Packers 30 Eagles 16: Game Balls and Lame Calls

By now you should know better than to relax.

There are two things you cannot call these 2020 Green Bay Packers......boring or predictable. Here are some things you can call them: spectacular, disastrous, smooth, ragged, confident, intimidated, organized, disarrayed, energetic, lethargic, pretty, ugly.....yes, they might be any of these things at any given moment.

But nine times in twelve games this year you must also call them winners. And right now that makes them the second seed in the NFC, with a three game stranglehold on the NFC North.

For the second week in a row, the Packers absolutely dominated their opponent for three and a half quarters, coasting to victory with a 23-3 advantage. But then came two colossal breakdowns that suddenly gave the other team hope and put them back in the game. On 4th and 18, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was able to throw a long touchdown pass to Greg Ward.  Then after an offensive three and out, Green Bay's special teams threw gas on the fire by watching rookie Jalen Reagor run past them for a 74 yard score on a punt return. Suddenly, it's 23-16 and I'm looking for things to throw at the TV screen.

That's when the Packers flipped the script again. A sack by Za'darius Smith, a beautiful pass break-up by Alexander on third down, a breathtaking 77 yard scoring run by Aaron Jones, and an acrobatic diving interception by Darnell Savage. Just another Jekyll and Hyde victory for the Green and Gold. Take my advice. Don't eat during a Packer game. The indigestion isn't worth it.

 

GAME BALLS

Davante Adams

He's always been good.   He's gone to another level now.   He's making spectacular plays look easy.   He's in that zone where it doesn't even seem to matter if he's open.   He's going to catch the ball whether you have him covered or not.   And if it's possible, he doesn't get enough credit for his ability to run after the catch.   His effort to run the ball into the corner of the end zone to give Aaron Rodgers his 400th TD pass was exceptional.   He finished with 10 catches for 121 yards and two scores.   If there's another receiver in the league playing better, I've yet to see him.

 

Aaron Jones

I counted five tackles that Jones escaped during his 77 yard game-clinching run.   You could tell he was close to breaking one.   He almost broke through on the previous play, but for a desperate ankle tackle by Fletcher Cox.   Up to that point Jones had been pretty much contained, but because his effort level never wanes, he's a threat to pull off a big play at any time, and in this game, he picked the right time.   He finished with 15 carries, 130 yards and a score.

 

Aaron Rodgers

Even by his standards, his first half was special.    His 93 percent completion rate on 13 of 14 throws was his personal best.   Wth his line giving him all day, he was surgical in piling up 295 yards and 3 scores, a QB rating of 128.9.   He never panics, and almost never gets fooled.   He may or may not be the NFL's MVP, but he's mine.

 

Honorable Mentions

The pass rush was very good.   7 sacks, several of which came on third down.   The pressure was much better this week even when the back seven was playing off.   Kingsley Keke, Rashan Gary, the Smith Brothers, even Raven Greene got home.   Savage was up and down in coverage but his interception was spectacular.   Another shuffle in the offensive line didn't faze the production.   Elgton Jenkins moving to center, Rick Wagner goes to right tackle, Billy Turner shifts inside to right guard, and Lucas Patrick moves over to left guard.   They kept Rodgers clean most all the day, and blew open the hole for Jones big 4th quarter TD run.   With the exception of the 4th and 18 pass, Jaire Alexander was superb.   He broke up several throws and hits like a runaway truck.

 

LAME CALLS

Punt Coverage Strategy

Something's got to be done about the way the punt coverage team pursues.   I realize J.K. Scott probably outkicked the coverage, but you've got to be badly misaligned to allow Reagor to go nearly untouched for 74 yards.   That's two scores given up by this unit.   Not good enough.

 

SHORT YARDAGE

•  It is revealing that, in the first quarter with third and goal at the one yard line, Matt LaFleur called two pass plays, the second one a score to Adams.

•  Jaire is so cocky.   After breaking up a short pass in the flat, he could be seen verbally taunting Carson Wentz, daring him to try it again.   He's the kind of player you would hate if he played against you, but I love having him on our side. 

•  Wentz may not be playing well, but he's a tough guy to get on the ground.   On one sack, 288 pound Kingsley Keke literally jumped on his back.   The official blew the whistle but Wentz did not go down.

•  No question running quarterbacks give the Packers problems.   Fortunately, none of the starting signal callers the Pack will face in their final four games would be considered runners.   Teddy Bridgewater and Mitch Trubisky can run, but not by design.

•  Favorite snapshot of the game:   It has to be teammates crowning Aaron Rodgers as King after his 400th career TD throw.  

 

THEY SAID IT

Davante Adams:   "I made everybody aware on the team that was a pass catcher, I said 'whoever catches the third touchdown pass today (Rodgers 400th) don't throw the ball.   Keep that ball, because I don't think Aaron has any of his century mark touchdown passes."

Kingsley Keke (on Jalen Hurts):   "He's a little more shiftier as a quarterback, and he can run and make some moves, so we you know had to collapse the pocket on him more and make him more of a throwing quarterback."

Za'darius Smith (on defensive players telling coaches they wanted to be more aggressive on pass rush):   "We're just glad that coach listens to his players, and like I told you when I first got here, coaches really care about their players.....and when something's not working and we see it on the field, and they help us change it, as you can see we're getting a lot more turnovers and a lot more sacks."

Matt LaFleur (on MVS and Bakhtiari running down field with Jones on his long TD):   "It's always great when you see a guy like David Bakhtiari, or a guy like MVS, out there in front straining for their brother.....so great to see those guys battling for one another.".

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (59)

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NickPerry's picture

December 07, 2020 at 06:33 am

A game ball must go to Bakhtiari BUT you guys and gals HAVE to go back and watch the PANCAKE by Mercedes Lewis on Jones TD run. He not only pancakes #50 his ass, but he drives him back and to the side about 5 yards before flatting him. He was also one of the first to get down and congratulate Jones on the run. Oh, the 36 yard catch and run was pretty awesome too.

The O-Line...That's a damn good D-Line in Philadelphia. The Packers O-Line has been exceptional despite missing two opening day starters and constant reshuffling of the line.

Rashan Gary... Hey he may not have the stats of a 12th overall pick...YET. But I love the effort he gives every play and he is strong as hell. He's starting to figure it out.

MLF...I can't believe I wanted Josh McDaniels instead of MLF.

Lame calls... Shawn Mennenga....UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

JK Scott... My God son, you're 6'6", DIVE at the returners legs or do something. Mason Crosby would put his body in the way, we've seen it. You have to take off the dress and put on the pads...

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:50 am

The OL played really good. But lets not forget the moves that they made along the OL.

The starting 5 against the Bears were:
Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Linsley, Patrick, Turner.

The starting 5 against the Eagles were:
Bakhtiari, Patrick, Jenkins, Turner, Wagner.

The only player to start in his normal spot was Bakhtiari. Jenkins moved from LG to OC. Patrick moved from RG to LG. Turner moved from RT to RG. They moved 3 players to a different position from last week.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

December 07, 2020 at 10:00 am

The “versatility on the line” thing is HUGE. On most lines, 5 players each have their own backup meaning they could be one injury away from playing their 10th best lineman. Because everyone can play anywhere it guarantees our next man up is our 6th best player. I’m not sure if it is drafting, scheme, or coaching but it is amazingly effective.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 07, 2020 at 11:21 am

Yeah this years OL has been incredibly versatile. Jenkins has played every position. Patrick has played both OG spots. Turner has played 3 spots. Its crazy that our starters have played multiple spots and have played well!

And this is against good defenses too. Eagles have a really good front line.

The OL and their versatility has been a key to our offenses success.

I would give a lot of credit to coaching. They deserve a lot of credit.

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Minniman's picture

December 07, 2020 at 01:22 pm

“ And this is against good defenses too. Eagles have a really good front line.”

To Ken’s comment in the article re the Packers throwing it on 3rd and goal.

This is why.

The Eagles D aren’t trash - especially their front 5 - and as the commentators noted at the time, they don’t take plays off..... and Adams had to make ALL-PRO plays on the secondary for his scores.

Strategically it was a great chess match up front and Jones’ big play came off just one slight blemish (and again, great work by the Packers RB to capitalize).

