Hey folks, thanks for your patience. Just finished up the Monday postgame press conference with Mike McCarthy. Ready to take your questions for as long as I can until the Packers open their locker room to the media. Let's get to it.
It's ... not great. DeShone Kizer's primary job as a backup quarterback is to not turn over the football, and that's just what he did. Kizer let Khalil Mack take three points out of his hand. Then he tossed a touchdown pass to the wrong team. One thing Mike McCarthy just said was the screen call that led to Mack's pick-six kept him awake last night. McCarthy was trying to help Kizer get into a rhythm with an easy play, especially because he thought Kizer might have to play the second half, but he regretted making that call in hindsight. Just run the football and get to the locker room down 10-0, instead of 17-0. Bottom line, Kizer has to play a lot better. Last night didn't cut it, and almost cost the Packers the game.
They might get there eventually, but first the Packers will give Clay Matthews every opportunity to be a productive edge rusher. If he's unable to produce from the edge, it significantly limits their defense's ceiling. So they're not there yet, but last night was not a good showing from him.
I mean, the Packers only won because the defense kept them in the game. After the first 15 scripted, unscouted plays, the Packers barely gave up anything. It's impossible to make any grand conclusions based on one game, but last night was something the defense can build on. Like Aaron Rodgers said, the Packers defense only allowed 16 points. The Packers should win when their defense only allows 16 points.
Because the Packers are going to use him on special teams. They just couldn't last night because Davis showed up to the stadium with a tight hamstring, and they couldn't loosen it up during pregame warmups. He's their return man when healthy.
It's hard to get a read on whether the Packers offensive line simply needed some snaps after not playing together all preseason, or if it's a problem. Certainly, starting against the Bears defensive front was a daunting task, but next week is no easier with the Vikings. The offensive line got better as the game progressed, but a big part of that was Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers going to the quick-passing game. Not sure we got an answer on that last night. Clearly, the Packers need to protect like they did late in the game, not early.
Even Nick Perry's sack was more of a coverage sack. The question is whether Mike Pettine can scheme pressure to overcome his lack of personnel. I think you saw what the Packers pass rush was last night: two of their three sacks came from a safety (Kentrell Brice) and defensive lineman (Mike Daniels). It's going to be unorthodox. That's fine, so long as they can get production.
I tweeted during the preseason finale I didn't see much difference between DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle as backup. I still don't. More specifically, neither are really ready to run the Packers offense with Aaron Rodgers out. Kizer made a bad situation worse last night; I'm not sure Boyle would have done any better. Bottom line, the Packers traded for Kizer to be their backup, and one game -- no matter how bad -- isn't going to change their plan.
I picked the Vikings to win the division, so that shows what I thought of them and the Packers already. Nothing I saw yesterday changes how I feel on that. So, yeah, I'd be worried about the Vikings.
My best guess is that's how they used to paint the end zones, and it was an homage to start their 100th season.
A lot of talk about the Packers offensive line against the Bears defensive front. One thing that surprised me was I thought the Bears offensive line won the battle against the Packers defensive front. That's supposed to be the strength of their defense. They were fortunate to win anyway.
It's a left knee injury. Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy would not say what the specific injury was, but safe to assume there's some kind of sprain. It's evident Rodgers avoided a torn ACL, because he wouldn't have returned. So that's the good news, obviously.
Two catches, eight yards for Jimmy Graham. One catch, 13 yards for Lance Kendricks. And that was it. Really surprised they didn't get more from Graham, but part of that was how well the top three receivers played, especially late. If you look at the recent history, it's taken time for the Packers to work their new tight ends into the offense. I guess it'll be no different with Graham.
If Aaron Rodgers can play without further damaging his knee, he'll play.
You can expect the Packers to be coy with Rodgers' injury this week. It's a little gamesmanship. More likely, it'll be a pain threshold instead of whether he could further damage the knee. As you saw last night, Rodgers' threshold for pain is pretty high.
It's not looking great, but still premature. Kevin King has a chance to be really good.
Mike McCarthy said Kentrell Brice had the highest grade of any defensive player. He had nine tackles, one sack and a quarterback hit. Pretty good debut as Morgan Burnett's replacement. As a whole, McCarthy really liked the secondary. Didn't allow a touchdown pass, and held Mitch Trubisky to 4.9 yards per pass on 35 attempts.
Well that must make it true, Bob, since anyone could observe it. No, I would not expect that to happen.
I'd be surprised if he doesn't play.
The problem is you need more than two outside linebackers who can play defense. In that scenario, they would not have that.
It probably had something to do with their top three receivers combining for 19 catches, 299 yards and three touchdowns, How much, I'm not sure. But when you get that kind of production at WR, not everyone can had a huge game on the stat sheet.
Davon House is the No. 5 cornerback. So, yes, he is that deep.
Just what you saw last night. A lot of quick-timing passes, emphasizing Rodgers getting the ball out of his hand. They've had success with that in the past. Would expect it to continue.
I think you quit watching after the first series. There was a whole rest of the game after that, in which they gave up nine points total.
One game. He's gotta play better, obviously. But I'd hesitate to make any major evaluations on 60 minutes of a 16-game season. We'll see.
Not really. The Packers expect their offensive linemen to win one-on-one matchups. It's what their offense is built on. So I'm not surprised they didn't change their scheme, especially with Bulaga getting more comfortable in the second half.
Quick passes. Can't hold onto the ball, as he usually does when extending plays. The good thing is it helps the pass game stay on schedule. The bad thing is you don't get those big plays off extensions. So a give and take.
Yeah, that was the critical part of that play. Even better vision from Randall Cobb to know when to cut back and use his blocker. But that TD happened because Ty Montgomery played through the whistle, even if it meant sprinting 80 yards downfield. Heck of a hustle play.
Ask the 2014 Cowboys. (Yes, they can win that way.)
I think Geronimo Allison showed he's indeed primed for a breakout season. And the new secondary did look good. Their biggest disappointment had to be the offensive line's struggle. Knew there were depth issues, but thought the starting unit would be significantly better than that.
All right, folks. That's a good place to end today. Thanks for following along. Sorry it was so short. We'll do this again next week. Until then, take care everybody.