Gut Reactions: 2014 Week Five vs The Vikings

Aaron's Gut Reactions from the Packers' victory over the Vikings. 

  • It's incredible what a difference getting the football from a quarterback who's under center as opposed to in the shotgun makes to Eddie Lacy. 
  • Loved seeing the running game, and loved how it opened up that bootleg bomb to Nelson. 
  • Speaking of Nelson, man was he tough away from the ball tonight. A number of times I saw him scrapping with defensive backs. On Lacy's big cutback TD run, he must have held his block for 8 or 9 seconds. The guy is just the ultimate pro. 
  • It was nice to see the offensive line living on the other side of the line of scrimmage for a change. Mike seemed to mix in some more straight-up power tonight, but I'll have to watch again. 
  • Can we please, for the love of all that's holy, get rid of the 3rd and 1 toss play? 
  • Davante Adams ran that slant like a boss on his first NFL touchdown. 
  • Julius Peppers will get all the attention, and rightfully so, for his big play - but it was made possible by an undrafted rookie, Luther Robinson, who pulled a Howard Green on Ponder by knocking his arm as he threw. 
  • Robinson and Pennell both showed me something tonight. 
  • So did Guion, who looked like he was thrilled to be playing his old team. 
  • Lattimore isn't giving his job back to a healthy Brad Jones any time soon. 
  • Rodgers' final drive of the night? Where he just kept handing it to Eddie Lacy? Beautiful. 
  • OH MY GAWD DID YOU SEE LACY TRUCK THAT DUDE???
  • The Packers scored 42 points in three quarters and Rodgers completed 12 passes. 
  • Thursday Night Football sucks. 
  • Nice bit of rest for the guys then it's time to get ready for Miami. 
  • Go Pack Go. 
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Comments (45)

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 02, 2014 at 10:51 pm

I loved seeing Lacy running not out of the shotgun.

I hope Datone's ankle isn't serious.

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murphy's picture

October 02, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Cake. Walk.

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Bohj's picture

October 02, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Liked the disruptive defensive line all night. Love how many punts we forced. Loved when the announcers kept saying the vikes didn't cross their own fifty for an entire half. I know the vikes were beat up without bridge Rudolph or Peterson but the d kept at it tonight. Keep growing. Great confidence booster.

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Nerd's picture

October 02, 2014 at 10:57 pm

-If Pennell and Luther Robinson keep getting reps, I think this dline could get better. Liked both of them in TC.

-Nice to see Lacy break out.

-Nice to see Janis get some action.

-REALLY hope Datone's ok. He'll get 10 days to rest it. Hope it's not another "high ankle."

-Starks looked good too.

-Quarless was ok, but no TE stepped up yet. Seems like they've been calling Bostick out in the press. Hope he steps up.

-Outstanding tackling today.

-Hayward looks like he's getting back into form.

-Burnett looked good too.

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pooch's picture

October 02, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Say it again run Eddy with QB under center,keep giving Pennel reps,Robinson look good in preseason is it just a coincidence the D line looked good with those two getting reps

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HankScorpio's picture

October 03, 2014 at 08:41 am

The problem with running Lacy with Rodgers under center is that it limits the passing game. And when it comes to the offense, Rodgers' effectiveness is WAY more important than Lacy's. So Lacy needs to run effectively with Rodgers in shotgun, whether he likes it or not. And the numbers say he can.

Of course, if given a nice hole, shotgun or no is irrelevant to Lacy. And he sure did have some gaping holes yesterday. It reminded me of Emmitt Smith back in the day, where he was untouched until he was 10 yards downfield.

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real some guy's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:00 pm

please let datone be ok

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OC Packer's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Fantastic Game. And I loved the couple plays from Janis in the fourth. He could develop into a real receiver.

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Nerd's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Wouldn't mind seeing him return KOs.

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NewNikeShoes's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:56 pm

there was one play where trucked a guy lacy style, and someone else pushed him out of bounds.
that was beautiful

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 03, 2014 at 09:58 am

Yes, that reminded me of Ahman Green. The Packers should mail a copy of that play to every guy on the Fins secondary.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Just a great team win. Offense was great, defense was great. I mean what else can you say.

It was great seeing Lacy returning to his 2013 form.

Great win, and hopefully guys will get healed up.

