Packers Vs.49ers - 3 Plays that make you go Hmmm

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from Sunday's game against the Saints

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

I had pretty much resigned myself to having to accept the fact that the Packers likely would not be able to re-sign running back Aaron Jones. Personally I listed David Bakhtiari as Priority #1, Kevin King next and then Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley. Well Aaron Jones just moved up to #1B. Jones is so important to this offense, causing teams to have to honor the run if not focus on it, leaving Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams more space to do their thing. Here's just a simple example from their second possession of the first quarter. It's second down and eight and somewhat inexplicably, the 49ers load the box with ten players within six yards of the line of scrimmage. TEN PLAYERS! The 49ers smelled a run - and they were right, but it didn't matter. Jones' vision and dynamic cutting ability turns what should have been little or no gain into 8+ yards and a first down for the Packers. No offense to Jamal Williams, but there is no way he would be able to do what Jones did. In summary, DBak and Jones are now my co-must signs, and Linsley moves up to #3 as I'm just tired of King's inability to stay on the field.

While I've been overall pretty giddy over the creativity of some of the Packers' plays, I have been pining a bit (not for the Fjords) for a few good screen passes. It hasn't been a staple of the LaFleur offense and it seems to be a tactic almost too old school for LaFleur. But here's the thing - it's still a useful tool to have in your toolbox, especially against a team that is blitzing Rodgers. Here a couple of successful screens from the 49ers game and hey, it also seems like a good way to get Swervin' Ervin a little more involved in the offense.

And now we move on to "the illusion of complexity." The touchdown pass to Marcedes Lewis seemed simple enough on the surface, but look closer at everything that happens before Lewis catches an easy touchdown. To do this, you're going to have to watch this several times, focusing on a different part of the play. To make it easier, I've put the video in slow motion for you. As Rodgers gets under center, a voice (probably Corey Linsley's) is heard saying, "alright they're going five-four, you've got two nine. Now #29  is the player opposite Marcedes Lewis. What we likely have here is a setup. He's telling Lewis in a voice loud enough to be heard up and down the line of scrimmage that Lewis should block #29. This is setting up Lewis's fake block before releasing into the pass pattern.

Now watch the play and focus on MVS running an orbit sweep. #41, a defensive back lined up next to the previously mentioned #29, takes off sprinting and mirrors MVS' path in the defensive backfield. This totally clears out the right side of the end zone of any player that might be able to pick up Lewis when he releases. The orbit motion actually draws three 49ers to MVS, as when they see Jones doesn't have the ball, they figure it must be going to MVS.

Now watch the play fake to Aaron Jones. it's sold perfectly, as they even bring Tonyan across the LOS as if he is going to kick out on the defensive end. The 49er's inside linebackers are forced to stay put and honor the potential run. Now back to Marcedes Lewis and #29.There is so much going on, #29 (who has been led to believe Lewis is just there to block him) is busy looking in at the Packers backfield trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and is caught completely flatfooted when Lewis releases into the end zone. What a play!

 

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"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

18 points

Comments (35)

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

November 08, 2020 at 05:30 pm

"I have been pining a bit (not for the Fjords)"

Mate, this bird wouldn't voom if you put a million volts through him! He's bleeding demised!

8 points
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JerseyAl's picture

November 08, 2020 at 05:57 pm

hahahahahahahaha!

8 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

November 08, 2020 at 07:14 pm

Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue. Beautiful plumage!

8 points
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PeteK's picture

November 08, 2020 at 06:16 pm

Yes, we must sign Jones because he is so quick and reads the blocking so well. MLF's miss direction offense is poetry in motion, but for defenses it's just a gumble of confusing movements. I have also been thinking about King recently and how his injury history has hurt us. However, this might bring down his price and length of contract to a level we can afford. Cbs are so hard to find, do we pull the trigger?

5 points
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ErnieErnie's picture

November 08, 2020 at 06:49 pm

Jones is history. He wants to be payed in dollars. That's a problem. Dillon is his replacement and jones knows it. Adios Jones wish you well.

-7 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 08, 2020 at 07:21 pm

Well, Dillon needs to show a little more. Right now I have Jamaal ahead of Dillon. Waiting to see better feet on Dillon. And Jamaal can't replace Jones.

