2018 Week 09

Packers 17 Patriots 31

Mike McCarthy stood in front of his team this last Sunday in the Visitor’s Locker Room at Gillette Stadium and gave a blunt assessment of their per-formance: “We beat ourselves.” 

The Packers played sloppy.  A lost fumble as the team was driving by Aaron Jones early in the 4th Quarter was the opening the Patriots needed to turn the game around.  Brady marched the Patriots down the field and a razzle dazzle play got them the touchdown.  A few minutes later a faked screen and a missed tackle put them up by 2 touchdowns and that was all she wrote.
So how did this happen?  I wrote last week how I felt about the team letting Jordy Nelson go.  What I didn’t write about is what they did to fill that void.  They brought in rookies.  A lot of rookies.  Equanimeous St. Brown (EQ), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS), are 2 huge wide receivers; Jaire Alexander, and Josh Jackson are the 2 rookies on the defensive side of the ball.  Jamaal Williams and the aforementioned Aaron Jones are both 2nd year running backs.
You’re probably thinking, “Thanks Ken for giving us a rundown of the draft and the previous year’s draft, is there a point?”  Yes, there is. 
We are a very young team at skilled positions.  EQ and MVS weren’t seeing the field very much.  The injury to Geronimo Allison (who went on IR yesterday (it’s Wednesday now), and the injury to Randall Cobb necessitated bringing them into service.  Aaron was limited in practice and many times didn’t practice, so they played with Kizer throwing them the ball.   The same goes for the running backs as far as handoffs and pass protection goes.  These are things they have to pick up on the fly sometimes. 
You could see it Sunday when Aaron would tell Jones to move to the other side, something Jones should know already, but he hasn’t practiced with Aaron so now Aaron’s got to wonder if Jones knows his assignment rather than making sure MVS is going to be in his spot 20 yards down the field.  He may not get sacked, but he’s going to run and since his knee is hurt he’s not going to gain 18 yards, he’s going to get dragged down from behind as he throws it away.  I didn’t envision that, it happened Sunday night

Jermain Whitehead is a 2nd year safety.  He knows the rules.  The rules state if you hit an opposing player in the head, your team gets flagged for a 15-yard penalty and you get tossed from the game.  2 of those 3 things happened.   Whitehead was shoved from behind by the Patriots center, he turned around and slapped him across the facemask.  Chris Collinsworth called the ejection dumb, and when Collinsworth says something’s dumb, it usually is.   3 plays later the Patties were in the end zone.  Whitehead was released by the Packers on Tuesday as well.
On punts, there are 2 penalties that can be called regarding the punter.  Both have to do with running into him.  Now, if you run into him on his plant foot (the foot on the ground), that’s 15 yards and an automatic first down.  On the second, if you hit his kicking foot, it’s only 5 yards, and not an automatic first down.  Guess which one we got, guess who marched down the field and got a touchdown.   I don’t know if that happens at Lambeau field. 

So were these monumental mistakes?  Not really.  But when playing a team like the New England Patriots, they’re magnified because they are taught to capitalize off of them.  To get points, break down their opponents.  That’s what happened Sunday, especially after the fumble. 
Now like I said, we have a young team at the skilled position and we’re a little slower on the offensive line (expect draft activity on that next spring).  I’m not saying we will or won’t make it to the playoffs, maybe all the guys needed was a little adversity to get those competitive juices flowing.  Break out the cue sticks, it might be time to Run the Table.  Look for Aaron to be nasty (in a good way) this Sunday!  
GO PACK!! GO!!!   
(Ken Hill)

 Just Sayin’

 Well, there is the second game in 2 weeks that should have gone in the WIN column, but didn’t, in a large part due to our “highly successful NFL coach” being out-coached. The first time was by probably the youngest coach in the NFL. The second time was by probably the oldest coach in the NFL. I know you folks are might be tired of me slamming on McCarthy, but in fact, I am tired of it myself. But until something changes with his offense, that will continue to be a topic from time to time. It’s been over 7 years since the Packers walked off the field victorious against the Steelers in the Super Bowl. And even though it is 7 seasons later, the Packers offense remains relatively the same as it was back then, slow, stale and predictable for every opposing DC in the league. He will have the rushing attack going early and then abandon it. He will call some quick slants, or some other fast developing play, that has success, and never call it again the rest of the game. And if McCarthy remains coach, I don’t see much changing. He and his staff design plays that take forever to develop. The offense is capable of using a quick tempo offense, but the geniuses that design the plays are only capable of designing about 4 or 5 of them. Now, maybe they actually have more quick plays, but then the person calling the plays apparently doesn’t like them too much, so he calls the slow developing plays that sometimes lead to sacks, QB hits or Rodgers scrambling around waiting for one of the wideouts or tight ends to somehow get open. What the Packers are putting on the field at the halfway point of the season is NOT a playoff caliber offense. Rodgers is not performing at his usual efficiency.
Now I suspect that some of the reason for that is due to the knee injury suffered against the Bears. Also, he is playing with some different receivers than he is used to having out there on the field. If the knee continues to improve, I think his play will improve accordingly. Of course, he will still have to deal with the play calling. I have never been so damn aggravated with the Packers’ offense in all my years as a fan. (And just to be clear, my aggravation is ALL on Mike McCarthy!!)
As far as the defense goes, I really think they are improved over the defenses fielded under the direction of Doom Capers (no, that’s not a typo) over the last few years. Although we have no consistent pass rush, at least from the edge, they are playing better overall. I think we finally have the shutdown Corner that we have lacked for so long. As young as Alexander is, there are sure to be mistakes, but he is GOOD!! I really don’t see the loss of Clinton-Dix as a major hurdle to overcome. The guy was just awful at tackling. And better to get a fourth-round draft pick for him, rather than nothing. He wasn’t going to be here next year anyway. Chances are that Montgomery would have been gone as well. As I stated in an earlier issue, the Packers started the season with 23 new players that weren’t on the roster when last season ended. While I don’t expect that much of a turnover after this season, I think the roster will be evolving more. And maybe more than the roster. One can hope… 
Just Sayin’ 
(Jimmy Smith)

GPB Hall Of Fame Report

 Twenty- six Packer backers met at Hall of Fame Sports Grill on Sunday night to cheer on our team.   We cheered (and groaned) together as the night wore on.  At the end of the evening all the tickets were pulled from the door prize bucket.
Quite a few kitchens will exhibit memorabilia.  517 Chris Fairfax chose a spoon rest, 524  Seth Ray will be crackin’ open a brew with his bottle opener (oh yeah, it also flips burgers), 132 Sharon Schulz will add spice with her salt and pepper grinder, while 298 Fran Scoville will enjoy her coffee from her new mug.  131 Gerald Schulz will keep warm with his new stocking cap.  468 Nadar Victor gifted his nephew with wireless headphones.  328 Marge Bramlett chose a mini cooler which she’ll use as an insulated lunch box.  221 Barbara Gambrell chose a great Packer doormat.  321 Sheila Chase will stay dry under her new umbrella.  123 Kraig Pringle chose the chair in a bag which he plans to sit in outside Lambeau Field in December.
The winner of the trivia contest and a $15 gift certificate from Hall of Fame Sports Grill was the very lucky 132 Sharon Schulz.   Winners of the $1 football pool were 328 Marge Bramlett (twice) and 221 Barbara Gambrell (twice)
Sunday’s game against the Dull-fins has been switched to 4:25 p.m.  I know the last couple of weeks have been tough, but we are Packer fans who support our team through it all!  I hope to see many of you at Hall of Fame Sports Grill on Sunday.  Remember, we’re always courageous!  
(Marge 328)

Packers        vs.        Dull-fins

 Dull-fins, that seems to be a good name for them.  They are 5-4 but started out 3-0 and since then are 2-4. Of their 5 wins two were against the 3-6 Jets, another against the 1-7 Raiders, the 4-4 Tightens in week one with their only quality win coming against duh bears back in week 6 at home.  Last week the only thing that didn’t keep the Jets game from ending in a 6-6 tie was a pick 6 given up by San Darnold. 
Ryan Tannehill is still recov-ering from a right shoulder injury so Brock Osweiller is at the helm… for now.  Like the Packers, injuries seems to be their biggest story.  Along with Tannehill,   sixteen others are listed on the injury list this week and this doesn’t count the 9 on Injured Reserve (To no ones surprise, Josh Sitton is one of these).  Of course, this is no excuse but in a league with so much parody, just a slight drop in  talent can make all the difference.  They do have some talent, with DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant, Danny Amendola and  Kenny Stills at wide receiver and veteran running back Frank Gore, they don’t need that much of a QB to run the show.  On the defensive side, Kiko Alonso is their leading tackler, Cameron Wake has 3 sacks and T.J. McDonald have 3 Ints.  Of the players I just men-tioned, only Gore and Alonso are not on the Injury List.  They may be wounded, but they can still hurt you if we aren’t carful.
Packers, on the other hand are a team with a lot of questions.  The revolving door has been active the last two weeks with the departure of HHCD, Ty Montgomery, Jermaine White-head plus Geronimo put on injured reserve.  In their place we have signed LB Ibraheim Campbell (from the Jets), promoted CB Will Redmond and RB Tra Carson from the practice squad and activated Trevor Davis from Injured Reserve.  With the Davis move, this leave us one more option to bring back a player from Injured Reserve for the remainder of the year.  Cobb is back to full practice so I hope Air-ron gets some quality time in this week with him, Adams, Jimmy, EQ & MVS.  I believe if we can get everyone on the same page, our receiving core can be second to none.

Of course, revolving players and injuries are only part of the problem.  More and more people are beginning to think Mike is just as much at fault.  Ty Montgomery became a running back at a time when most of our regular backs were injured, meant to be a stopgap measure; but even with the addition of Williams and Jones, Mike continued this experiment until finally, Ty took himself out of the picture.  Aaron Jones has, in the eyes of many talking heads, proved himself as a good running back and yet Mike still uses the running back by committee approach.  Many believe our offense has become too predictable; Air-ron has eluded to this several times and yet Mike won’t open up the playbook and doesn’t seem to trust offensive coordinator, Joe Philbin,  enough to let him make the calls.
This team could easily have been 7-1.  We let the viqueens ties us, came out flat in both the skins and lyins’ game and never got that last shot at the Rams.  The New England game might be the only legitimate loss. Not because of Aaron Jones unfortunate fumble, but because Mike was simply out coached.  Two trick plays in the 4th quarter along with using a wide receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson, as a running back. To me, the worst part of the whole game was when Jones’ fumble occurred, Chris Collinsworth seemed to go into his post game report, crowning New England as the winner and talking about how Tom is the true G.O.A.T.
The Dull-fins at 5-4 are not as good as their record shows, The Pack at 3-4-1 are better than their record shows but yet of their 3 common opponents, duh bears, lyins and New England, they have the same record, 1-2 with duh bears the only win with a team over .500.   This Sunday we will find out which direction each team is headed.  The Pack is at home in the cold; both these factors run in Green Bays favor, yet we can’t take this team for granted like we seemed to do with the Redskins.  As always, my biased opinion will be for a Packer victory, one that I hope will finally show what this team is capable of.  Linda & I will not be down at Hall of Fame this week but in our absence, we both hope everyone will still        
Bleed green My Friends.  
(Packer John)