Wow, I don’t even know what to think. I will start by saying this: the Packers didn’t look like a team beat up by injuries, they looked like a team that wasn’t playing well. Here’s the things that stuck out to me the most.
We heard all about him during the preseason and in his first extended time (due to my man Kentrell Brice’s injury), he did not disappoint in the least. A game-high 12 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, and 2 sacks – both on 3rd down, one of which moved a field goal try back enough to make it a miss. Before the game, I said I wanted to see him in the box with Burnett playing back, but when Brice is healthy, I wanted Brice back with Burnett in the box. I’ve since changed my mind – I want JJ in the box all the time and anyone else in the back. Am I overreacting on a guy with no film? Maybe. But that guy plays with fury. On that big third down stop in overtime, he just latched on to Tyler Kroft and bent him around until he went backwards – and Kroft outweighs him by like 40 pounds. It doesn’t matter if that’s on film – you can’t plan around that. JJ needs a nickname… Vinegar Badger or something. VBadge!
He was my guy predicted to have a big game and I think he did. He’s a big guy in this base and his job is plug and eat blockers. He got consistent push and had 5 tackles to lead all defensive linemen in the game, including 1 for a loss. That qualifies as a breakout game when you’re playing that role and your season total was 2 tackles.
Yes, he’s fast, but he is not a natural punt returner. He has no smoothness to slide through the gunners, everything is jerky and he looks for the big breakout instead of just sliding up to see what he can get. When I get excited because I see there is no one withing ten yards of him when he makes the catch, he starts juking and dancing around – run! Short of that, just commit to a sideline and see if you can turn it. He’s hard to watch back there – I’ll bet VBadge would do more.
Hooray, he won against the Bengals. Hooray, he won in overtime. Still, he did not look like himself. Take away the pick six and I still think this was a marginal Rodgers performance. I love the guy, I think the’s the greatest of all time, but some of those out routes (including the P6) looked like they were floating. His passes don’t seem to have the same zip (although some of his passes look that way when they’re bouncing off Martellus Bennett’s hands). The second TD to Jordy was dead on, but I swear it made it there a half second earlier last year. I’m not so sure this is just a September Rodgers phase. Based on the early work, I think we might be seeing the first baby step in age-related decline from the GOAT. I’ll give him another month to see if he can shake the rust off, but he may just be playing like the best QB in the league instead of the best QB of all time.
- Blake Martinez won the game with the first play in overtime – that was what had been missing in every overtime defeat for the last decade
- Geronimo is a poor man’s Plaxico – that was a big play
- Vogel got some work from deep in his own territory and showed some nice boom
- That flea flicker should quiet the play-calling whiners… oh wait, nevermind
- It takes time to establish chemistry… tick f#ckin’ tock, Marty!
- I know they gave up 2 TDs, but the defense won this one with their second half and OT play
- Kevin King didn’t dominate, but that was a solid performance against one of the best in the game – we have yet to see his ceiling
- Last year, I liked Kyle Murphy as a guard of the future – right now I think he’s our best backup at all five slots while still being Jahri’s replacement next year, but he’s not killing it at LT, barely keeps nose above water; I love how he’s scrapping back there, but it’s probably past his ceiling… let’s hope Bak is back soon
- An Ahmad Brooks sighting – let’s hope for more of those
- Ty looked hesitant running today… maybe because there were no holes… maybe
- Jordy catching the 4th quarter touchdown was silly
- Prior to today, Rodgers was 0-7 career in OT… and had thrown a total of 6 OT passes… he only added 3 today… and improved to 1-6 when being sacks 6 or more times… threw his second ever pick six… stats… psh
- Let’s hope we get healthy in four days and play like it’s December