Packers Vs Bengals - 3 Plays That Make You Go Hmmm

Jersey Al picks out three thought-provoking plays from the Packers' game against the Cincinnati Bengals

After re-watching the Packers game, here are three plays that made me go hmmm, for various reasons.

Honestly, this game had a couple of dozen of plays that made me go hmmm, not even counting the missed field goals. SO I decided to take a different approach - I went with a series of 3 consecutive plays and the field goal attempt that followed them.

To set the scene, there's 9:44 left in the second quarter and the Packers have the ball on their own 38 after an awful punt by the Bengals. After 2 straight completions to AJ Dillon and Davante Adams, the Packers are on the Cincy 25 yard line.

 

Play 1: 1st and 10

Rodgers surveys the field and decides to change the play. He's yelling instructions ("yellow Wanda, yellow Wanda"), and you can hear someone else (probably an OL) repeating the call. He then gives a two finger hand signal several times, likely for the benefit of the receivers. He calls for the snap and despite all the calls, Josiah Deguara still proceeds to run the wrong route. A simple out route to the sideline picks up 7-10 yds at least. Rodgers is rightfully pissed and lets Josiah know it.

 

Play 2: 2nd and 10

This is a staple of the Packers offense, normally with Allen Lazard as a blocker. In this iteration, however, Lazard is the receiver and practice squad callup EQ is tasked with blocking. Here you see one of several examples in this game of why EQ is not on the regular roster. I have no idea why he moves towards the sideline and fails to square up with the player right in front of him. St. Brown has a lot of athletic ability, but his effort is often lacking.There were questions in his draft scouting reports as to how much he really cared about playing football - one sure reason why he dropped so far in the draft.This play and other mental errors we've seen from him (several in this game) seem to validate those concerns.

 

Play 3: 3rd and 10

Another audible from Rodgers, and again it appears everyone is not on the same page. The Packers end up with three receivers heading towards the pylon and the pass is so off, it's not even clear if it was intended for Adams or Cobb. Note Allen Lazard (perhaps the most ignored wide open WR in the league?) running wide open on a crossing route. If he catches a pass and heads for the sideline, he gets a first down or very close to it. Also, not shown in the video is the fact that this was the second approach to the LOS for this third and ten. On the previous attempt Rodgers stared down the defense while the clock ran down and he was forced to use (waste) a timeout. 

 

Play 4: 4th and 10

Mason Crosby had a busy day, and one that no one will ever forget. However,what I want to point out on this post is the blocking. When I read during the week that Ben Braden was being called up for this game, I assumed he was just OL insurance with Jenkins and also Myers out for the game, However, the Packers utilized him heavily on special teams (14 snaps) and inserted him on the troublesome right side of the line on kicks. You'll see here that he wasn't the answer, but it's not really his fault. The problem is this - the Packers are tasking two players to block four out on the edge. What happens is each Packer attempts to block two players at once and ends up not really blocking either. I don't know what the solution is, but other teams seem to be able to figure it out, so I would expect the Packers to be able to do so also. On another front, look at the poor effort by Tonyan on the play. And I've noticed this on other kick attempts this season. I think a change is needed there.

 

__________________________

"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

13 points

Comments (53)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Pack88's picture

October 12, 2021 at 04:00 pm

Al; We must both be old Jersey guys! I have had the same observation about 13 for a few weeks. I also screamed at the TV when ESB sissy-blocked that guy!. Deguria is rapidly working his way to the bench. He may be a blocking fool but he's a TE -HB not a tackle. GB really misses Daffney! I agree about the Chinese Fire-drill on 3rd down. I know GB has retooled the offense on the fly (due to OL injuries and no MVS). Ialso thought GB had some creative blocking schemes to get 28 and 33 running lanes!

I also agree that Tonyan is having trouble with all the blocking- I kow he prefers to free release but in the no Dbak world it is a reality.

