Grading the Pack - Week 5 - Packers vs. Lions

What’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers? Should Mike McCarthy be fired? Can an edge rusher ever make a play? Is enough, enough with HaHa Clinton-Dix? When is Aaron Jones going to finally get his rightful share of the ball? Should Mason Crosby be cut?

After Sunday’s embarrassing performance against the Detroit Lions there were a lot more questions than there were answers. The hot takes were out in full force and there was understandably a lot of concern about what’s going on in Green Bay.

As always I wanted to try and reserve judgement as best as I could until I finished reviewing everything from the game. We’re not going to be able to answer all of the questions above today, or obviously solve all of the Packers problems, but there’s a lot on tape we can dive into. So without further ado, here are the grades, and my breakdowns, position-by-position for week five:

Top 3 Offensive Players

David Bakhtiari +2.10
Davante Adams +1.15
Equanimeous St. Brown +0.55

Top 3 Defensive Players

Kenny Clark +1.25
Dean Lowry +0.95
Mike Daniels +0.90

Bottom 3 Offensive Players

Byron Bell -2.30
Aaron Rodgers -1.20
Marquez Valdes-Scantling -0.80

Bottom 3 Defensive Players

HaHa Clinton-Dix -3.45
Blake Martinez -1.50
Kevin King -1.20

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers -1.20

Aaron Rodgers wasn’t Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. Blame that on lack of practice, frustration with the offense, his injury issues, lack of familiarity with his weapons, lack of a consistent running game, pressing from being behind, etc… but the fact of the matter is he wasn’t on his game from the very start. He was 9/19 in the first half with two fumbles and an intentional grounding penalty. He missed open receivers and he didn’t put his team in a good position overall. That’s not the Aaron Rodgers we are used to.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. Byron Bell was pushed back in his lap multiple times in the first half and his receivers weren’t always where they were expected to be either. It was a team that found no rhythm until the second half when they were already down 24-0.

For all the talk about receivers not getting separation and McCarthy not scheming players open; this game felt a lot more like a lack of execution on all levels of offense, rather than any one specific player or scheme issue.

When receivers were open, Rodgers often missed, or wasn’t given the time needed to get the ball where it needed to go. When the line protected, it would be the receivers who weren’t open or would be Rodgers trying to make a big play, rather than make the simple pass. It takes all eleven players playing together to make the offense work, and on Sunday there were letdowns from every player at one point or another, including Aaron Rodgers.

Running Back

Aaron Jones +0.25
Jamaal Williams +0.10
Ty Montgomery -0.30

For all the issues and noteworthy performances (for better or worse) the running back position was probably the most boring position of the day. Jones was once again the best of the bunch and deserved more carries, but you knew as soon as they were down 17-0 that Jones probably wasn’t going to get a ton of playing time the rest of the game. Since being back from suspension Aaron Jones has easily been the best running back on the roster but has averaged just over nine touches through three weeks. That has to change.

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams +1.15
Equanimeous St. Brown +0.55
J’Mon Moore -0.50
Marquez Valdes-Scantling -0.80

Davante Adams was once again fantastic and showed why he’s one of the best receivers in the league. Darius Slay is the best cornerback in the division for my money and Adams ate his lunch on multiple occasions.

As for the rookies, there were positive signs from both EQ & MVS. I won’t say this often, but ignore MVS’ grade here. He played the most snaps of any of the weapons on offense (RB/WR/TE), and showed flashes of what he’s capable of. For a good portion of the game he struggled to get off of coverage and his route running just isn’t nuanced enough yet to win consistently at this level.

That said he continues to show flashes and if Rodgers would have hit him a few times when he was open he could have had a much better day. MVS’ stats looked good: 7 catches, 68 yards and a touchdown, but he averaged under 10 yards per catch and had a long of only 14 yards. His touchdown was a blown coverage and he was left wide open. Overall MVS didn’t cost his team but he wasn’t consistent enough either.

EQ on the other hand had an impressive day. Like Valdes-Scantling, St. Brown also struggled to get off coverage consistently. Also like MVS he needs to do a better job with his route running to gain separation and get to the spots he wants to on the field. That said he had a double move early that forced a pass interference, had the beautiful catch and run at the end of the game, and had a few other routes where he beat his corner clean with some better route running than you might expect. Overall it was an impressive showing for the sixth round pick.

