Monday, September 20, 2010

Packers vs. Bills day after look-see

Getting this post-post-game review up a bit late today. And still don't have enough time to do it justice. So hope you bear with me. This will just be a bit of random access memory going on here. You know, stuff in no particular order of importance. Just looking at the Green Bay Packers following game #2.

The venerable veteran LT Chad Clifton may be on the outside looking in, at least until his ailing knee allows him to perform at a better level than he did yesterday. Or until rookie Bryan Bulaga falls on his face replacing him. Given that Bulaga held up well yesterday, I would speculate that Bulaga will get the starting nod against Da Bearz on Monday night. Yes, it will be an entirely different level than versus the Bills. But given the problems Cliffie was having against the same defense, Bulaga's time might have already come. The Packers still need Clifton. But an ailing knee might just be Bulaga's opening, with Clifton then serving in the backup role. Clifton's got a lot of pride, so whether that's a role he would willingly take or not, remains to be seen. There are a couple interesting articles about Clifton's status on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's online site. Check them out here and here.

For as much as some folks want to package and trade LB A.J. Hawk for a running back (and, yes, it has even been mentioned within the confines of this very blog), Hawk performed very well in yesterday's game. He seemed to always be around the ball one way or another. According to final stats, Hawk tied LB Nick Barnett with a game-high nine tackles. Hawk also had two quarterback hits and was very close to a sack or two, as well. Hawk was very solid in this scheme, a scheme other than which was played in Philadelphia a week earlier in which he saw no snaps at all. For those fans who think the Pack would part with Hawk for a running back, especially after yesterday, don't hold your breath.

Speaking of running backs, the total yardage gained by Packers running backs yesterday was thoroughly underwhelming. When John Kuhn get more yards than the back who supposedly is now the featured back following Ryan Grant's season-ending injury...and with all due respect to Kuhn...that's not good. Yes, the Packers are and will be a primarily pass-oriented team. But even with that same mentality the last few years, Grant was still able to chalk up two 1,200+ yard seasons back to back. Brandon Jackson is going to have to kick it up a notch to help keep defenses honest and to keep them from all-out blitzes on Aaron Rodgers every single play. With another week under his belt, newcomer Dimitri Nance might get more playing time. He was in for a couple plays yesterday. No mistakes, that was about the best that could be said. Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters after the game that running back by committee is not ideal. But at the same time, he very much sounded as if that would be the way it goes at least for a while. Check out this article for more.

Oh, and isn't it interesting that things are so quiet in terms of chatter about the Packers' special teams? Guess that means folks are generally happy with what they see. Certainly Jordy Nelson is doing a very good job so far of setting the Pack up in good field position following a kick off.

And last but not least...Clay Matthews. The guy is a beast. Three more sacks yesterday to go to six on the season. In 15 regular season games, Matthews has 15 sacks. At this

This is about all we time for at the moment, folks. But keep checking back for more. In the meantime, why not cast your vote in the poll in the righthand column about the best nickname being floated for LB Clay Matthews? Yes, these are seemingly the two most popular names being tossed about: "Manimal" and "Claymaker". Let us know what you think.