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The season was a pleasant surprise at 13-3 and winning a playoff game at Lambeau.  Sweeping MIN and CHI may have been my favorite part.  But the underlying concerns beneath the "ugly wins" were not misplaced.  They beat some teams they maybe shouldn't have and found ways to win in close contests.  But we should really look at why those wins looked ugly and why things came down to the wire as often as they did.  

On D, we added a bunch of sacks and pressures, even some turnovers.  Also had some good bounces go our way.  But the yards given up was a hard stat to shake.  So was the ranking vs. the run.  There's also the fact this team was at close to a 100% for the whole year and played a lot of games where the opponent had starters missing.  You can beat a lot of teams that way.  Unfortunately SF was not one of those teams.  

Gauging this team is tough.  Is it better than 14 other teams in the conference but not in the same league as the 15th?  SF truly has a stacked roster, full of high picks, mostly in their first contract.  That's a lot of talent and youth and their cap is not too shabby.  They're going to be around for the foreseeable future.  So you really have to use them as a measuring stick.  I don't know how you get there without drafting in the top 10 or top 1/3 for 3 years and hitting on a lot of picks.  Gute has had two drafts and 3 guys have played significant snaps.  That has to improve.  He'll also have to be active in FA this year.  But he can't rely on that every year unless he wants to start pushing money out.

The good news is we have a QB, LT, WR and RB that is as good a combo as any.  However half of those guys are closer to the end of their career than the beginning.  There is not much time to waste.  We also have a DT, two edge rushers, a CB and two S you can win with.  

I don't have any answers short of finding impact players at WR#2, ILB, DL, and OL.  I thought the team was on it's way to long lean years when MM was hired and Farb was looking more and more like a liability every year.  Never would have guessed we'd be in the NFCCG in MM's second year, and with 4 at QB.  We could see the same turnaround with the current team.  Stranger things have happened.

michiganjoe posted:

Pretty clearly a significant talent gap between the two teams and there's also a coaching gap there. Packers had two opportunities to at a minimum be competitive with the Niners and fell woefully short on both occasions. 

That's the most troubling concern for me, the coaching gap.  Is MLF capable of taking his O in a unique direction that Shanahan doesn't already know like the back of his hand?  Does Pettine only need more talent (that sounds way too familiar) or does he just not know how to combat SF's O?

I keep going back to Holmgren/Seifert.  Seifert was no Walsh but he was his OC and had a lot of success in both roles (HC, OC).  Holmgren was further down the ladder.  But he was smart enough to figure out how to beat his mentor with Fritz.  MLF will need to do the same.

pkr_north posted:

look, we got beat clean by a better team.  

+ take something away from that ass kicking and come back bitter about it.  use that to be better next year

+ the change in one year is amazing

+ we have a good nucleus to work with on both sides

- have some serious talent gaps, so the reset continues

- to get to the tecmobowl football that sf played last night, we need a couple more years.

- i abs hate getting embarrassed in front of the country like that...the team should really take that chip and use it next year...

- special teams is the only thing i would blow up, keep 2, but i would consider turfing opie and getting rid of the coach there.

I hope that chip is better than the chip I've heard about for years.

DH13 posted:
michiganjoe posted:

Pretty clearly a significant talent gap between the two teams and there's also a coaching gap there. Packers had two opportunities to at a minimum be competitive with the Niners and fell woefully short on both occasions. 

That's the most troubling concern for me, the coaching gap.  Is MLF capable of taking his O in a unique direction that Shanahan doesn't already know like the back of his hand?  Does Pettine only need more talent (that sounds way too familiar) or does he just not know how to combat SF's O?

I keep going back to Holmgren/Seifert.  Seifert was no Walsh but he was his OC and had a lot of success in both roles (HC, OC).  Holmgren was further down the ladder.  But he was smart enough to figure out how to beat his mentor with Fritz.  MLF will need to do the same.

??? Seifert was walshโ€™s defensive coordinator 

I have to keep this season in perspective and look at this as Year 1 of a multi-year process of building a true championship team. It was entertaining for sure, but still still kind of hollow at the end. If there was one positive that came out of the 2 SF blow-outs, it's that Gutekunst and Murphy have a true measuring stick of where the talent level is and how far it still needs to go. Not having multiple top 10 draft picks is the price you pay for consistently being good but not great. But good teams need to use the tools that are there to get better and this means being aggressive in the free agent and trade market. Gutekunst did well this year to break out of the pattern set by TT and he  will need to get even better at it. One thing that was really unsettling in the game yesterday was the lack of poise in the first half: the fumbles, picks, botched snaps, etc with AR seeming to be right in the middle of it. Game being over at half-time, they then start to show some life. I know he still has talent but is Rodgers losing his edge? This all has impact on how this team continues to re-build.

+ Team was incredibly healthy this year.  Players praised ML's weekly approach and how fresh they felt.  A huge change from constant hammy injuries under McCarthy.

