Game Balls and Lame Calls: Packers 19, Ravens 17

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Packers running back Eddie Lacy enjoyed his first career 100-yard rushing day against the Baltimore Ravens.
Packers running back Eddie Lacy enjoyed his first career 100-yard rushing day against the Baltimore Ravens.

There was certainly no shortage of adversity in the Packers’ 19-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Coming into the game, the Packers knew they’d be without their top defensive player Clay Matthews, but they didn’t know they’d lose two of their top three receivers (James Jones and Randall Cobb) in the first half. Already challenged by one of the best defensive fronts in football, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers now faced the daunting task of scoring points with inexperienced Jarrett Boykin filing in for Jones and tight end Jermichael Finley filling Cobb’s shoes in the slot.

The offense was far from perfect on the afternoon, as the passing attack struggled to get going until a 64-yard bomb from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson broke the game wide open. If not for a newfound power running game, the shorthanded Packers would have had a very tough time squeaking out with a victory.

Through the first four games, the Packers’ ground game ranked No. 5 in the NFL. Now through five games, the Packers’ running game is one of the strengths of the team.

Eddie Lacy gashed the Ravens for 120 yards–one week after coming one yard shy of the century mark against the Detroit Lions. Lacy’s big day marks the third time in four weeks that the Packers have had a 100-yard rusher.

To go along with the team’s improved running game, Mason Crosby is getting back to his reliable ways after a horrid 2012 season and the defense is coming into its own under the guidance of Dom Capers. Three areas that were seen as glaring question marks coming into the season now look like strengths of the team.

Of course, not everything went smoothly for the Packers. Jerron McMillian was, again, victimized in coverage by the opposing quarterback, John Kuhn cost the Packers great field position by botching a fumble recovery on a blocked punt and, of course, the injury bug has sunk its teeth into the team once again.

Game Balls

Eddie Lacy

Leading up to the draft, I was convinced North Carolina running back Gio Bernard was the best player available at his position. In fact, I preferred Bernard and Johnathan Franklin ranked ahead of Lacy. Bernard has been great for the Cincinnati Bengals, and I still think he’s got the most star potential of any back from this year’s draft, but specifically for the Packers, it’s hard to imagine Bernard changing the Packers’ identity the way Lacy has. With Lacy, the Packers have a battering ram that defenses have to respect. They may still be a pass-happy offense under Mike McCarthy’s guidance, but Lacy gives this team a dimension it hasn’t had in some time. Lacy’s not just a product of Alabama’s star-studded offensive line; he’s the real deal.

A.J. Hawk

Who is this guy wearing No. 50 and what has he done with A.J. Hawk? Often labeled an average yet reliable, lunch pail-type player, Hawk looks like a different player so far this season. On Sunday, Hawk had 10 tackles (five of which were behind the line of scrimmage) and three sacks of Joe Flacco. He’s been around for eight years and has yet to live up to his draft position as the No. 5 overall pick, but Hawk was anything but average on Sunday. The guy was all over the field; he made plays in the backfield, broke up passes downfield and set the tone for the defense, as they were without Matthews and fellow inside linebacker Brad Jones. Best game of Hawk’s career? I think so.

Micah Hyde

At the beginning of the game, it looked like Sunday would be Davon House’s time to shine, as the third-year player broke up three Joe Flacco passes early in the first quarter. But as the game continued, House was pulled in favor of Hyde. Not only was Hyde effective on defense, recording seven tackles and a sack, but he was a factor on special teams as well. Hyde averaged 13.6 yards per punt return and set the Packers up with good field position on more than one occasion. With Cobb’s future in question due to a knee injury, Hyde will almost certainly assume the role as the Packers’ primary punt returner.

Dom Capers

The Anti-Capers crowd should tone it down for a while. Coming out of the bye week, the Packers have allowed just three first-half points in two games against the Lions and Ravens. In recent years, a Clay Matthews-less Packers defense would have struggled to muster up a mere glimpse of a pass rush, but on Sunday, the Packers threw the kitchen sink at Flacco and sacked him five times. Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith came into the game leading the AFC in receiving, but the Packers held him to just one catch and bottled up running back Ray Rice all afternoon. This was a statement game for the defense.

