Vikings 23 Packers 7: Game Balls and Lame Calls

Can we just skip week one in the future?

We shouldn’t be shocked that the Green Bay Packers offense was struggling to establish a style and identity. The top three receivers from last year were missing from this game. The best two offensive linemen were as well. It was clear from the start that this was a game where the defense had to keep the Packers in it until the offense could figure something out. 

There’s the real shock. This defense, so overhyped through the offseason, laid a giant egg. They could stop nothing. It looked like DC Joe Barry had concocted some sort of gimmick defense to try to confuse Kirk Cousins. The only players confused were the Green Bay defensive backs. 

It’s inexcusable to allow a premier receiver like Justin Jefferson to run wild and loose all day long. For heaven’s sake, make somebody else beat you. It was also disappointing to see Green Bay’s defensive front, supposedly beefed up this year, getting manhandled by a mediocre Vikings offensive line. At one point in the 4th quarter, Minnesota snapped the ball and their line pushed the Packer defenders straight backward for eight yards.  

Last year the Pack bounced back nicely from a disastrous opening day loss. Can this team do the same? The offense will get better. Christian Watson will catch that long bomb. Bakhtiari and Jenkins will stabilize the O-line. The defense should be embarrassed enough to put forth the effort to redeem itself. Don’t throw in the towel on the season just yet.  

 

GAME BALLS 

There will be no game balls dished out for this game. AJ Dillon did have a nice effort. He rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown, and caught five passes for 46 yards. He ran hard. Too bad his efforts didn’t inspire his teammates.  

Quay Walker had a couple of nice stops before leaving the game injured. The best defensive play of the game might have been a brilliant open field tackle by Keisean Nixon, stopping KJ Osborn short of a first down. Sadly, Nixon injured his shoulder on the play and had to depart. Not surprisingly, De’Vondre Campbell  led the defense with eleven tackles. Rashan Gary had a sack. But no one on this team rose to the game ball level in this contest. 

 

LAME CALLS 

The defensive game plan 

Was there one? Could someone maybe explain it to the players? Every time Jefferson caught a wide open throw, the secondary guys just looked at each other with arms outstretched, wondering what was going on. And that second half body language, hands on hips, heads bowed, the look of submission. According to the Fox sideline reporters, Matt LaFleur questioned the energy and the effort level of his team. Isn’t it his job to get them ready? Physically and psychologically? It seemed like DC Joe Barry tried to get too cute with all of the supposed weapons at his disposal and only wound up confusing his own team. 

Rodgers holding the ball 

Okay, I get that the young receivers were having trouble getting open downfield. But to hold the ball and simply take sacks when you’re down by multiple scores makes no sense. You might as well let it fly and give your receivers a chance to make a play. Or at least throw it away. Taking a sack accomplishes nothing except maybe getting yourself hurt, as Rodgers did indeed get banged up on one of the sacks. 

 

Playing Hanson instead of Tom 

It’s time to end the Jake Hanson experiment at right guard. In the first quarter Za’Darius Smith absolutely trashed him on the way to sacking Rodgers. He’s not good enough. When Zach Tom was inserted at left guard for the injured Jon Runyan, the Packers immediately starting running behind him and Yosh, and had some encouraging success. Tom will make some rookie mistakes, but his upside is far greater than Hanson. Hopefully the return of Bakh and Jenkins soon makes this problem moot. 

 

Red Zone Failures 

Last year the Packers were plagued by failures to score touchdowns in the red zone. Looks like that will carry over to this season. The 4th and goal stop in the second quarter was a killer. It was another example of the O-line simply not being good enough, although I question the wisdom of running straight into the teeth of the Vikings defense. Maybe some sort of run, pass option out wide? 

 

THREE AND OUT 

-- It’s not much consolation but at least the special teams didn’t do anything to help lose the game. The punting of Pat O’Donnell was very good for the most part. Amari Rodgers actually had a positive punt return for about twelve yards. We’re still getting nothing out of kickoff returns. Can’t even get it back to the 25 yard line. Kick coverage was better, nothing ruptured for a big runback. 

-- You have to admit it was a pretty cool moment when Aaron Rodgers tried to throw a shoulder block on Za’Darius Smith on one of the wideout reverses. Z-man brushed him off like a fly off a horse, and both got a good laugh about it. Maybe the only time I smiled during the game. 

--   This team will get better. They walked into a snake pit on Sunday. The usual contingent of Packer fans didn’t seem to be present at US Bank stadium this time. Maybe new coach Kevin O’Connell’s preaching that Green Bay fans were not welcome worked. Or maybe the Packer fans did show up after all. They just didn’t have much to cheer about.  

 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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8 points

Comments (99)

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Mario Willis's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:20 am

Having not taken any notes it's hard to comment from anything but the depths of shame at our performance.
Did we move the ball? Yeah.
Did we put the ROOKIE Receivers in situations where they got touches even if they didn't get catches? Sure.

Someone is going to have to explain to me how NO ONE on the Packers Coaching staff heard of Jefferies or warned any of the SECONDAY (if you can call it that) about how crafty he is in his routes.

It's just week one. It's just week one. It's just week one. FURTHER PROOF that Rodgers needs to play in at least ONE Pre-Season game. Not because he needs the practice but because SCREWING THE POOCH every week one is not acceptable and the 1s need to play with Rodgers at game speed.

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NickPerry's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:24 am

Game Balls...Hmmm...Tough one but I'd have to go Dillon and even Tonyan. WHEN Rodgers did throw Big Bob the ball he caught it and looked good. Nice to have Big Bobby back.

Zack Tom...As SOON as he came in the game the Packers looked a LITTLE better. The long run by Jones was to his side and he had a nice block on it. Even when Jenkins comes back, and Bakhtiari ever plays again, Zack Tom has got to be part of the starting 5 O-Linemen.

