The Four Agreements From Week 4

Your bald and important host is back to find four takeaways from this week's win over the New England Patriots that all Packers fans can agree upon.

Well, what in the hell was that, Packer fans?  That win over the Patriots was like a choose your own adventure novel where every path you took ended in frustration.   I have watched that game three times now and with each subsequent rewatch I feel more and more like Penn and Teller on the set of Fool Us watching a hack magician stump me with a simple card trick.  Was our defense good?  Yes?  Then why did they allow those two ridiculous drives in the second half to a third-string rookie quarterback in vaunted Lambeau Field?  Was that the real Aaron Rodgers in the first half, or his body double from the State Farm commercials?  Are we really still sending Amari Rodgers out to field punts?   I spent most of Sunday adding up two plus two and continually coming up with five.  In a world where football wins are Kardashian children, that game was a Rob.  But, a win is a win and beating Bill Belichick is never a bad thing.  This is a fact.  So why are we all so red-assed about this outcome?  As usual, I have some thoughts.  Grab your sickle, and let's see if we can separate the wheat from the chafe of this wildly perplexing week four victory and find four narratives from this game that Packers fans near and far can all agree upon. 

  • Agreement #1--The kids are gonna be alright

This week it was Doubs' turn to drop an all important touchdown reception.  Couple that with Romeo's first half fumble, and you would think I would be down on the young rookie from Nevada.  You would be wrong.  Did Doubs make a few mistakes this week?   Sure.  The dude is a rookie.  It's going to happen.  Maybe it's easier to overlook the mistakes when you can't shake the image of his fourth quarter touchdown reception.  Good gravy.  That thing was more beautiful than a double rainbow.  Even more exciting than Romeo snagging his second career touchdown is the fact that it looks like the youngster is starting to gain Rodgers' trust.  You can see it in the way Aaron speaks about Doubs after the games.  Like a proud yet stern parent.  I normally am not a fan of reboots, but this is one origin story that I can't get enough of.

Doubs wasn't the only rookie to put the biscuit in the basket this past Sunday.  Christian Watson got the first score of his young career on a gorgeous 15 yard end around run that conjured images of 2020 Marques Valdez Scantling.  These first four weeks have been Christian Watson sparring in a computer generated dojo with Morpheus.  What's going to happen when this youngster finally realizes that he can stop bullets with his hands?  We have all drooled over Doubs for the last month and a half, and for good reason.  But, Watson's skill set is the key to unlocking this Packers' offense's true potential.  It's not an understatement to say that Watson may possibly be the most athletic wide receiver in the entire NFL.  He has shown glimpses thus far.  And, the glimpses are getting brighter.  If Green Bay can start working Watson into some of the same formations that MVS has occupied over the last four season, Rodgers and the running backs will suddenly find a lot more breathing room  to operate in.  All it takes is trust and a little patience. 

 

  • Agreement #2--Rashan Gary is the captain now.

Rashan Gary likes to call himself Bane, after the second-rate Batman villain who wears a mask and speaks in an unintelligible garble (or maybe that is just Tom Hardy's real voice--remains to be seen).  I think he is selling himself short.  Rashan Gary is a goshdarn (keeping it clean--my mother in law reads this!)  genetically modified tyrannosaurus rex.  You could make a case that his performance against New England was his best in a Packers uniform.  Two sacks.  A forced fumble.  A recovered fumble.  And, a vicious first quarter hit that knocked Patriots starting quarterback Brian Hoyer out of the rest of the afternoon.  The craziest part about Sunday's game--It feels like Rashan could have squeezed even more toothpaste out of the tube if Joe Barry spent more time designing exotic blitzes and less time trying to uncork his thumb from his ass.

I wrote about Rashan several times this summer.  It wasn't hard to speculate that he was on track for a big year.  And, as high as my expectations were, he has exceeded them.  He now has tallied 10 sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 12 tackles for loss in his last eight games.  He has a sack in every game this season.  I think it's fair to say Rashan has worked his way into being Green Bay's best defensive player.  With each passing Sunday, he is inching closer to becoming possibly the NFL's best defensive player.  The scariest thing is that he still has room to improve.  Good luck this week, Daniel Jones--you are going to need it.

  • Agreement #3--It is better when Aaron Rodgers throws TD's to our team.

