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Gut Reactions: Week 12

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Gut Reactions: Week 12

  • Aaron Rodgers was both a hero and a goat today. Great final drive but just a monster mistake on the fumble on the goalline.
  • Where was Clay Matthews?
  • I feel like its 2008 again.
  • Shades of the first Bears game as well. The Packers offense was in command all through the first half. They just killed themselves.
  • Yes, Brandon Jackson was bad today, but he was also getting hit either before or as he got to the line of scrimmage a lot of the time. The "blocking" was atrocious.
  • That said, the running game will be much improved next week. Book it.
  • That was an impressive sack from Frank Zombo, made possible by the push from Matthews.
  • Lots of questionable decisions by McCarthy today. Not challenging the Gonzalez "catch" was the real head scratcher. You have three time outs left in the first half. What's the harm in risking one when the Falcons go no-huddle to try and preempt a challenge? Just throw the flag. Makes no sense.
  • Just some horrific tackling by the Packers today. Way too much "diving at the feet" of the ball carrier.
  • As dispiriting as this loss is, I don't feel bad about the Packers' chances in a possible rematch. The game was close and the Packers didn't play close to a complete game.
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  • 0 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (59) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Adam Czech's picture

Matthews' various injuries might be worse than we are being told. He rarely practices and he doesn't seem as explosive off the line.

Aaron's picture

You can't put the no challenge completely on McCarthy. The coaches upstairs should have seen it and told him, there was plenty of time to get the challenge off. The team just didn't feel complete today, Rodgers had to do everything.

packeraaron's picture

But that was why the Falcons went no-huddle. So the guys upstairs wouldn't have a chance to look

buckyor's picture

Which is why it's ok to call a timeout there. Again, I like McCarthy as a head coach, but as a game manager my 71 year old mom could do better.

Ruppert's picture

You sure as hell CAN put that non-challenge on McCarthy. Even if the upstairs guys said "uh...we haven't seen a replay yet," he KNEW it was close. He should have AT LEAST called a timeout there, or just thrown the flag anyway. Either way, we can't lose. If we win the challenge, obviously it was worth it. And, if during the timeout, it was determined that we shouldn't challenge, big deal...we took a timeout with us into halftime anyway. Nope. That whole scenario is on McCarthy.

I'm not sure the Falcons no-huddle really mattered. McCarthy should have challenged or at least called timeout anyway.

willis's picture

I was annoyed with the play calling at our first two goal lines, we should've had at least one TD. So we march down the field spreading the ball out and then suddenly go to tight formations inside the five? makes zero sense. In the shotgun Rodgers was either picking up yards with his arm or legs. Finally the third goal line we spread it out and guess what? Rodgers gets a TD! I'm tired of running the ball out of obvious running formations, we just can't do that anymore unless we have a big lead, we ran okay in the fourth because we ran out of passing formations, not running forms, running the ball is good if they're good running calls. I'm not too upset about the ST face-mask cause he probably gets inside the 30 otherwise. Also McCarthy should've challenged Rodgers slide in the first qtr, that should been obvious from the field that the ref placed the ball a yard short.

Tommer's picture

I was thinking QB sneak too even before the ball was snapped. The Atlanta D-lineman wasn't set before the snap and yet he stopped Rodgers short of the goal line. Colledge absolutely whiffed on the play.

D B H's picture

"Colledge absolutely whiffed on the play."

A common theme through the whole game.

buckyor's picture

The head coach is the guy in charge, and if he doesn't get the help he needs from his assistants, it's up to him to fix that.

This is our fourth three-point loss, all at the end of regulation or in overtime. At a certain point, you have to wonder why we're not capable of winning these sort of games. My thought is that while McCarthy is a fine head coach, he is a terrible game manager. I think I'd like to see him reassign those duties to someone who has a better feel for in game decisons. McCarthy has proved that he does not have a clue in that department.

lebowski's picture

My gut reaction? We have a bunch of 300+lb. guys who can't run block for shit.

DAWG's picture

I don't blame MM for game managing, he needs help from the box on that call. What I do blame MM-TT for not putting a Quality OL on the field, or going for a RB after Grant. I've never been a fan of Campen, he wasn't a player and isn't a coach. BJAX to indecisive, 3rd down RB. JUST a very sad display of a running game. WHAT the hell is Rodgers running at the one twice??
Someone mentioned they will fix poor tackling next week, of course they will, but a little late? This team has a problem changing things up at half time.
This team can't run, or stop it!

