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Five More Thoughts on Packers’ 35-18 Win Over Redskins

Randall Cobb

Well, that was a nice change of pace, wasn’t it? The Green Bay Packers play some inspired football and actually get themselves a dominant win.

The guys have to be feeling good after this one. Now we’ll see if that will transfer to Arizona, where the Packers got manhandled back in week 16.

We’re not quite ready to get onto that yet, though.

First, here are five things that stuck out in the win over Washington.

Gotta give it up to J.C. Tretter
Filling in for the injured David Bakhtiari at left tackle, backup center J.C. Tretter was bulled back into Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter. The resulting sack was the safety that put Washington on the board and we all assumed, “Here we go again.”

Well, Buffoon actually gave Tretter some help — or at least pretended like he was going to give Tretter some help — by lining tight end Richard Rodgers up on the left side moving forward. Mostly, Tretter just held up fine from then on. The Packers only gave up one sack on the day and that was a huge difference.

They gave up five to Minnesota with Josh Sitton playing left tackle and nine to Arizona with Don Barclay playing left tackle. Neither of those guys have any business playing left tackle. Tretter worked out fine, getting a 78.8 grade on the day from Pro Football Focus, his highest of the season.

Let’s not get confused. We won’t be labeling Tretter a left tackle, but we noticed him less than we notice Bakhtiari getting shoved around on a normal afternoon.

Alright, Davante
We’re not ready to suggest Davante Adams is even a serviceable NFL wideout, but he’s put together two games in a row where he was actually semi-impressive. We noticed Adams fighting for extra yards against Minnesota in week 17. We noticed him doing the same against Washington.

Adams finished with four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Probably just as important, those four catches came in four targets. So no drops and no flailing, unathletic attempts to try to catch balls.

Part of it has to be that the Packers are using Adams somewhat differently. They’re not asking him to make plays on the ball or run crisp deep routes — two things he’s terrible at. They’re primarily just getting him the ball in space and asking him to try to run through some tackles, which he’s not bad at.

Maybe they’re finally figuring this Cobb thing out too
When Buffoon took back the play calling, it immediately became clear that he wanted to make Randall Cobb the focal point of the offense. Of course, it’s hard to do that when he only gets the ball three or four times a game, as has been the case with Cobb in the last four games or so.

Cobb didn’t put up huge stats, but he was a difference-maker on Sunday on the eight touches he had (five rushes for 24, three catches for 38 and a touchdown). Cobb got tough yards on the ground and made important receptions.

Expect more of that going forward, however far forward is.

Not so great against tight ends, after all
Leading up to the game, it was pointed out that the Packers have had success against tight ends, this season. Well, they hadn’t really faced anyone like Washington’s Jordan Reed.

Reed torched the Packers for nine receptions, 120 yards and a touchdown. The Packers put defensive back Micah Hyde on Reed most of the time. Frankly, Reed is just bigger and more athletic than Hyde and you saw the results.

The other option the Packers have in situations like this is undesirable for another reason. It would be to use Clay Matthews to cover the tight end. That takes him away from the line of scrimmage, which forces other guys to make plays there.

The Packers don’t have to worry about this in Arizona, but if they beat the Cards, they’ll likely get the Panthers’ Greg Olsen. They fared well against Olsen during the regular season, but after seeing Reed go off, he’ll likely to be featured more in a rematch.

Perspective, people
We know everyone is saying the Packers are back after Sunday’s win. That’s probably because they want to believe the Packers are back.

This was one game, though. And it was a typical win for the Packers.

Washington wasn’t an upper echelon team. They won the worst division in the NFC. These are the kinds of teams the Packers always beat, so it was no surprise to us they beat this particular foe on Sunday.

It was nice to see the offense working again and that’s the primary reason we’re not as down on the team as we were for much of the season. Does that put them on the same level as the Arizona Cardinals?

No, it does not. The regular season is over, yes. But this Packers team just got their asses handed to them in Arizona by 30 points three weeks ago. So let’s not start punching anyone’s ticket to the Super Bowl just yet.

“Cautious optimism” is the phrase of the day.

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Monty McMahon

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

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22 Comments

  1. billabong January 11, 2016

    very cautious optimism…but still, at least for another week..optimism….much better than the alternative, i.e. another grumpy bitchy monday…

  2. Crash January 11, 2016

    Isn’t Jimmy Graham out for the season?

  3. Kato January 11, 2016

    Jimmy Graham is done for the years don’t have to worry about him

  4. V January 11, 2016

    I guess if you consider our best weapon going down in the preseason (and then not adequately replacing him) this has beem a moderately successful season…

  5. knucklehead January 11, 2016

    The point I got out of this game was that the Packers offense can work. During the second half of the season, it didn’t really seem to matter who we played, bad or good. The O couldn’t convert, sustain drives, or score.

    We saw a Packers offense that could do all of those things in this game. That’s a big positive and enough upside for me to be in a good mood for the rest of the week.