Lastly, J'Mon Moore didn’t see the field much, but when he did he looked confused and overwhelmed. He’s simply not ready yet to play at an NFL level.

Tight End

Robert Tonyan +0.05
Marcedes Lewis +0.05
Lance Kendricks +0.00
Jimmy Graham -0.65

The biggest takeaway from the tight end position (other than Robert Tonyan getting actual snaps on offense of course) was the play of Jimmy Graham. Graham finished with 6 catches for 76 yards on 11 targets and had one of his better statistical games as a Packer. But Graham struggled in three areas that have been a concern all year: run blocking, separation, and effort.

From a run-blocking standpoint, Graham is an absolute liability and the majority of his negative grades come in that facet of the game. With separation, he’s never going to be someone that uses route running or pure speed or agility to uncover. He’s open because he’s 6’7” and is just physically bigger than the player who is covering him. And lastly, from an effort standpoint, Graham has to get better at working back to the ball or trying to work his way open when Rodgers is scrambling around. Green Bay’s offense for huge stretches can be predicated on busted plays and scrambling around and if Graham doesn’t work his way back to the ball it’s a huge issue.

His drop in the end zone after Rodgers did all the work for him was also especially egregious.

Offensive Line

David Bakhtiari +2.10
Bryan Bulaga +0.05
Corey Linsley -0.15
Lane Taylor -0.35
Byron Bell -2.30

David Bakhtiari: Best tackle in football.

Linsley/Taylor: Had uncharacteristic weeks where they played slightly below average football.

Bryan Bulaga: Holds up for good portions of the game one-on-one, but has two to three lapses per game that hurt the team.

Byron Bell: It was a very poor performance for Bell who struggled mightily in the first half and settled down a bit after halftime.

Defensive Line

Kenny Clark +1.25
Dean Lowry +0.95
Mike Daniels +0.90
Montravius Adams +0.05

The highlight of the team this week was the play of the defensive line. Clark, Lowry, and Daniels held up well at the point of attack, ate double teams, and were able to generate some pressure up the middle. Dean Lowry was really a pleasant surprise here and put together one of his best performances as a pro.

The best edge rusher on the team right now? Mike Daniels. They’ve lined him up multiple times at defensive end against lighter offensive tackles these past two weeks and Daniels has delivered by bull-rushing the tackle right into the quarterbacks lap on at least three different occasions.

Edge

Kyler Fackrell +0.10
Reggie Gilbert -0.70
Nick Perry -0.80
Clay Matthews -0.95

Edge continues to be an absolute nightmare for Green Bay. Trying to get any semblance of pressure from Fackrell/Gilbert/Perry/Matthews has been near impossible. Pettine and the staff have tried every stunt and trick in the book to try to get them freed up but with very little success.

Nick Perry had his best rush of the season that resulted in a pressure, but that was one play, and he eventually would leave the game once again due to injury. Clay Matthews just doesn’t have the ability to play 50+ snaps as an edge rusher anymore and can’t be the alpha that Green Bay needs him to be.

The Reggie Gilbert that looked so promising throughout the preseason has been completely non-existent. For the hopes that many had for Gilbert coming into the season, he has been a tremendous disappointment.

Through five weeks Kyler Fackrell is your highest rated edge rusher in Green Bay… that really tells you all you need to know.

Linebacker

Oren Burks +0.50
Antonio Morrison +0.25
Blake Martinez -1.50

It’s not going to take much time at all for Oren Burks to be the best linebacker on the roster. He has played better every week since he’s come back from injury and you see him make one play per week that just sets him apart athletically and physically from the other linebackers on the roster.

This was also Antonio Morrison’s best game as a Packer as he made multiple physical plays at the point of attack. He looked like he was trusting his keys more this week and is starting to feel more comfortable with the defense.

Martinez had a really rough day. His instincts and reads were a step behind in this game and he just doesn’t have the physicality to consistently hold up at the point of attack against bigger offensive lineman. Yes he had two sacks but both were handed to him on a silver platter. The hope that Martinez could become a playmaking linebacker this season seems to be fading fast.

