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Cory's Corner: Rejoice because it's early

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Cory's Corner: Rejoice because it's early

For all of the hand wringing about the Packers getting dusted by Atlanta yet again, there’s some solace.

It’s early.

“We got things to do,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “We got things to work on. It’s Week 2, by no means was it clean.”

Nope, the 34-23 Falcons win wasn’t spotless by any means. The defensive line was routinely manhandled without the services of defensive heartbeat Mike Daniels. The secondary has shown a tackling problem and it showed again at the christening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

There was also Martellus Bennett, who has been invisible through two weeks. He’s had six drops but only eight receptions. He has looked sluggish and it’s pretty clear that Jared Cook was the more athletic tight end but the Packers chose the better blocker.

Then there were the injuries. Bookend tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga were scratched before the game for hamstring and ankle injuries. Then the injury tidal wave came. Daniels’ hamstring, Jordy Nelson’s quad, Kentrell Brice’s groin, Randall Cobb’s shoulder and Davon House’s groin.

At some point, the Packers have to get their soft tissue injuries sorted out. The combined four hamstring and groin injuries are things that could be addressed with better hydration or stretching. But it’s not like McCarthy has ignored this either. He stops practice for hydration and has even fed nutritious gummy snacks to his players.

The fact that Rodgers gave the Falcons 14 points and still charged back with the no-huddle and the three-step drop is remarkable. Let’s not forget that this game was 31-7 with 14:04 left in the third.

Yet, the glaring weakness remains speed. The Packers were a step slow on all three phases of the game. The wideouts couldn’t get much separation, the offensive line routinely got burned and the defense had problems covering Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

The Packers were hoping that Rodgers could get them 35 points and the defense would be able to hold on. That’s a lot harder to do when the No. 1 wideout goes down in the first quarter and you had to adjust on the fly to a pair of new starting tackles.

The Packers are still very good that is the best team on paper in the NFC North. But at some point, something has to change if the Packers want to play into February.

Kevin King played surprisingly well and is on the fast track to becoming the next No. 1 Packers cover corner. Clay Matthews continues to show that outside linebacker is a long ways from the quarterback for him and he truly belongs as an inside linebacker.

Is Geronimo Allison on the same page with Rodgers? He may have been suspended for Week 1 but the Packers couldn’t afford a hangover by giving up on a route, which caused Rodgers to throw a pick.

This team can still make a lot of noise. And there’s a good reason why the Packers will be gunning for the No.1 seed.

“I think we can beat anybody at home,” Rodgers said, who is now 3-5 vs. the Falcons. Atlanta is quickly turning into the 1990s Dallas Cowboys. The Packers were 1-8 vs. Dallas in that decade. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (55) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lphill's picture

Had the Packers been 100 percent healthy that could have been a win , I think now they have found some O line depth but may be lacking in D line depth , Daniels injury , Francios gone and maybe corner depth with House injured , maybe try and get Ringo back and also Darell Revis?

caruso81's picture

"Clay Matthews continues to show that outside linebacker is a long ways from the quarterback for him and he truly belongs as an inside linebacker."

THANK YOU!!

Been saying this for three years. In his defense, he's been above average these first couple of games, but I just don't get why GB won't move him inside. Too many other guys? Afraid of him sulking? I don't get it.

The TKstinator's picture

Sweet bruise, AR.

RCPackerFan's picture

I personally am not concerned at all with this game. The only thing that concerns me is the injuries that we had during the game. Though most of those sound like they are minor.

We have to keep things in perspective. Going into this game they were without their starting OT's. That changed the game plan and the things they could do. Then on the first defensive series they lost their best defensive player (maybe 2nd best player on the team). And the first offensive series they lost their best WR.
Going into halftime the game was within reach until the refs had a horrible call which was the turning point in the game. If they don't make that bad call they likely go into halftime no worse then 17-7, but are likely to go in 17-10 or 17-14. That changes what they do in the 3rd quarter. Which probably means they run the ball more and that lateral pass maybe doesn't happen.
In the end they lost by 11 points. To show how much closer this game was or could have been. If you add 4 points that they took away on the Offensive Pass Interference penalty on Allison which was a TD, and took away 4 points on the TD at halftime in which the Falcons should have been flagged for OPI, then this was a 3 point game.