    Also, the D is playing like a bunch of animals. That Reed fucker is an awesome player and would “torch” just about anybody. Lay off Hyde, he played a great game.

    Starks has still got it. Eddy is gearing up for a big game if his rib is willing. Our DB’s are rock solid, what a crop they drafted. Anybody who says different is a Nancy Boy.

    Go Pack!

    1. PF4L January 11, 2016

      I’m convinced there is absolutely nothing wrong with Lacy’s rib, for a fairley obvious reason.

      1. Fritz fm WI January 11, 2016

        other than God using it to create Woman.

        1. PF4L January 12, 2016

          I just wanted to see if anyone knew the reason. :)

          Thought maybe Shawn might have caught it during the game.

  6. billabong January 11, 2016

    It’s funny that before the game Washinton was “hot” and Cousins was playing better than Rodgers and they were a dangerous team, but now after a Packer win, they are a shitty team and it should have been an easy victory for the Pack…hey, can’t have it both ways people…which one is it?? anyway, lets just enjoy this for a week…

    1. PF4L January 11, 2016

      Monty’s right though. as i stated before the game in predictions, the skins never beat anyone with a winning record, all season.

  7. Ted Hawthorne January 11, 2016

    Exactly right, Monte–get the the ball to Adams in space and let
    him do his jitterbug routine for extra yards. Also,
    Starks on the sweep not Eddie. Eddie up the middle, not Starks.
    Shovel pass to Starks, and RR on the slant (big target). Use these
    players in ways that play to their strength. Notice, TT doesn’t
    like to pay for experience (JJ), but it counts in a playoff game.
    Think of 34 year old Max McGee catching 2 TDs in the
    first Super Bowl. (Which will be broadcast Friday, Jan. 15 at
    7pm Central).

  8. billyschwills January 11, 2016

    ^Yep Graham is out for the season. I like TotalPackers, but you have to be aware that this site is focused narrowly and sharply on the Packers and only the Packers. It’s the reason we’d think Jimmy Graham is a playoff threat or that Mike McCarthy is a terrible coach…nothing against TP but if this isn’t the place for unbiased opinions or actual information.

  9. Ted Hawthorne January 11, 2016

    On the NFL Network. I watched it live in a packed dorm room
    at UW-RF as a freshman in 1967.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK January 11, 2016

      Yep! I watched that game SuperBowl at my Grandparents house with my Dad, Uncle and Grandpa. Good memories! Regarding James Jones, he is still a good player, 7 for 81yards. TT should have had him in there last year. He could have been the “X” factor in getting to the SB . . .

  10. Kato January 11, 2016

    I thought Hyde played a solid game given that he was one on one with reed for nearly the entire game. Rarely had help, and was matched up with hottest tight end in the playoffs. He was a monster down the stretch. It allowed the packers to dedicate other resources to help the young corners with deasean Jackson and garcon. He got beat a few times, but limited the damage and knocked away a pass in the end zone.

  11. Fritz fm WI January 11, 2016

    this game proves that AR is at his best when he is aroused to exact REVENGE!

    whether it be within a game or within a season…

    look out AZ, look out Carolina,

    50th REUNION SUPERBOWL, GO PACK GO! [Thank You St. Vincent]

  12. MMK January 11, 2016

    I love Randall and Rollins. Remains to be seen how the rest of this draft class works out but if you said in August that Sam Shields would be out for the playoffs, you’d think the packers were fucked.

  13. Howard January 11, 2016

    Tretter was invisible for the majority of the game and that is good. The Washington DE is not of the ability of Griffen, Campbell or Freeney. The good thing besides being invisible is Tretter is healthy and has quick feet. Tretter does not have a great anchor, however neither does Bahk.

    Another plus for Tretter is he is better in run blocking. Tretter gets to the second and third level better than any of the other so called left tackles. Not saying Tretter can hold up against elite pass rushers from the edge, that is to be seen, however it is clear Tretter should be on the field for no other reason than his ability in getting to the fast linebackers in the run game. Buchanan from Arizona comes to mind.

  14. Organicbuzz January 11, 2016

    Play Cobb at TE 2 or 3 snaps.Go Pack Go!!!

  15. Kato January 11, 2016

    Before we get too excited about tretter remember that he still hasn’t faced elite competition yet

  16. cd4packers January 11, 2016

    I haven’t noticed that many Packers fans claiming we’re back. I’ve actually seen more of the opposite. A lot of skepticism. And rightly so. I’m not ready to put total trust in this team yet. But on the other hand Aaron Rodgers is. He said that they see this win as a change in the way they will play in the future. It gives them confidence and boosts team moral. This is good. But I’m not sure it’s enough. I hope it is. I hope we’re back. GOPACKGO!

  17. C3P January 12, 2016

    We won a playoff game. That alone is a huge accomplishment for this team. Now the Pack is playing with house money. It should be a great game on Saturday but Arizona is the healthier and more talented team, it’s going to be a David v. Goliath matchup.