Packers Periscope: Offensive Defense, The Great Bird Killer and More

In this week's Periscope, we'll look at the utter abomination the defense of the Green Bay Packers is at this point, a big game on the horizon at the Great Bird Killer AKA U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday and a peek back to a big win in that stadium some years back.

We can probably just use my intro from last week in regard to the defense. But in case you've forgotten, it was something like "Joe Barry will get fired, not yet, the defense will be at trainwreck for the rest of the season..." or something like that. It is what it is at this point. If they don't get pressure, they can't cover. Zone is bad, man is bad... it's all bad. The fact is, the defense is significantly worse than the sum of its parts. And to me, that is the leadership, the person organizing the entire group. We know Barry isn't the guy. I sure like to think Matt LaFleur does too. And what's also so frustrating is that it's overshadowing all the good Jordan Love is doing.

He absolutely cooked a very good Panthers defense on Sunday, including a dagger of a 1-on-1 ball to Romeo Doubs to put the team in position for an almost-walk-off field goal. Regarding Love, I've seen what I need to see. He'll get an extension this offseason and will be the leader of the Green Bay Packers for the foreseeable future. And he has totally earned it.

Now as it pertains to this week's opponent, the Minnesota VIkings, let's raise up the Periscope and look into the past, present and future of the Packers and those SKOL-clapping losers and their bird killing hellscape of a stadium.

The Past

The most recent past wasn't great. A 24-10 clobbering at the hands of the then-Kirk Cousins-led Vikings until he suffered a very unfortunate torn Achilles, ending his season. And that injury has let to some pretty wild quarterback changes and scrambling to piece it together. Rookie Jaren Hall started initially, then Josh Dobbs had some heroics until his stumbles paved the way for Nick Mullens. Now, it sounds like head coach Kevin O'Connell isn't sure which of the three will get the start this week, and at the very least, adding some gamesmanship to a very important matchup Sunday. 

And while that last matchup wasn't ideal, I'd like to look back at one that was. On September 30, 2007, the Packers headed into the Metrodome with quarterback Brett Favre one touchdown short of breaking Dan Marino's record. And on their first possession, Favre hit Greg Jennings from 16 yards out for the record breaker, and an all-time Favre celebration. It was truly a great moment in the start of a magical season for Green Bay, and of course, beating the Vikings is always a plus.

 

 

The Present

As I mentioned above, the Vikings need this week's game as much as the Packers do. It's a playoff game in every sense of the word. While the Packers' odds are a bit better, they're all but gone with a loss Sunday. And while O'Connell is being coy about who their quarterback will be this week, I'm honestly not sure it matters. Their offense is their offense which now boasts Justin Jefferson back in the lineup, and they very nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback last week against the Lions, led by Jefferson's insane catch on 3rd and 27. But this Vikings team is one the Packers pass rush can get to and one they'll have to get to in order to win. WIth Jordan Addison and TJ Hockenson both out, though, it means the focus will be on running the ball and #18. I still have no faith in Joe Barry to cook up a scheme capable of stopping anyone, however.

As for the offense, Brian Flores and his aggressive style really put Jordan Love through it last time. It was one of Love's worst games of the season, in which he went 24/41 for 229 yards, one touchdown and a pick and a meandering 72.1 rating. Love, so far this year, has been pretty good against the blitz. But what Flores and the Vikings brought was designed to confuse him, which it did. But Love is on a bit of a tear right now and has an opportunity to put a real stamp on this season and extend the playoff hopes another week.

The Future

Sunday Night Football, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The big stage will be set for this one, where last time, it was maybe Love's best game of the season against Kansas City. As for the Vegas side, the Packers come in getting 1.5 points, likely due to the unknowns at quarterback for the Vikings. With an o/u of 46.5, there seems to be some confidence in the Packers and a lack of confidence in Joe Barry. Checks out!

The Packers ability to run the ball will undoubtedly open up the passing game for Love. It's so, so important for them to run successful play action and actually busting some runs would go a long way. Aaron Jones' 100-yard effort last week against a solid defense was a step in the right direction, so we'll just have to see how he does against an equally tough foe. Defensively? Your guess is as good as mine. I just loathe this unit, even though they were stout against the run a week ago, allowing Bryce Young to carve you up like that is just a joke. I'm done with this group and its leader. But maybe this is one of the good "Joe" games... we shall see. Go Pack Go, and have a Happy New Year!

