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Analysis from the Green Bay Packers coaches film

Here it is, I just finished going through the GB game. That was one heck of a game between two very talented teams that know each other well.

Bear in mind that the Packers offense is, by far, the best offense we will face all season barring we face the Broncos in the SB. They scored more points on us during the regular season than any other team and Aaron Rodgers is probably the best all around QB we will face this year.

To talk about the defensive side of the ball:

Our defense played great. Yes, we gave up some long drives during the game, but, that was Aaron Rodgers playing at a really high level with a great receiving corps. Also, I counted at least 7-8 holds that weren't called on the O-line of GB that all gave GB 6-10 yard plays.

Aldon Smith gets the defensive MVP award for that game from me. He was an absolute beast throughout the game. The first 3 3 and outs by GB was largely due to Aldon. It wasn't just his pass rush, it was his ferocious edge setting against the run. On one play in the first quarter he didn't get the tackle but should have gotten credited for it because he threw his blocker so violently backwards and to the ground that Eddie Lacey's legs were taken out by the defender Aldon threw down. On another play he drove the LT almost 10 feet back into Aaron Rodgers.

After their first 3 drives GB pretty much stopped running to Aldon's side. They ran towards him maybe 3-4 times the rest of the game.

On the flip side; Brooks played a poor game. Probably the worst on our defense. He routinely gave up contain and failed to set a hard edge on the outside. There was one play where he set the edge well but gave up on the play when he thought Lacey was down and gave up the edge letting Lacey out for an 8 yard gain.

Our secondary played pretty well throughout most of the game, they were routinely forcing Rodgers to his check downs, that's why it seemed like we kept giving up the dink and dunk plays, the majority of those were check downs by Rodgers - Rodgers really played an outstanding game. He was getting to his 3rd, 4th and 5th reads all throughout the game and at a pretty incredible pace.

What I would like to see from our backups is better push up the middle. Lemonier did a pretty good job with his rush when he was in, but Dobbs especially, and Jerrod-Eddie to a lesser extent, didn't get much of a north-south push in the pocket. When Justin Smith and McDonald were in they regularly got pressure up the middle on Rodgers forcing him to make some throws from a bad platform or keeping him from stepping up into the pocket to take shots downfield.

From the offensive side of the ball:
Kaepernick played a great game. You could tell he knew the GB defense. He moved through a lot of progressions well. The one thing I would like to see more from him is still a better grasp of the run game and how to best implore the run game against the defense. There were a couple plays where our guys were just not in good situations in the run game and got beat. I really would call Kaepernick the Packers killer because of how he made their defense change what they were doing. GB came into the game looking to take VD away and they put a lot of trust in Tramon Williams and TW really did play a great game. TW probably played the best out of anyone on the GB defense and is the kind of guy in the secondary that I don't see Carolina having.

I think there was more out there to get from the offense but, I think the cold and wind affected a couple of Kaep's throws and handle on the ball. Also, the first two redzone attempts, GB got away with a couple bad defensive holding calls. On one play, VD and Kaep just weren't in sync, they probably had a TD but VD broke off his route about 2 steps too soon, if he had kept running he would've been open.

The O-line played a pretty good game, they still struggle with some stunts, but played pretty well.

Crabtree is looking better than he has all year. He is looking sharper on his cuts and his ability to maneuver his body around is looking better.

There was some concern about Kaepernick's footwork from my previous thread, here's what I'll say I noticed:

From under center - this is where his footwork is best, actually. He drops his weight and loads the legs well when working from under center allowing him to step into his throws with good form. Where his footwork is shaky is most from shotgun. When he's in shot gun he'll allow his feet to get a little too close together and isn't as able to really use his legs to drive the ball. This is probably a result of his strong arm, because he doesn't have to really drive off his back foot to get a lot on the ball. It's not a huge deal as Aaron Rodgers will do the same from time to time. Rodgers does tend to have a wider base to throw from when he's out of the shotgun more often though(but he's also Aaron Rodgers). He still needs to work on pointing his front foot towards his target more. The times when he's slightly off on his throws are when this mechanic isn't always there.

What I would really like to see is some more development from McDonald as a blocker. He needs to work on identifying his man and positioning his hips to make a good block. There were a few plays that really had a chance if McDonald had made a little better of a block.

All in all, I think GB is much better than their record showed as they were without AR for so long, they were definitely a hungry, fighting team that knew us well. I was really impressed with the defense throughout all the bad calls they didn't get and with Brooks probably playing the worst game I had seen from him all year. This is a team that is finding ways to win and has been playing with a lot of passion and poise and I think we're in a much better place for a run than we were last year.

Go Niners!

P.S. as usual, breakdowns to follow:
nice break down. i also saw aldon getting held a lot. i see it in most games and he gets very few calls.
Nice review man! I ate that up.
Wait, Brooks had 2 sacks, 5 QB hits, 3rd in tackles and a forced fumble and he had a bad game b/c of containment? LOL.

On a serious note, you are right, containment is usually his best asset and s/b an anomaly. Great breakdown though.

Looking forward to your "how to beat Carolina" break down!
Here's an example of how much a beast Aldon is; this was the first play of the game:



Here GB comes out in a 3 wr set to force us into our Nickel defense. They put the TE on Aldon's side forcing him to widen out. You see how much real estate it creates for a running lane to the outside.



At the snap of the ball, Smith immediately beats his block from the TE



Note how the TE is flailed over because Aldon slipped his block. This play is what makes Aldon so special, he has the quickness to defeat the block from a TE and then shows amazing power on the LT. After diismissing the TE Aldon does a good job, knowing he has contain on the run. He doesn't take an inside move on the T, instead he's going to set the edge.



Aldon drives the outside shoulder of the T back, Lacey knows he can't cut inside because of Smith's position and Smith knows Lacey will try and run outside and manhandles the T back into the lane with his outside arm.



He drives the LT right into Lacey, that's some power from an OLB.



Lacey is forced to cut it back(he does make some pretty good moves to gain a whole 1 yard). You see the lane the Lacey would've had if Aldon didn't keep contain on the play. If the TE gets a block on Aldon for even a half second the LT would've been in position to seal the edge on aldon and allow the TE to peal off onto Willis. Smith was a monster on this play.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Wait, Brooks had 2 sacks, 5 QB hits, 3rd in tackles and a forced fumble and he had a bad game b/c of containment? LOL.

On a serious note, you are right, containment is usually his best asset and s/b an anomaly. Great breakdown though.

Looking forward to your "how to beat Carolina" break down!

The stats don't tell the whole story. GB was able to run the ball in the game because of Brooks. His sacks also had more to do with Aldon than they did himself. He was the one who let Rodgers out for the TD pass and also let Rodgers out on a few other key first downs. His stats say he played a much better game than he did. It's also not always about how many good plays you make in a game it's about how few negative plays. He had more than anyone on the team.
  • ace52
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 284
Thanks for the review.
It's great to hear about the development in Aldon. He is progressing well from a pass-rush specialist to an excellent all-around OLB.
I find it a bit puzzling that Kap's footwork was better under center than in the shotgun. Didn't he spend most of his time in college playing in shot gun formation?
Also, some analyst on the pre-game show (It might have been Howie Long) made the remark that Kap is a streaky thrower, meaning that he would have streaks where he would throw the ball really well, and then ones where he was much less effective. Do you agree with this assessment? (To me, it seemed like Kap started the game "hot", then cooled down significantly in the middle part of the game, before getting back on track in the 4th quarter). If he is indeed "streaky", is that just how he is, or is it due to the defense making some adjustments against him, and him needing some time to adjust to their adjustments?
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Wait, Brooks had 2 sacks, 5 QB hits, 3rd in tackles and a forced fumble and he had a bad game b/c of containment? LOL.

On a serious note, you are right, containment is usually his best asset and s/b an anomaly. Great breakdown though.

Looking forward to your "how to beat Carolina" break down!

