OK everybody, let's dive right in. I wondered that myself but as the game went on Mack was less and less a factor. The no-huddle wore him out in the second half, and IMHO the Bears played him way too much -- 42 snaps, that's just too many for a guy who's not in football shape no matter how hard he'd worked during his holdout. I was thinking he'd play maybe 25 snaps at most, and probably less. Even Hicks wore down in the second half, McCray did a much better job. So in the end McCarthy didn't need to adjust though I'm surprised he didn't do more to help early.
They have to weigh a lot of things, but I'd get him out there if at all possible. It depends on how well they can protect it with a brace and tape and all that, but if the risk of further injury isn't that great then you gotta play him. These are real games and they count in the standings and he's obviously their most important guy by far. Now, in a situation like RGIII in the playoffs way back when, that was crazy for Washington to leave him in that playoff game. But unless Rodgers has a partially torn ACL -- and I highly doubt that's the case or they wouldn't have put him back in the game, and we'd have heard something by now -- the risk of further injury might not be that great. If he plays he'll just have to get the ball out fast, and the line will have to protect like their lives depend on it. But these are real games and this is what they're paying him for, to lift the team.
I re-watched the game and there were a couple times when he was a tick late coming up to tackle, though he also made a big tackle in the open field on a third down. He definitely has his limitations, he's not real fast, as was shown at the scouting combine (4.58 40). I"m not sure I'd characterize his play as weak on Sunday, but he didn't do much else that stood out.
Any and all those things are possibilities. I'd think they'd prefer to save their 2 IR returns for guys who play more and have bigger roles, but depending on how the injuries go the rest of the season you can't rule it out. But yeah, they also could reach an injury settlement and release him. I don't know their plans.
Looks like they'll probably use Valdes-Scantling some on KOR too, he had at least one last week. Wouldn't be surprised if they work in some guys other Cobb to return punts too, maybe Alexander (he did it in college) for instance, maybe even Josh Jackson. Both those guys did some PRs in preseason games.
I would have kept Hundley and traded Kizer, but who knows, maybe they tried that and couldn't find any takers? Or maybe they kept Kizer because of his upside. But if you bring in a veteran you might have to cut one of the other two QBs, so you'd have to be OK with that. I haven't looked at who's available on the street, but I'm sure the options aren't real good. Kizer has worked in the system since April, so he should know it pretty well by now. Just not sure there are any good options out there.
Really hard to know. When he injured his shoulder in '08, they didn't know he'd play until the morning of the game after he threw in the Hutson Center. So it could be they won't know, or at least won't say, until Sunday. On the other hand, they might know by Thursday or Saturday (they don't practice Fridays), and reflect it in the injury report. Even if he's playing they'll probably try to keep it under wraps as long as they can just to plant some uncertainty with the Vikings, though it's tough to keep these things under wraps if they know one way or the other. Sounds like he's not practicing today, McCarthy said he's in the rehab group.
Just checking Twitter, our Ryan Wood is reporting that Burks is practicing today, so that suggests he has a chance of playing this week. A lot depends on how much he can do in pads tomorrow, and how he comes out of that.
Probably will take some creative blitzing. You're right, not much from the pass rush last week, especially the outside rush.
Not sure if most of my colleagues thought Matthews should have been at OLB a year or two ago, but from what I can tell many think he should be an ILB now. I've thought so the last couple years, he's been more impactful when he's played inside. The one argument for keeping him outside at this point is, who will replace him? Are Gilbert or Fackrell as good or better options? Not sure on that. But yeah, I agree, he'd have more of an impact on games as an ILB at this point.
As I've said, if I were the Packers I'd have offered the two first-rounders and a third-rounder, and probably would have upgraded the third to a second as my last best offer. But there's a pretty decent chance even that wouldn't have gotten it done. Sounds like Gruden placed the priority on getting the first-rounders as high as possible in the first round, and the chances of that being the Bears were pretty high, with the possibility (if Trubisky isn't very good) that one or both could end up being top-10 picks. Now, the Raiders also did the flip-flop of their second-rounder for a Bears' third-rounder, so they gave something back there, which leaves open a possibility that an extra second from the Packers could have swung the deal in the Packers' favor, but it sure sounds like Gruden woud have rather had the Bears' two firsts because of the chance that one or both could be in the top 10. That said, what the Packers actually offered is still unclear. I've heard they offered two firsts, but also have heard they offered a first and some other picks. So not sure of that as of yet. As for Watt, he had a huge game. We still have to see how King pans out, it's still early in these guys' careers. But the early advantage goes to Watt, for sure.
