Confessions of a Polluted Mindset 2020 - Packers Paw the Panthers

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

 

Wait, what???

This is hard to believe (and way cool), but the originator of "things that make you go hmm" noticed what we're doing here and gave his approval:

 

 

Coach of the Year:

As much as I like Matt LaFleur and am super happy he is the Packers' coach, this "Coach of the Year" talk has got to stop. With a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, he shouldn't be considered on that level until his team starts putting away teams when they have a big lead. Letting middling teams hang around and make your fourth quarter a struggle is just not "Coach of the Year" worthy. Hopefully the Packers get there at some point and he wins the award. 

 

Plethora of Pass Breakups:

It's been quite some time since I can remember a Packers' defense contesting and breaking up so many passes in a single game. Why so many and why this game?. Maybe it was just luck, but I keep thinking there must have been a reason. Could it possibly be that Bridgewater stares down his receivers too much - giving the defender a head start and thus more time to go make a play on the ball? Totally just guessing here. 

 

MVS:

So if Carolina was focused on taking away Davante Adams, as LaFleur and Rodgers have told us, how is it that MVS was targeted only once in 29 pass attempts?

 

Third Down Shot:

Speaking of that MVS target, this is Deja Vu all over again from last week with the unnecessary shot play in the wrong situation. This time around it was on a third down play and the long attempt to a thoroughly blanketed MVS ended their first drive of the second half, with no points resulting. This stop of an offense that had rolled over them in the first half gave Carolina a real boost and you could see it in their play over the next several Packers posessions as well. 

 

Ole!

Oren Burks. This came within an inch of complete disaster for the Packers with one minute left in the game.

 

My Psychology:

In a way, although I expected a blowout (and it should have been one), I'm kind of glad the Packers underperformed in the second half and now have something to be mad about. You saw how salty Rodgers was both during and after the game. In my book, a Rodgers with something to "prove" the next game is preferable to a "too comfortable" Rodgers. I'd bet Rodgers has been ramping up the intensity in practice and meetings and is getting himself and his teammates extra focused on having a great game against a tough team.

 

Tackling:

WIth a more agressive attitude, a healthy Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin taking snaps from Kirksey, a top-5-10 secondary and a defensive line that is finding some consistency, there's only one thing missing for me to say this could be a Super Bowl-worthy defense, TACKLING. King, Kirksey, Sullivan, Redmond and even Savage sometimes just don't seem to understand about wrapping up. We all saw the horrendous no-hands tackle attempt by both Sullivan and Kirksey that turned an 8 yard completion on 3rd down into a 40 yard gain and gave the Panthers 3 points and a one score differential with two minutes left in the game. There is just no excuse for that. It's those types of totally avoidable plays that stop you from winning games you should. And BTW, did you notice how well the young Panthers tackled out in the open field?

 

Evan Engram???

 

 

 

__________________________

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

12 points

Comments (110)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Dano-W's picture

December 23, 2020 at 06:15 am

Tackling, Tackling, Tackling! Our Defense would be so much better if they just learned to tackle. I think they are the worst tackling team in the league.

10 points
11
1
murf7777's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:28 am

I see the “throw your body” type tackling all over the league. It isn’t just the Packers. We are 10th in rush D so our tackling can’t be the worst or even close. I’ve read that the lack of padding is the crux of the problem across the league. I wonder how true that statement is.

4 points
4
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:15 am

Yes, most of the league exhibits poor tackling . A product of the Hard Knocks attitude of making the highlight reel with a big hit. I think the padding and equipment is superior today and those all out hits result in more serious injuries.

2 points
2
0
TarynsEyes's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:38 am

Top 10 in rush defense, because of the many teams we beat with weak run games. What matters more is what they do against real run teams, and not how many weak ones bring the defense to a false ranking.

3 points
7
4
Bearmeat's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:56 am

We're going to find out on Sunday night how much (needed) progress against the run with Barnes and Martin and the improved play from Lowry and Keke has helped there.

4 points
4
0
HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:42 am

"and not how many weak ones bring the defense to a 'false ranking'."

There is no such thing as a "false ranking" in this situation. The Packers rush defense ranking is based on real facts, real data, compiled over 14 games. There is nothing "false" about the data, nor is there anything "false" about the straightforward way the rankings are calculated.

Just because you lack the capacity to understand the ranking doesn't make it false.

2 points
8
6
PearlyBakerBest's picture

December 23, 2020 at 04:18 pm

I sure am glad we didn’t start the season 2-5 against all those weak run game teams like some here predicted.

2 points
3
1
Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2020 at 12:08 pm

Actually, Taryn, we’ve played four games against teams with Top 10 rushing attacks. We’re 3-1 in those games.

2 points
5
3
TarynsEyes's picture

December 23, 2020 at 02:06 pm

We beat Minn in week one without Cook. Got ass kicked with him.
We beat SF without Mostert and others.
\We beat Carolina without McC.

Who exactly are the 4 top rush teams we beat while they actually had their top rushes playing?

0 points
3
3
HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 23, 2020 at 03:21 pm

The 49ers are 17# and Carolina is #20 in team rushing, so your position regarding those teams is incorrect and irrelevant.

