My Ugly Mug: Falcons Edition

Aaron talks about the loss to the Falcons and what it means going forward for the Packers.

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Comments (35)

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M.S. Yacoob's picture

November 29, 2010 at 02:26 am

I guess that's true about A-Rod. He can't fumble. He can't miss key downs. In fact, if this team wants to go anywhere, he can't make a mistake. Not a single mistake. He has to play absolutely error free football. He can't fumble. He can't throw a pick. He can't miss a read. He has to play sixty minutes of perfect football.

Why?

Because, apparently, he *is* the Green Bay Packers.

The D is going to get shredded again and again for fifty five, eighty, and eighty yard scoring drives, all over ten plays.

The running game is going to do diddly squat.

The coaches are going to make mistakes.

So Aaron, while all the above is bad, your making a mistake is inexcusable. It's terrible. It's what costs us the game.

Look, I'm not saying he's flawless or faultless. But the man had three mistakes: the fumble, the miss to Driver on the fourth and 1, and the pass to Quarless (still wasn't going to make it, even if QJ didn't bat it down). If that is what is going to lose us a game, then we need to rethink going anywhere this season.

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threefold's picture

November 29, 2010 at 03:13 am

While I agree with most of what was said here, I would like to add that it's much easier to be consistent when you're asked to consistently do less. Matt Ryan was incredibly efficient missing on only four passes to rack up just under two hundred yards. He also had the benefit of a stud running back who could gobble up both clock and yardage. Looking at passing performance, Rodgers was, if not equally consistent, more dynamic, while still hitting almost three quarters of his passes. He also had to be his own leading rusher and goal line back. Any time this scenario arises and your name isn't Michael Vick, you're in for trouble.

While the goal line fumble was a costly mistake, at least a ten point swing, it's a moment that overshadows and tarnishes what was seemingly among his most consistent performances. Maybe it was just the poise he showed on that final drive, but he appeared far less skittish than early in the year.

His performance wasn't flawless, like Ryan's, but who's to say we wouldn't be hung with a loss if the dynamism we saw today were sacrificed for flawless consistency.

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Zub-a-Dub's picture

November 29, 2010 at 04:25 am

I agree that the turnover was the game changer, but A-rod should not have been asked to punch it in on the goal line a second time, the lack of a running game caused that fumble.

Matt Ryan was not asked to do he same, MM is just asking A-rod to do too much. At some point the running backs/offensive line have to do their jobs, not a hybrid QB/running back.

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PkrNboro's picture

November 29, 2010 at 10:45 am

"the lack of a running game caused that fumble"
Exactly!

Can't pin this on A-Rod -- he can't do all the passing, and the rushing.

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thepretzelhead's picture

November 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm

He must. And also play on kick coverage - and why the hell isn't he in charge of replays?

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redlights's picture

November 29, 2010 at 03:20 pm

That's funny. +1

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AndrewInAtlanta's picture

November 29, 2010 at 09:19 am

Someone tweeted during the game that we have a bunch of 300 lb guys that can't block the opposition's 300 lb guys. I think that's a really good summary. The game yesterday reminded me of the NFC Championship game against the Giants in that regard.

Having said that, A-Rod CAN NOT fumble there. If you are in FG range you don't take a sack. If you are on the goal line you can't fumble. You just can't.

Nagler comments routinely how MM seems to out-think himself. That was probably the case on the goal line with 2 sneaks. I particularly hated the first one from the two. Whatever happened to the naked bootleg like #4 used to run? QB draw is also good. We're just too predictable it seems. But again, 300 lb guys ought to be able to push other 300 lb guys at least a yard

We went from being in really good shape for a first round bye to being on the edge of even making the playoffs. This one hurts real bad and sleeping on it has not helped

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Chad Toporski's picture

November 29, 2010 at 09:22 am

Sorry, Aaron, but there's no way you can pin the game on that fumble. It just isn't a good argument.

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PackerAaron's picture

November 29, 2010 at 09:26 am

I don't. I said it was the biggest, not the only.

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Chad Toporski's picture

November 29, 2010 at 11:12 am

True, but I still don't see it as the biggest. Here are the items I would list ahead of that as being the bigger contributors:

1) Failure to convert short yardage situations
2) Poor tackling
3) Penalties

The fumble was bad, yes. But you have to give at least some credit to the Falcons defense for that one. Plus, Atlanta still had 80 yards ahead of them in which the defense could have done something to stop the TD.

