Cory’s Corner: No need to worry about loss to the Bills

We didn’t learn anything new on Sunday when the Bills shocked the NFL world and sent the Packers home in defeat.

The template on how to beat this Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team was written by the 2011 Giants and carried out by the 2012 49ers, 2013 49ers and Seahawks, Lions and Bills from this season.

The main component among all those teams is that they all have had a dominating defensive line that only needed to bring four defensive linemen to attack Rodgers. And in doing so, that allowed seven bodies to roam free in the defensive backfield, making the passing windows even tighter for Rodgers.

The Bills didn’t open up Pandora’s Box and expose something that might make the Packers an early exit in the playoffs. It’s simple math. With so many dropping back into coverage, Rodgers’ job became inherently tougher.

One of the main reasons the Packers lost was because the tight end position never showed up. Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers were targeted six times, but they combined to make 1 catch for 7 yards. Better production over the middle eases pressure on the outside and gives Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb more space to work.

Another problem was the lack of confidence in the running game. Mike McCarthy has always been a pass-first coach, especially with a future Hall of Fame quarterback. At halftime, Eddie Lacy had 10 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown. For a lot of running backs around the league, those are decent numbers for an entire game. Yet, he would only get 5 carries for 24 yards in the second half.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had that kind of balance,” McCarthy told USA Today before this season.

Well, the Packers didn’t have any balance against Buffalo where the pass-run ratio was 61-39. The true mark of a great coach is being able to recognize problem areas and make adjustments midstream. The Packers played to a 10-10 tie at half and McCarthy flipped everything he did from the first half the rest of the game.

Obviously, seven drops by a receiving corps that wasn’t playing up to its capabilities didn’t help. But if Nelson holds on to that perfectly-placed ball on a slant-and-go route for a would-be 94-yard touchdown, it’s a completely different conversation right now.

And even though Rodgers had his worst game of his career with a 34.3 quarterback rating, he is still the MVP by a whisper over Tom Brady. In the previous five games, Rodgers has thrown 16 touchdowns and no interceptions with an average of 312 yards a game. On Sunday, he had no touchdowns, two picks and only 185 yards. Rodgers will not have another performance like that this season.

So don’t sweat it. The Packers are still the second-best team in the NFC right now. The records may not say that but the only team that should scare the Packers is Seattle.

The blueprint has been made readily available on how to beat this team. It’s not the easiest to execute because not every team has the personnel to complete it. But even though the Bills’ defense did play well, the Packers could have easily gotten out of upstate New York with a win — because of how well its defense tightened up and forced field goals instead of touchdowns.




Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


51 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: No need to worry about loss to the Bills

  1. Unlike in 2011 and 2012, when TT didn’t provide the pieces to run the ball, this past Sunday it was MM and ARs stubbornness that cost us the win. Even with STs buffoonery. We run the ball in the 2nd half last week, we win. That simple.

    I can only hope that both pull their heads out of their collective rear ends in the playoffs against the Seahawks and Cards. Because BOTH teams have the personnel to do the same thing that Buffalo did.

    The way you get teams out of a playing 7 in coverage and teeing off on the QB is to RUN THE BALL often and do it successfully. If GB just decides to do that (and they can) – they can beat anyone, anywhere.

    Since CM3 has been playing ILB, the only personnel concern on this team is the lightness of the DL – which means that they can’t defend the run unless they commit extra numbers to it. That means they are susceptible to a passing attack if their CBs don’t hold up exceptionally well. I think they can pull that off successfully though. Seattle doesn’t have the passing game. Neither does AZ. Detroit doesn’t have either. New England and Denver do have both, but we’ve already seen how GB can beat them.

    A potential SB against either team would be a challenge. If we get there. Seattle is beatable. IF MM decides to run right at their speed.

