Cory's Corner: Fine Tuning Needed In Green Bay

 
The Packers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. 
 
So why isn't everyone all warm and fuzzy about Green Bay getting its third-straight win after getting a season sweep of Chicago with a 21-13 win on Sunday?
 
"Well, obviously we're excited to be in, but that's nowhere near our standard and our expectations," wide receiver Davante Adams said after catching seven balls for 103 yards and a touchdown. ''We don't leave it just there. We want to win championships here and it's been that way for a long time.''
 
For the second straight week, we are forced to answer questions about Green Bay's worth, despite the Packers winning. Aaron Rodgers even got upset about a "condescending question" regarding the inconsistencies of the offense, which was a completely fair question. 
 
I've been asking this question for awhile. Who are the Packers? On the one hand, they have multiple ways to beat teams. But on the other hand, they don't have a proven offensive identity. Aaron Jones averaged four receptions through the first five games and on Sunday he had zero. 
 
I still think the Packers can make noise, but they need to get the right personnel on the field. I was wrong about Geronimo Allison. I really thought he would be the perfect complement to Adams as the No. 2 receiver. However, Allison has three drops this season and has had problems getting off the line of scrimmage. It's time to play Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard more.
 
And no, this isn't a Jeff Janis 2.0 argument. Kumerow and Lazard can play. However, the toughest thing going for them right now is playing time. Get both of those on the field more while putting the tight end position on ice. 
 
The Packers have two games left. And amazingly, the Packers can secure one of the top two seeds in the NFC playoffs. Now is the time to figure things out. It's time for Green Bay to start opening the throttle as it makes a playoff push. Use more three wide receiver sets, do more play-action and run more swings and screen passes. 
 
This can be a special season in Green Bay. However, without more fine tuning, I don't see anyting special in January. 
 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (70)

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ricky's picture

December 17, 2019 at 06:55 am

Is this a matter of inexperience by LaFleur? Is this something that Rodgers is pushing for because he is loyal to some players (Allison)? Or is there some jealousy that another player (Jones) might get more credit for wins than Rodgers? No catches by Jones, but Williams had one catch for seven yards. Even though it seems obvious that Jones is the additive that makes the offense much more effective. I'm not interested in hearing about tweaks and how another draft or two could really change the team. At this point in Rodgers' career, this team has to be in "win now" mode. Because the clock is ticking, and no one ever beats Father Time.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:02 am

I don't think 12 is intentionally trying to keep the spotlight by running less effective plays. I think he's too much of a competitor to do that. I would tend to think it could be on MLF just being young and inexperienced.

Agree on the draft piece. Sure, GB might get a few good players the next few years, but there will always be new areas of concern. Two years from now GB could easily go from having two of the best tackles in the league to that being a big area of concern. Unfortunately, as a business, it makes more sense to try and always be above average, rather than push in all the chips at a shot for a superbowl. I don't think GB is going to do what the rams have done.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:35 am

"No catches by Jones, but Williams had one catch for seven yards. "

I didn't watch very closely, but have read that defenses have stopped covering Jones and Williams with LBs and are using S and CBs. They're taking those guys away. Lack of depth in pass-catchers is hurting this team.

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porupack's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:34 am

Very appropriate questions Cory. This offense isn't running well.
Just watched the Saints game, and what a difference. The Saints operate with passion and urgency, despite being heavily favored. They used every weapon, TE, WRs, RBs, QB-the joker-Hill. Drees threads the needle in narrow windows. Ball is hiked with 5-7 seconds on the play clock even well after a big lead in 3rd quarter.
So the fine tuning is like you said,
- getting better personnel on the field; Lazard and Kumerow, in place of Allison and less of MVS.
- using RBs and FBs in passing (for some reason this part of the playbook was left in the print shop)
- more swing and screens, play actions

add to that, the CHTV fan base has clearly ordered up;
- up tempo, and no-huddle
- quick timed throws (this is on Rodgers).
- more trickery

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Timeout's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:12 am

Good comparison. The Saints receiving corps has been mostly Thomas and nobody else. Yet they continue to get it done. The running backs accounted for over 100 receptions last year and Brees gets rid of the ball quickly most of the time. Hiking the ball at the last second happened all last season and still continues. A delay of game penalty could have been called on one occasion against the Bears IMO.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:41 am

Everyone knows Thomas is getting the ball. Coverages are rolled to Thomas all game long. The guy not only catches everything thrown his way, but he gets RAC, too. He's having an amazing year.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2019 at 12:18 pm

SAme system for 14 years makes the machine run smoother. Indy played softer than zombies last evening. Brissett cannot be called an NFL quarterback. Throwing out high balls like new year's eve @ Hooligans.

