Packers XLV

A Tip of the Kaep to Milwaukee's Finest

Posted January 13th, 2013 @ 05:01am

Leave it to a Milwaukee kid to put an emphatic end to the Packers season. Not too many folks not named Harbaugh believed Colin Kapernick would be the most dynamic quarterback on the field Saturday night. But after an ugly pick six to open the game, the Milwaukee native proceeded to make history--at the expense of the completely flummoxed Packers defense.

Sixteen carries for 181 yards. That's more than 11 yards per carry. And we're not talking about Adrian Peterson. Kaepernick ran the read option like RGIII on steroids. Time and time again Erik Walden bit and the young QB saw acres of wide open space. Then, after a 109 yard first half performance, he showed off his arm: finding Michael Crabtree in tight places and hitting Vernon Davis in stride with a 44 yard strike. Two players later, Frank Gore found the end zone and the Pack was down 38-24 and pretty much out. The Packers were unable to make any adjustments to slow the kid down: that's an indictment of Dom Capers, who was unprepared to scheme for the dual threat that Kaepernick clearly was.

The defense looked slow, lost and confused. It makes you wonder whether Mike McCarthy will decide to move on from Capers.  But what are the options? Do you promote Trgovac or Greene? And would the team be better off? The Pack needs some re-enforcements at inside linebacker and safety. San Fran has six All-Pros, the Packers have none. Do the math. Getting Desmond Bishop and Nick Perry back will help, but the Pack needs to rely on more blue chip talent, and fewer undrafted guys (guys like Walden and Moses). Looking ahead, we've likely seen the last of Charles Woodson and AJ Hawk.

The offense never really got in rhythm--they were out of sync from the beginning. They couldn't stay on the field early and could never get the running game going. But what really bugs me is why, with the Pack trailing 31-24 in the third quarter, DuJuan Harris was nowhere to be found. McCarthy went to his empty backfield, one dimensional offense. And it went nowhere.

On this side of the ball, the team is likely to look quite a bit different next season. Driver, Finley and Jennings are most certainly gone and I would expect Starks, Benson and maybe even Alex Green will move on as well. The Packers need to find a legit running back to start 2013. DuJuan Harris should be in the mix, but they have to find someone who can add a dimension to the offense. And the offensive line needs work. Hopefully Sherrod and Bulaga can return from devastating injuries. If not, tackle will once again be a draft priority.

It obviously wasn't the Packers' night. We have to salute Kaepernick, Crabtree, their offensive line and their offensive coordinator, Greg Roman (who may have earned a head coaching gig) for crafting and delivering a game plan that the Packers couldn't solve. It's another premature end to a Packers season that had its share of highs and lows and too many injuries to count.

It's disappointing and the Packers will not enter 201s as the Super Bowl favorites, but they'll be a contender and the changes that take place in the front office, coaching staff and on the roster will shape how serious a contender they ultimately are.

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Comments (21):

There's no need to tear down the house to fix a few broken windows. Nothing is served by looking for scapegoats. The Packers need some more and better players in certain areas of the team but the coaching staff is still one of the most solid in the league. Mike Sherman scapegoated Ed Donatelle as dc after "4th & 26" and the result was a worse defense the next year under Bob Slowik. The Packers have, for various reasons, missed on some o-line and defensive line and linebacking moves in recent years but those can be addressed. The Packers remain one of the soundest organizations sports and are the envy of many; especially Vikqueens' fans. So tease all they want to over one playoff game. Let them walk through their empty trophy room and see who laughs best.

on January 13th, 2013 at 01:43pm

Face it Dave your Packers Best day's are behind them. For 2 consecutive seasons your team has been beaten up badly. Rodgers can't win the big games anymore & all you have are your excuses of injuries and scapegoating of some of your defensive players. This team is falling apart & next season the Vikings & the Bears will be standing over your favorite team for seasons to come-Get Used to it! p.s. Can't wait til your conversation with PA on Monday,should be a hoot!

on January 13th, 2013 at 02:32am

The 49ers have been regarded for most of this season as the favorite in the NFC, if not the entire NFL, for the Super Bowl and they showed why on Saturday night. And the Packers showed they aren't going to make any more Super Bowls with that offensive line and defense of theirs. Once again the Pack couldn't match the physicality of a playoff opponent, who brought a strong rush on Aaron Rodgers and torched the Packers with repeated big plays on offense. The Niners did it in different ways than the Giants last year but did it just the same. Still, the Packers did a commendable job keeping pace on the scoreboard into the third quarter; when it was 24-24. For my money the game swung on Jeremy Ross' fumbled punt and the long return of the Rodgers' deep interception. Reminiscient of last season's playoff loss to the Giants when Hakeem Nicks scored on a 66 yd. catch & run on a whiffed open field tackle and they dropped a Hail Mary into the end zone on the last play of the first half. The best team won last night and that's pretty much all that can be said about it. But it at least bears mentioning that, if not for Fail Mary in Seattle, this game might have been at Lambeau with the Packers coming off the bye instead. While there will be changes coming in the offseason the Pack will be back. They will still have Aaron Rodgers and most of the receivers. The secondary has some dynamic young players to develop. Obviously the o-line and defensive front seven need extensive renovation and special teams will be an area to address. Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have a proven track record. In 7 years running the Packers this duo is still 80-35 with 5 seasons in the playoffs, 3 NFC North titles and a Super Bowl achievement. That's reason enough to expect the best.

