Mike McCarthy

Green Bay’s Defense Fails, Packers Lose Back to Back Home Games – Week 10 Grades

 

 

 

 

 

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The Green Bay Packers (5-4) are facing something that not many teams have faced. The injury bug is crushing this team’s chance of any type of playoff run. When healthy they are a top six team in the NFL, but when you lose two QBs, two starting lineman, 3 linebackers, a defensive back and two top receivers they become a mediocre team at best. With that being said the game against the Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) was depressing to watch. The mental mistakes that happened on the field were truly terrible. From Tramon Williams and Morgan Burnett knocking into each other and popping the ball up to DeSean Jackson for the first garbage touchdown to a 10 yard under thrown ball that Riley Cooper came back, caught the ball and rolled into the end zone for the second garbage touchdown. Two missed field goals by Mason Crosby puts worries back in to Mike McCarthy and all Packer fans that he is going to go back to his ways of last year. I watched Clay Matthews go after the inside fake rather than keep outside contain and get beat by a slow Nick Foles, if he stays home and makes a legit hit those could be fumbles. Scott Tolzien looked much better than expected and I think that he won the back-up job with that performance. Mike McCarthy already named Tolzien the starter against the New York Giants next week. Let’s get him some reps in practice and we’ll see what happens. On to the grades.

Scott Tolzien gets thrown into the fire four days after being sign to the practice squad.

Scott Tolzien gets thrown into the fire four days after being sign to the practice squad.

Keys to the Game

1. Honestly I think the defense did an okay job, but for the second week in a row could not get the offense back on the field with 8 minutes left in the game. The Packers defense held the Eagles to a four play drive drive after Tolzien’s end zone interception and the Eagles missed a field goal. There were some bright spots on defense where the Packers could not make a play, Jackson’s touchdown, Cooper’s touchdown and Williams just missed an interception on a completion to Jeremy Avant. The bad wholly outweighed the good. Tackling was awful, no pass rush what so ever, containment was bad and receivers were left open. Grade D+

2. “The Packers need to dominate time of possession. This Eagles team is fast paced and can score quickly, if the Packers can keep the Eagles defense on the field they will get tired and the Packers can run the ball all over them in the fourth quarter.” Those were my exact words in my week 10 preview and boy did I get it right. The Packers drove down the field in the 4th quarter and Tolzien looked to complete a pass to Jordy Nelson for a touchdown on 4th and goal to pull within seven of the Eagles. The problem is the head ref did not see it that way through replay and no touchdown was rewarded. The Eagles got the ball back on downs with 9:32 left on the clock and the Packers never saw the ball again. Grade B

3. The Eagles did it again and finessed there way to a win. The Packers couldn’t smash them in the mouth and the Eagles just took it to them. In the first quarter it looked like the offense was going to run all day, but losing Evan Dietrich-Smith and Don Barclay really hurt this line. Grade F

4. The crowd was immediately deflated once Seneca Wallace went down and Scott Tolzien came in. I was only watching it on TV, but the crowd never truly got going and the home field advantage that is Lambeau Field was not there. Grade D-

Player of the Game

Eddie Lacy came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, but once Tolzien came in the Eagles put eight in the box and dared the Packers to beat them with the pass. There was a time when teams could stop the running game with six in the box, telling what happens when your have the 3rd best running attack and no Aaron Rodgers to go with it will do. Lacy still ran for over 70 yards, but that was mostly in the first half. Player of the game for the Packers is Jarrett Boykin who had 8 catches for 112 yards, but the overall player of the game has to go to Foles. Yes, his receivers went and made plays and he got a break on the Jackson touchdown, but that’s is how it goes when you are playing good football.

The Good

1. Scott Tolzien looked competent, made a some bad throws, but he was not on the team on Wednesday and had very limited practice time because the Packers we’re trying to get Wallace ready. To be honest with a week of prep this kid might be able to do some work, his arm is very strong.

2. Brandon Bostick got his first 3 receptions of his career and his first ever Lambeau Leap. It hurts that it was in a loss, but Bostick will remember this one forever.

Brandon Bostick gets his first Lambeau Leap in one of the few Packer high lights

Brandon Bostick gets his first Lambeau Leap in one of the few Packer high lights

The Bad

1. I have to say it, the coaching has been terrible. Dom Capers needs to get this defense together and figure it out. I understand injuries, but that cannot be an excuse. The Packers needed to rely on the defense to win this game, but it didn’t happen. The offense kept the defense off the field by dominating the time of possession. As mentioned above the Packers have let up an 8:00 minute drive in the 4th quarter of back to back games. That can’t happen. M.D. Jennings can’t cover anybody and doesn’t understand the concept of under thrown balls. Absolute failure.

