Packers XLV

Dear Aaron, Get Well Soon. I Mean, Get Well Now.

Posted November 18th, 2013 @ 04:11am

Ted Thompson and Packer nation should be very grateful that Aaron Rodgers is already locked up long term. After watching three games without the franchise quarterback it's clear what this team is without him: a mediocre bunch that could be interchanged with any middle of the road team in the NFL. Rodgers could ask for $100 million a year and half of Door County and he'd deserve every penny and every gorgeous acre.

The three games we've witnessed over the past 13 days remind us how fortunate we've been watching out two historically great QBs perform their mastery over the past 20 years. Scott Tolzien looks like he could be a serviceable backup for the next few seasons--he's certainly an upgrade over Graham Harrell--but his inexperience cost the Pack on this day.

His third pick was the dagger. Granted Jason Pierre-Paul made a great play, but the timing was awful. The defense was finally looking like it might keep the team in the game, and then JPP told his teammates, before they'd even called a play, that he was going to pick one off on the next play. And he did, predicting what Tolzien was going to do and taking it to the house. Down 14 in the fourth quarter, the Pack was finished. The Giants have been excellent against the run all season and they took Lacy out of the game early,

Defensively, it was another disappointing effort. They allowed Eli Manning to gain confidence by offering little resistance early, as the Giants jumped ahead 10-0. Then we saw Tramon Williams catch a pass thrown by Manning. I guess they call it an 'interception.' I'd forgotten they were legal. It stopped a Giants drive that was getting into a rhythm and put the Packers right back in it. When Mason Crosby nailed one from 57 yards to end the half and pull the Pack to within 10-6, you started to think, hmm, maybe we'll see them pull one out.

But the defense wasn't up to the challenge, giving up a couple more long drives that added 10 points to the lead. When the Pack got within seven, we had hope...for a moment. Then Tolzien imploded and it was over. For the day, the defense did get four sacks and was led by Brad Jones' best effort of the year (13 tackles and a sack). They held the Giants to 20 points. You gotta figure Rodgers would have found a way to get to 21.

Three straight losses has dropped the Pack to 5-5,  a game out of first in the North, trailing both the Lions and Bears, with road tests left against both of them. It's likely that the path to the playoffs lies in winning the division; it seems unlikely a wildcard spot is in the cards.

Rodgers has hinted that he might be ready for the next game, against the Vikings. But the following game is just four days later. You wonder how tough it would be to play again so quickly with a sore collarbone. You know McCarty would much prefer trying to hold him out until Thanksgiving Day. But all wiggle room is gone at this point. The Packers need to win these next two division games to put themselves in a decent position as we head to December.

And so here come the Vikings. Can the Packers beat them without Rodgers? I have the feeling P.A. and I will discuss that during our weekly Border Battle, at 10:15 Monday morning. I'd like to think the Pack could dispose of that outfit without #12. But you'll have to excuse me if I'm not brimming with confidence. Matt Forte and LeSean McCoy have had big days at Lambeau this month. You know where I'm going with this.

Hey Aaron, I've got some deer antler spray heading your way. Get well soon. Please.


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Comments (6):

OK, let me rephrase...the defense did enough, meaning allowing only 20 points (sans the pick 6), that a fully functioning team would have been able to pull off the win. I didn't say it was a thing of beauty by any means. To keep it all in proper perspective, the running game didn't have it going yesterday, we're down to our 3rd string QB who wasn't even on the roster a month ago, and yes the defense isn't as good as previously advertised, and we're sitting here expecting miracles? Realistically, I don't think any of us are, and I did mention earlier that the Packers are in circle the wagons mode until the return of #12. Sure, it's easy to say this in hindsight, but with yesterday's defensive performance, allowing 20 points would have been plenty for Rodgers to work with. But is this defense capable of doing better than they had been earlier in the season? That's the $64K question, and I'm inclined to say probably not, unfortunately. BTW, New Glarus Spotted Cow is intended to be savored by the discriminating palate, not like that swill they mass produce in St. Louis. :-)

