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The Green Bay Packers offense is a work in progress, as we expected. The defense carried the day against the Jacksonville Jaguars and managed to close out at the end.

That resulted in a season-opening 27-23 win in Florida. Here’s what else sticks out from the win.

Good and Bad in the Secondary

We all expect the secondary to be the strength of the Packers defense, if not the entire team. We saw some great play and some not so great play on Sunday. Damarious Randall and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix fall into the former category. Randall was one of Pro Football Focus’ top-rated cornerbacks on the day. Clinton-Dix was all over the place, delivering big hits and creating havoc. On the flip side were Morgan Burnett, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter. The latter two guys gave up big plays, but Burnett was the worst of the bunch. It seemed like all Jacksonville had to do to gain a big chunk of yardage was find Burnett and then go right at him. Maybe he should have played a little more in the preseason too.

Mike Daniels a Non-Factor

Arguably the Packers best defender, Daniels didn’t make an impact on the stat sheet on Sunday. He finished with just one tackle. That’s probably not entirely his fault, though. When you’re starting Dean Lowry at the other defensive end spot, that means Daniels is going to see more than one blocker. This could be the case all season, but will likely be so at least until Mike Pennel returns from his suspension. The attention being paid to Daniels did free up Letroy Guion to make some plays, but no one else in the defensive line rotation — Lowry, Kenny Clark or Christian Ringo — did anything of note.

Julius Peppers an Even Bigger Non-Factor

I guess this is what we can expect from Julius Peppers this season? We knew he wasn’t going to be a full-time player, but we didn’t know he was hardly going to play at all. Peppers was in for just 29 snaps on Sunday. He didn’t show up on the stat sheet. Are the Packers saving him for the stretch run? We have no idea, but if the Packers wanted to save money by dropping a big contract, maybe they should have gotten rid of the guy who only plays once in a while.

But the Run Defense…

Despite how things played out for the Packers defensive line, their run defense was great on this particular day. Jacksonville finished with just 48 net rushing yards. They averaged just 1.8 yards per rush. Their top back, T.J. Yeldon, ran for just 39 yards on 21 attempts. That’s extremely encouraging for a unit that historically has not been able to stop the run.

The Usual Dose of Buffoonery

I’ve never been a Mike McCarthy fan, so I certainly wasn’t surprised when the old Buffoon showed up on Sunday. We know there were problems with the play calling, with communication, etc. The real question I have is if the Packers offense has gotten too predictable? My concern is it isn’t any different than last year’s offense. McCarthy says the Packers are going to focus on the run, but then he only gives Eddie Lacy the ball 14 times in week 1. The passing game still appears to have limitations and yet you continue to rely on the same old guys. Despite a great touchdown catch, Davante Adams made more bad plays than good. You went and got a real tight end in Jared Cook and then barely utilized him. The receiver who had the best preseason — Jared Abbrederis — got just 11 snaps on offense. I’m not suggesting the offense is going to be bad all season, but Buffoon certainly could be a little more creative and he certainly could utilize more players.

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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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18 Comments

  1. I Steal Fish September 12, 2016

    no one single play pissed me off more than that toss he called when the game was on the line.

    the only thing that pissed me off more was the goal line play calling on that one series that ended in field goal.

    1. Dave September 12, 2016

      That whole last offensive sequence was atrocious, but that play was the catalyst for the buffoonery. Completely agree.

      1. I Steal Fish September 14, 2016

        man… it was terrible, right? at least we ducked out with a win

  2. John smith September 12, 2016

    The packers defense was fucken horrible. Rollins, Gunther and Burner gave up plays after plays and Jake Ryan and Martinez was a non factor all game. The offense was pretty good after the 1st Quarter and why does MM not give lacy more carries ? The guy could had rushed for 150+ yards if he had more than 20 carries.

    1. Shaun September 12, 2016

      It’s encouraging to me that I’m hearing more people express desire for Lacy to see more carries. Yesterday was more of the same as far as the 60/40 split Lacy/Starks usually get. I am hoping this was just due to the heat. 2014 was certainly more Lacy than last season and yesterday. I’ve always felt that Lacy is the guy defenses need to game plan for. Starks is good, and certainly has his place in the offense, but Lacy needs to see the bulk of the carries.

      It’s tough because Starks deserves carries, but how are you going to spread it out among Lacy, Starks and the pass game? The Green Bay Packers are a passing football team, no question. We have all these weapons in the passing game – more on this in a second – but 2 capable RBs also. I am of the opinion lacy should get around 20 carries every week. If we run 65-70 plays, that leaves 35-40 pass plays and 5-10 for starks. That should be the goal every week.

      I personally think MM – aka “Buffoon” – is not creative enough to handle all the weapons on offense. He uses Cobb somewhat differently than the other WRs, but nearly as creatively as he could. He tries to use Lacy and Starks the same way when they have to completely different styles. He tries to use the SUPER ATHLETIC Cook the same as Dick Rodge. He tries to squeeze every player into his cookie cutter, predictable, conservative, vanilla style of offense that he runs. It’s completely ridiculous.