The stats don't tell the whole story. GB was able to run the ball in the game because of Brooks. His sacks also had more to do with Aldon than they did himself. He was the one who let Rodgers out for the TD pass and also let Rodgers out on a few other key first downs. His stats say he played a much better game than he did. It's also not always about how many good plays you make in a game it's about how few negative plays. He had more than anyone on the team.

agreed. you often find this with pass rushers. they get a sack or two and everyone thinks they played great. a 10-12 sack season aint s**t if the other 50 or so plays a game you arent doing your job. regarding brooks i'll trust your judgement as i wasnt focused on him too much during the game.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 9,607
Originally posted by NCommand:
Wait, Brooks had 2 sacks, 5 QB hits, 3rd in tackles and a forced fumble and he had a bad game b/c of containment? LOL.

On a serious note, you are right, containment is usually his best asset and s/b an anomaly. Great breakdown though.

Looking forward to your "how to beat Carolina" break down!

Green Bay ran the ball more frequently than anticipated. Rogers threw 26 passes; Lacey 21 carries.

My guess is that sometimes Brooks got caught going inside on plays that ended up being running plays, and not pass plays.

That is my guess.
Thanks! Enjoyed.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Here it is, I just finished going through the GB game. That was one heck of a game between two very talented teams that know each other well.

Bear in mind that the Packers offense is, by far, the best offense we will face all season barring we face the Broncos in the SB. They scored more points on us during the regular season than any other team and Aaron Rodgers is probably the best all around QB we will face this year.

To talk about the defensive side of the ball:

Our defense played great. Yes, we gave up some long drives during the game, but, that was Aaron Rodgers playing at a really high level with a great receiving corps. Also, I counted at least 7-8 holds that weren't called on the O-line of GB that all gave GB 6-10 yard plays.

Aldon Smith gets the defensive MVP award for that game from me. He was an absolute beast throughout the game. The first 3 3 and outs by GB was largely due to Aldon. It wasn't just his pass rush, it was his ferocious edge setting against the run. On one play in the first quarter he didn't get the tackle but should have gotten credited for it because he threw his blocker so violently backwards and to the ground that Eddie Lacey's legs were taken out by the defender Aldon threw down. On another play he drove the LT almost 10 feet back into Aaron Rodgers.

After their first 3 drives GB pretty much stopped running to Aldon's side. They ran towards him maybe 3-4 times the rest of the game.

On the flip side; Brooks played a poor game. Probably the worst on our defense. He routinely gave up contain and failed to set a hard edge on the outside. There was one play where he set the edge well but gave up on the play when he thought Lacey was down and gave up the edge letting Lacey out for an 8 yard gain.

Our secondary played pretty well throughout most of the game, they were routinely forcing Rodgers to his check downs, that's why it seemed like we kept giving up the dink and dunk plays, the majority of those were check downs by Rodgers - Rodgers really played an outstanding game. He was getting to his 3rd, 4th and 5th reads all throughout the game and at a pretty incredible pace.

What I would like to see from our backups is better push up the middle. Lemonier did a pretty good job with his rush when he was in, but Dobbs especially, and Jerrod-Eddie to a lesser extent, didn't get much of a north-south push in the pocket. When Justin Smith and McDonald were in they regularly got pressure up the middle on Rodgers forcing him to make some throws from a bad platform or keeping him from stepping up into the pocket to take shots downfield.

From the offensive side of the ball:
Kaepernick played a great game. You could tell he knew the GB defense. He moved through a lot of progressions well. The one thing I would like to see more from him is still a better grasp of the run game and how to best implore the run game against the defense. There were a couple plays where our guys were just not in good situations in the run game and got beat. I really would call Kaepernick the Packers killer because of how he made their defense change what they were doing. GB came into the game looking to take VD away and they put a lot of trust in Tramon Williams and TW really did play a great game. TW probably played the best out of anyone on the GB defense and is the kind of guy in the secondary that I don't see Carolina having.

I think there was more out there to get from the offense but, I think the cold and wind affected a couple of Kaep's throws and handle on the ball. Also, the first two redzone attempts, GB got away with a couple bad defensive holding calls. On one play, VD and Kaep just weren't in sync, they probably had a TD but VD broke off his route about 2 steps too soon, if he had kept running he would've been open.

The O-line played a pretty good game, they still struggle with some stunts, but played pretty well.

Crabtree is looking better than he has all year. He is looking sharper on his cuts and his ability to maneuver his body around is looking better.

There was some concern about Kaepernick's footwork from my previous thread, here's what I'll say I noticed:

From under center - this is where his footwork is best, actually. He drops his weight and loads the legs well when working from under center allowing him to step into his throws with good form. Where his footwork is shaky is most from shotgun. When he's in shot gun he'll allow his feet to get a little too close together and isn't as able to really use his legs to drive the ball. This is probably a result of his strong arm, because he doesn't have to really drive off his back foot to get a lot on the ball. It's not a huge deal as Aaron Rodgers will do the same from time to time. Rodgers does tend to have a wider base to throw from when he's out of the shotgun more often though(but he's also Aaron Rodgers). He still needs to work on pointing his front foot towards his target more. The times when he's slightly off on his throws are when this mechanic isn't always there.

What I would really like to see is some more development from McDonald as a blocker. He needs to work on identifying his man and positioning his hips to make a good block. There were a few plays that really had a chance if McDonald had made a little better of a block.

All in all, I think GB is much better than their record showed as they were without AR for so long, they were definitely a hungry, fighting team that knew us well. I was really impressed with the defense throughout all the bad calls they didn't get and with Brooks probably playing the worst game I had seen from him all year. This is a team that is finding ways to win and has been playing with a lot of passion and poise and I think we're in a much better place for a run than we were last year.

Go Niners!

P.S. as usual, breakdowns to follow:

Excellent information. Looking forward to the breakdowns . Hope your pops is doing great.
[ Edited by kronik on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM ]
Yellow routes are completions. Orange is targeted incompletions. Not shown are sacks, scrambles, and penalties resulting in no play.

#14 is the INT.
#24 is the fantastic throw and catch by VD. All go!

In case anyone is not aware, hold down the Ctrl button, then mouse wheel up to increase the size of the pics.

1st Quarter



2nd Quarter



3rd Quarter



4th Quarter
[ Edited by thl408 on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM ]
I like pictures. Thank you.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Wait, Brooks had 2 sacks, 5 QB hits, 3rd in tackles and a forced fumble and he had a bad game b/c of containment? LOL.

On a serious note, you are right, containment is usually his best asset and s/b an anomaly. Great breakdown though.

Looking forward to your "how to beat Carolina" break down!

The stats don't tell the whole story. GB was able to run the ball in the game because of Brooks. His sacks also had more to do with Aldon than they did himself. He was the one who let Rodgers out for the TD pass and also let Rodgers out on a few other key first downs. His stats say he played a much better game than he did. It's also not always about how many good plays you make in a game it's about how few negative plays. He had more than anyone on the team.

I noticed this throughout the entire game. Glad someone else caught it, too! He failed to set the edge on several plays, frequently getting sucked inside.
Originally posted by jonnydel:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Wait, Brooks had 2 sacks, 5 QB hits, 3rd in tackles and a forced fumble and he had a bad game b/c of containment? LOL.

On a serious note, you are right, containment is usually his best asset and s/b an anomaly. Great breakdown though.

Looking forward to your "how to beat Carolina" break down!

The stats don't tell the whole story. GB was able to run the ball in the game because of Brooks. His sacks also had more to do with Aldon than they did himself. He was the one who let Rodgers out for the TD pass and also let Rodgers out on a few other key first downs. His stats say he played a much better game than he did. It's also not always about how many good plays you make in a game it's about how few negative plays. He had more than anyone on the team.


I tend to agree. I watch the TV replay not the all 22 so I didn't see Brooks as having as bad a game as you are stating, but you make a good case.

I definitely agree on Aldon. The guy is a monster. It doesn't always show on the stat sheet, but he's playing WELL. Often he's double teamed, triple teamed, double teamed and chipped by the back, and very often flat out held, but he is always someone the defense is accounting for. When the niners aren't getting pressure, its not becuase Aldon isn't playing well...its becaue the other guys aren't taking advantage of the extra attention on Aldon.

His speed, power and most of all LENGTH to go with that speed and power make him unique in the NFL. Ware in Dallas is the only guy I can think of who is remotely similar.
[ Edited by Marvin49 on Jan 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM ]