Packers vs. Bengals – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: Cin 34 GB 30 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Jeremy Ross Muff - Packers vs. Bengals
Oh, Jeremy…

Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals:  2013 Game 3

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.



For the second straight week, the Packers are facing an opponent coming off a Monday Night game. Always an advantage to some degree.

Two Bengals cornerbacks are out today, though neither are major contributors. Still, Aaron Rodgers is presently wiping the saliva off his chin… Pacman Jones, are you ready?

Today’s captains for the Packers: – WR Jordy Nelson (offense), CB Sam Shields (defense) and TE Ryan Taylor(special teams).


Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
24 CB Jarrett Bush
27 RB Eddie Lacy
29 CB Casey Hayward
30 FB John Kuhn
42 S Morgan Burnett
65 G Lane Taylor
93 DE Josh Boyd

43 M.D. Jennings & 22 Jerron McMillian will start at safety for the Packers. 44 James Starks will start at RB for 27 Eddie Lacy. In place of 30 John Kuhn, either 89 James Jones is expected to start as a 3rd WR or 81 Andrew Quarless is expected to start as a 2nd TE.

Cincinnati Bengals
21 CB Brandon Ghee
27 CB Dre Kirkpatrick
33 RB Rex Burkhead
67 G Mike Pollak
73 T Anthony Collins
88 WR Ryan Whalen
99 DE Margus Hunt


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Tough stretch: Definitley. You’re going to find out what kind of team you have early on.

Progress in week 2: Main thing was the start of the game, how we came out and played from the first snap.

Starks as starter:  James has played good football for us in the past. He’s been fighting through the competition at running back and has  done well.

Lacy/Kuhn: Both will not be available today.

Diff. protection schemes on 3rd down: Well, we’re going to play with John Starks and Johnathan Franklin.

Bengals: Very good at creating matchups they like. Frankly what they try to do is stress the middle of your pass defense and create the opportunities for AJ Green outside.

Improvement on defense: Absolutely. Washington didn’t convert a third down until the third quarter.  Pass defense when you HAVE to stop them, that’s something we have to do a better job of.

Trenches: Very talented on both sides of the ball upfront. They go 7-8 deep on the defensive line.  Offensive line are big. They’ve gone more to pattern schemes.

7-UP scheme: Anytime they line seven defenders on the line of scrimmage in a passing situation or a one back situation, you have immediate threats to every game.

Keys to game: Offensively, running attempts, breaking tackles. Defensively, stop the run, pass defense in the middle, get the QB off his spot.

AJ Green: Very gifted, can do it on short, intermediate and long range routes.



Packers vs. Bengals – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and defer.

Tim Masthay – what a find…

Packers start in nickel with Raji and Pickett as the DL.

They stay in nickel the whole series as the Bengals march down the field and score.

Hell of an effort from Gio Bernard on the TD.  He’s got that DESIRE for the goal line.

Jeremy Ross…Muff. Bengals on 2 yard line. Wonderful. As if the muff wasn’t bad enough, he was first to the ball to recover but didn’t get that done either.

Super smart play by Rodgers to rush up and get a play off after Nelson’s questionable catch.

Finley knocked loopy. Everyone calling for a penalty. personally, I don’t see an issue with a clean hard hit, but technically, under the “defenseless receiver” rules I guess it may be.

14-0, Packers offense goes three and out. Is this where MM panics and abandons the run?

Pressure on Dalton responsible for Sam Shields INT.

After INT, Rodgers way off on a very short attempt to Quarless and a sideline attempt to Cobb.  Wasn’t the deep sideline route a point of emphasis for him this year?

Score at end of 1st quarter:  Cin 14 GB 0

Have noticed the #Packers trying to pull the ball out a lot this game. Finally worked.

Michael Johnson beating up David Bakhtiari. He has the strength that will give DBak trouble. My criticism of him coming out of college – could have used a year in the weight room.

So now Clay Matthews proving he can, indeed, fly.

If the Packers can continue to put pressure on Dalton, this game will turn out just fine.

Rodgers is pissed. that usually means good things are coming…

Rodgers and McCarthy actually exchanging heated words. Rodgers want to go for thye td on fourth and goal from the one. I say you take the points trying to pull yourself out of a hole.

Packers offense drives down the field but once again is held to 3 points in the red zone. Have to give credit to Cinci defense. They play HARD.

The Bengals should be thrilled to only be losing by two despite four turnovers in the half.

Score at end of 1st half:  GB 16 Cin 14 


Packers vs. Bengals – First Impressions – Second Half:

James Starks with a knee injury – what else can go wrong? Only on healthy running back left – Johnathan Franklin.

Cinci DBs have been very “hands -on.” Could be called almost every play…

Franklin finally showing that “burst” we all drooled over watching his college tape…

San Shields having a hell of a day. AJ Green catches his first pass of the day – and Shields was all over him.

Looks like Dalton has no shot of a completion if the pass is over 10 yards downfield…

Matthews with a hamstring? What the hell is going on with the Packers and hamstrings?

Jordy Nelson was obviously a ballerina in a previous life.

Packers kickoff coverage has been solid today – some big hits, too…

Luckily, Rodgers foot was not planted on that low shot to his knee by Johnson, or the Packers season could have been over.

Rodgers ignores easy completion to Franklin, tries to force it to Jones – INT as Jones doesn’t complete his route.

There’s that rare Tramon Williams blitz Packers hinted at during the week. Sack.

Score at end of 3rd quarter:  GB 30 Cin 21 

What in the world did Rodgers see to make him throw the ball on his second INT? Cobb was completely blanketed.

Bengals receivers getting away with pick plays all game. They get Hawk picked and Bernard turns a swing pass into a 30 yard gain.

Uh, Tramon? I think he’s still looking for Marvin Jones.

Dalton now getting plenty of time to throw with CM3 safely on the sidelines.

Besides the fine job carrying the rock, I’ve spotted Franklin several times doing a good job in pass protection. Just picked up a blitz on a Packers 3rd down conversion.

Insane game. Now Cinci retakes the lead with a fumble recovery TD.

Packers down by four: 3:47 to go.  On the bright side, this won’t come down to a Mason Crosby field goal attempt.

And now Franklin goes down. No running backs left. Jeremy Ross now in the backfield. WTF?

Franklin back a few plays later. Whew…

Bengals size (literally) wins the game as they block two straight passes to stop the Packers’ drive

Packers go down by 14-0, score 30 unanswered points and then allow three touchdowns with Matthews on the bench.

One of the poorest Aaron Rodgers performances in quite a while. It happens.

However, I think the Bengals won this game in the area of their only advantage over the Packers – the trenches.

Final Score:  Cin 34 GB 30




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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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


77 thoughts on “Packers vs. Bengals – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: Cin 34 GB 30

      1. Someone needs to get him that pillow he used before the Washington game that gave him a “sore neck” and make sure he sleep’s on that every night before the game.

      2. A lot of it falls on McCarthys play calling. Why not kick the FG? The Packers try a dive play with a 5’10” RB though granted he played well, you take the 3. Either that or be more creative. McCarthys play calling is so fricken predictable on both 3rd and 4th down all the Bengals linemen just put hands up because they knew EXACTLY what was coming.

        1. Quite acting like an arm chair HC. That RB ran for 100 yds! Why is it suddenly bad play calling to think he can’t get 1/2 yd, much less hold onto the F’in Football?! Kicking a FG would have been what 50 yds? And if he misses Cincy gets the ball at the 40. All Franklin has to do is hold onto the F’in football and at least Cincy has to go 70 yds and earn a win, not be gifted one!

      3. I’m a huge Aaron Rodgers fan, but he’s had his moments of poor games. Not counting 2008; he had the Tampa game in 2009, Lions/Jets games in 2010, Chiefs game in 2011, Seattle in 2012. He usually has a tough game here and there throughout the season.

    1. Possibly, but most of it wasn’t Rodger’s fault. GB is playing with about one-quarter to one-third of its playbook. It’s all quick hitters because 5 or 7 step drops end in a sack, pass block and/or QB knockdown.

    2. It’s the worst i can remember. He did not get it done today. His decision-making didn’t look good and he missed on a lot of short passes. It didn’t help that they lost Finley, but then, they’ve been without Finley before.

    3. Don’t know if this is accurate, but someone just sent me this on twitter:
      “Rodgers was 0-18 entering year when trailing in fourth quarter against teams with winning records. Now lost to SF and CIN.”

      1. I mentioned the same thing to my friend. But I missed the detail that the stat applied to opponentns with winning records.

        It’s a silly stat anyway, like pitcher wins in baseball. There are other players on the field. They contribute a wee bit to the outcome.

          1. No skin off my nose. I’ve always ascribed them to the GB Packers not just to Mr Starr. That does not mean I do not respect Bart Starr. It just means teams win or lose games not just the guy throwing the ball. (Baseball or football.)

      2. There was that game in New Jersey against the Jints where he had a nice drive at the end of the game to win it. But since the Packers were up going into the 4th Q, it probably doesn’t count.

        He’s definitely more of a win it before the 4th kind of QB.

        1. I believe it’s a stat in where the Packers are down by at least 4. No matter how it goes either the defense gives it up or Rodgers doesn’t get it done.

      3. Got lit up pretty good before the Washington game when I posted that AR’s record in 4th quarter comebacks against teams with winning records was 3-18, now 3-19.

        Point I was trying to make that he is inarguably the best front-runner in the game and conversely, one of the worst come-from-behind QB’s.

        When Cinti ran the Franklin fumble back for 6, I was hoping for a sea change, but alas the trend continues.

        A QB’s lot – credit and accolades when they win, blame and disparagment when they lose.

        1. What about in games where he comes from behind after the opposing team scores first?

          How about come-from-behind wins when entering the second quarter trailing?

          Or come-from-behind wins when they enter the 4th quarter with a lead, then lose it in the first 120 seconds of the 3rd quarter??

          Manufactured stat. All that matters is W/L.

      4. The question is… how much value do you put into a stat like that? And how much of that stat is attributable to Rodgers himself, as opposed to the other players and the coaching/play-calling?

      5. The more important stat is that they were 0-1 this week trailing a team in the 4th quarter….

        …with a .500 record.

  1. Well, anyone here still going to rave about how great the GB O-line has been playing this year? This is no SB contender.

    So on to Objective Number Two: Beat the Bears twice.

    1. That’s ALWAYS objective #1, along with: Beat MIN twice, beat DET twice.

      Why? Because that’s a guaranteed ticket to the playoffs.

      And the playoffs are the road to the SB.

      Three games isn’t a season. Step off the ledge.

      1. Anything can happen. I am merely saying GB is not a front-runner team this year. That’s nto being on the ledge that’s just having seen a season or two of NFL football and knowing how things usually, not always, turn out.

      2. It’s only a ticket to the playoffs if CHI/MIN/DET don’t happen to win enough games outside the division to finish ahead of the Packers.

        1. Dobber, no; each division’s champion earns a play off birth.

          If the Packers win the NFC North, they’re in. That’s based purely on NFC North W/L between the Bears, Vikes, Pack, and Lions.

          If two divisional teams finish out with the same divisional record, then overall record becomes the first tiebreaker, and then we fritter down into the minutia of tie breakers beyond that.

          Example: the Packers go 4-2 in the NFC north (best divisional record in the NFC North, let’s say), but finish out the season 4-12 . The Bears go 2-4 in the NFC North, but finish with a much better 12-4.

          ….Green Bay is still the NFC North Champion, and therefore, is guaranteed a playoff berth. CHicago, on the other hand, could actually end up missing the playoffs entirely, because they have no golden ticket- they must rely on making one of the two wild card berths for the NFC.. But there could be two other teams in the NFC who didn’t win their division who have a 13-3 record who will earn the wild cards, or they may even have an equal record at 12-4 but win-out over the Bears because they beat them in head-to-head competition, scored more points, had a better record against conference or non-conference opponents (it gets increasingly nit-picking on tie breakers the further down the line you have to go.)

          This, btw, has happened recently to the Patriots a few years ago, where a team or two with losing records actually made the playoffs while the Pats with a sound record failed to gain entry.

          Long story short (too late!): WIN YOUR DIVISION, IT’S A GUARANTEED PLAYOFF BIRTH!

          1. Sorry, the first tie breaker between divisional teams with tied divisional records is head-vs-head play. But you get the gist.

    2. I always get a kick out of those totally worthless Power Rankings. Pure rubbish, It’s all about getting hot at the right time and making a deep run when you qualify for the tournament, Just like 2010!

  2. Losing Finley early really hurt. Other TE’s not much of a pass threat.

    Still, could have won this game. Now two weeks of how bad we are from many.

    1. I do think the Finley injury was probably worse for the team today than the Clay injury. Simply because we had no one who could threaten the middle of the field. TT needs to start working something out with him now!

      Agree – there were a lot of good things in this game, but way more bad. Poor playcalling by McCarthy and bad decisions by Rodgers cost us the game. Also…Jeremy Ross needs to go

    2. Losing FinMe would have hurt if he actually made a difference in a game. You’re thinking of guys like Graham, Gronkowski, Gates, Gonzalez, Witten, Davis et al that are difference-makers on the field on Sunday, not in the paper Monday through Saturday.

      And we should hear about how bad the Packers are. Aside from beating a weak 0-3 Washington team at home with a QB at 75%, they’ve lost to two playoff teams. They’re still soft, still get pushed around like someone’s little bitch.

  3. It says “Pressure on Ponder results in Shields INT”. I know Ponder is bad, but the guy was in Minneapolis today.

  4. Don’t know exactly where to begin. Very sloppy game by GB. Very bad loss. Too many turnovers, O- line a mess most of the game. Rodgers was off more than I can remember, at least over the last few seasons. Probably the result of the poor line play and limited play calling due to quick drops and throws. Who knows who will be left to play after all the injuries are sorted out. Looks like a tough go the next few weeks. Hopefully some of our players will recover during the bye-week. Thanks, Since ’61

  5. Ugly, ugly loss. No silver linings in this one. OL manhandled. Injuries – again.

    This was JUST like the game vs CIN in GB in Sep 2010. U.G.L.Y. I remember how I felt in Sep/Oct of 2010, so I’m not going to panic. But being down 2 to the friggen Bears is not good.

    We’re going to have to sweep the division to win it.

    1. The Bengals game you’re thinking of was week 2 of 2009, Rodgers was sacked like 7 times.

      Was brutal :/

  6. Play calling was bad… Decisions were bad… AR was mediocre… We lose more players ( hamstrings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)… We lose a 16 point lead!!!!!!! What else? I could go on and on…. Bright spot? A few but we need to concentrate on getting the negatives FIXED!!!!!! Now!!!!!!! (Or goodbye season!)

    1. Excellent point Mojo. No lead blocker. Either QB sneak, or play action up the middle and go outside. Said so to my pal and he agreed. Pretty smart for my pal as he is a Bears fan.

        1. Sneak the QB, he goes head first to try for the 1st down gets hit in the head, concussed misses a couple games. When was the last time P Manning or Brady did a QB sneak?

          1. well, you take away the handoff exchange, so probability is much less.