Although this is a things that make you go HMMM this was best between the 20s defense I have seen in a while in GB. If they Jaire back this team could finally have areal defense.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 12, 2021 at 05:48 pm

I will cut Deguara something of a break. He’s a player that really needed camp and is coming back from a bad injury. Hopefully he works the kinks out and looks more like he did early last year.

As to EQ, I agree wholeheartedly with Al. Too often lackadaisical, it looks like he’s not paying attention or not focused. I fail to understand why we have kept elevating him. I’d rather get Taylor out there. He has the right attitude. Give another player a chance as a ST elevation. EQ has hardly impressed there. Move on and I certainly hope we don’t bring him up permanently now he’s out of weekly call up options.

The blocking on kicks is truly baffling. We’ve all seen it. Yet every team does this on film every week. It shouldn’t be hard to learn flow they tackle it. Sadly, the kick coverage is equally creaky. Overall, Drayton is looking like a man out of his depth at this point. Yet LaFleur seems content. I really cannot see why. Perhaps he is a great guy, but that shouldn’t be a factor here. Results matter. I’m open to anyone showing me a visible area of improvement in ST performance (replacement of the punter does not count).

7 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 12, 2021 at 09:00 pm

I have a feeling LaFleur will be attending some of the sp teams meetings this and future weeks until the lessons are learned. ESB should be on the waiver wire as we post.

5 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

October 12, 2021 at 10:48 pm

ESB on waiver wire?!

Practice squad players do not go on waivers. Any team can make them an offer.

2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 13, 2021 at 11:38 am

Sure, but the other team would have to sign ESB to their active roster. I think there is debate as to ESBs value even on the Practice Squad and if the Pack should indeed waive/cut him.

ESB doesn't seem to want to be on the field for some reason. That pathetic block would get a High School player benched.

1 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 13, 2021 at 09:30 am

I posted this yesterday, I believe and it was down the page, maybe it was lost for reading. I would like your opinion on this assumption:
"I was wondering why Packers keeps ESB. He is and was showing next to nothing on the fields. He is not helping team, but he hurts team. We saw from the past that Gutekunst have no problem with releasing players he assess as not good for the team (do not mention King or Lowry, I have another view on their play than many) so it become mind boggling that he still keeps ESB. Than, during the game and several gaffes from ESB I remember how Aaron Rodgers were positively talking about ESB all the time after he was drafted. And I wonder is this situation another concession to Aaron Rodgers."

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

October 13, 2021 at 06:16 am

I don't know. I don't think any fan knows.

2 points
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dobber's picture

October 13, 2021 at 10:01 am

"I will cut Deguara something of a break. "

He looks very tentative at this stage.

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 13, 2021 at 11:15 am

He does and he didn’t before his injury. He also seems confused at times. I think it’s injury hangover plus missing his first full camp. Hopefully games work that out.

1 points
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CoachDino's picture

October 12, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Great stuff as usual. I'm being a bit snarky but be careful when being critical of AR.
1) Poor accuracy
2) Poor field vision - missing Alazard wide open
3) Poor clock management

Great point on JD, there's an example of why AR can be Elite, reads the defense, gets them into the perfect play only to have a player screw it up.

I catch some slack for my AR critiques but in reality all I am saying is the obvious. A team can become better if role players improve, no doubt. How much better, most likely it would be termed an "incremental" improvement. But when one of the best players in the most impactful position can improve it would most likely result in a "spike, jump or leap of improvement.

Its the old 80/20 rule getting AR game on track (the smallest scope (20)) will give you the largest return 80.

12 points
12
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HarryHodag's picture

October 12, 2021 at 04:34 pm

Again I state the Packers special teams play is the dark hole of the NFL. Change players, coaches, etc. but not much changes.
The outstanding punter is showing signs of losing his ability due to bad coaching and Crosby had another one of his 'yips' days. Mason is a quality kicker. It's like a Major League closer who is lights out one year and can't find the plate the next. No explanation but it's real.
I appreciate the analysis about special teams. It's the scheme that can't cut it. Fans often ignore the impact of special teams but it can be huge given the right scheme and players.

