2015 October : Packers Insider

Letroy Guion, B.J. Raji together at last on Packers’ defensive line

October 1, 2015 by  
Filed under News

From Roberto Demovsky, ESPN

~GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers have waited more than a year and a half to play B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion together on their defensive line.

It will finally happen Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Signed in March 2014, Guion was supposed to join Raji in rebuilding the Packers’ defensive front. Guion opened training camp that year on the non-football injury list because of a hamstring and by the time he returned, Raji already had ruptured his biceps tendon, an injury that ended his season.

Now that Guion’s three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy following his offseason arrest, defensive coordinator Dom Capers can throw his two run-stopping specialists at the 49ers.

And don’t expect the Packers to ease him back in.

“He’s a veteran; I think it’s important to cut him loose,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday.

Through three games, the Packers rank 27th out of 32 teams in rushing defense, giving up an average of 127.7 yards per game. However, they are coming off back-to-back performances in which they held Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to 41 yards and Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles to 49 (although he scored three rushing touchdowns).

What kind of difference can Guion make?

“We’ll see when I strap on the pads,” he said. “It’s hard to say right now. We’ll see when I get out there and start playing.”

Guion is expected to play mostly at defensive end in the base 3-4. Last year, he replaced Raji at nose tackle.

“I think Letroy brings experience,” Raji said. “I think he brings physicality, but he also brings the energy, another energetic body that’s going to run around and help you. I think just his presence and his understanding of the defense and what they’re going to do is going to help us.”

General manager Ted Thompson still has to officially add Guion to the roster. He was allowed to practice this week without counting on the 53. The Packers currently have only 52 on their roster after they placed tight end Andrew Quarless on the temporary injured reserve list on Wednesday because of the knee injury he sustained on Monday against the Chiefs.

Original article here

Week 3: Packers move to 3-0 as Aaron Rodgers tosses 5 TD’s

October 1, 2015 by  
Filed under News

From Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com senior editor

~GREEN BAY, Wis. — Packers coach Mike McCarthy is running out of superlatives to describe Aaron Rodgers.

Every week, his MVP quarterback dissects defenses in painstakingly methodical fashion.

Rodgers threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns, including three to Randall Cobb, and Green Bay beat the Kansas City Chiefs 38-28 on Monday night.

Rodgers led the Packers (3-0) on two successful first-quarter drives that ended with scoring passes to Cobb and rookie Ty Montgomery. He found James Jones for a 27-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter for a 24-7 lead at the break.

“Aaron is a phenomenal player … and playing great football,” McCarthy said with a laugh. “I’ll just keep saying it.”

Aaron Rodgers completed 24 of 35 passes for 333 yards and five touchdowns against the Chiefs on Monday. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Green Bay built a 38-14 lead early in the fourth quarter before withstanding a late rush by Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs.

Charles rushed for three touchdowns for Kansas City (1-2), which followed its stunning, last-minute loss at home to Denver with a respectable fourth-quarter effort at raucous Lambeau Field.

Charles’ 7-yard TD with 1:25 left got the Chiefs within 10. But the result was the same for Kansas City, which lost its second straight.

“Green Bay did a nice job,” a curt Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

Another masterful performance by Rodgers made for a difficult night for Reid’s defense.

Rodgers, who finished 24-of-35, again burned a secondary on free-play situations following defensive penalties. The longest play came on a 52-yard catch in the fourth quarter by Jones following an offside penalty, setting up Cobb’s third touchdown catch.

“His ability to really process information is as good as I’ve ever been around,” McCarthy said about Rodgers.

The Chiefs were on alert for Rodgers’ tendency to take advantage of free plays.

They still got beat.

“This is not acceptable, and coach Andy Reid is not happy,” Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said.

The offense’s ability to build big leads feeds into the Packers’ philosophy of making the opposing offense one-sided. It helps when the Packers can stop the running game, too.

Despite the three touchdown runs, the Packers prevented Charles from making explosive plays, limiting him to 49 yards on 11 carries.

Up front, Green Bay controlled the line of scrimmage when it counted and got to Alex Smith for seven sacks.

“Forcing (them) to punt that first half was pretty boring, being on the sideline,” linebacker Clay Matthews said. “But, hopefully, this is just an indication of where we’re headed as a defense.”

Smith finished 24-of-40 for 290 yards and a touchdown.

Under pressure near his own end zone, Smith also threw an interception to Sam Shields at the Chiefs’ 19 with about 7 minutes left in the third quarter. Shields returned it 15 yards, and on the next play, Rodgers found Cobb for a 4-yard touchdown and a 31-7 lead.

Rodgers and Cobb hooked up for another 4-yard scoring pass in the fourth. With the score, Rodgers set the franchise record with his fourth career game of at least five touchdown passes.

“That’s a Hall of Fame quarterback, and we give him much respect,” Johnson said. “It’s not panic mode, but if we want to do good down the stretch, we’re going to have to play a lot better against really good teams.”

Kansas City stopped its long streak of no touchdown receptions by a receiver when Jeremy Maclin hauled in a 5-yard TD pass with 56 seconds left in the third quarter to get the Chiefs within 31-14.

Before Maclin’s score, Dexter McCluster was the last receiver to score a regular-season touchdown for the Chiefs; he scored on a pass from Chase Daniel on the final day of the 2013 season.

Both Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery had receiving touchdowns in a wild-card game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 4, 2014.

Game notes
A week after fumbling twice, Charles had a little fun with his own Lambeau Leap into the awaiting arms of Chiefs fans following his 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. … CB Phillip Gaines left late in the first quarter with a sprained knee, further depleting a thin position for Kansas City. … For Green Bay, Jones finished with seven catches for 139 yards and a score. … WR Davante Adams left following the first series after aggravating a left ankle injury. … Also leaving the game for the Packers were TE Andrew Quarless (knee) and DL Datone Jones (head).

Chiefs vs. Packers – Game Recap – September 28, 2015 – ESPN

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