Vikings 34 Packers 31: Game Balls and Lame Calls

Secondary not up to the challenge this time.

What in the world happened to that “championship level defense” Matt LaFleur was talking about last week?  After playing four consecutive tremendous games, the Packer defense, particularly the secondary, got barbecued by the explosive Minnesota Vikings. 

 

The defeat was especially disheartening considering the Green Bay defensive front put decent pressure on Kirk Cousins and, for the most part, shut down the Vikings running game.  But all Cousins had to do was throw it up, knowing there would be either a wide open receiver waiting for it, or the Packer defensive back would be hopelessly outplayed for the ball.   

 

The back end saved its worst for the final game-deciding series.  During the Vikings eight play, 64 yard drive for the winning field goal, the Green Bay defense had at least four plays go sour.  First the unit lined up with twelve men on the field for a five yard penalty. Then Darnell Savage, who made a great break on the ball, couldn't hold on to an interception.... or did he?  It was a controversial call to be sure.  It would have put the Packers in position to pull it out.  Following that, Krys Barnes had Dalvin Cook head on after a short pass.  Cook shed him like a horse brushing off a fly and continued downfield for nineteen yards.  Then Rasul Douglas completely lost track of the ball and the receiver and the result was a ruptured completion to Adam Thielen for 26 yards.  By that time Minnesota was in the red zone and the outcome was decided. 

 

The defensive regression spoiled a courageous and inspired effort by the offense.  Climbing back twice from double digit deficits, Aaron Rodgers and company reeled off clutch play after clutch play.  The biggest of all being a 75 yard TD throw to Marquez Valdes-Scantling which, ironically, turned out to hurt the team more than it helped.  It happened too quickly.  It left 2:08 on the clock, and plenty of time for one more defensive collapse. 

 

I’d like to think Green Bay’s defense will be okay.  That this was an aberration.  The coming game against the Rams will speak volumes. 

 

GAME BALLS 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling 

The Packers seemed determined to make MVS a big part of the plan and it finally paid off in the second half.  Among his four catches for 123 yards was the beautiful 75 yard bomb where his speed was on display, and a leaping hands catch that converted a key third down. 

 

Davante Adams 

Despite getting extra attention from the Vikings secondary, Adams got himself open both short and long, finishing with seven catches for 115 yards and two scores.   

 

Aaron Rodgers 

It was not his most accurate day, but he was magnificent in the clutch when the team absolutely had to have a key play.  His scramble to buy time and finally spotting Davante in the end zone in the fourth quarter was a Hall of Fame play.  It gave the Packers the lead at 24-23.  Thank goodness he didn’t get that timeout.  He wound up throwing for 385 yards and four scores, for a QB rating of 148.  He and the offense deserved a better fate. 

 

Kenny Clark 

Green Bay’s problems were not on the defensive line.  Clark was a terror, particularly in the first half, pushing blockers backward as though they were on a sled, forcing pressure on the quarterback, and missing Cousins by a hair all day.   He seemed to wear down a bit late in the game. 

 

Preston Smith 

With Rashan Gary becoming a late scratch, Smith took it upon himself to provide the edge rush.  His six tackles, two sacks and three hits on the quarterback stood out on a day when the players behind him let him down. 

 

 

LAME CALLS 

Ineffective Zone Defense 

I’m certainly not an expert on defensive tactics and strategy, and often I find it hard to discern exactly what type of coverage the Packers are playing.  But it seemed as though the secondary was all too often sitting back in a zone and allowing Justin Jefferson and Thielen to run free across them all day.  Maybe more man coverage would have helped, although it’s tough to match up with a receiver like Jefferson.  

 

Forcing the Deep Ball 

In the first half Rodgers went back to an old habit of eschewing the open short receiver in favor of forcing a deep pass to a receiver who is covered.  In fairness, the persistence did pay off in the second half when he hit a couple long balls, but those receivers were wide open.  I just wish QB12 would take that short ball when it’s there.  Sometimes he is just not patient enough. 

 

 

AFTERTHOUGHTS 

 

Matt LaFleur (on why Aaron Rodgers went into the tunnel before halftime):  ”He just went in early to get some treatment, so Jordan (Love) went in.  We knew that, barring something crazy happening, we were just going to take a knee.” 

 

Tyler Lancaster:  “We cannot let this seep over into next week.  We’ve got to get off the field.  We can’t let them down the field.  There were positives but not good enough.” 

 

Preston Smith  (on the quality of the pass rush):  “It could have been better.  Of course, we didn’t win so there’s a lot of things we could fix and improve.  We have to be a whole lot better at not letting him (Cousins) be comfortable in the pocket.” 

 

MVS:  “I don’t think it’s really a thing to say you scored too soon, unless you’re driving the ball down the field and Aaron Rodgers is on the other side of the field.  Other than that, it’s just one of those things where you take the points.  It’s hard to score touchdowns.  I’m never going to say we scored too soon.” 

 

 

THREE AND OUT 

•  LaFleur and the offensive coaches did a great job of getting creative on third and short.  How about the play where Cobb lines up in the back field and runs the option, pitching to Dillon to get him around the edge?  And did you notice that, instead of sending Dillon straight into the pile on short yardage, they ran him across the backfield to make it easier to find a little crease.  Well done. 

 

•  If Jaire Alexander had been able to play, would he have matched up with Jefferson all day?  And would it have made a difference? 

 

•   Aaron Rodgers said his toe got stepped on in the second quarter.  He said it was a painful second half and that he doesn’t expect to practice much this week.  I knew the Packers’ good fortune concerning injuries the past two seasons wouldn’t last, but gee wiz.  It’s not just injuries, it’s injuries to all the key people.  Now the prospect of losing Elgton Jenkins, just as Bakhtiari is about to return.  Will this team ever get back to anything resembling full strength?    

