Packers Vs. Bears - 3 Plays That Make You Go Hmmm

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from the Packers' game against the Chicago Bears

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

Rasuuuuuuuuuuuul - You get two helpings of Pasta Rasul here, as I highlight his back-to-back plays that sent the Bears to the sidelines with a three-and-out. The first play is the star, as he shows what all that study time in the film room does for him. He see the play coming immediately and instead of hedging his bets, goes in for the kill without hesitation. The Packers need more players with his aggressive attitude. The second play is as much to show how bad Tevin Jenkins is (I was very negative on him for the CHTV draft guide), as it is to show Rasul again being smart out there. And the other thing you see is his tackling technique - there's no throwing shoulders at ball carriers - he uses his arms to wrap up. For the five hundredth time, how was he sitting on a Practice Squad?

Dillon - I'm not sure what''s up with AJ, but I've noticed something in both of the Packers' first two games. He seems a lot more undecided on where to go when he has the ball, often slowing down as he decides and just as often, making the wrong choice. This play is an example of the second thing. Yosh has directed Robert Quinn downfield and Myers has successfully gotten outside leverage on his man, resulting in a rather large hole for Dillon to run through. Yet, Dillon turns away from that hole to take it inside right into the heart of the defense? Why? I included a screenshot here to show you how soon Dillon has abandoned the hole to look for a different path. If he just runs through that hole, he's at the second level with only two defensive backs to contend with and Watkins as a downfield blocker. This is not just a one-time occurrence - watching these games back with a more focused eye, I've seen it a lot of uncertainty from Dillon. 

Collapse - Want to see a textbook pass rush against a quarterback who can hurt you with his legs? Here it is. Smith and Gary maintain outside position to hem Fields in, while Reed and Lowry collapse the pocket, giving him no way out. They didn't even need Clark, who is stalemated behind the other four. This how you draw it up on the chalkboard.

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"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

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Comments (17)

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Guam's picture

September 20, 2022 at 03:20 pm

Okay, I'm happy someone else noticed Dillon's choice of running lanes. I noticed he is not patient behind his blockers and sometimes just takes off in a different direction than his blockers are blocking. He is enough of a bulldozer to get away with it and still gain yardage, but it would seem more yardage is available if he would just ride his blocking better. This is mostly second level stuff as he seems to hit the right hole at the line, but downfield he has some interesting ideas about following his blocking.

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Littlejim51's picture

September 20, 2022 at 03:58 pm

Totally agree
One are they changing AJ running style or changing the blocking schemes or is he off
I d go with the latter
Dillon is such a sound runner

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 20, 2022 at 07:28 pm

They are moving away from full time zone to doing some gap stuff. There's been some pulling the last two weeks.

https://twitter.com/TylerDBrooke/status/1571937222739333120?t=NQGKKvkGsF...

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splitpea1's picture

September 20, 2022 at 03:32 pm

Plays 1: The tackling by the CBs has improved substantially since Gray and Barry were hired. Wrapping up is always preferable to the shoulder in my book, unless the shoulder is so forcefully delivered that it dislodges the ball.

T. Jenkins: That's pretty funny--he didn't do any blocking, but he did reach out and touch someone.

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Since'61's picture

September 20, 2022 at 04:01 pm

I noticed that Dillon was veering off from his blocking during the Bears game. This is a correctable issue for coaching. It is one thing to run to daylight and another to run away from your blocking. Run to daylight if your hole is filled or the cutback is there. follow your blocking if they have opened the hole as they did in the example provided by Al. I noticed at least 3 other plays where Dillon prematurely veered off his blocking and ran into the teeth of the defense.

Coach him up and get it fixed. Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

September 20, 2022 at 04:18 pm

Reads often come with practice and just reps. Maybe Dillon is just a little out of synch thus far.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 20, 2022 at 07:31 pm

They are running a few different things so that might be part of it. I think a lot of it would get straightened out if he was their workhorse back and got consistent early carries. We might find out next year.

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Coldworld's picture

September 21, 2022 at 10:11 am

Yes, I think that we will see more now Newman is back and settles at RG too. Myers and Nijman seem particularly adept. Newman is athletically suited to it too.

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Swisch's picture

September 20, 2022 at 05:14 pm

So, maybe A.J. (Armored Jeep) Dillon prefers to plow into defenders rather than run around them ;-).

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Oppy's picture

September 20, 2022 at 09:50 pm

I don't know that it was Rasul's film study that helped him ID the play for the TFL.
Watch the film closely, looks like the Safety barks at Rasul to attack just before the snap- like he's saying "I'm picking up the slot, you're free to collapse."

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T7Steve's picture

September 21, 2022 at 07:45 am

Good catch. I had to look at it again.

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PhantomII's picture

September 20, 2022 at 11:19 pm

Al, honestly I'm convinced there are not a lot of quality coaches in the NFL. I have seen so many retreads do mediocre and someone else pays them thinking they can get better of them. Even our team I was screaming for Nijman to get a shot on the OL a year before he was finally put in and did well right out of the gate. Rasul has been a blessing to have on our defense. He has the best football smarts of the bunch. He's a sure tackler also. It looks like our safety duo is taking a step back, meaning mostly Amos who is not tackling or in position to as well as he had been. Savage was doing pretty good the last Pettine year but has since regressed. Hopefully they both pick it up a bit. Hope they all get after Brady. I like all those run plays and most were pulling linemen and running forward instead of RB running all the way around the OL. GPG

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Coldworld's picture

September 21, 2022 at 10:14 am

This scheme seems to have changed again this year again too, with the advent of the 2 ILB default with Walker. How much that’s affecting the S role is hard to define, but it would seem likely to have had an impact.

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PhantomII's picture

September 21, 2022 at 08:29 pm

Maybe but I'm talking basic skills for the position. Possibly thinking too much but.....??

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croatpackfan's picture

September 21, 2022 at 03:20 am

AJ Dillon - yes, even I was screaming to the TV not to go in the middle, but who knows what was the plan. Maybe they decided to worn down S*ckers D and that was the primary goal of AJ running. Not so much to gain huge yards. I know this is a very unlikely goal, but who can tell...

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Savage57's picture

September 21, 2022 at 05:36 am

A spot-on observation regarding Dillon.

It jumped out early and often during his touches. He was indecisive choosing his holes, the death move for a power back. I cringed when I saw him getting happy feet, reminded me of shades of a latter-years-in-his-career John Brockington.

Hopefully, it's just a hiccup, not a habit he's gotten into.

Trust your OL.

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T7Steve's picture

September 21, 2022 at 07:51 am

Is that the result of "zone read"? I'm old fashioned but, I like a hole called, trap or cross block, and the line and back make it work. Maybe that's what AJD is used to too?

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