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Chemistry, "Perfect Storms" & the Packers after 5 Games

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ThxJackVainisi, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    As I've posted before, I believe the problems are mostly on offense and the problems on offense are centered around the passing game, not the running game. I realize some Packers fans are stuck on the need for a stud RB but the evidence points away from that point of view IMO. For example, it is indisputable that James Starks was a good enough RB for the Packers to go on a late season run and win the title after the 2010 season. And it is indisputable that the tandem of Starks and Grant was good enough at the position to help the 2011 offense lead the team to a 15-1 record and an incredibly prolific offense.

    Last year the Packers averaged 24.7 rushing attempts per game for a 3.9 yard/attempt average. This season so far they've averaged 22.2 attempts per game for a 4.3 yard/attempt average. While those numbers are close, I'd argue if the passing O was more proficient at moving the chains this season, the rushing attempts would be even closer to last year's average. IMO those harping on a lack of a running game - or running threat - are biased by their preconceptions because neither the stats nor my eyes see a major difference in the running game this season vs. the last two.

    Last year Rodgers passing rating was an incredible 122.6, this year 99.3. Last year the Packers averaged 307 passing yards per game, this year 242.2. Last year the Packers averaged 4.3 passing plays per game of 20 yards or longer, this year only 2.6 such plays. Last year they average 1 passing play per game of 40 yards or over, this year a scant 0.2 of those plays per game (IOW they've had just one in 5 games). The result is a staggering reduction in points per game from 35 to 22.4. For those who think the defense hasn't improved - or improved enough - add those 12+ points per game. Also reduce the time the D has spent on the field - against the Colts the D was on the field for an incredible 89 plays. Yes, they're to blame for that too, but a few more 1st downs by the offense wouldn't have allowed that.

    So what's gone wrong? First, IMO Aaron Rodgers has been off. Not by a lot but in a game of inches, being off a couple of inches is crucial. How many times have we seen a receiver open deep and Rodgers just miss him? Not a ton of times but enough to make a real difference. Not only with regard to the plays themselves but also for how those plays loosen up opposing defenses. Contrast that with last year - Rodgers very rarely missed an open receiver and not only that, he was even adept at "throwing receivers open" with back shoulder throws. The loss to the hapless Colts provided an example of each. On the opening series Rodgers missed a long TD pass to Nelson who was about 5 yards behind the deepest defender. On his weekly show when asked about it he said his guess is he misses that pass about 5% of the time. Instead of an "off to the races TD", the Packers punted. Even more important in that game was the INT at the start of the second half. Last year that would have been an example of him throwing a receiver open and that's what Rodgers said was intended on that pass. But he says it was slightly tipped and that's why it resulted in the INT. But beyond that, what's up with Rodgers? I honestly don't know except to say he's human (in contradiction to at least one user name here).

    Second, I think DCs spent much of the off season studying how the Packers did it on offense. That shouldn't be overlooked. The focus of a lot of smart guys whose full time job is designing and implementing NFL defenses and schemes was on how to stop offenses like the Packers, and the Packers' offense in particular.

    Third, in spite of adjustments by the defenses the Packers have faced, the Packers "fantastic and deep" WR corp has not performed up to their standard. I never would have believed they couldn't get open even when Rodgers breaks containment and has 5 to 6 - or more - seconds, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Even with the absence of Jennings, what's going on with them? The Colts not only aren't a great team on defense or in the secondary, but they weren't even at full strength.

    Fourth, as Rodgers revealed on his weekly show, he and McCarthy don't think they're practicing as well as they have in the past. Aaron Rodgers was asked during his show with Wilde a couple of weeks ago how much the team misses Philbin and he said, 'ask me in a few weeks'. On yesterday's show Wilde brought it up again. We don’t know how the absence of Joe Philbin affects the offensive preparation of this team. We do know McCarthy is the chief designer of it and the play caller but he of course doesn't do all the preparation week after week. But Rodgers said, it's not Philbin's absence as much as it is injuries to Jennings, Finley and others. And not only for games but the injuries that keep players out of practices. And Rodgers mentioned the rookies haven't bought into how important their role on the scout team is.

