Confessions of a Polluted Mindset 2020 - Packers Bow to the Bucs

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

Throughout the game yesterday, there were a few narratives I kept hearing on twitter that I didn't think were particularly true. I decided to spend the time to track the plays and tally up some stats. The first item is...

Why did GB get away from using motion? Well did they? Through the first three quarters (we can safely throw out the meaningless 4th quarter of this game), The Packers used some form of motion 12 times. Aaron Jones was used eight times, MVS three times and Davante Adams once. While they didn't "abandon" the motion concepts, they did use it a bit less and gave it a different look with Swervin' Ervin out with an injury. Our own Aaron Nagler asked LaFleur about this and his answer was that he thought the Bucs defended that jet sweep and motion concepts really well (speed to burn) so it wasn't an emphasis. But still, they did it 12 times, so it was not "abandoned."

Why didn't the Packers blitz more? This is another popular complaint but the truths is this: They do blitz - but they're just so bad at it, you have to be really paying attention to know if they blitzed or not (really - I'm not being sarcastic here). By my count, the Packers blitzed 12 times in this game. Five in each of the second and third quarters and once in the fourth quarter. By my tally, these 12 blitzes resulted in one QB hit and one QB hurry. PFF credits the Packers with 4 QB hits and two hurries on the game, total. So they basically bothered Brady three times more with non-blitz packages. This might be a little window into seeing why Pettine more often than not takes his chances going with 7-8 players dropped in coverage. The next question is why are they so bad at not creating free rushing lanes with blitzes? That's something that will require a lot more study.

Preston Smith: We've all kept hearing how Preston Smith was being asked to drop ion coverage more this year and this guy assumed it was true, but not so fast:

Toss Plays: This one is for Aaron Nagler, who was beside himself during the CHTV Watch Party with the Packers' decision to try to attack the Bucs defense with outside zone toss plays. I'm in full agreement and here's why it makes no sense. Aaron asked LaFleur about this and his answer was that he thought the Bucs linebackers were very good at filling gaps inside. But if you are also saying they are really good at getting to the edge to defend motion concepts, what would make you think running outside zone was the ticket? Look, the Bucs are the best in the NFL at defending the run, so maybe there is no great choice, but when the Packers did have successful plays on the ground, it wasn't out on the edges. I'm a big Matt LaFleur fan, but this particular case was a failed plan of attack.

Pick Six: Aaron Rodgers got what he deserved on this play. Watch Rodgers - from snap to throw, he looks only at Adams. This is not a mistake that he normally makes. To make matters worse, he played to a tendency. CB Jamel Dean said after the game they noticed on tape that whenever Adams moves pre-snap from a bunch formation to the other side of the formation, Rodgers throws to him on an out pattern. Dean was allowed to focus on one thing only and did it to perfection.

David and White: Packers fans would give their right arm to have one of these guys and the Bucs have both. Damn...

Packers Offense: Well, we have enough examples now to know how to reduce the Packers' high-powered offense to Bears-level. Have fast, aggressive players at all three levels of the defense? Check. Superman had his Kryptonite and this is the Packers'. Luckily, there aren't a lot of teams that have the personnel and coaching acumen to play an uber-agressive approach and pull it off successfully. The question is, when the Packers come up against one of those teams, what can they do to handle it?

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"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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Comments (86)

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BBlake's picture

October 21, 2020 at 06:32 am

Losses like this are what happen when you're outplayed and outcoached.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 21, 2020 at 07:04 am

I'm still upset with the Oline. They have got to be able to step it up physically when they are getting punched in the face. To let Suh pull Suh stuff and not have any consiquences is a bjg problem. You've got to double team that dude an punish him or he will try to get away with anything. Ol Bag O Donuts would have been in Suhs thighes a whole drive if he was in there.

The Packers are still a finess team.

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Razer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 07:15 am

...The Packers are still a finesse team...

True dat

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Johnblood27's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:22 am

Maybe someone needed to untie his shoes a few times.

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Since'61's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:14 am

Lang or Sitton would not let Suh get away with that BS.
We Need physical players on both sides of the ball.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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stockholder's picture

October 21, 2020 at 07:12 am

Why did the packers get away from motion?= The clock. Rodgers took to long. A well timed Bucs defense, timed their rushes perfectly. Very disciplined. Very physical. Why did the packers get away from Blitzes?= No lead. To much Respect for Brady. This defense needs bigger men up front. They lost in the trench. Preston Smith = To busy playing the run. Needs to be turned loose again. Fact: stop the stunts! Toss Plays:= Yes IMO, Matt would do this over. Rodgers pick. = Wheres the separation? Again, Rodgers only has eyes for Adams. Would that play have been called if the OL wasn't dominated? David and White, Why can't are GM see what we see?? Changing the offense. Find a slot WR.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:09 am

It's been a theme for the past five years.