Hailey's Comet.  The 50-Year StormVenus' transit across the sun.  Aaron Rodgers throwing a pick-six at Lambeau.  What are four things that happen roughly every half century for $200, Alex?  (I bet Rodgers would love this forced Jeopardy reference!).  Seeing Rodgers throw an interception is a strange phenomenon.  Seeing him throw a pick-six just feels inherently wrong, like putting your underwear on backward.  A pick-six at home?  That is just flat-ass uncomfortable to experience.  Like watching Justin Timberlake disrobe Janet Jackson during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.  Or watching Mark Zuckerberg speak in public.  It's just unnatural.  That was only the second pick-six Rodgers has thrown in Lambeau in his storied 18-year career.  That's 3511 pass attempts in Green Bay.  Two interceptions returned for touchdowns.  A 1:1755 ratio.  Roughly the same chance of getting struck by lightning at some point in your life.  Or, siring a child with Antonio Cromartie

Rodgers performance on Sunday was so bizarre.  The first half of that game may be some of the worst football I have seen Rodgers play.  He was missing everything by several yards.  He missed two wide-open routes over the middle.  Hell, he missed a few gimmes out to running backs in the flat.   And, not just barely missed either.  Then, he comes out from halftime and puts together an MVP-caliber performance in the second half.  Baffling.  Maybe it's miscommunication with his young receivers.  Maybe it's a timing issue.  Perhaps, he is missing Getsy and Hackett a little bit.  Whatever it is, the first thirty minutes of the New England game felt like watching Michael J. Foxx play Operation.   I am giving Ol' #12 a pass for this week--the whole team looked discombobulated.  But, it is certainly something to track over the next few weeks. 

  • Agreement #4--This defense is underperforming.

This defense is far too talented to play this tepid.  There have been moments of brilliance to this point in the season, but far too often, those moments have been offset by missed tackles and a startling lack of cohesion.   There just seems to be something missing.   Perhaps a sense of uniformity.  When you return an entire unit intact from a year ago, not to mention nearly the entire defensive coaching staff, it is dismaying to see such a lack of consistency.  Poor runs fits.  Subpar communication in the defensive backfield.  Bad angles.  Several missed tackles.  This is just not good enough for a skilled and veteran unit such as this. 

Now, I am not coming with pitchforks to Joe Barry's front porch.  Yet.  I still believe in this unit and in Barry's ability to lead it.  But, some of the mistakes he is making are simply unacceptable.  The Packers are sitting in two safety shell FAR too often.  That's not just me saying this.  Matt LaFleur made this same point on Monday in his weekly press conference.  Barry has to take more chances and add some variation to this scheme.  He also has to work harder at coming up with personnel changes that make sense.  This week he rolled out a defensive front that included Devante Wyatt, TJ Slaton, and Kinglsey Enagbare.  Now, I like all those youngsters individually.  But, why on Earth would you play them all at the same time?  This isn't hockey.  We don't need sweeping line changes.  Barry has to come up with a plan to leave at least one of our defensive stalwarts on the field at any given time. 

  • Catching Strays

What inanimate object is under more constant duress?  Matt LaFleur's hair part or Mike McCarthy's belt?

Doubs and Watson sounds like a Fast and Furious spin off.

Amari Rodgers is about as shifty as an NHRA drag car.

Our defense handles opening drives like my stomach handles Jimmy John's

Thanks for reading, and, as always, GO PACK GO!!!

 

Tim Preece lives in Utah because he makes poor life decisions.

9 points

Comments (30)

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

October 05, 2022 at 06:35 pm

Many of us are thinking the same way. Too much expensive talent underperforming. Starts at the top.

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Cwoodson21's picture

October 05, 2022 at 07:54 pm

Great Great article!

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Cwoodson21's picture

October 05, 2022 at 07:54 pm

Great Great article!

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Cwoodson21's picture

October 05, 2022 at 07:54 pm

Great Great article!

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LLCHESTY's picture

October 06, 2022 at 06:23 am

Well, not that great. Once was enough.

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BAMABADGER's picture

October 05, 2022 at 08:03 pm

Amari Rodgers as shifty as a NHRA drag car??? Maybe a Yugo, but not a drag car.