    Fifth (and last IMO for a reason), the OL has been inconsistent in protection. 8 sacks in a half against the Seahawks, 0 in the game against the Saints. 0 first half sacks vs. the Colts, 5 second half sacks. My biggest pre-season concern on offense was Newhouse who all-in-all has held up better than I expected. Instead Bulaga who many of us considered on the verge of playing at a pro bowl level has been inconsistent. From my casual observations, TJ Lang has played with more fire than the fiery Sitton. And while Saturday isn't the source of any huge problem IMO OC should be near the top of Thompson's off season priority list.

    But Rodgers and the offense have survived big sack numbers and poor OL play better in the past so I think it's an almost perfect fecal storm on offense. It's not just Rodgers being a little off or DCs around the league spending hours upon hours studying McCarthy's schemes. It's not just the WRs, OL or not up-to-par practices. I think it's a lack of that mysterious thing we know when we see it but can't quite capture in words: It's the lack of "chemistry" in the passing game. Chemistry can be defined as the spontaneous reaction of two people to each other, or in a team context as the "interaction between people working together". That doesn't quite capture it but my point is IMO it’s a confluence of crap that has the most prolific scoring machine from last season ranked 18 this season.
     
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  2. MLB

    MLB Cheesehead

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    Re: Chemistry, "Perfect Storms" & the Packers after 5 Games

    GREAT post!
     
  3. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    Absolutely. So when you're the head coach though, how do you "fix" chemistry problems? I'd think that you need to start focusing in on things instead of waiting for the chemistry to come back
     
  4. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    You can't fix chemistry as a coach, those who lack the chemistry need to put in extra effort and time to fix what's broken. They have to want it. Drew Brees spends hundreds of hours in the offseason throwing with his main guys....thus keeping the chemistry alive. Arod and the boys need some extra time running routes and working on timing routes and patterns. Organized team practices are limited, but who says you can't come in and "work out"...wink wink...a little extra each day. If I were paid that much I think I would live in the practice facility and the team gym.
     
  5. GeeDogWarrior

    GeeDogWarrior 0 - 0

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    Maybe coach McCarthy outsmarted himself this off season...
    Didn't he change up the practice days or something, to try and get the team ready for the goofy 1st month of the season ?

    Then we got hit up by all those injuries, so the practices were cut short, then in the preseason, Bishop gets hurt in week 1, so the starters got less snaps or something... idk, we've been crap this season.
     
  6. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    I even said it in pre-season that we didn't look comfortable.......people said " its just the pre-season, you can't tell anything" ....Ummm....yeah right.

    9-7 season here we come ( if they don't remove their craniums from their rectums
     
  7. Forget Favre

    Forget Favre Cheesehead

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    Another factor have been the refs. Either scab or the "real" ones.
    Whichever it is, we can't get a break from their bogus bad calls.

    And I don't hesitate to put credit where it's due.
    Maybe other teams are just better than us.
    This may not be our year. I'm still hoping it will be.
    In any case, I'm a fan of this team thick and thin.
     
  8. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    Well 9-7 has been good enough for 2 Super Bowl winning seasons in the past 6 or 7.

    As far as "chemistry" goes, there is only one bad apple and we all know who that guy is. He's talented sure, but he's also the same guy who's absence down the stretch in 2010 was a big blessing in disguise. That's why I say trade him for Chris Johnson, who will add a serious spark to this offense any time he gets his hands on the ball. And like him or not, opposing defenses do fear him in open space. Some say he's lost a step, but he hasn't.
     
  9. Oshkoshpackfan

    Oshkoshpackfan YUT !!!

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    ^ As far as the NFC goes, a 9-7 record wont be a wild card candidate in our NFC north. Not by a long shot.

    Titans would not trade chris johnson and even if they did they would want way more than a pan hands TE and money and draft picks. That would be the worst trade in history. ......and yes, he has lost a step...or two.

    Alink to CJ's stat line:
    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/J/JohnCh04.htm

    As you can see, since his big season he has lost over 1000 yds of production. Through 5 games this year he is only averageing 42 yds per game, that = WEAK.
     
  10. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    when the o-line can block sombody watch and see how thing's change. MM has to realize he doesn't have the Patriots o-line and stop getting so pass happy. We have to cut down on the long developing pass plays.
     

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