Packers 27, Eagles 20 – First Impressions – Week One 2010

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In the very first series, we see Clay Matthews line up inside, and come on a delayed blitz.  That’s something they’ve been working on in practice, according to Greg Bedard.

Evidently, Aaron Rodgers’ facemask is considered “in play” by NFL referees.

Tramon Williams played one of his better games and did a nice job in coverage, but he needs to catch at least one of those two potential INTs.

Good news, bad news: Rodgers looks a little more nimble at avoiding rushers in the pocket – obviously, he’s had a lot practice. At the same time, he seemed to be watching the rushers too much, which affected his accuracy.

Mark Tauscher looked like Barbre / Giacomini (your choice) out there. I have to think he was hurting in some way. He just was not moving well…

When Clay Matthews took down Kevin Kolb from behind, as Kolb lay on the ground, I kept saying “get up”, “get up.” You see,  MichaelVick as a runner scared me a lot more than Kolb as a passer (at least based on what I had seen so far). When I tweeted that sentiment, most responses were, “please, we want Vick, he’ll screw things up.” I just shook my head.   And then he proceeds to… well you saw it. Like a bad movie we’ve all seen before. Fortunately, the ending was a little different this time.

The touchdown pass from Rodgers to Jennings looked so easy, I thought it was OTAs, 7 on 7.

The Packers obviously borrowed some other team’s special teams units for this game. Seriously, when it comes to special teams, I’m most concerned about two things, coverage units and kicking field goals. Close to perfect in both categories this game…

As I tweeted early on in the game, all Jordy Nelson has to do on KRs is CATCH the ball, run North/South, and not FUMBLE. I’m more than satisfied with him returning kicks if he does those things. If the Packers happen to block well for him and he has some nice returns, that’s just gravy.

I’m expecting an Alex Tallisch Mason Crosby-related jab at me any second now…

I am a little concerned about punter Tim Mathsay when punting under pressure. He is known for his slow get-off and on his last punt, he short-legged the kick for a line drive with no hang time. Fortunately, the Packers coverage team did a great job (am I really writing those words… surreal). This is something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Brandon Jackson tonight like he did something special. 18 carries, 63 yards, 3.5 YPC. 18 of the yards came on one run. Look, he did a decent job, but let’s not get carried away.  He’s still way too indecisive in picking a hole.

Grant getting hurt is exactly why I was previously saying I wouldn’t go into an NFL season with 2 tailbacks on your roster. Injuries are just too prevalent among running backs.

Anyone else feel like Aaron Rodgers was trying to throw to Finley TOO much. He really forced a few. Take what the defense gives you, Aaron.

Clay Matthews….   well, what can I say that you don’t already know. In my eyes, he was defensive MVP this game, even before the 4th down stop.

Overall, the pass rush was effective, beyond just getting sacks. Great push up the middle from the DL and Raji, in particular. I so wish Mike Neal had been available, too.

Kudos to Cullen Jenkins. Multiple fractures his hand, throws on a quick cast and he’s back out there ready to play. In a lot of pain after the game, but says he’ll play next week with the cast. Just one more reason to like Jenkins…

Only 2 penalties the entire game for the Packers? Damn, I could get used to that.

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • Chad Toporski

    “Anyone else feel like Aaron Rodgers was trying to throw to Finley TOO much. He really forced a few. Take what the defense gives you, Aaron.”

    Very true, but kind of ironic on that 3rd-and-2 play in the first half. Finley ran a quick out and was wide open to get the easy first down. Don’t know where Rodgers’ head/eyes were at that moment.

    Still have to watch the second half of the game that I recorded (had places to be on Sunday), but overall I agree with all these points. Especially the one about the facemask… man that REALLY irritated me.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Good point about the 3rd and 2. Rodgers appears to have never seen him. Of course, he was probably just following his progressions.

  • Chazman

    Was it just me or did McCarthy decide to go into the end of game grind it out a little early?
    Did we have Quinn Johnson active for yesterday’s game because I thought the only reason he takes up a roster spot is for the end of game grind but I don’t recall seeing him play. Was he injured?
    My point is the only two things that can kill you as a team when you’re ahead is a) the prevent defense (which we didn’t do) and b) stop doing the things that made you successful on offense and grind it out without the road graders to back it up and with Ryan Grant out and Johnson out(?) I thought it was a bad decision. Your take?

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      It’s not the first time we’ve seen McCarthy pack up shop early. However, they did have a 17 point lead.

      Johnson was inactive.

  • Dan

    Great recap Al, defense played a good game in a house that doesn’t often render wins for GB.

    Shields must have done a good job, only gave up one TD catch and it didn’t seem as though they threw his way much during the game.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Yes, everyone’s knocking Shields because of the TD play, but he went 3 quarters without getting his number called, which is not bad for an undrafted rookie with one year CB experience. He will only get better.

