Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - Not Raven About This Win...

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

 

Core traits - As I mentioned on last week's predictions video, one of the core traits of this team is resiliency. The other is never letting us enjoy a comfortable win.

Thanks John - Let's face it, the Packers got lucky here and they can thank John Harbaugh and his over-agressiveness throughout the game.

Pretty Pooch - If I'm an opposing special teams coach, I think I consider pooch kicks to the Packers all game. Make them handle the ball and make good decisions - two things they are struggling with.

Big Dawg - Packers set up a couple of plays for Lewis to get his first TD of the season - just came up a bit short, as did my bet on that happening.

Double Shadow - It was almost comical watching Davante Adams go in motion and not one, but two Ravens defensive backs follow him to that side. That's something you just don't ever see.

Stop the Spin Cycle - Those edge rush spin moves killed the Packers' defense. Gary, Galeai, and Smith all used it way too much and Huntley took full advantage.

Rematch - Despite what you saw from the Bucs Sunday night (the Saints' defense has a way of having some near-perfect games like that), I think we are headed for a Packers - Bucs NFC Championship rematch. And I still don't like the matchup for the Packers.

MVS - Marquez Valdes-Scantling as your go-to when you need a big first down - who had that on their bingo card? His route-running was impeccable, something that has been an issue for him. You could see that Rodgers was trusting him to be where he was supposed to be.

Sack of frustration - The Packers had several chances and got a hand on Huntley, but he proved to be an expert at spinning away and avoiding multiple would-be sackers. Gary continues to overrun the QB when he takes an edge rush approach. He's more effective using power moves, which we didn't see a lot of this game.

2-point conversion try - I thought Stokes did a great job being physical with Andrews which did not let him get set. In the end, the pass was just off. Savage is getting a lot of the credit, but his deflection actually helped the path of the pass - and it was still way off. 

About that 2-point conversion try: 

__________________________

"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

13 points

Comments (77)

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

December 22, 2021 at 06:32 am

You mention two things I've been saying since the game: One, Savage keeps getting credit for the two-point failure, but really it was completely on Huntley and his way off-target pass; and Two, I would NEVER kick/punt through the endzone against the Packers.

Additionally, I want all of the "MVS is a one-trick pony" people to please shut up. For the past three years, I constantly complained that MVS couldn't make a contested catch; HOWEVER, that all changed late last year, and ever since then he has been a complete receiver. His hands now appear to be as good as anyone not named Adams.

7 points
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porupack's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:01 am

Cheers, PE optimist! All those previous clueless assessments of MVS can't do this, and can't do that, isn't a #2 receiver, can't play in the slot or short pass, etc. Mostly was based on limited number of reps and that he was needed in specific role to stretch vertical relative to the other diverse WR capabilities. And good on you for mentioning that he has progressed from a somewhat raw rookie and became more complete last year. Time for fans to reframe their opinions more in line with what the experts (coaches) see.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:16 am

It was good to see MVS being used on a wider route tree instead of trying to manufacture opportunities for EQ or another depth receiver. We finally gave him the opportunity to do more than streak up the field and he took it. Let’s do that some more and more regularly.

1 points
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murf7777's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:44 am

I’m on the other side of MVS. Yes, he had a great game against Baltimore, but they are far and too few between. He lacks consistency, which is shown in his career around 50% catch rate. In fact, his catch rate percentage is within 2 % points from his rookie year until now. So, in that area, he has shown no improvement. That is below average and doesn’t cut it as a number 2 WR’s in the NFL. 4 games ago he had 4 out of 10 attempts and 3 games ago he had 4 out of 9 attempts. That is normal for him, last game is more of the exception. In the first game against New Orleans it was worse yet around 37%. He just can’t be counted on to make the catch when needed. I’ll take a pass to Lazards over MVS in a clutch situation.

Of course we can use the excuse that a lot of his catch attempts are 20+ yards downfield. There is some validity to that argument, but he also has Arod throwing to him. To debate that argument I’ll provide a comparison. Now compare him to Jordy Nelson, who also had a lot of 20+ throws downfield from Arod. Jordy’s rookie year was at 61% and averaged throughout around 66%. If you remember many were complaining early in his career that he dropped a lot of passes.