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GregC's picture

October 05, 2022 at 08:58 pm

Like almost everyone, I'm excited about Romeo Doubs. I'm nowhere close to being excited about Christian Watson, though. That won't happen until he actually starts going out for passes beyond the line of scrimmage, getting open, and catching passes. I think it will happen eventually. Maybe it's just not part of the game plan at this point.

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DoubleJ's picture

October 06, 2022 at 10:08 am

If you listen to what Rodgers said the other day he was saying that Watson is getting open downfield. He has said during tape reviews he would see he was getting open quite often, almost like Adams during his rookie year.

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Untylu1968's picture

October 06, 2022 at 10:39 am

Ya but, he dropped his first pass that was thrown his way! Has to be a bust, no? Doesn't matter what Rodgers has to say, he only sees him in practice every day! We need to start cutting these guys, that aren't playing at an all pro level, after six months in the NFL...

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DoubleJ's picture

October 06, 2022 at 11:27 am

Dropping his first pass just means that Rodgers won't look his way again until next year. He will see it on tape and go...oh well I miss that open WR but he dropped the ball I gave him last time so I don't care.

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PackyCheese500's picture

October 05, 2022 at 09:17 pm

This just in: OBJ WANTS to come to the Packers. If he's willing to sign for around 5m, I say once he's cleared to play, we go and get him

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Lphill's picture

October 06, 2022 at 05:40 am

Reports he’s going to the Bills.

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murf7777's picture

October 05, 2022 at 09:23 pm

“It's not an understatement to say that Watson may possibly be the most athletic wide receiver in the entire“.

Are you kidding me there are a lot of great athletic WR’s in the NFL. Maybe you never watched Hill play, he would run circles around Watson. That’s not taking anything away from the kid, he is very athletic, but it takes much more than that to become a good WR. he has the potential for a bright future, but to suggest he is the most athletic WR is ridiculous.IMO, and I don’t see him in practice, but I think he has a ways to go. It might take him a year or two to learn how to get open consistently against NFL defenses. That doesn’t mean he can’t make a big play here or there , but to be a starter you need to be consistent.

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Oppy's picture

October 06, 2022 at 12:23 pm

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Oppy's picture

October 06, 2022 at 12:28 pm

...When only 11 NFL Wide Receivers in the last 35 years have scored a higher composite athletic score, it's a fairly rational argument to make that Christian Watson -might- be the most athletic WR in the NFL. I mean, it's certainly on the table for discussion.

..And yes, you're correct, being the most athletic doesn't have anything to do with being the best WR, but it's definitely adding more tools to the toolbox that can be used to become great. You still need fundamental receiving skills, football IQ, etc.. If not, every team would just cultivate talent from international track and field competition.

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hobowilly's picture

October 05, 2022 at 10:44 pm

Tim, " Barry has to take more chances and add some variation to this scheme. He also has to work harder at coming up with personnel changes that make sense" Hello!!, properly stated but you know who needs to have a man to man to tell him the HC expects the DC to make adjustments, OR, even better HAVE A BETTER SCHEME dependent on the stars you know that can hurt you. He has failed against Jefferson, with JA playing the whole game and the following week, failed against Mongomery. Now, he has Barkley to deal with--pretty soon if he fails again & again maybe a major change with occur. Also, i'd like to see more press coverage by the corners. This laying off 8-10 yds and back pedaling on the snap doesn't work too well.

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PackyCheese500's picture

October 06, 2022 at 07:26 am

Agree with you very much. Barry is too predictable.

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Tingham's picture

October 05, 2022 at 10:45 pm

Great article with plenty of spot on humor to boot! More please.

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MooPack's picture

October 05, 2022 at 11:03 pm

"Agreement #1--The kids are gonna be alright"
-Yes they are. Packers don't need OBJ or any other receiver. Doubs is proving his worth and they just need to get Watson more involved other than jet-motions. He is the real deal and will show that by SB. Rodgers has now pretty much said so and He and MLF need to trust him. First play of 2022 season and that dictates your trust?! Come on!

"Agreement #2--Rashan Gary is the captain now."
-Yes, and Berry needs to get out of his own way and let the rest of the defense show what they are capable of. Will he bring more pressure against the Giants, who are obviously a run first offense, or sit back again and let second and third rate QB's keep the game close?

