Mike White Takes Manhattan; Aaron Rodgers Injured

New York Jets QB Mike White
New York Jets QB Mike White
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 12 - In this NFL Week 12 edition of Walkthrough:

  • The Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers reach into Aaron Rodgers' secret stash for the high-octane hallucinogens;
  • Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray have a heart-to-heart talk, and we all suffer as a result;
  • Sam Darnold shines (sort of) on Day of the Derpy QBs;
  • Josh Jacobs goes brrrr;

and much more.

But first…

Jets Dreaming of a Mike White Christmas

Newly anointed New York Jets Chosen One Mike White knows how to check down.

Checking down is a much-maligned quarterback skill, but it's a very useful one. Checking down moves the sticks, extends drives, and prevents catastrophes. It forces the opposing defense to take everything an offense tries to do somewhat seriously, something Jets opponents rarely did when Zach Wilson was loitering in the pocket and trying to remember who his secondary target was supposed to be.

White threw three touchdowns and a handful of crisp passes in the Jets' 31-10 victory over the Chicago Bears. White also benefited from some wide-open receivers, a defender or two who fell down on a rainy afternoon, a defense depleted by wait-till-next-year trades, and a Justin Fields-less Bears offense which could not move the ball at all after its first two drives. Despite the box score, White was merely ordinary. But ordinary looked awesome after witnessing Wilson's extraordinary ineptitude.

An example of the incredible power of baseline competence…

The Jets faced third-and-2 midway through the second quarter, trailing 10-7. White did not like what he saw downfield, so he squirted the ball to Ty Johnson in the left flat. Johnson rumbled for 16 yards, thanks in part to the fact that White quickly checked down to him and threw before underneath defenders could react.

On the very next play, White found Garrett Wilson over the middle for what became a 54-yard catch-and-run touchdown. The highlight never happens if White keeps his eyes locked downfield and throws a gopher ball into the teeth of the coverage on third-and-2 like a certain former Jets starter might have.

The Big Apple tabloids and talk shows are going to make too much of White's performance on Sunday, just as they made too much of White's shootout with the Bengals in 2021 and every encouraging performance by a Jets or Giants backup quarterback since mankind learned to walk upright. White spent the second half handing off, letting his defense do most of the work, and occasionally delivering a dagger throw. He benefited from a remedial game plan early and an ever-growing lead late.

But after watching Wilson flail around for much of the last two seasons, remedial quarterbacking looked like an honors seminar, and a quarterback who took what the defense offered was a welcome change from the one who handed the defense opportunities it never expected. White can lead the Jets to the playoffs just by not actively leading them away.

White is the Jets Quarterback of the Present. He's probably nothing more than that. But for the next six weeks, that's all he needs to be.

Game Spotlight: Philadelphia Eagles 40, Green Bay Packers 33

What Happened: The Eagles raced out to a 13-0 lead with the help of an Aaron Rodgers interception. The Packers came back to take a 14-13 lead after stopping the Eagles in their own territory on fourth-and-short. The Eagles answered by driving deep into Packers territory.

And then the first quarter ended.

This entire game was constructed out of cotton candy and guitar solos. Every play was a deep completion on fourth-and-5, a sack, a long fumble return, a long kickoff return, a missed extra point, or a 10-yard Eagles run. The Eagles had 183 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns at halftime.

Aaron Rodgers got knocked out of the game with a rib injury in the third quarter, and the Eagles took a 37-23 lead early in the fourth. So naturally Jordan Love hit Christian Watson on a crossing route which turned into a 63-yard touchdown, just as everyone expected.

A 54-yard Jake Elliott field goal with 2:16 to play after a clock-munching Eagles drive essentially put the game out of reach.

What it Means: An extended Rodgers absence will mean little for the NFC playoff chase—the Packers are all but eliminated—but it is likely to cause an existential crisis in Green Bay. Many Packers fans surely want to see Love succeed. Some have grown weary of the all-wins-but-no-fun nature of the late-era Rodgers Packers. But the changing of the guard is unlikely to be smooth, and Rodgers may not be gone all that long. If Love shines during a brief Rodgers absence, it will be a source of intrigue that keeps on giving well into the offseason.

The Eagles rushed for 363 yards, dominated in time of possession, won the turnover battle, and excelled in just about every area except run defense and kick coverage. They also defeated an opponent that the Cowboys lost too (tiebreaker implications) in a similarly wild game: another possible illustration that the Eagles are more postseason-worthy than the surging Cowboys.

What's Next: The Eagles host the Titans. The Packers will spend the week fretting about Rodgers' physical state—a change of pace after years of fretting about his emotional state—before visiting the Bears.

Day of the Derpy Quarterbacks

The Ghost of Jets Quarterbacks Present looked plucky, but so did one of the Ghosts of Jets Quarterbacks Past. Here's a quick roundup of Sunday's unexpected/mostly unwelcome starters.

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

Darnold out-performed Russell Wilson in the Carolina Panthers' 23-10 victory over the Denver Broncos. That may not be saying much these days, but that's as much as really can be said of Darnold.

The Panthers took a 10-3 second-quarter lead thanks to their running game, stout defense, the Broncos' guttering ineptitude, and one Darnold deep ball to DJ Moore. They broke the game open (a 17-3 lead might as well be a 71-3 lead against the 2022 Broncos) with more of all of those things, including exactly one sideline teardrop to Moore, followed by Darnold's impersonation of a preschooler rolling down a backyard hill:

Wheeeeeeee!

Darnold makes as much sense for the Panthers as Baker Mayfield and P.J. Walker at this point. What's noteworthy is that the Panthers keep playing hard and giving opponents a fight week after week. Unlike the Broncos.

Bryce Perkins, Los Angeles Rams

Imagine Justin Fields but with much less talent and (somehow) fewer weapons and a less creative game plan. That's what Perkins looked like in the Chiefs' 26-10 victory over the Rams. Perkins ran some Wildcat sweeps, scrambled his way into a few completions (including one on fourth-and-2), and floated one touchdown pass to Van Jefferson against a napping Chiefs defense. But the Rams offense did little for most of the afternoon, and the Chiefs defense intercepted Perkins twice when it mattered.

Perkins could play a Taysom Hill role once Matthew Stafford or John Wolford return. It wouldn't hurt for the Rams to try just about anything at this point.

Trevor Siemian, Chicago Bears

Siemian suffered an oblique injury during pregame warmups, but Matt Eberflus figured an injured backup journeyman was a better option than a healthy Nathan Peterman. It was Eberflus' most astute decision of the 2022 season.

Siemian moved the Bears offense efficiently on a pair of early-game drives, with Jets defenders missing tackles and taking awful angles on underneath passes to help the cause and Bryon Pringle leaping over a defender in the end zone for a touchdown. Then the Jets defense stiffened, Eberflus ran out of designed concepts that Siemian could handle, the rain picked up, and eventually, Darnell Mooney left the game.

Mooney's ankle injury appeared serious as of Sunday night. If Mooney and Fields are both unavailable, the Bears might as well give Peterman the Disaster Artist a look and see how far up the draft order he can lead them.

Kyle Allen, Houston Texans

Allen isn't really an NFL quarterback, merely a strawman spontaneously generated from the fetid soil of a cursed graveyard in 2018 to fuel anti-Cam Newton arguments. He is basically toxic quarterback narrative made flesh, so naturally he ended up on the Texans.

True to form, Allen was hilariously awful as the Dolphins mounted a 30-0 first-half lead—49 yards on 10-of-16 passing, three sacks, a strip-sack, an interception, lots of off-target routine throws—then managed to make his stats look respectable (26-39-216-1-2) when the Dolphins stopped caring, ensuring that he will keep getting opportunities to wash and repeat indefinitely.