      McCarthy needs to adapt, and drastically modify his vanilla ass playbook to accommodate the various types of talent on this football team. Cobb and Montgomery are extremely versatile – use them as such. Janis and Jordy are large, and very fast – send them deep. Cook is a freak, isolate him 1 on 1 and throw it up to him. His skill set absolutely begs for a fade in the end zone, yet McCarthy has completely abandoned that play for some reason. It’s been absent from the playbook for 2-3 years now. Richard Rodgers, contrary to what most believe, still has a place in this offense too. I like the guy. He’s as sure-handed a pass catcher as there is in this league. Now that he’s lost some weight, he is more agile. I actually saw him juke a guy in the preseason, and he looked faster yesterday. McCarthy just doesn’t use his talent very well at all. It’s really a shame. Did everyone notice del rio go for 2 on the road yesterday??? McCarthy’s vanilla ass should have done that in January. P U S S Y

      1. PF4L September 12, 2016

        Let me inject some reality about yesterday’s run game. Starks couldn’t get going. I’m not trying to shit on Lacy, as i have stated many times i want him to succeed. But you take away his 28 yard run, and he averaged 2.4 yards a rush. Starks was under 2. They were getting STUFFED, all game long. It’s hard to justify more run plays, when the run game is dead. I just don’t blame the backs. The Line has to get off the snap and push people. I only saw that happen 2 times yesterday. Lacy’s 28, and 9 yard run. He ran untouched. On his run of 28, no on touched Lacy until about 24 yards downfield, credit Lacy for the last 14 of those yards with a great juke move that froze Tashaun Gibson in his tracks. Also credit Lacy for the screen catch of 17 yards that could have easily been a loss of 4 because Johnathan Cyprien had that tackle all day long for a 4 yard loss, amazingly Lacy shed him, and showed some burst for a 17 yard gain.

        Everyone is correct on Gunter, Rollins, and Burnett. Just horrible play.

        And what was Cobb doing grabbing and not letting go of a facemask? Penalty = punt. How long has he been doin this?

        The run defense was stellar. Although the Jags haven’t been able to run the ball since 2011 with MJD

        As i’ve stated. I don’t know what’s going on, and i don’t wanna bitch about all the reasons why, but these receivers, have got to find a way to get separation. I don’t care if it’s stale plays, bad routes, lazy, slow route running, bad coaching, need new receivers, new coaches, WHATEVER……But JUST FIX IT. I don’t want to watch a replay of last season, especially after getting Jordy back, and adding Cook. Rodgers doesn’t run around back there buying time because he just likes to. I’m thinking he’d prefer delivering a laser to an open Cobb 11 yards down field and watch him run for more yardage. Remember those days?

        No more excuse’s.

        1. Kato September 12, 2016

          Very well put PF4L. The receivers are not getting open at the top of their routes. It seems like ever since Edgar Bennett got promoted from receivers coach. That shouldn’t make a difference, but who knows?

      2. Ted Hawthorne September 12, 2016

        Shaun, once again you have nailed it. Especially apt: “McCarthy doesn’t use his
        talent very well.” Also, his “cookie cutter, predictable offense.” Exactly. He’s so
        lost he carries around that damn restaurant menu (I’ll have the two eggs combo!)
        to help him remember the plays. Perceptive post, buddy.

        1. badgervan September 12, 2016

          I think that Rodgers should be able to run the offense as he sees the defenses change and seems to have much more football sense than the Packer coaches. Mike is too predictable, too conservative. Other teams can read him like a book. Allow Rodgers to call his own plays. Can’t be worse…..

          1. PF4L September 12, 2016

            Thats an interesting thought Badgervan, but i just wonder, if the Packers would be better off hiring a new (real) offensive coordinator. By that, i mean someone that McCarthy feels like he can trust to also call plays. It’s pretty obvious that McCarthy doesn’t trust the play calling duties to anyone on his staff (which i find amazing), but he’s acknowledged in the past it would be better if he didn’t have that responsibility. I know this would have to happen after the season. So let me layout 3 reasons for a new Off. Coordinator.

            1) Lets McCarthy deal with the whole team vs. being bogged down calling plays.

            2) We need new blood, new plays, fresh new idea’s, a new set of eye’s. We need someone from the outside, and who wouldn’t want to come here and work with Rodgers?

            3) Because what’s currently being used, is clearly not working.

      3. Empacador September 13, 2016

        Mike McCarthy disagrees with you calling him conservative. http://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/2016/09/08/mccarthy-m-not-conservative-coach/90065398/
        Mike McCarthy is deluded.

