5 Quick Things: GB vs. BUF

After re-watching Sunday night’s game against the Bills, here are five six things worth knowing:

1) It’s one thing to move around veterans Billy Turner and Lucas Patrick; it’s a whole other thing to move around young players. Neither tackle Yosh Nijman nor guard Jon Runyan is performing as well on the right side of the O-line. They allowed five hurries and a sack on Sunday night. On a more positive note, David Bakhtiari was terrific for the second time in three weeks. (He was inactive against the Commanders.) The five-time All-Pro didn’t allow any of Buffalo’s talented pass rushers near star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The only question left to answer is whether he can remain on the field.

2) With Allen Lazard inactive and rookie Christian Watson in the locker room with a concussion, Josiah Deguara played a season-high 30 snaps and helped the Packers rush for 208 yards. A lack of size and speed will always limit the former Cincinnati star, but he’s a tough SOB who never backs down. There were a few times in the second half when would-be Buffalo tacklers didn’t seem all that interested in engaging with Deguara. Truth is, if the 25-year-old were picked in the fourth or fifth round instead of the third, fans would appreciate him for what he is and not complain about what he isn’t.

3) While watching Samori Toure at practice in August, I turned to the person next to me and opined that the rookie from Nebraska reminded me of Donald Driver. A couple of good plays in one game certainly doesn’t mean Toure is on his way to the Packers Hall of Fame, but his instincts on Sunday night were impressive. On two plays, including a 37-yard touchdown, the seventh-round pick got himself open as Rodgers bought extra time to throw. That kind of savvy had to impress the demanding four-time MVP and future Hall of Famer and likely earned Toure more snaps in the future.

Toure (#83) never took his eyes off of Rodgers as he ran this route, which allowed him to make a veteran-like adjustment and score his first TD.

4) The defense lost starting inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell to a knee injury in the first half, and he really wasn’t missed. That’s both a tribute to the play of Eric Wilson and an indictment of Campbell, whose 24 snaps were pretty bad. He struggled to get off blocks and failed to wrap up on a number of occasions. That’s become a pretty common theme. The first-team All-Pro has already missed more tackles in eight games than he did in all of 2021. Wilson, signed off New Orleans’ practice squad a few weeks ago, was solid versus the run, had a sack, and did a good job covering kicks and punts.

5) Rasul Douglas allowed three receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown to Stefon Diggs. It was a matchup the veteran corner had no chance of winning. The former West Virginia star just isn’t athletic enough to run with elite receivers. To his credit, Douglas was very physical against the run and had an interception early in the fourth quarter. Why defensive coordinator Joe Barry didn’t have All-Pro Jaire Alexander shadow Diggs all over the field is a question that has no good answer. Instead, Alexander spent much of the night shutting out Gabriel Davis, who came into the game with only 14 catches.

6) Kenny Clark has avoided criticism because he’s not missing tackles in the open field or giving up long passes, but the $18 million per year nose tackle is a big reason why the run defense continues to be a problem. On Sunday night, he got outplayed by veteran center Mitch Morse and his own backup (T.J. Slaton). Sure, Clark had to deal with double-teams, but the great ones still manage to make an impact. The former No. 1 pick from UCLA was as quiet as a mouse. It’s fair to wonder whether he’s been on the field too much. He’s averaged over 50 snaps per game since Week 3. That’s a lot for a big man.

OVERALL: Forget the relatively close final score; the Bills kind of lost interest in the second half. The biggest takeaway from this game is how much better Buffalo is than Green Bay. They are faster, tougher, and better coached. Fortunately for the Packers, the only team nearly as good in their conference is Philadelphia. That’s why it’s still too soon to give up hope, even after four straight demoralizing losses. (That can come next week if Green Bay falls to the toothless Lions on Sunday.) The truth is, any team that qualifies for the playoffs in the NFC has a puncher’s chance of getting to the Super Bowl.


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Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

6 thoughts on “5 Quick Things: GB vs. BUF

  1. [insert Jim Mora rant about playoffs]

    But, setting that aside. there is ZERO chance that this team, as constructed, beats anyone in the playoffs. One and done. In most likely an embarrassing fashion again.

    Given how this season is trending, they should have been actively selling. See what you could have gotten for Jones or Douglas or Clark.

    But, as everything GB, good enough is good enough, and keeping the sledding hill going is priority for What Me, Murphy.

  2. one narrative that i have been buying is that the defense has not been performing to its ability. i has simply been frustrating. probably the two defenders i feel who have been pretty consistently good, Preston Smith and Jaire Alexander, have also been just short of making the big plays that the defense really needs. the pass rush is close to a sack but instead, a throw for a TD.. ball is dropped by #23 for a would-be pick. these plays can change the outcome of games.

    Savage may have had his worst game yet in Buffalo. how can someone in the league be this bad at tackling?

    are the defensive problems with scheme and coaching or individual players? lately, i have been reading that it is both. personally, i was kind of hoping for a safety at the trade deadline. the defense needs to get better. Joe Barry, Joe Barry, Joe Barry. the talent is there and sometimes the effort is clearly there.. the execution is just woefully inconsistent.

  3. One thing I noticed during the game is that we were snapping the ball with time left on the play clock instead of taking to one or zero. I hate that and maybe it’s just me but I think that gives the defense a little bit of an advantage. I’m not sure how often that happened but it seemed like a lot.

  4. Packer fans love and cherish their heroes. When football legend and Packer great Bart Starr want to be head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers in the 1970’s. We not only expected it to happen, but we demanded it. With our hero as HC it would be a return to glory days of our storied past. Almost immediately it became painfully apparent that our hero was in over his head as HC and GM. No matter we said, Bart Starr was going to make this work, he just needed one more year. Finally after 7 disastrous seasons he was let go. Did we learn from our mistakes? Of course not. We double down with another hero from days gone by, the psychotic Forrest Greg. It wasn’t until we broke with the past and looked towards the future did our fortunes begin to change. By the time Brett Favre called it a career the first time he was so popular with the fans he could have been governor of Wisconsin or US senator for either political party. Never mind he wasn’t qualified. Just like Bart Starr, It wouldn’t have matter to us. We loved and cherished him despite all his flaws, he was one of us. He was that popular. But Brett Favre actually did us all a favor. First he demanded a trade which left us confused and hurt. Then he committed the ultimate sin. He put on a Viking uniform. He then became Judas Iscariot and was vilified by most. The cycle was broken. I’ve always said Aaron Rodgers learned two important lessons as Favre’s backup. The first, not to throw bonehead interceptions. And secondly, never turn your fan base against you. Rodgers has played both to perfection. Like Bart Starr and Brett Favre before him, we love our hero Aaron Rodgers. But we live in the past, we make excuses for him, we point the finger at others. The SB season of 2010 will never return anymore than the glory days of the 1960’s when Starr was HC. As painful as it is for all of us, it’s time to stop living in the past and look towards the future. And that’s a future without Aaron Rodgers.

  5. This was a game that could have been much worse, one that if they were simply destroyed then I would say, “yeah the season is totally finished.” But there were a few signs of life. Lose to the Lions this weekend? Then, yeah, the season is done. But this is a team that still has a good (not great) head coach. I was very pleased to see Dillon running like it was 2021. I think the OL can come together in the next few weeks, as they settle into this new alignment. I also really want to see Lazard, Doubs, Watson, and Cobb on the field together. If Watson can stay on the field, he changes the game.

    Surely a dissapointing season but it’s not over yet.

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