Packers Vs.Vikings - 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.

Last year, the 49ers attacked the Packers with running plays aimed at the C Gap (between T and TE). This past Sunday, the Vikings did the same and there's a good reason why. I put together three clips that epitomized what we saw from he Packers edge players. The overall message is "you can block our OLBs pretty easily with just a tight end." First clip is of Z. Smith at left OLB playing a fun game of patty cake with atight end. The second is of P Smith at left OLB doing a polite slow dance with a tight end (the TE was leading). The third clip shows a much better effort from Rashan Gary at right OLB. At least he shows some interest in knocking the TE back and possibly disrupting the play. He ultimately takes the wrong side, but hell, I appreciate the willingness to smack the TE and not just be a spectator.

 

The inability of MVS and EQ to pull in passes that hit them in the hands just gets more annoying (and inexcusable) when you repeatedly see the Packers' tight ends make figertip catches like this one with ease.

 

One player that came to play on Sunday was Adrian Amos. He made several big tackles but as impressive as those was the hustle he showed on Cook's screen pass TD. Amos catches Cook (not easy even with an angle advantage) and makes a great effort to strip the ball before Cook crosses the goal line. In the end, Cook held on, but again. I appreciate the effort - something that was severely lacking from the Packers' defense on Sunday.

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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 (36)

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ckoski's picture

November 03, 2020 at 09:39 am

Preston Smith seems to be doing a good Ha Ha impression, standing around watching.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 03, 2020 at 12:32 pm

He should be one of the trade pieces.

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dobber's picture

November 03, 2020 at 09:43 am

I thought Amos easily had his best game of the season on Sunday. He made a couple plays behind the LOS and logged a season high on tackles. Very active on Sunday and looked like he was being used a little differently.

I've been watching Packers edge rushers a lot recently, and they tend to crash the inside shoulder of the TE hard and block themselves in the run game way too often. It fits the "try to play the run on the way to the QB" idea, but unless they beat the TE badly on the initial move and find themselves in the backfield, they get taken out of the play too often.

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Packers1985's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:48 pm

Yes, unfortunately that doesn't seem to the the case with the remaining safeties this season.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 03, 2020 at 09:43 am

We are built to play pass defense, and that means pass rushers on the edge, not run defenders. And yes, they can be blocked.

We’re unhappy with the defense. It’s 20th in scoring defense, better than the Saints and Seahawks. It’s 12th in rushing yards surrendered. It’s 15th in rushing yards per game. So clearly, there are other teams out there who aren’t any better defensively than the Packers, including some good teams that will probably win their division.

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Razer's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:31 am

As Chris Collingsworth said...The Packer defense is built for a shootout... which is not a compliment. Stats and rankings are really not that important here. Can you stop a decent team from controlling the clock and scoring on you? Can you stop one man, who you know is going to get the ball from running through your defense? Is there a stat for this?

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Jonathan Spader's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:47 am

Yes that stat is called wins and the Packers are 5-2 meaning they're able to do that more often than not and better than most teams as LH's stats suggest.

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Razer's picture

November 03, 2020 at 02:48 pm

Too funny

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 03, 2020 at 03:12 pm

How is ranking 20th in points allowed "better than most teams"? They're also 18th in Opponent Third Down Conversion Percentage. And tied for LAST, with Houston and Las Vegas, for fewest turnovers created (4). See, I can play the stat game too.

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Packers1985's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:52 pm

Agreed ,stats can easily be cherry to prove one's biased view. The intent on this can easily be seen by this team's effort every week.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 04, 2020 at 03:12 am

Not unfair. That stat can also be called how you play against non-playoff teams.

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Philarod's picture

November 03, 2020 at 11:01 am

The D is putting up these (very mediocre) numbers despite what had mostly been a very good offense that rarely turns the ball over, and usually takes an early lead. And they also don't force many turnovers.

(The Saints also play in a dome, where it's easier to score.)

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wimiller's picture

November 03, 2020 at 12:34 pm

the only reason we are 12th in rushing D and ot 28th is we have had big leads and opponents had to pass and give up on the run.

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Packers1985's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:55 pm

Exactly, it's because of the early lead scored the offense that some of the numbers for the defense looks good. Otherwise this should've been a bottom 6 team based on the defense performance when it mattered the most.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 03, 2020 at 09:52 am

We may have decent total yardage stats, but we've played exactly two good offenses. And we've gotten LIT UP by both of them.

This defense counts on pressure and turn overs to be function. It is doing neither right now. Our DTs after Clark are poor. Our OLBs are playing badly.

This is what happens. The Smiths MUST play up to their contracts, or we're going to go full Capers in January. Again.

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dobber's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:13 am

The Packers have 4 takeaways in 2020 (tied for worst in the league)...only 3 giveaways (best in the league). In 2019, those numbers were 25 (7th)/13 (2nd). 2018: 15(29th)/15 (2nd).

2019 is looking like the oulier for these recent defenses. Unless you're forcing TOs, you're putting tremendous pressure on your offense to not make mistakes. This defense needs to start generating TOs.

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baldski's picture

November 03, 2020 at 05:40 pm

I hear we are in the basement of the NFL in tackling? Lombardi must be spinning.

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splitpea1's picture

November 03, 2020 at 06:05 pm

The prerequisites for generating turnovers are pressuring the QB, swiping at the ball, gang tackling, hard hits, and being in position to make a play on the ball after it's been thrown (which is difficult to do if you're playing that far off the receivers). Turnovers are not going to be frequent if you continue to employ a passive brand of defense.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:52 am

"We may have decent total yardage stats, but we've played exactly two good offenses. And we've gotten LIT UP by both of them."