Cornerback

Tramon Williams +0.50
Tony Brown -0.20
Josh Jackson -0.40
Kevin King -1.20

Tramon had a solid day in coverage with a few lapses here and there but the disappointment here was Kevin King. I know this may be an unpopular opinion for some, but I have not been overly impressed with King’s play when he’s been on the field. There are physical traits that he possesses that are incredible, but he struggles in off coverage and he doesn’t always have a great feel for where the receiver is going on the play. He’s still learning but he has to find a way to stay on the field and hone his craft if he wants to play up to the level that he’s capable of.

Safety

Josh Jones -0.05
Kentrell Brice -0.45
HaHa Clinton-Dix -3.45

Kentrell Brice didn’t have nearly the horrible day that some thought he did but it wasn’t exactly a stellar effort either. He missed multiple tackles and continues to be inconsistent even on a play-by-play basis.

But this really isn’t about Kentrell Brice, this is of course about HaHa. First of all, this is the lowest grade I’ve ever given a defender in a game. In 81 plays, HaHa had 6 positive plays, 56 neutral plays, and 19 negative plays. Of those six positive plays, none were anything incredible, they were solid plays but nothing that was going to stand out over the course of the game.

Meanwhile, of his 19 negative plays, five of them were fairly egregious. He was in a tough position, but partially responsible for the touchdown that was called back, and was at least partially responsible for two other touchdowns in the game. His instincts have been horrible, he’s late to the football, he lacks any semblance of aggression, and there are multiple plays where he’s jogging when he should be running.

Going back to last season, he’s had a negative grade in eight of his last nine games, with his only positive coming last week against Buffalo. He was my lowest graded defender from 2017, and it wouldn’t shock me if he ended there again in 2018. HaHa had a really nice game against Buffalo last week and the defense looked completely different. If Clinton-Dix can’t play to the level he’s capable of then he’s absolutely right, he won’t be back in Green Bay in 2019.

2018 Grades: https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/grading-the-pack-2018-regular-season-totals-547

Friday Film Room:

Here are the players we will focus on during the Friday Film Room:

Aaron Jones +0.25
Aaron Rodgers -1.20
Byron Bell -2.30
HaHa Clinton-Dix -3.45
Nick Perry -0.80
Mike Daniels +0.90
EQ: +0.55
MVS -0.80

Listen to the Friday Film Room 9:45am every Friday at http://www.thefan1075.com/

How I Grade

  • Each player starts by getting a zero or neutral grade on a play. If they performed as expected on a play, their grade stays at zero.
  • For a slightly above or below average play, the player gets graded -0.1 or +0.1. The vast majority of grades on the vast majority of plays are graded -0.1, 0, or +0.1.
  • The highest and lowest grades on an individual play are +2.0 and -2.0 respectively. These would be large, game-changing plays.
  • I won’t grade a play negatively if I cannot tell which player was at fault.
  • Most of the time it’s difficult to tell the play, so I’m not grading on the execution of the play call as an NFL coach would.
  • The goal of this exercise is to grade every snap over the course of the season to get a long-term view of which performers are performing well and which are not meeting expectations. This is very similar to what Pro Football Focus tries to achieve. Is it perfect? No. But what you are getting is a consistent grader who is watching specifically Packer games and putting multiple hours into every week to breakdown film and assign grades.
  • Grades are for offense and defense only (including two point conversions). Special teams does not factor in.

__________________________

Andy is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and owns & operates the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Andy has taken multiple courses in NFL scouting and appears weekly on 107.5 The Fan in Green Bay to breakdown film. This past season he was an analyst on Green Bay Nation on WFRV TV in Green Bay. Andy grew up in Green Bay and is a lifelong season ticket holder; follow him on Twitter at @sconniesports.

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Comments (44)

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Savage57's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:08 am

A lot of missed opportunities with WR's who got themselves more than open against the Lions.

I wonder how many of them come back to the huddle burning Rodgers with the stink eye?

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:14 am

I was happy to see that they went with EQ over Moore in this game based on what I had seen in the preseason.
I kind of expected them to go with Moore since he was the higher draft pick, but EQ showed why he should be playing more.

Both MVS and EQ have done a lot of really good things. Both bring size and speed. Hopefully they can keep making plays, and I hope they keep using both when Cobb and Allison come back.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:17 am

Dean Lowry has really elevated his game.