Lame Calls...MLF...Once again MLF doesn't know WHO his best 5 O-Linemen are. Hanson sucked in the preseason and he sucked today. LaFleur needs to spend less time on his eyebrows and more time figuring out what he'll do until Jenkins gets back and IF Bakhtiari doesn't ever play again. Whatever happens moving forward Hanson can't be part of it.

Rodgers...Jesus Christ, WHY can't this guy get a fucking play off in time? Then if he does manage to get the ball snapped he holds on to the ball FOREVER!

Joe Barry... Jarie Alexander said after the game the Defenses game plan was not to allow Justin Jefferson to beat them. Now I understand you can't shadow Jefferson on every play 100% of the time. But when I saw first Quay Walker responsible for him, and then Preston Smith lined up ACROSS from him, I really, REALLY, wonder what the hell they did in the two weeks before the game to get ready. THAT CAN'T HAPPEN!!!

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Roadrunner23's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:41 am

-The Chiefs put up 40+ points without their star receiver?

-Can MLF actually coach or does this team go as Aaron Rodgers goes?

-Joe Barry can’t field a competent Defense with this group against a first year head coach?

-The Vikings are the new Kings of the NFC North and it doesn’t look close.

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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:24 am

“The Vikings are the new Kings of the NFC North and it doesn’t look close.“. Pump the brakes, One game doesn’t make a season and not having their left and right tackle and having to play rookies WR’s much of the game makes for a tough first game. RELAX, Packers have a very good team and they will improve considerably.

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Cubbygold's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:46 am

"The Vikings are the new Kings of the NFC North and it doesn’t look close"

LMAO - yup, pack up the bags, no other possible outcome this year

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mrtundra's picture

September 12, 2022 at 05:20 pm

vikings, schmikings. I'll bet by week 12 they are out of the playoff picture. the vikings do not look like they are any kind of powerhouse. Maybe playing a lethargic Packers squad, in week one, made them look like a powerhouse, but be ready for the downward purple spiral. It's coming and especially so, if Kark gets injured. The NFC North has not been a tough division for quite some time, because the vikings, Bears and Lions aren't that good. The vikings finished 8-9 last season and I think they will match that record, this season.. I also love the talk that Irvin spews about Kark being this year's MVP. If nothing else gets to Kark, that will. GO PACK,GO!!!

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Leatherhead's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:49 am

Lost me at “laid a giant egg”.

A good offensive team, at home, is held below the league’s scoring average and that’s laying a giant egg? Are you kidding me?

We scored 7. Four turnovers, including twice on downs. One of the most anemic offensive outputs of the Rodgers/LaFleur era, and you lead with “defense lays a giant egg. Unbelievable.

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Johnblood27's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:55 am

but the standard is no yards against and a shutout. didnt you get the message this offseason? This defense is supposed to dominate each opponent at each snap.

Soft softer and softest.

All the coddling of players and whiney prima dons attitudes are just a part of the GBP. It just plain sucks.

Im off the MLF bandwagon. HE, first and above all else, needs to prove himself to be competent at HIS job. Im sick of the mistakes, his internship is waaaaaay over.

Get him good or get him gone.

Bisaccia replaced a fired coach last season and led his team to the playoffs. Maybe that's not such a bad idea.

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Cubbygold's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:38 am

I'm with ya up until MLF. I just don't think we know whether it's him or Rodgers that gets the offense out of sync. It's like they're fighting each other.

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mnbadger's picture

September 12, 2022 at 12:43 pm

yeah, but it's the HC's job to make it right. MLF hasn't done that yet IMO and doesn't seem to have stones enough to put his stamp on this team. Thus, we're stuck with egoboy.
As long as I'm ranting, doesn't anybody close to him have courage enough to call out that god awful haircut? My god, I need mushrooms to get through looking at the guy.
Thank you, GPG!

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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 02:46 pm

Ultimately it’s the Coach if that’s unclear. If LaFleur couldn’t coach Rodgers he shouldn’t have wanted him back so badly or isn’t the coach he pretends to be.

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skyler's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:52 am

But MLF is well Groomed. Without Rodgers, he is a sub 500 coach. Barry has always been a average to low performance coach and we hire him. We had many chances to get a great DC and we kept Mike P. way to long and had to settle for Barry

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13TimeChamps's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:02 am

Let me help you find your way.

Yes, they held MN to a whopping ONE point under the 24 points you're always so obsessed about. They also:

Allowed over 260yds/17 points in the first half.
Allowed Cousins 118.9 rating/80.7 QBR on 72% comp and 8.7 yds/attempt.
Allowed Jefferson 9/184/2 for a career day
And this:

"Jefferson averaged 4.0 yards of separation on his 11 targets, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, and gained 138 of his receiving yards on plays when he had at least 3.0 yards of separation. And on a 64-yard haul that set up a field goal in the second quarter, there was not a defender within 10 yards of him."

I'd say that would be a big old fat ostrich egg.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:50 am

Thank you. I forgot that the scoreboard counted yards and percentages instead of points.

23 points, on the road, against a good offensive team, on a day when your offense can not score or stay on the field. 3 of those points came as a direct result of a turnover. If that’s your definition of a bad defensive showing, I understand.

Of the 54 games Rodgers has played with LaFleur , the only time we scored less than 10 was last season in the opener. You will almost never win when you score 7 points. But go ahead and blame a defense that did an above average job.

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13TimeChamps's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:05 am

I didn't "blame" anyone. The offense was atrocious, the coaching underwhelming, to say the least. This is the 2nd year in a row the coaching staff didn't have the team ready to play for the opener. Plenty of blame to go around.

That doesn't absolve the defense's terrible play. Letting Jefferson run wild all over the field all game is inexcusable. And those 23 could have easily been more if they didn't have a 16 point lead in the 4th quarter.

"3 of those points came as a direct result of a turnover. If that’s your definition of a bad defensive showing, I understand." I previously gave you numerous definitions of their bad play yesterday but go ahead and cherry pick ONE play to try and prove your point. I understand.

