Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Speechless!

Can anyone explain to me what is going on with the Packers? And don't tell me injuries either. Defensively, sure we are decimated, but we only gave up 13 pts in regulation. If you would have asked me if Green Bay won while allowing Washington to only score 13 pts in regulation I would have said yes hands down. I would probably have bet the farm on that in fact! Offensively, while we have lost Grant for the year, and lost Finley and Lee during game play today, I still don't think that that's enough of a handcuff to prevent this offense from clicking. They did move the ball 2day. Hell, they even ran the ball effectively today.......much to my surprise. So WTF? There are 2 things that I have come away with through the first 5 weeks of the NFL season regarding this team.

1. Complete Imbalance Offensively - As you all know, I have preached about the ineffectiveness of our current corps of running backs. Today, however, they surprised me when Jackson rushed for over 100 yards on only 10 carries! Kuhn even averaged 4 ypc on 4 carries. So my question is, when running the ball so effectively what's with the 4:1 ratio of pass plays to run plays? Teams realize that Rodgers is our primary weapon and we go to him on roughly 70ish% of our plays, so they are sitting back in pass coverage thus allowing big holes to run through. I know that many people think that the NFL is now a passing league, but I feel that there are only a select few elite QB's that can pick apart defenses without an effective running game (Manning, Brady, Brees). Rodgers is close, but it's obvious that the loss of Grant has really hurt our passing game's effectiveness. Further, I can't explain it, but there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency with our offensive unit. I don't know if there is just an overconfidence on their part to simply outscore their opponent at will, but they aren't converting 3rd/4th and short yardage plays, the receivers are dropping balls left and right, and even Rodgers has been prone to throw a number of picks of late.

2. Overrated? - Leading into this season, Rodgers was essentially hailed the next great Green Bay quarterback. The talking heads for giving him "elite" QB status along with Manning, Brady, and Brees. He was a hot commodity on the fantasy front and went in the first round in many drafts. To go along with this theme, the Packers were a very popular pick on a national level to represent the NFC in this year's Super Bowl. In fact, when questioned about this, many GB players used the phrase "Super Bowl or die" during interviews in training camp. And I think there were t-shirts made with this phrase and worn by some players on the of which being ARodg. This makes me reminisce to the Packers of the 90's that consistently had high expectations leading into the much so that coach Holmgren banned any SuperBowl talk within the locker room in hopes of reeling in any sort of over confidence.

I don't know what the hell is going on with this team. They are 3-2, but again they have lost a game that they essentially dominated and should have gotten the W in. Further, this injury thing is really getting out of control. I don't have any answers, but injuries are no excuse, and I think there needs to be some major corrections on the offensive side of the ball. Is it McCarthy's play calling? Is it Rodger's mistakes? Is it the running game? Regardless, we now sit at second place in the Central and I suspect Minnesota isn't going to go quietly now that they have added Moss. We are now entering the tough part of our schedule with Miami, Minnesota, @Jets, Dallas, @Minnesota, and @Atlanta. I suspect we will see this team's true colors once we get through some of these "tough" opponents.


You are a Baffoon said...


PaulNoonan said...

It's injuries. I hate it when people say "don't tell me it's injuries." Why the hell not?

EMoney said...

The reason I say it's not injuries is because the majority of our crucial injuries are on the defensive side of the ball. Strangely enough, in our 2 losses the defense actually played quite well. Offensively, we lost Grant week 1 (although everyone seems to believe that he is replaceable with Jackson/Kuhn) and Finley yesterday. While Finley is a beast at the TE position, I hardly think that his loss yesterday is the reason we were only able to scrape up 13 pts against a mediocre Washington team. I mean, we still have what many hail as the best receiving corps in football with Jennings/Driver/Jones/Nelson and an "elite" QB in Rodgers throwing them the ball. The offensive unit as a whole just is not clicking, so what gives?

I did hear an interesting stat that Trent Dilfer pointed out on The Herd today. In Green Bay's last 3 games, they have had 17 2nd half possessions. In those, the offense has produced 1 TD, 3 FG's, 2 missed FG's, 3 Int's, 1 Fumble, and 7 punts. So essentially, they have not produced in "crunch time". Dilfer went on to say that our opponents are making mid-game adjustments that eliminate what was successful for GB in the first half, and GB has failed to counter adjust appropriately to the defense. Makes sense. I don't have the number's in front of me, so I'd be curious to see what this team has done in 4 point games since Rodgers became the starter (record when leading at half, come from behind victories, etc.). It just seems like we have lost a majority of the 1 possession games in the past 3 years. If that's the case is it coaching? QB play? Defense? Youth? If anyone is bored, feel free to look into these #'s.

EMoney said...

Great poll on Jsonline 2day.

What bothers you the most about the packers right now?

