Packers XLV

McCarthy and Rodgers Shoulder the Blame for This One

Posted September 19th, 2016 @ 01:09pm

This one is on McCarthy and Rodgers.

Yes, Sam Bradford's play was exemplary and Stefan Diggs showed again that he's a star in the making, but the Pack's defense overall was not the issue on this night. Statistically, the teams were basically even in total yards and time of possession.

Mike McCarthy did not have a great night calling plays and Aaron Rodgers struggled all night with ball protection and accuracy. It added up to just a 14 point night, which will not win you many games in the NFL.

Let's start with the head coach. He'l defend the decision to pass up a 32 yard field goal late in the third quarter that would have tied the game. "We were on a 12 play drive and I thought the advantage was to the offense in that situation," he said after the game. But handing the ball to James Starks on fourth and two against that defense was a disaster. That decision completely changed the momentum of the game. Through two games, fourth downs have been killers for the Pack on both sides of the ball.

I would have liked to see a larger dose of Eddie Lacy in the second half; he's one of those guys who gets better as the game goes along. But McCarthy went pass happy and his quarterback didn't deliver.

Rodgers was off his game from the start. Through two game,s the offense still looks an awfully lot like last year's. There were seven active receivers on the roster, but only three saw the field (why did Ty Montgomery get no snaps?). And the Pack seems intent on getting Jordy Nelson into the flow--he again was the clear cut leader in targets. With the Vikes' pass rush causing problems all night, it's a head scratcher that we don't see more screens and quick hitches dialed up. The Pack's offense seems to always be determined to go downfield, even if nothing is open.

Obviously, the Vikes' defense was up to the challenge. I thought the Pack would find mismatches in the secondary, but their coverage was solid all night. Randall Cobb and Jared Cook were afterthoughts as the Pack zeroed in on Trae Waynes, who's horrid night was saved by his game-saving pick late in the fourth quarter.

Credit where it's due: Mike Zimmer's defense wreaked havoc all night. But the Packers' D wasn't far behind. The run defense was exemplary, completely bottling up Adrian Peterson, before he left with an apparent knee injury. The problem, of course, was the Stefon Diggs-Damarius Randall matchup. Coming off a game where he was the highest graded CB in week 1, Randall was abused by Diggs all night.

Sam Bradford's play was outstanding--he was getting pummeled all night but stepped up and made big play after big play. It looked like he and Diggs had been playing together for years, not days. With the Pack concentrating on stopping the run, Randall was forced to win one on one matchups and on this night he was not up to the challenge.

Despite the fumbles, the late pick and the sluggish offense the Packers were in this one till the final minute. There's no shame in losing a division road game by three, especially on a special night like this was.

But as the team heads back to Lambeau for the next five weeks, there is much work to be done on the offensive side of the ball. This next stretch of home games against the Lions, Giants, Bears and Cowboys will tell us all we need to know about the 2016 Packers. Those four defenses will provide opportunities for the Pack's offense to awaken from its slumber. But if we're still scratching our heads a month from now and the team doesn't score points in bunches against those teams, we'll know there are serious issues for the once potent Pack.

The sky is not falling. The season is young and the Packers are heading home until Halloween weekend. There's plenty of time to get the offense on track. But McCarthy needs to take a good, hard look at his personnel and understand he may have to change some things.

Last week Zimmer said, 'you can't really call this a rivalry until we win a few of these.' After   Sunday night, I think we're all ready to call this a rivalry. And one that will resume on a cold Christmas Eve day in Lambeau--likely with a division title at stake.

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Comments (23):

That sound you hear out your window is Dave from Maple Grove jumping out of a high building. I just love how the Dave's, 1265 and the rest will now have miserable weeks. DELICIOUS!!!!

on September 19th, 2016 at 04:28pm

The best part of this is seeing all the Packers fans who are panicking about Rodgers Super Bowl window closing, when in reality the window is already closed and they're sprinting towards it to die like a bird hitting US Bank Stadium. 14 games in row with under a 100 QB rating for Rodgers. Yikes. It must be tough to watch your deity become mortal.

on September 19th, 2016 at 07:30pm

You wanted large does of Lacy in the 2nd half? That's a lot to ask considering the guy was gassed after the first 2 series, as Cobb and Starks had to step in for him. Speaking of Cobb, hell of a $10 million a year WR you got there. Definitely worth the $. LOL, what a terrible contract/extension by TT there. This game shouldn't have even been close, you just were fortunate to recover your fumbles most of the time. Way to protect the ball Sharon! Play for penalty flags, works every time! Enjoy 7-9 this year and battling the Bears for 3rd in the division!