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PeteK's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:45 am

Add 90 yds rushing from Cook and it was a bad defensive performance. However, the D did stiffen enough to keep us in the game. I just had much higher expectations for this defense. So yes, you are both somewhat correct, Leather Champs. (interesting mental images)

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13TimeChamps's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:55 am

You just made me throw up in my mouth.

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PeteK's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:58 am

Ha ha ha ha

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Leatherhead's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:06 am

Points off turnovers is a pretty relevant data point, because the game is about points, not yards or yards/attempt. The 23 points could have been more, but if the offense had been able to stay on the field, it could have been less, too. That's the beauty of maybe.

Half the teams in the league gave up 23 or more points this first week, including the Rams and Bengals, who apparently are "terrible" on defense.

If we give up 23 points every week, for 17 weeks, that's going to be 391 points, which would make us pretty much an average NFL defense.

If we score 7 every week, we're going to finish the season 0-17.

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13TimeChamps's picture

September 12, 2022 at 12:52 pm

I'm not going to argue with you. If you think that was an above average defensive effort, good for you. And we're discussing this one particular game. This has nothing to do with the Rams or Bengals. Try to read more carefully.

You've been accused before of being stubborn even when facts clearly dispute your argument. I can certainly understand why.

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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:01 pm

Barry laid an egg. No doubt about it. But the thing is that that can happen but it’s not like he hasn’t got it right previously, notably the championship game. I expect the D and Barry to have better days. The offense in our last two games has been dire.

We failed yet again to use Dillon and Jones in the first half. That’s two games in a row where we knew running was key but didn’t. Add to that, we played as if we think Cobb and Watkins could carry this team. On that showing Winfree looks more alive than Watson and certainly quicker. If the brains trust haven’t figured out that you ride youth and die trying or just die then they just believe their own hype. Looking at Hanson just makes that more likely.

A coach that allows that is no coach at all. If Rodgers undermined him that in him anyway. Then again a coach who repeats the same mistakes and can’t get a half of motivated football from his team by his own admission before having to rip into effort is no coach at all. This one got his strategy ass whooped by a rookie who played his own system against us on both sides of the ball.

LaFleur isn’t a coach or a leader. 4 years in he hasn’t grown. We don’t win games because we have him, we lose one’s because of him. He’s out of time. He’s lived off Rodgers and he proved that in virtually every facet of the last two real games we have watched. Before we could hope he’d learn, but we ended up learning that he can’t. As long as he’s here we are pretenders.

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13TimeChamps's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:23 pm

I already posted that the offense and coaching had as much to do with this loss as the defense. The only reason for my contribution to this thread was to dispute the ridiculous assertion by LH calling this an "above average" defensive effort. Clearly it wasn't.

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jurp's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:48 pm

Your "yeah we lost, but we held them to below 24 points!" mantra has gotten ridiculous. Call me when the NFC champion is decided by number of games a team holds its opponents to below the league average. Last I heard it was number of wins in the playoffs that determined the conference winner.

Of the 54 games Rodgers has played with LaFleur, we lost 8 of them even though we scored more than 7 points.

I watched more of the game last night. If you think our defense did an "above average job" then you're delusional. "Above average job" doesn't mean that the opposing team's star receiver is consistently open throughout the game. THAT is called a FAIL.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:58 am

They gave up way too many explosive plays and the Vikings scored on every drive that they had one(or more). The two long TDs by the Bears were also due to blown coverages by the 49ers. Barry cleans that up and it should be an easy win. Week 3 will tell us where the D is at.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 13, 2022 at 07:36 am

There is no sense trying to use facts and logic on this guy. The defense could allow 1000 yard and 150 points and it would somehow be the offense’s fault even if they scored 149.

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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:29 am

Leatherhead, yes, it was 23 points and they certainly didn’t lay a giant egg, but I think if it was a close game and the Vikings didn’t go into prevent D in the 4th quarter they could’ve scored more points. The eye test didn’t look good and it goes onto the players and Barry poor coaching. Barry needs to coach these guys better and the players need to show they are as great as they and us think they are.

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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:07 pm

Prevent doesn’t, or shouldn’t, stop scoring, as we know all too well. It’s designed to slow it. I think we’d already achieved that ourselves.

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jurp's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:49 pm

Is there such a thing as a "Prevent Offense"? If not, then I think we've discovered it.

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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:27 pm

That was my point coldqorld. By playing prevent they made the packers use more clock thus not giving the Vikings more time or the need to score more.

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Cubbygold's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:45 am

There were people here blaming the defense for the playoff loss last year too, so you can't expect logic to win out on this one.

Certainly we all want this unit to live up to top-10, top-5 hype, and to do that they need a better performance than they gave, but this 'week one dud' was reasonable. The dud on the offensive side was far more concerning in my mind.

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PeteK's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:56 am

Absolutely, yet a Watson easy catch and a Dillon half yard and we have a nail biter even with a sputtering O and very bendable D. A long week filled with scary scenarios until redemption Sun night. HUGH

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Guam's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:43 am

I don't think the defense played particularly well (there has to be a better solution for Jefferson), but this loss is squarely on the offense. You can't put up seven points and expect to win in the NFL. Poor O-line play, poor QB play and rookie WRs makes for a very bad look on offense. MLF and Rodgers need to find some better ideas quickly.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 12, 2022 at 12:02 pm

I guess you're ok with the Packers having a candy ass defense. 395 yards a game would have been the 31st defense last year and 23 points a game would have been 18th. Not exactly dominant.

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:50 am

Game Balls:

Clark - He is so damn good.
Gary - He is a stud. Plain and simple.
Dillon - He didn't have a lot of room to work with, but he was running hard.
Walker - He is legit! He was all over the field. I have not heard about his injury but hopefully its not bad. His speed is a difference maker.

Lame Calls:

Hanson at RG instead of Tom - Everyone you talk to, or listen to Tom was easily better then Hanson. Them starting Hanson over Tom simply is about Hanson being here longer. He doesn't have a ton more experience other then being here longer. Tom is clearly the better option.