 

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Tony Wilson takes pride in journalism training from 2/3 of directional-Michigan MAC schools. A former Sporting News writer, Tony now focuses on the Packers from his home in Toledo, OH. His beer of choice is a Miller Lite from the bottom of the cooler. You can find him on Twitter @GlassCityPack.

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6 points
 

Comments (35)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Leatherhead's picture

December 27, 2023 at 12:07 pm

It is a playoff game, for both teams, and they know it.

I've never associated the 2007 season with "magical". Yes, we had a lot of things break our way and we went 13-3, but the season ended the way I figured it would and then we had all the faux retirement and TV stuff and all the bitterness that followed.

We should have gone to the Super Bowl that year, just like we should have in 2014. When you get that close and then lay a turd, I can't call that magical.

5 points
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jjbathgate66's picture

December 27, 2023 at 12:18 pm

The fan favorite JA now suspended, the first step in getting rid overhyped CB he will be pissed that they realize they are better off without him. Huge contract not a ton delivery from this guy since 21' Hope Gary doesn't follow suit. Addition by subtraction see ya JA take your attitude with you to where they cater to overhyped brats. Hello Las Vegas

2 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

December 27, 2023 at 05:26 pm

They should just stop giving players 2nd contracts. Become the '80s and '90s Buccaneers.

They shouldn't do anything with Alexander until the new DC interacts with him.

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Bitternotsour's picture

December 27, 2023 at 09:20 pm

Anyone saying Jaire was over-hyped needs to go back and watch some tape. Start with him annihilating the Vikings. When Jaire is healthy he is as good of a corner as exists on the planet.

He's better with one arm than any of the current Packers cornerbacks.

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LambeauPlain's picture

December 27, 2023 at 04:19 pm

There were several seasons during the tenures of Favre and Rodgers when the Packers should have gone to another SB.

Two HOF QBs over 30 years and just 3 SB appearances is disappointing. Two of those appearances were with dominant Defenses coached by Fritz Schumer.

Let's give Jordan Love and a dominant Defense a try. It is going to be an interesting offseason.

For now, just beat the Ugly Purple. Don't care how, just win.

1 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 27, 2023 at 12:26 pm

Thanks again for your past, Tony. For some reason the video is blocked based on NFL content.

The present is a little less clear.

As for the future?

Just beat um!

One game at a time.

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Fubared's picture

December 27, 2023 at 12:33 pm

Hopefully the Pack fans will see what a sound defense looks like and what happens when you pair a tough innovative d coach with players who can play. Their pass rush is very good, corners are great tacklers and the Safeties are hard tacklers.
The Vikes D swarms to the ball so you see very little yardage after the catch and rarely is there someone just wide open with no one around them.
No the Pack Fans are in for a treat being able to see what a real defense should look like.
PS: Dont know if the Vikes 4th, 5thj or 6th running back will be playing but they have a raft of them, all quick with good hands. Not just two guys who trade off being hurt all the time. Pathetic really
Packers better get used to being at the bottom on the heap for a few years until they can get a GM who knows talent, how to draft and where free agents lurch for the picking. Stokes, Ford, Savage, Ballentine and valentine arent saving this team from itself.

-3 points
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NJ-RICK's picture

December 27, 2023 at 01:24 pm

Thank You exactly, Gute is an idiot.... I blame Murphy also for allowing this mess to happen to the Packers... A Mismanaged NFL Team.

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Bure9620's picture

December 27, 2023 at 02:31 pm

Gute has more hits than misses...what are you smoking? This rookie class has contributed as much or more than any other. Jayden Reed is a player. Wicks is a steal. Musgrave hit, Kraft hit, Brooks hit. LVN is starting to flash but TBD. Zach Tom and Rasheed Walker are starting tackles both drafted on day 3, Walker in the 7th, he also 3rd in Pass pro win rate. J Love his most important pick is becoming a franchise QB. As usual your post is devoid of context, nuance, examples and facts.....Also Romeo Doubs, Wicks, Walker, Tom, Valentine are all day 3 picks....Jaire and Gary and Love are first round picks??? Also field tilters

7 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

December 27, 2023 at 02:43 pm

You and Fubared just switch off on even/odd days?

5 points
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barutanseijin's picture

December 27, 2023 at 03:27 pm

Same Vikings trolling, but this one has a somewhat firmer grasp on English grammar and orthography.

3 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

December 27, 2023 at 09:55 pm

"No the Pack Fans are in for a treat being able to see what a real defense should look like."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZodG-_eugZM

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Bitternotsour's picture

December 27, 2023 at 11:23 pm

never gets old - that and the final Favre interception.

2 points
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mnbadger's picture

December 27, 2023 at 12:35 pm

I've been a fan of jaire alexander, but it's getting a little scary.
Hope he gets his turds together or we'll end up trading him for a warm body to clear the smell from the locker room that he's beginning to emit.
GPG!

2 points
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albert999's picture

December 27, 2023 at 12:47 pm

J Alexander suspended 1 game
Selfish diva

-2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 27, 2023 at 01:08 pm

I don't know what's going on here, but we've made it this far without much help from him.

As I read it, via Spotrac, about $15 million of what we would owe him for next year is salary and bonus, so at least we'd save that, but we'd still be on the hook for $8 million in deferrals and $18 million for the prorated signing bonus. Ouch.

EDIT: This is for almost screwing up the coin toss? Seriously? In all my years, I've never seen or heard of a player being suspended for almost screwing up the coin toss. And I've seen it get screwed up before. Not often, because you have to be kind of a bonehead to screw up a coin toss. I don't understand why he thought he should be at the coin toss unless it's because he's been on the defense longer than anybody except Clark.

The Packers are choosing to play their most important game of the season in a few days and they've chosen to play it without Alexander. Hmmmm..... If I was into reading tea leaves, I'd wonder if Alexander is part of the future here.

2 points
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jont's picture

December 27, 2023 at 02:08 pm

I generally agree with all this, LH, but I think JA was suspended for going out with the capitains when he isn't a captain. Suspension still seems a bit harsh to me. Maybe sit him for a 1/4 or half?

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 27, 2023 at 02:27 pm

I was thinking about running gassers or tumbleweeds or something.

But still, the Packers are choosing to go into the most important game of the season, against a team with some very good WRs, without him. To me, that's the biggest takeaway here.

2 points
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Bure9620's picture

December 27, 2023 at 02:42 pm

Just 1 great one, Addison is out as is Hockensen. I expect Jefferson to be HEAVILY targeted.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 27, 2023 at 03:17 pm

After watching him last game, how he favored one arm, I wouldn’t have played him last week and I would t be playing him this one. Perhaps Alexander wanted to play back home, based upon his coin toss actions and comments, but i question the wisdom of letting him.

Now he’s suspended, this may flush out how he really feels. I’ve not jumped into that speculation, but last week pretty much shows he’s not concerned about LaFleur. The suspension could indicate that the team will try to move him—they aren’t going to just cut a player in his contract and past ability. Alternatively it may fuel animosity, if there is any really, on his part.

The fact that he felt able to just go out there raises questions. The fact that he then still started raises others. Was LaFleur too weak to bench him for Valentine? Did it take this long because Gute, Ball (contracts) and perhaps Murphy had to agree? Did they just do it as a symbolic move, knowing he wouldn’t play anyway for health reasons. Just a strange little drama.

2 points
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Pizzadoc's picture

December 27, 2023 at 06:08 pm

I love Ja, but twice he just lunged into people with his shoulder, no attempt to wrap up. That spells shoulder injury to me. You can't extend, but it doesn't hurt if it is adducted (held to the body).

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Bitternotsour's picture

December 27, 2023 at 09:12 pm

Maybe they are learning the lesson of backing Rodgers over McCarthy. Maybe Matt felt the mutiny rising, and chose self-preservation.

1 points
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relleum61's picture

December 27, 2023 at 03:07 pm

Maybe JB should put two game plans together. It seems like the D can hold serve for some stretches (see first half against Carolina) before getting worse and worse as the game goes on. JB has no ability to make adjustments, so maybe switching to a different game plan can take the place of adjustments. Pressure?! JB's game plans are the antithesis of pressure, especially on 3rd and manageable (any down, any distance or any amount of time).

Love seems to be heating up. The return of Wicks and Reed will be most important as the offense will probably have to score 30+ again to get the win. Why? JB's defense will probably turn Nick Mullins (or other MN starter) into Superbowl Nick Foley.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

December 27, 2023 at 03:21 pm

Jefferson should scare Barry straight if anything can. Big, fast, agile: not someone anyone can cover well playing off coverage, man or zone. Id rather play off to a healthy Watson. Barry probably will though.

