Quick Hits on a few former Bears.
While it was overshadowed by the Jay Cutler Fiasco, Rodgers didn't exactly have a great game himself. He overthrew open receivers repeatedly, both way down the field and relatively close to the line of scrimmage. Taking a 11-yard sack for a safety on third-and-13 wasn't exactly a great moment in the history of pocket presence, either; of course, we doubt you can find a Packers fan who cares after that last throw.
He seemed to hold his own against their big DTs. I thought the whole line blocked well on pass and run.
You mentioned it briefly but I remember a number of times being frustrated with his poor snaps. No excuse for that!
I think you’re right on both counts. I expect his snaps to improve pretty quickly. It seemed to me that he rushed the snap several times when the QB was in shotgun. Considering who he was facing, it’s pretty understandable that he might have been focused on getting into blocking position as quickly as possible. I expect to see him do better this week.
- Desean fined 10k for a touchdown celebration by the No Fun League (I thought the celebration was pretty funny).
If you do not see a player doing much during the game, that means he is not making any mistakes. Surely, we can all agree that Desmond Bishop is a big play making linebacker, but he does make mistakes. AJ Hawk is our veteran and is much better as a pass defender. Hawk made a few blitzes and did well applying pressure. He also went into coverage. How many plays was Hawk burned on? None. This is the same scenario as a couple years ago when fans were calling for big play making Safety Aaron Rouse to start over Nick Collins, now Collins is making big plays and is a Pro Bowler. I will say this though, when the opposing team has the momentum, Desmond Bishop needs to be in the game! Bishop has the ability to change the momentum of the game, AJ Hawk is there on the field and as long as he doesn’t make mistakes, there is no reason to take him out.
- Hasselbeck found Housh for six to end the drive. Seattle needed seven. It was a Justin Forsett block from disaster. Seattle overloaded the right. Greg Knapp had used this formation before. The first ended with a nine yard pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh on first and ten. It put Housh in the slot and matched him against a linebacker. The second converted a long first down by isolating Burleson on one side and getting him one-on-one cover. The third attempted the same, but Burleson didn't high-point the ball.
- This time Hasselbeck went back to Houshmandzadeh attacking the middle, but Steve Spagnuolo was prepared. He assigned two corners to defend the middle. Hasselbeck waited a beat too long to throw, and Justin King and Jonathan Wade closed on Housh before he could run past the marker.
- On that same play, Spagnuolo had another trick that almost trapped the Hawks. The Rams set with only two down linemen, both ends, one standing defensive end, Chris Long, and one linebacker, James Laurinaitis. The rush targeted Seattle's weak side -- the side only a wide receiver was aligned. It would have worked if not for an incredible block by Justin Forsett.
- O.J. Atogwe timed his blitz perfectly and ran around left end untouched. The Rams were only rushing four, but with a free blitzer fractions after the snap, it was working. Forsett crossed in front of Hasselbeck and hit Atogwe in stride, holding him off enough for Hasselbeck to throw. With the pass targeting an area with two corners, Forsett's block didn't just stop a sack, it could have stopped a turnover. It could have stopped Hasselbeck from hobbling off the field holding his back.
Other than the last couple drives in the fourth and that one TD pass to Gates for a TD, I was very impressed by the pass D. Jackson and Chambers especially were shut down for the most part, thouh Nnamdi gave up a TD. Don't worry though, Nnamdi is still the best. But when you go and play your heart out for 3 minutes or so and then only get about two minutes worth of rest, you can't really be expected to keep playing at the same level all game long.
1. Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez vs Panthers S Quinton Teal
The SLB and Safeties usually are given the responsibility of covering the tight ends. With Chris Harris sidelined again this week Teal will get the start. His first game is going against the NFL best pass catching TE. Last week Gongo has 78 yards and 1 touchdown on only 5 catches. Matt Ryan is very comfortable with his new target and it could get ugly if Teal doesn't play well.
If there's any other Cal pro news I missed, put it in the comments!