Packers Pixels: 10 Things You Might Have Missed in the Vikings Game

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Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

The Green Bay Packers tied the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. We looked back at the broadcast for some unfortunate reason. Here are 10 things you might have missed and probably hope you did.

1. Rising Star

We all remember when he took the NFL by storm as a late first-round pick out of Marshall University. He had a reputation for running by defensive backs and smoking lots of ganja, the latter trait causing him to slip to pick No. 21 of the 1998 draft. Randy Moss would reward the Minnesota Vikings for taking a chance on selecting him and go on to give the Packers major headaches for the next six years. His impact was instantaneous.

Recently Moss began his new career as on-air talent at Fox Sports 1 and on Sunday he filled in on the desk for Howie Long on Fox pregame. What made him great as a player might very well make him great as a broadcaster. He comes at you full speed, he doesn’t pull punches, and he’s confident in his opinions. Moss’ knowledge, slight southern drawl and self-deprecating style make him a lot of fun to listen to. There aren’t many former players who make the transition to broadcaster look as easy as Moss has thus far.

When Terry Bradshaw was raving about what a genius Mike McCarthy is and that the Packers would beat the Vikings, Moss didn’t hesitate to pick against his old team stating, “I’m right there with you TB.”  Later when asked again to pick the winner he said confidently, “The Packers and Scott Tolzien.”

Don’t be surprised to see Moss become a fixture on the Fox broadcasts in the fairly near future. He’ll become a great broadcaster, his ego will kick into high gear, and eventually he’ll start taking segments off and become a makeup, wardrobe, and green-room cancer.

You heard it here first.

2. Wait a minute… Terry Bradshaw called Mike McCarthy a genius?

Yeah exactly.

Terry Bradshaw on Fox pregame…

“There are a lot of head coaches I would have loved to play for. Bill Walsh would have been one, Don Coryell would have been another. I played for a great coach, but I can say this… all you Green Bay Packers fans are witnessing really one of the greatest offensive minds, and that’s Mike McCarthy. What he does, his system is safe and just works. Scott Tolzien putting up big numbers… even though he has the turnovers. Same with Sean Payton and Norv Turner, here are three guys I refer to as geniuses of offensive football. Now I know the Packers are on a little losing streak, but I think today they’re going to get it done.”

So obviously Terry Bradshaw knows football, but I don’t understand the genius label for McCarthy. I’m sorry, I just don’t. I watch offenses with play designs that result in receivers being wide open all the time. I watch teams play the Packers defense week in and week out that have easy passes to complete because our defense is confused and blow an assignment. I just never see the Packers offense doing that to opposing defenses.

When I watch the Packers offense completing important passes, it is almost always the result of a great throw by the quarterback in a super-tight window, a superb catch by a writhing receiver, or both. I don’t see the Packers offense befuddling anyone and I don’t see plays designed that result in receivers running free. I see the same stale offense I’ve been seeing for the last several years. There’s a reason Matt Flynn was able to come in and look comfortable with our game plan, and that’s because the Packers are largely running the same playbook since McCarthy got here.

I can’t dismiss Bradshaw’s opinion, but I don’t have to agree with it either.

Simply put ask yourself this. When’s the last time you can recall a Packers receiver running free that wasn’t the result of a player slipping and falling down? Because to me that’s what offensive genius is, someone who can create a playbook that confuses the defense and/or puts them in really tough spots where they break down in coverage. Sean Payton definitely qualifies in this regard, as does McCarthy’s mentor Norv Turner.

Also, apparently, anyone the Packers defense has faced must be led by a genius. How else could you account for all the confusion and breakdowns in the secondary? (Rolls eyes)

3. Stand up and be counted, for what you are about to receive.

The Packers won the toss and elected to receive? A rarity.

I don’t like it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Always defer.

