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

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from the Packers' last game.

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

Bunches of space - The Packers secondary simply can not handle bunch formations or mesh of any type. Here the Lions send out five receivers and the Packers have five DBs to match them, since they rush six on this play. To the bottom of the screen, you see Alexander, Savage and Amos communicating beforehand. Normally that would be a good sign, but Amos is giving a last microsecond hand signal and Alexander is looking at Savage when the ball is snapped. The end result is a wide open receiver that Goff only misses because of the pass rush. At the top of the screen there is a two-on-two matchup and again, one receiver is uncovered. They look unprepared and unable to make snap decisions on the fly (at least the right ones, anyway). Now allow me to turn this around. Bunch formations, mesh, shallow crossers, etc. - these were all things we were SURE we were going to get from the Packers offense to compensate for the absence of Davante Adams. Instead, the McCarthy spread, "go get open" offense is back. Or maybe it wasn't McCarthy's offense after all.

 

Washed Watkins - I never like when fans use terms like "garbage" or "trash" to say a player isn't that good. These are elite athletes - the best of the best. No matter how poor they're playing, they deserve some respect. I will, however, state that it sure seems like Sammy Watkins is washed up. His effort level has been awful and he couldn't get open in an empty stadium. This clip is even more maddening because the Packers bring in a sixth offensive lineman on the goal line, something many of ask have been asking for. But they have to outsmart themselves and pass the ball when they have ONE receiver running a route. You couldn't make this stuff up. Oh, and the guy doesn't know the plays! And yet, on fourth down at the end of the game, who does Rodgers choose as a target? And who runs a different route than what Rodgers expects? After the game, Watkins refused to fess up, saying that he doesn't know who did the wrong thing on the play. Which if. true, kind of proves he doesn't know the plays. I had high hopes Watkins would resurrect his career in Green Bay, but he appears to just be picking up some easy paychecks before checking out of the league. Yeah, I'll say it, Watkins is "washed."

 

Thumbs down - The insanity continues. You're struggling with a bad thumb, so you extend that hand out to get yourself picked up off the ground. What happens when someone pulls you up like that? Well the first thing is that you lock thumbs and then pull up, putting a ton of pressure on that thumb. Look at Rodgers' reaction as he's about to reach his feet. I can feel the pain from here. The announcers make it sound like it was from the hit, but it looks like he uses the outside of his hand to brace himself. There's no reaction then and he pops that hand up without thinking twice about it. Surely he should have.

__________________________

"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

10 points

Comments (43)

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

November 08, 2022 at 03:27 pm

Now personally, I like AR. I always thought he was very smart. (I still think we should've traded him last year instead of extending him, but that's on Murph & Gute...)

Obviously, if your right thumb is hurt, in pain, weak, you don't let someone pick you up off the ground by accepting his right hand... That was almost as stupid as us not trading him last spring.

WT% is going on???

It seems, ever since like 2020 - This organization has made exactly the worst moves it could possibly make at exactly the wrong time.

It's like a nightmare you can't wakeup from.

6 points
7
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Leatherhead's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:47 pm

2020 wasn't that long ago. We came so close. So close. It was a reasonable expectation that if we could just improve a little bit, we could get over the hump, but we did not improve in 2021, and in the playoffs, the offense took an untimely dump. Unfortunately, this season it has diarrhea and couldn't score in a women's prison with a handful of pardons.

I don't want to be a finger pointer, and I hate to say this, but Rodgers has declined and that's the #1 problem on the offense right now. Not the only problem, but the biggest one. He has helped us win so many games in the past, but I don't think he's going to help us win very many more.

8 points
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Barnacle's picture

November 09, 2022 at 05:47 am

Murphy, Gute and LeFleur are blunderers and AR and Bakh fleeced them and us.

I would gladly trade GB management for the Colts management.

Gute will piss away our future high draft picks and say stupid stuff that irritates our remaining players.

