Packers Vs.Saints - 3 Plays that make you go Hmmm

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

 

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

1) I remember yelling at my TV as the teams lined up - I saw three wide receivers in a bunch and only two defenders to cover them. Plus, there wasn't another defensive back within 20 yards of that group. Well my nervousness turned out to be unwarranted. Kevin King blows up TE Ben Watson and stays on his outside shoulder, forcing Kamara inside where Chandon Sullivan easily dispatched WR Robert Meachum and met Kamara head on. Sullivan wrapped up Kamara (important to do) and then the cavalry arrived, although they weren't really needed. Sullivan has gotten most of the kudos for this play, but it was really King's agressive approach and proper technique that made this huge third down stop possible.

 

2) I don't know about you, but I had a Jordy Nelson flashback with this play. The only difference is Jordy would not have gotten caught. Lazard had a slight stumble (it's a recurring theme) and then makes the mistake of turning to watch the player chasing him. Never do that Allen, just run Forrest run.

 

3. You're probably wondering why I picked this play, an unsuccessful run attempt at the goal line. Well, watch Swervin' Ervin, who was used as a decoy here, as he was the entire game on the jet sweep action. If Rodgers hands the ball to Swervin, he has an easy touchdown. The reason I'm pointing this out is that I would look for the Packers to do just that in a similar situation in a future game.

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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

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Comments (25)

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OldPacker's picture

September 30, 2020 at 10:27 pm

Something negative that Coach admitted too . His Package at the goal line .. Williams and Dillon would make a great combo .. still very frustrated when the ball is on the 2 yard line ..way to much effort ..if you want Jones on the field put him on the outside as a receiver.

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Coldworld's picture

September 30, 2020 at 11:14 pm

Dillon and Ervin would work well too, perhaps particularly on that play.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

October 01, 2020 at 04:49 am

The only thing I can think is they don't trust Dillon on the goal line yet. He's still young. I don't like using Adams and having him take these monster hits. That's how he's going to get hurt. If the Packers don't want to use Dillon then they should use Williams, who is better at pushing a pile anyways.

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Bure9620's picture

October 01, 2020 at 05:25 am

Areed completely, Jones is not a short yardage back at all....

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Archie's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:33 am

Au contraire mon frere ....see his TD total from last year. He's the best at knifing through small cracks while twisting and flipping his body. Nonetheless, he is taking a beating so I would too would like to see a Dillon/Williams/Ervin combo on the GL.

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PeteK's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:07 am

A combo of backs would work better. However, The first time they bring in Dillion on a short yardage situation , he should be a decoy( fake to Dillion ,pitch to Jones). Maybe ,we just don't have the type of O line that drives the opposition back because this has been a recurring problem. The illusion of complexity must be in full use on short yardage.

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Minniman's picture

October 01, 2020 at 01:15 pm

A great point about the O-Line Pete.

Possibly\probably why Tonyan was so effective in his deception a couple of plays later by getting the Saints to bite heavily on the push-the-pile setup, only to leak out and score an untouched TD.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:22 pm

Dillon can work the outside as well as btw. the tackles. He's a Dorsey Levens type of back.

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Guam's picture

September 30, 2020 at 10:52 pm

I think King has been playing at a very high level this year and that will make it tougher for the Packers to be able to afford him in 2021. Nonetheless, I think King may be the most important player for the Packers to resign for 2021. A young and ascending talent......

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Coldworld's picture

September 30, 2020 at 11:12 pm

Thanks Al for drawing our attention to the King play. He isn’t flashy, but he is good. If he can get a little more comfortable in zone he could be really good.

Could have passed to Ervin too. Nice little illustration of putting thoughts on film to make defenses second guess.

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Oppy's picture

September 30, 2020 at 11:23 pm

I understand the difficult decisions the Packers have in front of them in terms of expiring contracts... but I agree, it would be an absolute shame to break up the tandem of King and Alexander.

Having two top-flight CBs is a game changer in the modern NFL.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

October 01, 2020 at 04:53 am

Agreed 100%. I'd much rather let Preston Smith walk and keep Kevin King. I also think we can leverage King's injury history to get him to take less, because I'm not sure the NFL really wants to pay that much to a guy so often injured. King is no Patrick Peterson, either. The fact that the Packers didn't take a CB makes me think that they are looking to pay King and Jaire going forwards. Trading Rodgers next year or the year after allows us to afford both of them as well, just saying...

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murf7777's picture

October 01, 2020 at 08:08 am

If King goes this year without injury that would be two in a row. Don’t think that would be a strong case for injury prone.

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Minniman's picture

October 01, 2020 at 01:49 pm

Re the Rodgers trade, possibly a consideration at the end of the 2022 season (leading into his final contracted season). He's still elite and whoever is his successor needs to be knocking on the proverbial door to justify moving him on.

Case in point with Preston Smith and Gary. Z is top dog and Gary is ascending. These pair could easily form a formidable tandem requiring a lower cost rotational edge rusher for support. Next year Preston Smith's cap number is $16M and dead-cap $8M. That $8M-$16M could be used to fund the bulk of retaining King if P Smith could be traded (or cut). Packers may need to draft a top D lineman here to help Kenny Clark to solidify such a play though.

