Packers vs. Titans Game Notes
This was one of the Green Bay Packers’ more disappointing losses of the year, in part because the Packers actually played well for most of the game. The lines held their own on both sides of the ball against the normally dominant Tennessee Titans’ lines.
In the end, the Packers were overwhelmed when it counted most. When they had opportunities to put points on the board, the Packers didn’t finish and lost 19-16.
- Other than the Tampa game, this was Aaron Rodgers’ weakest outing. He and Greg Jennings never got on the same page. I’m not sure who to attribute that too, but the usually electric duo missed several potentially huge plays early in the game. Rodgers struggled in the red zone and hung onto the ball too long, again. Also, coaches revealed in post-game pressers that Rodgers checked out of run plays, opting to pass. Going into the game, that would be understandable, but Ryan Grant was actually looking quite effective and averaged around 4.3 yards/carry. I think that speaks to how much confidence Rodgers has in the ground game at this point.
- Grant’s run game is still improving, which is encouraging. The guy is just a horrible receiving running back, though, as evidenced by another dropped pass. I’d like to see Brandon Jackson in the lineup a bit more.
- Donald Driver. Wow! An encouraging byproduct of this game was that explosion by Driver. Who do you double team? Pick your poison. Teams will have to respect both of the Packers wideouts. You can’t double team both Driver and Jennings. The more teams fear the Packers passing game, the easier it will be for the running game to get on track.
- Atari Bigby looked rusty after missing six games. I think the Packers should have kept Aaron Rouse in the starting lineup and eased Bigby back into the flow of the game. Bigby dropped a couple of pick opportunities. You have to think that Rouse would have made those plays. Just one of a few questionable personnel moves by Mike McCarthy.
- I’m losing faith in Brady Poppinga. His personal foul penalty was a killer, he has not made an impact in the pass rush and he’s a liability in coverage. Again, I want to see Desmond Bishop. he has more speed than Poppinga and the size that speedster Brandon Chillar lacks.
- Michael Montgomery was very impressive. A big step up from the departed KGB – 10 tackles, some pressures and one pass defended.
- The Packers got jobbed by the non-call on Courtland Finnegan, who was all over Jennings on that deep ball in the 4th quarter.
- Jordy Nelson is still looking sharp. Big target, runs good patterns and is elusive after the catch. I don’t have official stats or anything, but it seems like all of his catches are first downs. He’s going to be good…
- I said it right after the game-winning field goal. Tennessee is the crappiest 8-0 team that I have ever seen. The Packers showed that their pass defense is suspect. Kerry Collins is a savvy veteran, but he is as mobile as a washer-dryer unit. That will come back to haunt them. An injury to rookie of the year front runner Chris Johnson would sink this team.
- I mentioned the odd personnel choices made by McCarthy. None was more head-scratchingly odd than the choice to play raw rookie tight end Jermichael Finley. It was bad enough that the Packers had an untested greenhorn playing against such a formidable opponent, but run a play his direction on fourth down? Come on. So, the dude drops it (and a touchdown later in the game) and later blames it all on Rodgers. This is jaw dropping stuff. This is the easily the craziest string of comments made by a third-string rookie tight end that I have ever seen. This is some Terrell Owens-level-throw-my-quarterback-under-the-bus stuff right here. Jermichael, guess who won’t throw you the ball next time? Go ahead. Guess. His coaches, to their credit, did not agree. I predict we won’t be seeing Finley back on the field for a while. He has potential and all the physical tools, but please, Jermichael, shut the fuck up.
- One has to wonder why he was activated in the first place, while proven receiving options like James Jones and Ruvell Martin were not. James Jones is at 100 percent after struggling with a nagging knee injury. He was a big play guy last year. I’d have preferred to have him out there on Sunday, wouldn’t you? What gives?
Onward to the Metrodome next week. God, I hate that horn the Queens play. Hopefully moral stays up and the Packers can carry their solid play over into that game and humiliate the Vikings yet again.
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Steffen grew up in Milwaukee, Bowler and Neenah Wisconsin. He is a UW-Stevens Point grad and currently works as a television producer in Los Angeles.