Game Recap: Packers Escape Zappe-d Up Patriots 27-24

Up-and-down effort ends with Crosby saving the day in OT.

The Patriots offense came out first, led by veteran Brian Hoyer in place of the injured Mac Jones. The run game game early and often, led by running back Damien Harris. After Harris rushed four times for 22 yards on the drive, Hoyer connected with receiver Nelson Agholor off a play-action pass for a gain of 27 yards, just getting the pass off before Jonathan Garvin took him down for a sack. The Packers' D then stiffened up in their own red zone, forcing Hoyer incomplete on 3rd-and-8, forcing a Nick Folk field goal of 37 yards.

Packers' Rashan Gary sacks Patriots' Bailey Zappe in the Packers 27-24 win.

Packers' Rashan Gary sacks Patriots' Bailey Zappe in the Packers 27-24 win.

Out came the Pack, with Aaron Rodgers hitting a big pass on first down to Allen Lazard for a gain of 24. However, the momentum would die as quick as it started when Romeo Doubs was stripped by Patriots' defender Jack Jones and Devin McCourty was able to make the recovery giving the ball back to the Pats near midfield.

New England quickly went back to the run game, clearly in an effort to take pressure off the backup QB Hoyer and keep the ball away from the Packers. After a quick first down, the offense stalled on 3rd-and-long with a big sack from Rashan Gary forcing the Patriots out of field goal range. The ensuing punt ended up in the end zone, and back out came Green Bay's offense.

Aaron Jones took a counter run for 20 yards on the next series, and a facemask penalty gave the Packers 15 more. But after a short run to Jones and back-to-back incompletions, the Packers were forced to punt. But during the series, Hoyer went to the locker room to be evaluated for injury, bringing the rookie Bailey Zappe (6,000-plus yards and 60-plus touchdowns in 2021 at Western Kentucky) in at quarterback in his first career play time. Pat O'Donnell's punt was fair caught at the Patriots' 8-yard line.

A first down penalty pinned the Pats back even more, and New England was not looking to put their new QB in a tough spot, running on 1st- and 2nd-down. On a roll-out pass on 3rd-and-8 fell incomplete, forcing another Patriot punt. The kick went 59 yards, but a personal foul call against New England aided the flipping of the field in Green Bay's favor.

Starting right at the 50, the Packers went back to Aaron Jones who hit a run for a gain of 11, followed by a gain of 5 to wrap up the first quarter. Flipping sides, Jones was able to convert a 3rd-and-2 at the Pats' 25, then hit another 10-yarder to get down to the New England 15. The first-down play went to Christian Watson on an end-around for his first career touchdown to make it 7-0 Packers.

New England began their next drive, surprisingly, with two Bailey Zappe passes to bring up a 3rd-and-1 which was converted easily by Rhamondre Stevenson. But after Stevenson was stopped for a loss, Agholor dropped what would have been a first down and the Packers sniffed out a 3rd-and-long screen pass, out came the Patriots' punt team yet again.

The next Green Bay possession wouldn't fare as well as the first, however. After a 1st-down shot play to Christian Watson that fell incomplete, AJ Dillon was stopped for a short gain. On 3rd-and-1, Rodgers went deep to Lazard which also fell incomplete. Pat O'Donnell time, which was aided by a New England blindside block penalty to add 15 yards to the net punt. New England ball at their own 25.

New England was finally able to hit a big gainer, on a reverse to Kendrick Bourne for a gain of 15 yards. Like the last few drives, though, it would end quickly after Zappe connected with Hunter Henry short of the sticks. The Patriot Punting Party (TM) would continue, downing the Packers at their own 9.

On 2nd-and-long, Rodgers hit Lazard again, who broke a tackle for a gain of 13. Dillon had his first quality run of the game on the next play, picking up 7 with under 4 minutes to go in the half. But that would be it for Green Bay, after two Aaron Rodgers incompletions on consecutive passes would bring out O'Donnell yet again. Like last week, punting would become a huge theme in the game during its first half.

