Packers Stock Report: That's the Packers offense I remember! edition

I saw a lot of people on Twitter during the second half of Sunday's Packers' win going after Mike McCarthy for being too conservative. I don't blame folks for slapping the conservative label on McCarthy -- I've done it a few times myself -- but Sunday wasn't the day to do it.

Consider this:

  • Eddie Lacy was running wild. The same folks calling out McCarthy for his conservatism would've been calling the coach out for not feeding Lacy if the Packers aired it out more in the second half.
  • Costly penalty. A holding penalty negated a third-down conversion early in the second half, forcing the Packers to kick a field goal. If the Packers march in for a touchdown on that drive, the route likely would have continued.
  • Simple facts. With the Packers needed to kill some clock later in the fourth quarter, McCarthy called a pass play on first down that saw Aaron Rodgers fire a 12-yard comeback route to rookie Trevor Davis. The pass hit Davis right in the hands and he dropped it. If the rookie makes that simple catch, are we still calling McCarthy conservative?

Anyway, the Packers won the game and the offense looked high-functioning for at least one half, so I shouldn't worry too much what the fine folks on Twitter are chattering about during the game. Sometimes it just bugs me because there are instances where McCarthy deserves to be criticized for being overly conservative. Those instances are often overlooked, however, because too many people blindly accuse the coach of playing it too close to the vest when that just isn't the case.

Rising

Nick Perry
Is that Clay Matthews? Julius Peppers? Von Miller disguised as a Packer? No, it's Nick Perry! And he's healthy! And dominating! Would the Packers have won on Sunday without Perry? Maybe, but it would have been much more difficult.

Jordy Nelson
He might not be back to the dominant Nelson of pre-injury, but he's caught touchdowns in every game and had several moments where he looked like the Jordy of old. That's good enough for a spot in the rising category in my book.

Mike Daniels
Daniels doesn't just beat the man trying to block him, he mauls him into submission then attacks whomever has the football It's incredibly fun to watch.

Steady

Lane Taylor
Don't expect to see Taylor replace Sitton on the Pro Bowl roster, but for a guy who entered the season under a lot of pressure, he's held up just fine. If Taylor can duplicate what he's done the first three games over the final 13 contests, the left-guard position will be just fine.

Eddie Lacy
When Lacy has been fed the ball, he's usually come through. I'd say 214 yards and 5.0 yards per carry is pretty steady.

Falling

Damarious Randall
Ok, young Damarious. You've hit rock bottom these last couple of weeks. Time to snap out of it. I think you have the talent to do it, so let's make it happen. Thank you.

The Middle of the Field
It's like there's a giant radioactive bubble in the middle of the football field that scares away all Packers defenders from entering, thus leaving the entire area between the has marks wide open for opposing tight ends and running backs to effortlessly catch passes and gain easy first downs.

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Comments (26)

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 27, 2016 at 02:14 pm

I didn't feel they were conservative in the 2nd half. Not on offense anyways. Defense, I could see the argument that Capers went Conservative. playing a lot more zone, but a lot of that probably was due to his young CB's playing.

3 plays killed their drives. The holding penalty (which was iffy), Davis's drop and Cobb's drop/strip... Those 3 plays ended drives.

A few additions to the categories that I would consider.

Rising -
Gunter - He played really, really well and dropped an Int.
Joe Thomas - He has been lights out this year. He got a lot more snaps against the Lions and played really well.

Steady -
Kenny Clark - He has quietly had 2 good games.
Jake Ryan - Ryan could be in the rising but he is steadily improving each week. He looks faster and stronger this year.

Falling - Josh Hawkins - His failed attempt of a tackle on Jones jump started the Lions offense. Then late in the game on Davis' big PR Hawkins had a penalty. It was his first game, but he needs to clean it up.

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Spud Rapids's picture

September 27, 2016 at 02:31 pm

"Defense, I could see the argument that Capers went Conservative. playing a lot more zone, but a lot of that probably was due to his young CB's playing."

You are spot on... Capers played a zone D that keeps guys in front of them so they can be tackled in bounds and eat clock. Randall and Hawkins gave up big scores yes but if the Packers pick off one of the 3 INTs that were in their hands we are probably not even talking about Capers as that would have killed all Lions momentum. If you look at the drive summary the lions just kept making plays and making plays... one turnover in their and that build momentum is gone.

I have no issues with how the offense played in the second half other than the mental mistakes of drops and penalties.

