Five More Thoughts on Packers Win Over Cardinals

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Tom Crabtree for the score!

Now that the dust has settled and the hangover has worn off, here are five more thoughts on the Green Bay Packers 31-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Morgan Burnett is becoming pretty good
The Packers third-year safety has really stepped up since Charles Woodson went down. He had seven tackles on Sunday. He had 11 the week before, while also registering a sack and forced fumble. Burnett has improved in coverage and is solid supporting the run. He may not be in Woodson’s league, but Burnett has been the backbone of the Packers defense since the future Hall of Famer got hurt.

The Packers have (maybe) figured out how to run the ball
We’ve been beating up the offensive line for several weeks now. Against Arizona, the Packers finally got a running game going. They did it primarily by handing the ball to James Starks and using Alex Green as a change of pace. Starks is a banger who runs straight ahead and much like Cedric Benson, that style seems to work to the strengths of the offensive line (whatever those are). Starks had 61 yards on 17 carries. Green had 53 on 11. Randall Cobb got three carries for 29. Look for more of that mix going forward.

Tom Crabtree, WTF?
You know what we expected from Tom Crabtree in the passing game this season? Next to nothing. Instead, we’ve gotten this so far: six catches, 183 yards and three touchdowns. That’s 30.3 yards per catch. The Packers big-play threat? It’s not Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings or Jermichael Finley. It’s Tom Crabtree. Maybe the Packers should throw this guy the ball a little more. Finley is only averaging 9.3 per catch and only has one touchdown.

There’s something wrong with the pass defense
You’ve heard this one before, haven’t you? Like all of last season? Well, there’s still something wrong. Whether it’s the scheme, personnel or loss of Charles Woodson, it’s hard to say. We do know this though. Good defenses don’t give up 300-plus passing yards to guys like Blaine Gabbert and John Skelton and they certainly don’t do that in back-to-back weeks. These guys wouldn’t be starting for most of the teams in the NFL, but they both looked awfully good against the Packers.

Brad Jones — maybe not so bad after all
Although we never really questioned whether he was any good, we did wonder why Brad Jones was starting at inside linebacker instead of Robert Francois or Jamari Lattimore. Well, he led the Packers in tackles on Sunday with nine. He was second the week before with 10 (he also recorded a sack and forced fumble). He’s not always great in coverage, but it looks like Jones was the right choice at inside linebacker and he’s definitely earning his keep.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

11 Comments on "Five More Thoughts on Packers Win Over Cardinals"

  1. Dave

    I believe the key to Tom’s success is the sparsity in which he is used. So while it’s great to have those plays, trying to get him the ball more often would negate his surprise ability giving him the big play opportunities.

  2. Chad Lundberg

    The Packers gave up 300 yards passing to both teams, but they only gave up a little more than 6 yards a pass. very ineffeicent.

  3. Andy

    It also shouldn’t be overlooked that the packers pass defence is getting lousy quarterbacks to throw up to 50 times a game. It seems to work. Also the packers are always ahead so you force other teams to wing it.

    I’m also going to add that if the passing offense looks “off” i’m glad that they’re still putting up 4 tds a game. That works for me.

    Best special teams in the league? Very possible.

    • Phatgzus

      Best Kickoff and punt team in the league, very possibly; best FG kicking-not even close at this point.

  4. Mike R

    The 300 yards number is misleading. When the opposing team throws 50 passes, they are going to have 300 yards. His completion percentage was 50%.

  5. Doug

    Best special teams in the league are most likely the Bears, as much as it pains me to say it.


    Andy:

    It also shouldn’t be overlooked that the packers pass defence is getting lousy quarterbacks to throw up to 50 times a game. It seems to work. Also the packers are always ahead so you force other teams to wing it.
    I’m also going to add that if the passing offense looks “off” i’m glad that they’re still putting up 4 tds a game. That works for me.
    Best special teams in the league? Very possible.

  6. Abe Frohman

    I think the large number of passing yards are a reflection of the defenses we’re in and the situation. They’re going to a zone trying to keep everything in front of them.

    Yes, we had a bunch of running yards last game. I’m not convinced that the problems are gone there. We didn’t run it very successfully in the fourth quarter when we were trying to run out the clock.

  7. One Reality

    Look, I know that this defense leaves a lot to be desired, but Skelton went 32-52 for 290 yards against the 49ers last week. Yes, that’s the same 49ers who have the second best pass defense in the league. The Packers pass defense is 20th, which isn’t ideal but it could be worse. They can be really frustrating to watch, but I think it’s being somewhat overstated about how bad they are. They are 11th in the league in points allowed with almost 21 per game. If the offense is playing the way that it is capable of playing 21 points per game is certainly adequate.

  8. Jim Rudolph

    Check your math on Crabtree’s average per catch, something isn’t right? If he really had 8 catches at 30.3/ catch, he would be over 240 yards receiving?

  9. Shawn iltarion

    6 catches for 183 yards

    Let Starks and Green switch off and we should be fine there. Give Starks the short yardage plays.

    The only thing wrong with the pass defense is that it is young as hell. Hayward, House, McMillian and Jennings all still have a ways to go. Like typical youth, they shined at times and stunk at times.

    Morgan Burnett has shined in Woodson’s old role. He is clearly better near the line of scrimmage.

  10. SoTxPhil

    It seems to me like GB’s defense is doing very well on first and sec down, but whenever it is third and long (over 8 yds) we always go into the 3 man rush with 8 back which gives the QB, no matter who he is, plenty of time to find a rcvr/TE wide open for a good gain and usually a first down. It makes no sense to me why Capers keeps using this scheme when it fails to bring up fourth down most of the time. Putting more pressure on the bad QBs causes more bad things to happen when they have to get rid of it quick.

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