8 points
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murf7777's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:19 am

I think his sample size is too small. Watching his college tape shows a person whose foot work is good. Combine numbers shows very athletic. My question is more about recognizing holes and blocking assignments. Also, he had a long run called back for holding that wouldn’t of stopped him. if that run is put into his numbers, he has around a 5 yard average. Again too small a sample size.

Build the line and if you have a great QB the other positions become less important. Dillon and J. Williams together IMO would do very good with a great Oline. Sign Bak and Lindsey first. I think Bak might price himself too high thou. Happy I’m not Russ Ball trying to figure how to manage the Cap and keep a competitive team. No easy decisions.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:20 am

Dillon is definitely not Jones. Totally different player. My guess was that the hope was that D Williams could take the original role of Jones (before Jones’ role expanded): shifty, fast one cut back. That isn’t looking like a winner at this point and particularly in the passing game. Dillon may become a more powerful player who can handle what J Williams does. Jones is now a unique player. His value is more than a traditional RB. The question is can we afford him not that he is worth the money.

5 points
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Bearmeat's picture

November 09, 2020 at 03:24 pm

Yeah he is. When AJ was drafted I thought the writing was on the wall for Jones, but now really do wonder how they're going to re-sign him. They can't let him walk unless they find a WR playmaker to take his place PLUS another skill player of some type. (Deguara or Sternberger?)

King is gone I'd think, unless it's vet minimum or close to it. He's just hurt all the time. Linsley is gone too. Kirksey probably cut. Maybe more.

So it really comes down to: How do you re-sign Bakh and Jones and stay under the cap?

1 points
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NickPerry's picture

November 08, 2020 at 07:23 pm

Dillion isn't Jones replacement, Dillion is Williams replacement. ALL teams are going to struggle next season resigning their own or any other FA. It's going to be really interesting for every team but IMO Jones and Bakhtiari are going to resign in GB. They'll just push all the money to 2022 and beyond.

12 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:22 am

Sorry, read this after I posted. Obviously I agree, though less sanguine about our ability to resign. I hope you are right.

3 points
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TheVOR's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:48 am

Fans don't like being told that difference makers will not be resigned. I agree with you, Jones won't be back. Unfortunately neither will Bakhtiari, King, and probably not Linsley either. That's the sad truth. You can only create cap by dumping cap at this point. GB doesn't have enough cap to sign any of these guys! Now if you traded Aaron Rodgers, you'll have plenty of cap, but then you'll be watching Love play QB in GB, starting the demise of the franchise for a decade.

I'm one of the fans who wants Bakhtiari back on the roster. I know that next to QB on offense, LT is vitally important if you're going to pass the football. Always has been. LT's are noticed, and very much like QB's in that if you have them coupled with a decent QB, you win, if you don't, you typically won't. I'm watching Drew Lock in Denver just getting slaughtered week in and week out. OL is terrifically important to the run and pass attack, and LT is king in Pass Pro.

Unfortunately, I don't see any of these guys getting resigned. The only way that happens is if GB dumps cap. It's not personal, it's math.

1 points
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Bearmeat's picture

November 09, 2020 at 03:26 pm

No way they let Bakh walk. You don't let franchise LTs walk who are under 30: especially with an aged franchise QB. If they have to, I'd think they'd franchise him. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Jones is hard. The others are gone.

2 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

November 08, 2020 at 07:47 pm

The offense hasn't really missed Bakht while playing average and below defenses. So if the offense can get by with an average LT, then Jones becomes the #1 FA guy on the FO resign priority list. This is, naturally, incumbent on other offensive players taking steps upward, and the FO drafting a bit smarter. This doesn't exclude the fact that the defense will likely be the bigger hindrance for the team and the offense against the face punchers in the league.

4 points
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Thegravedigger's picture

November 08, 2020 at 08:33 pm

Elgton jenkins future LT?