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Packer_Fan's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:36 am

Yes fine tuning. Get Rodgers to throw better is not fine tuning. He just needs to kick it into high gear. And stop taking sacks and take chances to put points on the board. That is the grounding just before the half and the sack after Lowery interception. That's probably fine tuning for a star. I think the defense is starting to fine tune their play. Especially in the Dline. But they can run out of gas at the end of a game when the offense is sputtering. Offense need fine tuning. Allison and MVS need to catch passes. No more false starts. And Lafluer needs to script more plays and play a bit more conservative is critical situations. A field goal here or there or getting a first down when needed will really help

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porupack's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:47 am

Well said. Defense isn't great, but certainly can't keep defending for 30+ minutes of the game and keep the best opponents of the scoreboard.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:39 am

Allison and MVS have had their chances. Next man up.

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packerbackerjim's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:57 pm

I wonder how it might have gone had ESB been healthy. AR seemed to favor him late last year. Even with his being on IR I would still draft a WR in the second round.

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porupack's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:44 am

If MLF has been conservative and kept his playbook conservative up to now, and kept ARodgers to being somewhat of a conservative game manager QB to do just enough to win, that has its merits in being astute, if GB pulls out a full range of plays only when it is needed.
Maybe MLF will unleash the full playbook, and surprise the last critical adversary Minnepo with up tempo and quick timed passes, and some deceptive alignments; 4 WR, or 3 TE sets, whatever.
Or maybe he'll just wait to use it in the NFC championship game?
GB won't beat Minnepo with any version of this lethargic offense. If MLF staff can't inject some adrenaline and a will-to-win offensive attack for 60 minutes, just put in the back-ups and save em for Detro and concede the game as a kind of exhibition for the bottom of the roster. We might even enjoy the game more than watching the starters yawning in the huddle.
I leave you to wonder just how far I might be exaggerating here to make point........

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:47 am

This team does need some fine tuning. Specifically on offense.

But lets be honest with ourselves. The last 2 weeks they have just missed on a lot of big time plays that would have made everyone feel all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes those 1-2 plays can change the whole perspective of a game or of a team. Especially when you look at the scoreboard.

Just look at this week alone. MVS doesn't catch the bomb on the first play of the game. Later, Adams has 2 drops, Allison has a drop. Also in the game they had at least 3 dropped interceptions. 1 of which I think would have been returned for a TD.

So the question is: Who are the 2019 Green Bay Packers... As a simple answer, they are the Seattle Seahawks. They are team that constantly finds ways to win, and doesn't always win pretty but they win. The one difference is the Seahawks have won 9 of their 11 games by 7 points or less. The 2 games more then 7 points was 8 vs the Eagles and 17 to the Cardinals. The Packers have won 5 of their 11 games by 7 points or less.
So while they are a lot like the Seahawks, the Packers have actually have won games better then the Seahawks.

This team needs some fine tuning, but a convincing win in Minnesota can change the overall look on this team!

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pacman's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:56 am

Don't ever say 'they are the Seattle Seahawks' again. Context not withstanding, that just rubs the wrong way.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 17, 2019 at 08:36 am

For many years the Seahawks won a lot of ugly games. Always winning close games.

That essentially is what the Packers are this year.
They are winning close games. Having some 'ugly' wins.

A lot of Packer fans are complaining about the way the Packers are winning. But the truth is this is how the Seahawks manage to win every year.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 18, 2019 at 02:30 am

The issue I have (right or wrong) is that those 1 or 2 big plays GB just barely missed constitute GB's offense. I am probably too hung up on this aspect since chunk plays are very important in the NFL.

As to your reply below, Pete Carroll, as much as I dislike the guy, has been probably the 2nd best Head Coach in the NFL since he got the Seattle job in 2010. Seattle doesn't beat itself very often.

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porupack's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:49 am

To Gutekunst's/MLF credit, they did fine tune the Special Teams after numerous attempted adjustments throughout the year, so we can still give benefit of the doubt that they will make some for the offense.

