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Cory's Corner: The Packers now know how to win

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Cory's Corner: The Packers now know how to win

If you want to see the Packers playing deep into January, get used to the team you saw on Sunday.

And no, it’s not because Mike McCarthy grabbed the play-calling reins.

Without a deep passing receiving threat, the Packers have to lean on something else to keep the offense viable.

Eddie Lacy and Co. showed us that the running game could be counted on to do the heavy lifting for an offense that has been trying to find its way nearly all season.

“Coach believed in us, he believed in the offensive line, he believed in me and (James) Starks,” said Lacy, who ran all over the Cowboys to the tune of 24 carries for 124 yards — both season highs. “We were able to not let him down.”

This is the ticket to turning this season around. Despite having one of the best quarterbacks in the game, make the Packers’ offense three yards and a cloud of dust. (Or if you’re talking about Sunday’s 28-7 soggy win, you could say three yards and a rooster tail of raindrops).

“The key again is third down conversions,” said Rodgers. “That’s the way you get 80 plays. You convert those third downs and we had some more manageable situations.”

The Packers were 7-for-14 on third down and of those 14, 10 were from five yards or less. When you can get chunks of yards on first and second down, third downs all-of-a-sudden become less of a worry. And the biggest reason is because the threat of a run or a pass is still there.

The Packers have been searching for an identity all season ever since they lost Jordy Nelson in August. They tried to mimic what they had in the passing game, but nothing ever measured up. Randall Cobb is a complementary wideout, not a No. 1. Davante Adams has clearly regressed in his sophomore season, James Jones is being betrayed by Father Time, Jeff Janis’ routes are sloppy and loose and Jared Abbrederis just cannot stay healthy. Not to mention a slow and unreliable tight end in Richard Rodgers.

This team just doesn’t have the horses to slingshot its way down the field. The Packers’ longest pass on Sunday was 24 yards — a screen pass to of all people, Lacy.

It’s nearly sacrilegious to designate the Packers, the team with the best passer in the game, as a team that’s going to pound the rock like an old-school Big Ten team. But the offensive line looked like it was chomping at the bit to put their guy on their back was given the running plays that allowed them to do that.

And let’s not forget that Starks is the perfect complementary back that has done whatever has been asked of him. When he was asked to start, he did it. When Lacy took the No. 1 job back, Starks never held a grudge.  

This is a huge game for Lacy, who has battled weight, apathy and curfew problems. But he needs to keep answering the bell for this team and for himself.

Why? Because this ground attack is the reason why the Packers have a legitimate shot at the NFC Championship Game. Lacy is a warrior that gets stronger with each carry. That makes him nearly invincible at the end of games because you could easily tell that no Dallas defender wanted to tackle the runaway bowling ball.

Add in Starks’ quickness and you’ve got a potent offense again.

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

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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (101) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tundraboy's picture

Sure hope they stick with running and screen plays because that is the way we can go deep in playoffs. Would like to see more FB plays as well. Who knows if we stick with that, then maybe the passing game will resurrect itself. Time will tell, but I for one do not mind winning that way. It's the way this year is. No sense beating a dead horse.

Nick Perry's picture

I agree Tundraboy. It seems this season the Packers will go as far as their Running game will take them, at least right now. For one it keeps the defense off the field as long as it's working. The drive to go up 21-7 Sunday was absolutely beautiful. The Packers had simply wore the Cowboys down and there wasn't a damn thing Dallas could do about it. It was pretty cool watching Eddie, Starks, and even Kuhn getting all jacked up after a good play.

Tundraboy's picture

Yes that was fun. I was watching game with my youngest son who is 8 and after we scored the 3rd touchdown, he said "now we're really happy" He was right.

Nick Perry's picture

Soory folks, double post.

croatpackfan's picture

I agree what you wrote, Cory, except one thing - Abby is healthy. And we will see more of him soon. But I think Packers should go running first. I agree with Tundraboy. Running will open pass and resurrect pass will make running easier. I feel this team can become white hot at the eve of the playoff. Just need to survive to that moment and improving themselves all the way. They might become no 2 seed if both phases of the team finally comes to balance! O and D at top 10 level is sure SB win!

dobber's picture

Title: "Packers now know how to win"

I agree to a point: the Packers are still "figuring out" how to win...and they've been successful in 3 of their last 4 games (but only 3 of their last 7). I'm not trying to pee in the punchbowl here, but these last couple weeks belong in the category of "games they should win". Also in that span are two losses (home v. Detroit and Chicago) that fall into that same category, but they were unsuccessful.