"Agreement #3--It is better when Aaron Rodgers throws TD's to our team."
-Queue Captain Obvious. I don't get the man. Can throw a pass on a rope one play and on the next is folding like a wet cheap tent. Also, are these things not ironed out on the practice field? If the defender(s) is/are here, you adjust here. If he/they is/are there, you adjust there. My goodness this is not Highschool football.

"Agreement #4--This defense is underperforming."
-Yes, see agreement #2. Even before some injuries this defense was under performing. Never have liked defenses that sit back and let the other team dictate game flow. Attack! Let your defense dictate.

Overall stats seem to show Packers are doing well compared to other teams. Stats can lie. We know better and what our eyes see. This team needs to perform to the level they are capable of and coaches need to scheme better. To me this 5th game is going to reveal a lot on where this team is at in player and coaching growth. GPG!

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PackyCheese500's picture

October 06, 2022 at 07:27 am

Agreed. I want more blitzing, and against 3rd string QBs it should really throw them off or make them more turnover-prone.

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wildbill's picture

October 05, 2022 at 11:19 pm

I always thought rookie WR mistakes were running wrong routes, poor blocking techniques, missing audibles, etc. Not dropping perfectly thrown balls. Geez their gloves will stick to a wall if thrown against it! But Adams looked really bad his first year or two with drops and I think Jordy did to( 2 or 3 drops in the super bowl if I remember correctly). These guys will hopefully overcome the drops but not sure we have a couple years to wait it out.

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Wildcomet's picture

October 07, 2022 at 03:12 pm

My guess would be it's less about the ability to catch a ball and more about the focus and concentration. There's a lot of mental aspects (excitement over being about to make a big play, making sure your route is ran correctly or the defense was read correctly, etc) that could distract a rookie more easily than a vet. Once they get comfortable with those mental aspects and get back to just thinking about catching the ball, it should get easier.

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Sballfire's picture

October 05, 2022 at 11:58 pm

I think Rogers haircut was the problem on pick six.😉

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mnbadger's picture

October 06, 2022 at 12:07 pm

that haircut makes it hard for me to consume wings when he's on the sidelines with helmet off.
My god, would somebody please inform the king that he has no clothes!
GPG

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Esquetoi's picture

October 06, 2022 at 02:13 pm

To get serious, I've been casually observing games in the early part of the schedule the past 5 or so years and Rodgers, I've noticed never wears eye black which arguably helps in early season games by shielding out the glare of the sun. The pick six was the last play of the 1st half (or about) where he performed poorly and it's the second half where he picked up his game. The second half had much less of the sun involved given the picture I was watching on T.V. Think back to the Tampa Bay games the past few years...horrid performances especially early in the games. I personally would parlay his indifference to his haircut into to indifference to making his face temporarily look Halloweenish. It couldn't hurt.

3 points
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BradHTX's picture

October 06, 2022 at 04:29 am

“In a world where football wins are Kardashian children, that game was a Rob.”

Possibly the best line in the history of CHTV. Well done.

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Oppy's picture

October 06, 2022 at 06:06 am

"I think it's fair to say Rashan has worked his way into being Green Bay's best defensive player."

Nope. Gary is definitely becoming a powerhouse pass rusher, but Kenny Clark is the best football player on the Packers, and has been for quite some time.

He is a dominant force on just about every snap. Take away any other player, and Clark is just as dominant. Take away Kenny Clark, and every player on the defense takes a performance hit.

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PeteK's picture

October 06, 2022 at 09:01 am

Yes, Clark is a force and does the dirty work inside, but Gary's sacks end drives.

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Oppy's picture

October 06, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Gary doesn't get as many drive ending sacks if teams don't have to double Kenny Clark on nearly every play.

The LB's aren't as clean and have to sift through more bodies to get to the ball carrier if Kenny Clark is demanding two DL to block him on a run play.

The DB's have to cover longer or deal with more accurate passes if Kenny Clark isn't demanding those double teams that give our other linemen and edge rushers 1-on-1s to win or free lanes to the QB.

I'll say it again: Everyone else's performance on the defense takes a hit if Kenny Clark isn't doing Kenny Clark things. Nobody else's performance on the defense impacts Kenny Clark's performance. He is literally the foundation upon which the entire Defenses' success is built.

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rggeorge185's picture

October 06, 2022 at 10:36 am

Look forward to the sublime comments

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