My take,,,,, he is more of a “one trick pony”, then anything else and over 4 years hasn’t shown to be much more. The reality is we need someone as our Number 2 or 3 WR to catch more than 50% thrown his way. If the last couple of games becomes his norm vs the exception then I will agree he has greatly improved.

2 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:37 am

my issue is he still body catches. 2 of them in the Ravens game of his 5 receptions. he is pretty much what he always was as a pass catcher. inconsistent. he has become a better route runner, which you would hope with 4 years starting in the NFL.

it's extremely doubtful he will never be a #1 receiver, and with the cap situation it's likely his last year in green and gold. that said, i hope he goes out with a ring. i think lazard is the more valuable signing if they can keep him, for what will surely be a predominantly running football team in 2022.

2 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:39 am

caveat. i'm sure he's a fine person. i'm only talking about his pass catching.

0 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Murf,
Don't think you are being fair! You go back and do your homework and you will see 90% (or there abouts) Rodgers throws a bad pass to MVS. Either too long, too short, or simply off. Not talking the slants across the field. Rodgers was horrific on deep throws most of this year and those quoted stats likely do not take that into consideration.

-3 points
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murf7777's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:50 pm

That’s a very good point that I thought about long and hard before writing this. So, why do you think he had that connection with Jordy and not MVS on long post routes? I don’t think It’s Rodgers fault and his touch just left him. If it’s not Rodgers than it’s MVS IMO.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 22, 2021 at 01:45 pm

It’s a bit of both. Rodgers did have spells when he an Jordy were off, but they played together so long that we remember the prime years. In those days, Rodgers threw in preseason games too. This year, Rodgers gets his groove back and MVS goes down and then no practices with Rodgers. It looks like they are now relocating that groove.

0 points
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murf7777's picture

December 22, 2021 at 03:53 pm

CW, I agree with some of what you say, but you cannot discount his catch rate %. He’s at 46.4% per pro football reference. That’s 198th of all WR’s in the NFL. I know it’s just one stat but it’s a very important one. I’ll stand by my statement that I would want Lazards attempting critical situational catching over MVS all day long. His catch rate is 67.6% over his 4 year career. I see MVS as a 3rd or 4th WR to be used situationally to stretch the field and keep LB and safeties from crowding the middle and LOS.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 22, 2021 at 04:56 pm

Over what period are you citing the catch rate? I’m not anti-Lazard, by the way. I see them as complimentary pieces.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 22, 2021 at 06:49 pm

Not discounting, but at playerprofiler.com they consider not just targets, but whether the ball is actually catchable. His catch rate on catchable balls is much higher. His yards per route average is #45 in the league.

Lazard, who I like very much too, is #98. Davante Adams is #3, for comparison.

Just saying, I think that there’s a lot more to MVS than somebody’s subjective ranking. If you cover him with one guy you’re going to have to leave a cushion that can be exploited. He brings a serious threat to the table.

2 points
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murf7777's picture

December 23, 2021 at 07:10 am

LH, your correct some of Arod’s throws are not catchable to MVS. It’s a head scratcher, especially when comparing to Jordy’s connection with him. Why they can’t perfect the back shoulder fade is beyond me. If they do MVS stock rises in my eyes. MVS needs to show us that he will catch the contested catch more often and not just out run people where the connection is tougher for the QB to hit.

-1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 22, 2021 at 02:27 pm

Murf, MVS has been inconsistent but this year his routes are more varied and well run in the middle. That will give him more catch opportunities from Rodgers, who is a laser from 10-20 yards.

Kid has been slow to develop but he has done a nice job improving this year.

1 points
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barutanseijin's picture

December 22, 2021 at 05:29 pm

Agreed, murf. When all is said and done, MVS’ contribution to the Packer offense is not that large. He has had a couple nice games here and there, but as you say, not consistently enough. At this point in his career, what you see is what you’ll get. I wouldn’t sign him to another contract unless he came cheap.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

December 22, 2021 at 06:16 pm

You want him feeling his mojo. You need to feed him the ball. LaFleur has not picked up the pace for this offense. He is tempering the steel waiting for Bhaktiari to seal the left flank. He needs everybody in synch and sharing the Karma. Win the Big Game.