I would be embarrassed to work for Gute.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:32 pm

Maybe it would be easier to change temporarily to “3 Plays That Make You Go MMMMM”

1 points
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Guam's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:40 pm

Or "3 Plays That Make You Cringe". I've been doing that a lot lately on Sunday afternoons.

3 points
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TheKanataThrilla's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:45 pm

We may get to that point half-way through the first quarter.

2 points
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TheKanataThrilla's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:33 pm

Kudos to you Al re-watching the game. It was hard enough watching it the first time around I don't think I could have made it through a second time.

7 points
7
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RedRight49's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:33 pm

Enjoyed this well stated passage Al:

" Now allow me to turn this around. Bunch formations, mesh, shallow crossers, etc. - these were all things we were SURE we were going to get from the Packers offense to compensate for the absence of Davante Adams. Instead, the McCarthy spread, "go get open" offense is back. Or maybe it wasn't McCarthy's offense after all.".

I too believed that Bunch formations etc. would be an emphasis of the 2022 Offensive passing game plan.

You raised an interesting point, the MM type spread may have been preferred by 12 and continues as a preference today vs the Bunch etc formations.

8 points
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barutanseijin's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:35 pm

Was it really MM’s scheme?

4 points
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Tundraboy's picture

November 08, 2022 at 09:06 pm

That was great when you had Driver, Jennings ,Jordy and Jones. And necessary because we had no running game, or at least nothing compared to now.

0 points
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Guam's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:52 pm

The Packers best receiving options near the goal line are (1) an opponent's head, (2) a receiver who clearly doesn't know the play book or (3) a left tackle who almost never touches the football. Truly the "illusion of complexity"...... or perhaps the total eclipse of sanity.

Regarding the Packer offensive scheme other than on the goal line, I have long believed this offense has little input from MLF and is largely the holdover MM offense that Rodgers likes to run. This offense is stale and doesn't have the personnel (WRs) to run it properly. "Go get open" is hard to do if you have mediocre WRs playing against man coverage from really good CBs.

BTW, this observation does not forgive MLF for his lack of leadership and bonehead coach selections (Drayton, Barry). Both Rodgers and MLF need to go.

13 points
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croatpackfan's picture

November 09, 2022 at 03:57 am

Maybe, just maybe, offense that was presented and trained in the late spring (OTAs) this season with young WR was not the offense Packers are running now. Maybe that is the main reason why we are talking of so many wrong routes and not being there where the QB expect WR/TE to be. Maybe OTAs is not that unimportant time for QB who planned to be on the same page as WR?

We do not know that, but from promise of "Illusion of complexity" we got "Illusion of nothing" not even of simplicity.

-3 points
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3
Lphill's picture

November 09, 2022 at 05:25 am

You make the same comment in every post you are obsessed with Rodgers missing walk through practices like most veterans do , do you think Rodgers forgot how to play football just like that after an MVP season?

0 points
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egbertsouse's picture

November 09, 2022 at 07:18 am

No, he forgot how to play after his 10th cup of magic tea. He missed OTAs while he was communing with the ghost of Carlos Castenada and forgot all about the playbook.

1 points
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Leatherhead's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:54 pm

After 9 games.

Scoring is down league-wide. Last year, teams averaged about 24 ppg, and this year we're down to 21.8, or almost a two point drop. Rounding 21.8 to 22, the Packers have scored 22 or fewer points in 7 out of 9 games, with the 14-12 Tampa game being the only win. The other 6 were all losses. The two games where we scored over 22 points....Chicago and New England....were victories.

We don't have to throw for 350 yards and score 38 points to win. If we had just scored 28 every game, we'd be undefeated.

2 points
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Lphill's picture

November 09, 2022 at 05:26 am

I think this past week all but 3 games were decided by a TD or less.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

November 08, 2022 at 03:57 pm

"The Packers secondary simply can not handle bunch formations or mesh of any type."

This puts a question in my mind. We're one of the top passing defenses around, ranked 1st or 2nd . We're #2 in preventing 3rd down conversions. So how is this being accomplished if your observation is correct? Is our pass rush so awesome it covers up for that?