Mr. Man's picture

Terrible, terrible clock-related decisions by McCarthy today. This loss is on him. He should publicly apologize.

Will's picture

The challenge for sure, Even if you have to burn a timeout, didn't they take 2 of them into halftime?

And 2 qb about opening up the playbook a little wider, 1 qb sneak ok...but 2???

willis's picture

I have problems with QB sneaks cause our o-line are weaklings, QB draws might be a different matter though.

lebowski's picture

My gut reaction? Slocum is stealing from this team.

Idiot Fan's picture

I have to say, that final drive by the offense was bad-ass though. Six minutes and 90 yards? If the D/ST holds and we win that game, those are the drives that make reputations. Too bad Rodgers won't get credit for that since we lost.

SpartaChris's picture

Yup. Already hearing people say Rodgers' can't win the close ones.. Maybe we should have him earn that criticism by also playing defense and special teams?

willis's picture


Nerdmann's picture

Rodgers has about the best third down percentage of QBs, all time. Yet people still wanna say he's not clutch.
Another game to add to the legend of "Matty Ice."

Idiot Fan's picture

Yeah, if Rodgers had gotten the ball on the 50 with a minute left, I'm pretty sure he could have gotten us the 20 yards needed for field goal range...

Cole's picture

Thanks for saying the run blocking was terrible in this game because everyones gonna blame Jakson but what is he supposed to do we he isnt getting blocks and hes up against a good run D. A lot of people say the pack need to get a new running back but what they need is better blocking. IDK why they didnt let Nance run the ball more, he can probally break tackle better than B-Jax

buckyor's picture

Agreed on the line play, but running backwards seven yards when a hole isn't open would not be my number one alternative. He really took a step back today, although neither the line nor the play calling helped him much.

packeraaron's picture

That was his one truly bad play, no doubt.

Nerdmann's picture

Bjax isn't a guy who's gonna "make the oline look better." That's for sure.

Oppy's picture

I said it all day in the live blog, I'll say it again here:

Rodgers and Woodson are directly responsible for a 6-10 point differential in this game- those costly mistakes are what sunk the Packers today (Rodgers' fumble at the goal line cost the PAckers 3-7 points, and Charles Woodsons' defensive holding extended a ATL drive AND gave up enough yardage to put them in Field goal range, which they took advantage of for 3 points).

If Rodgers' doesn't cough up the ball, the PAckers get a field goal at least. If Woodson doesn't hold, the Falcons punt instead of putting 3 points on the board. If either of these critical errors are erased, the Packers control their own destiny in this game and it doesn't come down to a big KOR in the final minute and a facemask penalty (That was required to stop the guy from scoring) leading to a last second FG win.

Too easy to blame MM and/or ST's. Two key ERRORS by individuals are directly traceable to points.

Nerdmann's picture

To me it looked like Woody slipped, so he grabbed him just so he wouldn't be wide open for an easy TD.

Ruppert's picture

Oppy, I'm with you on Woodson. But as far as I'm concerned, running a QB sneak into a short-yardage defensive front, FROM THE TWO (caps added for emphasis) is just a stupid play call.

We shouldn't even have that in the play book. ARod was basically 100% of our offense today. We should not be exposing him to the stuff that goes on in a pile of ten 300-pounders. Ever.

A QB draw from a shotgun on a 3-man defensive front is a little different. He can use his athleticism. God, he already got nailed in the head during the Washington game. Is MM going to keep doing it, and doing it until ARod finally gets knocked out of a game?

Nerdmann's picture

At least send him behind Sitton.

Oppy's picture

I don't care how poor of a choice a play call is, Ruppert.

I'm pretty sure the play isn't diagrammed with "Fumble the ball" at the tail end.

The fumble is on Rodgers, plain and simple. This team is coached to protect the football. Period. He did not.

Look, I'm not one to get all bent out of shape about blaming people. But when people are pointing their fingers at all the wrong places, I don't mind speaking up and administering the voice of reason. If people are looking for areas to blame, you take the two errors that cost the Packers points or gave the Falcons points where you can definitively assign personal ownership.

I seem to remember a game not too long ago where a Packers player was put in "the ugly" simply because he fumbled at a critical time in a game, although he played well otherwise. When people questioned it, Nagler responded something to the effect of 'he fumbled, that's a cardinal sin, period'.