4 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 13, 2021 at 02:40 am

You can not judge any player on one bad play. If that would be so, why not release all 69 players for debacle at Saints? That game had so many bad plays that one bad play is like joke for estimation of player value.

Also it happened in the game when that bad punt have no influence on the game result. What about Mason Crosby than? How many bad kicks he had in the game?

2 points
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HarryHodag's picture

October 13, 2021 at 11:12 am

I'm not judging the player, I'm judging the coaching. Bad punting has plagued the Packers for years. We finally have a punter who can be lights out and...oops!...here comes the ever familiar shank.

This guy has the potential to be lights out but I fear too much coaching---what I think happened to JK Scott---will again reduce a great player to mediocre.

Decades of bad play has to change.

1 points
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jlc1's picture

October 13, 2021 at 11:35 am

I am pretty sure Bojo had the longest and shortest punts in the NFL last year so this just seems to be who he is not matter who is coaching him.

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 13, 2021 at 12:03 pm

STs absolutely demand solid coaching...especially instilling assignment sure discipline to stay in their lanes (Packers don't) and sound tackling and blocking (they don't do either well). The blocking foul ups on FGs is absolutely the fault of Drayton. The poor gunner play is coaching. Lazard even saw the poor gunner play and volunteer to play STs to help the hapless group.

I would also say JK Scott's best year was his rookie year and he eroded thereafter. Coaching.

The same sloppy ST play has plagued the Pack since Novak has sadly continued with Slowik, Zook, Mennenga, and now Drayton.

Drayton was the top ST assistant for both Zook and Mennenga so why Coach Matt did not hold Mo accountable for lousy ST performance too is beyond me.

To Matt's credit, he did want to hire Rizzi who has developed top ST teams everywhere he goes. But Murphy didn't want to pay him so he moved on to the Saints. Murphy did relent to both Matt and Gutey a few days later but Rizzi said "no thanks...I have moved on."

1 points
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flackcatcher's picture

October 13, 2021 at 04:10 pm

Which was the last major in football decision Murphy made before the executive committee cut him out. Regardless, ST has been long the bane of this organization. Goodness knows why...

0 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 13, 2021 at 12:03 pm

The bad punt led to a Bengals TD.

0 points
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Packer_Fan's picture

October 12, 2021 at 04:34 pm

Four good choices. It demonstrates that the offense still needs work. And special teams play. If they don't fix the field goal issues, there will be a game that will be lost because of poor play. And both Tonyan and St Brown have to give more effort. That is the responsibility of coaching. Either fix the effort or find another player

4 points
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PeteK's picture

October 12, 2021 at 05:02 pm

Blocking rule there is inside out, the outside man will not get there if everything goes as planned.

As good as the revamped line is performing , Rodgers is still forced to get rid of the ball a bit quicker than normal which is effecting his timing. However, I think the run blocking has been very good. Patrick played a solid game especially when considering he has little game time experience at C.

7 points
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splitpea1's picture

October 12, 2021 at 07:26 pm

That must be the plan with the FG blocking, as we saw the same thing the past 2 games and throughout this game on the right side. You just don't know if that tap on the shoulder or gentle shove that Tonyan is delivering to the outside rusher is going to be enough of a delay every time. It hasn't cost us yet, but the whole thing looks iffy to me. Either a different alignment or choice of blocker might be a little safer.

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

October 12, 2021 at 09:11 pm

They will send two or three 4.2, 4.3 guys off their left flank and see if paddy-cake shoves beat that scheme. The push must be a blast to direct the edge guy way off course and what if they stunt with a cross and the FG is blocked etc. Crosby has reason to be concerned about a guy crashing at his legs, or the holder. This rag-tag operation apparently is tolerated by the brain trust on the executive level of Packertown, LLc.,and that includes LaFleur. Get a couple of dedicated bad asses who want to earn a NFL wage. If Drayton continues the nebulous
deflect and defend routine, he should be replaced.

