Packers vs. Saints First Impressions – 2014 Game 8

Randall Cobb signs with Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints:  2014 Game 8 (Packers 23, Saints 44)

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.



Packers play their 5th road game of the season tonight, with the bye week looming next week.

In four meetings since 2006, each team has scored at least 27 points in each of the four games.

Aaron Rodgers posted his sixth consecutive zero-interception game in the Week 7 win over Carolina, tying Bart Starr’s franchise record (min. 15 attempts a game) set in 1964.

Morgan Burnett and Sam Shields BOTH out for this game vs. Drew Brees. Oy…


Today’s captains will be RB Eddie Lacy (offense), CB Casey Hayward (defense) and FB John Kuhn (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
37 CB Sam Shields
42 S Morgan Burnett
54 LB Carl Bradford
72 C Garth Gerhart
83 WR Jeff Janis
95 DE Datone Jones

On defense, 31 CB Davon House starts for Shields, 21 S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix starts for Burnett, and 93 DE Josh Boyd starts for Jones.

New Orleans Saints
13 WR Joseph Morgan
23 RB Pierre Thomas
29 RB Khiry Robinson
33 CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste
55 C Jonathan Goodwin
58 LB Kyle Knox
88 WR Nick Toon

On offense, 68 C Tim Lelito starts for Goodwin.

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Started career in NO: I had a great experience. My first ccordiantor position. Mr. benson & family were great ownership. it was fun working here.

Superdome: It’s huge. When it was built, other domes that existed could fit inside it. very loud, entertaining type atmosphere.

GB success in Oct: We’ll,  let’s keep it going… this is when you start finding out more about yopur football team. Feel good about our preparation

Shields & Burnett out:  Comfortable with Micah and Ha Ha back there , Casey will play the nickel. Most important for us is to push the pocket, hit the quarterback, make them reset.

Saints as a 2-4 team?: You just have to look at their games. They lost a tough one up there at Detroit. This is a very well coached football team with a veteran QB that has played off the charts here in NO.

Why is Brees so good? Command and complete understanding of the offense and what the defense is trying to do to you.

Saints offense like to test the second level? Definitely. Important to try to take away the first option, receiver-wise. Brees is a 2.1 time guy, as far as getting the ball out.

Expect more from Graham? I would think so – he’s a week better. We’ll see more from him, I’m sure.

Look forward to coaching a game like this? This is the type of game we all look forward to, players, coaches. National audience, big time environment, this is what you live for.




Packers vs. Saints- First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and elect to receive. McCarthy hoping to gran an early lead in what figures to be a high-scoring affair.

Even though it worked this time, still hate the 2nd and 10 handoff.

Actually an under thrown ball by Rodgers results in the DB not locating the ball and it’s a 70 yd.TD to Cobb.

Another Jet sweep TD against the Packers. Such a rarity…

OMG a screen… Thanks, Mike!!! #Packers

Julius Peppers split wide and drops a pass in the end zone. Well, yeah…

Asking Peppers to split wide and catch a bullet from Rodgers? Wouldn’t be my choice of how to get him the ball.

Now an onsides kick? Why all this nonsense in the first quarter Mike? Don’t think you have the better team?

Unless you’re losing late, I don’t see any reason to take a chance on giving the Saints offense a short field. Even if it worked, I’m dead against the idea.

I remember when Randall Cobb and Jerrel Jernigan were considered “the same guy” coming into the draft. Most thought Packers reached. Not.

TJ Lang left after first series with an ankle injury and is not expected to return. Lane Taylor steps in.


Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 10 NO 10

James Starks continues to be awful as a safety valve receiver. Takes awkward steps and Rodgers just can’t seem to predict where Starks is going. Not Rodgers’ fault.

Packers defense in bend, not break mode. Get a big stop as Saints try to fool the Packers with the fake jet sweep play the Bears used successfully to score a TD. Clinton Dix not fooled like Sam Shields was that time.

Packers run an UGLY screen (OL way out of position), but a screen nonetheless. Even bad screens can work. Thanks again, Mike!!!

THAT was funny. Rodgers calling, calling for the ball as the play clock runs down and Linsely doesn’t move, head down. Doesn’t move for seconds after the whistle either. Sad, but funny.

Game turns into field goal frenzy. Both teams are combined 1-5 in Red zone. Saints with last drive of second half. Start at 20yd line, 1:50 left, 1 timeout.

No punts.   Packers TD, Saints TD, Packers FG, Saints FG, Packers FG, Saints FG, Packers FG, Saints FG


Score at end of 1st half:   GB 16 NO 16


Packers vs. Saints – First Impressions – Second Half:

Not a good thing when Mike Daniels is making a tackle 25 yds downfield.

Guion again blows up a short yardage play. Packers then stop 4th and short. That’s the third 4th and short stop by the Packers this season.

Wondering why Rodgers looked mad after running for a first down. Damn, looks like he tweaked his hamstring.

Rodgers finally throws an INT as pass bounces off Quarless (ball also hit by DB) into the hands of a Saints player. Lacy makes tackle.

Saints starting to use Jimmy Graham – four catches in second half.

Just as Collingsworth predicts a long bomb with Packers paying attention to Graham, it happens. Hate when he’s right.

Packers go for it on 4th and short on their own forty. Packers telegraph which side play is going to. Still, OL needs to just hold their ground and they make the first down. OL blown up.

3rd screen of the night. Strange, though: screen right, yet they ask Sitton and DBak to get over to lead it. Naturally, late getting there.


Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 16 NO 30

Cameron Jordan giving Bryan Bulaga major problems. Registers his second sack.

Rodgers with second INT off the hands of a Packers receiver. Overthrew Adams, but looked like Adams cut his route short.

Been waiting most of the year for the Packers to throw more to Lacy, as they showed in preseason.

Lots of wondering on twitter if Rodgers should still be playing down 3TDs and obviously bothered by something (hamstring).

Brees lighting up a team’s secondary sure makes things easier for Mark Ingram.

Micah Hyde’s “just average” speed was a real problem tonight. Brees went after him.

Matt Flynn in and quickly fumbles the ball away. And people love this guy…

Final Score:  GB 23 NO 44


Final Thoughts:

While I might normally applaud some creativity coming from Mike McCarthy, I am NOT on board with a 1st quarter onside kick attempt against an offense like N.O. Kudos to the defense for holding them to three points there.

If the Packers didn’t try that onside kick, Saints don’t have 2 min for drive at end of first half.

I take back all the bad things I said about Letroy Guion. Blowing up short yardage plays all season.

I hate when Chris Collingsworth is right about something.

Tell me again why the Packers would run to Lane Taylor’s side on fourth and short instead of behind Josh Sitton? Taylor got destroyed.

Obviously, the screen play was the unscouted look presented to the Saints.

So running with a receiver who can’t cross over to a poorly thrown ball is now interference? There’s a rule like that in Field Hockey. This is football.

No Burnett and Shields hurt more than we all expected. Saints exploited the Packers secondary masterfully.

Drew Brees at home has done this to a lot of teams with better defenses than the Packers. Don’t take it so personally. Bye week regroup.

I guarantee the Packers will not lose next week. Guarantee.




Follow Jersey Al:

                    Add to Circleson Google+

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


32 thoughts on “Packers vs. Saints First Impressions – 2014 Game 8

  1. Well this game proved that the Packers defense still can’t stop the run or a good offense, especially when they play on the road. Saints ran through the Packers front 7 like they were nothing. Plus too many missed tackles. We also found out that Hyde is too slow to be a starting safety. OL had problems again as well. Hopefully Lang’s injury is not serious. On top of everything we have to be concerned about Rodgers hamstring status. Good time for the bye. Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Rodgers “finished” the game and packers get a bye next week. If it’s just a hammy (or maybe even a cramp), he’ll be fine for the Bears.

      1. Dobber – based on the way Rodgers was moving around during his last series I would agree that he should be fine by the time we play Da’ Bears. Thanks, Since ’61

    2. I agree with your points in general. The front 7 isn’t very good. The Nascar package failed to apply consistent pressure and is schematically susceptible to the run.

      Hyde is faster than Clinton-Dix (4.56 vs. 4.58 second forty) and much faster in the 3-cone (6.78 vs. 7.16). Measurables are not everything, though, and I thought Hyde played slow. Clinton-Dix back-pedals very well, has very fluid hips and good anticipation/instincts. Hyde has good football instincts, but needs time at his new position. I think Hyde will turn into a solid pro at Safety given time.

  2. Rodgers threw for a hell of a lot of yards tonight, but can’t help but feel that James jones presence would have changed a lot of outcomes in this game. Some of the lack of talent (Quarless) and lack of experience (Adams) showed tonight. Rodgers’ two INT’s were not his fault.

    I get our D is banged up. No Datone Jones, no Shields and no Burnett, but seriously??? Guys could NOT force a punt tonight! Easily their WORST game of the season!!

    REALLY ED HOCHULI??? Game’s best ref my ass!

    If MM hadn’t attempted an onside so freaking early, and if Micah had recovered the second one. A LOT of what if’s in this game.

    But what I can say is if the Packers came into this game healthy, NO WAY Da Aint’s run us over like this! GO PACK.

    1. Injuries are no excuse. The Saints had players injured as well. The Packers lost this game because they could not stop the run and they missed too many tackles. The DL and ILBs were awful most of the game. With the run game ripping through the Packers defense at will, their pass game opened up with their play action and Brees was back to being deadly accurate. Shields and Burnett would not have made a difference. The way the game played out the onside kick in the 1st quarter was irrelevant. The Saints were forced to kick a FG. The problem was in the 2nd half when the defense needed to make stops they just weren’t there. The second half looked a lot like 2013. Like I said in my 1st post, good time for the bye. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. What I was trying to say, was if all the BS that happened hadn’t happened, in addition to a healthier D, would have made the difference. I was not trying to say that health alone would have made the difference. If we were healthy, maybe we would have gotten a stop or two, which is still VERY poor, but it just might have been just enough. Again, in addition to all the poor bs that happened tonight (Ed hochuli’s bogus PI, Quarless and Adams missed receptions that led to INT’s, poorly timed and poorly executed onside kicks).

        It just seemed like the football God’s did not favor us in any way tonight.

        But the fact that they couldn’t force a single punt is simply inexcusable, I clearly said that.

        1. Chad – I agree. Good clarification. Also, the football gods did not favor us as you said. Tough place to win. Thanks, Since ’61

    2. Not sure which player (Burnett, Jones, or Shields) would have helped against the run. Boyd is better than Jones against the run. Maybe Shields or Burnett would have limited a couple of runs. Still, NO’s backs averaged 7.2 yards per carry. Only 3 hits and 2 sacks sustained by Brees. He had all day, usually (so did Rodgers, for the most part), and he carved up both the secondary and the LBs. The front 7 was thoroughly outplayed.

      The difference was NO could run and GB had moments but not consistent success. Lang’s injury probably hurt GB a lot. My previous opinion was that Lane Taylor is a reject. Now I just think he is below average.

  3. The D is not a SB worthy unit. The offense was terrible in the red zone and on 3rd down conversions. Rodgers should have been pulled sooner in the 4th qt to prevent further damage to his hammy. Bad decision on the on side kick and going for it on 4th down in 3rd qt. The Lions winning today sucked considering that they were down by 21 at half time

  4. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am blaming this game on injuries to Shields, Burnett on defense and Lang and Rodgers on offense. We have those guys and we win this game. For the record I am relaxed drinking an ice cold Schlitz and not worried. We’re fine.

        1. TedTomsin – you think like the real Ted Thompson. No wonder you aren’t worried about anything. All is good as long as you have AJ Hawk spearheading your defense. Defense was an embarrassment last night. Has been for years now. But, don’t worry, be cool.

          1. Archie, what part about missing Sam Shields and Morgan Burnett don’t you get? What part about losing Rodgers and Lang to injury don’t you get? We lost because of injuries especially to our star qb pure and simple.

            The Packers were ready to take the lead and go up by a td in the third. Rodgers hurts his hammy and suddenly Rodgers is Matt Flynn. Not good enough. He was playing on one foot and his passes were not “normal”. That’s why I’m not worried. As long as we have a healthy Rodgers we have a chance at winning every single game.

            We would have won the game in NO last night if Rodgers doesn’t get hurt. Burnett and Sheilds were huge losses especially Burnett because Hyde got exposed.
            R E L A X people!!

    1. I am blaming injuries last week to the Saints’ starting center and top 2 running backs (Thomas and Robinson) for New Orleans not running for 300 yards instead of the nearly 200 put they put up behind draft “bust” Mark Ingram.

      Amazing how Packer fans can delude themselves to think the D is any good. The run D has earned its 32nd ranking. We stink at stopping the run.


      1. Hey bubbleboy, who cares about the run. Capers obviously didn’t give a shit about the run just like Chicago. That was the game plan. Let them run and try to keep up with Rodgers and the offense. The problem was Rodgers got hurt. The second he did he was average and the game was over. That was the difference. Again, I am relaxed about this loss and blaming it on injuries. We get everyone back after the bye and we’re fine. Shit happens as they say. Not worried.

        1. Hey I know, how about a defense that DOES give a shit about the run. I think it might come in handy in months like November and December.