Re ST: I wonder if not having a decent gunner is affecting things - by allowing the returner to get out on the edge and turn ‘down hill’? It’s happened twice now, GB should expect to be attacked here. It’s now public knowledge that they are a ST liability.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:03 am

They miss Kumerow for that reason.

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Bure9620's picture

December 07, 2020 at 11:37 am

Why does Scott not kick it out of bounds?? I wonder if Menenga tells him to kick to the middle of the field...I am to the point now, where I would just tell him to directional kick everything....we clearly cannot cover punts well.

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Minniman's picture

December 08, 2020 at 01:05 am

He's got a case of the Tiger and Phil driving, hasn't he - darn well sprays it everywhere!

I'd tend to agree with you Bure9620 and make him directionally kick just to give him something to focus on.

Again, another golf adage - aim small, miss small. Aim big, miss big.

He's being delivered the ball by a pro-bowl caliber long snapper - he's not going to get the ball any cleaner!

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:05 am

He is lanky and his leg speed through the ball lacks a bit. Practice,,practice,practice the coffin corner.

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swisscheese's picture

December 07, 2020 at 06:35 am

god i love this team

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ricky's picture

December 07, 2020 at 06:48 am

The Packers are going to have to open up their wallets and get a qualified ST's coach next year. And when the players have to tell the coaches how they should be using them on the field speaks volumes about how bad the DC's vision of defense has become. The guys on the field know they're getting embarrassed, but their coaches are calling the shots. There are going to be some very good, proven DC's available this off-season. Time to find a really good one and pay him what he wants to help make this defense more effective.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:30 am

Players see techniques that work or don't all the time. That the veterans in that group can go to their coach and tell him the things that he and his assistants are missing is a sign of a good relationship and leadership from all.

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Big_Mel_75's picture

December 07, 2020 at 10:03 am

I despise Schwartz as a DC but man I would love for a DC that instilled some toughness in our defense. I think we have some good building blocks. Get a couple pieces before Rodgers leaves in a year or two.

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:06 am

Fully expect Mike Pettine to walk away after 2020...either by his choice or by strong encouragement. Probably Mennenga too.

You bring up a good point, though, and that's an expectation that we should start to expect other teams to be poaching Packers position coaches for OC positions and the like this offseason. It's a copycat league, and other teams will see a very successful offense in GB and want a part of it--not to mention coaches mentored under a HC (LaF) who seems to have built a pretty cohesive team and organizational structure. We're about to see how well LaF does when he has to start replacing good, key coaches.

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13TimeChamps's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:00 am

Let's just hope we don't lose the OL coach. That is one well coached unit.

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:46 am

That's where you hope the assistant OL coach is good, or that LaF can identify a good rising OL coach, as a replacement.

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Bure9620's picture

December 07, 2020 at 11:39 am

Hackett will be gone also, I believe Houston was one team that already expressed interest as HC

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:18 am

Jones side-stepped a couple of would-be run stuffs to turn them into positive plays. The guy is good. Jamaal, who I have been touting as the glue, had a fairly quiet day.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:45 am

A couple of Jones' runs would have likely been losses with Williams. I like Williams, but Jones is in the really good category. He can make yards on his own.

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Oppy's picture

December 08, 2020 at 04:37 pm

Williams has built a reputation for almost always finding positive yards even in bad situations, actually.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:19 am

Game Balls:

Rodgers - He is playing at another level right now. There were probably 3-4 drops in this game where he absolutely put the ball where the WR had a chance at it and dropped it. MVS's deep ball, Lazard had an easier one, Adams had a TD that he probably should have had, and EQ had one that he should have had. Add all of those up he is easily over 100 more yards and 1 TD. He would have something like. 29 of 34 for 395 yards and 4 TD's. Something like that. And with a few of those drops who knows what would have happened had those drives continued.
Rodgers is in beast mode right now.

Adams - While Rodgers is playing beast mode, Adams is equally playing beast mode. There is a special connection this year that has formed. These guys are on another level. This is prime Rodgers/Jordy level, but probably a notch higher. Its crazy how good Adams has been this year. And when the league knows Adams is the guy, they haven't been able to slow him down.

