Packers Vs Washington - 3 Plays That Make You Go Hmmm

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from the Packers' game against the Washington Football Team

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

Today we bring you a "Special Teams" Edition of three plays:

 

Kickoff Coverage

Special teams coordinator Mo Drayton said yesterday the Packers "shuffled some pieces around" on the kickoff coverage teams. Whatever they did, it worked. Note how many Packers are within 10 yards of the returner as he reaches the 20. Everyone except Crosby is in the picture. Looking at kickoffs earlier this season, you would be lucky to see four or five Packers in the area. Note EQ at the top of the screen closing in from the outside, but Barnes beats him to the returner to get credit for the tackle.

 

Blocked Field Goal

Something is still not right with Mason Crosby. And I assume it's Crosby, because I'm not seeing much wrong with the snaps or holds. He doinked (but made) and extra point, and here he gets a field goal attempt blocked. He hits the ball so flat here it didn't even require a jump from the guy who blocked it. In the slow motion shot, look at the position of the ball when his hand hits the ball. It's actually perfectly horizontal and parallel to the ground. That is not normal.

 

Punt Comparison

Ok, so Mo Drayton says that Bojo "made an adjustment" (but wouldn't say what it was) that likely prevented his end zone punt from being blocked. That sounds like a challenge to me, so let's take a look. Here I compare that punt to one from the fourth quarter. He doesn't take fewer steps,but possibly shortened the steps a bit - it's hard to tell for sure. Even so, I think it's not unusual to do so when kicking out of your own end zone. What he also does, and this may seem nonsensical, is that he doesn't take a straight path with the ball in his hands - he actually angles towards the outside rusher to his left. When he catches the ball, his feet are on the outside of the "C"  and ends up in the middle of it when he kicks the ball.The only explanation I can think of is that by doing so, he didn't give the outside rusher room to dive at his feet. Instead, he has to veer off to avoid hitting him. Could this have been the "adjustment? Let me know what you think. Also, note EQ showing his gunner chops on both punts (and he did the same on a 1st quarter punt).

 

__________________________

"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

12 points

Comments (23)

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

October 26, 2021 at 05:11 pm

It looks like Mason caught the ball too high up on his foot on the block - more where you'd hit it if you wanted to curl a shot in soccer. If you want to drive the ball straight and up, you hit it lower in your instep.

6 points
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Oppy's picture

October 26, 2021 at 05:31 pm

Oddly enough, to me, it looked like Mason actually struck the ball with the inside of his foot instead of the toe/top of his foot.. his foot looks like it's turned outwards and he strikes the ball with his inside arch at the point of contact.. which.. that would be.. crazy, right? I don't know anything about place kicking, but that looks awfully wrong to me.

5 points
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PeteK's picture

October 26, 2021 at 06:29 pm

Sounds like an explanation of my golf drives. Maybe I should try using my foot, is that allowed.

6 points
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marpag1's picture

October 27, 2021 at 03:52 am

It is when I play. It's called using "a toe wedge."

3 points
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mbpacker's picture

October 26, 2021 at 06:00 pm

What ever the case, our operations on both punting( not the punter) and field goal units need to shore up before they cost us a game. GPG!

3 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

October 26, 2021 at 06:09 pm

Crap, Al, now I'm sitting repeatedly watching slo-mo replays like a damn zebra. Upon further review, I have no effing clue on Crosby or Bojo. Let's check-in with Dean Blandino in the Command Center to see if he can further confuse the situation and cause all of us, once again, to wonder aloud how all these guys find and retain their jobs.

10 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 26, 2021 at 06:30 pm

Typically a low angle comes from one of two causes; being not far enough through the leg motion or catching the ball too far up. After a few stares, I’m going with the latter, but no clue as to why.

On the punt, those look like shortened steps (albeit with out a comparative clip). That takes less time and reduces the distance travelled towards the rusher. The movement towards the kicking foot side is quite common, it’s possible that’s an adjustment, but I’d doubt it.

I appreciate the observation on the kick returns. Let’s hope that is the turning point.

8 points
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JerseyAl's picture

October 26, 2021 at 07:05 pm

I know what you are saying about the angled approach, but on the other punt, he steps perfectly straight, perpendicular to the yard lines. Two very different approaches, which is why I think that could have been the adjustment.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 26, 2021 at 07:14 pm

That’s a point that is hard to answer. If so, that could also be the result of a different objective on each punt though.

4 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 27, 2021 at 02:58 am

I have no idea and no opinion as to what the adjustment was or if Bojo veered to his left due to changing objectives.

