Postgame: Lions Packers Week 9 2017

This one doesn’t leave a good taste in the mouth. Still, there’s a lot to talk about as this could become a season of change.

Little Things
The Packers come up with a three and out on the first defensive series and then the refs penalize Mike Daniels for being Mike Daniels on a TERRIBLE call (c’mon NFL, a couple linemen bumping into each other in a live play is a penalty now, but Anthony Barr’s weak-#ss p#ssy cheap sh#t is ok?) and a dominant defense series that should have ended with a 4th and 14 punt and set the tone for the defense becomes a touchdown. Adding that on the heels of a third string long snapper blowing a chip shot field goal changes the tone of the game right off the bat. If the Packers go up 3-0 and then get a three and out, it can go a log way with a home crowd in prime time. Big 10-point swing on little things. Alas…

I’ve Been Done With Trevor Davis
Davis is fast. Speed is important to kick returning, but so is vision. You know how Aaron Jones has great vision and can anticipate holes opening up? Yeah, Davis can’t do that. He brings the ball out of the end zone and seems puzzled as to what to do with his speed – he uses his speed like an earthworm uses left-handed scissors. No awareness, no ability to read blocks, and no idea how to put on the gas without juking for no reason other than to give defenders the chance to swarm all over him. So then the Lions realized it would make sense to pooch kick so that they got the benefit of Davis returning after all of their scores. Let’s see Janis.

Is There Room on the Fire Capers Bandwagon?
I’ve never been a #FireCapers guy for a number of reasons. He’s had a lot of injuries to deal with, the rules are slanted towards the offense, etc, etc, etc. I’m still not a #FireCapers guy, but I’d be ok with him riding off into the sunset. I think the guy has an amazing amount of knowledge and understanding about the game of football… but it might be time. The run defense was good (less than 2 ypc), pass coverage was ok under the circumstances, but overall, I just want a more aggressive defense coordinator. It’s not about specific play calls (for example, I think McCarthy had a terrible call on 4th and 2 when the read option has been getting positive yards every time Hundley runs it – but that doesn’t mean I think Mike should be put out to pasture), it’s a general approach. I believe the level of talent on the defense is too good to play them this conservative. I don’t think the defense is horrible, but I think it could be better with a more aggressive approach. For example, when a team is down to their 4th-string left tackle, you should just have CM3 blasting him every play – make them double team him or scheme around it. Don’t save blitzes for the red zone. Don’t have your safeties 20 yards past your corners on 3rd and 5. It’s not that he’s stupid, it’s not about scheme, it’s about the difference between playing to be bend but don’t break or playing to kick the living sh#t out of everyone on the field. I want the second one. And if you’re going to give an internal candidate an 8-game tryout, this would be the perfect time to try it.

DamaRand Is Playing Pretty Good Since His Blow Up
I’ve been an apologist because I think he’s talented and his rookie year showed enough to promise to warrant sticking with him after an injury-plagued sophomore season. He took his lumps in September, but since his little hissy fit against Chicago, he’s been pretty good. He gave up a touchdown, but contested the h#ll out of it even when Marvin Jones was slapping his face mask. Overall, he’s been physical in coverage, pretty good at blitzing, and a bulldog on run support. He’s a nice versatile slot guy. You’d love a shutdown guy in the first round, but don’t dump on him because he’s good instead of great. He can still get better, too.

Josh Jones Is The Best Jones On The Team
Dude never misses a tackle. On the first drive in the third quarter, Theo Riddick hit a big hole and threw a sick move on Vinegar Badger, but Jones, in what was quietly one of the most impressive plays in the game, planted, leaned with uncanny balance, and managed to wrap him up with one arm and drag him down to prevent a 65-yard touchdown run. And in the 4th quarter, with the game getting away, he was still hustling from behind trying to chase down a back on a 63-yard screen pass. Love that guy.

Kevin King Is Good When Healthy, Too
I like him.

Holding Isn’t A Penalty Anymore
Just something I noticed. Also, pass interference must not be a thing anymore, either… at least not when you’re guarding Jordy Nelson.

Announcers Say Stupid Things
Really, A 55-yarder is a gimmie? STFU, dummy, and don’t ever say the phrase “turkey hole” again.

