Packers vs. Lions First Impressions – 2014 Game 3

Aaron Rodgers - Packers vs. Lions

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions:  2014 Game 3

As always, this post it what it says it is, unfiltered initial reactions as the game progresses. I always find it entertaining to compare initial impressions from the heat of the moment with more measured thoughts with time to think about it.  Everything is up for discussion.


The Packers return to the scene of last year’s Thanksgiving Day Turkey Shoot, where the Packers were the turkeys, in more ways than one.

In my opinion, head coach Mike McCarthy has a lot to bounce back from this week. Needs to make better decisions than in last week’s Jets game.

The Lions are down to their third or fourth string slot corner. Could be a big day for Randall Cobb.

Bryan Bulaga is active, and surprisingly will start.

Today’s Packers’ captains will be G Josh Sitton (offense), DT Mike Daniels (defense) and S Sean Richardson (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
59 LB Brad Jones
64 DT Mike Pennel
83 WR Jeff Janis

The Packers have only six inactive players because the current roster is at 52, after LB Andy Mulumba was placed on injured reserve earlier this week.

57 LB Jamari Lattimore will start in place of Jones.

Detroit Lions
17 QB Kellen Moore
29 CB Cassius Vaughn
32 S James Ihedigbo
34 FB Montell Owens
50 LB Travis Lewis
66 T LaAdrian Waddle
84 WR Ryan Broyles

70 T Garrett Reynolds will start for Waddle and 42 S Isa Abdul-Quddus will start for Ihedigbo.


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Early division games: I don’t mind them early. I just wish we weren’t playing two teams with new coaching staffs Always a challenge early in the season

Lions: Their personnel is still very very good, but you can see offensively they are more versatile, more different sets.

Stafford: He looks like he’s in very good shape, has command of the offense. Extremely productive QB… doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.

Megatron: Great player., Most important thing is don’t let him take you out of your techniques. Still play to your strengths

Bush & Bell: Styles compliment each other. Very productive running back combo.

Off coordinator Lombardi -Saints concepts? You certainly do. That’s what we studied all off season, you can see some similarities.

Bulaga / Hayward: Bulaga’s up, He’s starting, feels good. Casey’s up and he’s ready to go.

Running game: Pfft, we are where we always are. running backs didn’t get a lot of good opportunities last week. I have no concerns about our running backs group.

Lions down to 4th string Slot corner – get the ball downfield. You always want to do that. It’s early season football, it’s how they are going to play nus, what front they are going to play, etc.

Did team watch tape of last year’s Thanksgiving game: Didn’t show the tape to the players. I went to look at it just more from a Lions personnel standpoint.



Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers are back to their toss-winning deferring ways…

Mike Neal is the king of getting his hands on the quarterback but not getting the sack. So close…

Get pressure on Stafford and he will make some bad decisions, throw off balance, etc.

Lacy fumbles for only the second time in his GB career, and of course, it has to be returned 40 yds for a touchdown. Down 7-0 again.

Looks like #Packers are determined to get Rodgers plenty of comeback opportunities this year…

Third and three, Rodgers throws a sideline go route with the receiver blanketed stride for stride. That just drives me crazy… keep it simple, get a first down and extend the drive.

Rodgers to Starks on short dump offs is just a continual fail. uncanny.

Fantastic job by Quarless hauling  in a rocket of a slant pass with a defender’s hand on his. Touchdown Packers.


Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 7 Det 7

Easy to see why Davon House has put Casey Hayward on the bench… And I’m a big Hayward fan…

How in the world can you decide that Richard Rodgers should be in the game to block when you’re backed up on your own one yard line? Are you kidding Mike?

And yes, I am fully aware Lang missed his block, but if Rodgers doesn’t get blown back into Lacy, he would have been able to avoid the safety.

Neal finally gets his sack and came awfully close to forcing a fumble on Stafford from behind.

If I’m Joe Lombardi, I keep throwing to their running backs until the Packers are forced to adjust.

What is going on with normally sure-handed Jarret Boykin. A couple of drops already today.

Lacy hurdling a tackler is not the most graceful thing you’re going to see.

With the Lions putting on pressure in obvious passing downs, you would think we might see a screen pass or two?

Packers call a time out with 25 seconds left and Detroit on a 3rd and seven. What was that supposed to accomplish? I could understand if you did it earlier.

