Packers Vs. Bears - 3 Plays That Make You Go Hmmm

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from the Packers' game against the Bears

After re-watching the Packers game, here are three plays that made me go hmmm, for various reasons.

Kamal Martin:

No one has been in Kamal Martin's corner more than I. He had a fantastic training camp and was lauded by both teammates and coaches as a guy who brings something to the linebacker room they haven't has in a while - a guy who plays with aggression. He plays with a passion for the game, has a non-stop motor and is always around the ball. What I appreciate most is the attitude he brings on the field, the defensive version of "all gas, no f*ing brake." I've previously wondered why he doesn't see more snaps, but watching him closely the last few games, I think I understand now why the coaches are reluctant to do so. His aggressive nature can result in "all or nothing" plays on the field. He needs to learn to temper his play to a "controlled" aggression, so he doesn't take himself out of plays.

That doesn't mean I'm not still excited to have him on this team, I just think he needs a bit more time to understand his responsibilities out there and I'm confident he will. This play on the goal line is a good example. He's one-on-one with David Montgomery in the hole, but instead of setting a wide base and meeting him in a hole, he lunges at Montgomery with his head down, which results in a complete whiff. Hopefully, a good learning experience for the rookie.

 

Snacks:

Who's hungry? This guy is. He's also a guy that will usually require two offensive linemen to neutralize him. Snacks got in for a dozen plays on Sunday, and while he doesn't show up on the stat sheet, he was affecting things out there and this is probably the best example. The guard isn't able to handle him on his own and he forces the running back to redirect from where his blocking was going and the RB ends up running into three Packers players for a two yard gain. The fact he sat out most of the season and then got minimal playing time with Seattle mean's he's got fresh legs and will continue to play stronger with each game. No doubt Snacks will be a significant addition to this Packers defense.

 

Kenny Clark:

I've mentioned this before, but I don't think I've ever shown a specific play (sorry if I have), but I'm just amazed every game by how Kenny Clark is able to diagnose screen passes. There is just no fooling the guy, but way beyond that is how quickly he reacts, changes direction and sprints towards the ball carrier. I've seen him do this time after time but it still amazes me how quickly and smoothly he turns on a dime and accelerates out of that turn into a full sprint. He also takes a great angle, heading for a point in front of the ball carrier so he has a chance to get in on the play. For your viewing pleasure:

__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

16 points

Comments (31)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
PeteK's picture

January 05, 2021 at 10:46 am

Martin has done that in a few games, but at least he reads and reacts, tackling will improve. Clark has been playing his best right when we need it most and he and Harrison will snack on RBs. Also ,I was very happy when Taylor and Dafney( crushing) made very good ST tkls .
On offense Adams's reaching back catch and Jones's relentless leg drive were two very important first downs. Adams possesses perhaps the best concentration of any receiver that I have ever seen.

10 points
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x24's picture

January 05, 2021 at 10:52 am

(Martin) "lunges at Montgomery with his head down". Tackling is still an "opportunity for improvement" with this defense... See also: Kevin King

4 points
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3
murf7777's picture

January 05, 2021 at 11:06 am

I know many get on Kevin King for his lunges but it’s important to also give him credit he made a lot of great tackles actually wrapping up. Hard to see watching live but rewatch and you will see him making some solid tackles.

Lastly, lunging isn’t solely done by the Packers, if you watch enough other games it is league wide.

I think the major part of the problem is lack of practice in pads as teams don’t want to lose their players to injury.

7 points
8
1
Tundraboy's picture

January 05, 2021 at 12:16 pm

King played very well, but he had the King of all whiffs.

7 points
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x24's picture

January 05, 2021 at 01:29 pm

I agree that it is a league wide tendency, but turning a weakness into a strength is one of the things that separates champions from the rest of us

What is now dubbed "heads up football" is not a new concept. I remember coaches barking to keep your head up while tackling when I was playing as a kid in the late '70s

I am impressed by King's steady improvement this season. He is confident and the game has clearly slowed down for him. However- he still seems contact averse at times... Before he goes full HaHa and gets hurt, he should be coached up on his tackling.

5 points
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CoachDino's picture

January 05, 2021 at 04:21 pm

Ya, your right its been taught for ever. I remember doing a few face plants in the 1 on 1 drills before realizing it wasn't just a collision drill.

I wonder if these guys are just intimidated by the size and speed of who they have to tackle. Hence a natural reaction. It's like closing your eyes and hoping for the best. I never even stepped on a field with players half the size and ability of these monsters. Even the RB's at 5'9 210lbs running 4.5's have to be intimidating, let alone a TE, Big HB and WR. Heck, I don't know but we are all human and when training Boxers it's a natural reaction to do things not to get hit that are actually worse, just need to train through it. But in Boxing there are weight classes...lol.. Kenny King is a small guy by NFL standards and fragile at that.

