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Packers 44 Jets 38 (OT): Game Balls & Lame Calls

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Packers 44 Jets 38 (OT): Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers nearly lost all of their road games in 2018.  And then Aaron Rodgers started running.  Rodgers took this game over in the fourth quarter, both with his feet and his arm to bring the Packers back and eventually win in overtime.

The Packers played the role of the Grinch, stealing a win in New York and avoiding their worst season on the road in decades.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Game Balls

Aaron Rodgers

For his 23-yard run alone that nearly got Rodgers into the end zone for the second time in the game (he eventually scored on fourth down), Rodgers lands here.  

But, of course, he wasn't done showing off (wink).

Rodgers ran for two scores (first time since 2011) and a two-point conversion on the day to go along with two touchdown passes.

In overtime, Rodgers threw a jump ball down field and facing heavy pressure.  It resulted in a defensive pass interference penalty that gave the Packers the ball in scoring range.  It's those types of throws that Rodgers hasn't been willing to make all season.  In this game, it put his team in position to win.

Rodgers threw a dart to Davante Adams for the game-winning score.  A vintage Rodgers throw.

He suited up, amidst much worry by Packers fans that he was putting himself in harm's way but Rodgers' performance in this game reminded us why he's one of the best in the NFL.

Davante Adams

Adams is poised to set a new Packers franchise record for receptions in a season.  He needs 1 more catch to match Sterling Sharpe's 1993 team record of 112.  He is also just under 150 yards shy of the team's single-season receiving yards record of 1,519 yards set by Jordy Nelson in 2014.

Adams had 11 catches on the day, a game high, and hauled in the game winner in overtime.  With little to remember this season for, Adams has had a brilliant 2018 campaign and is a bona fide stud among NFL wide receivers.

Jamaal Williams

Williams had his best game of the season (95 yards rushing, one touchdown and six catches for 61 yards) and maybe of his career.  Williams created his touchdown run late in the first half with a great second effort push after contact.  It showed some signs of life in a Packers season that is purely for pride at this point.

Williams is never going to be a work horse back when Aaron Jones is healthy, but he fits well in the rotation and gave us something to be hopeful for next season and beyond.

Jake Kumerow

The Whitewater "sensation" found the end zone for the first time this season on a nice catch and run in the first half.  He added a key catch on the late fourth quarter drive.

I'm completely selling out by giving Kumerow a game ball, but I know my audience.  What can I say?

Lame Calls

Special Teams

Ron Zook has his units looking anything but special.  They gave up a kick return for a touchdown to Andre Roberts immediately following the first Packers touchdown of the game.  

It's another example of Green Bay taking a step forward and taking two steps backward.  And they weren't done.

On the kickoff following the Williams touchdown, Mason Crosby kicked it to Roberts at the five yard line.  Why?  The true definition of lame.

J'Mon Moore fumbled a kickoff after the Packers defense gave up a touchdown.  He quickly lost that job the following return and was benched.

After a big stop on third down, the Jets converted on a fake punt.  Opponents have run a fake several times on the Packers this season.  Clearly there's a lack of respect for Packers punt coverage throughout the league.

Save for the Crosby field goals, just an absolutely pathetic effort and day for this phase of the game by the Packers.

The Defense

Without key players such as Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander, the defense was bound to struggle.  

They missed tackles, got zero pressure on Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and still can't defend the screen.  The final Jets drive was the epitome of the day that was. 

The defense did muster a stop on a late third-and-one to force a punt.  And, of course, on the next play the Jets convert on the fake.

But just a bad day overall from an inexperienced and beat up unit.


Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Pulse of the Pack podcast.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (98) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Community Guy's picture

it was St. Brown's best game so far. and, the two late-game pass interference penalties drawn by MVS underscored a very good game by Valdes-Scantling. game ball to the rookie WRs.

lame call: (bring out the boo-birds here): Philbin's failure to play, and get game tape on, DeShone Kizer in a feel-good but ultimately meaningless game.

jeepingmakooi's picture

I liked your post for the first half. Hats off to St Brown and a nod to mvs.. they are growing and it's clear that Rodgers is starting even through it's too late for this year that St Brown can play... And that he is trying to figure out mvs radius

Coldworld's picture

I would also like to have seen what Donnerson can do, at least on obvious passing downs. Physical gifts sometimes justify time despite rawness.

Nick Perry's picture

Game Balls....