Darnell Savages play is possibly influencing the King Retention equation somewhere too. If he remains in a progression slump then letting King walk would create too many holes in the defensive backfield for the Packers to be effective. The stronger he plays, the less essential retaining King at any cost becomes, and the Packers can set a number for King.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:25 pm

If they want to move P Smith, best to trade him by the deadline. Maybe bag a WR; otherwise, I do not see him playing on the squad in 2021 at that price point.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:28 pm

Savage is not being used properly. Jonathon Abrams is making plays all over the place for the Raiders and Savage is just as good and faster.

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PeteK's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:53 am

I would think Bak#1--King #2, decision will be between Jones or Linsley.

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PeteK's picture

October 01, 2020 at 02:13 pm

Ok , I pick Jones.

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DraftHobbyist's picture

October 01, 2020 at 04:47 am

Great job as always.

1) On the first play is my favorite. I have to think there was some sort of miscommunication, because the risk is just so big. There's an outside shot that the Packers baited that play because they thought the quick pass was easier to cover than a play with actual routes, but if those two blocks are made on King and Sullivan then that's a TD. I was also screaming at the TV to get a Safety out there, so you weren't the only one. I do think Sullivan deserves the most credit because he had to beat two blockers and still get the tackle, but King definitely deserves credit for occupying a blocker and holding the edge. Kamara looked to get to the sideline initially, and that's what costed him.

2) Lazard has been caught multiple times on big plays. I know he's not the fastest, but he ran a 4.55 40 at the Combine, which isn't that bad. Like you pointed out, he does just about everything wrong that they teach not to do in peewee football. I'm not sure what the video boards are like in New Orleans, but that's typically how players watch defenders without slowing down. There is some value in knowing where they are to high step an attempted dive at the legs. I do have to point out that the Defender had the absolute perfect pursuit angle, but even though Lazard got caught, I'll take these plays all day obviously.

3) There's another aspect to plays similar to play 3 when Rodgers boot legs out. Defenses aren't even accounting for Rodgers right now, and he could've easily walked in so many TD's. I expect Rodgers to keep one of these on an important down. He knows how to protect himself.

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Bure9620's picture

October 01, 2020 at 05:13 am

My only knock on MLF right now is not playing AJ Dillon, particularly on the goal line. That kid needs a few carries. If this offenses continues to put up this type of production, we need that 4th Quarter hammer to close things out on the ground.....he is the type of back if you have watched him that needs carries and gets better as the game goes on and he wears the defense out. Get him on the field for a few series and use Williams as more of a receiver (Williams is a very good under-rated receiver.) When we handed off to Jones on 4th and one, I just knew he would he would be stopped....this is why you drafted Dillon in the 2nd round......I love Aaron Jones but as dynamic as he is, he is just not a short yardage back at all.......not to mention he is more likely to get popped and hurt in that situation......bring in the back that can deliver the punishment to a LB or safety...AJ is that hammer...he is a ground and pound back that will take a safety for a 2 or 3 yard ride (Williams did it too)

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Coldworld's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:30 am

While I agree, it’s time to get him into action, I really can’t find a valid reason to say that he has been necessary yet.

I think Sunday LaFleur was too Jones centric. No need to pummel him unnecessarily, which I thought we did. It’s a long season. Let someone else take the pounding in short yardage except as deception.

Apart from that, taking time to work on pass blocking etc. makes sense if we can, and we have had that luxury. Dillon didn’t get the preseason he normally would have. Also, no need to open the playbook further at this point.

In short, no need to rush Dillon that I can see thus far, but no need to get Jones beaten up more than absolutely required. Since Jones is important, incremental risk of injury of any kind that is not necessary is counter productive and outweighs considerations over Dillon.

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crayzpackfan's picture

October 01, 2020 at 07:30 am

I’d rather have a receiver stumble now and again than a receiver who can’t catch the ball. Maybe it’s just me. Cheers.

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 01, 2020 at 09:24 am

Sullivan was the man! If that had been Redmond, who knows how the game would have turned out.

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Tingham's picture

October 01, 2020 at 10:53 am

One thing I've noticed this year is Kevin King's physical play. I get the feeling he finally is totally healthy. He has been sticking his nose in repeatedly. Not just a cover guy.

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Spock's picture

October 01, 2020 at 10:57 am

Al, I re-ran that play #2 at least a few times just to watch Aaron's absolute DIME of a throw in perfect stride. Rodgers is having an MVP type year (yeah, so is Russell Wilson, but I'm biased) so far and I'm having so much FUN watching this offense! I (might) be learning something from the passing chronicles articles by Dusty as I turned to my wife when T.E. Big Bob got that pass to the right after the whole defense of the Saints was going to the left and said, "That's the same play last week where Jace dropped it!" I love that MLF is mixing in some plays that were left on the table with a game plan that is tailored to his opponent. I can't wait for the Atlanta game. GPG

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