  • Ruppert

    Rodgers’ facemask is IN play, but evidently the official’s foot is NOT?! I thought Kolb’s fumble hit the official’s foot and stayed in play. That’s supposed to stay live, right?

    Great win…we stirred up a QB controversy in Philly, yet still escaped with a W. I gotta watch the game again because I’m dying to see how Shields performed.

    And I think Brandon Jackson did a nice job. He’s not great. He’s not a #1 RB. And many teams have a better #2 RB. But he stepped in for the injured #1 guy and did just as well as that #1 guy was doing.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Ruppert, Yes the ball is still in play, but supposedly the referee was out of bounds when it hit him. I’ll have to see it again.

      Yes, Jackson did well. I’m not disparaging his performance, but some have acted like he was Barry Sanders out there.

      • Woodpecker
        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          Hey, thanks for that. If you stop the video just before the ball gets to the referee, his feet are definitely in bounds. He then jumps, and brings his leg back. At some point the ball hits his leag as he is trying to swing it out of the way. Was his leg out of bounds at that point? Maybe.

  • Ron LC

    Let me be the first in line to offer my Mason apologies. His leg got a lot stronger over the off-season. He did have the out-of-bounds kick that gave me some consternation. But Philly never got a good run back – Mission Accomplished!

    Williams a little more stickem and he’s All-Pro. A great job of coverage yesterday.

    The D played with aggression and enthusiasm. CM3 is not human. They were not game planned to handle Vick’s running skills. He’s the only QB in the NFL that you want to throw rather than run. Harrell is likely to be done again. Did Jarius sign with anyone? Keeping McDonald is making less sense everyday.

    I thought both Cliffy and Tausch were rusty and got off to a slow start. By the second half their performance seemed to improve. Thank God – no injuries in the O line. After a few weeks Buluga and TJ will even be more prepared to step in.

    Yes, MM went into a premature stall, a tactic he likes to use often. I wish he’d go into a more ball control passing game first beofe the two runs into the defensive strength and a 30 yard pass attempt on 3rd down.

    ST’s also deserve credit. For the first time in years, I saw real aggressive play on the coverage teams. On Masthy’s (sp?) only bad punt Jackson had the ball on a short, end-over-end, line drive and Korey Hall made a great open field tackle to prevent potential disaster. Matsthy was good except for the kick that was intended to go to the right sideline missed a bit and went right down the middle. Work on that!. Jordy and Tramon are quite acceptable in their roles. Coverage needs to keep it up. Great Job!

    Overall, The offense was rusty and slow. This should get better. The defense was good except for keeping Vick contained. ST’s were much better than we’ve seen for years.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Ron, Mason’s leg strength was never the issue. It was his overall percentage and his ability to make kicks when you really need him to. Only one game, but he did look good.

      I was surprised to see Lang inactive. I guess Bulaga would have gotten thrown in at RT if something happened to Tausch. Don’t know if he’s ever taken a snap there…

      The defense did just fine. Vick’s running is a unique weapon that few defenses have an answer for.

      • PackersRS

        Every innactive was due to ST. Lang doesn’t provide anything at ST, while Hall and Crabtree do. And, if it translates, like it did, I’m fine with it. They did have only 4 DL, but they expected to play nickel the whole game; they didn’t prepare for Vick. It was unfortunate that Harrell went down, but it seems like it was the right call.

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          Damn good thing Jenkins was able to play. Harrell’s injury history is exactly why I wanted to see them keep another DL.

        • Mojo

          I was just wondering what is the purpose of having eight of your 53 man roster inactive. Why not have all 53 active?

          • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

            If your question is WHY? I don’t know the reasoning behind it. Might it have been a negotiating point in the CBA? Just don’t know.

  • PackersRS

    I just can’t stand anymore a run on first down, followed by a 5 or a 7 step drop. With only one draw called the whole game, and zero screens and reverses.

    Your line is getting beat to a pulp, McCarthy. Do something. Adjust your playcall. You seem inept in it, like you did, prior to being called out by the players, following the TB loss.

    Yes, Rodgers was TERRIBLE. But MM is as much at fault.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      This is an old argument for me. The Packers running game under MM has always lacked any creativity.

      • Chad Toporski

        If you want to see creativity running the ball, check out what the Saints did in the second half against the Vikings. They used some clever plays to get the Vikings D off balance to make room for the back after pounding the ball got them little to nothing.

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          Saw it, and I love Pierre Thomas. Vision, moves and he never goes down easily

  • The Delivery Guy

    To heck with creativity, give the ball to Larry Csonka…errr John Kuhn… especially in the red zone where the open spaces become smaller… Go heavy with Kuhn at the tail the second it looks like the defense is getting gassed.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Funny. Larry Csonka is exactly what I was thinking about on Kuhn’s run…

      • Bernie

        Aaron Rodgers new nickname for Kuhn is “Jim Brown”.
        Kuhn has been surprisingly good carrying the football. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a few extra carries.