ESB.... I LOVE this guy. He's huge for a receiver, has plenty of speed, AND he catches just about anything and everything thrown his way. 5 targets, 5 catches.

MVS...He didn't catch everything thrown his way but he either drew or was the receiver on at least 2 PI calls against the Jets.

Kumerow… Clearly Rodgers likes him and he's a pretty good WR. With another offseason of working his ass off, I like the Packers WR's moving forward to 2019. (I still might like a higher pick at WR though...(Just in case)

Tony Brown... I was ready to never see Brown in a Packers uniform after his first few games in GB. BUT as the season's progressed so has Brown. Plus he's fast as hell.

Lucas Patrick... I didn't hear his name called all game which means he did a hell of a job.

Lame calls..... MY GOD...FIRE Zook TODAY! When they kicked it off to the Jets after finally taking a lead in the 4th quarter AFTER the Jets had already run one back, I couldn't believe ANYONE who's got a job as a coach in the NFL could be THAT STUPID.

Injuries....Right after Zook I hope the WHOLE Strenght and Conditioning staff is fired.

Merry Christmas to everybody! Bless all of you and your families!

Lare's picture

Can't argue with anything here, nice post.

HankScorpio's picture

"Lucas Patrick... I didn't hear his name called all game which means he did a hell of a job."

Patrick was the first OL on the scene on the ejection play and the 2nd Packer to come to Bulaga's defense (after On one of the 5 camera angles they used to try to get the incident shown, he was about 15 yards away and sprinting that direction. He was the first on the scene to defend Rodgers on a questionable hit in an earlier game. I'm not ready to pencil him in for a roster spot in 2019 yet. You can't upgrade the OL by keeping the same players, IMO. But he's got the right attitude.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Why can't you upgrade by keeping the same players? We upgraded OLB by keeping Fackrell. Sadly it was an upgrade because of how thin our depth was lol. With OL we see players step up as they transition from college to NFL speed.

HankScorpio's picture


Point taken. Guys do improve over time. Let me revise to say i don't think it is realistic to expect the kind of improvement from within that the OL needs to show in 2019.

Old School's picture

Pro Football Focus and both rate our offensive line as well above average.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Above average at letting Rodgers get killed.

GVPacker's picture

Before Gov Walker leaves office he should sign an Emergency Executive Law Forbidding Ron Zook from Re-entering the Great State Of Wisconsin!

Hawg Hanner's picture

Good point on strength and conditioning! With all the hamstring injuries alone are we not doing something necessary? I's sure Ron Zook is a nice man but I think he retired several years ago.

LambeauPlain's picture

Good post. I think Patrick is a keeper for an O line that is horrible in back up players.

Zook is one of the most brain dead coaches in the NFL. He just oozes incompetence. Is it any coincidence Scott continued to regress as the season progressed? He was lights out in college now he's just a "guy". And the return teams either miss blocks or hold.

After that return for a TD, Zook should have told Crosby to squib or kick it out of bounds if he had concerns about getting it deep. Geez!

There has to be another assistant coach on the team who can teach players their jobs on STs, isn't there? Let Campen coach them for the last game. He's done a great job with the run game.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, too Nick.

rstain99's picture

Sorry to say soft again, things go bad Jaire takes a powda, (he has been pretty good all season but here I think he sensed game out of hand and decided like R Dangerfield in Caddyshack oh its my elbow I can't play.) the old groin injury, they need to weed out the the guys who want to play from those just there for paychecks. Tramon Williams you are one tough SOB please spread some of that heart to the rest of your mates would you. Clay were you dressed? nest week maybe last time in Lambeau sorry pretty boy unless vet minimum go pose in LA gun show has left WI.

JDK52's picture

You're off your nut coming in here to blast Jaire.

rstain99's picture

I am just thinking here there are times you need to bite the steel nail play thru the pain. He has been pretty good thru the season, Team as a whole just soft expected more but as a rookie playing the top guy most games you are right tough to pick on Jaire

Nick Perry's picture

"Team as a whole just soft expected more but as a rookie playing the top guy most games you are right tough to pick on Jaire"

Is this your first year as a Packers fan? The Packers seem to be playing without a entire starting unit at least at one time or another EVERTY YEAR. Remember 2016 when they were playing D-Line players on the O-LINE in the NFCCG?