 

 

 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (91)

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

November 22, 2021 at 09:21 am

Extremely exciting game. Vikes have as good a pair of WRs as there is in the NFL. Not surprising that they would hit on some big plays. Had Savage held on to one or two of his many near interceptions, the outcome of the game may have been very different. I am very concerned about losing Jenkins going forward. Last year Bak, Jenks & Linsley were the strength of the offensive line, if not the offense altogether. We will play the RAMS next for home field advantage and we will not have any of the BIG3. That hurts big-time. No Aaron Jones either. Plus no word on our new Center, Z or J returning any time soon. A loss v RAMS and we could be looking at seed 3 or 4. Barring an upset of #1 or #2, that would give us only one home game in the playoffs.

Here's to hoping we can get all our walking wounded back before end of reg season.

Lastly, the depth of this team has been as great as one could possibly hope for given the multitude of tar players to be injured. Congrats to Gutey for a job well done!

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ImaPayne's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:20 am

i worry just as much as those healthy who just arent very good and we have to rely on them: king, sullivan, savage, stokes. They are the reason the pack will not go to super bowl and why Rodgers leaves.

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Kevin Carpenter's picture

November 23, 2021 at 01:40 am

Part of the issue was lack of pass rush from proven veterans. They have helped out the secondary, Rashan Gary has been an absolute terror for QB's this season and his presence was SORELY missed. The secondary is good. The game plan for this game was not.

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Kevin Carpenter's picture

November 23, 2021 at 01:41 am

What terrifies me the most, is the though of Aaron Donald lining up across from Lucas Patrick and Royce Newman. 🥶

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mrtundra's picture

November 22, 2021 at 07:53 am

+++ also to ESB. He had a nice end around play and extended a drive with a nice catch. For a seldom used player, he sure stepped up. Tipa Galeai stepped into the defense and played well, for not getting much playing time, as well. MVS, ARod, Davante all deserve game balls. I loved the Cobb to Dillon play where Cobb pitched the ball to Dillon for a TD. That could've been a nice play, on a 2 point conversion attempt, as well, but everyone will be looking for it, now.

--- Our stupid mistakes on defense. 12 men on the field; letting Jefferson and Thielen run wild in our secondary, Cook walking in, untouched, for a 2point conversion; Gary being out. He would have provided enough pressure on Cousins where he would have to throw the ball sooner than he wanted to. Keke getting called for roughing the passer( did he?); Savage getting an INT and then tripping on the lousy turf, during his runback, with nothing but daylight in front of him. Giving the vikings hope of reaching the playoffs. What was that snow coming down in that roofed stadium? Are the vikings having 2nd thoughts about having a roofed stadium? Pathetic!

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croatpackfan's picture

November 23, 2021 at 02:07 am

"Keke getting called for roughing the passer( did he?)"

He did - it was called because it was helmet to helmet hit, not hard one, but still...

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Johnblood27's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:03 pm

It was facemask to facemask and should not be a roughing penalty.

Think about why the rule was put in place. To stop the use of the helmet as a weapon and prevent injury. The facemask doesn't cause injury when a player keeps his head up while making a tackle as keke did.

That was a bullshit interpretation of an already pussified rule.

I am sickened by the product the NFL puts on the field.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 23, 2021 at 02:08 am

So facemask is not part of the helmet? Interesting.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 26, 2021 at 07:27 am

reading comprehension... it is a gift.

read what I wrote about the spirit of the rule, which by the way, came from previous incidents in NFL games. Games I watched and heard commentary on.

I agree with making the game safer.

I agree with legislating OUT the use of the helmet as a weapon.

I can remember when Detroit's secondary would injure at least one Packer receiver every game they played by spearing with the helmet at every opportunity. I remember Chuck Cecil doing the same dirty thing with a Packer uniform on. I remember many, many instances where i railed against the "injure the other player" mentality. That is not the spirit of competition or the spirit of the game of football i learned to play and to also love as a fan.

Don't come at me with any "facemask isn't the helmet" BS. The facemask is NOT the helmet, it is an attachment to the helmet which comes in very different shapes and sizes and can also contain a visor, clear or tinted.

The facemask has never been used to injure any players, the crown of the helmet has been, and that is why the rule was put in place.

You could argue that the presence of the facemask allows a player to keep his head up when tackling with a much less chance of incurring facial injury to himself. You could also argue that having the facemask on the helmet encourages players to lead with their head in tackling, but nowhere have I ever seen a tackle where the facemasks of two players meet as being the cause of any injury even remotely close to collisions involving the crown of the helmet.

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Lphill's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:44 am

Lame call when Sullivan is on the field for 40 snaps.

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dobber's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:55 am

Way to see the small picture, man.

In Edit: way to completely change your post.

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Lphill's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:24 am

That was my original post .

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dobber's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:02 am

The timestamps in the other posts around it tell the truth.

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Oppy's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:49 am

That sucks when you get caught lying because you're a liar.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 06:41 pm

He's the dime guy or do you want Yiadom?

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:02 am

Game Balls:

2nd half Rodgers- first half was too many deep shot attempts. Obviously they saw something they could try and exploit. But 2nd half Rodgers was getting the ball out fast and on point!

Run Defense- they were stout all game long. Cooks is one of the best RBs in the league and they didn’t allow him to take over

Lame Calls:

Injuries- when is it going to stop? I haven’t seen an update today but it seems like Jenkins is lost for the year. Missing Gary hurt bad.

Officiating- what is a catch? Do we even know yet? I get Savage was going to the ground but 2 feet down and a knee with control before the ground causes the ball loss shouldn’t be incomplete imo. If that was in the end zone wouldn’t it be a TD?
Also, what the hell was the call on Patrick? That was bad!
No offensive pass interference? How about the TD that Adams caught on the weird play. MVS gets taken down in the middle of the field. No call on that? 0 holding calls on Vikings?
I guess there is a reason why I saw the stat before the game that road teams were 1-8 or something with this officiating crew.

