Going into Saturday’s game, almost everyone agreed: the Packers just needed to keep doing what they’ve been doing all season.
Well, that they did: time of possession dominance (36.12 to 23.48); high third down conversion rate (8 of 12); three of five scores when reaching the red zone; few penalties (3 for 22 yards); rotation of running backs, who averaged over five yards per carry; no sacks allowed; and no turnovers. Rodgers quickly released the ball all game long. The defense played in its customary bend-but don’t break fashion.
Individually, it was our key guys acting like they have been for most of the year: Adams gathers in nine of ten targets; Mr. Reliable, Robert Tonyan grabs four of four – giving him an incredible catch rate of 88.9% on the season; Aaron Jones once again reels off a game-changing big gainer; and, Rodgers was Rodgers.
Rashan Gary continues his rise to stardom. His Pro Football Focus grades over the last three games has been 90.7, 90.1, and 81.2 against the Rams – these numbers are All Pro caliber. And he’s making a big difference even though Mike Pettine is still limiting his snaps: he got but 32 of the 50 defensive snaps against the Rams.
The O-line, Turner, Jenkins, Linsley, Patrick, and Wagner, should be singled out. Despite the loss of David Bakhtiari, and Lane Taylor before him, they were invincible. They Pack has possessed one of the league’s best pass-protection units for a number of years; they showed on Saturday that they might also be the NFL’s best run-blocking crew.
I had worried that Lucas Patrick would prove to be the group’s weak link against the Rams fearsome pass rush, but I’m now going to add him to my list of Green Bay players who have appreciably stepped up their game this season – which now numbers 19. Pro Football Focus at season’s end, ranks Patrick as #24 out of 80 guards in the league.
The Packers also did some things that didn’t follow the regular script.
Green Bay and L.A. each tucked away a special play that would almost guarantee that they’d get across the goal line should a short-yardage situation arise. Sean McVay used his – a so-called hook-and-ladder play (pass and lateral) to convert a two-point extra point try.
Matt LaFleur had Adams go in motion to the left, then reverse directions and beat Jaylen Ramsey to the mark in the right flat for the Pack’s first touchdown – it was the exclamation point to a surgical 14-play, 8-minute drive. I’d guess that it took Rodgers under 1.5 seconds to send this ball on the way to Adams.
As TP’s Paul Edwards described the play, it caused All Pro cornerback to “lose his mind” and cease to be much of a factor the rest of the game.
Rodgers later carried out another brilliant play call to perfection. Again from one yard short of the end zone, he rolled to the right on a run-or-pass option. He then faked the pass, which not only caused Leonard Floyd to leave his feet but also caused talented safety John Johnson to race toward the intended receiver, clearing Aaron’s path to the end zone.
This might have been Coach LaFleur’s best play calling game ever – he seems to get better each game. Rodgers even pointed out, in his post-game on-field interview, that there were a few missed throws and a few drops, or the game would have been even more one-sided.
He was undoubtedly referring in part to his own bad throw to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, that would have been a 90+ yard TD. The other major missed opportunity was a pass dropped by Allen Lazard that probably would have been a 60-yard score. Rodgers has that special quality of greatness: he’s always in pursuit of perfection.
Krys Barnes, the undrafted rookie inside linebacker sensation, added a new item to his growing resume. Early in the game, he went out with what was quickly determined to be a fractured thumb. Instead of waiting until halftime for medical treatment, within minutes Krys was back on the field with a club-type cast over his left hand – missing only five defensive plays! I don’t recall ever before seeing a player have a cast applied, and returned to action, so quickly. Barnes then proceeded to made six of his team-leading ten tackles after suffering the injury. That’s toughness, fans.
Zach Kruze of Packers Wire delved into Pro Football Focus’s statistics and found the Packers were charged with only two missed tackles against the Rams – one by Darnell Savage and one by Za’Darius Smith. It was the fewest misses by the Packers all season. Until the last few games, Green Bay was acknowledged to be a very deficient tackling team, but that suddenly no longer be the case.