Not even close to true. We played the Vikings twice who scored in garbage time game 1. Lions gashed us in the run and then away from it because they're the Lions. Saints have a good offense and we won that shootout.

Tampa was 1 good pass away from overtime wkth the Giants who are considered one of the worst teams in the NFL. Packers beat themselves against Tampa and the 2nd half of the Vikings game. The team has always and will always go as far as Rodgers can carry them and he's getting old in NFL years.

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Philarod's picture

November 03, 2020 at 11:05 am

True, and again, and again, Rodgers has had to carry the team with not only a mediocre and unclutch D, but with questionable offensive support.

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Packers1985's picture

November 03, 2020 at 04:59 pm

That means , we cannot afford to have an off day from 12. Even if he misses few throws we are done against good teams.

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Philarod's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:30 am

It's been extremely rare that the Pack has won games when Rodgers hadn't been great. He's never had that luxury, but for a game here and there. With almost any other QB over the last 10 years, many of those 11-5 type years would've been 7-9 or 6-10 seasons.

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Bearmeat's picture

November 03, 2020 at 12:08 pm

"Tampa was 1 good pass away from overtime wkth the Giants who are considered one of the worst teams in the NFL. Packers beat themselves against Tampa and the 2nd half of the Vikings game. The team has always and will always go as far as Rodgers can carry them and he's getting old in NFL years."

Ridiculous and classic whataboutism. (Look it up if you don't know the definition)

How many points did the Saints score on us (without Thomas)? How many points did the Bucs score (Without Evans, their all-world TE and Godwin freshly back from injury)? Neither of those games featured a lot of garbage time points. How porous did our run defense look against Minny in game 1? How about the Lions game? Not to mention Vikings game 2. Those last ones aren't even good offenses.

That's all that matters. No one fears our defense, and most teams laugh at it. As they should. Green Bay didn't "beat themselves" at all, they got their asses kicked. There was no fluke to the TB game or the 2nd MIN game. Further, overall, Rodgers is playing more than well enough to win. It's the WRs and defense that needs to play better.

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PeteK's picture

November 03, 2020 at 10:00 am

The first three videos really showed our deficiencies on D. Our font line defenders mainly Preston give up good blocking angles instead of using their arms and staying level. Last night, I watched a 1-7, no big names on D ,Giants team stop the Tampa running attack and put some pads into White to at least slow some of his big play ability.

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splitpea1's picture

November 03, 2020 at 11:11 am

Considering what we're paying our edge guys, we should be getting an awful lot more. Troy Aikman mentioned our recurring C gap problems a couple of weeks ago, so I guess this is well-known to opposing offensive coordinators.

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PeteK's picture

November 03, 2020 at 03:31 pm

He is on his way to having the worst year of his career at 6' 5" 265, he should be able to take on TEs, but Gary is not any better there. That's a lg amount of cap space. However,I believe we can get out of both contracts with some savings. Sadly, Fackrell is having a better year than both.

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CheesyTex's picture

November 03, 2020 at 12:00 pm

And Hmmm, what happened to the Smith Brothers fire that burned so brightly last year?

2019: " We've got a defense." 2020: "What the hell is going on out there?"

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Razer's picture

November 03, 2020 at 02:46 pm

Love the Lombardi quote - classic

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wimiller's picture

November 03, 2020 at 12:35 pm

always want as much as jersey al cares to produce. always sharp.

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Lare's picture

November 03, 2020 at 01:28 pm

To me, it looks like some players aren't playing to win. Either that or they aren't very good football players in the first place.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 03, 2020 at 01:43 pm

A lot of gashing and whining over last Sunday's game. A reminder. THIS. IS. THE. NFL. The line between being good or bad is very, very thin. Hey, our coaches got outcoached and out schemed on both sides of the ball. MLF is young and at times his inexperience shows up. For Pettine, what happen was rare. Give credit to Zimmer and his coaching staff. They pulled stuff they had not used all year and caught the Packers flat footed. But when your 1-5 there's no point in saving it for the future. ESB: Getting up to speed after two years and a no contact and a no preseason is pretty impressive all in all. And why didn't Rodgers and MLF adjust their route trees early on in the second half when the Vikings went cover 2 deep combo zones to shut down the deep routes to the Packer WR. Like the TE were open on drag and skinny post all SECOND HALF. And don't get me started on LB gap coverage. (sigh) Thanks AL, now I need some aspirin too... :-)

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Packerpasty's picture

November 03, 2020 at 07:08 pm

its not rare against good teams, its only rare when the opponent is a scrub team with no running game...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 04, 2020 at 03:18 am

"ESB: Getting up to speed after two years and a no contact and a no preseason is pretty impressive all in all."

Why? Getting injured for two years and then coming back to stink up the joint just isn't impressive. Indeed, I think anyone could do that.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 04, 2020 at 05:50 pm

Three games in the rotation after no contact. Right. But he did have a finger tip catch in the end zone. Right. Right... It would be nice of the FA we signed decided to play this year. Or we could sign fuller. Not this year. That's the way things played out. Vent on....

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Lphill's picture

November 03, 2020 at 07:44 pm

Well no help coming not even a big body for the D line so let's forget about the Super Bowl right now . playoffs ? Playoffs?

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rodic's picture

November 09, 2020 at 01:57 am

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