I agree with the assertion that a solid, efficient running game will play a key role in how far this team goes this season, but I think we've all been saying that since the San Diego game. This week, they'll play an Oakland team that's good at home and gets after the passer. Without a run game, the Packers will have a hard time winning on Sunday. I'll come back to the point that if Dallas had Tony Romo under center on Sunday, that game would have played out completely differently...maybe they still win. If they do win v. Oakland (with a credible QB and skill players), and with the way the defense has played I have hope that they will, we can start talking about knowing how to win.

Razer's picture

Glad to see the running game show up for the Dallas game and hope that it shows up down the stretch BUT can we count on it. How many games have we seen our O-line get eaten and nowhere for the back to go. Nothing like seeing Lacy dancing around behind the LOS trying to find daylight. Bottomline is that we need both aspects of the offense going so that defenses don't make us one dimensional.

If our receivers and schemes don't beat the press coverage we will have to nibble away on our offensive drives. That will get us by a bad Dallas team but how will it play out against Arizona, Carolina or a hot Seattle squad. The run is a good foundation and will buy us time BUT we need the deeper passing game to open up the offense

Tundraboy's picture

I agree. No Oline play no run game.

Bearmeat's picture

It will play out just like it did against Minnesota. This team is not as good as the 2014 Green Bay Packers. But it can achieve more.

Tundraboy's picture

I see what you mean. Minnesota game is a great example of who we are and what we can be this year. Good D, good run game and enough passing to win. Run to convert on 3rd down and for favorable TOP The formula to keep D fresh and win. Not 2014 (second half) but I'll take it.

Bearmeat's picture

We played AWFULLY against the Panthers. And we should have tied it up at the end. If the running game stats as efficient as it was on Sunday against a good defense, this team absolutely can win it all.

The WRs will be fine next year too. Jordy back, Cobb healthy, Adams back in a WR3 role. Monty, Abby and Janis with another year of experience.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Absent some positive indications from one of these WRs, it would be sinful to go into next season with Jordy, Cobb, Adams, Abby, Monty, Janis, RR and Q. Is that too strong? Maybe. Yes, we could probably get by if Jordy and Cobb are back at full strength and do not get injured. I suppose I would have to evaluate the whole team this offseason and come up with priorities for talent acquisition and see how those priorities align with the talent in the draft and/or FA. Still....

Dan Stodola's picture

Not too much wrong w/ that WR corps if you ask me. Get the deep threat back and the groupd is similar to last years version that was highly successful. I would still be in favor of adding another/better TE a la Finley to occupy the Safeties a little more. We know Rodgers is NO threat whatsoever. Nice complimentary TE, but not a threat.

As long as they have the deep threat that Jordy provides, that WR corp is fine w/ me.

Nick Perry's picture

Yup, I think the WR group looks completely different next year. Considering Adams has had 2 good games in his career, both last year, he might be here next year depending on what TT does. One thing is certain, Rodgers isn't getting younger and should have at least one other Lombardi Trophy by now with his talent.

RCPackerFan's picture

I believe we now have a formidable running game.

First the OL is getting a little healthier. That has been a problem all season long.
Second, they are starting to schematically use the RB's more in the ways that are better for running the ball.. Against the Cowboys they finally started to use the I formation and the Pistol formation with a FB for most of their run plays. Sorry but you can't expect to run out of the shotgun with the RB next to the QB and expect to have consistent success with that formation.

Having a strong run game will open up passing game more. It will create more one on one looks. It will make the play action pass available, and double moves will work more. IF WR's continue to struggle to beat that, that is when they will need to do more schematically to beat teams. I believe with McCarthy now calling plays and more involved in the offense we will see that.

ray nichkee's picture

Go ahead and pick on Richard Rodgers for being slow cory, but to call him unreliable when he has some of the best hands on this team????????????

Lacy has battled weight, apathy, and curfew problems?????? Uhhhh?????

Where do you come up with this stuff?

One mistake isn't a problem. If the packers had a problem with his weight we would have heard about it. Was his weight a problem Sunday? Apathy????

And the play calling? Nice touch. Did you believe Aaron Rodgers when he said it was execution not play calling? A humble quote from a humble guy. I never pointed the finger at play calling but there is no denying there was a spark there.

Where do you get this stuff from and why do you put your name on it Cory?

zoellner25's picture

Why did you even write this comment?

ray nichkee's picture

Zoellner, I posted to stick up for lacy. I want facts not speculation. Missing one curfew that we know of is not a problem to battle. That guy took everything everybody said about him under the chin, in the gut, and below the belt and turned that into a game I will never forget. He could have rushed for 400 yards that day but we need him for the long haul. The lacy bus is rolling.

Go ahead and dislike me for calling out horseshit writing. I want the world to know every packer fan doesn't think like that. I see I still have an Arizona troll following me. Go away!

ray nichkee's picture

Ahem, cow is cow. His reputation will speak for himself. Go cow. You are a winner!

Curry Rambeau's picture

Completely agree.

WKUPackFan's picture

Got to agree with ray's premise here. There has never been a single fact reported regarding Eddie being overweight, out of shape, or unmotivated.

ray nichkee's picture

Thanks WKU. I understand dislikes for my approach to trolls but I'm not a fan of speculation and I will point it out. I am not the ultimate homer but i will sick by the packers from my time growing up in the 80's till now. The playoffs, the nfl championship games, the superbowls. How many fans besides the pa-cheats can say that?

Dan Stodola's picture

"If the packers had a problem with his weight we would have heard about it."

The Packers don't air thier dirty laundry for all the world to see. They keep it in house. If McCarthy wants Lacy to drop his weight, it will show up next year w/ Lacy coming in quite a bit lighter. Personally, I hope he does. Look what dropping 20 lbs did for LaVeon Bell.

Curry Rambeau's picture

You are correct sir. On the other hand, it became common knowledge through the media that Lacy missed curfew in Detroit, but the team did not directly acknowledge that fact. But Lacy did take personal responsibility for it after the media blew up about it, and everyone piled on Lacy.

4thand1's picture

I never piled on Lacy. How quickly everyone forgot how lacy performed when Rodgers was hurt. On a badly sprained ankle to boot. Or that he was the ORTY when we had no fuckin running game. But boy the rumor mongers and doubters sure came out with flying colors when he missed a curfew while in the hotel lobby. He was called fat, lazy, a quitter, didn't love the game, all sorts of bull shit. Lacy is one of the stars on this team, to bad a lot of people forgot that. So suck it.
GO EDDIE, GOPACKGO!

Curry Rambeau's picture

You are right. I stand corrected. You defended Lacy and I appreciate that.

4thand1's picture

Lacy wil be SB 50 MVP. He will torch NE for 173 yards and 4 TD's.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I think the health of the OL will largely determine our fate. A healthy and effective OL might be enough, but I suspect a viable receiving option other than Cobb will be necessary to get to the SB.

zoellner25's picture

Not to mention the infinite possibilities of the play action game when the running game is working. they have really missed that during Lacy's struggles.

Razer's picture

One more thing. I give the coaches credit for their patience with guys and their development. Taking back the play-calling after giving Clements his shot was the right call. I think we've seen enough of James Jones and Davante Adams running into the warm embrace of coverage. Why not sit these guys a bit and allow Abby/Janis to try their hand? We are not getting production out of this current WR combo, at least we give the young lions a chance to gain experience. At worst, we light a fire under Jones/Adams.

Sorry, I've had enough of the poor WR play - time to step-up.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

I couldn't agree more.

Clay the 1st's picture

Character is part of what the Packers franchise represents.

Keeping promises is part of character.

Honor your promise.

mrj007's picture

Don't forget that we also have ty Montgomery and Quarless waiting to hit the field (if they EVER get healthy) this year.

But WR needs to be addressed or the Packers will waste another window at a Championship with a HOF QB.

A stud ILB wouldn't hurt either....

RCPackerFan's picture

There is absolutely nothing wrong with nickel and diming your way through the play offs. Yeah, they may not have the explosive offense they have had in the past. But being realistic, how far has our 'explosive' offense got us in the past? There is nothing wrong with marching down the field. 5 yards every play. 2 - 5 yard plays = a first down.

