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2021 at 06:03 pm

Dillon may be catching the swing pass after the LB vacates his zone. Dillon was drafted for this time of year.
Hopefully, he's ready by Sunday.

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 20, 2021 at 06:13 pm

If the contusion heals a bit with the RICE routine and a anti-imflamatory regime he may be ready for some reps.
I don't believe the guy who tackled him faired very well after the collision.

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dobber's picture

January 21, 2021 at 07:48 am

Dillon was a limited participant on Wednesday's practice report.

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Razer's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:09 am

Al, Al, Al - I am just trying to get my war paint right and you go and throw that 3 man rush/Lancaster dropping into coverage grenade. Now I am drawn back to a Rams first half TD drive that took 3 minutes where I thought special teams was playing defense. If Pettine is overwhelmed this game will be unnecessarily close and Brady will eat us alive. If we get our resources in the best position to perform - we will win this match.

To state the obvious, Aaron Rodgers will need to be at his best and remain at his best - even if the Bucs defense generates adversity. Rodgers collapse in Game 6 is not an option. The offensive game plan can help a lot on this front. I expect to see effective running and tight end play.

Overall, this game can be won or lost by our coaches. This is an acid test on whether the coaching can put our horses in the best position to succeed. The days of Matt Lafleur being schooled by his opponent can't happen. The weekend where our defense doesn't adjust to the scheme being executed can't happen. We have enough talent - are we smart enough?

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fansince1959's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:54 am

I would say it will be won or lost in the trenches

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Razer's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:19 am

Always. That is my mantra when I am not running on about a whack of other things :o)

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 10:17 am

I'm hoping Pettine risks being a little too aggressive rather than a little too conservative.
Everything in life is a risk, including playing it too safe.
It seems our defenders thrive on at least occasional opportunities for dashing and daring adventures, such as blitzes and one-to-one coverage.
Without being reckless or rash, let's be somewhat dashing and daring.
Most of all, mix it up with different looks to keep the Bucs guessing -- although I'd scrap the three-man rush under any circumstances.
I'd banish the three-man rush, bury it, and never speak of it again.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 20, 2021 at 12:56 pm

Swisch, I agree about the three man rush. However, I think that Brady could kill the defense if we blitz too often. He is used to beating those defenses.

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2021 at 05:33 pm

Brady is, the best tactic is not the edge but the middle, make him move. Bigger DL is likely more important if Snacks still has anything.

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2021 at 01:14 pm

I agree with your point of mixing it up even with a dash of three man rush.

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jlc1's picture

January 20, 2021 at 04:56 pm

Oh snap "special teams playing defense". Nice one.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:21 am

If the Packers get caught with the wrong personnel grouping on the field, wouldn't they be better off blitzing with five rather than trying to have Lancaster or Lowery try to cover a receiver? With a three man rush you almost guarantee that the opposing QB will have time to find an open receiver and one will be open - the TE that Lowery or Lancaster are trying to cover. At least with a blitz, you make the opposing QB make a quick decision and maybe he makes the wrong one.

I hate three man rushes!

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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:02 am

Guam. You have a good point about blitzing a fifth man. They do routinely rush five but blitzing is different and agree it can be very effective.

That said, when blitzing someone like Brady you are doing so at your own peril. giving up underneath yardage rushing 3 might’ve been better. I’m not favoring either because of lack of knowledge. I suspect all teams do it occasionally. I’m just happy I’m not the guy having to make those game time decisions. Hope Pettine gets it right most of the time during the game.

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 10:22 am

What about blitzing but still guarding primarily against the deep ball?
As a inexpert fan, it's hard to imagine any good reason for a three-man rush.
Even on the play cited by Jersey Al, the three-man rush failed big time.
Perhaps the three-man rush has driven me into a kind of madness, but I think it should be cause for termination of any defensive coordinator for the Packers.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:24 am

I think the game against the Bucs hinges on our O-line. Last time the O-line got dominated by the Bucs front seven and the offense never got untracked. If the O-line plays like they did against the Ram's front, the Packers will win the game. If they repeat the last effort against the Bucs, the Packers will come up short of the SB again.

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Razer's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:31 am

I just rambled on about all kinds of crap and Guam comes out with this gem. The truth and conciseness of this observation is humbling. Big thumbs up.

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Guam's picture

January 20, 2021 at 06:06 pm

Thank you Razor! Every once an awhile even a blind squirrel finds a nut.......

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gkarl's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:44 am

Some pressure in the A gaps on TB will sure help as well, get him off his spot quickly and he's not the same QB.