I'm not concerned with what happened in this game. Hoping that if we do play them again it can be in Green Bay.

Onto the Bengals!

Savage57's picture

"I personally am not concerned at all with this game. The only thing that concerns me is the injuries that we had during the game."

"I'm not concerned with what happened in this game. Hoping that if we do play them again it can be in Green Bay."

Starting your post and ending it with the same opinion doesn't make it any more right. And I guess the injuries weren't really your only concern, seems like you're worried about having to play them in Atlanta again, if the Packers make the tournament.

We watched two different games I guess. I saw a team get bitch-slapped out of the gates and then slowly crumble until what happened thereafter was meaningless. The Falcons team speed and get-after made the Packers look like JV playing the Varsity team.

This team has personnel issues, fundamental issues, execution issues, speed issues, durability issues and, the Falcons have gotten into their head much like the Cowboys did in the early-mid '90s.

You should be very concerned.

RCPackerFan's picture

The injuries were my only concern. Well between that and the horrible officiating, but we are used to that part.
I would rather play Atlanta in Green Bay because it would be easier to beat them there. Atlanta is a team built to play in Atlanta. They aren't built to play in Lambeau in January. That being said, if we have all of our starters I have no problem playing them in Atlanta. Take away Atlanta's starting OT's, Julio Jones, their best defensive player and how well would they do?

What is funny. Is you and I watched 2 separate games. I saw a Packers team that was without its starting OT's which changed what they could do offensively. And we aren't talking about just starters. They are Pro Bowl level players. Then they lost their pro bowl WR and pro bowl DL. In this game they played it without 4 pro bowl players.
I also saw a Packers team that made a lot of mistakes (to many dropped passes), had 3 horribly miss calls that cost the Packers points and gave Atlanta points. Which changed the game completely.

Defensively they do have some work to do. We knew this already. We knew they weren't going to be a top 10 defense right away. That being said, we got to start to see what King can do for us. Jones came into the game and gained playing time. Mathews had 1 1/2 sacks and created a lot of pressure throughout the game. Burnett continues to shut down the opposing teams TE's. There is a lot of good things there.

I have no problems playing Atlanta again. The last time we played them with a healthy roster we lost to them by 1 point. The last 2 times we faced them we did not have a healthy roster. They aren't in our heads like the Seahawks were.

I'm not concerned with this team. I'm only concerned with the injuries.

fthisJack's picture

i'm sick of hearing about the horrible officiating. they got outplayed in ever phase of the game and didn't deserve to win. bad calls happen EVERY game. its something you have to expect and overcome by playing better football....some go your way and others don't. stop the whining about the officials and focus your complaints about why the Defense is the downfall of this team year after year after year!

RCPackerFan's picture

yeah there are bad calls every game.

The Point I am making was that this game completely changed on 1 of the bad calls. And the other 2 essentially gave Atlanta points and took away points from the Packers. Its not whining... Its facts. Whether you choose to believe them or not, I don't really care.

I'm not as worried about this defense. We went into the game without our 3rd/4th best pass rusher (Brooks), and lost our best defensive player (Daniels) on the first drive. Our interior DL suffered from it.

With Daniels in there both our run defense and pass defense is much, much better.
Did Randall look bad? Yes.
But also we got King in there and he looked great.

With King and Jones starting to get more playing time our defense will be much better at the end of the year for it.

I'm not concerned about our defense right now. We just played probably the most explosive offense in the league at their house. The defense gave up 27 points and 7 of those came after the turnover just before half where they were put in a very tight spot. We made mistakes and didn't tackle well. Its the 2nd game of the year. They will improve. I have the faith, whether your or anyone else does or doesn't that's up to you.

Samson's picture

Glad to see RC hasn't changed over the years.
You're already dragging out your seasonal excuses.-- Pls... quit with the officials are at fault for any GB loss. -- The Pack were outplayed by a better team. -- Accept it.

RCPackerFan's picture

Great to see you too Samson.

