26

November

Giants 38, Packers 10: Game Balls and Lame Calls

Davon House

A typical scene for the Packers against the Giants Sunday Night.

Pathetic, flat, uninspired and unemotional.

These are a just few words that could be used to describe the dud that the Green Bay Packers put up against the New York Giants on national television Sunday night.  It was a game many fans had circled on the calendar since the schedule was released in spring.  The Giants ended the Packers’ season in the playoffs last season and many a player and fan were eager to get some revenge on the Giants in their own house.

Instead, by a score of Giants 38, Packers 10, salt got added to the wound and boy does it burn.

Here’s who stood out and (more likely) stunk it up during the Packers’ fourth loss of the 2012 season.

Game Balls

WR Jordy Nelson

At times, it seemed Nelson was the only wide receiver that showed up to play.  Yes, Randall Cobb made a couple plays out of the backfield but Nelson was really the only one that got anything going downfield.

By “anything going,” I really refer to only one play.

Nelson’s beautiful 61 yard touchdown that tied the game at 7 was really the Packers’ lone highlight of the night so in a sense, Nelson gets a game ball by default.

The good news is that the play Nelson made on the sideline was similar to the plays he made last season during his breakout season.  Hopefully the Packers can get more plays like that from Nelson now that he is healthy again.

FB John Kuhn

Kuhn’s name has not been called much this season as he’s scored only one touchdown, but the Packers fullback made some plays against the Giants that helped provide the Packers an answer to Ahmad Bradshaw.

Kuhn caught three balls for 49 yards to go along with four carries for 17 yards.  It was refreshing to see Kuhn get some work in the screen game.  If the Packers continue to struggle running the ball, perhaps some screen passes to Kuhn will help alleviate the pain.

LB Dezman Moses

The pass rush was abysmal against the Giants, but Moses once again provided some hope in the absence of Clay Matthews.

Moses recorded the Packers’ only sack of the contest and he was the one linebacker to at least somewhat consistently get near to Eli Manning.   The promise many people noticed in Moses early in training camp and the preseason is beginning to find its way on to the field and while no one can replace Matthews, Moses definitely will be a player to watch the rest of the season.

Lame Calls

The offensive line

The pass protection was so bad it’s nearly impossible to single one offensive lineman to give a Lame Call to.

Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times which puts him at a total of 36 on the season.  His career high is 50 so if he is sacked three times in each of the next five games, he will surpass that total.  This game was just further proof that no matter how athletic your quarterback is, if you do not have a solid line in front of him then the offense will not go anywhere.

Even though he struggled at times this season, it’s clear how much the Packers miss Bryan Bulaga.  Evan Dietrich-Smith has not taken to left guard too well nor has TJ Lang at right tackle in place of Bulaga.

The Packers were victorious over the Lions last Sunday, but the offensive line struggled then too.  If the Packers want to make any kind of noise in January, the line has to improve—now.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy

Fans may have (half-jokingly) been blaming the Packers’ struggles on McCarthy’s mustache that he has been growing, but no amount of facial hair will cover up the fact that McCarthy was not at his best Sunday night.

Early in the game, the Packers were driving the ball into Giants territory.  Faced with a 4th down and 3, McCarthy opted to send in struggling kicker Mason Crosby for a 55-yard field goal attempt rather than let Rodgers take a shot at gaining the three needed yards.

Crosby naturally missed the field goal and it sent the Packers into a tailspin from which they never recovered.

McCarthy also could have committed more to the running game.  While the two-headed attack of Alex Green and James Starks has not exactly inspired confidence, sometimes just attempting to run the ball is enough to open things up for the passing game.

McCarthy owed it to his quarterback to help shore up protection or at least get receivers open and he fell short.

CB Tramon Williams

For pretty much the entire Packers defense, the Giants game looked like their 2011 season being replayed before their eyes.

In the case of Williams, it was completely true.  Williams could not tackle to save his life.  At one point, he had both arms wrapped around a receiver yet the receiver dragged Williams a couple more yards before he was forced to the ground.

The Giants tried to keep the Packers in it thanks to some bad throws by Manning as well as some drops by his receivers.  Unfortunately, the Packers took themselves out of the game thanks to poor tackling and Williams once again was a liability in bringing the receiver to the ground.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin

That was real classy there, trying to score another touchdown with the game well in hand.  Going for it on 4th down to try and get to 45 points? Not cool.

