Packers XLV

Pack Exit Indy With Colts Singin' in the Wayne

Posted October 8th, 2012 @ 03:10am

This one was unforgivable. There were no officials to blame this time around. No reason to blame Mason Crosby for missing two long field goals. No reason to blame the first half injuries to Cedric Benson and BJ Raji. The Packers led the Colts 21-3 at halftime and lost. It might be the ugliest loss of the Mike McCarthy era.

As I write this, I have just arrived home after returning from Indy. I don't remember the last time I witnessed a Packer loss. It might be the NFC Championship game in '08--Favre's last game in green and gold. It was a good run. But this one should never have happened. How do you let a team missing two of its top three corners and a gimpy Dwight Freeney hold you scoreless for almost the entire second half?

How do you lose to a rookie QB for the second time this season when he's playing without a healthy offensive line and with one legit weapon? That weapon, Reggie Wayne, is the one guy the Packers needed to stop. But they couldn't. His 200 yard day was a thing of beauty. He made one handed catches, leaping catches, it didn't matter. The Pack couldn't cover him. They let pedestrian running back Donald Brown average five yards per carry and repeatedly let him beat them to the sideline.

It adds up to a team that right now is going nowhere. The absence of Greg Jennings has caused guys like Jones, Finley and Nelson to need to step up and for the most part they haven't been up to the challenge. We continue to see untimely drops. I think back to the end of the first half when the Packers had a chance to extend a 21-3 lead with the ball on the 40 and a couple of drops stalled the drive.

The defense is still leaking like a sieve with one key difference from the past two seasons: they're not creating turnovers. Taking the ball away masked all kinds of deficiencies, but without them they're playing like an average defense that can be exposed by good quarterbacks. In the first half, Luck moved the ball a bit, but constant blitzes and pressures held the Colts to three points and he headed  to the locker room in search of a quick ice bath. In the third quarter, when Green Bay has been at its best in recent seasons, it all fell apart. A Rodgers interception turned the tide and the Colts took charge, erasing the 18 point deficit and moving down the filed effortlessly the rest of the way.

At 2-3 there are more questions than answers. Will Benson, Raji and Finley be healthy enough to play next week? Will the defense right the ship and play four dominant quarters instead of two? And will they begin to get some takeaways? Will the offense find a rhythm and look anything like what we saw in 2011?

And maybe most importantly, if you can't take care of business against an injury-riddled, young team like the Colts, what in the name of Jim Del Gaizo is in store for the Packers when they head to Houston next Sunday night against the unbeaten Texans with 2-4 staring them in the face?

I have no answers on this Sunday night. It's been a long day. About two quarters too long.

 

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Comments (20):

Percy Harvin had 10 "touches" for the Vikes, excluding kick returns. Cobb had 4 touches - NOT ENOUGH! He averaged 20+ yards on those four catches. He's a weapon that is not being utilized. Figure it out MM!

on October 8th, 2012 at 05:05pm

IMO this team is no better or worse than the last two years. All they need to do is find their way into the playoffs, and they will finish the season the same way they would if they won every regular season game. The point is, this team, like every other in the NFL, is impossible to gauge. People need to quit pretending like they can.

on October 8th, 2012 at 05:06pm

The Packers have issues to be sure, but before we bail on the season here's a couple of thoughts. First, we shouldn't be comparing this season with 2011. Think back a little more to 2010. That was the season the Packers lost 6 games, barely made the playoffs and ended up winning the Super Bowl with a late rush. It was a seaon that saw something like 16 players go on IR, the Packers by this point had already lost a 20-17 decision to the Bears and were about to lose consecutive overtime games to Washington & Miami; the lattter at Lambeau. Still ahead was a 7-3 stinker at Detroit. And they barely got by the Lions and Vikings at Lambeau. Chicago and Minnesota aren't going to go 15-1 this season. So far only San Francisco, Atlanta and the Giants look like NFC teams clearly superior to Green Bay. But there's time for that to change as the season progresses. Maybe the Pack pulls together and plays a good game, even if they don't win at Houston next Sunday; like in their signal game at New England in 2010. There's plenty of cause for soul searching and some butt chewing at 1265 Lombardi Avenue but there's still a darn talented football team there, too. They may be still in first gear but the Packers have historically been a better team in the second half than the first of seasons most of the time anyway. A good night's sleep and a little perspective can put what happened yesterday into a little less context.