And no I will not change. I'm an optimist and believe in my team. Won't change that. No matter how negative everyone else wants to be.

What I find funny is everyone accusing me of having excuses for the game, when sports talk radio shows who have a lot more credentials then me have the same opinion. This list includes Jason Wilde, Mark Tauscher, Mike Heller, etc...
So if you don't agree with my take, please go onto their shows and talk to them about it.

Oh and for the last time. I did not blame the officials for the loss. I simple said that the Bennett call was the turning point in the game. Also said that they called a TD back from the same penalty, and didn't call one against Atlanta that was exactly the same as they called against Allison.

Agree with me or not, those are the facts. Whether you choose to believe them or not.

pacman's picture

You can't teach speed.

How is it that tackling is a problem EVERY year lately? That alone should(?) get DC fired.

DId Packers do an outside study on % of injuries vs other teams? Something just seems wrong with the prep. Or maybe it's the water in GB. This is just ridiculous.

And for God's sake MM - stay with what works.

All the same issues for the last few years. Yes, it's early. But that's what happens when you keep the same under-performing management in place for a long time. They might not be the worst. But they haven't improved.

But let's keep things in perspective - Titletown opened and now GB has a new playground.

RCPackerFan's picture

'DId Packers do an outside study on % of injuries vs other teams? Something just seems wrong with the prep. Or maybe it's the water in GB. This is just ridiculous.'

I listened to a local radio show yesterday afternoon and they talked to Don Banks (national sports guy) and asked about the injuries. He said its not just a Green Bay thing. Every team is dealing with a lot more injuries.
This sounds like its more of a CBA thing then anything. Not enough practice time to get their bodies ready to play. And now most teams don't play their starters much in the preseason to get their bodies ready for a full game.

Most of the injuries around the league are the soft tissue types which probably is due to their bodies not being used to playing as much as they do. So they get tired and pull muscles.

fthisJack's picture

about the injuries....i have some personal experience in muscle and hamstring injuries. i've played softball for many years. as i got older, i noticed i was pulling muscles and tweaking my hamstrings a lot more. since softball is seasonal, i decided to start running full time. haven't had a problem since then.....even though i'm getting to be as old as dirt, i still play and still run.
i don't know how many football players work out in the offseason but i would think the ones that do are lifting and working on their core and doing some cardio. but it is my experience that running keeps my body from getting the soft tissue injuries that i was getting before.
the problem is that most players do what they want in the offseason. they don't worry about "football shape" until training camp. and even then...how much extended running do they do? probably zero!

RCPackerFan's picture

I like you also play softball, and the last few years have had more injuries. This year I tore my calf muscle (last year pulled my hamstring). I have been trying to run but with young kids and working 1 hour away from home its tougher.

A lot of players have turned to doing more yoga and stuff like that, but even those players are having pulled muscles.

I think its safe to say that virtually every NFL player works out daily in the offseason. Its not like the olden days when players used training camp to get into shape.

Perhaps they need more harder workouts in the offseason? I do think a lot has to do with the CBA rule changes.

fthisJack's picture

i know its hard to squeeze in the time to run especially when you have kids. my kids are gone so i make time to lift weights and run.
and i am surprised that Daniels tweaked his hammy because he does yoga. but i suppose explosion into an immovable object puts enormous stress on ligaments and muscle that stretching can't prevent.
i wasn't targeting you on the ref issue, RC. kind of everyone. it started in week 1 when Aikman and Buck whined the whole game about the missed call and then ESPN and everyone and their brother picked up on it. so i just figure if you play solid football you should be able to overcome boneheaded refs.

RCPackerFan's picture

yeah it is. Plus with other stuff in life it makes it tough.

I think he originally pulled it in practice if I remember right? Sounds like he re aggravated it. A lot of times these muscle pulls are due to tiredness of the muscle, Probably going from playing very little in the preseason to a lot of snaps in week 1 really impacted it. But I am no doctor, just basing it off of what doctors have told me.