The four games the Packers have played against top 10 rushing teams are Minnesota (#5) (2 games), Saints (#7), and Eagles (#10). Now we all know that you are under the delusion that New Orleans is a sub .500 team, so your warped perspective on them being a top 10 rushing team should be interesting. You probably think it is a false ranking.

1 points
3
2
TarynsEyes's picture

December 23, 2020 at 04:39 pm

Yawn!!!
I didn't say NO was a sub .500 team, you and others said a ,500 record is not a winning record when we played the Bears at .500. So, if you and your ilk claimed .500 isn't a winning record, then we didn't beat a winning team when NO was 1-1 which is a .500 record. I don't care what their record is now, any team. What were they when GB played them? To believe Philly is a top anything based on interpretable numbers is bs, they are a cluster fu%k and any ranking trying to make them top anything is bs, as like most of the teams GB has played, but the couple or three that are possibly deserving of such rankings, we lost to them with one lost at the hands of one player, Cook.

Yawn,

-1 points
2
3
flackcatcher's picture

December 23, 2020 at 05:14 pm

Taryn, you got your head handed to you on this one. Call it the day... (I do think you have a point here. But all defensive schemes in the NFL are like this to one degree or another. The rules change in 2015 have warped the pro game that unless one goes back to 2010, it hard to understand how different the game is today)

-1 points
1
2
HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 24, 2020 at 03:26 am

The team rushing rankings are based on the total net rushing yards gained by the individual teams. This ranking is totally objective. Any subjective observations regarding the Eagles, or any other team, are irrelevant.

0 points
1
1
jlc1's picture

December 24, 2020 at 06:09 am

Taryn, our resident philosopher ;), hides a real stumper in this post. If we have to judge opposition on their record when the Pack plays them, what are we to call an 0-0 team? 1.00 or .00? It's been debated for ages and it seems Taryn knows the answer. Taryn?

0 points
1
1
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 07:19 pm

McC was there last year when we beat them.

3 points
3
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2020 at 07:56 pm

Mnnesota twice, Saints and Eagles. All in the top 10 in rushing yardage. The Titans will be #5, and they’re the number two team in the league. Packers are 8th.

I’m aware Cook was out for a game. I don’t care. You play who you play and injuries are certainly part of it. SF and Carolina are not top rushing teams. Neither is Jacksonville.

In short, I don’t buy the “false ranking” narrative. At this point in the season, you are pretty much what you are.

0 points
2
2
dobber's picture

December 24, 2020 at 10:58 am

No...Dalvin Cook played both games against the Packers this year.

He missed the second game last year.

3 points
3
0
murf7777's picture

December 23, 2020 at 04:49 pm

So, the other 31 teams just play teams that have great rushing attacks?

1 points
2
1
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 02:46 pm

If they actually hit somebody and wrapped they might injure themselves and lose a paycheck. It's all on the film. The same culprits. Guys that will not be around in 2021.

3 points
3
0
iciice's picture

December 23, 2020 at 04:37 pm

I wish it were that simple. Due to ESPN and other outlets promoting the "jacked up" highlight, kids practice hitting around the chest for the highlight film. Putting your shoulder into someone's waist and then wrapping up the legs doesn't look good on film. It's to the point where I think it's subconscious. That's the just way they're used to tackling. And it's the entire NFL, not just the Packers. Someone needs to put together a highlight film of Antonio Winfield tackling when he played for the Vikings. That man almost never missed.

2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:19 pm

Watch his kid.

2 points
2
0
Bearmeat's picture

December 23, 2020 at 06:20 am

"this "Coach of the Year" talk has got to stop."

Agreed. MLF has shown that he is a top 10 coach, but he has not adjusted well when things haven't gone his way too many times. MLF's teams in general have been prepared, but they also have shown an inability to pour it on (as you mentioned) against an inferior opponent, nor have they shown much of an ability to staunch the bleeding when things aren't going their way, and turn a negative situation into a long term positive.

Yes, this is a Super Bowl worthy team. Tackling and special teams are problematic. Hopefully both get cleaned up.

6 points
7
1
Coldworld's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:28 am

That was not a good coaching performance from LaFleur, indeed Jones saved his game plan and he even went away from Jones. Otherwise he was out coached thoroughly by a much weaker team. Until LaFleur can adapt in game and find answers to the pressure, or at least cogent attempts to shift the approach, he’s not coach of the year material.

4 points
4
0
Bearmeat's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:05 am

We'll never know, but I do wonder how much of that was Rodgers and how much was MLF.

2 points
3
1
Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:53 am

It’s not an “Inability “ to run up the score. It’s called using restraint, or magnanimity, or putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes.

IMO, it’s another reason he IS coach of the year.

-5 points
2
7
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:30 pm

So you're saying Mr. "All Gas, No Fing Brake" was worried about running up the score at 21-3? Um, no.

5 points
5
0
dobber's picture

December 24, 2020 at 11:04 am

I'm always critical of using Bill Belichick as a comparison because his teams have been such an unusual case, but he's won a crap-ton of titles in the salary cap era and never had a problem hanging a ton of points on teams. A big lead is an opportunity to use live fire to work on things and to get better...to be better at executing what you do. You don't get the volume of practice reps to do that kind of stuff anymore, especially not against live teams trying to stop you. Magnanimity doesn't win SBs...execution does.

1 points
1
0
Starrbrite's picture

December 23, 2020 at 02:11 pm

I agree with all of your analysis, although I believe good tackling is a league-wide issue.

2 points
2
0
Turophile's picture

December 23, 2020 at 07:26 am

Evan Engram is a poor Pro Bowl selection, but there is a history of bad choices, often based on what a player did years back................like Jeff Saturday getting an invite when he played (briefly) with the Packers, after we found he couldn't cut it any more.

The whole Pro bowl thing needs a complete restructuring to be anything more than an amusing/irritating irrelevance. In particular, it needs to celebrate stellar play IN THE YEAR IT WAS ACHIEVED, rather than the following year.

5 points
5
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:11 am

I give All Pro selection little attention in all sports because it's a popularity contest.

2 points
2
0
Coldworld's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:31 am

It should just go away. There are other and better measures of performance reflecting the views of those in the sport. It’s a fan toy. I typically ignore it even more than most of those selected initially.

1 points
1
0
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:05 am

yes, but Engram has done nothing - ever. The two seasons where he stayed healthy and got a lot of targets, his catch rates were in the 50% range, so he doesn't have a "reputation" to get voted in on. Tonyan has never been below 67% and this year when he's getting a bunch of targets he's almost at 89%.

8 points
8
0
13TimeChamps's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:27 am

To be honest, I never give Pro Bowl selections much thought. Lot of head scratchers every year. Wasn't Jeff Saturday benched during the year he made it with the Packers?

But I decided to look up Engram's stats this year vs Tonyan:
Engram has 1, as in ONE!, TD pass this year, with a 56.8% catch rate.
Tonyan has TEN! TD passes this year, with a 89.1% catch rate.

As far as Engram's career, Al is right. He has 13 career TDs in 4 years. Tonyan could match that this year alone.

What a joke!

2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 02:49 pm

The only list that counts is the ALL-PRO selections.

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

December 24, 2020 at 11:07 am

Sometimes you'll see a team honor an incentive clause for a player in good faith. It usually happens in other sports, but if Tonyan has an "All-pro" incentive clause in his contract, it would be awesome to see the Packers honor it.

0 points
0
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 25, 2020 at 11:19 am

Pro Bowl selections and MVP stuff mean little to me. Believe it clouds things up and only creates problems. Packer football is a team sport and I'm entirely okay focusing on team success.

0 points
0
0
Swisch's picture

December 23, 2020 at 07:33 am

While I'm quite ready to point out perceived problems with the Packers in the interest of team improvement, I also want to highlight positive parts of the team -- including Matt LaFleur as at least in the discussion for coach of the year.
After the two miserable seasons that preceded him, it is astounding what the Packers have accomplished under LaFleur -- last season a record of 13-3 and a playoff win, and this season 11-3 with two games to go.
I would have been glad for 9-7 the first season, and a total of 10 wins this season.
I don't know what all MLF has been doing to elevate the Packers into an elite team in such a short time, but the sterling results seem to cry out for consideration of awarding him the trophy for top coach in the NFC, if not the entire NFL.
I don't know the other candidates, but I'd like to hear about their claims before ruling out our guy.
I hope winning the next two games, which seems a tough challenge, will only add to the kudos for Coach LaFleur.

4 points
6
2
BradHTX's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:20 am

I think he’s worthy of being included in the discussion because of what he’s done to resurrect the moribund offense so quickly. But he DOES need to figure out how to adjust when things aren’t working, and avoid games like this one, TB, etc. to be truly worthy of the title. Win the Superb Owl this year or next, and it will go a long way to getting him there.

0 points
0
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 25, 2020 at 11:27 am

Swisch,
Great read! Well done!

What MLF has done these past two seasons (Gutey as well) is nothing short of amazing.

Two years ago everyone complained about almost zero talent on the Packers and how it was going to take a minimum of 3 years to restock the talent. Packers immediately under MLF have big time success. Based on lack of talent assessment one has to say MLF's coaching and schemes has made the difference.

Now having 7 players receive Pro Bowl berths when most of these same players were on the team two years (Jenkins wasn't and Jaire had 1 year experience) when most on here claimed there was no talent than once again MLF's coaching has to be putting these players in position to succeed and excel.

0 points
0
0
Guam's picture

December 23, 2020 at 07:40 am

My frustration with MLF and the Packer coaching staff is their inability to make in-game and half time adjustments. The initial game plans are usually excellent, but when the other team adjusts, MLF and Company seem unable to respond. That is going to have to improve for MLF to be a great coach.

9 points
10
1
x24's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:14 am

And failure to adjust was one of the complaints we leveled against McCarthy. Let's hope this weakness is addressed, its a real opportunity for improvement

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:34 am

LaFleur has positives. But he’s not yet a great coach. He is learning. One hopes adjustments will come. But as yet he’s a highly promising but not fully rounded Head Coach.

-1 points
0
1
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:15 am

The whole league has the same problem . I believe because of the superior and hard to defend passing attacks; the whole NFL is like that. If you follow the scores, every week there are numerous games where good teams are giving up large leads.

2 points
2
0
Minniman's picture

December 23, 2020 at 01:49 pm

And that is possibly the crux of why he didn’t get the nod for COTY.