What I'd be curious to know is how he has graded out before and after Wilkerson's injury. It seems to me that he has played a lot better after Wilkerson got injured.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:56 pm

Agreed. Clark and Daniels do get a lot of double teams, but Lowry seems okay against double teams (not Clark okay, but okay) and has been solid.

RC, when you write that my take on a film review is wrong, I take notice. Same thing happened on APC with a person with the username Bmore on APC. Bmore is a person who has been posting forever and seems to really know his Xs and Os. When he tells me I'm wrong, I pretty much figure I am wrong. Bmore and I agreed HHCD wasn't responsible for the Golladay TD but he also absolved HHCD of blame for the 2nd TD, pinning the blame on King. Bmore says it might have been Man On Demand coverage.

AS A FAVOR TO ME, would you click on the link and review (in the comment section) our back and forth? There are some embedded tweets to help you locate the section and it is about two-thirds of the way down in the comments. Andy gave a horrendous grade to HHCD but no film examples to support it. Anyone else is welcome to chime in.

https://www.acmepackingcompany.com/2018/10/9/17955550/cheese-curds-10-9-...

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RobinsonDavis's picture

October 13, 2018 at 09:37 am

The conundrum is that we really don't know what the defensive call was. Before I provide my comments, I will point out that nobody is perfect and plays are designed specifically to confuse defenses and take advantage of certain weaknesses whether it be a player or defensive plan/alignment. That being said, I believe both HaHa and King fell far short of what you might expect here, if you were a defensive coach. But, there were others as well. My observations follow the thoughts from the link:
*There is NO DOUBT the receiver crossing low is being passed down (Zone - under) and Dix is laser focused on him. In fact, look at Dix back-pedal to get into position, properly recognizing that the TE (playing flanker) could be the hot receiver.
*Dix's eyes are glued on the crossing route underneath to such a degree, that he loses field awareness....you would like a guy with his experience to at least understand that the concept may be to pull him out of an area. But understand, this particular route requires Dix to break hard and potentially fight through traffic to properly cover his man all the way across in the flat/corner...if in fact, it is HIS man. It forces Dix to make a decision. If he is too slow in getting to the far-side its an easy pitch and TD.
*But also note Martinez does very little in chipping the TE....He barely slows him down.
*Same with the CB on the opposite-side who allows a clean release, despite playing tight, on the line. Atrocious, IMO
*King's effort here is lacking....but remember he is coming off of a groin injury. Makes me wonder if he still was not confident on planting and driving. He is too lose, & allows an inside release as though he is expecting help and trails. Regardless, he should be expecting a quick slant in this situation and have much tighter and more physical coverage IMO.

As Andy stated on the offensive side of the football, there was a lack of execution by our secondary here. SEVERAL factors could have stopped or at least hindered the play.

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holmesmd's picture

October 14, 2018 at 10:31 pm

Excellent comment Robinson!

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Barnacle's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:35 am

Too many poorly coached players.

Either McCarthy and Zook do not coach good fundamentals or we have more players with learning disabilities than other professional teams.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 12, 2018 at 10:33 am

It appears Shame On Moore is about equal to Jeff Janis in terms of learning the system. He better get his act together quick. MVS and now ESB are both ahead of him and soon Kumerow, who was ahead of ALL of them in preseason is coming back. Not looking good right now for Shame On.

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dobber's picture

October 12, 2018 at 02:12 pm

A little early to draw that comparison. Janis had 4 years and couldn't find a place in the offense (or, perhaps, the offense couldn't find a place for him). Moore has had 6 months.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 12, 2018 at 03:53 pm

No, it's not. It's the same. Both were rookies at one time and both had problems with the playbook and getting playing time. I am basing both on their rookie seasons that's all. Now having said that, once he does figure it out, Shame On Moore could turn out to be the best receiver out of all of them. I think he has the potential but for this season there's no way he can catch any of them at this point. He's going to have to regroup and try to do it all again next year. With Cobb and GMo back there's no way he's seeing much if any playing time.

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4thand1's picture

October 12, 2018 at 08:16 am

Use of personel=F

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flackcatcher's picture

October 12, 2018 at 08:21 am

Nicely done Andy. Went back and watched the first half on all 22. if anything you are too easy on the offense and Rodgers. The secondary played far better as a unit than your grades show. The Lions WR core group is a top 5 in this league. For the most part they contained a very smart and physical group. Agree with King, the kid cannot get a break injury wise. Even with some of the bone headed mistakes on the field, what Rodgers left on the field in the first half was shocking. To be a fly on the wall in the quarterback room this week.

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CJ Bauckham's picture

October 12, 2018 at 08:22 am

Lotta open wide receivers in these clips. Damnit McCarthy, call something better!

~~~

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Barazinho's picture

October 12, 2018 at 09:59 am

It's the same old scheme blah blah blah

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Royalty Free GM's picture

October 13, 2018 at 12:51 am

LOL you guys are really couch coaches.
http://www.nfl.com/stats/weeklyleaders?week=5&season=2018
Looks who is in top weekly leader week 5?

Could you spoiled brats analyze those other qbs on that list.... maybe they left some yards on the field?!? LOL
Unbelievable.

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Slim11's picture

October 12, 2018 at 08:45 am

Having been at the game and then seeing your breakdown is great.

Like you, I think Aaron Jones needs to be the featured RB...correction, the offense needs Aaron Jones to be the featured RB. His productivity is evident. His ability to move the chains will make play-action more credible and effective if...IF(!)...McCarthy and Philbin decide to use him.

I'm not impressed with Moore at WR yet. EQ and MVS helped themselves in this game and I expect to see more coming from them in the near future.

The LBs, with the exception of Burks, didn't do well at all. I'm not happy with Gilbert though I'm not certain if his productivity is a product of his own limitations, going against starters in the regular season or the way Pettine uses him. Maybe it's a product of all these factors.

The play of Brice and HHCD was dismal. Sadly, I don't see it improving.

I hope Crosby turns it around against SF. Given how many third and long situations GB finds themselves in, he must produce on fourth down FGAs.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 12, 2018 at 08:47 am

Thanks once again, Andy. These are the highlight of my week.

A couple thoughts:

1. ARod is in a slump. He needs to get out of it now and start trusting his WRs - who are much better than the group in 2015. If he doesn't, the season is over. This team cannot win if they don't score at least 25/gm on a regular basis.

2. Not interested in HHCD being back here.

3. MM needs to get over himself and start using Aaron Jones all the time.

4. The Rookie WRs and CBs are very promising. Well done, Gute.

5. I wasn't a fan of King/Biegel over TJ Watt in April of 17. I'm sure as hell unhappy about it now, considering the schlock we have at OLB.

6. RT and RG is going to have to be addressed next offseason. Bulaga's goose is just about cooked and we don't have an NFL caliber player at RG.

7. I wasn't a huge fan of the Graham signing in the offseason.... starting to be afraid my intuition on Graham being a very tall/big/overpaid JAG was right.

All that said, IF ARod gets out of the slump, this is still a playoff team. It's going to require other players (HHCD and one OLB at least) to step up to make it a title threat. But the potential is still there.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 12, 2018 at 09:31 am

"1. ARod is in a slump. He needs to get out of it now and start trusting his WRs - who are much better than the group in 2015. If he doesn't, the season is over. This team cannot win if they don't score at least 25/gm on a regular basis."

IMO, Rodgers is one of the biggest reasons why the offense has been struggling. He has been hesitant on throwing the ball some. Trying to wait for something bigger to develop. He needs to just let it loose like he has in 2nd halves of games.
Compound that with a lot of dropped passes. The offense has just been killing itself. Not to mention how many 3rd down penalties on plays that they convert a first down...
The good news, the WR's have been getting open more, there is talent there. I do think the offense gets rolling pretty soon.

"4. The Rookie WRs and CBs are very promising. Well done, Gute."
I really like what Gutekunst has done in his first year as GM. Alexander and Jackson have been great picks so far!

"5. I wasn't a fan of King/Biegel over TJ Watt in April of 17. I'm sure as hell unhappy about it now, considering the schlock we have at OLB."
What is funny is before last weeks game I saw a lot of Steelers fans and writers talking on twitter about Watt. Saying how he simply does nothing. Its quite interesting. We can look at his numbers and think wow. Then you hear people that watch their games religiously and say he has been a bust. So i don't know.