Allen is worse than Davis Mills but Walkthrough defies anyone to watch enough Texans film to prove it without losing their sanity/dignity.

Game Spotlight: Las Vegas Raiders 40, Seattle Seahawks 34 (OT)

What Happened: Central tendency came a'calling for the underachieving Raiders and overachieving Seahawks. Eventually.

The Raiders tried all of their usual tricks to give the game away. Derek Carr threw two early-game interceptions to Quandre Diggs. The Raiders coughed up a 21-13 second-quarter lead moments after they mounted it. They even missed a field goal in overtime. But Josh Jacobs (229 rushing yards) and Davante Adams served up some OMG highlights, and the Seahawks matched the Raiders missed opportunity for missed opportunity: two Geno Smith turnovers, a pair of short early field goals to cap stalled drives, an overtime three-and-out.

Jacobs decided that enough was enough with an 86-yard touchdown run on the second Raiders series of overtime.

What it Means: The Seahawks are a fun, .500-ish team that enjoyed a mid-autumn hot streak. Back-to-back losses haven't so much exposed them as pulled them toward their proper level after a 6-3 start. The Seahawks are more like an evolved form of the Detroit Lions—lots of close, high-scoring games thanks to a strong offensive line play and weak NFC opposition—than anything more than wild-card fodder.

By extension, that makes Geno Smith a variation on Jared Goff: more mobile and better at improvising, but also older and with a little less on the radar gun. Walkthrough will now duck under the table and hide before our friends and colleagues see that comparison and come to burn us at the stake for unpopular truth heresy.

The Raiders were better than their 2-7 record indicated two weeks ago and are also in the process of finding their true level. The Raiders should get enough from their front-line talent (we mentioned Adams and Jacobs; Maxx Crosby added 1.5 sacks) to end up around 7-10. That's disappointing, but it's not fire-Josh McDaniels, Broncos-level disappointing.

What's Next: The Seahawks visit what's left of the Rams next week and host the Panthers in Week 14. They need a pair of wins to spruce up their wild-card portfolio before a late-season Chiefs-49ers-Jets stretch.

In Week 13, the Raiders host a Chargers team eager to avenge a season-opening loss.

Notes from Selected Games

Insights and observations from the games Walkthrough watched closely on Sunday of Week 12:

The Arizona Cardinals Have Problems That Emotional Honesty Cannot Solve

You know the Cardinals were getting desperate when they resorted to ... shudder ... honest communication. Per Ian Rapoport, Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray spent Murray's two-week injury "talking through everything." That's right: Kingsbury set aside his stubble-sculptor, Murray his PS5 controller, and they had the sort of heart-to-heart Walkthrough pretends to have with our sons from time to time.

Cardinals talk therapy worked, too! At least a little. Murray was sharp in the first half as the Cardinals climbed out to a 17-14 halftime lead. The problem is that Kingsbury is a horrendous playcaller and Murray an erratic decision-maker, so you get fourth-and-1 results like this when they are on the same page:

Note James Conner waving for the ball in the right flat.

The Cardinals went three-and-out on their final three fourth-quarter possessions, granting Justin Herbert plenty of time to eventually get around to being the hero of a 25-24 win over an awful opponent. What? No! That wasn't Herbert criticism, Walkthrough swears! He threw three touchdown passes! He's practically already a Hall of Famer! Those fourth-quarter sacks and the trapped almost-interception never happened! He's double-plus good! Please don't subject me to the mindworms again!

Anyway, emotional honesty is the sort of thing that coaches scrap if it doesn't pay immediate dividends. All of the key Cardinals decision-makers should return to communicating only through veiled press-conference remarks, misleading social-networking posts, and ridiculous contractual clauses by Tuesday.

Trevor Lawrence Keeps Arriving

If you remained a Trevor Lawrence skeptic even after he led the Jacksonville Jaguars back from a 20-10 deficit for a victory over the Raiders in Week 10, Walkthrough respects your decision: there's too much "hE's aRrIvED" bibble-babble around young quarterbacks these days. But Lawrence skeptics may want to take a long look at the Jaguars' 28-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, specifically:

  • Lawrence's 27-yard pass to Zay Jones on fourth-and-8 to set up the fourth-quarter touchdown that pulled the Jaguars within two points;
  • Lawrence's back-to-back completions to take the Jaguars from third-and-21 to first-and-10 after the two-minute warning;
  • Lawrence's 29-yard pass to Jones on third-and-8 in the final minute with the Jaguars out of timeouts; and
  • Lawrence's 10-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones to give the Jaguars the lead that Justin Tucker's 67-yard field goal attempt fell just short of erasing.

These were high-leverage, extreme-degree-of-difficulty passes which required accuracy, touch, decisiveness, and a dash of fortitude. And they came against a strong defense, not the Raiders defense.

Skeptics will note that Lawrence fumbled deep in Jaguars territory to help the Ravens take a 19-10 lead and got strip-sacked at the start of that fateful game-winning drive (a Jaguars teammate pounced on the ball). There is still work to be done. But quarterbacks who can make outstanding crunch-time throws usually find ways to correct ball-security issues. Quarterbacks whose best attribute is an ability to not fumble rarely discover ways to make outstanding crunch-time throws.

The Baltimore Ravens Represent Their Own Branch of Analytics

Lamar Jackson fumbled on a fourth-and-1 run at midfield early in the Ravens loss, setting up Lawrence's first touchdown pass of the game. The Ravens are now 4-of-10 on fourth-down conversions, with eight of those attempts coming with 1 or 2 yards to go. For whatever reason, the Ravens are just lousy at converting fourth-and-short.

Opponents, meanwhile, are 12-of-17 on fourth downs against the Ravens defense; see the previous segment on how fourth-down conversions impacted Sunday's results.

The Ravens have also outscored their opponents 205-119 through the first three quarters but have been outscored 108-70 in fourth quarters. Maybe they just have bad luck. Maybe they need to hire a "short-yardage coordinator." Or maybe the Ravens are just what their 7-4 record claims they are—a solid but flawed team that relies a little too much on quarterback heroics and splash defensive plays—and all of their biggest mistakes just happened to be clustered in the fourth quarter.

Oh, and Jackson mixing it up with Twitter trolls hours after the game is hardly an encouraging sign.

Tennessee Titans Versus Sustainability

The Titans went 0-for-3 on red zone touchdown conversions in their 20-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. They were 20-of-27 converting touchdowns in the red zone entering Week 12. Thanks to settling for all of those field goals, the Titans lost exactly the type of messy, physical, low-scoring game they have consistently won for much of the year.

The Titans have now scored between 16 and 19 points in five of their last six games. Consistency is not always a good thing, and a point total in the teens won't be enough against the Eagles in Philly next Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals versus The Gauntlet

The Bengals, meanwhile, manufactured a win in a sloppy penalty fest thanks to another week of rugged running from Samaje Perine in relief of Joe Mixon; a leaping Tee Higgins touchdown; great run defense; a clutch third-and-long catch in the fourth quarter by someone named Trenton Irwin; and a critical Titans special teams blunder after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. (A roughing-the-snapper foul by the Titans on a field goal gave the Bengals a free first down, allowing them to run out the clock instead of giving the Titans the ball back.)

It was a gutsy start to a brutal stretch of schedule: the Bengals host the Chiefs next week, then the Browns with their new quarterback in Week 13. With the Chargers and Jets winning on Sunday, the Bengals don't have much wild-card margin for error (though the Ravens loss keeps them in the running to win the AFC North.)

Don't sleep on the Bengals. Especially because they have help on the way:

Bad-News, Not-So-Bad-News Buccaneers

The Buccaneers fell to 5-6 with a 23-17 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns. Fortunately:

  • The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints also lost on Sunday; and
  • Left tackle Tristan Wirfs’ late-game ankle injury may not be as bad as it looked when he was carted off the field.

