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Packers Slow Start Proves to be too Much to Overcome

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Packers Slow Start Proves to be too Much to Overcome

The Packers trip to Fed Ex Field was certainly one that they would like to forget as the team came out flat and fell behind in the games first drive as Kentrell Brice and Jaire Alexander were burned for a touchdown by Paul Richardson.  From that point on, not much went right for the Packers and any comeback attempts were stalled by dropped balls, bad calls, and poor defense.  This was just an awful showing by the Green Bay Packers, there is no way around that.  

Here are some takeaways from yesterday's Beltway Beatdown: 

1. The Redskins showed that they are a formidable team by putting together an effective game plan that their players executed to perfection.  They were able to isolate the weak links on the Packers defense and get one on one matchups downfield which they were able to exploit.  The Redskins were able to dominate the Packers in the trenches which allowed Alex Smith to move the ball down the field at will in the first half.  Adrian Peterson reminded Packer fans of his all-pro days in Minnesota by turning back the clock and turning in a stellar 120 yard 2 touchdown day.  

The Redskin defense lived up to its billing by containing Aaron Rodgers to 265 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The Redskin defense made Rodgers work hard to move the ball down the field and surrendered an average of just 6 yards per completion.  The pass rush was able to disrupt Rodgers timing and collapse his pocket on multiple occasions which lead to sacks, penalties, hurried passes, and stalled drives.

2. The Packers need to play a complete sixty minutes of football and need to start playing with a sense of urgency.  One theme that has surfaced for the first three games of the season is the Packers lack of consistency and lack of urgency.  The Packers could easily be 0-3 right now if it were not for the heroics of Aaron Rodgers and the ineptness of Daniel Carlson.  In two of the Packers first three games, they have faced three-score deficits at halftime which clearly shows a lack of urgency and attention to detail. The Packers must play with a sense of urgency next week against the Bills or they will find themselves in the same position as the Vikings did on Sunday.

3. Can we please see more of Marcedes Lewis? Lewis is a big target who could prove useful in the red zone, some designed two tight end sets with Jimmy Graham, and as an extra blocker on the right side of the Packers banged up offensive line.  It is clear that McCarthy needs to start incorporating Lewis into the offense more.  

4. The Packers need to start looking for help in the secondary.  The Packers were treated to yet another game of watching the secondary get burned for long touchdowns.  We saw first hand how Kevin King's absence from the lineup forced Davon House into extended snaps early in the game, we saw Kentrell Brice once again take a poor angle and play the ball terribly, and we saw the middle of the field exposed again.  There were parts of this game in which the Packers defense looked like the defenses of old.  Thankfully, Mike Pettine was able to regroup and make adjustments, holding Alex Smith to only 6 yards of passing in the second half (stat from Zachary Jacobson).  

The fact that the Packers defense is so inconsistent is very troubling because it has already cost them two wins.  In order to stabilize the secondary, the Packers should explore the possibility of either trading for Earl Thomas or signing Eric Reid as both would provide an instant upgrade.  

5. The NFL is a joke.  The calls are getting more and more ridiculous by the game and it is clear as day that they are targeting Clay Matthews.  As expected, the national flag football league doubled down on its atrocious roughing the passer call essentially confirming that you can no longer tackle the quarterback.  In an interview with the NFL Network's Stacey Dales, Matthews gave a candid and eloquent explanation of what the referees should be looking for when determining whether to penalize a player for roughing the passer.  In short, Clay explains that he supports the spirit of the rule which is to protect quarterbacks from "extra" and excessive hits.

 

It will be interesting to see if the Packers can finally play a complete sixty minutes of football next week at Lambeau Field against the Bills or whether we will see more of the same inconsistent and lackluster play that has plagued them throughout the season.          

     

David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (28) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Pack204's picture

The lack of pass rush and poor safety play is still the most glaring thing for me that I hope improves somehow towards the end of the season. The offense will be fine, yesterday they had key drops and penalties that stalled momentum more than anything, although some questionable decisions from McCarthy not riding Jones more as an RB makes it quite puzzling to me.