Ten Packers defenders had a tackling grade of 70 or higher, and LB Krys Barnes, CB Kevin King, and CB Chandon Sullivan as a group made 26 tackles. By adding Sullivan to my growing list of guys on the team who’ve stepped up their performance this season (see here), that makes 20 – and that’s why this team is playing for the NFC championship next weekend.
Twice during the regular season, I urged that the Packers allow 10,000 or so fans to attend the home games. I even detailed the way this could be done safely – allow in fans who have certifiably caught the virus and recovered. They are now immune: can no longer get it, can’t spread it.
I was shouted down, as though I was advocating murder. I dropped the subject, as there’s no reasoning with people who won’t listen. So now, I’m just wondering: should Mark Murphy be fired, and should a massive lawsuit be filed against our team? Where are the calls for boycotting this reckless and heartless organization?
My, how things change over time. To a man, virtually every Packers player said that the 8,500 or so fans in attendance on Saturday gave the team a huge boost, and even in those modest numbers, it was a loud, spirited, and inspiring assemblage.
Have I missed something? I’ve yet to see one person – not one – render any criticism to having fans at the game last weekend. I guess I was just a little out in front of this issue. Oh well, some people lead and some people follow.
Nobody is criticizing, because either the Packers decided to allow it based on medical recommendations, and/or the City or County changed or modified an ordinance on the matter.
The Packers will decide who, when, and how many people attend the game based on various factors. It’s not stationary, it can be fluid with new information/circumstances.
I give them credit for being responsible, deciding on their own through available information, on what’s acceptable regarding risk factors.
Keep leading…we’ll keep following
I remember earlier in the season, Wisconsin had been struck hard by the virus. I think the organization, city, county, (all involved); did the right thing. Her we are, 4 months later, and we’re still under the viruses’ thumb. The Packers organization, and the NFL in general, has done a commendable job to limit the spread. Also, at the start of the season, there were many doubts they would even get the season in. Kudos!
This writer is really full of himself, a total d-bag. Oh yeah, this is the guy from Fond duLac. That explains it.
I like Krys Barnes. I do. But lets not give him Cam Newtons Superman cape just yet. I’ve seen plenty of players playing with broken ribs, tore MCL’s, ACL’s, high ankle sprains, etc. That’s toughness.
Didn’t Favre play with a broken thumb on his throwing hand for 4 or 5 weeks.
Krys Barnes 2nd half tackles….
(4:56 – 3rd) J.Goff scrambles right end to GB 22 for 6 yards (K.Barnes). Goff slides feet first down on his back, Barnes hops over him. Those are considered tackles in the NFL
13:17 – 4th) (Shotgun) J.Goff pass short left to V.Jefferson to LA 14 for 8 yards (K.Barnes). One arm (good) tackle on Kings man, with King watching (taking mental notes?)……. after bein faked out. (shocking, i know)
(12:11 – 4th) (Shotgun) Direct snap to C.Akers. C.Akers left end ran ob at LA 23 for 4 yards (K.Barnes). Barnes ran him out of bounds. Didn’t look like he even touched him
That’s considered a tackle in the NFL
Not a tackle…
(6:23 – 4th) (No Huddle, Shotgun) J.Goff pass incomplete short right to G.Everett (K.Barnes).
Missed interception, hard to catch a ball with a club on. Pass defended.
So in the 2nd half, Barnes made one, 1 armed tackle.
I stick to my previous belief….your back up should be better two handed than a one handed player. If that’s not the case…then you need a new back up.
“Rashan Gary continues his rise to stardom. His Pro Football Focus grades over the last three games has been 90.7, 90.1, and 81.2 against the Rams” – Robster
Damn straight Rob, i don’t know about stardom yet but.. the question is… at what point is he made the starter and the $13million/year man benched?
OR…would that be admitting a mistake?
I brought up this very scenario shortly after the Smiths were signed and Gary was drafted.
Is Gute/Pettine doing what’s best for the team, or Gutes ego?
Rashan Gary PFF…67.1
Preston Smith PFF…53.1
How long can you keep the #12th pick of the draft on the bench, when he’s clearly outplaying a starter. 3 years, 4 years?
Check out GB top 11 defensive players by snap count last game. Gary has 62% and the next (12th) defender has like 30% or so. In other words Gary is a “starter” according to snap counts.