The Buccaneers went three-and-out six times in Sunday's loss. Their offense was useless on their final seven possessions of a close game, straining their defense to the breaking point. The Buccaneers haven't scored over 21 points in a game since Week 4. They're like the NFC version of the Titans, but with a famous quarterback and their rushing and passing offenses flipped. The 49ers and Bengals should manhandle the Bucs down the stretch, especially with Tampa Bay's injuries mounting.

Could the Buccaneers still make the playoffs at 8-9 if they keep faltering? Probably. Should we care about them if they do? Of course not!

The Broncos Offense is Too Dreadful to Write About

We saw it. We cannot unsee it. The punts. The fumble in Panthers territory. The missed field goal. The sequence where it took 14 plays to finally score a touchdown when trailing 23-3 in the fourth quarter. We don't have the stomach to watch the replay or scour the play-by-play for insights. We just want the hurting to stop.

Turkey Leftovers

Some of Week 12's most important games took place on Thanksgiving. You have picked over the carcasses of those games by now, but here's Walkthrough's Cyber Monday Turkey Salad Sandwich Special.

Buffalo Bills

With Von Miller-level injuries mounting; Josh Allen huffing the red kryptonite in the red zone; and their offense, defense and special teams taking terms serving up fourth-quarter blunders, the Bills remain Super Bowl contenders but should not be thought of as prohibitive Super Bowl favorites.

In fact, the way the Dolphins played in the first half on Sunday, the Bills may not even be the best team in the AFC East right now.

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott's early-game interceptions are exactly as troubling as Josh Allen's late-game interceptions, though Team Dak will line-item veto each away as an isolated incident while the Dak Haters will offer them as further proof that he's secretly Zach Wilson's uncle.

Prescott also averages just 6.5 yards per attempt in the first half, so there's more to worry about than the occasional errant throw.

Slow/sloppy offensive starts have become one of the Cowboys' few real weaknesses. Fortunately for them, the Cowboys organization is known for their intensive self-scouting and brilliant late-season adjustments, so all shall be well.

(Snark aside, the Cowboys will get buried by teams such as the Eagles and 49ers in the playoffs if they keep coughing up early-game chances to their opponents.)

Detroit Lions

If the Lions can win two of their next three games, Walkthrough will take their "turned the corner" narrative seriously. Until then, they remain an excellent offensive line grafted onto a weak overall roster and a coaching staff that's barely meeting greatly reduced expectations.

Minnesota Vikings

Thanksgiving night brought us a classic 2022 Vikings victory: Justin Jefferson went HAM; the Vikings caught an officiating break (the Hunter Henry non-touchdown); their opponent made some uncharacteristic mistakes (the first kickoff return touchdown allowed by the Patriots since 2010, plus a roughing-the-punter foul); and they beat yet another fellow middleweight without really outplaying them.

From a playoff standpoint, it no longer matters whether this model is sustainable or not, because the Vikings are in.

New England Patriots

The Patriots cannot afford to lose games in which their offense looks competent AND their defense both dominates the line of scrimmage and provides an early takeaway. The Patriots can, however, lose interconference games with few tiebreaker ramifications without harming their wild-card chances too much. Still, Sunday's wins by the Jets, Bengals, and Chargers made this a rough weekend for Patriots fans.

Walkthrough might have believed in Mac Jones' Thanksgiving breakthrough if it had extended into the fourth quarter.

New York Giants

Brian Daboll was able to coach up bench-caliber starters early in the season. He has been forced to coach up the practice squad-caliber backups to those bench-caliber starters over the last few weeks, particularly on offense. The results were evident against the Cowboys.

The Giants did not quite sew up a playoff berth with their 6-1 start: they are 4-0 against the AFC and 3-4 against the NFC. They need to go at least 2-2 against the Commanders-Eagles-Commanders-Vikings over the next month to keep themselves from landing behind a tiebreaker eight ball.

Week 12 Awards

So many awards to hand out, so little time.

Defender of the Week

Remember Myles Garrett? He had 1.5 sacks and three hits on Tom Brady in the Browns' victory over the Buccaneers. Garrett's full sack came on third down in overtime, forcing the Buccaneers punt that led to the final Browns drive.

Brian Burns earns honorable mention for a pair of sacks against the Broncos. Seahawks defensive back Quandre Diggs also gets honorable mention for two early-game interceptions in a losing effort.

Offensive Line of the Week

D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard rushed for a combined 178 yards. Sam Darnold wasn't sacked once. And the Panthers deserve nice things! So let's hear it for Ickey Ekwonu, Brady Christensen, Bradley Bozeman, Austin Corbett, and Taylor Moten for more than holding their own against the rugged Broncos defense.

C'mon, Panthers fans: isn't this a little more fun than throwing Burns and DJ Moore away in a fire sale and spending the rest of the year twiddling with a mock draft simulator?

Special Teamer of the Week

Chargers punter JK Scott forced the Cardinals to start four of their drives at the 12-, 18-, 6-, and 10-yard lines in a 26-25 victory.

Honorable mention goes to Rams punter Riley Dixon for being the team's best pure passer on Sunday:

Best Supporting Actor in Someone Else's Highlight

Walkthrough celebrates Jacoby Brissett's last day as a starter by highlighting his skills as a downfield blocker on Anthony Schwartz's end-around touchdown.

Honorable mention goes to Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis for his flop-'n'-grab coverage technique on Amari Cooper on the overtime catch that sealed the Browns victory:

Not seen in that highlight: Davis got up asking for a flag. Yes, Carlton, there should have been a flag. On you. Not that it would have mattered.

What do you think of those awards, Jacoby?

Burn This Play!

The Texans trailed 30-12, but they had scored on two straight third-quarter possessions and had a chance to make the game competitive again with a two-point conversion. So naturally, they called a play-action goal-line pass to … left tackle Laremy Tunsil.

The "big man touchdown surprise" isn't a terrible play call here. But check out who is right behind Tunsil in the end zone. Yep, it's Ensign (not a captain like Tunsil) Brandin Cooks. The Texans ran a tackle-eligible play with their top wide receiver on the same side of the field as Tunsil! Of course, that probably cued defender Andrew Van Ginkel (43) to drop into underneath coverage instead of racing into the backfield and leaving Tunsil uncovered, something he might well have done with no receiving threat behind him.

Oh well, Josh McCown will sort all of this out when he becomes head coach.

Rando of the Week

We REFUSE to give this week's Rando to the Jaguars mascot and his nightmarish illustrated furry fanfic speedo:

Seriously, we saw the opening credits of that anime and want no part of it.

Instead, we celebrate Panthers long-snapper J.J. Jansen, who played his 221st game with the organization, tying John Kasay's franchise record.

Jansen has been long-snapping for the Panthers since before Luke Kuechly or Cam Newton arrived in Carolina. When Jansen was a rookie in 2009, John Fox was the Panthers coach, Jake Delhomme their quarterback, Kasay their kicker, and Julius Peppers and Jon Beason their defensive stars.

Congratulations on a long career, Jansen! May you keep snapping until the Panthers are relevant again. It may not take as long as you think.

Comments

104 comments, Last at 30 Nov 2022, 11:03am

#1 by MrMan // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:11am

Mike's Eagles fandom / Cowboys hatedom is slowly starting to bubble to the surface as the season goes on. The Eagles got run over by a Packers offense that generally has sputtered most of the year and shows no ability to stop opposing run games.  Their special teams rank near the bottom in most everything while the Cowboys rank near the top.  

 

Yes, the Packers also ran over the Cowboys but I'd bet ont he Cowboys stopping Jalen Hurts from going wild and hoping for the best with the rest of the Eagles offense over betting on the Eagle stopping the Pollard / Zeke run game.  Citing first half YPA attempt for Dak while ignoring the overall resume seems like cherry picking at its finest.