Oh trust me i get it. The first game there were bad calls and missed calls both ways.
What frustrated me with this game was that the first bad call had such an impact in the game. And the ref that threw the flag was 30 yards away from where the play happened. And anyone saying it didn't impact the game isn't being truthful. And after that play 4 plays later Hooper did what Allison did and got no call. That just added fuel to the fire. And then Allison gets called.
Over on Packers.com Larry does a great job highlighting these plays.

Its just frustrating when you do nothing wrong and get punished for something you didn't do like on the Bennett play.

HankScorpio's picture

"the problem is that most players do what they want in the offseason. they don't worry about "football shape" until training camp. and even then...how much extended running do they do? probably zero!"

----------------------------------------

I don't think that is true of the NFL in 2017. Maybe it was in decades past. But guys that don't come to camp ready to compete won't stick around long in this day and age. See Eddie Lacy.

I don't know if running is the cure to the ails of soft tissue injury. But I'd be willing to bet the majority of NFL players have offseason routines set up by professionals in fitness and nutrition.

dobber's picture

The issue is that most trainers DON'T want these guys doing a lot of distance running for conditioning. It changes the muscle composition in your body from fast to slow twitch. You have to actively train both. I hear that all the time from our kids here, and this is only D-III college.

I've been a runner (and softball, and volleyball, and basketball player) for years, and still have issues with calves (I popped a hip flexor this year)...mostly as fatigue injuries. If you don't strength train some, your muscles can't handle extended exertion as well. The fibers aren't strong enough. Stretching is important, but so is a balanced approach in training and staying warm during down time.

I would argue that these guys are too lean and too "twitched up". That's the problem.

fthisJack's picture

i'm not saying just run. i myself have lifted weights for many years along with running long distance mixed in with interval training and lots of stretching. and i agree that many of these guys workout with partners in the off season to keep in shape. i just wonder how extensive their stretching routines are to keep their bodies flexible. and if they hydrate enough?

croatpackfan's picture

"All the same issues for the last few years. Yes, it's early. But that's what happens when you keep the same under-performing management in place for a long time. "

Maybe the problem of the slow slugish starts for few last years lays in lack of preseason games time for 1st offensive unit as complete. But, what I know. It is hard to lose player for the season in the preseason game. I see that is much easier to lose player in the 1st or 2nd game of the season, or in practice during preseason...

And, yes. I'm sure that some others DC are teaching and practicing tackling, despite it is forbiden by CBA.

Tarynfor12's picture

Other teams are practicing tackling and we love the tackling donut.

pacman's picture

Teaching and practice tackling is not allowed by the CBA????

dobber's picture

Padded practice time is limited. I think that's what Croat means.

The bottom line is that tackling has gotten worse and worse over the years because contact in practice has become so limited from the little kids on up. The NFL is about as bad as I've seen, but college is even worse.

We wonder why there are so many concussions? In part, it's because the threshhold for diagnosis has been lowered, but also because these guys just aren't very good at tackling.

rdent's picture

Not to sound like Al Bundy but I played High School Football in the 70's and the coaches put us through tackling drills in every practice except of course the walk through and if we didn't get it right, extra wind sprints! Ugh.

croatpackfan's picture

Yes, dobber, I meant that. Sorry, my English is still very row and sometimes I can not explain what I think correctly.

You have no time to practice everything. And this preseason we saw Packers were practicing tackling on each other...

flackcatcher's picture

Soft tissue injuries happen when the body is not conditioned for the constant stress of that activity. It's the main reason why Boot Camp in the USMC is so brutal. The constant and unrelenting stress breaks down a body faster than any thing else. 18 year old kids find themselves in Sick Bay for hamstring and soft muscle tears in the first month of BC. Why the NFL would think they could take athletes, even ones in excellent condition, and ask them to go from zero to sixty is beyond me. This is what the union and management got with the CBA. To call it stupid is a gross understatement.

fthisJack's picture

yup....not enough padded practice time has lead to all the injuries. maybe they should look at a 55 man roster or more cause it gets downright dangerous when guys are playing out of position or haven't played at all....all year.

croatpackfan's picture

Well, as we are still on Atlanta, lets say again: There was 3 moments what take away Packers chances to win this game...