Lame Calls

Injuries to Cobb, Jones

The injuries didn’t look all that bad. That is, until Cobb was carted off the field only to return on crutches, and Jones hobbled to the locker room only to return with a brace on his leg. Ty Dunne, of JSOnline.com, posted after the game that the injuries may not be as severe as initially thought, but it’s still too early to tell definitively. Originally, it looked like a knee injury for Jones, but it’s since been classified as a shin injury. Cobb’s looked a little worse, but Jay Glazer reported Sunday evening that neither player was expected to miss the remainder of the season. On Monday, there will either be a collective sigh from Packer Nation or an emphatic “Why us?” upon hearing the diagnoses for both injuries.

Jerron McMillian

Morgan Burnett is (really) good, M.D. Jennings is coming into his own and Chris Banjo is becoming a special teams ace. But at what point do McMillian and Banjo switch roles, with Banjo becoming a bigger part of the defense? All season, McMillian has been victimized by opposing quarterbacks, as evidenced by Joe Flacco’s bomb to Tandon Doss on 4th and 21 late in the fourth quarter. The play was a fitting one-play sample for McMillian’s season thus far.

John Kuhn’s fumbled recovery

In Madden, a Phil Simms sound byte says that the general rule for loose fumbles is for little guys to “pick it up,” and fat guys to “fall on it.” Kuhn, 250 pounds, is a big ball of muscle, but in this situation, he should have just fallen on the football. It went from a great play, in which Ryan Taylor broke through the Ravens’ line to block Sam Koch’s punt, to a missed opportunity after Kuhn muffed the recovery and the Ravens retained possession. For once, the bellowing “Kuuuuhn” chants directed at the Packers fullback from Packers fans were undoubtedly replaced with “Boos.”

Jarrett Boykin (besides his 43-yard catch)

To say Boykin and Aaron Rodgers weren’t on the same page Sunday would be an understatement of epic proportions. He’d run an eight-yard hitch, while Rodgers threw a five-yard hitch. The disconnect was so clear that it seemed like Rodgers was being paid based on how many times he targeted Boykin … or Rodgers started Boykin in fantasy. Filling in for an injured James Jones, Boykin was targeted six times and caught just one pass on the afternoon. On his one catch, which came on a screen, Boykin raced 43 yards down the field and picked up a big first down. That was good. But if Jones and/or Cobb are out of the lineup, the team will be counting on Boykin to make plays, and he’ll have to be better  than he was Sunday.

Honorable Mentions

Past two first-round picks (Nick Perry and Datone Jones)

On the penultimate play of the first half, Perry sacked Flacco, forced the fumble and the ball was recovered by Jones, who was tackled just in time for Crosby to add another field goal before the break. For the Ravens, it was certainly some questionable clock management, as they hadn’t moved the ball but were still taking shots downfield in the closing seconds of the half. Perry was injured on the play but later returned, and the sack gave him his third in the past two weeks. The Packers have to be encouraged to see a player not named Clay Matthews get some consistent pressure on the quarterback, and it was Jones’ first big play of his NFL career.

Aaron Rodgers

The numbers weren’t good, and Rodgers was off for much of the afternoon. But with Jones and Cobb sidelined with injuries, the team was forced to play the final 30 minutes without 49.8 percent of their passing game’s production, putting even more pressure on the Packers’ quarterback. Rodgers took a chance by throwing a deep ball to Jordy Nelson in the third quarter, which was intercepted in the end zone by Jimmy Smith. But later, Rodgers took another shot downfield and delivered a dime to Nelson in stride for a 64-yard touchdown to give the Packers a 16-3 lead. And while it won’t count as a game-winning drive, the pressure was on the Packers offense to move the chains and run the clock out on their last possession. They did just that, thanks to Rodgers’ 52-yard completion to Jermichael Finley and an audible that led to Lacy’s game-clinching first down. It may not have been an Aaron Rodgers-type of good, but the result was a win. And that’s as good as it gets.

——————

Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

——————

  • http://allpackers.com nick perry

    McMillan is really having his issues. I really thought this guy would make that year one to year two leap, but he’s leaping backwards. As Marques said, House was pulled in favor of Hyde. Perhaps in dime McMillan should be pulled in favor of House Or Banjo at the very least.
    Tramon Williams made another another stupid penalty that cost the Packers. On 3rd and 7 the Packers held and Williams Hold or PI, (I forgot which) was so unnecessary.
    Eddie Lacy is a stud. That’s two weeks in a row against very good run defenses that he ran the ball well. The offensive line is opening up nice holes and Lacy is something Alex Green is not, decisive. He see’s the hole and cuts up into it and gains positive yardage. Both Lacy and the offensive line is only going to get better.
    The defense played awesome and the run defense has been great all year. Lattimore was a pleasant surprise yesterday.
    Here’s hoping Mason Crosby continues to kick the way he has. The one he missed yesterday the flags were blown to the right and he missed right by inches. All his kicks have been right down the center and he’s 2 for 2 on 50 yards and over. NICE!! Way to go Pack!!

    • somedude

      I’m not a Williams apologist but if he doesn’t hold there, it’s a 20+ yard pass play on an out and up.

      • Stroh

        Exactly what I saw too. I was clearly going to be a big play. I thought Tramon made a smart play by grabbing him. He got beat by the out and up, but at least he did’t allow the big play. There was quite a bit of green behind him for the receiver.

        • http://Allpackers.com Nick Perry

          Did you see he was 12 yards back at least on 3rd and 7 and left himself no choice but to foul? He charged the receiver so damn hard he had to foul. While I agree was a good foul to make but only because he screwed it up from get go

          • Stroh

            Doesn’t matter where he WAS. Simple fact is he got beat on the out and up. He bit, that’s a mistake, but letting him get past him for a HUGE play is an even worse mistake! Didn’t think of that did you?!

          • Stroh

            Jumping routes like that is how most big plays are made. Think Atlanta playoff game in ’10. If you jump and and are right its a TD. He started to jump the route, but they got the better of him so he did what he needed to do to prevent a big play.

      • http://Allpackers.com Nick Perry

        Well, I went back and looked at the play a few time. 3rd and 7 and Williams is 12 yards deep. He charged the receiver so hard he had to grab him. My point being, play up a title closer and maybe you’d actually be able to be in position where you don’t have to grab.

      • Bart Vanden Plas

        38 was slow all day. Looks like he really lost a step, sort of like 21 last year. I think he will be the next guy out when all the DBs are healthy.

        • http://Allpackers.com Nick Perry

          Your right about that Bart. I know about the shoulder, but isn’t it amazing how sometimes play falls off once they get paid. To keep Sam Shields, Nelson and some others, the Packers aren’t paying Williams millions next year. Especially with the depth the Packers have at corner. You can’t keep them all unfortunately.

  • packett

    Too bad the tight ends didn’t find themselves in the top half of your list. What kept Finley from turning in a Jimmy Graham type performance in the second half down two wide receivers? Anyone with record/rewind capability….could you please comment on what Baltimore did to deny Finley a big second half? Or, was this missed play calls, or was this inability on Finley to get open. I just expected this to turn into big opportunity for TEs.

    • Alex Parkhurst

      The Packers used the their tight ends to block after the injuries to Cobb and Jones. They used a two tight end set on about 15 to 20 plays in the second half.

      Finley did seal the game with that big run after the catch with a few minutes to go.

    • Savage57

      Q: What kept Finley from turning in a Jimmy Graham type performance.

      A: Absence of talent.

      Q: What Baltimore did to deny Finley a big second half?

      A: Nothing, he can take care of that all by himself.

      When are people going to let go of the hype from the 2009 playoff game against the Cardinals and realize that his game is nowhere close to all the white noise that’s been made of it.

      The most expensive TE in the league in terms of production delivered for $$ received.

      • packett

        actually, I would like something a bit more analytical and useful. This is just kind of ranting to feel better I guess.

        • Savage57

          Here ya go. Question is, now that you have something more ‘analytical and useful’, will it change your perception? Prolly not, because ownership creates affinity and defense in spite of facts to the contrary.

          Finley’s career average numbers don’t come anywhere close to rationalzing the compensation.

          Games per season – 12
          Rec per season – 35
          Yds per season – 455
          TD’s per season – 4

          The numbers don’t lie. At these numbers, at best he’s maybe a $3-4MM per year guy, and the trouble you have is Jordy, JJ and Randall are going to look at what Finley’s making and because of the disparity between production and compensation, ask the question, where’s mine? In a time when austerity is as important as athleticism, paying $8.25MM for potential and promise is a luxury the Packers can no longer afford.
          Here’s the further breakdown – He’s had six good games in his entire career with the Packers. If you count all of his 100 yard receiving games and multiple TD games as good games (we really don’t need to bring up blocking, do we?), it’s six – that’s it. Out of a possbile 80+ games, he’s had 6 good ones, or less than 5% of the total time he might have been available. And that warrants a contract in excess of $8MM per year because of…?

          100 Yard Games
          2008 – None
          2009 – Vikings 6/7 128 yds 1 TD
          Cards 6/9 159 yds 0 TD
          2010 – Bills 4/6 103 yds 0 TD
          Bears 9/9 115 yds 0 TD
          2011 – None
          2012 – None

          Multiple TD Games
          2008 – None
          2009 – Ravens 7/8 79 yds 2 TD
          2010 – None
          2011 – Bears 7/8 85 yds 3 TD
          2012 – None

          And just as an FYI, his pace in 2010, the first “YOTTO” when he got injured was 67 recs on 83 targets, 963 yards, and 3 TD’s. A decent year no doubt, had it happened – but it didn’t and I don’t think players get paid for “might have been’s”. Truth is, the guy is a decidedly average TE but thinks he deserves exceptional pay. I leave it up to y’all to reach your own conclusions, hopefully based on facts instead of hype and hope.

          • Savage57

            Oh, and his track for this year…

            4 catches per game…

            45 yards per game…

            .5 touchdowns per game…

            Extrapolted to the season?

            64 catches, 720 yards, 8 TD’s, 11.25 avg.

            Decent, pedestrian TE numbers, but NOOOOOOWHERE near being worth 8 million bucks.

          • Bart Vanden Plas

            If you just look at stats, you might come to the same conclusion as you did. However, look at what the opposing defenses do to defend 88. There are times he draws double and even triple coverage, giving someone else space to get open.

            88 is a threat that the other teams take seriously. I have yet to see an opponent leave him free to roam.

  • Batavia Greg

    For “lame calls” how about one for Ted Thompson who, after cutting Jeremy Ross and putting Robert Francois on IR, fills their roster spots with RB Michael Hill and CB James Nixon, leaving WR Charles Johnson ripe for plucking by Cleveland off of the practice squad. Now, depending upon the severity of the injuries to Cobb and Jones, TT might have to move Myles White from the PS to the active roster. TT gets a second “lame call” for not drafting a WR, like Kenny Stills in the 4th round, to be groomed to fill the vacancy left by Greg Jennings. Speaking of Kenny Stills . . . did you see the great TD catch he made last night against the Pats? As a rookie for the Saints, he’s already got 10 catches, averaging 19.8 yds. per catch. I always thought he would have been a great fit for the Pack, given his dad, who wore the green and gold for 5 seasons in the 1980’s.

    • James David

      TT drafted OT,OG/C, and RB in round four. Much higher priority. I am sure that MM and TT are looking at the receiver options right now,

      • Outis

        TT had already selected a RB, Lacy, in the 2nd. round. Besides, if you believe him, TT always says that he doesn’t base his draft on need but selects the “best player available.” If that’s so, why select a projected 6th rounder, Tretter, in the 4th? Sorry to disagree with you, but with the departures of Jennings and Driver, a quality WR was needed and several were available in the 4th round. Instead, TT picked 2 in the 7th. Where are they now?

        • Stroh

          More often than not Thompson moves into position so the best player available fits a need! Bet you were glad we had Franklin vs Cincy weren’t you? Can’t have it both ways!

          • Outis

            My reply was to Mr. James David who thought that selecting a RB and other positions in the 4th round was a higher need than a WR. My point was that the need for a RB was lessened by selecting Lacy in the 2nd round even if, arguably, Franklin was “the best player available at the time” when the Packers took him in the 4th. Personally, I would have selected one or the other, but not both, and use the other high draft pick, or the pick wasted on Tretter, for a top-notch WR.

            • Stroh

              I agreed w/ him. Even w/ taking Lacy…

              If we didn’t take Franklin, we have a very injury prone Starks, who BTW is injured again. Alex Green who never showed the ability to run in our scheme and never got any explosiveness back after his ACL. I would say RB was still a bigger need than WR!

              • Batavia Greg

                Franklin does have a problem holding onto the ball, doesn’t he? That was the “knock” on him at UCLA. Maybe that’s the reason why he was still on-the-board in the 4th round. As for his performance in the Cincy game, I suppose you were still “glad” to have him when Terence Newman returned his fumble 58 yds. for the game-winning touchdown (“Can’t have it both ways”). In contrast, the “knock” on Lacy is a concern about his football longevity, given his fused toe, as well as his relatively slow speed. That’s why he “slipped” to the Pack in the 2nd and both the Steelers and Broncos passed on him. It was risky using a high draft choice to select either one of them but to select both of them I personally wouldn’t have done. If the Pack took only Lacy, there were smaller backs, who can hang onto the ball, available in later rounds (e.g., Zach Stacy in the 5th) and, if vice versa, there were larger, faster backs available (e.g. UDFA Matthew Tucker). The Pack also had the option of re-signing Cedric Benson. So, the Pack could have still selected two RBs in the draft plus get a top-notch WR without wasting 2 7th round picks on guys who no longer with the team.

              • Stroh

                He has seemingly put the fumble issue behind him. As a Sr he had only one fumble, so I doubt that had much to do w/ him “falling”. Some considered him a 2nd rd pick, I didn’t think he was that high, would have guessed more in the 3rd, but either way in the 4th I liked the pick.

                And yeah, I was glad we had him even after he fumbled. While others were glossing over his fumble, I criticized him for it, just like I did the following week. It didn’t change the fact that he did a lot of good vs Cincy. I thought he needed to be sat, unfortunately due to Starks and Kuhn being out that wasn’t an option. Preferrably would have confined him to ST for a couple weeks, we just couldn’t do it due to a numbers/availability situation.

        • Outis

          Latest news is that Cobb will miss 6 to 8 weeks with a fractured fibula. I guess it was a mistake to go into the season with only 4 WRs on the active roster after all. Losing Charles Johnson only compounded it. Suggest signing Tavarres King off of Denver’s PS.

    • Dobber

      I think TT left his crystal ball at home that day…

      But I think we’ll see much more of Finley and maybe even Bostick out of the slot against Cleveland next week. Here come the 2 TE/2 WR sets!

      • Outis

        We are one injury away from a 3 TEs/1 WR set!

    • Outis

      I agree. It’s ridiculous to have 7 CBs but only 4 WRs on the active roster. Hindsight is always better than foresight, but there were many quality WRs available in this year’s draft, Stills included, that we didn’t get but who would look good in green and gold now.

      • aaronqb

        If the reason Nixon was promoted is because he has a special talent, then let’s move those out who aren’t performing at the position. Tramon Williams is rapidly becoming a liability in the defensive backfield. If he can’t perform and doesn’t tackle, let’s get him out and stay with the guys who can play.

      • jim

        the cornerback situation, i believe, will rectify itself this season. the packers are carrying that many cornerbacks because they have that many good cornerbacks. contracts are going to have to be negotiated to retain key players and many who were key at one time may be expendable now. i would question whether williams or finley is on the roster next year. williams is showing the same signs that woodson showed before he was released…. numerous holding issues. release of williams and finley could secure a lot of talent that is on the roster now but could go to other teams next year.

        • Savage57

          Eat $2MM to save $5MM. Based on the way TW’s played the last two years, it’s pay cut ala AJ Hawk or the door.

    • Outis

      Instead of Myles White, another option for TT would be to call up TE Jake Stoneburner from the practice squad. In 2012 at Ohio St., he was used as a tight end, wide receiver and lined up in the slot or as an H-back.

  • gamer

    I enjoyed your article, Marques. Nice job by the Packers to grind out a W! Injuries unfortunately do happen. However, I’m so glad Randall Cobb’s injury didn’t occur during a special teams return! Imagine all of the finger pointing from the arm chair gms and coaches, calling for the heads of TT & MM. The “I knew it would happen” responses would be overwhelming. Is his use as a return man ideal? NO. However, until a better solution is available, you go with your best option. Many return specialists have never suffered a significant injury with the increased exposure. “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!”

