pm-vikings Okay, so it wasn’t the type of ending any of us wanted. But it’s not as though the Packers were just bounced out of the playoffs. No, I don’t want to play another round on any quest toward the Superdome. But things could be worse. We could be Bears fans. Or Giants fans. I mean, things could be a lot worse.

  • The difference between this week and a few weeks ago wasn’t Adrian Peterson’s performance. That was about the same. He embarrassed the Packers for 200 yards and a TD or so in each game. The difference today was Christian Ponder did not stink it up. At Lambeau he had a passer rating of 41.9. Today his rating was 120.2. He was connecting with receivers and keeping drives alive. If the Packers want to win next year, the first step is not containing Peterson (though that would hurt) but taking Ponder out of the equation.
  • On the flip side, quit believing Greg Jennings’ idiot sister. Rodgers is not a hack. He had a very good game, all things considered. Not exactly a slouch, he threw for 28/40, 365 yards and 4 TDs. On any other week, he’d be looking at NFC offensive player of the week. Only he lost today, and that nod is usually reserved for victorious players.
  • But Rodgers was hardly perfect today. He spent too much time running for his life. Two of the sacks were on his shoulders for losing that sixth sense of defenders closing in on him and simply holding on to the ball to long.
  • But can you blame him? Don Barclay was manhandled (to the point of his back 6 getting torn off) for most of the game. The pocket collapsed as soon as it formed today.
  • Continue to be impressed with Finley’s play in this final stretch of the regular season. HE BLOCKED! Thank you, Baby Cheebus! He blocked and he blocked well. He continues to catch it in clutch passes and then use his size and strength to extend the play.
  • But holy hell, why didn’t McCarthy not challenge the Finley touchdown that wasn’t ruled one?
  • Good to see Jordy back. Missed the long bomb to the him on the sideline.
  • Jennings was a pivotal player today. He was the go to woobie for Rodgers.
  • Too bad his sister didn’t see it that way. Today she proved the Jennings clan has their own version of Billy Carter . Hopefully she’s not Greg’s mouthpiece and her fifteen minutes of Twitter fame have officially expired. Back to obscurity with you, sweetie pie.
  • I guess 8 receptions, 120 yards and 2 TD receptions is being ignored. Not bad stats if you ask me.
  • Meanwhile DuJuan Harris is the real deal, even if he is only 5’8″ in his cleats. Like his physicality and explosiveness. Makes me not miss Cedric Benson at all.
  • That’s not to say I don’t want Alex Green back and healthy next week as well.
  • Dear Packers Secondary: did you not learn anything after the Fail Mary. KNOCK THE BALL DOWN in the end zone.Stop trying to be the rock star with the interception. The knockdown is Defending the Pass 101 and you get an F on fundamentals.
  • And an F in tackling. Novel concept that Pop Warner seems to be teaching these days: wrap both arms around the guy with the ball and drag him to the ground. So not rocket science.
  • Dom, for the love of god, rushing 3 doesn’t work. Perhaps it is time to adjust your scheme and adapt. Just a thought.
  • So sick of his conservative Prevent defensive scheme. Enough with the giant cushion and bend but don’t break. It is predictable. It does break. and people have figured out the secret sauce. Seriously, man, try something different.
  • Meanwhile the injuries continue to mount. Boykin went out (I’m guessing neck based on how he was bent into a pretzel.) Bigger loss is Jerel Worthy. Never a good thing when they call the cart out to haul a big guy off the field. Universal signal for blown knee or broken leg. Doesn’t look good for the big Spartan. (I trained at a Sparty program, so I have a soft spot for the guy!) I don’t expect him for the playoffs.
  • But how ’bout that Mason Crosby? No Shankapotamus this week! Straight through the uprights. No hook, no slice. And did you see him in on that tackle on the kickoff return? He tried to punch the ball out like he was Clay Matthews.
  • Speaking of Matthews, he was kind of MIA today. Seems like the Vikings drew him in far to often. That’s the danger of artificial turf. It’s fast, and once you commit to going full blast forward, it’s hard to adjust. But I don’t expect him to be quiet next week.
  • Hey Dom, did you see what I said about your rushing 3 scheme and how it blows? Well after several bullet points, I’m more convinced it is stupid.
  • Yet somehow I’m cautiously optimistic. Better to lose to the Vikings this week and get the expectations of entitlement out of the way now. No, it wasn’t a guaranteed win. Now get your act together and come back harder next week.
  • Doubt we will see the same lackluster defense next week.
  • Five days to prepare and refocus.
  • The Packers always play better when hunted and hungry.
  • After tonight, they are both.
  • And after further review, the Bears Still Suck and will be watching the playoffs from a couch.
 

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  • Jay H.

    The problem with Capers’ scheme is he rarely changes his cover shell. He’s always playing a cover 1 (which he calls the cover 7) with one high safety. Offenses can plan all week to face that.

    On the third and 11 that the Vikings converted on their winning drive, Capers actually switched to quarters coverage. It was a great call. The only problem is Casey Hayward blew the coverage. Rookie mistake. Had he run the shell correctly, the Vikings would have been forced to punt.

    Maybe Capers will learn and change his shells. Remember the first win the year against the Bears? The one where Cutler had a miserable game? Capers ran cover 2 man most of the game.

    Bottom line: Capers needs to change up his coverage shells. If he was smart, he’d go into a cover 3 during the playoff game against the Vikings because it’s a good run stopping shell (hello Adrian Peterson) and good against the throws that Ponder likes to make. The strong safety can walk into the box without the fear of the coverage getting scorched over the top.

    You heard it hear first. Cover 3 to beat the Vikings.

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