Luckily, the Packers’ fans have very long memories.  So do the players and in particular, their MVP quarterback.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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---- Get AddToAny

33 Responses to “Giants 38, Packers 10: Game Balls and Lame Calls”

  1. TomTD says:

    Well put Al! But, go back even further in this game. After the bomb to Nelson, the Pack stopped the Giants and got the ball back. All we needed this time too was 3 yards. A mid length pass was incomplete, and Pack punted. Where is the check down pass-and why did Rodgers not role out from the get-go-move the pocket-after the Pack is behind by a bunch, then we do use check downs-the word of Pack is: STUBBORN. TT is stubborn to have no veteran backups on OL yet has 5 TE’s-Rogers is stubborn in holding ball too long-offensive play calling is stubborn in failing to adjust early and use slants, back shoulder, and outlet passes-crossing patterns-no one got open on what was run-defensive plan was stubborn in over persuit and tackling high-and no pass rush-Manning had all night-Rodgers does much better with a two day old beard than with a mushtache too.

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    • CSS says:

      There’s a cynical side of me that wonders some games if Rodgers isn’t a bit of a stat-whore. I love every aspect of his game, but throw the ball away or press the seem in tight coverage even when there’s ‘risk’. He’s making some bad decisions affecting down-and-distance, ultimately field position. That training camp 2.5 second clock seems like an old gimmick at this point.

      I understand disdain for turnovers, but thread the needle, take a chance with your receiving core.

      Rodgers is great, he can cover for miscues elsewhere. But last night was mediocre all around. McCarthy and Rodgers both new what was coming, and that was the plan?

      Still will be an 11-5 team, but I can’t say I have faith in McCarthy or Rodgers if/when forced to play San Francisco or New York.

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      • Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

        cannot blame rodgers for absolutely horrendous OL play. i do not think a QB has time to think about accumulating stats during a game. he holds the ball because he wants to give his WRs every chance to get open. it is frustrating, but last night he did not have time to hold the ball, he did not have time get rid of the ball.

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        • CSS says:

          He was equally as culpable on every-other play. Severe happy-feet (which is understandable) and moved out of the pocket when as pocket was there. Rodgers was understandably rattled, but he owns 40% of that. Worse fundamentals I’ve seen out of Rodgers as a pro.

          People like to say Rodgers has a bit of Michael Jordan in him in terms of the chip on his shoulder. I think he has a bit of Frank Thomas (White Sox) in him when it comes to the overall numbers . Constantly aware of them compared to his peers. Almost half the sacks this year, forcing terrible down-and-distance for all three Packer units to deal with, could have been avoided by throwing it in the dirt. Alternatively, your receiving unit is purportedly among the best in the league. Put the ball up, turnovers be damned.

          So yes, there’s a cynical side of me that feels as though Rodgers covets turnover-percentage and completion percentage to his detriment.

          Rodgers and McCarthy are very culpable here. They knew the Giants game and didn’t shift to max pro, push Rodgers under center, and play the game between the hashes.

          They still haven’t learned it’s a 60 minute game, still trying to play a 30 – 45 minute track meet.

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          • tlvincent says:

            I almost worry more about his total lack of confidence in ripping laser balls into tight coverage for fear of committing a turnover. He just won’t throw those balls like the one to Jennings in superbowl, I see the replays and hear the commentator saying nobody open but I see spaces and think Rodgers has the arm to make those throws and just don’t get it.

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          • Mojo says:

            I’m wondering the same thing about Rodgers as CSS is. As bad as the O-line is at times, I think ARod is a big part of the protection difficulties. He needs to take more chances by throwing receivers open or at least throw the ball away. I suspect he didn’t go for the Hail Mary at the end of the half, because he didn’t want a cheap INT on his personal stats. I guarantee you, ARod is well aware of his stats and standing among his peers.

            I wonder how many of the sacks,if you analyze it, are attributable to ARod and not the line. I can’t imagine too many other QB’s with a higher percentage. I think in the past some O-lineman have hinted they believe a big part of the blame comes from ARod holding the ball to long. Obviously, they can’t say this outright.

            Did anyone else notice that, as bad as the O-line was, there were times ARod had all-day to throw? And yet he holds onto the ball forever, until the inevitable happens and the pocket collapses. Then he runs towards the sidelines where he tries to throw it away or attempts an off-balance throw. At times he holds the ball so long it’s bizarre. I’d like to see the coaches film and see what he sees. I can’t believe in all that time no one is getting open. I remember after SF’s playoff loss last year, Greg Cosell of NFL films noted;”the coaching tape shows numerous plays where Smith failed to throw to wide open receivers.” and “Smith was reluctant to let it loose on routes and throws that were not only well designed, but were open.”. Wonder if ARod is guilty of that too sometimes.

