Packers XLV

Just Another Yawner at Lambeau.

Posted October 16th, 2018 @ 02:10pm

This game had just about everything: redemption for Mason Crosby, late game artistry from Aaron Rodgers and atrocious defense (until the final three drives). Much like the opener, I sat at my seat at Lambeau with the Pack trailing in the fourth quarter, thinking about what a terrible loss this would be.

A loss to the 49ers at home, against a backup QB, would have made for quite an interesting bye week in Titletown. There would have been finger pointing, some calling for Mike McCarthy's head, others declaring the season over well before it was time to go trick or treating.

But Rodgers treated us to yet another vintage fourth quarter performance, with assists from Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham and a beautiful back shoulder catch by EQ. We'll hand out one more assist to defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, whose unit failed to protect the sidelines in that final drive, allowing the Pack to coast down the field for the final 1:07 with relative ease, despite their lack of timeouts.

The comeback will not erase what we watched for most of the night though. The defense was putrid against the run (the 49ers came in as the #4 rushing offense, but that should have been the unit's #1 focus), and couldn't stick with former track star Marquise Goodwin, who's missed most of the season dealing with injuries. But they stiffened when they needed to, allowing just three yards in the Niners' final three drives. When they took over near midfield in the closing seconds, I figured it was game, set, match. But McVay took a shot deep and Beathard turned into a backup QB again and Kevin King made him pay, setting up Rodgers' magic.

I found myself thinking that Todd Gurley and Jared Goff may score 100 points when the Packers come to visit in a couple of weeks. So let's look at the big picture here. The defense, other then a shutout of the Bills, has been uneven and slow to get comfortable with Mike Pettine's system. Maybe the bye week will help them get healthy, self-evaluate and be more prepared for the final ten games. Special teams has also been well below average, with ten penalties already and coming off a terrible night in kickoff coverage. Only Crosby's bounce back evening saved that unit from a failing grade on Monday night.

The offense figures to improve with the likely return of Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb after the bye. With three receivers eclipsing 100 yards (first time that's happened for the Pack since '80), the passing game is coming around. McCarthy appeared to be more willing to give Aaron Jones a lead role in the ground game Monday night, but he finished with just eight carries for 41 yards. His usage figures to increase, provided that the Pack doesn't fall way behind in the next couple of stiff road tests.

Which brings us to the schedule. At 3-2-1, the Pack is right in the mix in the North, but they've already played half of their home games and have looked miserable on the road. Now comes four road tests in the next five games, against opponents who sport a 16-7-1 record. Even the one home game looks dicey, against the 4-2 Dolphins. The Packers will be considerable underdogs in their next two games, against the Rams and Patriots and unless the defense has some kind of 'come to Jesus' moment, Rodgers and the offense will need to   try to keep up.

After a brutal stretch, the Pack could easily find itself sitting at 5-5-1 heading into December and in need of another 'run the table' rallying cry. But if they don't get considerably better on defense and cut down on the killer penalties and wasting timeouts, it's hard to believe this year's edition has that in them.

 

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Comments (5):

CJ Beathard looking elite, which says way more about the trash roster outside of Rodgers than anything else. That takes some serious ineptitude. I guess the Pack will be using their first two picks on DBs again this offseason. Aaron Rodgers again had to bail out the team for another pathetic performance overall. Jones was actually running pretty well, but alas McFatty has no interest in running the ball. what. so. ever. The Packers were never down by more than one score so there was absolutely no need to abandon the run game. Packers coaching continues to astound, particularly FatFarty. Congrats on the win though, you'll need it with the upcoming schedule.

on October 16th, 2018 at 10:30am

Well, the Packers won, but they are not doing well. I cannot tell if Rodgers has become to risk adverse or if the receivers are just not open. I blame all the tight TV shot for this, to some extent. We are forced to rely on the commentary and the replays to figure out what really is going on. Several time Rodgers didn't throw to a wide open receiver, but between read progressions and timing, it's hard to tell if it's Rodgers fault. I fear it will take a head coaching or location change to push Rodgers back into a position where he could be truly successful again. Matthews looks slow. Gilbert looks raw. Brice looks like he should be in the arena league, maybe Clinton-Dix too. The defense looked bad most of the night. The offense didn't look like it either see or pick up impending blitzes. I think a lot of this has to do with the lack of full back. We aren't using one this year. It may be showing. Well, that's my rant.

on October 16th, 2018 at 11:58am

Synner - you are insufferable. Maybe you will be brought back to reality by yore club's impending 4-6-1 record. But you can R E L A X, Your Mom will be here to remind you YORE TEAM SUX!

on October 18th, 2018 at 02:24pm

Maybe the win wasn't as neat and clean as we would have liked to see but it was a win nonetheless. And the Packers pulled it out in a way that should be encouraging. The offense is starting to click, special teams rebounded from the previous game and the defense is at least making plays they need to when they need to. At their bye the Packers have the 6th best record in the NFC. But they would be 4-2 if not for the league's muddled, indecisive handling of the roughing the passer rule in the Minisota tie. Detroit was a self-inflicted wound that would further boost them to 5-1. The Packers' Super Bowl odds have slipped from 6th at 11:1 at the start of the season to 10th at 20:1 now. But the oddsmakers aren't writing them off. True, there is a very rough stretch ahead. But as long as they don't get hit with a raft of injuries in the next few weeks and no one else in the NFC North gets hot and pulls away they will be in good position to pull off another of their late season runs to make the playoffs. In fact I have it on good authority that the secret crystal ball of Carl Gerbschmidt shows them winning their last 5 in a row to take the title on the season's final day with a win over the Lions at Lambeau while the Bears lose to the Vikqueens in Minisota. The final: Packers 9-6-1, Bears 9-7, Vikqueens 8-7-1, Lions 6-10.

on October 20th, 2018 at 06:05am

Well, you're welcome. If it wasn't for me and my "help", the Pack might very well be winless. You guys blow hard.

on October 24th, 2018 at 09:50am

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