One thing about Gary is he is always hustling around each play — that stood out to me in training camp (back when fans could watch). Gary also has looked great late in games to help stop the last drive.
It now seems that the 3OLB (both Smiths and Gary) are the starters and they use 1 inside backer.
Preston gets more snaps because he can cover a WR a tad better.
Just trying to lighten things up! I have no idea why Gary does not get more snaps.
Keep up the good work :)
It’s head scratching as to why Gary didn’t get more playing time, or even starting, earlier in the season. It was reported in training camp that Gary was vastly improved. Didn’t Pettine trust him enough to start? Or was it a money thing, with Preston making bucco bucks? Or was it simply that Preston had more experience in the system? Pettine is a lot like Capers, he was loyal to his vets, even when sometimes, the younger player showed more promise.
It’s not all that head scratching, when you sign 3 high profile players, for two starting positions. As i said after the draft…someone has to sit.
There should be a law for all these networks that air these talking blowhards. If you’re gonna only tout your team and not the other then you dont get to be live on the air. Gonna be a looong week of this stupid shit from these guys I can tell already.
I enjoy your football analysis, but man this one really went off the rails at the end. Stick to what happens on the field, you’re good at that.
I agree wholeheartedly, but player after player has said that their play on the field was boosted by having fans in stands. The topic was relevant to Saturday’s win, and will again be highly relevant to Sunday’s game.
In recognition of our new President elect inauguration tomorrow…..
Biden picks Dr. Rachel Levin as assistant health secretary.
Who said a man can’t look good in a dress.
Watching the Saints – Bucs game, one of the talking heads pointed out that the Bucs press coverage DBs were making contact to the Saints receivers beyond the 5 yard buffer, and weren’t being called for it! If my memory is correct, that is illegal contact and a penalty should be enforced. Might be something to keep an eye on during the game, and LaFleur should mention it to the officials before kickoff. This might be the game that Gute regrets not addressing the ILB and DL positions in the draft. My real concern is Brady will attack the middle of the defense with all those short to medium passes, allowing him to release the ball quickly, and avoiding the pass rush. I hope Pettine does his homework !!!
Mick, I think a slick field will for the most part back off the TB defensive backs from playing so much press man. They will still play a lot of man coverage with their DBs.
The part of TBs defensive game that really disrupted the Saints and the Packers is their blitzing scheme. TB in week 6 brought extra rushers against the Packers 16 times on pass downs. 11 times with 5, 4 times with 6, and one time with 7. Rodgers was sacked 4 times in that game. On those four sacks TB brought 4,5,6 and 7 rushers. Only one of those sacks came with 4 rushers. Several other pressures resulting in throw always and hurried throws came against extra rushers. TB did similar against the Saints.
As an example I think the Rams sent 5 one time. LaFleur, Hackett, Rodgers, and Getsy are going to have to figure out how to beat the TB blitzes. One thing the Packer WRs did poorly in the week 6 game was adjust their routes (cut short) on blitzes. Several times on the blitzes the receivers were all running intermediate to deep routes with no short dump off available. I won’t get into the problems the Packers had with their RBs with blitz pickups in that game. To keep it simple when the Packer RBs stay in to pick up blitzes it invites the TB ILBs to blitz. That needs to change.
The good part of all this is I have faith in LaFleur and company to come up with a better plan than week 6. The other good thing is I have always felt that a slick field helps the offensive line. The problem is that can work both ways.
The game was decided …up front
The Packers looked to have total control in week 6, up until the start of the 2nd quarter. When the Packers got the ball with 13 minutes left before half. The Bucs decided to bring it, and bring it hard against the O line.
Rodgers threw 2 incompletions before the 3rd down pick. (3 plays..0 yards… 0:25 )….Deer in the headlights kind of look.
Think Tennessee Titans playing in the snow.
So what comes next for the Packer offense?
3 plays…7 yards….1:37 (interception).
Next possession: 3 plays..0 yards….0.22…punt
Next possession:: 3 plays… – 4 yards…1:53…punt
Next possession : 5 plays..2 yards..1:02
*END OF HALF*
Bucs 28 points (2nd quarter)
2nd half….in the interest of saving time and space.
