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Gut Reactions: Week 4

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Gut Reactions: Week 4

  • Packers sure like to make things interesting.
  • I get the outrage over the missed fumble call late in the second half, but seriously, if your head coach is going throw challenges away in the first half, well, you're reaping what you sow. 
  • Why is it that Dom Capers morphs into a scared little boy whenever he goes up against the better quarterbacks in the league? I get giving Brees and others respect. I understand wanting to play coverage. But when "coverage" consists of zones that feature corners and linebackers that start by standing 8 yards off the line of scrimmage most of the time, I wonder what happened to the guy who had his corners pressing and challenging receivers against the Bears and Seahawks. 
Ok. I never do this, but just had to add this, from Tom Silverstein
The big reason was because the Saints used a lot of bunch formations. The Packers had some rules for how to play them when their splits are a certain way. When the splits were narrower than usual, they went to zone so they didn't get picked. Wider, they went to man-to-man. The Saints are really good in dissecting defenses and making them react to the Saints. With the size of their receivers, you can't let yourself get picked all day long or you wind up giving up even bigger plays. The problem was no pass rush.
  • McCarthy has ice water in his viens with that fake punt call. Not that this is breaking news anymore.
  • James Jones did something that he hasn't done in a long, long time: Put together two really good games in a row. 
  • Clay Matthews got another sack, but for the most part the Saints blocked him one-on-one without problem. 
  • I have no words for the Graham Harrell play.
  • I thought McCarthy might go back to more multiple sets after the second half in Seattle, but there it was - lots of spread looks with lots of wide receivers. Maybe he knew his offense would work well at home against a porous Saints defense. I hope that's what it is. 
  • DJ Smith looked overmatched early on but battled through and made some nice plays as the game went on. That's a good sign.
  • Again. Seriously. How many times are we going to see receivers streaking downfield with corners in futile pursuit, thinking they had safety help, until Capers is forced to simplify things?
  • Rodgers is doing that thing again - that thing where there's a guy wide open underneath for an easy first down, but he's determined to look deep.
  • The Packers beat the Seahawks but not the refs last week. This week, they beat the Saints AND the refs. McCarthy's always talking about improvement, right?
  • I need a cigarette after that game and I don't even smoke. 
  • Bring on the Colts 
  • Like Like
  • -3 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (82) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

FITZCORE1252's picture

"Why is it that Dom Capers morphs into a scared little boy whenever he goes up against the better quarterbacks in the league? I get giving Brees and others respect. I understand wanting to play coverage. But when “coverage” consists of zones that feature corners and linebackers that start by standing 8 yards off the line of scrimmage most of the time, I wonder what happened to the guy who had his corners pressing and challenging receivers against the Bears and Seahawks."

Wondering the same thing myself.


Bearmeat's picture

Simple. Capers is Chicken$#!T that has ever once thrown 30 td's or over 3,000 yards in a season.

He plays not to lose - which is different from playing to win. Defense has to be aggressive to win. Period.

And Capers doesn't get that. This is not chess man!!!

mark d's picture

Love it

Nerd's Laptop's picture

4th quarter comeback for Arodge. Good to see.

Even iced the game with a clutch first down at the end.

CSS's picture

cow = exile

cow42's picture

Sooooooooooooo many things I could rip apart after this game...


... i'm a man of my word.

adios, muchachos.
see you after Thanksgiving (they'll be 5-6)!

Bearmeat's picture

yay! Good one CSS!

Tommyboy's picture

I was at the game, listening to two idiot Packer fans behind me unleash their generic advice and rip anything mildly negative as though someone just shot SEVERAL of their dogs. "Why didn't he tackle that guy?!" "WE SUCK!!!" "Rodgers get under center, dammit!!!" (That was my favorite considering we were moving the ball at 8 yards a clip when he said it).

It reminded me instantly of cow.

Cow, of course, complains that everyone here is too soft and/or too optimistic. Although I disagree, I can respect that view. The problem, of course, is that his lack of objectivity falls on the other end of the continuum.