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zub-a-dub's picture

November 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm

The fumble was the biggest factor in that loss.

- 10 to 14 point turn around in the game.
- 20 yard gain because it was recovered in the end zone.
- Showed clearly how much MM believed in his running game the rest of the game.
- Messes with your QBs mental state.

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Chad Toporski's picture

November 29, 2010 at 04:50 pm

"- 20 yard gain because it was recovered in the end zone."

Which gives the Packers defense 80 YARDS to stop the Falcons. It's not like Rodgers lost the ball in Packers territory. The defense had stopped the Falcons on less of a field to work with.

"- Messes with your QBs mental state."

Didn't seem to happen. If it did, then explain Rodgers' second-half performance.

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WoodyG's picture

November 29, 2010 at 10:02 am

It's unlikely that GB & AR will play error-free football the rest of the way ..... One TO in a game should (in most cases) be easily overcome if other aspects of the game are generally positive .......

Unfortunately, TT/MM have hitched their wagon to a running game manned by a role player, a converted FB & someone else's PS rookie ......

I don't buy that the problem exists with the OL play ....... Ryan Grant ran essentially behind the same line (Taush instead Bulaga) in 2009 & was the 7th leading rusher in the NFL with 282 carries, 1253 yards & a 4.4 YPG .....

However, all is not lost ..... I fully expect GB to be 9-4 when facing the Pats in week 15 ...... The last 3 games (Pats, Giants, Bears) will determine GB's fate in 2010 ...... Without a running game, AR just may have to be perfect ..... Peyton Manning can't do it without a running game ...... Why should AR be expected to ?

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PackerAaron's picture

November 29, 2010 at 10:12 am

I agree that it's not the line on the whole - but I def think the line got its ass kicked in the run game yesterday.

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PkrNboro's picture

November 29, 2010 at 11:29 am

I agree...
...the backs are suspect.

They don't seem nimble, or have any ability to move laterally/change-of-direction, or have a "juke-ability" factor. And for some reason, BJAX just won't run to daylight -- he gets locked into a certain path, and won't go wide or take a cutback lane.

I disagree with...
...there not being a problem with the oLine.

Sitton is good; Bulaga might be some day. But the rest of the line is faulty.
Wells is undersized and has already had surgery as a result. Same goes for Spitz -- his back is screwed up, likely he'll fade, unlikely anyone will trade for him. Clifton is old and stiff -- plus he's tall, so he can't bend and get low to be effective in the run game. And then there's Colledge -- who is not strong and not a good tactician.

For all the credit and glory the oLine gets for pass protection, the run game is abysmal. If it wasn't for ONE fluke play of 71 yards -- this team would not have a single game with a 100 yard rusher, in fact nothing even close.

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packsmack25's picture

November 29, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I'm sorry, I know this will make people mad, but the running game has ALWAYS sucked in short yardage. Grant has had trouble in the past getting in from the 1. So it isn't necessarily that BJax or whoever sucks. It's that everything about the running game sucks when they have to get leverage.

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Tommyboy's picture

November 29, 2010 at 10:21 am

I learned a few things yesterday:

1) The Packers can compete with ANYBODY. Yup - we lost...but I don't see the Falcons playing much better and the Packers clearly had a few opportunities to win that game. The Falcons would not want to play the Packers in the playoffs.

2) Special Teams remain the Pack's biggest weakness.

3) The Bears are for real. I've mistakenly called them a fraud for several weeks. I'm officially conceding on this now.

4) Cortland Finnegan is hopelessly stupid.

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WoodyG's picture

November 29, 2010 at 10:29 am

The Bears continue to look better or it may be that the Eagles are the fraud .... The Bears last four are against the Pats, Vikes, Jets & Packers .... They could still tumble big time .....

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Ken at UWM's picture

November 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

Detroit will show up against either Chicago or us. Hope it's the former.

Another note, Sam Shields is not a kick returner. Running 53 1/3 yards East/West to get to the 13 yard line will not do it for us down the stretch. Field position becomes even more critical in cold weather games, which we have 4 of the last 5.