Kevin King- I saw a stat that when he was targeted he allowed 5 catches 75ish yards and a touchdown. It was something close to that. Why is he playing over Douglas? Douglas has proved to be the better choice down in and out.

Notes:
The game didn’t go how we wanted. But with all the players we are without, and we still were that close, says something. Jones, Lazard, Gary all have been starters this year we’re out. Without Gary from the start of the season we were down to Preston Smith as the only player on the roster to start the year. Za’Darius, Gary, Mercilus, Ramsey, Rivers all out. That is crazy. I thought Tipa did some nice things, but he isn’t the guys listed ahead of him.

I thought EQ had a nice game.

Crosby missed a FG and we lost by a FG, ughh. I noticed on all of his kicks after that, the ball was perfectly up and down. On the miss it was wobbling. Is that caused by ball placement on the ground?

One more game until the bye that we desperately need!

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SinceLombardi's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:49 am

Remember, this front office elected to resign King. He has killed this team with injuries, poor tackling, poor coverage, and penalties since day one. He should have been let go after 2020.

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stockholder's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:12 am

Saw AN interesting play Sunday night. The guy intercepted the ball. He was purposely hit in the head, helmet to helmet, to cough up the ball. While on the ground. The defense must hold onto the ball. No Foul was called.

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MarkinMadison's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:21 am

Well that is some serious B.S. right there. Offense and defense need to be held to the same standards.

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zoellner25's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:33 am

time for a new kicker, hate to say it, but it is time.

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dobber's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:43 am

I think it was Cory who jinxed him about 6 weeks ago.

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:43 am

My fear going into this game was that we wouldn’t have enough horses to harass Cousins with Mercillus gone and Gary limited or out. With Gary inactive, Preston showed up and Clark and co did as well, but it just left too much time for Cousins on a day where the DBs couldn’t make plays when it mattered.

Had Keke not tried to pull upright, things might have been different, but this time Stokes and Douglas missed passes that should have been theirs to at least knock down and Savage had a ball punched out and one come out after he went to ground. That game just fell on luck shading to the Vikings on those key plays.

The real problem in my view is that we saw that, even with Gary back the pass rush that had been central to this D is perilously thin. Unless Z makes it back and can be effective, we just don’t have it behind Gary and Preston. Garvin is fine depth but there’s not enough. I believe that may be our undoing when it matters unless Barry can conjure a solution.

Losing Jenkins is a big blow, but I think Nijman is ready and, if and when Bakh comes back can go to RT and Turner move inside if necessary. Newman appears to slowly be improving, but there is still a credible option.

The good news is that LaFleur called the type of game on O that many of us thought would be the norm for the season starting late in the 2nd quarter. The result was the first time this looked like the 2020 O! What on earth he was doing early and in previous games I can’t fathom. If LaFleur takes that to heart (and remembers to include the run too), we saw that it not only scored but helped get Rodgers back in rhythm. The season may hang on LaFleur learning from that and adjusting.

The loss was unfortunate. If we’d played the whole game as we did the second half things would be very different. We still could have won with a little better fortune despite being threadbare through injuries. That said, we may have finally rediscovered how this O should work and we will get Gary back soon. The big IF is can we avoid yet more injuries? We are perilously close to the point where no amount of darning can cover holes at several positions.

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SinceLombardi's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:43 am

Would it be safe to say if this continues Mason Crosby should be replaced before the playoffs?

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ImaPayne's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:36 am

Seriously, if Croby was a Viking he would have been cut by Zimmer two weeks ago. The Vikes drafted a rookie kicker two years ago. He missed three kicks in a game early season and Zimmer cut him. When asked why he replied " were in the win now mode not the development mode"

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croatpackfan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 01:18 pm

I do not remember they win anything last season. But I may be wrong...

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 06:51 pm

He seems to be doing OK with the Raiders and Zim is on kicker # 3-4???

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SinceLombardi's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:42 am

In the end it’s a combination of many things.. the 3 n outs of the first half, and glaring deficiencies in the secondary. Better hope for some poor weather when the Rams come to Green Bay. Douglass gets burned sometimes, Stokes gets burned most times, King gets burned every time.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 01:20 pm

You are boring with those posts about Kevin King. No one in secondary had a good game. They were all in bad mode. So stop whining!

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:22 pm

King has actually been really good for the three previous games that he played. In this one not so much, but unless one is a shut down corner, that happens. Repeatedly bleating about him not being something we all know he’s not is pointless, more so when you clearly ignore anything good that he has done.

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HarryHodag's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:49 am

I'm getting used to the overreaction from fans when the team loses. You give the home team three points in any context and that is how it played out.

When I set my prediction at the beginning of the year I figure the Packers will go 3-3 in the division. Not likely to be that way with the Lions, but overall over the years it isn't unusual to lose to a division rival.

The Vikings have talent and they aren't completely beaten to hell physically like the Packers. There's one more shot at them at Lambeau, if the Packers can field a team. When you look at how many injuries they have had it's a miracle they can stay with teams. If Rodgers can handle the pain in his toe(nasty injury) the team will remain competitive.

OK, the Vikes got this one. I'm also a hair concerned about the Rams. If Matthew Stafford gets hot like Cousins it could be a long day. Good luck against the Rams d-line.

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ImaPayne's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:31 am

the vikes have solid and well coached back ups so they rarely miss w beat over a couple of injuries. our o line are in experienced for the most part so just who do we will can replace that?

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Reghamster's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:04 pm

Mr Hodag has it right again as the 12 positive response help to indicate. The Packers lost a close game to a good opponent on their home turf. If the Packers had been anywhere near as healthy as the Vikings were they would most likely would have not lost the game. I predicted the Packers to he at best 14 and 3 or perhaps more likely 13 and 3 . You can't win them all. Blaming the refs or a few players such as the Dbs, a rookie and a poor substitute for Alexander , against one of the best tandems at wr in the game . We almost and perhaps should have at least tied if no ot won the game in overtime . M.j or bad considering the quality of our opponent and our struggl re s with the kicking game . Rodgers after a slow dismal start put up miraculous 2nd half numbers . The Rams will be a tough test as we are road weary and in need of a bye . If we lose it wont be a disgrace. I think possibly losing a bye in the 1st round hurts but it is not the end of the world. The Buccaneers were 11 - 5 before their Superbowl season! Relax ... Anyone ?