0 points
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Cheesey51's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:39 am

Savage's break on the ball was a good read (from watching film), Stokes was in the right position, Andrews (should have been lined up closer to the tackle) had the angle but the pass was from the Ravens QB was behind him leading to the missed 2 pt. conversion.
MVS has put on his big boy pants and is playing Big Boy football and it's earned the trust of QB1. I agree, his hands now appeared to be as good as Adams. Hoping he clears Covid tests and is playing on Saturday.
Proactive plan: As a fan,every ST unit play is heart in hand reaction. The ST coach might just as well plan for the worst case scenario and practice it during the week. At the vey least, they'd be ready for it.
Go Pack Go

3 points
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ImaPayne's picture

December 22, 2021 at 09:04 am

I say take Savage out of that play and we lose because Stokes was playing off the receiver, what hoping he wouldn't catch it. If Stokes was good teams wouldn't be targeting him. Too bad they don't sit him down in front of film of good players and show him how is done. Playing off ten yards and wow, making a tackle after the fact cost you big time going forward.

I hope I wrong that he ain't smart enough to figure it out. Gets beat a lot

-9 points
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JerseyAl's picture

December 22, 2021 at 09:13 am

I'm starting to wonder if you are the infamous "Cow" in disguise, who was a definite non-stop negative "pain." The DBs play the way they are told to by the call on each play. It's not up to Stokes to decide where to line up. And to say he gets beat a lot, I have no idea what you are watching.

14 points
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barutanseijin's picture

December 22, 2021 at 05:53 pm

I remember cow as making pessimistic but reasoned arguments on a variety of topics. Cow also showed some self awareness and even got out of character once in a while. Ima seems to have an irrational vendetta against a rookie cornerback.

Maybe cow & Ima are the creations of the same person, but if so, the Ima character is a regression.

0 points
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scullyitsme's picture

December 22, 2021 at 09:56 am

So weird, through 14 games mvs has what? 23 catches? He has a good game( finally) and we should somehow declare him a complete receiver and anyone who doesn’t is clueless? Have to love this site( and the internet in general) for overreactions.

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 22, 2021 at 02:39 pm

How many yards with those 25 catches? 427 yards and over 17 yards per catch...one of the best in the NFL.

Up until this year, his route tree was mostly limited. He's showing he can do more now which has gotten notice in the NFL...and from his QB.

1 points
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4thand1's picture

December 22, 2021 at 05:00 pm

MVS hasn't played in 14 games. He missed a bunch with a hammy.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 22, 2021 at 02:47 pm

MVS, yes. This guy has fought through a lot of stuff and he’s grown, by all accounts. If he ever puts the entire package together, you’ll have to double him every play.

Prediction: He signs another 4 year deal with the Packers.

-2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 22, 2021 at 02:47 pm

MVS, yes. This guy has fought through a lot of stuff and he’s grown, by all accounts. If he ever puts the entire package together, you’ll have to double him every play.

Prediction: He signs another 4 year deal with the Packers.

-1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 23, 2021 at 02:22 am

MVS averages 47.4 yards a game. That is a significant amount. But the most significant aspect of his game is that he draws double coverage fairly often.

Someone is going to sign him to a pretty nice contract.

2 points
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greengold's picture

December 22, 2021 at 06:47 am

Agree on all points, Al. Great stuff. I have been frustrated by Gary too. Not being a basher. I just want to see him maul some QBs, and he’s simply not getting home. I think Gary should be destroying opponents, rather than just affecting their timing.

MVS has developed into a great receiver this season. We’ll see more moving forward here.

Merry Christmas!

10 points
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NickPerry's picture

December 22, 2021 at 06:47 am

" Gary continues to overrun the QB when he takes an edge rush approach. He's more effective using power moves, which we didn't see a lot of this game."

THIS was exactly where the Packers missed Kenny Clark most. Huntley was able to step up and out to either run or pass the ball while Gary and the others overran him. With Clark in the game the Center/Guard is usually shoved back a few yards and the QB has nowhere to go.