"All that said, IF ARod gets out of the slump, this is still a playoff team. It's going to require other players (HHCD and one OLB at least) to step up to make it a title threat. But the potential is still there."

Completely agree. Rodgers has had off target throws. He has missed wide open receivers. But then look at 2nd half of games and he has looked great. problem for them is they have come out very slow in games. They get their backs up against the walls and they fight and crawl to get back into games. They have. They had their chances in the Lions game. If Crosby doesn't crap the bed who knows what happens in that game. If he makes all of his makeable kicks they win the game (assuming nothing else changes in the game).
I think this team is closer then most people think. They just need to start faster, and get some consistency.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 12, 2018 at 04:00 pm

I find it hard to fault Ted regarding taking King over Watt. They just signed Perry and they had Matthews. They had probably the worst cornerbacks in the NFL at that time. If Ted took Watt then a lot of fans would have got on his ass for not taking a corner. He was in a no win situation with the fans. I am not giving up on King. I think he's a superstar on paper. If he can ever get/stay healthy he has potential to be another Richard Sherman. I know, big if. I hate if's but what can you do? I look for King to have a bounce back game against SF and take that momentum into the rest of the year.

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Community Guy's picture

October 12, 2018 at 06:48 pm

i had always thought that Ted's mistake was not drafting Carl Lawson in lieu of Biegel..

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bbellin's picture

October 12, 2018 at 09:26 am

Great article! You hit it right on the head regarding the offensive issues. A few little things here and there and they are a much better offense! They're close. Thank you!!

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egbertsouse's picture

October 12, 2018 at 10:56 am

Your scores match what my eyes are seeing. If anyone wants a couple of chuckles go over to APC and read the comments under the article about HHCD. They are about 75% positive and many are full of fear that the Packers will let him walk “like Casey Hayward.” I don’t know what games these people are watching.

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fastmoving's picture

October 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm

the APC people know a lot about football…….

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 12, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Waiting for an answer on the other takes on who is responsible for the Td passes..... here is the accurate read from the link above. Just amazing to me how people look for what they want to see. It was on King and detroit earned it, no shame to king and nothing at all to dix. Leave your hate outside the film room

"Here, HHCD is lined up just outside the hash mark on the short side of the field.... trips formation on the other side. Perry takes the RB who runs into the flat to the short side. Our CB (Jackson?) seems to me to be allowing Marvin Jones to take an inside release, so Jackson is expecting help from HHCD.

Dix at the snap takes two side steps towards the short side (to help Jackson cover Jones, IMO). It looks to me like Kevin King does everything possible to prevent Golladay from gaining an inside release (suggesting that King is not expecting help from HHCD in the middle). However, after some pretty physical contact Golladay gains the inside and runs a skinny post. TD. Note that Golladay catches this ball outside the hashmark. The hash marks are 18.6 feet apart. HHCD initially was perhaps a yard outside the hashes and his first two side steps probably puts him 8 full yards away from the opposite hash and another yard farther from the catch point. I think Golladay is a big, strong guy who just beat Kevin King here. ...if the author (Jack Wepfer, who I think writes well) is correct and HHCD was responsible for a quarter of the field, the completion didn’t occur in HHCD’s quarter."

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 12, 2018 at 01:52 pm

You are quoting me, mostly. I have been anti-HHCD, but after looking at other articles and analysts, I've been wondering if I have been too harsh.
There is a reason Jersey Al limited me to writing articles about the cap, so I asked RC for help (because I thought he was still on-line: I'd certainly be interested in the opinions of quite a few other posters). It is the other TD that I am particularly interested in. Bmore says I was wrong: okay fine, I don't want to be a hater and Bmore IMO definitely knows quite a bit about football. If Bmore thinks HHCD might not have been at fault on the second one, I am prepared to believe him. I just want an accurate analysis; it is okay if I was initially wrong.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:17 pm