1. Erratic kicking/punting game
2. Inconsistent running game
3. Injuries
4. Plays called on offense

Honestly, I couldn't pick. They all are driving me NUTS! (After a few minutes of pondering I eventually went with #2, the inconsistent running game.....mostly because I've written like 2000 words on this blog b!tching about it)

PaulNoonan said...

Finley/Lee/Tauscher/Grant/Rodgers on offense.

It's injuries.

EMoney said...

Eric Karabell of ESPN decided to weigh in on our discussions today. Looks like he agrees with me regarding the running game....or lack there of. Good, yet unfortunate, summary of what's going on in Green Bay. It doesn't look good.

PaulNoonan said...

Stupid Dilfer. What a shitty stat that is. I mean, first of all, why the "last 3 games?" Why not all 5? What, they forgot how to make halftime adjustments 3 weeks ago? We're only counting good teams so we're leaving out the Bills? Is that it? But including the Lions? Well, that hardly seems fair.

Might I point out that in the Detroit game the Packers actually did adjust and ran out like the last 7 minutes? That the Bear game was just a fluky piece of shit?

Or that yesterday everyone and their mother got hurt?

Injuries are the obvious answer, and as the razor says, likely the correct one. I hate the notion that backups can be just as good as starters by trying really hard. It turns a lack of talent into a moral failing.

PaulNoonan said...

Looks like he agrees with me on everything else. Not that I care what Eric Karabell says.

EMoney said...

I think Dilfer chose last 3 because we have lead at halftime in all 3, yet lost at Chicago and at Washington yesterday, and were outscored by Detroit (AT HOME) 12 to 7. To please you, I went back and looked at the 2nd half scoring in all games. I am eliminating the Bills because they are the worst team in the NFL. So here are the 2nd half numbers in the remaining 4 games:

1. @ Philly - GB outscored 17-14

2. @ Chicago - GB outscored 13-7

3. Detroit - GB outscored 12-7

4. @ Washington - outscored 13 - 3

There you have it. We have been outscored in the 2nd half in all games except Buffalo. Total in those 4 is Green Bay 31, Opponents 54.

PaulNoonan said...

Eliminating the Bills is still stupid.

So in 4 games of football we've been outscored in the second half on average by 5.75 points, and in the only game in which we were outscored by double digits everyone on the team got hurt, and without that it's 4.6. Big whoop.

My preseason pick for the Packers was 8-8 based on schedule strength and lack of depth. So far they are simply meeting my expectations.

You are a Baffoon said...

I'm going to have to go ahead ask you to move your things to storage B Mr. McCarthy. Here is my rationale on the lack of offensive continuity this year; the Packers do not have an identity. Tell me one play that you have seen that the Packers run well this season? Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock....Bing times up, you lose! I have watched all five games, and still do not know what their bread and butter is. Is it the quick slant? Is it the play action boot? Is Driver running the comeback route soundly? Is the offensive line running inside zone with well enough on a game to game basis? Sure they have the talent to pass and catch the ball, but against the Skins they ended up dropping a ridiculous number of normally routine balls. What also chaps my ass is the fact that Greg Jennings has been nearly absent from the offense, which in my professional opinion stems to the lack of a running game to set up the play-action-pass. Corners are not honoring the run, so they are not biting on as many of the longer go routes. At some point, the Packers need to sustain drives with a running game and find their identity to set up those game changing pass plays.

EMoney said...

We've got a good test this week vs Miami. I don't know what to think. 1 week ago I would have said an easy win. Miami is a run based team, but they can't even got the Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams show going to save their ass. Henne is talented but is prone to mistakes and aside from Brandon Marshall has a less than mediocre receiving corps. Considering our running game, if Flynn is our QB, we're thumped!

You are a Baffoon said...

Your "thumping" verbage, very nice. Well I heard on the radio on the way into the coal mine that Packers TE Tom "Scary Tats" Crabtree is ready to step up with Finley nursing his knee. He even went so far as to say he's kinda irritated that he's only considered a blocking TE. Apparently he can catch, we'll see about that?? I look for the Packers to try and establish some sort of run game on Sunday to take the pressure off the QB, whoever is back there, Rodgers or Flynn. Whether that works, is anyone's guess. Apparently the Packers are also holding open tryouts for running back again, looks like Aaron Stecker took the bait, I wonder if some other has-beens such as Ron Dayne, Ahman Green, or maybe even Sam I Kon Gado!!

EMoney said...

Are you serious about Stecker and this exploration of other running backs? If so, my rage towards the handling of the roster will increase exponentially. So tell me it isn't so. (Maybe we could get Brent Moss too)

You are a Baffoon said...

Stecker was in for a tryout yesterday, it's confirmed. The other guys I doubt. Ron Dayne is probably tipping the scales right now around the 3-Hundo mark right now. Samkon Gado is working at Jiffy Lube and Ahman Green is in the UFL I think.

EMoney said...