Blake!
My new best friend Blake Martinez had more tackles than anyone in the game again. Now, he shouldn’t be covering wide receivers, but he’s looking like a mid-round gem.

Hundley Is Still Growing
They guy’s athletic. But, being a quarterback is about more than being an athlete (just like how being a kick returner is about more than speed). The athleticism shows up in his evasion, which buys him time as a young QB – now he just has to learn what to do with that time. You can see that a lot of his misses just need to be put out in front of his receiver a little more, heck, some of his completions are a little off (like that red zone throw to Adams). That can just be the speed of the pro game… or it could be that he can’t read angles properly, either way it’ll take time to tell. But don’t whine about not “opening it up” for him – the guy only connected on one ball deeper than 10 yards yet, heck, he’s still missing on screen passes.

Buckle Up
We’re in for a long ride.

3 thoughts on “Postgame: Lions Packers Week 9 2017”

  1. I was wondering what you were going to say about the defense. I think you followed up your previous post justifying (for lack of a better word) the defensive performance over the past couple of years. I think you responded admirably and reasonably.

    Personally I haven’t been on the fire Capers bandwagon either, and I think you can look at specific areas of the d and see positive things. However, I think it is time to move on. Honestly, I think my belief in consistency has clouded my views on the Capers thing. Not that this is everything, but look at the 3rd down ranking during his tenure:
    9, 9, 27, 20, 18, 18, 8, 26, 27

    So, 3 decent seasons, 3 middling, and 3 awful.

    It’s worth noting this stat for the 3 years before Capers:
    8, 3, 13

    Were his first 2 decent seasons just riding the coattails of a good roster? If that’s the case I think it might be an even greater reason to move on. Fans constantly clamor about “adjustments” as if to say just making the correct™ change fixes all of the problems, and winz all teh gamez! But if losing Woodson and Collins broke his scheme you can’t just wait around until they get another HOF cb and safety. I believe you have to scheme to the strength of your team, and I am seriously questioning if Capers is capable of doing that. This was the game that the defense needed to get it’s collective sh!t together. A week off with a home game against a team that can’t run is about as good a scenario as you can how for. Coming together to force the opposing team to punt 0 times is, *insert derogatory adjective here*

    Maybe I’m wrong. I know for sure there is way more to it than just one or several stats. But I’ve long felt the defense has been flat-out terrible on 3rd and long/ zone schemes. And maybe, just maybe, I’ve been lying to myself that a change in coordinator would fix the issue.

    If we (as fans) agree the roster is talented, the answer must lie somewhere else. My gauge is moving right at the coordinator.

  2. Although I’ve rarely been in love with Capers, I too have never been on the fire Capers bandwagon. I believe he’s never been without a roster that if healthy, can’t compete. I also believe he’s almost never been able to field anything resembling a healthy team, and at times he really does deserve credit for innovating based upon the losses he’s suffered and the tools he’s got left.

    My primary criticism in the past has been, when faced with serious injury issues and an almost guaranteed no win situation, he chooses to play conservative and watch us slowly bleed out, hoping against hope that the offense can outright explode and win the game. I prefer to go down swinging. Play aggressive, play to win, and if you lose while blitzing 11 defenders on every play, at least you played to win.

    Even when it was a success(which was quite rare) I could just never get on board with “bend but don’t break” as his strategy. “Win at all costs,” now that’s a winning mindset. “We know we’re going to lose a lot of battles, but whatever you do, try not to lose the war” is not a winning strategy. That’s the worst thing I have to say about Capers, but despite my lack of a long term fire Capers mantra, it also happens to be one of the worst remarks I can think of to slander a coach. In the NFL, your strategy can’t be that you’re going to play-not-to-lose.

    1. I totally agree with your statements about the talent on the roster. Any given year you can point to things that excuse the on field performance. And I don’t think it is ever just a simple “this scheme/player/coach/play is terrible.”

      I totally agree with you on “bend but don’t break.” I submit the strategy be changed to “give the opposing offense many opportunities to beat you.” It’s an offensive league, and if your defensive strategy allows the opposing offense to stay on the field, you’re gonna have a bad time.

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