Five More Thoughts on Packers Win Over the Vikings

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Eddie Lacy

Eddie Lacy

So the Green Bay Packers raked the Minnesota Vikings 44-31 on Sunday. They were supposed to. Done and done.

The Packers are on a roll and here are five more thoughts about the game that we didn’t cover on Sunday.

What is Brad Jones’ role?
Jones has now missed three weeks. Even though he practiced last week, he wasn’t active on Sunday. In the meantime, Jamari Lattimore has been tearing it up. In those three starts, Lattimore has 19 tackles and two sacks. He’s bringing the playmaking ability that Desmond Bishop used to bring to the inside linebacker position. He’s bringing the playmaking ability that Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk don’t bring. Not sure how you take this guy out of the lineup.

We’re not sure what’s going on at cornerback.
Casey Hayward got his first action of the season on Sunday. It wasn’t extensive. Hayward made just one tackle and went pretty much unnoticed. This is a guy who led the Packers with six picks last season. And now it looks like a hamstring injury has killed his season. Bad for Hayward, but good for the Packers. Hayward looks almost expendable now because Sam Shields, Davon House, Micah Hyde and, to a lesser extent, Tramon Williams are playing so well. Good problem to have, I guess.

The Packers have a punt returner, but not a kick returner.
Micah Hyde can ball. You saw that when he returned that punt 93 yards. Johnathan Franklin is still a… uh… work in progress? As impressive as Hyde was, Franklin was just as forgettable as the kick returner. He averaged 17 yards on two returns. That probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering Franklin has never been a kick returner. Way to cram a square peg into a round hole, Mike. Unfortunately, the Packers probably don’t have another option at this point.

Limit Eddie Lacy’s carries? Okay.
The Packers said they were going to limit Eddie Lacy’s carries in order to keep him fresh. Okay. They then proceeded to hand him the ball 29 times. Not that we’re complaining. Lacy is 22 and he can probably get the ball 30-plus times a game. That being said, James Starks carried seven times for 57 yards and a touch. That’s 8.1 per carry. So maybe there’s something to this theory of spelling Lacy with Starks on occasion.

The defensive line is the strength of this team.
Yeah, Aaron Rodgers. Best player in football. However, the Packers are stout this season because they’re winning in the trenches. Crazy, right? The offensive line has been good enough — awesome in the run game, in fact — but the defensive line goes out and proves they’re the strength of the team week after week. If you remember last season, you’ll remember Adrian Peterson punching the Packers in the mouth repeatedly. For a lot of yards. On Sunday, Peterson had 60 yards. The play of guys like Johnny Jolly and Mike Daniels have made this unit. So much so, that first-round pick Datone Jones can’t even get on the field.

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.

26 Comments on "Five More Thoughts on Packers Win Over the Vikings"

  1. pf4l

    WTF did I just read?..”Tramon Williams is playing well”. WTF games are you watching Monty? Tramon Williams had 2 more P I penaltys in Sundays game. He cant cover, that’s what happens to guys who cant cover, they get flagged for cheating. Williams hasn’t had a interception in 21 games……Leave the game analysis to Shawn.

    • valpoPackers


      pf4l:

      WTF did I just read?..”Tramon Williams is playing well”. WTF games are you watching Monty? Tramon Williams had 2 more P I penaltys in Sundays game. He cant cover, that’s what happens to guys who cant cover, they get flagged for cheating. Williams hasn’t had a interception in 21 games……Leave the game analysis to Shawn.

      Blaming Tramon for 2 pass interference calls? Did you even watch the game?

      • Savage57

        The reason TW got flagged is he’s getting the same rep in the league and with the officials that Al Harris and Chuck had. Lost a step, playing lazy, whatever the reason, TW has been doing a lot of grabbing the last couple of years and the zebra’s AREN’T giving him a free pass anymore.

        The guy had one good year.

  2. valpoPackers

    I don’t understand what it is about kick returning for the Packers that makes returners lose their god damn minds. Franklin’s dancing at the goal line at the end of the half was almost catastrophic. What the hell was he thinking? His decision to take it 9 yards out of the end zone was also incredibly stupid. Nobody on the Packers special teams knows what they’re doing (except Hyde). When Franklin returned the kickoff on their first possession, Bostick and Kuhn decided to completely ignore the first guy to come down field and whiff on their subsequent blocks. If you take it out, chances are you will get no blocks whatsoever to have a chance at a decent return. Didn’t we just go over this with Ross? If it’s in the end zone at all take a god damn knee. Especially on the road. Let the offense control the game. If I see the offense start at the 10 yard line or less after a kickoff one more time I’m going to lose my fucking mind.

    They should keep Hyde on kickoff returns… maybe his ego isn’t as enormous as Ross’s or Franklin’s… although anyone else see Hyde almost wipe out dragging his feet at the end of the punt return?

    Other than the punt return for a touchdown (just great vision by Hyde, and some horrible lane containment by Minnesota), the Packers special teams continues to be poorly managed. House, special teams guy from day 1, is probably the worst special teams player on the team. Kuhn is too slow to make any sort of an impact on kick returns or kick coverage and had one of the biggest gaffes of the year so far. These guys have no clue what they’re doing and I blame coaching (Slocum), not injuries. You can’t blame injuries on only having ONE WIDE RECEIVER lining up to recover an onside kick on your HANDS TEAM!