Eagles are good but not as good as they looked early.  SF, Phi and Dallas are clearly the class of the NFC.  If Eagles stumble once before the game against Dallas on Christmas Eve and Dallas wins out over (checks notes) Colts / Texans / Jaguars then that game is for the division and would be a doozy.  

Points: 0

#5 by Pat // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:09am

In reply to by MrMan

Philly's offense looked limited because Goedert's out. He's likely to be back for the second Dallas game and definitely for the playoffs. And the second Dallas game might not matter anyway.

Points: 0

#27 by MrMan // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:48am

"And the second Dallas game might not matter anyway".  

 

Hence the qualifier "If the Eagles stumble". 

Points: 0

#94 by Bazz // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:55am

In reply to by MrMan

Totally agree. I enjoy Walkthrough because he mixes humor with generally well-reasoned cynicism. It's obvious lately that he's been leaning into his inner Philadelphian sports fan when writing these because every week there's a sentence or two critiquing Prescott/The Cowboys/Dallas fans while glossing over any potential weaknesses the Eagles may have.

Points: 0

#2 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 7:18am

Packers/Eagles was just spectacularly bad defense, with a few takeaways sprinkled in. I've seen games played by 12 year olds with better tackling, and despite some good ints, the coverage from both teams was often very poor; the last td by the Pack was ridiculous.

I know the league is concerned with keeping scoring up, but I hope they don't use this contest as a template.

Points: 0

#11 by Harris // Nov 28, 2022 - 9:15am

Leading the league in turnovers is really hiding how porous this defense really is. I can't say enough bad things about Gannon and his passive "Not in the face defense."

Points: 0

#13 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 9:51am

I've not watched the Eagles closely, but if what I saw last night is in the range of normal performance by their defense, well, they are fortunate to be in the NFC.

Points: 0

#14 by Harris // Nov 28, 2022 - 9:59am

You would have jumped out of a window watching them allow Washington to traverse the field 3 yards at a time.

Points: 0

#18 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:17am

That’s become increasingly frequent in NFL games as teams have realized opposing defenses don’t know how to stop the run.

The Eagles ran for like 360 yards!

Points: 0

#20 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:32am

It's a race to see what is harmed more from no contact practices after about August 15th; offensive lines or run defense.o

Points: 0

#44 by Romodini // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:46pm

The Eagles are incredibly fortunate. I don't know if Howie Roseman is a genius, but he chose the perfect year to spend big in free agency and make trades. The only top 10 DVOA team they've faced all year was the Cowboys, and that was with Cooper Rush at QB. The next hardest challenge was last night versus the number 15 Packers. Three of the top teams from last year -- Packers, Rams, and Bucs, -- have all seriously regressed, and the 49ers looked set to be bad until Trey Lance got injured and Jimmy G came to the rescue. They've also been pretty healthy. 

At this point, the number one seed is theirs to lose. And they may not even have to face the Cowboys or Niners in their first playoff match. 

Points: 0

#3 by Mike B. In Va // Nov 28, 2022 - 7:20am

but Matt Eberflus figured an injured backup journeyman was a better option than a healthy Nathan Peterman. It was Eberflus' most astute decision of the 2022 season.

Even a layup is a joy to watch if perfectly executed. Well done. 

Points: 0

#4 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 7:25am

Once again, the Vikings defense sucks with the power of plutonium, the Vikings o-line is outplayed, and yet they win. My only question is what weekend in January do they lose 41-0.

Points: 0

#7 by billprudden // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:38am

Good sir - 

Toward your goal / expected outcome of the Vikings hosting a wild card game and being demolished in spectacular fashion, I wonder which of the likely NFC playoff teams you think would yield the best (most Greek tragedy and/or Freudian) result?

Dallas' running game?

SF's "skill players everywhere"?

Or an unlikely but delicious result like Washington's 4x first round picks DL, plus Heinecke doing more than Kirk?  Or Wentz in relief after an injury?  Wentz for 300 yards?  Yes, that has to be it!

Bill

Points: 0

#10 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:48am

Absolutely any qb is capable of looking like a borderline HOFer when playing the Vikings; I was fooled into thinking they were significantly improving, but I suspect it was imaginary.

The key for a Vikings debacle is usually an opposing physical defensive front. The Niners would bludgeon the Vikings, and make Jefferson irrelevant. We've seen the Cowboys do it. Could the Commies deliver that? Not impossible by any means, especially if Darrishaw is out.

Points: 0

#38 by Kaepernicus // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:25pm

I think the key to beating the 49ers is having a really good run defense lead by a stout D line and a mobile QB. If you don't have a mobile QB you are basically dead and have to rely on Jimmy throwing picks, special teams disasters, and Kyle opting for FGs inside the 5 yard line. All of those things happen so it is very much possible. Sometimes they all happen in the same game, ATL and DEN. If the Saints had decided to run a Taysom Hill lead Falcons style offense they would have won that game on Sunday. When you look at the Vikings they just seem to have a terribly constructed roster if your goal is to get out of the NFC. They are built to beat the Packers and PHI/SF/DAL are completely different teams. The best case scenario for the Vikings is to hang on to the #2 seed and pull the Seahawks for a match up. They could literally just run over them and let Kirk feast on easy PA passing concepts. Either way I can't see how they make it out of the divisional round without a lot of injuries to the other contenders.

Points: 0

#6 by Led // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:21am

The incompetence of the Chicago supporting cast on offense has been greatly exagerrated.  The OL played very well on Sunday, and they have guys who can make plays (Montgomery, Claypool) and a decent TE.  They're not the best show on turf, obviously, but also not an obstacle  the QB must heroically overcome. 

EDIT:  But that defense....yuck. 

Points: 0

#12 by JonesJon // Nov 28, 2022 - 9:51am

Bizarre takeaway. The Bears had been averaging over 29 points and 365 yards per game since they began deploying Fields as a runner. They scored 10 points and had 292 yards yesterday. They had 44 team passing yards after their first two drives yesterday. Pretty clear they need QB heroics to stay in games like they have

Points: 0

#17 by Led // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:09am

First of all, the Jets held NE to 3 points and Buffalo to 17 points the last two weeks.  If you expected the Bears to score 29 yesterday, regardless of who the QB was, you were going to be disappointed.  Second, the Bears moved the ball on their first two drives with a balanced offense.  The rest of the game they ran the ball 58% of the time despite trailing by multiple scores for a lot of that time.  Siemian didn't have much of a chance after the first two drives, and I wonder if that was by design.  As it was, Siemian threw for 7.2 YPA, which is what Fields is averaging for the year.

Points: 0

#28 by JonesJon // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:51am

The Jets have a good defense but Bears already put up 29 and 33 respectively on the top 2 DVOA defenses in their stretch of good offense.

They didn't stop moving the ball because they stopped the balance after the first two drives. Ignoring the kneel down they called 9 pass plays and 9 run plays over their next 5 possessions while the game was still within reach. The 9 runs netted 39 yards. The 9 pass plays netted 7 yards. 

Siemian averaged 6.0 air yards/attempt yesterday. Fields hasn't been that low in any game this year and only has one game below 8.0 this season. 

Fields is by no means a superstar but any takeaway from yesterday that implies the Bears have anything going on offensively beyond Fields right now won't stand up to scrutiny. 

Points: 0

#55 by Led // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:55pm

If you want to dig into the details, it was actually 9 runs and 8 passes over their next 5 possessions, excluding the one kneel down before the half.  After scoring on their first 2 possessions, in which Siemian passed for 110 yards, they went run, run, run, punt.  Then 4 possessions with only 2 successful runs and 2 successful passes.  The yardage you gave is a bit misleading because there were 2 sacks for -14 and 19 yards on 7 unsuccessful runs.  It's not like the running game was working.  On the last possession in that range, when they were down 14, they opened with a 14 yard pass, but then followed with 2 runs that went nowhere and incomplete on third and long.  And, then, down 21 points, they proceeded to drop back 9 times (one scramble) and run it 13 times.  I stand by my assertion that Siemian was not given much of a chance after the first two drives.   