52-yard completion to Corey Fuller (with an uncalled push off) Good thing the Lions have a struggling field goal kicker.


Score at end of 1st half:   GB 7 DET 12


Packers vs. Lions – First Impressions – Second Half:

Someone needs to stomp on Fairley. Dirty, dirty play going after Rodgers’ leg with a forearm chop. technically not a penalty, but…

Packers fail to capitalize on starting the half with the ball. Punt.

Julius Peppers still has the pass rushing jones…  Worth every penny just to let him get after the quarterback…

Lions defense is frustrating the Packers. Keep running the ball on second and long, though – that’s a big help…

Other than the dump-off attempt to Starks, Packers haven’t thrown one pass to a running back today. Letting Lions key on four guys max in coverage.


Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 7 DET 12

Packers defense is totally exhausted and it shows on a long Detroit drive for a TD. With 10 min to go, Packers D has been on the field for 31 minutes at this point vs. only 18 min for offense.

Rodgers with only 116 yds passing at this point.

And yet, they now aggressively march down the field from their own 10 yard line. Incomplete on fourth down to Nelson.

Is it fair to ask where this aggressive attacking style of offense was all game? Wait till your’re down by two scores?

Lions running backs: carrying Packers linebackers on their backs for five yards to get a first down.

#Packers defense on the field for almost 38 minutes today.


Final Score:  GB 7 DET 19


Final Thoughts:

I have a lot of questions about Mike McCarthy again. Been down this road before…

I remember in preseason the Packers throwing to their running backs a lot. Thought that would be a huge tactic to use this season.  One intended pass to a running back all game. Not one screen pass against a fierce rush. unfathomable.

Packers defense played admirably today. Wore down late, but you can blame the offense for that.

I thought Rodgers started off the game with good accuracy on his passes. Then Packers tried to force the running game, resulting in obvious passing downs, allowing them to tee off on Rodgers. Offense became a mess after that.

I wasn’t worried about this team after the Seattle loss. last week raised my eyebrows, this week has me worried.

Perhaps it’s time to not rely on the same offense you’ve been running for years and come up with a few wrinkles. You know, like other teams do to the Packers?



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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


66 thoughts on “Packers vs. Lions First Impressions – 2014 Game 3

    1. Hi Marpag,

      Well the D did not lose it but MM sure did. Big Chimp writes about screens but I did not see one called did you?

      MM gets out coached every game. Stop calling that stretch play and that toss sweep. Too much penetration.

      Turning Point, INT by House then MM gives the momentum right back with that lame handoff.

      They have not thrown deep all year. Just do it to loosen up the D, if for no other reason.

      Also, they get beat up by the opposing team every game. Bunch of wimps.

      Very disappointing right marpag?

    2. Actually Marpag they scored 12 for Detroit if you count the FG following the safety. Terrible waste of a great defensive effort.
      Only 7 points, thanks to a short field with 3 turnovers. OL was bad again. Since 1992 I can count on one hand the number of games the Packer’s offense has lost for this team. Today was one of them. Awful, no excuse. Thanks, Since ’61

    3. That just about sums it up marpag.
      How often does a team have a 3 to 1 edge in TO’s and still not be in the game?
      Offense was terrible. Lacy missed a few holes. Rodgers doesn’t run anymore. The dump-off to Starks was terrible. The run call in the endzone was terrible. Amazingly, what should have been a positive play turns into disaster(the House INT). In the words of Charles Barclay -turrible turrible.

      1. Totally agree that the offense was terrible. But the play call on the safety was fine. The entire right side of the O-line got blown up. That wasn’t the play call’s fault.

        1. Actually, that run everyone was on their man, except TJLang, who missed his block entirely. GoPack!

          1. I’d need to go back and watch it again, but I was considerably less generous in my assessment when I saw it. “On their man” maybe… but on their man four yards deep in their own backfield.

          2. Actually TE Rodgers got blown up and tossed into Lacy so he couldn’t escape the guy Lang whiffed on. Play call – from own 1 run right behind rookie TE who can’t block and an OT playing on one leg.What was MM thinking? He wasn’t per usual. Packer coaching pretty much sucks and TT blows draft picks. Players are just following orders.

          1. Misdirections and bootlegs are not used backed up to your own 1 yard line. Too slow developing, too much chance of a safety. Better to run between the tackles an try to get some room. The play call was fine (except the R. Rodgers part) the execution was bad. Difficult to understand how that is MM’s or AR’s fault.