Jones - I don't care if he had minus 20 yards in the game, that final run for the dagger was his game ball moment. That was a crazy run. I counted him making 4 people miss live. I am not sure how many he made miss but what a run!!

Lame Calls:

Special Teams - Giving up a TD anytime on special teams is not good. But to give up a TD to make it a 1 possession game when it felt like the game was over 2 quarters ago, is one of the last things you want to do. Crosby also missed another extra point. Not a good day for special teams.
Also, Ervin got hurt on a return. Next week we will likely see Austin returning kicks/punts.

Allowing this game to be a 1 possession game - I still don't get how this game got to be as close as it did. Its another game that you can look at and say that if they don't beat themselves they won't be beat. At least 4 catchable passes were not caught. Jones fumbles his first touch of the game. Special teams gives up another TD. All the little things that can come back and bite you, did for them.

Notes:
It was interesting to hear that Smiths and Clark went and talked to Pettine about staying aggressive. If that is what caused him to stay aggressive, great. But why did it take his players to approach him to say that they needed to stay aggressive?

I have seen so many people ripping MVS for his drop. Yes that was a big drop. But guess who was one of the main reasons Jones scored the final TD. Thats right MVS. His blocking downfield helped allow Jones to score. Bakhtiari also was great running downfield blocking.
I really think MVS needs to be a bigger part of the passing game earlier in games. I think he might be the type like a FInley or some of the other WR's that needs that easy catch to get into the game.

Keke has become a really good interior pass rusher. His ability to rush the passer will allow Clark to get a few more reps off during the game. Clark doesn't have to play every down during a game now. Keke is just so damn quick inside. It was great seeing Mike Daniels talking him up on twitter last night.

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:01 am

Let's be fair on the pass rush: this Philly team absolutely has not been able to protect the passer this season. Dead last in sacks allowed by a huge margin at almost 4.5/game. If they hadn't been scheming to attack that weakness, then there would be something seriously wrong. I would like to see the number of times the Packers rushed more than 4, though. It seemed like it was higher than normal.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 07, 2020 at 11:00 am

Yeah Eagles definitely are not strong on the OL.

For me it was just more telling that the Smiths and Clark went to Pettine and asked him to stay more aggressive. It definitely felt like more of an aggressive approach. Greene had a few blitzes.
There was one play I remember that they did blitz and the CB's were in press. i believe that play resulted in a sack. It was a play that stood out because it felt like the first time this year they ran that.

It just seems that our defense has been more about dropping into coverage then attacking the QB. Just using 3-4 man rushes down after down. yesterday felt different.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:09 am

Never retreat.

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Swisch's picture

December 07, 2020 at 10:05 am

Thanks, RC, for your good defense of and needed perspective on MVS.
I wouldn't be surprised if Davante has more drops this season than MVS.
Now we all know Davante has a lot more targets and receptions, but that brings up one of the points addressed by RC.
If a receiver doesn't get a target during the entire first half, then it's hard for him to stay as sharp -- no matter how hard he tries.
It's like a basketball player who doesn't get any shots for a long stretch of time. It gets discouraging.
I agree MVS needs to make that catch; but if Aaron Jones can drop a simple pitchout, maybe we should give MVS more slack.
This guy seems unique in stretching the defense with both long patterns and fly sweeps -- even when they don't work.
Things is, these plays do often work for MVS.
He could very well be be a star in the making for the Packers. I'd hate for that to be derailed by rash fans who expect too much too soon.

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EstebanPablo's picture

December 07, 2020 at 01:31 pm

Pro-football-reference.com stats:
Adams has 4 drops on 111 targets or a 3.6% drop rate. Rodgers has a 135.3 rating on passes targeting Adams. 75.7% catch rate on the 111 targets.

MVS has 5 drops on 53 targets or a 9.4% drop rate. Rodgers has a 91.5 rating on passes targeting MVS. 47.2% catch rate on the 53 targets.

I don't like comparing the two because they are at different points in their careers, have different abilities, and are used differently in the scheme. Like a Swiss Army knife they fit into a nice cache of weapons, I wouldn't want to part with any of them.

