Confessions of a Polluted Mindset: A Packers Brain Drain

Random thoughts swimming around in the Packers' section of my brain.

Mike McCarthy: For most of the first half, we saw a new Mike McCarthy, one that had seemingly been studying film of some of the more creative offenses in this league. I noted more new formations, schemes and route combinations in that spell than I had in the entirety of the season leading up to this game. There were receivers WIDE open. And then, with the 49ers showing they were not going away easily, he reverted back to the predictable plays and route combinations we know all too well (the dreaded isolation routes). Suddenly, it was all on Rodgers' shoulders (and gimpy knee) to save McCarthy from himself once again. Luckily for all, he came through when it was needed most.

Defense: Not sure if I kill them for being so bad most of the game or praise them for the three straight three-and-outs to finish the game.

QUIT? Until those last three defensive stops, I was seriously wondering if the defense had quit - it might be the first time I ever felt like that with the Packers, but that's how disgusted I was.

Nick Perry: No doubt, Perry's three blocked passes were big plays but one has to be honest - he makes those plays because he's been stoned dead in his tracks by the guy blocking him. Maybe standing at the line of scrimmage and trying to block passes is his best chance to contribute (only half-joking).

Kyler Fackrell: This much-maligned guy made some impressive plays when playing out in space. Hook the correct angles, made sure tackles and prevented bigger gains. He doesn't have the strength to hold the edge well, but if relieved of that responsibility, he shows up.

Mason Crosby: Has there ever been a better kicker bounceback than Mason Crosby from last week to this week? What happened last week just seems even more impossible to fathom now.

Wide Receivers: I feel like the rookie wide receivers showed a lot of progress in this game. My favorite from before the draft, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, has taken the lead among the trio of newbies, recording 66 snaps in Monday's game whileEquanimeous St. Brown had 35 and J'Mon Moore chipped in with 17. MVS is starting to realize his potential to be a true downfield threat for the Packers and both he and ESB made a great adjustment on passes down the sideline that earned them a positive finger pointing from Rodgers.

Running Backs: Despite starting the game, Aaron Jones continued to have the fewest snaps in the Packers "running back by committee" carousel. No words.

Offensive line: A terrible performance overall - I thought I was watching the NY Giants for a second. Even DBak got beat for a sack and some pressures. When Bulaga went out, Patrick came in at right guard and Byron Bell moved to right tackle. I have to give credit to the 49ers, they smelled blood and immediately started blitzing and running stunts on their side. Rodgers escaped a few times, was sacked a few times and was forced into bad throws a few times. It almost derailed the Packers offense in the fourth quarter, but luckily Bulaga was able to return and things improved enough to allow for another Rodgers miracle comeback. 

2-minute offense: Rodgers is so good in the two-minute offense, why wouldn't you run the same offense a few times in a game, not just out of necessity. Why not START the second half that way? 

Clay Matthews. Matthews was the bull and Pierre Garcon was the matador. And he didn't even need a red cape.

 

__________________________

"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

NFL Categories: 
0 points

Comments (39)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Kb999's picture

October 17, 2018 at 06:02 am

A W is a W. You can't feel good about this win. They were at home. The D made CJ Bernard look like Dan Marino. They need to get it together fast.

0 points
0
0
freddisch's picture

October 17, 2018 at 06:04 am

MM and his staff were clearly out coached the whole game. AR again makes MM “ a highly successful coach”

0 points
0
0
Big_Mel_75's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:32 am

I wish he would stop bailing him out... :(

0 points
0
0
NickPerry's picture

October 17, 2018 at 06:31 am

"Nick Perry: No doubt, Perry's three blocked passes were big plays but one has to be honest - he makes those plays because he's been stoned dead in his tracks by the guy blocking him."

HEY...I resent that Al!!!

Seriously though we're stuck with Perry at least through next year IMO. His cap hit is $14.7 Million next season but if cut the dead cap is still $11.1. I doubt he's going anywhere.

Thanks Ted...Your decisions will haunt this team for years.

0 points
0
0
pacman's picture

October 17, 2018 at 08:12 am

If NFL would institute a 'claw back' clause in those high contracts, salaries wouldn't get out of hand.

For edge rushers - less than 8 sacks, lose 10%
qb's - passer rating under 80, lose 10%
etc.

This might light a fire under some of these 'got my contract' guys.