    • Marques Eversoll

      Thanks, Gamer!

    • Bart Vanden Plas

      That’s right, you play to win the game you are playing, not the game you wish you were playing or the game you have to play next week, or, well you get it.

  • Alex Parkhurst

    Boykin,

    BOYKIN

    Disagree here. Rodgers is sacked and fumbles at our own 10 yard line and Boykin raced back to recover the fumble. Announcers gave Boykin huge kudos on that one as being 100% heads up. Play of the game.

    Boykin and Rodgers are not on the same page as to timing, but some of those throws would not have been caught by Jerry Rice. Not totally Boykin’s fault.

    • Marques Eversoll

      That’s true. The fumble recovery was huge and his catch-and-run was impressive, but the disconnect was flat-out ugly in the first half. It’s not all on him, but I’d give the quarterback the benefit of the doubt over an unproven receiver when there’s a glaring timing issue.

      • Stroh

        When the WR runs an 8 yd out on 3rd and 8 and the QB throws short and makes the WR dive, is that on the WR?

        On a 10 yd slant when the WR is open and has separation and the QB throws high and ahead forcing the WR to leave his feet and stretch out completely to just get his hands on it Is that on the WR?

        In both cases I say no the issue was a poor throw by the QB. Rodgers is great but those were 2 of the throws that Boykin didn’t come up with. Put both on Rodgers where it belongs.

        • Bart Vanden Plas

          I saw exactly the same things, especially on the 3rd and 8. The receiver was where he needed to be, was open, and the ball was somewhere else.

  • Savage57

    Kuhn didn’t need to do anything on that play other than watch the ball come to a stop. Brainlock play by him, but he gets a pass for so many other heads-up plays he’s made in the past.

    Micah Hyde is the Swiss Army Knife for the Packers. He needs to do two things: Teach Tramon Williams that grabbing at the jersey at shoulder level isn’t how to tackle, and, take some reps with the offense at WR. Kid is just a football player.

    AJ Hawk should request that all the people that have dogged him so relentlessly his entire career should get in line to kiss his @$$ today.

    All in a good game, but after seeing the Ravens come back after Capers once again went to the prevent defense, I’m not sure he deserves more than 1/2 a game ball.

    • BradHTX

      “AJ Hawk should request that all the people that have dogged him so relentlessly his entire career should get in line to kiss his @$$ today.”

      I totally agree, Savage57 (and very well put, btw!). I have long thought that Hawk’s lack of flashy production was more a result of the demands of his position than lack of talent. Today, he showed what he is really capable of, and I hope it continues.

      Regarding the excellent Perry/Jones FF and return, one thing that I think isn’t being mentioned is that this play almost wound up having no effect. Seems to me that Jones was so intent on trying to return it for a TD that he wasn’t paying attention to the clock.

      If the refs hadn’t gifted 2 seconds back to the Pack to allow a FG attempt after the tackle, that beautiful play would have been all for nothing because Jones didn’t just run out of bounds to stop the clock when they were already in FG range and time was expiring. Another case, like Kuhn’s muffing the blocked punt, of players trying to make a splash play when just taking what the other team gave you would have been smarter.

      Hmm, not unlike our favorite “go for a 40yd bomb on 3rd and 1″ play…

      • Abe Frohman

        The clock is going to stop on a change of possession. There was no need to get out of bounds – just either in the end zone or tackled with time on the clock.

        • BradHTX

          OK, I was ignorant on that point — thanks Abe (how’s that Chicago sausage these days?). Not the first time nor will it be the last.

          My larger point though (and this is partially in reply to Jim below as well), is that the Packers have drifted farther and farther away from the WCO philosophy of playing the high-percentage passing game. And that’s not necessarily wrong, since they have Aaron Rodgers playing QB, not, say, Alex Smith (thanks be to God). It worked in the magical year of 2011 when it seemed we could pass on anyone at will, until the Chiefs and Giants showed the world how to stop the Packers’ offense. Yet from where I’m sitting, AR and MM seem to still be trying to force the offense to work like in 2011 when it’s 2013.