The Packers may not be the most injured team in the NFL but they must be up there, especially this year. Yesterday the entire D-Line who started the 2018 season was on IR. So was King, Perry, Ryan though he didn't make it out of camp and that's just a few. The O-Line can't get set lately because they get one starter back then 2 leave it seems. Aaron Jones has ANTHER MCL sprain and the QB hasn't been 100% since about the 2nd quarter of week one.

Jarie Alexander HAS played injured this year. He had a groin injury in week 16...WHY continue to play him? He had NOTHING left to prove.

rstain99's picture

1967 was my first year of loving the Packers lived thru many down years in 70's and 80's made trip to Lambeau 2007 from Boston. Yes, not many of us out here are not Pats fans but I am one of them. I never miss when they come to Gillette. Back in the 60's you only had the Giants, Cowboys, Packers and Bears on TV. NFL on CBS Pats were AFL which was a notch below we all thought until Joe Namath came along.
Jaire is going to be a real great player hopefully compare to Herb Adderely, Willie Wood, Willie Buchanan Charles Woodson one day. As a fan just frustrated that so many injuries have caused this team games, castoffs from other teams have come aboard and are expected to perform as good a injured star players whole d line is out thats troubling. Too many injuries over past couple of years makes me think soft.

Bedrock's picture

He’s leading the league in tackles made by CBs, by a wide margin. The boy comes to play and isn’t at all afraid to bring it.
He’s tough. ‘Nough said.

rstain99's picture

I am just thinking here there are times you need to bite the steel nail play thru the pain. He has been pretty good thru the season, Team as a whole just soft expected more but as a rookie playing the top guy most games you are right tough to pick on Jaire

dblbogey's picture

Try speaking English.

CAG123's picture

Rstain please restrain yourself from talking nonsense Jaire is one of the most competitive guys on the field and he’s already missed games with that groin injury soft tissue injuries just don’t go away they’re always lingering around and can need surgery in some situations. Please educate yourself before you blast someone for being soft and a quitter.

rstain99's picture

People pay a boat load of money to watch their favorite players play, until this organization decides to not draft players who a so dinged up in college and can't suck it up once in a while, they will be just so so. Rodgers certainly played thru it T Williams closing in on 100yrs old is the perfect example of playing thru the pain. Even Jimmy Graham making that kind of money could have pulled the pin and sat out last few games broken finger toughed it out and actually played ok. Blake Martinez another tough guy in position that delivers hits he is a guy that Lombardi would have loved. Jaire is a good player hope he learns they need him on the field in years to come. King certainly has not decided yet to that his spot is up for grabs in 2019. So my soft and quitter comment should have been more directed at group as a whole than one player (Jaire)

CAG123's picture

People like you are so ridiculous they’re people not machines. Trying to tough it out is why RG3’s career went down the tubes.

rstain99's picture

not a great example sorry, besides not ever developing into a good QB (can't read defenses) the guy can't throw the ball in the ocean seriously? RG3? GB had the greatest warriors of all Ray Nitchskie followed up by Brett Favre you remember him ? Broken thumb for better part of 2005 -06 season, AR is right up there too MCL all season, King gets a strained Hammy and they put him on IR please. Are you hurt are are you injured, shame John Harbough re-signed with Baltimore think he would have whipped these machines in shape. I'll be back.

GBPDAN1's picture

I was one who was torn wheather it was better to lose the last 2 games for better draft position or root for wins. At the end of the day, it was nice to see a road win and more importantly to me, Rodgers looking more like Rodgers. I was starting to worry that Rodgers was losing some of his mojo.

It was refreshing to see he basically hasn't. This will help with hiring a top coaching candidate and help galvanize the team for next year. That being said, maybe it would have been better to lose by 1 point? I really hope we get a quality end rusher early in the draft as I don't think we will get one in FA

NitschkeFan's picture

I enjoyed watching him play well for the most part (still made several bad throws in the 1st half). But let us not forget who they just beat, the 4-11 Jets and with the help of at least a few questionable and significant penalties against the Jets.

So let us enjoy watching a few packers play well but not get carried away with how good they are/were. Darnold outplayed Rodgers for 3 1/2 quarters. I haven't seen anyone mention that in the post game blog posts.

And I still would have rather sit Rodgers and move up 5 - 7 spots in the draft each and every round.

edp1959's picture

Sorry I totally disagree with any of the comments by anybody saying that the opposing QB outplayed Rodgers. The opposing QB is playing against the Packers pitiful D, Rodgers isn't. If both QBs are playing against same D then yes it's comparable, otherwise apples and oranges.

NitschkeFan's picture

Nonsense, every single NFL game QB's get compared. They are never playing against the same defense. It's not like the 4-11 Jets are stacked with All Pro's. Sorry but Darnold outplay Rodgers for 3.5 quarters. Rodgers had a great and gutsy comeback win. Enjoy it but don't ignore the facts.

Skip greenBayless's picture

He absolutely did Nitschke. I agree 100%. Darnold is going to be another great young qb. Loved your comments about playing a poor Jets team and people over reacting to it. In fact I wrote a longer piece a few minutes ago and mentioned you in it.


Rebecca's picture

Omg this is like the gossip in the girls room! So cute!

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Made me laugh Rebecca!

HankScorpio's picture

"That being said, maybe it would have been better to lose by 1 point? "

If not for the penalty on the first 2 point attempt, that would have been the outcome. I wouldn't have been terribly upset if that play had stood. It would have been easy to write off that result as a guy that got mugged who I want gone anyways making a poor effort.

That was yet another twist in a crazy, fun game.

Rebecca's picture

Wrong. Any play could have changed the outcome and would have. The officials decided this game among at least 3 other games this season that were close enough.

jeepingmakooi's picture

Does this game make people stop.blamjng the entirety of the disarray in Green Bay this past year isn't his fault? I doubt it. It's great to see he can still be a baller and still wants this win... And it was nice to see him pull it down and run vs just throwing it away.

4thand1's picture

Is AR finally at his most healthy this year? There were a lot of times he could have pulled it down and ran this year and didn't. This was clearly a game where he took over and won like so many times in his career.

Rebecca's picture


stockholder's picture

A-Rod was in damage control. He is to blame. The film doesn't lie. This game still was not well coached. Had MM been in charge, more would have been made of the play calling, then the play of the team. The packers still have not stuck "any NAIls" in the coffin. And that is whats wrong with this game and their past seasons. MM was gone this game. Yet Look at the score. The packers are in trouble. I'm not trying to be cow. I'm saying your hopes and cheers are for a team in turmoil. And that is on Arron Rodgers. Yes the roster has changed since the start of the year. But the packers are not putting fear in anybody. They will self destruct against better teams. And that is the real problem. Winning should be easy with a guy like Arron Rodgers. Quit looking at the upside and look at the scores. Arron wants you looking at stats. But thats not what makes champions.

edp1959's picture

It's pretty easy to look at this game and determine why it was as close as it was. It sure as hell wasn't Rodgers fault.

dblbogey's picture

Arron Rodgers? Any relation to Aaron?

Gort's picture

Twin sons of different mothers?

Oppy's picture

You speak a lot of unpleasant truth.
Rodgers played his best game of the season, but playcalling, clock/timeout managment etc were still issues. There were still some poor throws out there, too, but over all, Rodgers played well.

The fact remains, the abscence of MM has not cured many of the issues that so many fans pinned solely on his coaching and decision making. All the little things at the LOS that fans dislike.. There’s someone else who is a contributing factor.

Old School's picture

Oppy...we are missing most of our starters on defense right now.

Wilkerson, Daniels, Clark, Perry, Ryan, King, Alexander.....every one of those guys is a preferred starter. Jets got 17 points from our special teams so our backups held the Jets offense to 3 TDs.

We are 6-8-1 right now. If the only change had been a little better special teams play, we'd be 9-6. That's on Zook and I don't know why he's still here.

Offensively, I'm not going to complain about going over 40 other than to say that we pass too much.

dobber's picture

"Offensively, I'm not going to complain about going over 40 other than to say that we pass too much."

While this is a team that tends to pass too much, game flow pretty much dictated that they were going to throw a lot.

Rebecca's picture

55 passes / 20 runs

OC A Rodgers does not like to hand the ball off. Word in the locker room is that to Rodgers if you’re in the backfield you better block or gtfo!

HankScorpio's picture

" but playcalling, clock/timeout managment etc were still issues. "

I'm curious what issues you noticed with clock/timeout management. I think there has been noticeable improvement in that area and particularly so yesterday. What did you see that I missed?