When we won the Super Bowl it was when our offense found balance. James Starks came in and gave us a rushing threat to compliment our passing game.

Our passing game definitely isn't where we expect it to be for many reasons. From scheme to injuries, to players not playing well, there are many reasons why they haven't played well.. But 2 players could really help our offense should be coming back soon. Quarless is our most athletic/experienced TE we have. He may not be Antonio Gates, but he is a receiving threat. Also Montgomery will bring more explosiveness back to our offense. He was about to take off when he got hurt.

After McCarthy took over the offense we are starting to see the offense finally find some rhythm for the first time since early in the season. It was one game, but in that one game we saw a lot more things that we are used to seeing. And lets not forget that one game was against a very good defense.

The positives from the game that they can build off of moving forward are:
-They were getting play calls in a lot faster, which gave Rodgers ample amount of time to get everyone on the same page, and allowed enough time to change plays if needed.
-They ran the ball, and stuck with the run. They have ran the ball with success previously, but they didn't stick with it. Running the ball, will draw the safety's up more which will provide more 1 on 1 looks for our WR's. It will open up our passing game more.
-They made Cobb who is our best WR the focal point of the passing game. They found ways to get him the ball in space.

There are things they need to improve on. This is far from a finished product. I think using more personnel and formations, showing more looks and moving players around will help. Using more misdirection plays also will help.

But for the first time in a while, we started seeing our offense, gaining some momentum.

4thand1's picture

You're the expert on shit.
you suck

mrj007's picture

I agree the key is balance.

Bohj's picture

This team does seem to have a better formula for playoff football. Last year we relied too heavily on our mvp passing game. For good reason. And minus 3 minutes, it most likely would have worked for a ring.

Now our D seems better than last year. More consistent. We had a couple of clunkers this year in D. But I honestly hang more of that on all the three and outs from our offense. All of the incomplete passes and quick outs that went nowhere put our D back on the field for way too long. This newly emerging ground and pound keeps that D fresh. This is the formula that the 9ers and Seahawks have used in the last few years. With one difference: we have an mvp QB. (Unless Wilson keeps playing like he is)

Last piece: Richard Rodgers will still be a weapon for us because of his hands. He was a nice target in the Lions game. I think MM made a conscious decision to not use him as much in this game because Dallas would be expecting it. In fact, he stayed in run support most of the time, which obviously worked. And when that run game got going, MM stuck with it. Look for more contributions from RR out of those running tight formations where we run play action. McCarthy is known for building offensive plays from previous sets. I say the Raiders try to defend run, and we burn them from run formations that are really pass using a releasing TE, FB, or RB.

RCPackerFan's picture

I agree with you.

If our offense can stay balanced that will be the biggest thing moving forward.

Rodgers might not be Finley, Antonio Gates or Vernon Davis, but honest we don't need him to be. We need him to be our big body target over the middle of the field that can get first downs, and be that big target in the redzone.

Flow49's picture

Rodgers will never be Gronk, Gates or Graham but add a little more experience and veteran savy he has the tools to be a Jason Witten type player.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, my hope is he will be a Witten, Heath Miller type of player. I think he can be. That is really all that we need from him.

wimiller's picture

you have to be kidding. witten is one of the most reliable TE's in the racket. is he spectacular like Gronk? nope. does he block, play 100 percent every play, catch the ball, manage to get just enough separation, yes . i hate the cowboys but it is hard to hate a player like witten. a real pro.

Flow49's picture

Why do I have to be kidding? I merely stated he has the size and tools to make an impact like Witten, "if" and yes it is a big "if" he puts in the work and develops. He's shown some flashes this year and hopefully will continue to improve and I think his ceiling as a player would be of the Jason Witten mold. Maybe not 1,000 catches... Probably not 1,000 catches but the same basic impact on the game could be found from a Richard Rodgers motivated to improve his game. Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson weren't world beaters in year 2, maybe Richard will make the jump maybe he won't but I see nothing wrong with saying he's of the Witten mold.

Dan Stodola's picture

Lacy ran the ball 21 times in that game vs Sea in the playoffs. Starks had another 1/2 dozen touches. They didn't rely on Rodgers in that game, they had a balanced offense.

Lacy and Starks had 28 touches between them and Rodgers only threw 34 passes. That seems pretty balanced to me.

Curry Rambeau's picture

You are correct sir.

dobber's picture

"This team does seem to have a better formula for playoff football."

I don't agree with that. The NFL is a big-play league, whether it's on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, winning is about how many big plays you can make. Last year's Packer team was a big play team...explosive plays on offense, almost always winning the TO battle, get a big sack or TO on defense. Nobody has a fully stacked team anymore. Everyone has warts. Big plays allow you to get by when other teams are trying to exploit your warts.

This year's Packer team is not a big play team. They're a ball-control, dink-and-dunk offensive unit which has to deal with sporadic OL play and a lack of outside speed, but it still doesn't turn the ball over. The defensive unit gives up yards--but not a lot of points--and even for all the improved play we've seen recently, the pass rush is too easily negated by opposing protection schemes. I would argue that this year's Packers team is set up to get into the playoffs, but unless there's a big jump in quality of play on either (or both) side of the ball and the big plays start coming in bunches, I wouldn't say it's a team set up to make a deep run.

WKUPackFan's picture

I agree wholeheartedly agree. The NFL is a passing league. The rules are geared to assist the pass. AR is the best QB in the league. Playoff games will be won or lost in the passing game (unless weather is a factor).

Lacy and Starks provide the necessary multi--dimensional factor for the late regular season bad weather games and to grind the 4th quarter clock, in addition to diversifying the offense. However, as long as AR is here, GB should be a pass oriented team.

Dan Stodola's picture

Running the ball well at the end of the year, has always been a trait of McCarthy's. He has usually started to stress it more and make it a priority starting in Nov as the weather gets colder. Its been a common and recurring theme for his teams that as the weather gets colder and worse, McCarthy's teams run more often and better. This is nothing new.

Its not a coincidence that Lacy got 24 carries and Starks another 11 carries, as opposed to Lacy 15 and Starks a handful, as is often the case early in most years.

McCarthy know that winning late in the year requires being balanced and able to run effectively. He's been doing it for most of his HC tenure in GB. McCarthy KNOWS how to win late in the year, always has. This game didn't show him a blueprint, it WAS McCarthy's blueprint all along!

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, I agree with you...

But to me for this year showed McCarthy what he had to do. What he had to do was to take over the play calling. He knows how to win and knows how to run the team especially the offense. He is one of the best in the league. The offense has simply not been doing a good enough job.

McCarthy knows the offense and how to get the most out of it. More then anything I think the last game just gave the offense more confidence moving forward.

Dan Stodola's picture

"This game didn't show him a blueprint, it WAS McCarthy's blueprint all along!"

This didn't show McCarthy want he had to do. It was his blueprint all along. When the offense wasn't getting better, Yeah, he took over playcalling again, that he didn't need to give up in the first place IMO.

RCPackerFan's picture

This has been his blue print. He runs the ball more late in the year and the offense becomes more balanced. He has been doing this for a long time. You are correct.

For me I think the offense needed the change back to McCarthy. They just were not in sync. Its like a car that isn't running right. When a car isn't running right generally it goes into a mechanic for a tune up. Well the mechanic is McCarthy doing a tune up which is taking over the play calling.

No he never had to give up the play calling to begin with.

McCarthy's led offenses have been at the top of the league each and every year. This year however, he tried handing over the offense to Clements and that didn't work out. IMO McCarthy had to take back the play calling.
I think we will start seeing more of the offense that we are used to seeing.

steven10825's picture

Am i the only one hoping we take a big, fast wr in the first round?

dobber's picture

WR has been one of the deepest draft positions for several years. There have been plenty of hits on early-mid 1st rounders, but several misses where the Packers hope do draft (hello, Corderelle!). I'd rather see them take a big, fast OLB to replace Peppers early on, but either a WR or OLB in those first couple rounds (or perhaps an OLT) would be nice.

Tundraboy's picture

Nope

DrealynWilliams's picture

Would a big and fast WR help? Yes. But do we NEED one? No

Will Ted take one in the First? Hell no.

Remember when he took back-to-back DBs and the world thought, "what the hell??? The Packers need a MLB -- badly."

Those 2 DBs look like future starters/stars.