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albert999's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:54 am

It’s all about getting jones 20 plus touches
Playing fast all 4 quarters
Controlling the clock to keep cousins off the field and keeping our defense fresh

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm

The O line has to command this game. Run on the queens and work the safeties deep. I will be @ the Shipwreck howling for the Pack. They better show up for a battle.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 18, 2019 at 05:44 am

No, it isn't all about getting Jones 20 touches. Not if the defense makes him ineffective by stacking the LoS and covering him with DBs that can play. That old stat about getting RBs the ball enough leading to wins is bass ackwards. It is winning that allows a team to get the ball to the RB.

Jones and Adams are far and away their best weapons. All things being equal, you want to get the ball in their hands. But opposing defenses know that and have 11 highly paid professionals trying to stop that. If they sell out to stop 2 guys, most of them can.

What it is really all about is having enough weapons so you can take what the defense gives you, move the chains and get into the end zone.

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pacman's picture

December 17, 2019 at 08:07 am

Many of us on the board wanted MM gone years ago. I think we were proven right on that.
Many of us on the board wanted Packers to spend on free agency. I think we were proven right on that.
Now many of us on the board want AR to be play smarter (not to hold the ball so long, take what the D gives, etc) and this inconsistent offense seems to prove that out.

There are good points about a few plays here and there making the difference. That is true too. But overall, the issue right now is mostly AR. MLF is not off the hook at all - he should be planning to go more up tempo, getting passes to AJ (as when DA was out) - these seem to be a no brainer. I think we had a little more hope for him in this regard. But being a first year head coach is a reasonable excuse. I can't find any reasonable excuse for AR not playing smarter - especially since evidence points to him not throwing as unbelievably good as he used to.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:09 am

Rodgers hasn't been perfect. He has held onto the ball to long at times. He has had some inaccurate throws and has made some questionable decisions.
However this last game there were what I consider 4 dropped passes for sure. 1 by MVS, 1 by Allison, 2 by Adams. Those are drive killers. I believe 2 of them were on 3rd downs (I can't remember off the top of my head)? I know one of Adams was on 2nd and 20, which would have made 3rd down manageable.
Can't blame Rodgers on any of those plays.

If MVS catches that first one it possibly goes for a TD. If nothing else it gives them first and goal inside the 10. That is a completely different look for the offense. If Adams doesn't drop his 2 passes, that changes both of those drives.

As a whole the offense needs to just play better. Perhaps it will start by getting other guys more playing time. Kumerow being mentioned as one of those guys.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 18, 2019 at 02:40 am

There is a disconnect somewhere. I think it is because other than Adams, none of the WRs on GB should be more than a #4. It could be AR's fault, but the OL has been stellar as a pass blocking unit, so I have indicted the receiving corps, including the TEs.

See the link which shows that AR has more time before pressure arrives than any other QB in the NFL so far in 2019 ON AVERAGE. Not every game, but on average.