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Duke Divine's picture

September 27, 2016 at 03:12 pm

"played a zone D that keeps guys in front of them." Interestingly enough nobody on the Packers outside of Gunter kept anybody in front of them so it failed miserably...again. Remember the AZ playoff game? Palmer is out of sorts with the pressure and solid man to man coverage, he makes two perfect throws and Dom takes a wildly successful man to man back end and asks them to start playing zone as the season comes crashing to an end. These kids are best at man. Stop over thinking it. Unless Randall and the safeties get on the same page and learn how and when to pass off receivers to one another and they learn that there is zone to cover in the middle of the field I say scrap the zone completely! Man coverage and good pass rush and this defense will go far! Getting cute and away from what they do best will end anther season.

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Spud Rapids's picture

September 27, 2016 at 03:16 pm

You can play man when Shields is on the field.... you can't when he isn't

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Nick Perry's picture

September 29, 2016 at 06:39 am

BOOM!!!! Give Spud Rapids the prize. Just look back at last year. The Packers play mostly Zone when Sam is out. As soon as he's back they play much more man to man and are a better defense when they do. Playing SO MUCH zone right now makes them really, really, miss Hayward all the more.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 28, 2016 at 04:48 am

It is interesting how many is ignorant considering health issues Packers had for this game...
Also, I do not understand what the hell have the team that played last season with the team playing this season? Except few players, who still plays excellent (like Mike Daniels etc.). This season team is completelly different team compared with last season team. This season team is much younger, less experienced and, consequently, they will have some bumps along the road. But, when it matters, this team can produce. Give the team another weak of practice and you'll have another look next game against Giants...
But, who am I to warning on this? I'm not near the level of so many coaches who can fill the shoes of Mike McCarthy immediatelly...

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 27, 2016 at 02:42 pm

Agreed on Gunter. I've been waiting for him to get his chance for a year now. He didn't blow it.

Where has Q gone? You hardly hear his name called at all. Are QBs having too much fun with Randall to throw at him much? If QBs aren't throwing at you, I'd call that rising, even if you're a slot player.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 29, 2016 at 07:10 am

Yeah, I was kind of thinking the same thing with Rollins. I haven't seen enough views of him playing.
Has his coverage been that good? He hasn't been thrown to very much, which makes me believe he has had good coverage for the most part.

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Colin_C's picture

September 27, 2016 at 02:34 pm

Definitely agree about the middle of the field thing. Also, Hyde can not cover TE's very effectively.

This is pretty random, but I was just thinking about our RB situation a little more. Lacy's doing fine, but if he gets hurt and Rip is still out, all we have is Starks (who hasn't done much, abeit limited opportunities). What do you think of trying Mongomery at RB? I saw they did it a few plays on Sunday. His size and speed are a good combination, and he certainly could catch out of the backfield. I know it's unlikely, but I want to see him on the field for more than special teams.

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lebowski's picture

September 27, 2016 at 03:39 pm

funny stuff on the middle of the field :)

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JohnnyLogan's picture

September 27, 2016 at 03:42 pm

Dom has never been able to fix the entire D, it's either sell out to stop the run or sell out to stop the pass. Our run D is best in football, our pass D, even with very talented young players, is a mess. Much of that has is Dom's mess. He's always left the middle of the field open and we blamed it on bad ILB play. Our ILB's now aren't all that bad, and still... Dom needs to retire.

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Finwiz's picture

September 28, 2016 at 04:23 pm

Johnny Logan....nailed it, but you will get the delusional detractors offering the criticism. 100% correct - Dom is over the hill, and needs to retire. The game has passed him by, and his scheme is old and tired. Offenses attack him with ease and he can't adjust. Too old, too stubborn and stuck in his ways.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 27, 2016 at 04:55 pm

Question....has Davis passed Abby on the depth chart at WR?

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ray nichkee's picture

September 27, 2016 at 05:37 pm

Were the hell was he? I thought abby should have been on the field with some of the other young guys. Cobb and Nelson could have been on the sideline while lacy runs and a quick pass here and there to move the chains. Get them some reps later in the game when ahead. A win is nice but after half time the personnel packages should have changed more with the clock running. I'm not the greatest coach in packers history but that's my two cents.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 27, 2016 at 08:16 pm

I am still in the I-love-Joe-Whitt camp, but his protegees have not taken the 2nd year leap, to say the least. At least, so far. It is early still, and there are lots of examples of a young CB having a terrible game or two and coming back strong for the rest of the year.