Well, Rodgers coughed up the ball. I don't care if MM called for Quinn Johnson to QB and used Rodgers as a WR, he fumbled the ball on the goal line and wiped out at least three points that could have been the difference. I love Rodgers, he played great otherwise, but denying his accountability in this loss is looking the other way.

Nerdmann's picture

Never thought I'd see he Run and Shoot offense again in the NFL.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Seemed odd that Kuhn had no carries on the short yardage situations when he's had so many in the past.

Looks like home-field is out of the question, but if we have to go to the ATL again I like our chances. Much rather go there than New Orleans or Philly.


andrew's picture

we will probably go to both ATL and philly.. but i think we could beat both teams at home if we get our things together

tony's picture

This was like the Bears game all over again. Ryan didn't throw a ball farther than 10 yards down the field. Defense didn't get as much pressure as I'm sure they would have liked, but they were pretty decent. Rodgers just can't fumble that ball. That has to be at worst a no-gainer. Can't let that happen.

Two winnable games coming up, I still feel good about the squad. They've had a chance to win EVERY game, which a lot of teams can't say.

SpiderPack's picture

I'm so tired of Rodgers winning the game, and Slocum/Special Teams giving it away.

SpiderPack's picture

Y the hell not squid kick it? We've been doing that all year if in doubt. Plus it wudda ate up 10sec.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Or even squib kick it!

B's picture

Anyone else not impressed with Matt Ryan at all? I'm not sure if the guy is able to throw it longer than five yards. Chad Pennington 2.0

andrew's picture

my opinion of todays game... capers is afraid of the deep play.. terrified of it to the point where he costs us giving up yards up and down the field... matt ryan needs to go 20 yards for field goal range and our corners are playing 5-7 yards off their WRs.. why? why are you not pressing your corners to force a pick they ran 5 or 6 short little flats to get all they needed to kick the fg..
special teams seems better until the game matters then the special teams blows up in our face.. why is it so undisplined? why is it so hard to fix?
offensively bad play calls are rare but always at the worst times.. rodgers played a great game WRs played a great game jackson had no help no run blocking what so ever...
clay matthews. made quite a few tackles in the game got a little pressure but was contained i think he is hurting a little but the oline of the falcons played well. he isnt going to get sacks every single game tho... so im not really upset about it
but we cant keep blaming the refs or saying that we are just the better team after every game we lose.. if we keep losing we obviously are not the better team...
do i think we have talent it was 20-17 it was a good close game i think we could beat them in the playoffs..
but all in all.. obviously we are doing something wrong.. we arent doing enough we need to make changes we need to fix our running game LIKE I HAVE BEEN SAYING we are going to start to see it become a problem LIKE I HAVE BEEN SAYING.. but i think we have potential to beat them but that could be said about almost any team in any game

Ron LC's picture

Looks like the Bears are going to win today. Up 15 in the 4th Qtr. If the Bears go 2-3 to finish the Packers must go 4-1. Not a rosey picture.

Seekr's picture

Especially since the Bears have all the tough games at home.

threefold's picture

I'm pretty sure that for the Packers to get the division, the easiest route would be matching the Bears' record over the next four games and winning a must-win at Lambeau. That would leave us tied in record. The first, second, third, and potentially fourth tiebreakers would be tied, leading to strength of victory, where the Packers currently have a 43 point advantage. It's not gonna be easy, especially playing these Bears, but the division's still within a reasonable grasp.

threefold's picture appears strength of victory is not what I thought it was--net points--as that is a later tiebreaker.

Tarynfor 12's picture

Two QB sneaks because we can't punch it in with BJ or Nance.Say whatever you want to say,but Starks should have been in this game,Nance 1 touch and snuffed and needs be demoted.
You can't win it all if your QB is your best RB.Bring in STARKS.

Chris's picture

Says a lot if you put in Nance at the goal line. Toughest place to be for a rookie RB. I am not convinced that Starks would be doing better.

PkrNboro's picture


I agree it's sickening to have to "sneak" it, because we can't trust our running backs. Granted I don't think BJAX is the answer -- just not nimble, nor does he adjust/react when a play is not working.

But, I think our oLine blows -- this crew is a joke. I don't consider them athletic, to be able to move quickly, to allow for ZBS-style running. And they are way under-sized to be used in a mauling/slug-it-out confrontation.