on September 19th, 2016 at 08:35am

I tried. Lord, how I tried. Fore most of the game, my crew was your only offense at all. Way to blow all of the help we gave you. Ticky-tack PI and holding calls, while ignoring your OL's blatant holds, just wasn't enough. I like the extra payoffs you give us to help you win games, but you've gotta put a little more effort into winning games yourself! Sheesh!

on September 19th, 2016 at 08:56am

Hard to watch. I agree that Lacy should have played a larger role in the 2nd half. McCarthy needs to seriously do some soul searching - think outside the box. What would it look like to have Nelson, Janis and Abrederris on the field at the same time? You can't tell me that these guys running some combination routes wouldn't give defenses trouble. Cobb lining up in the backfield and running a wheel route behind them and getting one-on-one with a linebacker - how 'bout that?!?! How about a short yardage formation with Ripkowski and Daniels in the backfield lead blocking for Lacy?!? And, MM is MUCH smarter than I am - I trust he'll figure it out or it will be a long season. Taking my 8 year old to his first game at Lambeau vs. the Lions, so hoping to see some "spark" in the Pack Offense!

on September 19th, 2016 at 09:00am

Aaron Rodgers has not a qb rating over 100 in 15 straight games. WOW, JUST WOW!

on September 19th, 2016 at 09:00pm

When the schedule came out I figured 11-5 including a road loss to the Queens. Need a larger sample size to get a more complete read on Bradford. Always smarter after the fact but at the time I thought they were trying to draw an off sides on that 4th and 2 then get the FG. Then they snapped it!!! Unbelievable. Got to get the score tied on the road. Kudos to the Queens and Diggs, Zimmer. A-Rodg is still in preseason as far as reps, maybe try playing more with the one's in the fake games. Holding and P.I.calls are judgement calls that ref's blow in every game. Am curious to see what the Queens do against Carolina... did they shoot thier wad last night and go flat on the road or will they show up and compete? Got to put up 27 to try to get that "W." A.P. is a non-factor even if 100 percent. Hard to think 12 will play a worse game than last night but I give all the credit to the purple "D." Splitting the two road games isn't a shock and will wait till after the 1st. 4 games to get a true read on our squad. Not unusual for us to come out of the gate sluggish. Thanks KFAN for putting THC on the radio, win or lose, as always, GO PACK!

on September 19th, 2016 at 09:27am

Cheating Ref - I will be doubling or possibly tripling your kickbacks for all upcoming games at Lambeau Field ...

on September 19th, 2016 at 09:39am

So if you knew all this oh Great Head Cheese how could you pick your team to win by 10? And your Defense was not far behind??? Really no turnovers and allowed 6 of 10 completions over 10 yards and a QB rating of 120. Keep drinking that pack kool aid if you think your D is in the same league as the Vikings. Not to mention the vikes were missing there number one corner and you could do nothing except occasionally draw some Ricky tacky calls as pointed out by the announcers. So much for feeling at home in our house huh?

on September 19th, 2016 at 09:54am

(snickers at kickers) special teams? in your dreams! turnover on downs cause kickers are clowns!

on September 19th, 2016 at 10:33am

davy.......You defense is not even close to the Vikes. I have been hearing all summer about how great GB's secondary is and how Randall is going to be a star. Nope. Tell your GM to start drafting football players instead of former Lacross and Baseball rejects. GB's window is closing almost as fast as Rodgers is declining.

on September 19th, 2016 at 10:35am

Dave - GBs vaunted defense allowed a qb with a limited playback and 15 days of study to pass at will on that secondary. GBs secondary is very weak and will be a problem all year. It's clear the torch has been passed. Vikes were the better team last season and are the better team this year. Look at the future, Rodgers on the tail end of his career and clearly isn't the same qb. Vikings have a Zimmer coached team with tons of young talent on both sides, new energy in state of the art stadium. The next 5 years are very bright for MN and GBs window is slammed shut. GB needs to blow that up and rebuild.

on September 19th, 2016 at 11:09am

It's got to take a special level of delusion to think that a defense that got shredded by a QB who has been on the team for 2 weeks is "not far behind" the defense that made Rodgers look like Christian Ponder. It's a top 15 quality unit, but the Vikings are in the conversation for best in the league.