1 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

November 08, 2020 at 09:09 pm

A definite maybe,

3 points
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TheVOR's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:52 am

I'm one of the fans who wants Bakhtiari back on the roster. I know that next to QB on offense, LT is vitally important if you're going to pass the football. Always has been. LT's are noticed, and very much like QB's in that if you have them coupled with a decent QB, you win, if you don't, you typically won't. I'm watching Drew Lock in Denver just getting slaughtered week in and week out. OL is terrifically important to the run and pass attack, and LT is king in Pass Pro.

It's hard not to want Jones back, who wouldn't. The Packers cap position is abysmal. Technically they can't sign any of the "big four" (Bahktiari, Jones, Linsley, or King) without dumping cap. Rodgers to the 49ers? It's the last thing I want, but likely to happen IMO..

1 points
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Lphill's picture

November 08, 2020 at 08:34 pm

John Runyan is the future left tackle , 25 starts in college at left tackle, can't let Jones walk , forget King Packers will draft a corner high next year , make Lindsley a reasonable offer he can be replaced.

-1 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:26 am

Runyon is behind Jenkins and Turner and maybe Nijman ( the wild card) as our next LT. Starting guard next year if he can beat out Stepaniak or Jenkins does go to tackle and we don’t resign Taylor. Linsley is replaced by Patrick with Hansen behind him.

2 points
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PeteK's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:30 am

A scenario might have Patrick at center to make cap space for Jones and Runyon at right guard. Bak is not going anywhere because LT is a vital position for championship teams.

3 points
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Since'61's picture

November 08, 2020 at 09:25 pm

3 great plays Al, nice job. Bak has been and remains my #1 resign followed by Jones. We can replace King with a draft pick and Linsley with either Patrick or Jenkins.

If the Packers plan to stick with Rodgers than Bak should be resigned. If the plan is to trade Rodgers after 2021 than we should move on from Bak.
We should note that the Packers won their first 3 NFL Championships (‘29 - ‘31) based on league standings under the Hoover administration. However since the league moved to a playoff format in 1932 the Packers have won 10 NFL Championships during Democratic administrations. 3 while FDR was in office, 2 under JFK, 3 under LBJ, 1 during the Clinton administration and one during the Obama administration. With the results of this year’s election the Packers have at least a 4 year window with another Democratic administration. Therefore we should take our best by keeping Rodgers for 4 more years. A fun thought for the superstitious and the mystics. Thanks, Since ‘61

10 points
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murf7777's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:34 am

That’s some good stats 61’....thanks for a good chuckle this morning. And yes I’m superstitious, especially with my golf game.

3 points
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Since'61's picture

November 09, 2020 at 10:11 am

Just an observation about the Packers and Democratic administration. The flip side is we were bad in the 50s with IKE, bad during the Nixon (and Carter years) and bad during the Reagan years. Makes no sense but that’s how it played out.
I’m not much of a golfer myself but I know many, many golfers and just about all of them are superstitious in one way or another about their golf games.

One of the last and few times that I played golf was in South Korea with some of my South Korean colleagues. I told them that I was not very good but they insisted and out of politeness and not wanting to cause them to “lose face” I joined. When they realized that I am a left handed player I thought they were going to cry. Apparently they never played with a lefty before and they thought some form of disaster would occur. We ended up having a great day and of course I played terribly nearly breaking into three figures in my score.

So if you ever play with Asians be prepared, they are golf fanatics and highly superstitious. Stay well. Thanks, Since ‘61

1 points
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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 10, 2020 at 04:08 am

Since'61 - Your story immediately reminded me of Michael Crichton's novel Rising Sun, where the Captain Connor character golfs with his Japanese friends. Connor scolds his young associate Peter Smith when Smith is late picking him up after the game because his Japanese friends felt obligated to wait with him.

Oddly, Rising Sun has a very anti-Japanese feel to it. I am unsure as to what caused that sentiment by Crichton.

Also, my Dad spent a year in Japan as part of the Occupation Army after World War II. He said that he had never seen such poverty (and this was a man who grew up during the Depression). The Japanese government had thrown everything into the war effort, leaving the populace with nothing. He also said that the Japanese were the best craftsmen he had ever seen.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 10, 2020 at 07:53 am

Under 100 isn't bad unless it was an executive course.

