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First Three Drives Against the Rams

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I can't get the video thing to work

Overall thoughts on these drives:

Rodgers killed this first drive. He had two good opportunities to pick up yards that he didn't take for some reason.

  @Packerraymond @skibrett15, I'm curious to hear your take on what the hell is going on in play #4. No way is Rodgers that petty that he would kill a down just to emphasize that Tonyan isn't running the correct route?????

The usage of Jones on the first drive and Williams on the second drive and then Jones again on the third drive I found to be very interesting. Jones had 6 snaps, and he saw 3 good carries up the middle, including a draw. Even the out pass to Cobb looked like an RPO. Williams had 6 snaps, and he saw 2 carries, one on a pitch with Graham as his edge seal guy, and one an endzone dive. Jones had 6 snaps on the 3rd drive and got 4 runs. Those 4 included 2 draws, and another good run up the middle. He only had 1 pitch called for him. Jones is getting put in position to succeed on these runs. Williams far less so. 

The missed block by Kendricks on play 14 just gutted me. That was a TD for MVS. I love that guy.

The missed block by Graham on play 15 was tough to watch as well.

4 consecutive runs to Jones to end the third drive seemed very strange to me.




This is the 1st play of the game. The Packers come out in a single back, double tight end right look. The Rams come out in a standard single high 3-4 look. That means they have 5 front level defenders, 2 linebackers, and a safety hanging out halfway in the box on the weak side.

This is some old school smash mouth football right here. The Packers have 7 blockers, so the Rams have to account for 8 gaps. The Rams have 8 defenders, so there are no soft holes in this matchup. Usually the Packers throw when they don’t have a numbers advantage in the box, but I guess McCarthy wanted to send the message early that they were capable of pounding the football if they wanted to.

There’s no zone stepping at all on this play, everything here is straight up power-man blocking. The Rams have a defender in each gap, so the only way this play works is if the Packers blast a defender out of their gap. I’ve got the graphic showing the run responsibilities here to reference against if you’re curious. Focus specifically on the right side of the line because that’s where the Packers are going to run it here.


I’ve also got the running triangles up that the Packers are going to run here. These are combination blocks that the Packers are going to try and execute. Linsley and Bell will try and move the Nose Tackle from the play side A gap to the back side A gap so that Linsley can control him with a gap advantage. Bell will then have to quickly move to the next level and seal off the Linebacker. These combination blocks are the most common ways that lanes are created in power run blocking.


Linsley and Bell don’t pull off this particular block, they’re not quick enough controlling the Nose Tackle for Bell to get outside and the Linebacker crashes down into the gap. That’s not what you want to see, but it happens a lot. Luckily Bulaga and Marcedes Lewis succeed in their combination block.

The Defensive End in this instance is playing off of Bulaga’s inside shoulder. He has to play across to the other side of Bulaga to get into his run defense gap. This is a tougher play for him than for the Nose Tackle who is already lined up in the gap that he needs to occupy. The defensive end admirably plays over and gets into the gap for a moment. Bulaga then overpowers him and moves him back into the B gap from the C gap where defender doesn’t want to be. Marcedes Lewis gives the guy a little tap to give Bulaga some help.

When Bulaga moves the Defensive End back into the B gap, the Rams have two players in the B gap, the Linebacker from the Linsley/Bell blocking triangle, and the Defensive End from the Bulaga/Lewis blocking triangle. When you have two players in one gap, that means you have no players in another gap, and that’s exactly what happens with the C gap on this play. It’s entirely unoccupied and Jones hits it for a real nice gain.

The linebacker from the Bulaga/Lewis triangle fills his assigned gap, the gap that’s between Lewis and Jimmy Graham, but it doesn’t do the Rams any good. The linebacker realizes what happens but he’s already not in position to make the play and off balance, Lewis puts him on the ground for good measure.

Jones sees the wide open C gap and hits it hard. He runs untouched all the way to the Safety who takes him to the ground. Lewis and Bulaga both get a plus for putting their man on the ground. A harsh RB coach might knock Jones for not making a defensive back miss in the relative open field, but on the whole this was a very successful opening play. It’s one of the few times you can say that a play went exactly as it was drawn up. I know NFL teams don’t give helmet stickers, but if they did, Bulaga would be getting one here. This was a studly play by him.




The second play is pretty similar to the first. Running behind a Bulaga combo block worked so well the first time, you might as well go back to it.