https://twitter.com/PFF_Moo/status/1206991149996662789

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Spawny's picture

December 18, 2019 at 03:16 am

RC,
To a certain extent I have to agree with you. Rodgers has not been at his best these past four games. The question that needs to be asked is why? Once you identify the problem correct the problem.
RC, could it be that Rodgers is getting older and thus less willing to gamble on his arm when needing to throw into tight situations? While many would love to trumpet this hypothesis, there are many Rodgers haters here, I can't accept this. Look at the TD throw to Williams at the back corner of the end zone earlier this year. Or, simply look at the window he had to throw to Kumerow against the Bears. The corner was trailing and the safety was closing but the pass was perfect.
Some might see the situation as Rodgers not being able or willing to adapt to ML's new offense. There have been times when the entire team seems out of sync. Again I find it difficult to accept this hypothesis. Rodgers seems to be enjoying the experience of having players in motion and offering the play action off the misdirection of wide receivers crossing in the backfield. To be honest, I think Rodgers is truly enjoying the new offense and his relationship with ML.
I am not a Rodgers hater or a detractor. Yes, Rodgers arm strength can be questioned after a broken collarbone or two. Yes Rodgers has not looked as quick as he was before the knee injury. But Rodgers is surely smarter than Trubisky and many of the younger quarterbacks impressing with their legs but seldom with their arms. Rodgers also knows the value of the ball. Try teaching that to Winston.
I believe that this group of receivers is not as good as past receivers that Rodgers has thrown to.
Jimmy Graham is lumbering toward early retirement at $10 million per year. Graham has shown very little athleticism or speed this year and, I seriously doubt he is a better target than Tonyan.
Mercedes Lewis is a blocking tight end and a damn fine blocking tight end. However, one should ask, why do the Packers need a blocking tight end for 32 snaps per game? Could it be that maybe our two offensive tackles are not as good as advertised? Yes, I have blasphemed. Also note that Vitale was present for 52% of the snaps available. No matter what the answer, Lewis is a suspect receiver.
Now let's look at the slot position. I have to ask, does this team have a legitimate slot receiver? With the hue and cry being vocalized, one has to say Geronimo isn't the man. Geronimo doesn't have the quickness or speed required for the position, If you think that Rodgers can't throw to the slot, look at the touchdown thrown to Adams. Adams came out of the slot. I also think that Rodgers knows that Allison's hands are suspect. In Allison's defense, he is a fine blocker for the run game and he seldom misses helping Jones or Williams get down field. But, Allison is not a slot receiver.
Kumerow made one fantastic play, but is he a go to receiver? I doubt it.
Lazard has shown glimmers of brilliance, but he has dropped passes in all of the past three games.
Everyone knows Adams is a top five or top ten receiver. Rodgers is going to look to him as often as possible. And, guess what? Adams dropped two passes.
I leave the best for last. I'm sure you all have been waiting for this and I don't even want to type out his name. We will simply call him MVS. Everyone gives Graham a pass when he simply doesn't belong anymore. Everyone is quick to point a finger at Allison for the offensive woes. I ask you, why is everyone giving MVS a pass for not showing up to play? It has become so apparent that the entire team and coaches know that MVS just doesn't show up in prime time. First, he can't run a route to save his life. With a guy like Adams to learn from, this is a sin. Second, everyone knows he is fast but his ability to adjust to the ball is suspect. That first play should have been six. Period end of story. Third, I don't care if he is a second year man. When you play with alligator arms, you are sending a message to everyone on the team and staff. Fourth, when have you seen MVS block down field for Jones or Williams? Does the term O'lay ring a bell? This one speed wonder should be relegated to special teams and left there until he earns his position. If I were Rodgers I wouldn't throw the ball to this testicular fortitude challenged wide out ever again. During the past six weeks MVS has been the worst player on the Packers. What is really sad is that MVS hasn't given the effort to contribute.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Put in Boyle and prove your point.

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sachmothree's picture

December 17, 2019 at 08:47 am

Maybe they were saving the best plays for the Vikings this week and the playoffs. If you can beat a bad team without being fancy, why waste all your good play calls on them?

We should start Jamal Williams in cold games then bring Aaron Jones in later as a change of pace back. Thump them until it hurts their bones then use speed to beat them. One thing we're missing are the usage of our TE's. Use the middle of the field and their height more often.

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PackfanNY's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:31 am

A little more Kumerow and Lazard would certainly be helpful. Allison, if he catches the ball, doesn’t seem to provide any yards after the catch. For the same reason more Tonyan and less targeting of Jimmy Graham. It doesn’t mean Graham doesn’t have a role as he should be targeted with Lewis around the goal line. Also, how about trying to create some plays to get Sternberger open in space. Seems like he has some potential as a pass catcher. Other teams seem to find their TEs some room. Why not the Packers?

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Lphill's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:32 am

Moving forward less Allison and Graham is a start . I don’t think there is too much else that can be changed at this point.

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splitpea1's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:12 am

Less MVS would be nice, too, but I suppose we need someone to stretch the field.

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TheVOR's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:34 am

G-Mo getting 51% of the snaps while Jake gets 19% is messed up. Also, MVS, what the heck happened there? That was a guy who appeared to be ready for a breakout season, and hardly sees a ball these days.

You have to start to believe some larger percentage of this is on Rodgers and his fear/inability to get the ball out and make the throws happen. He seems far more hesitant to throw the ball into tight windows than he used to be. He should go back and watch his SB XLV playoff performances and some of the throws he was making. Technically, he should be even better with all the additional experience, instead he's more hesitant and unwilling to make the throws.

It looked like MVS was poised to have a breakout year, and instead, what a disappointment. In his defense, he's nary seen a ball in weeks, so when he finally does see one, he's less than ready to make the catch. That was a huge miss last Sunday, that all being on MVS, gotta make that catch. That's the stuff 1 and done is made of..

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Cubbygold's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:57 am

With the defense that GB put out there year after year under Capers, I can see why 12 would develop an extreme aversion to turning the ball over. Doing so would likely lead to points, and make winning difficult.