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fansince1959's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:56 am

Totally agree---we need a Desmond Bishop like performance all afternoon

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:36 am

Isn't it nice when Rodgers doesn't have his A-game and the team can still win anyway?

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:18 am

Not only win. But win easily.
And not against a slouch. Against the number 1 rated defense.

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pacman's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:42 am

Al, you mean you're not on the 'I don't care who comes to GB' bandwagon?

I hate this overconfidence. Yes, I think we should be the favorite. But TB didn't luck into the playoffs like the Bears. They earned it.
I really hope the team is motivated to crush them and not play it soft or take it easy if they are up by 10. I don't want to see any let up unless they are up by 3+ scores with 5 minutes left. (see Manning 21 points in 4 min )

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croatpackfan's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:54 am

I agree let take the lead of 10 points deep in 4th quarter and play at full strength, and try to lose in this effort at least 3 important players on the defense for SB. Clever thinking!

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PaulRosik's picture

January 20, 2021 at 12:56 pm

It's not overconfidence. It's just to combat all the negative thinking fans that are sure this is destined to be an L.

Green Bay is the better team right now but of course they actually have to go out there and play well to win.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 20, 2021 at 08:45 am

It’s time for the perfect game plan. Packers players have proved they have the talent and the coaches need the plan to defeat Tampa and I believe it starts with protecting Rodgers.

GPG

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:12 am

Three-man Rush:

In general the 3 man rush is not good for our defense. We need 4 to rush. Unless for some reason we could have our 3 edge rushers. However in situations like this it will happen.
Hopefully this week Pettine comes up with a good plan for when Tampa tries to get us in the same look.

Rick Wagner:
Wagner has been worth every penny they gave him! He has been really good. Our OL is a big reason why we finished the season 13-3 and are now in the NFC Championship game. Wagner deserves a lot of credit. He has been that good.

Aaron Donald:
You could tell right away that Donald was frustrated. Jenkins locked onto him and never let him go. It was great seeing him getting the personal foul early. It showed his frustration early. He only got close to Rodgers 1 time. That was the play down by the goal line when Rodgers simply stepped up and threw for a first down.

MVS:
MVS was really good. I saw all the blame going to MVS on the opening drive. Did it hit him in the hands. Yeah, sort of.. It was basically finger tips. It was simply a bad throw. MVS was Wide open, which should have made for an easy TD. Later if Rodgers hits MVS there is a good chance that play ends the game right there. Against Tampa we need MVS to play big!

Quarterback Sneaks:
How about getting Snacks in on those plays?

Three-headed monster:
I hope Dillon can play. If he can, that gives us a 3 different types of RB's. It also gives us different options. Just like they did when they put both Jones and Dillon in the backfield together. It creates some great looks. When they split Jones out wide it creates some good looks.

If Dillon can't go I wouldn't be surprised if they put Williams and Jones together in the backfield some. Also I think they will use Austin more in this game.

Rodgers:
This was not Rodgers most accurate game of the year. Perhaps having the bye week threw timing off a bit? Perhaps it was from facing the defense for the first time? No idea. But he missed a wide open MVS twice and it wasn't even close. He was way behind Adams on a deep shot that if he hits him in stride could have been a TD. He was off on a few throws that the WR's made really good adjustments.

Alexander vs. Ramsey:

Alexander is the best CB in the league. Plain and simple.

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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2021 at 11:00 am

I agree with Snacks to help prevent the QB sneak. Unfortunately, historically few have stopped Brady. The best remedy is keep them from 4th and 1

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murf7777's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:17 am

Phillip Rivers retiring, now hope the Packers pummel another HOF QB into retiring.

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frankthefork's picture

January 20, 2021 at 09:21 am

Al, another great sum up. EJ74 was the star of the Rams game in my book and showed AD99 and the rest of the NFL that he is a future Pro Bowler.

As for the Bucs match up...I don't think it goes the Packers way... unless They/we win on turnovers and rushing yards. TB12 rarely gets frustrated and AR12 shows impatience at times. I expect Bucs to blitz all day and try to stuff the run, so the short curls over the middle will be the bread and butter with a few slants and a go route. The Packers D can get to Brady on 4-5 man stunts; he's too smart to blitz but we have to try a few. To me this is the SB55 game, and the winner here takes it all in Tampa.
The Packer fans need to bring the energy Sunday. GPG. GB 28 TB 27

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2021 at 01:22 pm

Brady not frustrated, I have seen him scream at players or throw things around on the sideline many times. Watch what happens when we make him move his feet in the pocket.