            I’m not advocating for a sneak, just saying that’s what I would have expected from MM.

    2. Maybe people say the FG doesn’t mean anything in that case, and the D had been ineffective after CMIII went down, but it still forces the Bengals to put the ball in the end zone to win and takes a tie out of the equation. Say what you want about Crosby, but I would’ve kicked in that case.

      Tough call, and by going for the 4th and 1, MM made the call to take control of the game. Ultimately it backfired. Easy to second guess in hindsignt.

      1. I wouldn’t trust Crosby on a gusty day on the road with a 45+ yarder. Weren’t they on the right hash, too? That had miss written all over it. I don’t think the percentages were with the FG attempt.

        That said, a missed FG would have been better than a failed 4th down play with fumble + TD for the other guys.


      2. Damn right… A FG would have been what? 50 yds? Miss it and Cincy is in prime field position to win. It was a difficult place for the Pack to be in. 2nd guessing the play call is dumb too. That RB had over 100 yds in 1/2 the game. Why is it difficult to think he can’t get 1/2 yd, much less hold onto the damn ball.

        Arm chair HC are f’in annoying. If McCarthy tries a pass they 2nd guess and say why not run, the guy had 100 yds in 1/2 the game.

    3. 4th and inches straight up the middle? Seems we already pulled that off once this year.. It’s not a bad play call, IMO. It was lousy execution.

      1. I don’t disagree with the call, but the personnel package? 5 wide, then run the ball? Every DC in the league has seen that for years, because when MM thinks he’s ‘getting tricky’ he’s a one-trick pony. Only difference is it used to be Kuhn for no gain, but no fumble.

        If you’re gonna run it that way, put in a heavy package and impose your will. That is, if you got any, and have any confidence in it.

        1. I don’t completely agree with your assesment, because MM actually HAS shown many times in the past that he’s not scared to take a deep shot on 4th and short, even in a make-or-break point in a game.

          I hear what you’re saying about just lining up and running it down their throats- it’s very Lombardian, that’s not lost on me. However, while this team is (finally) showing some signs of life in the run game, we simply aren’t there yet and today in specific we certainly didn’t have the personnel to give the rock to and expect them to slam through the line ala Babe Ruth, pointing to the spot he’s going to.

          To be frank, I don’t think the passing game was reliable enough today to just line up 5 wide and challenge the Bengal’s D on 4th and 1 through the air, either.

          The NFL is more about deception than some would like. It’s a part of the majority of plays in today’s game. Motion, audibles, last minute personnel package subs, formation shifts.. It’s all about deceiving and divining what the opponent is really trying to do.

  7. Besides missing so many starters, the other factors was Rodgers not being Rodgers. Out of all his miss ques, the one that killed me was not lining up his team and snapping the ball before the Bengals had time to review the first down on the last drive, instead, he had them take their time in the huddle. As a result, its 4th and 1 and our intelligent coach calls a 190lb back run behind our shitty center against pro bowl D tackles, result. ..fumble, D gets TD, game over.

    1. Wasn’t there a measurement on that? You can’t exactly get your team to line of scrimmage while the refs are measuring. BTW, they had done it successfully earlier on the Nelson catch that really wasn’t. Hustled to the line and got the play off. So, it’s not like they wouldn’t have done it on this play if they could have.

    2. THat RB had 100 yds in 1/2 the game! Why is it suddenly difficult to assume he can’t pick up 1/2 a yard?! Much less that he would fumble from very little contact? The fumble was inexcusable, the play call made sense.

  8. Didn’t watch the game until 2 minutes left in the game as the woeful Giants were on instead.But watched the stats after every play on I don’t see the Packers as a great team, very good but too many teams better are than them. I don’t want to hear about injuries, all teams have injuries. I don’t want to hear about Cincy’s D, we supposedly have the best QB on Earth with a top receiving fourseome. Second loss of the season after leading late in the 4th qtr. Secondary awful, made Dalton look better than Rodgers.Too many 15 yard penalties, can’t they control their anger? Ross did it again. Don’t think for a minute GB will coast through the rest of the season. There are still games against Baltimore, Chicago (twice), Dallas and Atlanta. Not to say count them as losses, but the remaining games can turn on GB, just like Cincy. GB has a lot of small problems that add up to losses.