The only struggle I have is hoping MVS figures out the catching thing as well as Adams has. Adams has definitely improved his catch % from early in is career, but even then he never had a lower catch percent than the highest catch percent MVS has shown (53.2% lowest for Adams in year 2 vs 52.1% highest for MVS in his first year).

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Swisch's picture

December 07, 2020 at 04:25 pm

Good stuff, Esteban. Thanks for the info, and your related thoughts.
From what I've seen, MVS has good hands -- such as the long catch at the end of regulation in the midst of three Colts defenders, as the key play in setting up a tying field goal.
He seems to have shown not only the ability to go deep, but to catch short and intermediate passes. He looks good running after the catch.
As I understand it, MVS was somewhat of a project coming out of college, with raw talent that was less refined than most rookies.
I'm really excited about this guy going forward, and hope he gets a lot of encouragement.
Let's hope that with more experience all of his stats go up, along with his stature as a star in the making.

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CoachDino's picture

December 08, 2020 at 01:07 am

The packers were ahead 10-3 at half. I hear no mention of this possibly being a reason they stayed aggressive compared to weeks the game called for the more relaxed approach as it becomes a race against the clock.
"Players asked the coach to stay aggressive"Of course players want to stay aggressive - they want sacks. They have individuals biases. The coach looks at it from a few levels up with a focus on the TEAM. Its why the coaches run the show, with input from the players and not the other way around. Come on - think about it.

I'm not making excuses for the history of poor tackling, that's the teams #1 issue BY FAR not the DC. I still have heard zero mention of all these great DC's that are going to come in and make a huge impact. I thought the biggest issue on defense was Gute not getting a run stuffing Dlineman or that he and the Packers never value and ILB so ours stink. i guess its whatever works at the time for something to point at. The Packers have been hit hard by injuries on D. Played multi games missing both CB, Savage missed games, Greene missis games Clarke misses games. They are still winning with back-ups.

I thought it was all Pettines fault? Can't have it both ways -at least not in the real world where one is actually responsible for improvement. PFF has the D at 18th overall. Not good but you know why they aren't ranked higher? Tackling, they are 28th. Dc's do not have much time or the opportunity to practice that much due to new practice time limits and injury precautions. The PLAYERS they have need to improve,
Do some digging people....ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS.

Yes the defense is a weakness and certainly could be a reason for a loss. But once again this team is built to be elite on offense and hold on - on defense. Its what they are -An Identity - Play to the strengths. If the offense plays well and meets expectations the D is more than enough to beat anyone. I guess its not good for media or posts - which I do enjoy, so count me guilty, but this teams goes how ARod and the offense goes. By Far the biggest worry every week should be how will they play.

Its how the league has worked for years. There is usually one side of the ball that is elite and the other side is average maybe a bit better or maybe a bit less.

yes, the reason Scotts is ranked high is because of how few returnable balls he allowed this is a result of his ELITE hangtime and out of bounds kicking. Then I see an article critical of his gross and net averages (averages are a terrible way to grade a punter - how often is Punters job to kick it as far as he can vs trying to have a unreturned ball inside the 20 and at best the 10? Its not about distance alone people. Why isn't this being explained. Scott kicks a boomer and what happens, its returned and everyone now thinks it his fault. Yes as someone mentioned WHY kick it to the middle of the field and not stick with what has been working? Maybe he's reading the news clipping - that's what he gets for listening to writers and not Football Intelects - coaches.

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murf7777's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:56 am

Some good comments Ken......just one comment on your following statement.” Just another Jekyll and Hyde victory for the Green and Gold”. Your comment is right on....

I watch a lot of games because I love the NFL, I’m a gambler, have the NFL ticket and watch the mix of games on one TV and our beloved Packers on the other. The reality is that the NFL has a lot of parity and most games and teams have ebbs and flows. We are not an anomaly. Just watch the majority of KC’s game’s and you will see what I mean. Shoot, their SB run last year was crazy with Jekyll and Hyde. Also, most teams might look great for a run and then look bad for a few games. Who would’ve predicted the Seahawks all of a sudden struggling to score points and get beat by the Giants. New Orleans looks tough but so do the Packers.