At the heart of the problem is 73 -- he's not strong -- every time I see him isolated on someone, he's losing the battle whether a pass or a run; he uses bad technique -- on his heels; crappy pad level -- can't drive, or use leg-strength. What's totally bizarre is that he's the exact opposite of Sitton !! You'd think these differences would show constantly in film study, and that somebody could coach-him-up.

Irish Cheesehaed's picture

"That was an impressive sack from Frank Zombo, made possible by the push from Matthews."

Guess you answered your own question where Matthews was. His impact is more than sacks.

Chris's picture

Difference at the end was the Special teams play of both teams. The Falcons outplayed the Packers in that part of the game. Kickoff returns of the Packers were atrocious, and giving up a 50 yard return on the last kickoff was the nail in the coffin.

redlights's picture

Rodger's two sneaks from the goal line were terrible play calls. Rodgers IS our team, he runs fine when eluding pressure; not up the gut, especially with our oline. I laugh at Mccarthy being mentioned for COYr; absolute joke.

I think that they should have tried someone else when bjax couldn't get anything going.

T Williams gets one more game to redeem his boneheaded decisions. You're just there to non fumble, don't get hurt!

Zombo best game in awhile. Collins blew it on Gonzo's TD?

zub-a-dub's picture

Great game, Jackson not good enough against the elite in the NFL. Atlanta is a complete team, A-rod's fumble is not his fault (thats asking him to do too much), Matt Ryan was not asked to run the ball because he has a running game.

Bears are for real, Pack is playing for a wild card as the Bears sit in the driver's seat, with a game lead and a head to head match up.

Grant's injury may be bigger than the Packers can over come.

M.S. Yacoob's picture

Can I remind everyone that we went into Atlanta and played extremely well to the point where we could have won the game? I'm not saying let's not talk about the negatives. Let's talk. But in context. In the context of this being a good team with weaknesses that should be addressed, not "OMG THE WORLD IS OVER!!!"

PkrNboro's picture

Yeah, well... the world is not over.

But the Packers playoff hopes might well be.

Looks like the Saints/Bucs/Eagles/Giants may want to play in the post-season, too.

Packers have that missing-a-couple-of-puzzle-pieces look to them.

Damn - this would have been a great game to win, and to be considered a truly dominant team.

DAWG's picture

Nope, the world is not over, but our running game is. If your happy about the way our OL and running game is going please enlighten me!

Black Hawk's picture

Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson are saying with the loss today that GB may not make the playoffs. Need to stay a game back of Chicago at the very least with hope of winning the division. A first round bye is still very realistic with the East beating up on each other and the west the worst of all four. I like our chances going back to Atlanta but now must take care of business one week at a time and it's not going to be easy. Might have to become a Viking fan for the first time ever when they play the Bears.

foundinidaho's picture

No way I feel like this is 2008 again. This team is playing at a very high level with HOW many people on IR? I realize the Packers have to win. I realize that stupid mistakes can't be made. But these kids are pretty amazing. I really hope they can figure it out now and that McCarthy will prove an asset, not a liability, as we all know he can be at times.

asshalo's picture

I heard Bill Michael's getting really defensive about the missed challenge. They caller articulated himself poorly, but Michael's immediately wrote it off as being beyond the coaching staff's control. "It happened too fast, everyone thought it was a catch, the falcon's got their play off quickly." Though these defenses are true, the coaches have to decide quick when choosing whether to review or not. Even if the situation was unique and difficult, why did the Falcons rush to get the play off? Because they didn't have 100% faith that it was a catch and they wanted to slip one by the packers. Just because the situation was difficult, does not mean the coaching staff couldn't have done more and is above criticism.

DAWG's picture

Just checking, how many rushing first downs we had, and by whom? As apposed to the dirty birds.

POOCH's picture

Draft Monty Ball,maybe he comes out early,he knows how slash and run

Luther's picture

I'm starting to wonder if Raji, Pickett and Jenkins would get a better push on the left side of the offensive line in short yardage than Cliffy and College. They can pass block, but when you need a yard they can't move anybody.

gratif's picture

Losing the turnover battle begets defeat 83% of the time against ALL teams. Against a good team like the 2010 Falcons you can bet it's higher.

I like our chances in a rematches.

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
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