The Packers looked really bad today. The Packers in fact, looked worse than they did against the R-words two weeks ago. My foretelling last week was somewhat correct, we looked great last week because we played a bad team, a team that unlike the Packers won a game this week.
Why do the Packers have the greatest quarterback of all time on their team yet continue look hideous almost every week against good teams? Why must I continue to suffer week after week this season but receive relief from baseball of all sports?
The Lions did everything in their power to let the Packers win this game and the Packers did everything in their power to not win. The Packers accomplished this feat by having poor clock management, horrible offensive playcalling, foolish turnovers, missed field goal after missed field goal, and not letting key guys make plays.
Aaron Rodgers really hasn’t been Aaron Rodgers so far this season and at first, I thought it was his leg injury, but I think it’s something mentally. I will speak more in depth about that later. I will begin with the positive, during the first half, the defense didn’t look bad, besides a couple huge plays they gave up. Take out the special teams flummox, they gave out 17 points while they’re offense did nothing in return for them. The only bad thing there is the Lions came into this game with one of the worst offenses in the league and they still scored 24 and once again the offense couldn’t do anything against one of the league’s worst defenses. Aaron Jones looked great in the measly seven touches he got, against the worst rushing defense in the league. I thought it would be important to mention that last part because for some reason he wasn’t given the ball a lot despite Aaron Rodgers pleading for it and him looking spectacular when he does touch the ball. Coincidingly, the offense looked decent in the second half but by that time the defense and Mason Crosby have already given up. They somehow managed to get 521 total yards yet still lose and look horrible doing it. The Packers need to stop playing and actually look decent in the first half of a game for once. 3+ touchdown second-half comebacks in the NFL are already a challenge and this offense isn’t built to do that. They also don’t have the defense to hold up their end of the bargain. It never looks good to lose this bad to a team they are really supposed to beat but because they had tons of unforced-errors and it’s about that time where the Packers always seem to look bad in the season, there is some silver lining. The fact that they still have to go through their most challenging part of the schedule doesn’t make me feel optimistic. Next week at home against a sickly 49ers team should make the Packers look better than last week’s Packers team but after this game against the Lions I can’t feel 100% confident on that.
Past Players Chopped – Justin McCray, Lane Taylor Randall Cobb
For me there’s really no honor in tearing into a kicker even when he most deserves it. It’s too easy, but this week it’s so easy and there’s honestly no better option. Mason Crosby deserves to be chopped this week and he is easily the most deserving candidate of the year so far. Him going 1/5 and missing an extra point gives him the worst performance an NFL kicker has had in over a decade. The numbers alone are bad but the fact he missed very easy ones in a dome and that if he made them the Packers probably would’ve won makes him a far more deserving recipient of being chopped. If Mason Crosby was young, he would’ve been released instantly after the game. He’s old, he’s done so much for them before and it’s the Packers, which means he’ll probably be kicking for that team for another decade. Crosby should be on pitchfork watch until further notice.
Chicago Bears – The Bears had a bye week and got further up the standings (3-1) with the Packers losing. Their defense is great and will honestly only be greater as the weather becomes cold. The offense and Trubisky was at 100% power against a soft Buccaneers pass coverage but I believe they have yet to be tested. They still have to play New England, the Vikings twice, a solid Jets team and the Rams to name their most challenging games left. As usual with the Bears we can still wait to see if they inevitably beat themselves by season’s end.
Minnesota Vikings – Vikings finally got a meaningful win this season now 2-2-1, but they are still way under preseason expectations (not mine) considering how complete that team is. They have been dealing with a ton of injury problems, but they did beat an even more injured, disappointing Eagles team so there’s that for them.
Detroit Lions – (Read above rant again). Despite ranking near the bottom offensively and defensively, the Lions still have been finding ways to win football games now at 2-3. Admittedly they may have looked worse than the Packers at times on Sunday but a wins a win especially for this Lions team. With Kerryon Johnson running and a solid pass rush, I still think the Lions haven’t reached full potential on both sides of the ball. With that said, they are just as much of a threat as the Bears to win the NFC North which is still not as big of a threat than the Vikings or Packers.
Why Mike McCarthy Is Ruining Aaron Rodgers
This will develop into a rant about Mike McCarthy but because Aaron Rodgers is the one playing, I’ll start with him. Even though he doesn’t look as injured playing as he did against the Vikings or Redskins, he’s been playing like he’s on one leg. He’s been quite inaccurate or at least not Aaron Rodgers accurate, overthrowing guys a lot. Also, and maybe an answer to big question, Rodgers has been spending a lot of time in the pocket, running away, not throwing and when he does, he’s throwing the ball away.
Are his receivers so bad that they can’t get open?
The obvious answer is no. Rodgers has had worse receivers to throw to in the past and consistently in his career, he has made mediocre receivers look great. The answer to me is playcalling and the culprit is Mike McCarthy. Look at great NFL offenses with mediocre receivers in the past decade, big example the New England Patriots. Tom Brady is a quarterback with mediocre stature, athleticism and he’s now old, but he’s one of the greatest of all time and he still puts up great numbers. The reason is because of the playcalling of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniel. They design simple, yet unpredictable routes and they are the masters of creating mismatches with opposing defenses. Their offense, much like many NFL offenses present day are designed so there’s always an open guy down the field, giving the quarterback an easy target to throw to. Also, most passes are quick and there’s a tempo that’s created which is extremely hard for defenses to defend. McCarthy’s offense is straight from Tecmo Bowl and as far as on paper, it’s probably not that different than Bill Walsh’s offenses of the 1980’s 49ers which shouldn’t come as a surprise since he’s on the Bill Walsh coaching tree. This can be a successful offense, it was with the Packers in the early 2010’s, it was for the Packers in the 1990’s and it was for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980’s but it can only be successful if the players involved are better than great. In McCarthy’s system, receivers aren’t meant to get open requiring the quarterback to make the perfect throw, in the smallest of windows. Rodgers has been so great and has been able to do that in the past but due to injury and maybe another factor he can’t as well anymore. Even in the past, Rodgers was launching quick 2-3 step passes and there was a tempo. Now it seems he’s waiting for guys to be open, there’s multiple receivers in a 5-yard box and that has NEVER worked in the 100-year history of NFL football. Lastly there’s zero tempo and all of these formulate a sickly offense that’s quarterbacked by maybe the greatest to have ever played. It’s an absolute travesty, maybe the greatest in my life, to see someone who is so unbelievably talented and great have his years and body wasted. Notice when the Packers are down, Rodgers takes over with his style and they start producing offense. It’s because Rodgers is calling plays that gets his receivers open for him and he’s utilizing quick throws, mismatches and a tempo. I don’t think McCarthy should be fired, he’s a proven winner, but I think he should relinquish playcalling and designing to either Joe Philbin or Rodgers himself. The offense has looked too lackluster for too long. Aaron Rodgers has been rightfully frustrated for too long and I think should allow him to play to his full potential because we will never see anyone like him ever again.