Packers Vs. Patriots: First Impressions – 2014 Game 12

Packers vs. Patriots - offense

Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots:  2014 Game 12 (Packers 26, Patriots 21)

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.



A playoff atmosphere will take over Lambeau today as perhaps the two hottest teams in the NFL battle it out.

They are also the only two teams who have made the playoffs the last five years in a row.

High powered offenses, you say? New England (32.5) ranks first in the NFL in points per game this season with Green Bay (32.2) in second place.

Nick Perry and Jarret Bush are both active. In Perry’s case, I think he was going to play all along, but wanted to give NE another thing to consider in preparations



oday’s captains will be QB Aaron Rodgers (offense), CB Sam Shields (defense) and P Tim Masthay (special teams).


Inactives for today’s game:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 QB Scott Tolzien
39 CB Demetri Goodson
54 LB Carl Bradford
72 C Garth Gerhart
80 Justin Perillo
83 WR Jeff Janis
97 DT Luther Robinson

New England Patriots
21 CB Malcolm Butler
28 RB James White
48 LS Danny Aiken
59 LB Chris White
65 OL Jordan Devey
71 OL Cameron Fleming
95 DE Chandler Jones


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Nation buzzing about this game: Definitely Theses are the games you love to compete in. Lambeau field has been buzzing all day.

Prepare any differently: The thing that stands out about this team is their consistency. How they go through their week of preparation, whether coming off a win or loss, their week of preparation. We had some corrections that needed to be mafde. Our outdoor practices were good. We feel very good about where we are and we’re ready to go.

Perry, Bush limited at all:  They’ll both assume their normal responsibilities.

NE as a chameleon: Def – their approach is unique that way and that’s how you have to prepare for them. This is a game we’ll have to figure each other out early and get in a flow

matchups: Definitel;y Utilizing your resources.

Brady: Great player. What he’s done has just been extroadinary. carrys the face of that franchises in a class way

Gronk: he’s a matchup problem for anybody. This guy is unique. he has a body type and uses it in unique ways, not just to make the catch, you have to tackle him afgterwards

Key stats to look for: Turnovers, total possession and big play production will be the big statistics.

GB success at home: We always play better at home – we’ve started fast which has helped us. Lambeau is a great place to play. Important we get out to good start not just on offense. This game is going to come down to all three phases. Special teams could be a big factor.




Packers vs. Patriots- First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and elect to receive.

Browner starts out on Nelson and Revis on Cobb.

Of course, I only know this from twitter as CBS HAD To RUN A MILLION ADS! They pick up the game with 12:34 left in the quarter and the Packers on the NE 16. How did they get there> Have no F’ing clue…

Announcer says one pass on first play, three Lacy runs for 39 yds. Wish I had seen them.

Packers only gain 2 yds on two run plays, throw to Adams is long – they settle for a field goal.

Packers start on defense with Matthews and Barrington at ILB, not Hawk.

Hawk in on next play and then Barrington again. Barrington comes up BIG with two straight stops on 2nd and 3rd downs. NE punts.

Patriots showing a variety of rush packages, getting some pressure, but overall, Rodgers makes them pay by extending play to the outside.

Packers again have to settle for a field goal in the red zone. Not a good thing against the Patriots.

Patriots playing a lot of press coverage. Challenging Packers WRs to get open. Nelson hasn’t gotten a sniff yet, seeing double coverage most of the time.

Patriots crossing routes is what I was most worried about. So far #Packers are all over them. NE goes 3 and out.

Rodgers continues to take what the Pats secondary is giving him. Long completions to Adams and then Richard Rodgers for the TD. That looked too easy.

VERY pleased Rodgers hasn’t tried to force the ball to Nelson and Cobb. Be patient and use the 3rd WR, TE’s RB’s, and the running game.


Score at end of 1st quarter:   GB 13 NE 0

Down 13, Patriots have switched to “throw first” mode. First and goal on the six yd line. Shields leaves the game and walks to the locker room. Possible concussion. Davon House is next man up.

Branden Bolden gets a shot and makes 4-5 packers miss on a TD run.