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            • Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

              he did not throw the hail mary because he was chased out of the pocket and a sitting duck on the sideline. also it was a 60 yard throw in the air on the run.

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              • Mojo says:

                He had plenty of time BEFORE being chased out of the pocket to launch the Hail Mary.

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            • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

              Rodgers has said before he is conscious of where he throws the ball in regard to his receiver’s safety. Perhaps that has a little to do with it?

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          • Oppy says:

            Turnover ratio directly correlates to winning and losing.

            Rodgers may have selfish reasons for not taking risky throws, but he’s been taught to prevent throwing picks at all costs, and for good reason.

            I do agree about throwing the ball in the dirt, however. That said, this offense asks Rodgers to keep plays alive with his feet and look to make something out of nothing whenever possible/needed. At some point, though, you’re right- just throw it away and spare the yardage lost to a sack.

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            • steve cheez says:

              Good point about the correlation of the ratio, Oppy. And didn’t many of us have a major beef with Mr. Rodgers’ predecessor for taking too many chances? C’mon, everybody, how ’bout a little consistency in our bitching?

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              • Mojo says:

                Not asking ARod to throw into triple coverage off his back foot. Just get rid of the ball sooner if he doesn’t see anything developing. There’s actually ways to throw the ball away by shading the toss to one side of the receiver where only he has a chance to catch it even when he’s tightly covered. Chances are it’s an imcompetion, but that’s better than a sack.

                I’ve had only a few critiques of ARod’s play since he’s been with us: 1.) Holds the ball too long at times, which we’ve already discussed. 2.) For some reason had a hard time with aiming real short passes. That was mostly in his first few years as a starter and seems fine now. And 3.) Quite often throws a laser on deep passes that’s just too far ahead of the receiver. If he put put air under the ball to allow the reciever to get under it, I think they’d hit on more of those along with getting more PI calls. Last night the bomb to Jordy was right on target, but because he put extra air under it, Jordy would have been able to adjust if it were a little long. Minor quibbles all.

                For the record their’s no other QB I’d rather have leading our team.

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              • CSS says:

                Correlation goes out the window when you’re down 2+ scores. And it’s not ‘bitching’, I specifically said, “the cynical side of me wonders…” It’s called begging the question, Steve. I didn’t state ‘Rodgers is a stat whore.’

                Favre took chances during all phases of the game (ahead, tied and behind.) Rodgers can’t stay in a conservative shell when it’s clear he needs to take over the game because; a) He’s MVP and capable, b) It’s sometimes clear nobody else can or is willing.

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            • CSS says:

              Interesting that McGinn’s breakdown today in the MJS and GBPG Baranczyk and Christl both separately either imply or state Rodgers is too risk averse. To his detriment. Too conscious of potentially hitting double-digit INT’s for the season to pull the trigger when he often needs to take reasonable risk.

              Not saying he’s a stat whore, but I’m not the only one noticing.

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              • steve cheez says:

                Sorry, CSS, it was an (apparently unsuccessful) attempt at irony, pointed primarily at myself.

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              • CSS says:

                Not sure why you’re saying sorry, perhaps my response looks oversensitive? Not intended. Moving on.

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  2. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor12 says:

    I’m chalking this one up in the’learning’columm and hope that they do their homework in the play-offs.
    This game was irrelevant as to the Packers playoff hopes as I said over at Acme on Wednesday.The division games dictate our place and the hope that GJ,CM3,Wood would play yesterday was moot and not worth the chance of re-injury in a meanngless game against the G-men…yes,meaningless.
    Did we look bad..yes,did the Giants look good..yes,will we meet again..probably.
    Don’t fret over yesterday as the wins that matter are ahead and I’m glad we got or let this flow out of their system and can move on to securing the momentum needed.

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    • Oppy says:

      You can’t call a NFC conference game meaningless.

      There are still 5 weeks left. Much can happen, and if it comes down to wildcard slotting, losses or wins vs. conference opponents- not to mention flat out record- could end up playing a significant role in shaping the post season.

      I will agree that the Giants game was not as important as the upcoming division games we’ll be facing, but it was certainly not meaningless. Let’s hope the Packers take care of business and -make- it meaningless

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  3. Chad Lundberg says:

    The only thing that I can think up of at the top of my head is improve the run game. Hear me out.

    This line can not pass protect, period. But we have seen a gasps here and there throughout the season where the run blocking was at least half decent. Even in last night’s game, there was at least one or two plays.

    The Packers have to start implementing a run first offense. Rodgers will be able to throw the ball more efficiently then.

    I’m not sure what else the Packers can do. That line will make scrambles out of Rodgers otherwise.

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    • Art says:

      A run first offense? He threw the ball just 25 times and 12 of them were in the second half when they needed to catch up! Compared to other QB’s he doesn’t throw the damn ball! He’s 12th in league in attempts with Stafford making over 100 more attempts.

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  4. Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

    Had a bad feeling about this game before it even started. The Giant got very healthy over their bye and the packers did not.

    The EDS experiment has failed. MM and Campen need to find a body to play RT so they can move lang back to LG. Right now they have 2 severe weaknesses. Play Datko or call Cliffy. I would rather have one hole to plug instead of two holes at opposite ends of the dam.

    The sky is not falling, it is not time to panic. Getting Clay and Woodson back would help a lot. Woodson would have been valuable last night. He is pretty good against power running teams sliding through the traffic. Last night was the first game where I felt that the Packers really missed him.

    Tramon sets a bad tone for the Packers young DBs. I have never seen such a poor attempt at tackling in a game. In fact often there was not even an attempt. What the hell was he doing on the screen? He chose to get blocked instead of being aggressive.

    If Campen and MM can find a way to atleast solidify the OL this team will be fine. When the OL plays poorly or has holes it makes the entire team look bad.

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  5. tlvincent says:

    memo to Ted Thompson

    You need to spend possibly your first 3 draft picks on offensive lineman or this team will never win another title and your going to get your franchise QB killed.

    The beating that Rodgers has taken this year is clearly affecting his play. I saw him last night preemptively planning his escapes from pocket when he should have been looking downfield.(i don’t blame him) Its not just that GB’s blockers often get physically beaten even on plays where they don’t technically get beaten they get manhandled physically and pushed straight back into the QB’s face, there really is no pocket with this group.
    Even with Bulaga at RT this group was subpar now your weaker at 2 spots, LG and RT with him out. They can’t run block and they can’t pass protect against quality opponents.
    Same recipe for losses as always, poor blocking and no pass rush. Its hard for me to even evaluate Rodgers QB play or McCarthy’s gameplan because the man to man blocking was beyond terrible. Like a bucket with lots of holes, you plug one side and the next play the other side starts leaking. Even the coach didn’t trust them to protect Rodgers, you could tell by his frequent run calls on 2nd and 20 or 15.
    They really need some better horses on the Line, not that your draft round means everything but with Bulaga out GB has basically all middle to late round draft picks starting across the line and honestly its showing.

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    • Bubbaloo says:

      tvincent, while I can’t really argue with you I see a little different picture! Our O-line, since Tauscher lost his edge has been mediocre at best, and that’s a long time ago. Thompson is NOT the only GM to have Bulaga and Sherrod rated as high as they were, and while the jury has yet to be selected on Sherrod, they are presently deadlocked on Bulaga!
      I see the real problem as Campen! He was a middle of the road player and he coaches middle of the road football! Time to get a new O-Line coach.

      More importantly, and to revisit a subject I brought up here several weeks ago, why is it (other than 2010 playoffs) that McPuffy’s teams never seem to be “UP” for the BIG games? If you go back through his coaching history in GB you’ll find this very common. Why is that? As a Pack Fan living in the SF Niners area, this is hard to swallow. Get some attitude guys, play like you want to win!

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  6. James david Marsh says:

    GB should start Barclay at ORT, move Lang back to OLG, and start EDS at center. I think that I would keep Kuhn in the backfield for extra pass protection as well as screen plays. Next year, GB will have both tackles back for training camp. TT will draft a big body on the first round while looking at left tackles that can play guard and center in rounds two and three. GB cannot afford to take Minnesota, Detroit, or Chicago lightly as these division games are must wins.

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    • Turophile says:

      I disagree with tlvincent (we don’t need to spend the first three picks on the OL). We need help, but not quite that much.

      Much better is JDM’s comment. Little is said about Saturday, but I think you can stick a fork in him (he’s done). Many problemms are sorted if Sherrod comes back next year at full strength and can hold down LT.

