Green Bay Packers 27, Miami Dolphins 24. Fire away!
1. Guion coming on
The pickup of Letroy Guion had the look of an unmitigated disaster after the first few games of the year. As the Green Bay Packers stumbled out of the gate to a 1-2 start, the backup for B.J. Raji had been forced into action after Raji was lost for the season. And to put it bluntly… Guion simply wasn’t cutting it. What a lot of people didn’t take into serious enough consideration, apparently, is how long it takes a player coming off significant injury to get into game shape. Letroy injured his hamstring before training camp and had more or less gotten zero work in when he was forced into action as the week 1 starter.
Guion pretty much stunk up the joint for three weeks straight before finally coming up big in week 5. It just so happened that great performance came versus the very team that let him go, the Minnesota Vikings. So the question coming into the Miami game was did Guion just really get up for the Vikings or did his level of conditioning increase to the point of him being able to make an impact?
In back-to-back weeks Guion has made a big impact. That goal line stand the Packers were forced to make, courtesy of the special teams? Guion.
2. Holy Slocum!
Speaking of our significantly below average special teams…”What the hell’s goin’ on out there!”
Actually, nothing is going on. Nothing has been going on. Nothing will be going on.
Props to my main man DuJuan Harris for giving me a near heart attack as he casually galloped out of the end zone for his one touch of the game.
Carry on. Nothing to see here.
3. A thing of beauty
Quite honestly Aaron Rodgers could fill up the top 10 in this column on a regular basis. He continually makes plays in every game he partakes that no one else could make. Probably his best play of the game Sunday was when he scrambled right, eluded two pursuing defenders and led Randall Cobb right where he needed to for a touchdown. That was poetry in motion.
The one that I saw in my sleep though, was early in the game — a deep out to Cobb on the opening drive. If you get a chance to watch that play again, the placement is just so perfect. The defensive back, former Leon great Louis Delmas, doesn’t even bother jumping or attempting to make a play. He sees it. He knows it. He accepts it. He becomes a fan and watches it. That was for 28 yards and what would end up being the Packers longest play from scrimmage on the day.
4. Can I get some shade over here?
Seriously. Seriously? Seriously.
What’s the story on the table-holding to create shade? Have they used this tactic in Miami before? Were they surprised it was going to be warm? Is that really the best solution they could come up with to solve the problem? Anyone in Packerland out there? I’m stumped while simultaneously refusing to invest any time in finding out.
Question: If those guys holding the tables are keeping the players cool, who’s keeping the table-holders cool? Hmm? Huh? Ahhh.
5. Starks contrast
It’s quite commonplace to see quarterback Aaron Rodgers change a play at the line of scrimmage. It’s also not uncommon for James Starks to lean over to Rodgers and ask for what appears to be more clarification. After all, it’s no secret that it has not been Starks’ running ability that has kept him on the second string, it’s been his inability to know which guy to block and when. Against the Dolphins, again Starks asked Rodgers for more info before plays were snapped, but to his credit Starks might have turned in the best blocking performance of his career. He met guys in the hole with force and held up his end of the bargain, best I saw. I’m sure when Shawn delivers his always epic Total View, he’ll notice some things I didn’t on the first viewing, but Starks appeared pretty stout in pass protection.
Now to just know who to block without asking…
6. Mentor and pupil must have same clock/game management manual.
Wow. Just wow, Joe. You really are the star pupil that is enamored with the mentor. It’s so obvious.
That shotgun draw on 4th and goal from the 1 following the blocked punt? You thought that would work? The Packers defense was probably anticipating that horrific McCarthy-esque call having faced their own offense in practice and in red zone drills ad nauseum. That was such a McCarthy call and you called it against McCarthy! Against any other coach in the league, you would have totally fooled them. No one else in football would ever think in a million years… except McCarthy, that that play was even a valid option in that spot.