Points: 0

#58 by anthonytwotimes // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:11pm

Lol. They gave up 11 pressures in 28 attempts and in true passing situations, they have up 5 pressures in 8 attempts. Where do people get their info from?

Points: 0

#89 by dank067 // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:46pm

The Bears OL is really, *really* bad at pass protection and I don't think it's been appreciated enough that the way they've operated their offense and used Fields this season has been just as much to mitigate their total inability to pass block as it has been to play to Fields's strengths and mitigate his weaknesses. They would definitely like to give Fields more passing attempts if they could, and the sacks are obviously partially his fault, but if they tried to drop back and pass like a normal NFL team he'd be getting sacked on 20% of his dropbacks.

Fortunately for them, they play the Packers next week, so no matter who is in at QB they don't need to call any pass plays.

Points: 0

#98 by Led // Nov 29, 2022 - 10:57am

If you ignore the opponent, that's not good.  But the Jets are one of the top pass rush teams, with a pressure rate of 43%.  And they had 6 sacks each of the last two weeks.  So the performance of the Bears OL, compared to other Jets opponents, was pretty good.  

Points: 0

#8 by johonny // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:41am

Miami didn’t stop caring as much as Miami lost their two starting tackles and Tua started getting hit. If they're both out again . . . Well, that offense netted zero points against Houston so I worry about the 3 game road trip. As Miami'seft tackle goes, as Tua goes.

Points: 0

#29 by dmb // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:54am

A coach willingly subbing in their third-string QB in the third quarter is as blatant a sign of "not caring" as you'll see in the NFL. The substitution may have been made with Tua's health in mind, but it was nevertheless treating the final third of the game as though it were preseason.

 

Your concern about their Tackles' health may be valid, but that stretch of scorelessness included only two drives with Tua.

Points: 0

#72 by James-London // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:39pm

This. Armstead went out, and Miami's offense imploded. Tua was lucky to get out without serious injury, and the offense did nothing. I don't think it was "stopped caring"-much more they couldn't pass block at all.

Add to that the fact that the Dolphins can't run on anyone except the Browns, and if Armstead's pec injury is serious, this season might already be over.

Points: 0

#9 by Joey-Harringto… // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:48am

"Until then, they remain an excellent offensive line grafted onto a weak overall roster and a coaching staff that's barely meeting greatly reduced expectations."

This may be true for the season overall, but I don't know how you can come to that conclusion from that specific game.  Detroit's 3rd string guards were getting eaten alive by Ed Oliver and company (the safety Buffalo scored is a prime example...Dan Skipper got pushed so far back he basically knocked Jared Goff down).  The fact that they were able to muster a competent offensive performance working with that was actually kind of impressive.

Points: 0

#15 by condor654 // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:00am

The write up on Mike White hit the nail on the head 

Points: 0

#16 by Johnny Ocean // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:08am

Watching the Ravens offense absolutely refuse to succeed week after week with clear deficits in play calling, catching, route running, and passing makes one wonder where the accountability is on this team.  There is a massive disconnect between Harbaugh's vision of his team and how the team performs week to week and for the most part this disconnect is currently centered on the offense.   After six draft cycles and a major rebuild around Lamar Jackson, Harbaugh has succeeded in creating a team that performs about as well as the Joe Flacco era Ravens but with less defensive prowess and sporadic outbursts of offense.  Whether the team recognizes it or not, the Jacksonville game feels like a turning point in their 2022 season.  It is pretty clear that this team will sputter as the playoffs approach and make an early exit from the playoffs as the have done every year they have made the playoffs under the LJ era.

 

Points: 0

#35 by Noahrk // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:17pm

The Ravens are so weird. If the games ended halfway through the 4th quarter I think they'd be #1 in DVOA and even undefeated? It's a very odd pattern and it's hard to know how it will play out in the playoffs.

Points: 0

#19 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:28am

I really have no feel for who is going to win the tournament this year. I think injuries and out of the blue nonsense from Allen dooms the Bills. The Cowboys can lose to anybody with a good defense. The Niners certainly have a chance, but trying to win playoff games with a Jimmy G. will always be an adventure. Don"t like the Eagles  after I watched their defense closely last night. It's the same with everybody; teams with big flaws. The Chiefs are it, I guess, but so much hinges on one guy being great all the time.

Points: 0

#22 by colonialbob // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:17am

It's interesting to me, because you can kind of pair up all 6 favorites per FO's simulations (the above 5 and Baltimore):

  • Eagles & 49ers are the teams that feel like they need to get ahead/stay even with teams, because they have weaknesses that would seem to be exacerbated playing from behind (Eagles: rush defense and using the run to set up the pass; 49ers: passing in general)
  • Cowboys & Bills are the teams that look like the best, most complete team in football on their good days, but weird QB miscues and defensive lapses make them look very beatable more often than you feel their talent should be
  • Chiefs & Ravens are the teams that are relying on their QB to be transcendent and unstoppable forces

I'm not saying those pairs are exactly equivalent, of course (it's no shade to Lamar Jackson to have more faith in Mahomes being a cheat code, for example), but it makes for a fun conversation.

Points: 0

#39 by superglucose // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:28pm

If you think the weakness of the 49ers is their pass game you should check the DVOA numbers again.

 

They're a (often much) better pass team than a run team right now.

Points: 0

#43 by colonialbob // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:46pm

Shame on me - I haven't caught much of them this year, and was operating under knowledge of last year's team / assumptions about Garoppolo. Makes me feel a little better about how the Cowboys would match up against them this year, actually.

Points: 0

#63 by Kaepernicus // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:57pm

They were also 5th in passing and 4th in rushing last year. Their passing game has been way better than the common narrative has indicated for the entire Jimmy G era. Most of that great rushing DVOA finish came from the insane year from Deebo as well. Deebo dealing with injuries all year has really hurt the offense. If the run game picks up down the stretch this will become an incredibly difficult offense to deal with.

Points: 0

#84 by colonialbob // Nov 28, 2022 - 6:44pm

Oh, their passing attack was never *bad*, I just feel like it relied on the threat of the run, the short play, etc to set up. Put another way, they seemed much more vulnerable if they were counting on Garoppolo to drop back and throw down the field consistently, rather than be able to pick his spots or scheme up the shot plays or deebo in space.

Points: 0

#33 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:05pm

Bills are still the team to beat, maybe more so even than at the start of the season.  Allen out-of-the-blue nonsense is likely the only thing that could derail them against most teams. If he keeps that stuff out of his game come the playoffs, as I suspect he will, they should win.  Sure, Mahomes-Kelce could derail them, they could derail anybody on a good day.  Sure, BAL-TEN-PHI-DAL-SF could derail them with an early lead and a strong run game.  There's lots of ways they could lose, there's lots of ways KC-BAL-TEN-PHI-DAL-SF could lose, too. 

If it was BUF versus the field, I'd take the field.  If it's BUF versus any single other team, I'd take BUF.

Points: 1

#34 by theslothook // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:17pm

The loss of Von Miller concerns me. I know the Chiefs have had their listless moments, but Miller being out and homefield likely tipping to KC, I think KC probably has the edge in a rematch at this point.

 

Points: 0

#37 by Mike B. In Va // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:22pm

How long is that loss, though? If he's back by the playoffs, does that change your opinion?

Points: 0

#40 by theslothook // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:34pm

Yes it would. Homefield is still an important factor and that loss to the Vikings looms large especially as the AFC West looks far weaker than we thought coming into the year and the AFC East far stronger. 