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4thand1's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Hope they turn the heat up at Nitschke field to get ready for Miami. Also I'm ready for some humble cowpie. They held a team to under 20 again.

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lebowski's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Nothing satisfies me more than the Pack spanking the Vikings and shutting their fans up for a week. Solid win in a game I was nervous about. Only gripe; for the love of God, can Rodgers throw the freaking ball away once instead of taking a sack??!!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:16 pm

And we get three extra days of satisfaction!

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Klincker's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:19 pm

3rd and 1 toss is horrible. I dont know if the toss is good for us at anytime. Unless its to Cobb, who then throws it downfield to Jordy.

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DukeDivine's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Duke's gut reactions :

Route=cow crickets

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Otto's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Apropos of nothing, I'd like to see Janis used on a Jet sweep.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 03, 2014 at 10:05 am

Not to nit-pick but Janis would probably run a Fly Sweep. Jet = End, Fly = Slot or WIng.

I think it's a good idea too.

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4thand1's picture

October 03, 2014 at 02:32 pm

Lotta football left. It'll come

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Idiot Fan's picture

October 02, 2014 at 11:34 pm

It was really nice to see the O come out in the second half and impose their will for a couple drives rather than sit on their lead. They sprinkled in a couple dumpoffs and quick TE passes, and I could handle some more of that.

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lucky953's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:18 am

For the record, Lacy trucked a couple of guys tonight and it was great! Throw in the open field juke after the check-down pass and he had it all going. Yes, that last Rodgers drive was just beautiful. It's what we were hoping to see this year. Agree with all the guys on the 3rd and 1 toss. I wanted to throw my drink on that one, but restrained myself as my daughter reminded me we were up by 14 and they hadn't crossed midfield yet.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

October 03, 2014 at 08:29 am

The offense ran stretch and inside zone for most of the game. Couple of things: First, contrary to what some may think, zone blocking is just as effective as gap blocking. That's why nearly all professional teams run both schemes. Two, it makes a difference where Lacy is positioned in the set. He has and will always be more effective from 6-7 yards deep than from 4-5 off set in the gun. The angle of departure is simply different as well as the timing. Can he run from the off set position? Yes. Is he as effective? Not even close and it's been this way since his time at Alabama and all of last year. Simply chart his productivity from both positions and you'll see for yourself. Nice to see this change. Now we need to see 3 and 5 step from under center. Only play action will make it too predictable.

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HankScorpio's picture

October 03, 2014 at 08:46 am

Here is some of that charting of Lacy's runs. According to the actual numbers prior to last night, Lacy has a better per attempt average when he runs while the Packers are in shotgun.

" So far this season, 19 of Lacy’s 53 carries have come from out of the shotgun formation, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That’s 35.8 percent of his runs. He’s gained 81 yards, or 4.26 yards per attempt. His longest run of the season, a 17-yarder at Detroit on Sept. 21, came out of the shotgun.

Lacy’s other 34 carries have come with quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center, and he’s gained 80 yards on those carries – an average of 2.35 yards per rush.

Last season, Lacy carried 284 times for a Packers rookie franchise-record 1,178 yards, an average of 4.15 yards per carry. Of those, 97 carries came from the shotgun formation, or 34.2 percent of his attempts. He gained 453 yards, an average of 4.67 yards per attempt."

Source: http://www.espnwisconsin.com/common/page.php?feed=2&id=16391&is_corp=1

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

October 03, 2014 at 09:38 am

Not going to dispute those numbers Hank. On their face they are what they are. I'm referencing zone runs from gun vs. the "dot." Running a zone play from gun and from the dot are two different animals and Lacy is better at depth. YPC don't always tell the entire story and why coaches don't get hung up on basic stats. Rodgers only threw for 156 yards last night. Roughly the same yards he had against Detroit. Effectiveness goes well beyond aggregate numbers. By any measure, Rodgers was effective. It's important to go beyond the surface numbers and look more specifically.

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HankScorpio's picture

October 03, 2014 at 10:37 am

Paul,

I agree it is important to go beyond the surface. To me that brings blocking, opposing defensive scheme and personnel, and how well the passing game is clicking into the discussion. I would call each of those things more important to Lacy's running effectiveness than where he puts his feet pre-snap. And since the numbers show the opposite of what the technical aspects of running show, I'd say I'm on pretty solid ground in that assessment.