No worries tgr. Secondary play is the most complex and demanding in the NFL, and that was even before the massive rule changes starting in 2010. In the second half, the Lions were looking for deep strikes on 50% of their offensive sets. Packers went with cover 2 but broke pre snap into man. (it is more complex than that, but I don't want to bore our fellow commenters here.) Heck of a gutsy call. Leaving Burks and CM3 on an island against their TE and backs on circle routes and delayed outs. Both were outstanding. Stafford simply had no where to throw for most of the second half. Two points. Slot and safety play was very physical, for the most part DB were allowed to use their hands, maybe someone got though to the competition committee about ball access for the defense. Our CB are really good and smart. For the most part they knew and had the Lions route tree down cold. Two offense pass interference calls, extremely rare and a clear showing of how frustrated the Lions WR were in the second half. What is important to understand here, is the secondary played as a unit and beat the Lions WR as unit. If they can keep this up, and can contain the injuries, then this defense which is already good, can become outstanding in a very short amount of time.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:58 pm

I'd be interested in your opinion on the specific plays, Flak, I have the exact start of the comment thread back and forth in the link below. (I read a packerswire article and thought the analysis of the film clip there was way off). As far as boring me, every article and comment isn't made for everyone. I'll take a chance on your boring me. I don't think you will. I spent three hours reading the "at least that's what Saban calls it" link my friend provided in the APC thread.

[Edit: CHTV won't let me put in the corrected and exact link here. I put it the link in above in my reply to RC.]

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 12, 2018 at 07:57 pm

deleted: double post

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flackcatcher's picture

October 13, 2018 at 09:55 am

tgr, my reading is completely different. First, we don't know the assignment each DB had pre snap, nor do we know what technique the coaches had them play in those series. For us fans we don't see the whole field, and the all 22 can be somewhat deceptive in that regard. That said, the Packers were teasing Stafford with zone looks, mostly cover 2, but some 1 high pre snap. The cover 4 was use to hide what type of man coverage they went into. There are zone principals at use in man, but every NFL team use them in their man coverage. Pretty much fooled Stafford all game long. Packers are playing very little zone, not even when they are in the red zone. Frankly, the rules make playing a pure zone death for pro backends these days. Now on to your question. The touchdown on King was a great play on Stafford part. King did get out muscled but pushed the route to their outside, only the one place that throw could be made. A great play on both Lions players part. The entire design was to force one on one coverage, which the lions got. HHCD had no responsibility on that play. The other side gets a vote too. The only way I can answer on HHCD is he assignment sure, yes. If he was not, the entire backend would break down pretty quickly, and we would see the confusion on every play and series. More importantly, there are far fewer breakdowns in coverage this year than last. Not having to worry about were Brice is lining up has made HHCD a much settled and more decisive player at the SS position. I saw no broken assignments were Dix was the primary, or had over the top in the lions or any of the games to date. The reason for that is very simple. They understand the scheme, and are healthy, a rare event for this team. One final point about both touchdowns. Both Lions WR could have been easily called for pass interference, or holding on both touchdowns. The push off on Williams back was plenty obvious as was the grabbing past the 5 yards beyond the LOS. This will be an on going problem for the NFL if they don't get a handle on this soon.

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RobinsonDavis's picture

October 13, 2018 at 10:04 am

You are not being boring. I think your questions and observations are appropriate TGR and Flack, and only mirror what some of the rest of us are thinking.

When I first saw the 2nd play, I was SO upset with Dix. Replay, demonstrates that this is a team sport, and assignments were blown. So many of the offensive plays in today's football are geared off of where the safety lines up and forces him to a decision. But for all the aggressive play by our secondary this game, during THAT play, the Pack allowed a free release of the receivers in the red-zone. No disruption whatsoever by Martinez and whoever was the CB on the LOS.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

Thanks IL BP, Flak and RobinsonDavis. Maybe only Pettine and players know for sure about HHCD's responsibilities and whether he was assignment sure. The DB in the flat (playing zone) on the second play could have chucked Jones. Not sure that would have made the difference. I just like to see chucks wherever and whenever they are possible. King is the CB on both plays.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 14, 2018 at 01:45 am