1. moment: ridculous call for OPI from the referee who was far from the point of the event!
2. moment: fumble (if that was fumble) returned for the TD
3. moment: ridiculous call for OPI (SAME REFEREE!) on Cobb TD!

When you look only that, suddenly you have different game. Packers were short for possible 18 points (3 TD minus FG) on that 3 occassions. Also, there is big question would Aaron try to throw that fumble if Packers entered Q 3 with deficit of 3 points only!

Not to mention what those 3 moments meant for shifting momentums of the game!

RCPackerFan's picture

Completely agree!
Well put.

Tarynfor12's picture

If you change one then all things change. The other plays don't come about like a script.

The only thing that stays the same is everything changes.

RCPackerFan's picture

exactly right.

Its like when Biff went back to 1955 with the sports almanac. It altered the 1985 that Marty was accustomed to. Once Marty got the almanac back it corrected itself.

Football games often can be changed based one 1 thing that happens in the game. This one was clearly the Bennett penalty.

fthisJack's picture

but...if that penalty isn't called, maybe Rodgers rips his ACL on the next play and the Pack loses 49 to 16. one never knows what may have been. could be better but could be worse!

RCPackerFan's picture

no one ever knows what is going to happen.

But just based on that game alone, we could clearly see where the game changed. And that was the play that changed the game. Maybe the end result would have been the same, but the way the game was played was completely different after that one moment.

dobber's picture

"no one ever knows what is going to happen."

That's not true: COW did.
He needed to be banned due to his inexplicable powers of prophecy.

croatpackfan's picture

I agree on that with you.

But, even if the first event was correct, there is no guarantee Packers would score TD or FG. Again, 17-7 may altered first series in Q3.

But 2. event happened. That event would be nullified by Cobb's TD. With that TD Packers would be 17 not 21 points (and, consequently 24 points) behind. With Adams TD it would be 14 points behind, so only 2 possession, not 3. That might altered game plan, both Packers and Falcons and we are in the gray area of "What would have happened if"...

Let say, officiating were correct. And lets say Packers scored FG at the end of Q2 - result is 17-10. Lets say Q3 and Q4 went as we saw. Packers won 16-10. Result is 27-26. Packers still lose but there is no dooms day as it is now.

That is how I see that game. The result can fool us often...

fthisJack's picture

"rejoice because its early?'

there is nothing to rejoice about after that game. a slew of injuries and the same old Capers defense.

freddisch's picture

Agree with your comments. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig, it's early??? Same problems on D that have existed over the last five years. Change needs to happen at the top starting with TT. At the very least do not allow him to get involved in drafting defensive players . What a lousy track record. If you are slow and can't tackle GB has a DB position for you.

Handsback's picture

Haven't had much time to post, but will say Murphy and McCray did OK and got some very good game experience. I would have thought Monty would be a hammer for the Packers in this game. Nelson goes down and you double down on him running and receiving. MM does some, but not nearly enough in my opinion. (Again what the heck do I know?)

Green Bay's DBs looked slow, but the reality is they were out of position or got beat off the LOS. Rodgers played a little scared (Frankly, I would too) which is not his style, and the LBs (where was Perry?) were just OK. Green Bay has three TEs, why push the ball to the one guy that's in a slump?

All in all I would say the Falcons beat the Packers physically and the Packer's couldn't respond. Personally, I think the Falcons took their foot off the gas or they would have scored easily in the 40s-50s. Not a good sign for them especially after the last SB.

RCPackerFan's picture

Actually I have been really impressed overall with Murphy. Last week he played his first game and had to face Seattle's front. This week he made his first start at LT and was in a loud dome. I am not to concerned with him now.

dobber's picture

Always good to hear from you, Handsback.

GVPacker's picture

Aaron Rodgers took some punishing hit's during that game and I'm sure with all the other injuries that occurred before and during that game there is probably a severe shortage of Ben Gay and Tiger Balm in the state of Wisconsin right now. Hopefully the Packers can get healthy and feast on the Bengal's and Bears. Im excited about the prospect of Kevin King getting more playing time. I really think Mike Daniels injury enabled the Falcons to curtail Nick Perry and Clay Matthews effectiveness but Clay did have a pretty good game. Still many games to go and Im thinking the Packers and Falcons will cross paths come January but hopefully that meeting will be at Lambeau!