Getting Cobb on a LB – brilliant. (bunch formation, Cobb in backfield) Fantastic play design.

Cobb with 3 straight catches out of the backfield. Revis is on Nelson this series.

Packers in the red zone and Rodgers sacked on third down. And what was TJ Lang looking at on that play? Hightower was right in front of him.

Packers settle for their 3rd Red Zone field goal.

Brady starting to find Edleman and Vereen. That’s BIG trouble…

Tramon beat badly on 3rd and goal as Pats get 7 points. Not settling for field goals in the Red Zone.

Jordy Nelson…  Burn, Revis, burn…


Score at end of 1st half:   GB 23 NE 14


Packers vs. Patriots- First Impressions – Second Half:

Packers DL shows up big time in first series. Daniels draws a holding call and hits Brady. Then Datone Jones pressure causes an errant throw. NE punts. Packers on their own 46.

Get into FG range but Crosby misses a 40 yarder. He’s been so good this year, even I can’t criticize him for that.

Packers defense is playing as well as can be expected against the Pats offense. Any time they get pressure on Brady – good things happen (for the Packers).

Davante Adams goes over 100 yds receiving for first time in his career. Nice job, rook…

Gotta give Lacy a lot of credit for hanging in there on a blitz by Jamie Collins. Takes two hits, falls on top of Collins, but Collins gets up and later sacks a cornered Rodgers.

Packers punt for the first time.

Score at end of 3rd quarter:   GB 23 NE 14

Barrington asleep on a Bolden run. Stop playing – didn’t realize Bolden was still going.

When Davon House gets beat. it’s usually because he hasn’t turned around in time to see the ball. Just did it again as Pats draw within 2 pts.

Pats D is wearing down as Packers methodically drive downfield. In the red zone again…

Davante Adams, Oh no… right in your hands. Yet another Red Zone field goal. Packers up by a very uncomfortable 5 pts.

Pretty much anything is four down territory now for the Pats.

Few believers in the Packers D on twitter when Mike Neal sacks Brady. I retweeted their assinine tweets just for fun.

Pats miss a field goal!

Packers make a big third down and it’s the  VICTORY FORMATION.


Final Score:  GB 26 NE 21


Final Thoughts:

Packers defense had some ups and downs, but overall played as well as they are capable of against a potent offense. This is a unit that is not great, but is good enough for a SB contender with a top offense..

Defense was swarming to the ball today. Can’t often say that…

Sam Barrington made some impact plays, but was also victimized a few times. Normal for an inexperienced player, but his future should be bright.

A very good game by the offensive line today.

Jordy Nelson…  Burn, Revis, burn…

Julius Peppers had a very quiet day.

People (not me) were calling the Vikings win a gutty win. Um, no… THIS is was a gutty win.

I think Tom Brady is a little mad.

Multiple kudos to Mike McCarthy and his offensive game plan today. I criticize him a lot, and today I could little to fault. The bunch formations (been asking for that for years). Cobb catching passes out of the backfield. All great moves. Well done.

This was the type of win I needed to see to really believe the Packers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. It is done.


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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


42 thoughts on “Packers Vs. Patriots: First Impressions – 2014 Game 12


    This team is legit. After the terrible start, I didn’t believe it. Call me cow. After the Saints’ game, I thought this D would let us all down again.

    But no! This D is average! And that’s a good thing, with this offense.

    And, most of all, we’re unstoppable at home, and it looks like we’ll be playing home all the way! With Rodgers, we’ve been way worse playing at home than away, but not this season!

    I’m crying!


    p.s.: Fire Dom Capers

    1. I’m assuming that ps is sarcastic? Dom kept Tommy Terrific off balance all day. And removing Hawk was genius. I’m SURE BB had the crosshairs of Edelman and Vereen set on the slow and small and old guy.

    2. I agree with everything but the fire Capers part, really? They may have had the 25th ranked total defense going into this game (10th vs. Pass, 30th vs. Run), but they have this key stat: Ranked 4th for turnovers (in a 4-way tie) with the Bills, Lions and Texans with 15 INTs and 9 forced fumbles. That’s what counts.

