Hey, folks. Fresh back from Atlanta, where the Packers lost last night in their NFC championship game rematch to the Falcons, 34-23. Let's get to your questions.
I think it all depends on the severity of David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga's injuries, as well as who's available. It's far from ideal to enter a game against any opponent, much less the Falcons in their house, with Kyle Murphy and Justin McCray as your starting tackles. With that said, to demand the Packers make a move is to assume there's something better available, and that's probably a stretch. If a tackle is available in the middle of September, there's a reason for it. I'm not sure how severe Bakhtiari or Bulaga's injuries are, but considering Bakhtiari did a pregame workout and seriously considered playing, and Bulaga will have four weeks since his ankle sprain by the time the next game comes around, my guess is neither injuries are long-term.
I get the frustration with Damarious Randall. He had a rough night covering Julio Jones, although most corners have rough nights covering Julio Jones. As for Kenny Clark's development, we'll disagree there. Clark had a great camp and played very well in the opener.
As my colleague Pete Dougherty wrote today, the Packers need to just stick with developing Kevin King no matter what lumps there may be. He's clearly the most talented corner on their depth chart, and while a rookie is going to have growing pains, he's looked pretty good when given the opportunity. King didn't have much exposure against Julio Jones on Sunday, but he didn't allow a reception on four targets while on the field. The time is now to start increasing his snaps.
Hope David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga can stay healthy. No team is reaching the Super Bowl playing backups at tackles. That's just reality of this league.
The Packers are vastly improved at ILB with Morgan Burnett, and should get even better when Josh Jones starts factoring into the rotation. The way to go at that position is hybrid safety. Clay Matthews had one of his best pass-rush games in recent memory last night. Something for him to build off of.
Can't say I noticed any disinterest in tackling, though maybe that came through more on TV than our seats high in the corner end zone. There were times he took rough angles, and that's been his weakness since entering the draft. Thought it was much better through much of camp, as well as the Packers opener, but I saw some of that last night.
It's people like this, who get so worked up during Week 2, that concern me. Not great for your long-term health.
Pressure wasn't the problem last night; allowing Julio Jones to run wide open in the secondary was.
Primarily, because good offenses don't turn over the ball, and the Packers played a good offense on the road last night. Mike Daniels forced a pretty big turnover against Seattle, if you remember. Swung that game around.
You should keep in mind the Packers defense was better last night than in January. Two touchdowns last night were set up by the offense. To me, the one thing this defense has to figure out against the Falcons is how to cover Julio Jones. He was the difference again, making big plays that win games. Considering they've tried everything in their past two games, I'm not sure where that answer comes from.
I don't know if you can blame Capers for last night. Maybe if he stuck to the same game plan that got the defense burned in January, but he did everything different. Players weren't good enough.
Impressive, considering it was his first action. He played more than expected with Mike Daniels' injury, getting 33 snaps. The Packers prioritized building depth on their defensive line this offseason, and that certainly seems to have worked. They clearly missed Daniels. He is their best defensive player. But having someone like Dial who can provide serviceable snaps as a replacement helps. The front end of the Packers defense is ahead of the back end right now.
This is why I'm not going to be TYPING IN ALL CAPS today. No screaming and shouting and ranting here. Considering the environment, a very good team could be expected to lose last night. The Packers lost. They're a very good team. They need to get healthy, but they'll be there at the end. So, no, a Week 2 loss is not something to let your blood boil.
Probably not. Quinton Dial fills that rotational that role.
I didn't know what they were going to do going in, and turned out they decided to not shadow.
That's the thing with the Falcons; they will beat you with Sanu. The Packers did what you're suggesting last October, and they got beat by Sanu. That offense is probably the best in the NFL when it's playing on its home turf. Answers don't grow on trees against that group. In the past year, the Packers have tried everything, and nothing has worked. Which is why their best bet should there be a rematch this postseason is for Kevin King to develop quickly.
Trevor Davis had 17 snaps.
They're probably going to need the Falcons to lose at least one game they shouldn't. That's where last night's loss could be costly. It was much less about the caliber of this team, and more about potential seeding implications. The Falcons now own the head-to-head tiebreaker, as they did last season. So the Packers will need to have a better record. An equal record would put a playoff game in Atlanta.
I don't think this is a Joe Whitt problem. First, you don't look for No. 1 corners in the first FOUR rounds. More like the first two. Casey Hayward wasn't a good scheme fit in Green Bay, and is making No. 1 plays in a better fit with the Chargers. Unless they turn it around, it looks like Ted just missed at the top of the 2015 draft. If that's the case, it's costly.
I don't think their struggles were a byproduct of who Rodgers was targeting. Without their tackles, the Packers couldn't protect long enough for Rodgers to throw deep. They were predictable, allowing the Falcons to sit on underneath routes. Not a good way to win.
The balance is always tempo vs. changing personnel. When an offense goes no-huddle hurry-up, it can't substitute as frequently. The Packers were using a lot of different personnel groupings last night, primarily to help support their tackles. It's probably easier to go no-huddle hurry-up with a healthy group, when Mike McCarthy doesn't have to scheme as much.