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 21, 2020 at 07:21 am

The Packers got a quick jab in at the beginning and many thought the TKO was at hand, don't deny it, and then Rodgers stared down Adams and the TKO punch came and the Packers and fans didn't realize it until too late, but that punch by Tampa Bays defense ended the fight before it even became a real fight.

This was a big game for GB and after getting 3 bad teams and one missing a very key player which awarded them a 4-0 start and enjoying some chest pounding bravado, and then reality came knocking and the proverbial punch in the mouth arrived, and they simply tucked tail and cowered to the corner.

The excuse came quick and a bad week of practice was named as the culprit, but anyone watching that game with open mind and eyes knew that such an ass kicking isn't the result of bad practice alone, but a smaller part of the reasons, which were many on both sides of the ball.

GB, for the first four games, were like the Pro's playing a small college or even major High School teams and probably forgot or falsely believed it would be this easy going forward and their new-found, though short-lived arrogance, caught them looking back upon their footprints of small victories, instead of forward with respect for who was/is coming, as in Williams comment about Brady's 4th down snafu. Seriously, where does Williams believe he has the merited right for such a dis.

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Razer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:06 am

Well said Tarynfor12. The first 4 games are the lense that many Packers fans view this team. The good fortune of last year carried over and the schedule favoured our fast start. Good teams and good defenses have a way of cutting to the truth. Two truths were established on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers arm is the offense. Our offense is the team.

As for Jamaal Williams, I saw enough missed pass protection from him on Sunday for a season. Take care of your own laundry.

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freddisch's picture

October 21, 2020 at 07:28 am

This team continues to be “soft” on both sides of the ball. Green Bay avoids bringing in players who might have character issues (i.e. Lyle Alzado types) who love destroying their opponent. IMO you need at least one or two of these types on your team

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Tundraboy's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:31 am

Or a Willie Davis, Ray, Reggie White...

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Since'61's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:19 am

Absolutely! We need a leader on the defense and someone who is good enough and willing to step up and take over a game. Thanks, Since ‘61

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splitpea1's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:53 am

The problem is that they always have to import leadership, i.e. Reggie White or Charles Woodson. For the most part, they can't seem to develop the leadership aspect in their own players.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Woodson became a leader with the Packers. I’d say Donald Driver was an internally developed leader.

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splitpea1's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:55 pm

I was mainly trying to point out that the Packers have not been able to draft and subsequently produce defensive players with strong leadership qualities in the last several years.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:02 pm

I think it's been longer, maybe Collins but it's been decades it seems since that big defensive presence.

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Razer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 07:41 am

I like that the Bucs built a defense with design. The two fast linebackers (David and White) were selected to work behind a solid 4 man front that could control the LOS and generate pass rush pressure. Simple and effective. I am not sure what the Packer defensive design is? Hire two guys to try and generate pass rush seems to be the approach. I just don't see this defense playing (talent or scheme) at a playoff level.

The game also underlines the fact that the Packers are Aaron Rodgers pure and simple. He got rattled, he got distracted and never recovered. LaFleur could have helped by changing the play calling but it is still Rodgers who drives. There are not enough game changers on offense to tilt the field when our QB goes off. I might have tried a healthy dose of AJ Dillon to regroup the offense.

The "folding the tent" in this game is particularly troublesome.

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murf7777's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:50 am

It’s easy to Bit** about our D, it has its weaknesses, we are average, but the reality is the Bucs have had the Luxury of picking in the top 10 of every draft round 6 out of the past 9 years. During that span, the Bucs have had one winning record with 9 wins. White was the 5th pick of the draft as were a few others in the top 10.. Even the second round pick, when picking so high in the order is a glorified first rounder. When was the last time the Packers had a top 10, much less a top 5 draft pick so they could pick a stud like white? There lies the problem. Coaching, unless your Belichick who seems to get a lot out of average can only take you so far.

That said, after last year, I’m not a Pettine fan, seems too much like Capers and if things don’t improve on D this year I would expect he will be gone. I so hope Pettine proves me wrong and they make it back to TB, but with him running the D in the big games I just don’t see it.

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PeteK's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:04 am

I agree, but Gary should/could be that player, picked 12 in 2019.

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:16 am

This other team has picked in the top 10 bs is tiring. GB had a good pick 12, and they took Gary and I'm sure they could have had better. They also could have drafted TJ Watt but passed, IIRC. The Packers have had many an opportunity to get real defensive players but have gone with the long 'reach' choice too often. The defense of the drafting failures on defense can not be supported by the '______ has been drafting in the top 10 for years' crying bs. Why didn't Gute trade up for defense instead of Jordan Love? You can't cry about what others get when you don't want to go after better yourself.

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murf7777's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:19 am

Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, every team have draft failures and by hindsight, fans of said team state well we could’ve had________name that player picked after their pick. If you really take the time to evaluate others teams picks you will find many or most with worse results. The true telltale is the teams record....wins vs losses.

Funny thing about you Taryn is you only seem to come out and post after losses. You predicted a 9 win season and over the winning streak I hardly seen a post from you. Why is that?

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:10 pm

I don't comment as often due because I've grown tired of reading the same bs, as you put forth above, over and over. It's funny how when the Packers lose everyone has bad things to say, which by the way are the things I've said for years even when winning, and a reason why I win my bets like the over/under totals yearly. I stopped trying to win people over here and just win at sports book instead.

I tweeted this to Cory Jennerjohn Oct 6.

Cory Jennerjohn
@CoryJennerjohn
·
Oct 6
LaFleur > McCarthy.
Quote Tweet

Rob Reischel
@robreischel
· Oct 6
The #Packers have a net point differential of +51, or 12.75 per game. That's the best in football. In 16 games last year, the Packers' net differential was +63 (3.94). This is a dramatically better team than 12 months ago.
Taryn Miller
@Tarynfor12
·
Oct 6
Team is looking really good but, can we play a team that doesn't suck or are close to firing another 0-4 HC .

And look what happened the moment that game arose staring them in the face for two weeks. OUCH!!!

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

You only exist to be right. You focus on the negative consistently and then reappear at times when you seem to be right to trumpet your Wisdom. You led the get rid of Adams brigade because he will never be an NFL receiver. When reminded of such things you disappear till you re-inflate your ego. I see it has reached bloated again.

I laugh at the above because it’s what many here wondered and discussed. Those who expected to go unbeaten excepted. Typical you stating the obvious and then claiming foresight.

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:37 pm

I admit to having lacked the optimism in Adams but I certainly didn't drive the train.

So you exist to be wrong?

I exist to be right as often as possible and do right and that doesn't come with surrendering to an Ideology or the optimisms of the blind faithful.

Am I wrong at times, sure, and I accept those, but I'll try not to let the same thing happen again, unlike many here and the Packers do yearly.

You sir, in every comment you post, has a strong scent of what you imply about existing to be right. You correct everyone's thought even when right and feel the need to put your stamp of right upon it.

My at times adoration or negative comments about whatever are no different then anyone else's except that mine are usually outside the clique mentality, because I do not kneel to compliance so easily, and will never accept all just for the sake of acceptance. I leave that to the mindless, unthinking, deniers who walk through life cow-towing to a narrative that allows no opposition.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:07 pm

"stating the obvious and then claiming foresight"

Perfect. Thanks! I will find a great deal of use for that phrase.

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Razer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:44 am

Murf7777 I am not calling out our defense for lack of effort or boneheadedness. They are just not very good and they lack talent, or at least, talent for the scheme they run. The favourite excuse is Pettine or Capers who have inheritted the players. Next is the drafting in lower rounds. As of late, we have drafted higher and even had two draft picks in the first round. Even at that, we have failed to pick the players to execute the schemes that we do run. We play a 3-4 and the only player in the 3 part of the scheme who is worth anything is Kenny Clark. In all these picks over a decade, we couldn't find any more big body D-line talent? After all these years, we couldn't find 1 good ILB?

The problem isn't about picking lower in the 1st round. The problem is in what you value in picks. The Packers are more apt to shop for big men in the later rounds. This diamond in the rough approach isn't yielding much on the D-line or for the ILB position.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 21, 2020 at 02:04 pm

Well, you could always go to the next stockholder meeting and air your complaints to the man himself. Seriously, Gute made it clear that last year's draft was about offensive needs and future picks. We all knew the D line would have to improve from within, with the limited Cap space Gute has to work with. As it was, Gute did improve the ILB only to have both go down early. His record says he's doing great despite the Packers' draft position. Besides, the odds are high he will address the D line issues in next year's draft. His front office is very diligent in dealing with long term needs.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:12 pm

They have the talent to deliver some results. The D coordinator is an anachronism. Clueless.

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Nate-1980's picture

October 22, 2020 at 04:00 pm

I have to agree with razer, the gm and defensive coordinator are not very good at their jobs.. Gute has basically wasted two drafts with bonehead decisions.. He takes a back up qb and hb within his first three picks, when all of us knew we need front seven and wr help.. I don’t care what anyone says, a good rookie receiver can and would help this season, they’re doing it all over the league..Mike P is a fraud, I’ve never seen dumber game time decisions, I’d fire him tomorrow..

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dobber's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:33 am

In the end, the Packers need to find a way to win with the guys in their locker room. If they can't, it's up to BG and Ball to make it work. Clearly they won 13 games a year ago and had won 4 so far this season (yes, against poor teams so far in 2020, but you still need to win--ask the Vikes about that). The troubling part was that this was no new formula for beating the Packers. It's clear that BG and Ball haven't fixed these problems.

The season isn't over after TB. This was a game many had chalked up as an L before the season started. 4-1 is still a great start. The key now is how this team rebounds at Houston this week. Last season, LaF teams found a way to recover after bad losses to the Eagles, Chargers, and Niners. Houston is not a good team, but they have a QB who will make a game of it. Packers need to come out and right the ship against Houston. If they play listless and mistake-prone football, then the alarms should be going off...even if they win.

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Razer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:25 am

...but you still need to win--ask the Vikes about that. The troubling part was that this was no new formula for beating the Packers...

Well said.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:05 pm

There have been legitimate questions since the demise of last season about aspects of this roster and about LaFleur’s coaching.

He has answered some but we still have weaknesses as a roster and in the coaching. This was not a game where we got run over. This was a game where our O was stymied to the point of impotence after giving up more points than we scored. There are similarities, but as you point out, the way to beat the Packers by neutralizing Rodgers is not new. The abysmal protection of him perhaps is.

LaFleur has shown that this O can score freely on everyone, including Tampa as long as Rodgers has time. He has not shown that he understands how to regain momentum or adjust to let Rodgers resettle. Until he does, we won’t win much.

Most teams will struggle. Some teams have the manpower to do it however. Those without it will continue to struggle no matter how well they run on us. They are going to try to emulate Tampa. If they succeed LaFleur needs to show he has a plan B. It may not always work, but the absence of one was rather shocking.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:26 pm

David was a two pick in 2012, eight years ago. White was the # 5 in 2019. They picked up a DT in a trade with the Jets when Vita Vea went down. He was a one pick. They brought in Suh and Pierre Paul as free agents. Brady was their get out of jail free card and a great selection of Winfield's kid. If the Pack can reboot and get home field in the playoffs, they will kick Tampa's ass.

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Guam's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:12 am

I am glad Al focused on the offensive side of the ball in his article because that is where the Packers lost this game. The defense was okay as they only gave up 24 points to the Bucs and that is often good enough to win in the NFL. And that was with a weak link at CB (Jackson) that cost them at least 7 points.

I am surprised Al did not discuss the poor play from the O-line. The O-line's complete inability to slow down Tampa's ILB's as well as provide adequate pass protection to Rodgers were the keys to this game. I know the Tampa ILBs are fast, but I did not see much in the way of second level blocks on either White or David the whole game. You can't let those players run free and expect to have a rushing attack of any kind. Is the Packer O-line that slow?

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PeteK's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:39 am

True, I know we missed Lazard's pass catching ability , but his blocking would have been an asset against those LBs especially with the toss plays.

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JerseyAl's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:46 am

I wanted to expound on the OL, but just ran out of time. To answer your question, the Packers tend to draft more athletic OL, so I wouldn't call them "slow." But the Tampa front does a great job of eating up blockers, allowing their two freaks at LB (who are faster than many RB's) to easily get to the ball carrier or burst through a seam to the QB. Add to the fact that Bowles did a great job disguising who was doing what on every play to cause some hesitation and confusion. Just a split-second of hesitation against that defense will produce the results you saw.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:35 pm

Fullbacks handle some of that infiltration. Need to return fire sometimes. See white shirt, hit white shirt.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Tampa did a great job in scheming those pass rush lanes at the LOS. The Packers were flat out out coach on the offensive side by a veteran HC who's been around for a while. It's a hard lesson, but one MLF needs to learn quickly.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 22, 2020 at 02:34 pm

Patrick is not a starting calibre guard. He could not move out to reach his spots. Should have let Linsey move out first.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:18 am

I completely agree on Rodgers staring down Adams. It’s something he rarely does and that was to an extent I don’t recall.

I’m puzzled by the assertions that P Smith is doing the same thing. When the team admits that he is being used differently, there is no one else and coverage is essential perhaps the pundits are wrong? Whatever the truth, it isn’t working, that we can agree on.

I expected this to be a game for Dillon. When used he made hard yards. Big enough to at least make the ILBs hesitate, but he vanished till the game was over. Against this D, rushing as it was, this makes no sense regardless of pass blocking (which wasn’t going well without him), use his threat to slow things down.

I take your point on the early use of motion and agree that LaFleur’s explanation conflicts with his running calling. I think that is a point that underlined the poor preparation on planning. LaFleur is still growing, one hopes, but he needs to find an answer to teams like this and to have plan B in the event we are stymied. Instead we continued to do the same thing however futile.

In addition, there is very little excuse for a team not motivated coming out of a buy or being heavily outcoached. This year and last year he has been. So far LaFleur clearly has a vision for when things are going well, but he has been terribly devoid of ideas and options when they are not. To win out in the NFL being able to adapt in game is essential. Some games will be lost by all, a good coach minimizes that. LaFleur has yet to show that he can.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:15 am

Further: The best coaches in the NFL do two things:

1. Take away your best asset on offense. GB largely did this. (Godwin and Evans). No, the defense isn't great, but it's adequate to win IF the O plays the way it should with a franchise QB.

2. Take advantage of your biggest weakness on defense. EPIC FAIL. MLF tried to run "his stuff" this game. I realize you're never going to completely change your identity game to game, but you HAVE to be able to go inside when the outside stuff isn't working. You HAVE to be able to flood the field with quick hitters at WR/TE/RB and block up the rush for 3 seconds.

We did neither. Then ARod got the yips. Game over.

If this isn't fixed, we're going down in January. Maybe to the Bucs. Maybe to the 9ers. Maybe to Seattle. But we're going down. Still going to win a lot of games this year... but we've GOT to be able to have a counter for a fast and physical opposing defense. MLF and ARod has not had it yet.

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Razer's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:19 am

...Then ARod got the yips...

Couldn't putt to save his soul - too funny and too true

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egbertsouse's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:25 am

Finally, Jersey Al mentions what I have seen for years, the Packers are horrible at blitzing. I remember watching AJ Hawk try to blitz and it always looked like, instead of shooting a gap he would find a blocker and run right into him. I used to attribute it to Capers because when you’ve been a DC for 100 years, everyone must know your blitz packages by heart. But it continued under Pettine. I’d be interested to know why; bad talent, poor technique, bad coaching, or a tell that tips off offenses. A good subject for an article.

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PeteK's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:43 am

Truth is, we don't have the fast LBs that are successful at blitzing. However, we are good at blazing a CB occasionally.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:51 am

One thought that occurs to me is that when your D line is poor gaps get closed. Also, given the struggles against the run, the focus is on preventing not rushing. Add in inexperienced ILBs and Greene having been available only recently. We definitely look a lot less aggressive than last year. That may tie into P Smith. The focus on contains the run may have neutered the premise of this D: to disrupt.

Perhaps as Clark and others get healthier this might improve? Perhaps it’s a case of Pettine getting shell shocked by the 49ers. In which case, it’s up to LaFleur to set him straight or move on. At the moment I think he is robbing the rush to mitigate the run, forgetting that that is not what his system needs to be effective. The result is that the lack of pressure makes a moderate D worse all the way to the safeties.

If I’m right, it’s time for LaFleur to either tell Pettine to let loose or replace him. If this is the result of an approach implemented as a result of the team strategy, then we have bigger problems. I won’t rule that out, but Pettine isn’t the guy to build that kind of D and wasn’t given the pieces. Is this on LaFleur? If not, it’s on him to stop it now.

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splitpea1's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:43 am

They're hardly generating any turnovers, either--two INTs and one fumble if I remember correctly. The coaching problem extends to the secondary, because we certainly have the talent here.

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dobber's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:38 am

"I’d be interested to know why; bad talent, poor technique, bad coaching, or a tell that tips off offenses. "

I would argue that successful blitzing comes from either confusing the OL, overwhelming the number of blockers with rushers, or hiding your tendencies (making it hard for the offense to diagnose what you're doing). The Packers rarely run jailbreak blitzes. I would argue the "blitzer running into a blocker" is mostly tipping off the offense so they know what's coming...that might just be using the same packages enough that OLs know your tendencies or blitzers doing something that tips their hand.

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Packer_Fan's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:30 am

Regarding motion, the Bucs did not move with it. In the third quarter, Jones went in motion and Rodgers threw a pass to Lewis which he dropped and did not have a chance to make a first down. Jones on the other hand was open and would have easily made a first down. Next play the Bucs rushed 6 or 7 and sacked Rodgers. I just saw Rodgers not picking up the open receivers.

The Bucs ILB's were very active. Our blockers could not reach them and they had open lanes to the runner. And when they tackled, the runner did not move forward. SF has similar players. Lafleur needs to figure something out.

I saw the Packers out of sync, especially Rodgers. Missing Lewis down the seam after being down 14-10 I thought was a bigger impact than the interceptions. It showed Rodgers wasn't sharp. Focusing in on one receiver and the two interceptions should not have been thrown to Adams.

Lafleur must learn from this. His play calling and game plan against a good defense was bad. And he couldn't get Rodgers back in the groove.

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PeteK's picture

October 21, 2020 at 08:58 am

After two INTs we were only down 4 pts, but the final two nails were the missed huge gains on the pass to Lewis and the ball coming loose on Jones's catch. Those two plays could have set up scores and made the game closer. Also, frustrating are the numerous over throws to MVS. I have not seen this type of disconnect with any receiver in the Favre or Rogers era. I believe MVS just does not run the precise pattern needed to complete those plays.

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murf7777's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:34 am

Couldn’t agree more about the MVS connection. At the beginning of the year it looked better, but has went back to what we saw last year. We need him to step up so badly. ESB didn’t look very good either.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:39 pm

He is a #4 guy at best.

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Nate-1980's picture

October 22, 2020 at 04:22 pm

Then why did I hear we were good enough at receiver all off season.. Lazard and Tonyan are the only ones to step up at all..

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:12 am

Preston Smith:
He needs to start winning his one on ones more often. He has not played as well as he did last year. He has to step up his game. Perhaps getting Gary and Clark back will help.

Toss Plays:
Honestly the whole game plan was flawed. I don't believe they respected or realized how fast and good the Bucs ILB's were. The toss plays and wide plays were just not going to work and that was evident. Without Vea they were missing a huge player in the middle of the DL. I would have thought they would have tried to run right up the middle a little more often. Attacking their weakness. Especially after outside plays were clearly not going to work.

Pick Six:
Give the DB credit. He read the play perfectly.

David and White: When you see these guys play and compare them to our ILB's for the last decade plus, there is no comparison. Wow were these guys good!

Packers Offense:
We can't get to carried away after a loss. If it wasn't for 2 turnovers that directly lead to 14 points and basically shell shocked them, who knows what happens in this game.

However when we go against another top ranked defense it all starts with game planning. Adding a little more deception to the game plan would help. Don't allow players to run directly towards the play. Make them take false steps. Next if the game plan isn't working, have a backup plan. Have other options. It seemed against the Bucs as soon as the game plan stopped working everything fell apart.

Getting Lazard and Ervin back will be a huge help. Lazard is a huge target who has emerged as one of the top primary weapons. He is physical, a great blocker and catches just about everything. Ervin running the Jet sweeps is so much different then anyone else. Getting him back will help the offense a lot on those types of plays. Getting Dillon more involved I think will add another punch to the offense. EQ is another guy who with some more time could help a lot. He has missed over a year. Getting him back to speed will help a ton.

And honestly, it might be time to bring in some additional help. They could potentially go and get a guy like John Ross. While he may not be a savior, he has some serious skills that they could potentially get for really cheap. Last year they went out and brought in Ervin. He was kind of a cast off. Until he came into GB and within a few weeks they already found a role for him. They could definitely find a role for Ross in this offense. Someone with serious speed could add another dimension to the offense. But until they make such a move they have to use what they have.

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PeteK's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:17 pm

We just got Burgess, 80 tkl, 5 PD, 9 stf last year, could be a welcome addition to our D. Certainly better than Burks and Summers.

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Archie's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:29 am

"......David and White: Packers fans would give their right arm to have one of these guys and the Bucs have both. Damn..."

If only this were true. Patrick Queen is that type of ILB and he was sitting there when it was time for Pack to pick in R1 this year. They passed and went for an investment in the future. Somewhere in GB's draft bible it is written that ILBs and TEs are not of high enough value to spend a R1 pick on.

If things keep going this way, it will be easy to dump Pettine as well as several of the FAs we brought in recently on defense. The Smith brothers and Amos are contributing very little. Savage is looking a bust too. He slowed down before hitting a WR that he had lined up and he used his shoulder to bump him. Needless to say the WR bounced off the "hit" and got another 5 yards before somebody else brought him down.

Did Clark and Gary play in this game?

But, before we get ahead of our skis, let's let the season play out some more. Maybe this loss will be the wake-up call they needed after 4 easy wins. Or, maybe it is a harbinger of what to expect every time we play a top flight defense. Is our defense really this bad? It could be, I just dunno yet. Is our OL this bad at picking up blitzs? It wasn't till this week. All things will be known once the season is over.

As to AJ Dillon, yes this would have been the perfect game to give him a full test ride. If he could have handled this defensive front we would know today that we have something really valuable in him and could begin planning for life w/o A Jones. Lots of salaries need to be cut next year and new big contracts will be few. Bak is a must. Maybe King is a must. After that, nobody is a must.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 22, 2020 at 02:41 am

Early days but Queen is stinking it up in Baltimore. 42 PFF grade and one of the worst rated coverage ILBs in the NFL. Baltimore double-dipped and took Malik Harrison in the 3rd round. He is playing poorly as well (42.2 PFF grade) but he is only getting about 12 snaps per game.

Both these guys have time to develop and despite Queen, and to a lesser extent, Harrison, Baltimore still has the best defense in the NFL.

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nostradanus's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:31 am

They could have used Shepherd in the Ervin motion role. He’s a return man with abilities and quickness similar to Ervin.

By the way EQ was pathetic as a #3 WR, he’s lost his mojo baby.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:01 am

I thought the same thing going into the game. That they maybe would use Shepherd in the Ervin role. I thought he might have been a good option for that.

And even Taylor I thought could have done some of it.

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dobber's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:40 am

Given that they liked to use Allison that way last year, too, athleticism doesn't seem to be a prerequisite.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

Very true! Shepherd has a little bit of the returners ability meaning he has a bit of shiftiness. I thought he would be a good one to do it.

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splitpea1's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:15 am

ESB hasn't played in almost two years, so he could hardly be expected to set the world on fire in his first game back. Shepherd and Taylor should get more opportunities in the short term.

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Since'61's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:35 am

We went to Tampa hurt ourselves with turnovers and then just got beat real bad. It happens. I agree with most of the comments here and Al’s comments in his article.

To me the real test comes this week. How do the Packers respond, on the road, against a 1- 5 team? Do they come out and play aggressively for 60 minutes or do they come out flat? Do they come out with a sense of urgency or do they go through the motions.

I’d like to see the Packers play with some fire and emotion this week. I hope to see them take out their frustration and disappointment from last week on the Texans. I want to see the Packers play as though they have something to prove, because they do.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Vince Lombardi

Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

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dobber's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:42 am

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Vince Lombardi

^^^THIS

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13TimeChamps's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:37 am

Let me preface this by clearly saying I'm a huge Davante Adams fan.

That being said, there seems to be a disturbing pattern developing with this offense. Last year Adams was out for four games, and the offense hummed with Rodgers throwing the ball to multiple receivers who were able to get open. Adams came back, and that philosophy changed with Rodgers almost exclusively focusing on Adams, and we lost that game. This year, Adams is out for multiple games and once again the offense is humming with Rodgers throwing to multiple receivers and running backs. Adams comes back and Rodgers starts forcing the ball to him, resulting in two game changing INTs.

I get it. When you have a Ferrari in the garage next to three Ford Pintos, you're going to want to drive the Ferrari. What's the solution? Find another Ferrari? Not that easy, obviously. Or maybe stick to what was working when Adams was out?

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:06 am

Normally Adams is one of the best in the league. But he was anything but. We can talk about Rodgers all we want having a bad game, Adams equally had a bad game.

The pick 6, the DB was talking about how he saw how the play was unfolding. Did Adams route tip him off? Everyone is blaming Rodgers, but did Adams not sell his route enough?

On the 2nd interception the ball bounces off Adams hands. Now the DB was on him, but the ball still hits him in the hands. He needs to catch that.

There was another play where Adams couldn't get his feet in bounds. Its a play that he has to find a way to stay in bounds.

Perhaps being rusty from missing some games, but Adams needs to be better as well.

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packerbackerjim's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:19 am

Re Adams: He needs to get better (healthier); his ability to separate was negligible. He normally gets DBs covering him twisted, not so in TB. Better days ahead.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 21, 2020 at 11:21 am

I'm definitely not concerned. But he has to be better then he was. That is for sure!

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Leatherhead's picture

October 21, 2020 at 05:22 pm

RC. Rodgers threw the balls. He stared down Adams on the first one and forced the second into a tight place. Both of those were very uncharacteristic throws by Rodgers. They were not Adams fault.

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RCPackerFan's picture

October 22, 2020 at 06:41 am

The first one is on Rodgers. But my question with it, is did Adams do something in his route to give away where he was going?

The 2nd one hit Adams in the hands. Rodgers put the ball where it needed to be. It bounced off of Adams hands right into the defender. Can't blame Rodgers on that.

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PhantomII's picture

October 22, 2020 at 09:21 pm

The Defensive player stated in film when Adams was in this formation his tendency during the play when he was targeted so he knew to undercut the pass and take it to the house.

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jannes bjornson's picture

October 21, 2020 at 09:46 pm

So you want the Odell trade to go forward like a lot of Fans.

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Since'61's picture

October 22, 2020 at 09:26 am

No, he is a locker room catastrophe.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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13TimeChamps's picture

October 22, 2020 at 09:45 am

NO!!

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ricky's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Both Smiths had career years last year. This year, they're back on Earth. Why is there no pressure on blitzes? Because Pettine doesn't know how to scheme to have the blitzes be effective. Rodgers had a bad game, and it was because if Adams is on the field, he becomes like Favre- lock onto his favorite receiver and force the ball to him no matter what. Then again, if Adams isn't targeted enough, he'll become disgruntled. And, just for reference, but if Adams was not on the team next year, the Packers would gain $13 million in cap room. And they have not lost a game with Adams on the sideline. Food for thought.

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ricky's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Both Smiths had career years last year. This year, they're back on Earth. Why is there no pressure on blitzes? Because Pettine doesn't know how to scheme to have the blitzes be effective. Rodgers had a bad game, and it was because if Adams is on the field, he becomes like Favre- lock onto his favorite receiver and force the ball to him no matter what. Then again, if Adams isn't targeted enough, he'll become disgruntled. And, just for reference, but if Adams was not on the team next year, the Packers would gain $13 million in cap room. And they have not lost a game with Adams on the sideline. Food for thought.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:14 pm

Before we do so we would need to replace him. That’s probably a year after at the earliest. However, the problem you suggest wouldn’t be Adams but the existence of a favorite and Rodgers’ predilection for forcing throws to his favorite.

Rodgers has always had favorites. Get rid of Adams and he will find another. The real solution is to have more than one. Lazard might have been there had he stayed healthy.

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4thand10's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:15 pm

I dont think Adams was the problem. St. Brown just isnt that good yet...he was targeted multiple times and couldn't come up with a play. He is just not ready, they would have been better off with Shepard in the slot. Or even Reggie, but featuring St Brown against THAT defense was a mistake.

On Adams that second INT the defender was draped on him for like three yrds over the middle fist full of jersey ( no call) and I suspect the throw was made for a flag...but no flag was thrown. The PI on Jackson was tic tac...yeah, his head wasnt turned but he didnt touch the guy and had his hand up for the ball. Phantom holding call on Jenkins...this has happened to him a couple of times.

Ive said this before, but Ill keep saying it because its worth merit. Preston is an outside pass rusher, Z smith is an outside rusher, Gary is an outside rusher...none of which should ever be on the interior of the D line unless there is an exotic blitz and we have a sizable lead. Because they get run over and washed out on good running teams. We need DL to make that defense work. Besides Clark. If we dont have enough GOOD DL to make a 3-4 work they should give more 4-3 looks and find an extra DL. Can you imgaine what this game would look like if Clark didnt play? Brady and co would have put up a 50 burger.

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4thand10's picture

October 21, 2020 at 12:57 pm

A few throws to St Brown as well.

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Coldworld's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:07 pm

EQ was mentally AWOL on the simplest routes. At best he needs to go stand out in practice for a while before we waste snaps on him.

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4thand10's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:16 pm

100% with you on that.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:40 pm

In discussing MVS a while back I posted that Robert Foster would replace him soon. I was excited by the Foster signing. He's as fast as MVS and in 2018 made the PFF all-rookie team. Watching film of him he simply looks smoother than MVS. I fully expected him to be called up when Adams went down. That didn't happen. Today he was signed off our practice squad by Washington.

Travis Fulgham was released from our practice squad a while ago. Lately, he's been tearing it up for the Eagles, in fact, he's their go-to receiver. I watched the Eagle game and he looks great. Are we so invested in MVS that he is grandfathered a position and someone has to practically be the next coming of Randy Moss to beat him out? In my mind, he's never looked particularly athletic, despite his speed. Last year he was one of the lowest-rated WRs in all of football, together with Geronimo Allison. We should have gotten rid of both. I think it's time to try someone else.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 21, 2020 at 01:39 pm

Pretty much covered everything this game Al, thanks. Two comments. This is the third time MLF has been stomped on as a HC in his short career. The hardest thing he has to learn is to stop leaning on his own scheme. All young coaches go through this, being humbled early is not a bad thing. The question is can LaFleur break his own tendencies. The play action will not work if the defensive second level does not respect the run. And as we all found out this year, MLF loves to pass over the run. Not surprising with the NFL rules as they are. But the bad news is every team in the league now knows this. Will MLF commit to the run game, and does he have the will to force QB1 to run it if Rodgers goes away from the run on RPO. I guess we will find out early on, for the NFL is a league that is unforgiving of that kind of magical thinking. On Pettine, he never did blitz or dog early in games. Most blitz are scheme usually when his team was ahead. The Packers were in for them their base defense 3-5 for most of the game. Exposing their rush /blitz packages in a game that gotten away from them early made no sense. I was at the game and the team seemed very sluggish early on. Almost like they were going through the motions. Very strange. Burn the tape, and hope we don't see another one like this for the season.

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greengold's picture

October 21, 2020 at 03:29 pm

Rodgers blew it keying on Davante after a 4 game layoff where the team went 4-0 just like he did v. Chargers last year, same situation with nearly identical results. Now, let's see if he can get it together again. MLF should dictate a heavier rushing attack. What they did v. TB was embarrassing and should NEVER happen again. ONLY 19 carries by Jones, Dillon and Williams. So many of them outside zone which was NOT working.

BE AGGRESSIVE. Run what works, and force the opponent to stop you.

WHEN is this PACKERS TEAM going to inflict some F'ing PAIN??? When will THEY dictate ANYTHING on D??? The Packers had been playing with a bit of house money in facing Vikings, Lions, Saints, Falcons, nearly all of them with issues in their secondaries. The Offense got up on teams and the D coasted in nearly every Q4. The Packers Defense looks insanely SOFT. You cannot allow that. They need to stay AGGRESSIVE, or, at least get there FIRST, then maintain that.

Wow. Mike Pettine runs that show, and it is a shit show right now. He's been given a BOATLOAD of talent, and he's not using it properly. Tom Brady is fortyfuckingthree years OLD!!! You blitz that guy. You put him on his back.

This week, he'll have to play more honest with Watson, but he needs to be aggressive all the same. Bump a receiver for Christ's sakes, disrupt the timing!!!

wow. Sunday will be a telling game for both MLF and Pettine.

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TXCHEESE's picture

October 21, 2020 at 03:32 pm

THE SKY IS FALLING! Get a grip folks. It's one game.

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Oppy's picture

October 21, 2020 at 10:11 pm

I would say Rodgers hasn't stared down Adams very often in 2020.

I would not remotely endorse the idea that Rodgers hasn't stared down down Adams very often over the last 3 years.

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PhantomII's picture

October 22, 2020 at 09:36 pm

Needs: fast outside WR who can catch, shifty slot guy with some speed. An O-line with attitude. Amos needs to play one position at safety that he's good at. Savage has not improved at Safety probably Pettine asking him to do too much like Amos. A legit big man next to Clark with an Ornery edge. I like the ILB group we have finally. Blitz the other teams offense Pettine. ML design your run game with a RB pass option and a Fullback to take on the fast ILB's in this league and also running it up the middle. ML get off your Pansy excuse to not play Dillon at least 30% of the time. Good enough for now.

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