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JerseyAl's picture

December 07, 2020 at 12:10 pm

This is a point I try to make all the time (and maybe will again this week). Packers fans hang on and harp on any negative play as if only the Packers would do such a thing.

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egbertsouse's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:56 am

Game balls: Davante and the scheduler for the League who gave the Packers all the losing teams to play. They would be 6-6 if they played in the NFC West.
Lame calls: Hiring Mennenga over Daryl Rizzo.

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murf7777's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:07 am

You mean the Team who is one of only 2 teams to beat the Saints? 6-6, don’t think so, but I’ll agree with you that the division is the best in the NFC. I think we would lead the division if the Packers lived on the west coast and didn’t have to travel west. Why do I think that? We have the #1 rated QB, WR, LT and Center. On D, #1 CB, highly rated safety’s and one of the better pass rush trio’s. Yes, we are average at stopping the run, but I see improvement throughout the year and suspect come playoffs we will be a top 10 Defense. We are not far off now and improving.

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dobber's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:15 am

"and the scheduler for the League who gave the Packers all the losing teams to play."

Weren't we lamenting how hard this schedule looked when it first came out?
...The Bears were supposed to be resurgent with Nick Foles
...TN, HOU, and IND were all potential playoff teams if not SB contenders
...SF was not supposed to get completely decimated by injuries...can't project that.
...PHI was a playoff team in 2019 who beat the Packers at Lambeau a year ago
...TB and NO were expected to be among the class of the NFC, and ATL was a dark-horse playoff team

You can only play the teams on your schedule. The draw of the AFC South and NFC South wasn't doing the Packers any favors. If anything, the decline of the first place schedule for the Packers (PHI and SF) might be a point of contention.

"They would be 6-6 if they played in the NFC West."

Look into your crystal ball and let me know how my stocks are going to do over the next year while you're at it.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:50 am

Please do not take this as a personal attack egbert. After your fish fry and covid19 comments I have decided that I actually kind of like you.

Everyone takes it as an article of faith that Rizzo wanted to come to Green Bay. However, to my knowledge, there was never any confirmation of this. It sounds like yet another McGinn fabrication to me. We have to remember that the Rizzo story broke when a lot of people had capital invested in bashing Mark Murphy, and the Rizzo story played right into said bashing.

Did Rizzo feign interest in the Packers to up his salary elsewhere? Maybe. Were the Packers ever really interested in Rizzo? Possibly. Is Rizzo the sliced bread of ST coaches? I honestly do not know. I do know that the Rizzo narrative seems way too convenient.

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Bure9620's picture

December 07, 2020 at 07:58 pm

Rizzo declined the job

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Coldworld's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:05 am

Special Teams. After a more disciplined showing last week I had hoped we had learned from the mistake if allowing a returner a huge unpopulated gap to run through essentially untouched. Apparently not. It’s one thing to give up a return to a great returner, another to leave gaps like that in front of one.

Surely this is the most basic of basic aspects of ST play? I do not understand how we can be so undisciplined. B

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PatrickGB's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:36 am

I think that the loss of Lovett on ST’s is being felt.

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Guam's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:15 am

I almost never advocate for radical change during the season, but it is time for Mennenga to go. The STs have been just awful all year and they are going to cost the Packers a game sooner or later. Not just a lame ball, but a firing........

I was surprised to hear that Z. Smith, P. Smith and K. Clark all went to Pettine and asked him to simplify the pass rush scheme this week. I was more surprised Pettine went along with it. And the change produced 7 sacks (against an admittedly inferior Philly O-line)! Sometimes coaches can get too far into their own heads and lose sight of what works. Very glad the players stepped up and the coaches listened. Game ball to the three defensive leaders!

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Tundraboy's picture

December 07, 2020 at 08:35 am

Lame call to the Coaches who needed the players to show them the obvious.

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Guam's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:12 am

Yeah, there is certainly something to that criticism although veteran pro players (in any sport) typically have a lot more input than players at the college or high school level. Look at the amount of input Rodgers has had to the playbook, much less the play calling.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2020 at 10:51 am

Mennenga isn't the problem, it's the entire notion of letting rookies and UDFA backups determine the outcome of the game while your high dollar vets are standing on the sidelines.

MINIMIZE the impact of special teams. Go for it on 4th more often. Punt it out of bounds, NEVER return a punt, or any kick, that you don't have to, and if you have to then take a step and dive for the ground before you get hit and fumble.

In all seriousness, if the Packers/Mennenga would just follow this advice, it would greatly decrease the chance of our special teams costing us a game.

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Guam's picture

December 07, 2020 at 01:01 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head LH, but I think you also contradicted your first sentence (" Menenga isn't the problem"). I agree with every suggestion you made about minimizing the impact of special teams. If you don't have the personnel to execute your scheme, change the scheme to fit your personnel. And yet the Packers continue to play special teams very poorly with the same players and the same (wrong) strategy.

You can't keep trying the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. A half dozen games ago Menenga should have either seriously altered his strategy (pretty much adopted all of your suggestions) or demanded more front line players for ST. The fact that neither has happened is a direct indictment of him. The last half dozen games or so have been the definition of poor coaching. He needs to be replaced.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 07, 2020 at 01:16 pm

Mennenga will do what the HC tells him. Nobody told him to punt it out of bounds. So he punted down the middle and let the bottom of our roster take over.

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Guam's picture

December 07, 2020 at 04:21 pm

Menenga has to prepare the ST game plan and present it to MLF, not the other way around. MLF has the final approval, but Menenga will put out a plan he believes his group can execute. If his group continues to fail to execute and he does not change strategy, that's on Menenga.

If MLF continues to put up with failure, he becomes part of the problem, but the problem starts with the head of special teams.

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jimtalkbox's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:34 am

Rashan Gary is already pretty good, and he's going to get A LOT better. Very excited to see his development.

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Swisch's picture

December 07, 2020 at 10:26 am

Did anyone notice that the Packers defense was lousy at the beginning of the game?
In the first quarter, the Eagles had the ball for well over 11 out of the 15 minutes.
Then in the second half, a rookie quarterback moves the ball against us successfully. It wasn't just the 4th-and-18, but a terrible display of poor plays by the defense.
As for most of our sacks, it didn't really seem as though Carson Wentz was much of a challenge as far as pocket presence and elusiveness -- almost as though he was ducking for cover due to some sort of a trauma from too many sacks this season, and perhaps not enough open receivers. He may need a fresh start with another team.
I was concerned this would happen: The Packers finish the season against mediocre teams and too many fans start thinking the defense is acceptable.
When the playoffs start. . . . Yikes!
Anyone remember last season in the playoffs?

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13TimeChamps's picture

December 07, 2020 at 10:29 am

The defense gave up 10 points and 278 yards. They held Philly to 4/13 on 3rd down conversions and had 7 sacks. That's a pretty damn good day for the defense I would say.

I agree that doesn't mean anything come playoff time, and Philly is hardly an offensive juggernaut, but that was a very good defensive effort yesterday. Sometimes we just have to enjoy these things one game at a time.

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TXCHEESE's picture

December 07, 2020 at 10:33 am

Loved MVS's effort on AJ's TD run. If he can ever learn to catch with his hands, he will be a true weapon. Someone needs to clue JK Scott in that football is a contact sport. I'm pretty sure most middle school girls could come up with a better tackling effort. Jeez!

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DonaldD80's picture

December 07, 2020 at 11:52 am

Thoughts:
David Bakhtiari's straight up hustle on that Aaron Jones TD run. I'm not one to be surprised when pro athletes are fast. Just because they are large doesn't mean they can't move but I loved seeing it. Glad to see his effort especially after getting paid.

Jaire Alexander's trash talk. I love it. He has the right balance of knowing when to talk and knowing when to shut up. He's not just out there yapping and not making plays. He'll yap when he makes a good play but also he isn't out there blaming others when he screws up. Or yapping after he screws up. Like when he gave up that TD he got back to it and made a nice play the next snap. He 9 times out of 10 is backing up his mouth with good play. Would love to see him get more picks but at least he's not letting plays get made against him often.