  9. Cinti’s got some meat eaters on defense, especially the front four and they exposed the Packers OL for the pretenders they are.

    Expect more of the same vs. basically everybody.


    Cleveland beats the Queens.

  10. I thought it was such a sloppy performance, especially on offense today.

    Don’t trust the o-line at all in crunch situations and I don’t trust the team when the game is on the line and a chance for a comeback is on.

    Rodgers had an awful game and I bet he will be the first to hold his hands up and admit he had a shocker. Rodgers might be a future hall of famer but he isn’t perfect all the time.

    Also I thought some of the playcalling by McCarthy was awful tonight.

    Having the bye week now actually might be a blessing, plenty to work on and players hopefully to come back.

    Long way off being a serious contender, honestly we look like a one and done team to me (if we make the playoffs) with the same old weaknesses.

  11. Rodgers’ extreme short range tosses are always iffy, but to see a number of his intermediate to deep throws be as far off as some were today was unexpected.

    Most concerning to me was Rodgers/MM’s failure to adjust to the hands going up in the passing lanes. Way too many batted passes.

    I supposed we could just give the credit to the Bengals’ D front. They knew their coverage had taken away everything except the quick hitters underneath, and the linemen and LBs in turn knew the ball was coming out quick and flat if the passes were to have enough zip to get to the WR’s. They took full advantage.

    Also very disappointed with Rodgers’ temperament out there today. I hate to say it, but maybe his leadership does need improving. He didn’t look like a guy rallying the men to stay focused. He looked like a guy whining and sulking at times. I know, looks can be very deceiving (jay cutler, lol), but the thoughts did cross my mind.

  12. Bright spots:

    Franklin looked unexpectedly (to me, anyways) good.

    Shields was for the most part exceptional.

    With exception to that TD, Williams looks more like Williams than Williams has looked since the last time he was Williams.

    PS, if you aren’t on board the Daniels train, get on while there’s still tickets. He’s a gamer.

    Just realized I didn’t even Notice Neal out there today. I know he must have played since Clay sat out so much of the game.. Right?

    1. I have to admit i was surprised by Franklin, too. He didn’t impress me at all in the preseason. Today he got by people. It seems he has the vision or the instinct or something that lets him take advantage of what his blocking gives him. Not all backs have that.

      The fumble takes some of the shine off.

      1. I’m getting to the point where I’m just starting to accept that rookie RB’s seem to get taught the ball protection lesson in the NFL the hard way before it sticks.

        I assume it’s a level-of-competition thing. I almost expect them to cough it up at the worst possible time. Hopefully it left a bad enough taste in his mouth by the end of the bye week that he never lets one get loose again.

    2. that’s the Franklin I was expecting when they drafted him. I kept saying just give him some time. Not everyone is ready coming out of the gate.

  13. God, when is McCarthy going to stop deferring?? Christ! Down 14-0 before we got our hands on the ball?

  14. I said a ‘validation’ win other than Rodgers was needed and got the normal rose glass wearing response of thumb downs….run game worked until, defense was up and down and then crumbled, Nelson only WR,CM3 on usual 4 game hammy, Starks unlucky again, OL is fair and a Rodgers injury is looming larger than ever…..’validation’ denied.

  15. Oppy,

    That’s not true about division winners.

    The Rams finished with the best record in the NFC West last year and missed the playoffs. The Whiners and Seahacks got in due to better overall records..

    You could go 6-0 in your division and miss the dance.

    For some reason I can’t respond where you posted on my Droid, let’s get that fixed, Al 8-).

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