on January 13th, 2013 at 06:46am

Dave, On your morning show with Trent you had no worries. Rodgers against Kaepernick was a complete mismatch. And what injuries, you were yapping about them being healthy with all the receiving core being back and woodson being back. INJURIES, LMAO!

on January 13th, 2013 at 06:52am

Todays poll is a trick question, the correct answer was F. All of the above.

on January 13th, 2013 at 08:59am

Last night was disappointing, no doubt, but for fans to panic is crazy. Fans say we have to draft D end, but remember Worthy was drafted but got hurt & didn't play. Then fans want an offensive tackle drafted, but forget we have Sherrod and Bulaga who were both out with injuries. Same thing with the Linebackers. Perry, out. Bishop, out. D.J., out. With these players in, GB is again a top playoff team and certainly taking this division AGAIN! We'll need another WR without JG, and probably another TE since it's hard to believe Finley will be kept. Once we get our Oline back or maybe draft another lineman to replace Newhouse, so that Rodgers has protection, we'll be impossible to stop.

on January 13th, 2013 at 10:10am

Dave, I'm a Vikings fan that lives in the San Francisco. Although the Vikings lost last week, I take some solace in that they made the Packers come here by winning the previous week. The Pack haven't been a solid run tackling team for a couple of years now. The only reason they contained Adrian last week was because his carries were so limited by so many 3 and out drives. I enjoy your verbal spars with Paul Allen on podcasts. Can't wait for the fun to continue next year. skeet

on January 13th, 2013 at 11:18am

There are several resources the Packers need to consider replacing: Hawk, Sitton, Crosby, Finley, Tramon, Hawk, Capers. Yes I mentioned Hawk twice. This "can't miss" player has not had one great season, and only one good season. Time to cut ties. Sitton may be a surprise to some of you because he's popular, but he has a disproportionate number of bad runs and sacks allowed. He's a liability. THis game was over at halftime. The 49ers had over 300 yards -- it was over even if the score looked close.

on January 13th, 2013 at 12:13am

well I got the 31 right. but the D was ridiculous. when Woodson, says we were not prepared for the zone option and the running game. it's time for capers to go. what the hell were u planning for? everyone still forgets about 12 guys on Ir, and no other team would be 500 missing all those players, but 12 keeps them winning. try Greene, I love his emotion and he would be on the field not sitting in some booth and could talk with the players on the field. he can have a assistant sitting up there to ask ?'s, if he needs to. still a good year with all the injuries, bishop and smith will be back and time for hawk to go, he has lost a step and 1/2. u guys are way to hard on the 0 line, 3 blitzes got thru but that is not why we lost, cobb should have been returning punts and ross on returns as soon as I saw him back there I yelled at the Tv, and my wife thought I was losing it, funny, he fumbles. looked up before he caught it, he should have left it go, it was inside the 10. 1st thing they teach u. but that is not we lost, time for Capers to go, simple as that. enjoy the season