4 points
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Packerpasty's picture

November 08, 2022 at 06:42 pm

pass rush is far from awesome thats for sure, and its about to get worse with the loss of Gary...ugh..

2 points
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PhantomII's picture

November 08, 2022 at 09:45 pm

We allow a first down on the very next play or second down...that would make us very good at preventing 3rd down completions....They already had a first down.

1 points
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splitpea1's picture

November 08, 2022 at 04:05 pm

The Watkins play: Fade plays are among my least favorite unless you have a tall, sure-handed WR or TE who can go up and get the ball. Anyway, the Packers picked the wrong down not to use Dillon, as they had adequate blocking this time (unlike first and third downs).

On the right side, Lazard is occupying two defenders as Tonyan sneaks behind them, so that might have been another option.

The Packers struggle way too much in short-yardage situations. With a more powerful interior OL, they could stop penetration and maybe use A. Jones to leap over the pile without all this extra farting around.

5 points
5
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 08, 2022 at 04:53 pm

5-10, 220 # RBs who can move their feet, get the job done with a fullback in front of them. Beyond pathetic play selections in the red zone since 2019. TEs TEs TEs we screamed for the last few drafts and the Fans look to Big Dog.

3 points
5
2
HarryHodag's picture

November 08, 2022 at 04:50 pm

I can't fault the defense for holding a really effective offense(yes, the Lions!) to 15 points. This also reflects the loss of their tight end via trade to the Vikings. But holding an NFL team to 15 points should win you the game 90 percent of the time.

While the fans complain about the wide receivers, which is accurate to a point, the issue for me is the offensive line. We've seen several teams' front four dominate our starters. Almost across the board the line has taken a step back this year. I theorize that the loss of Hackett to Denver and moving Stenavich to the coordinator's job has not worked. Butkus hasn't improved the offensive line. Stenavich did a great job with the line.
Myers is not having a good year at center. Bahktiari and Jenkins are still hobbling. Runyan is getting overpowered this year. Tom and Nijman are the only two who have held their own.

So the opponents rarely have to blitz, dropping 7 back into coverage against a banged up and ineffective set of Packers receivers. Cobb is hurt again, as usual. He was their best receiver until the injury. Watson is too frail to play until he muscles up. This should be considered a red shirt year for him. Watkins is a total washout. He will stay around because Doubs is hurt but really stinks. Toure shows signs of being good. Where is second-year player Amari Rodgers? If he was any good they would be featuring him now especially with Cobb hurt.

Both Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon are less effective than a year ago. Cue in again the offensive line not being able to overpower the opponents.

With all these question marks it's no wonder the Packers can't find their rear ends with both hands.

11 points
11
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Fubared's picture

November 08, 2022 at 05:12 pm

Keep in mind the Lions best receiver was out and the best tight end got traded so they were missing two big offensive weapons before the game so the Packers D didnt do all that great

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 08, 2022 at 07:01 pm

At this point, St Brown is their best receiver. Williams hasn’t played a down

2 points
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croatpackfan's picture

November 09, 2022 at 04:02 am

You have to add that Packers QB is caught by Father Time... And some other issues, but it is another story!

0 points
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1
Dragon5's picture

November 08, 2022 at 05:18 pm

Re washed Watkins: you'd think an NFL exec in charge of putting a team together would have some sort of inside intel, never privy to fans, to make a better judgment call signing the kid. He's had alcohol issues in the past...whether or not that is an issue now--Green Bay, WI--tough place to escape that demon, good luck.