1 points
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gkarl's picture

November 09, 2020 at 01:38 pm

Not that I'm superstitious but I just check with my magic 8 ball on your theory and it keeps saying ask again later, hope it doesn't keep saying that for the next 4 years.

3 points
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SpikeHyzer's picture

November 08, 2020 at 09:40 pm

Al, the Jones and Ervin plays really stood out to me as well, but I really appreciate the break down of the Lewis play. I couldn't see how he got so wide open and I thought the analysis was lacking on the air.

Jones is now #1 for me as well, but I rank King second (I think you'll understand if he comes back this week and the extra time may bring the roster back to near fully strength).

I suspect that Bak is gone and possibly Linsley. The depth has proven itself and for those who are complaining about this year's draft: just wait until next year or the year after when 2 of them are starting on the OL and playing at a very high level (and Deguara will be back and Lewis gone, and Martin will make plays down the stretch and have a job alongside Barnes). I think it's possible Kirksey and Burks are also gone and replaced cheaply in the draft.

I understand that frees up almost 35 million. They seem solid enough at these positions and could upgrade at positions of greater need (EDGE, S, DL more CB depth and continue to add depth at ILB and OL to develop).

2 points
4
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Guam's picture

November 08, 2020 at 10:55 pm

Unfortunately letting Bahk and Linsley walk frees up precisely zero dollars. Since their contracts expire at the end of this season neither Bahk nor Linsley are included in any Packer cap computations for next year. So why don't the Packers have more cap room in 2021? Big jumps in Rodgers, Z. Smith and P. Smith's contracts all more than offset the dollars of Bahk's and Linsley's expiring contracts. Which is why it is going to be very hard to resign either one.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:30 am

The killer is the likely cap shrinkage that wasn’t planned for. You can push out cap hit, but that’s a dangerous game with older players and can be the death knell for a roster for years. Doing that would likely signal a forced Rodgers departure simply to balance the cap books.

3 points
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CheesyTex's picture

November 09, 2020 at 12:41 pm

If the owners want to protect their investment value, they need to absorb some short-term pain for long-term gain.

IMO it is foolhardy to disrupt "normalcy" in cap management by lowering the cap to minimize short-term losses due to the pandemic. Player careers have a limited life, but franchises continue long-term. Why risk further long-term damage to the game by making every franchise deal with this problem?

Just because the existing NFLPA didn't anticipate COVID and contains the revenue sharing clause, doesn't mean the two sides shouldn't sit down now and work out an arrangement to at least keep the 2021 cap flat with 2020. Based on published numbers, you are talking about a hit of $25 million or so per team, and that seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the tidal wave that hit in 2020. Wouldn't the Packers (or most other teams, for that matter) rather pony up $25 mil. than lose key pieces of their teams?

"What the hell is going on"... upstairs?

1 points
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flackcatcher's picture

November 09, 2020 at 07:31 pm

This from an owners group that was playing brinkmanship games that came close to canceling this season. In a sane world, one would think with TV and ad revenue streams uncertain, the owners would get together with the NFLPA over Cap management. Fat chance that with loons like Mark Davis and Jerry Jones running the house.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 09, 2020 at 09:11 am

One of the Smiths will be moved.

0 points
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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 09, 2020 at 02:12 am

Excellent article Al. Your explanation of and commentary on these plays is really well done. I love it when you stay positive.

2 points
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Ryan3468's picture

November 09, 2020 at 06:16 am

Anyone thinking a left tackle like the one we have is expendable and isn’t number one on the free agency wire is really not thinking enough about the issue. A running back over a left tackle? What? Is your quarterback left handed?

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

November 09, 2020 at 08:46 am

Well, Both Turner and Jenkins have performed reasonably at that position. The question typically more relevant is what is the net loss to the team between a player and anticipated replacement? That is also typically not for the current year but the life of the contract (which incorporates injury risk).

One could argue as some have here that the drop off from Bakh, though real, hasn’t been nearly as large as that from Jones. Add in the complication of J Williams also being a FA.

Personally I’m not fully convinced yet by either Turner or Jenkins. The Bears would be a good test as they can rush. Until heavily tested, differences are masked for fans.

4 points
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