  5. Loss is simple, the defense is just awful. No forced punts again in this game.

    Bad schemes, terrible tackling.

    Offense has to score a TD on every possesion literally.

    It is a joke.

    if the D does not get turnovers it is embarrassing.

    Did anyone see Rogers shaking his head all night as the porous D was on the field?

  6. Also, the rules and the refs are ruining this great game.

    No excuses BUT no interference on Adams.

    Never should have over ruled the Adams catch.

    Just awful calls all around the league.

  7. Here is a preview of next article:

    Lame Calls:

    MM – Outcoached again.

    DOM CAPERS – Brutal

    Defense – Wait there was no defense.

    Refs – ugly

  8. I liked the screen pass calls. I liked the check-downs. I liked involving the TE more in the passing offense, even though tonight one bounced off and was intercepted. I am okay with Peppers at TE, assuming that in practice he has shown that he can actually catch such a pass. Sorry, can’t think of anything to be positive about regarding the defense. Hmmm…. CMIII was active, and Peppers to a lesser extent. Guion and Pennel flashed a few times. There were some good hustle plays: CMIII on his sack and Daniels on his tackle way down field (about 26 yards unfortunately). I thought the effort was there.

  9. Don’t like a Peppers as tight end. Scoring a TD there would have been huge. MM was acting like New Orrleans was so good that trickery was needed.

    Dumb, very dumb.

    TD’s are critical when the D is so brutal.

    Bye Bye Capers

  10. I hope this is all due to injuries.

    I didn’t like the play calling…again! The on-side kick was poorly timed and executed. Usually, with Crosby kicking, GB makes that recovery. Running to the right side, where Taylor replaced Lang, and Bulaga’s not having a great night, wasn’t the best call. Thankfully, the screen worked well most of the night.

    On defense, again(!), they spent too much time on the field. The injury to Burnett was more crucial than I expected. Shields is also missed but Brees was on fire. I also suspect Payton was using TE Jimmy Graham in such a way during the first half, that the Packers were suckered into mostly ignoring him at the beginning of the second half. Good coaching on his part.

    Let’s get everybody healthy during the bye and let Jay Cutler throw us the ball in two weeks.


    1. What we saw tonight is what happens when the Packers have to settle for 3 rather than getting 7. It forces a defense that struggles to stop the run to play an opponent’s entire playbook.

      If the Packers convert a couple of those early opportunities into TDs, we might not be having this discussion…but then, if the Saints converted some of those early FGs into TDs, it could’ve been much worse.

      The problems that we were all bitching about several weeks ago really are still there. The Packers played teams that couldn’t exploit them. Be concerned about the Bears in two weeks: Matt Forte is one of the hottest backs in the league right now, even if Cutler can’t find Jeffery/Marshall with a map. If I were Marc Trestman, I’d get Forte 35-40 touches against the Packers.

  11. The Defense was just not prepared for this game. The go cart package ran out of gas. When do the excuses for Dum Capers run out.

  12. Lets be honest, the Packers are an average team who can crush lesser opponents but can’t beat a good team. The only team we have beat with a winning record is Miami and that’s not saying much. The offense is above average and the defense is horrible. Capers needs to go. I like MM but going for it on 4th and 1 from your own 40 yd line. Bad idea!

    1. In all honesty, I had no problem with the 4th and half-a-yard call. With a back like Lacy, you should be able to get 18 inches every time, but the play looked like it was developing in slow motion, and the line couldn’t get push.

      What happened to the quick, silent count and the QB sneak? Even with a tender hammy, your QB should be able to get a yard over center and Sitton in that case.

  13. I think Al’s 2nd to last point is VERY true. Look: We had 2 very unlucky INTs, 2 or 3 VERY bad PI calls, a failed 4th and short on our own 40 and a bad/unnecessary onside kick. I’m not saying those things weren’t GBs fault, but it’s not likely that all those breaks are going to go the opposition’s way every time. If we play these guys in Lambeau in the playoffs, the outcome will be different.

    We’ll still win the division. We might even get a bye.

    That said, the breakdowns on run D are VERY concerning. Unlike the things above, that IS repeatable. And I’m starting to think that is going to be the reason this edition of the Green Bay Packers will get bounced by a good running team (SEA/SF/DAL) in the playoffs.

    1. The Packer defense is designed to play track meets. They want to play a game in the 30s that forces the opposition to try to play wide open on the offensive side of the ball. In general, the Packer defense only will play as well as its offense does. Teams that have the patience to run, and stick with the run, will always be a problem for this team.

Comments are closed.