If Ted goes big and fast in the First it might be Linebacker. Initially, I had Linebacker AND Tight End, but I just seen a list of First Round picks of Tight Ends in the past decade. It was ugly.

Tundraboy's picture

I agree. Linebacker first, if a good one is there, but definitely need a fast, big receiver. Jordy may take a while to come back at full strength. Also odds of getting a good WR are better than at TE.

dobber's picture

I don't worry about Nelson's recovery too much. Not a devastating injury, and an ACL has become a hiccup for a player's career (just like Tommy John surgery for pitchers) whereas just 15 years ago, it was career-threatening.

Dan Stodola's picture

Thats a bunch of crap. ACL injuries are really common and there is no reason a highly conditioned athlete like Jordy can't be the same player he was before. He's had a few leg injuries that amouted to a load of cowpie, prior to the ACL. He'll have had a FULL year to rehab and get the wheels back, not 6 or 7 months like most who come back asap. Jordy will be able to complete his full rehab AND get into shape again. No concerns about Jordy whatsoever.

Dan Stodola's picture

How long ago was the hamstring? Dead issue!
How long ago was the hip? Dead issue!
He's 30 yrs old and there is NO reason whatsoever he can't return and be the same player! He doesn't take much punishment like a RB or LB. He's a WR and he has time for a complete Rehab AND conditioning!

You don't know what your talkin about Cowpie!

Dan Stodola's picture

Your flat DUMB!!

Hammy would lead to back issues. His hip was on the outside, where the Hammy doesn't go. You don't have a clue about the kinetic chain. Face it!

Try again. All you want to do is hate and when you try to do it, your clueless!

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Cow, You're going to wind up eating all of your words!! This team is UNDER THE RADAR, & much better than you think. It wouldn't bother me if they wind up 9-7 or 11-5. I think 10 & 6 is a real possibility. It doesn't matter!! They are capable of beating anyone n the NFC. That's why I made you the bet 3 weeks ago. All that really matters, is what happens 4 weeks from now. MM has done a Great job with this team. I think GB is a lot more confident than anyone is letting on. I'm not waiting any longer. I'm going to lay down some cash tomorrow on the 10-1 before it drops. I think that's about as good as it gets. LVT

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Cow, Maybe, Maybe Not!! Our bet is for GB to win 1 playoff game, in which case you post, "I WAS DEAD WRONG!!. My side is for GB to get to the NFC game. I still like the 10-1.LVT

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Cow, My original bet with you was GB to make it to the NFC game, not to win it. I could have said 1 win, because you said if "9-7 get them in, they would be 1 & done." but I gave you a break. Now you want a Bigger break? OK Push. LVT

Tundraboy's picture

Gee I guess we should throw in the flag and tank for the next few years.

Tundraboy's picture

That's what I meant about draft next year. Why can't we find a lights out WR.

MadJam's picture

We have a big fast wide receiver. Remember Jeff Janis?

dobber's picture

Yeah, he looks really good covering punts. Catching passes...?

Tundraboy's picture

Yes but we really need someone that is very good from day one. Janis and Montgomery are OK and as we found out you can never have too many WRs

Bohj's picture

I disagree. I think receivers can be found in lower rounds. It's the big guys that are toughest to draft. We could use another Tackle unless you think Bahk is the answer or Bulagas legs are going to hold up forever. Time to restock the shelf there.

Another option would be a big DE. And not one to convert into LB. Speaking of LB....we don't need anymore OLBs. We need good ILBs so that Clay can go back to the edge. Between Neal, Perry, and Elliott I think we're fine on the outside.

Wide receivers are fine. A healthy Nelson and Montgomery and another year of experience is plenty to make our receiving corp good again.

A new punter would be nice though. Who knows. Maybe the old masthay will show up again. He did decent against Dallas in the rain.

TE. Not so concerned there. But it would be nice to have one more.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I agree with everything but the "we're fine at OLB" part. Don't get me wrong, I like our OLB's, but they just don't standout every game. They aren't game changers. Elliott might have something, so I would definitely keep him around. But those other guys can go (if there's something better in the draft). They go from having a decent game to a couple weeks of no shows and then a big game to a handful of no shows.