Your welcome guys. As RD pointed out there was no chuck on the Lions TD. Reason for that is the Lions WR have very little space to make their breaks, play correctly, a DB can crowd out a WR catch basket, leaving the QB to go to his second option. By the same token if a DB goes physical, there is an excellent chance that he will lose leverage and steps and have the WR doing his victory dance in his face. The other major problem is the NFL front office with their current interpretations of the pass coverage rules for defenses. This is quickly becoming a major issue for teams. This, like all the crap that comes from the commissioners office, will not be fixed until Goodell is gone.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 14, 2018 at 07:13 pm

I agree in general. In the second play, there is a CB lined up opposite Jones. The CB is in zone with underneath responsibilities. He is just going to pass Jones back to King. No Detroit player comes in the underneath CB's area of responsibility. I just wanted to see a nudge on Jones, not anything overly physical that would end up with the issues you mentioned.

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Colin_C's picture

October 12, 2018 at 01:16 pm

Thanks for doing these every week Andy! Gute's first draft class is starting off pretty darn good. When you're getting solid, meaningful play from your first 3 picks (plus JK), you've done something right. Also, at this point Kenny Clark is easily one of TT's best picks. I'd say it's something like this:
1. Arod
2. Bak
3. Collins
4. Clark

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CheesyTex's picture

October 12, 2018 at 03:09 pm

Easy as A, B, C squared.

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Community Guy's picture

October 12, 2018 at 06:52 pm

thanks Andrew.. at the moment, i trust your grading more than PFF's grading.. and i love the clips to support your thinking.

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Community Guy's picture

October 12, 2018 at 06:52 pm

thanks Andrew.. at the moment, i trust your grading more than PFF's grading.. and i love the clips to support your thinking.

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PatrickGB's picture

October 12, 2018 at 08:33 pm

I love these articles. Thanks for all the time, effort and insight.
I am wondering again this week how much worse this offense would have been with Kizer?
Rodgers is injured, he is not Superman. He is getting older and injuries have taken their toll. His playing style and rugged determination to play, no matter what the cost, has not helped him recover properly

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Gort's picture

October 13, 2018 at 06:31 am

"Should the Packers Keep Ha Ha Clinton-Dix?" was an article a couple days ago. If HHCD is in a job interview season, then his routine poor play should weigh heavily in Gute's decision. After HHCD signs with another team and he has a couple highlights on TV, remember "HaHa Clinton-Dix -3.45" happens more frequently than his "Johnny-on-the-spot" interceptions against rookie QBs.

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Spock's picture

October 13, 2018 at 09:57 am

Great information Andy. I always look forward to your articles the most on CHTV. It supported what my eyes were telling me watching the game (Hey, maybe I'm finally learning how to watch the players, scheme, etc., lol.). If Rodgers gets out of his slump I believe this team will be leaps and bounds better. I had been down on HHCD before last weeks game and now this last game reinforced my belief that he just is not a safety we should keep next year. It is interesting to me that the higher draft pick of the young receivers is actually getting less playing time. I hope that is a sign that Gute is comfortable not pressing the coach to play higher picks over lower. MVS has looked good and I was impressed with EQSB's first start. It sure looks like this team is "close" to getting it together. If it does these games and your weekly player evaluations will be a lot more fun to read!!

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RobinsonDavis's picture

October 13, 2018 at 10:17 am

Andy, Thank you as for the insights (as usual!) and having the guts to point-out the issues with Rodgers and Graham's play as well.

Now that Aaron has some very tall receivers, I don't understand why he does not throw a jump-ball more often. He did twice to Graham and was 50/50 with the outcome (should have been 100%). We are playing with guys 6-7, 6-5, 6-4, 6-3, and 6-1 at receiver.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2018 at 01:27 pm

So I clicked on the link to listen to the Friday Film Room. I can't find it. Is it live only and not a podcast?

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Andy Herman's picture

October 13, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Correct, it's Friday mornings on WDUZ 107.5fm in Green Bay.

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holmesmd's picture

October 14, 2018 at 11:20 pm

#12 has become a victim of his own success. It’s much more common than one may imagine. There is no way possible considering his football IQ that the guy couldn’t power thru anything. Brady beat KC tonight with a heavy dose of run and made hay with Gordon, Hogan, and Edleman. Brady isn’t nearly as physically talented as Rodgers and I would bet not quite on his level intellectually either(debatable I know). So stop with your subtle media BS and play ball bro. He has more weapons than he possibly ever has. Man up and earn your coin.

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