          I know it’s easy to be an armchair QB/coach, and I don’t claim to be a genius. I’ve been encouraged to see the Packers start ramming the ball down opponents gullets for several games in a row now. I would just like to see more “take what the defense is giving you” and less trying force the offense to work when it’s clearly not.

          • Stroh

            Running IS taking what the D gives you. Just another form of it. If a team is playing the safeties deep and have only 6 in the box, running the ball is taking what the D gives you. When they start playing single high safeties and the run game is slowing the drop of the LB’s and Safeties then using play action to get over the top is taking what the D is giving you.

      • jim

        if i recall correctly, starr was an expert at the ‘go for a bomb on 3rd and 1′. who expected that? total blow-out if it is incomplete. game changing if completed.

        • Bart Vanden Plas

          Actually, back in the day, it was 2nd and short where they threw the bomb. Totally unexpected with that line and those backs. Made for some big plays and then come back and run it for the first on 3rd down.

          • Stroh

            They did it plenty on 3rd and short too.

  • NYPACKER

    McMillan just makes too many mental mistakes to be on the field. Lacy will keep having 100 yard games if defenses keep only 6 defenders in the box. Again we roll up over 400 yards of offense but only 1 TD. Defensive coordinators are going to keep playing us this way (giving up 5-10 yard runs) until we start scoring TD’s in the red zone. They are doing everything they can to limit the big pass plays….we got one yesterday & that was the difference in the game.

    • Dobber

      If Jones and Cobb miss significant time Lacy will find the yards harder to come by…2 TE sets (a la Patriots) may make a difference there.

      Cleveland will challenge the ability of the Packers to run the ball next week.

      • Bart Vanden Plas

        Like the beefy Lions and Ravens and Bengals stopped us from running the last few weeks? Really, the Browns are better at stopping the run? How did the Lions put up 31 (it was 31 wasn’t it?) on them at home if they are so tough?

  • Archie

    Sorry, but defense lost 4th Q 14-3. Similar to crash and burn in Cincy (where secondary also gave up two quick 4Q TD passes) except this time, instead of a Franklin fumble, Eddie Lacy chewed up clock in final 10 minutes by grinding out first downs. Finley’s big play was of course a big assist as well.

    Defense was there in first 3Qs but it was the offense that saved the victory in the end.

    Did I mention Joe Flacco sucks?

    Also, non-kudos to TT for cutting WR Doss. He stood out yesterday. Would look good in green and gold right now.

    • Chad Lundberg

      In case you are wondering why you have so many thumbs down, it’s because you don’t know that that is how 4th quarters typically go for just about every team. Once you have at least a two possession lead with only 15 minutes or so left on the clock, you now only have one objective left: to run the clock out! Not score points, not to make big plays or make big stops. Just run the clock out.

      This usually results with the offense just running the ball, and the defense playing a “bend but don’t break” style of play. The result is the opposing team will always catch up, sometimes by a lot, but still very rarely win.

  • Bedrock

    Kuhn should not have been anywhere near that ball. It was blocked/touched behind the LOS, and went beyond the LOS, making it like a terrible punt. Touching it made it live. Forget his inability to fall on it. It was pure stupidity to be even near it.

    • aaronqb

      Kuhn needs to go now. He is dog slow, fumbles, and now makes bonehead plays on special teams. Not only that but he tries to fake out / leap over a 180 lb defensive back trying to make a first down.

      Please please please release Kuhn.

    • funcrusher

      John “Leon Lett it be” Kuhn needs to go. Aside from the blocked punt fumble he caused, his only run of the day was terrible. He hit the line and fell right on his face. Deciding to try to out finesse a db instead of running him over to get a first down on his only reception was terrible. His pass blocking is fine but Lacy can do it just as well. Kuhn just doesn’t bring anything to the table anymore. Time to go, buddy. The annoying Kuhn chants and “blue collar player” descriptions won’t be missed.

      • Bedrock

        I don’t agree that Lacy is just as good in pass blocking. Lacy is willing, but he occasionally whiffs. Can’t have that when protecting the franchise.

  • FireMMNow

    Game ball to MM. With half of his offense he helped put together long drives that milked the clock. He stuck with lacy and the run game which is something he has lost patience with in the past. Plays seemed to be coming in a little slow. But all in all a good grind it out second half playsheet.