While Zappe wasn't terribly successful throwing, he was doing just enough to keep the chains manageable. After a screen pass completion on 2nd down, Stevenson carried the ball for a gain of 8 and a first down to hit the two-minute warning. Stevenson continued to carry the drive, with a run of 5 and reception of 8 with time ticking down in the half, putting New England well in field goal range. But on first down, with Zappe hanging in the pocket, Rashan Gary came flying around the edge and smacked Zappe forcing the fumble and recovery, thwarting the Pats' drive with under a minute to go.

With :13 seconds remaining in the half and the Packers trying to get to field goal range going into the locker room, Rodgers attempted a pass to Lazard on a 10-yard comeback, but it was intercepted by New England's Jack Jones who returned it for a touchdown to put Bailey Zappe (!) and the New England Patriots in the lead 10-7 going into halftime. As inexplicable of a pass as Rodgers has ever thrown at Lambeau Field.

The Packers first possession of the second half started off rocky, with two incompletions to start. But on 3rd-and-10, Rodgers connected deep with Lazard for a gain of 32 to move the sticks. Apparently, that reminded Matt LaFleur to run the football, because on 1st down, Aaron Jones took the handoff for a gain of 12, moving inside New England territory. After a short run by Jones, a jet sweep pass went to Watson for a gain of 7 to bring up a 3rd-and-short, but AJ Dillon was unable to get to the marker. A 4th-and-inches toss play to Aaron Jones went for 17 yards and an easy conversion down to the 11. A short run followed by a hold on David Bakhtiari forced the Packers back to the New England 20 and a 2nd-and-19. Rodgers looked off the safety, then let off a bullet down the middle to Robert Tonyan for the touchdown to make it 14-10 Good Guys. 

On the ensuing possession, Zappe connected with Bourne for a first down. On the next play, the defnese got to Zappe for a sack, but Kenny Clark picked up an unnecessary roughness penalty to give New England 15 yards and a first down. Turning back to Damien Harris runs of 14, 7, 4 and 4 on consecutive plays, a delay of game was a quick stop to the bleeding for the Packers defense. On a play-action pass, Zappe hit the former Dolphin Devante Parker for a 25-yard touchdown and a 17-14 New England lead, with the officials missing an egregious delay of game call.

The Packers would finally turn back to Romeo Doubs on first down, with a gain of 16 and a run by Dillon on the next play for 9. Aaron Jones converted the first down out of Pony for 6.  A pass to Lazard, and the Packers suddenly were in scoring range. Runs to Dillon on consecutive plays and a short completion to Jones would bring up a 4th-and-short well within field goal range. The offense stayed on the field, and Green Bay's attempt at a quick snap to draw a too-many-men penalty was blown dead by Bill Belichick. Mason Crosby came out to kick the game-tying field goal from 38 yards to tie the game at 17.

New England's run game continued to flex its muscles on the next drive, with Stevenson continuing to gash the Packers defense for 12, 5 and 17 all in a row. Zappe then hit Agholor on a play-action pass for 21 yards to get inside the Packers 10, and Damien Harris completed the touchdown drive with a 9-yard run. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots lead 24-17.

With the sense of urgency rising and the Packers still struggling, on 3rd-and-6, Rodgers was able to extend the drive on a 24-yard completion to Randall Cobb. Jones took the carry for a short gain of 3, but was nearly broken for more yardage. Dillon caught a pass over the middle for a gain of 11 and a first down, then took a run play for 13 down to the Pats' 20. Finally, it was the Packers' line taking control. Now inside the red zone, a short pass to Tonyan netted 3 yards, then a Jones run caught 4 to bring up 3rd-and-3. A gorgeous back-shoulder pass to Romeo Doubs for Rodgers' 500th career touchdown and subsequent Crosby PAT evened the score at 24. 

With the intensity ratcheted up, the Packers got to Zappe on second down for a sack, forcing a 3rd-and-15. A short completion on third down forced a very quick Patriots punt. A tremendous stop by the Green Bay D. After a first half full of punts, the first of the second half was not ideal for New England, netting a mere 31 yards at the Green Bay 43. 