The bottom line is that the Packers are a pass first team. Shotgun is a big part of their offense. Telegraphing zero runs out of that formation is foolish. So Lacy, and any other Packer RB, better learn to deal with running out of shotgun, in addition to pass blocking and receiving. Or their snaps will be limited along with their effectiveness. The numbers show he has learned how to deal with that. Which is a good thing.

No need to change around how things are done offensively to make the second fiddle more effective. He's good enough as is. And he is the second fiddle, after all.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

October 03, 2014 at 03:02 pm

Unless you compare zone runs from either position you are not making an apples to apples comparison and it is a very important comparison. You are on solid ground with numbers by placement not numbers by placement and run type. That is crucial and I can assure you that it is something that coaches look at. Your assertion that they “better learn to deal with running out of shotgun” is valid. But…..some athletes are better suited to run certain schemes out of different positions. Some are good at both. It’s up to the coaches to “coach em’ up” to perform better in areas in which they are struggling. It boils down to two things: Either the position coach gets fired or you’ve drafted the wrong player to fit your scheme and you need to cut bait. There is validity to this approach but it needs to be tempered by a large degree of flexibility. Brad Johnson wasn’t asked to be a vertical ball thrower on a consistent basis because he was much better at throwing short to intermediate concepts. That doesn’t mean Gruden never called vertical pass routes and when he did, expected Brad to refrain from throwing deep. It’s just that wasn’t a strength of Brad’s. I’m hardly suggesting Lacy shouldn’t be expected to run from the off set position but what type of runs should he be running? What fits in to his strengths as a zone runner? He was a zone runner at Alabama from the dot. Hard to argue with that productivity. Thompson and McCarthy both knew what they were getting when they drafted him. Lacy does need to get better from the shotgun zone runs but I’ll tell you that if you fail to run him from his position of strength he’ll become very mediocre in a hurry. Yes, Lacy is 2nd fiddle to Rodgers but without Lacy last year, the Packers don’t have any semblance of an offense in Rodgers absence. Lastly, asking Rodgers to engage in some non-PA 3 and 5 step drops is not changing the offense. It’s changing the footwork for the QB. Joe Montana rarely played in the shotgun and it worked out quite well for him. I’d say Rodgers is more skilled than Montana. Now, Rodgers may be more comfortable and effective from the shotgun when he throws but what does that do to the offense in general? Despite being a throw first team you need to be able to effectively run the ball otherwise you become one dimensional and easy to defend. Walsh and Holmgren knew this all too well and thus emphasized the run while being a throw first offense. Teams that win at this level play to their player’s strengths while trying to get them to function within the overall philosophy of the team/squad. It’s viewed more as fitting a square block of PlayDough through a rubber band than a wooden square peg through a solid hole. Both coach philosophy and player strength have to be malleable enough to adjust. Simply saying one “needs to get used to the other” is pure stubbornness.

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lucky953's picture

October 04, 2014 at 12:46 pm

So what makes 3rd & 1 more consistent?

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Evan's picture

October 03, 2014 at 08:46 am

Hell of a full team win. What can really be said?

I was legitimately mad they gave up the shutout - talk about picking nits.

That 66-0 run everyone keeps talking about is seriously insane.

The schedule gets a lot easier from here on out.

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Packer_Pete's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:01 pm

"The schedule gets a lot easier from here on out." While I agree with that, the danger is that the players think the same thing and R-E-L-A-X a little too much... Hope that won't be happening.

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@ballark's picture

October 03, 2014 at 09:38 am

Thoughts:

Has JC Tretter been Wally Pipped?

Lacy, Lacy, Lacy...first four games there was this hesitancy, not sure if the holes weren't there or what, but I've been calling for him to hit holes hard, run north/south, and get upfield. Last night was the Lacy of last year and it was glorious to watch. He trucked that safety, yes. But how about when he wrecked Xavier Rhodes' shoulder? I promise you Rhodes won't forget that.

TACKLING! The Packers tackled last night. That was a treat.

14-0 then crickets. There were a lot of stalled, go nowhere drives between 14-0 and 21-0. I don't want to sound greedy, but we could have put the Vikings away much earlier. And should have.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is turning out to be a great pick.