Even during the super bowl run, he was convinced the Pack would lose every game. He reveled in both victory and misery.

But in the end, after listening to Dip and Sh*& behind me, it made me realize something else, too. If a fan is truly overly-optimistic and tries to find silver-linings in turnovers and poor defense, then that is undoubtedly grating. However, falling on the other end, and finding NO reason to believe a victory could be within reach is worse. It is much, much worse. You're coming to a Packer blog where we all bleed green and gold. So, it feels a little like you're chanting at my brother "Learn how to wrap up, ya p*&$$%." Now we've got a problem.

cow - sincerely, I don't hate ya. You're even funny at times. But for the love of all things Green and Gold, sit down and cheer for your team once in a while. Rodgers will get under center at some point and he promises to try harder.

2 share owner's picture

bye bye Cow lol

pkrNboro's picture

Zone D...
Rodgers goin' deep...

these two things are killing me.

D B H's picture

Capers has an ego issue. The simple man-to-man defense from the Bears and Seahawks game was dominating, but we go back to the complex zone (for the Packers players) defense to try to confuse the elite QBs. I don't get it. Why not use the simple but effective scheme THAT WORKS???

Mojo's picture

It seems like they end up confusing themselves. Maybe too young...or maybe not the brightest group.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture


The only ones getting confused are our defenders.

some guy's picture

The Saints/Brees aren't the Bears/Cutler or Seahawks/Wilson. I agree that Capers went overboard with coverage looks but it isn't as simple as just manning up and watching the magic from week 2 repeat itself. The Paytonless, 0-3 Saints were still bringing offensive concepts and talent that outstrips that of the last 3 opponents.

jmac34's picture

This team really needs to stop playing zone coverage. It's painfully obvious that they don't have the intelligence or the communication skills to play it.

pkrNboro's picture

With Hayward and McMillian, I think we've got guys that are good enough to stay half-way disciplined, and stay with their receiver -- enough so that they won't look open to the opposing QB.

Why play this awful zone stuff -- THAT HAS KICKED OUR ASS, OVER AND OVER AGAIN ??

(this is NO secret -- everybody is talking about it on any Packer-related blog anywhere)

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

It's not the zone coverage as much as it's how much of zone coverage Capers is playing.....way too much. Zone is fine but to sit in quarters coverage the majority of the game is ridiculous. That has not been his philosophy his entire career. If it is his new philosophy I don't want him around. This team is not built to sit in a passive zone 50 of 70 snaps.

PackersRS's picture


It's borderline insanity how he can take a look at his players and decide to go with that gameplan.

Completely out of touch with reality.

Yeah, the Saints are a matchup problem for every defense in the league. But you have to play to your strenghts. You got to give yourself a chance to win.

Mike's picture

He did better this week with checking down at least. I only found myself screaming at the tv for him to throw to the open guy for the first instead of waiting for something 30 yrds down field like 5-6 times

Jarrett Samuels's picture

I just had a feeling when Harrell came into the game that something like that was going to happen. Packers should no longer draft or pick up players named Harrell.

Chicago Hooligan's picture

"It says 'No Harrells Club.'"

"We're allowed to have ONE."

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

I had the same feeling. I told my wife... This ain't good.

jack in jersey city's picture

i was thinking the same thing too before the play. i had that sinking feeling when rodgers went out and they showed harrell warming up on the sideline.

bryce's picture

I'm gonna throw it back to August and start demanding they get rid of Harrell.

Evan's picture

That final Jones catch was simply insane.

djbonney138's picture

+1, awesome.

jack in jersey city's picture

incredible! play of the game for me!

jbovegas73's picture

I love Deion Sanders on NFLN with the game review:
'the corner didn't even know he caught the ball .. he still doesn't know'

Bearmeat's picture

Great points Aaron. AR needs to stop looking deep so often. Become a 'normal' offense until D's start playing up straight up.