  1. Another week where I miss a lot of the game closing my eyes in prayer…this time for the high octane offense…back to defense next week I guess…merry-go-round.

  2. Has Rodgers ever thrown a good screen pass? Favre was an expert. Rodgers seems to dislike screens, never sells the screen.

    1. there is some truth to that, but I blame the O-Line coach. Thoe guys have never learned how to hold up your guy for a certain amt of time and then let them through. Always release too soon.

  3. What is 6′ tall, runs a 40 yard dash in less than 4.5 seconds and is only allowed to run forward and backward? A Packers’ receiver.

      1. It took me a while. I’m still not sure how many goals we took, kind of lost count after the 5th.

        Thanks for the re-welcoming, Al, Fitz, Oppy. Been overburdened with work, but couldn’t stand any longer. This coaching staff is driving me nuts. The Defense actually came to play, which I thought was impossible given the blatant vulnerability in the middle and the lack of game-changing players in the secondary. But Capers somehow managed to work around it and focus on the pass rushing, which is really good. House and Tramon are playing better than I thought they could, so is Burnett, and Clinton-Dix has gotten down his assignments really fast. Which is a compliment on Capers. He usually overcomplicates things to where his players cannot get, and it seemed as if it would happen again, but it appears he has pulled back the complexity of the calls in the secondary.

        But McCarthy continues to make the same mistakes he always makes. Still neglecting the horizontal aspect of the passing game. Which is a hard thing to correct, as it’s probably ingrained in the playbook i.e. there’s not enough plays in it that focus on that aspect. When you had Greg Jennings taking over the top of the defense, it would work. With a potent running game, he would draw the lbs and safeties closer. Now? There’s no one that can win with speed. But they do have a guy that changes directions as fast as anyone in the NFL. They just refuse to use him correctly. It makes it much easier for the defense if all they need to worry about is quick hitches, gos and some posts. Rodgers is playing like crap too, it’s a big reason we’re losing, but there’s so much going against him it’s not funny.

        If Capers can keep this momentum and continue to compensate for AJ Hawk and the rest of the ILBs, and MM gets out of his own ass and starts using his players correctly, with more creative playcallling, the Packers can reach the playoffs. TT has failed to build a top roster, as the OL, TEs and ILBs are big flaws, but it’s still a good enough roster to get to the playoffs and win some games. Especially when you have one of the best QBs in the league.

        But I’m very pessimistic about this season. I don’t believe we break past .500. Hope I’m wrong and they somehow fix things. Yes, people point out that the Packers tend to start slow, but never this slow, and every time it has showed in the playoffs that, even getting better during the season, it wasn’t enough.

  4. The defense did it’s part. Rodgers was average again. Lacy has regressed quite a bit ( and I don’t mean because of the fumble). He dances when it’s not necessary or when he has open field in front of him. Starks running better. Is more decisive and makes cuts and goes. Lacy just not playing smart. –Lang completely missed the block on the safety. Rodgers misses Nelson badly on 4th down. — Cobb also regressing with dropped passes and inability to get open. Not sure where we are as a team. Defense has played really well for 6 straight quarters. Offense can’t do anything. It’s going to be a wild ride of a season. GoPack!

  5. MM play calling brutal. Why go no huddle if you are not going hurry up? The offense is more confused than the defense. Happened first three games. Either go hurry up and snap at 20 sec or go in huddle and get shit together.

    MM, no screen passes, really? No misdirection plays, really?

    Again, MM out coached on game day again.

    Yes, D got worn down not there fault today. Capers lives to coach another week.

    1. Defense was fine today. Only ten points allowed vs. Stafford, Megatron, Tate, Bush, etc etc? I’d take that any day of the week. Yeah, I know they didn’t get the stop late in the game, but let’s face it.. The offense failed today. The defense did not.