4thand1's picture

I was still cheering for a win, but didn't mind a loss. It looked like both teams tried to give the game away more than once. LAME -The refs maybe gave some early x-mas presents, thanks a lot, where were you bums against the queens and skins? This team was a 1 or 2 plays away in a lot of games from going to the playoffs. Game balls, we have some really good young guys, weed out some of the old. Going to be an interesting offseason.

Packers0808's picture

Was expecting to read first thing this morning Zook fired. Suppose they will let him finish off season. With all the injuries Packers have there are some bright spots going forward! Lots of holes still ti fill out for next year! Williams really ran hard!

Coldworld's picture

Will let the new HC choose his person to take the role.

Rebecca's picture


Lare's picture

As much as I think Zook needs to be fired, it would be pretty cold to do it the day before Christmas.

HankScorpio's picture

And what good will it do? An interim ST coordinator is not going to transform the ST for week 17. 4 weeks might have been enough to make a marginal difference. 1 week is not.

Packers0808's picture

They sent a message about and with McCarthy why not Zook to put new guy on REAL notice for next coach is what good it will do!

Pizzadoc's picture

You don't want them to look rash or mean.

egbertsouse's picture

Game ball: Refs

Lame call: Murphy, for not firing Zook when he fired McTater and not forcing Mini-Mike to play Kizer and Boyle.

Coldworld's picture

Next week we should play Kizer and Donnerson at the very least. Now we have shown some fight, get Rodgers out and take some vets like Matthews and Adams off at least at half time.

Lare's picture

I think Rodgers & Adams will play long enough for Adams to set some records. He deserves that at least.

HankScorpio's picture

It they didn't pull their "A" list players yesterday, there is no reason to think they will next week.

They were down 15 entering the 4th Q yesterday. Rodgers had been sacked 3 times already. In week 16 while already eliminated, that is time to take a look at people, if you're so inclined. They declined.

Philbin has already said his 46 man active list will be constructed to win the game, not evaluate players.

Rebecca's picture

Why? Doesn’t he get a paycheck just like everybody else? The least he deserves is chances to set records? omg lol wtf?

Handsback's picture

The rookie wideouts certainly played well. I think Green Bay has a chance for a very deep and talented group of receivers for the future. The only missing part is experience. Next year could spell a sophomore slump like Adams went through, or a real breakout. If a slump is involved, they will need some experience to cover it. Possible FA or trade before the season starts.

Oline needs some help on the inside and out. Could see one FA and some draft capital taking care of that.

The defense is a puzzle. My prediction is if a CB/SS is sitting in the first round as BPA Gutsy will pull the trigger. Green Bay needs more healthy CBs and a real experienced FS/SS. The biggest question mark I have w/o looking at the film is where were the LBs? No rush and no coverage. There an area that also needs
draft capital and FA.

The Packers are indeed a puzzle to me as how much talent do they have and what does that talent project to? Yesterday that got every break from the refs that they haven't gotten all year and still had to win in OT against a climbing team but still only a 4 win team. Really not that impressive from a team performance standpoint. I'm happy to see what Rodgers did yesterday and maybe for the first time all year had some real fire in his belly.

Oppy's picture

I don’t see any issues at all with a WR corps of Adams, Allison, MVS, ESB, kumerow, and Moore.

In my opinion, that’s a pretty nice mix of athletic, long youth with MVS, ESB, Moore and experience with Adams, Allison and Kumerow (people forget he’s a 4th year player, even if he lacks active roster experience.)

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

I agree Oppy! They also picked up the tall WR from Iowa, (Lazzard...spelling)?

The Pack could have their best WR's in several years. I truly do not get the Sophmore slump comment. These guys are competitive pros pushing one another. If AR and WR's are healthy they are going to terrorize DB's and Defensive Coordinators.

Would really like the Pack to pick up a shorter, highly athletic slot WR with a quick first step and lightening speed. Cobb never had the acceleration I would have liked. Also very curious if Moore can get it together?

Oppy's picture

I don’t see any issues at all with a WR corps of Adams, Allison, MVS, ESB, kumerow, and Moore.

In my opinion, that’s a pretty nice mix of athletic, long youth with MVS, ESB, Moore and experience with Adams, Allison and Kumerow (people forget he’s a 4th year player, even if he lacks active roster experience.)

PatrickGB's picture

As far as WR, I don’t see Moore in the mix for long. Another muffed return. I think that Davis returns because of his ST abilities. Davis was a leading tackler and return man in the past.

Oppy's picture

Don't have to sell me on Davis.

I felt like the lone voice on CHTV telling the world he's a difference maker on ST, particularly as a punt returner, and also as a gunner.

I don't know if he makes it into a second contract, though. He hasn't offered anything as a WR so far. I hope he sticks, don't know how Gutekunst values ST players. TT always kept a spot for ST players on the roster.

4thand1's picture

Merry Christmas everyone and here's to a Happy New year and let's get back to the playoffs. GOPACKGO

Gort's picture

Same from me to all of you!!!

Guam's picture

Patrick played better this week after a bad game against the Bears. Story of the year for our guards - inconsistent play. I hope Gute can find a good veteran right guard in free agency and then spends some draft capital on new reserves at both guard and tackle. I am tired of watching Rodgers run for his life.

HankScorpio's picture

Yesterday on Twitter, Tausch observed that teams no longer fear blitzing the Packers. He's right. No doubt there are many fingers in that pie. One of those fingers is that the OL is not picking up blitzers all that well.

Job #1 for the off season is selecting the new coaching staff. That will go longer to determining their success (or lack of) in 2019 than anything else they do. Job #2 is taking a big swing at upgrading the OL. The old saw that games are won in the trenches is still true, even if the evolution of the game has invalidated many other old saws.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

^^^ this! Merry Christmas and Go Pack Go!

stockholder's picture

Was this game to close to Retain anybody? ( Change is coming.) Lots of players were open. The game balls very well could go to many players. The Wrs and TEs got open today. Kumerow got off that line! Many players made good catches in key situations. Williams sure did a nice job too. Can't be hard on anybody this game. I enjoyed the win. (The first Road win! ) But I can't help but think it costs them more than it should have.

Lphill's picture

Merry Christmas to all Packer fans, we have a long Christmas list lets hope Santa comes through'
New Head Coach
edge rusher
tight end
O Tackle
special teams coach
receivers coach.

Gort's picture

IMO need to make "big uglies" on the O-line a higher priority.

mrtundra's picture

Throw in an OG for good measure. We need depth on the O Line and especially on the right side of the line.

GVPacker's picture

Make that A New Competent Head Coach!

Lare's picture

Don't forget a new strength & conditioning program. Might be nice for a change to see the Packers play in December without 2/3 of their team on IR with muscle pulls.

Razer's picture

Didn't see the game but glad the Packers didn't fold. Watched the Lions play an uninspired, toothless game and hoped our boys represented better. Sounds like they did - at least from a heart standpoint. Speaks to the culture of the locker room and organization.

Finish strong and start the rebuild. Go Packers

Gort's picture

Lots of us couldn't see the game. Maybe the NFL Network will give us a Christmas present and run it on a replay this week.

blacke00's picture

Although I think Zook will be gone at the end of the year.
I'm not convinced the poor special team teams play is his fault.
People! You all have to start looking at the whole picture.
This team has personal issues on defense, OL to name a few. What makes you think the special teams is going to be world class? Zook has to deal with different personal probably week to week. We have no return man. If you paid attention which is obvious that you didn't you'd notice that the gunners were different almost week to week due to injuries, FA and PS call ups! No consistency!

That being said,
Merry Christmas!

HankScorpio's picture

As with pretty much anything else, I don't think there is no one smoking gun that explains all the ST failure away. Zook is not the only issue. It is true he's been dealt a different hand on many occasions. So have lots of other ST coaches. Injuries are a fact of life that hit most NFL teams. Not all of them deal with that issue as poorly as the Packers have.

Gort's picture

The problem with your theory is that lots of teams have similar personnel issues that trickle down to their special teams especially late in the season. Didn't see the whole game, but the KO return for TD was all over the replays. That play was one of the most pathetic attempts to cover a kickoff I have ever seen and alone would justify a coaching change.

Ustabeayooper's picture

Our special teams are representative of the team. Good teams usually have good ST. When is the last time GB had a returner teams feared? Charles Woodson. Before that Desmond Howard. Before that Travis (the roadrunner) Williams. What do we have now? A 35 year old CB forced to return punts and a collection of third string RB and receivers that make poor decisions on KO. Maybe the team should try and find someone who can actually fill the role. After all, we didn't hesitate to spend draft choices on a long snapper and an OL who never reported to the team.

Oppy's picture

Trevor Davis was a threat teams Need to account for anytime he fields a punt.

