Final Impressions: Packers vs. Saints

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James Starks

Starks can run, but needs to improve his pass protection.

Until we whip out TiVo Time and review the tape, here are our final impressions on the Green Bay Packers 42-34 win over the [intlink id=”234″ type=”category”]New Orleans Saints[/intlink].

1. Although he cooled off in the second half, [intlink id=”25″ type=”category”]Aaron Rodgers[/intlink]¬†outdueled Drew Brees, completing 27-0f-35 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. More impressively, he had a 132.1 passer rating.

2. Rookie [intlink id=”1616″ type=”category”]Randall Cobb[/intlink] impressed with his 32-yard touchdown catch and his big third quarter kickoff return that went 108 yards for a touchdown. On the touchdown catch he didn’t even run the right route.

3. We like the Packers using their Posse personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB), aligning [intlink id=”209″ type=”category”]Jermichael Finley[/intlink] as the backside X receiver (split end). The formation puts the speed of [intlink id=”138″ type=”category”]Greg Jennings[/intlink], [intlink id=”22″ type=”category”]Jordy Nelson[/intlink] and [intlink id=”76″ type=”category”]Donald Driver[/intlink] on the strong side, which is awfully tough to defend.

4. The offensive game plan was solid in the passing and running attacks. The Packers had a balanced offense getting 10 rushing first downs and 14 passing first downs.

5. The running game looked better than it did during the preseason, rushing 27 times for a net 103 yards and averaging 3.8 yards per carry. [intlink id=”1038″ type=”category”]James Starks[/intlink] led the rushing attack with 12 rushes for 57 yards and one big touchdown run. He simply must improve his pass blocking to become a complete player.

6. The Packers controlled the interior of the offensive and defensive lines to win the game. The offensive line as a whole looked solid. Although he had several false starts, [intlink id=”583″ type=”category”]T.J. Lang[/intlink]¬†improves the running game and he looked consistent in the passing game.

7. Defensive coordinator [intlink id=”305″ type=”category”]Dom Capers[/intlink] won’t be happy watching the game film. The defense looked rusty, with atrocious third down defense, poor tackling and spotty pass coverage. [intlink id=”1061″ type=”category”]Sam Shields[/intlink] allowed too many big completions. The Packers gave up 477 total yards, with Brees throwing for 419 yards. They somehow made enough big plays to win the game.

8. Although the Packers defense notched three sacks, they lacked a consistent pass rush. At times, Brees had all day to throw the ball and he took advantage by making big plays. The defensive line must improve their pass rush. Outside linebacker [intlink id=”1335″ type=”category”]Erik Walden[/intlink] and defensive end Jarius Wynn had their moments, but the rest of the front seven was M.I.A.

9. On the Packers final defensive stand, the goal-line defense was stellar. The goal-line package with four defensive linemen, four linebackers, and three defensive backs stopped running back Mark Ingram for no gain as the clock ran out.

10. Wynn had big plays against the run and notched a sack. While he’s an improved player, he’s simply a solid backup to [intlink id=”1033″ type=”category”]Mike Neal [/intlink] or [intlink id=”1042″ type=”category”]C.J. Wilson[/intlink].

11. Special teams continue to be shaky. Shawn Slocum’s unit gave up a touchdown and several other big returns. The gap control and tackling was simply awful. No one came close to touching Darren Sproles on his 72-yard punt return touchdown.

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5 Comments on "Final Impressions: Packers vs. Saints"

  1. nurseratchett

    Still a little worried about the O-line. Good rush blocking, but Rodgers was sacked once and knocked down at least twice on the opening drive alone. Protection seemed to improve as the game went on.

    D line not bad at all especially in the red zone, I won’t even discuss pass D, & I did feel cullen’s absence on a couple of plays. All in all very pleased & hopeful the necessary adjustments will be made on D.

    Cobb’s run back–fantastic. And no credit should be given to slocum since based on post game comments by MM, Cobb just F’in went for it. More credit belongs to John Kuhn (pronounced KUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHN!); not only did he block for him, but check out the replay…when RC did his barrel roll, JK made DAMN SURE he didn’t go down. Now that’s what I call teamwork.

    The bottom line is we F’in WON!!!

    A talking head on ESPN Radio this AM actually talked about the Pack capable of going for more than a repeat, but for perfection this season. Gave me goosebumps. Fortunately, it wasn’t Mike Greenburg since he has that whole curse thing going.

    GO PACK GO!!!!!!!!!!

    • nurseratchett

      Re: Gave me goosebumps: Of course, I always get sappy after I drink like a fish, am a little hungover & on my way to work….

  2. Donny Hunguss

    Aaron was definitely the better QB in that contest yet I still notice some are still claiming he isn’t best in the league. I haven’t seen Rivers play much but I do know that Drew Brees can’t make all the throws. He doesn’t have the deep ball like Rogers/P. Manning/Brady have.

    Manning is officially in the twilight of his career so I think A-Rog should be considered to be THE BEST in football along with Brady. Unfortunately there will always be naysayers because Green Bay’s receivers are quite possibly the best fielded by one team, ever.

    I

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