  6. Rodgers missed his receivers badly in week one and again today. Nelson beat his man on that 4th down throw and Rodgers threw 3 yards behind him. So far the only decent showing from Rodgers has been against the 31st ranked pass defense. Cobb spent much of the day lined up against a 4th string CB, seems to me Cobb lost a few steps after his injury last year.
    Al hit it on the head, lots of questions about MM. I started to question MM after the Bengals game last year. Last drive in that game the D-Line knew exactly what was coming and knocked down two straight passes to end the game for the Packers. After Houses Interception what does MM do? Line’s up Lacy 7 yards deep and try’s to run up the middle from the 1 yard line! Talk about deflating for your defense, Lacy never had a chance. Today the defense played their butts off but thanks to MM horrible play calling or lack of creativity, they were exhausted by the 4th quarter and couldn’t stop the lions on that last TD.
    I’m sorry but this is not a very good football team. Last week we got to see pictures of AR with his movie star squeeze making commercials for Ford in Appleton. Maybe a few less commercials and finding that “Chip” you played with would help. But it’s not all AR’s fault. Just look at the drafts since John Schneider left, talk about things that make you go Hmmmm. This team has become predictable and stale. The O-Line has been horrible for years but somehow Campen still has a job. ST have been worse but there’s Slocum every year. I’m sure our QB will win some games this year, make the playoffs only to get trounced again. Change is coming next year in Green Bay, at least I hope so. I spent $220.00 on Sunday Ticket to watch this! Last time I let one Free Agent signing in 8 years get me!

    1. Sitton Lang Bulaga all more than competent linemen when healthy, with Sitton being among the best guards in the league and Lang being as nasty as they come. Bakhtiari has a decent rookie season as a guy who wasn’t expected to be thrust into duty, Corey Linsley is playing like a vet.

      Sorry, but the “Campen is killing us” theme is old and not backed by facts at this point. True, they aren’t a road grading run blocking squad at this point, but then again, where is the focus? It’s always been protect the QB first. Keep in mind, we’ve played all three games in 2014 against stellar fronts. Most of ROdgers pressures are coming from holding the ball too long.

      1. I’m sorry Oppy, but Lang and the OL have been getting beat down pretty good this year. On a few replays today Lang just straight whiffed. What many including myself thought would be a improved O-Line, is downright awful. If you want to blame the O-Line issues on “Stellar” D-Lines, then we’ll have the same issues in the playoffs, one and done. As far as the Campen is killing us theme, Rodgers is one of the most sacked QB in the NFL. Yes he holds the ball to long, even though sometimes that’s 1.8 seconds.

  7. Here’s to hoping we see this kind of defensive effort against the Bears next week. I don’t expect the poorer-than-average front seven of the Bears to be able to push the Packer OL around like we saw today.

  8. The Packers offense has never been the same since January 8, 2012 — the day Michael Philbin was reported missing. I believe Mike McCarthy and Joe Philbin had a synergy together and neither one has been the same coach since they parted ways.

    From the beginning of the 2009 season, when the Packers first made the playoffs with Rodgers, until before the 2011 season playoffs, the Packers were 40-13, or a .754 record. Beginning with the divisional playoff loss to the Giants on January 15, 2012, to today, the Packers have been 21-16, or a .553 record. Granted, 5 of those losses came when Rodgers was out last season, but I think it’s pretty clear that the offense is simply not the same well-oiled machine it once was.

    There are certainly plenty of places blame can be cast — the revolving O-line, loss of Jennings and Finley and Jones, etc. — but when the offense just never seems to be in sync, you have to wonder if something has changed at the top.

    1. Thank you Brad from TX. Well said. I’ve brought up Philbin in the past and was told “He doesn’t call the plays”. WTF!!! Losing Jennings, Finley, and Jones is much bigger than anyone thinks. Losing Jones is proving huge. So are all the missed draft picks from 2011 and 12. This years class who knows, but both 3rd’s we’re reaches, the 4th rounder didn’t get cut because he was a 4th round pick. Jon Schneider please come home!

  9. Packers offense only moves when Rodgers gets the ball out quickly. MM needs to get away from keeping the TEs and RBs in to block and pushing the WRs vertically down the field, down after down.. He needs to shift from this vertical offense and start playing more true west coast concepts and route combinations, using the TEs and RBs in the flats, and attack all three levels with the WRs, in order to get the ball out quickly from Rodgers’ hands and establish a rhythm.

    On that note, Rodgers is, IMO, also to blame. His insistence on young or inexperienced receivers “gaining his trust” is starting to impede the offense. Look, Arod, if the coaching staff puts them on the field, you USE them. Getting tired of watching open targets get overlooked because Rodgers doesn’t feel like he should give them a chance yet. Rodgers hangs onto the ball too long and locks on to targets too much for a QB who is supposed to be elite. This is one area- maybe the only area- where Favre had a definite edge on Rodgers. Favre always gave an open receiver the opportunity to make a play.