The Packers are in an offset I formation with Kendricks playing his H-back role to the left. Graham is the Tight End to the right. The presence of a lead blocker makes things a little tricky for the defense because Kendricks brings a “hole” that the defense needs to fill with him wherever he goes. There’s only 6 men on the line of scrimmage, meaning 7 gaps for the defense to fill on alignment, but the defense needs an eighth defender in the box because someone needs to be able to react to Kendricks wherever he goes. #26 is that guy for the Rams, he has no run gap on assignment, his job is to read Kendricks and fill accordingly.

The Packers are looking to run C gap here, between Bulaga and Graham. This gap is what is commonly referred to as a “soft gap” because it’s filled by a Safety who is lined up ten yards downfield. Here are the fill responsibilities. That Safety has to read that the play is a run, and then run down into the box, navigate traffic and then find the RB to make a tackle. It’s a lot more complicated than for a Linebacker or Defensive Lineman who only has to stay in a gap. These soft gaps are what you want to run at when you’re putting together your running game.

Lane Taylor and Corey Linsley will combination block from the Nose Tackle down to the backside linebacker. They do this very nicely. Bulaga and Bell double team down from the Defensive End to the playside linebacker and they succeed as well. This gives Aaron Jones a nice run through the C gap.

Marquez Valdez Scantling, is going to give the Edge Rusher that Graham is entangled with a shot so that the defenders plays further outside, and then he moves down to the safety. With new player safety rules, WRs can’t just earhole the safety anymore. This makes pulling off this block almost impossible for MVS. He sorta keeps the guy occupied and it lets Jones runs a few extra yards to pick up 7. That’s really all you can ask from a receiver there.

Taylor through Bulaga all get plus marks here on the line. They pulled off both combo blocks which is very very impressive.




The thing you have to understand when you look at this play, is that the Packers are a “shot” team on 2nd down, especially 2nd and manageable. McCarthy and Rodgers are confident that if the down and distance is 3rd and anything less than 5, they will pick up the first down on 3rd down. That means that they view 2nd and short as a down where they’re free to take a shot at a big play for free, and even if it doesn’t work, they’re still on schedule. This can be great in that they hit a lot of big plays, but it’s also extremely frustrating to watch if they don’t pick up the first down up on 3rd down, and you’re left wondering why they didn’t just run the ball twice to keep the drive alive.

At the beginning of the play, #50 on the Rams is lined up over Cobb like he’s going to cover Cobb in the shallow part of the field and then pass him off to #23 as Cobb goes deep. This is intended to look like a hybrid Cover-2 look intended to limit the Packers from throwing deep. As Rodgers gets under center, #50 creeps away from Cobb up to the line of scrimmage and down into the box, meanwhile #23 is moving over to Cobb to put himself in position to cover while still not entirely abandoning the idea that this will be a two high safety look. This motion, and attempt to disguise the defense accomplishes nothing really except giving Cobb a twelve yard cushion. There’s no need for Cobb to do anything other than run a short WR screen and pick up ten free yards here.

This is a tendency breaker for the Packers in that they went shallow rather than deep on 2nd and short. It forces the defense to come up and respect the possibility that the Packers might just take the easy first down rather than trying to chuck it down the field.




This is a strange and frustrating play for the Packers. Robert Tonyan is on the field and appears to have been targeted here.

This looks like a mirrored play with Adams and Allison both running 5 yard curl routes. Graham to the left runs a flair route from the tight end spot. Tonyan runs a shallow in route. The ball ends up getting thrown in what would have been Tonyan’s direction, if Tonyan had run a flair rather than an in.

It’s interesting to note that Rodgers had the same discussion on the field with Valdez Scantling a few weeks ago about how it’s important to run the flair route rather than the shallow in based on the look that he’s getting from the defender. It seems like it’s a mistake that more than one rookie seems to be making when reading the defense.

While that’s something to think about later, the far bigger issue that exists on this play is Rodgers reading this defense and deciding to throw to Tonyan in the first place. Now maybe, he was hoping Adams would run an out route here and the pass was intended for Adams, but that seems like a bad read. Adams has a ton of space with his CB playing very far back in the cover three. There’s no need to run the more difficult out route that would put him closer to the sideline when the curl works much better. Allison on the other side runs the same curl route. And it’s not like Rodgers is under pressure either, he can clearly see Adams is running a curl and not an out.