All in all as long as things start to peak more towards the end of the season for a playoff run I am fine with that. You look around the league and Patriots, Vikings, Jags all came out pretty flat yesterday. Its still early in the season. Just take care of business next week and carry on.

Samson's picture

So .... you're crossing your fingers that by the end of the season all is well.
The Pack already is showing severe weaknesses that have been around for the last several years and the usual lack of preparation for another game.

You want to fix this team ------ Show MM the door.

White _tornado's picture

Playoffs? Are you kidding me? Playoffs?

They have played 1 good half out of 6. Peaking at the end of the season?

How about not embarass themselves everyweek first.

Tarynfor12's picture

McCarthy not only has a script for game play but a script for the season and it's ending. He is a highly successful HC who knows how to maintain his scripts.

I, like all others,as unbelievable for some who I need not mention it would be, hope for a SB every year and this one is no different....except that after 7 years, this rerun needs to be canned,stored away on a shelf and never opened again until after the Packers are a dynasty of a kind again. Then we can all look back at what was hoped but never came to be. Two HOF QB's back to back for 30 freaking years and 2,count'em... 1...2 SB wins....marvelous.

Lare's picture

Its always easy to criticize, that's why everyone can do it. It's always harder to come up with solutions, that's why so few people can do it.

Samson's picture

However, fans watch & directly/indirectly pay for the whole NFL experience. --- We have zero impact on how to improve anything in sports. --- It's our money that allows us to criticize.

Tarynfor12's picture

Would you mind posting copies of the accepted suggestions you have offered to the Packers, with some kind of validation stamp GB uses for such or a letter of thanks for submitting your ideas on fixing the issues.

splitpea1's picture

Solutions are here, there, and everywhere. It's up to the front office and coaching staff to implement them instead of sticking with business as usual.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Lare: Yours and others solution has been here; don’t criticise Gute. After the draft your solution was that Gute has done amazing job. “He definitely is not a TT”

There were solutions and Gute blew them all.

IN: Ridley, high drafted CB (late 1st/early 2nd, a lot of good ones to choose from), Trumaine(veteran leadership), Nelson(veteran leadership)

OUT: Cobb (mediocre), Matthews (overhyped for so many years), Graham (was great)... all are too expensive with fade-away skills.

And we would even have some cap money to spend. We have no pass rush, but we pay league top money to Matthews and Perry.

Packers could be GREAT team with the GREATEST QB. Mediocre GM, coaches and fans make a very good job to keep us mediocre.

henry113's picture

Royalty, I think the priorities in the draft should have been Lb & O-linemen. Look back a few weeks ago not being able to signing Mack also. There are still guys out there we can get to improve our secondary.

stockholder's picture

1. The redskins showed how to stop this team. Run!. Peterson ran like a energized bunny. He ate up time and kept A-rod on the bench. The thing that hurt Rodgers the most was the offensive Line holding. 2. 60-min. The packers don’t need to change this offense. They don’t need to run. They need to catch the ball! It’s just that simple. The clock goes fast when you enjoy your job. 3. MM praised Lewis. Why was Kendricks in there. Lewis brings blocking. Graham was blocking and Kendricks runs the routes? 4. I don’t like all the crazy leg injury issues. Let’s just to play the rookie cbs now. The solution to starting well: Put the veterans on the bench. (We had to give peppers time management. It may have to start with others.) CMII needs to start @ ILB now. Morrison is not the answer. I said fire Moss. 5. Every year we see a weekend thats full of upsets. Everyone gets bad calls. But CMIII is a target of NO respect. Hurt CMIII, you hurt this defense. But slowly were moving to powder puff football games. If Vegas is that good with the odds, change them! Zone in. Catch the ball. Stop the control.

packergal's picture

Stockholder,

The OL will continue to hold unless AR gets rid of the ball quickly and moves away from the vaunted sandlot strategy that this team continues to showcase.

With the speed on offense MIA--(none of our receivers are Julio Jones) I remain curious as to why the sandlot strategy remains incorporated into the start of most offensive series in 2018. Between that and the highly touted WR screens that gain a few short yards, the OL will hold or AR will get hurt worse than he already is.

