Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Packers 27, Tennessee 48. Well that was the worst ass kicking the Packers have taken since the Ray Rhodes era, when the Packers had their ass handed to them by Denver and Seattle (at Lambeau). In 1999, the Packers were trying to overcome the loss of DE Reggie White, QB Brett Favre's elbow injury, and the season ending injury to starting RB Dorsey Levens. The Packers finished the 1999 season 8-8, but the Packers would have to turn several things around to improve the 2004 season.

First Quarter: Indianapolis could have made it four running backs in a row to run for well over 100 yards against the weak Packers run defense, but they elected to shred the weak Packers pass defense. The Packers defense has been the worst in the NFL for a couple weeks, but they only made it worse tonight. The first long TD run was off left tackle and the second long TD run by RB Chris Brown was off right tackle when DE R-Kal Truluck was pushed way way out of the play (by the fullback), LB Paris Lenon ran out of the play (and was replaced in the 2nd quarter by LB Torrance Marshall), LB Nick Barnett filled the hole but was blocked, and poor tackling in the secondary. FS Darren Sharper (who clearly has lost a step) was a step late on both long runs. It was poor tackling (especially the angles) but also players out of position. The offense might have been on the field, but I blinked and missed it (except for RB Ahman Green's fourth lost fumble of the season). Packers 0, Tennessee 14.

Second Quarter: When Favre gets behind big early, he starts forcing plays and creating turnovers. Another good example was in 2001 when the Packers were up against a great St. Louis team on the road and Favre threw 6 picks trying to make something happen. His first pick to CB Samari Rolle was even overturned on replay. The refs helped the Packers more than in any game I can remember, but it just wasn't enough...

I left this post for a couple of days and my memory of the game is fading, which is probably the best thing that can happen for it. If the offense could do one thing to improve itself after 5 games it is changing the look of the offense. You know when RT Kevin Barry is in the game, its a run. Its a run too if FB Nick Luchey comes into the game. If FB Robert Henderson goes in motion, then its a pass in the flat to Henderson. Favre doesn't throw to Green enough. Green is having trouble getting past the line of scrimmage untouched, so motion Green out of the backfield to catch a short pass in space past the line of scrimmage. Throw to the tight ends more. Although TE Bubba Franks had two TD passes on Monday, he didn't catch many passes other than that and TE David Martin has been used little in the last two weeks. Design more plays to involve WR Robert Ferguson. The offense is playing well, but they have to keep the opposing defense guessing. If the defense is going to play badly, it might as well take a lot of risks. Defensive coordinator Bob Slovak played the defense on its heels on Monday night and it forced no turnovers and had no sacks. The defense is having trouble playing straight up against teams, the offense has the firepower to keep up in a shootout, so the Packers might as well play aggressive. If the special teams could change one thing, it should be to sign a long kicker. K Ryan Longwell is great at field goals, but he can't get a kickoff inside the 10 yard line. If the Packers can have a long snapper, then they should spend the roster spot on a long kicker who can keep teams from getting past the 30 yard line after a kickoff.

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