But back to Tonyan, I don’t understand this read. Rodgers is sitting in the pocket with plenty of time. He’s not under pressure. He looks at Tonyan, sees the linebacker covering him, and still throws the ball. He knows Tonyan didn’t run a flair but ran a shallow in, he can see that Tonyan is covered, but still throws the flair route. Even if Tonyan had run a flair route, the linebacker would have tackled him for a gain of no yardage. There’s no reason to throw the ball where he threw it.

The cynical part of my brain wonders if Rodgers threw this ball just to emphasize that Tonyan was wrong here, but that seems impossible and way too petty for a guy trying to win games. I think ultimately you just have to chalk this one up to Rodgers making a wrong read. There’s no reason to throw to Tonyan when Adams is open with room to run, especially with Rodgers going on record in the media about needing to get Adams the ball. This just seems like a bad play by 12, whether the ball got away from him, or he read the wrong look.




I am a sucker for a well executed Draw play. Much in the way that the Packers have a tendency to throw long on 2nd and short, they have a strong tendency to throw on 2nd and 10. This isn’t unique to the Packers, most teams consider 2nd and 10 a down and distance where they basically have to throw to stay on schedule.

Defenses know this, and they adjust accordingly. Dom Capers was notorious for this. 2nd and 10 was always the Dime defense with him, even when a lot of times it didn’t necessarily make sense to run it based on the offensive personnel.

The Packers come out in the offset I again here, this time with Graham split out to the right of the formation. The Rams counter with 6 guys in the box, and a safety hanging out about 12 yards downfield. The Rams have 6 defenders for the 6 gaps the Packers have on the line, but Kendricks will bring a gap with him, making it 7 gaps. When you only have 6 defenders to cover 7 gaps, the offense has a big advantage running the ball. You see that here. Number 58 for the Rams is going to step into the B gap here, but the B gap is so wide that Kendricks only has to attack half the man and he’s created a running lane for Jones.

The Rams defense is reading pass here. The Defensive end is in a very aggressive pass rushing stance, and he goes directly up field rather than engaging with Bulaga, widening out the gap. The Nose Tackle is lined up off the inside shoulder of Byron Bell, and is going to attack the A gap, exactly where the Packers want him to go. That leaves the inside linebacker to cover the entire width of the tackle box and deal with Kendricks playing forward as a lead blocker. It’s a tough spot to be in.

It’s interesting to note that the Packers block this exactly like they would a pass. Linsley’s first step is to the left, and he never takes his eyes off the backside inside linebacker. That’s a standard pass blocking set. If this were a pass rather than a draw play, Linsley would be responsible for the inside linebacker coming on a blitz. The Packers choose to sell the pass rather than going in for a standard combo block in which Linsley would try and play over the face of the Nose Tackle and Bell would slide up to the inside linebacker.

As a defender, it’s nice to be able to pin your ears back and go after the QB, which is what the Rams are doing here, but you always have to be careful that the call actually is a pass or you can get burned like this.





I have a bone to pick with Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy on this play. Up to this point, the Packers have averaged 8 yards per carry. The offensive line is dominating the Rams front group. It is 3rd and 3 on this play, and the Rams lined up in this look. They have five defenders in the box, to cover 6 gaps, and a safety lined up fifteen yards down field. There has never been a look begging to be punched in the mouth and ran on more than what we’re seeing here, and the Packers pass on it. If you can’t double from the Nose Guard to the Inside Linebacker here, your interior offensive line isn’t good enough to be playing NFL ball.

But I digress. Rodgers and Jones miscommunicated on the protection here. One of two things needs to happen here. The first is that #50 is a designed free rusher that Rodgers is aware of, and Rodgers needs to hit the open Geronimo Allison, lined up to the right behind Jimmy Graham in the twins for a short gain and a first down. I would argue that should have been the throw regardless of the protection, but Rodgers does have some options. The second alternative is that Jones blocks number 50, and that gives Rodgers a longer time to throw. Graham would have been open here. He was held egregiously and still got open here. The way that the natural Graham/Allison screen is run, is nice. It’s a good way to get guys open for short gains.