on October 8th, 2012 at 05:34am

Bill....the Voice of Reason you are astute on most of your points. But....I respectfully disagree on building only thru the draft. I are not saying blow up the payroll and remake your roster with high priced free agents......but we are not in the building phase(at least I hope were not this year) we need a few veteran key additions.....think Reggie White and Charles Woodson for impact ....our last big and one of only free agent signings. With our draft position in recent years it is getting more difficult....not impossible.....but difficult to get the impact players. We are not rebuilding.....we should be adding. If done correctly....you will not blow up your payroll. It was apparent this year.....Capers needs defensive players. On offense it is apparent the OL guys we lost have not been adequately replaced and it would be great to find a speed running back.....yes in our offense that would be huge and even an armchair GM like me sees that. Love your takes.....we are the true longtime fans. GO PACK GO !!

on October 8th, 2012 at 07:11pm

just took the poll. Stop Wayne 26%, coaches adjustments 26%. They really are one and the same. Dom capers has begun to get badly outcoached, as has MM. That is what makes seeing a bright future difficult. clearly, the packers thought they could coast through the second half. Instead, the colts and the second half bit them in the butt. -- I love donald driver. one of my all-time favorite packers, but if that is all he can contribute (2 targets - one drop/ one catch), then it is truly time to deactivate him and put in someone that is hungry, like Boykin. Driver has had a drop in virtually every game and he only gets one or two targets per game. -- Now we know why DJ Smith didn't beat out Hawk last year and this year in camp. He can make a play here or there but physical limitations make him vulnerable for an entire game/season. -- I am not in panic mode but this team looks at best like a wild-card team. A wild card team that loses in the first round if its current level of play/coaching continues. GoPack!

on October 8th, 2012 at 07:14am

Rodgers is now 12-20 in games decided by a TD or less. Teams know that you can beat the guy if you can keep it close late. He panics when he gets behind and holds the ball too long (resulting in sacks taken in bunches). His Oline is a total mess though. The Jeff Saturday project has been a complete and utter failure thus far. TT is paying for letting Wells, Spitz, and Colledge all go. Dumb move. Also, Tramon Williams can't cover complete pedestrian nobody WR's anymore. What a horrible extension that was on a 1-year wonder player. Pack fans--like Rodgers in the 4th quarter of a tight game---IT IS TIME TO PANIC!!!

on October 8th, 2012 at 08:04am

Lots to talk about. The Green Bay Packers as a franchise have been around almost as long as the Liberty Bell. And this was the fourth largest blown lead in franchise history going into the third quarter. Certainly the worst loss of the MM regime. We can look back and see that some trends were developing and were not addressed. The magic draft wand of TT is starting to crumble. He loves his draft choices and loves that we are always one of the youngest teams in the league. It was apparent we needed some veteran defensive help and a speed running back. He refuses to go the free agency route that a lot of teams go for improvement. This is catching up to us. I will give you a new statistic to consider.....and I will call it errors. An error is different from a turnover. I will define an error as simply a dropped pass. Just as an error in baseball is charged when you "should" make a routine play the same is in football. We all know the Packer "errors"....i.e. dropped passes on offense this year...Finley....Nelson...Driver et all ...but how about the errors on defense. I counted arguably "Five" dropped passes (errors) on defense that if converted lead to turnovers. Last year we converted those errors into turnovers this year is a different story. Convert one or two of those errors and the game has a different outcome. The whole Capers loose zone defense is been terrible this year.....and if he is such a defensive guru maybe he knows more than we see and has to adjust to the decline or absence of his defensive players given to him. Lots of frustration....these are just some vented theories !! GO PACK GO !!