    Our run game is not nearly as strong as we thought it would be- time to adjust to that reality and start using Lacy when defenses start rolling back on their heels. Pound the ball to suck up the safeties if they’re giving us a light box. It doesn’t look like we can force a neutral defensive set to load the box, but we certainly could make a defense that is cheating deep to come up and play honest. Side note, If Lacy is dancing and not finding daylight, sit him and start running starks. I liked that Harris got a few snaps. IMO, he needs more reps anyways.

    Who would have believed that if the Packers D only gave up 10 points to the Detroit offense than the Packers would have lost?

    WAKE UP CALL, PACKERS. Defense held up its end of the donkey today, and the offense shit the bed.

    1. Good post Oppy. To the point of Rodgers not pulling the trigger quick enough, I refer to last weeks game. On that 8 second plus play where ARod ended up getting sacked, he had a wide open Adams over the middle about 20 yards downfield, Did he just not see him or did he just not trust him enough to throw it to him? Either way, I wonder if a lot sacks Rodgers takes is due to the receivers not getting open, or him not seeing them open. Also it’s OK to throw a receiver open. If he gets it great, but if not it usually falls incomplete. Still better than a sack.
      It would be interesting to me if someone had the ALL22 package and could review on some of the longer sacks time-wise, if there were open receivers. Else, I’m just taking Rodgers word for it.
      And you’re right on being overprotective with the ball. No one wants TO’s, but many times the Staffords, Cutlers, Romos hit home-runs because they do take chances. Don’t want to go to their extreme…but somewhere in between would be nice.
      Don’t think that other teams don’t know Rodgers has a tendency to hang onto the ball. And this makes it even more difficult for the o-lineman to sustain blocks.

  10. After a decade in their jobs, TT/MM have turned a team with two HOF QBs into a .500 team (that is their record over last 24 games). How did they do it? With stupidity of course.

      1. Oh, Marpag.. You should know common sense and context can’t stand in the way of flawed statistics when the goal is pessimism and criticism.

        1. I know. I keep trying to condition myself by repeating “MUST… HATE… McCARTHY!” over and over and over, but it never seems to sink in.

          Let’s cut Archie some slack. Maybe he thought that Flynn was the Hall of Famer.

  11. A good effort by the D was wasted today. Al you’ve said it a thousand times, MM is so predictable! Clay Matthews hurt again here we go again.

    1. Because play calling is not the issue, execution is. Football is a game of execution and players winning their one on one battles. The Packers OL lost those battles today. They did not get the job done and they lost. Amateurs focus on play calling, professionals focus on execution. Execute the plays and all the calls look good don’t they? Example, game winning play against the Bears during the last game of the 2013 regular season. Kuhn makes key block on Peppers, execution, Rodgers rolls away from rush and keeps play alive, execution. Cobbs see defender comes up and runs by him and gets open, execution. Rodgers sees Cobb come open and throws pass on target, execution. Cobb catches pass and scores, execution. Packers win! Do you know or care what that play call was? NO. Execution wins, regardless of the play call. In the ’60s George Halas, Bears Coach knew every play the Packers were going to call. During a game in 1962, Packers 49-Bears 0! Execution. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. Dear Since ’61 it is NOT 1962. Yes, execution is very important BUT this is a different NFL. The Packers opened the game by trying to establish the run against the strength of the D of Detroit. Where did that get them? Third and long and Rodgers scrambling for his life.

        Cmon “61 not one screen pass to slow down the pass rush? Not one pass in the flat to spread the field. Hardly any slants over the middle to save Rodgers from assault?

        The play on the one yard line, changed the whole complexion of the game. MM turned a INT into a safety with one stroke of his pen. Nice call MM.

        No Since ’61 it is not all about execution, it is play calling AND execution. Unless, and this does not exist in today’s NFL, a team is so much better than the other that they can call anything they want. Like in college football.

        Since “61 maybe it is time for a name change?

        1. So if the line makes their blocks and Lacy runs for a 1st down is it still a bad call? Like I said, is the call on that last play against the Bears a good call or a bad call? You don’t know or care about the call but execution on that play won the game, how is that different than 1962? Don’t answer, just avoid the question as usual. Maybe it’s easy to second guess and criticize everything after you know the results. Better yet, maybe it’s time to let the Packers know that you are available and can do a better job than MM. Thanks for the suggestion, but I’ll keep my moniker just the same. Execute, win the one on one battles. Win the game! Case closed! Thanks, Since ’61

            1. Ollie it is frustrating, because you and I know that the Packers offense can play better than they showed today. It was not just the OL, passes were dropped as well some throws that were off by Rodgers. And yes, I look for play calls like screens and passes to backs and the TEs. However, I can only believe that MM, the OC, and Rodgers after a week of looking at film, went with the plays they expected to work. We have a long way to go and we were 1-2 in 2012 and 2013 and still won the division. Like you and all Packer fans I am disappointed with the loss but after this game I have some hope that the defense is improved this year. When the offense comes around we’re going to be happy with this team. Somehow we all need to stay patient a little longer. Thanks, Since ’61

              1. Ollie – we need to stay positive and most important keep our sense of humor. This is my 53rd season as a long distance Packers fan. I live in New Jersey, originally New York City, in NY Giant, NY Jet and Eagle countries. So, when I get frustrated like today, I remember the ’70s and ’80s and what it was like to a long distance Packer fan then. I realize that as a Packer fan I have had a lot more good days than bad. A lot to be proud of from the Lombardi days, the Favre days and the current team. I realize that it’s actually pretty cool and it could be much worse. And I am grateful for this blog to share thoughts, comments and frustrations with fellow Packer fans like you. Go Pack. Thanks, Since ’61

            2. Sorry “61, I agree with Ollie. Call a play that is executable. Detroit’s d-line was busting through all game. We have the best QB in the game, great receivers, going against a makeshift, inexperienced Detroit backfield, we need six yards to skirt danger. Risk a run for a yard or two you escaped a safety. But lose a half yard, you gave up two points and possession. They were on the half yard line, not the five yard line. Sorry ’61, Taylor is not running the Lombardi Sweep behind Thurston and Kramer. It’s a different football era.

              1. Sorry Arthur. Make the blocks and the play works. If the Packers attempt a pass and Rodgers is sacked for a safety, because the same blitz was not blocked, or worse a pick-6 for the Lions, everyone would be yelling, he’s got Lacy back there, why is he throwing the ball from his end zone with a great RB back there. Again I say, if Lacy runs for a 1st down is it a good call or still a bad call. When you blame the play calling you cop out of the fact that your players didn’t get the job done or worse yet, that the other team actually beat you. But when your players win the one on one battles you know that your team is playing well. The Packers OL didn’t win their one on one battles, the receivers dropped passes and Rodgers made some poor throws. That’s why the Packers lost today. You can blame the play calling all you like, but are poor blocks, dropped passes and poorly thrown passes because of the play calls. These are professionals, they are paid to make plays. Go make them. No excuses. It may be a different era but there are still no excuses. You don’t make the plays you lose. The Lions kicker missed a FG in the 1st half. Is that a bad call or poor execution? 1962 or 2014, teams that make plays win. Thanks, Since ’61

      2. I will say that your analysis has a lot of sense. But sometimes, I think, you lose perspective. I will agree that if OL executed blocks well safety wouldn’t happen. But (as always there is “but”) what told you that this time only, Packers OL will execute well. Why should they do that. They never did at the gme up to that moment. What logic suggests you that they will, just for that play? In the dubious plays, you are not picking possible & hopefull plays, but certain one. The one you can count on, even if failed, you are just one down with no lose in yards. And, instead to put Joh Kuhn there to block you put Rodgers. He did wonderful block, but on Eddie, not on Lions player(s)… That call was terrible, terrible mistake made by Mike McCarthy. You are not calling plays you are hopefull to execute when so much is in question…