This year is different, he shouldn't feel like turnovers will turn into automatic points. Plus, he needs to start hitting these deep passes (and have them actually caught) in order to keep the run game going effectively. Fingers crossed.

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ragemk1's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:39 am

I think people are forgetting this is a first year offense lol. They are still fine tuning the transition in general. They won't look like the saints who has had sean peyton for ever, they won't look like the 49ners who have had shanny for three years. This offense looks exactly how its suppose to look inconsistent at best. What really baffles me is, everyone knows this!, fans, reporters, media yet they still complain and wine and downplay the record. You dont stumble to 11-3, it's not possible in a league that is literally week to week, just go ask the 49ners. Everyone needs to relax and be grateful we are were we are with a dang Rookie Head Coach. Sheesh

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:47 am

We're past the honeymoon at this point. There wasn't going to be much of one, anyway. Imagine what it would be like if this team were 6-8 or 7-7...

People want more because it's there to be had.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:05 pm

Pack got the [pick of the litter with LaFleur. He has his head on straight and controls his ego. His blueprint will keep this team moving forward.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 17, 2019 at 02:28 pm

Most fans have wildly unrealistic expectations. I think most fans would say that they expect to win a superbowl every 10 years or something is going wrong, despite the obvious flaw in that math.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 18, 2019 at 04:19 am

You're correct for the NFL in general. The math is fine, though, if you add in having a hall of fame QB (starting in the 1980s. If a team has a hall of fame QB, on average, it is in fact perfectly reasonable to expect a super bowl appearance once every 5 or 6 years, and a win every 9 or 10 seasons. Hall of Fame QBs post 1980:

Aikman: 3 in 12 years.
Elway: 2 wins, 3 more appearances in 19 yrs.
Favre; 1 win, one other appearance in 20 years.
Marino: 1 appearance in 17 years.
Montana: 4 wins in 15 years.
Moon: No appearances in 17 season.
Warner: 1 win, 2 more appearances in 12 seasons.
Kelly: 4 appearances in 11 seasons.
Young: 3 wins in 15 seasons, five as a back-up.

25 appearances in 138 seasons, or on appearance every 5.52 seasons. 14 wins in 138 season, roughly a win every 9.8 years. [Young won 2 SBs that he didn't play in. Deleting those years he was the backup, he won a SB in 7 seasons.]

In more recent NFL history when the QB really became all important, we have certain hall-of-famers in Brady (9 appearances, 6 wins in 19 seasons), Brees (1 app, 1 win in 19 seasons), Rodgers (1 app, 1 win in 14 seasons), Peyton Manning 3 app, 2 wins in 17 seasons), Favre (2 App, 1 win in 20 years. Without Brady, that's 7 appearances, 5 wins in 70 seasons, or 1 appearance every 10 years, and a win every 14 years. With Brady, it is 16 appearances and 11 wins in 89 seasons, or one appearance every 5.56 seasons and one win every 8.09 seasons.

Maybes in Rothlisberger (3 App w 2 wins in 16 seasons) and Rivers (None in 14 seasons) moves the needle a bit. It becomes 19 appearances, 13 wins in 119 season, or one appearance every 6.26 seasons and a win every 9.15 seasons.

It seems perfectly reasonably to me to expect a super bowl appearance once every 5 or 6 seasons and a super bowl win once every 9 or 10 years if one's team has a hall-of-fame QB.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 17, 2019 at 09:54 am

Per Peter Bukowski on Twitter...

Without Raven Green or Ibraheim Campbell on the field, GB is giving up 24.1 points per game.

With them on the field, 16.1 points per game.

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dobber's picture

December 17, 2019 at 10:11 am

Packers also have had the benefit of playing the Redskins, Giants, and Bears with Campbell back, too.

Still...it's an interesting stat.

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Cubbygold's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:01 am

He played in the 49er game as well, though that was his first game back. I can't remember if he played a full game, or was limited.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 18, 2019 at 04:53 am

Campbell played against Carolina, SF (just 21 snaps), Giants, Washington (just 15 snaps), and Chicago. GB allowed 18.1 points/game in those games.

Greene played against Chicago (week one though) and MN (just 15 snaps). GB allowed 9.5 points per game with Greene playing some.

GB allowed 24.28 pts/gm to DEN, PHI, DAL, DET, OAK, KC, and LAC, the game they both missed.