4. Oh sure… NOW you say that.

I cringed when Johnathan Franklin got hit on the opening kickoff return. You really didn’t get to see it in live action, but the sound of his helmet smacking into Vikings special teamer A.J. Jefferson’s was grotesque. The reverse angle replay, shown several moments later, didn’t give a true indication about how hard a shot that was. Jefferson tattooed Franklin at full speed right in the temple area.

Franklin would leave with a concussion and to add insult to injury, surprisingly good play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt mentioned how the Packers had plans to get Franklin more involved in this game.

That sounds about right.

5. Noooooooo!

The Fox broadcast of the Packers-Vikings started out with back to back thuds.

Did you notice the graphical error at the start of the first Packers possession? When introducing the Packers offense to the Fox audience, Marshall Newhouse was incorrectly highlighted as a rookie while David Bakhtiari was incorrectly NOT listed as a rookie. It’s a pretty simple mistake I suppose, since the veteran plays like a rookie and the rookie like a seasoned veteran.

To add to the debacle, color commentator John Lynch butchered Bakhtiari’s name, instead calling him (bah-kuh-TAR-ree). Thankfully it was only a minor annoyance for us because Davd Bakhtiari (Bahk-tee-AR-ree) is an offensive lineman, a pretty good one, and thus his name is rarely mentioned during a broadcast.

Lynch has no excuse though. NFL broadcasters always have production meetings with both teams in order to clear up such issues as well as to gather material for the broadcast. They are literally given access to the coach and key players to ask questions and mine for the information they need. For Lynch to not get clarification on the correct pronunciation for the player blocking Jared Allen all game demonstrates why he’s calling the worst game of the week. It’s the surest sign in the book that a broadcaster has not prepared properly when he doesn’t know how to pronounce a player’s name of a game he’s covering.

Sidenote: I personally apologize to Matt Interbartolo (In-ter-bar-TOE-low) who I wrongfully called (In-ter-BAR-tuh-low) in my first UWSP hockey radio broadcast circa 1996. I was totally unprepared. Then again I wasn’t getting paid either. Dude was a good player, too. One of the best I saw in my years at Point.

6. Child Care!

There’s been some recent conversations about the cheerleaders and/or lack of cheerleaders at Lambeau Field, but I have one major and I believe important suggestion for the ones used currently…

Sit down and shut up.

Is that one suggestion or two?

I can’t be the only person watching a broadcast from Lambeau Field on a quality sound system who has heard and been painfully annoyed by the sound of teenagers clapping and doing stupid cheers throughout the game. The NFL puts microphones everywhere and so everytime we get a game from Lambeau, the soundtrack mix is dominated by the sound of adolescent babbling, clapping and cheering. It’s one of those things where you might go a whole game and not even notice it, but if you happen to hear it for even a second it’s as if it is front and center and impossible to block out from that point forward.

Look, I get that the Packers want to keep with a family-type environment and not have to put forth the effort to scrape together five or six really hot chicks from the Green Bay/greater FoxValley area to form a real cheerleading squad. Because let’s face it… that would be a tall order and lots of work. So I say let the little middle school or high school girls come in and rub their pom pons together and whatever other nonsense you want to allow them; I’m all for letting kids have that opportunity and carrying on that tradition. But for the love of all that is holy, let’s limit the cheering to television timeouts only.

Do these kids really need to be yelling at the crowd when the game is going on? Are they somehow enhancing the viewing experience for anyone by doing that? No they’re not. They’re actually hindering it. The cheerleaders are at Lambeau as a sense of community, not to enhance the viewing experience in any way. I’m all for that sense of community, but not when the game is going on.

Make it happen.

7. Patterson a perfect fit for the Pansies in Purple

Did you happen to catch the extremely douche-like celebration Cordarelle Patterson embarrassed himself with after his nice kick return? If not, that’s too bad because it was totally befitting a member of the Purple Pansies. Patterson and an unseen teammate (fortunate for him) got to the sideline and did what amounted to a patty-cake routine, but with their feet. How adorable… if you’re six.

I guess we shouldn’t get down on Patterson so much. He’s an excited rookie and probably as of yet still unaware just how inept the organization he plays for is. If anything we should feel pity for the young man. How would you like to be a standout rookie wide receiver playing for a worthless team with not just one useless quarterback, but three? Here’s to hoping Patterson plays out his piss-ant rookie contract for Minnesota and finds a way to get the hell out of there. I’d prefer the Packers not have to face him for many years to come, but with whatever jackass is running things west of the Mississippi, there shouldn’t ever be any worry that the Queens could contend for anything but another high draft pick.

And by the way Cordarrelle, don’t let it bother you that Greg Jennings is making $8 million a year more than you even though you’re already way more valuable to your team. On second thought… you should be pissed. Enjoy that thought the next time you do that pathetic little dance number.

8. Denis Savard Would Be Proud

I like Scott Tolzien. I like rooting for Scott Tolzien. I felt he got the shaft when he was pulled from the game even though he was playing poorly. With hindsight firmly in the rearview mirror, it’s easy to say McCarthy made the right call. It certainly did spark the team and seem to elevate the play of the entire offense.

I’m not results-oriented though. I thought it was counterintuitive to what McCarthy had preached for weeks, that having a guy come in without any reps all week is a shitty spot for any team to be in… no matter how well he knows the offense. Then at the first sign of trouble with Tolzien, he willingly goes that route by inserting Matt Flynn. I thought it was wrong. I thought it was hasty. And there’s no doubt that it worked in this instance.

As of early Tuesday morning, McCarthy still hadn’t named a starter for Thursday. Everyone is saying Flynn, but I’m hoping it’s Tolzien. I continue to believe.

However, it’s entirely possible that Scott Tolzien never takes another snap as a Packer. If he doesn’t, no one can take away that play. No matter what happens to him from this day forward, he will forever have that legendary play at Lambeau Field that electrified the crowd to deafening levels and commenced with a leap into the arms of the adoring fans.

How many people have a moment like that?

9. Jamari Lattimore sighting!

You all know I love this guy. Last week he had one defensive snap. This week he had seven. Hopefully the trend continues and he has seven times as many snaps versus the Lions. Anyway, it’s progress.

10. Phoning it in.

The Packers defense always quits late in the game. I think I’ll follow their lead and wrap this up.

Go Pack!

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19 Comments on "Packers Pixels: 10 Things You Might Have Missed in the Vikings Game"

  1. T Pack

    You thought Moss was a good broadcaster. He sounded like an idiot and looked like a deer in the headlights. He was completely lost.

    How do you think Tolzien should start? He has been terrible- I don’t care how many yards he threw for. Its all about accuracy, moving the yard sticks and getting in the endzone.

    I do agree that Burkhardt does a nice nice job. He has been a color man for the NY Mets for a long time and does an amazing job.

    I do have to admit I really have no idea how we will do against the Lions. Defense will most likely be lousy. I can’t see how they will contain megatron at all.

    Will be watching though. Go Pack!

    • Imagine being Randy Moss on that Fox set. You’re stepping into a situation where everyone else has developed X-amount of chemistry together for years and now you’re sitting on the desk with them, live to the sports world and are more or less the focal point of discussion. That’s gotta be tough.

      Of course there was ample preparation and he wasn’t just going in cold, but a few minor stumbles aside I felt like he belonged up there. It wasn’t awkward. He didn’t feel like a replacement and I felt the show didn’t skip a beat. Both his knowledge and natural charisma are obvious and I find him pretty damn likeable. That goes a long way.

      Mark my words…he’ll be permanent there very soon.

  2. Phatgzus

    You forgot to mention Rodgers’ fantastical lip caterpillar with it’s glossy, flowing, full, chestnut coat; I bet DD sure as Hell didn’t miss it.

    Wouldn’t it be child labor if they brought in junior high and certain high schoolers? Or is that just if they paid ’em?