        1. Yeah. A jab at myself, as schizophrenic as that sounds.

          I still think he should’ve been axed, but got to give credit where it’s due. He has corrected midseason, first moving Matthews to ILB, and now taking Hawk out of sub-packages. He’s also promoted Clinton-Dix full time.

          Not much anyone else could’ve done. The roster is good, but not great. We really need a difference maker on this defense, preferably at ILB and/or CB (Tramon Williams has been playing badly for the last 3-4 years. No injury excuses this time).

  2. A great game and a great win for the Packers.
    OL was great.
    Jordy beats Revis.
    Rodgers out plays Brady.
    Packers score 1st 5 times they have the ball against the great defensive genius and best of all Mike McCarthy beats Belichick.
    MM outcoached BB in every phase of the game. Game Over. Case Closed!
    Now BB stands for Belichick Beaten.
    Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  3. Wahoo!!! Great game by the defense and McCarthy. Offense left to many points on the field but all in all a great day to be a Packer fan!

  4. Wanted them to hold their own…they did that and a tad more..a huge win for confidence going forward….BRING ON ALL COMERS!!!

  5. I told everyone that this game was all about Aaron Rodgers and it was. He outplayed Tom Brady in this one. He was challenged big time by out of all people Brett Effin Favre who called Brady the best qb in the NFL. I knew Rodgers would take that comment and prove everyone especially the old goat wrong once again. Rodgers was not going to lose this game. He had the ball in his hands with the game on the line and put the dagger himself into NE. An appropriate ending. Thank you Brett!!

    1. Please don’t bring negativity (Favre) into a very positive subject, it’s like hearing a super funny joke and then you turn it into a serious conversation about all the suffering in the world. Please don’t do that again.

      1. Hey Chad, do me a favor and quit telling people how they should post their opinions. Please don’t do that again ok and I’ll excuse you.
        Favre called out Rodgers without calling him out and Rodgers responded. There was the football game and there also was the game within the game and I wanted people to know about it. I am happy with this victory. Nothing negative at all. Favre eating his words isn’t negative, it’s positive. The old goat!! lol

        1. People either really love Favre or hate him, either way you’re going to upset people by so much as mentioning his name. Best to just let this be a good day all around imo.

          1. Again Chad, it’s a great effin day. I think you are the only one upset that I mentioned good ole Brett. Enjoy the fact Rodgers beat Brady and Brett put his foot in his mouth for the millionth time.

            By the way, I don’t give a damn if I upset people. I can’t control that, I just post what I feel. Look at Ferguson. A bunch of dipshits protesting. You can’t control stupid Chad. Just live damnit!! and enjoy this victory!!

            James T. Kirk

              1. Would you like me to forward it to you if he does Big T? What you do with it in the privacy of your own home is none of my business.

    1. Although I will say that we needed Davante Adams and our TE’s to step for us to win, and step up they did. Wee bit of credit for me…?

      Whatever, don’t care actually, WE WON BABY!!!! Home-field through playoffs here we come!!!!

      1. Chad Lundberg


        Reply Commenter:

        Listen here, noob. The Packers didn’t draft Chris Borland because we drafted someone else

        Reply Chad Lundberg
        You would seriously prefer Davante Adamd over Chris Borland? Ive been
        watching NFL for years now, obviously its YOU who is the noob. Try
        again rookie.

        1. What the hell is this??? You may be the most insecure person i have ever come across, that’s saying a lot!!

  6. I was wrong with my concerns about our D for this game. I thought they may have given up more points, but overall, they held a high power team to 21. Good job! Furthermore, Rodgers proved he’s the best QB in the league. That last first down throw was icing on the cake. Great win! We have a great opportunity for NFC home field advantage and a trip to the SB! Go Pack

  7. Best win in 4 years. The defense was by no means dominant (against a dominant offense) but they did the job. 21 against the Pats? I’d take that every day.

    Give credit to the Pats D in the RZ – but this game should NOT have been this close. GB gave up about 20 points needlessly today.

    Helluva win. We are the best team in the NFL right now and the deserved SuperBowl favorites. Barring an injury (and with 1 more expected AZ loss), the road to Glendale runs through Lambeau.

