OK, let's dive in. Yes, McCarthy does have the choice to wear white, a few teams do that, Dallas for one, I believe Miami too, I'm sure others as well (Rams?). The Packers have never done it that I know of. I don't know if it makes any difference or not. I don't doubt the Packers' D wore down some but I have to think Vikings' D did too. I don't have a good answer for you,, I always kind of felt the jersey thing was more psychological than real but I can't say that for a fact.
I'd say the Packers' outside rush as a whole has been absent. It's worth noting the OLBs are playing a little less, or at least it seems like it, I'll have to add up the snaps, because Pettine a fair amount of the time is using three DL and only only OLB. But that also should mean that when they're out there the OLBs should be fresher and better. Not a lot of playmaking from the OLBs in the passing game, that's for sure. They were good against the run last week, don't know if you noticed that, but they held the edge well, and Matthews was pretty active in coverage when asked to do that. But the outside rush is pretty thin.
This is one I'm not seeing. He's an outstanding player, no doubt, and would help the Packers. But the cost would be too high. Running backs' careers are so short. Bell is 26, he might have only a couple really good years left, but he's probably going to want/get a contract that pays big guaranteed money. Plus whatever you have to give up in draft picks. If he were a defensive player of that quality, I'd say go get him. But the Packers have Rodgers to carry their offense, and they're pretty decent at RB now that Jones is back too. I just don't think Bell would be worth the cost in picks in money when the Packers already have Rodgers (and the big investment in him). Not that he wouldn't help them, obviously he'd help a lot. But the trade-off would be too great unless they could do a year-to-year contract with him, but that's why he's holding out, he wants a big contract with a big guarantee.
It's definitely worth watching and all that, but I don't know of anyone specifically who's available. Hughes, for instance, is 30 and had four sacks in 16 games last season. Is he really any better than what they've got at this point? I don't know, I haven't watched him and am not a scout. But I'd be skeptical. The trade deadline is Oct. 30, so as we get closer to that, you're right, some teams will have fallen out of the playoff race for sure and might be willing to deal a decent rusher with an eye toward the future. Or maybe a team will just want to get rid of a guy, like the Dolphins did with Ajayi, because the player is a problem in their eyes. So yeah, it's always possible and I have to think something Gutekunst is working, because the Packers' rush needs help. But teams generally aren't looking to move good rushers, those guys are hard to find. The NFL isn't like baseball in that way, where teams routinely look to move guys as the deadline gets near. But yeah, Gutekunst seems more open to these kind of things than Thompson was, so I suspect he and his staff are looking at rosters around the league for pass rushers they might be able to get.
I don't remember that being an issue in the opener, really last week was the first time I remember him burning a lot of timeouts. And yeah, it came back to bite them. But I don't know if it was because he'd used time trying to get the Vikings to jump offsides. With everything else there was to talk about -- his knee, everything that happened in the fourth quarter and overtime -- nobody got around to asking Rodgers after the game about burning the TOs. So I'm not sure why used so many because the play clock was about to run out. Agreed that they could have used a couple of those TOs late.
Still photos can really be deceiving, so I'm not real keen on going by those. But I slowed down both plays and just don't get why the NFL won't say they were mistakes by the refs. Matthews briefly put his arm under Cousin's thigh, so I'm sure to the ref it looked like he scooped him up, but if you watch the replay it's pretty clear to me that Cousins jumped as he threw, and that's why he went in the air. Kendricks' hit as well, no scoop there that I saw. The PI on Adams was weak but the ref saw Adams' arm extend and called it. The Graham one, in slow motion it was easy to see the guy grabbed his arm but at full speed it wasn't nearly as clear, so while it was a missed call, it's the kind of call that's missed a lot because of all the hand fighting they allow between WRs and DBs. They Taylor holding penalty was weak, but Minnesota was called for the same thing that called back a third-down conversion. I just don't think the tie should be pinned on the refs. The Packers needed to win this game when it was there for the taking, which it was with three great TD chances in the final 8 minutes, including getting the ball on the 13 after Clinton-Dix's interception. They knew at the time they needed touchdowns, not field goals, that's why McCarthy threw twice in a row after the two-minute warning. And Adams had a good shot at catching both of them. So I think it's misguided to blame the refs. The game was there for the taking, where they could put the game away and a bad call wouldn't be a factor, and they didn't get it done. Even if the Vikings got more calls than the Packers in this one, there will be a game or two where the Packers will be the beneficiaries. The Packers have nobody but themselves to blame IMHO.
Yeah, those two rookies CBs can get better, maybe quite a bit better as they get more experienced. Oren Burks hasn't played, and judging by camp and preseason he's got some ability to be a fairly dynamic ILB, looks like he can run with guys in coverage and get to the sidelines as a run defender. Kenny Clark is still a young guy (turns 23 in a month, if I remember right), so he could improve during the season, and he's already pretty good. Kevin King if he can stay healthy, which is looking like a big if at this point. Maybe Josh Jones. So yeah, it could be a noticeably better team at the end of the year. Doesn't mean it will, but there are reasons to think it could.