    1. Bearmeat – it is obvious that our team needs an impact TE. A big, physical TE like the retired Gonzalez or even Gronk would make a big difference against the Lions and Seahawks. Also, we need to get our RBs into patterns in the passing game, not just for check downs but for actual patterns. We need to create 5 on 7, which creates 3 one on ones in the secondary, versus 4 on 7 which only creates 1 one on one. With the OL playing as well as it is we can send the backs out on patterns. Get a real TE and use the RBs and we can beat the Lions and Seahawks. Thanks, Since ’61

      1. Could not say it any better. Exactly what I see. This tendency to constantly insist on whatever it is that makes them ignore the obvious drives me crazy. We have the players and weapons to shred any D if we used them the way you and most of us have pointed out. I expect them to run the whole playbook this week. Screens designed pass play to the RBs, TEs…..ES everyone. I hope anyway

      2. I wrote before the Buffalo game that we needed 6 receptions from the TEs. We got 1 reception on what, 6 targets, and only 2 receptions from the RBs. The Buffalo game is about MM and/or Rodgers refusing to take what the defense gives them, thereby castrating itself.

        1. Agree. I’m not sure why Rodgers was so uncomfortable during the Bill’s game, but he was from the beginning. Thanks, Since ’61

          1. Since 61, you are not sure why? Big T, myself and many others have been saying it for days now. His poorest performance of his career is because his personal life was temporarily out of whack because his girlfriend Olivia Munn was talking about their sex life. It made the guy who’s known for being a perfectionist and control freak totally uncomfortable so much that he could barely function on the field. I counted 7 potential picks? He was playing like Brett Favre for crying out loud. Something was not right mentally with him.

            People can laugh at it and scoff but that’s what happened. It’s wasn’t Fuzzy’s death, it wasn’t Jim Schwartz, it wasn’t MM’s play calling, it wasn’t the Buffalo defense. We all saw a guy on the level of Superman that was taken out of the game by his girlfriends comments. It’s a concern to me going forward. I hope Rodgers and her straighten this stuff out. Again, this could be another Roy Hobbs situation.

  2. Can we stop trying to sugar coat bad play with the ‘if’ thinking and the Rodgers is still the MVP (by a whisper)over Brady…who gives a crap about the MVP of the regular season….SB MVP or bust.

    Repeating such in every article is nothing but lint in the dryer tray and equal to moronic thoughts his play has to do with Olivia Munn and her sex appetite…morons.

    I understand ‘filler’ and its need in writing,even though I’m not, even if I did sleep in a Holiday Inn or whichever,please use something else to add words on the lines to lengthen said writing…with respect but seriously.

    I remember rants of ….a run game will take away the two high safety and make easier the pass against a defensive style that stifles us.

    Well,aren’t we suppose to have that run game…yes we do…but the problem is it doesn’t seem to be a part of the scheme,part time anyways, to beat the teams with the players of a certain scheme that kicks are arse…again and again and again.

    Was Lacy’s hip a problem..apparently not as to date with no mention since the games end.
    Did Starks get kidnapped…no ransom note was found.
    At this time of the season vs such defenses wouldn’t now be a good time to see if Harris can do something other than get the ball to the 20 yd line as like not returning it at all.

    This team had a chance to make easier the playoffs for themselves,they have now made it harder and it may get harder still in Tampa Bay while already again having to look at a possible back door entry by hoping for win or loss by others…shameful.

    When you want something take it…we haven’t learned that yet while it appears Seattle has again awoken to it.

    Rant Over……Thank You! 🙂

    1. Rodgers should get rid of the distractions and dedicate his focus to football. I think Rodgers is being transformed into a diva and don’t know if his ego can handle it.

      1. Just curious, what are you basing this on? the fact that his girlfriend said something to the media?

        1. Maybe diva is an inadequate word. Perhaps he’ under pressure to meet up to the hefty expectations of the media and fans. Sorry, the girlfriend is the diva and has certainly made her presence known on the internet. But then, that’s Rogers’ business.

  3. One of the poorest premises I’ve ever read. No need to worry? I agree…if you like one and dones in the playoffs then by all means…don’t worry. Rodgers won’t have another game like this? Huh? This is his 3rd poor performance against the only 3 really good defenses he’s faced. Unless you’re trying to assure Packer nation that we won’t face another good defense then your premise might be correct. Not sure why someone ever feels the need to try and reassure fans their team is okay when it clearly isn’t. There has been a well established pattern over the last several years about what kind of teams they can’t beat, and those are the types of teams they’ll face in the playoffs. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the idea that this loss all but ensured that if they can win a playoff game that they’ll have to go back to Seattle. Yeah, no reason to worry about playing on the road, or specifically in Seattle vs. Lambeau. That is what this loss did…ensured the Seattle Green Bay game will not be in Lambeau. I don’t think any rational fan wouldn’t be worried.