5 Packer possessions..
47 yards total
Time of possession…..(like it matters)
Now that is a fking beat down.
Yes…Both Howard and Mick have stated they have faith in LaFleur coming up with a better game plan.
I have two things to say about that…… after halftime in the first game they should have brought out a better game plan.
As far as Sunday’s game…..THEY BETTER.
Howard- I saw some stats going around on twitter regarding the blitz. Rodgers was 2/10 passing with two interceptions against the Bucs when they blitzed. Against every other team when they blitzed, Rodgers has completed 66% of his passes with 14 TDs and one interception. The Packers offensive line hasn’t allowed a sack against the blitz since week 10. The bucs on the other hand, since week 9 when blitzing, have allowed 13 TDs and have one interception. I don’t foresee the blitz being a big issue and that it was an aberration in this game
I wonder if LaFleur can scheme a plan to get the Bucs D into zone coverage, at least some of the time. Other teams have had success throwing downfield for 20 or more yards when they were in zone. Then again; PF4L has a point in that GB has to control the line of scrimmage. One thing in GBs’ favor; the TB receivers will have to adapt to catching the rock with cold fingers, something the Packers are experienced in. So, maybe we can get an assist from mother nature too; like snow? Pettine, no doubt, has to pressure Brady, when pressured, he turns it over.
Running back Lamar Jackson is now……oops, check that.
Running back Robert Griffin III is now available.
No doubt Lamar Jackson is a terrific athlete but, as far as passing the ball with accuracy into tighter coverages—– he struggles. He can sling it but I think he might be limited in reading coverages. In another note, I like Howards point about the field being slick, that could be a factor, and if it snows, an even bigger factor. Whatever the conditions, you can’t run the ball laterally on the Bucs defense.
NFL news; Colts Q-back Philip Rivers announces retirement. Also, Vita Vea, Bucs starting DT, is off of IR, not good news for the Packers OL!
Kevin Patra wrote a piece quoting Rodgers on what the loss in week 6 means to him.
Rodgers blew it off as essentially not meaning a thing. He cites the fact that the Saints beat the Bucs at home, then the Bucs, beat the Saints in their place.
In other words, that other team did this to this team, then turned around and that team took care of that one team. So therefore…. our team should be able do the same to that one team, as they had done to that other team, who flipped the script by doing what that one team, had down to that other team. SO……NO WORRIES….lol.
In terms of both teams evolving…my mindset was both teams, got better. But under no circumstance, am i blowing that game off and just being dismissive, as though it didn’t happen.
If it was a 10 point game, i wouldn’t even be writing this post. But this is what my eyes saw……
The Packers gained 201 yards in that game, The Packers gained 134 of those yards, BEFORE the 2nd quarter.
In 3 quarters, the Packer offense gained 67 yards…yes, i said 67 yards…in 3 quarters. Are you fing kidding me?
What else did i see?…In my memory the worse game of Rodgers career, PR= 35…QBR=12…
I also saw a Bucs defense roll over the Packers O line like a freight train. 5 sacks, 13 QB hits, 8 TFL
I saw a Packer defense get 0 sacks, 4 QB hits, 1.5 TFL.
I saw 38 unanswered points.
Now maybe…Rodgers is just putting on a front to exude confidence, i’d get that. But to dismiss is in reasoning, that teams evolve over the course of the season, is sweeping it under the rug in denial.
Now….i know….what ya’ll are saying right now….i know!!
“It’s the playoffs, the regular season doesn’t matter.”
Let me take you back one year……
The Packers got their asses handed to them in the regular season by the 49ers….
Was everyone saying a year ago…”It’s the playoffs, the regular season doesn’t matter.”?
Denial isn’t just a river.
BUT…..Gute made some moves after the Bucs loss that could move the needle, acquiring Austin and Snacks.
The Packers have equaled the success of last season…credit given.
What have i been saying all season long? What?
The Packers have to PROVE it, in the PLAYOFFS.
The Packers are playing for first place for the NFC Championship
The table is set. PROVE IT….and i’ll be the first giving credit.
Lose….and its the same as the last 4 NFCCG’s. That gets you a….. nice try, and a pat on the back.