0 points
0
0
Chuck Farley's picture

October 18, 2018 at 08:51 pm

Let's be honest he was a horsebleep pick to begin with.
He was a he star in Mich but gave the u the finger and went to USC. There he played on a top d line, guys who made him look better than he was. Most analyst had him a middle two or early third at best. Char issues and taking plays off. Ted thought otherwise and we've been stuck with this turkey. Note his contract year was very good.
He was just standing around and blocked those passes. Should not have been where he was.

0 points
0
0
Packer fan in SWIN's picture

October 17, 2018 at 06:54 am

Face it the Packers front office did a terrible job evaluating talent and for every Kenny Clark there are numerous swings and misses. Hopefully that will improve under the new GM.

0 points
0
0
Jordan's picture

October 17, 2018 at 07:22 am

A lot of people say Bill Belichick is the greatest of all time as far as HC, defensive mastermind, and personnel guru. His team gave up 40 points last weekend at Gillette stadium.

There's no doubt the Packers need all their defensive players to be healthy. Jaire Alexander is a very important player on D. Without him, the Packers will be in a lot of trouble for sure. Hopefully he'll be back soon.

0 points
0
0
splitpea1's picture

October 17, 2018 at 11:56 am

Hopefully he didn't "learn" too much from TT when it comes to evaluating those defensive players. I think the first thing they need to do is draft smarter players (unlike a couple we have on special teams now), and the second is to play them in their natural position instead of trying to convert them to something else and having them learn a new position at the NFL level. And the more speed the better.

0 points
0
0
Packer_Fan's picture

October 17, 2018 at 07:27 am

I like Jersey Al's comment about MM reverting back to the predictable isolation routes. That is exactly what happened. And the tight formations played into the blitzes SF was doing. Open up the play book. Open us the formations to make it easier for AR and OL to pick up blitzers. MM has to change or make adjustments better. And we still have time and opportunities.

0 points
0
0
Fire_Gute's picture

October 17, 2018 at 08:13 am

When I saw Aaron Jones starting the game and that diamond formation on the first touchdown I thought I was going to have to eat my words for some of my Mccarthy hate. It was exciting to think about for about the first half of the first quarter. And then the old highly successful football coach took over

0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

October 17, 2018 at 07:43 am

The Aaron Rodgers hype only brings out the best in the Packer's opponents. Every time he does this it adds to it. Any team playing GB gives them their best, and usually the Packers find themselves playing from behind. We've seen this from MM over and over adding a few new wrinkles in as the season goes on. Is it the reason why the Packers are always late season bloomers? AR can pull rabbits out of hats against average teams, but against the cream of the crop the rest of the team isn't good enough. Against the 9ers they scored over 30 points for the 1st time this year. They may need to put up 40 against the Rams to have a chance, or win the turnover battle.

0 points
0
0
Community Guy's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:55 am

4thand1: i kind of agree that facing the Packers tends to bring out the best in the competition. sometimes i forget that virtually all of the players and coaches in the league have had a lot of success going into any game.. maybe this is one reason for "any given Sunday".

we had all heard the narrative about how the '9ers were injured and down and likely an easy out.. but, they brought a real fight to Lambeau and nearly pulled a big upset. i have many feelings after Monday night.. one feeling i have is that Beathard and the '9ers played a very good game and they deserve respect. at this point, as a fan, i am going to assume that every opponent is going to be a dogfight.

0 points
0
0
ShanghaiKid's picture

October 17, 2018 at 12:09 pm

@4th and 1. Here’s the sad part about the MNF game. Packers won the TO battle decisively 3-0, won TOP, and had significantly more total yards. The team still needed Rodgers comeback magic to win a game against the 1-5 Niners. Simply put, this is not a good team.

0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

October 17, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Yes Kid, 3-0 in turnovers should have been game over. The big plays given up by the D in the 1st half were ridiculous.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

October 17, 2018 at 08:03 am

McCarthy -
There are so many that are upset with McCarthy. And while I don't think he has been perfect we have seen him schematically do things he hasn't done in the past. There have been open WR's. Perhaps not every play but there have been open receivers. He has been handicapped in calling plays a bit with Rodgers injury which happened in the first game. Also Graham isn't fully healthy, and Cobb and Allison have been out the last few games too.
Having to start 2 rookies has honestly probably slowed the offense down a bit as they don't have the experience that Cobb or Allison have. BUT I do think it has been a good thing that they have played. The experience they are getting will really help them this year!

Also, while I don't like some things McCarthy has done, the biggest problem has been Rodgers. Rodgers has missed open WR's, and his throws have been off. The 2 play sequence on the drive that stalled out at the 2. The 3rd down play he has Moore Wide open at the 1. If he throws it he could score a TD by laying down. Instead he scrambles and doesn't score. The next play is where they run the crossing routes and he throws it short to MVS. MVS is 6'4" has the corner against a CB who is running towards him. Throw the ball up in the air and let him make a play on the ball. Rodgers admitted he had a bad throw.

Whatever the case maybe, the 2 minute offense is humming. If they can find a way to capture that magic and turn into a 4 quarter offense, look out.

0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:39 am

Agree on not blaming MM, don't forget the horrendous O line, which hampers creativity.

0 points
0
0
TheBigCheeze's picture

October 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm

....might I remind you that MM is the head coach.....which makes him responsible for..............E V E R Y T H I N G !!!!!!!

0 points
0
0
Guam's picture

October 17, 2018 at 08:16 am

Jersey Al: I was looking for a comment on the play of the D-line. The 49ers gashed the Packers frequently on inside running plays which I didn't think would happen this year with our D-line. If the 49ers can do that with back-up running backs and an average O-line, what will the Rams do with Todd Gurley and their O-line?

0 points
0
0
Razer's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:44 am

I am a win-it-in-the-trenches believer and we do not have enough horsepower on either line of scrimmage. Even with Mo Wilkerson, we were at least one guy short of depth and talent. Montavious Adams is not an NFL caliber D-lineman so that leaves us with Clark, Daniels and Lowery. If these guys aren't burned out by Thanksgiving it will be a miracle. One more injury with this group will be devastating.

Our O-line is serviceable but fragile especially on the right side. Bulaga can't finish a game and Byron Bell or whoever they put in at RG are liabilities.

Bottomline - not enough talent in the trenches.

0 points
0
0
Community Guy's picture

October 17, 2018 at 10:01 am

two guys on the defense that have been getting close to zero snaps: Josh Jones and Montravius Adams.. hmm.. those guys have the physical potential, and, i think, the drive.. i am scratching my head wondering why they are not seeing the field a little more often.

0 points
0
0
OldTimer's picture

October 17, 2018 at 11:41 am

This can't all be placed on the d line. Our linebackers are supposed to make tackles while our linemen eats up blockers. Unfornutely they are having to cover receivers all of the time. With our Alexander in there, we lose a lot of coverage. I think Josh Jones plays better when Jarie is in there as well. We need that speed.

0 points
0
0
Razer's picture

October 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm

I totally agree that the OLBs need to perform better. But, only having three guys working the trenches all day, trying to eat up those blocks, isn't going to last. We don't have enough horsepower to even play the system that we have employed. Ultimately, not having enough talented front seven bodies is going to spell trouble for this defense.

0 points
0
0
Guam's picture

October 17, 2018 at 04:13 pm

Not all of it is on the D-line, but they were getting moved in a big way early in the game when they were fresh. That is worrisome given what is coming after the bye.

0 points
0
0
Ian's picture

October 17, 2018 at 08:52 am

I really don't understand the complaints about Jones play time. We have three back that excel in three areas: running, blocking, and catching. With Jones, he has an incredible ceiling for running but was a liability in the other two areas Monday. He bobbled and dropped a pass that should have been easy yardage. Twice, with an injured Rodgers, he allowed a blocker to come off the end untouched. You cannot have a back dropping easy catches and putting Rodgers directly in danger.
Monty is the best all-around back on the team so ideal for 2-minute situations, and Williams has blocked as well as some of our backup o-line. It seems obvious that Jones will see limited snaps until he proves himself in pass protection and as a receiving option.

0 points
0
0
PeteK's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:48 am

We're ranked 8th in the league in rushing yards. Not bad for a team that has been playing catch up all season and behind a mediocre line at best. MM deserves credit for his use of these different skill sets.

0 points
0
0
Community Guy's picture

October 17, 2018 at 10:33 am

i have been interpreting much of the "Jones isn't getting enough playing time" mantra as a way for frustrated media producers and fans to attack McCarthy. also, fans in Green Bay have probably missed having that steady feature back to rely on. i think the coaches know that today's offenses are passing offenses.. around the league, running backs have become replaceable.. look at the situation in Pittsburgh this year. Packer fans are mostly savvy and i think this "Jones isn't getting enough playing time" mantra is going to fade.

additionally, after years of watching Rodgers play, i have come to a feeling that, consciously or unconsciously, Rodgers needs to always be the focal point of the Packers offense. the 49ers game is a perfect example of this. as 9.5 point favorites at home, fantasy folks especially know the game script should have pointed to the Packers getting a lead and using a running attack to run down the clock to protect said lead. But, instead, after scoring 17 points, the Packers offense mostly shuts down and the drama builds. the Packers' ground game never gets established in Green Bay. but, Rodgers is ultimately, again, the hero. i don't think it really mattered who started the game at running back.

0 points
0
0
JerseyAl's picture

October 17, 2018 at 12:24 pm

"i think the coaches know that today's offenses are passing offenses.. around the league, running backs have become replaceable.."

Tell that to Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt. Is it a coincidence they are on the most dynamic offenses in the league?

0 points
0
0
4thand1's picture

October 17, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Al if we had either of those backs, how many touches a game would they get? Frustrating.

0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:17 am

Al - nice job on the article. I think the best comment is about the loss and then the return of Bulaga. With Bulaga out the Packers OL just could not keep the 49ers blocked and Rodgers clean.

Why the Packers did not go to the quick throw, short pass offense at that point until Bulaga returned we'll never know. Rather than going back to isolation routes MM and/or Rodgers should have gone to the quick passing game and they should use A. Jones in the running game at that point.

I'll take the win but the Packers need to play 4 quarters instead of 2 or 1 and a half quarters out of four. Thanks, Since '61

0 points
0
0
PatrickGB's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:26 am

We don’t use the exotic stuff and Jones very much because we are saving it for the playoffs.

0 points
0
0
Razer's picture

October 17, 2018 at 10:12 am

Ha ha - good stuff.

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

October 17, 2018 at 11:27 am

Better not save too much or there will be no playoffs.

0 points
0
0
JohnnyLogan's picture

October 17, 2018 at 10:34 am

Alvin Kamara is not asked to block, just run, catch and score TD's. Same for Gordon, David Johnson, Kareem Hunt and every other top back in the league. Jones isn't that bad a blocker and he's by faaar the best RB this team has had in years. Yet he's 3rd string. McCarthy can't get out of his own way.

0 points
0
0
Razer's picture

October 17, 2018 at 12:05 pm

All good points and fundamentally true. We have old offense think. McCarthy needed to hand off the play calling duties to a creative, young talent 3 or 4 years ago. Hanging onto complicated, predictable schemes is handicapping a fairly talented offense.

0 points
0
0
sardog's picture

October 17, 2018 at 09:52 pm

Both comments are spot on. The only way to "sell" McCarthy on giving up the play calling is to make it his idea. For instance, a suggestion that a successor needs to be in the fold for offensive, defensive, and ST coaches. Then McCarthy can pick the understudies and say he is mentoring his understudy who eventually takes over the play calling duties.

0 points
0
0
Pauly's picture

October 17, 2018 at 11:16 am

For me Aaron Rodgers situation is simple to understand. I think he is a adrenaline junkie. Always was looking for the highlight reel deep pass and ignoring the Tom Brady type 10 yard pass to move the chains. (See Tom Brady in Super Bowl after Super Bowl with multiple short quick passes)
As a lifelong adrenaline junkie myself I see the same traits in Aaron Rodgers, always swing for the fences.
Look at the facks. When he throws it as short quick passes he's on fire and fans love it. But then he soon goes back to holding the ball looking for the deep pass just about every time.
The deep pass always brings the fans to their feet and adulation to Aaron Rodgers which he craves apparently.

0 points
0
0
Tundraboy's picture

October 17, 2018 at 11:25 am

Addicted to time outs.

0 points
0
0
Chuck Farley's picture

October 18, 2018 at 09:00 pm

Rodgers is worried about being made into a planter. He tries his funny cadence to get a whiff of who and where the pass rush is coming. When he is unsure, he calls a time out.
Zimmer says anytime they call a time out on offense it's a mistake. Never should happen. At least until the end of a game driving for a last minute score when you need them.

0 points
0
0