FWIW, Greene played 56 snaps (77%) against CHI and 15 snaps (23%) against MN before he got hurt, but he didn't get hurt until early in the 3rd quarter. Not clear how much Pettine intended to play Greene overall since he was on pace for about 40 to 45% of snaps vs. MN. Campbell played between 44% and 57% in four of the five games he has played, but just 24% against Washington for some reason. Looks like both Greene and Campbell play a significant percent of snaps when they are available. IIRC, CHI threw the ball a lot in game one, meaning less need for Goodson.

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TacoTuesday's picture

December 17, 2019 at 10:03 am

Cory,
Cheesehead TV needs to make a "Winning Ugly" t-shirt.
This has to be our war-cry moving on into the playoffs.

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Since'61's picture

December 17, 2019 at 10:07 am

First off, comparing the Saints offense playing inside a dome in perfect conditions to the Packers offense playing outside in frigid 13 degrees in a bit ridiculous. Any offense should play better in a dome than outside in the frigid weather of Green Bay. Secondly, the Saints and Brees have been playing in the same offense for how many years now, at least 15 maybe more. The Saints receiving corps is better than the Packers receiving corps because they are faster and they actually catch the ball when it is throw to them.

As for Cory's article the Packers offense needs some fine tuning and they need it in all areas of the offense. First the OL needs to reduce/eliminate pre-snap penalties. These are experienced OLs, the pre-snap penalties should not happen as frequently as they do and some of that is on coaching. Our RBs, especially Jones need to be more involved in the passing game. That is on MLF and the OC, especially when Jones is left trying to block blitzing LBs when Williams or Vitale should be on the field for that. Those plays were WTF plays during the Bears game. We can quickly fine tune our WR corps by playing Lazard and Kumerow instead of MVS and Allison. We will need to make a priority of finding better WRs during the offseason. As for TE, just sit Graham and rotate Lewis, Sternberger and Tonyan. They cannot possibly be any worse or slower than Graham.

MLF and Rodgers need to get beyond their scripted plays and establish some rhythm with this offense. Eliminating pre-snap penalties and giving more snaps to Lazard and Kumerow could help. Getting Jones back involved with the passing game should also help. MLF is the HC. If he is going to call the plays then he needs to put his stamp on this offense and demand the execution required from every player to make it go. Granted the offense is hampered by the quality of its weapons, especially in the passing game, but the players are healthy and by this point in the season the execution by the offense should be better. The most important area is that they need to play better when they have a lead late in the game and need to keep the opponents offense off the field. Just a few first downs late in each of the last 3 games would have created a different feel about this team going into the Minnesota game.

The issue for MLF this week is that he needs to motivate a young team which has just earned a playoff berth to play at a high level on the road in a game that they don't necessarily need to win (looking at it from a player's point of view). It is always a question as to how motivated the players are over playoff seeding. It matters to the coaches and the fans but how much does it matter to the players? We'll see how well MLF handles that challenge. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 17, 2019 at 10:08 am

Everything you seen last night in the NO game is what the Packers either don't have or can't do with a special emphasis on the QB position. Brees is fighting father time and Rodgers seems to be embracing it.

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Since'61's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:02 am

Brees is playing indoors in perfect weather conditions in the same offense he has had for about 15+ seasons.
Rodgers is playing outside in frigid weather with poor WRs in a new offense. Not taking anything away from Brees since he is playing very well and not saying that Rodgers should not be playing better but if you have ever tried throwing and/or catching a football in 13 degrees you would understand what I'm talking about. Thanks, Since '61

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splitpea1's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:18 am

That's why we need to win out and grab one of those top two seeds. I like our chances against anybody at home, but having to play the Saints in the Superdome--well, we'd probably have a real difficult time keeping up with them.

I hope the Packers are treating every game from here on out as a must-win.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:13 pm

The Player's Focus has to be on winning out and securing Home Field. It is well within their grasp if the Big Men can dominate the LOS. This is their reward for a hard fought season. Make it happen.

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Tarynfor12's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:44 am

The Packers are supposed to be built for weather and Rodgers has in the past thrown the ball well in increment weather. Using the Dome play is childish when we've see Rodgers and the Packers win under the Dome in good fashion.

The Packers,though 11-3. haven't looked built to play in any type of field/weather/Dome scenario. They have relied more on the opponents inabilities to win then they have on their abilities to win.

The Packers haven't shown anything that would translate to them having a winterize team for the home game they look to get in the playoffs, which is suppose to be their bread and butter as you imply for the Saints is the Dome.