One other thing...What I didn't understand at all was the Joe Barry having the Packers CB's playing so far off. WHAT in the hell were they so afraid of in this Ravens passing attack? Other than Hollywood Brown and obviously Andrews, there wasn't anyone on that Ravens offense to especially fear. WHY were Douglass and Stokes lined up so deep? Douglass has been great and Stokes has been pretty impressive too.

Stokes doesn't need to play back because of his makeup speed. Once Alexander gets back (crossing fingers), the Packers will have two CB's with enough speed to play much closer to the LOS. IF Alexander comes back and I think he is, and IF the Packers can figure out HOW to defend elite TE's, THIS defense is made to play with ANYONE. Yes Al, even the Bucs.

The Packers biggest concern for homefield is now the Cowboys, at least for this week maybe longer. The Cowboys have a better conference record at this time anyways so the Packers must keep winning. My hope is the Packers win the next two and actually destroy and demoralize the Vikings in the process while the Cowboys drop one more to an NFC team. That way if the Packers wanted to give a guy with a broken toe a little more rest week 18, maybe enough where he could actually start practicing again and hit those wide open passes to Adams and Lazard.

11 points
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jurp's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:11 am

Arizona is at Dallas next week, which is probably Dallas's best chance for a loss, although WFT this week could prove interesting.

3 points
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Philarod's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:26 am

WFT has nothing. Don't sleep on the Eagles, as I think they can knock off Dallas in Philly.

5 points
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croatpackfan's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:57 pm

I agree with you. With so many IR players and Covid protocol players, I assume they will not be able to match up against Cowboy...

-1 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Nick,
Or give Jordan Love more experience so all of us can more fairly evaluate him. Big decisions in offseason! Plus, why unnecessarily expose Rodgers to injury? I know he'd like to pad stats and to be considered again for MVP, but the aforementioned to important.

-1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 22, 2021 at 02:48 pm

I have noticed Douglas is very quick to the ball on recovery and tackles really well.

I agree, Nick...I think the zone coverage is too deep...and Barry certainly would not play Alexander so deep. Stokes has speed to recover as you point out and Douglas owns great quickness and tackling.

2 points
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HawkPacker's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:09 am

"Pretty Pooch - If I'm an opposing special teams coach, I think I consider pooch kicks to the Packers all game. Make them handle the ball and make good decisions - two things they are struggling with." I agree Al, in fact, I think some teams have been doing that already.

"Gary continues to overrun the QB when he takes an edge rush approach. He's more effective using power moves, which we didn't see a lot of this game." It looked to me that both of our OLB's did not do a great job setting the edge but just rushed their quarterback as strongly as they could. I believe this was a coaching error. It would have made a huge difference in the game if we had Clark on the field and the OLB's set the edge properly.

Great job as usual Al.

5 points
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porupack's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:11 am

Good summary of points, Al. Thanks to all CHTV writers. Love the site and appreciate all the content and different angles. Good stuff when I'm sippin coffee.

We always have to keep in mind in the 'what-ifs' such as if Harbaugh wasn't over-agreesive, we might have lost. True, but what if GB had not attempted 4th down conversion and punted, or what if GB had.....blah, blah.....? In the end, we have to conclude from the evidence of the score, even on the narrowest of wins, that the team calculated correctly all the odds and vagaries of chance and skill. Just bein philosophical....or maybe just trying to extend my coffee break.

6 points
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gkarl's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:57 am

I agree, especially about the woulda, shoulda, coulda's. Nice job of Wednesday morning quarterbacking. I just might join you in an extended coffee break. :)

2 points
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JerseyAl's picture

December 22, 2021 at 09:20 am

Thanks for the kind words!

1 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 23, 2021 at 04:57 pm

Here's what you (may have) missed regarding Harbaugh and going for it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/12/23/john-harbaugh-urban-mey...

Yes they lost the game, but they went down as a team. Those guys would run through walls for him. Harbaugh doesn't say "all gas, no brakes" and then kick a field goal down 8.