    1. Thanks Thorny for telling it like it is. The Buffalo game WAS for home field advantage and now it is off to Seattle if they get that far. Unless the Packers play a perfect game on Offense, which is unlikely, the Packer’s Defense can’t hold up. Wilson and Lynch will go wild on the porous, no tackling defense. Relax my patoot.

      1. Not any more than the Detroit game or the Seattle game or the New Orleans game was for home field. If anything, those games meant more than this one.

        We’re just focusing on this one because it came in December.

    2. Yes. totally squandered a huge opportunity to control our destiny in a winnable game if we only stuck with the run,, Cobb. etc. Senseless. Now I’m angry all over again.

      1. I find myself thinking that a game like this, against a team like Buffalo who keys on the line, would be perfect for the ol’ pitch sweep. Maybe not to Lacy, but to a guy with more quicks, like Harris.

    1. How many missed tackles were there, I counted 17. Probably was more than that. Defense needed to get a 3 and out on the last Buffalo drive with 4:48 to go at their own 20. Did they get it no. 2:48 ran off the clock, 3 time outs were used and the Packers got the ball inside the five. Great job Defense.

      1. Nice to see you posting here Cow. I think once people find out you are here Cheesheadtv will be a ghost town. Serves em’ right. Nagler banned me for talking too much to another person who I shall not name. Anyway Cow, nice to see you here at Jersey Al’s. You are a modern day Howard Cosell in my professional opinion.

        1. I liked Cow also,but I had to chuckle when you said the same and yet thought I was being harsh on Cory as stated below….LOL…anyway,welcome Cow,love straight shooters with no clique following for defense..if its you i assume.

          1. It is Cow Taryn. I personally invited him during the live blog on Cheesheadtv to come here and set up shop. He was forced out at Cheesheadtv thru a bet he never really made. It was 4th and 1 and his stalking of him that was the problem but glad he’s here now.

            Getting David(Cow) here is like getting Aaron Rodgers for free. He’s that valuable a player. Nagler is going to regret not only getting rid of me but not doing more to try to keep Cow (his cash cow) to stay at Cheesheadtv.
            Now once words spreads Cow is here the numbers here will swell and Cheeseheadtv’s will go down the tubes. At least they will always have motor mouth Stroh aka DavidDS. (LMAO)

        2. That’s not Cow. Unless he’s using a pseudonym. I’m not going to publish his name publicly. But I know it from the FF league here last year. And it’s not David.

          Plus, the Cow I read at CHTV usually made less sense than David did above.

          1. Bearmeat, if you were Cow and you are trying to be somewhat anonymous would you put your real name or would you just make up a common name like say…. David… just to try to fit in.
            It’s Cow. Even Taryn agrees with me and she and I had a fight yesterday. Cow is the only guy that is never satisfied and always increases his postings after a Packers loss. I am 99.99% convinced Cow is now here (thank God) under the name “David”. Just don’t tell anyone at Cheeseheadtv he’s here though ok?

            1. It’s him Tundraboy. he’s trying not to be an obvious cow so he’s taming how he talks but he can’t stop being who he is entirely so he gives himself away not that he needs to hide in the first place.
              Same as that idiot Stroh. He was banned by Nagler but Stroh with his huge ego couldn’t leave. No, instead he just went with a different name and is posting away pissing people off again under the name DannyDS.
              Now that I mention Cow is David of course he now has pulled back today. The thing about Cow is he has an unmistakable moo.

        3. So, Ted, you are acknowledging that you are also known as Bernice the Baker. I think you are still posting over at Cheesehead too, also under a different monicker. I just chided DannyDS for using sharp elbows. I prefer civility. Not that I really care who posts where under what name.