But that’s not even the best part. No. That came with 3:05 left in the game after the Packers used up their final timeout. This was when McCarthy’s tutelage and mentoring of Joe Philbin for all those years really paid off for the Packers — end game clock management or lack thereof. Mysteriously or not so mysteriously as we have demonstrated, Philbin decides to throw the ball on 2nd and 9. The pass is incomplete and takes only four ticks off the clock making it 3rd and 9 with 3:01 left in the game. A running play on second down would have brought the clock down to 2:21. On 3rd and 9, Philbin apparently throws in the towel to throwing the ball for a first down and instead runs it! This brings up fourth down and forces the Dolphins to punt with 2:15 left in the game, which turns out to be plenty of time for Micah Hyde to have a nice return and still leave one play before the two minute warning. Had Philbin run the ball on second and third down, not only is it possible he could have gotten a first down (after all, Brad Jones was in there), the Packers would not have had the luxury of the two minute warning, nor would they have had the very crucial play before the two minute warning.
Joe wasn’t done yet though. He called timeouts before both must-have plays when the Packers had no timeouts and were scrambling. In post-game interviews Aaron Rodgers said it didn’t matter or help the Packers. To that I say Rodgers is being loyal to his friend Joe Philbin.
Packers Nation loved you before Mr. Philbin and we love you a little bit more, as your job security is a little bit less.
7. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix!
You know what I love? I love it when a player comes from out of frame and just explodes with a flash of color onto my TV screen to make a violent tackle. It’s something I have had to enjoy over the past couple years watching teams other than the Packers. Well Ha Ha Clinton-Dix explodes onto my screen multiple plays every game. It’s come to be when I see it happen I just assume it’s HHCD, but Morgan Burnett also had a nice one and Micah Hyde is getting in on the act as well.
A rookie is setting the defensive tempo in Green Bay right now and I have absolutely no problem with that. Ha Ha for defensive captain!
8. Trust in Davante
We’ve heard the Packers wide receivers talk about trust. Aaron Rodgers often talks about it, too. With his fake spike on the Packers’ second-to-last play from scrimmage, Rodgers announced to the world that Davante Adams has gained complete trust of his all-world quarterback. What balls Rodgers showed! What trust in Adams! Can you imagine if the rookie would have failed to get out of bounds? Rodgers obviously had maximum faith in Adams to get what he could and get out of bounds and he did exactly that. One can expect that Davante Adams’ contributions will only increase. Hell, you might even want to grab him off the waiver wire… assuming he’s still available.
9. A Tale of Two Halves
I really didn’t think the Miami offense could drive the field on the Packers defense and in the first half they didn’t. However, the second half was a complete disaster. With the loss off Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, and Jamari Lattimore (and with that, the addition of Brad Jones) the Packers couldn’t do squat. At the same time, it did appear Philbin saved his best play calls for the second half, so that should also be considered. At the end of the day, regardless of the reasons, the Packers defense has often crapped the bed in the second half. If this team is going to be a real contender, this practice must end soon.
10. Miracle in Miami?
I had checked out after the Packers’ touchdown to close out the scoring, but Miami brought out their version of the Music City Miracle and actually it didn’t work half bad. In fact, as I looked up and saw Ryan Tannehill chuck the ball all the way across the field in what may be the longest lateral in NFL history, I got a little nervous. However, the Packers did a good job spreading the field and were able to finish it off without issue. Whew!
You are sure right about our defense stinking up the joint in the second half. This defense shows signs of life at times but is still scary to me. What’d the Bears have on us? 500 yards? And they shredded our run defense like a wet paper towel. Only interceptions bailed us out.
They looked like a top 5 D last week until we lost a starting (and best?) ILB, then 2 CBs (in the same drive, maybe even series) to injury. Then we couldn’t load up the run. The CBs still held up pretty well, though Bush did get picked on, to his credit he was right there to make the tackle each time, at least.
I really like Adams. He already appears more polished than Jennings, Jones and Nelson did in their rookie seasons. Great pick Ted.
