Bills 21, Packers 13: Game Balls and Lame Calls

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Game Balls

CB Tramon Williams

His interceptions kept the Packers in the game despite the offense continuing to self destruct. Williams played hard all game, as did the defense on the whole, and he nearly saved the day after he forced a fumble in the fourth quarter.

The Bills recovered that fumble, further proving it just wasn’t the Packers’ day. The defense was gassed. It is hard to fault them for the the loss.

RB Eddie Lacy

Aaron Rodgers wasn’t hurt in this game but given the offense’s performance, it pretty much felt like last season when Rodgers was out with a broken collarbone.

That meant a heavy dose of Lacy and the second year running back delivered. 15 carries. 97 yards and a touchdown against the fifth-best defense is not a bad day’s work.

Lacy is rolling now and should the Packers make the playoffs (which is suddenly no lock), he will be key to any playoff push.

Lame Calls

QB Aaron Rodgers

Not a good time for a career-worst performance.

Rodgers was not sharp all day 15-42 for 185 yards and two interceptions? Yikes.

Not only did this likely cost the Packers home field, but Rodgers’ MVP chances took a hit as wel especially with Tom Brady lighting up the Dolphins.

Rodgers will be back. All this game showed is that he’s human after all and he even has the occasional bad day at the office.

Wide Receivers

Rodgers also wasn’t helped at all by drops by all of his receivers.

Jordy Nelson’s cost them a big play. Jarrett Boykin (who needs to stay on special teams) caused an interception. Randall Cobb likely lost a touchdown. Any of these go the other direction and the Packers may have been able to steal a win.

Shawn Slocum

Fans calling for Dom Capers’ head are directing their ire at the wrong coach. Green Bay’s special teams have been atrocious lately and without that long return, again the Packers may have been able to steal a win.

Slocum needs to go at the end of the season. The special teams have been stuck in neutral far too long, especially with all the athletic talent on the roster.

FOX

The only group looking more unprepared than the Packers’ offense was the crew in the broadcast booth.

Bryan Beluga? He’s a big guy but he’s no whale.

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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.

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  • Larry Whitman

    Un(?)fortunately, I didn’t see any of the game. Two questions and one observation…

    First, did Fuzzy Thurston’s death have an affect on the team? I read something last night that seemed to indicate AR was affected. It sounds like the whole offense was flat.

    Second, was MM really as upset and vocal as reports say he was? If so, he may need to do that a little more frequently. It sounds as if he needs to do a Lombardi-style a$$ chewing.

    My one observation is after Lacy was so productive running in the first quarter, MM seemed to abandon that which was successful much too soon…as he has in the past. Is this accurate?

    • TedTomsin

      Hi Larry, I was the originator of the Fuzzy Thurston theory as to why Rodger’s played so bad but things have changed since that original theory. Big T broke the story here first and has mentioned it today and I believe his bad play was a result of his girlfriend talking publicly about their sex life. When I heard about it late last night and now Big T bringing it up today that makes the most sense. I would be pissed too if I was Rodgers and yes, my play would be affected by those comments. I’ll have to find what she said. Here it is.

      http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/olivia-munn-dishes-private-life-aaron-rodgers/story?id=27558182

      • Woody Miller

        You came up with the Fuzzy theory? LOL

        • TedTomsin

          Yes I did Woody. Imagine if you came up with it. It would be the Fuzzy Woody Theory.

          • Woody Miller

            lol…you came up with the Fuzzy theory of why the Packers played lousy? LOL Did many of these players know Fuzzy personally? You mean it had nothing to do with how the Bills played? ROTFLMAO

            • TedTomsin

              All the players knew Fuzzy. He would visit the place from time to time from what I heard. He was like a grandfather to a lot of the white players and like an nice old neighbor to the black players. Rodgers has connections with Bart Starr who also is connected with Fuzzy. This what is referred to as “The Packer Family”. You being a Bills fan wouldn’t understand Woody.

              The entire team took the loss hard especially Rodgers who was also dealing with his girlfriend spewing private information to the general public about their sex life. Rodgers was dealing with two crises in the game. It explains a lot. No, the Buffalo defense had nothing to do with it sorry.

              • Woody Miller

                Just because you met someone doesnt mean you have a relationship with them. Sure, Bart Starr & Aaron Rodgers could be friends, but I dont think the WHOLE team had relationship with Fuzzy. Be real.

  • Razer

    Couldn’t watch this game after the half – very disappointing. We had our chances to win. Eddie Lacy was finding holes and his stride but that hand wasn’t played very effectively. I wouldn’t mind this as much if we had a Calvin Johnson WR who can dominate the coverage. I think that ‘finesse’ fits this offense and that is fine early in the season season but it doesn’t fly against physical defenses

    I don’t doubt that we will make the playoffs but I can’t see anyone making it past the Seahawks. At this point, I am not sure that we will be able to make it past Ndamukong Suh.

  • Savage57

    Lame Call adds: anyone who had a pass thrown to them.

    I haven’t seen hands that bad since knitting classes at The Parkinson’s Institute.

    • Woody Miller

      Youre a jerk.

      • Savage57

        I may be a jerk, but spelling still confounds you.

        Lighten up, Francis.

        • Woody Miller

          Spelling? You mean because of the “youre” vs “you’re”? Thats not spelling Einstein. That’s PUNCTUATIONS which is part of GRAMMAR, NOT spelling!
          Its a wonder why nobody likes you.

        • Woody Miller

          Spelling is not grammar nor is it punctuation’s. Everything I spelled was correct.

  • David

    Lame Call – Rogers/McCarthy for taking time outs because the play clock is running out. No one mentioned this but Buffalo got the ball back with 1:48 or so to go in the first half at their own 2 yard line. Packers only had one time out left so Buffalo was able to run out the clock and end the half. This happens every game in both halves. They do not value, it seems, the time outs as the gold that they are. I say unless it is a 3rd or 4th and one or goal DO NOT call a time out just take the penalty.

    • Razer

      The inability to snap the ball twice before the play-clock ran down is when I moved on to other things yesterday. These two incidents before the half confirmed that Rodgers was playing like crap. Totally inexcusable.

      • dobber

        Playing like crap, or that the Buffalo D was disguising its looks well enough that Rodgers was having a hard time making his adjustments?

        • Razer

          The Buffalo ‘D’ deserves credit for a good game plan and solid execution. They knew that playing the pass was job one. Unfortunately, McCarthy and Rodgers couldn’t figure this out. Standing at the line of scrimmage and letting the clock run-out didn’t seem to be a good strategy.

          • Woody Miller

            Strategy? Rodgers is trying to recognize the defense they are playing. Reading if they are bluffing, what coverage, who’s covering who, etc. Dont you know anything about football? Guess not.

      • Woody Miller

        Fair weathered fan you are, huh?

  • David

    How is anyone, especially the Packers going to beat Seattle in Seattle? They unlike the Packers, can actually tackle the ball carrier!

    Marpag? Since61? Mr. Bill from New Jersey who does not answer phone calls?

    • dobber

      I’d prefer to not worry about Seattle until or if Seattle is the next game up.

  • SchenySchen

    For those siting the need to run more often, Rodgers can make the call at the line on most plays. I read that the Bills were putting their safeties in the box and then running them back at the snap. Shame on us for not figuring that out. By all accounts, on numerous levels, our QB played his worst game ever. The receivers deservedly received an F grade as well. — tackling was poor but the D held up its end of the bargain, giving up 12 pts. As with victories, the key is not to over-analyze this defeat. — Perhaps we got the clunker out of the way, perhaps not. Need to drill Tampa, if possible, and then it’s the game of the season with the division on the line against the Lions. Can’t ask for better drama than that. GoPack!

  • Big T

    Rodgers girlfriend had to go spouting off about their sex life. Total jinx… Rodgers was drained, she took all of his man juice and it showed on the field. I know it has to be so very tempting, but damn it Rodgers resist the temptation. Play your game and then afterward take care of your girly friend…

    • TedTomsin

      Big T, thank you for bringing that up. I didn’t hear it myself but my brother told me about it just last night. He said she was spouting off about their sex life. Suddenly it all made sense.

      We all know Rodgers is a very private person. What this girlfriend of Rodgers did and said is probably the no. 1 reason Rodgers had his worst effin game of his career. It was the last thing this guy needed and it no doubt bothered him mentally.

      I knew Rodgers’ play had to be because something was going on psychological and you hit on it Big T. It was just so bad and so out of character for him almost throwing a total of 7 int’s it just didn’t make sense. My original diagnosis was the Fuzzy Thurston passing but when I heard what his girlfriend said about their sex life from you Big T that is no doubt the reason.

      I just hope we don’t have another Roy Hobbs type situation going on where Rodgers play is affected by the woman he’s dating. I hope this is a one time thing and the woman shuts her mouth. Some of these women of star athletes really piss me off. Their only role is to look good and provide comfort support after a game, not to talk about their sex life to the public. Jeez!! Rodgers had to be effin steamed!!

      • WKUPackFan

        These have to be the two most absurd comments I have ever seen. I feel as though Big T was joking, although it’s hard to tell sometimes. If you really think that subject has any effect AR I’ve got some Wisconsin ocean front property for you.

        • Big T

          Can you go snowmobiling on it?

          • TedTomsin

            lol…

        • TedTomsin

          WKUP, here’s the link and no Big T wasn’t joking. He was serious. I didn’t hear about it either until I looked it up. It’s true.

          http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/olivia-munn-dishes-private-life-aaron-rodgers/story?id=27558182

          I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want my girlfriend or wife talking publicly about our sex life. Good Lord!! Rodger’s needs to dump her ass and find someone else who will look good 24/7 and shut her mouth for the sake of the team.
          If we lose home field advantage you can blame it all on Rodger’s squeeze in my professional opinion. Ok, half on her and half on Slocum.

    • Razer

      Yeah, she needs to say that’s personal and shutdown the intrusion.

  • Razer

    Thank you Kris for pointing out the TV commercial fails. I guess that beggars can’t be choosers but these networks are making the games all but unwatchable. No doubt the NFL is riding the wave of popularity but the product is suffering with the chopped-up broadcast. I am now catching the games in between other things.

  • Since ’61

    I think that a game ball should go to the OL again. They played great again, against what was supposedly a very dynamic pass rush. I don’t think that Rodgers was sacked all day until the Safety at the end. Also, good blocking for Lacy. That’s what makes this loss so frustrating, it’s that Rodgers and the WRs (the strenghts of this team) did not play well at all. I think that Rodgers was audible out of some run at the LOS when he saw 6 or more in the box and then the Bills backed out. Pack needed to stay with the run yesterday. In any case, we are the #6 seed and unless we go 10-6, which would mean losing to Tampa, we should get in the playoffs with the 6 seed as we hold tie-breakers over Philly (11-5 at best) and Dallas. If we get to 12-4 we can be the #2 seed with a bye and if by some miracle both AZ and Seattle finish 11-5 we can still be the #1 (unlikely scenario). For now I will settle for beating Tampa and for seeing the real A. Rodgers return to the Packers. Thanks, Since ’61

    • dobber

      People point to this game as a crippling loss for the Packers playoff standing, but we can’t lose sight on the fact that the Packers still control their own destiny. Put this one behind you and just win baby.

      In retrospect, the real crippling loss was the week 8 loss to New Orleans or even week 3 to Detroit. Those in-conference losses have more to do with hampering the Packers playoff standing than a week 15 loss to a decent AFC team on the road. We’re just focusing on this one because it’s this week. Those other two have the potential to be the killers.

      • WKUPackFan

        New Orleans was the real bad loss, only time the Saints D has looked like a professional unit this year. However, as you said the Pack is in a great position. It was always going to come down to the last game for the division title anyway.

      • Since ’61

        Dopper – I Agree. If the Packers have to lose it’s better that they lose their AFC games and win their NFC games. The conference losses are always a concern when you get to this time of year and tiebreakers become a factor. Pack needs to take of business and get to 11-5 with a win in Tampa. 11 wins will qualify us for the playoffs as we hold the tiebreaker over Philly. Plus we will be in position to win our division and the #2 seed. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    • Tundraboy

      From your lips to God’s ear. I have had an eery feeling all year about the Buffalo and Tampa games. So with the clunker out of the way I hope they destroy TB for a full 60 minutes, After that I’m content to see how things play out but that is a must if this teams expects big things this year.

      • Since ’61

        Agreed! Since ’61

    • croatpackfan

      I can not agree more with you and dobber. I think that we have to look out of the box. All 4 loses came when our O played bad. Packers fan are/was so focused on Packers D, which did not lost any game for Packers. They played some quarters of Packers game bad, but all 4 games were lost on O. Add to that we can say that against Detroit & against Bills D kept Packers in game for winning…