on September 19th, 2016 at 11:14am

good defensive game, MM blew it though, how about some crossing patterns, I said this 4 times last year, Rodgers had plenty of time, no one could get open, sure , after 3 seconds when ball should be gone he got pressure. they run button hooks and go routes that is it. Where in the hell was Davis? let him run a 2-3 go routes,if that is all they run. just throw it out there, the way waynes was holding we have caught it or flag, try something. they were letting both teams grab and hold, so, what do you do, run some crossing patterns, get, them in motion b4 the snap. when you go against a fast d, run some misdirection plays, fake to lacy, roll out to left, te would be open a lot. did someone say on here to watch out for rudolph, who was that man?, did someone say 2 years ago, to draft diggs in draft in 5th rd, who was that man?1 game, should have won, no big deal, vikes go 10-6, pack goes 12-4, sure wished we would have had shields to watch diggs, both have same quickness to them. everyone says you need to run to win, the vikes have 60 yds rushing in 2 games and are 2-0, passing scores points, not rushing. Go Packers.

on September 19th, 2016 at 11:16am

Whoaaaa.... Sinikin you have a tough time being objective. Take off the cheese goggles. GB does not have a defense even close to the Vikings. GB may have 1 or 2 players thst would even break theven vikinns starting defense. That Vikings defense dominated that game. GB defense couldn't stop the Vikings passing game. That secondary GB has will be picked on all year. Also Rodgers looks like a middle of the rold qb now..accuracy off, timing off, and doesn't have the pocket awareness he once had..all comes with age and signs the best years are behind him. Nelson also looked like a shell of his former self. Doesn't look good for GB.

on September 19th, 2016 at 11:20am

Good point. Green Bay is a jv defense compared to the Vikings. He's right, Green Bay may only have 1 player that could even start for the Vikings. Viki GS have way more star power. Barr, Griffen, Kendricks, Joseph, H.Smith, Hunter are all elite at their positions. And think they dominated without Rhodes and Floyd. Ridiculous depth on that Vikings defense. Vikings will be in position for home field and bye..GB will be in mix for possible wildcard

on September 19th, 2016 at 11:30am

One more thing...for the so called rematch on xmas eve the Vikings will have a 3 game lead and may rest their starters since they have a bye wrapped up for the playoffs. Shaun Hill can still beat GB though ;)

on September 19th, 2016 at 11:47am

With the next 4 games at home, the Pack will be very fortunate to win one of them! Tired of hearing the same thing each week from MM and AR. They obviously do not know how to fix it.

on September 20th, 2016 at 01:23pm

What would the tone be if Rodgers had pulled a "Hail Mary" in the last seconds and the Pack would have taken a 21-17 win? You can't tell me every Queens fan wasn't wetting themselves thinking about that until the pick. The win would have been nice but to play as out of sync as the Packers did under the circumstances and lose by only 3 isn't a call for abandoning ship. They started the 2014 season similarly; an opening 20 point loss at Seattle, a squeaker win over the Jets at Lambeau and a 19-7 smothering at Detroit. Then finished 11-2 and reached the NFC Championship Game. If the offense doesn't get it back over the next 2-3 games then we'll have something to get really worried about this season. The schedule just ahead could have the Packers sitting at 8-2 or 9-1 heading into the final month of the season. Two years ago Aaron Rodgers told us to R-E-L-A-X after the Lions loss. This year Ty Montgomery says to C-H-I-L-L.

on September 20th, 2016 at 06:07am

McGinn: Mistakes, poor QB play spell defeat------Man O Man !---- I was just reading the comments section over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ------ True Packer fans are harder on their team and, harder on ARodg than us Vikings Trolls !

on September 20th, 2016 at 09:35am

To Pakerlifer I was not worried and to be honest almost more worried he may knock out a fan with his accuracy a thank you lol. All seriousness though I went into this game confident in the Vikings and left feeling the same way I went in. I like the over confidence you have or maybe it's hope and I can understand that but your team has some glaring issues and if it was just Rodgers I would agree more. Your oline allowed pressure all night, your cornerback let a number one receiver who is on the rise but certainly not the best in the nfl at this point destroy you not to mention your talk of Rodgers being out of sync and not on the same page with his receivers. What about Sam Bradford with 2 weeks badly outplaying Rodgers he should not be more in sync? Special teams your punter played horrible and your return game is bob existent. You also have an arrogant coach who thinks he can do whatever and it will turn out ok 4th down is an issue for your team along with tight end coverage. Your defense overall produced no turnovers and did not even come close to one.

on September 21st, 2016 at 09:51am

Kalil goes on IR. Peterson to miss several games. Looks like the dream is over. 2-14 is still within reach for the purple.

on September 21st, 2016 at 11:43am

The lurking fix has great prediction skills well the packers win after a good first half and then back to the same ole pack we been seeing in the second well the Vikings make Cam Newton look like a rookie rather than the former mvp. Hey Synakin do you really still think your defense is close to the Vikings lol SKOL.

on September 25th, 2016 at 04:48pm

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