I've addressed several of those points earlier, but as for the OL, I was talking with a scout for another NFC team this morning, he watched the game, mentioned the OL struggles but then said, unprompted, that it's not uncommon for offensive lines to struggle early, especially if they're working in a new guy or two, which the Packers are doing with McCray as the permanent RG. I think they're OL is fine as long as Bulaga's knee holds up and he gets stronger as the season goes on after having ACL surgery last year. The problem will come if they lose him or Bakhtiari to an injury. Having Bakhtiari helps them immeasurably. I saw something on Twitter today, I can't remember who it was but it was a former offensive lineman in the league if I remember right, and he went back and looked at tape of Bakhtiari vs. Everson Griffen in two games last season, and on 30 snaps or so when he blocked Griffen one-on-one, he gave up one QB hit and no other pressures, or vice versa. That's huge when you can take a team's best rusher out of the game without having to help your tackle.
He definitely likes to use a lot of different personnel combinations. He had a dime with one defensive lineman and three outside linebackers as rushers, a dime with three defensive lineman and one outside linebacker, and a dime with two and two. He had a dime with four cornerbacks and two safeties, and a dime with three corners and three safeties. Just lots of different combinations. I think we saw a hint of the blitzes he likes, he sent a CB or safety (or both) on a couple plays, including on the Bears' final possession. Be interesting to see how much his game plans change week to week depending on the team and QB he's facing.
It sure looked like the Bears were going to make sure Graham didn't beat them. But you have to remember that doing that affected other things -- when pass rushers jammed him before rushing, it slowed their rush. And when they slanted coverage his way, that meant they weren't able to help elsewhere. On the TD to Allison, for instance, Graham started on Allison's side but ran a crossing route, and the safety lined up with him followed him across the field, while the other safety, who already was on that side, stayed there to help double him and Adams. That Allison all alone on the back side. So Graham had an impact even though it wasn't by making plays.
I saw only a little bit of it, so I can't say, but that was the Packers' thinking when they decided not to even offer a pay cut, they just thought he was about to begin a steep decline. One play I did see was on a third and goal from around the 8, I think it was, the Raiders threw a screen to Nelson, and I remember thinking, why would they do that? He might still be able to get open in the end zone, but run after the catch? The Rams swarmed him immediately and the play went nowhere.
They all count in the standings, and a head-to-head against the Vikings doubly, because a loss for one means the other gets a win. But there are no must-win games in Week 2, even if we're talking only for home-field advantage. Don't get me wrong, it matters, it's really important, but there's just no knowing what things will look like in December.
After re-watching the game I came away thinking they played pretty well, better than I remember the secondary playing last year. King got smoked badly on a big throw downfield early, and he missed some tackles (you have to wonder about his bad shoulders when it comes to tackling) but seemed fine aside from that. Even the downfield throw that Alexander gave up early, his coverage was good and you could see how he contests and fights everything to the end. He made a couple good plays on the perimeter where he fought off a blocking receiver and made or helped with the tackle, showed a real willingness to be physical. Not saying the CBs dominated, but yeah, looked like they had a promising first game. Williams looked pretty spry, too. Wonder if he'll be able to keep that up all season at age 35?
Agreed there. This is where not having Jones for the second of his two-game suspension really hurts, because he's by far their best guy with the ball in his hands. Williams is a really good pass protector but isn't in Jones' class for being able to break off a big run or two. Agreed, they'll need to run well enough to make the Vikings either honor it or pay.
The injury report doesn't come out until after practice. But it does sound like he wasn't practicing today. The Packers didn't announce any injury before the game, but if I remember right there was a play early in the game where he was kind of limping along the sidelines afterward, where he kind of pulled up. So maybe it's related to that.
My apologies to all, I much prefer to go at least 1 1/2 hours, but the Packers locker-room access is early today so this will have to be it for today's chat. As for your question LeeAnn, I wondered the same thing but then read some of the background on these CBs. One was a former third-round pick, the other was elevated to Atlanta's 53 last week but had to be cut to clear a roster spot this week because of their injuries at S and ILB. So that suggested there was something about these two guys the Packers liked. And we have to remember, you simply can't have enough CBs in today's NFL with the need to match up in the passing games and the inevitable injuries that hit. I thought the Packers were right to less Casey Hayward walk a couple years ago -- Randall and Rollins had promising rookie years -- but I was wrong and failed to appreciate that you just can't have enough decent cornerbacks. You just can't defend in today's game without them. So if they see something they like in those two guys they signed (one to the Deante Burks to the 53 and Will Redmond to the practice squad) then I don't blame them for bringing them in for a closer look. OK, that's gotta do it, I have to hustle over to Lambeau. But thanks to everybody for joining in, we'll go longer next week and adjust the start time if this is going to be the Packers' schedule all season. Until next week, take care.