0 points
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croatpackfan's picture

December 22, 2021 at 01:02 pm

Or, I believe Harbough was looking at those 42 seconds and knew that Ravens secondary can not stop Packers to reach more or less certain FG at the end of the regulation. Only he could is put the 2 points and put the pressure on Packers side, especially in that situation on Crosby. 31-31 will not be to hard result if Crosby miss FG, as there is still chances for Packers in the OT, but if it is 31-32, Crosby would get whole world on his leg to field that last FG try!

0 points
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Starrbrite's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:14 am

I too agree with nearly all your points Al, although I don’t believe we were lucky to win. We had a two TD lead and they were lucky to keep it close.
The Bucs are definitely the most scary matchup for us, even with their current list of injuries.
It’s also clear that teams are making our kick returners field the ball; and why wouldn’t they!
Mason can’t seem to kick it out of the endzone anymore. If he could, he would.
Merry Christmas y’all !!!

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:52 am

Crosby hasn’t been able to consistently kick out of the end zone later in seasons for 3 or 4 years.

5 points
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croatpackfan's picture

December 22, 2021 at 01:03 pm

And that is why Packers protects kicker on the PS. I believe Mason will retire after this season...

-1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 22, 2021 at 03:16 pm

CW, can Bojo boom the kickoff into or out of the end zone? I think he could. Big leg.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 22, 2021 at 05:02 pm

I don’t recall him kicking one. It’s a different action. Just from personal experience, if one can punt well, one typically has the leg speed to kick, but whether he’s learned to reliably, who knows. Were I a coach, I’d certainly encourage it I. My punter for emergencies, but if he hasn’t, learning in season may risk injury.

0 points
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Starrbrite's picture

December 22, 2021 at 04:13 pm

Yep—right!

0 points
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GregC's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:32 am

Yeah, Savage had nothing to do with preventing that two-point conversion. Huntley was off target throughout the second half, which made it all the more frustrating that the pass rushers failed to contain him. The defense has been leaky for a few weeks now. They need to tighten it up, and they also need to get better at forcing turnovers.

Unfortunately I agree with your take on Packers vs. Buccaneers in a playoff matchup.

If the Packers have an award for defensive MVP, I think Kenny Clark clinched it in this game. His absence was much more noticeable than the absence of Jaire Alexander or Zadarius Smith has been.

7 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 22, 2021 at 02:55 pm

I agree with you about Kenny. In Barry's D, he is the ladle that stirs the stew. He pressures the pocket so quickly off the snap, it flushes the QB to PSmith or Gary...even other DL players...or causes a hurried pass from a harassed QB.

One of the best picks by TT, ever.

1 points
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Guam's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:35 am

I would add one point Al. Kudos to Stenavich and his O-line who did an excellent job against a pretty good Ravens front seven. They kept Rodgers reasonably clean and with a good pocket to throw from and opened enough holes for the run game to be a legitimate threat. All this was accomplished with one starter (Patrick, playing a different position) and four reserves. Impressive to say the least.

8 points
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4thand1's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:36 am

Gary seems different after the arm injury. Maybe he just needs a little more time. The Pack won despite the defense having a bad game and STs mistakes........................again. Looks like key starters will sit until it really matters (playoffs). Good teams find a way to win. Not defending the middle of the field almost cost the Packers a win.

3 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

December 22, 2021 at 07:57 am

Core traits -
Resiliency is a great trait to have if you are a team looking to win the whole thing. Being able to not be affected by what is happening and find different ways to win is a great trait to have.

Thanks John -
I don't want to say we can thank John for it. But I will say we probably lucked out on that final play. Huntley was really good all game. Clearly that last play was designed to go to Andrews. But what seperates the good QB's from the Great ones are the ability to see what is happening on the play and if it breaks down, see what else could happen on it. The WR was running wide open in the middle of the endzone.

Pretty Pooch -
That was a hell of a kick. I don't get why teams don't do those things more often to begin with.

Big Dawg -
After his big play to get them to a first and goal, I was waiting for one of the next 2 plays to be something designed for him. Unfortunately it didn't happen.

Double Shadow -
Have to wonder how many other teams are going to take the same approach. And if they do we are really going to need other WR's to step up. MVS did that. Lazard did that. We will need more guys still though.

Stop the Spin Cycle -
The edge players in general didn't play very well. Part of that I think goes back to not having Clark pushing the middle. We have seen them play better against mobile QB's, so I'm not to concerned. But they need to do a better job.

