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.