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Reghamster's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:04 pm

Mr Hodag has it right again as the 12 positive response help to indicate. The Packers lost a close game to a good opponent on their home turf. If the Packers had been anywhere near as healthy as the Vikings were they would most likely would have not lost the game. I predicted the Packers to he at best 14 and 3 or perhaps more likely 13 and 3 . You can't win them all. Blaming the refs or a few players such as the Dbs, a rookie and a poor substitute for Alexander , against one of the best tandems at wr in the game . We almost and perhaps should have at least tied if no ot won the game in overtime . M.j or bad considering the quality of our opponent and our struggl re s with the kicking game . Rodgers after a slow dismal start put up miraculous 2nd half numbers . The Rams will be a tough test as we are road weary and in need of a bye . If we lose it wont be a disgrace. I think possibly losing a bye in the 1st round hurts but it is not the end of the world. The Buccaneers were 11 - 5 before their Superbowl season! Relax ... Anyone ?

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ImaPayne's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:54 am

First the call on Keke wasnt lame. Helmit to helmit is called all the time and he did it plain and simple.
The Call on Savage wasnt lame. He fell to the ground like a clutz and flubbed the ball and this aint the first time he has done that. Hime and King may have the worst hands in football. Lame
Stokes covering the best receiver in football. Jefferson was eying the field to find which side Stokes was on and thats the side he chose to go to. Our D coach wasnt any brighter not telling him to move to the other side and let someone who may be able to cover him do the job.
I got Stokes figured out now, he has the speed to cover but not the brains to learn how to do it. Picking him Lame.
Our kicking team must not be practicing or why would our kicker look like a deer in headlight after 4 weeks of crap kicking? Zimmer would have gotten rid of him two weeks ago, cant win without a kicker. Lame to keep him and hoping for better.

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Caden819's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:21 am

On the Keke helmet to helmet, how do you want a 300 pound man with his hands up to deflect the ball to stop on a dime or lower his body to hit below the head? Its not going to happen, he literally was in Cousins face the second he got rid of the ball. I just want to hear your explanation on how he could've prevented that. On Stokes, who did you want to cover Jefferson exactly? Sullivan? King? Get your head out of your ass

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scullyitsme's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:41 am

Nobody said he could prevent it, the rules don’t state no helmet to helmet unless you can’t prevent it. Also the savage interception was definitely incomplete according to the rules and all the bitching I’ve been hearing actually sounds like Vikings fans, aren’t they the ones that blame the refs when they lose?

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:26 pm

If there was a bad call against us it was the tackle on the 2 pointer that wasn’t called. I think the calling was tacky and that we may have got the worst if it, but nothing like as portrayed here. A couple of those calls might not have been made by other crews, but that doesn’t mean that they were technically wrong.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 07:00 pm

Here's the question: where was the over-the-top safety help for whoever was on Jefferson. Theilen will not kill you, but Jefferson will. Just too passive on the back end trying to cover for the pass rush deficiencies. If you take Jefferson out of the game the probability of a win are much more significant against the queens. Savage has to bring in those balls. The same situation @ Lambeau for the NFC CH game when he misplayed a goose from Brady.

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SinceLombardi's picture

November 22, 2021 at 08:59 am

I have to wonder what some of the better more consistent players think about having Kevin King on the roster. He’s not a FA, or a rookie.. he’s a second round pick, and a veteran player. He’s getting worse by the game. His highlight this year was an interception he clearly dropped.
I think he’s akin to a “coach killer” he’s a team killer. I don’t like the fact he’s on the roster. It sends a message that poor play and underachieving will be rewarded here.
Say what you want about journeyman Douglass on the final drive.. but the point is, why was he in there in the first place? Because he’s better than Kevin King.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 01:25 pm

Hey, go home, do something useful. Do not treat all of us as stupid idiots. We already understand that you hate Kevin King. It is your right, but have mercy to us. Stop posting that sh*t.

I wonder where were you last week when Kevin played well? You must be in some deep hole.

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Guitar dan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:05 am

Game Balls: Adams-MVS-Rodgers-Clark

Lame Calls: The refs and Injuries are ruining this season for the packers

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:36 am

I know this will be a really unpopular take on here....but I just don't understand all the love for MVS on this site. This game he had 4 rec out of 10 targets. That's a 40% completion rate. On the season he's 13/30 for 43%. For his career he's 110/222 for 49.5%. I understand he's a deep threat and AR loves the long bombs. But he's been in the league 4 years, and he still catches less than half the balls thrown to him.

It's hard not to wonder what would have happened if more of those incompletions to MVS were hand-offs or short underneath passes to Dillon. MVS alone had 10 targets to Dillon's 11 rushes. That makes no sense to me. Oh yeah....Dillon also caught all 6 passes thrown to him.

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greengold's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:52 am

I get where you're going here, but Aaron Rodgers has been WAY OFF in terms of being able to hit MVS in stride. That goes for a bunch of his receiving targets this year and last year. For whatever reason, he's struggling to lead receivers, and it is causing some big problems.

We've ALL seen it.

I don't think Rodgers has ever really gotten his timing down consistently with MVS, especially on the deep balls where he can really take the top off of opposing defenses.

Maybe this accounts for half (?) of those misses...? Does that seem reasonable?

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:16 am

Possibly. But it's been going on for 3 1/2 years. Maybe it's time to stop forcing those long balls to MVS and come up with a better plan. I'm not suggesting to stop entirely. The occasional deep attempt helps keep the defenses honest. But 10 times in one game? When you only hand the ball off to Dillon 11 times, while he's averaging 5 yds a carry and catching everything that's thrown to him?