        1. Croat – thank you for your comments. Yesterday, good play calls or bad play calls the Packers lost the game because the OL got beat, they played badly. Receivers dropped or failed to catch passes and Aaron Rodgers missed throws and did not play well either. (I think that is the first time I am saying that Aaron Rodgers did not play well.) So, the safety is not the reason that the Packers lost the game. The offense played poorly and was beaten for the whole game. Now as for the safety, when I saw R. Rodgers in the formation I expected a pass, either a quick slant, a play action to the TE, or a max protect fly pattern down the sideline. First question, did Aaron Rodgers change the play call? We’ll never know. Second, if the Packers ran a pass play, you could still have A. Rodgers sacked for a safety, likely, given the OL play yesterday, an incompletion, again, likely the way A. Rodgers was throwing and the receivers were playing, a Pick – 6 for the Lions, in which case everyone would be screaming why is MM throwing the ball when Lacy is in the game! Or a completion. So is a pass play a good call? Maybe. Again, we’ll never know. If Lacy runs for a first down on the play was it still a bad call? What is your criteria for determining a good call or bad call? The result? If yes, that can only be based on the execution of the play. Like everyone else, I would like to see the Packers be more creative on offense. But for the creative plays to work they still need to execute. In professional football, you don’t fool the other team very often. In the end whatever the play call it still comes down to players winning their one on one battles. If not, they lose. But you are probably right, after watching football for over 53 seasons now, playing football in HS and College and coaching HS for 3 seasons when I was much younger, I have probably lost perspective. Yesterday, Bart Starr, Mike Holmgren, Joe Montana, John Unitas, or even Lombardi could have been calling plays for the Packers and they still would have lost because the OL was terrible. When those 5 guys up front don’t play well the team loses. I don’t care what play you call or who is calling the plays. That’s my perspective. BTW, what play would you have called? Thanks, Since ’61

          1. Thanks for the answer. For me it is always interesting to understand your point because I think you understands football a lot.
            Lets go back to our discussion. There is no question about that our OL played bad. But more to that, you will not call the play which can ends with points given to the opponents and then give the opponents the possession… Any play would be better. Short screen pass, short pass, slant, something that will finish with incompletion if not executed, but not with the safety or, God forbiden, TD. The result of failed run is at least safety. The result of faild pass is mostly incompletion. SO, that is what I will chose to play in the shoes of Mike McCarthy, taking in consideration that our OL stinks constantly, that Eddie already fumbled once on run, and that I have Rodgers (Richard) for blocking at the edge… Not to mention that no running back from Packers (neither Eddie, nor James or DuJuan) was able to run around the Lions D-line… It is not that I need much of the football knolwdge to see that. It is just pure logic.

            1. Croat – I agree that a pass play was probably the better choice which I expected when I saw R. Rodgers at TE in the formation. So if they throw a pass and it is incomplete, which is a likely result, now what? We are still in the same position. Do we pass again or run? You know that if the pass plays don’t work, even incompletions, people would be complaining about why is MM passing when he has Lacy as a RB. But if the play is successful either pass or run, no one will say good job MM either. When the play is successful no one notices or cares about the play call. They just move on to the next play. Look at the Jets game. 80 yard TD pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson, which was the game winning TD. Was that a good call? No one said anything about that play last week, good or bad, but it won the game! If Rodgers was sacked or interception everyone would have said, bad call, especially if the Packers ended up losing. But that play was executed perfectly. Even a bad play call, when executed effectively, no one criticizes, only if the play fails. You see, “success has many fathers, but failure is always an orphan”. In the case of football, everyone wants the coach (MM) to be the father when the play fails and the team loses. And yes, MM is ultimately responsible. But when the team wins people say, we did it, we are all great, etc…To be fair, yesterday, in my opinion, MM and the offensive players all failed. But if the Packers offense returns at some point and the defense continues to improve, we are in for a very good season. If not, well, there is always next year, but we have a long way to go.
              Stay optimistic. Thanks, Since ’61

              1. Everything you wrote is correct. Lot of people here (with best intentions, no doubt) will call for heads at every post game discussion. But, not me. I understand there is the opponent who wants to win as much as Packers do. Win & lose is something that is normal. What bothers me the most in this situation is that MIke called play with obvious fail. It was 1 in million that play would not bring at least safety to the Lions. That is what I’m saying. We might failed on 3 tries and punt then, but still we will have 3 tries and 2 point less to catch. That is what I wanted to state… Thank you.

              2. I would agree on the safety that it was largely poor execution. Richard Rogers got trashed by the DE, and Lang whiffed on the stunting LB. Both are capable of making those blocks, so it was bad execution. I was disturbed to see Lacy aligned so deep, tho.

                Also, any holding penalty committed while in the end zone is a safety, not half the distance to the goal. Since the ball was on the half yard line, the O-linemen are going to be in the end zone pass blocking almost immediately. Any pass other than, say, a slant or other really quick hitter, can be dangerous and lead to a safety. In short, it is a dicey situation, especially for GB, which is not known for its ability to pick up a yard when needed. So, in such situations, since time immemorial, you see coaches calling for a FB dive, QB sneak, or something similar. It is just dicey for the play caller. Thanks for still being the most civil poster, Since ’61. This team isn’t going anywhere if their good O linemen don’t play up to their abilities.