Maybe its eaisier if I say it like this. I think the Bills are better than the Chiefs on a neutral field with Von Miller. I think the Bills are the best team in the NFL with Von Miller and still a contender without him. They have the best combo of pass offense and pass defense; which is usually the combination you want. 

Points: 0

#50 by IlluminatusUIUC // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:22pm

The Bills can beat KC in KC, but what's really going to burn us is the loss of the bye week. If there was ever a team that desperately needed another bye, its this year's Bills.

Points: 0

#36 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:22pm

If Von Miller isn't doing Von Miller things, the Bills are significantly less dangerous, and if they are counting on Xavier Rhodes, in his current state, to approximate a good or even mediocre cb, or to even stay healthy, they are likely to be disappointed. 

Points: 0

#59 by Mike B. In Va // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:14pm

They're counting on him to be a chess piece until Tre White is all the way back. He should be OK for that, although getting injured while on the practice squad was pretty hilarious.

Points: 0

#51 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:24pm

It's possible Allen is the One True Favre, and the kind of QB who exists in a quantum state until you open the box to find out whether you got the Good Allen or the Bad Allen.

Points: 0

#61 by Mike B. In Va // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:17pm

Apparently the box gets open every series, since he can throw a bad INT in a bad place on the field on one series and make a throw that maybe five people ever (to quote Romo) could make to setup a win on another one IN THE SAME GAME.

Being a Bills fan is not so good for your cardiac health.

Points: 0

#21 by anthonytwotimes // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:36am

Didn’t I just read an article on this website regarding how the Bucs offense was back because they scored 21pts on Seattle in Germany?  Lol. Epic fail. 

Points: 0

#23 by JS // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:28am

Trevor Lawrence's arm has gotten much stronger over the last two years. He used to put a lot of air under the ball on most throws in college. Last year there was some improvement, but this year he looks better still. He has a chance to become a top-level QB now. 

The whole generational-talent thing was clearly silly, as he in no way was ready to be a solid starter from the get-go, and he is still making some dumb mental mistakes, but he seems to be making less of them as time goes on, so kudos to him. Tall guys from winning programs are not guaranteed to improve once they reach the NFL, much less be excellent immediately.

Points: 0

#30 by JonesJon // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:58am

Lawrence playing the best game of his life on the biggest stage when a lot of the world really saw him for the first time has really shaped the narrative of his career. He was so good in that Bama game as a true freshman everyone assumed he would get better but for the most part he really didn't. He's a good reminder that player development isn't typically linear

Points: 1

#66 by Kaepernicus // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:12pm

He suffered from a lot of over hype. If you really watched him play over 3 years at Clemson he started at a very high floor and never really made big jumps from Sophomore to Junior year. You didn't see the insane leap of Joe Burrow or the consistently high results of Deshaun Watson. Not one of Trevor's years matched Watson's peak as a Sophomore. The expectations were wrong. My comp for him has always been post-injury Carson Palmer. His progress is really making me think he can make it to that level, which would be fantastic for the Jaguars if he stays healthy. He definitely looks like the best QB from the 2021 class at this point though. 

Points: 1

#24 by theslothook // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:33am

Bill Barnwell had a great article discussing Wilson this season and what is the likely expectation next year. Specifically, he looked at similarity seasons from prior QBs who followed a similar career trajectory.

The list was not encouraging to say the least. Even the success stories didn't really work as comps. He listed Eli Manning, who rebounded to bring just meh.

Other names included Philip Rivers with the Colts for one season and Steve McNair for one season with the Ravens(and both players were far cries from their dominant selves)

The only name that rebounded anywhere close to their best was Favre with the Packers and Vikings and maybe that comp works as a new coach (s) seem to bring out the best in him.

I'm sympathetic to the argument that maybe a coaching change might bring a revival to Wilson such that he will experience a true sustained rebound. But I also have to acknowledge that this season's disaster has happened many times in the past and most of the time it ends in no recovery.

Points: 0

#25 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:34am

Even when Brady's team sucks and loses more than they win, he still wins thanks to an atrocious division. The charmed existence never ends.

Points: 1

#32 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:04pm

Chad Pennington is the best QB he’s ever faced in-division.

Points: 0

#41 by billprudden // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:36pm

This would make a fascinating extra point, esp now that he's been in two divisions.  

Or has it already been written?

Points: 0

#56 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:03pm

It's been brought up during the Irrational Manning-Brady Debates. I'm not sure it's ever had a Tanier article or something.

Brady was in the league in 2000, but did not play, so he missed competing with Manning's 2000 season (1882 DYAR).

2001 Manning: 965
2002 Pennington: 1412
2004 Pennington: 917
2008 Pennington: 1030
2020 Brees: 769

Pennington is in 1st, 2nd, and 4th place in Brady's career for best opposing in-division season. Last year, three of the AFC West would have made that list.

Brady basically entered the AFC East just as Manning left, and left the AFC East for the NFC South just as Allen entered and Brees left.

Points: 0

#53 by NoraDaddy // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:42pm

He even managed to get re-alignment in 2002 to get Indy/Manning out of the division!  :)

Points: 0

#99 by Eddo // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:53pm

Brees was in his last year in 2020, but I'd probably still go with him.

Points: 0

#26 by theslothook // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:46am

If you just went by the boxscores, you would be tempted to assume that the Saints offense scored 0 points, therefore Andy Dalton was probably horrible.

I guess I am a sucker for defending mediocre qbs, but I thought Dalton played pretty well and the goose egg score had more do with a confluence of bad events including fumbles in the red zone, lots of dropped passes, drive killing sacks from terribly blow blocks and even some horrible holding penalties. 

In fact, Dalton wasn't even his usual check down artist; instead hurling down field lasers to Chris Olave. The red rifle still has some pop in his arm.

Points: 0

#100 by greybeard // Nov 29, 2022 - 3:06pm

I was at the game and generally agree that Dalton played well. But where are you getting your information about what happened in the game?

He was sacked once and that was the last offensive play of the game for NO. Overall his Oline played well for pass blocking -though. not for run blocking-. There was only one offensive holding penalty against NO. There were two fumbles and only one in the end zone. There were not many dropped passes (I cannot even remember one).

Points: 0

#102 by theslothook // Nov 29, 2022 - 10:26pm

EDIT

I am not going to debate points on FO much anymore. It just comes off combatative and pedantic and that's not something I want to continue here. 

 

Points: 0

#31 by Ryan // Nov 28, 2022 - 12:12pm

Mike's writing has become so laboriously cynical and taek-adjacent that I'm starting to wonder how much he enjoys football

Points: 5

#42 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:42pm

The Titans whole approach is anchored by toughness in all facets.  Cincinnati at minimum was even with TN on that aspect if not better.  Which is really impressive.

 

Burrows gave his receivers a chance to make plays and boy did they.  Just wonderful to watch.  Meanwhile the defense stoned Henry and was in and around Tannehill enough to generate several bad passes when guys were open.  Just two teams exchanging body blows all day.  Good stuff

 

For those who had not seen the Joe Barry defense (if that is still the appropriate term) last night was playing all the hits.  Opposing team has a special player with a special skill.  Why of course there is no plan to counter.  Why should there be a plan when it's a special skill?  That being the case it cannot be thwarted.  One must just accept the outcome.  Tackling?  Pish posh tackling is for those who engage in physical play.  The Barry defense is cerebral.  The opponent will be defeated with the mind not the body you cretin.  Your offense awakens and gives the team a faint chance to perhaps extend the game?  Bwhahahahaha, the Barry defense knows when it's appropriate to surrender to one's fate so feigned effort and passive playcalls are the approach to take in such a situation.  