After a pressued Rodgers threw incomplete on first down, a swing pass to Jones only gained 4 bringing up third down. The pass fell incomplete intended for Cobb, but the Packers were bailed out by a pass interference penalty against Myles Bryant. Moving into field goal range and under 3 minutes to go, a short run by Dillon and failed tight end screen pass brought up 3rd-and-8. A deep pass from Rodgers to Doubs looked to be a touchdown, but when he hit the ground, the ball came loose. After review, the officials maintained the original call to bring out Pat O'Donnell. After eating a delay of game penalty, Keisean Nixon downed the ball at the Patriots' 1-yard-line at the 2-minute warning.

With the game in the balance and the defense's ears pinned back, New England appeared content to try to get to overtime with 1st- and 2nd-down runs. Out of timeouts, the Packers were forced to let the clock run and with about a minute left, the Patriots called timeout. On 3rd-and-3, Stevenson took the handoff short of the sticks to force a punt with :14 seconds to go. The kick was fielded by Amari Rodgers near midfield with :4 seconds left. But a block-in-the-back call put the Packers out of Hail Mary range, and the game would go to overtime. 

Winning the toss, the Packers offense would take the field looking to score a touchdown to win. A short run and pass to Jones on the first two downs brought up 3rd-and-7. Rodgers didn't like the look and called timeout. After the short break, Rodgers barely avoided a sack and threw incomplete to bring out the punt team. A 19-yard return brought the ball near the 50. A 5-yard run to  Damien Harris moved the ball into Packers territory, but was unable to gain yardage on second down. On 3rd-and-5, a frantic Zappe would throw incomplete to Kendrick Bourne. The New England punt would be fair caught by Amari Rodgers at the Packers' 10.

After a futile effort on the first possession of overtime, Rodgers and the Packers went back to their run game behind Aaron Jones. A 2-yarder on first down opened up a play-action pass to Allen Lazard on second down to pick up 22 yards. AJ Dillon took the 1st-down run for 8 yards, then the next for just 1 approaching their own 45. On 3rd-and-1, a play-action pass to Randall Cobb for 11 yards kept the drive moving at the New England 45. Doubs then took a quick screen for 8 yards, then the next for another 8, taking advantage of a generous cushion by the New England cornerback. Now at the Pats' 28, with the potential game-winning field goal within reach, Dillon took the 1st-down run for 4, then 2nd-down for 3 more bringing up 3rd-and-3. Dillon then converted the 3rd down run gaining 7, and making the incoming Mason Crosby field goal closer. Using their final timeout with :4 seconds left, out came Mason Crosby to win the game.

From 31 yards, Mason Crosby put it through the uprights to give the Packers the 27-24 win in an unexpectedly hard-fought game. The Packers move to 3-1 on the year, while the New England Patriots drop to 1-3. 

Offensive MVP

While Aaron Jones and Allen Lazard both had big days (and Romeo Doubs could have had a HUGE day), I'm giving this one to Mason Crosby. He drilled his two kicks, including the game winner and was clutch when it mattered.

Defensive MVP

Rashan Gary was a freak out there today. With 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL and 2 QB hits, he was a menace and will continue to be one for the Packers.

What Went Right

Not enough, but just enough. The defense was meh, the offense was meh, the special teams were meh. But collectively, they all made enough plays to win the game. I'll give the nod today to the special teams. The late put, pinning the Patriots deep followed up with Crosby's winner, they're a unit on the rise.

What Went Wrong

See above? Sort of? The offense in the first half was downright putrid. And Aaron Rodgers was a mess until the second half. His interception that was returned for a touchdown was maybe the worst pass I've ever seen him throw. It was truly awful and nearly affected the outcome of the game. A disappointing effort from #12 today.

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Tony Wilson takes pride in journalism training from 2/3 of directional-Michigan MAC schools. A former Sporting News writer, Tony now focuses on the Packers from his home in Toledo, OH. His beer of choice is a Miller Lite from the bottom of the cooler. You can find him on Twitter @GlassCityPack.

