Packers XLV

The Main Takeaway: Too Many Giveaways

Posted December 18th, 2017 @ 01:12pm

Well, Aaron Rodgers told us he wasn't coming back to save the season. He didn't lie.

What a roller coaster ride we took on Sunday. From the first snap, when he fired a laser to Davante Adams, to three unexpected picks and three touchdown passes. The Packers defense forced two three and outs following two of the interceptions, but it was the second pick that was the most devastating. Not because the Panthers scored seven plays later, but because it caused the Davante Adams concussion on the brutal, illegal hit by Thomas Davis, removing the Pack's most talented, explosive receiver from the game.

That play ended Adams' day and put Geronimo Allison on the field, and while he caught five passes (for 33 yards), it was his fumble in the closing minutes, with the Pack poised to force a third straight overtime game, that for all intents and purposes, ended the Packers' season. Green Bay came in at plus seven and the Panthers at minus four in the give-take category, but Carolina flipped the script and the 4-0 margin in this game was too much to overcome.

You can argue that the four turnovers were the difference in this game, but Dom Capers' defense wasn't much better. It was almost as if they didn't expect Christian McCaffery and Greg Olsen to be featured. The Packers had no answer for either player all afternoon, as the duo consistently converted on third down and made one big play after another, combining for more than 250 yards of offense between them.

As we look ahead to next season, Packer fans will come down on one side or the other: either Ted Thompson hasn't brought in good enough players on that side of the ball, or Capers' scheme and game planning hasn't been anywhere near good enough. I take the latter option. I think there is enough defensive talent on the team to win--though additional re-enforcements at CB and OLB will be an offseason priority. Whether Capers returns will be a talker over the next couple of weeks. My guess is he will retire. In my opinion, that unit needs a new voice and a new vision.

As for Rodgers, the combination of rust and a very tough defense made for a difficult afternoon. Yet after all the turnovers, a handful of bad throws and miscommunication with receivers, the Pack was this close to forcing overtime and maybe pulling another rabbit out of its hat. It would have been nice to see a little more commitment to the running game, which showed life when Aaron Jones was given an opportunity (three carries, 47 yards). Yes, they were playing from behind for most of the day, but the Pack needed to give their backs more than 13 chances to carry the ball.

An Atlanta win on Monday night will officially end the Pack's playoff streak at eight and at that point the decision has to be made to start Brett Hundley on Saturday night. As much as I'd like to see Rodgers out there looking to take out the Vikings in prime time at Lambeau, the bigger picture is the return to 100% health for 2018. Aggravating the collarbone injury is the last thing he needs heading into the offseason, if the team has no shot at the playoffs. But should the Bucs upset the Falcons, we can expect to see Rodgers under center Saturday night.


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Comments (27):

As a Vikings fan I wouldn't mind seeing ARodg sit out the next game, but would bet a lot of money he won't. He's a very competitive guy and now that he's back he isn't going to want to sit. Also, he had a tough game against the Panthers and will want to make up for that. And he may want to complete a few passes over Barr... I'm looking for it to be a very good game between teams that are pretty evenly matched.

on December 18th, 2017 at 03:46pm

Doesn't the organization feel their fans deserve a reason to watch the game next week? Whether it is buying a ticket to the game or purchasing pretend stock--it is a pretty big slap in the face to them if you trot out Bret Hundley when AR can play Saturday.

on December 18th, 2017 at 07:39am

The organization is in dysfunction and clearly needs a change in ownership. Current owners are too drunk and racist to effectively run a football team and the lack of top down leadership is clearly negatively impacting this team, who are wasting the career of one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. When will Rodgers finally wise up and take his talents to the free agency market?

on December 18th, 2017 at 08:03am

So Rodgers was a Tad rusty and his arm didn't seem to be up to full strength__He was still better than Dudley ever will be LOL !

on December 18th, 2017 at 08:38am

Aren't the 3 of u suppose to be waiting in the welfare line for Ur checks. Get on it all that free money MN gives out from some hard working taxpayers is wait for u.

on December 18th, 2017 at 09:23am

So, if Erin doesn't play on Saturday because they don't have a chance to make the playoffs...I guess he and Martellus (or is it Marty) are more alike than Pucker fans would care to admit, eh?

