The good news is it’s week 2. Nobody wins anything in week 2. The bad news is the Green Bay Packers were routed by the Atlanta Falcons again. This time, 34-23 in the Falcons’ new butthole-shaped stadium.
The Packers had a lot of issues going into and during the game, largely injury-related. Hey, what’s new? However, the bigger picture says this. The Falcons will be competing for home field advantage in the playoffs. We touted the win over Seattle in week 1 for the same reason — good for playoff seeding. This one was not good for the Packers’ chances of getting that coveted No. 1 seed.
A loss to Cincinnati at home next week would have been better for the Packers than a loss to Atlanta in the grand scheme of things.
Which brings me to the five.
The Falcons went out in week 1 and laid an egg in Chicago. They barely beat the Bears and really could have lost that game. The high-powered offense was nowhere to found. That led us to believe this Atlanta team wasn’t the same as last year’s Atlanta team. Then they face the Packers on turf and holy crap! This team was built with speed in mind. They’re a different team when they’re on turf, which showcases their speed. They’re the same plodders as everyone else on grass. So to my earlier point, if the Packers have to go back to Atlanta in the playoffs, they will be the slower team by a wide margin and thus, overmatched. On grass, i.e. in Green Bay, the Packers have a decent shot to beat the Falcons and probably do.
Quinten Rollins was terrible on Sunday night. Damarious Randall wasn’t much better. The Packers finally said to hell with it and brought in rookie Kevin King. Although he allowed Julio Jones to run wide open on one of his first plays, quarterback Matt Ryan threw to the other side, so no harm. King didn’t allow a completion through at least his first four targets. At the very least, it’s time to get Rollins out of the lineup, move Randall to the slot and let King man one of the outside positions. Frankly, I’d like to see Josh Hawkins get a shot. Randall is not playing at a high level. Maybe he’ll be better in the slot, but if he isn’t, what will it hurt to let Hawkins have a try? Hell, it’s not like Davon House is setting the world on fire either. Let’s see these young guys.
There may have been guys who had worse nights, but tight end Martellus Bennett was surely near the top of that list. He was targeted 11 times, but had only five receptions. At least three of those targets were flat-out drops. Not exactly what the Packers are paying for, Marty.
I always hear the Welcome Back, Kotter song playing in my head when I write welcome back, so-and-so. Well, the Packers got one of the sweathogs back on Sunday. In week 1 it was Mike Daniels and Nick Perry that provided the pass rush. In week 2, Clay Matthews looked like the old Clay Matthews (a guy that has been M.I.A. for a while). Five tackles, two for loss, 1.5 sacks and three QB hits. Matthews was essentially the entire Packers’ pass rush. That’s bad news because the team needs more than that to protect their suspect secondary, but at least we know Matthews can still bring it.
Despite the blowout, there’s still a lot to like about the Packers’ offense. And perhaps this game would have been quite a bit different if the Packers had David Bakhtiari out there. Frankly, I thought Kyle Murphy was a fine fill-in for the second week in a row. Bakhtiari was certainly missed, however. That aside, the Packers got a nice game from Davante Adams (8 for 99, 1 TD). Randall Cobb looked great for the second week in a row (6 for 60) and should have had more production, but his 36-yard reception was wiped out by a B.S. penalty. Although his yards per carry haven’t been great (3.5 per this week), Ty Montgomery is still playing really well. He’s creating yards on the ground (10 for 35, 1 TD) and he’s a huge weapon in the passing game (6 for 75, 1 TD). If the Packers can get healthy, they can just outscore everyone.
Matthews took himself out of the play at least twice, overcommitted to get to the QB on what were running plays. That opens up the diagonals for opposing RBs, and lets them gain six yards until the next guy comes to tackle them.
Same story with the d and injuries. It’s only week 2 and we have a long list of injured players. Rodgers may be added to the list soon with the shots he’s been taking. He gets injured and we can look forward to the high draft pick tt and company will piss away.
Rodgers was more than kind in discussing his new tackles after the game. Rodgers got his ass beat last night. Like i said in predictions, Rodgers coming out healthy, i would consider that a win.
With that said, i’m not going to blast Murphy and McCray whatsoever. Yes, they didn’t belong there, but they didn’t ask to be put in that position.
I think the key player for the Packers last night was Claiborne with the Falcons. Claiborne on the 4th quarter blind rollout by Rodgers could have layed Rodgers out. Claiborne pulled up and took Rodgers down easy. If Claiborne had pulled a Julius Peppers (bears version) hit, wrap up, and drove Rodgers into the turf our worst fears may have been realized.
Yea some players are stand up guys who will just make the tackle. A few are looking to maim people like Burfict, Harrison, Suh, etc.
But injuries happen even in the most simple of tackles.
I noticed that right away, very classy of Claiborne.
I have been thinking about it all afternoon while toiling away at work. What is this team GOOD at? What are they good at that teams know and have to gameplan for every week? Besides throwing the ball with Aaron Rodgers obviously. They don’t run the ball well. Until Bahk and Bulaga come back, they aren’t particularly good at pass protection. As a unit, they don’t rush the passer well (yes guys like Perry, Matthews, and Daniels are individually good). I don’t know that they are a top 15 run defense. They are not good at limiting big plays, they aren’t good at getting off the field on third down, they aren’t great run blockers. Basically, I see nothing this team can lean on against a good team if the passing game is sputtering.
“If the Packers can get healthy, they can just outscore everyone.”
That line right there, is a big part of the problem. Has been for years. We have Rodgers, therefore we have a chance. It takes a team to win a Super Bowl. We proved that ourselves in 1996, and 2010. Both top 5 defenses, Brett Favre SB MVP? Nope…a receiver/kick returner……Remember this line from an intense, passionate Kevin Green? “It’s time!!” It also takes leaders, like Charles Woodson, who impacts the team at half time even though he has an arm in a sling.
IT TAKES A TEAM.
Packers are sorely lacking speed. We don’t have any burners on offense. Nelson is 32, Cobb was never a burner. Adams is not a burner. Bennett is more of a Jason Witten-type TE who attacks the middle of the field but doesn’t stretch the defense like a Jimmy Graham or a Gronk. Our only big-play threats are Janis and Davis and they never see the field. I mean, maybe they blow in real game action. Or maybe the coaching staff is retarded. Who knows? But, the point is, our offense seems pretty dink-and-dunk early in the season. We need speed! Same on defense.