Rematch -
I like the matchup better this time to be honest. Honestly I liked the matchup last year. We honestly just didn't capitalize on what the Bucs and Brady gave us. I am feeling better about this year especially if we would get Bakhtiari, Alexander, Turner all back. Maybe Myers, and Z too.

MVS -
We know MVS has the deep play ability. But him working underneath is very dangerous for defenses. Hopefully he doesn't have to miss a game, because I would love to see him follow up what he just did.

Sack of frustration -
This game you could really see how much this missed Clark. There wasn't the normal push up the middle, forcing the QB to step up.

2-point conversion try -
I agree about Stokes being the one who created the play more then Savage. Stokes was very physical with the much bigger TE. Honestly it was a great play by Stokes.

5 points
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Minniman's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:13 pm

RC, re Als and your Double Shadow comments:

BAL have a really strong run defense - and it showed in this game - even Dillon the YAC monster struggled to consistently get his 4 yards.

Adams is regularly double-teamed (perhaps not so much in man coverage) so this was not a new situation for Rodgers to find others open.

....... in this case with the main candidates covered it was a natural progression to feast on the 3rd and 4th tier guys.

So my point is that any future teams that want to try this strategy need to have similar defensive strengths.

..... Packers still put up over 30 points though, which wins most games in the league.

-1 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:18 am

I remain firmly of the opinion that Barry just got his assessment of Huntley wrong. The whole approach to that game seemed to be premised on Huntley not being able to hit targets and so let him try to run and throw on the move. In fact, Huntley proved more elusive and to be more effective with his arm when outside the pocket unless throwing straight up the middle to Andrews.

I kept waiting for Barry to adapt to Andrews who was single covered and by a safety till late while the two perimeter guys were largely shut down and it was clear Huntley wasn’t going deep. Then the change was to a single CB. I kept expecting us to stop trying to flush Huntley and just hold him in pocket, but if anything it went the other way.

Campbell seemed to be used to prevent middle runs but Huntley showed that his tendency is to leave the pocket laterally. Campbell was typically caught up at that point, Savage was on Andrews, the outside corners had their man … no speed available to chase down Huntley initially.

There was limited film on Huntley. He was better than in what I’ve seen of him too. A wrong initial assessment is at least understandable, but I am concerned that Barry didn’t seem to learn from what happened during the game.

For me, credit to Huntley (he showed good awareness as well as mobility and at least decent accuracy on short to mid zone passes), but I do feel we facilitated him and provided future opponents with a guide to how not to defend him.

I do feel that Clark being absent was a major factor. We see how much his penetration is missed, collapsing the pocket. We see how much the attention he draws helps other players get into the backfield. Our best two without him were Lancaster and Keke, but Keke is weak against the run. Lowry was just plain bad against run and pass without Clark, heck, even the PSer Abdullah out played him. I’d really like to see less Lowry snaps after that. I think Keke and Slaton would do more in Clark’s tow than he has.

4 points
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dobber's picture

December 22, 2021 at 09:50 am

Spot on, CW. Spot on.

-1 points
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Minniman's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:15 pm

A really good point re Campbell - he was caught in traffic more in this game than he's previously been, and the results showed.

3 points
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barutanseijin's picture

December 22, 2021 at 06:11 pm

There was enough film on Huntley for Barry & MLF to know better. He did a decent job against the Bears. In the final 2 minutes he took the Ravens down the field for a game winning TD.

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 23, 2021 at 02:40 am

I think Huntley was disciplined rather than good. He was not terribly accurate despite throwing almost all short passes. However, he did not throw many (any?) turnover worthy passes. He took what was given and showed good agility to slip tackles/sacks and run with the ball.

Huntley looks like a good backup QB. I don't see him as a starter, but he is young and inexperienced. When they open the playbook for him, perhaps he will show more. For now, Hollywood and Duvernay better be thinking YAC because it seems unlikely there will be many yards before the catch.

0 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:18 am

Great points Al.