What can’t happen, is Rodgers holds the ball and Jones doesn’t block the free rusher. Either way, Rodgers is holding the football on 3rd down when there’s an open man for a first down and ends up taking a sack as he waits for a bigger play to open up. As a coach that has to make you want to tear your hair out. Rodgers is looking right at Allison and the rusher the entire time before he breaks the pocket as well. It’s not like he didn’t see the play develop. This is a drive killer, and it’s happening because on both 1st and 3rd down, Rodgers isn’t throwing to the open receiver. Even an incomplete pass here gives Crosby a chance at a 54 yard field goal. But the sack takes the team out of field goal range. It’s a frustrating play.




This is the second drive of the game. If you’re tracking the RB rotation, you’ll notice that Aaron Jones is out and Jamaal Williams is in. Whether that has to do with natural substitution patterns or if Jones got sat down for his no-block on the previous play, is something that’s up for discussion.

I thought this run play was good coaching because it turns a weakness into a strength. On a good day, Jimmy Graham is an alright blocker. Nobody’s ever going to mistake him for Marcedes Lewis, and that’s alright. The Packers have had a handful of strong runs with him playing on the end of the line. Most of the time, the Tight End just has to occupy a guy rather than reaching around him to seal him out of a gap, or blowing him off the ball.

#90 of the Rams here, walks out with Graham. A lot of times, a defensive end will align himself with the Tight End for where he’s supposed to line up. With Graham lined up as a slot-ish receiver, the defensive end aligns himself back inside. This gives Graham a positional advantage. Rather than having to reach the defensive end across his face, all Graham has to do is step into him and sorta slow him down for this to be a successful play. The defensive back responsible for covering Graham when he’s lined up in that slot role is still far enough back for this play to run, the DB has to respect Graham’s ability to take him deep. It creates a nice little void in the defense that the Packers exploit.

You would like to see Graham get a better block on the Defensive End here. There’s not much more you can ask for as a Tight End then the gift of being able to just down block somebody to get a seal. Graham should do a better job of coming up at a steeper angle and blocking with live feet. That’s not a lot to ask for.

If Graham would have been able to get that seal, Kendricks who his acting as a lead blocker here, would have been able to come around and get the seal on the inside linebacker (#26) who ends up making the tackle. On the other hand, this play really only works because Graham is such a respected receiver, if he was making this block with regularity, he would be a HOF caliber player. Williams does a fine job running this. He follows his blockers to the very end. The man doesn’t make a lot of yards himself, but he gets what’s blocked for him almost every play.




It’s 2nd and 5, which means it’s time for a deep shot. I like this concept in fairness, even if it is predictable. The running game has gashed them a few times, traditional football logic says it’s time to give the defense some play action. The Packers come with two tight ends and two receivers, usually a run personnel grouping, especially when one of the Tight Ends is Marcedes Lewis and not Jimmy Graham.

Davante Adams at the top of the screen is the first option here. The problem is that it takes a long time for him to get ten yards downfield and then run the width of the field. That time is too long when Byron Bell is isolated on the best defensive tackle in football. He gives up the pressure to #99 so Rodgers has to come off his look.

The route concept here is to stress the single high safety. Most of the time, he’s going to stay with MVS who’s running the streak down the seam and carrying him out of the play. This opens up a lot of room for Adams. Occasionally, you might be able to get a rookie to chase the rabbit and crash down onto Adams running the post. In that case, MVS is wide open for a likely touchdown.

Besides the pressure from #99 here, the one thing that kills this play is a standout performance by the linebacker #58. He sees Marcedes Lewis isn’t going to come and block him, and realizes that it’s a pass. He does a really nice job getting depth in his drop and closing off the window to Adams. If he doesn’t do that, Rodgers likely completes this pass before #99 can get to him.

With nobody open and under pressure, Rodgers throws it away in the general direction of Jamaal Williams. Another shot at a big play falls to nothing.




I’d like to say there was some complicated **** here that made this play work, but really there wasn’t.

The short concept was that Graham would run a slant and clear out the middle of the field for Cobb who would run the same slant right behind him and hopefully be able to pick up a first down. It’s not open. Cobb gets jammed at the line of scrimmage and can’t get open.

So Rodgers goes to his deep shot where Davante Adams runs a hell of a stop and go route and leaves #22 in the dust. Rodgers drops a beauty into him.