I understand the possibility of a long completion is sexier than a RB who consistently picks up 5 or 6 yards a carry. It's the balance that's way off, in my opinion. But it's not going to change, so hopefully MLF can figure out a way to get AR12 and MVS on the same page more often. But again...it's been 3 1/2 years, so.....

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marpag1's picture

November 22, 2021 at 12:26 pm

MVS just isn't a #2. I've always thought that. Maybe he's a deep threat that makes things difficult for a defense if you go three and four or even five wide, but no way is he a legit #2.

I mean, look across the field. Minnesota's #2 is Adam Freakin' Thielen. Ours is MVS? I understand that Minny's WR room is excellent, but that's a MASSIVE advantage to the Vikings.

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 03:37 pm

Of those 6 Uncaught passes how many were catchable? We will see what PFF says, but to my eyes, none. Blaming a receiver for an uncatchable pass thrown his way (the number included at least a couple thrown away) suggests you just want to pound a point and probably didn’t watch either. Just relying on random stats without context is risky. As many of us know, MVS is a drum you love to beat. So I’m not shocked to see you leap blind into a pretty arbitrary stat. In this game he was an asset.

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 03:37 pm

For THIS game, you may be right. Even if all 6 of those incompletions were uncatchable, how do you explain/defend his career 49.5% completion rate. A QB who completes around 70% of his passes to every other receiver on the team, inexplicably can't complete even half of his passes to MVS?

MVS so far has a 43% catch rate this year, and a 49.5% catch rate over the past 3 1/2 years. How are those random stats without context? For one game, sure, but for almost 4 years now?

Again, I like MVS in a role playing deep threat, and am glad he's on the team. But not someone you throw the ball to 10 times, while ignoring a RB who is averaging almost 5 yards a carry. I think Rodgers, and possibly MLF, is way too in love with the long ball.

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 03:39 pm

Early in the season the offense as a whole wax a mess. Then MVS had a hammy. Yesterday looked like the first time he was fully incorporated into the game plan. Let’s see what happens from here.

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 04:07 pm

Fair enough. Like I said to another poster, with his speed, if he could get his catch rate into the mid 60's, he could potentially be one of the better #2's in the league. After 4 years, I have my doubts, but stranger things have happened I guess. But, I agree, let's see. I'll eat whatever crow recipe you can provide me if that happens.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 07:07 pm

Those who stay, Endure.

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greengold's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:34 am

Just LAME CALLS:

AJ Dillon averaging almost 5 ypc gets only 11 rushing attempts. Broken record: RUN THE ROCK!!!

Dillon should have at a minimum, 20+ rushing attempts/game. Packers RBs should have collectively more than 30 carries per game. Maybe next year, after the "thrower of the football" is gone...

I don't begrudge Aaron Rodgers' ability to throw the football - most of the time... but, can he hit a receiver in stride? The majority of his first half throws have been behind receivers this season. Can he be trusted to hand the football off to his RBs 30+ attempts/game?

The answer appears to be "NO!" In a game where the world knew the Packers needed to RUN THE ROCK relentlessly to easily get a W vs. Arizona, a healthy Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon had just 30 carries combined... rushing for about 5 & 7 ypc respectively. The numbers don't lie. That game was WAY more difficult than it needed to be. Shouldn't have been close.

Why are players on the Packers OL constantly getting injured? Maybe it is from absorbing energy in high stress situations under relentless pass rush conditions, because the Packers refuse to let their own potent running game to take command? Run blocking is something OL love to do. They can use positive energy, knowing exactly where they want to direct their opponent in front of them, wearing opposing front 7s out, if we would only let them... I think we'd have fewer players lost to injury on our OL if we ran way more to balance the scales.

Matt LaFleur???? Hello??? This is on you. Leaving Jordan Love fighting for his life while failing yet again to RUN TO DAYLIGHT v. KC??? We should have won that game, had we RUN THE ROCK!!! Again, the Packers making the game WAY MORE DIFFICULT than it needed to be.

Mason Crosby. If the holds aren't working for you, CHANGE THE HOLDER TO JORDAN LOVE!!! WTF??? Mo Drayton, you can't fix this? This is not difficult to figure out. Look at Crosby's numbers since he had a left handed holder forced onto his PAT/FG attempts...

The Green Bay Packers have made this game far more difficult than it needs to be. They continue passing relentlessly, ignoring their own powerful running game, allowing full on pass rush to decrease their own success rate, while allowing the opposition's potent offenses to get back on the field, wearing out their own defense.

This is stupid football, and is EXACTLY what has kept us from not even sniffing the Super Bowl, for more than a decade.

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Brockrice99's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:16 am

I agree with most of what you're saying... but backup QB's don't hold for kicks anymore, this isn't Madden. You can not just sub someone in and expect them to do well in a position that is very tedious. Has Jordan Love ever held for kicks before? My guess is no... Mason Crosby, Mo Drayton, Bojo, and Wirtel need to figure this out, and maybe even consider bringing back Hunter Bradley.

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SwedeBayPacker's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:38 am

I liked the part where you said run the rock

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NickPerry's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:23 am

Game Balls...Rodgers after the first quarter and a half

Adams...Best in the NFL

MVS...Finally!!!

Lame Calls... Rodgers playing the God Damn "Hero Ball" for the first 22.5 minutes of the game.. Will you just PLAY WITHIN THE SYSTEM!!!! You know, like you did from the midway point of the 2nd quarter to the final possession.

Lamest Calls... Some of the Packers fan just absolutely TURNING on this team after a hard fought loss. This team is TIRED, there's no doubt about it and that may have been half the issue for the first 22.5 minutes of the game. But OMG, I swear to God if I didn't visit this site 32 times a week I'd have thought the Packers were 3-8 judging by some of the negative comments I've read.

