A 7-0 Green Bay lead right away as Aaron Jones dominated the first series, capped by a 46-yard, untouched up the middle run for a TD.
Green Bay held that 7-0 lead battling back two Saints drives by picking off Drew Brees on each of the first two drives. It seemed like it was Green Bay's day.
Finally, the Saints scored to tie it 7-7 early in the 2nd. The Packers answered right back to go up 14-7…a lead they held to half-time. It still seemed like the Packers were destined to win this game.
After the half, the Saints came back with a TD (missed XP) and then a Field Goal to go up 16-14…the Packers answered that with a Field Goal of their own and a 17-16 lead to start the 4th quarter. It still felt like a Green Bay game. Brett Hundley was answering/responding to each deficit.
The Saints answered all that with a Field Goal to back up 19-17…and then held GB and followed up with a TD drive and a 26-17 lead with 4+ minutes left, and suddenly it didn’t feel like Green Bay would win at all. They didn’t. 26-17 final.
Green Bay played a pretty solid game, but the Saints kept persisting and in the end, the hamstrung Packers’ offense floundered and the Saints earned a head fought victory.
The Saints are now winners of 4 games in a row…and with Atlanta getting their soul crushed this week and Carolina flopping – the NFC South is now the Saints’ to lose. Three of the Saints next four are at home and the Saints should push to at least a 7-3 record by Week 11, on their way to a 10-6 finish and the NFC South crown. Atlanta is their biggest threat as they play the Falcons Week 14 and 16…if Atlanta is even alive by then.
The Packers probably saw the reality of their situation in this game – they played a very solid game for 2+ quarters but once it got to crunch time they are an empty unit without Aaron Rodgers. What was once the most feared team to face no matter the circumstances because of Aaron Rodgers is now a collection of mediocre WRs, a so-so O-Line, a rookie-ish QB, and a bad defense. The lazy team management of the Packers is going to come home to roost…all the flaws covered over by Aaron Rodgers. Now, they’ll all be exposed.
A somewhat favorable schedule ahead and a decent enough team/not terrible should keep Green Bay sniffing around the playoffs near the end before the end up falling short…unless Rodgers makes a miraculous comeback earlier than expected.
It’s all Brett Hundley’s fault, so we’ll start there…
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I thought Brett Hundley (12-25 for 87 yards, 0 TD/1 INT, 3-44-1) played a decent game, but the numbers look awful. There were two things that stood out…
1: Brett Hundley did not look meticulous or high-end in his first real chance to make a statement. Hundley cannot afford ‘growing pains’ all that much. When Jimmy Garoppolo got his shot…he was ready. When Mitchell Trubisky got his shot – he came out firing the ball with confidence. Dak Prescott impacted right away. The young QBs that I just named weren’t perfect in their debuts but they carried themselves differently than Hundley.
The body language by Hundley was not inspiring. The throws were always a yard too long or too high or too short. I’m not sure I remember Hundley putting a pass on the money in this game. Hundley looks like an old-school backup…competent, not terrible, familiar with the playbook – but forgettable as a performer. Hundley did not make me get excited, not for a second.
I’m not nailing the coffin shut. Hundley didn’t seem rattled. He made the right reads most times – he just didn’t deliver. Everything seemed out of sync and out of sorts. With another start or two under his belt, the ‘sync’ and the ‘sorts’ might change/improve.
I guess I expected more. If I had to sum it up it would be – Hundley was drafted like a backup/nobody. He’s been treated like a backup/nobody for years. McCarthy coached this game as if he was a nobody/backup, and Hundley has taken on the mindset/posture of a backup/nobody. Hundley has the power to change that -- but will it be in one week? Two? Four? He doesn’t have a lot of time in an era where others aren’t needing that time.
Jared Goff looked pretty bad early on too…but he knew his time was coming. Hundley doesn’t have the same luxury. Hundley better show something in the next two weeks…or his career is about done.
2: Mike McCarthy is partly/a lot to blame here…and a reason to fear Hundley’s demise ahead.
I think Mike McCarthy is an overrated, blowhard, ride-the-coattails-of-Aaron Rodgers head coach who would be an unknown O-Line coach for Andy Reid if not for Aaron Rodgers. And the crime is that Green Bay possessing Aaron Rodgers should have yielded multiple titles by now.
In 2010, the Packers went from wild card to Super Bowl champs. Mike McCarthy has coached Green Bay for 11 full seasons and had Rodgers for 10 of those and Brett Favre for one. Six division titles. Besides the 2010 run, McCarthy is 6-8 in playoff games…with Rodgers and Favre…and the miracle win over Dallas last playoffs. Arguably the greatest QB talent in all of the NFL’s history has yielded one trip to the Super Bowl. How is that possible if not weak coaching and poor general management?
For the past few years, McCarthy has tried to make the team an Eddie Lacy-based event…to no avail.
You think he’d change the offense a little to suit Brett Hundley? You think he has anything to teach/offer Brett Hundley to improve as a QB the past three years? Are you kidding me? McCarthy is a coach from the 70s-80s, not the new era. He’s an empty windbreaker.
Aaron Rodgers is a giant vat of perfume dumped onto a pig farm. In order to have confidence in Brett Hundley for fantasy, you also have to have some hope in Mike McCarthy adjusting…successfully. Ummmm…probably, a bad bet.
Hundley is going to have to shine quickly or risk being forgotten a la Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien.
I want to see what another game brings, but if I had to make a bet on Hundley for FF 2017 going forward right now – I’d bet against him based on what I saw with this game plan and approach.
Let me see him play in non-drizzling conditions before I damn him completely.
-- What Mike McCarthy does love is the running game, and he has landed on success (so far) suddenly with Aaron Jones (17-131-1, 3-7-0/5). A guy who they deemed third-string or lower all preseason and then ‘whoops’ he’s a star now…our bad.
McCarthy is going to ride this Jones-train. I have more faith he’s in his office until midnight working on clever running play options tailored to Jones then he is crafting a comfortable college spread offense for Hundley, a la what Bill O’Brien did for Deshaun Watson.
-- If the passing game is taking a backseat to the running game for a variety of reasons. 38.0 pass attempts per game vs. 20.3 rushing attempts per game before Week 7…24 rushing attempts and 25 passing attempts in this game. There’s going to be a 20% dip in pass attempts and then Hundley is what…? 20-30% less producing then Rodgers, at least?
It’s not crazy to look at the Packers’ WR’s typical receiving outputs and cut them by 25% for sure, but 50% may be more likely. 2-4 catches for 30-60 yards and maybe a TD every other game if you’re lucky? WR3 numbers for Jordy and Davante??
Hell, they had WR8 numbers this week…
-- Drew Brees (27-38 for 331 yards, 1 TD/2 INT) has had multiple INTs in games in four of his last 10 games. He’s on pace for his lowest passing yards per game average since joining the Saints…and possibly his lowest passing TD tally as well. His numbers are still sweet…but starting to slide a little. He’s almost 39-years old. He’ll be just shy of 40-years-old next season kickoff.
-- You cursed me because Ted Ginn (7-141-0/7) didn’t work out too hot to start the season…but look who is the #20 nonPPR, and #27 PPR WR in PPG right now for the season. And he’s ascending.
And, like I kept trying to say – he’s flirting with multiple TDs in most games, especially those Weeks 1-2-3-4 games.
Let me ask you a stunning, sobering question…who do you trust more the ROS? Ted Ginn, as the most explosive WR the high-functioning Saints offense has OR Davante Adams with Brett Hundley/Mike McCarthy?
Ginn will get 7-8+ TDs this season. He has hot and cold games as most all WRs do. You have to stick Ginn in the lineup and leave him there and not judge him because no one likes him and keep bouncing him in and out of the lineup. He’s a legit WR2.0-2.5 week-to-week…plus a return man.
-- Suddenly, everyone loves the Saints DST. They held Brett Hundley down a bit and shutout Jay Cutler a few weeks ago…let’s settle down because it’s not been against an impressive opposition. All the Saints D-TDs versus the Lions are great but D-TDs are a bit of an aberration.
I have been advocating that the Saints defense is ‘good’ since the 2nd-half of last season…but that was defending them as not-awful and possibly useful in matchups, while the world mocked them. Well, the world now is starting to agree with us…so it’s time to move on to crow about some other DST ‘they’ are missing the boat on -- like Dallas.
I wouldn’t be too quick to play the Saints DST against the Bears Week 8…unless you’re out of decent options. Green Bay just ran all over them…and the Bears have far superior run game and QB than the Packers.
-- Craig Robertson (6 tackles, 1 TFL) is reemerging. After starting out with 1.7 tackles in the first four games of the season, Robertson is back starting and has 8.5 tackles per game the past two weeks. He was a hot IDP producer for most of last season as well.
Snap Counts of Interest…
44 = Aaron Jones
07 = Ty Montgomery
42 = Ingram
37 = Kamara