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Old 09-15-2008, 08:45 PM    (permalink
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Default Packers-Cowboys, Week 3

2-0 heading into Dallas. We already have a good win from the Vikings, but this will really let us know where we're at.

We have a lot going for us this time that we didn't have last year.
  • Charles Woodson will play. That's huge. We can give Al Harris some help on Owens this time since the other side of the field will be set.
  • KGB and Johnny Jolly will play. Our pass rush was lacking last time, having these two will help. KGB will give Flozell Adams a hard time with his far superior speed and should free up Kampman some more.
  • It's at home, we are not playing in Dallas. We heard all about how Favre has never won in Dallas, well the Cowboys have never won at Lambeau in the history of the franchise.
  • Jarrett Bush will not play defense. Last year he started and got destroyed. 3 of the touchdowns Dallas scored were directly his fault. As previously mentioned Woodson will be back, and Tramon Williams is the nickel. No Bush equals less big pass plays for Dallas
That said this is the first game this season that I'm not expecting to win. Even if they lose tonight I still think Dallas is the best team in the NFC. I'm excited to see how we do against the best in the conference to give us a real perspective on how good a team we have.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:14 PM    (permalink
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That's so huge if Wood can play. I'd like to see him on TO as much as possible. Harris gets abused by him.
Also, don't forget Rouse may be playing to Bigby should his injury not heal up in time.
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:03 AM    (permalink
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Grant might not even play and if he does we could be in for another craptacular night from him.

If he doesn't start or doesn't play well that's going to put a lot of pressure on Rodgers in what will likely be a high scoring game against some skilled opposing CBs.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:34 AM    (permalink
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I'm excited for this game...two of the best in the NFC knocking it out....Rogers finally gets to go against a good pass defense....be interesting to see how he fairs...I think it'll be pretty similar to last year for him...I don't see us really being that effective.

Just on a side note gb12....just watching last years game a couple times...Columbo and Kampman were one-on-one most of the game....Columbo never got back chip help from TE's or RB's for the most part this whole game...somehow Columbo won the battle...will definately be interesting to see if it's the same again. I think a lot of that can be chalked up as keeping containment and not letting Romo out of the pocket...rather than Columbo being superior to Kampman. Something to keep our eyes on this Sunday.

Side note...I might be attending the game...just need to talk someone into driving all the way down for the game.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:45 AM    (permalink
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That's so huge if Wood can play. I'd like to see him on TO as much as possible. Harris gets abused by him.
Also, don't forget Rouse may be playing to Bigby should his injury not heal up in time.
Im pretty much sure that Collins is the one moving to SS in place of Bigby and Rouse to FS. Collins looks much better at SS, seems like hes much more comfortable and more at ease at taking risks like we saw on his INT against Detroit.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:56 AM    (permalink
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We have to have our entire team play well to win this one. I think I like our chances better than I did last year. This time the Cowboys are banged up at some of their playmakers. Injuries of note:

Terrence Newman injured groin, only played in nickel against Eagles
Roy Williams has a broken arm
William's backup left the game at one point with some injury
Kosier, starting guard didn't play
Sam Hurd has been out
Witten was mentioned as having a separated shoulder, will probably play
Barber and Romo have both been banged up, but will surely play
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:22 PM    (permalink
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Roy Williams being out could be considered good news for the Cowboys.

Witten will probably have a huge game, same with TO.
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:43 PM    (permalink
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I really like this game as a measuring stick to determining how good the Cowboys really are. Interesting fact about the Cowboys not winning at Lambeau. I didn't realize that. Hard to imagine history being broken on a record like that... but ole Tony Romo is from Wisconsin and grew up a GB/Favre fan, so maybe he'll play more inspired football. I love the Packers defense on paper, but they can be beat by smart football.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:31 PM    (permalink
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Roy Williams being out could be considered good news for the Cowboys.

Witten will probably have a huge game, same with TO.
I recall Roy William's replacement being hurt on Monday. That means maybe we play against someone who's worse than someone who can't beat out Roy Williams.