I also think that Savage tipped the ball closer to Andrews. However, I get why people give him credit. When the ball is tipped, it gets moved from its trajectory, thus throwing off the receiver's catch attempt. If Andrews had in fact managed to catch it, Savage would have caught a whole lot of flak more for moving it closer to the receiver! That, in essence, is the nature of the game. It is not what you do, but the outcome of what you do that frequently gives you accolades or brickbats!

1 points
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Minniman's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Agree, Savage actually tipped the ball closer to Andrews, but it still had the intended impact.

Let me explain:

I personally thought that both Stokes and Savage played their parts pretty well on that play.

Stokes was pressuring the TE and had his had at the ready to disrupt a catch.

Savage, who by this stage had broken on the ball and was on the perimeter of the TE's catch radius and indeed tipped it, but most importantly got a part of himself between the QB and TE (his hand), partially obstructing the TE's view (or at least distracting him).

The ball was also ever so slightly off target - directly at the TE instead of allowing him to come back to the ball.

So the TE was left to place his hands where he though that it would land and hope that he judged right - to no avail.

1 points
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pacman's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:19 am

Beating an injury depleted Ravens team by 1 point does not show we are prepared for the playoffs. If we don't get back some of our injured players, it's hard to see us making it to the SB - unless we can stop making really stupid mental ST errors and the MLF/AR learn to stop wasting timeouts and to use the run when you are supposed to.

You write "The other is never letting us enjoy a comfortable win." I think this is an understated problem with MLF/AR.
I'm reminded of the Bears winning the SB in 86 with Jim McMahon being the star instead of Walter Payton. I don't recall the exact quote but Payton made some sort of comment about being overshadowed.

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Philarod's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:33 am

As I recall, Payton was rightfully pissed that "Fridge" got a TD in the SB, and not "Sweetness" -who carried that team for years.

McMahon had star quality, but the real stats were Buddy's D and Payton.

2 points
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MarkinMadison's picture

December 22, 2021 at 08:41 am

Considering that some of the Ravens' CBs had as many regular season NFL snaps as I did, I guess the only think I'm shocked by is that Adams and MVS didn't take it to the house all game long. So good on those guys. You gotta move two shadows with Davante? OK. I get it.

I agree that MVS is not a one-trick pony and hasn't been since the beginning of this season. Yes, he had one good game at the end of last season, but one game was not enough to sell me. With two guys shadowing Davante he had his second-best game of the season for 98 yards. His outing against the Vikings was more impressive to me in a lot of ways.

When you stack him up against the other WRs that will be available this off-season, where does MVS rank?

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/all/wide-receiver/

Because saying he is not a one-trick pony now is the easy take at this point. The hard take is saying what he IS. Can he be a #1? Is he a legit #2?

2 points
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PeteK's picture

December 22, 2021 at 11:28 am

MVS is a very difficult read or he is what he is, an inconsistent WR. I tend to lean towards the latter.Very interesting chart, Lazard/MVS make 25% less than Taylor/ST. Brown. Certainly would not break the bank for MVS.

1 points
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PatrickGB's picture

December 22, 2021 at 09:04 am

Good article and some great comments! One complaint that I have about Matt and the coaches is that I think that as the practices keep getting shorter and shorter, less time is spent on ST practice. Muscle memory is a real thing and just coaching “above the neck” is not enough for the players on special teams. When you have players coming in and out of the lineup you have to have repetitive plays in practice. You just can’t just insert a player and tell them what to do. You have to practice it over and over. We all noticed when key starters are out but may miss how many ST players have missed practice because they are starting in place of another or have also been injured.

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dobber's picture

December 22, 2021 at 09:59 am

LaF has always seemed to be more about pacing his players in camp and practices to prevent injury and hold up to the grind of the regular season...so much for the injury part (it's hard to fault practice schedules for contact injuries), but it's also meant that his teams peak later in the year. He gave the team the day off yesterday even though they have a Saturday game this week...with MVS testing positive and the league being ravaged by quarantines, this might turn out to be a prophetic and game-saving move on his part.

3 points
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PeteK's picture

December 22, 2021 at 11:50 am

Maybe away from team facility might be even more dangerous. Unless he told them all to quarantine and rest up.I hope you're right.