2 points
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relleum61's picture

December 27, 2023 at 06:05 pm

Can anything "scare Barry straight?" It looks like the MN QB will be Jarren Hall. Do you think JB learned from the DeVito experience? Hall to Jefferson will be barry barry scary if JB doesn't blitz the hell out of young Mr. Hall. (Isn't blitzing inexperienced young QB's chapter 2 in DC for Dummies?)

2 points
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CanPackFan's picture

December 27, 2023 at 04:16 pm

I could care less that Alexander is suspended. He's rarely played this season and is nothing like his former self. I throw Stokes into that classification as well.

I would rather see Valentine and Ballantine on the corners. At least they're aggressive. And I'd try giving Owen's a lot of snaps. But god only knows what Barry has in store for us this week?

1 points
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exbody's picture

December 27, 2023 at 04:39 pm

So the Packers are preparing for a HUGE game Sunday and now we know that they will be without CB Jaire Alexander due to his self inflicted suspension today. That's right self inflicted. The Packers didn't suspend Jaire Alexander.... Jaire Alexander suspended Jaire Alexander !
This player took it upon himself to make him a captain and felt he had the right to do that because.........it's his hometown so ...why not....right HUH!?! So he trots out for the coin toss and felt entitled to call the toss and not the ACTUAL real game Packer captains.
To further F- up this already F- Ed up situation even more. Alexander says to the ref " we want to play defense" WHAA??
BRILLIANT ...that would mean the Packers would have had to kickoff to start the game AND to start the 3rd QTR. That very well could have cost the Packers a W.
You can't make this up !!!
This blatant and clear act of insubordination insured this response from the origination. But make no mistake about it. Alexander did this to himself. And hurt this team as they face the Vikings in an elimination game Sunday night.
If anything that this whole embarrassing situation shows is that this team has a respect issue. SMH
You have a highly paid, highly talented and well liked player go above the coaches ,team mates and organization to put HIS needs above anything else. Is this the general mentality in the locker room??
Sure hope not. But if this is a symptom of the dysfunction we see on this mess of a defense or does it extend to other veterans on this roster too?? If J Love pulls this game out despite this pitiful defense and selfishness of others. Wow. Good luck#10!

Would would Vince do ?

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

December 27, 2023 at 04:51 pm

"Would would Vince do ?"

It was completely different times when Vince was coaching compared to now. Hell these are completely different times from when Holmgren coached. With the way the world works its completely different.

Social Media has rotted our society to the point that there is very little discipline for people that deserve it. And the ones that do get disciplined, usually turns out that the one doing the punishing is the one getting tore down and ripped apart. Our future is bleak at best.

2 points
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golfpacker1's picture

December 27, 2023 at 05:19 pm

I just read that Mike Zimmer is looking for another DC coaching job for next year. Shitcan Barry right now and hire him. We still probably won't make the playoffs, but the end of the year would sure be interesting. He should be at the top of the list right now.

1 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 27, 2023 at 09:15 pm

he's a little long in the tooth, but he could coach a defense. he's a little bit tainted with that purple pedigree.

1 points
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relleum61's picture

December 28, 2023 at 06:48 pm

Maybe we need a "long in the tooth" DC. It worked for Capers who us a SB win and almost to a second SB appearance if STs had held up in "14 (and yes, we did let his tooth get too long) It worked with Fritz Shurmur who got us a SB win and SB appearance in back to back years. And it seems to be working with Fangio in MIA this year. Put Z on a year to year contract and see what happens.

1 points
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golfpacker1's picture

December 27, 2023 at 05:23 pm

From 2014 until he was fired in 2021, the Viqueens had the 4th best defense in the NFL.

2 points
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Matt's picture

December 27, 2023 at 06:44 pm

The hope was that Alexander will step up to his contract and talent and maintain Jefferson. The rest we could work out. Now I don't see it. Or maybe I am afraid to watch it. This soft D with secondary problems facing the top 3 receiver, hungry to play after injury. I hope we will survive it, nothing else is to say.

0 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

December 27, 2023 at 09:16 pm

Alexander was playing with one arm. They did him a favor by suspending him, because he damn sure would have tried to gut it out.

See you next year Jaire. You're needed and admired.

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relleum61's picture

December 28, 2023 at 06:50 pm

With or without JA, the offense will need to put up 30+ points. That is just the way this defense rolls.

1 points
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