 

Don't think it's any coincidence that the two guys with legit positive resumes, Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander, have seemingly packed it in several games ago.  Between management keeping guys on the field who have been beyond terrible (Darnell SAvage) and the head of the defense regularly bewildered week to week it's hard to get too upset when players make business decisions that may not align with team goals.  BUut then nobody is sure what the team goals are at this point.  

 

I did want to mention that this phrase "but it is likely to cause an existential crisis in Green Bay." is a bit odd.  Don't know what part of Twitter the author follows but none of the Packer beat writers, blogs or anyone with the sense the good Lord gave a rabbit will be in crisis at any transition.  Frankly everyone is now impatient with the club for putting off what is now the obvious step.  Shove aside any veteran for young guys who need to be evaluated (though Mason as a courtesy can ride out the season as kicker), tell 12 thanks for everything and eat the enormous poison pill contract that management executed, and know that 2023/2024 (at minimum) will be interesting to watch but not much in the W column     And along with the team on the field likely need some changes in the rest of the organization.  The Packers have placed too much emphasis on loyalty.  Loyalty to veteran players.  Loyalty to drafted players.  Loyalty to schemes that clearly do not work.  Loyalty to processes that are not producing the proper outcomes.  

Points: 0

#45 by theslothook // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:48pm

tell 12 thanks for everything and eat the enormous poison pill contract that management executed

Have most Packers fans concluded its over with Arod? I don't know what their cap situation is a year from now, but I certainly could believe that an offseason where they snag a top receiving prospect + some additions in free agency(basically talent above ambulatory would work) and presto, the offense should get back to being a strength. The halcyon days of MVP Rodgers are probably gone, but something approximating 2019 Rodgers to me still exists. 

 

Points: 0

#49 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:12pm

As background, I was one who was fine coming into this season with Love at qb.  I know it's a tired phrase, but with respect to sports it works as an approach of better a year early than a year late.  

 

Regarding 12 fans appreciate the toughness on the field.  But whenever he talks about his injuries the response is basically that if you are going to take the field then play to the contract.  And he hasn't.  Now certainly many, many, MANY people will howl about the receivers.  And the line being unsettled.  And these were real challenges earlier in the season.  But it's also true that 12 has run the offense 'he' wants until it was obvious to everyone with a working brain that the RPO heavy approach was getting nothing and that running the offense his head coach calls is better aligned with the talent.  Several games ago the line has settled with his left tackle and left guard playing much better.  Myers, the center, has become a concern but still the line blocking has improved.  And when Doubs went down Watson stepped forward.  But 12 either cannot make the throws that are available (due to the thumb one presumes) or doesn't see the field.  And this latter item continues to be alarming because a veteran qb should own finding the open guy with only his physical limitations impacting whether the ball gets there or not.  But 12 has since game 1 missed open guy after open guy.  

 

Sharing all this as background because the Rodgers of today is someone being great at pointing at others deficiencies but not keen on self-reflection, regular on the field open displays of disgust at both teammates and coaches, and a weirdo who has a few good games a whole lot of average or worse. Plus he is not big on practice.  Of any kind.  The club calls it load management.  Many from outside the organization view it as counterproductive.

 

To paraphrase Crash Davis if you are a pain the blank weirdo who plays well to great and the team wins you are colorful and tolerable.  But a pain the blank weirdo who doesn't deliver is just a pain in the blank.

Points: 1

#62 by Spanosian Magn… // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:44pm

Have most Packers fans concluded its over with Arod?

Lol no. I mean, the most popular player on the team is always the backup QB (unless it's Jordan Love 2020-21), but I think the vast majority of Packers fans know Rodgers is still The Guy for the foreseeable future. There is no "eating the poison pill"; they can't - no team in the League could - afford to take on $70 million in dead money just because the player it's attached to sucks. And Rodgers is still average-ish, even in a transition year with most of the non-RB offense in flux. How much of his decline is acute injury, and how much is more permanent physical and mental degradation, and how much is due to mistakes by the other players is a very good question that can't really be answered just yet. But it's also academic, because Rodgers will be the Packers' QB through 2024. Unless he wanders off to join a Tibetan monastery or something.

Jordan Love will be traded, probably this off-season, and very possibly for more draft capital than they spent on him, which is sort of amusing considering the wailing and gnashing of teeth over his selection. Which is good, because they need help basically everywhere. Then they can take another spin on the Wheel O' QB Prospects Who Unexpectedly Fell In The Draft to get ready for 2025.

Points: 0

#64 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:11pm

I don't think Love is popular.  Just that a healthy Love is perceived as a reasonable alternative to a banged up Rodgers who is also not seeing the field to his usual standard

 

I absolutely do agree that the mix of age or maladies or teammate quality or uneven performance amongst said teammates make it hard to determine root cause.  

 

But what is known is that everyone is very unhappy.  And it's often the case when multiple parties are unhappy there is a separation of some kind.  So I would not assume that Rodgers is the GB qb in 2023.  And yes I am very aware that the financial hit would be enormous.  $40 million alone of dead cap 2023 money if Rodgers retires or is traded.  And it gets worse before it gets better.

Points: 0

#69 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:21pm

12's contract gets more expensive as years pass

 

If Rodgers is traded or retires in 2024 the dead cap hit is $68.2 million per Packers cap resource Ken Ingalls.

 

If 2025 the hit is $76.8 million.  My understanding is that Rodgers has already been paid his money so these totals are for lack of a better word 'fixed'.  There is no other cap math to reduce the financial impact to the team.

 

What has not been explained by management is why they basically executed a very one-sided contract.  Hence my phrase 'poison pill'.  

Points: 0

#70 by theslothook // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:37pm

What has not been explained by management is why they basically executed a very one-sided contract.  Hence my phrase 'poison pill'.  

I am haphazarding a guess here, which is all this is. After two straight MVP years and lots and lots of up front grumbling, if not flat out accusations of being knifed in the back; management found themselves completely backed into a corner. A lot of digital ink has been spilled about the decision to draft Love; but I think clearly that decision indicated that this front office and or coaching staff simply did not think Rodgers would ever go back to being an MVP. Once he did, moving on becomes an extremely unpalatable/firable offense by the vast media at a large. I know it feels like 10 seasons have passed since that loss to the 49ers; but remember, Rodgers was the literal back to back MVP. Its really really hard to walk away from that guy. 

 

 

Points: 0

#73 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:41pm

Ted Thompson saw Favre spit the bit in the cold against NY and decided then that the time had come to move on to Rodgers.  GB management should have seen Rodgers almost by himself sabotage the team's chances against the Niners and realize that the time had come to do the same.

 

That was my contention post playoff game and nothing I have seen this season has lent me pause.

 

Accomplishments of the past have no bearing on future performance.  It's obvious of course but management would have been well served to explain that to the fan base.

Points: 0

#90 by dank067 // Nov 28, 2022 - 10:56pm

Rodgers is tradeable this offseason - his guarantees can be spread out enough on both sides of a potential deal to make it feasible. Now I don't know what other team is going to sign up for it given the way things have gone this season, but it's a possibility. Maybe the Packers would be willing to unload the contract NBA-style if the NFL signs off, although it didn't sound like they were a big fan of the Broncos/Browns Osweiler trade a few years ago. Here's the OTC breakdown:

https://overthecap.com/looking-ahead-to-the-packers-options-with-aaron-rodgers

Personally I think he'll be back with the Pack in 2023.

Points: 0

#67 by BigRichie // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:17pm

No, most Packer fans have not concluded that.

Points: 0

#47 by Romodini // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:54pm

On the bright side, at least they still own the Cowboys and Bears.

 

Points: 0

#60 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:15pm

Packers were gifted two things in the Dallas game.  One the Cowboys inexplicably played single high all game when it has been cover 2 that has repeatedly thwarted the GB passing game.  Second 12 was willing to go under center (he historically doesn't like this approach plus he has said with his thumb it's difficult) which greatly aided play action. 