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Nick Perry's picture

September 29, 2016 at 06:28 am

I'm with you TGR. I too am a huge Joe Whitt fan and think by the end of the season both Rollins and Randell will be playing much better. I wouldn't mind seeing the Packers sign a FA DB just for insurance because of Shields history. One I'd think about bringing in for a try out is Kennan Lewis. He's a FA, had/has a hip issue but it's still worth a try out. With Shields out now maybe a Vet back there could help these youngsters. The question would be is Lewis for example a better option than Gunter or Hawkins?

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Norm's picture

September 27, 2016 at 08:48 pm

Wow Adam, other than the Lane Taylor comment, which I don't have an opinion on one way or another since I didn't notice him (probably a good thing for an OL BTW), every single point you made you might well have hacked from my brain as I literally had the exact same thoughts.

I would extend the Randall comment to include the entire secondary. Unlike in years past (like 5+ years ago or longer), I think they have the talent, and excellent coaching, so I'm not worried and I think by the end of the year the secondary will be the strength we all thought it would be. So far though not so much, they've made MVP's of good but not great WR's two weeks in a row. The Giants and their three outstanding WR's will be a huge test, with or without Shields and Burnett.

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al bundy's picture

September 27, 2016 at 10:17 pm

The pass d is what it is. A group of draft picks who are smallish, slow of foot and poor cover guys. The bigger safeties are playing so deep they are for the most part out of the picture. Dom has to work with the talent or lack of ted provides him.
My bottom line fix it or perish. The giants are coming and they aint the Lions.

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Finwiz's picture

September 28, 2016 at 04:11 pm

Wow 5 dislikes for what seems to be so obvious. There's a plethora of delusional fans on these pages. Wake up people, we have poor defensive cover corners and safeties except for Shields, and he's prone to getting hurt with any contact. It isn't all that pretty.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

September 27, 2016 at 11:32 pm

Most anti MM voices are Viking fans. There is a movement soUrced from Minnesota to troll Packer websites and social media to create dissension. I have evidence of it. There are about fifty of these posting "fans" who are actively engaged in this clever Nordic conspiracy.
Be on the look out and don't let your faith die in regards to The current Packer brain trusts. You may be being brought out to deep water by the enemy.

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ray nichkee's picture

September 28, 2016 at 07:51 am

It's called al-cowda and its nothing to laugh at. Those creeps are everywhere.

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Bohj's picture

September 28, 2016 at 03:32 pm

Before this lambasting of our secondary goes much further. Let's keep things in perspective:
Starters in base: Burnett, Haha, Shields, Randall. First nickel back is Rollins.
Find any secondary in the league that loses its senior starting safety, its senior starting CB1 and its Nickel has a cold that he's battling through and still performs well. That's a lot to make up for. In a normal world, Hawkins and Brice never see the field this early, and Gunter plays rotational duty, and Rollins sits out with sickness. Three of these guys are undrafted FAs. Let's not act like the sky is falling in our secondary. We just weren't prepared for such a quick rash of injuries. I bet if this happened later in the year, the dropoff wouldn't have been as big. (More experience for the youngens). I'd also like to add....having Mathews as part of the pass rush forces Stafford to make earlier throws. His pocket was pretty clean through three quarters.

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Finwiz's picture

September 28, 2016 at 04:09 pm

Bohj, I'd buy your argument if we hadn't seen them get TORCHED last year with a full compliment of starters. It isn't like this is something new. Our DB's have a lack of talent in playing the ball, and catching it when it's in their hands. These failures against Detroit were nothing to dismiss.

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Bohj's picture

September 28, 2016 at 09:15 pm

I feel like Burnett missing 5 games, Shields missing 4 games, Hayward playing out of position, and starting two Rookies is hardly a compliment of starters in 2015. With that grouping we mustered up a 12th ranked pass defense in yards against and 7th in avg opposing QB passer rating in 2015. Let's not get crazy with the TORCHED label. This is the new NFL. Every team gets a ton of yards passing. The fact that we were ranked that high with that grouping last year is something. When Randall and Rollins ripen...they will be great. They are talented....just young.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 28, 2016 at 09:35 pm

Not every team gets a ton of yards passing: AR is averaging 193 yards per game, including 205 in week 3. We have played an average D, an awful D,d and a good D so far. Our opponents are averaging 307 yards per game.

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oldfart's picture

September 28, 2016 at 07:03 pm

I DON'T THINK THE PACKERS SHOULD COUNT ON SHIELDS TO SOLVE THE SECONDARY COVERAGE PROBLEMS. HE HAS A HISTORY OF NOT STAYING HEALTHY. PACKERS SHOULD BE LOOKING FOR ONE OR TWO EXPERIENCED BACKS TO COVER RECEIVERS. OTHERWISE IT COULD BE A LONG SEASON.

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