I have to agree with you Matt, he's made some plays but also missed his share, too. Collins was a lot better because he was so much faster and more explosive. Clinton-Dix has to rely on taking good angles and making great reads. Sometimes he does -- he had a good tackle or two against the Vikings -- but for instance on the TD to Treadwell he didn't break on the ball but instead drifted in the end zone like he thought the ball might get through to him for an INT. I'd say he just has some limitations.
The owners don't want temporary IR lists because they'd end up having to pay more players, so they use the 53-man roster but 46 game-day actives as a sort of a substitute for temporary IR. Most teams have at least a couple guys who can't play any given week because of injuries. Rarely is that more than five or six. They want things even for both teams, so they don't want one team to have more actives than the other, so they set it at 46 with the idea that both teams will have at least that many healthy players, and that that's enough players to get through a game. It's all basically because the owners don't want to pay more players.
I just have to disagree on that one. At that point, the scoreboard was still more the enemy than the clock. Even if they'd forced Minnesota to take those time outs, the Vikings wouldn't have needed them to get downfield for the touchdown. They did it anyway and used only one TO and had 31 seconds to spare. I personally would have considered the TD of more value than the rest for the defense. And the defense had just had a lot of rest. The Packers had a long drive and kicked a FG, then Minnesota scored a TD on two plays;then the Packers had another long drive and kicked a FG, and Cousins threw an interception on the first play. So the defense had had a ton of rest.
I also think Matthews is more impactful inside, but I'm not sure who else the Packers have after Perry who's better than Matthews on the outside. I also agree that Mack was worth offering more than two first-rounders. Can't say for sure what more than two first-rounders it would have taken to get Oakland to take that deal rather than gambling that one or two of the Bears' first-rounders might be top-10 picks, but I'd have pushed the envelop too, he's a real difference maker at the position they need the most.
I highly doubt the quarterback is good enough.
Agreed, I just don't get it. It might have looked like a lift to the ref at the time and from where he was standing, but on replay it's clear it wasn't. I don't get it either and think they're going to have to somehow rectify this via the competition committee in-season, because IMHO Riveron is completely wrong here, and I find it a little hard to believe the competition committee as a whole agrees with him.
Agreed that his blocking is bad and he's not so fast that he stretches defenses. But he still has decent speed and great size and catching ability. He's such a big target with a large catch radius, that makes him a huge weapon in the red zone. Teams will either have to risk giving up easy TDs to him or doubling him in the red zone, either way that's good for Rodgers. And he showed some athleticism when he hurdled that tackler against Minnesota. He's not the guy he was five years ago, but he's still pretty good, looks a lot faster and more athletic than Bennett was last year. I think he's worth the money, at least for this year. Will he still be worth $10M in 2020? Maybe, maybe not.
I'd think so. And Jones is a bigger threat as a runner, so defenses will have to honor him more as a runner than they do Williams or Montgomery.
I addressed this a couple times but wanted to give you your say. From the ref's point of view, I can see why he might have been fooled into thinking Matthews picked up Cousins. On replay it's pretty clear to me he didn't. Not sure what more needs to be said. I'm sure McCarthy thinks it was a bad call, in fact, he essentially said so today in his press conference when he said they aren't changing the way they're teaching how to tackle the QB. That means he thinks Matthews' tackle was good. They can get fined if they criticize the officiating publicly, so that's one reason McCarthy hasn't come out and explicitly criticized the call. Also it's telling that McCarthy hasn't even suggested that the officiating cost them the game. That would be a victim's mentality, and in sports that's a losing mentality. McCarthy knows they had their chances to nail that game down and didn't do it, and he wants his team to have the same mind-set, that's my take.
I thought Matthews looked a little better in Week 2, especially in chasing down plays outside, reading swing passes, etc. But as a rusher only a tad better, he helped Clark get his sack by getting close enough to take a swipe at the ball, which forced Cousins to re-load and step up and get sacked by Clark. Wilkerson has great size and pretty good power and can be a factor in there, but it doesn't look like he's going to be a big sack guy. All three (Wilkerson, Clark and Daniels) are good against the run, it's looking like the Packers' run D should be pretty good this year, in large part because of them. They're inside rush as a group is good, but it's not dominant or anything like that. They don't have an Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox or Geno Atkins.
It sounds like Brice should have been shading that way on that play. And yeah, it sure looks like they're better with Jackson out there. I'll bet this week when they go with three CBs -- assuming King doesn't play -- that the three will be Williams, Alexander and Jackson. That's how they ended the game. When they go with those three, from what I've seen they put Alexander outside and keep Jackson in the slot. The bigger question is whether they'll play House in dime (and move Alexander to the other slot) or use Whitehead as the sixth DB even though he's a safety. I'd agree, Alexander probably is their best cover guy already. Not so sure Jackson wouldn't be No. 2 and Williams No. 3.
Maybe Darius Jackson gets bumped from the 53, he's the third RB on the roster right now.
McCarthy said this morning that King will be hard pressed to play this week.
Not a lot, I think it was only about 10 snaps. He's limited as a receiver, but he really can block when needed.
When he gets outside the tackle box or crosses the LOS.