Fact - MLF is still growing as a head coach.

As others have posted, I’m still glad that he was offered the Packers coaching job and am keenly watching how he evolves his in-game strategy.

0 points
0
0
flackcatcher's picture

December 23, 2020 at 05:43 pm

I have the same complaints about MLF too. But we forget that this Packers team is young, inexperience and the roster is thin in critical offensive/defensive spots. But MLF has shown signs of growth during this season. For example, MLF committed to the run game early last week, something he was wary of doing last season.

0 points
0
0
Thegravedigger's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:58 pm

I think lafluer makes adjustments. But at the end of the day 12 is calling the shots. In the first half he goes wit the game plan. And it works. Then in the second half when things are starting to slide, rodgers has this tendency to force short passes to 17 or deep bombs to mvs. Example. 1st n 10. Early 4th quarter. Lazard runs a 6 yrd square out and is open. Davante runs a 6 yrd square out n is doubled. Result. Incomplete. 2nd down. Quick pass to Davante. No gain. 2 plays in a row. Arodg didnt even look the other way. My point being. Rodgers uses more of his own judgement in the second half. And sometimes he gets flustered and throws it to 17 when he shouldnt. 7 catches 41 yards. Same stat line as the charger game last year.

2 points
3
1
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 25, 2020 at 11:30 am

Generally the Packers have half time lead this year most every game. The Packers do not need to do much adjusting. It is the opponent's who are having to do half time adjustments. If the Packers are in lead and having success what adjustments are they needing to make?

0 points
0
0
Packer_Fan's picture

December 23, 2020 at 07:41 am

Good for Barnes and Martin playing instead of Kirksey. Need impact plays and players.

Yes, I think you hit something about the attitude. Something was wrong. If it wasn't for Jones running on the first three drives, the outcome may have been different. Game plan, play calling, perhaps Rodgers rattled a bit, poor execution, dropped passes (Lazard just before the half on the Jared Cook play.) all contributed to poor performance after the first three drives.

I want to see the Packers put a one total game together where everything is working.

4 points
4
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 25, 2020 at 11:33 am

Me too, but let's save that sterling performance either to get us over the hump in the NFC Championship game (finally), or in the SB itself! :)

0 points
0
0
pacman's picture

December 23, 2020 at 07:49 am

GREAT article.
Except for the pass break up point, everything you said has to do with coaching. It's been SB or bust since the last SB and it was all bust with MM/DC. Most teams would be thrilled with the Packers record these 2 seasons under MLF. But we should not be. He did finally add some more complex designs to scheme players open. So he does get credit for that. But every arm-chair coach on this board was clamoring for that for years so that was a no-brainer. But the play calling itself has not been great especially noticed during the now infamous lull games. I won't even discuss the D and ST until after this weeks game.

We will all be thrilled to get to the SB, but nobody wants to get embarrassed there.

GPG

-3 points
3
6
Since'61's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:04 am

As I posted earlier in the week, the team that wins the Lombardi Trophy had the HC who has done the best job with his team for the season. The coach of the year award is just a feel good award for not winning the SB.

Terrible job for snubbing Tonyan.

Pass break ups I attribute to more aggressive play by our defenders, Bridgewater staring down his receivers and maybe not having enough zip on his passes.

I’m not sure why Oren Burks is still on the team. He should have been chucked by now!

The second half of the Panthers game once again exposes our weakness at WR behind Adams. Playoff defenses will play us with same approach that the Panthers and earlier the Bucs played against our offense. MLF needs to come with an effective counter punch.

Tackling has been a problem with the Packers defense for several years at least. I’m not sure how or why players reach the professional level and are unable to tackle effectively. At a minimum every professional player should know how to block and tackle. Tackling has generally become poor throughout the league but the Packers are in the lower third of the league. It is the probably the primary reason why the defense fails to get off the field.

Thanks, Since ‘61

4 points
4
0
x24's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:22 am

Are the wide receivers behind Adams the weakness, or is AR forcing the ball to Adams the weakness?

This was addressed in one of the columns here earlier this season- when it seemed like there was a drop off in pass production when Adams returned from injury... When Adams was out Rodgers spread the ball around

Without knowing which plays are changed by Rodgers, it's tough to get an answer

2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:40 am

I don’t think the answer last week was the receivers but how they were used/targeted. The play calling was atrocious. On rewatch it’s even more difficult to understand. To be clear, it got much worse in the second half, but the passing game plan was clearly not working in the first. The strategy drawn up to take on a 3-3-5 D was a total failure in terms of the passing game. It never improved, in fact it got a lot worse.

2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:32 pm

The tale of the missing # 2 wide receiver shows its ugly head when the opposition has a solid four man front and fast ILBs. Take Adams out of the Game Plan and see if they can counter.( Simmons). Take the run all day, hit your TEs, use Dillon and Weber, what's the hold up? Jerry Rice had Taylor to keep the triple teams off his back. He could beat the doubles. Look forward to a wide-open attack next Sunday.

0 points
0
0
KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 25, 2020 at 11:37 am

I used to have front row seats when the Packers came to town and when Bridgewater played with the Vikings. He does not have a strong arm with ability to get ball out quickly in the flats. He is accurate and he can throw the lob type passes down the field, but he cannot throw flat laser passes.