    All things considered I thought these announcers were WAAAY better than Fuck and Acheman; a) why can’t we get them or the 2nd-team every week and b) how fucking hard is it to be a decent announcer, Troy, Bloe, Dierdorf, Colinsworth?

    Terry may nit be a smart man, but he knows what love-erhem, genius is. Seriously, the dude played for one of the 10 greatest coaches not only in all of football, but sports. A man who won 4 Super Bowls and will be on whatever mnument they will inevitably erect to honor legendary coaches. Again, he’s no Archimedes, but it doesnt take genius to recognize genius, and Terry knows football. If genius is synonymous with perfection, then no MM ain’t a genius, but if it’s anything slightly less, then he very well may be.

    Moss has always been an entertainer, he’s right where he belongs; it’s either that or the bottom of Lake Minnetonka.

    Yeah the D sucked (to an even greater extent) later in games, but they showed up again (in tge 4th) when Mattyboy stepped in, that is until OT. We need more energetic fat blobs, with Wilson going down I wonder if Boyd’ll get some time this week.

      • Phatgzus

        1) We had a backup and a RB sufffering from asthma; 2) Did you see how the defense was performing? You take the points in hopes that your defense will give up no more than a FG attempt in freezing temps., even if they make it you are tied (instead of losing) and now the same situation (a sudden death win) arises.

        Furthermore, those stats are based on what 2, 3 years of OT statistics? Not a very significant sample size. That site also doesn’t discern the success rate with regards to drives based on 3 or 4 downs, a significant oversight.

        • Andrew Chitko

          I tend to agree with you but for different reasons.

          My comment on that page read:

          Although I’m all for the math and typically dislike McCarthy as a buffoon who would brush these numbers aside without acknowledgement, I think the Pack would be well below average on just about every relevant statistic. They have been terrible in the red zone no matter who is at QB, they can’t stop anyone late in games regardless of field position or intent, and 3rd and 4th and short have been the Achilles heel for decades. I’d like to say McCarthy messed up, but that team is just downright bad in all factors relevant to this analysis.

  3. GBslacker

    I’m flabbergasted.

    I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in our defense.

    Earlier in the season, a little healthier, it was slightly more stout — but still gave it up in the 4th quarter.

    Mid season sees the defense going teats-up earlier in the game.

    Should our Weakness and Deficiency coaches be replaced?

    Hell, it started in the first game of the season — it’s not like they’re unfamiliar with the situation. Can’t the coaches do *something* ???

    • Johnny Jolly must have been an overwhelming reason why we were so successful against the run early on. Everyone said he brought all the nastiness to that group. Apparently when he got hurt he took that attitude along with him because no one has stepped up.

  4. Cheese

    I didn’t hear Moss commentating but it sounds like it would be a fun listen.

    McCarthy a genius? Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Win another Super Bowl first.

    Franklin concussed on the opening kick off…. this has to be some sick joke or something. These injuries are out of control.

    So Lynch goofed up a name like Bakhtiari. He’s still a thousand times better than those dipshits buck and aikman.

    Flynn > Tolzien. You’re not results oriented? So you’d take Tolzien and his poor play because of some spin move over Flynn who got shit done?

    • Phatgzus

      Damn straight on the last 3 and I’ll give ya the 2nd; though it’d be virtually impossible to call any coach a genius based on that criteria-I’m pretty sure that out of all the cyrrent coaches, only Belicheat and Tomlinson have won/even made
      multiple SBs and neither has won 1 since the NFL truly became the National Parity League (and Billseph hasn’t won since Spygate).

  5. Cheese

    Yeah I agree about the Super Bowls. I’m not some football mastermind so maybe I’m oblivious, but when I hear people call McCarthy a playcall genius I don’t see it. I lean toward what Monty said when the Packers make big plays its because of outstanding play by Rodgers, or a receiver, or Lacey breaking seven tackles.

