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Analysis: Packers Crush Bills, 34-7

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The Buffalo Bills do not have an NFL ready offense. This is the 2nd week in a row that they've been held under 200 yards of total offense, and QB Trent Edwards won't throw deep. Maybe he can't since only former Badger WR Lee Evans is their only proven wide receiver. They can run the ball a little, but they aren't a big play threat and didn't have a carry for more than 14 yards. Their offensive tackles, as expected, ha d trouble slowing down either LB Clay Matthews or DE Cullen Jenkins, and the pass blocking scheme even had trouble stopping LB A.J. Hawk. A great performance by the defense, but the Bills clearly have one of the bottom offensive teams in the NFL.

The Bills defense was much better by comparison. The Green Bay Packers were held to well under 4 yards/carry and WR Greg Jennings was a non-factor against their top corners. But their linebackers couldn't keep up with TE Jermichael Finley and they got no pass rush which gave QB Aaron Rodgers time to throw or scramble. Also, Rodgers spread the ball around which helped avoid their better defensive backs. 

It's always important to stay healthy, and the Packers only had a couple injuries of note, including FS Nick Collins. According to the Journal-Sentinel, McCarthy doesn't expect Collins's injury, or injuries to NT B.J. Raji and LB Brad Jones to linger, but Jones was limping pretty badly at the end of the game.

As much fun as this win was, the Chicago Bears had a big win of their own on Sunday, and now a big match-up to decide the early leader in the NFC North is looming on Monday, September 27th. 

Play-by-play from

First Quarter

(14:26) 32-B.Jackson right tackle to BUF 47 for 6 yards (56-K.Ellison).

(13:49) 30-J.Kuhn right guard to BUF 44 for 3 yards (95-K.Williams).

Almost as if to show their intentions, they called back-to-back running plays with FB John Kuhn as the tail back and RB Brandon Jackson. They ended up splitting the carries evenly (Kuhn - 9, Jackson - 11) and gave a brief 2 carry cameo to recently signed RB Dimitri Nance. I expect this will be the plan going forward.

(11:58) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep left to 89-J.Jones.

(7:45) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short right to 89-J.Jones (56-K.Ellison).

The offense looked good on their first two drives: completions to multiple receivers on the first drive, and a big wide open run across the field by TE Jermichael Finley on the other one. And both were ended on incomplete passes to WR James Jones. There were only 10 incompletions in the game and 4 were on passes to Jones (a 5th was taken away on a penalty). He doesn't seem to be running crisp routes and finds himself drifting out of bounds. He seemed to get off to a slow start mentally last season too. I'm still puzzled why WR Jordy Nelson isn't playing in front of him.

(10:19) (Shotgun) 5-T.Edwards sacked at BUF 7 for -13 yards (52-C.Matthews).

LB Clay Matthews was just getting going. He seemed to abuse anyone that tried to block him, and he seemed to come from everywhere. That, of course, is the plan.

(3:22) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep right to 88-J.Finley to BUF 20 for 32 yards (90-C.Kelsay).

(:16) 32-B.Jackson right guard for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

Finley can't be covered by a former 4-3 defensive end (Chris Kelsay). It's the big play that sets up the TD run.

Second Quarter

(10:54) 69-J.Meredith reported in as eligible. 22-F.Jackson left end for 3 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

The Bills put together a nice 80 yard TD drive, mostly on the ground, and exposed the Packers's run defense. The run defense isn't the same top rated unit from 2009, but they haven't returned to the bottom five as they were in 2008 either. The truth is somewhere in the middle, which works just fine, and they still held the Bills to under 4 yards/carry overall.

9-R.Lindell kicks 57 yards from BUF 30 to GB 13. 87-J.Nelson pushed ob at GB 40 for 27 yards (27-R.Corner).

Nelson's just settling into his role as the best return option on the roster.

(9:02) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete deep right to 89-J.Jones.

(4:33) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass incomplete short right to 30-J.Kuhn.

It seemed like the offense was lost in the 2nd quarter, and they did go three-and-out on both of their possessions. It just happened at the same time the Bills offense showed some life, so it seemed worse then it was. 

Third Quarter

(12:58) (Shotgun) 5-T.Edwards pass short middle intended for 13-St. Johnson INTERCEPTED by 54-B.Chillar [50-A.Hawk] at BUF 48. 54-B.Chillar to BUF 39 for 9 yards (83-L.Evans).

Nice grab by LB Brandon Chillar.

(8:37) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass short left to 80-D.Driver for 7 yards, TOUCHDOWN [90-C.Kelsay].

QB Aaron Rodgers was nearly perfect in the 2nd half. He only had 2 incompletions in the half, and threw to 4 different receivers on this TD drive. 

(2:03) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers right end for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

During the previous drive, he didn't slide or run out of bounds on a scramble, instead taking a good hit. Hopefully the coaches told him not to do that again. He either ran to daylight or slid the rest of the game. On this TD run, he had a wide open field.

Fourth Quarter

(14:22) 5-T.Edwards pass short right intended for 11-R.Parrish INTERCEPTED by 42-M.Burnett at GB 48. 42-M.Burnett to GB 48 for no gain (11-R.Parrish).

A nifty first career INT for rookie SS Morgan Burnett, who took the ball away from the receiver on the ground. He's part of the problem on run defense, he takes bad angles and doesn't provide support like SS Atari Bigby, but he's looked good in coverage. 

(12:22) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass deep right to 89-J.Jones for 30 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on BUF, Defensive Offside, declined. Penalty on BUF, Defensive 12 On-field, declined.

I'm not sure why they're still slinging it downfield when the rout is underway, but Jones looked great on this play, and it was the only thing that kept this game from being a disaster for him.

(1:19) (Shotgun) 5-T.Edwards left end ran ob at GB 38 for 4 yards (54-B.Chillar).

A pretty feeble ending on 4th and 11. Couldn't he at least throw it somewhere?