Offensive game plan - I don't get why there were so many deep throw plays and long play action pass plays when they were without their top 2 OT's. Also I don't get how Aaron Jones only managed to have 8 touches. That should be a crime in this offense.

Defensive game plan - I don't get how hard it is to make sure that Jefferson is not lined up against Preston Smith. Whatever they are doing there, they need to stop it. Cuz that is a joke.

THREE AND OUT:

Special Teams - Overall there were no issues here. Blocking seems to still be an issue. I was waiting for a punt to be blocked honestly. There was a lot of pressure up the middle.

Predictable - I wasn't surprised by the way this game went. We saw it happen last year. Without our starting OT's and number 1 WR, a new set of WR's and a shuffled OL, I was not surprised that our offense struggled. Week 1 is always tough. Going into Minnesota where they have struggled with the new stadium, against all new coaches and schemes, it did not surprise me. I was a little surprised at how they played defense. I thought they were going to make Jefferson their focus. doubling him everywhere he went. To me this was not surprising at all.

Positives - While I just said it wasn't surprising the end result, I am more encouraged by some things in this game then I not. Realistically this is a very different game if Watson doesn't drop the 75 yard TD on the first play of the game. If he catches that, scores, they have tons of momentum, the score is tied up. Its a completely different game from there. I also feel there were a lot of missed chances/opportunities. Rodgers missed a throw to Jones that would have kept the drive going. Tonyan looked good.
But Watson showed he has legit speed to burn defenses. Doubs flashed a bit. Walker is legit. Tom deserves to be a starter. The rookies had good moments for sure.

Now its time to go to week 2 and see what they have learned and what has changed. We need to see more energy and less mistakes. I am looking forward to seeing what happens.

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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:37 am

“Realistically this is a very different game if Watson doesn't drop the 75 yard TD on the first play of the game. If he catches that, scores, they have tons of momentum, the score is tied up. Its a completely different game from there.”

I agree it changes the dynamics of the game. Realistically, I still don’t think we win this game, our OL play was poor, the game plan as you stated without enough quick routes allowed too much pressure and sacks, and with rookie WR’s we just didn’t have the fire power to keep up with them yesterday. That will change as this offense gets to full strength. There’s far too much talent for that not to happen.

As you, I did see positives from Watson and Doubs, and it will be very helpful to have Lazards back. Now, they need to take our their sorrows onto Da Bears!

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RCPackerFan's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:45 am

Yeah and for the record I'm not saying they would have won the game. Just that it would have been a completely different game.

Learning experience for them and to refocus and move on.

Bear Week!

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baldski's picture

September 12, 2022 at 02:43 pm

Why didn't the Vikings struggle?

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PackyCheese500's picture

September 12, 2022 at 07:51 am

Here were my impressions:

Good things (albeit not many of them):
AJ Dillon looked awesome. A true Packer. Tonyan also looks good to go, which is great. The STs were also good (I can’t believe I just wrote that). Coco looks good as a LS.

Bad things:
Why was Jaire not covering Jefferson? I (and the d-backs probably too) have no idea what Barry’s plan (or lack thereof) was supposed to accomplish. Hopefully he learns and does better the next time we play the Vikes. Also, the defensive front needs more consistency. Our OLB depth is not good, and that is just why the Packers NEED to sign Jason Pierre-Paul. On offense, woof. Hanson SHOULD NOT be out there, and Tom should. Tom is way better. When will D-Bak and EJ return, because I think the time is now. I’m also suprised Tonyan, Watkins, Cobb, Jones, and Dillon were not more involved. Why we did not run in most of the time I do not know. As for the rookie receivers, Doubs flashed and Watson dropped, but these things will happen.MLF needs to call better plays in the red-zone. Should have had Dillon run in through the side of the end zone, not right into the pile.

Ultimately, I think the Packers will be able to put this behind them and have a good season for a couple of reasons. First, over the last couple of years, we’ve had a history of slow starts. Last time, we heartily beat a division rival in week 2, and hopefully that happens here. Also, the returns of Lazard, EJ, and D-Bak will give the offense a HUGE facelift, both in the run and pass game. The rookie receivers can only get better from here. The defense I think will use the humiliation and disorganization that occurred in this game as a motivation to play harder; that’s what happened last year to some degree. The defense also didn’t have any film to watch for this game; the element of surprise played a huge degree here. Also, this is the first real-game situation in which the starting defense and offense have played; so they’re both trying to figure things out also. To prove this point, the STs, which played in the Preseason, did well. Ultimately, I have faith that the Packers can put this behind them and have a good season. GPG!

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Cubbygold's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:37 am

Agree on your last paragraph there, but...

I came into this game saying "I'm not sure Z is going to get that sack he's looking for because Rodgers and MLF know that without their Tackles they need to get the ball out quick... and without Adams, Rodgers isn't going to play hero ball. Z might not get those opportunities to get after him"

Obviously I was wrong. But, when Bahk and Jenkins get back, that's only going to enable Rodgers to feel confident hanging onto the ball more. I can't believe he actually did that so often yesterday, and my concern is that he isn't smart enough to understand that can't be the game to play this year. You'd obviously think he's smart enough, but there's a lot of evidence that he isn't. At some level his ego won't allow him to be a system QB, even if it's just for 90% of the plays. He'd rather get creative and lose than win as a role player.

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PeteK's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:11 am

It seems to be a recurring issue sometimes with Rogers: holding on to the ball too long and not taking the short dink and dunk plays especially when the O line is not playing well. We had some success with that on Sunday, but I guess it becomes more difficult when we're down 16 in the 4th quarter.