+ LaFleur showed ingenuity in game planning and play calling.  Finally started to recognize A. Jones is a star.  (However, inexplicably forgot about him in the passing game in way too many games)

+ Defense showed improvement, mainly due to huge talent influx.  Really good lockerroom leaders on board.

+ Team chemistry was excellent. Many players echoing the same sentiments.

- I know Gute cannot fix everything in one year, but this team is suffering from bad drafts for the past 3-4 years, including Gute's 2018 draft.  Draft picks outside of Jenkins and Savage this year were not significant contributors.  Stating the obvious, but remaking the roster requires good drafts.

- I don't know if LaFleur is just trying to work with what he's got, but recogniztion of his personnel took a while.  Throws to Allison and Jamal Williams in the flat are so frustrating.  It brings back memories of throws to Richard Rodgers in the flat where they get tackled immediately.  These guys do not have the ability to make tacklers miss.  End-arounds to Allison and Lazard were.... something to witness.  Forgetting about A. Jones at times was frustrating.

- Lack of speed is evident on this team, particularly at the skill positions and LB spot. 

Boris posted:

Hey as soon as we get to draft in the top 10 for like 7 straight years we'll be right there with the Niners. 

Their entire front four is first round picks. 3 of their own (Bosa-2nd, Buckner-7th, Armstead-17th) and Dee Ford (KC 1st round- 23rd) was obtained with a second round pick. It's pretty easy to look good on your picks when you draft in the top 10 (AJ Hawk aside). 

There are probably 3 reasons the Packers had a successful season.

One reason the Packers were good this year because MLF was the breath of fresh air they needed after being stagnant for so many years.

The second is that they hit home runs in free agency on defense that improved their pass defense tremendously.

The third is why they've been good for the better part of he last 15 years. They've gotten unbelievable value on 4-5 key draft choices the last decade plus. They haven't drafted at the top of the first round in 15 years (Hawk is their only pick higher than the 9th pick in almost 30 years, and Reynolds (10) and Raji (9) are the only other ones in the top 10). But, Rodgers (1st-24th pick); Bakh (4th round - 109th);  A. Jones (5th round - 182nd); and D. Adams (2nd-53rd). Those 4 guys and Z. Smith are their 5 best players and getting 4 guys like that without even using a top 20 pick is what the foundation of this team is. If they redid those drafts, all 4 of those guys would probably be top 5 picks. 

 

Music City posted:

The Super Bowl features teams that showcase speed. Itโ€™s not a new NFL concept- you canโ€™t teach it, and it rules the game when combined with execution. This season, the Packers lacked both.

On defense, opponents time after time exposed Blake Martinezโ€™s lack of speed- and the NFCC game was no exception. Sideline to sideline the 49ers stretched the Packers and cut them to pieces. Contrast that with what the 49ers defense did when the Packers tried to do the same, and the differences are stunning. 

With Rodgers, the speed of the game seemed ahead of his decision making all season long. Why that is should be a major question that the organization spends a lot of time answering between now and September. Watching the Chiefs and Mahomes carve up defenses after falling behind in back to back games was crazy to watch- and you can see how much faster Mahomes processes what he sees. How many times did we watch a replay and see a guy open on the initial progression, and Rodgers look right at it and hold the ball? If you watch the all-22 it happened every single game, and the NFCC game was no exception. People scream for the Packers to dink and dunk, use short passes so Rodgers isnโ€™t getting hammered every game, but if the QB is unwilling to pull the trigger, what can you do? 

So thereโ€™s speed of foot and speed of execution- the Packers muscled and clawed their way to the NFCC game lacking both, which is encouraging- it means theyโ€™re not far for the level needed to play at a Championship level. The draft and FA will be used to address their team speed and recycle some of their aging parts. Then they gotta figure out how to get their veteran QB to play the game faster, too. 

<<THIS>> Great post. You can't teach speed. SF is way much faster than GB and it showed in Week 12 and yesterday. Hopefully, GB can learn from this and get faster next year.

Music City posted:

The Super Bowl features teams that showcase speed. Itโ€™s not a new NFL concept- you canโ€™t teach it, and it rules the game when combined with execution. This season, the Packers lacked both.

On defense, opponents time after time exposed Blake Martinezโ€™s lack of speed- and the NFCC game was no exception. Sideline to sideline the 49ers stretched the Packers and cut them to pieces. Contrast that with what the 49ers defense did when the Packers tried to do the same, and the differences are stunning. 

With Rodgers, the speed of the game seemed ahead of his decision making all season long. Why that is should be a major question that the organization spends a lot of time answering between now and September. Watching the Chiefs and Mahomes carve up defenses after falling behind in back to back games was crazy to watch- and you can see how much faster Mahomes processes what he sees. How many times did we watch a replay and see a guy open on the initial progression, and Rodgers look right at it and hold the ball? If you watch the all-22 it happened every single game, and the NFCC game was no exception. People scream for the Packers to dink and dunk, use short passes so Rodgers isnโ€™t getting hammered every game, but if the QB is unwilling to pull the trigger, what can you do? 