MM needs to run the darn ball more.

And Capers needs to be slapped until he gets back to man to man calls. We've got the talent to do it - so friggen do it!!!

Jack's picture

I agree with all your points, Aaron, including the need for a cigarette (and I don't smoke, either). I wonder who is in the booth advising MM about when to throw the challenge flag--two bad decisions. And Graham Harrell...let's hope there is never a need to find out if this was a preview of coming attractions from him. And hell yeah, kudos to James Jones for another solid game and a great, great catch.

Jay's picture

What DJ does well, namely sniffing out short passes and sure tackling, he does really well.

Clay is in on the same track he was on in 2010: start out with 6 sacks, but then would mysteriously disappear against people he should feast upon. I get no one can keep 3 sack game track, but why is he blocked so easily now?

TurfMonster's picture

Probably because he was going up against pro-bowl caliber O-line.

woodson4president's picture

Agree w did that JJ catch even happen? Bring back old refs!!! Haha jk!!!! And lastly no love for Ced?? He is starting to look damn good in green n yellow!! Go pack go!!!

Nerdmann's picture

How many interceptions did we DROP today?

This could have been a blowout.

jack in jersey city's picture

the one where it looked like tramon had it and burnett got in his way was so frustrating. that should've been an easy pick

David C's picture

All in all, pleased with what I saw on defense as a progressions towards peaking in December/January. When is the last time we held for a 3 and out from the 2? Far better coverage from our corners except for some communication issues, pressure up the middle, and everyone flying to the ball. I only see them getting better and am looking forward to Neal in our DL rotation. Offense fine.

Tony's picture

I absolutely LOVE Ced Benson. His presence today was just fantastic.

TurfMonster's picture

Since Ahman Green, We've had backs that fall over at first contact for no additional yardage. Finally Benson is turning no gain into gain of 3, dragging lineman and linebackers 3-5 yards. Lets get him churning, maybe mix it up with Corn Cobb too.

Idiot Fan's picture

There's a plus and a minus to that though. Benson moves the pile, but he has no burst. I'm not sure he could have a run over about 9 yards since he just can't run away from anyone. I'm not complaining; he has been good at his thing for us. But I'm also looking forward to Starks returning.

NoWayJose's picture

Agree both ways. Ced has a god-given talent for getting 4-6 yards. He hits the hole with such authority. That's great for this offense, keeping it on schedule.

But, the ceiling is pretty low for Ced. He's just not going to get to the third level very often.

some guy's picture

He isn't fast and he isn't going to break many ankles but he's strong, has good vision and gets moving with just a step or two. He may only be a bit above replacement-level, but that in itself represents a significant boost over what we've seen the last few years. Now if only he could just catch and block a biiiit better.

Tony's picture

I don't need a guy who can house it on any play. Just give me a guy that will get me a 2nd and 6 and a 3rd and 2. That's all I need, and Ced's it. He's proving to be a very viable receiver, which I didn't think was a strength.

Idiot Fan's picture

I'm also surprised that people have let him off the hook so quickly for that fumble in Seattle. That had the potential to legitimately end the game with a Seahawk win.

cheesy4's picture

Looking forward to Starks returning again??? Why so he can get hurt again.

KurtMc's picture

1) After 100's if not 1000's of practice NFL snaps, thats what G. Harrell shows us? Bring on BJ Coleman.

2) #12 - You don't have to win the games by yourself. Don't go Farve on us!!!

3) Christ NFL!!! Get the flipping replays right

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

Aggregate stats. I've mentioned this before but told others to hold off on the parades for this defense. 3rd down efficiency was the story of this game. The Saints were nearly 60% at converting in this situation. What made it worse were the long 3rd down situations coupled with the long 2nd down situations in which they gained big chunks back to make it manageable 3rd downs. I've said it before and i'll say it again....Capers strayed too far from his core and it nearly cost us this game. Mind you I have no qualms with zone coverage and playing soft zone to boot BUT Capers is taking this to a different level of absurd. He didn't mix his coverages and looks one bit. Capers gets an F for the gameplan. McCarthy gets an A from me. Great use of stick, slant-flat, and shallow digs in the passing game. True WCO. Some glitches here and there but 28 points is nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, 28 points may not be enough if Capers continues to play Jim Bates/Bob Sanders quarters coverage bend but don't break defense the majority of the time. Simply unacceptable.