    • Andy

      Completely agree, If you know arron is coming why risk the chance of a fumble or horrible starting position.

      In defence of special teams they have been affected by the injuries in other units, thereby shuffling players around, but what they need here is no risk mistake free play.

    • Phatgzus

      Agree with the strategic premises of the first 2 points, but you can’t present a logical argument by presenting one side of the matter while completely ignoring the other. The fact is special teams coverage and blocking on kickoffs has been absolutely abysmal, but the punt units (Esp. the return unit)-sans Kuhns abherrent stroke out-have been one of the strengths of this team. Furthermore, you need to understand this is a young unit that has been decimated (yes I mean destroyed to the tune of 10 percent), maybe even worse.

      In summation: You take the Good, you take the Bad, and there you have…the facts of life.

  3. TyKo Steamboat

    One thing I know for sure…

    We’re the only team in the NFL that can’t seem to kickoff a freaking touchback…

    I mean, we suck at kick coverage (i.e. we can’t tackle) on Special Teams.

    So just boot a freaken kickoff already…we’re letting EVERYBODY return kicks to the 40 Yd. line.

    • Savage57

      When your opponents KO coverage unit is giving up 30 yards per, you take it out even if it’s at the back of the end zone, ala Patterson.

  4. Jon Mallaber

    Still taking short sighted pot shots at one of the best coaches in the league, huh Hollywood? I guess you must still be upset with the Mike Sherman firing. Can’t wait to read the next ignorant statement about Ted Thompson as well.

  5. Cheese

    I would have liked to see Starks get a few more carries being that he was doing so well. Either way, Lacy or Starks I liked what I seen.

  6. TyKo Steamboat

    I still can’t understand all of the Tramon hatred.

    He’s not great but he definitely isn’t as bad as everyone seems to be saying he is.

    • valpoPackers


      TyKo Steamboat:

      I still can’t understand all of the Tramon hatred.
      He’s not great but he definitely isn’t as bad as everyone seems to be saying he is.

      Tramon should have had safety help on that late penalty. Especially considering the circumstances. I’m not sure why they would let any db run man up with no over the top safety help that late in the game. Tramon did get beat, but at least he was smart enough to grab Paterson’s jersey.

      The first PI call was complete BS.

      Overall, the Vikings receivers had 4 catches for 53 yards. It’s hard to get too upset at Tramon for just that play. Saying he’s the weakest player on the defense right now is extremely ignorant, considering the number of other players that are overmatched (D Jones, Mulumba, Palmer, Jennings).

      • pf4l

        He gets burned constantly, he cant tackle, when he gets burnt, he always looks around for a safety and points his finger…It’s never Tramons fault. His (PD) passes defended sucks. He’s always way off the receiver. Look at his whole body of work. at 8 million dollars….We should here his name making plays….NOT getting penaltys all the fucking time. lets see if TT agree’s with me. He wont be a Green Bay Packer next year. We are deep at corner. He’s done. Good riddance

  7. the real russ letlow

    we shut down their receivers for sure. running back – hoo boy!. its a bout time we have a “problem” like that! Likewise for the DB’s. If Tramon is our worst DB, then we are squattin’ in tall cotton! lots of teams would love to have half of the defensive backfield we have, Tramon included.

  8. Chad Lundberg

    Casey Hayward expendable??? Casey Hayward had six picks, did not commit a single penalty, and held quarterbacks to a lowly 31.1 passer rating when they threw at him, which was the best of any cornerback in the NFL, last season as a ROOKIE. HAYWARD IS A GEM, even in this cornerback rich roster!!

  9. Phatgzus

    That was Haywards first real game action in nearly a year, Monty, and he looked alright to me, last I checked you don’t want to hear a DBs name unless it’s a pick, sack, or fumble recovery. Please don’t write off Hayward’s season in Week 8.

    Tramon’s not worth the money he’s making, but as Russ stated, if he’s our worst DB (which he’s not, not by a long shot), were sitting pretty-he’s no worse than a capable 2nd CB.

    As for Datone, he isn’t playing alot, and rightly so, but he’s made some impact plays (call it right place right time syndrome a la Bush in SB XLV if
    you want), and he seems to be improving some as I’ve witnessed him getting into tge backfield on a handful of occasions.

  10. pf4l

    Datone Jones was another one…After the play was over….unnecessary roughness. Bonehead penalty that kept a drive alive, just like Tramon’s, or as he likes to be called “Optimus Prime”. Can someone tell me the last time Tramon made a play in the secondary…interception?..forced fumble?…anything?

    • Savage57

      Hey, hey, hey. Easy now.

      A couple of games ago I saw him chase a receiver stride for stride 20 yards down the sidelines grabbing at the guy’s jersey like a motherfucker.

      He’s a beast!

      • Jovian

        Pun of the decade!

        As for my take: Brad Jones was playing his ass off prior to his injury. Sacks, tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and he can play OLB as well. Hawk is also having a playmaking season. For the first time in a long time it looks like we have an embarrassment of riches on defense. It’s been knocking opponents out of games early and has only been middling statistically because McCarthy calls eat-the-clock with the offense when they’re that far ahead.

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