      That frees Newhouse to battle for a guard spot (probably his best position) with Lang. EDS might make an ok center, but though he may start for us there for a year, I’d rather get spend a good pick to develop here. I especially like N.Carolina’s guard Jonathan Cooper to convert to center and take over from EDS, but I appreciate it takes some chutzpah to spend a round one pick on a guy you intend to convert from G to C. The upside is he would probably win a starting guard spot on the line if he didn’t make the transition to center.

      An OT in round 4 would be decent backup to what we already have. If we drafted 5 guys in the first 4 rounds at OC and RB first, then WR, NT, OT in some order, I’d be on board with the positions selected.

      Finally, for pity’s sake, change our O line coach. Campen has for years PROVED he cannot get it done, it is past time for a change.

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      • Bubbaloo says:

        I partially agree with both of you, I think you should let the rookies play, at least give them a taste. I also think Saturday has been a downgrade from Wells!
        There is no quick fix, and the problem as I see it is that TT always waits 1 year after losing someone to draft to replace them, always thinking the “next man up” method will work. It happened with Jenkins, Tauscher, and Clifton, and right now it ain’t working in all 3 cases! Tauscher and Clifton started as rookies, give these kids on the roster a shot, they can’t be any worse that what I saw last night!

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        • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

          Newhouse does NOT have the strength to play guard.

          If EDS can play center – next year we’re fine.

          RT – Bulaga
          RG – Sitton
          C – EDS
          LG – Lang
          LT – Newhouse/Sherrod

          With Datko and Van Routen getting more experience they’ll be fine.

          If EDS can’t handle Center – we need to draft one very high.

          But for this year… I hate to say it, but this might be a terminal weakness…

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  7. frozentundra91 says:

    -Dezman Moses was a bright spot imo. He is not the best at holding the edge, but he is better than Zombo and Walden. Moses also seems to always give 100 percent every play. There were several plays where Moses was the only one getting close to Eli.

    -Too many lame calls to go around lol but I think MM and TT deserve a combined “lame call ball” if such a thing exists. How many times have we heard that this is a passing league and running the ball is really a secondary thing. That type of arrogance results in games like last night. Every Packer fan has heard that the Chiefs game last year was the blueprint for how to beat the Packers; well it’s true. Teams only rush 3 or 4 guys, drop everyone else into coverage and they still manage to destroy our o-line.

    -Until the Packers shore up the offensive line and draft an explosive running back I don’t expect a lot to change. The way to beat cover-2 is to run the ball.
    Go Pack

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  8. madtowne says:

    Wow,what a debacle! That was difficult
    to watch…Sunday Night on National TV.
    Crushed again by the G-Men…that’s two
    in a row they’ve taken it to us! What
    have we learned? They are the better
    team. Simple as that. What do we do?
    Lick our wounds and move on. All is
    not lost!

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  9. Dan says:

    Is T Williams playing hurt? He’s playing tentative, they should demote Williams to nickel or dime when shields gets back and let the young guys play, at least they tackle and put effort into covering . I agree with trying to get Lang back to guard. With Saturdays weak ass in the middle, having weak ass EDS next to him is a disaster . Can Clifton be that much worse at RT? Maybe, although he has had a lot of time to rest and heal. Bring him in for a physical, if he passes it, give him 2-3 weeks to get in football shape. Then play him against the Bears and beyond . he should be good for 5-6 games to finish season. If not, find somebody else to play right tackle and move Lang to guard . this team has a shot for the Superbowl if they can get the Oline fixed

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  10. Oppy says:

    relatively early in the game, the Giants were already making sure Dezman Moses was being at least chipped by a RB if not all-out double teamed by a tackle and a TE.

    The Giants QUICKLY felt they needed to address Moses.

    Nice showing for the UDFA Rook.

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  11. Since '61 says:

    The Packers still control their own destiny. Let’s see how they respond to this loss. If they don’t improve, especially the O- line, then we will have plenty to criticize and I am sure plenty of answers. Let’s remember that this is one game. The Packers are 42 – 17 in the regular season since 2009 with a Super Bowl. By the way, that is MM, TT and Aaron Rodgers. I will take the last 4 seasons with yesterday’s loss over any period of time in the 70′s or 80′s. I started with the Pack in the 60′s but that’s not happening again. All in All we have it pretty good right now. Go Pack. Thanks,
    Since ’61

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  12. Wagszilla says:

    Williams looked like garbage in coverage too, not just tackling.

    Looked totally lost at times especially on cover combos with Hayward.

    Tramon has been pedestrian since Collins went down and there’s no more injury excuse.

    More Hayward and House, please.

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