0 points
0
0
HighPlainsDrifter's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:12 am

I am constantly amused by the people who claim that Coach LaFleur does not make any "in-game or halftime adjustments". Do these people really believe that Coach just watches the game and says "all is well, I don't need to do anything about what the opponent is doing". Do they think that the Coach relaxes in his office during halftime, has a cup of coffee, then goes out and says "OK guys, nothing to learn from the first half. Let's just follow the pregame plan".

Does anyone really believe that? Because if you are taking the position that no adjustments are being made, that is exactly what you believe.

-3 points
6
9
pacman's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:57 am

I'm thinking it's more like 'we shouldn't 2nd guess ourselves too much and we should stick to our game plan. We got here by doing that and we are a pretty good team so let's stick with what works rather than guessing'.

That's exactly the point - they are unable to dynamically change.

2 points
2
0
jlc1's picture

December 24, 2020 at 06:26 am

How do you game plan around Patrick missing block after block, Burks whiffing on a ST block, receivers dropping catchable passes, tacklers not finishing? You can't. This team goes flat because of a lack of focus and leadership at times. This does start with the coach for sure as I just don't think Lombardi or Holmgren would have let it happen this often. But MLF still can't make the plays on the field so I think his game plans and adjustments do make it easier for the team to execute. They just too easily lose the will to.

0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:39 am

It could simply be that a big lead just makes a team more complacent, what do we adjust when we're winning 21-3 and the Panthers looked horrendous. Once the momentum swings it's difficult to get it back, especially against a team whose record does not reflect how good they really play. I which I could get to see the whole field to see what the Panthers did on defense and where our receivers were.

3 points
3
0
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:10 am

$100 /yr for NFL Gamepass and you can see the coaches' film that shows the whole field.

3 points
3
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:36 am

Hmmmm, not a bad idea. I'm sure my wife would be happy with me spending more money on an already steep Sunday ticket bill. "Honey you look beautiful today,( a few hrs pass) can I spend $100 so that I can sound like I know what I'm talking about with my Packer buddies?" hahahaha Maybe , I'll just let Dusty bring some light to the topic.

5 points
5
0
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:33 pm

Tell her I authorized the purchase.

3 points
3
0
Guam's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:25 am

No one said that no in-game or half time adjustments are made, but all too often the other team seems to make better adjustments. Bill Parcells was one of the best coaches I have ever seen at in-game and half time adjustments. Unfortunately MLF and his staff seem to be on the other end of the spectrum and get "out coached" occasionally during the game.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2020 at 12:13 pm

If the other team is making better adjustments far too often, how have we managed 24-6?

2 points
3
1
PhantomII's picture

December 23, 2020 at 06:46 pm

Usually being ahead like last week 21-3. Defense not letting them score quickly and slowly leaking clock down to final minutes making it a too close game. punts or 3 points instead of 7. >Repeat
It's pretty obvious we are going into the half with a healthy lead 2-3 scores. Our take is keep doing what we're doing. The other team has to slow down or stop what we are doing and do. It's as if we don't say if they stop this we're gonna do that and we don't change it up. Carolina basically shut down our pass game and we stopped running the ball consistently and Rodgers was forcing the ball. When our WR or TE was open, they dropped the ball. A 3-3-5 Defense is a run/ screen play every down game until they change the DL front. A perfect coming out game for Dillon-wasted. What if Jones/ Williams get hurt for more than a game. Our RB's need reps for confidence if nothing else. I don't like ML's use of extra RB's this late in the season. We should be using them more. If Jones get's hurt before playoffs an extra week off means Nada.

0 points
1
1
Guam's picture

December 24, 2020 at 08:00 am

By having really good initial game plans. And that is my conundrum - why someone as creative a planner as MLF seems to struggle with in-game adjustments.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

December 24, 2020 at 11:12 am

Maybe the reason for the success is someone under LaF and not LaF himself...?

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

December 24, 2020 at 11:16 am

Part of making adjustments, even if you're saying "what we're doing is working", is anticipating what other teams are going to do to try to stop what you've been able to do so far and be ready to counter it.

0 points
0
0
PhantomII's picture

December 24, 2020 at 08:56 pm

I Agree. Most time we bog down is getting away from the run game. Now A jones toe is hurt and Williams Quad. Need Dillon more than ever.

0 points
0
0
PatrickGB's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:21 am

Tackling should have been learned in HS and college. The current CBA restrictions don’t allow for many of the padded practices that used to be the norm in the past. Also a lot of the current coaches shy away from asking too much from their players during the season because of a new emphasis on “rest”. The size, skill and speed of premier players is freakishly good. What worked in college doesn’t work in the pros. Most players have never had to deal with that prior to the NFL. Old habits die hard and defenses don’t have the time to coach up the basics without a old school training camp. Then you throw in complicated offenses and rules protecting players and you end up with poor tackling.

4 points
4
0
Johnblood27's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:26 am

Nice summary Patrick!

2 points
2
0
Johnblood27's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:18 am

Carolina was a classic trap game via schedule and circumstance. The Packers played right into the script by mentally checking out after a nice start, thereby forgetting that an NFL football game is a 60 minute contest even against the weaker rosters. I didn't see this possibility written about before the game but it sure played out like one during the game. Let's acknowledge it post-game and learn from it (MLF).

Moving on to MLF, I think the Packers have "crossed the rubicon" with hopes of MLF having a killer instinct to close out games by burying an opponent by sensing when a moment is at hand to apply the coup de grace. This takes a feel for the game situation and the ability to hard-focus your team (through their leaders) to exert the discipline necessary to crush the will of an opponent that you have swaying against the ropes. I do not believe that you all of a sudden acquire that mentality and skill set, my hopes for this talented Packer team to gain that killer instinct are slim. P.S. - some of the blame for this behavior falls at Rodgers feet as well and the inappropriate "shot" observations mentioned by Jersey Al the past 2 weeks are recent exhibits.

Tackling - or the lack thereof - How many times have I heard "You get what you emphasize"? Mike Pettine, care to comment? Maybe the defense's team leaders need to be held a little more accountable for stressing to their teammates that overall team effort is wasted when one member is in position to make a tackle (through the collective effort of the entire defense on any given play) and they piss it away with a half-hearted or technically flawed attempt to bring a player down. Peer pressure is a wonderful thing in a team sport.

4 points
5
1
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:49 am

I also believed that, John . An example are the Seahawks , it always seemed that Carrol drafted and emphasized tackling , look at them this season.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:41 am

Wait, what???
Real question. Is Arsenio a Packers fan?

Coach of the Year:
IMO LaFleur deserves to be one of the top coaches of the year candidate. I think it should be between him, McDermott and Stefanski. Most predictions for this team were they were going to fall. Rodgers was washed and we didn't have the talent to do anything. And yet we are set up to be 13-3 and have homefield advantage.
There are way too many people worried about putting teams away. I get that it looks better and gives everyone that warm feeling. The problem with that is Carolina is a better team then their record shows. They have lost something like 8 games by one score. That includes the best team in the league the Chiefs.

Plethora of Pass Breakups:
Another thought is the DB's are playing with more confidence. The defense as a whole I feel like has been playing better the last few games. They are starting to step up and play better at the right time.

MVS:
"how is it that MVS was targeted only once in 29 pass attempts?"
Great question. MVS was coming off his best game of the year. I honestly thought there was going to be more of an attempt to get him the ball especially early. Letting him use his speed.
I also am a little surprised we didn't see more motion/jet sweeps. I know it is more in the scripted plays, but still something I was expecting to see more of.

Third Down Shot:
While I agree that it was an unnecessary to take a shot there, I do wish MVS would have made a better attempt at getting the ball. Sometimes a WR has to help the QB out. If he had tried to leap over the DB he likely draws a PI penalty, or at least has a better chance of catching it. Trying to reach through the defender isn't going to work. Sometimes you need to go up an over the DB. I would like to See MVS do that more.

My Psychology:
I agree with your psychology. I agree that not having a game go the way you think it is going to can be a good thing. There were a quite a few things individuals in this game can take an know they have to improve upon. Lazard had a critical drop right before halftime. It would have set up for a FG try. Even though though they were up 21-3 at that time. That FG going into half time would have put them up by 3 TD's. Never take the foot off the gas!

Tackling:
Barnes and Martin deserve to be our starting ILB's. Kirksey is a step slow. Barnes showed that he is an upgrade. Martin is a player that can knife through an OL and destroy a play. Kirksey has not been a solid tackler.
Also I think its time to consider playing Jackson over King. King has been really bad at tackling this year. Jackson is a good tackler. Might be time to make that change.

Evan Engram???
I get that Tonyan is a new guy out of nowhere. But at this time the only reason why Engram made it was based on his name. Tonyan is much, much better!

5 points
6
1
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:18 am

From what I see on his twitter account, it looks like he's a Browns fan, but maybe when the Browns were awful, he strayed a bit.

2 points
2
0
RCPackerFan's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:40 am

Ok. I saw it on Twitter and have been wondering it ever since.

1 points
1
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 23, 2020 at 01:28 pm

"I also am a little surprised we didn't see more motion/jet sweeps. "

I wonder if they dislike how Austin is doing it? I his limited action 2 weeks ago I got excited for more. And now nothing. Force it to Adams I guess...

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 03:03 pm

If Austin hangs onto the ball, it is generally a good play. He's no savior.

0 points
1
1
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:07 am

Last years championship disaster just put a damper on expectations, our history of late. However, we have recovered better than most expected and will be in position once again to make a championship run. So kudos to MLF. Consequently, many very good coaches did not withstand poor playoff performances.

5 points
5
0
stockholder's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:35 am

Coach of the year. Yes he is. Rodgers game improved. And the concern was you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Pass break ups/Tackling - Take away King and it gets worse. Savage plays better with King in there. And Redmond,Sullivan and Kirksey have regressed. If Pettine wants the right combination. It must include Martin,Barnes and King. Tonyan- Had he been a draft pick, He would have been picked before Engram. Your psychology should have included the OL.

1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 10:49 am

King's inconsistent and injury prone career frustrates me. I am for getting a free agent veteran next season( Peterson, Logan Ryan).

1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:06 am

Yep- Just like Hayward? I Doubt King gets signed. BG will have to take a DB this draft. Rd. 1. The packers just do not want to pay Cbs.

