Packers Pixels: 10 Things You Might Have Missed in the Eagles Game
It’s easy to miss things during a Green Bay Packers game. After all, there’s beer to drink, cheese and sausage to eat, various bathroom breaks to utilize, and spirited conversation amongst your fellow fans. It’s nearly impossible to NOT miss something… but fear not! ‘Packers Pixels’ will focus on the Packers television broadcast and hopefully fill you in on the little details you might have missed. Enjoy!
1. Stafford’s No Dummy
Matthew Stafford understands the significance of Aaron Rodgers being out for a prolonged period of time. In an interview shown on Fox Pregame, Stafford talked about the additional motivation gained from Rodgers’ prolonged absence.
“With Aaron going down, no one likes to see it. I’ve been there. I’ve been in his shoes and it’s not fun. He’s the unquestioned leader on that team, a great player and one of the best quarterbacks in the league. So it is important while he’s getting healthy again for us to take care of our business. Anytime a great player is off the field you’ve gotta capitalize and do well while that person’s healing up.”
The real business will take place on Thanksgiving Day.
2. Majority Decision
Of the five people picking games on Fox Pregame, three chose the Packers while two chose the Eagles. Although typically not easy to do, Terry Bradshaw and Rob Riggle came off looking like the smart ones while Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson all went with the Packers. Had they known in advance that Seneca Wallace had no heart and would be sidelined after one series, the whole panel likely would have sided with Philly.
Not so surprisingly, getting Scott Tolzien on the field earlier than was planned might work out better for the Packers in the long run. After all, that’s the only way the best Packers players get on the field… when the starter goes down and the staff is forced to begrudgingly insert the superior player. See — Lattimore, Jamari.
3. Sleepwalking Into Battle
The shot of the Packers coming out of the tunnel to start the game would replicate their uninspired play on the field for the day. Led out at a slow jog by Mason Crosby, who would later set the standard of mediocrity, the entire Green Bay squad showed no fire, zero passion, and offered up nothing to the crowd. They all jogged out at a half-assed pace, most of them turning it into a slow walk well before reaching midfield. Not one person attempted to pump up the crowd, not one Packers player appeared like he even wanted to be there. Is it any surprise that 99 percent of the team played like garbage? They never even showed up.
4. Defenses Not Only Ones Adapting to Chip Kelly Offense
Imagine being a television professional used to broadcasting football games for the last 25 years. Then imagine a guy like Chip Kelly comes along and takes the hurry-up offense to an all-new level. Not only has Kelly made opposing defenses uncomfortable, he’s made TV producers and directors change how they present the game to us fans. Personally, I love getting a replay of every single play whether it’s for no gain or 40 yards. There’s always something happening in a play that warrants a second look. But with the Eagles offense setting up and getting off as fast as they are, the only way you can get a replay is by rewinding the DVR.
Slow down, Chip! You’re ruining my viewing experience!
5. Malibu Kelly Hayes You Are Not
Datone Jones made a couple plays this game. You know how I know? Because he made a spectacle of himself a few times to make sure we all saw it was him that made the play. Despite his grandstanding on his first sack, both Troy Aikman and Joe Buck incorrectly identified him as Mike Neal. This should serve notice to Datone Jones that no matter how much attention he draws to himself after making a play, there’s still a very good chance that incompetence from Aikman, Buck, the spotter, and the Fox crew will somehow mess it up.
Here’s one idea Datone… Next time you make a play, how about acting like a professional and just go back to the huddle? When you dance around and point at yourself everytime you make a play, you just remind us all how rarely we’ve seen that out of you and how very little impact you’ve had thus far.
6. Tramon On Desean? Come On!
I’ve made my case for Dom Capers to be relieved of his duties for quite some time now and I am so freaking tired of people saying, “It’s not the scheme, it’s the execution.”
Bullshit. Pure unadulterated bullshit.
Everyone wants to talk about the manner in which Morgan Burnett and Tramon Williams collided giving DeSean Jackson an easy touchdown, but no one wants to talk about the fact that it was Capers who had Williams singled up on the outside with the much faster Jackson. The replay shows DeSean Jackson running right past Tramon Williams and having several steps on him over the top. Only a subpar Nick Foles throw has us talking about the Keystone-Cops-almost-interception instead of masking the real problem on the play: Tramon Williams has no earthly business trying to cover Desean Jackson.