on January 13th, 2013 at 12:16pm

First of all, a quick message to our Vikings friends – the Packers’ window is still open. In fact, it’s WIDE open, and will remain open for several seasons to come. This is still a young roster with a lot of talent, and as long as it stays that way, they will remain a factor. Sure, there are some places that need attention, but name me one team that doesn’t. Now as far as last night’s game, the Packers were in it going into the second half, but the turning point was the muffed punt. Losing it inside your own ten is a mistake that’s hard to recover from. The long interception return was merely the finishing touch. You have to give Kaepernick his props for not getting rattled on the pick six – it was impressive the way he didn’t let that get to him and turning it around the way he did. Regarding the defense, it’s the easy thing to do to make Capers the martyr, and I’m not going to defend him completely, but the outcome could have been significantly different if Perry, Bishop and Williams were in there. Also, going into this one they knew they had to keep CK contained in the pocket, and they weren’t able to. After he got outside a few times, he was able to go up the middle as well. Capers had the opportunity to adjust – did he? My guess is he did what he could, but with the offense not being in sync, he ended up being on the field way too long. Last night, the knee-jerk fans were all calling for Capers’ head on a platter, and even a few were calling for MM and TT as well. People…sit down, take a deep breath, and take it easy. But moving forward from here, obviously some changes will need to be made. The defense improved from 32nd to 11th in one year. I would call that pretty good. So do the Packers part ways with Capers? I honestly don’t know, but the day after is not the time to decide that. More than a new DC, the defense needs a stud on the line, additional depth on the line as well as linebackers, and a replacement for the most likely departing Woodson. The defensive rookies made huge contributions this year, and will only be that much better next season. Yes, the defense needs help, but what it doesn’t need is a complete overhaul. Keeping continuity with the coaches would probably be a good thing, assuming that some may be leaving for other gigs, but as far as Capers goes, it’s probably even money that he’s gone. Offensively, the line and running backs need the most help, and the (most likely) departing Driver, Finley and (perhaps) Jennings will need addressing, but the core of the receivers is in good shape. Things may look bad now, but when you take a wider look at the situation, I’d take this one over a lot of others (would you want to be a Chiefs or Jags fan about now?). But as far as last night’s loss, I feel better about the Packers losing the way they did, and glad they didn’t lose the way the Broncos did. That one hurt big time. So in closing, the Pack is generally in good shape, the Vikings will be their primary contenders with the strides they made this year and will only improve next year, no one know what to expect from the schizophrenic Lions, and the Bears are done for a few years. The goal was not met, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful season.

on January 13th, 2013 at 12:28pm

The end of Hawk and Woodson??? I hope its a 50/50 deal... Woodson is still too good to let go over 6 million plus who do we have to fill his shoes? .. Just his leadership is worth keeping... Hawk better be gone.. He as never proven he can stop the run (pass is even a question) and that what the Packers pay him to do... Yes he got a lot of tackles this season HOWEVER I believe is AVERAGE tackle was almost 7 yards downfield (one of the worst of all starting inside linebacker)... thats a safety average not ILB... What I be interested in hearing is.. Do you think its time for Dom Capers to be let go? He had a GREAT playoff run during the super bowl season however he hasnt dont much when the chips are down... just look at the last 3 of 4 playoff seasons... defense has even up over 30 plus per game (except the qb less viking game) I like to see Casper go and then have the Packer go after Horton of promote from within... He just doesnt seem to have the abilitly to adjust on the fly anymore.... Replace Caspers? yes or no?

on January 13th, 2013 at 12:47pm

I think the bashing of Capers would be "knee-jerk" if this was the first time he got worked over in the playoffs. The reality is that this is the 3rd time that his defense got outcoached in the playoffs. MM did not do him any favors by neglecting the run in the second half. Not sure why that happened when Harris had a 5 yard average. MM made his share of playcalling mistakes but to a man, they were not ready at all for the read/option and that is Capers fault. That they did not address it at all in the second half is criminal and will/should finally cost Capers his job. It's not a knee-jerk reaction. -- Injuries are frustrating and Bishop would certainly add toughness. Tramon Williams is done in my book. Can't tackle, too often chooses not to cover. No defensive adjustments to try to contain what is killing you. That can't happen in today's NFL. -- We have a good team. The defense is younger, we will have Bulaga, Perry, Smith(who should be a backup) and a few others returning. I have no doubt the offense will still be good. The defense will get better. #12 means we will always be in the hunt. I look forward to the offseason moves. A lot will be different next year, however, its still the Packers, and I know I will enjoy it regardless. GoPack!

on January 14th, 2013 at 05:59pm

Why is it whenever GB loses the comments from the Packer fanbase on this site immediately go to Viking bashing? You weren't even playing them on Saturday night. People like Packerlifer and Old South Side Guy are total losers. "We have more trophies than the Viqueens. nah nah nah boo boo". You were maybe alive for two of those superbowls. This Packers team is a one trick pony and the rest of the NFC North cannot wait to hear what excuses Clay Matthews and Jarrett Bush have. You guys think you found a RB because you found someone who can score a rushing TD and get 70 yards every other game? C'mon now.

on January 14th, 2013 at 07:09pm

Where are all the Capers-lovers now? How about the Woodson-homers? You guys ready to admit Tramon was nothing more than a one-season-wonder? Be sure to lock-up Raji ASAP. His 0 tackle, 0 assist, 0 sack game on Saturday was definitely a game-changer. THC--you're lucky I chose to take it easy on you on your show Sunday morning (great job dodging all 3 of my question/comments btw). Call it my good deed for my life. Pack 5-11 next season.