I HATE the Vikings, actually more than the Bears. But they have a damn good WR tandem and a RB who the Packers actually held down pretty well except for the missed tackle by Barnes.

R-E-L-A-X people... Hopefully most of the All-Pro's and Pro-Bowlers who are currently hurt will be back soon and they can get some much needed rest after the Rams. READ that sentence again. Most teams would have FOLDED with the injuries the Packers have had.

BTW... THIS weeks game is BY FAR the most important game of the season so far and may prove to be the MOST important by the end of the regular season. How about getting behind your team instead of bagging on them for losing a game.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 01:38 pm

10 up votes from me. I'm also disappointed that we lost the winnable game, but my first thought on how Packers played that game, is that this team is very tired, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

I would suggest one day more for rest then to go to hard on practicing. I believe team need rest, but before the rest there is very important game on the scedule, for seeding in the playoff.

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Lphill's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:28 am

Keke leading with his head , he’s been out with concussion twice I believe , I couldn’t understand a D lineman getting concussions now I see why .

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:34 pm

He was trying to pull up, unwisely but the contact was incidental. Technically it was a foul, but leading with the head is a stretch.

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ImaPayne's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:42 am

This game was squarely on the pass d. The Vikes run wasnt doing much, we had the game in hand if we stop the passing game and Stokes, Savage, Sullivan, Douglas, and King failed miserably.

Hey I know one thing from watching the Vikes and this dam D coach people rave about should know this too: when the vikes need to make a first down, Thielan and others run to the yard marker stop, turn and get that first down to keep the ball. They've done this for 25 years. They practice this all the time including two point conversions. I've never seem them not get a two point conversion.
Stokes was playing 5 yards back and watched Thielan catch the ball then moved up to make a tackle. That doesnt win football games and the D coach needs to be put on notice this is winning football.

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 09:49 am

I guess that's why they've won so many playoff games and Super Bowls during those magical 25 years you rave about.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 01:40 pm

" when the vikes need to make a first down, Thielan and others run to the yard marker stop, turn and get that first down to keep the ball"

This was exactly why Douglas did not cover Thielen, but trying to be smart and sneak the INT. How that was pan out?

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Since'61's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:05 am

Game Balls: Aaron Rodgers, Dillon, MVS, Adams, 2nd half Offense

Lame Calls: Injuries, unnecessary penalties (Keke and 12 men on the field) questionable officiating, dropping picks.

Unfortunately the Packers beat themselves in this game. Even with that we need to keep in mind that we lost on the road to good offensive team while playing with out our 3 best defensive players, Z, Gary and Alexander. When you face a talented offense, which the Vikings have, you can't make up for losing that much talent. Stokes and King just don't match up well enough with Thielen and Jefferson. Missing Z and Gary from the pass rush means that Cousins has too much time in the pocket to find his receivers. It was obvious that the Packers defense is not the same without Gary.

The offense suffers without Jones. Yes, Dillon can carry the load but it'snot the same without Jones. Jones can score from anywhere on the field via the run or the pass. His loss enables defenses to focus primarily on Rodgers and the passing game. The Packers obviously believed that they could score on the long pass early in the game, build an early lead and let the defense take over. It didn't work. In spite of everything, no Jones and a patchwork OL at best, Rodgers put up 4 TDs and made some brilliant throws. He was everything we needed in the clutch and he and the offense deserved a better fate than they received. I hope that MVS can follow up on yesterday's performance. If he can he is reaching the point of becoming the legit #2 our WR corps has been lacking.

I don't know how or when but MLF needs to do something about our FG unit. This mediocrity has gone on for too long and is far beyond unacceptable.

Need to beat the Rams and get to the bye week. GPG! Thanks, Since '61

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:43 am

I agree with your entire post, minus the part of MVS "reaching the point of becoming the legit #2 our WR corps has been lacking". A legit #2 doesn't need 10 targets to bring in 4 receptions. And this has been a recurring theme throughout his 3 1/2 year career. He is what he is at this point. A deep threat that helps keep defenses honest, but will consistently only catch half the passes thrown to him.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!!

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jlc1's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:31 am

I maybe missed something but I did not see him drop any passes. I did see Rodger overthrow him a few times. So the 10 targets and 4 receptions seems to be , ahem, out of his hands.

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 12:18 pm

I guess I was looking more of a "big picture" than just this one game. No, he did not have any drops in this game, but he certainly has had issues with drops throughout his career. My point was a "legit" #2 NFL receiver doesn't consistently have a 50% catch rate year after year.

It may seem like it, but I'm not hating on MVS. I like what he brings to this team. But more as a role player as opposed to an actual #2 receiver. I don't really know why AR and MVS have a problem being more accurate on a consistent basis, whether it's AR overthrowing him as you suggest or him running the wrong routes, or drops, or a combination of all 3. All I know, it would be great to get him more into the 60-65% catch rate before declaring him our #2.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 22, 2021 at 01:53 pm

As your "colleague" SinceLombardi, who hates Kevin King, you hates MVS with no reason. You must be the one who refuse to see what is obvious. That obvious is how father time started to influence your darling QB.

For example, AR first 2 long shots to MVS was way out the bounds, completely non catchable and far aways fro MVS. Also, 2 of short throws to MVS was throws to the ground because of the presure, not because of the MVS. Ball hitted the ground 5 yards away of MVS. SO, there was also 4 catches and 4 missthrows, total 8. I bet one I did not mention was throw AR made way behind of MVS who did not expect the ball at the time. Ball was thrown out. There is another throw I do not remember, I admit. And I just checked and that was 1st pass of the game, where MVS was hit hard before ball came to his hands (PI not called), so he was out of the position to make the catch. But, for your pleasure, I will admitt that was "catchable ball", So, he "dropped" one pass (suspicion one), catch 4 passes and was targeted next 5 times by completely un catchable throws.

Wow, shame on him for not catch those 5 balls...

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:18 pm

First off, I don't hate MVS. I thought I had already made that clear.

Secondly, weird how Rodgers completes around 70% of his passes to everyone else, but less than 50% to MVS. And not just this game, but for the last 3 1/2 years. But it's all on Rodgers. Got it.

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Since'61's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:58 pm

Actually 13Times, Rodgers completes more than 70% of his passes to the other receivers. His attempts to MVS and the resulting completion rate bring Rodgers total completion % down to 70%. So yes, some of that is on MVS. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Since'61's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:53 pm

13Times - I don’t disagree that MVS is not there yet as a legit #2 but I’m seeing his route running improving and that is a key step for him. He still needs to improve his catch rate and specifically his contested catch rate. Thanks, Since ‘61

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 22, 2021 at 03:13 pm

'61 - Imagine if MVS could get his catch rate up into the mid 60% range. With that speed and catching passes at that completion rate, he would have the potential to be one of the better #2's in the league. We can hope.

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Since'61's picture

November 22, 2021 at 04:32 pm

Agree! If he can into the 60% range it would awesome. Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 07:25 pm

He's not a # 2 guy. He cannot break down a CB and move his feet fast enough to plant, cut and run or body a CB. He is a deep threat Wide who needs to run routes that give Rodgers a better target on the sidelines. There is his weakness. The fly routes off the seams and the post pattern are his strengths. Probably doesn't have his 4.3 speed, but stays in the 4.4 range; otherwise he would run under Rodgers deep tosses. Just over the years of being a kid watching Tarkenton, Sonny Jurgenson, Montana, Favre etc @ Lambeau gives one an appreciation of Rodgers ability to toss it long.

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Fabio's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:33 am

Hello since '61.
I think the team as a whole is to be commended so far. Being 8-3 with all the injuries we have suffered I think is a great thing. For this I give big compliments to MLF and Barry.
As for the game against Vikings, I knew it wasn't going to be easy because in my opinion (except Kousuns as Q) they have a very good team (their ranking is liar) and I was also expecting eventual defeat.
The problem is how we lost. The problem is also not that our secondary has been beaten throughout the game. The problem is that for two consecutive times the D had to put an end to the game and did not. This (but perhaps we would have lost anyway) also occurred against KC, it is true that we kept KC at a very low score, but in the decisive moment in which we could give Love the chance to lead the team to win, we did not succeed. Does the defense suck? Absolutely not and I congratulate Barry for what he is doing, but even yesterday, on the last two drives in Minnesota, I would have expected Thielen and Jefferson to have doubled up, instead they were left 1v1.
This is the great doubt that I carry. When / if, in the decisive moment, we need the D to come forward in the playoffs, what answer will we have?
The fact that every week we have the opportunity to make at least one Int and we don't do it I think is a clear lack of talent because it is a fundamental technical that distinguishes good players from average ones ...
PS: I heard that even yesterday someone blames AR for the defeat .......
PS2: I no longer speak of special teams because it is all too evident
Greetings from Italy
GPG

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Since'61's picture

November 22, 2021 at 04:41 pm

Fabio - I hope that by the time we reach the playoffs we have Alexander and Gary back. The return of those 2 players will have a huge impact on our pass defense and the results even against a team with a good QB and good receivers.

The way it looks now in the NFC, whoever we face will have a good offense. Arizona, LA Rams, Dallas, Tampa Bay can all score points. Our defense must be able to stop those teams and get off the field. We will need our best players to be successful on defense in the playoffs. Otherwise we will lose a shootout type of game like we did yesterday.

Right now I hope that we have enough to hold off the Rams and reach the bye week so our players can rest and recover for the remainder of the season. GPG! Take care.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Brockrice99's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:12 am

I think another "Lame Call" should go out to Mason Crosby. A seasoned NFL veteran kicker should not be missing a 32 yard field goal, especially in a dome with no elements to impact the kick. We have those 3 points and look at that its a 34-34 game headed to overtime, where Mason Crosby probably loses the coin toss again sadly.

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LambeauPlain's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:21 am

Huge loss yesterday.

Losing the game was bad too.

Losing our best OL player...perhaps the best player on the team, wrecked my game day.

Time for Yosh to get frothy. When Bakht and Myers return (if they return), I would see Bakht, Runyon, Myers, Turner, Nijman as the best 5 and Matt promises all the time, he will play the best 5. Nijman is one of those guys IMO. He should have taken over RT and bumped Turner to RG and bumped Newman to the bench several games ago.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:56 am

Lame Call(s) - literally Jenkins with an ACL tear. Also Rodgers play calling for the first 1/3rd of the game. He must have mis-remembered that he was to play the MLF system - not the McCarthy - which he has a tendency to still do after 2+ years.

I'm not going to be too harsh on the secondary - facing excellent WRs - with ample time to run their routes - due to the lack of pass rush - as key members of the D are out with injuries.

C'mon bye week!

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edp1959's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:37 am

Still waiting for one of you haters to back up your claim and provide the proof that Rodgers is not following the game plan. Obviously you are in the huddle and team meetings since you know what it is. Until that proof is provided it's just a flat out lie.

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greengold's picture

November 22, 2021 at 12:06 pm

I agree with you, edp 1959, that this is difficult to lay all of the high pass/run ratio on Rodgers without knowing what was called.

After seeing LaFleur run nearly identical ratios v. KC with Jordan Love in his 1st NFL game, to the detriment of his success/protection, I think the problems we've witnessed might be more in line with the play caller, OC and HCs the last decade, being enamored with having Aaron Rodgers to overemphasize the sexy passing game...

That, to me, was very telling, as was the AZ game a week prior, where a healthy Jones/Dillon only had 30 carries combined, when everyone in the world knew we needed to be run heavy. We won, but, BARELY. Made that game way more difficult than it needed to be, had Jones/Dillon gotten 20+ carries each.

Rodgers definitely checks out of run plays, but, how much of what we see is from higher up? None of us really knows.