2. Crosby is back to his old tricks. Those two missed field goals played an enormous part in this loss. Instead of going in to half with score being 10-9 the score was 10-3. Crosby can’t get into his slump of last year otherwise he will be out of a job. Pretty good chance the Packers bring a kicker this week to compete with Crosby.

The Ugly

Injuries, Injuries and more Injuries…

Aaron Rodgers, Seneca Wallace, Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb, James Jones, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Don Barclay, Brad Jones, Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, Casey Heyward, Johnny Jolly, Bryan Bulaga should I keep going? This is nothing new in the NFL, but to be honest this isn’t the first season in which the Packers have been destroyed by injuries! The last four or five seasons have been like this one. As a Packers fan I have to keep the faith, but as someone who is watching the games it is truly hard to envision the Packers making a playoff run.

Up Next 

The Packers head to New York to square off against the Giants, who after a 0-6 start are back in the race for the NFC East title. Can the Packers keep from losing three straight games?

 

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Week 10 Green Bay Packers Preview – Philadelphia Eagles

***ALERT*** The weekly preview was expected to go to video this week, but due to some technical difficulties the video preview will be pushed back one week.

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The Green Bay Packers (5-3) fell into a 3-way tie for the NFC North with their Monday Night loss to the Chicago Bears. Not only did they lose the game, they lost Aaron Rodgers to a fractured collar bone for about three weeks. That brings us to this week, the start of three winnable games even without Rodgers. The Packers are up against the Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) who just put up 49 points on the Oakland Raiders, the good news is they at Lambeau Field! After seeing what Josh McCown did to the Packers defense and what Seneca Wallace did in his relief effort on Monday it’s hard to believe the Packers can pull off this victory. What do the Packers need to do to get one step closer to the playoffs and Rodgers return?

Keys to the Game

Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are on their way back this week!

Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are on their way back this week!

1. The defense needs to step up. The year the Packers went 15-1, but had the worst defense in the league they had a great turnover ratio. This year’s defense is much improved, even with all the injuries, but they just have not forced enough turnovers. Casey Heyward who had 6 interceptions as a rookie last year has none this year, in fact the team only has 3 ints on the season. The defense has forced 10 fumbles, but have only recovered 4 of those fumbles. The Packers are going to need to force a couple turnovers in this game for a win. The good news is it looks like both Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are returning from injury on Sunday.

2. The Packers need to dominate time of possession. This Eagles team is fast paced and can score quickly, if the Packers can keep the Eagles defense on the field they will get tired and the Packers can run the ball all over them in the fourth quarter.

3. The Eagles are a finesse team and the Packers need to hit them in the face. Own the trenches, stop the run and just hit the snot out of them. If DeSean Jackson comes across the middle make him think twice. The Eagles are the #2 rushing team in the league, when LeSean McCoy gets a hand-off stand him up. The Packers need to play that old school defense for the next 3 weeks.

4. Get the crowd in it early and keep them going all game.

Player of the Game

Let’s put it this way, the Packers need to lean on Eddie Lacy to get this victory. There is nothing to really say about it, Wallace is going to play better, but is not going to win us any games. Wallace will be able to manage the game and as long as he can get it into Lacy’s hand I think Lacy does what he needs to help the Packers inch closer to the playoffs.

Prediction

Seneca Wallace needs to channel his inner Trent Dilfer and be a game manager.

Seneca Wallace needs to channel his inner Trent Dilfer and be a game manager.

Tall task for a hurt team. Back-up QB that was not in training camp with the Packers. He did get a full week of reps with the 1st team and Mike McCarthy is a great coach who puts together some great offense game plans. Not sure if you remember 2010 when Rodgers was knocked out of the game vs the Detroit Lions and the Packers lost 7-3, the Packers had to go into New England to play the Patriots with Matt Flynn getting his first start. Flynn played a great game and McCarthy had a great game plan. Wallace will be ready, let’s hope it translate on the field. Packers get the win 24-21 with a big defensive stop in the 4th quarter.

Green Bay Packers Power Rankings – Week 9

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The Monday night loss to the Chicago Bears is going to drop the Green Bay Packers in the Power Rankings this week. How far did the Packers drop?

ESPN.com – 11 (8) – Don’t blame Seneca Wallace for the defense. The Packers allowed a season-high 113 rush yards before contact Monday night and Brandon Marshall topped 100 yards for the third time this season.

CBSSPORTS.com – 13 (9) – If Aaron Rodgers is out for any period of time, the Packers are done. That’s how valuable he is to that team.