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:03 am

Game Balls: Dillon

Lame Calls: ACR - Tom Brady had three new starting OL. Mahommes lost his most talented receiver too. At some point, a guy being paid $50M supposed to make guys look better than they really are, and I always get the feeling with #12 that for him it is about what he doesn't have around him. He needs to go back to Watson. And keep going back. You know who else besides Dillon looked happy to on the field? Jordan Love looked happy to be on the field. Sure, it was a prevent defense and he took what the defense gave him, but he had a decent release, he threw the ball with some zip, and he took what the defense gave him.

MLF - Was there an offensive game plan? Can you make an adjustment or three? Or are you too busy kissing #12's arse to get him to follow a game plan so you've just given up trying to make one?

JB - Same questions.

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Guam's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:36 am

Good post Mark. Pretty much my thoughts too. I would just add that MLF and Rodgers need to dump the idea of not playing in the final preseason game. The Packers have laid an egg in two consecutive season openers and they were just not ready to play in either one. Time to re-evaluate how they approach at least the final preseason game if not the entire preseason.

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NickPerry's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:18 am

Hi Mark...Right on the money as usual... You know I was thinking this morning about MLF and how he always is quick to step-up and shoulder the responsibility. All that is well and good, but is he EVER going to learn from past mistakes?

After a while it feels like Lip Service...Just saying what he know he needs to say but does he really believe it? If he did then you'd think he'd be capable of making an adjustment or walking over to Joe Barry and tell him to put Alexander on Jefferson! That should have been don after the 1st drive!

Lastly we know Rodgers isn't a Rah Rah kind of guy. But still, you're the highest paid QB in the NFL, a 18 year veteran, and are supposed to be leader. Well frigging LEAD! Don't go sit on the bench kicking back like you don't have a care in the world!

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Since'61's picture

September 12, 2022 at 01:51 pm

Yes Nick, I mentioned in my post further below in this thread, that MLF and his staff were out prepared and out coached by a rookie HC and his staff. I don't see why that should happen. Also, the Vikings did not play their starters during the preseason and yet they played well.

Can't understand why Jefferson was allowed to roam free for almost the entire game.

I felt the same way about Rodgers. I realize that he was frustrated when Watson dropped that sure TD pass but he looked that way for the remainder of the game. There were times when I felt that he didn't even want to be there. Poor OL play and mental mistakes by a new receiving corps are legit issues but Rodgers needs to pick his team up when they are going flat or making mistakes. The offense was out of sync for nearly the entire game. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
3
0
vin0770's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:03 am

Speaking from a coaches perspective you come up with a gimmick defense when when you are out manned and you experiment and say screw it, let’s try this. You can’t line up mano - mano and say let’s get it on with this roster?

If the system is to complex for your teaching ability to successfully implement and execute and their best player is run around uncovered…then don’t try it! Look in the mirror time coach.

2 points
2
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mrtundra's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:15 am

GAME BALL: Zach Tom played great, as did Nijman. Dillon and Jones ran and caught the ball well. O'Donnell, whom I did not want to see very much of, in this game, punted well. Amari Rodgers and STs did not do anything to live down to it's preseason reputation. Jordan Love went 4-5 in the 2 minute drill, at the end of the game. Tonyan played okay, in his first game back.

LAME CALL: We got away from running the ball, again! Injuries to Q.Walker, Barnes, Nixon and Runyan are hopefully short term ones. The coaching decision to play Jake Hanson at RG and Newman at RT was disastrous, and many people here, said it during preseason. Zach Tom should be a starter on this O Line. Tom played well at LG and should play there again, until either Elgton or Runyan comes back.Then move Tom to the right side of the OL. Caleb Jones or Rasheed Walker should play at RT, a bit too, to spell Rodgers from getting sacked. Play Newman at RG and if he doesn't hold up, there, put Sean Rhyan in that spot. Rhyan, Caleb Jones and Rasheed Walker cannot be worse that what we saw on Sunday. If Watson catches that ball and if AJ punches through their DL for a TD, it's a different game. Another bad thing was the play on that AJ Dillon at the goaline play was that Big Dog ran right past Zadarious instead of chipping/ blocking him. Zadarious was unblocked and made the tackle on Dillon, from behind. If Big Dog disrupts Zadarious there, AJ may have been able to score. Rodgers throwing to a double covered Tonyan, at the goal line, on that 4th down play, could have changed the game had he been able to make the catch.

JUST PLAIN WHATEVER: It was a Division loss to a team we should have beaten. Our lethargic performance allowed the vikings to beat us. The Packers are just killing their fans in western Wisconsin and those fans who live in Minnesota. We get to hear the vikings crow about how great they are. They are not great, but were good enough, to beat us. Poor defensive coaching allowed Jefferson to be wide open, all game long. Jaire should have been tasked with covering him. When he did cover him, Jefferson was called for OPI. Rodgers was up to his old "hang onto the ball and take a sack" gameplan, again. Nagler said it yesterday, that when Cousins was about to be hit, by a GB pass rusher, he threw the ball, in rhythm, to a receiver and many times moved the chains. We have to get better, really quickly. We play the Bears next and the Bears beat the 49ers yesterday. That's something we have had trouble doing.

6 points
6
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DeezNutz's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:16 am

My takeaway from this game? I think next year I'll wait till week 2 to watch football.

12 points
12
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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:44 am

That gave me a good needed laugh this morning:). Thank you.

2 points
2
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Tundraboy's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:36 pm

Lmao. I know what you mean. Thought they would be up for Vikes. I'm going fishing next year for sure.

1 points
1
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Roadrunner23's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:20 am

Game Ball 🏈 Bakhtiari, highest paid cheerleader in the NFL 💰💰

-1 points
1
2
DeezNutz's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:25 am

My only hope is they just didn't want to start him off on turf. We seem to suffer innumerable injuries in that stadium every year, this year being no different.

0 points
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vin0770's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:30 am

I thought I saw say he was ruled out next game too on the home turf?

1 points
1
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mrtundra's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:37 am

He is ruled out vs Chicago at Lambeau.

0 points
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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:46 am

Who stated Bak is out for next week?