4 points
4
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Bearmeat's picture

January 05, 2021 at 10:54 am

This defense is playing really damn well. Really well. Better than any Packers defense since at least the last half of 2014, and probably 2010.

With ARod and the offense leading the league in points scored and the defense playing like a top 12 unit, we've got a damn good shot to win it all. Even without Bakh. A damn good shot. :/

14 points
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Since'61's picture

January 05, 2021 at 11:04 am

Al - three great examples as usual. I noticed the same about Martin putting his head down on Montgomery’s TD. As our HS coach repeatedly told us, “You can’t hit him if you can’t see him.” Another example of a pro-player not doing what we were coached back in HS football.

Snacks can be huge for us against the run game. Even if he just does enough to disrupt the play so our guys can make the stop. He still looks like he has good quickness coming off the snap and that he can still win at the point of attack.

Looking forward to more snaps for Snacks in the playoffs. Thanks, Since ‘61

16 points
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gkarl's picture

January 05, 2021 at 11:42 am

Al, great examples again this week, especially the Snacks play. Sometime just watching on TV you see a guy make a disruptive play but the camera action follows the tackle so you don't get a chance to see who it was, and the announcers most times don't credit the guy who made the play/tackle possible. I'm with you Martin can be a beast and just needs more NFL experience. KC has been fantastic, just needed some time after his return to find his groove again.

4 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 05, 2021 at 12:11 pm

The Snacks clip is also backup for your first point about Martin, Al.

"His aggressive nature can result in "all or nothing" plays on the field. "

Kamal totally over pursues and washes himself out of the play. Barnes diagnoses and is in on the tackle.

3 points
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ShooterMcGee's picture

January 05, 2021 at 02:53 pm

Such a great point JB. Kamal is the leftside ILB and Barnes is on the right. The run actually happens straight at Kamal on the left, however, he runs himself out of the play. Barnes is more latient, watches the play develop, then slides left to be in on the tackle. A tale of 2 young players. The future of our ILB position is as bright as I can remember with these guys.

3 points
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Razer's picture

January 05, 2021 at 12:14 pm

If Snacks is in good enough shape, he could be a huge change agent for this defense. With him and Clark controlling the middle LOS, our linebackers and secondary can focus on their specialties. I was hoping that other guys on the line could step up enough but watching Lowry and Lancaster getting spun around is getting old.

As for game changing plays, the MVS drop changed this game considerably. Make the catch and the game is a sprint and Chicago's play calling needs to open up. As it played out, the Bears could do their grinder thing well into the fourth quarter and keep Rodgers on the bench. Thankfully it was Turbisky and the Bears. It is big boy football now - you gotta make that catch.

3 points
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flackcatcher's picture

January 05, 2021 at 01:27 pm

True about MVS. But this offense shut down in the third, once again for the most part no adjustments by MLF to the Bears pressing defense. Again this season, the defense is left out on an island for the entire quarter. And folks wonder why the CB were playing off coverage. Defense held. Again. Offensive lapses will kill this team. MLF-Hackett-Rodgers better get it together. "It is big boy football now..."

-1 points
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coolhand's picture

January 05, 2021 at 02:40 pm

What I thought was an even bigger turning point was after the MVS drop, the Packers get the ball back. First play goes for 9 yards. We are 2nd and 1, and THROW THE BALL 2 times incomplete and had to punt. Where was Dillon? Pound out that 1 yard, get the 1st down, and then look to throw.

8 points
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murf7777's picture

January 05, 2021 at 06:01 pm

I agree on 3rd and 1, but Rodgers has made a living on throwing on 2nd and short.

1 points
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Thegravedigger's picture

January 06, 2021 at 12:12 am

On the 2nd and 1, jones was wide open. Rodgers looked right at him, instead forced it down the field. Almost picked. 3rd n 1 he tried to hit Jones but mingo made a nice play on the ball. It reminded me way too much of the colts game. The difference being the d stepped up.

1 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

January 05, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Clark moves like a linebacker, pushes the middle better than most all other NTs, and he is still stout against the run. In a position stereotyped as a bunch of meatheads, he is as smart as anyone on the field. He is one of my all-time favorites. Put Snacks next to him on running downs? Damn, wait until they get some chemistry going.

8 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 05, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Still need three bigs for the scheme and run two ILBs, let the safeties do their job.

6 points
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PeteK's picture

January 05, 2021 at 12:38 pm

I agree , better than Brown and Raji

3 points
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flackcatcher's picture

January 05, 2021 at 01:41 pm

Three great examples of the game AL. Wow, Snacks is HUGE. He makes Clarke look...average. One can see in that play why Gute was after him all season. Martin is the type of player who needs preseason for the reasons Al listed. His brain knows, but his body isn't listening. Kenny Clarke is one smart football player. I wonder how much time he spends in the video room. He never gets suck in. Never gets suck in, ever...

