Glancing at Scott Tolzien’s boxscore from the Giants loss, you’d be impressed.
But don’t be fooled.
Tolzien Alex Smithed the Giants to death.
Mike McCarthy kept the leash on the third-year pro making his first NFL start. He didn’t allow Tolzien to keep the Giants defense honest by throwing it down the field.
The Giants were challenging Tolzien by stuffing the box with eight or nine guys. But McCarthy desperately wanted to establish the run, play the percentages and win a time of possession battle on the road.
That’s all fine and good, but when Eddie Lacy only has 27 yards on 14 carries, perhaps it’s time for a play-action or two for a streaking Jordy Nelson.
The next two weeks will shape what happens the rest of the season. In order to keep their playoff hearts beating, the Packers must at least split the next two games with the Vikings at Lambeau and at Detroit on Thanksgiving.
The NFC North has turned the tables on everyone’s projections. Billed as one of the toughest divisions in August, now the only way a North team punches a playoff ticket is if it wins the division.
But if the Packers are to win a game they’re supposed to win — which means this Sunday — Tolzien must be allowed to throw the pigskin. He only had 10 incompletions without the use of Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley. That’s pretty good.
Don’t expect lasers like Aaron Rodgers threw at Mall of America last month. But expect good decision-making and great use of play-action.
Remember, Tolzien won 79 percent of his games at Wisconsin where he also handed the ball off to guys like Montee Ball and James White. He knows the play-action pretty well.
Now if only McCarthy will let Tolzien take the training wheels off.
Because nobody wants to be Alex Smithed.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn