Another heartbreaking loss on the road for the Packers against a top team in the NFL. Although they lost by 14 points, this game was tied going into the 4th quarter and Packers had every chance to take control of this game until the Pats scored to go up 24-17. Here are some of my thoughts on the game, we’ll start with the offensive thoughts.
- The most important point here for all Packers fans, Aaron Rodgers is not playing well this season. I’m not sure what it is, the knee issue, new receivers, he’s really that unhappy with the play calling, he’s had enough of this coaching staff, but he is not playing to his top ability, or even near it. I understand he has 2500 + passing and 15 TD to 1 INT in 8 games this year, but those stats don’t tell the whole story – he is not playing to the level fans and most importantly, the level he thinks he should be playing at.
- He is throwing the ball away more than he ever has.
- He isn’t scrambling as much during certain plays to keep those plays alive like he normally does.
- He is late on some throws. Two throws to ESQ dragging across the field against the Rams and Pats could have been bigger plays if Rodgers hits him in stride and earlier in the route.
- He is just making the wrong reads. Watching back on some plays, he’s throwing to guys whom are covered instead of throwing the ball to the open guy below. Trying to do to much.
- He is also missing on some of these run/pass options. Last week against the Rams it was the safety in the end zone, this week there was a pass to ESQ where Rodgers should have handed it off to Jamal Williams (tweet w/ video below)
- I still have belief Rodgers is going to look like the top 1-2 QB in the league we know he is. It’s just being more confident in the route concepts and make the correct throws.
- Byron Bell is getting manhandled at RG. The Packers offensive line has played well enough this year but Rodgers is constantly getting pressure in his face because Bell is just getting blown up.
- They let go of Jahri Evans in the offseason, I know he’s old but I think he is a better player than Bell.
- Bryan Bulaga is one of the best RT in the league, but the guy can’t stay healthy and when he’s off the field our right side of the line is horrible. Best attribute is availability and he seems to unavailable more than he is available
- Between Bell and Bulaga, Gute needs to invest in the O-Line this offseason.
- Lance Kendricks.. can’t block. Can barley catch. No idea why he’s getting more time than Mercedes Lewis. In practice Kendricks must be outperforming Lewis but I’d love to see Lewis on the field more – he is the better the blocker.
- I understand why we used up a roster spot for a second punter this week, a great reason and showing by the Packers organization. But if they feel they can do that, can we get a fullback on the roster? Maybe help the run game out a little bit, even in the screen game. Packers used to use John Kuhn in all kinds of ways. Would love to see the FB come back into play in Green Bay.
- MVS is a fucking stud and people can’t cover him. Rodgers needs to look his way more. Between the deep and the catch over McCourty on 3rd down (picture above) he is becoming a top WR2 in this league, yes I said it.
- Adams didn’t have the statistical game we are used to, but he was open a ton this game.
- ESQ is also showing up nicely, I would love to see the Packers use him in the some of the routes Randal Cobb is running, not that Cobb is playing bad, but EQB can get more YAC on some of these screens I think.
- Aaron Jones, made the mistake of the game and owned up to it, I love that he was man enough to admit it. Although it was a mistake, it was honestly a great defensive play by the Pats.
- We all know McCarthy’s unwillingness to give this man the ball, and I hope this fumble doesn’t bring McCarthy back Williams. That was Aaron Jones first fumble of his career.
- Jones is a 1,000 yard rusher waiting to happen if the gets the ball enough. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He is getting better in pass protection every game. He needs to get at least 20 touches against the Dolphins. The kid is a fucking suck, please don’t waste his talent Packers.
- My final point on the offense will be about the play calling. McCarthy is calling plays, and routes that are getting guys open – sometimes, but enough that the Packers should be scoring more. However, the Packers are executing those plays not very well which is on McCarthy also. He has no creativeness in the offense, we don’t see any screens at all, Packers have very little motion before the snap, I see no jet sweeps, reverses, exotic WR screens, unique running plays, etc. Also, it doesn’t help he abandons the run at times for no reason whatsoever. This offense is so close to breaking out, yet so far away also.
Alright, lets talk about the defense.
- Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels: still studs.
- Holy fuck, our edge is fucking awful. Clay Matthews is playing alright but not for how much he is getting paid.
- Nick Perry looks like the worst edge player in the NFL. Is slow, not athletic, gets no pressure, shows no strength. The only thing he’s done all year is get that final sack on Trubisky in the first game and have like 3 balls batted down. He needs to play better or get cut, like now. There are guys on the street that would play harder than Perry.
- Blake Martinez is a monster at MLB. He is all over the field and makes plays. I was a little afraid when he got hurt and I hope the injury doesn’t turn into something more serious, but Antonio Morrison played well in his place.
- If the Packers keep playing this 3-4 defense, they need to find another MLB. Morrison isn’t the long term answer.
- Well Whitehead is gone because of his stupid decision so slap someone. Although that play shouldn’t have gotten him ejected, he was a borderline roster player and that was the last straw. Honestly, the Packers won’t miss him.
- Amazingly, we didn’t hear Kentrell Brice’s name called much all game, which is good.
- Tramon Williams, minus the missed tackle on the Josh Gordon tackle, played a real good game at safety. I like him back there more than Ha Ha Clinton-Dix even though he’s not as good as tackler.
- Breeland had a rough first game, but it was his first game back from in jury and getting back into it. I think he’ll shape up to be a just fine #3 or #4 CB for us.
- Just like my point about Bulaga, the best attribute for a player is availability and Kevin King is out like every 3rd game. When he is in, this CB group for GB is very good but he can’t stay healthy. Him and Alexander are a VERY VERY good young 1-2 combo at CB, he just needs to say healthy.
- Packer fans compare this pick a lot to TJ Watt. Right now, I’ll take Watt because he is always on the field.
- Absolutely love Jaire Alexander, kids a stud. Will be a top corner in this league.
- This defense minus the Bills game has given up 20+ points in every game this year, but man are they much better than last year. Loving what Pettine has done with guys he has, and whether McCarthy is gone next year or not I hop Pettine stays to develop this defense with a little more talent next year.
Rest of season outlook
Packers sit at 3-4-1 and are 10th currently in the NFC.
Packers get Miami next week, and then on the road at the Seahawks on Thursday night and then Sunday night against the Vikings. I think the Packers have the ability to lose one more game this year, or else they are out of the playoffs, I don’t see 9-5-1 getting them in as a wild card especially with losing to Washington already. The good thing for the Packers? They have the Bears and Vikings once more, also Seattle, and the Falcons at home. Their December schedule is very favorable, they get the Lions, Falcons, and Cardinals at home, and they go to the Jets and Bears. They can win all those games. The Packers can win the rest of their games and go on a run and end up 11-4-1.
It starts this week with the Dolphins, I want to see the Packers hammer the ball, run it down the Dolphins guts and give Rodgers some easy throws. Packers should blow the Dolphins out, if we looked lethargic even in a win, I think this season is over and McCarthy is out. Packers need to turn it on this week, not next week against Seattle.