Packers Vs Cardinals - 3 Plays That Make You Go Hmmm

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from the Packers' game against the Arizona Cardinals

After re-watching the Packers game, here are three plays that made me go hmmm, for various reasons.


This is relatively minor, but a great example of how doing the little things right matters. As Murray escapes the pocket the temptation surely would have been to chase right after him in hopes of a sack. Instead, Smith takes a "contain" angle to a spot a few yards in front of where Murray will be. Murry has nowhere to go but to head back in the other direction where Gary pressures him into throwing the ball away. Smith's move prevented Murray from running for the first down or extending his path to the sideline, giving him more time to find a receiver. 



I absolutely love the play design here, and more for the blocking scheme than the actual sweep concept. So much is going on. First, you have the fake handoff to Dillon off right tackle. That pulls the two inside linebackers in what is ultimately the wrong direction. Deguara starts heading across the LOS as if he is going to lead block for Dillon, but then doubles back and becomes a lead blocker on the sweep. Finally, Runyan pulls to the right - a total ruse as if he's going to block for Dillon. All of that, just to convince the play is going to Dillon. Next, they unexpectedly pull the center (Patrick)  to be another lead blocker for Rodgers. Finally, EQ and Cobb seal off the edge so Amari can easily get wide unencumbered. That's a hell of a lot happening on one play. Gotta love it!


Two Backs:

I'd love to see some two-back action down on the goal line. You give yourself a lot more options (if you're planning to run) and you get Dillon in there. It's been a real mystery why he hasn't gotten some chances from the one yard line. He converted every short yardage opportunity they gave him, usually despite getting met behind the LOS. 


"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for and He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

13 points

Comments (6)

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Swisch's picture

November 02, 2021 at 11:13 pm

After looking like a manatee last season, Preston Smith seems so much quicker in the above highlight. Truly impressive to contain and then chase after the elusive Kyler Murray as he did.
Kudos to Preston for turning things around!!!

9 points
croatpackfan's picture

November 03, 2021 at 06:43 am

Nice picks of plays to show. Especially the one with Amari. It shows how valuable time is not only the training camp but all spring team activities. Many plays are just compose of many variables average fan regularly do not see when watching the game. Most of us see only the end product.

And I agree with you about using AJ Dillon at least once on the goal line. MLF explained that they dared Packers to throw and they accepted it. I would prefer different approach. Not just to get what the other team offers. At some point you need to impose your will to broke the opponent and install the fear in their minds. And that is something MLF still need to learn to include in the team tactics. Not imposing your (Packers) will is why many of the commentators & talking heads on NFL programs see Packers as finesse team. But, this year is the year Packers have the talent and personnel to change that point of view. It is nothing wrong to be very good to excellent in passing, but if you add imposing possibility to Packers, Packers will be unbeatable. Somewhat as TB last season.

I cross my finger that HC and his coordinators will understand the concept and pursue that in Packers plans.

4 points
Bearmeat's picture

November 03, 2021 at 08:00 am

Not getting Dillon carries in the short game. Has been MLFs biggest fault this year and possibly going back to last year. If we had run right at Tampa Bay last January we wouldn’t have lost that game. Hopefully it’s something MLF will have learned When the time comes this coming January

4 points
Johnblood27's picture

November 03, 2021 at 08:01 am

Simple as this...

Just run the freakin ball!!!

3 points
Coldworld's picture

November 03, 2021 at 09:20 am

What we did well in that game was contain a highly mobile QB almost consistently and apply some pressure while doing so. That is hard to do. The OLB group should be commended for that and hopefully can repeat it in the next game. P Smith was a big part of that as was a good defensive plan.

The option role (or similar play types) were what Rodgers was drafted for initially in my view when they took him. My take was that he is a developmental project as a slot but he has the tools to be a better Ervin this year. Plays like these really help this O, and we have missed them or the threat of them this year. Hopefully Rodgers is getting to a point where he can contribute as an option threat and decoy. That part has taken longer to emerge than I’d hoped.

Dillon isn’t perfect and he’s not going to guarantee short yardage TDs, but when he’s moving D linemen consistently in a game it is baffling not to try him and then use him as a potential decoy too. If the opponent focuses on him it takes players from in front of Jones in a 2 back look run as well as helping pass options. I agree LaFleur needs to come to terms with that and exploit it. I don’t know many who don’t see it other than him.

6 points
ContraCorners's picture

November 03, 2021 at 09:13 am

"the temptation surely would have been to chase right after him in hopes of a sack. Instead, Smith takes a "contain" angle to a spot a few yards in front of where Murray will be"

Is it just me or is the Packer's defense playing a much more disciplined game the past few weeks? From staying with their man until the running QB passes the LOS, to staying in their rush lanes, to holding containment on the back side of the play... it's all good to see.

Some of it new players like Campbell and Douglas, but how much of this is because of the new coordinator?

4 points