  4. I think a lot of people here especially this woman Taryn has been a little harsh on the writer of this article.
    The guy is just trying to be a little upbeat and positive after a tough loss and he’s getting shit on for trying to keep the spirts of the fans up. It’s effin Christmas for Christ sakes!! This is only a game people. It’s not life or death like Taryn is making it sound. Good grief Charlie Brown. I feel bad for these writers. Tough crowd.

    1. I guess you missed the part where I wrote ..with respect.

      Merry Xmas to you and now explain to me how that has anything to do with the game recently played and the games coming up that could define the season.

      We already know and knew for weeks that Rodgers is a front runner for the MVP.Did we need to be reminded of it for the sake of trying to be upbeat.

      The loss to Buffalo was of a huge swing in the advantage the Packers could of had if a win was accomplished and attempting to simply toss it aside as meh is bullcrap.

      I believe Cory knows how I am and have disagreed with him many times but have no ill will toward him.

      Merry Xmas Cory and will always look for your articles. 🙂

      1. With all due respect Taryn it’s Christmas time and you had no right to attack Cory like that. Just because you are a female does not entitle you to verbally abuse men and think they won’t respond back. Cory is obviously refraining from responding because he doesn’t want to fight with a woman. In this day and age he just can’t afford to do so. I think men across the world learned from Ray Rice to just sit there and take it. I am just speaking up for all men out there who have been physically and verbally abused by women but live in silence. I’ll speak for Cory I guess.

        Oh, Merry Christmas to you as well Taryn.


        1. So I was attacking Cory purely from a gender POV….doesn’t your head hurt from hitting yourself with a rock?

          1. I am a survivor of female abuse Taryn and when I read your post of you insulting/yelling etc at Cory it brought back memories of my youth and I reacted impulsively to try to stop it.. If Cory is ok with how you talk to him than I am cool.

            I’m a little edgy with the holidays. I personally hate Christmas because this is the time of year where I see a lot of women yelling at their husblands and boyfriends etc in stores as though they are little children. It’s painful. Anyway, have a Merry Christmas Taryn.

  5. McCarthy and his lack of play calling to get the ball in Lacy’s hand in the second half is a big part of them losing. Lacy was gashing the defense the first half then MM comes out with Starks and a passing game that was not working! Why try something new when what was working just fine was Lacy being a beast?

      1. Be very worried when they play Detroit. The Lions are very stingy letting runners have their game.

    1. You can say that about most teams. if home-field weren’t valued, it wouldn’t be such a concern.

      1. Home field wasn’t much of a concern in 2010. But this year, they’re like two different teams: When at home, they’re unstoppable, but when on the road, they’re not good.

        Hopefully, this loss opens they’re eyes a bit.

  6. Well written analysis written by Corey. I agree wholeheartedly. Running Lacy more would have kept their offense on the sidelines. Plus the loss of Finley was a disaster as the current TE position is still a bad weakness for Rogers. And the funniest thing, the O line protected Rodgers perfectly until Bulaga had to exit the game. If the passing game isn’t working, run the ball, especially the way Lacy was running it.

  7. Rodgers audible out of a lot of running plays in the second half because he saw that the Bills were stacking 6 or more in the box. The Bills personnel are good enough to back out of the box and cover our WRs very tight. A problem in this game was the lack of a quality TE. A big, physical TE like the retired Antonio Gonzalez would be a huge help against the Bills, Lions or Seahawks defense. Another missing piece in the passing game was utilizing the RBs on patterns out of the backfield. I don’t mean for dump offs or check downs. I mean run them in patterns and get more one on ones in the secondary. Since the OL was doing a solid job of protecting Rodgers the adjustment that had to be made was to get more one on ones in the secondary. More runs in the second half may have helped but only to a point. The passing game lacked accuracy from Rodgers, had at least 6 drops and was well covered by the Bills. But 5 on 7 gives you at least 3 one on ones versus only one one on one in the 4 versus 7 scenario. Until the Packers have a TE that can step up and also get the RBs to run actual patterns they will have trouble with teams that have the personnel to rush 4 and cover with 7. I have been saying all season that this team is a quality TE away from the Super Bowl, now we have seen 2 games (Lions and Bills) where lack of a TE has become a big (negative)factor for the offense. The play calling that everyone complains about is a reflection of the personnel that the Packers have or don’t have in this case. Cory is right, don’t worry about the loss to the Bills, it’s over, move on, focus on Tampa. Seattle hasn’t won anything yet either so don’t worry about a game that may never happen. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

