Sunday, January 10, 2010

There's Always Next Year

Depth at corner. They really, really need some depth at corner.

Earlier in the week I wrote this.

Shall we run through it?

Forget about week 17. The Cardinals played very cautiously, and as big of a blowout as it was, there was reason for concern.

Well, I was certainly right on that one.

Pittsburgh moved the ball effortlessly on the Packers by using their excellent depth at WR and basically capitalizing on the Packers lack of depth at CB in the absence of Al Harris. Mike Wallace is a fine third receiver and he was repeatedly able to beat Bell and Bush for big gains. Charles Woodson is great and Tramon Williams is OK, but of the Holmes/Ward/Miller/Wallace group, they could only handle two. (And let’s not forget the circle route to Mewelde Moore.)

I thought this game would be very similar to the Pitt game, which is why I picked it as a basis for comparison. You remember the Pitt game right? Pitt won 37-36 on the last play of the game and saw Aaron Rodgers throw for 383 yards and 3 TDs?

The Cardinals feature excellent WR depth as well with Steve Breaston and Early Doucet complementing the outstanding Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. And while Tim Hightower is a pretty terrible RB, is also a threat in the passing game.

Yup. Even without Boldin they're still deep.

In short, the Cardinals have the tools to exploit weaknesses in the Packer defense.


One of the best ways to combat this weakness is to get pressure on the QB, which is especially important against Kurt Warner. When given time he is one of the most accurate passers in the history of the league, but if you can hit him he is prone to putting the ball on the ground and falling apart. So it is disturbing that the Packers were unable to register a single sack against a Cardinal team that wasn’t really trying yesterday.

Yup. Big problem today. No pressure on Warner.

The defense looked superficially good, but a great deal of that was just Matt Leinart being bad.

I like the Packers to win, but I won’t be shocked if they do not.

I was wrong on my prediction, but this is basically how I thought the game would go.

Lastly, the officiating in this game was awful and really hurt the Packers a ton. They'll get a nice letter from the league office tomorrow.


tracker said...

Shoulda bet the over instead.

Jon said...

Examples of awful officiating against Pack? I didn't see every snap of the game, but i did see Adams on Arizona get called for interference several times (deservedly so). I thought the Fitzgerald-Woodson tangle-up was a good no call, as was the final play of the game. Didn't see the 1st quarter, are you referring to something there? Rodgers was so great all game, all he had to do was loft that OT 1st down pass to Jennings a bit more and Packers win.

PaulNoonan said...

On the Fitzgerald/William tangled up play, Cullen Jenkins was held (tackled actually) into Warner, and charged with an illegal hit, which was garbage.

In OT, the Pack was put in a bad situation on a (correct) holding call on Daryn Colledge, however on that same play Rodgers took a helmet to helmet shot from Bert Berry. Much worse than Warner's earlier.

It's not why they lost. They lost because they have no depth in the secondary. But it was annoying.

The officiating was bad because it was inconsistent. How inconsistent? Holding was called once in the entire game on an offensive lineman. That was on Colledge in OT. Nice frickin timing.

Jon said...

Didn't you think, as good as McCarthy was most of the game, he coached the last 2 minutes horribly?

1) run 2 running plays from 1st and goal, to at least make them burn their timeouts. possibly 3 running plays depending on success of first 2.

2) go for 2 pt conversion after scoring the TD - odds of success have to be better than 50% the way their short passing game was dominating, and OT is truly 50/50

3) onside kick after kicking extra point. odds of cards driving for winning FG had to be 60%+ with 2 minutes left. and even if they dont then you still have 50% OT shot, meaning if you kickoff your chances of winning are about 20%. if you onside kick you recover at least 50% of the time since they def dont expect it and you'll win most of that time.

PaulNoonan said...

1. Definitely agree. I cut him some slack because he did by and large coach a good game, but yeah, you have to think about time there considering your defense, especially since his other "controversial" moves were made considering this fact.

2. Yup. Tweeted as much and texted my brother saying the same thing as it was going on.

3. I have to admit I didn't think about this as an option, but it makes sense, especially since if you don't get it, they might score more quickly too so you can get the ball back.

E.S.K. said...

I gave Capers too much credit but it is impossible to say enough abou Aaron Rodgers.

H-o-l-y shit that kid is incredible.

Officials were officials, they let em play. Fitzgerald is the new Michael "push off" Irvin but overly-physical secondary play is what made the Packers defense good, so I can't honestly complain toooo much about it. Missing the blow to the head was obnoxious.

Eric said...

I correctly called the overtime, not so much the victor. The Cardinals rope a dope was brilliant.

Do the Packers win if Atari Bigby is still in the game?

I can't fault McCarthy. He didn't have obvious mistakes.

Rodgers, for as brilliant a game as he played, had mistakes. Holding the ball too long and a couple of overthrows. Individually you think nothing of them. All told, they add up. Well, there was the interception too of course.

Has Donald Driver exceeded his usefulness? I like him almost as much as i like Don Hutson. But he's dropped a few passes recently. And that strip / fumble was no less than Clownish. The Adam Walker fumble was less silly looking.

Did Jordy Nelson end with an up day or a down day

Packers MVP this season is clearly Tauscher. Which is damning to TT that linemen from Ron Wolf and Mike Sherman make a better impression than TT picks.

The season really turned around when Tauscher signed. More wins and fewer sacks.

Yes, we really missed Al Harris. But will he be the same next year? Will a replacement be the same? I fear not. THerefore i think the Packers drop two or more games in the standings next year.