He wasn’t available in 2018 and I don’t know if he gets resigned.. but Davis is a legitimate return specialist that packers fans like to ignore.

Lare's picture

I'd be happy if they could find a returner that knows enough to take a knee in the end zone, and can catch & hold on to the football.

Skip greenBayless's picture

Just resign Martellius Bennett for that job Lare. He's certainly qualified.

Old School's picture

I'm with you. I'd fair catch every punt . Concentrate on not falling for fakes, not getting called for block in the back, and not losing guys to injury.

rstain99's picture

Travis Williams he certainly had a great 1967 season, not sure many fans remember him I was 9 and became a packer fan. That return against Roman Gabriel and the vaulted LA Rams. Thanks for the memory

Oppy's picture

Packers fans have another RB tandem akin to Edgar Bennett and Dorsey levens, but everyone has seemed to want to completely disregard the Bennett-type back and keep him on the shelf.

You’ve got thunder and lightning. They compliment one another. Use them both. Williams is a starting caliber back, too.

HankScorpio's picture

" When is the last time GB had a returner teams feared?"

They have one right now in Randall Cobb. Others since the dawn of the Wolf Era: Will Blackmon, Roell Preston and Robert Brooks. All 4 posted at least one year with 2 or more return TDs, in addition to Desmond Howard doing so.

Allen Rossum wasn't a bad returner.

The thing about almost all of these guys is they have been short-term solutions-- good for a year or two. Sometimes they moved on (Preston, Howard, Rossum), sometimes they took on a different role (Brooks, Cobb) and sometimes they were hurt too often to be reliable (Blackmon). The result is that they always have seemed to be looking for a returner. But they have had a few pretty good ones.

Swisch's picture

(1) Liking the screen pass to Williams late in the game. Hooray for screen passes, as part of a variety of looks in the short passing game.
(2) What about, on fourth down, Tonyan's catch for a first down? Let's get him more than 15 snaps next week. Yes, play to win -- but that doesn't mean not taking a look at young guys, and not giving them an opportunity to show their skills.
(3) After Rodgers taking a lot of hits yesterday, I wouldn't mind seeing Kizer start the last game. After all, Rodgers would be ending the season on a great note with the comeback against the Jets. Plus, Rodgers could show that he's coachable by allowing himself to be preserved for next season.
(4) All the best to Coach Zook, but next season we want our special teams to be not only good, but great. By the way, to go along with Trevor Davis, I'd like to draft one of those little, waterbug-type guys to help with the return game, like Darren Sproles and Tarik Cohen.
(5) Is there an NFL version of Mike Budenholzer out there, a head coach that can lift a team to a new level?

HankScorpio's picture

"Let's get him (Tonyan) more than 15 snaps next week. Yes, play to win -- but that doesn't mean not taking a look at young guys, and not giving them an opportunity to show their skills."

It's pretty easy for a 6-8-1 team to play to win and look at young guys. There will be plenty of spots where benching someone and taking a look elsewhere is not going to cost much, if anything, on the field. Lucas Patrick playing at RG is a good example.

TE is another. Jimmy Graham is not doing much. He's a 6'7" but plays much smaller. He can't run. He's 144 of 199 in the league in catch % among guys that have been targeted 30 or more times. He's only got 2 TDs. He's around 60th in yards and catches. Just what is there to lose if you take snaps away from him?

Old School's picture

He's in the Top Ten among TEs in yards, catches, and average per catch.

Gort's picture

Maybe, but he has not been a "difference maker".
Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

So agree!

Tonyan can far outplay Graham. Not even close! Play him!

HankScorpio's picture

You've been spouting that top 10 nonsense for weeks now. Get a new line, chief.

Graham is listed as a TE but he's really a pass catcher. He sure ain't no blocker.

Old School's picture

Tonyan will be back next year. Lewis and Kendricks....doubtful.

LambeauPlain's picture

By the end of the third quarter, the defense only had 2 of the 11 opening day starters on the field...Martinez, who had another good game....and CMIII who had another bad game. He was invisible.

But with nothing to play for except pride, the Packers passed the character test.

They had several opportunities to lay down but kept battling and would not quit.

Another win on Sunday and the Packers can head into the offseason on a win streak for a change. They haven't won 2 in a row all season.

In my view, this is far more important than another few draft order spots.

alforno54's picture

I give directv lots of money to watch my favorite team play. Losing is not fun. Worry about 3 or 4 years down the road when it gets here

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