    I fucking hate when they throw the ball to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage and expect him to get yards with a cornerback directly in front of him. I think it’s called a smoke route. Sure it works like 5% of the time, but that doesn’t stop McCarthy from running it ten times a game.

    • Mike

      @ Cheese! You friggin’ nailed it! MM is NOT an offensive genius! Just offensive as a play caller period!

    • Phatgzus

      Those quick passes are actually very good plays when you have YAC monsters like Jordy, JJ, Finley, and the former GJ-Finley’s TD vs. Cleveland, Boykin’s 43-yarder, and Nelson’s destruction of a Lion CB 1 or 2 years ago all instantly jump to mind.

      As for making great plays, yeah that helps, knowing what your players are capable of is an important part of being a coach; and Jordy is usually wide open when he runs across the middle, particularly on slants.

  6. Flynn > Tolzien. You’re not results oriented? So you’d take Tolzien and his poor play because of some spin move over Flynn who got shit done?

    When I say I’m not results-oriented it just means I’m looking more at the decision than the results. Just because Flynn did what he did does not make it the right decision. No one knew what the result would be of inserting Matt Flynn and we don’t know and will never know if it was the right decision.

    Maybe Tolzien finds a rhythm that he couldn’t find for the first half, largely set up by lame-ass play-calling resulting in tough down and distance situations. Maybe the offensive line starts to block like they did for Flynn.

    Even at halftime Jimmy Johnson was lambasting the Packers play-calling as way too conservative and how they needed to open up the playbook and quit playing scared. Everyone on that desk at Fox and people all over the league expected Tolzien to perform better than he did. He was not helped by McCarthy.

    So after hearing McCarthy whine for the last few weeks about how unfortunate the Packers were to have to use a guy who got no reps…he does it willingly. This is the same guy who named Tolzien his starter in a post-game press conference only a few weeks earlier. He supports and believes in this guy so much that he gives him all the practice reps and then pulls him out at halftime?

    I’m not going to sit here and say Tolzien didn’t look like shit because he did. I just believe in what I saw in him as a QB to think he deserved the chance to play it out.

    We don’t know…maybe we would have won with Tolzien. However, like I wrote, that spin-move might be his one glowing memory as a quarterback in Green Bay. I hope not but I know it’s possible.

    Regardless of my disagreement in McCarthy pulling Tolzien, I will now put all my support behind Matt Flynn as he leads this team.

    • Mike

      Whatever your base belief in Tolzien is, I believe as well that most of the blame lies directly at the feet of the MOST OVERATED play caller in the NFL, MM is way over his pay grade, when it comes to play calling. He did NOT help Tolzien with the abominable calls that he fed him.

  7. dj

    Bradshaw can’t even spell genius who the fuck care what he says. And the Fox pregame show is easily the worst pregame show. I don’t know why anyone would waste their time

  8. Iltarion

    Actually, I think the Fox broadcast is pretty good. I especially like Howie Long, and JJ and Strahan aren’t bad. Bradshaw is easiest the biggest dope on there. He is hit or miss for me. He can be humorous at times, sometimes by mistake.

    Moss had that segment near the end of their OT Show where he was trying to make a point and kept stumbling over his words, and he was looking at the guys like – throw me a lifeline- and they were looking at him like – for the love of god, spit it out, man!

    So, rough segment for him, but I agree that he should be a natural.

    I don’t know that MM is a football genius. I know that, like TT, he has a philosophy and he sticks to it. There is a certain amount of genius in that.

    In the NFL, you don’t see wide open WRs against man-to-man coverage unless someone falls down. That happens against zone. Teams typically don’t even try to play zone against us because our offense would destroy it.

    • Andrew Chitko

      Ahh. I didn’t watch the OT segment with Moss but it sounds like it was pretty painful to watch. Perhaps he went out to the parking lot to blaze one not realizing he had another segment to go.

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