NFL.com – 12 (9) – Going forward, it would behoove head coach Mike McCarthy to get Seneca Wallace out of the pocket. Not to run, mind you, but to move the launch point, taking advantage of Wallace’s legs while getting him out of the melee. Designed rollouts might alleviate the risks of playing behind that mediocre Green Bay offensive line. Otherwise, teams are going to continue to stack the box to stop Eddie Lacy, at least until Wallace proves he can beat them downfield.

 

Packers Lose the Game and Aaron Rodgers – Week 9 Grades

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The Green Bay Packers (5-3) took a 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears (5-3) on Monday Night Football to create a tie for first in the NFC North. Due to tie breakers the loss actually moves the Packers down to 3rd in the division and out of the playoffs. To make matters worse the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers on the final play of the opening drive of the game to shoulder injury. There is no diagnosis as of yet which means there is no time table for return. Early indications show a small fracture in Rodgers collarbone, which would keep him out about 3 weeks. Still waiting on more tests.

Seneca Wallace came in for Rodgers and looked slow. I thought it was going to be ok when Rodgers went out because I was under the impression that Wallace had some speed, but alas I was wrong.

Keys to the Game

Eddie Lacy – With Rodgers out Lacy did his job. Lacy had 22 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown. It’s scary to think of what would have happened had Rodgers played the whole game. The Packers finished with 199 rushing yards with James Starks adding another 40. Grade A

Eddie Lacy ran all over the Chicago Bears defense to the tune of 150 yards and a touchdown

Eddie Lacy ran all over the Chicago Bears defense to the tune of 150 yards and a touchdown

David Bahktiari – The Packers let up 5 sacks on the night, my guess is that had a little to do with the Rodgers injury and Wallace’s inability to scramble in the pocket. Julius Peppers had two pass deflections (one deflection was a running play that Wallace decided to throw on) and a sack. Bahktiari did not have any penalties, but there was a lot of pressure on Wallace. Grade C+

Devin Hester – The special teams as a whole was phenomenal against the Bears. A blocked punt, a recovered onside kick and four punts downed inside the 20. In the 3rd quarter there was one slip up and Hester had a 23 yard punt return that gave the Bears the ball in Packers territory. Grade B+

Player of the Game 

If we are talking Packers player of the game, then Lacy was the right pick here (so I’d give that pick an A grade). The only issue is the Packers didn’t win and you can’t be player of the game. This has to go to Josh McCown. McCown stepped in to the Bears starting line-up after two weeks of practice and played a great game. Maybe he should have been picked off twice, but he wasn’t and instead stayed calm, bought time and made perfect throws. McCown finished the game with 272 yards and 2 TDs.

Prediction

Since I picked Green Bay to win and they didn’t Grade F. Easy as that.

The Good

1. The Run Game – Another 199 yards on to the Packers already great running game. Rodgers injury is going to cause them to lean more on the run, so it was good to see that Lacy and Starks were able to run with no presence of a passing game.

2. Special Teams – I said it all in the Devin Hester section. Special teams played great and there is another spot the Packers are going to have to keep going to help the team survive Rodgers injury.

3. Penalties – There were none. Very clean game out of the Packers, you would have thought with how many times the Packers ran the ball there would be one holding call.

The Bad

1. QB Pressure – Or lack thereof. If you look at the stats you’ll see a sack and 5 QB hits, but watching the game McCown was able to sit very comfortably in the pocket. There is no doubt in my mind that Clay Matthews plays next week even after just getting the pins in his thumb out. The defense is going to need to carry the Packers and the pass rush will have to lead the way.

2. Turnovers – This defense has been bend don’t break and they are still that way. If they can start creating turnovers they may be able to get rid of that stigma. Casey Heyward needs to become the ball hawk he was last year. Tramon Williams dropped an interception that would have been huge.

3. Not Challenging – How does Mike McCarthy not challenge the Andrew Quarless catch on the sideline? It’s not like they didn’t have time. I don’t always question McCarthy, but this Tuesday I am.

The Ugly

The Packers can't win with Aaron Rodgers in a hoodie

The Packers can’t win with Aaron Rodgers in a hoodie

Seneca Wallace was not ready to be thrown into action. I can’t believe I said this last night, but I wish the Packers kept Vince Young. Young could have at least escaped a few of those sacks and got more running yards out of the play. Why is Wallace making a decision to throw the slant and not run the ball. Peppers was unblocked because Bahktiari was blocking for a run that was going to the right. Terrible decision Wallace, but let’s get a week of practice under his belt and hope that he can get it together. Do the Packers bring back Matt Flynn?

Up Next

The Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) coming off a dismantling of the Oakland Raiders with Nick Foles throwing for 7 TDs. What Eagles team is going to show up? For the Packers sake let’s hope its the team that didn’t score a TD in 8 quarters.

Week 8 Green Bay Packers Preview – Minnesota Vikings

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Week 8 brings a division match-up with the Minnesota Vikings (1-5), actually this kicks off four divisional games in the next six weeks. Starting strong here can really give the Green Bay Packers (4-2) a strangle hold on the division. Barring a miracle finish by the Vikings this will be the Packers last game in the Metrodome aka Mall of America Field. Since Mike McCarthy took over the head coach position the Packers are 10-4 against the Vikings and hold a 55–49-1 edge over the match-up’s history. So what do the Packers have to do to add to their record?

Keys to the Game

1. Adrian Peterson played against Green Bay three times last season and ran for 508 yards. That can’t happen this year. The Packers are 3rd in the league in rush defense at 79 yards per game. Will the Packers defense continue to swarm to the ball and make tackles?

AP ran all over the Packers in 2012, can the Packers slow him down?

AP ran all over the Packers in 2012, can the Packers slow him down?

2. Greg Jennings spent the off season doing a lot of talking about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, but seems to have tightened his lips, which was probably the smart thing to do. The Packers need to ensure that Jennings does not get going in this game. He has been playing very sub-par this year and I am sure he wants to show the Packers they made a mistake, especially with all the WR injuries the Packers have in the passing game. The Packers secondary needs to keep him quiet!

3. Special teams coverage has been a disaster. Cordarrelle Patterson has been returning kick-offs at a 35.6  yards per return clip. If the Packers allow this to happen the defense will have to stop the Vikings on many short fields. Tim Masthay is going to need to kick that ball through the end zone every kick-off.

Player of the Game

Lattimore had 9 tackles 3 assists, one for a loss, a sack and a pass deflection.

Last week vs the Browns, Lattimore had 9 tackles, 3 assists, one for a loss, a sack and a pass deflection.

Rodgers and Eddie Lacy are going to have huge games and I mean huge games, we’re talking over 350 yards for Rodgers and 125 for Lacy. I could go with either of them and be good with my decision, but I am not going to do that! I am going to go defense here because that’s the key to stopping AP. I think Jamari Lattimore is going to have a beast game, the only issue is his playing time. Brad Jones may be back in the line-up this week, but the way Lattimore has played the last two weeks he will get on the field and when he does, he will do a great job against AP.

Prediction

This is a divisional game so in theory it should be tough, but I don’t see that happening. I see the Packers starting quick and not letting up until the end. With all of their focus on stopping the San Francisco 49ers run game they are going to do much better against AP. I don’t see them keeping AP under their 79 yards per game run defense, but I could see AP working hard for every 100 of his yards. Packers win 38-13.

Jermichael Finley Update

As we all know Jermichael Finley of the Green Bay Packers left the game yesterday on a stretcher and spent Sunday night in the ICU. Finley recently went to Twitter to share an update that he is out of the ICU and has been up and moving around! This is great news for Finley.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy spent Sunday night with Finley in the hospital and had this to say to reporters today when talking about Finley’s injury:

“He’s in good spirits,” said McCarthy, who noted Finley spent Sunday night in the hospital and was still there as of Monday afternoon for further examination.

“Jermichael is very upbeat, very positive, always has a smile on his face. He’s focused on what’s most important, and that’s his health and his family.”

 

Mike McCarthy comments on Matt Flynn

Just sharing the knowledge from the inside of the Packers organization. I think that most people would say that it would be automatic that Matt Flynn comes back to the Packers, but I just don’t know. Only time will tell, but it seems as though Mike McCarthy will not bring him back.

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Former Packers QB Matt Flynn was released by the Oakland Raiders on Monday, prompting media speculation as to whether the Packers might pursue him as a backup to Aaron Rodgers, a job Flynn held for four seasons (2008-11).

Head Coach Mike McCarthy didn’t sound as though the Packers would be making any changes at the quarterback position at this point. Seneca Wallace is Rodgers’ current backup, with Scott Tolzien on the practice squad. Both players were signed following training camp this summer, after Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman were released.

“Personally, I’m very happy with the quarterback room, the way it looks, the people in it,” McCarthy said. “Obviously Matt was a Packer. I’m very fond of Matt and his time here. I do like Seneca Wallace. I like what he’s done since he’s been here.”

Flynn left Green Bay after the 2011 season — which he ended with a…

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