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 10:35 am

It's worth remembering we jumped out to a nice lead against the Bucs.
We were looking great in that regular season game.
It all fell apart so fast.
It would be worth an article here at CHTV to help us understand what happened to let the game get away.
Maybe it was just one of those days for the Packers where just about everything went wrong.
However, it may have been a lesson in the Packers needing to keep their cool.
The interceptions thrown by Rodgers happened fairly early in the game -- there was plenty of time to take a deep breath and stick to the game plan; there was plenty of time for sustained drives; there was plenty of time to regain any lost composure.
This past weekend, I was shocked that the Browns stuck with the Chiefs until the very end.
It seems most NFL games are like that, with close finishes.
Minimize the deficit in adversity, and we can come all the way back; maximize the lead in prosperity, and the other team will come up short.

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PaulRosik's picture

January 20, 2021 at 10:44 am

There were a handful of plays last week where the Packers lined up with both Jones and Dillon in the backfield. Jones would motion out wide, and I thought it created some great run/pass options for Rodgers to evaluate. I hope that continues and if Dillon is out they just put Williams in there and run this.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 20, 2021 at 11:39 am

When I re-watched the game on tape, I loved the way Davante Adams made Ramsey look like a rookie.

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PatrickGB's picture

January 20, 2021 at 01:10 pm

What is being undersold is the task for our offense is beating two great linebackers. I believe that is what caused Rodgers confusion. The next problem that our offense faces is not a great dline. It’s the linebackers who cover and recover like DB’s. They fly around like like DB’s to cover the pass and stop the run like d-linemen. Add to that the looks that they present can confuse the assessment of the defense before the snap. Sure, we beat the Rams top rated defense but this is the kind of defense that is effective against some of the best play calling.
The task our defense faces is not one, not two, not three but four legitimate pass catchers. We have,maybe, two stellar DB’s. Everyone else is average.

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2021 at 01:26 pm

Yes, even with all that , they have been beaten many times this year, and remember our safeties are playing at a very high level right now both tackling and covering.

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 04:51 pm

It seems as though Washington gave them a tough game in the playoffs.
I'd be interested to hear other fans give their reasons as to why.

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Coldworld's picture

January 20, 2021 at 05:38 pm

Run at them not around them has been the start. We played to their speed but they aren’t stout. We got everything wrong tactically last time once they adjusted.

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 07:36 pm

That seems a big part of what worked against the vaunted defense of the Rams -- run it right up the middle.
It makes sense that defensive speed works better on getting to the edges, but on runs up the middle it's more of a matter of power to make stops.
Maybe our linemen, plus tight ends, can overpower their defensive line and even push back those fast linebackers.
Overall, I'm respectful of the Bucs and concerned about them -- but I'm glad we're playing them, and confident we can win.

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PeteK's picture

January 20, 2021 at 01:38 pm

At least we both stink at special teams. However, we will throw the ball downfield and rush the passer better than NO , who was about to win until some careless turnovers particularly Cook cradling the ball with defenders nearby. They'll get their yards and some pts , but we are playing better than any team right now because of our balance and options on D and O.

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Since'61's picture

January 20, 2021 at 03:39 pm

Our OL is the key to the game against the Bucs. They need to play tough, physical football and not be manhandled as they were in Tampa earlier in the season.

On defense we need to rush a minimum of 4 and send in a 5th rusher from time to time. We need pressure on Brady, especially pressure up the middle. Get Brady off of his spot and he’s in trouble.

Win the LOS, win the game. Thanks, Since ‘61

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PatrickGB's picture

January 20, 2021 at 04:14 pm

Ideally you are right. Yet when the QB gets the pass out in less than three seconds then it’s hard to get home. Pass rush works best when the receivers are not open. Although he has improved, Brady doesn’t often throw the long ball effectively. So I expect them, like many teams, to first test our run defense and throw short to medium passes over the middle. Ja is effective against any one receiver but can’t be expected to cover the whole backend. That’s where the safety’s come into the game plan. All it takes is a few pass breakups or even an interception to get Brady off that game plan. We cannot expect our LB’s to play like theirs so it’s up to the d-line to prevent any long developing plays as well as just QB pressure.

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Swisch's picture

January 20, 2021 at 04:55 pm

Do we dare Brady to beat us deep?

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jlc1's picture

January 20, 2021 at 04:52 pm

Didn't Wagner whiff on the blocked field goal that, fortunately, got called back?

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