              3. Greatreynoldo – I appreciate your comments. Yes, the FB dive would have made the most sense to me because I want to at least try to make 2-3 yards on 1st down in to establish some room for the punter if we don’t make a 1st down. If a 1st down pass goes incomplete we are under even more pressure on 2nd down without having improved our position at all. I would really like to know if Rodgers changed the call at the LOS because I did not expect a run when I saw R. Rodgers in the formation and Lacy deep in the backfield. If Rodgers did change the play it might explain that the OL did not adjust their block assignments, resulting in the untouched defender making the play. We’ll never know because MM will cover his QB if that’s the case. I enjoy your posts. Thanks, Since ’61

    2. Because play calling is not the issue, execution is. Football is a game of execution and players winning their one on one battles. The Packers OL lost those battles today. They did not get the job done and they lost. Amateurs focus on play calling, professionals focus on execution. Execute the plays and all t5he calls look good don’t they? Example, game winning play against the Bears during the last game of the 2013 regular season. Kuhn makes key blockm on Peppers execution, Rodgers rolls away from rush and keeps play alive, execution. Cobbs see defender comes up and runs by him and gets open, execution. Rodgers sees Cobb come open and throws pass on target, execution. cobb catches pass and scores, execution. Packers win! Do you know or care what that play call was? o

  12. Off topic here, but is there a trick to inserting a new paragraph? Haven’t been able to do it since this site changed formats. Frustrating.

      1. In the past I’d be able to hit the “enter” key to create spacing for a new paragraph but now when I do it the next paragraph is automatically joined to the previous ones.
        I’ll try it right now. These sentences were entered after I hit enter a few times. Yet I expect it will be joined to the first when I post. It looks good in the comment input box though.

  13. al’s comments at the end of his first impressions were dead on. MM has his virtues: like keeping his team playing with all the injuries the past couple of years, but he is not a good game coach and he absolutely is not a good play caller. it is not just that other teams have our tendencies down, it is that they are not even tendencies: the other D coordinators KNOW exactly what we are going to do. Did you see that guy Slay just have Jordy’s routes down cold. so they are playing cover 2 and it takes away our long game, and getting a good rush from their front four what then would be wrong with some screens? some throws to the backs? 7 and 8 yard plays some going for more? We are at best merely mediocre. AR has to be absolutely perfect for us to have a chance and he has not been sharp except for half the Jets game. But i think TT has to order MM that he either finds an OC or he must go.

  14. Execution might be the most important thing, but I submit that it is not the end of the conversation. The other team gets paid to execute, too, so play-calling and scheming are also important. Good play calling puts players in a position that maximizes their strengths and only calls for the player to do that which is within their capabilities. If the game plan puts Sherrod out on an island blocking, say J.J. Watt, it is entirely predictable that Sherrod will fail to execute on a frequent basis.

    On the play that resulted in a safety, it looked to me like Lang whiffed on his block. Since that block is within his capabilities, I would call that a failure to execute. It should be noted that Lang has a history of having trouble with Detroit’s defensive line, and with Suh in particular. I don’t know if there was a play that might have been called that had a higher probability of gaining positive yardage. That is why I haven’t suggested that MM should not call the plays anymore. It does seem to me that it has not been a strength of GB to pick up 1 or 2 yards on a power running play on 4th and 1 or 4th and goal over the last few years. I think TT (and perhaps injuries), in providing GB with sub par run blocking R and L tackles, hasn’t done MM any favors, making 4th and ones and being on the half yard line dicey situations for MM.

  15. There are a couple of common elements that I see lacking across all of the units – intensity and determination. All the talk about the absence of execution leads to a question – are the guys that the Packers have on the field so physically inferior that they are incapable of winning their one-on-ones? If so that goes to talent identification and acquisition and that falls in Thompson’s lap. Or, is the coaching and game planning so lame that no matter how hard or effectively they play individually, they’re incapable of recovering from those handicaps that the game plan, scheme and play calling impose? If so, that goes to coaching, preparation and having your team ready to play and that falls in McCarthy’s lap.

    So, can one of the two of them please stop defending how well what they do is working and get busy on a couple of new ideas that actually might?

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