on January 14th, 2013 at 08:19am

Okay......Just like after the last regular season loss to the Vikes and this disappointing loss to SF it is time to put the filter on. By that I mean for purposes of this site lets let all the Cane robots and PA clones come up with their great takes on here and then they can go away for their naps in the spacious Viking Trophy Room. When the dirt settles the real Packer backers can analyze what we need. For my initial take which I will get into for positive discussion in more detail on later takes here are areas the Pack needs to address in order of playing personnel. 1- Offensive Line: Cannot let Rodgers be sacked a league leading time next season. Obvious draft choice here at #1 draft choice...Barrett Jones...Center from Alabama 2- Linebackers- Hawk is gone and cannot keep filling in with free agents.....weakest part of defense 3- Running Back....we say this every year....but MM and TT have got to realize we need an every down back. My take is this years somewhat sleeper like last years ( Russell Wilson) kid from Wisconsin...Montee Ball....forget combine numbers he is a Ray Rice type. 4- Defensive Tackle....Need a physical tackle who can pressure the QB 5- TE...Finley is gone and no one on the current roster can step in. These are my initial takes .....more details as it evolves. GO PACK GO !!

on January 14th, 2013 at 09:19am

Kuhn Dog for your info I was around to watch Super Bowl 1 as a student at Uw Whitewater and everyone since. So I will be glad when we can talk Packer future football on here and not your trash. Go Pack Go !!

on January 14th, 2013 at 10:26pm

I think SchenySchen is 100% correct: it would be bashing and premature to call for caper's head if this was our first defensive collapse in the post-season but it is dejavu. Insane that we didn't have a game plan for a running QB to start the game and inconceivable that we didn't change things up at half time. Sure our defense is lacking playmakers but at half time, we had to decide that no matter what, we were NOT going to get beat on QB runs. Yet we did again and again. Obviously Woodsen (and likely many others on defense) have lost faith in Capers. There is no fire or inspiration on our defense.

on January 15th, 2013 at 01:44pm

I don't favor talking to vermin, Kuhn Dog, but know what you're talking about before you pop off. I've seen every Packers team and been around for every one of their Championships since 1960. Also spent most of 60 years on the border so also have seen 52 years of purple garbage and mirage. So I guess that means I've seen 7 of Green Bay's 13 world titles and 4 Vikqueen Super Bowl losses; including their last appearance in 1977. I know what and who a loser is.

on January 15th, 2013 at 05:49am

OK guys, it's been a few days now, so I hope everyone has a clear frame of mind going forward here - and yes, that includes our gracious Vikings friends as well. The way I'm seeing this is that if he makes it to the end of the week, Capers will stay. And as time goes on, the more OK I am with that. After all, he's not the one out there making the plays, the players are. The bottom line here is that on Saturday, the better team won, plain and simple. Yes, there were a few moments early on that could have changed the course of things, but it is what it is. Could dumping Dom and bringing in Lovie make enough of an improvement to the defense? At this point, I'm inclined to say no for this reason - it would mean close to a complete retooling, and I don't think the Packers have the personnel to do that. If they had finished the season 3-13 (no pun intended to our purple friends), I'd say yes, go for it. But as Packerlifer so accurately put it earlier in this thread, there's no need to tear the house down just because of a few broken windows. 3 of the 4 starting linebackers were gone by the end of the season, and the 4th missed significant playing time along the way. I don't think there's a team anywhere that can sustain that kind of hit to one portion of the team and expect to be dominant. On the offense, the greatest need appears to be a running back. Yes, the line needs additional depth, but they need a grind it out (almost) every down kind of back. Could Benson have been that guy? We'll never know. But running back is the sort of position that youth should be a premium, just because of the beating these guys take. They have several change of pace guys already. And my final point is that MM and TT have delivered a Super Bowl championship and 2 divisional championships in a 3 year span. In my mind, that's pretty damn good. The Giants can't make that claim; the Saints can't make that claim. If the 49ers go all the way, they can equal it. This is an incredibily successful franchise. You can't take home the Lombardi every year - it just can't happen, so don't expect it to happen.

on January 16th, 2013 at 04:22pm

I stand corrected on the 49ers - they were 6-10 in 2010, so even if they go all the way this year, they won't equal the Packers during that period. My bad.

on January 16th, 2013 at 04:32pm

I probably haven't been around quite as long as Packerlifer and OSSG, but awfully close - my first game I went to was at County Stadium in 1965 as a wide eyed 8 year old against the Los Angeles Rams (yes Kuhn Dog, they haven't always been in St. Louis), so I've been around for every Super Bowl and a few NFL championships before that. Two of the things that make this franchise unique are the history, and the loyalty of the fan base. My two favorite players from those days were Bart Starr and Herb Adderly. The two players that drove me nuts (because they were so good) were Gale Sayers and Fran Tarkenton. With the prespective of years gone by, my admiration for all of them has only increased, not to mention all four of those guys are in the HOF. So having said all that, I'd be happy to discuss the merits and shortcomings of either the Packers or Vikings. And I think one of the issues the Vikings will be facing next season is a heightened level of expectation after a 7 game improvement. Can they do it? It's too soon to tell, but we all may have a better idea after the draft and free agency. It'll be an interesting off season for both franchises for sure.

on January 16th, 2013 at 08:47am

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