Backup QB Kizer looks shaky in relief of Rodgers
Packers beat writer Ryan Wood answered questions from readers Monday, a day after Green Bay’s 24-23 victory over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Read the transcript at www.jsonline.com/packers.
Q: No. 12 was amazing, but what about the backup QB situation?
A: It’s ... not great. DeShone Kizer’s primary job as a backup quarterback is to not turn over the football, and that’s just what he did. Kizer let Khalil Mack take three points out of his hand. Then he tossed a touchdown pass to the wrong team. One thing Mike McCarthy just said was the screen call that led to Mack’s pick-six kept him awake last night. McCarthy was trying to help Kizer get into a rhythm with an easy play, especially because he thought Kizer might have to play the second half, but he regretted making that call in hindsight. Just run the football and get to the locker room down 10-0, instead of 17-0. Bottom line, Kizer has to play a lot better. Last night didn’t cut it, and almost cost the Packers the game.
Q: Clay Matthews looked really old, falling down multiple times while chasing QB and blowing contain. The late hit was the icing on a bad cake. If he can’t bring an outside rush, is it time to move him inside?
A: They might get there eventually, but first the Packers will give Clay Matthews every opportunity to be a productive edge rusher. If he’s unable to produce from the edge, it significantly limits their defense’s ceiling. So they’re not there yet, but last night was not a good showing from him.
Q: I feared the Packer D might be worse than last year. Do you fear I’m right? Despite this “Miracle” win, I think Rodgers might have to win a few 38-35 games.
A: I mean, the Packers only won because the defense kept them in the game. After the first 15 scripted, unscouted plays, the Packers barely gave up anything. It’s impossible to make any grand conclusions based on one game, but last night was something the defense can build on. Like Aaron Rodgers said, the Packers defense only allowed 16 points. The Packers should win when their defense only allows 16 points. Q: Where were our tight ends?
A: Two catches, eight yards for Jimmy Graham. One catch, 13 yards for Lance Kendricks. And that was it. Really surprised they didn’t get more from Graham, but part of that was how well the top three receivers played, especially late. If you look at the recent history, it’s taken time for the Packers to work their new tight ends into the offense. I guess it’ll be no different with Graham.
Q: Any idea why House didn’t play? He’s not that deep on the depth chart is he?
A: Davon House is the No. 5 cornerback. So, yes, he is that deep.
Q: What changes can be made on the offense assuming Rodgers will have limited mobility against a Vikings pass rush?
passes, Just emphasizing what you saw Rodgers last night. getting A lot the of ball quick-timing out of his hand.
Q: Is this defense a 2 to 3 year rebuilding project via trade and free agency? Pettine may have some better schemes, but they looked just like last year’s defense.
A: I think you quit watching after the first series. There was a whole rest of the game after that, in which they gave up nine points total.
Q: How about Ty’s blocking downfield on Cobb’s TD?
A: Yeah, that was the critical part of that play. Even better vision from Randall Cobb to know when to cut back and use his blocker. But that TD happened because Ty Montgomery played through the whistle, even if it meant sprinting 80 yards downfield.
Q: Well, that’s a fun way to start a season. Thought the new secondary was all they could hope, but would have liked to see some of the newer guys on offense more. What were your biggest expectations that were met, and biggest disappointments?
A: I think Geronimo Allison showed he’s indeed primed for a breakout season. And the new secondary did look good. Their biggest disappointment had to be the offensive line’s struggle. Knew there were depth issues, but thought the starting unit would be significantly better than that.