I don't know why, but I have a feeling we learn from last year and contain Owens and Witten. I see Harris playing decent man coverage with a safety over there every play. And Hawk following Witten around most of the time. I still think those players are semi productive and the Cowboys score 20 or 30 points, just have a good feeling that we'll be ready for those two.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:07 PM    (permalink
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I recall Roy William's replacement being hurt on Monday. That means maybe we play against someone who's worse than someone who can't beat out Roy Williams.
.
Roy Williams hasn't been a true fulltime starter , he has been taken out on passign downs and such. Myabe it will be an advantage for the running game with him out, but not the passing.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:43 PM    (permalink
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Roy Williams is the starter because of the money he makes. Pat Watkins filled in in his stead and was at least active. He laid one of the Eagles receivers out on one pass break up. But he also had a costly face mask penalty.
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:39 PM    (permalink
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Rodgers said something like "It will be nice starting the game 0-0 and not down by 17" when asked about playing the Cowboys.... Penaltly's have to stop but Dallas had a bunch yesterday as well... We have limited the turnovers and will need to continue to do so againist Dallas.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:26 PM    (permalink
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Roy Williams is the starter because of the money he makes. Pat Watkins filled in in his stead and was at least active. He laid one of the Eagles receivers out on one pass break up. But he also had a costly face mask penalty.
I so wanted the Packers to draft Pat Watkins that year. He hasn't taken over like I thought he would, but he was my favorite safety value for that draft. His length just allows him to compete with all these uber-tall WRs and not get exposed like some of the short safeties.

What's Dallas' injury situation.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:06 AM    (permalink
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Well looks like Hall may miss this weeks game due to a knee sprain... This could mean the first Finley sighting of the season. http://www.kffl.com/team/17/nfl
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:10 AM    (permalink
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Well looks like Hall may miss this weeks game due to a knee sprain... This could mean the first Finley sighting of the season. http://www.kffl.com/team/17/nfl
What does that have to do with Finley?
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:25 AM    (permalink
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With a FB out, I wouldn't be surprised to see MM activate an extra TE because he uses them similarly. Just conjecture.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:28 AM    (permalink
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Well looks like Hall may miss this weeks game due to a knee sprain... This could mean the first Finley sighting of the season. http://www.kffl.com/team/17/nfl
Nice observation. We run the 2 FB set with a TE, so it won't be Lee in the backfield. Finley also might be better off a couple yards back off the line and able to tee-up on his block running forward rather than having a fast DE on him at the snap.

Sorry to see Hall out with how nasty he is on teams. Might be seeing Peprah active also. He's good on teams and might be able to cover Hall's loss.
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:26 PM    (permalink
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Deon Anderson (knee surgery) and Roy Williams (forearm) missed the walkthrough today. Sam Hurd (ankle) and Kyle Kosier (foot) were limited in the practice.

But Miles Austin, Terence Newman, Anthony Spencer, Isaiah Stanback and Jason Witten practiced with no problems.

The Packers report says safety Atari Bigby (hamstring), running back Korey Hall (knee), tight end Tory Humphrey (knee) and cornerback Charles Woodson (toe) missed practice.

There was limited participation in practice by tackle Chad Clifton, running back Ryan Grant, guard Josh Sitton and center Scott Wells.

The knee problem of defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila didn't hamper him or wide receiver Ruvell Martin (finger) from fully participating from practice.


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Old 09-17-2008, 05:31 PM    (permalink
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Deon Anderson (knee surgery) and Roy Williams (forearm) missed the walkthrough today. Sam Hurd (ankle) and Kyle Kosier (foot) were limited in the practice.

But Miles Austin, Terence Newman, Anthony Spencer, Isaiah Stanback and Jason Witten practiced with no problems.

The Packers report says safety Atari Bigby (hamstring), running back Korey Hall (knee), tight end Tory Humphrey (knee) and cornerback Charles Woodson (toe) missed practice.

There was limited participation in practice by tackle Chad Clifton, running back Ryan Grant, guard Josh Sitton and center Scott Wells.