So thereโ€™s speed of foot and speed of execution- the Packers muscled and clawed their way to the NFCC game lacking both, which is encouraging- it means theyโ€™re not far for the level needed to play at a Championship level. The draft and FA will be used to address their team speed and recycle some of their aging parts. Then they gotta figure out how to get their veteran QB to play the game faster, too. 

This

Nonsense.

It was a weird yet good season.  Coaches need to learn as much as players.  What encourages me overall is there is a healthy culture in Green Bay on both sides of the ball and the FO.  Obviously talent needs to be addressed but again coaches need to learn and develop too.  DH13 made a good point of Mayo metaphorically "becoming his own man".  Agreed.  I can't think of better experience for a young coaching staff than making this kind of push into the playoffs.  Chicken salad.

Last edited by Henry

++++We swept the NFC North this season and next season looks as if we may do that, again. IMO, It's key in getting to the playoffs. We found ways to win most of the ugly games. We will have a lot of our core players coming back. Other teams in our division will look a lot different, next season, due to poor cap management,personality issues and just bad signings. We stayed healthy, as a team, all season long. I think the players appreciated MLF's approach to practices.  We played like a team, most games. It seemed there was genuine support and camaraderie between the players. Individually, Goodson had his best game as a Packer, last night. Adams, Graham, Lazard, GMO and Kumerow all caught passes to move the chains. Aaron Jones ran well but was only able to muster just under 60 yards running the ball. 

----Aaron Rodgers needs to do some thinking this off season. His passing was, mostly, not good, last night. Yes, he hit Adams deep and Jimmy G with the deep ball but everyone else had to catch passes that were behind them or at their feet. The 2 point conversion pass had Adams turn completely around just to miss the catch. Aaron, once again, held the ball too long while receivers were open under the coverage. He seems to always look for the play 30-40 yards downfield instead of looking for an open player 5 -10 yards out. Take what the defense gives you! Linsley's muff on that snap, cost us. Our defensive woes, at stopping the run, showed up big time, last night. Pettine needs to figure out a way to reverse that. If it means getting better run stopping players, a better defensive game plan or a new DC, it has to get done. The Draft and FA, this year, will be very interesting to see. Also, No Wayne and Larry on the radio for this game, forcing me to listen to Buck and Aikman call the game.

Last edited by mrtundra
TouchdownWhitewaterJesus posted:

+ Our pass defense really stepped up.

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

- They took our manhood.

If that's the case Spermheads must be lifelong eunuchs. 

Pretty funny talking about manhood from a fan of a team whose proverbial balls have never dropped.

Last edited by Henry
DH13 posted:
michiganjoe posted:

Pretty clearly a significant talent gap between the two teams and there's also a coaching gap there. Packers had two opportunities to at a minimum be competitive with the Niners and fell woefully short on both occasions. 

That's the most troubling concern for me, the coaching gap.  Is MLF capable of taking his O in a unique direction that Shanahan doesn't already know like the back of his hand?  Does Pettine only need more talent (that sounds way too familiar) or does he just not know how to combat SF's O?

I keep going back to Holmgren/Seifert.  Seifert was no Walsh but he was his OC and had a lot of success in both roles (HC, OC).  Holmgren was further down the ladder.  But he was smart enough to figure out how to beat his mentor with Fritz.  MLF will need to do the same.

Holmgren and Wolf became smart enough to beat the Niners and Cowboys for 2 reasons. They traded for Brett Favre and signed Reggie White. Having LeRoy Butler and great depth also contributed, but Favre and White were the difference. 

We all loved Shurmur and he was a good Xs and Os guy, but he was available to come to Green Bay because the previous two years his defenses in Phoenix were 25th and 20th ranked. He had the most dominant front 4 in Packers history anchored by the best defensive lineman of all time. Reggie was the best combination of pass rusher and run stopper I've ever seen play. It was like having a superstar 3rd down pass rush specialist combined with Gilbert Brown run defense in the same player. Sean Jones had 115 career sacks. Gilbert Brown was an elite run stopper. S. Dotson was a better version of Mike Daniels. Fritz knew what to do not to screw that up. 

It would be the similar situation for MLF and Pettine if JJ Watt was a free agent and they were able to sign him without giving anything up for him next year. And I'm saying that while knowing that while JJ Watt is a superstar, he's still not as good as Reggie was. If you do nothing else in yesterday's game other than replace Lowry or Lancaster with the 1995 version of Reggie White, the Packers win that game. 

Defense is often pretty simple. If you can rush the passer consistently with 4 guys, that's often the main reason you win. 

Last edited by MichiganPacker2

If I recall correctly we came out and had 2 first downs...one somersault 10 yard run by 33 and a pass to Adams for another.  Then comes 3rd and something.  Mr Rodgers throws a beautiful pass to 81 at the LOS while missing a wide open Jimmy beyond the sticks.  Result?  4th down and a stat padding completion.

Would this have made a difference?  Probably not BUT in terms of team confidence little things can be important.  IMO this play, the bad snap and short punt all played a major role in sapping our team and encouraging the Niners.

As the song goes, little things mean a lot.