Monday, October 20, 2008

Packers-Dolts Notes and Thoughts

Beside the obvious-- a big win over one the marquee teams and players in the league-- yesterday's game had some other positive developments. Here are the ones I can recall, along with some other musings.

- The Packers and the fans should definitely feel good about this game. But think about all the Colts penalties. They had 12 for 110 yards! And stupid ones, like that Colts gunner gifting the Packers a first down by disco dancing around at the line of scrimmage. The game would have been significantly closer without some of those penalties.

- Grant finally broke 100 yards, and looked, at times, something like his old self. True, his yards per carry average was mediocre, but he only had a couple runs for no gain or for losses. That's the key to keeping drives alive. Here's hoping that Grant continues to improve as the year progresses, as he did last season.

- Hey, we had a Donald Lee sighting! That guy can catch some passes, in case we forgot.

- Zero sacks allowed, and Rodgers only took a few big hits, I thought.

- No major injuries. Pickett's aggravated triceps didn't tear in half (phew). And rookie Jeremy Thompson (who's been playing more and more and hasn't looked terrible, which is really encouraging) was the only guy who left the game. Turns out it was just a neck stinger. Thank goodness. Plus, Justin Harrell should be back after the bye week, though no can know what he'll be able to do on the field. Hopefully, he'll help the run defense. The undefeated Titans and their power running game are looming after the bye.

- Despite garnering zero sacks against Manning, who often held the ball a bit too long as he waited for his guys to get off of jams, the line had several tipped passes. Although they're nowhere near as emotional or exciting as a sack, or a pass break up downfield, tipped or batted passes are simply huge plays. Enormous. Great to see the defensive line contributing like that.

- Was that quick fullback run on third and short the first time this season Kuhn has carried the ball? I can't remember the Packers calling that particular play before. I liked that call a lot, but maybe it only worked because the Colts hadn't seen it from the Packers before.

- Speaking of fullbacks, it's great to have Korey Hall back. That catch, run and hurdle he did kept a drive alive, and his hustling recovery of Grant's fumble was huge.

- Brandon Chillar looked pretty good in coverage, and the lack of Poppinga on run downs didn't seem to hurt the team too much. So the personnel switch there seemed to work out, though Chillar bit hard on a playaction fake on the one long completion he gave up to Dwight Clark. When they make that switch though, I'd like to see Poppinga subbing in as a rusher in passing situations. He's a big, strong, intense guy, and I don't see how adding him to the rotation at end would hurt.

- Interesting to see that Chillar replaced Hawk in the nickle package. I wonder if that's permanent or due to Hawk being a bit limited due to his groin injury? Did anyone hear Hawk's name at all this game? It did seem like the nickle was on the field almost all of the game. (Update: Hawk played only two snaps.)


Elliott Gansner said...

You have to commend McCarthy for continuing to run the ball when we have yet to have a real explosive run all season. Clearly we need to run the ball better and clearly Grant has not been in proper shape physically and mentally until relatively recently. Our offensive line is not phenomenal but should be better than they have performed so far. I very much liked the game plan against the Colts, however I agree that all the penalties was a major factor in the win. Our offensive was not great. The run game improved but marginally. The defensive secondary played great. That was the strenght of the game. We need to figure out how to do something with our defensive line. Kampman is getting double teamed constantly. I like the idea of using Poppinga, but why wouldn't the coaches have already thought of that?

Mr.Man said...

First game against the Viqueens, Eller. Grant had a forty odd yard run. I was there.

I'm encouraged that Jeremy Thompson is improving and that Harrell should be back and contributing, or at least giving some blows to Pickett and Jolly. But man, I wish Jenkins hadn't gotten hurt.