0 points
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Cubbygold's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:56 am

no one, it's not true

0 points
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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:53 am

Yeah, it seems illogical they would declare this one week in advance. If any, probably some commentary conjecture.

0 points
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PeteK's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:23 am

Someone drinking too much home made stale wine. Unfortunately, it could easily be true, worse would be Jenkins ruled out.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:22 pm

Nijman was good. Despite the Tom plaudits he was just ok, as was Myers and, oddly, Newman. Runyon struggled and Hanson was terrible. PFF would have us bench all of them bar Nijman and perhaps Newman, based on rating.

Bakh coming back just removes our best OL by miles yesterday! We need Jenkins badly though.

Of course had Nijman been given time at RT … but then Hanson would not have got his shot at turnstile stardom. He gave up more pressures than Nijman did in 8 games last year yesterday. Butkus is looking like a major problem to me.

0 points
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0
LLCHESTY's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:26 pm

Ryan Wood tweeted a source told him before yesterday's game he was likely to miss the Bears game too.

https://twitter.com/ByRyanWood/status/1568970220970074114?t=edB3wpz8MC6_...

0 points
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mrtundra's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:35 am

The turf at Minnesota is horrible on people. Ask Teddy Bridgewater and Dalvin Cook, if you don't think so.

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:55 am

Ask Jenkins.

0 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

September 12, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Bridgewater was injured in practice before the stadium opened so.....

1 points
1
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Bure9620's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:28 am

That may continue.....I have no earthly idea why Bahktiari was activated if he will continue to be a gameday inactive....They have to believe he will play soon, otherwise why is he on the 53 right now? Will he be in street clothes cheerleading in week 9? 10?

5 points
5
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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:42 pm

Well presumably because they thought he’d be ready before week 5, which would be the first possible start if he stayed on the PUP.

But bringing Bakh back is offset by the fact LT that Nijman is by far our best OL out there and we failed to get him comfortable to move per his coach (I’d still go with him at RT and Newman at G, but I think they won’t). So Bakh just takes him out. It is Jenkins we need back in the worst way.

I’d bench Hanson and only till Tom is ready at C, at which time I’d cut him. I’d start looking for aging vet depth now. I’d be looking at Butkus’s future very closely from now on.

0 points
0
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Bure9620's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:24 am

A.J. Dillon was very solid running the ball and had some nice catches. Yosh Nijman held up well. That is all.

Everything was Lame. The energy, the game plan, Rodgers holding the ball for 6 seconds. All of it is a recipe for an L.

10 points
10
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DeezNutz's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:27 am

Oh BTW, Jake Hanson sucks.

5 points
5
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PeteK's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:28 am

We could add a few more. Stokes seems to be continuing his poor play from training camp and pre season.

1 points
1
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THESZOTMAN1's picture

September 12, 2022 at 08:34 am

Is this team capable of getting of to a fast start in a season (or a game, for that matter)? If not, why not??
The (downhearted) Szotman

1 points
1
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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:46 pm

Answer to why not: LaFleur.

0 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:01 am

The Ghost of Dom was floating over field. The return of exotic D that serves to to confuse...your own guys. I have an uneasy feeling about Barry. He has never succeeded as a D coordinator and if he can't with this group...he never will.

I also have an uneasy feeling how ML, Stenovich and Butkus select their "best 5" OL. The Playoff selections of the lumbering Kelly and moving Turner to LT was befuddling. Going into this game, based on on field performances, with Jenks and Dave (again) out, the best 5 IMO were Yosh, JRJ, Myers, Newman, Tom. Newman is serviceable at G but a liability at T. Hanson is an emergency C only right now. He may never be more this. Seems they select OL starters based on tenure as much as performance.

Lastly and most importantly, the O game plan for MN was also awful. Maybe ML is missing Hackett and Getsy more than realized. One of the most talented RB duos in the NFL and ML runs the ball 32%? Looks like the ghost of MM is back too.

5 points
5
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Rick5952's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:10 am

Jones just getting 8 carries is just assinine.

3 points
3
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stockholder's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:47 am

The MM offense has returned.

5 points
5
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packerbackerjim's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:14 am

The question I keep coming back to is: how would Belichick take away the best player, Jefferson. I have to think a CB and a safety would be on him. There was No jamming at the line, and an 8+ yard cushion wasn’t getting it done. Back to the drawing board.

6 points
6
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murf7777's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:19 am

Ken good write up! I agree with what you stated, except “ We’re still getting nothing out of kickoff returns.”. They did what they should’ve done and let the ball fall 5-10 yards into the end zone. Starting on the 25 is much better than one of three bad things that might happen. They are; you don’t reach the 25, you fumble the ball, and the one thing that happens frequently in the NFL, you have a penalty and start inside your 15 yard line. I’d take the 25 yard line all day long if the ball falls into the end zone 3 plus yards.

Regarding, passing vs running on 4th and 1, be careful many posters have shelled Mlf for not running Dillon in those instances. We’ll he did and it didn’t work. I didn’t have a problem with he play and the OL should’ve had a better push. What I noticed is I believe it was Hanson and maybe Myers and Yosh, didn’t get low enough and create leverage to get the push needed.

1 points
1
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Cubbygold's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:24 am

I'd estimate 80% vikings fans in the crowd. My section had four packer fans in it, so probably 50-60 vikings fans around them.

0 points
0
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PeteK's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:32 am

To witness that in person at MINN must have been like being waterboarded.

2 points
2
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mrtundra's picture

September 12, 2022 at 05:28 pm

It would be enough to make me want to drink 3/2 beer!

1 points
1
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CoachJV's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:32 am

We just sucked in X and O's, sucked on O and D, and played average on ST... Can't win against a high school team like that.

0 points
0
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Handsback's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:44 am

This loss falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff. I don't care if you use zone/man to man/cover 1/cover 2 or box and 1(I know basketball but thought I would throw that in there) whatever you use NO DEFENSE has the other team's #1 receiver running free by as much as 4 yards. None of them!

