Author: samholman

For the third year in a row, the Green Bay Packers are facing an NFC West team in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. After beating the Seahawks in 2019 and the Rams in 2020, the Packers play the 49ers in their first playoff game of the 2021 season. This isn’t Green Bay’s first time facing Kyle Shanahan’s squad this season. They emerged victorious in a Week 3 contest against San Francisco in September, 30-28. However, that long-ago game likely means little for Saturday. Both teams look quite different now. The 49ers overcame a 2-4 start to finish their season…

Read More

The past few weeks have been an almost constant stream of positive injury news for Packers fans. All-Pro CB Jaire Alexander was activated from IR on December 29, though he hasn’t suited up for a game yet. All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari was able to return to the field for the first time this season against the Lions. Rookie C Josh Myers was able to get playing time in the Lions game as well. This week, RT Billy Turner and All-Pro edge rusher Za’Darius Smith returned to practice. Earlier today, edge rusher Whitney Mercilus also made an appearance at practice. Green…

Read More

Off coverage. The very phrase seems to conjure up negative connotations in the minds of Packers fans. I think many remember the “bend but don’t break” philosophy adopted by the Pettine defenses of the last few years – which tended to lead to both bending and breaking. To many, the idea of off coverage seems synonymous with passivity. Whenever a short-yardage situation comes up, off coverage is seen as a white flag from the defense. Over the past few weeks, this view has come up several times. I especially noticed the discussion ramp up following the narrow Week 16 victory…

Read More

Good news on the COVID front! The Green Bay Packers have announced that they are activating a number of important contributors from the Reserve/COVID list. T Dennis Kelly, DL Kingsley Keke, KR/PR/WR Amari Rodgers, and S Darnell Savage will all now be available to play this Sunday. These moves leave only CB Jaire Alexander and G/T Billy Turner on the Reserve/COVID list at this time. The return of these players provide much-needed depth as the Packers approach the playoffs. However, they may not play much this week; with the #1 seed secured, Sunday’s contest against the Lions is largely meaningless.…

Read More

Unfortunately, it looks like the COVID issues that we saw affect the Green Bay roster last week are continuing. The Packers announced earlier today that safety Darnell Savage, tackle Dennis Kelly, and KR/PR David Moore were added to the Reserve/Covid list. The NFL’s current COVID guidelines allow vaccinated, asymptomatic players to return quickly. Thus, Savage, Kelly, and Moore still have a chance to play. Luckily, this news comes after the Packers clinched the #1 seed in the NFC. With Sunday’s game against the Lions meaningless, some of these players may have been rested by the team anyway. The main concern…

Read More

As I was watching film of the Packers’ game against the Browns, one thing stuck out to me. The Browns used a variety of run schemes on their way to racking up 219 yards on the ground. However, quite a few of these plays were based off of the same concept. Furthermore, this concept was not one I had seen much from previous Packers opponents. After doing some research – including consulting Coach Cody Alexander, an excellent resource for football insight – I came to the conclusion that this concept was a variation of the Buck Sweep. The Buck Sweep…

Read More

The Packers’ game against the Ravens was not particularly successful from a defensive perspective. The defense surrendered 354 yards and 30 points to a depleted Baltimore squad. Mark Andrews, the Ravens’ excellent tight end, was a particular problem, racking up 136 yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches. Allowing such dominance is unquestionably a blight on the Packers’ defense. During and following the game, Joe Barry received some heat for not adjusting quick enough to limit Andrews. However, upon reviewing the game film, I think that this criticism is somewhat unwarranted. The Packers defense did make adjustments, even doing so…

Read More

Earlier this afternoon, the Green Bay Packers announced that WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling was being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This further weakens a position group that had recently seen Randall Cobb placed on injured reserve. MVS is vaccinated, according to reports, so he could still play against the Browns if he is asymptomatic and receives a negative test. If he can’t, however, the Packers will be without one of their most valuable weapons on Saturday. MVS provides a deep-threat ability that no other players on the roster can replicate. This loss stings even more considering that MVS is coming off…

Read More

As the 2021 season has gone on, Matt LaFleur’s candidacy for Coach of the Year has gained significant traction among Packers fans – and, increasingly, the national media as well. Much of this discussion has revolved around his remarkable record this season despite the injury challenges that the team has faced, in addition to his considerable offensive acumen and play-designing ability. That record – 10-3, currently good for the #1 seed in the NFC – has certainly been impressive. However I believe that there are other, more underrated, factors that reinforce his suitability to win the COTY award. The Injuries…

Read More