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splitpea1's picture

December 17, 2019 at 02:50 pm

This is a dumb response and I didn't imply any such thing. The Packers obviously have a much better chance winning against the Saints at home versus the Superdome for a variety of reasons, including weather, crowd noise, and field surface, which would help neutralize some of their team speed. If you remember the last time these two played in Green Bay, most of the game was competitive: with HUNDLEY at quarterback.

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Lphill's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:10 pm

Brees has 8 home games in a dome and a road game in Atlanta dome and usually a playoff or two dome game, Rodgers has maybe 2 a season , big factor in performance , Brees is great but how would he be on the snow below freezing,’? Starr , Favre , Rodgers all from warm climates who all conquered the cold.

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Handsback's picture

December 17, 2019 at 10:11 am

What fans have seen only once this year, at Dallas, was an offense explosion by the Packers. To score with returns and running the ball and throwing at will indicates to us that the Packers have control over their opponent. I see the offense look good one series and then bog down due to drop passes, penalties, or a missed block. It's expected since a new offense doesn't always run efficiently until the thinking stops and instinct takes over.
The defense seems to be in the same category. Even in their second year, the defense is thinking too much and not going on instinct. Maybe adding so many new players also have an effect on the defense.
I have doubts that this team can play this year like we saw from NO last night. The positive is that 11 wins is terrific and wins count no matter how ugly they seem to us. Next year should be different, but enjoying the ride of this season's results and seeing how far they go in the playoffs.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:23 pm

At this point in the season, everyone should be on the same page. They're professionals. The defense will set the tone vs Cousins. They have to play more press coverage and not get picked apart in zone. That's on Pettine to open up the pressure packages. The players who make mental errors need a fine schedule to lighten their pocket book. The dropped passes have to stop. Colder weather plays into some of that, but MVS has to see the bench.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 17, 2019 at 10:23 am

Jones (and everyone else) gets more touches if we don’t go 3-and-out the last four times we have the ball. Only one first down following the 2 scoring drives means we have far too few offensive snaps to spread around. Just 3 or 4 first downs could have added 8-10 more touches.

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Lphill's picture

December 17, 2019 at 10:32 am

The Packers should put the defensive backs through drills with the receivers for catching , they left a lot of missed interceptions on the field against the Bears , can’t let that happen in the upcoming games. Just catch the damn ball , Lowery might have to move to defensive back!

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Since'61's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:05 am

It would be nice if our receivers could catch the ball as well. At least 4 drops in the Bears game. MVS probably cost a TD. Allison a 1st down during the same series and Adams 2 drops. Where are the coaches??? Thanks, Since '61

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Lare's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:18 am

Yes, there are hits and misses, drops and blown coverages, missed blocks and sacks. It isn't always pretty from an execution standpoint, but if it means winning games I wouldn't want the Packers to change a thing. I'll take wins over better stats every game.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 17, 2019 at 03:11 pm

Wins over stats.... I'll bet there's a stat for that too.... :-)

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Coldworld's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:46 am

Like it or not, this WR corps is what it is unless we can get MVS firing. While Kumerow and Lazard might make some improvement taking snaps from Alison, I don’t think the yield will be as much as Cory seems to think.

The problem for me is that those three are very similar. MVS, if credible creates holes simply by his presence. Add that and it opens things up for the rest of the pass catchers. Without it we lack speed. Since we already lack quick twitch, that leaves us being rather easy to scheme against.

Whether MVS can be turned around is a different question, but the attempt needs to be made a priority by both coaches and Rodgers. In the meantime, get the RBs out in passing sets more as well.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 18, 2019 at 05:04 am

I agree. Giving Kumerow and Lazard more snaps at the expense of Allison probably only provides incremental advantage. MVS provides the vertical threat. No one else does.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

December 17, 2019 at 11:53 am

The internet is abuzz about a hoped for change in WR snaps. Articles by nearly all the poor packer bloggers about drops.
Yet look closer. Pete whines about drops....but nothing about adams drops
instead he calls out MVS and GMO by name

If defenses are changing up to cover Jones, and they are, that makes it move MLF. he has not moved well

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Cubbygold's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:09 pm

Trying to think of the appropriate counter. Get 2 TEs on the field and run or throw their way. Small DBs won't be able to handle that well, forcing LBs back on the field.

