We’re officially at the midway point in the season, and I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels for the Packers to be sitting at 7-1. To say that I’m thrilled would be an understatement. I don’t think anyone saw the team doing this well back during training camp.
When looking at the schedule early on, I knew Kansas City was going to be a big game for the Packers. Even without Mahomes, their offense is dangerously good. They do so many little things well and throw a lot at the defense. Green Bay’s secondary was lackadaisical against Oakland, to say the least. Communication wasn’t there, especially when big pass plays were surrendered. Communication was of the utmost importance against the Chiefs.
The defense, for the most part, did fairly well. I noticed that during NBC’s broadcast of the game that they kept pointing out how soft the secondary and even the linebacker were playing to counter the Chiefs attack. What I don’t think they understood was how Pettine likes his linebackers to play in the base 3-3-5 look. Martinez will often be shifted to one side or another to account for the running back.
We didn’t see many busted plays defensively, thank goodness, but there was one in what appeared to be a man coverage look. The tight end streaked up the seam for a wide-open touchdown. I can’t say exactly who’s man it was, but the all-22 won’t lie. Initially, it appeared to be Blake Martinez’s man. It was a tough adjustment but the Packers rallied on the next several drives.
Tackling continued to be a problem for the Packers all night. I noticed on several plays that the defensive backs came flying in on a run, mostly when it was in space, with the head ducked and footwork all over the place. It seemed like they were too eager to get to the ball and struggled on coming to balance, staying square and making the play. I like the effort that was shown of rallying to the football, but if a play can’t be made in space then the effort was almost pointless. This is something I feel can be corrected and must be addressed by the Packers defensive staff.
The defensive front did fairly well throughout the game. Za’Darius Smith had the game that we all expected as he had a pair of sacks and four solo tackles. Preston Smith did a good job as well. During the game, I noticed how well he did at stringing the play out towards the sideline which allowed the defense to get to the ball. The Packers surrendered some big runs against Oakland, so to see them play as well as they did was refreshing.
The Packers offense had another solid week both on the ground and through the air. Aaron Jones seemed to be the biggest factor. He was the leading rusher with 67 yards on 16 carries. When it was late in the game, Jones seemed to be the go-to guy. He was able to run behind his pads and pick up crucial yards to keep drives going. The inside zone was there all night, as Jones was patient with his runs and cut upfield at the right time. The outside zone was there as well. The running game, in general, has looked great this past couple of weeks.
Aaron Rodgers had another big day through the air. He ended up with 305 yards passing and going 23-33 with 3 touchdowns. Rodgers threw one of the most incredible touchdown passes I’ve seen to Jamaal Williams late in the game.
Badman Rodgers does it again💸
• 23/33 with 305 pass yards
• 3 Touchdowns
• 0 Interceptions
• 129.0 QB rating
• The Win
— IKE Packers (@IKE_Packers) October 28, 2019
That’s the magic of Aaron Rodgers. He has been tremendous in the first half of the season. I’ve said this year that it feels like we’re seeing the offense of old this year. I still hold true to that after this week.
As good as Aaron Jones was on the ground, he was even better through the air. He ended up with 157 yards receiving on some big-time plays. I love that Matt LaFleur’s offense gets the running backs as heavily involved in the passing game. He wants to maximize each potential receiver and force the defense to cover the entire field.
The bottom line is that the Packers are 7-1. As good as they are doing, I still refuse to talk any about the playoffs. One game at a time. The thing this team has done well is consistently building one success on top of another. If they continue to do that week to week the wins will take care of themselves.
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