WisconsInExile's picture

+100 for Bob Sanders analogy. Though I am sad that we are again at this point. Doesn't trust his personnel? His mind is betraying him? His family is held hostage and will be harmed if he calls more man?

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Lol, nice.

Barutan Seijin's picture

Harrell is a loser. Time to see what BJ Coleman can do.

PackersRS's picture

OL was terrific.

I know the Saints' DL has been terrible this year, but zero sacks after what had been historically bad performances is a big improvement. I think there was just 1 QB hit and no more than 5 QB hurries, and even those might've been due to coverage.

jack in jersey city's picture

yep! bulaga made up for the horrible game he had last week

chris's picture

If I'm not mistaken didn't the refs call the runner down late in the second half when he clearly fumbled, so the play couldn't have been reviewed anyway? So having challenges wouldn't have helped anyway.

Jay's picture

THey couldn't have challenged bc video evidence would not have shown a clear recovery. So...yes

Chad Toporski's picture

People need to give more credit to the Saints OL. They are a tough group to crack.

Idiot Fan's picture

Plus, Brees gets it out pretty quickly.

Chad Toporski's picture

That's what she said!

woodson4president's picture

We shoulda had a challenge left...that graham play was horrible.

Edward's picture

As much as it borders on heresy to say it, Woodson has looked pretty bad so far. He's as likely to commit a penalty as make a play. Gotta wonder if this is his swan song season.

In related news--the young Packers secondary: McMillen, Jennings and Hayward all look very good.

NoWayJose's picture

Sad but true RE Woodson. His run support is waning too. He totally whiffed a tackle late in the 4th too where he had the guy dead to rights. It sucks to watch the old vet's game slipping, but that seems to be what we are seeing.

jack in jersey city's picture

i love woodson but does anyone else think that he might be gone after this season? they are going to have to make some tough decisions in order to pay rodgers, matthews and raji (and possibly jennings)

Evan's picture

I don't know about gone, but probably asked to take a big pay cut.

Edward's picture

Some other thoughts:

The Packers tackling HAS looked better (after the first game of the season.)

Welcome back Neal. Now show us something!

Loved the toss sweep to Benson and the shovel pass to Cobb. Good new wrinkles in the run game.

jack in jersey city's picture

is neal back for the colts game?

Evan's picture


Edward's picture

after hearing Jason Wilde this afternoon, it sounds like the Packers could choose to hold Neal out for one more week before activating him and cutting somebody (likely Phillip Merling?)

Edward's picture

I have to ask--was the New Orleans fumble a reviewable play or not? So many are saying it would've been if the Packers had a challenge remaining, but others say it wasn't reviewable because they didn't award possession to GB anyway.

Evan's picture

I don't think you can review a fumble if down by contact is called.

Edward's picture

thanks Evan!

Evan's picture

I'd also add that the 2nd challenge was a good one. Jimmy Graham did not catch that ball. Bullshit review.

Mojo's picture

Your are correct sir. It wasn't a bad challenge. MM was like a Broadway play that closes after one week, a victim of a bad review.

PackRat's picture

So relieved for the win. Four thoughts:

1) CM3 wears down. With still no legitimate other sack threat, the blocking always rotates his way. The only other pressure is up the middle. But I'll say it again...where is the "beastful" Raji we saw two-three years ago?