      4. ANTI-MCCARTHY FAN September 15, 2016

        Shaun, NOT TO MENTION MCHIPPO THE IDIOT ALMOST SENT AARON TO THE HOSPITAL LAST YEAR AGAINST THE CARDINALS (FIRST ONE WEEK 16).

  3. Dave September 12, 2016

    McCarthy’s playcalling has been predictable for years. We basically only have 4 plays… 1. Bubble screen, 2. Back shoulder to Jordy/Devante, 3. Stretch/sweep handoff to Lacy/Starks or quick fullback to Ku…er Ripkowski. Oh, I forgot….. 5. Catch the other team with 12 men on the field. Our only big plays are Fake the stretch run, bootleg and look for Jordy on the post (which is NEVER open any more because teams scout it) or play breaks down and Rodgers scrambles and plays playground ball. That dumb little pitch play to Lacy they have out of the shotgun (you know that one that gets a guaranteed -5 yds every f***ing time) needs to be trashed. All that said – it was awesome to be back in front of the TV watching some football again this Sunday!!!

  4. Kato September 12, 2016

    Still early to push the panic button on offense. But I agree to an extent on McCarthy’s playcalling. It almost seems that teams seen to know what is coming. I absolutely am starting to hate that stretch running play to Lacy that seems to go for a loss every play. Lacy is at his best when he gets going north south as quickly as possible. That defense (the jaguars) was very aggressive and was overpursuing a lot of the time. I wish someone on the packers coaching staff would have noticed this. That would have been the time to throw in a counter, or some sort of misdirection. Or PA backside slants the way the linebackers were flowing to the ball. Make those defensive backs make solo tackles on Cobb and Cook in space. Someone made the comment yesterday that it seems like packers receivers are never running free anymore. That is very worrisome. That isn’t playcalling, that is talent to be able to win one on one battled to get separation. If you have to start scheming to get guys open on a regular basis, you have a problem.

  5. Kato September 12, 2016

    As for the defense, not too bad. They bent, but didn’t break. I thought they did a good job on rotating guys to keep them fresh in those stifling conditions. Nick Perry might have been the best guy on defense yesterday, followed by Clay Matthews and Randall. Clinton-Dix had a couple of nice plays thrown in as well. While the D line was quiet for the most part, they did the job in the run game and occupied blockers against the pass allowing Matthews, Perry, and Datone Jones to apply pressure fairly regularly. That will only get better once Pennel returns, but the depth here is worrisome.

  6. Kato September 12, 2016

    As a continuation of the thread on the original game recap (MMTTDCSUCK, others), here are a couple of my thoughts:
    1: The same old run plays. Ok, but the only problem is there are only so many run plays you can call, you have the 2,3,4,5,6, and 7 holes. You can obviously have runs out of different formations, but really, you are limited in the run play department, especially since the packers (and the rest of the league for that matter) don’t utilize FBs that much, so that eliminates full house, I formations, offset I, Maryland I, ect. The packers also do not have an above average blocking right end on the roster so that hurts their ability to do more different creative formations in the running game. They count on execution up front and winning individual battles. This has been a problem since the packers receivers haven’t been able to beat man coverage.

    2 The inability of the packers receivers to win in man coverage. This has had as big of a negative impact on the running game as any. A running game is always going to be more effective against a zone defense. That’s why the packers run game was so effective 2013-2014, a lot more zone defenses because packers receivers were regularly beating man coverage.

    McCarthy isn’t a bad coach, in fact I think he is solid, better than probably at least 25 of the other head coaches in the league. However, given the inability of the team to make adjustments and at times play flat, I wonder if his offense has run its course in GB and it’s time to think of life after him. His system has been here for 10 years now. Not to mention, his playoff game history is kind of scary. Winning in the playoffs does require some degree of luck. However you do have to make your own luck at times. The packers have lost seven playoff games under McCarthy. FIVE of them on the last play of the game. Let that sink in. That, is atrocious, and I am not sure how that is possible.

    1. Packers fan September 12, 2016

      Thank you! McCarthy is the Scott Brooks of the NFL. We have our Scott Brooks (and its MM). Both coaches looked/look great because of their star players. I like MM I agree he’s a a good coach but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was gone. MM is a great guy good coach. Capers gotta go man. Capers was why we lost to Arizona in playoffs last year like why would you switch from man to zone. The Jaguars are on the rise we beated a up and coming young team at their place.

  7. Packers fan September 12, 2016

    The Jags are on the rise I expected this to be close. Rodgers looked like a MVP (that throw to Adams). MM went passive in 2nd half and I didn’t like his playcalling. He did went for it on 4th down and Lacy converted. Defense was good at end but I didn’t really like how they did today until the end. Matthews was great yesterday too. Also, the defense needs to stop letting teams convert on 4th down. We saw that yesterday.

    Don’t sleep on the Jaguars they are on the rise. Bortles, Thomas, Yeldon the Allens, SenDerrick Marks and Telvin Smith. We basically beated a good and young team at their place yesterday.