1 points
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Qoojo's picture

October 12, 2021 at 06:04 pm

I think I have said it a couple times before. It will be nice when the packers' WR talent level rises enough to cut ESB.

9 points
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Coldworld's picture

October 13, 2021 at 09:38 am

He didn’t make the roster, yet we call him up and give him meaningful snaps. As it turns out for zero return. It seems like someone on the coaching staff can’t let go if his upside despite his track record. I’d prefer it if Gute let him walk and finally end this: perfectly willing to roll the die with Taylor, with Winfree behind him.

2 points
2
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packer132's picture

October 12, 2021 at 06:29 pm

Al, thanks for the video clips. Every player on the 53 man roster needs to play well every week, as there is no easy win. It seems like Deguara is not the player many thought he would be. Is lack of playing the starters in preseason still an issue? Packers should be performing better after 5 weeks, and hopefully the team gives a strong effort for the Bears game. Jenkins will be needed and I hope to see Jaylon Smith getting snaps. St. Brown needs to be cut and try another receiver. (Taylor?) Its a week by week season. GPG

4 points
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Packers0808's picture

October 12, 2021 at 08:18 pm

Saint Brown it seems has become Stain Brown! Maybe give Alshon Jeffery a look see!

2 points
2
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NickPerry's picture

October 12, 2021 at 08:16 pm

There were a couple of instances in that game on Sunday where I was screaming at my TV like others when Rodgers ignored the underneath routes to WIDE OPEN receivers (Lazard more than once) for a shot at Davante.

More than once this week I've heard the Packers were TO dependent on Davante Adams. That crap drives me NUTS. PERHAPS if Rodgers would spread the ball a bit like LAST year when the Packers had the #1 offense in the NFL, they'd be much better off for it.

I'll tell you what and I never thought I would say it. Win, lose, or draw this year I hope Rodgers balls out and we can say good riddance to him. EVERY time he gets a new girlfriend he gets stranger and stranger. His reluctance to look anywhere else other than Davante is hurting this offense. Sorry guys but I'm done with him and his weirdo self.

Trade his ass to Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, or Denver and let the bidding begin!!!!

6 points
10
4
jannes bjornson's picture

October 12, 2021 at 09:15 pm

When will the Fans be traded???

-4 points
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4
dobber's picture

October 13, 2021 at 10:05 am

I was traded to another team's fan board...then I was cut, signed back to the fan practice squad here, and I keep getting called back up every week where I blow my analyses due to poor concentration and lackadaisical effort.

3 points
3
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jurp's picture

October 13, 2021 at 09:57 am

I seem to remember that Favre's game improved immensely when Sterling Sharpe went down, as it forced him to look at other receivers (sound familiar?). And we did go 6-0 without Adams last year, so yes, if AR were to maybe look at someone else once in awhile it would be a very good thing. I doubt we'd be having this issue with Love at QB - we'll know for sure next year.

2 points
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tincada's picture

October 14, 2021 at 11:34 am

"More than once this week I've heard the Packers were TO dependent on Davante Adams." Say what? That's been GB's offense for the last 3 yrs, AR to DA. That's it. NFC N and out as usual .

-1 points
0
1
Starrbrite's picture

October 12, 2021 at 08:42 pm

This is an outstanding analysis Al.
I (as you, et al), have been ranting about our awful special teams for a few years now. Especially our kickoff/punt—return/coverage teams. Most of us I believe suspect a breakdown now and again, but we have to hold our breath every time they take the field.
Is it coaching, the players, the scheme? I am impressed with our punter… and Mason, but it ends there.

4 points
4
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dobber's picture

October 13, 2021 at 10:07 am

If I'm game-planning for the Packers, I tell my KO returner to bring out any ball they can safely get to that isn't kicked through the endzone. The Packers have earned that rep on coverage.

