Well, it’s an awkward time to be a fan of the Ted Thompson-Mike McCarthy era. My parents watched too much pointless football over their lives, for me to spend the golden era of my Packers fandom (I don’t expect it to be better than now in ten years), complaining about failing to win a second super bowl. Honestly, the first one didn’t change my life at all, I’m just happy to watch exciting football. I’ll admit that does sound like loser talk, but I would be singing a different tune if I was involved with the Packers in anyway. Hell, if I was a janitor for the team, I’d be waxing the halls like Charlie in Always Sunny in Philadelphia with my game face on. But as a fan, who just wants to sip on brandy during the game, I’m appreciative of the past ten seasons.
After the Patriots loss, it officially feels like we are watching the end of McCarthy’s tenure. Which admittedly feels like an odd game to emotionally fire your coach over. Oh did you go into Foxborough and barely lose, because of something out of your hands? You’re gone! I’m not particularly happy about a coaching change, but I certainly would have trouble defending a lot of the concerns being expressed by the fan base and local/national media. Throw in Gutekunst dumping Haha Clinton Dix, Ty Montgomery, and Jermaine Whiteside for borderline insubordinate agendas and brain farts, it just feels like the team is about to undergo a major culture change.
And while the vast majority of cheeseheads feel this is McCarthy’s last season, we still have eight games left on the pine, and are in the heat of the playoff chase. And who else do we play in a crucial week 11 contest, but our rival the Seattle Seahawks, also in a must win situation. I haven’t heard much of Pete Carroll being on the hot seat, but if the 12th man is anything like cheeseheads, the idea is being thrown around.
Which puts us in a spot this temporary rivalry has yet to see, both teams in desperate need of a win to *have* playoff hopes, with each coach looking at the potential end of their tenure. On Thursday night no less. Much like the Packers, Seattle has been pretty good this season, despite their record. They’ve become a power running team, who runs the ball more than anybody in the league. (I’m not going to make one, but a Marshawn Lynch Joke fits here).
I think this fits into our strength on defense. Go ahead and run at Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Dean Lowry, and Blake Martinez. You may be able to run for a stretch of the game, but this packers defense will shut it down, as we saw with Frank Gore last week. Really, the Dolphins are a pretty similar team to the Seahawks, except for their quarterback situation.
Obviously playing the run against Miami is going to be safer than playing the run against Seattle. Russell Wilson will find ways to make us pay, that Brock Osweiler envisions during yoga, but ultimately can’t create.
Luckily, Seattle doesn’t have the strongest receiving core. Their leading receiver is Tyler Locket, who has three hundred less yards than Devante Adams so far this season. They don’t have a star receiver that needs to be worried about, the secondary should match up well.
If the defense can create a pass rush, it’s hard to imagine the team doesn’t come out of Seattle, Washington with a win. That being said, my biggest concern on the offensive side of the ball would be the rookie receivers being able to communicate despite the crowd noise. They’ve come a long way since they were thrown into the mix at Detroit in week five. That being said, I’d probably lean towards them looking confused against the Seahawks, such as week five.
Their biggest issue in week five was failing to keep the play alive after their initial route didn’t work. This Thursday, I’m worried about them running the wrong route all together. This is definitely a game you wish was in Green Bay, travelling to Los Angeles, Foxborough, and Seattle in the span of nineteen days? That’s about as tough a stretch as possible.
If the Packers take care of business down the stretch of the season, they should be in the playoffs. With games against the Vikings and Bears coming up, Green Bay should be able to simply take care of their schedule and get in. Outside of the Bears beating the Lions last week hurting our NFC North hopes, the other teams positioning to steal the sixth playoff spot lost. So long as we aren’t giving away games, and beat the Vikings in our head to head match up, I like our chances.
It’s just impossible to throw in the towel on this team, until we’re eliminated. They’ve proven they can play with anyone, because this defense looks respectable. If the offense suddenly becomes explosive, Rodgers may bring the belt back again this season.