Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
Mired in a two-game losing streak, the Packers (3-4-1) will try to get well Sunday against the Miami Dolphins (5-4) at Lambeau Field, where Green Bay is undefeated this season.
We'll start with Eric Baranczyk and Pete Dougherty writing about the decline in Aaron Rodgers' play this season and what it means.
Eric and Pete write:
Regardless, one of the things that has separated Rodgers from other quarterbacks is his pinpoint throwing, and he just hasn’t been as accurate this season. We saw an example early on Sunday night, on the Packers’ first drive of the game.
Rodgers had led a drive deep into Patriots territory and faced third-and-goal from New England’s 14. Coach Mike McCarthy called a receiver screen to Randall Cobb, and reviewing the game tape, the play started with promise.
As Cobb waited to catch the ball, he had five blockers heading out in front of him: tackle David Bakhtiari, guard Lane Taylor, center Corey Linsley, tight end Jimmy Graham and receiver Davante Adams.
However, Rodgers’ throw was low and behind Cobb. Cobb caught it but had to reverse pivot to turn upfield, and by the time he got going the play was all but dead because defensive end Adrian Clayborn had pursued from behind and blown up the play.
If Rodgers’ throw had hit Cobb in the chest, though, the play might have gone for a touchdown. The Patriots had four defenders between Cobb and the goal line, but the Packers had five blockers. With a better throw, Cobb could have headed upfield immediately, which would have taken Clayborn out of the play. With five blockers leading the way, Cobb very well might have been able to make his way into the end zone.
Instead, the play died, and the drive ended with a field goal instead of a touchdown on a night when the Packers needed touchdowns.
You can read their entire weekly film-review analysis here:
Eric and Pete also handed down their weekly position grades:
The Packers are still learning how to win close games, especially on the road:
All it takes is just one game for an NFL team to go from injury free to injury riddled:
Packers linebacker Blake Martinez 'optimistic' he won't miss time with ankle injury:
The Packers News crew discuss all the developments of the day from Lambeau Field:
The Packers' mediocre play could save ticket buyers some money in December, writes Richard Ryman:
Packers rookie receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling is on a roll:
Are the Packers still a playoff contender? NFL Network analysts weigh in:
ESPN's Rob Demovsky writes that the Packers can only save their season by getting the ball more to Davante Adams:
There were plenty of eye witnesses Sunday night:
More well-deserved praise for Patriots coach Bill Belichick:
Trick plays have long been a Patriots staple under Belichick, writes ESPN's Mike Reiss:
The two best teams in the NFC North (currently) have been flexed into prime time:
Should Packers special teams coordinator Ron Zook be nervous?
It didn't take long for Amari Cooper to score his first Cowboys touchdown:
And finally, NBC's microphones picked up some interesting pre-snap exchanges between Rodgers and center Corey Linsley: