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

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from the Packers' last game.

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

TJ Slaton - You get a TJ two-fer here. That goal line stand holding Minny to a field goal that helped the Packers overcome that potential early disaster of a blocked punt? You can basically thank TJ Slaton, who had himself a GAME! On the first play, TJ doesn't budge an inch against a double-team block creating a logjam in the middle, giving Cook nowhere to go and allowing help in the form of Quay Walker and Preston Smith to come in from both sides and take him down. On the second play (3rd down), Slaton sheds the center and disrupts the play, slowing down Cook just enough to allow a swarm of Packer tacklers to arrive. I believe these two plays set the tone for the defense and were a very early and important momentum shifter in this game.

 

Amos INT - I picked this one mostly for what happens at the end of the play, although there are other interesting things going on. First, the Vikings surprise the Packers by coming out in five-wide on first down. So you see a bunch of switching and adjusting by the Packers.  Quay Walker and De'Vondre Campbell swap sides with Walker lining up across from Justin Jefferson. Campbell has Preston Smith drop back in coverage on Dalvin Cook, who has lined up as a slot receiver. Great adjustment from the Packers here. The ball is snapped and the Packers get good interior pressure from guess who? TJ Slaton. Slaton also does something I always wonder why we don't see more from Packers DL - when he sees Cousins winding up to throw it, he puts his hand up and gets a tip on the ball. It might be a mis-perception on my part, but it seems to me other teams' DLs try to block passes a lot more than the Packers' DL group does. Anyway, around the same time Cousins is letting the pass go, Justin Jefferson (who I don't believe was the intended target) slips on the turf. If you haven't heard, some delusional Vikings fans were claiming after the game that he Packers' purposely over-watered the middle of the field so somehow only the Vikings receivers would slip and fall (read about it here).  Anyway, Amos is the lucky recipient of the tipped ball and Jefferson picks himself up off the turf only to be harassed; first by Quay Walker and then by Jaire Alexander, who did not waste the opportunity to further get into JJ's head, pushing him twice from behind, prompting a frustrated Jefferson to rip his helmet off and almost slam it into a referee's back. That was close JJ, and yes, we totally believe you when you say Alexander didn't get into your head at all. Totally.

 

Amos PBU - I consider this the second key point in the game. Amos, who also had one hell of a GAME breaks up what would have been a touchdown by the Vikings. That would have gotten them to within 17 points with a full 22 minutes left to play and likely would have given the Vikings some belief in another comeback. But Amos saves the touchdown and on the next play, Kenny Clark strips the ball from Cousins and recovers it. That, for all intents and purposes, was the end of any comeback hopes for the Vikings.

__________________________

"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

5 points

Comments (24)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
13TimeChamps's picture

January 03, 2023 at 03:45 pm

Where has this defensive intensity been all year? Hopefully it carries over to Sunday night.

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Mr_Bill_H's picture

January 03, 2023 at 04:54 pm

They were sand-bagging for the games that really matter : )

7 points
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T7Steve's picture

January 04, 2023 at 07:51 am

I know you're joking, but as I've posted earlier, I'm hoping that they learned their lesson and are holding back this year. The last three years they didn't have anything to show that their opponents hadn't seen on tape. The teams they beat during the regular season only played vanilla till they got to the playoffs.

People say, "well, you have to get to the playoffs" those previous playoff teams believed if they couldn't get to the playoffs with straight up smashmouth football, there was no point in showing their secrets during the season.

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Guam's picture

January 03, 2023 at 03:47 pm

Thank you for the spotlight on Slaton. I concur that he had an excellent game and has played very well over the last four games. He seems to be "arriving" as a force on the D-line. Between Reed and Slaton, Clark is finally getting some help!

Oddly, Lowery was the only Packer D-linemen that I remember consistently sticking his mitts in the air and tipping passes. Wasn't particularly good at much else, but I think he regularly had more tipped passes than any other Packer D-linemen.

11 points
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Since'61's picture

January 03, 2023 at 03:55 pm

nice job Al. Love the defensive plays. I just don't understand where this defense has been all season. Amos has not shown up for a long time but he had a great game against the Vikings. Hopefully we see more of the same on defense against the Lions this week. Thanks, Since '61

5 points
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BruceC1960's picture

January 03, 2023 at 05:01 pm

Gute catches his share of heat on here, but he deserves a tip of the cap for the TJ Slaten pick.

8 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

January 03, 2023 at 08:05 pm

You're right. He does catch his share of heat - mostly deserved. He's made some terrible picks and decisions for this franchise since he's taken over. Between Mark Murphy and Gutey, we're painted into a corner with few ways out. Only way most of us will forgive him is if AR12 pulls off some miracles and somehow wins the Super Bowl this year and even then I'm not sure some around here would forgive him.

1 points
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T7Steve's picture

January 04, 2023 at 07:59 am

What is the average success rate through the NFL draft? I think someone here on CHTV can help us? I think they've listed the stats before. Other than the 3rd round I thought he's been ok and even lucky with his picks.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 04, 2023 at 10:20 am

This year is looking freakishly good. Very early, but it still needs to be said.

There’s actually a good analysis done by a contributor to the Daily Norseman who found that:

“[B]ased on a study of 1996-2016 draft picks. The results, which are based on the Pro Football Reference AV metric, are sobering:

16.7% didn’t play for the team that drafted them
37% were considered useless. They either didn’t play much or didn’t make the team.

15.3% were considered poor. Had limited playing time and didn’t do well in the time they had.

10.5% were considered average. These are mediocre players that had starts or significant contributions over 2-3 years.
12.3% were considered good. These could be mediocre or average players that were multi-year starters … This is where the AV metric can over-rate a player based on the number of starts, rather than their performance while on the field.

6.9% were considered Great. This category is the first that includes undeniably good draft picks. In order to be considered great, they would’ve had to play for the team that drafted them into a second contract, and also performed well over those years.

1% were considered legendary. These are future Hall of Famers, multi-year All-Pros among the best in the league for most of their relatively long careers.

And so only about 8% of draft picks are players that really make much of a difference beyond replacement value, and only about 30% see much playing time or make a significant contribution to the team.

That means among the 260 or so drafted players each year, only about 2-3 will have Hall of Fame caliber careers, and only about 21 will be undisputedly good picks- and very good but not HoF caliber players.”

https://www.dailynorseman.com/platform/amp/2022/4/26/23042105/nfl-draft-...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 05, 2023 at 02:52 am

This is a whole lot of nothing. I read the linked article by Wludford and his article that he linked to (which is the same article essentially), but no work is shown. His definitions suck. It is so subjective as to be useless.

Doing a quick and random check, I got 44% make a significant contribution to the team, whereas Wludford noted 30%. 30% in some ways seems about right to me, but is a little low if anything.

2 of 7 is 28.57%
3 of 7 is 42.86%
3 of 8 is 37.5%
3 of 9 is 33.33%

In most drafts the Packers got 2 guys who saw significant playing time or made a significant contribution to the team. Many drafts have three such guys, and some have 4 or more.

10.5% were average: mediocre guys who had starts and made significant contributions over 2 or 3 years just has to be low (without crunching the numbers and drafts). Hell, I'd put Sam Barrington in that category, but I don't think Wludford would have.

1 points
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x24's picture

January 05, 2023 at 08:42 am

TGR- Thank you for taking the time to wade in and ground truth this

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PeteK's picture

January 03, 2023 at 05:08 pm

--Did you say log jam, we have needed someone to do that going back to last season.

-- I was also very impressed with Tom. The O line is the foundation and it would bode well for now and the future if he can be our RT in order.

--Maybe our D is playing better because the O is giving them a rest and a confidence boost. Nixon's great return ability also certainly helps.

-- Hopefully this will be a repeat of the early 90s when (I believe) we beat the Lions to get into the playoffs and than beat them in the opening round.

3 points
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PackyCheese500's picture

January 03, 2023 at 06:34 pm

Adrian Amos did have a great game, and TJ Slaton did too. Hopefully he can continue to be a disruptive NT…he could be a long term option at the position.

Also, in recent news, the Packers recently signed former Nebraska 6-8, 252 lb TE Austin Allen to their PS. As a Huskers fan, Allen was great for us last year. I am excited by this signing, and he is a great athlete.

0 points
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Swisch's picture

January 03, 2023 at 07:19 pm

PC500, what's your take on former Husker Samori Toure not getting on the field much, if at all?

-2 points
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T7Steve's picture

January 04, 2023 at 08:10 am

PC and Swish, what's with the thumbs? Are they all just Badger fan Nebraska haters? I'm all Wisconsin and never liked the Huskers but the players we get from them are now Packers.

I love any help to the TE room and someone 6'-8" would require extra attention at the goal line even if he can't catch. I like Toure too and am hoping they're saving him for some special plays designed to win games in a crunch.

Can't see anything you guys said otherwise. Did I miss something?

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 04, 2023 at 10:24 am

With 8 bench reps at his pro day, he’s not going anywhere without significant upper body power/mass. Lazard, albeit 3 inches or so shorter, which helps, managed 17. Watson 18, MVS managed 15. That lack of strength is apparent in his play and fits his physique. In college sheer size was enough in a crowd, probably not in the pro game. It’s notable that the RAS scores out there don’t have the bench reps and that his size gives him a huge boost as a TE.

He does have a natural ability to slip into space that I really like and is unusual for a man his size and he has soft hands, but if he wins after the catch it’s through power. He’s slower looking than he timed and lacks visible burst—even his boosters admit that. He’s comparable to Richard Rodgers in terms of speed and burst.

If he can become a plus blocker, he becomes a valuable piece. He’s actually pretty good in line and willing as a lead. He had the potential and he needs to seize that: if he can’t, I’d say his stay will be brief because he won’t get on the field. If he can, his hands and size will make him a useful check down/short yardage target. The good news is that his frame would seem to be capable of supporting that and it may also help through natural maturation. A good prospect to look at as a successor to Lewis.

1 points
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splitpea1's picture

January 03, 2023 at 07:33 pm

The effort on third down in the first clip was really outstanding. Multiple defenders rallying to the ball and getting their licks in--love to see this unit play with this much energy and passion. That's the proper mental attitude--almost like they flipped a switch for this game.

2 points
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Jgilmor08's picture

January 04, 2023 at 07:46 am

No coaches in the NFL or collegiately will teach D line to put their hands up to tip balls. This is probably the fastest way to cracked ribs you can imagine. Usually when a player gets hands up it’s a natural reaction rather than coached. So that’s why the packers d line doesn’t utilize it as regularly as you’d hope. There’s probably nothing more exciting to an O lineman than an over extended and exposed torso of a defender. Defensive players may be the ones who play with an edge most often but offensive linemen can be a-holes too.

-1 points
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Coldworld's picture

January 04, 2023 at 10:29 am

An over extended torso is most at risk when hit at speed. That’s partly why they don’t train guys to rush and then leap as if for a basketball block, though the modern QB impact rules are s bigger one probably.

There’s not too much risk of that in ordinary play, as hands go up typically when there’s no route to the QB and motion is stalemated or a guy simply holds back in the lane. Jolly was perhaps the best I recall at this in for us modern times. I think Reed has had a couple this year.

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packerbackerjim's picture

January 04, 2023 at 08:06 am

Here come Amos. When you’re hot, you’re hot. TJ has earned major snaps. Jaire definitely enjoyed some gratuitous shoves, and he will be occupying space in JJ’s head;hard to say if Jaire has won the war or just the battle.

1 points
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T7Steve's picture

January 04, 2023 at 08:22 am

People have been on Amos all year. I think it's been more of the product of the players around him not being put in the right positions to succeed than him having an off year. If you have to do more than just your job, you're not a safety you're a safety valve.

0 points
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Packers2020's picture

January 04, 2023 at 10:20 am

T7Steve,

Amos has missed tackles consistently and taken bad angles.

He has not had a great season.

0 points
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T7Steve's picture

January 04, 2023 at 11:34 am

Thanks for helping make my point. Bad year doesn't mean bad player or one that's fallen off a cliff. That's the valve part I was talking about. Had to cover too much. There was no one else to rely on.

-1 points
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T7Steve's picture

January 04, 2023 at 08:17 am

Love these clips and explanations/presentations. I learn something every time and it helps watching for things the next game.

I guess that's why coaches and players spend as much or more time with film study as practice.

1 points
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