I do think that if that outside rusher had decided to lay out, thus committing to either blocking the punt or roughing the punter he would have blocked it. Instead, the rusher made sure he didn't draw a penalty and just reached sideways to try to block it.

0 points
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packer132's picture

October 27, 2021 at 10:24 am

EQ actually made a couple of nice plays including the almost punt save which was downed at the one yard line and not a touchback at the 20. He could be a factor receiving on Thursday as well with our top guys out. I have not been a fan of his, but would love to see him succeed and have a good 2nd half of the season.

10 points
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JerseyAl's picture

October 26, 2021 at 07:06 pm

He never touched that ball, although he tried to. It just landed and bounced perfectly.

7 points
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Oppy's picture

October 26, 2021 at 08:11 pm

I was very excited about ESB's potential when he was drafted. His size-speed-height combination is rare, and he's smart.

He had a very nice rookie showing until lost to injury, and he simply hasn't come back into form and has seemingly squandered his rare opportunities since.

Looked like he finally started gaining ground again last week. I'm pulling for him to see his potential, but he's got a lot of ground to make up and this is his last chance to prove his worth- he needs to make the most of his opportunities the rest of the season or he's not guaranteed to be back.

5 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 27, 2021 at 03:00 am

Every year I thought ESB would break out. I finally gave up on him during this preseason. Now he has shown that he can be a football player. Not what I expected from him but it might extend his career sufficiently so that he can demonstrate his ability as a wide receiver.

5 points
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Kevin Carpenter's picture

October 27, 2021 at 10:50 am

That moment came for me in his rookie season when he blocked a guy so hard on a running play he basically knocked him out cold. Then he got hurt and was never the same. I think he has the tools he just has to put it together.

2 points
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Oppy's picture

October 28, 2021 at 11:55 am

At the time of the draft after the Packers had brought in a slew of WR's, I felt it was St. Brown, not MVS or J'mon Moore, who had the highest ceiling.

I still feel that the raw potential is there for ESB to be a far better overall WR than MVS, to be honest.. but I agree 100%, he hasn't looked the same siince his rookie year and between various injuries hampering his availability and inability to capitalize on limited play time opportunities since then, he hasn't warranted more snaps.

Still pulling for the guy. I think he could ball out if things go right.

0 points
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Minniman's picture

October 26, 2021 at 07:20 pm

Re Crosby.

I'm no kicking coach but having played Soccer, Tennis and Golf I was always taught that the follow through is paramount - hit through the ball and complete the swing\kick.

Crosby seemed to try and chip this kick over.

Look at the difference between his kick-off kick and the FG kick follow throughs.

6 points
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Minniman's picture

October 26, 2021 at 07:28 pm

Re Bojo - he's a lefty, and the pressure came off the left both times (hardest when they were backed up) so I agree with you Al, he looks to have given himself an extra half yard to his right to buy more time to get the kick off.

Irrespective, it's an open strategy now that the Packers kicks from scrimmage can be attacked........ your move Mo!

2 points
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Spock's picture

October 28, 2021 at 08:12 am

"Re Bojo - he's a lefty,...". No, actually he is RIGHT handed but punts with his LEFT foot. I wonder if any other kicker has ever done that?

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

October 26, 2021 at 08:23 pm

I don’t have anything to add about the punter’s adjustments, but he sure as hell is athletic. Scott would have crumpled on the slightest contact.

5 points
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PhantomII's picture

October 26, 2021 at 09:10 pm

Probably both rushing it because the OL poor containment every ST play. The OL has managed to ruin our near perfect kicker and our new lights out punter. Congrats. I would say Crosby planted his foot back too far and reached with his kicking foot and rolled it over.

0 points
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marpag1's picture

October 27, 2021 at 04:17 am

I think Crosby's blocked field goal was definitely too low, and that was the major problem. But that doesn't mean the blocking was good. Runyan gives up way too much penetration to #97 straight up the middle, and 97 is the one who got the block. Under normal circumstances, that amount of penetration by itself probably would not have caused the block, but Runyon still needs to do a better job.

I don't think there is any question that protection in general has been terrible. The Steelers blocked one off the edge, but the refs bailed us out with a questionable offsides call. The winning kick against the Niners came within inches of being blocked. That too was pressure from the edge. And we saw the problem with Bojorquez on punt protection. It's gotta get fixed. In the end, this stuff almost always comes back to bite you.

5 points
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TXCHEESE's picture

October 27, 2021 at 09:17 am

Maybe just maybe Mason just mis-hit the ball. Hell PGA pros do it and they don’t have 11 guys running at them.

3 points
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