Now if you’re a Rams fan, you’re probably saying the follow, “Rah, Rah, Rah, why the hell is Marcus Peters left by himself against Davante Adams? Rah, Rah, Rah”

The short answer is that the Rams were trying to blitz here. They’re only going to end up bringing 5 guys here, but they’re showing that 6 are going to come in an attempt to confuse the Packers blockers. When you’ve got six guys showing in your pressure alignment, you can only have 5 in the backfield. Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, and Randall Cobb all take up a CB, Jimmy Graham draws the box safety, and the high safety is responsible for the deep middle. If you’re going to blitz, you’ve got to get home or you’re going to get burned. Everybody is isolated, somebody’s going to get beat.

On offense, you’ve got to be able to pick it up, and Jamaal Williams is as good as his reputation indicates. He sticks the hell out of the blitzing linebacker right at the line of scrimmage. Aaron Donald gets a little big of pressure inside, but Rodgers still throws this ball clean.

Any young running backs out there, with more high school teams running spread offenses, watch Jamaal Williams. The man is boring, but he’s as fundamentally sound as it gets. That pickup right there is what coaches dream about.





This is a classic Cover-3 buster concept, but it works against the Cover-6 for all the same reasons. #43 is the target right in the middle of the field. The idea is to put him in a position so that no matter what he does, he’s wrong.

Davante Adams is getting a breather here after pulling in the long catch the play before so Scalding and Allison are the wide receivers here with Graham at Tight End and Kendricks at H-Back.

You get some good play action here. #58 takes his first step forward at the snap and Graham gets a step on him. All the routes here are intended to isolate Graham on this linebacker. The play action does what it’s supposed to and gives him that step. Scalding at the top of your screen is going to run a streak to pull the safety on his side of the field away from Graham. Jamaal Williams is going to run a Texas route to pull #26 up and forward rather than letting him back pedal into the zone Graham wants to catch this ball. Allison is going to run a deep in, to pull the attention of the middle safety. You can watch the guy do a full turnaround 360 when he realizes what’s happening.

If #26 continues to backpedal, Rodgers has the checkdown to Williams, if #43 sticks with Graham, Rodgers has Allison for a big gain. No matter who does what here, Rodgers has a winning route. This is why it’s really important to not have your defense get read. If the offense know what you’re running, they’ve got a play to beat it. Bulaga gives up a little bit too much ground here, but Rodgers still delivers this ball clean for a big gain.




4 TEs and a RB on the goal line, and this ends up being a play action pass.

I think Jamaal Williams had some kind of route to run here, but he falls down after making a chip block and doesn’t really ever get into anything.

I believe the main action was supposed to be that Tonyan is supposed to set a pick for Graham streaking across the endzone, but the timing on it was horrible and no pick occurred.

Rodgers gets blown up at the end here too because the guy that Marcedes Lewis was blocking before he went out into a pattern released right off of it and had a clean line to the QB.

Maybe this play looks a lot better if Williams doesn’t fall.

I’m sure it looks a lot cleaner if you get a better pick for Graham, but having the rookie set that pick seems like a bad use of resources.

If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of this play. Run the ball on the goal line, and preferably run it with two receivers in the game so you’re not telling the entire world that you’re running the ball.




We run the ball here, which is a move in the right direction. We’ve still got four tight ends in the game though, so we’re not quite there yet.

This is just a standard inside zone left run. Everybody is going to slide to the left and try and seal a gap. The Nose Tackle for the Rams is going to try and submarine Corey Linsley, basically throw a cut block and knock Linsley down to create a pile and keep Linsley from getting to the inside linebacker that Linsley wants to get to.

Linsley makes a nice athletic first step out of his stance to avoid the cut, and still hit his linebacker mark. Byron Bell who is responsible for the Nose Tackle on this call, gets the amusing task of falling on the guy. #26 of the Rams also is deserving of getting pointed out, he’s playing an outside gap and draws the dubious honor of having to try and get across Bakhtiari’s face and gets put on the ground for all of his efforts.

Williams just hits the first hole he sees and scores. Not to belabor a point, but keep it simple. When you’re on the goal line, run at soft gaps, not gaps that have defensive lineman in them, most of the time your RB will get the yard he needs.




I feel bad for #22 on the Rams here. It’s rare as a CB that you have to defend the entire field with no help really anywhere. DBs set their stance based on what’s available to the receiver. If you’re a Corner playing in the slot, the receiver usually doesn’t have a vertical option because there’s a safety playing over your head who will take over if he runs past you. Similarly if you’re playing on the left sideline, you’re not really worried about an out route that will promptly take the receiver out of bounds.

