Thu. Jan 21st, 2021

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They need to dig deep once again

5 min read
They need to dig deep once again

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I’m not sure if Rivers now has a win against every NFL team after this past game against the Packers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had it circled on his calendar. He certainly played with an edge.

Besides obviously the Chargers, the only NFL team Rivers doesn’t hold a victory over is now Carolina (0-3).

What do you think the Packers’ key issue was on Sunday?

Discipline and an overall lack of production. There were too many penalties, especially early on, and just not enough efficiency in all three phases. Davante Adams said it best – the Packers were sluggish and the Chargers made them pay.

I may not be an expert, but your answer to Marty (Fulton, IL) was and is spot on to me: protect, communicate, block, run, avoid penalties, and BIG PLAYS!

And start fast. The Packers made teams play to their level through the first half of the season and outpaced many of them with that play style. That was missing Sunday.

Jeremiah from South Bend, IN

In what ways were the Packers overwhelmed by a superior opponent versus underperforming on the field? Moving forward, how do they learn from these different circumstances?

They were not overwhelmed by a superior opponent. That’s what happened when the Packers went into Denver four years ago and got walloped. The team underperformed Sunday and lost by 15 points. Don’t get it twisted.

While watching the game on Sunday I noticed that on passing plays AR12 just turned and pedaled back to set up for the pass. There was no faking to the RB. I thought play-action was what we were striving to do to throw the defense off. Any idea why we didn’t use play-action any more than we did?

Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers both touched on how the Packers didn’t really get into their offensive game plan due to the slow start. Aaron Jones echoed similar comments in the postgame locker room. You have to establish the run to set up the play-action. Jones and Jamaal Williams only combined for 10 carries. As LaFleur said, the Packers fell behind and had to live in a two-minute offense.

Now that we are a day or two removed from laying this year’s biggest egg, can we at least say that we won the injury battle on Sunday? I do not remember any Packer players going down with a serious injury that could last for weeks. Maybe staying healthy could be our consolation prize for a strong second half.

We’ll see where things stand when the team returns to the practice field Wednesday but no Packers players pulled out of Sunday’s game with injury.

What does Carolina bring to the table?

Challenges. Even without Cam Newton, the Panthers have a lot of players who can stress a defense. Kyle Allen has largely played mistake-free football and Christian McCaffrey is arguably the NFL’s top skill-position playmaker. Curtis Samuel also has a tweener skillset that makes him tricky to deal with. Only one defense has more sacks than the Panthers’ 34, but they’re also allowing 133.4 rushing yards per game.

The Panthers will watch the film and try to mimic what the Chargers and Eagles did. How do they game plan to avoid this and also try and stop Christian McCaffrey?

The Packers look to me like a team in need of the bye week, particularly on defense. The Packers need to plug gaps, gang tackle at the second level and not allow McCaffrey to get free in the open field. He’s not infallible. Tampa Bay shut him down twice this year. I’d look at the film and take notes of what the Buccaneers did.

Drew from Rogers City, MI

How should I look at this week in the NFC North? 1) No harm done, everyone lost. 2) Packers missed out on an opportunity to double up with a win and three NFC North losses. 3) Both of the above. 4) None of the above.

I probably lean towards Option 3. My takeaway boarding the bus after the game – it could’ve been a lot worse in relation to the division.

Do you consider the upcoming game against the Panthers a must-win for the Packers?

If you guys have been reading long enough, I always maintain there’s no such thing as a must-win game before December. That rhetoric is only basis for conjecture and speculation among fans. Nothing more, nothing less. If you need a phrase to latch onto, it’s a must-win because it’s the next game on the schedule.

II, it has taken two years for Pettine’s defense to come together. Everyone is expecting the new offense to be in high gear. Is that a reasonable expectation or should it bake longer?

I think it’s reasonable given how the league works – hired today and expected to produce tomorrow. Yes, the offense took a step back against the Chargers but it also had steadily improved over the first half of the season. One game doesn’t erase months of progression.

Dakin from Clearwater, FL

I was reminding my coworkers and myself all last week not to look past the Chargers due to something that a wise man once shared; “Players, not plays.” The firing of Whisenhunt meant the Chargers had something to prove, especially since their offensive playmakers were mostly the same from last season. Kudos to the interim OC they have currently.

In this case, it was probably both. The Chargers wanted to run the ball more and they did. Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler combined for 32 carries against Green Bay. Shane Steichen deserves credit for how he called his first game.

Mario from Montevideo, Uruguay

In the press conference, did Aaron Rodgers call out some of his teammates’ preparation for the game in Los Angeles, without naming them? Or did I read too much between the lines? What’s your opinion on this?

I’m not going to play interpreter for Rodgers, but when a team comes out that sluggish, it needs to revisit how it prepares for a long road trip like that. LaFleur said they’re going to look into it and have a plan for handling San Francisco later this month.

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