3 points

Comments (28)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
SugarCain's picture

October 02, 2022 at 08:00 pm

Defense gave up 17 pts and held a patriot team to 273 that is a pretty good day Even if ur grandma is playing QB!
Rashan Gary NFL Defensive MVP!!

The Pack gotta eliminate the turnovers and they will start dominating teams!

0 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

October 02, 2022 at 08:10 pm

Do you have enough of whatever it is you're taking to share with all of us?

-2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

October 03, 2022 at 12:16 am

Meh. They will be a bottom 5 run defense after this week. Fields can't throw, Brady was missing most of his WR group and they beat a 3rd string QB today. This is not a dominant defense much less a top 5 one. If they want to be that at the end of the season they need to up their game considerably.

2 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 03, 2022 at 05:41 am

Defense gave 10 points! Cheatriots 7 points came from interception and another 7 came from horrible not call by the zebras. They might scored that TD if the right call was made, but I doubt...

1 points
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rstain99's picture

October 04, 2022 at 06:05 am

Joe Barry is not any better than Mike Pettine or does it go above those guys, MLF is the common denominator they make no adjustments on defense, the base thought they were facing Dan Marino out there. They ran the ball and ran ball no adjustments, hello? pack the box make them throw. No, stay with base and get run on. Then flash MLF waving his hands to pump up crowd. Heard all summer Defense is this and that guess what not even average at this point. Aaron Jones was as always very good young receivers are learning. Maybe long season

0 points
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Charvid's picture

October 02, 2022 at 08:37 pm

A lot of comments were made prior to the start of the season that this offense would be a work in progress…that adjusting to the post- Devante Adams era would take some time….that integrating the rookie WR’s into the offense would take some patience….that if we could get to the 1/4 season point at 3-1 we should all be happy. Well, here we are, getting exactly what most were expecting. Yet we’re still not happy. I’m not judging…just saying.

7 points
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murf7777's picture

October 02, 2022 at 09:17 pm

Great comment, its easy to be a critic. We just beat Brady and Belichick back to back, albeit as nail biter, but beating them two is a good achievement with a young and growing offense. Hoping Amos and Ja are back soon.

I thought Cobb and Lazard both had great games and clutch plays. Lazard is taking his game to another level. It was great to see Watson get his first TD. Jones has just been amazing this year. We need to get him 15 touches a game. Nice to have Dillon so we don’t wear him out, but jones is showing he is one of the best in the NFL at RB.

It will take some time for the offense to come together to look really good consistently. Patience is a virtue. By the way, I’m happy for the wins.

4 points
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Packers1985's picture

October 02, 2022 at 10:00 pm

Exactly... This offense at times can be a head scratcher but again looking at wr core who are very inexperienced and with no true WR definitely it is a work in progress. With oline getting healthier and Run game at top gear it's only matter of time this offense is going to breakout.
Everyone of us expected our defense to carry us for atleast the first qtr of the season. Except for Tampa game the defense didn't look that good either. I am little more disappointed with our defense than our offense.

2 points
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Packerpasty's picture

October 02, 2022 at 08:52 pm

MLF and Barry, two rather mediocre coaches who have some really good players at their disposal...what is MLF doing that is any better than big Mike was doing, neither one is very innovative, MLF is a good cheerleader though and he's handsome so theres that...

-1 points
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murf7777's picture

October 02, 2022 at 09:29 pm

We’ll all Mlf has done is become the coach with the highest win percentage in the history of the NFL for the first 50 games. I thought my standards were high, but yours are unachievable. Unfortunately, perfection isn’t achievable.

He might have a good roster, but he also has achieved this great record during a time of great parity in the NFL. Just ask Buffalo, who almost lost today, which would’ve put them at 2-2. Many believe they have the best roster. Also, either KC or TB will be 2-2 after today, again two of the better rosters.

The reality is it’s tough to win consistently in the NFL and Mlf has proven to be a winner.