The knee problem of defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila didn't hamper him or wide receiver Ruvell Martin (finger) from fully participating from practice.


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Bigby, Hall likely are out
Humphrey.... IDK
Woodson will man up again and play

Clifton...normal rest will play
Grant... resting hammy still, probably will play with limited carries
Sitton... Probably unlikey but dont need and he will have to earn his spot back
Wells... maybe but the o-line has been alright with Clifton, Colledge, Spitz, Moll, Tauscher
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:10 PM    (permalink
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With a FB out, I wouldn't be surprised to see MM activate an extra TE because he uses them similarly. Just conjecture.
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Nice observation. We run the 2 FB set with a TE, so it won't be Lee in the backfield. Finley also might be better off a couple yards back off the line and able to tee-up on his block running forward rather than having a fast DE on him at the snap.
We wouldn't be using that package with Finley. Last year when Hall was out I think we still used it, but we had Bubba Franks to plug in there. Franks is a much better blocker than Finley. If we do use that package It'd be Lee back to the other FB and Humphrey to TE or maybe Lumpkin as the other FB, but I doubt we'll even do that. It's pointless to use if you don't have the right personnel. We'd be better off using the I.

I think we make Ruvell Martin active this week to use 5 wide. Also Scott Wells and Josh Sitton could be ready this week so they might be active too, but we'd probably sit two other lineman in their place.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:55 PM    (permalink
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It looks like Finley will be active this week, but because Humphrey doesn't appear to be ready.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:36 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by GB12 View Post
It looks like Finley will be active this week, but because Humphrey doesn't appear to be ready.
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Finley, a third-round draft pick from the University of Texas who makes his home in Dallas, was a game-day inactive the first two weeks. But with No. 2 tight end Tory Humphrey and starting fullback Korey Hall question marks for Sunday’s game against Dallas because of knee sprains, Finley likely will be activated for the first time in his fledgling career.
Appears I wasn't alone on the guess. Obviously Humphrey had something to do with it too, but Hall did as well. It was obvious with injuries spots were going to clear up and with the particular injuries Finley was a logical guess.

per scout.


Also,
Quote:
With Hall and backup tight end Tory Humphrey battling knee injuries, rookie tight end Jermichael Finley seems like a good bet to make his NFL debut against Dallas.

“I think this is a great opportunity for Jermichael,” coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday. “He's had an excellent week of practice so far.”

Fullbacks and tight ends serve many of the same functions in the Packers’ offense. For instance, starting tight end Donald Lee and Humphrey regularly line up in, or motion into, the backfield, and Hall has played as a third tight end in the goal-line offense.

So, if Humphrey or Hall can’t go Sunday — McCarthy said they would test their injuries in practice today after sitting out the past two days — Finley could play a role on offense. The Packers lined up with two tight ends 12 times against Minnesota and 10 times against Detroit. They also have a two-fullback set that would require the use of a tight end if Hall is inactive.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/.../80918183/1058
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:16 AM    (permalink
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Packers 31 Cowboys 18
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:45 PM    (permalink
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Packers 31 Cowboys 18
18 points from the Cowboys? Unlikely.

I'm going Packers 38 Cowboys 34.
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:47 PM    (permalink
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I'm not sure how many of you packer fans read the DMN Blog but they run one good series a week I figured since it had some packers information I'd post it for you guys

Quote:
Bill Barnwell, a contributing editor at footballoutsiders.com and one of the minds behind the must-read Pro Football Prospectus, will answer five Cowboys questions each week of the season using the FO data and methodologies. Here's the Week 3 edition:

1. Is it fair to say that Aaron Rodgers has been an upgrade from the 2007 version of Brett Favre?

It's hard to say -- mainly because of the opposition each has faced.

We have two separate rate statistics that we use to measure performance. The only difference between the two, VOA and DVOA, is the 'D' portion -- that means Defense-Adjusted. We adjust our statistics for opponent to make them more accurate, but after two weeks, we don't know enough about each team to make those sort of adjustments yet.

Last year, Brett Favre's VOA was 28.5% -- he was 28.5% better than the average quarterback after we adjust for down, distance, and situation. His DVOA was 28% -- in other words, he played a slightly-weaker than average schedule, because his VOA was higher than his DVOA.

(For those curious, Tony Romo had a 27% VOA and a 25.5 DVOA.)

Rodgers' VOA so far this year is an impressive 38.1%. That's good for seventh in the league. The complicating factor, naturally, is that Rodgers has faced two poor pass defenses: Minnesota and Detroit.

What we can do is just do a simple comparison to Favre's performance last year. In four games against Minnesota and Detroit, Favre's QB Rating was 120.8. Rodgers QB rating so far this year: 117.8. I'd say that their performances have been pretty similar, but I'm interested in seeing how Rodgers does against a legitimate pass rush this week. He played well against the Cowboys in a relief role last year after Favre went down, but this is a totally different scenario.

2. Pat Watkins is the Cowboys' starting strong safety for the next three or four weeks. How has he performed in pass coverage the last couple seasons?

One thing we have to note before we do any analysis is the context, which is different here: Last time around, Watkins was playing free safety and having to play alongside Roy Williams; this time, he can play a more natural role and go alongside Ken Hamlin.

Watkins, according to our metrics and onlookers of the 2006 Cowboys season, had an abysmal rookie year. Despite playing far from the line (his average tackle was made nearly eight yards away from the line of scrimmage, 60th amongst safeties), he allowed an astounding 16 yards per attempt. That was 80th amongst safeties. His success rate, 52%, was 45th in the league. Clearly, Watkins was not a good fit for the role he was in.

Watkins' 2007 barely saw him play enough to get listed in our book -- he was targeted only 10 times, and allowed 4.6 yards per attempt, a very good number.

The reality, naturally, is somewhere in between. If he does a solid job against the run and can improve at all on Williams' coverage, I think the Cowboys would have to be happy.

3. Where does Jay Ratliff rank among 3-4 nose tackles in the Football Outsiders data considered most important for that position?

Very high up there. My favorite metric for judging nose tackles is the average yardage at which they made plays -- while it doesn't account for things like double-teams, it indicates how much penetration a tackle is getting.

Ratliff was double-teamed less than most 3-4 tackles (you'd figure that Vince Wilfork, Casey Hampton, and Jamal Williams would get double-teamed way more frequently, and you'd be right), but he made his average play .7 yards away from the line of scrimmage, fifth-best amongst tackles in football. In comparison, Hampton was 16th, Wilfork 20th, and Williams 50th. Number one amongst all tackles was former 4-3 tackle Shaun Rogers, who now plays the nose in Cleveland and made his average tackle a half-yard behind the line of scrimmage. Pretty impressive.

4. Green Bay's Al Harris and Charles Woodson have a reputation as an elite cornerback tandem. Do your stats back that up?

They did until last year. Harris was one of the league's best players in 2006, a coverage dynamo who ranked in the top-ten in most of our defensive categories. Woodson was a very good #2 corner, and the Packers arguably had one of the best sets in football.

In 2007, that changed. Woodson allowed 7.7 yards per attempt, only 50th in the league, albeit with a 58% success rate that was eighth-best amongst corners.

Harris, however, fell off a cliff. He allowed 9.4 yards per attempt after only giving up 6.1 the year before. That was 73rd-best for all corners. His success rate went from 63% (4th) to 40% (74th). He was targeted on 17% of throws, a high number (53rd in the league), so it wasn't as if teams were avoiding him. He just had a bad year, and it ended in the NFC Championship Game with a gimpy Plaxico Burress absolutely mangling him.

5. Who or what has been the biggest surprise in the NFC East over the season's first two weeks?

I'd have to say the Giants pass rush. Obviously, the Giants had a fearsome pass rush last year, but they lost their two best players in Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Granted, they were up against a seemingly-confused Redskins team and the Rams, but their rush has been better than I expected, particularly Justin Tuck. Tuck's a fantastic player, but last year, he was up against single blockers, often on the interior; now, despite being double-teamed and playing on the outside, he still has three sacks in two games. That's a great start.
-dmnblog
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