I believe we heard that MM hired Coach Philbin to refresh the Offense, design creative new stack formations and create game plans that attacked the opposing defense.

Well...outside of sandlot and WR screens, how much offensive creativity have we actually viewed in 12 quarters?

Yes... This could get ugly fast with fans screaming for MM to be replaced!

stockholder's picture

MM does not get enough credit. Philbin was only going to tweet the playbook. Regardless of the quotes of rewriting it. IT'S STILL ALL ABOUT MAKING PLAYS. A-Rod is holding the ball to long. The OL = to many excuses. This is zone blocking. These guys can't handle the bull rush. And it's no wonder Bulaga hurt his back.

LambeauPlain's picture

So when the receivers do not get open, Rodgers should just throw it anyway and risk an INT?

Kubyskins12's picture

I agree a100%. MM and Rodgers need to start playing quick pass game and play with timing and rhythm and let receivers and running backs do there job and create yards after the catch. Do what they did in second half of Bears game. The sandlot backyard football doesn’t work when you do it every play and especially with Rodgers on one leg. Quick passes, timing, rhythm, mix in some runs with aj, no huddle offense to get offense going and get defense on there heels. Rodgers plays better when he starts off fast and can get the O in rhythm.

Samson's picture

Three games into another season --- 3 disappointments. --- Many changes have taken place from 2017 to 2018 but yet the Pack appear to be pretty much the same.

Time to start looking at the HC, methinks.

henry113's picture

Ditto. Should have changed HC with a new GM. MM's playbook hasn't changed. Still Sucks. This team is really stinkin it up. Maybe the coaching staff can put together a game plan for next week. Maybe our Defense can hold them to under 40 points.

arthurl's picture

Someone like an Earl Thomas or Eric Reid could possibly jump-start this defense. Brice is screwing up and needs to not be on the field. People rag on Dix, but the guy has two picks and key stop in the Bear game. With King out, why would we not consider putting Jackson on the edge with Alexander in the slot? House definitely doesn't need to be out there, he should be cut after yesterday's performance. I hoping team gets it figured out before Bills game.

One more thing, the punter is outstanding. Pinning the Skins at the two, with the hang was perfect; too bad the defense allowed Skins to drive the ball 98 yds for TD. Come on guys

stockholder's picture

Brice is your starter. Confirmed.

Rossonero's picture

As I mentioned after the win over the Bears, we can't come out flat and bury ourselves in a huge hole. It's happpened in 2 of 3 games now.

Kb999's picture

Let's face it folks, right now this team isn't very good. They could be 0-3. Also the play calling is typical MM. Where the hell is Lewis!!! What are they saving him for. That performance was embarrassing. The coaching staff has some explaining to do on how they prepared these guys to play. They better get it together fast. And the icing on the cake, the CM call. The NFL is screwing up this sport. Rodger Goedell, resign. Please!

nostradanus's picture

Sure glad McCarthy had them NOT practice this past week. Sure freshened the team up, they looked great haha, time for Mike to go.

PatrickGB's picture

Nost, I think you are right. I wondered why MM told the team to take day off. They forgot to come back.

LambeauPlain's picture

Pack was down 14-3 in the first qtr and MM abandoned the run. Drops, 3rd and longs, 3 and outs followed.

Midway through the 3rd qtr, Pack was down 28-17 and nothing but pass, pass, pass. MM abandoned the run. Not even a FG was added to the scoreboard. 3rd and long, three and outs.

Fingernails on the chalkboard? MM, every year saying "we are going to establish the run game...we are going to commit to the run this year blah, blah, blah."

15 run plays by RBs...A. Jones averaging 7 yards...Williams almost 6...Monty averaging 5.

Packers are a soft team on offense because MM is a soft coach.

TheBigCheeze's picture

bring back Mike Holmgren.......best GB coach since Lombardi........

splitpea1's picture

Hopefully we can find another one just like him. Great play caller who knew how to mix his plays. They really could execute those screens, which I loved because it's a low risk play that can gain big yards if blocked correctly.

Kb999's picture

Amen brother

tincada's picture

"The Bears still suck!"
-- Mike McCarthy

Really? Who's leading the NFC North? That would be da Bears.

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