6 points
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barutanseijin's picture

October 02, 2022 at 10:31 pm

So what you’re saying is that MLF is a highly successful NFL coach? Where have we heard that before?

-4 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 03, 2022 at 05:46 am

Well Cowboys are also 3-1 and that achievement came with back up QB they have. So, maybe that one who proclaim himself as highly successful NFL coach did not talk rubbish.

After all, we can check that during season as HSNFLC is coming to Lambeau this season...

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 03, 2022 at 09:39 am

MLF has benefitted from Rodgers and rosters. The difference in acumen between the head coaches yesterday was painfully apparent. That’s been true ever since he got here, but it used to be reasonable to cite inexperience. That smoke screen has dispersed over time. This team is still fighting its own identity. There’s no coherent plan visible. LaFleur can’t win hame planning and he’s showing no better longer term acumen.

1 points
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Lancelotlink's picture

October 02, 2022 at 09:41 pm

Haters gotta hate
GB went from 6 wins to 13,13,13. That’s what MLF did that is different from McCarthy.
I like Mike but Matt is doing an excellent job. It’s not always going to be pretty.
Not Matt’s fault the
O line suffers injury before the playoffs and Rodgers chokes

2 points
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HawkPacker's picture

October 03, 2022 at 09:10 am

At this point, I would go with him doing a good job but not excellent.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 03, 2022 at 09:41 am

I’d say that the difference is roster and the fact that MM had run out of ideas and direction. It’s Matt’s fault that he benched the O line that got us to the championship, that he refused to see Drayton’s failings … I could go on.

1 points
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Kevin Carpenter's picture

October 02, 2022 at 09:31 pm

A win is a win but man was it ugly. Very few things went GB's way today and they had plenty of opportunities. -Aaron Rodgers was at the airport while the rest of the offense was at the bus stop in the first half.
-The turnovers are killing this team and it's safe to say I can't remember the last time they had this many turnovers through 4 games. What are they, -5 for the turnover margin now?
-That missed delay of game penalty by almost 3 seconds is simply inexcusable. What's even more inexplicable is his reaction during the conversation after the play that showed he had no clue what was going on.
-Shame about the Doubs TD drop. That's the play that NEEDED to happen for this offense, they've desperately needed some deep shots to hit.

Once again, a win is a win. But they need to get a lot of things cleaned up.

4 points
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Packers1985's picture

October 02, 2022 at 09:52 pm

Agreed with Doubs drop. He should've held it but again happy that no.12 was able to make two decent deep passes. Though the second wans't held to the ground still good signs for this offense. May be everything will fall in place against the Giants

2 points
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HawkPacker's picture

October 03, 2022 at 09:12 am

Doubs had a couple blunders in this game. However, we won and I look at it like Doubs is learning from his mistakes and will be better for it.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 03, 2022 at 09:54 am

Found is going to have blunders. So will Watson and, if they ever give him a chance, Toure. That is inevitable. With this roster, however, it was obvious that the only way to succeed was to tap into that talent early and often and hope that the blunders decrease with playing time. We are still fighting that with Doubs, not really trying with Watson beyond gadget plays and Toure rides the bench.

Lazard and a few snaps from Cobb and Tonyan are not going to carry us. We are in real trouble if Jones gets hurt. We have to learn to play with rookies and around the inevitable issues or just accept that we don’t have the fire power to beat good teams. So far we haven’t faced one due to injuries—we’ve been lucky. The current offense isn’t going to beat a team that can score. We saw how the denuded Bucs we faced were torched last night.

We saw how Bellicheck with essentially nothing—a third stringer at QB and best receiver missing, still almost beat us at home through, essentially, coaching and a good running game cleverly used both for itself and to open the pass just enough. Yes it’s a win, but it’s not one to find solace in if the aim is to contend for more than the regular season.