      • Since ’61

        Croat – I wouldn’t say that the offense lost all 4 games. In Seattle we were outplayed physically in all phases of the game. Sometimes you just get beat and that was the case in Seattle. Against Detroit our OL was outplayed although our D did play very well. Remember Bulaga was still hurt then and the OL was not settled. Against the Saints our defense did not make a stop for the entire game and gave up 44 points, can’t blame the offense for that. Against the Bills our D played very well and our OL played great. This is most important going forward because this is the foundation for winning. Our skill players (QB and WRs) hurt us against the Bills. I doubt that will happen again. We need our OL to continue as they have been, defense to play well and our skill players come back to normal and we’ll be OK. The Packers have 2 peaks this season, 4 game and 5 game winning streak, both ended with bad losses. Time for 3rd peak and a 5 game winning streak beginning in Tampa. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

        • croatpackfan

          OK, I learned not to oppose you much. Because you have always good arguments for your opinion. Said that, I may rephrase my claim. On each Packer loss, no matter how defense played, offensive part of the team were under performing (some of them to most of them). That does not mean that we can excuse D for bad playing, just want to point out that Packers wins are more on O than on D. Because, when our O play bad game our D can hold the ground 80% of the game… Same with other teams… I do not think that even Seahawks D can play good to excellent 40 minutes of the game…

          • Since ’61

            Croat – you are correct the offense did not play well in any of the 4 losses. I see one of the main reasons for this is that we lose the balance in our offense when we get behind in a game. We move away from the run game too quickly and become one dimensional. Another problem is the lack of a good TE as previously mentioned. Also we need to use our RBs as receivers rather than check downs. That will create more one on ones in the opponents secondary. If Rodgers has a fault it’s that he depends too much on Cobb in key situations. Defense still has room to improve tackling. On to Tampa. Thanks, Since ’61

  • packett

    Masthay; lame ball. Only one punt was worth a pro day, and that happened to get a great roll.
    Lame ball to the whole tight end group. Do we still have any on the 53 squad? I hope not after Monday morning.
    Lame ball to Julius Peppers. Where was he?
    Offensive line…Hmm did good protection but some bogus holding calls were costly.
    All kinds of bad luck…., at almost all ‘situations’, GB got screwed….ya know…tip balls turned into INTs. Big holding calls on big runs, a fumble and can’t recover, injured Bulaga immediately turns into a safety…oh the list of misfortunes and couldn’t even get a penalty when Buffalo hits our receiver 3 yards out of bounds. Buffalo tips a ball and bounces harmlessly in the grass…ugh.

  • Justin Michael

    Lame call for not sticking with the run game. It felt like when the offense was on the field in the second half they were playing like they were down by 20 with all the passing. Could have stayed patient with Lacy and Starks and utilize some screens. Another massive Lame call to Special Teams once again. Ridiculous there was ANOTHER blocked FG. The punt return only felt like a matter of time. It finally ended up happening that poor special teams ended up being a big factor in the result on the scoreboard.

  • WKUPackFan

    WR lame call should go solely to Boykin. That catch has to be made. Jordy and Cobb get passes for an occasional drop, even in the worst circumstances.

    With respect to AR, passes are going to look late when the receivers are getting mugged all over the field.

  • marpag

    Pretty much spot on with this one, Kris. Nice work.

  • Thegreatreynoldo

    As Packett wrote, the TEs have been bad all year. I wrote before this game that we needed 6 receptions from the TEs; instead, we got 1 reception on 6 targets for 6 yards. We also need consistency from a WR not named Nelson/Cobb. Instead, we got 1 reception on 5 targets for 7 yards from Adams/Boykin. Adams as a rookie is going to have ups and downs. The disappointments have been Boykin (who has produced in the NFL) and Bostick (who MM called out best blocking TE and who has good speed as well).

  • shavager

    This was a C-H-O-K-E from an MVP who’s been reading too many headlines lately from his coach–who’s overrated since his lackadaisical coaching style does not demand excellence on behalf of his team and it shows too many times in important games. Too many mental mistakes, penalties, poor plays–that’s ALL ON McCarthy, you wouldn’t see Bill Belichik, Bill Cowher, a Mike Holmgren, Tom Coughlin or a Lombardi standing silently with an idiotic look on his face–you’d see ANGER at his team/players for their lack of focus and performance. What the Packers did on Sunday was kiss the home field throughout playoffs goodbye and ensure they are DONE when and IF they make it to Seattle.

    • croatpackfan

      But, after all, thank God. Now you have another reason to hate somebody. I have to admit I never saw Bill Belichick yelling on his players, doesn’t matter what they did. Also, game is not the place nor time for coaching players. But, forget this remarks. Go, light the candle to someone who gives you opportunity to spit on someone and to spread your hate… This is obviously something to live for…

    • Since ’61

      RELAX. Thanks, Since ’61