    Feels great!

  8. Al, it would be nice to apologize to Packers for your lack of believe in this team. Since 61 was better in guessing the score, I was little bit to optimistic (well I do not have great football knowledge), but you were so pessimistic. Why?

      1. Well, I was joking, but I think it is more appropriate to call you pessimist. Here, we say that pessimist is realist optimist 😉

  9. Man, I’m just gonna sit back and enjoy this. What a slugfest! That was the best O-line performance that I’ve seen since the 2010 Super Bowl run. I’ve waited 4 years for those guys up front to block like that, opening up holes, denying the will of the Patriots in the trenches.
    At long last, we have a running game, we have an O-line, and have a defense that can play. Finally!! If there was any doubt before, it is gone. If we can knock off the Patriots, any other team in the NFC is fair game. This team is for real and yeah I’ll say it — THIS TEAM CAN WIN THE SUPER BOWL!! You gotta believe!! GO PACK GO BRING ON THE FALCONS!!

  10. It was a great win. Good to see the defense make a big stop late in the 4th to force the punt. I personally thought Rodgers was a little erratic on some throws and the sack he took when he had all day really bothered me but the throw he made to ice the game was incredible. GoPack!

  11. A great win! A true team victory. Now on to Atlanta.

    The Packers will have to get refocused in a hurry after such an emotional win, and Atlanta is fighting for a play-off spot. No rest, especially now.

    1. Good point. Sometimes the blood rushes to players’ heads after such an emotional victory. There can be NO let down vs. the Falcons, who just knocked off Arizona.

  12. 6 – 8 -10 -12 seconds for Rodgers to throw – untouched
    Announcers mystified – OL very nice game guys.

    1. Yup. Game balls go to every one of the big uglies on the OLine. AR’s legs are probably tired from all the shuffling around he got to do as he ran through his progressions – twice.

  13. Considering the Pats have a substantial lead in their division and they weren’t playing a rival I was a bit surprised how animated Brady was throughout the game. Thought he was going to blow a gasket at the end there. Potty mouth.

  14. Can’t script a win any better than that. Offense was outstanding aside from a couple stalls in the redzone. Arod is on another level right now. Throws like the TD pass to Rodgers are just insane but he makes them look like a stroll through the park. The defense hung on for dear life and made a few key plays when they needed to.

    That CBS crap really pissed me off though. They are already greedily taking every opportunity to cram as many commercials down our throats as possible, always looking to squeeze another nickel. Playing them over game footage is crossing the line. That’s unacceptable, especially for the premier matchup of the day. Aint watching another thing on that channel.

  15. Very impressive team win. Very impressive schemes from MM and Capers. The O-line’s pass protection was excellent, and the run blocking was just okay (I also did not get to see Lacy’s first two runs for 39 yards – I only saw him run 19 times for 58 yards, a 3.1 average). It seems that this O-line can play well on grass, so home field advantage is important. Never saw R. Rodgers take the Lambeau leap.

    Statistics can mislead. NE had 3 sacks and 5 QB hits, while GB had 1 sack and 6 QB hits. No doubt in my mind that GB got consistent, very good pressure on Brady, while Rodgers had lots of time. Kudos to the rookies for stepping up. Linsley held his own with Wilfork, Adams had 6 receptions for 121 yards (albeit with the bad drop of a TD), and Ha-Ha had a pretty good game (but needs to wrap up on of all people, Gronkowski!). Go Pack!

      1. I was very impressed by the way Linsley played today. He won’t let Tretter have the job back and that’s the way it should be.

    1. That TD drop by Adams…I think we were all watching NE drive late and wondering whether that drop would be the difference in the game. Damn fortunate it wasn’t.

  16. Have to give MM credit when due. He finally opened up the playbook. Been asking to put the receivers in bunch or stacked formations to prevent all the jamming and 2 man under teams have been playing against us final worked. Also have to applaud DC for using Claymaker to bang Gronk up at the line of scrimmage. He finally made an adjustment and stop letting TE run free. Now only if he would let our pass rushers put both hands in the dirt on passing downs, I think it gives you an extra little burst.

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