 

The folks who are not necessarily 'anti' Rodgers but cynical think Rodgers agreed to run Matt's offense as intended as he was super focused on beating McCarthy.  Once that was accomplished he returned to his previous approach which gets all too predictable results (not great)

Points: 0

#81 by Romodini // Nov 28, 2022 - 6:01pm

My guess with the single high is that they wanted to focus on stopping the run after how their previous matches had gone.

 

I didn't realize Rodgers had those problems with the offense. Funny if true.

Points: 0

#82 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 6:05pm

Puzzled by the if true phrase.  These are fairly well known as Rodgers has discussed both publicly.  He prefers shotgun and has for some time.  And the thumb makes sense in terms of taking the snap versus snatching the ball out of the air.  He cannot protect from impact in taking the snap so it’s painful 

Points: 0

#93 by Romodini // Nov 29, 2022 - 12:36am

I was mainly referring to the theory that Rodgers decided to play the "correct way" for one game just to beat McCarthy. 

Points: 0

#48 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:03pm

Anybody who has any regard for defense had to hate last night's game like a devout Lutheran hates being late to church. Good grief, it made the eyes burn.

The Packers are as you describe. Vikings are a soft team with lots of veterans, and a middling qb. The Bears are in the midst of Bear-like mismanagement of a young qb with talent, as they rebuild their defense.

If the Lions don't take this chance at multi-year divisional dominance, or at least semidominance, it's never happening.

Points: 0

#52 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 28, 2022 - 2:30pm

If the Lions don't take this chance at multi-year divisional dominance, or at least semidominance, it's never happening.

It's never happening.

Points: 0

#57 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 28, 2022 - 3:07pm

Even in that atrocious stretch from the mid-70s through the mid-80s, after the Purple People Eaters and before Da Bears, they couldn't win the NFC Norris.

The only stretch in the Ford Era where they weren't disgustingly putrid was the Sanders years, where he was too good for them to completely flatline. 

Points: 0

#65 by Travis // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:11pm

The Lions did manage to win the NFC Central in 1983 as the only team in the division with a winning record.

Points: 0

#74 by Joey-Harringto… // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:44pm

That was after the bottom fell out of John McKay's Bucs, and just before the rise of Ditka's Bears (the mediocrity of the early 80's NFC Central was really something).  Similar to Sanders in the 90's, Billy Sims kept the Lions at baseline competence, but he suffered a career-ending knee injury the next year.

Points: 0

#68 by DisplacedPackerFan // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:17pm

For those who had not seen the Joe Barry defense (if that is still the appropriate term) last night was playing all the hits.  Opposing team has a special player with a special skill.  Why of course there is no plan to counter.  Why should there be a plan when it's a special skill?  That being the case it cannot be thwarted.  One must just accept the outcome.  Tackling?  Pish posh tackling is for those who engage in physical play.  The Barry defense is cerebral.  The opponent will be defeated with the mind not the body you cretin.  Your offense awakens and gives the team a faint chance to perhaps extend the game?  Bwhahahahaha, the Barry defense knows when it's appropriate to surrender to one's fate so feigned effort and passive playcalls are the approach to take in such a situation.  

I've tried to talk myself into any good points I've ever seen with his defense but even my homerism has given up. There are no good points. You describe it perfectly.

My complete lack of time to watch or post about football for the last 6 weeks has at least spared me from seeing the atrocities in real time. I get them filtered later on.

Points: 0

#71 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:37pm

It's quite astonishing that in this day of so much information Barry has folks who look at the results and think the defense must be playing ok because "Green Bay has not given up a ton of points".   Which of course fails to account for how slow the offense operates that in turn limits possessions which in turn reduces scoring opportunities.  Which of course I need not explain here.  But this basic stuff and yet so many paid to comment about the games just either do not 'get it' or refuse to see it.

 

I think there is a strong case that given the investment both in terms of draft capital and actual dollars that this year's Packer defense has the worst ROI of any defense since the expansion era began.  

 

  

Points: 0

#79 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 28, 2022 - 5:00pm

I think there is a strong case that given the investment both in terms of draft capital and actual dollars that this year's Packer defense has the worst ROI of any defense since the expansion era began.  

There was the Dream Team Eagles.

Points: 0

#80 by big10freak // Nov 28, 2022 - 5:48pm

Tom Silverstein said on the JSonline podcast that in his view the defensive players no longer believe in the coaching staff. 
 

As you likely know, Silverstein shies away from anything hinting at overstatement so for him to make that statement he has to have been told by more than one vet that this is the mood among the unit. 
 

Good grief 

Points: 0

#87 by JS // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:26pm

I think the idea is: if the player is not going to be part of the next good version of the team, move him on. Rodgers is unlikely to be so, and if you think of "good team" as meaning a multi-year stretch, then definitely not. Unfortunately, the cap cost is horrifying. But you know what? Sunk cost. And as was pointed out, it's not getting better with time.

Points: 0

#46 by serutan // Nov 28, 2022 - 1:49pm

If Love shines during a brief Rodgers absence, it will be a source of intrigue that keeps on giving well into the offseason.

That is an exceedingly conservative estimate.

Points: 0

#75 by ChrisS // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:45pm

Please remove.the thumbs up and down that just appeared, nothing good can come from it

Points: 12

#76 by theslothook // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:51pm

Seconded. Somewhat out of self service, but I think it brings a lot of negativity imo. 

Points: 8

#77 by Will Allen // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:55pm

I agree. Comment voting merely reinforces conformity, confirmation bias, and trolling.

Points: 5

#85 by dmb // Nov 28, 2022 - 7:05pm

I have mixed feelings. I share some of your and Will's concerns, but on the other hand, I often find myself wanting to add a "+1" or "thanks" in reply to particularly excellent comments so the commenter knows that their contribution is valued. However, such empty-calorie posts are discouraged (and for good reason, as posts with large comment threads can already border on unreadable without a bunch of "+1"s to sift through). 

Points: 0

#96 by Theo // Nov 29, 2022 - 3:30am

Then fix the way long threads are displayed. The reason they become unreadable isnt because 4 people said +1 somewhere.

Points: 1

#92 by Sixknots // Nov 28, 2022 - 11:54pm

I'm making $80 an hour trying to figure out what's happened to FO comments.

Points: 7

#97 by Theo // Nov 29, 2022 - 8:15am

Dont you realize the dopamine rush I get when I receive +2 from a comment?!

It makes me come back for more to try and get +3!!

Points: 0

#101 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 29, 2022 - 9:35pm

And as I said elsewhere, replace it with the timestap of the last comment on the front page again. Even if that was updates ago.

Points: 0

#78 by Dr. A. W. Niloc // Nov 28, 2022 - 4:59pm

As mentioned in other forums, Mike White is a pitcher, not a QB. 

Build a bunker around him and he'll look like Dan Marino.  (Plan B is to play against teams dead last in sacks.) 

Failing that, he'll look like Zach Wilson.

Points: 0

#88 by TomC // Nov 28, 2022 - 8:58pm

I'm not sure people understand how strong the "yes, but" on White's performance (and that of the entire Jets' offense) yesterday needs to be. The Bears were projected to have a mediocre-to-bad defense in the off-season. Then they traded Khalil Mack. Then they traded Robert Quinn. Then they traded Roquan Smith. Then half their starting secondary was ruled out with concussions for this game. Then their remaining starting safety went out (when the game was still 14-10 Bears). The remaining defense was half UDFAs, and the only guys drafted before the 5th round were Jaylon Johnson and Justin Jones.

I dearly hope the Packers' brain trust look at the 350-yard, 4-TD game Jordan Love is going to have this Sunday and decide he's the long-term answer. Unfortunately, I don't think they're that stupid.

Points: 0

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