    1. Your so right. I had hoped this year that they would be able to cover it up with Lacy in the pass game and lately by at least using Rodgers and Quarless more, as they sometimes do effectively, (before of course going away from that) , but sadly we will have to wait til next year

    2. I think we all can agree that Packers are missing consistent TE. We were all hoping Brabdon Bostick will be the one, as, at the end of the training camp he was # 1 choice, just before he broke his bone. Now, he plays only on special teams, and special teams are playing poorly not just this season, but at least 3 seasons in row! Very rarely flashes, like scoring PR from Mycah Hyde can not satisfy team needs…

    3. Obviously, I agree about the need for a TE, but I actually think a good deal of the problem could be solved if Rodgers would just throw the ball to Quarless and R. Rodgers. It is my view that Rodgers simply ignores the TEs, who often enough are open.

      Look at the interception on the pass intended for Cobb. Yes, Cobb is pretty well covered crossing over the left hashmark 22 yards down field on a 2nd and 7. Rodgers on a good day maybe can still make that pass due to his uncanny accuracy and to his arm strength. And yes, Nelson is really wide open deep, deep on the right side. Perhaps Rodgers did not see Nelson. But Richard Rodgers is wide open 7 yards down field near the left hash mark, with lots of running room. Aaron is looking to his left at Cobb and presumably saw Richard Rodgers in the flat on the left side. Aaron CHOSE to ignore the wide open TE who would have picked up the 1st down and probably a lot more. Aaron wants to go vertical too much. Take what is there. Paul Ott Caruth wrote about this choice MM and Rodgers consistently are making at some length recently.

      1. Reynoldo – you are correct, that Rodgers ignores the TEs sometimes. I think that at times he has tunnel vision only for Cobb, especially when he needs a play, because has great hands and has made many plays in the past. His decision making during the Buffalo game was not very good for most of the game. Thanks, Since ’61

  8. Buffalo showed that dropping 7 into coverage can work. Conventional wisdom is that you need to get pressure from your front 4. But, Buffalo shows that if you have pretty decent DBs and athletic LBs, it is not absolutely necessary for the 4-man front to be able to put pressure on Rodgers (but it helps), nor do those 4 have to stop the run. See the Buffalo game to illustrate this point.

    The interception intended for Cobb is a good example. It was 2nd down and 7 yards to go from the GB 23, and GB was down by 6 points (16-10). Cobb was covered pretty well (needed Rodgers’ famous, indeed uncanny, accuracy and arm strength to complete that pass). Richard Rodgers is wide open about 8 yards past the line of scrimmage with a lot of room ahead of him (and Nelson is wide open deep) but Rodgers can’t take the sure reception to the TE that would have resulted in a nice chunk of positive yardage and a first down. He seems to ignore his TEs and any WRs he does not trust, and it has been a season long problem. I sometimes feel that a coach like Holmgren would have resolved this issue long ago. GB needs to run some plays where the TE is the first option, even if they have to force the ball to the TE, so the defense has to account for them.

    1. It’s not just dropping 7…it’s being effectively physical with the WR and–even if they don’t record many sacks–being able to threaten the OL and offensive scheme with the front 7. We’ve seen many teams try to rush four and flood the field with DBs (ahem, Chicago), but if you don’t have the personnel, you can’t make it work.

  9. Wow it sounds as though the sky is falling with all these comments. This team can beat any team in the league on any day no matter where they play. It takes patience and a grind to beat teams that play D like Seattle and Buffalo. Since the bye week until the Buffalo game they were doing a great job checking down and taking what is available, that is what opened up all those big plays in the past few weeks. They got away from that a lot vs Buffalo, I expect them to get back to that this week. The year they won the SB they snuck in by beating Chi 10-7 the last game of the season after the Bears had wrapped up the 2nd seed.. A lot of the fans are on edge, but the marathon that is the NFL season is still unfolding, getting the 2nd seed and a bye would still be pretty sweet.

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