#22 for the Rams here is completely abandoned. He cheats over to the right side of the field, because most of the time that receiver will run a corner route. You typically see that because most QBs don’t have the arm strength to throw this ball 25 yards downfield from the hashmark to the opposite number on  a rope.  That’s a 35 yard ball in the air on the diagonal and it gets on him in a second and lands in a really tight window. This may not have seemed that impressive, but there are a lot of starting QBs in the NFL that aren’t making this throw. Nobody has more arm talent than Rodgers.

MVS is gonna run the streak and keep the safety off EQ. Kendricks is going to run the flair route and keep the linebacker occupied. This is how you attack the middle of the field for big plays in the NFL. You use the playaction to suck in the linebackers and isolate your intended target.

EQ runs a nice little route here. He shows #22 those two straight vertical steps at about the 41 yard line and keeps him thinking before taking it back outside. That’s good route running.




We are running a lot of play action. The Rams are going to bring 6 here, with one inside linebacker who is acting as a spy. #26 is the spy and he actually completely losses where Rodgers is in the pocket and got very lucky #50 caught him before he broke the pocket because this was a first down.

You’ve got 7 blockers to handle 6 rushers and the spy. Aaron Jones has a passable pickup here. It wasn’t a stick, but he hit the guy, he even kinda sorta used his hands. This wasn’t Jamaal Williams, but this is a passable performance from Jones. If he can keep showing that and even building on it, the coaches are going to be happy.

Lance Kendricks on the other hand got ragdolled. #50 rocked him back and threw him away. That’s really disappointing to see. There were some roster decisions made at the beginning of the year that came back and bit us in the *** in this game. Not having Trevor Davis on the Montgomery fumble and the Hecker punt that turned into a safety is the most apparent one. The second one that isn’t getting much discussion is not having Ripkowski on the roster. The staff felt that Kendricks could handle the H-Back duties and for the most part he’s been fine. But then you see a play like the safety and this play and you wonder if the right choice was made.

This was so frustrating by Kendricks because this was a touchdown. Scalding was past his corner back at the thirty yard line. That DB was straight toasted.

It’s interesting to compare the Rams defense on this play to play 9. On play 9, the Rams called basically this same blitz and the safety stayed in the middle of the field, and Davante caught a long ball. On this play, the Rams safety is cheating over to Davante’s side. This opens up some ground for Scalding to work. It’s also interesting to see how Adams adjusts his route when he realizes he has safety help over the top. He turns a streak into an in route. He slips on it, but it’s interesting to see the post snap reads in action.




This is just running at a soft gap and film study. The Packers strongly suspect that #50 is going to take at least a few steps upfield before crashing down the line. He has outside containment and the safety has the C gap. That’s really all they need to make this work. The safety is seven yards off the ball, getting ready to cover Graham. Graham gets a free run at him and promptly delivers the most disappointing cut block in NFL history. A decent cut here lets Jones take this outside and he may very well have scored. I’m not asking for a pancake here, or even for Graham to drive him somewhere or seal him, just occupy him and this is a much bigger run.

This is a zone left here for the offensive line, but Taylor and Bakhtiari play an interesting game. They know they want to run C gap, and they want #26 to come down hard into the A gap. If Taylor runs at him like is typical in a zone blocking pattern here, they are going to collide further downfield where #26 could potentially slide off and make a play. Instead they run a quick combo block to pull #26 up into the gap where he’s of no danger to anybody. That’s good play design and attention to detail. Well executed by Bakhtiari and Taylor

Jones does a good job of finishing this run. If there’s one criticism that there is of Jones as a runner, it’s that he doesn’t tend to carry DBs when he gets wrapped up, he’s a make it or miss it kind of back. Good to see him finishing here.




This is the exact same play as number 5 just with Graham split outside. And really the exact same thing happens, right down to Bell and Linsley’s faux combo block not quite getting up to the linebacker. This is a good gain of five yards. If the defense is giving you 6 defenders and a soft safety gap to stop against 7 gaps, this Packers team should be running it basically every down.




It’s nice to see a 2nd and five run here rather than a deep shot. This is a classic example of bad backside blocking. Kendricks throws a fairly decent cut block here. #96 just makes a hero play to get up from it and grab Jones enough to misdirect him. #26 makes a ridiculously good read and fill to beat Bakhtiari to the point and really prevent this from going outside where it may very well have been a TD. Both of these were pretty darn good blocks that the defense was just a little better on.