“In our business there is no second place, either you’re first, or you’re last” – Vince Lombardi
2:27 – 2:31
The Buc’s PROFOUNDLY raped the Packers in their last game together. This was NOT an anomaly! This happened, and it was obvious that Lafleur and Rodgers had ZERO answers PERIOD! Like you said, the 49ers’ did the same friggin’ thing last year! NEITHER TIME did the Packers have an answer for the 49ers’ dominance. This year, Tampa Bay did the same thing, and I believe that they may STILL have the Packers number. Rodgers does not do well against Tampa Two (cover 3) coverage, he usually struggles against it. Especially if confronted with a fast and aggressive D-line. And that is just the beginning . . . This was the one team in the playoffs that I personally felt could beat the Packers soundly. Unless Lafleur has dug deep into his plays and scheming . . . We may see the very same thing occur this time as well. I cannot remember ever seeing the look that
Rodgers had in his eyes during that game. He was shitting his pants in the second half, and it looked as if he knew it was useless to fight it.
I’ve never seen that look from Rodgers before that game (not even the 49ers’ games last year), nor have I seen it since. It was almost surreal. People need to pull that game back up on their DVR and reacquaint themselves with it. It was soul-crushing.
Trusting that Green Bay has a better plan than the lame one that they came up with against the 49ers’ last year. If not, history will repeat itself.
And wouldn’t you know it…the one game i deleted from my dvr because i was so disgusted at the time.
It was an October game in Tampa which is basically still pre season to most teams. Calm down. The Pack were well on their way to blowing that game out until Rodgers threw a one in a billion shot pick 6 and the then threw a second pick and the Packers said fuck it lets just get out of here. There was literally nothing on the line in that game at that point in the season.
Let me see if i have this straight….
The Packers were about to blow out the Bucs, then Rodgers threw 2 picks.
So the team said “fuck it” and just decided to “give up”.
Wanting to just pick up there marbles and go home because there was nothing on the line?
You wanna stick with that story?
I love you man!! :)
You also forgot the Packers struggle immensely with fast linebackers who can cover the entire field. Little 3 yard roll out passes to Tonyan go for…well….3 yards as opposed to 8-9 against teams that don’t have Devin White and Lavonte David.
Thing is…. 100% see the similarities between the Bucs and Niners matchups from last year to this year. However, the Bucs are not the Niners from last year. The Niners were on another level compared to either the bucs or packers of this year.
They had 4….count em….4 pro bowl/all pro level guys on their Dline. Elite linebackers to stop any of the safety and short routes, and serviceable DBS. They had a coach who knew everything about the packers offensive scheme, and ran circles around their defensive game plan.
The bucs have a better qb, better skill position players on the offense, but their D is not in the same league as that niners d from last year.
I still think the bucs come out of GB with a 31-20 type win…especially after our special teams does something unforgivable…but I don’t see this playing out nearly as pathetic as last season. Frankly the Niners laid an egg in the 4th quarter of the SB last year or they would be the SB champs. They were the best team in the NFL last year imo.
It has nothing to do with the Bucs and the 49ers not being similar teams.
It has everything to do with a team dominating you in the regular season, then that same team again dominating you in the playoffs.
This time, the Pack is “running it back” with a team that dominated the Packers in the regular season, and will now face them again in the NFCCG.
That is what is similar.
God Bless Former Vice President Pence for showing class, honor, and patriotism.
Some tell President Joe Biden…he won. He can stop campaigning now.
GB signing Tramon again after being cut by the Ravens it seems. Maybe for depth or maybe they want a punt return guy.
Probably not punt return. Tramon was once good at that many years ago but failed in recent years.
I think the Packers are frustrated with Redmond. To me Redmond was picked on by the Rams. It was like the Rams went after Redmond on almost every pass on the TD drive before the half. I believe if Williams is signed and passes protocols he takes snaps from Redmond in dime packages. If Sullivan was injured in the game Williams would be the next up as slot corner. The Packers could also consider putting Williams on a slot receiver and Sullivan on a TE.