2 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

October 12, 2021 at 09:16 pm

Injuries, off season drama, new DC, and ST's coordinator yet still 4 & 1. We are fortunate to have 4 wins, and it looks like player health is going to be a weekly challenge all year. Just keep plugging and take ugly victories for now and hopefully the team finds health, and starts jelling better.

I will concur with others...why does AR's pass up open WR's underneath and force passes down field in double and triple coverage?

5 points
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jurp's picture

October 13, 2021 at 10:02 am

"why does AR's pass up open WR's underneath and force passes down field in double and triple coverage?"

Because he's convinced that he has god-like talent? Because he thinks that only Adams can be trusted to catch his precious passes? Because he knows his skills are starting to fade and he thinks his possibly off-target passes can only be caught by his most trusted receiver, who's also one of the best receivers in the league? All of the above?

1 points
1
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jlc1's picture

October 13, 2021 at 11:37 am

There were open receivers on the Adams bomb - should he have thrown it to someone else?

1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 13, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Nope. Unlike the INT forced to Adams on the sideline (Te was completely covered), the bomb had Adams open even as he had 3 DBs trailing him due to his magical footwork early into his route. Make that throw every time.

But Rodgers does force throws to Adams all the time and ignore wide open teammates. Adams also compensates for the risky throws with unreal ability to track the ball, wins most 50/50 throws, show his hands just before the ball arrives, and snatche it with a vice like grip.

But spread it around more because with double coverages on DA, someone is going to be open.

0 points
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0
Thegravedigger's picture

October 12, 2021 at 09:20 pm

ever since the saints game where lazard caught those 2 bombs and got hurt.... idk? is it rodgers just not believing in him? it really confuses me. hes had a drop here or there, but he has decent hands. get him the ball. that crosser was a first down. sometimes you just have to take whats there, and stop thinking about percentages.... rodgers is the only qb whos gifted enough to predetermine where he throws the ball more often than not and get away with it.

2 points
2
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 12, 2021 at 10:07 pm

I've seen enough of ESB forever. Put Taylor out there, he's the guy that earned it.

I'm really surprised that Deguara has produced almost nothing. I was excited about him after that Vikings game. I guess it's still really his rookie year and he's doing it on a rehabbed knee. I really hope he pans out.

7 points
7
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flackcatcher's picture

October 13, 2021 at 04:19 pm

Rodgers has become even more prickly in the passing game as he has become older. The other factor is the real lack of time due to the short camp periods. For MVS to earn Rodger's trust was a rare breakthrough for a young Packers receiver. And we must all remember Rodgers has a lot of Favre-Stabler in him. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes...

1 points
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tincada's picture

October 14, 2021 at 11:37 am

Enjoy: Packers sign WR Equanimeous St. Brown to active roster

1 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 14, 2021 at 08:30 pm

Well I hope I'm wrong...

0 points
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4thandinches's picture

October 12, 2021 at 10:19 pm

Good stuff Al!

I haven't seen anything from Deguara this year, except for him on the ground or running the wrong route (as displayed here). Between cutting Sternberger and Deguara's poor showing, our TE room future is looking much more bleak than I would have expected a couple months ago.

Here's hoping Deguara can improve and Big Bob will be a bit more active on the receiving front once we get DBak back. Can anyone tell me if Big Bob has been blocking/chipping a lot more this year compared to last year?

1 points
1
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Coldworld's picture

October 13, 2021 at 09:49 am

Tonyan has certainly been chipping. It’s hard to be certain that it is more than last year, but I’m pretty confident based on mere viewing. Lazard seems to have been doing more too. We have not seen a lot of the route patterns I expected and that worked well last year. Is that the reason? I don’t know.

1 points
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dobber's picture

October 13, 2021 at 10:12 am

People seem to expect a lot of Deguara, but that role--if what we saw last season with Dafney is any indication--isn't going to get a lot of snaps, at least not so long as Tonyan and Lewis are playing. That puts a lot of pressure on him to make good when he's out there, and it stands out when he doesn't.

2 points
2
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Crankbait's picture

October 12, 2021 at 10:42 pm

Special-teams and receiver coaching has been garbage for a decade on this team.
If winning your division was the Super Bowl, the Packers would be a dynasty.

4 points
4
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LambeauPlain's picture

October 13, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Special Teams coaching has been awful. But what do you base your opinion of poor Receiver coaching?

Edgar Bennet was very good coaching receivers in my view. So was Luke Getsy who has hired away from the Pack to be a college O coordinator only to be rehired by Matt in 2019 to be QB coach and was promoted to Pass Game Coordinator this year.

I also think Vrable is a solid receiver coach. MVS, Lazard, Taylor, Winfree etc seem all seem to be improving players.

David Raih was reportedly not an effective coach and didn't last long. But he is about the only one I'd rate as subpar over the last decade.

0 points
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croatpackfan's picture

October 13, 2021 at 02:53 am

Al, another good choices of "hmmmmm" plays.

I agree with you on that kick protection. While it is 11 on D to 9 on the O, we can see that Bengals had one player behind the line so it was 10 to 9, what is worse for justifying protection line. I also agree with Maurice Drayton that outside corner, if procedure on kick is correct can not be that fast to reach the point for blocking. From any side.

When you look at the players position, you can see how Bengals left 3 packers players uncovered in the center of the line, what enabling them to overload right side of the line. But, at the snap complete line from the right side went left to block what, obviously confused the last protector on the left side of the OL.

Outside Bengals guy did not (and he was almost untouched) reach the point where he was able to block the kick (what is confirmation of what MD said!). This one kick was not perfect in protection, still it was good enough to give sufficient time for uncontested kick.

1 points
1
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Bure9620's picture

October 13, 2021 at 03:21 am

I agree with everything here Al, except on the EQ failed block. Watch the anticipation and jump from the Bengals corner. It is not as much EQs lack of effort but more the corner knowing the play.. NO corner plays that play, THAT aggressively unless they know exactly what play is coming. Defenses know the smoke screen is coming, they simply snuffed it out...The Packers need to retire it for a while, it failed EVERY time this game. I don't know if this is MLF or Player/GM making this call but defenses are more than ready for it, it's on film, they obviously know what signs to look for pre snap as well.

0 points
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2
Coldworld's picture

October 13, 2021 at 09:47 am

EQ ran outside the blocking lane, past the play if you like, as if he expected to be the target. In other words he did not focus on what the opponent was doing, as a blocker should. That enabled the CB to make a clean heads up play, the very thing a blocker is there to obstruct.

1 points
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barutanseijin's picture

October 13, 2021 at 05:51 am

EQ has never shown anything to make me think he’s worthy of an NFL roster spot. Is it the Notre Dame pedigree that keeps him around?

Degaura could be yet another one of those guys with all the tools who just can’t put it together. He wouldn’t be the first and definitely won’t be the last.

1 points
2
1
LambeauPlain's picture

October 13, 2021 at 12:50 pm

One play that made me go Hmmm (in a good way) was AJs long run.

It started with the blocks by Big Dog stoning the outside LB crashing in and Nijman who executed a sublime outside/inside block on the DT crashing down the line. At the snap, Yosh disguised his block by running to his left then stopped on a dime and flipped his hips to the right and stopped the DT in his tracks.

AJ ran thru the hole created by Big Dog and Yosh untouched then cut behind teammates, ran thru defenders and stiff armed the DB, sending him flying backwards.

Great play.

1 points
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flackcatcher's picture

October 13, 2021 at 04:21 pm

Which points out the leap Nijman has made this year. Amazing...

0 points
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Todd's picture

October 14, 2021 at 08:02 pm

Insightful read, Al. Good stuff and keep ‘em coming!

0 points
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