1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 02:37 pm

Hayward and Hyde were mistakes, they never missed games and could have been extended because they were mostly nickel DBs. In contrast to Hobble King, who is always injured. However, a 1 year contract would be fine.

2 points
2
0
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 09:36 pm

Allow me to make this conversation worse - TJ Watt.

4 points
4
0
JohnnyLogan's picture

December 24, 2020 at 12:32 am

Such a huge mistake and everyone in Wisconsin wanted Watt, not because he was a Badger but because we knew he was special. What a difference he would have made. With Watt we don't take Gary, who will never be the equal of Watt, and can take a big ugly with the #12 pick and have a really powerful DL, which changes the defense completely. I was livid when we passed on him because I immediately went to look at King's highlights and he didn't impress at all. He showed what he is, can't tackle, gets beat inside by quicker receivers, and can't run with the really fast ones. Huge miss. Watt a perennial All-Pro, King won't get a second contract. But water under the bridge. Way too late to complain, but still hurts.

4 points
4
0
dobber's picture

December 24, 2020 at 11:19 am

You're a cruel man, Jersey Al....

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Yeah, we can afford a guy like Peterson. /sarcasm

1 points
1
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 02:49 pm

Release Preston ,12 mill cap savings plus King's already 2 and a quarter mill cap hit and we have more than enough. He will be 31 and has made almost 100 mill so will not earn a max contract. Touche'

-1 points
0
1
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:25 pm

Try to get Gilmore. Ted was afraid to bid on him last time and they went with King vs Watt, lovely.

0 points
0
0
splitpea1's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:13 am

Impressive gymnast-like leg extension by Scott on that punt...

All the pass breakups were the highlight of the game defensively; maybe the players were just better prepared to be in position to make those plays.

Tackling: I don't understand it, either. It doesn't matter if it's a common deficiency throughout the league--we've got to be better! At least use your arms and make sure you grab a leg, ankle, or whatever--even a jersey (I saw Gary haul somebody down that way with one hand).... Maybe players are afraid to go low because they might get a penalty. The job of a defender is very difficult these days.

3 points
3
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 03:09 pm

Maybe LaFleur got through to the guru: No more 3 man prevent and get your DBs playing the ball, not standing in the picket line watching the QB beat you. Next lecture, swarm to the ball, wrap and hold it.

1 points
2
1
flackcatcher's picture

December 23, 2020 at 06:06 pm

Nah.... Pettine had already made his adjustments. It was a matter of getting those players healthy. Biggist problem was lack of heavy guys in the DL. A known issue since last year. One that Gute finally addressed when Adams and then Clarke got hurt and Clarke missed time.

0 points
0
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:36 am

Burks was a high draft choice because of his God given physical ability and that is truly impressive physical ability. The man simply must lack the football instincts and/or the intelligence to play the game. He has been a major disappointment for the Packers, but at least take solace in that this will be his final year with the team.
I know all of us feel some of the frustration exhibited by Al in this column, but I do watch most of the teams in the league play during the season and when I do it helps me to appreciate how much better the Packers carry out assignments, avoid stupid penalties and just play the game in general than most all the other team. It makes me glad I'm a Packer fan.

11 points
11
0
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 03:14 pm

There is zero reason for him to be on this roster, getting a paycheck when a good football player sits on some P squad somewhere wondering when his time will come. That guy proved from day one he is not willing to be the man to cover anybody and hit them.

1 points
2
1
CoachDino's picture

December 23, 2020 at 04:30 pm

Easy Swede, Burks sucks and has been a bust but until lately he has been a top ST player. We can't have it both ways are ST important or not? If so guys will make the roster due to ST ability. He is on a Rookie contract so is very affordable. Yes, he was a real prospect coming out of college but he hasn't worked out, odds are they will move on once the contact expires or there is a better depth player that can be a ST stud. The way he's executing on ST lately, you're right, there won't be any reason to keep him.

0 points
2
2
jannes bjornson's picture

December 23, 2020 at 11:41 pm

He was run over repeatedly in college trying to stop the run and was a gloried safety like Josh Jones as a cover guy. He was highly rated in Gutedkunst's mind, we know that fact, but the scouts and Pauline did not go along with the evaluation.

1 points
2
1
CoachDino's picture

December 25, 2020 at 08:22 pm

I never watched him play at Vandy other than "highlight" film so can't speak to the run over at Vandy. I've looked at his scouting profile before but went back again after your comments.

He did have some variance in draft position due to ability but most negative seemed to come from being a tweener. Not good enough in man to play A slot safety and too small to play run ILB.

Most every publication had him between 3-5 rds depending on how you valued his skill set to your defense. He went late 3rd so he fell in an acceptable range for a team looking for specific skill sets.
So I stand by my opinion that he was a good draft pick at the time and to call out Gute and his staff as being the only ones who valued him at that level might be a git of an emotional overstatement. Those who thought his diagnosis, top end coverage Slot/Box and ILB run defense skills would be a real challenge were correct in the end as he never overcame them.

0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2020 at 12:21 pm

We complain about tackling, then complain that the league’s leading tackler isn’t a “difference maker”. When I pointed out tackles DO make a difference, I got a bunch of downvotes.

So, is it important to have guys who can tackle, or is it more important that they make “splash plays”??? I like tacklers, personally.

6 points
7
1
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Well to me, a perfectly executed hard tackle IS a splash play.

4 points
4
0
PeteK's picture

December 23, 2020 at 03:02 pm

At or near the line of scrimmage.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2020 at 08:30 pm

So would you say Martinez made a lot of splash plays?

-1 points
1
2
PeteK's picture

December 24, 2020 at 09:59 am

I liked Martinez, but tough decisions have to be made. Clark and Bak have more importance to our team and their extensions were helped by not signing Blake. Furthermore, if you look at our ILBs #s for this year they're close to last years and improving.

0 points
0
0
CoachDino's picture

December 23, 2020 at 04:36 pm

People want someone to blame or the reasons to fit their narrative. When tackling, as a whole, is the case it takes focus away from the favorite targets. Gutes draft picks, MP scheme,personel and coaching and players we don't like.

I like Als comment as well. Though I get what you're saying. Who doesn't like a Chuck Cecil missile strike. Problem is they are high risk and just making a solid tackle is just as effective as a huge hit.

3 points
3
0
JQ's picture

December 23, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Make that “Kamal” Martin, not ‘Kareem.'

0 points
0
0
JerseyAl's picture

December 23, 2020 at 02:34 pm

whoops! good catch.

1 points
1
0
jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 23, 2020 at 01:25 pm

"We all saw the horrendous no-hands tackle attempt by both Sullivan and Kirksey that turned an 8 yard completion on 3rd down into a 40 yard gain"

Bench Kirksey.

On another note the ProBowl is stupid and trying to figure out WTF they are doing with logic will harm your brain. Tonyan isn't going to be available for the ProBowl anyways. GPG!

4 points
4
0
CoachDino's picture

December 23, 2020 at 04:24 pm

MLF certainly, as all coaches do, get a boost from having an elite QB. Should this preclude him from COY consideration, no, but it is a factor. IMO he should be front and center on the conversation. He's really made all the difference bringing in his offense, working with an elite but temperamental QB and in the end finding a way to be one of the winningest coaches this year and last. It is a truly impressive accomplishment.

As to adjustments - Adjustments are key, no doubt. Tough to judge him overall on this due to:
Scenarios - He's had a lead going into the second half, calling for game / clock management more than scoring adjustments.
We may never know what he calls vs what Arron runs
Whatever his adjustments have been they have worked 80% or more of the time. (24-6 record)
These days managing the personality of your players, media, COVD count for more than ever and he has done a great job there.
Andy Reid won it with the best QB.
I'm not saying he should win and I agree Elite QB is a big crutch, in fact I don't really care all that much if he wins or not. Just win the games.

The Packers according to PFF have been one of the worst tackling teams all year long.
I've mentioned this in the past and I see it in a post above, the CBA and the risk of injury make tackling something that can't garner much focus in practice. These players just need to execute. Yes, the entire league uses poor technique, either they are better at using it or use it less, either way the Packers suck at Tackling and its the #! reason for its poor run defense.

The packers have a weak run defense. By design and through flaws. Rankings can certainly be skewed due to variables. Who you play, game scenarios, weather, etc... The Packers are both positively and negatively impacted through these variables.

When ranking anything it's not just all about who you played, it's about who everyone has played. Those you are being ranked against play both good and bad run teams as well. In general teams will fare worse against good runs teams and better and bad run. teams. So factually/Mathematically/Sciencetifically etc Questioning a ranking due to who you played in a 16 game population is wrong. Doesn't mean it might be a bit better or worse but in general its accurate.

Another point of interest is the Strength of Schedule debate. Take a look at the SOS for the teams with the best record. Over 90% of the teams qualified for the playoffs have a below.500 winning percentage SOS. The bottom 4 are GB,Indy, KC and Cleveland. I'm not smart enough or willing to dedicate the time to figure out how exactly that works and how strong the correlation is but one thing is obvious. SOS is not nearly as telling as we are led to believe. Don't shoot the messenger. These are just the facts, not my opinions.

Al pulled out another gem that may or may not point to Arod worrying about stats. It does certainly point to poor decision making by ARod that leads to a negative impact. I don't know if people understand how important these decisions are in a game and how these are excellent examples. Why isn't the media asking this question.

Great question on the pass break-ups - Luck? maybe - QB tells? maybe - great question. I'd like to hope it's improved play but I would tend to lean toward Als theory due to the large jump in occurences.

I'm a firm believer that the Packers, with Arod, have sufficient weapons. That doesn't mean there aren't moments when it wouldn't help to have another 1A or high level #2 receiver. You have to ask at what cost before we say they SHOULD. Yet, it doesn't mean there aren't times it would help more than others.

1 points
2
1
LeotisHarris's picture

December 23, 2020 at 06:32 pm

Al, the gift of a "plethora" sighting on CHTV can only bode well for our beloved Packers going forward. Call me a dreamer, but I believe with a little Christmas magic an "aforementioned" could appear just in time for the playoffs.

4 points
4
0
Johnblood27's picture

December 24, 2020 at 06:42 am

Please just dont let it devolve into a plethora of aforementioneds...

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

December 24, 2020 at 11:21 am

**poot**

2 points
2
0