1 points
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jhtobias's picture

October 02, 2022 at 09:49 pm

Perfection is not achievable but anyone at this point trying to defend Joe Berry has their homer eye glasses on . What other defensive coordinator would have played Soft shell defense against a 3rd stringer named zappe when everone new they were going to run all the time ? This clown has had one good game his whole career n GB the nfc playoff game against San Fran last yr.

Their is a reason know one has hired him a defensive coordinator since his marvelous stints in Detroit and Washington. This guy has no clue how to adjust to anything . Just this yr Minnesota the only offense we faced torched him would not adjust once clown show . The bears ran it down our throat nice adjustment, bucs had me out their catching passes , today was a joke with these soft shells .

At least I and others realize this team will be a wild card maybe division winner since the division is horrible but any team that has talent good night . To bad the defense does have a lot of talent but a clown for a chef

0 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 03, 2022 at 05:51 am

OK, how you'll play against 6 OL? With 6 DL? Then who will be at the back of the field to cover WR and receiving RBs? You'll go w/o safety? Or w/o CB?

Watch the game again and you'll see that Cheatriots gave everything in running game. They were on the field with 6OL, 1 TE, 1 RB and 2 WR. You will leave the backfield uncovered?

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 03, 2022 at 10:12 am

I’d go to 4 on the line, which I think he did in the 4th.

On the whole I don’t see the degree of angst with Barry that some do. I want him to be more proactive, but the biggest fault in the D was the missed coverage on the TD, but that may have been not playing to the whistle in part after the play clock expired. I also think we have to be aware that any D suffers when the O can’t keep possession more than we did in the first half and into the final quarter really.

I’d be a lot more inclined to criticize Barry if I didn’t see the O as essentially directionless apart from the run game. This may not be the roster they wish for, but we knew that window closed. We have to face up to what we have and to plan and okay to get the most out of what that gives us. Instead we are playing like last year, essentially, with the sporadic pretense that Doubs is almost a vet due to talent. Watson is 50 yards or a RB, Toure sits, neither get better that way.

We dink and dunk and run into the same spaces, allowing Ds to throttle us and attack the O line. Ironic when we have 3 rookies that have the speed to get beyond 10 yards and the suddenness to make plays with ball in hand but we don’t play them in a way that exploits that and if we do, don’t run them on intermediate routes. We dunk it or throw deep. This is the worst way to accelerate development. It’s not really a plan, it’s a hope that they magically develop despite us and we really have to incorporate them if we can’t get by without them.

1 points
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WestWi_Packfan's picture

October 02, 2022 at 10:09 pm

While they did do enough to win, it wasn't pretty. While I was expecting the offense to be a work in progress this year I must admit I am disappointed in the defense. While Rashan Gary played in beast mode the rest of the defense was mediocre at best. This unit was suppose to be dominating this year but so far they have fallen short of expectations. While I know Belichek is tough they really should have dominated an offense run by the 3rd string QB and they didn't. Perhaps they were a bit over rated this year although I still think they are better then last year.

5 points
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BruceC1960's picture

October 02, 2022 at 10:33 pm

We really need someone other than Gary and Preston that can play on the edge.

3 points
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Packers1985's picture

October 04, 2022 at 10:01 am

Most of the blame falls on our LB's campbell isn't looking like himself from last yr and looking slow and coming to walker he is rookie so there are some growing pains.

0 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 02, 2022 at 10:15 pm

Romeo has showed more talent and production than Adams did as a rookie, 4 games in. Just my observation. And Christian is opening the playbook a few pages. Lazard is a warrior. Cobb is sneaky productive. AJ and AJD...two starting RBs who can run.

Dave and Jenks will both file this game away. Ugh. Is Newman really the best RG on the team?

Wish our D with 7 first round draft choices could stop the run. But wow...the DBs seemed to be feared.

Take the win, gratefully.

0 points
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Packers1985's picture

October 02, 2022 at 10:31 pm

"Wish our D with 7 first round draft choices could stop the run. But wow...the DBs seemed to be feared."

After so many years of drafting the top picks still this defense doesn't look like a force. In couple of plays i felt stokes shying away from any contact.

0 points
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