The Viking were giving the offense the middle of the field, why not utilize it?

Run the ball, and use short passes or throw it away. Probably part of the game plan, but it wasn't utilized.

4th and 1 (should have been shorter but coaches didn't argue ball placement) RPO was called...Rodgers made mistake in reading the defense by his own admission. I think it was the right call, bad execution.

Compare to last year's team...I'm not so sure this is just rust like last year. Rodgers has to work the offense according to MLF's plan. You know why it's not? Easy, too much time in setting up the play. Look at Rams, and 49ers quick to the LOS and run the play.
Look at the other side of the coin...the SB winners lost by 21 points so we always have that!

1 points
2
1
jlc1's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:51 am

We kept hearing about how the D was dominating the O in practice. We now see why. The O is, for now, mediocre in practice and worse when it counts. The D is good in practice and just mediocre when it counts.
Next week is now a bigger game than a game 2 normally is. Two division losses will make the post-season push a whole lot harder.

2 points
2
0
Cubbygold's picture

September 12, 2022 at 09:52 am

Watkins and Cobb being the #7 and #9 receivers on the team this week is... interesting. Watson gave away a 75 yard TD pass and still ended up with as many yards as those two combined.

I just don't really understand the Cobb thing - if he's there because Rodgers loves him, you'd think he'd target him more, especially in a game where he's getting frustrated.

2 points
2
0
Bure9620's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:55 am

Ya agreed. I think Cobb should be used in certain 3rd down situations, like the 3rd and 4 he converted. I don't see his value beyond that. Sammy Watkins looked....SLOW....They need Lazard back to be the main guy while Doubs and Watson are brought along.

1 points
1
0
PyschoDad3's picture

September 12, 2022 at 10:00 am

Here we go again, to the purple pukes no less. Week 1 excuses. Seems most of the league has no trouble showing up for week 1,,, I wonder how long I would have lasted in my job if I showed up as ill prepared as the Packers were yesterday and put out that kind of effort. I was halfway to turning the game off after the first Packer offensive play, and it didn't take long after that to shut it down and just check the score off the internet from time to time.
Despite all the preseason hype about the defense, it pretty much was MIA by the stats yesterday, Rogers pretty much appears same old, same old, (holding the ball too long, wasting time outs) only this year he doesn't have his security blanket to throw to, has to work with a new bunch of receivers (wonder how long the trust factor is going to take) and a leaky O-line.
Not looking forward to a season of seeing 12 on the sidelines looking peeved 'cause things ain't going like they're supposed to, and if this keeps up, that's the only reason the networks will want to show Packer games in primetime.

0 points
0
0
splitpea1's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:22 am

The sad thing is that this game almost seemed like a total waste. Other than special teams being okay, there was nothing either on offense or defense that you can really build off of. I think the defense will regain its footing, but on offense, I don't know. If you were just going to hand the ball off and throw underneath most of the game, you might as well have inserted Love at QB.

Red zone offense was a problem last season as well. Wasn't MLF rumored to have a creative offensive mind? You would have thought he and Rodgers would have come up with some fresh solutions now that Adams is gone.

This is one of those games you forget about and move forward--not much to be learned here, except that you watch Jefferson's every movement but be careful not to get burned by Thielen the next time against the Vikings.

On offense, MLF might want to think about throwing the poop at the wall and see what sticks vs. the Bears. The sooner some of these newer players get broken in, the better. We need a win with a road date vs. the Bucs coming up next.

2 points
2
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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:50 pm

Go with Doubs/Watson/Toure and Lazard. They will miss a few we should not, but they will get open and they can all get deep. Don’t waste time with in a regular basis or run him so he can show some speed and Cobb is only for a few 3rd downs. Bench Rodgers and risk Doubs/Watson returning and they can all be active. Might have to tell Rodgers to keep throwing to them.

0 points
0
0
Packers1985's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:29 am

Lame calls:- Defense as they looked clueless all night. This was definitely not expected as this defense is not only pretty much intact but also added new pieces to further Strengthen it and are into 2nd yr under Barry just no excuses.

Agreed the offense played poorly but it is somewhat expected with our inexperienced make shift Oline and no true Wr1 we are going to struggle. But even with all these -ve's there are still chances to be had but the offense fell flat. 12 holding on to the ball, Oline
getting pushed all nite and our HC sucked at red zone like last yr and no in game adjustments. The worst part is loosing to the divisional rivals hope this doesn't come back to bite us this season.

And what's up with so many shoulder injuries with this team? All our back up safeties got wiped up in the preseason and in the very first game our rookie Lb and nixon both seemed to have similar injuries. Is it becoz of poor tackling?

1 points
1
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CoachJV's picture

September 12, 2022 at 01:12 pm

Poor tackling happens a lot these days, leading to injuries because the NFL has too many protections in place. Can't "Ronnie Lott" anybody anymore.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

September 12, 2022 at 11:46 am

This shouldn't be musical chairs on the OL. Either you block, or you're gone! The OL lost this game. They got blown off the line.
Seriously, Why wasn't Walker playing, and Newman at RG? If Hanson stays at Guard. Fire the Coach!
Rodger's needs to give the kids a break. They will never be on the same page with him. If he doesn't pull for them.

5 points
5
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Coldworld's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:36 pm

It wasn’t a shock to anyone who watched preseason but the coaches either.

I’d be concerned about the whole unit bar Nijman! PFF’s worst rated players on O (Nijman rated in the 70s):

1. OL Zach Tom: 43.2
2. RG Jake Hanson: 44.4
3. WR Christian Watson: 45.1
4. LG Jon Runyan Jr: 47.6
5. C Josh Myers: 55.7

They really hated Tom’s run blocking. Hanson got a better run rating but an execrable pass protection grade.