2) Woodson makes Capers look bad. Just look at how many times there are two DBs covering the flat or sideline with a gaping hole where he should have been filled by his receiver catching the ball. He is so intent on the "game changing play" without his trademark speed that he is constantly MIA. Check how many times he blitzed today and the closest he got to Brees. The young DBs are a marked improvement over Peprah and Bush, even if they are still learning/getting beat.

3) The Pack misses a healthy Jennings. They only started moving the ball when Cobb, Nelson, Jones and Finley were out there. Jennings just popped in for the TD catch (although a nice adjustment). He was awful in the first few series.

4) Cedric Benson doesn't get enough credit for what a wonderful "after-contact" back he is. The OL allows penetration and he almost always bounces off the first "missed block" tackler to turn nothing into something. VERY IMPRESSIVE.

Mojo's picture

All good points Packrat

Point Packer's picture

Benson is only averaging 3.1 for the season, but against the Saints he did what he needed to do. That is, set up more 2 and 6's and 3rd and 3's. Nothing flashy, but just enough to make the Saints weary of a run game. He runs hard, breaks tackles. Doesn't have Grant break-away speed, but its refreshing to watch a Packer RB not fall down when a defender's pinky makes contact a la Ryan Grant. Starks had his chance and could look forward to a long year on the inactive list.

jackietreehorn's picture

Agree mostly but seriously how did he throw away the challenges. Graham definitely didn't catch that ball and it was a close call weather Jordy caught the other one. If Graham caught that Jordy's wasn't even in question.

IMO replay refs were the real problem. JK

MLecl0001's picture

I was at this game and it was awesome.

1st - The first challenge was stupid, I was pretty pissed I knew it was the fans that got to McCarthy. Even spent some time yelling at another fan who was calling for a review.

2nd - Yes the refs still suck. I have never seen Lambeau on TV or live in the state it was in after the messed up fumble/no fumble call. It was pretty bad, the bears still suck chant turned into the refs still suck chant. I swear if the game ended against the Packers due to a bad call I was expecting a riot. But also it was louder than all hell during that Saints drive.

3rd - We still cant cover the middle of the field. Giving an 8+ yd cushion to a receiver when they have a 3rd and 3 or less is just stupid. If the cornerbacks have the option to press or play off they need that option taken away. I can live with a DB getting beat but I cant stand 3rd and 1 and Brees just tosses it to a wide open receiver 2 yards away.

4th - This was an awesome game, 2-2 is much better than 1-3. Also keep feeding Ced the damn ball.

jbovegas73's picture

I could imagine how loud it was in there. I re-wound the missed field goal about ten times. I absolutely LOVE hearing 70,000+ fans ROAR! I bet your ears are still ringing ...

Beep's picture

Despite MM wasting his first challenge and the refs screwing us on the second challenge, the NFL needs to change replay allotment so that you get unlimited correct challenges until you get 2 wrong. Teams shouldn't be penalized for the refs continually being wrong.

PackerBacker's picture

The only problem with that is that it would slow the game way down.

Beep's picture

I'd rather have the games go another 15 minutes if it means 5 incorrect calls get overturned.
NFL doesn't care about the length of the game otherwise they wouldn't break for commercial after every stop in play. Cut out the commercial between every kickoff and the offense taking the field and there's 15 minutes back right there.

tundraboy's picture

What a week!!!! Maybe I need to start drinking heavily. The refs must ne doing that under the hood. Is it that their video replay equipment is like something out of Warehouse 13. What are they looking at!.. And yes Capers is back to soft coverage UGGH. At least it ended well

24woc's picture

If Woodson and Williams/Burnett don't drop those picks and Graham doesn't fumble on the 1 this is a straight-up blow out.

First dome game next week... Pack may put up 50+!
Can't wait to see Cobb on the fast track.

I hear a lot of people hammering Woodson - how much you wanna bet he shuts everyone up with a pick six AND a sack/forced fumble (recovered by Hawk) next week?

Edward's picture

I'm a Woodson doubter but would be all for a breakout game! Whatever is good for the Packers is fine with me :)

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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."
"The Bears still suck!"