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Chad Toporski's picture

November 29, 2010 at 11:13 am

Shields does need to learn when to just put his head down and run through some defenders.

But the coverage needs to do a lot better, as well.

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PkrNboro's picture

November 29, 2010 at 11:34 am

and when you're 5 yards deep in the end zone -- JUST TAKE A KNEE !!!

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Tommyboy's picture

November 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Except that the one he took out the 35 was damn near taken to the house. I hate it when they take a knee. On average, I'll bet Shields taking it out of the endzone moves us past the 20.

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Ruppert's picture

November 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

Silverstein has helped convince me that we don't need a running game--we need a short yardage running game. We just need to pickup 1 or 2 yards when we really need it. Do we really need to even make an attempt at running the zone scheme anymore? We have an excellent QB and some stud WRs/TEs. We are going to be a passing team for the next few years to come. We have the personnel, and the rules cater to passing teams these days.

So why not just forget about these "smaller," "athletic" offensive linemen, especially in short yardage? I'm not calling for an entire overhaul, because our line can pass block. We need two Kevin Barrys--backups that we just trot in for short yardage to replace Wells and Colledge. We could pick up a yard or two pretty consistently behind Sitton, Barry1 and Barry2.

Yes, I realize this doesn't help us in 2010. But we need a better option than the #12 sneak into a pile of 300 pounders. He got nailed in the head against Washington and quite likely narrowly avoided an injury to his throwing wrist (gasp!) yesterday.

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PkrNboro's picture

November 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

We don' need no stinkin' runners

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zub-a-dub's picture

November 29, 2010 at 02:08 pm

I noticed in a game photo of A-rod's fumble that Lang #70 was on that pile, was he in there replacing someone or as a tight end?

Hard to believe we could not run it in on the right side with Sitton, Bulaga, and Lang blocking.

How about using Green at 340 pounds or Raji as the additional blocker?

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Cole's picture

November 29, 2010 at 02:22 pm

Didn't it look like the falcons missed that first field goal wide right? There was no replay of that.

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PackerAaron's picture

November 29, 2010 at 02:25 pm

Yes, yes it did.

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Cole's picture

November 29, 2010 at 03:37 pm

I thought so. Someone who recorded the game should check that.

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Oppy's picture

November 29, 2010 at 04:58 pm

Definitely LOOKED that way, but there's no way that the two refs under each goal post (Plus, I believe, a third off to the flank) misjudged the path of the ball and then made a wrong call.

I just don't think it's feasible.

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packsmack25's picture

November 30, 2010 at 09:25 am

I was there. They didn't. Another 5 yards and they might have, but they didn't.

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Paul Ott Carruth's picture

November 29, 2010 at 04:13 pm

In response to a post above regarding the Bears: In the words of Green...."they will be who we thought they were" after this December run. Until now they've been the beneficiaries of timing and luck....which are all part of the game. Detroit=luck, Dolphins=timing (playing 3rd string QB on short week prep), and Eagles (Eagles 3rd string corner made Knox look like a superstar). If they can beat the Jets, Pats and Vikings I'll believe they're legit. Until then....they don't scare a soul.

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Glorious80's's picture

November 29, 2010 at 05:04 pm

GB needs to score, early and often. Then they don't get into these last minute issues, nore does a fumble become so critical. The talent here is too good not to.

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PRC's picture

November 29, 2010 at 05:12 pm

The Westwood One radio broadcast said the first fg attempt was good.

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KurtMc's picture

November 29, 2010 at 07:56 pm

Aaron,
AR did more to keep us in the game, than loose it. He should have called a TO on the second QB sneak call, to that end only I fault him.

I contend the game was lost when the coach 1) Didn't challange the 4 down conversion, or minimally call a TO to let someone review it.
2) D let the Falcons convert a 3 & 19 to 4th & a few yards. The tackling cost them.

Using a D-line or even O-line man as a lead blocker, maybe run Johnson or Nance & leap over the top?? Delay the hand off & at least use the width of the field for a scoring chance.

It remains a mystery why MM insists on jamming the ball in on a goal to go scenario?

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KurtMc's picture

November 29, 2010 at 08:05 pm

P.S. Note to special teams. For the rest of the season, Squib kick or just kick it out of bounds since we can tackle or cover anyone.

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