The most frustrating aspect of tis game was watching our defense get bamboozled by the read option again. I worry that this will never get fixed. Cam Newton must be licking his chops.
Love Adams as well, loved the pick since I watched his ‘lights immediately after TT made the pick. The Polar Bear scores another 2nd-round receiver stud, what a surprise; isn’t that like 4 now?
It wasn’t the entire D getting fooled, mainly just CMIII. Maybe he trusts/expects/was told to trust the rest of the D to stop the RB on RO plays, or maybe he’s just greedy for a sack, who knows, one thing I do know is he needs to go back to playing the run (and pass) like he used to for this D to be truly successful.
Love HHCD’s play. He has been the biggest factor in the lack of big passing plays this year against the packers. They are on pace to give up 40 20+yard plays and 3 40+yard plays, as opposed to 61 and 8 last year. Helps having a competent safety in the middle of the field. Still think Burnett could be upgraded to a more physical safety, but it is hard to find one that can cover (like Kam Chancellor). They can still succeed with Burnett.
#6 had me laughing out loud, which is not something I do a lot while sitting here in my office chair. This is my favorite website for Packer insights, by far. Love it.
2. Slocum’s ST units have actually been pretty damn good this year. The coverage unit has improved dramatically (your Point 10 is corroborating evidence)-I no loner have to hold my breath every time a Mason doesn’t kick it out of the end zone. Speaking of Mason has been superb this year (knock on wood) granted he had a blocked FG for the first time in a way while that was totally on him-It’s a 30-some-yard FG, dude, ya don’t have to kick it through the net for it to count. The only major blemish so far is the blocked punt, and I don’t know if that’s ever happened during Slocum’s tenure. Give he, Zook, and the STers their due, they’ve been doing their jobs pretty damn well so far.
3. That 4th-and-10 pass shows just how good he is-the cat made it look like he was playing vs. the Little Giants on that play. That TD where he joked at least 2 Dolphins defenders is so pedestrian by his standards that we barely even note it these days. And the balls to pull out a fake spike (which NEVER works in practice, according to MM), to a rookie WR no less. I was down on him a bit through the first 3 games but this stat says it all: 15 TDs – 1 INT. Aaron Rodgers is back, baby! And he may just be better than ever
5. james Starks is a spark plug, he can and does do it all (including blocking). He may not exceed any of our RBs at anything (Running-E-Train, Catching-Harris, Blocking-Kuhn), but he is a jack-of-all-trades who more often than not, gets things done. One of my favorite current Packers, hands down, so glad they re-signed the cat.
6. MM would never call a QB draw, maybe 3 straight passes from the 1 (but when Aaron Rodgers is your QB, that’s generally not such a bad idea). If he did call a designed draw thought, I bet it’d work because Aaron Fuckin’ Rodgers can run.
7.HHCD-by far the best safety in the ’14 NFL Draft, I’m so glad the Pack got him and not Calvin Pryor (suck it, Rex). So who gets credit for that pick around these parts? Is Schneider still the de facto draft guru? or perhaps Dorsey?
8. The trust A-Rodg has in Davante makes me more excited than anything I’ve seen from him this year (which is not a little) about his potential.
9.Miami had one good drive before we lost our starting CBs (notice the “s”) in the same drive, and that drive to start the second-half was sans our starting LB and I believe there was a no-call on the Dolphins that likely would have ended the drive. The D also made a big stop at the end of the game to give our O a chance. Sure Philbin inexplicably and untenably called a pass (which Tannehill equally incomprehensibly and indefensibly lobbed OB), but that was on 2nd-and-9, there’s a good chance the Pack would have shut down the the drive on that series.
10. Great lane discipline on the part of the Packers’ ST-credit to the coaches and players. I know when I saw Tannehill chuck a laser cross the field my heart fell into the pit of my stomach. It was a cleverly schemed play, but just defended even better by our ST unit.
Great article. Thanks for the read!! Oh and Ha Ha is now my favorite Packer, sorry Eddie!