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Packer Notes: On Challenges, Special Teams, Tony Gonzalez, and Rankings

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Kevin Seifert discusses the replay disadvantage that the Green Bay Packers had as the visiting team last week. But what I found interesting was that Mike McCarthy has been the most successful coach on replays in the NFC North this season. None of the current (and former) head coaches have been very aggressive, but it's no surprise that Lovie Smith has the worst percentage. He might be a great coach in many regards, but not when it comes to throwing the challenge flag.

The special teams were awful on returns and coverage last week. But according to the Journal-Sentinel, the in-game injuries to TE Spencer Havner, CB Pat Lee, RB Dimitri Nance, and LB Brandon Chillar really caused those units some problems, and forced them to shuffle personnel. That's a good point as to that game. However it carries little weight as to all the problems they've been having on special teams all season long (or all last season long, or the season before that...). 

If you can stomach it, Football Outsiders goes into detail on how TE Tony Gonzalez owned the Packer linebackers and safeties on a couple key plays. The article seems to be most critical of LB A.J. Hawk and S Charlie Peprah. The touchdown reception was a big mistake, but it's hard to put the blame on any one player since the pass was thrown in-between multiple defenders. 

Some various rankings from around the web. Football Outsiders ranked Aaron Rodgers's game against the Falcons as the 4th most valuable QB performance of the week. While the Packers slipped from No. 2 to No. 7 in the SB Nation power rankings, they're the 4th best team according to Football Outsiders