The backside was ugly. I don’t think #93 even noticed Byron Bell’s cut block attempt it was so sad. Linsley was given a gift based on the alignment here and he really didn’t do anything with it. In fairness, he forced the inside linebacker to go upfield in pursuit which is what you want him to do. The Running back should be far enough downfield at that point that by taking this upfield the inside linebacker will have taken himself out of the play. But still, a little bit of effort to get your hands on the guy would be appreciated. This still would have been a decent gain even with the Rams effort if Linsley just slows the guy up.

Lesson to all offensive lineman out there. Backside blocking matters. It’s not sexy, nobody ever gives you credit for it, even your coaches the vast majority of the time, but running backs are weird dudes, you never know where they’re going to try and cut it. Keep doing your job to the whistle, even if it doesn’t seem relevant.




Sometimes, the other team gives you a gift. They do something like give you three open gaps with only two defenders to cover them. The offense has 3 gaps, Backside A, Playside A, Playside B. The defense has two defenders to cover those three gaps, #99 and #58. It doesn’t matter what gap, these two defenders commit to. So long as each defender is forced to commit to a gap, this is a first down run, the only guy in any position to make a play here is #20 who is ten yards downfield at the snap on a 3rd and 5. And frankly if Aaron Jones can’t make a safety miss in the open field, he’s not the back everybody thinks he is. This has touchdown written all over it. Instead, with the LG, and Center both with a free shot on the inside linebacker, nobody blocks him.

Bulaga does not need help with the backside 3-Tech. You don’t need to kill this guy, just slow him down a hair. He’s rushing up field, he’s not even taking a line to the ballcarrier. But instead Bell decides to take a step to the right and get a punch in, rather than going right up to the linebacker. It’s just bad blocking concepts.

Even more confusing for me is Corey Linsley. Why on earth do you need to double team #99 here? He’s cutting A gap, he just ran himself out of the gap you were trying to run in. Nothing should make you happier than to see him filling into that A gap. It’s perfect for you, now go put a hat on this linebacker. Two guys had a free run at a linebacker and nobody took it. Offensive lineman live for free runs on linebackers. It’s the best part of your day, you get to kick the **** out of a guy seventy pounds lighter than you. You put him on his back and look like a hero the next day.

This play and the last play killed this drive, and in combination with the safety, killed McCarthy’s interest in running the football for the game. This is just people not thinking and committing mental errors. 

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On play #4, my belief is when Tonyan carries it deep, he puts the defender in the line of the throw to Adams so Rodgers would have to loft it higher and take speed off making it a vulnerable throw.  Looks to me based on how high and long he throws it that Rodgers is just throwing it away, not targeting Tonyan.

Adams would have been the target IMO if the Tonyan route hadn't drawn the defender into the throw.  Just my guess.  

Watching it a few more times, it may have just been a timing route to Tonyan where Tonyan didn't get any separation.

Edited by Ragnar Danneskjold

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#4 looks like a throw to Adams and a miscommunication between them.  Don't think he's throwing to Tonyan at all.

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#4 is just a crap route concept from Mac again. Whether a speed out or a flat route your slot and outside guy are going to finish at the same landmark. If your slot guy is running to the sideline your outside guy runs an in breaking route, if your outside guy is running a hitch, your slot guys should be running an in breaking route. This is route concept 101. 

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8 minutes ago, Packerraymond said:

#4 is just a crap route concept from Mac again. Whether a speed out or a flat route your slot and outside guy are going to finish at the same landmark. If your slot guy is running to the sideline your outside guy runs an in breaking route, if your outside guy is running a hitch, your slot guys should be running an in breaking route. This is route concept 101. 

If you look at the top (left side) of that play it works fine if it's a 10 yard curl and a 2 yard flare route.

It doesn't work, like you say, with a curl and an out.  Somebody did the wrong thing.

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21 minutes ago, skibrett15 said:

If you look at the top (left side) of that play it works fine if it's a 10 yard curl and a 2 yard flare route.

It doesn't work, like you say, with a curl and an out.  Somebody did the wrong thing.

Not seeing how that is fine. The defender is covering the curl and flat at the same time. It's a poor route concept.

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