--Gute threw sh*t against the wall...none of it stuck...
--In similar fashion he "tried" to acquire established receiving talent at the trade deadline and struck out
--The $64,000 question still remains: what action / inaction by Gute caused Adams to leave? Whichever reporter / journalist uncovers this hidden truth deserves an award as it was the first domino to fall on this miserable '22 season

Oh how a packaged deal with Aaron & Tae to DEN for all those picks + Jeudy would look now (for incoming Pres/GM/HC)

3 points
5
2
HarryHodag's picture

November 08, 2022 at 05:29 pm

The reality is the Packers offered Adams more money than the Raiders. But it was close and Adams wanted more opportunities in Vegas with his closest friend David Carr. Recent chatter says Adams was waiting for Aaron Rodgers to make up his mind about coming back but Rodgers waited too long and Adams bolted. Other players were kept, like Campbell and Douglas, because of the money they had from not paying Adams.

While some players thrive in Green Bay, many, like Adams, want the bright lights. Have you seen his Taco Bell commercial? That never would have happened in Green Bay. Rodgers, as the MVP, got the State Farm gig but that is rare.
The Packers could have played hard ball with Adams and put the franchise tag on him, costing Adams $5-7 million but he would have been stuck either playing for the tag or sitting out. He eventually would have come in. But that makes the locker room sour, perhaps no more sour than now, however.

You can lay some things at the feet of Gute, but the Adams thing was not his fault.

2 points
4
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Dragon5's picture

November 08, 2022 at 05:48 pm

Carr, closer to family etc, just excuses to part "friendly" if you ask me. More likely the real reason is...

A) poor relationship with GM
B) didn't think GB would ever get to SB (no confidence vote in HC / GM)

A career window of opportunity is short...you don't leave the best situation possible to reach the highest level of success for a distant Plan B that includes a new (prior failed) HC, system, and Mahomes & Herbert in your division.

2 points
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wildbill's picture

November 08, 2022 at 11:11 pm

Plus Nevada has no state income tax. I know you pay taxes in the state the game is played but playing 8/9 games in Nevada was another nice incentive

2 points
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croatpackfan's picture

November 09, 2022 at 04:09 am

Or maybe Davante was tired to do all the job he is pushed to. What was the ratio of targeting WR while Davante was at top - must be something 70% DA - 30% others. More target more danger to suffer serious injury. Davante was washed by over usage and never get recognition how many times he covered bad throws from QB.

I understand his position and his decision. Also, it looks like he played with less heart after 2020 event in the beginning of the training camp. Maybe he was full of all that toxin that was produced by one person.

Also, don't believe that he did not know the decision of the FO to give ACR family silver and gold to stay. He knew there will be no help for him.

Sorry guys, some people prices more their health and healthy future than few millions of salary.

0 points
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marpag1's picture

November 09, 2022 at 08:40 am

Oh, please... are you even serious? No wide receiver in the history of the game ever complained about being targeted too often. LOL.

Also, you might want to base your comments on easily obtained factual evidence. Your wild suggestion that Adams' target rate "must be something like 70% DA - 30% others" is complete nonsense. If you did a simple search on the internet (instead of pulling "stats" out of your butt) you would know that Adams got 28.5% of all team targets, and 46.2% of wide receiver targets.

1 points
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1
Fubared's picture

November 08, 2022 at 05:23 pm

Al, when I heard Watkins name I gave him benny of doubt. He had lots of injuries and missed big parts of many seasons. Cobb, ditto.
This was to appease Rodgers need to have vets out there and not newbies. This was a big failure on the part of the org. Trying to make the team what Rodgers wants and not what your coach wants.
Its obvious to many of us that Rodgers didnt practice with and plan to do much with several of the newbie receivers and they werent ready for the season and in line with Rodgers. The disconnect was there from day one of the season.
In Rodgers mind he was looking for Lazard and Cobb first.
Easier to defend the run when you know there is no passing game.
Al there hasnt been a pass d on this team in six years, last year it was better until the playoffs and King and Stokes were the scapegoats

-1 points
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Since'61's picture

November 08, 2022 at 06:35 pm

AL the first 2 plays that you chose were perfect microcosms of how the Packers have played this season. After 9 games there is no excuse for the Packer DBs not knowing their assignments against the offensive formations. None of our starting DBs are rookies. This on the coaching staff particularly Barry and the DB coach.
Why are the players unprepared after 9 games? Ridiculous.