on November 18th, 2013 at 04:19pm

Really no surprise at the result or way of this game. It's the same scenario we've seen for the last 3 weeks since the Rodgers' injury and it's likely to be the same until he can return. But I'm beginning to doubt whether ARod's return is going to be enough. The defense is in utter disarray now and will cancel whatever the offense with Rodgers down the stretch can do. Maybe a non-playoff season would be a blessing in disguise for the Packers. I don't see them winning against Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco or even Carolina to get to the Super Bowl. There's little to be gained by another "one and done" or divisional round elimination. Let the Lions or Bears go get their arses kicked instead. The last time the Pack didn't make the playoffs in '08 McCarthy shook up the team: firing almost his entire defensive staff and switching to the 3-4 and with a higher position in the draft getting B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews. From there Green Bay went on a rise that culminated in hoisting the Lombardi Trophy just 2 seasons later. Perhaps drafting in the teens instead of the late twenties will net the Packers the players they need in their secondary and at outside linebacker who can rush the passer, cover and tackle and get some interceptions. Maybe Ted Thompson will even dip his feet into free agency in some significant way this offseason. The Packers have made the playoff four straight seasons and 16 of the last 21. But they've reached the Super Bowl only 3 times and won it twice during that period so just making the playoffs isn't really the standard for this club. Better to start building the next world champion than just powdering a resume with a playoff appearance that doesn't end in ultimate triumph. This season may be an interruption but not the end of Packers' contention. The Pack always comes back.

on November 18th, 2013 at 06:38am

Awww, man! you have to go talk Mr. Smug, the purveyor of positivity? I feel for you, man, only thing would have been worse is if they Queens had won....thank the Lord they didn't, or he'd be insufferable. Well, he is anyway.......

on November 18th, 2013 at 07:26am

This game was a disappointment, yet expected. It is obvious the defense has not made much improvement over last year, even with most of the defensive strength back last week (before injury). My guess is Rodgers will not be back until after Thanksgiving (as the Packers are so conservative with injury). Even though I'd like to see him back for Detroit, with the way our defense has played, I don't think we could beat them in Michigan this year. As sad as it seems, I think I'm seeing what this team is made of-----and it is apparent that the "next man up" routine is working.

on November 18th, 2013 at 09:33am

Want some positivity from yesterday? How about 2 of them? First, a big thank you to Mike Tomlin and the Rooney family - the situation would be a lot worse today if the Lions beet the Steelers, and second, whether we are willing to admit it or not, the defense did enough to win this thing. Tolzien is getting his baptism by fire now in week 11 rather than in OTA's and the preseason, but unfortunately the circumstances the Packers are now faced with state that this is the way it is. I can add one more thing to the plus column - the Packers, even after this 3 game slide, are in control of their own destiny. If they can win the 3 remaining divisional games, they'll be in the driver's seat for the division title. I realize that at this point it's a long shot, but we should be glad the schedule makers put the Bears game as the season finale instead of the Lions. Looking back to 2010, then as it is now, the mantra is "next man up" - unfortunately that'll take you only so far, and it doesn't apply when the franchise QB goes down. So I'm glad at this point that the 2nd Vikings game is at Lambeau next week, and you're going to be hearing a good amount of trash talk from our purple faithful friends, but you need to remind them that the respective club's QB situations are apples and oranges. Yes, this is their best chance in many years to score a win on the tundra, but that squad hasn't shown me much of anything this year, even being mostly healthy.

on November 18th, 2013 at 12:29pm

Voice my good buddy the alchol content in that New Glarus beer you like needs to be checked. If you think the defense did enough to win this game that brew must have destroyed some of your Packer brain cells. So let me be the Glarus half emptyto your half full for a moment. Like in our previous 4 losing efforts long drives have exposed this defense. The G Men had 3 drives of over 10 plays taking 6 minutes or more per drive. This is what Rodgers does to defenses is now being done to us. When the defense has to be on the field for long drives our individuals get exposed to their shortcomings. And the two 12 men on the field penalties were Childress excuse as both were on third downs. Getting Rodgers back does not cure all unless he can also play free safety for us. What I dont want to see is rushing Rodgers back too soon which can lead to chronic long term problems. Packlifer makes some solid points....this is an organization built for the long run and sometimes there are dips. If we mask some of our issues we only become like our friends to the East. If we are to get close to winning some games now it is on the defense. GO PACK GO !!

on November 18th, 2013 at 12:58pm

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