Depth isn't so much how many players you have in a position, but it's how many good players you have at that position. OLB or ILB wouldn't surprise mein round 1 at all. Hell, even Safety.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree with Bohl. An outside WR (not a slot guy) can be found in the 3rd or 4th in many years. And we need to find one.

dobber's picture

"Shifty RB (just dreamin' on this one. MM/TT don't seem to favor this type of player)"

I agree. The Packers have seemed to favor the 215+ lb RB for a long time, but mostly (I believe) because they felt the need for a dual-purpose guy who can pick up blitzer or help on a DL and not get his head taken off. They've been a passing team for the last 25 years. I think this is more a matter of knowing where your bread is buttered.

Dan Stodola's picture

Shift RB aren't nearly as shifty, nor as fast in poor cold weather. Nor are they as fast. The Packers are built to win in cold weather and at Lambeau field. That's the reason they don't get the shifty fast RB that some teams favor. Lacy and Starks are very good on slow and poor field conditions. Those shifty guys lose their best and only advantage in those conditions.

jh9's picture

I saw an offensive formula in the Dallas game that I feel can be a successful model. As we know, without Jordy the WRs have had very little success getting open down field and our running game has suffered too. I believe a major reason why our running game worked so well against Dallas was because we intermixed a heavy dose of outside screens. Those screen passes helped to spread the defense toward the edges making it easier for our offensive line to create holes up the middle for Lacy and Starks to run.

Although AR didn’t complete a long downfield pass, he just missed Cobb on a 35 yard TD try when the Safety cheated to the LOS. I believe if we continue to intermix the screen passes with the run, defenses will be forced to cheat with their Safeties allowing more opportunities for deep shots initiated by play-action.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, i do agree...

Its about maintaining balance and not being predictable. Balance in the run/pass game, but also in within the passing game its about attacking the entire field. Spreading the defense out sideline to sideline will open up the middle of the field more.

The offense needs to continue to attack the entire field, and continue to do it schematically. Using more misdirection plays like that fake handoff to Cobb and swing pass to Starks. Or like last week with the fake reverse and screen back to Starks.
Keeping defenses guessing what they are going to do will go a long ways to continue to improve the offense.

Tundraboy's picture

Absolutely. Screens spread the D and made running more effective. It's a must going forward

dobber's picture

Teams will catch on to the screen passes, but it will force opponents to slow down the OLBs and create time for ARod to look downfield/create. It's all good!

DrealynWilliams's picture

Right on @Dobber

Dan Stodola's picture

Screens slow the pass rush. They don't necessarily spread the field horizontally or vertically. In some ways they act as a running play, but don't help the running game per se.

brewers_rule's picture

I don't understand why coaches in the NFL make this so freaking hard. You run the ball early and often and eventually it opens up the passing game. It has before and always DOES even in a 'passing league.' From the Seahawks to the Ravens to the Steelers, even in the passing league, championships come from that, not throwing the ball everywhere.

Look at Chip Kelly's issues: the passing game doesn't look as good this year because they're not running the ball NEARLY as well because their offensive line stinks. Add an OL or 2 in the offseason & they'll look awesome again, Bradford/Sanchez/Foles or whoever's at the QB.

Look at GB late last season: leaning on the run, imposing our will, and we rode the results to wins in December and a few plays from another Super Bowl. The major problem I've had with this regime is that they always tend to pass first, run later (if at all). That doesn't fit Lacy's skills nor does it behoove success for a teetering passing offense like we have right now. The pass has to open up from the run for us and has before. Why not give Eddie & Starks the rock and watch the passes come from there, Mike?

EddieLee's picture

I don't think it's a coincidence that the passing offense really cratered after Montgomery got hurt. Montgomery can get open outside better then Jones who has just been awful. (When is the last time Jones won a route other then when Rodgers is doing a scramble drill?). Montgomery also plays the slot better and runs better routes then Adams/Janis. I'm not saying he revitalizes the offense but I think Montgomery just gives Rodgers an every down option that he lacks from Jones (slow) and Adams/Janis (crappy route running). That has to help at least a bit. Couple that with above average run game and this offense could get a good bit better in a hurry.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I don't know why someone would dislike your comment. It was spot on.

But here comes the dilemma. When Ty gets back, will he return Kick-offs and maybe some punts? If so, I think it will limit his effectiveness on Offense. If not, then I think he will explode on Offense.

Write it down:

Ty will have a breakout game against the Cardinals.