I don't personally hate AR, tho I admit disliking his superior dance BS. I hate stupid football that steals defeat from the jaws of victory... THIS NEEDS TO STOP. Same mistakes in failing to run to levels that are more balanced, with great RBs for most of the last decade... The Packers keep doing this, expecting different results.

I'd argue that we might be undefeated at this point, had we RUN THE ROCK to near equal pass attempt numbers, or more.

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Coldworld's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:42 pm

I don’t recall people saying it was Rodgers going away from the run yesterday in large numbers. I think most thought it was a combination of LaFleur’s calling in the first quarter and a half.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:50 pm

What I saw was that Rodgers kept looking off the short open pass for long (and mostly covered receivers) - so a game plan is moot.

Conversely, do you have proof that he followed the game plan - were you in the huddle and at team meetings?

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jlc1's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:27 am

In answer to the final question - no. With starters like Jenkins, Tonyan, Z Smith out for the year and others like Myers, Alexander and more out for more than half the season and likely to take a while to get back it is pretty clear that it is impossible for the Pack to field a preferred starting unit on either side of the ball. That said they have been just great at adapting to this cascade of injuries. They have earned our respect no matter what the season outcome.

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Curt's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:51 am

Goal at this point is to win the division and somehow get hot in the playoffs ala 1996.

Minnesota has a better offense than GB when all AR does is try to force it long and not move the chains....

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Curt's picture

November 22, 2021 at 11:49 am

The way the defense played better over the last three games, was the offense ran the ball, controlled the time of possesion, thus limiting the defensive # of plays. Only 11 runs for Dillon against one of the worst running defenses in the league put too much pressure on the defense.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 07:46 pm

Seems the Vi-queens defense did a pretty good job of shutting down the running game, quarter# one onward. Then the track meet begins as Zimmer has been booted from the offensive meeting rooms.

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marpag1's picture

November 22, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Anybody still holding to the wild, knee-jerk reaction from last week that Krys Barnes has somehow turned the corner? Lol. In addition to the previously mentioned missed tackles - and there were several of them - he was also targeted three times in coverage, he allowed a catch every time, and he gave up 41 yards. Just another game for Barnes. The guy almost literally NEVER succeeds in coverage.

But the biggest problems were 1) the corners, and 2) the O-line. Both groups were atrocious. Billy Turner's night was brutal. Probably the best O-line play - not counting Jenkins who is now lost for the year - came from Yosh Nijman, who was decent. Pretty much everyone else on the o-line stunk.

Preston Smith was the Packers best player today, I thought. Kenny Clark came out guns a-blazing, but kind of disappeared after that.

I was impressed with how well Galeai played.

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

November 22, 2021 at 12:30 pm

That looked like an interception to me. Ball didn’t seem to be loose until he hit the ground. What happened to the principle that “the ground can’t cause a fumble”?

Pet peeve—I’m really tired of how ticky tacky the NFL has become on what constitutes a catch. Good grief!

Injuries are really piling up. Glad the bye week is coming soon.

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marpag1's picture

November 22, 2021 at 01:22 pm

The ground can't cause a fumble. But if you have not yet demonstrated clear possession - as the NFL defines possession - it's not a fumble. You have to possess it first before you can fumble it.

That said, yeah, I kind of agree with you. But two dozen super slow-mo camera angles kind of forces you to split those hairs about what is or is not a catch.

And according to the NFL rules, it was pretty clearly NOT a catch.

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JordyWoodson's picture

November 22, 2021 at 02:08 pm

First off, the team didn't execute to the level needed. Lots of indecision/ communication problems in the secondary. So do not construe my next comments as making excuses. It was the Packs game to win (and would have with one close play going their way).

Lame Calls: Who was the 12th man on the field? I rewatched parts of the game and unless there was a DB off camera, I counted 11. They said Chandon Sullivan and they usually show the wide angle but didnt. Officiating felt skewed and replays absent. Vikings got the benefit of the doubt on a lot of holds, especially in 4th Quarter, a first down to Theilen where he was short, Theilen stepping out of bounds after Douglas missed the pick, illegal use of hands on 77, a helmet to helmet hit on Davante, and the PI call for 37 yards where Savage turned to go for the ball, albeit making some minor contact (much less then when MVS got tackled in the middle of the field before the ball got there).

Officiating didn't cost the Packers the game but sure as hell made it a lot tougher.

Now, let's go home and take care of the rams.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

November 22, 2021 at 03:12 pm

Theilen is NOTORIOUS for OPI when the pass is short.... grabbing the defender's arms before the ball gets to them.... but NEVER gets called on it....

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Johnblood27's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:22 pm

With all of the angst concerning the secondary and the wide-openness of viqueen wr downfield, I have to wonder where in the hell was Amos all day? He hasn't gotten any mention for blame like every other DB on the GBP.

Does he get a pass? I truly do not know where he was or where he was supposed to be, just that everyone else is getting lampooned and he isn't mentioned at all.

Was he in the box guarding against Cook having a big day? Did he make the tackles on Cook when he was contained? Did he even play?

Injuries are waaaaayyy out of control. The bye will be welcome, however the level and severity of the injuries the GBP have sustained to this point will not be alleviated by a one week respite. Help is NOT on the way... and even if it was, 2-3 games at the end of the season sure does not seem like enough time to get a team effort coordinated to the extent necessary to make a push deep into the playoffs. The GBP need all hands on deck after the bye or just put them on IR and move forward with who is available. I am getting impatient with Bakh, Z, Myers and Jaire, they need to play ball after the bye week or just say bye bye for 2021.

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Philarod's picture

November 22, 2021 at 10:54 pm

I'll take it in a slightly different direction:

GAME (top 5): Rodgers, Davante, MVS, Preston and Clark.
LAME: Everyone whining that they scored too soon on the bomb to MVS. You don't turn down a TD when you're down 7.

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