Sorry for the late post, everyone. It was a long, rainy drive back to Milwaukee after the game and I had family obligations on Friday morning. Finally have a chance now to sit down and reflect on what went down at Lambeau on Thanksgiving night.
Contrary to what many may believe, losing to the Vikings doesn’t give me a stomach ache. Losing to the Bears does. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened often since Jay Cutler joined the team. But they broke through at a most inopportune time and it may cost the Pack when the playoffs begin.
Of course, the way things are going, it seems like the last place they want to play right now is at Lambeau, following incomprehensible back to back losses to the Lions and Bears. The Packers don’t look anything like NFC contenders right now, with a passing attack that is feeble, off-kilter and out of sync. Never before have we seen an Aaron Rodgers-led offense look like a Vince Young-led offense.
Just four days after a resounding victory in Minneapolis signified a giant step forward, the team has taken two big steps back. This one can’t be placed at the feet of the defense, or the special teams, or the running game. This loss is courtesy of an anemic air attack that relied solely on screens and dump offs.
As ugly as it was all night, the game was right there for the taking. First and goal at the eight. Four chances to punch it in with a Hall of Fame QB (granted, one who couldn’t feel a few of his fingers, thanks to an injury to his left elbow), who had led the team 80 yards in the final two minutes to the doorstep of the end zone. But they couldn’t seal the deal.
As time goes by, I will remember this game for the fun my kids had being there with their Milwaukee cousins, for the history of seeing Brett Favre hug Bart Starr and many of his old teammates as #4 was unveiled in its rightful place next to #92. The bitterness of the loss will fade over time.
The reality of the Pack’s situation is this: they have a QB who is as good as there is in the game, a solid running attack and a defense that isn’t elite, but is good enough to keep them in most games. What they lack are playmakers in the passing game. Davante Adams looks like the moment is too big for him. James Jones can flash, but can’t be counted on week in and week out. Randall Cobb needs adequate playmakers on the outside to take away tight coverage inside. And the team needs a productive, athletic tight end that can take advantage of the offense Mike McCarthy wants to run.
The offensive weapons on hand right now may be good enough to beat average teams on any given week, but don’t appear capable of stringing together good enough performances week after week. The way things are shaping up, week 17 may be for all the NFC North marbles. You think the Vikes are going to fear the rematch, after watching what the Lions and Bears just did at Lambeau?