The second play with Watkins is basically the same comment. Rodgers clearly expected Watkins to break outside. Watkins clearly didn't know what to do because he basically stood there. Again a veteran player 9 games into the season without a clue. Why? Where is the coaching, practice and preparation? WTF are the coaches doing?

Another point on the second play is why are we running that play with Watkins? The Packers should run that play with Mercedes Lewis. Lewis is tall enough to allow a high throw and he is also big enough to box out the DB if he needs to. Very poorly thought out play/personnel call and miserable execution made it irrelevant. The Packers Red Zone play calls have been bad all season and they are getting worse. It looks as if the Packers have zero faith in their OL to get the job done. They are calling plays like the one to Watkins that don't require the OL to beat their opponent one on one. Same with the call to Bak. If we need a trick play to Bak to score against the Lions defense that tells me all I need to know about the Packers OL.

As for the Rodgers play it's just another reason why he should sit for a week or two until his thumb heals. But the coaching and our ultra conservative medical staff can't even get that correct.

The Packers are making bad decisions combined with horrific execution and the result is bad, losing football. A little past the halfway mark of this season I would give management (Murphy and Gute) an incomplete, the coaches an F and the players with few exceptions a D-. Thanks, Since '61

5 points
5
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Packerpasty's picture

November 08, 2022 at 06:43 pm

Hey, after watching last nights MNF I bet we could maybe beat the Saints at least in Lambeau...that team is struggling too...

-1 points
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1
Bitternotsour's picture

November 08, 2022 at 07:23 pm

Announcers voice: But was it McCarthy?

Anyone note how magnanimous and generous Mike was with his description of Aaron. He was and continues to be a class act. Green Bay did him wrong, and still he is filled with dignity. MLF couldn't carry MM's jock.

4 points
5
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Johnblood27's picture

November 08, 2022 at 07:42 pm

ummm... why would he want to?

;-)

-1 points
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PhantomII's picture

November 08, 2022 at 09:54 pm

He's running a higher profile team that's currently winning. I was never crazy about him but he was also a victim of GB draft fails and a high number of mediocre players. We had a lush pipeline of WR talent and it eventually was not tended to and dwindled to an aged Jordy and Cobb and up and comer Davante. then Davante and nothing.

3 points
3
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stockholder's picture

November 08, 2022 at 08:27 pm

Savage can't play FS. - If Barry wants to keep his job, move him. Sign Abram. I agree on Watkins. Play Toure.
All eyes are on Rodgers. LeFluer wants to adopt him.

2 points
3
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 08, 2022 at 09:54 pm

If Abrams clears waivers, he is a guy to bring on board to bring heat as a SS. Watkins should have been on the bus to Toledo two weeks ago. Winfree is an upgrade over this guy. At least he knows the plays.

2 points
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stockholder's picture

November 09, 2022 at 05:59 am

The raiders had him at FS. And Winfree was such a mistake over Toure.

0 points
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lecko's picture

November 09, 2022 at 03:06 am

I was lucky enough to see the London game live(my first ever live game). Before that game expectations were much more optimistic . Would be a lot differen ih those games were now.In that first half, the offense was runnig just fine in first half, several players were involved, even Deguara, methodical drives with mix of runs and pass.
But them someting happened in the second half, probabl Giants adjusted and the packers are not the same, Maybe it would be worth anaylzing, what changed on playcalling and play by play base.

1 points
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egbertsouse's picture

November 09, 2022 at 07:25 am

I sold my Dallas/GB tickets way back when it still a hot commodity. I may watch the game but I may be too busy spending the extra money.

(This post may set the record for dislikes.)

2 points
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T7Steve's picture

November 09, 2022 at 08:19 am

Remember in the 80s how easy it was to get tickets after November rolled around. Golfed with a lot of elderly season ticket holders who didn't like sitting in the cold for a whole game.

Was able to take my father to the games while my mother did some Christmas shopping in the big city of Green Bay (we were form rural UP).

0 points
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