Hey folks, Ryan Wood here. Welcome to our live chat. The Packers certainly blitzed Sunday afternoon. They just couldn't knock Matt Ryan off his spot consistently enough. That was the biggest problem they had on defense. It was hard to see the Packers winning if they didn't get consistent pressure with the defensive front, and they didn't. Of course, Clay Matthews' absence didn't help matters.
You could argue that if you compare it to other coaching staffs, but each staff is different. Mike McCarthy still sees value in what Tom Clements brings to the team, so he's reserved a role for him. It is odd to have a former offensive coordinator on a staff in a different role, but the Packers have worked it out.
Because a ball carrier is allowed to use his hand against an opponent's facemask to ward off a tackle.
Mike McCarthy was just talking today about the importance of establishing the run, how this team views it as mandatory. Made me think of the third quarter. You're right, it was certainly quite odd to see the Packers revert to traditional personnel after their spread game worked so successfully in the first half. When the returned to the spread game in the fourth quarter, it worked again. Ultimately, the Packers need to run what works, but McCarthy also believes they won't be successful without a run game to keep defenses honest.
Good question, Ralph. We'll see what Dom Capers says later today about the final touchdown, but it looked as though Ha Ha Clinton-Dix did what the game plan dictated, which was leave the middle of the field to double team Julio Jones. Even with a bum ankle, it's hard to fault the Packers for constantly double teaming the NFL's best receiver. First of all, it worked. Jones was largely ineffective. Secondly, bum ankle or not, he's still extremely dangerous in the secondary. What I'm wondering is how Jake Ryan got in a position where he was even matched up against Mohamed Sanu. Again, we'll see what Dom Capers says later.
The Packers play a nickel defense, so their top three CBs are in effect starters. So the short answer would be yes. Unless Sam Shields returns from IR later this season, which seems unlikely, Randall, Rollins and Gunter are their long-term starters.
Good question about where the defense is trending. It has clearly been the Packers strength this season, but yesterday resembled a step back. As for your reaction to the loss, I largely agree. In my view, it was a big opportunity lost, not only because it would have improved them to 5-2, but also because their schedule would set up nicely for a potential 7-2 start. Regardless, there were clearly positive signs. If the offense plays like this consistently, the defense won't be playing the NFL's top-scoring offense on the road each week, as they did yesterday. Bottom line: there's a lot of season left to play, and while winning and losing is all that matters, the Packers need to play better, period. On Sunday, their offense finally did.
It's worth asking Dom Capers about later, but I generally believe 70 percent of Julio Jones is better than 100 percent of many receivers. So it's hard to take your best cornerback off him, no matter what.
Do you have any hard numbers on the Packers being among the league leaders in starters missing games with injuries? Seems to me it's a problem for all 32 teams, because football is a violent sport. Guessing you're just more aware of it with the Packers because you follow them more closely. Check out what Minnesota has had to deal with on the injury front this year.
Tough crowd. Packers defense has been better than the offense all season. They're 15th in the league in points allowed, which is average. But, sure, fire the strength of this team.
If everyone reacted to Packers losses like this, there'd be no team left.
No, it is not. He had three sacks in his first three games, then injuries hit. Even with Nick Perry's emergence, Clay Matthews is the team's best edge rusher.
Ideally, I think there would be a good mix of power and slash. The Packers thought they had that with Eddie Lacy and James Starks, but both got hurt. Plus, you have to wonder if Starks just got old. I expect running back to be one of the foremost positions the Packers focus on in their next draft. So that boost could be coming.
Mike McCarthy was in a really tough spot. No, it isn't ideal to get the ball back with 31 seconds left after giving up the lead, but the Packers needed to save those timeouts for offense. Ultimately, the timeout situation was not what hurt them. It was their inability to connect on downfield passes during their last-ditch drive.
Yeah, it wasn't a great visual for Casey Hayward to have a pick 6 around the same time LaDarius Gunter failed to convert a golden pick-6 opportunity that would have ended the Packers' game. I thought Ted Thompson made the right decision to move on without Hayward this offseason, and I still think it was the right call long term. The Packers have young, talented corners. The secondary just hasn't made splash plays this season. That needs to change quickly, of course. But there's still a second half of the season to play. Will be interesting to see where it stands in January.
I really don't know, because without the ability to be Jordy Nelson, I can't say what kind of pain he was in and whether crawling was a realistic option at that point.
Think the biggest reason it was an issue was because the Falcons didn't need to respect a run game. It's a lot easier to rush the quarterback when you can sell out with the pass rush each snap.
No, they can not. It's exactly what Mike Daniels was talking about yesterday when he said it's not enough to just do your job. Defenders need to make plays, create turnovers, swing momentum. For all the strengths this defense has had, their lack of takeaways has been troubling. It needs to change.
All right, folks. That's a good place to end today. Have to get down to the Packers locker room. If I didn't get to your question, make sure to read through the transcript. And make sure you get all your Packers coverage at PackersNews.com