Bobby T- I'm so hyped for this guy. I remember watching his highlights and thinking damn this guy has swag. I was sad when he wasn't involved much in the offense. I was like if we can just get him the ball more and get him a couple chances, he'll be amazing. So glad him and Arod made it work.

Lazard is a fan favorite. Idk why we like this guy so much but I love him. It shows how we all love him because no one got on him for that drop. Probably because he doesn't drop often. I'd love to see more of Allen and less of MVS. I kind of like EQ. He's similar to MVS but makes less mistakes.

I continue to love the combo of Jones and Williams. I'd love to see AJ dillion get involved. In the few opportunities that he's had he's looked good. Maybe some short yardage or screen pass situations would be good for him.

I continue to HATE the MVS experiment. It sucks that he is getting death threats because it's never that serious but he also needs to go. Keeping him around because he might make one good play is not a good strategy. He consistently makes bone headed plays, he doesn't consistently make good plays. That should be enough to cut him. You can see when he's open and Rodgers hesitates to throw it to him. I also don't care that he blocked well on jones TD run. He doesn't make the plays he needs to make.

Our D has been looking good. I'm gonna ignore that 4th and 18 TD pass they allowed. They looked like they were gonna get steam rolled in the opening drive. But they held up. I'm really starting to enjoy Rashan Gary.

Special Teams nightmares return. They need to get that resolved quick fast and in a hurry. We don't need anymore Special Teams screw ups that will send us home in a playoff game.

Others said it. JK Scott shouldn't have to tackle but he should know how to tackle. At least throw yourself at their legs and try. Now i'm holding my breath on every punt return.

Packers need a legit return specialist. Ervin was an upgrade but when I see other teams returners they just look a lot better than anything we've ever had. I don't know if it's the poor blocking or just the talent at returner not being there.

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JQ's picture

December 07, 2020 at 12:33 pm

DD80
"...but when I see other teams returners they just look a lot better than anything we've ever had."

Opposing kick returners look great because they're playing against the "coach" Mennenga 'special teams!'

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Starrbrite's picture

December 07, 2020 at 12:40 pm

A close friend is a big Alabama fan, when we drafted JK he told me, he’s a decent punter but never expect him to make a tackle ; how right he was. Of course,maybe we shouldn’t expect our punter to make many tackles?

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Befuddled's picture

December 07, 2020 at 02:57 pm

Maybe not the punter but Crosby has a few tackles in his career. He even caused a fumble when tackling Cordelle Patterson.

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pacman's picture

December 07, 2020 at 04:31 pm

Re: Smith's comment - if this was the first time they did that, then it's good that Petine listened. If they've done this before and he didn't listen, then he should definitely be fired. Not that the coach HAS to listen to the players. But when the D had been making so many mistakes and playing so soft and almost loosing games - you had better be willing to listen to some suggestions.

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mrj007's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:05 pm

400 td; Brian Gutenhurst; trio. I hope Santa brings spell ck for Christmas....

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mrj007's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:06 pm

I give up.... this was intended for comment below. I swear I am sober.... I am down-voting myself. Sorry

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mrj007's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:09 pm

This was supposed to be for comment below.... sorry. I am downvoting myself.

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mrj007's picture

December 07, 2020 at 09:03 pm

Game ball HAS to go to the man throwing 490 TD - Aaron Rodgers. Honorable mention Jones and Adams. Brian Gutenburg needs to do whatever he can to keep this magical trip in place.
Bad call - I will go with short yardage and tackling. Forgive me for using what I aee in this area as an indication of a team that lacks physicality.
Lame call - is it just me or does anyone else notice the Packers come out of every half flat and lifeless and ultimately allow opponents the opportunity to get back in the game in qtr 3?
* Obviously ST is a perpetual mess (just as inside linebacker is) - but sucking at these positions is a Packer Hallmark Trait that doesn’t need to be mentioned - fans need to deal with it not ever changing - it is at this point to be expected

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 08, 2020 at 06:18 am

Cannot give up field position and TDs by sp teams. Every play matters, especially in the playoffs. Momentum killers and just a lack of focus and will. Get it cleaned up or you may be in debacle mode a' la Seattle meltdown.

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fish's picture

December 07, 2020 at 11:50 pm

Have MVS as the gunner on punts.

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