on October 8th, 2012 at 08:37am

Holy cow, that is one AWFUL offensive line.

on October 8th, 2012 at 08:43am

Seriously...the only thing I've seen with more holes then the Packers OLine is NJ

on October 8th, 2012 at 08:50am

Who was the other rookie QB you lost to? The Packers have so many losses it is hard to keep count. Almost as hard to count your number of excuses.

on October 8th, 2012 at 08:54am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looked like the the defensive plays we were getting beat on were soft zone schemes in the second half. I've heard it said, "the only thing the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning."

on October 8th, 2012 at 08:59am

That $40 million extension for Tramon is really paying off! Ditto the extensions that Jordy and Jones got...what a couple of explosive playmakers those guys are when Jennings isn't around to draw the defenses attention. Serious question- was there even ONE Packer fan that thought going into the season with Newhouse being the starter at LT was a good idea? Newhouse wouldn't start on the Bears OL!

on October 8th, 2012 at 11:05am

Packerlifer, I agree with your assessment. This isn't '11 anymore; we need to move on as a whole. Adversity will help these guys in the long run, just like in '10. OSSG, I've disagreed on this topic before, and I'll continue to do so. As frustrating as TT's method of team construction might be, it's still the way to go. He doesn't mind doing free agency, but he's not going to blow the future of the team to pursue it. But let's move on from this. Apparently this was the Pack's trap game - even though they were firmly in control in the first half, they didn't adjust (or more likely, didn't adjust correctly). The O-line need to get it together, and soon. We'll discuss Houston later this week.

on October 8th, 2012 at 11:44am

Shooter, you have to realize that for smug Packer fans no team will beat them. They are now 2-0-2-1. Two wins, no losses, they have beat themselves twice, and lost one to the refs. It's not that teams are better than them, they just had a few bad days.

on October 9th, 2012 at 01:22pm

Were you high when you made these "power" rankings? The undefeated Falcons are 4th? 2 spots behind the 49ers who lost to the Vikings. Yet the Vikings are at 12. Seattle doesn't belong in the top 20, yet you have them at 13. Is this to ease the pain of losing to them? You rank them higher to make yourself feel better? You have Philly moving UP AFTER A LOSS to Pittsburgh, who inexplicably DIDN'T MOVE UP AFTER BEATING PHILLY, WHO MOVED UP AFTER A LOSS! That must have been when the mushrooms started kicking in. I also love how Baltimore is 3rd after their blitzkrieg performance of putting up all of 9 points. Solid job. Really. 10/10, would laugh again.

on October 9th, 2012 at 03:52pm

LMAO. Are those updated power rankings a fkn joke or what? Packers ranked ahead of the Vikings. Is there a bigger homer on earth than THC? You're a disgrace to all real football fans.

on October 9th, 2012 at 10:32am

Are your Power Rankings supposed to be a real assessment of the NFL? Packers in the top 10? In what universe do you live? You think there defense can hold up? You think they even deserve to be in the top half of the league with three losses and a losing record? Doh'k. This team is not worth being in the top half of the league at this point. And I know you know that.

on October 9th, 2012 at 11:02am

OSSG, I think when we both look at the big picture, we're probably closer in opinion than not. I'm in favor of the FA route...just not the big ticket ones that have a high % of being busts. Being selective and cap savvy is the key. But one thing we shouldn't be doing is comparing FA signings to White and Woodson, because they are the exceptions to the rule, for different reasons. Each FA should be judged on their own merit. But the Pack has bigger issues for the short term - get some key guys healed up, and try to get some consistency on both sides of the ball. They have a tall order this coming weekend.

on October 9th, 2012 at 11:16am

For those of you mocking my power rankings: I consider what would happen if two teams played on a neutral field. I believe the Pack would beat the Vikes; that's why I have them higher. It's my opinion, deal with it.

on October 9th, 2012 at 12:18pm

Well then don't expect people to take you or this website seriously, THC. Even blogs should have a shred of objectivity.....

on October 9th, 2012 at 12:45pm

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