6 touchdowns for Randall Cobb through 5 weeks. And he was recently calling his play "an embarrassment". No big deal.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 03, 2014 at 10:10 am

"Has JC Tretter been Wally Pipped?"

Considering Tretter can backup pretty much every position on the O-Line? Definitely...

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Evan's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Yeah, it's actually a bit of a blessing in the long run. Linsley looks good and Tretter can become Barclay 2.0.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:32 pm

True, Evan. But Tretter could beat out Linsley when he gets healthy and be a beast. Lot of good options. We should play the 5 best linement. Maybe both Linsley and Tretter can back up guard and we can jettison the flotsam of Lane Taylor and Gerhart, and pick up a roster spot, long term. Don't take this wrong: I (and Since '61) loved TT FINALLY drafting a true center. I do not mean to imply in any way that you are wrong though: I think Tretter can play center and guard, maybe even a bit of tackle. I am not so sure that Linsley can play guard - a "maybe" in my mind since he has shown better movement skills than I thought he had - and I don't think he can play tackle, so your point about Tretter being Barclay 2.0 is completely valid.

BTW, Barclay is a FA after this year - his injury will complicate things so we have a good shot of re-signing him if TT wants him. Love for the O line to be Bakh, Sitton, say Linsley, Lang, Bulaga (re-signed as he's a FA too) with Tretter and Barclay as back-up OL. Could use a RT back up.

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Evan's picture

October 03, 2014 at 01:05 pm

I'd really be surprised if Tretter got his job back this year - now the off-season is a different story, especially with all the FAs.

And as you point out, Tretter's versatility would be a huge asset as a back-up, so part of me is also hoping Linsley keeps the job.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 03, 2014 at 02:19 pm

Me too, Linsley has been pancaking dudes. He just needs to remember not to pin them down when they are off their feet. A line group of Baktiarti, Sitton, Linsley, Lang, Bulaga, Tretter, Barclay, and Sherrod sounds fantastic to me.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I could be wrong, but I thought I saw Lacy wait for his blocking to develop a number of times last night and then hit the hole or cut back (like he always has). I really think this hesitancy/east-west argument is overblown. The first Lacy run was vintage. Oline gets him 2-3 yards and then Lacy gets 2-3 yards more after contact, for a nice 5 yard gain. Lacy's yards after contact average is going to be enormous for this game. His YAC has been excellent all year long. He has been running hard, IMHO.

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Evan's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:21 pm

One run in particular stands out to me - 2nd or 3rd quarter, Lacy ran left and waited, waited, waited and then shot through. Thought it was going nowhere and he ended up getting 5 or so yards.

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Zola Davis's picture

October 03, 2014 at 09:47 am

I look at the game like this: The Vikings had their #3 QB, plus were missing RB1 and several other starters on both O and D. They got blown out.

Last year in the matchup, GBP had their #3 (or was 4 or 5th) QB, plus missing several other starters on both O and D. GBP played to a tie.

Seems to me like GBP was and is the better team!

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Packer_Pete's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:09 pm

They always were, for quite some time. Only our resident Vikings fans posting here think that those guys draft better, have superior talent, and play better than the Packers. That Vikings OLine is a joke, actually. Maybe they can impose their will on the Falcons, but they'll have big issues against even an average D. And I'm not sure they have good WR either. Average at best. Rudolph at TE changes things, but their WR don't scare me at all.

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Evan's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Psst...our little 4th round LT is way outplaying the Vikes' 4th overall LT.

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Packer_Pete's picture

October 04, 2014 at 01:53 pm

and I love that :) If DBak could develop his run blocking a little more then he will be elite material in a couple of years.

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Brian Lee's picture

October 03, 2014 at 09:59 am

Can we please, for the love of all that's holy, get rid of the 3rd and 1 toss play?

AMEN!!! I have no idea why MM keeps calling this play over and over???

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Packer_Pete's picture

October 03, 2014 at 12:04 pm

last year it was handing the ball to Kuhn, and everybody knew it was coming. Mike needs to get a little more creative. Why not toss is back and Lacy throw the ball to Jordy or Cobb? Anything but a toss play and Lacy just running into a pile...

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Tundraboy's picture

October 04, 2014 at 07:44 pm

Preaching to the choir on this one, Just a waste of a down.

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