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Johnblood27's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:12 pm

whats mlf supposed to do? crap out a wr that demands coverage?

jones gets taken away because a db picks him up now not a lb.

with 1 wr threat that will continue.

get graham off the damn field. gb is playing 10 vs 11 with him out there. I have seen more than enough of him. this team will not compete with the best with jg on the field.

at least make the defense defend the te position.

and some vegas shill said that the packers havent shown anything to look like a good cold weather team. BS. jamaal williams is the new edgar bennett if he gets some touches. jones has looked good under all conditions. gbp are built for lambeau in january if rodgers stays in the script and lets the run establish and move the chains a while before taking the open backfield due to defense needing to overcommit to stop the run.

lose graham and build off the run.

win the next 2 and the road to the SB goes through lambeau where we have the recipe for victory.

end of story, fuhgitaboutit!

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 17, 2019 at 01:33 pm

Graham is on the field because Gutedkunst is paying him a lot of money. Just like the dead money pool with Perry and the rest of the misses. Sternberger needs some targets. His blocking is solid and he has natural hands.

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Sol's picture

December 17, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Playing a football game is a bit like playing poker, you never want your opponents to know what you have in your hand. The Packers have did a pretty good job at it this year and I like Aaron dealing the cards. I would venture to say Aaron and the rest of the team still have a few tricks up his sleeve for last two games and the playoffs. I would venture to say to all the nervous fans, JUST RELAX AND LET THEM RUN THE TABLE.

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NWPackersfan's picture

December 17, 2019 at 03:19 pm

This is one of the under the radar additions that may be HUGE for this team moving forward
https://packerswire.usatoday.com/2019/12/17/packers-pr-kr-tyler-ervin-ma...

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Gee's picture

December 18, 2019 at 09:03 am

I agree, imagine just imagine, the opposing team has to at least take five minutes, to study the return game. If nothing else, from what he shown so far, we have at least someone back there that may cause concern for the opponent. We haven't had that all year.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 17, 2019 at 03:40 pm

I am somewhat amused at this thread. MLF not doing this. MLF should be doing that. (Taryn theme trolling.. and failing.. :-) What's funny is MLF is trying to fine tune his offense over the past month. Getting some players healthy and understanding the scheme has helped of course. But the reality is most of these players are only now getting the time needed in this scheme to make it work. For this team, as '61 has pointed out, not enough time this season to understand or make the adjustments needed in season. (Vs the N.O. Saints) MLF has gone heavy, he wants to run the ball and he wants his QB to throw in the voids in the soft middle. But as the young Packers HC is finding out, what you want vs want you get are two very different things. This offense is... what it is. And that's not going to change (no matter how much we fans scream about it). Is this team good enough to win, yes. But it's going to be ugly for the rest of this season, better get use to it....

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Lare's picture

December 17, 2019 at 05:04 pm

IMO, this team still needs a fairly significant upgrade in talent before it'll be a legitimate Super Bowl contending team. "Fine tuning" may improve onfield performance to an extent, but at a point it just becomes putting lipstick on a pig- you aren't going to get mental midgets to be brain surgeons, you aren't going to make slow players fast, you aren't going to get players with poor hand/eye coordination to catch, throw or kick a football.

For me, this season has turned into a bonus season where they've performed above and beyond what I (or many) expected. Add some good players this offseason and next year I don't think wins will be so ugly.

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GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

December 17, 2019 at 07:06 pm

Lets hope for a magic run this year. Next year we should be lethal if - we add the following. A legit top tier veteran WR , TE and ILB. All through Free agency. Plus up OL and DL through the draft.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 18, 2019 at 05:37 am

As for TE, just sit Graham and rotate Lewis, Sternberger and Tonyan. They cannot possibly be any worse or slower than Graham. Since '61.

I will add that Sternberger and Tonyan block as well or better than Graham. I was okay with playing Graham for his veteran leadership against Washington, but it seems to me time to move on.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

December 18, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Getting a talent infusion is not as difficult as it seems, nor as time consuming. GMO is just not good. Putting his snaps in the hands and blocking of Jake and/or Lazard is a big improvement.

Getting Jimmy G off the field instead of running long routes with one broken leg and a concrete cast in favor of Jake is a big improvement.

Jake S has been coming on. Open on long routes. I expect him to make a couple of 'WOW" plays in the next two games. Maybe there is an issue with Jimmy G because he was a level slower v the bears. Maybe a week or 2 off would get him back to meh level instead of hurting the team.

These are simply coaching adjustment. No new players just being smarter

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