Hey folks, Ryan Wood here. Welcome to our Monday afternoon, postgame chat. I'm sure there's a lot of questions after yesterday's 29-29 tie. Let's get started.
In general, I am mystified at what is legal and illegal when contacting the quarterback in this league. Before yesterday, my understanding was a defensive player could not land with his body weight on the quarterback. If he did, the defender had to roll off the quarterback. Simply extending one arm to brace the fall was not enough. So when I saw the flag, I knew it was a tough call but (thought) I understood the rule. It looked like the body-weight penalty to me. Then referee Tony Corrente said after the game it had nothing to do with the body-weight penalty, but that Clay Matthews was called for roughing because he lifted Kirk Cousins and drove him into the ground. If you watch the replay -- and I've seen it many times over -- Matthews certainly does not lift Cousins. So I'm at a loss. I have no idea what's a legal and illegal hit on the quarterback. I'm not sure anybody does at this point. It's as confusing as the catch rule ever was, and a real problem for the league.
Here's the thing: you can't be mad with Mike McCarthy's play-calling approach late Sunday and also upset the Packers ran the ball to chew clock late in the 2014 NFC championship game. They are opposite decisions, opposite philosophies entirely, and both have incited the fans. I understand the need to milk clock, but a touchdown there ends the game. Even if you milk clock and kick the field goal for a five-point lead, there's a very real chance the Vikings get the ball back with at least some time for a fluke touchdown. (Not that Minnesota has ever won a game on a fluke touchdown, mind you. Especially not in the playoffs.) The Packers had a great shot to Davante Adams in the end zone; Eric Kendricks simply made a sensational play. In this league, going for the points is almost always the right call, and it was Sunday.
The Packers edge rush is what it is, which isn't much at all. It's going to be that way probably all season. The good news is the secondary has shown it can really cover, especially when Kevin King is on the field. I'd expect the defensive backfield to only improve as the season progresses. Certainly, it's much better than the past couple years. Is it enough to overcome the lack of pass rush? That's the question, and we don't have our answer yet. But there's at least a fighting chance.
Doesn't matter when the whistle sounds. Timeout came before the play, so it's granted.
I mean, we're just seeing different things. The force of his wait came from his shoulders, and they landed on Kirk Cousins. Matthews didn't roll off. Don't confuse that for me thinking this is a great rule. They're penalizing football plays. Same with the Eric Kendricks roughing penalty on Aaron Rodgers. But that's my understanding of the current rule. So I'm either wrong, or Tony Corrente was. Both are entirely possible, because I'm not sure anyone understands what's a legal hit anymore.
Yeah, you and Mike McCarthy both. He just said the same thing in his Monday presser. I don't know. It should've been.
The Packers don't have their most talented runner, for one. Aaron Jones is activated from suspension this week. I'd expect him to make a huge difference in the run game. If they're still getting the same production in a couple weeks, then I'd think something else might be wrong.
I'm sure Brian Gutekunst will be involved in any and all possibilities. Normally, under the prior GM, I would so no chance. Now, I think you have to default as there's always a chance.
Mike McCarthy didn't say much, as expected. We'll have to see if he can practice this week. Wasn't a good sign that King couldn't get back into the game yesterday. The Packers -- and really any team in the NFL -- are always super conservative with soft-tissue injuries. I'd expect this to be no different. The good news is Washington and Buffalo simply don't have the passing attack of the Vikings, so the Packers should have some luxury of patience.
He's their most talented running back, so sure.
If the opportunity is there, of course.
I've noticed Mike Pettine likes to rush from the slot a lot more than Dom Capers. Everyone talks about Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson's ball skills, and for good reason. But they might be just as useful as rushers. As for offense, I'm not sure it's fair to judge schematically at this point, with Aaron Rodgers' injury and Aaron Jones' suspension.
He's a hard runner who can wear on a defense, and he's superb in pass pro. Aaron Jones is a more talented runner. That said, I think Williams is a really good complement to what Jones does, and together the pounding between the tackles and big-play threat on the perimeter has a chance to make for a really good run game. That's what happened last year anyway.
He was inactive with an ankle injury the past two weeks. That said, Kentrell Brice is clearly ahead of him. Josh Jones had a lot of mental mistakes and missed assignments as a rookie last season. We haven't seen whether he's learned from that. The fact Brice is ahead of Jones might be telling, though.
Well, he's certainly a coach who can't please some fans no matter what he does.
Wait, what did Kizer do wrong yesterday??
No, I'd call it a return to the mean. Drafting is a guess game for everyone. Ted Thompson was extraordinary successful in the early years. If you look at league data, his chances of continuing that pace were never high.
Probably not unless the WR core was depleted with injury. Think 13 personnel is the most you'll see.
It's a guess without talking to him, but mine would be that he didn't want to level Jaire Alexander. If he continues in a straight line, good chance he runs straight through Alexander at a high velocity. Looked like he twisted to avoid his teammate, and in doing so missed the football.
The Packers have plenty of cap to make deals after Aaron Rodgers' contract, especially as the cap continues to rise.
I'm not ready to go there yet with how hot it was yesterday. Kenny Clark said it was the most grueling and fatiguing game he'd ever played, and he played college ball at UCLA. The defense was gassed at the end. That was the issue.
I think it's easy to look at the tie as a loss since it came at Lambeau Field, but you raise good points. If the Packers can tie the Vikings with Rodgers limited and no Aaron Jones, you could argue they can win on the road with a healthy Rodgers and Jones. Even though they're playing inside U.S. Bank Stadium later this season, they could also be a better and more complete team.