Tundraboy's picture

Hope your right. I gave up seeing him back since he had a hi ankle sprain but that would be a huge boost.

4thand1's picture

Keep TY off of ST's. I notice the offensive drop off too when Monty went down. He was getting better every game.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Right?

I hope the coaches don't put too much on his plate. Although, he'd be a huge upgrade from Hyde on PR, I'd rather the coaches have Ty just focus on Offense this season.

Good thing Janis is showing promise as a KR.

4thand10's picture

I'm just glad they stayed committed to the running game. In a downpour....thats what you have to do. In the third quarter when Cobb was in the backfield 3x in a row for a 3 and out...I was worried that they were going to go away from it. But they went back to what was working.

Richard Rodgers is a good player...perfect? No, but very good. 7 TDs so far, close to 500 yards, can line him up anywhere and he understands what he has to do...I don't know, I think he is an ascending player. On one of Lacy's runs I saw him block 1 LB and take another completely out of the play. Even with Finley and Quarless...GB, IMHO...needed a TE that could do more. Mainly one that can or has the potential to be a blocking TE.

All of Janis's tackles on Lucky Whitehead were fun to watch

I like watching Montgomery and want to see him on the field soon.

Dan Stodola's picture

R. Rodgers is Bubba Franks reincarnate. Slow but dependable hands good red zone target, except he's not nearly the blocker Franks was.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Exactly. RR was responsible for at least two bad runs, including the 3rd and goal that was followed by AR getting stuffed on the QB sneak on 4th down. RR has taken some baby steps in run blocking and did throw a couple of nice run blocks, but is still very inconsistent.

Ima fubar's picture

The problem as I see it is, last night The Giants lit it up with 4 td passes. The QB had an 88% completion rating, which is unheard of, and those passes were not dink passes for 5 and ten yards. They were pinpoint, passes to open receivers 25 yards or more downfield.
Both Seattle, and Carolina are doing the same with running games to boot.
Even crummy dallas scored a touchdown in four running plays and yet our team came back with a very long drive that took forever.
The problem with long drive concept is usually something goes wrong along the way to screw them up. fumble, interception, penalties, dropped passes.

DrealynWilliams's picture

You said all of that to say...........................???

4thand1's picture

drunk again eh

zeke's picture

As someone who spends most of his waking hours either drunk or thinking about getting drunk, I must protest this smear. Is Ima an idiot? Yes. A moron? Of course. But drunk? That's just hurtful.

ray nichkee's picture

I admire your honesty zeke. If you're an asshole getting drunk just makes it worse. If you're cool well you're a cool drunk. Toast! Go pack.

Since '61's picture

I think that the reason why the Packers "now know how to win" is due to the improved play of the defense. Yes they need Lacy and the ground game and the return of a healthy Ty Montgomery but the defense has been making the victories happen with their more consistent play while the offense has been going through their fits and starts. For example, in the Dallas game after the failed QB sneak on 4th and goal, the defense did not allow Dallas a first down and they punted from their own end zone. I have a difficult time remembering the last time the Packer's defense has done that. They made at least 3 or 4 big third down stops in the second half with effective one on one tackling, rather than the usual missed tackles. Also they are making stops after the offense scores and getting the ball back for Rodgers to build the lead rather than giving up scores and forcing the offense to score on almost every possession. Except for Denver and Carolina games the defense has kept us in every game and made it possible for the offense to win. If the defense can keep this up our offense is good enough to get the job done in the playoffs with MM calling the plays. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Spot on. The D made everything possible. A lot of critical stops that until last week were not being made so consistently.

dobber's picture

They need to be better at getting to the QB. The pass rush stalls too often.

Since '61's picture

Dobber - That is true. The pass rush has not been getting through as often as it needs to. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

True a better QB than Cassel would have exposed that.

dobber's picture

Admittedly, Dallas has a big, physical OL. They'll see a much better QB than Cassel on Sunday. Cross your fingers!

Bryce Hansen's picture

This makes too much sense for them to do it

4thand1's picture

I told you all, cowdouche would be here in a day or two. Now the anti-Packer will start telling us how bad they will lose on Sunday. Wonder if he took down his Cassell fathead yet?

Tundraboy's picture

Lol. Do they even make such a thing?

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