The moment Foles saw Tramon out there he knew where he was going with the ball. Bad throw, good throw, interception, touchdown or incomplete… it doesn’t matter. The result is not what we should be talking about here, rather it’s the horrific spot Capers put his team in by putting ‘Clutchy McGrabass’ on a bonafide speedster.
After this play, Capers did what common sense should have told him right from the get go… he put Sam Shields on Jackson every single snap. Don’t tell me it’s not about the scheme. You know what Jackson did for the rest of the game with Shields shadowing him? He had a whopping three catches for 25 yards, most of which were gained when Shields fell down on a play. Capers putting Williams on Jackson for one play is one play too many… and the Packers paid for it.
7. Yo Adrian! I did it!
Did you happen to see the somewhat out of place photo of Eagles coach Chip Kelly holding up a picture of Rocky Balboa on the sideline? It happened quite fast and there was no mention on air as to what it was about. Those who have watched the Eagles more than I have this year likely know this, but apparently Kelly uses pictures of Philadelphia icons to call plays in from the bench. In addition to Rocky, Kelly has also or will eventually use the Philly Fanatic, Ben Franklin, M. Night Shyamalan, and a fat drunk dude in a beer-stained wife beater.
8. Shawn Slocum… Master Teacher
There are a lof of rules in the game of American football. So many that on just about every Sunday spent on the couch, the average and even diehard NFL fan will learn a thing or two. However there are situations that come up occasionally demonstrating all at once that the players on the field have less of a clue about the rules than I do. To me this is just totally unacceptable.
Take the Packers punt that happened after their first possession in the third quarter. Tim Masthay booms a punt that bounces and obviously deflects off Micah Hyde near the Eagles’ 20-yard line. Hyde chases the ball down towards the goal line and foolishly bats it back into play where the ball rolls at about the 2-yard line. Then Eagles special teamer Colt Anderson touches the ball and attempts to scoop it up, but he is simultaneously hit by several Packers. The ball rolls free into the Eagles’ end zone and is recovered by Brandon Bostick. A mini-celebration of Packers who don’t know the rules and think they just scored a touchdown ensues. What an embarassment.
The problem is the moment the punt hits Hyde the first time, that 20-yard line spot becomes the best case scenario for the Packers punt unit. In essence, anything the Packers do after that point is meaningless… it is for all intents and purposes a dead ball at that spot whenever the Packers cover it up and get the whistle.
However, there is a rule that gives the receiving team a “free roll” at trying to scoop up a kick already touched by the kicking team, but not yet dead ball, without the risk of fumbling or a penalty. If Colt Anderson successfully scoops that ball up and runs the other way for a touchdown, it would count. If he muffs it like he did and the Packers recover it, it is meaningless, as the illegal touch by Hyde ends any possibility for the Packers to gain possession.
All Micah Hyde had to do was cover the ball and get the whistle, but clearly he and half the Packers on the field didn’t know the rules so they look like uneducated assholes. Similar to John Kuhn touching a blocked punt earlier in the year which all but negated it, the Packers special teams unit led by Shawn Slocum clearly are not being coached properly.
It has to be the players though. It couldn’t possibly be the coach or scheme.
9. That’s Right, Don’t Review THAT Play!
Riley Cooper’s diving touchdown amidst the clueless coverage of Davon House and M.D. Jennings was an incomplete pass. Or at the minimum, it was at least as incomplete and likely more incomplete than the Jordy Nelson potential catch that was ruled incomplete in the fourth quarter. The ball can clearly be seen moving on the slow-motion replay, but before Joe Buck even has time to mention that the ball hit the ground and was moving, the extra point is flying through the air.
10. Brad Jones Over Jamari Lattimore? Laughable.
Clearly this is another case of a player inserting himself in the game against the coaches wishes. It has to be! After all, it’s the players, not the scheme. Now excuse me while I go slam my head into a wall.
Andrew Chitko is a Packer fan who enjoys the mental and mathematical side of football just as much as the action and excitement on the field. "Cerebral Football" will focus on key coaching decisions, situational football, and other NFL-related topics deserving deeper analysis.