The weekend's biggest upset goes under the Football Outsiders lens.
9/2: MIA RB, NYG WR, OAK QB, PIT WR, TEN K
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20 Dec 2011
A problem has finally appeared for the Packers: protecting Aaron Rodgers.
Posted by: Vince Verhei on 20 Dec 2011
2 comments, Last at
21 Dec 2011, 11:36am by
I don't have Insider, and I wasn't even able to watch the entire Chiefs game due to some holiday obligations, however it's possible that the O-line problems experienced in the Chiefs game will be taken care of by the playoffs.
GB was missing 3 of 4 offensive tackles by the end of the Chiefs game. Chad Clifton has been out most of the season with a hamstring injury, but reports are that the hamstring is healed, and now he's working through back problems. His back has nagged him the last few seasons, but he's usually been able to work past them. If he can come back and play at close to his usual level he could provide an instant upgrade over Marshall Newhouse, the left tackle for most of this season so far. Clifton is supposed to take part in individual drills in the next couple of days.
Bryan Bulaga was lost during the Chiefs game, and reports are that he will most likely not play this week but shouldn't have much trouble making it back for the playoffs, and could likely play next week.
Josh Sitton missed a few games at right guard and did not start against the Chiefs, but was pressed into action later in the game due to the other injuries. He should be back to full strength by the playoffs, though he has played through some other nagging injuries all season.
Center Scott Wells and left guard T.J. Lang are at full health. The only O-lineman lost for the season is Derek Sherrod, who is the 4th tackle on the depth chart. With a healthy Clifton and Bulaga Newhouse would have been the first off the bench even before Sherrod's injury.
Additionally, GB should be getting back Greg Jennings, James Starks, and 3rd RB Brandon Saine for the playoffs. As disappointing as the loss to the Chiefs was, the GB offense could regain it's early-to-mid season form for the playoffs if they can just avoid more injuries over the last two games.
Not an Insider and I refuse to give my money to the four-letter.
Don't get me wrong as I talk about what the Packer could have done differently. I am not whining. The chiefs thoroughly outplayed and outcoached the Packers.
The most frustrating thing as a Packer fan was that McCarthy stubbornly refused to change the game plan. The Chiefs were getting to Rodgers with four, but I saw very little help for Newhouse.
The two early ficticious offensive pass interference calls on Jordy seemd to take some of the steam away. I do not think Rodgers went back to him until the final touchdown drive. Either Jordy wasn't getting open or they were afraid to go his way after the penalties.
Finley's drops should have led to a clear-your-head benching. At least for a series. He was Green Bay's best receiver left and he was not getting it done.
All-in-all, I was very concerned going into this game because of the KC defense. Just like I am concerned about the 49ers in the playoffs. I believe that Green Bay can win any shoot-out, but if you stop the offense, the defense cannot get the stops they need to get the ball back to the offense.
That last drive by KC was flat out embarrasing. Everybody and their brother knew that KC was going to run the ball.
1-10-KC 44 (2:03) 20-T.Jones up the middle to 50 for 6 yards (26-C.Peprah).
2-4- (1:55) 20-T.Jones left end to GB 43 for 7 yards (38-T.Williams).
Timeout #1 by GB at 01:47.
1-10-GB 43 (1:47) 26-J.Battle up the middle to GB 39 for 4 yards (50-A.Hawk).
Timeout #2 by GB at 01:42.
2-6-GB 39 (1:42) 26-J.Battle left end to GB 24 for 15 yards (50-A.Hawk; 51-D.Smith).
6 yards, 7 yards, 4 yards, 15 yards...Game over.
Tom and Mike end their tour of the league with the conference champions and their respective courts.
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