0 points
0
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LLCHESTY's picture

September 12, 2022 at 12:07 pm

Kenny Clark had a really nice game with 6 pressures and 2 hits. We won't talk about Lowry and his 45 grade from PFF. Not sure how much film they need to watch before they realize he's a 4i and 5T ONLY.

3 points
3
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Lphill's picture

September 12, 2022 at 12:18 pm

this game means nothing , now if the packers lay an egg at home against the Bears that will be troublesome.

-1 points
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1
CoachJV's picture

September 12, 2022 at 01:25 pm

Division games ALWAYS mean something... always. It could hurt us come playoff time.

1 points
1
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CoachJV's picture

September 12, 2022 at 01:09 pm

Arod doesn't want to be there and it's obvious. He came back because he though Adams was his Siamese twin and that's not the case. His frustrations are only going to grow because Bak is probably done and the receivers don't have his trust or patience.

Arod was taking unnecessary sacks like he "wants" to get hurt... and to be honest, Love looked better in garbage time than Arod did anywhere in the entire game. I predict Arod will not finish the season. He'll eventually be "injured" and on IR. And since the receivers have been practicing with Love all Off Season and Preseason, we might be better off.

Defense got the snot beat out of them and they know it. I think they'll bounce back though. Nothing like an embarrassing whooping to make you mean.

I'm likely full of doo-doo... but we'll see.

2 points
2
0
baldski's picture

September 12, 2022 at 03:13 pm

How to discipline a QB making $50 million/year? Do you bench him? No. What do you do to make him follow a game plan and throw the ball away instead of holding all day?

To me, it looks like Arod can do anything he wants to, and coaches will just have to take it.

0 points
0
0
Since'61's picture

September 12, 2022 at 01:40 pm

Game balls reluctantly to Dillon, Jones, Campbell and Gary.

Lame Calls: Almost everywhere. Start with the coaching staff, MLF and his staff were out coached and out prepared by a rookie HC and his staff.

Secondary had no plan or ability to cover Jefferson. He seemed to be wide open all game.

This game exposed 2 of the Packers biggest weaknesses which we discussed here during the offseason. First our OL, they were pushed around in the first half but did play a little better when Tom was installed for the second half. Second our WR corps was worse than I expected them to be starting with Watson's drop on the Packers first offensive play of the game. For the rest of the game they were out of sync with Rodgers. These 2 issues, OL and WR needs to be addressed in time for our next game. We especially need EJ and Bak back ASAP.

Next is Aaron Rodgers. He was frustrated early when Watson dropped a sure TD and he remained that way throughout the game. It looked to me at times that he didn't want to be out there. He needs to pick his team up when they are going flat.

In spite of everything the Packers had their opportunities to score during the first half. First they had a sure TD on Watson's drop on the first play of the game. Second they needed to execute better when they had First and goal at the Vikings 9 yard line and failed to get in on the 4th and 1 play. Those two drives should have produced 14 points in the first half and they ended up producing 0. We could have gone into halftime with either a 14-14 tie or trailing 17-14 at the worst. In either case we have a totally different game in the 2nd half.

I thought that our one TD scoring drive was an excellent example of the how the MLF offense should work. It was a solid drive with a good mix of runs and quick passes. We need to see more of that and we need better execution for a full 60 minutes of football. Our defense also played better in the second half but again leaving Jefferson wide open allowed the Vikes to retain possession and chew up clock.

It's only the first game. The Packers have plenty of time to recover. Let's see how they respond against the Bears this week. Thanks, Since '61

0 points
0
0
HarryHodag's picture

September 12, 2022 at 02:00 pm

I'm a realist which sometimes means I'm not a 'fan'. This is not a very good team now and probably won't be for awhile. My reasons:

1)Two All-Pros missing from the offensive line. The 'mix and match' approach has never allowed one unit to gel. Strange to have that approach given the need to run the ball and protect Rodgers. Hanson is bad and whoever said he's impressive has been taking ayahuasca.
2)Tonyan is back, kind of, but the tight end position needs another game breaker not on the roster.
3)The Vikings showed that the Packers defense is not very flexible. It was clear they needed to make adjustments at halftime and did not. Cue Jefferson to continue to run wild. The defensive line was nowhere near as stout as I thought they would be.
4)Aaron Rodgers is starting to look old. He used to be one of the better running QB's in the league. No more. That is why we don't have 60 year old QB's in the league. His throwing accuracy is still outstanding.
5) They could have run the ball a lot more. Two things happen: they move the ball and they keep the Vikings offense off the field. Aaron Jones spent most of the day on the bench. Why?
6) The secondary, now with all veterans, looked lost.
7) Matt LF, once the golden boy of innovative offense, now has an offense that is as stale as Mike McCarthy's.
Regardless of the excuses he brings out today, like last season's opener, this team was not ready to play.
One of the announcers pointed out the Vikings didn't play their starters all preseason but they were ready to go.

I put the pre-season prediction at 9-8 and out of the playoffs and I'm sticking to it. Here's something to ponder: the Bears beat mostly the same 49'er team that beat Green Bay in the playoffs. Jimmy G was the QB, yes, but the rest of the team was there. All who think the game Sunday night will be an automatic Packers win could be surprised.

3 points
3
0
BAMABADGER's picture

September 13, 2022 at 12:56 pm

Vikings may not yet be the King of the North, but they now have an excellent young offensive minded coach. He schooled MLF in his first NFL HC game.

0 points
0
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nygary's picture

September 13, 2022 at 04:36 pm

Not having the vast majority of your starters play a single snap in pre season hasn't worked out to well the last two years. The whole David Bac deal is a real joke. Having him take reps with the 1's the week before the first game should have happened the first week of camp. Not only was he unable to play but he also took away reps from the guys who started in the game. I don't care what procedure he may have had in march or what bull shit the front office gives us. Also so ill prepared on defense. What a joke

0 points
0
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nygary's picture

September 13, 2022 at 04:37 pm

Hanson must be rodgers secret lover. He is not an NFL starter

0 points
0
0