1 points
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wildbill's picture

December 22, 2021 at 10:17 am

MVS missed some games this year so his stat totals look worse than they reallly are. He has some issues but he always seems to be giving 100% and is a willing, and effective, blocker. I would be happy if we can cheaply keep him going forward.

5 points
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Since'61's picture

December 22, 2021 at 10:19 am

Harbaugh overplayed his hand with Huntley and Andrews on the 2 point conversion. Everyone knew that Huntley was either going to try to run it in or that he was going to throw to Andrews. The giveaway was the rollout. The Packers defense played it well and made the play. Even a more accurate throw would have been contested. Harbaugh should have gone for the one point and tried to force over time. The flip side is that Harbaugh is well aware of what Rodgers can do with about 40 seconds on the clock and one time out to move downfield for the game winning FG.

Given the Packers reaction I think that we are going to see more pooch kicks all the way through the playoffs.

Lewis nearly had the TD. He will have a few more shots before the end of the season.

Spin Cycle - I can only think that the Packers saw something on film that made them think the Ravens OL was vulnerable to spin moves because it made no sense for the Packers to do it on every play.

Rematch - maybe! The Saints showed the blueprint for stopping the Bucs. The question is can other defenses execute as well as the Saints. One thing for certain Brady has never been able to successfully throw on the run.

MVS has improved his route running over the course of this season. He still reverts to body catches which is poor technique but he is solidifying himself as a threat that the defense needs to account for.

The Browns game could be a problem. They need every game to reach the playoffs while the Packers are coming off a division clinching win in a tight ball game.
We can't afford a letdown if we want to earn the #1 seed. GPG! Thanks, Since '61

1 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

December 22, 2021 at 11:39 am

Since'61
"The giveaway was the rollout."

A clue started before the rollout you mention. During the timeout when Harbaugh was talking to the quarterback regarding the upcoming two point try, he motioned over to Andrews who then joined them in the huddle.

3 points
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PeteK's picture

December 22, 2021 at 12:05 pm

And we use to make fun of McCarthy, which by the way, is the elephant in the room post season matchup possibility.

3 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

December 22, 2021 at 03:10 pm

I still have respect and gratitude for MM and his performance in Green Bay.

I am liking Matt more, so far. Matt is just as good, probably better scheming for the next opponent, but MM was and remains sublime scripting the first 15-20 plays. However Matt has more humility and seems to be a better listener and communicator that has to play well in the locker room.

Both men are good coaches.

3 points
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PeteK's picture

December 22, 2021 at 05:50 pm

Yes, he has also adjusted by handing over the play calling. I also agree with you about MLF, but unfortunately he will not receive his due respect until he wins without Rodgers.

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ricky's picture

December 22, 2021 at 01:10 pm

First, "I'm not Raven about this game"? Seriously? Please, Al; nevermore. Second thought is seeing the Bucs in the championship game scares me to death. Especially with the patched together OL, and the ST's being a huge liability.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 23, 2021 at 12:49 pm

I’m not scared by Tampa. We are better than last year and Tampa is not. And the Bucs were lucky last time, IMO. They won’t have Fournette or Godwin. MLF is more seasoned and experienced. Everybody knows it’s a Last Dance.

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croatpackfan's picture

December 22, 2021 at 01:17 pm

Al, A+. Nothing else to add...

-1 points
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Qoojo's picture

December 22, 2021 at 06:30 pm

You think it's all pun and games? You broke the site.

1 points
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NitschkeFromTheGrave's picture

December 23, 2021 at 06:57 am

I was NOT in the MVS camp. In fact last year it was easy to justify why A.R. was not trusting. This year I think we are witnessing a maturity in MVS and his talent may be rising to the surface. His amazing speed and (this year's) sticky fingers when thrown the ball is exciting to watch.

On the Raven's 2pt conversion;
No matter how you cut it, It was the Ravens that blew the play and Huntley that missed the throw. Our defense got very lucky. But like so many others said and keep saying, "We'll Take It."

Go Pack...
The Division is NOT enough !

1 points
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Tundraboy's picture

December 23, 2021 at 10:59 pm

"The other is never letting us enjoy a comfortable win."

Oh so true. Lmao but it hurts to.

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