Williams played quite a few snaps for the Ravens. His best game may have been against the Steelers and he was covering their slot receiver. The Ravens also blitzed Williams a couple of times in that game out of the slot, with hits on Ben. I believe Williams did injure his thigh and missed two or three games. Williams never received as many snaps after the injury as before. Williams had 40+ snaps in three games, then after the injury snaps were reduced to about 12 a game. Williams was inactive in the Titans wild card game.
So Williams and Veldheer may both play in a playoff game with two different teams in the same season. Both Williams and Veldheers last playoff games before signing with the Packers were against the Bills.
Does anyone know if Amos ever played with the helmet that has the head piece for communication? With Barnes one handed, I could see a bunch (6) of DBs on the field along with the 3 OLBs, Clark, & one of Lowry/Keke/Snacks.
I’m not sure what they do, but if they start a one handed player against the Bucs, i won’t have any better feeling about this game as i do now.
If Barnes doesn’t start, Kirksey will call the plays for the defense.
Per reports, LeFleur thought the burden of calling the def. plays was slowing Kirksey down, so the switch was made.
Wow, the Packers really must not like Redmond out there for Sundays game! Williams does bring smarts to the secondary but, as far as aggresiveness and tackling—–NOT! What’s with Jackson, is he injured? Don’t they trust him either? If not, Jackson is just another wasted draft pick along with Josh Jones. Jackson, like Josh Jones, for whatever reason; (system fit), even into their 3rd year, haven’t developed. Goes to show that draft and develop is a crap shoot. IMO, they’re bringing in Williams to break up passes, prevent the big play, and possibly get an interception.
“No more pressure than usual,” Rodgers said when asked if there’s more pressure on him and the Packers this year. “I think a lot of times the storylines, pressure and those kinds of comments are good stuff for you guys to write about, but I think it starts with the mentality and focus. Obviously I put pressure on myself to perform every single week, and I think there’s a lot to be said for being able to harness that pressure and fear of failure and focus into a real positive. That’s something you learn over the years. But I don’t feel any extra pressure going into this one.
Maybe Rodgers has a talent of being able to condition his mind, focus and emotions to where he doesn’t feel more pressure. Probably wouldn’t surprise me.
But to a simple minded Green Bay Packer football fan, i don’t see how.
He’s 37, he (they) have lost the last 4 NFCCG’s. Gute wouldn’t help him in the draft for this season. BUT…the offense grew in it’s 2nd year due to a team effort below Brian Gutenkunst pay grade. Bringing Rodgers back to MVP status.
I don’t know man, but to me…..how many more bites at the apple can you count on.
Rodgers has said time and time again…they need the #1 seed, they need the road to the SB to run through Lambeau. Well, unlike the draft, he got what he wished for.
I think all the pressure is on the Packers, and mostly Rodgers. A SB win (chance) means everything to Rodgers and his legacy.
You don’t feel any more pressure? I love you man….but i’m not buying it.
Ok…i’m just going to say it.
One Packer article in the last 5 days?
You do know it’s NFCCG week, correct?
Other Packer websites have 4-5 new articles a day.
But, were loyal, we love it here, so we wait, and wait, and wait like a loyal dog……
I don’t mind doing my part in carrying this site at …no charge, but….
C’MON ON MAN!
RIP Ted Thompson. I think Packers nation will be forever grateful for his contributions in building some very good Packers teams. I wonder if it was dementia
President Biden looks like he needs a 2 hour power nap.
In time to wake up for Supper at 4:45 PM
Maybe that’s why they call him SLEEPY JOE!
Well…when i wrote that, i was going to write “Sleepy Joe” just because, it fit my comment. But i decided to show more respect.
That’s why you’ll never see me call him Sleepy Joe while he is President, he deserves respect. And frankly…i’m a lil disappointed in you Mick.
Well, no disrespect intended, as I’ve heard both sides of the Isle call him that over the past year. So, I thought it would be acceptable as only a nickname. Hell, even the mainstream media calls him that; but then again, who respects the mainstream media?
i was kidding Mick…lol
I should have put a smiley face….my bad
Which i kind of did in my post below, and when i called him sleepy Joe :)
In related news….:)
I think Vice President Kamahala becomes the first woman to sit as President of the United States. When Sleepy Joe kicks the bucket sometime from now or in the next 4 years.