3 points
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stockholder's picture

January 05, 2021 at 01:54 pm

Spot -on with Martin. Grabs high and misses now. Kirksey is the starter there. Give me Snacks over Lowrey. Clarke can play anywhere.

4 points
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fastmoving's picture

January 05, 2021 at 01:57 pm

MVS did more good than bad things, just like the D.......
MVS is open a lot and runs good routes. He is really fast anyway. He does not hold on to the football all the time, but even AR is not perfekt.

5 points
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Demon's picture

January 05, 2021 at 07:43 pm

No AR is not perfect. But he's a whole lot closer to it than a guy who's hovering around a 50% catch rate. I like MVS! But the drops on these perfect balls has to STOP! It is playoff football now, catch the damn ball!

1 points
2
1
wimiller's picture

January 05, 2021 at 01:59 pm

jersey Al is what makes this site so good. I wish the Kenny Clark all out smart hustling would infect the Smith brothers to play that way every down until the whistle blows. I was surprised to see how fast Snacks was off the ball. Would that the networks would set the move the focus back so we could see more of the field, especially ow with big screen tv there is less excuse for up close and personal on the ball carrier.

3 points
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JerseyAl's picture

January 05, 2021 at 07:50 pm

There are a lot of things that make this site the best Packers blog, but thanks for the kind words.

1 points
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marpag1's picture

January 05, 2021 at 02:47 pm

Excuse me for revealing my inner geek, but I just did a little research and found it kind of fascinating. I was looking at how ARod's 48 TD passes compare historically.

There have only been 4 guys who threw for more than 48 TDs. Peyton Manning did it twice at 55 and 49. Brady and Mahomes both threw 50.

Dan Marino once threw for the same 48 TDs as ARod just did.

ALL of the QBs mentioned above were MVPs in the year they did this. A lot of fans are saying that we need to give the MVP to Derrick Henry because only 8 people have ever run for 2000 yards. Well, only SIX people have ever thrown 48 TDs, and ARod is one of them.

If you make a list of the top 25 seasons in terms of most TD passes thrown, Manning, Brady and Brees each have three seasons in that list. Luck, Favre, Marino and Mahomes have two seasons each. But ARod has FIVE of the top 25 seasons.

Looking at those same 25 highest TD seasons, ARod has four of the five lowest INT ratios.

Damn, that's pretty good.

9 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

January 05, 2021 at 05:59 pm

All you have to do is look at the result of the GB vs TEN game to know that #12 is more valuable to GB than Henry is to TEN. Having a career year at QB always beats a career year at running back.

5 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

January 05, 2021 at 06:01 pm

All you have to do is look at the result of the GB vs TEN game to know that #12 is more valuable to GB than Henry is to TEN. Having a career year at QB always beats a career year at running back.

2 points
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CoachDino's picture

January 05, 2021 at 04:12 pm

Short and sweet this week Al....

Martin: Al we are football fans and what football fan doesn't love a guy like Kamal "Cecil" Martin. Just have to hope that when he learns to diagnosis correctly at a much higher rate that it doesn't take away what makes him so good. He's certainly worth the development.

Snacks: He's a healthy snack, just what the doctor ordered. Such a break for the Packers. Can we please get Lowery out on 2 man DL and use snacks!! Lowry gives you the same pass rush, ok a smidge more, than Snacks with 50% less run performance. Plus if you have to double team snacks it should open things up for Kenny and Blitzes on pass plays if he's out there. I haven't studied it but I'd like to think Snacks can push 1 OL back into the pocket/QB on a consistent basis.

Kenny Clark. Ya, he's special. One theory that I've heard by a DL in a recent interview and even "back in the day" is hand pressure by the lineman. Like anything else if you feel it one way on 95% of the snaps and then its different it's a tell if your paying attention. Of course I have no idea if that's really it but I found it interesting when I heard it and it makes sense.

1 points
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Oppy's picture

January 06, 2021 at 11:49 am

In the clip you show for Harrison; it isn't the guard that can't handle him on his own- the guard leaves Harrison completely free. It's the Center who apparently draws duty vs. Harrison, and it's the center's inability to apply a successful reach block that forces the back to redirect. The guard really isn't at fault, unless he completely blew his assignment. He wasn't even looking for Harrison.

I don't think there's many centers in the league who are going to be successful reaching on Harrison (or Clark, for that matter) when they're lined up shading the guard's inside shoulder.

0 points
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Oppy's picture

January 06, 2021 at 11:55 am

Watching the clip again.. I certainly hope that wasn't an inside zone blocking scheme. You'd normally expect the guard to double the NT for a tick before peeling off to find the LB to block. The guard went directly to the second level. That's not gonna get it done, lol.

0 points
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