    • Archie

      Couldn’t disagree more. Have you noticed Pack is about 1 for 20 in the red zone this year. Why would that be when we supposedly have the best QB on the planet, not to mention 3 great WRs, a great TE and three RBs that run for over 100 yds in last 3 games? I’ll tell you why. Horrendous play calling.

  • FireMMNow

    In regards to tramon it was an all out blitz. He assumed we were going to get there and thought he was jumping a hot route. Not the worst play. Those are the chances DBS need to take at times. Getting his ass stiff armed to the ground by maroon brown was much worse.

    • Archie

      “Getting his ass stiff armed to the ground by maroon brown was much worse.”

      Except he didn’t even go to the ground, he just gave up the fight and adjusted his chin strap. TW is yesterday’s news and needs to be no more than a dime back at this point in his career IF he agrees to a major pay cut. Otherwise, get rid of him and give his money to Shields although his failure to come close to covering Jacoby Green in end zone was a joke too.

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    Great game! The pack got a big win against a tough team, short-handed and on the road. Kudos to those stepping in big time to plug the holes. Moving forward it will be interesting to see the game plan changes to compensate for WR injuries. MM & crew have a LOT of work ahead. Excited to see more from Bostick, Taylor, White (if he’s next up) and Quarless. Don’t count out Boykin either, he’s new & made a couple of big plays.

  • Big T

    Rodgers needs a chiropractic adjustment from his dad, he has that deer in the headlight (Brett Farve)look going on. He missed a ton of passes the last couple of weeks. A.J. Hawk played an amazing game. Lacy is a beast. O-line needs to grow a set. D-line looking fine. Clay should stick his thumb up TT’s butt, it will heal faster…

  • Kevin

    I say we should incorporate Sam Shields in the passing game like the Cardinals do with Patrick Peterson. If for nothing else, just a threat that can run straight up the field. The guy has top 10 league speed, why not put it to use?

  • brian

    Game ball to Ted Thompson.

    Minnesota Vikings linebacker Desmond Bishop tore the ACL in his right knee Sunday and will need season-ending surgery, coach Leslie Frazier said Monday

    • Outis

      You sound almost elated at Bishop’s misfortune. I suppose you think that TT was counting on it when he cut Bishop. Let’s see, will you take the “game ball” back from him when Eddie Lacy’s fused toe gives out?

      • Stroh

        Well actually he probably was. Guys that completely tear the hamstring like Bishop did almost always suffer another devastating injury the following year and even if they don’t, they never recover enough to be impact players again!

    • Batavia Greg

      Wow, Brian, you’re giving a “game ball” to Ted Thompson because Desmond Bishop tore his ACL and will need season-ending surgery? That’s sick.

    • http://allgbp.com Thegreatreynoldo

      IDk know what outis meant, but I agree with the gist. TT assessed Bishop’s injury,and realized that Bishop likely would not be the same player. It seems TT felt that Jones, Hawk, Lattimore and Francois were all better that Bishop was likely to be. Bishop was the back-up LB on a bad Vikings team. The injury just means that TT’s decision to release Bishop can be graded. It seems that TT got it right. At least TT released Bishop right away so he could latch onto another team.

      • Batavia Greg

        I agree with Outis. If you are going to give TT a “game ball” for releasing Bishop before he was reinjured, then you should be prepared to take it away from him when Lacy’s career is ended due to reinjuring his fused toe. That’s the risk TT knowingly took when he drafted Lacy. Other teams, such as the Steelers and Broncos, wouldn’t draft him because of it. As Stroh said elsewhere in this post, “Can’t have it both ways.”

  • Martha Hess

    Hello Everyone from Green Bay:

    1. Oh My God! What a dog-fight; what a game!

    2. Let us just sit in the glow of Victory Monday and be reminded there is no way we should of won-at least after Mr. Jones and Mr. Cobb got hurt-did I mention our other talented son Clay?

    3. Coach McCarthy & Coach Capers cleaned up a terrible mess that fate-cruel and arbitrary-dealt us. As they cleaned up the mess let us, as true Packer fans-argue about the color of the bucket.

    4. Warmest regards