GBPDAN1's picture

Bak says he's not sure he can play vs Cincinnati. Cobb and Daniels injuries required MRIs. These 3 probably won't play this Sunday. Nelson, Bulaga, Brice, Lowry, House and I believe Evans all exited Atlanta with injuries. Lets say we get half of them back for the next game. That still leaves a lot of talent that won't play.

I know the Bengals are a mess, but they should be fighting for their season on Sunday and have had 10 days to prepare. Cincinnati still has some talent on their team. This game may be closer then we think. We can not afford to have anymore injuries! This is getting ridiculous and it's frustrating. But we still have Rodgers.....Fight on Packers!

RCPackerFan's picture

Lets also not forget that they played without Brooks as well.

At this point, if they can have 1 between Bakhtiari or Bulaga, I'd be very, very happy.
I'm ok with going without Nelson or Cobb, but hope we don't have to go without both.

dobber's picture

It was Monday. These guys aren't doing much of anything physical on Monday except for therapy. They'll get a day or two of rest and then start working on Wednesday. We'll see how they're doing then. Hey, that kinda sounded like MM!

As for Bulaga, he was practicing the week before he got the flu on a limited basis. I think he'll play this week.

fthisJack's picture

Burfukt= 2 more concussions for the Packers!

Since '61's picture

It is only week 2 and there is plenty of time to recover from the defeat in Atlanta. The frustration from this game is the repeat of familiar trends that we have seen for several seasons. Lack of speed, poor tackling and numerous injuries.

There were many injuries on both sides and I'm wondering if the new surface in that stadium contributed to the soft tissue injuries. However lack of speed and poor tackling have been major issues for a long time. We should be able to improve the tackling but speed is another problem.

First, I'd like to see King start at corner, paired with a healthy House. Next, we should play Brooks (when healthy) and Perry on the edge and move CM3 inside with Martinez. On passing downs we should bring in Josh Jones for additional speed with CM3 providing inside pressure.

On offense we need our tackles to get healthy, Jordy back and Monty more involved with the offense.

Get healthy and get ready for Cincy.

Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

Putting CMIII on the inside helps to cover up the S playing ILB next to him, too.

Since '61's picture

Absolutely! We need to have our best 11 defenders on the field.
Thanks, Since '61

fthisJack's picture

agree....i like Jake Ryan but he is a liablity in coverage!

Archie's picture

Like "Since '61, I saw the same familiar trends - less of everything good compared to the good teams. AROD alone is good enough to beat everybody else, he's that good. W/o AROD this team couldn't beat anybody. Sad but true. And whose fault is that? Pretty simple. Our GM. He hires a HC who doesn't have a scintilla of creativity in his body and who is too stupid to figure out time-outs or that Dom Capers should be in a nursing home. And he drafts bust after bust. Who was our last really good draft pick? David Bakhtiari? And how many years ago was that? 5? Meanwhile he lets Sitton, Lang and Tretter walk so we get to watch Murphy, Spriggs and McCray. It's time for GB fans everywhere to revolt against this tired and hapless regime and insist on new everything. Unless you like watching this crap that GB Packer football has become. Aside from AROD, the only other Packer that would command more than a 4th round pick would be Bakhtiari. The rest would get you a 7th round pick if you were lucky. You've got to be blind not to see this.

Finwiz's picture

>He hires a HC who doesn't have a scintilla of creativity in his body and who is too stupid to figure out time-outs or that Dom Capers should be in a nursing home<

The part about Capers was the best. The sad part is, he isn't going anyway until Mashed potato Mike leaves.

Cheers!

fthisJack's picture

tooo funny!! lol.

Archie's picture

Correction/Insertion.....

"Aside from AROD, the only other Packer [offensive player] that would command more than a 4th round pick would be Bakhtiari. The rest would get you a 7th round pick if you were lucky. You've got to be blind not to see this."

fthisJack's picture

teams would give their left nut for Daniels if he is healthy!

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