on December 18th, 2017 at 09:47am

I think we're still going to not only make the playoffs, but we'll win the Super Bowl. I need something in my life, so this MUST happen. Like most of my fellow fans I have nothing in life except for my Packers.

on December 18th, 2017 at 10:04am

I thought this exchange between Matthews and Cam was priceless.

on December 18th, 2017 at 10:54am

Rodgers damn well better play sat nite! I paid good money for these tickets. Im gonna be hammered by early afternoon and this team betternot quite on me! This is are suprbowl! GO Pack gO!!!!!!!!!!!!

on December 18th, 2017 at 11:21am

Are packer fans going to tweet #Hesbaaaaaaack now that Brent will likely get the start on Saturday? My guess is no....

on December 18th, 2017 at 11:30am

As much as I detest the Minnesota Vikings, I must admit they've built a team that reminds me a bit of the "Purple People Eaters" of the Bud Grant, 1970's era. Rock-solid defense with an efficient offense. Keep in mind they did this with a backup QB and their stud running back on injured reserve. It's time the entire Packers organization makes a reality check. I think things have gotten a bit too comfortable around Green Bay. It's time for a new approach on defense. It's time for a few of the expensive and under-producing players to be shown the door. It's time for the head coach to realize he needs to really commit to a running game if he is to win. It's time for the General Manager to come up with a remarkable off-season or be told to retire. It also is time to draft Aaron Rodgers replacement, so in three years(or less) he can take over and Aaron then can be "Favred". Cold, brutal, but other teams(think New England) have no problem doing this. By no coincidence, New England is a contender for the Super Bowl this year. Another thing is for the fans to stop buying all the stuff, etc. that keeps the organization so financially comfortable. It's time for a little attitude around Lambeau Field, lest it starts to look like Soldier Field. Until these things come to pass. I am out.

on December 18th, 2017 at 12:25pm

OldSouthSideGuy - your comment makes me laugh. I am one of the "Viking fair weather fans" .... and have been since 1968. What you Packer fans need to do is take a deep breath. Yes, your team is incredibly dependent on one player - it has been since Favre joined the team. But that approach has worked pretty darned well for 25 years. During that time the Vikings have had better personnel in 21 of the 22 O and D positions yet the Packers have two rings. You should count yourselves lucky. ARodg will be back next season and the Packers will again be one of the NFC favorites. The time to worry will be in about three years, when ARodg starts to decline. It is unlikely that you'll strike gold a third time in the QB position. That's when you can start to complain with validity.

on December 19th, 2017 at 04:40pm

The Packers' 9th straight playoff season is now over but it didn't end on Sunday or Monday night. It was ended Oct. 15 on the dirty hit that broke Aaron Rodgers' collarbone and changed everything for the season in the NFC North. Let's stop playing games and admit that Dirty Anthony Barr should get the Stinkqueens' MVP award for 2017. Without that hit in that game the loss at Carolina Sunday wouldn't be so consequential. The Pack would still be sitting at 9-11 wins and in the thick of the race for the playoffs nonetheless. But it is what it is and an indictment of the Packers that they couldn't step up as a team and win just one more game during the Rodgers-less period to stay alive to the wire. Losing 3 home games or failing to seize the chance of the big upset at Pittsburgh are the games I look at as the most devastating. What do they do at halftime; just use the toilet? How often this season did they have the lead or were close at the half and then come out on the first possession, whether or defense or offense, and lose the game from then on. That's on the coaching. There is still pride to play for finishing out the year. If they win the last two they'll at least have a winning record, be 5-1 in the division - better than anyone else, including the team that stole first place for this year - and 6-2 in games started and finished with Rodgers. Just to make the point that without that one foul play the story in the NFC North would have been entirely different in 2017.

on December 19th, 2017 at 06:00am

It's sad that one legal hit can derail your packer season so badly. A testament to how mismanaged your organization is. My guess is one more year of surrounding a-Rodg with mediocre players, and he opts out in an attempt to play with a decent team. And dumb ass Pack fans will boo him when he comes back just like Brett. Sad, really...

on December 19th, 2017 at 06:48am

Packer fans can exhale now!

on December 19th, 2017 at 08:49pm

Well, folks--don't say that I didn't try to change your squad's fortunes with a few timely flags on your opponents. You need to invest in some depth. McFlinstone--pass the Vicodin!

on December 19th, 2017 at 09:01am

@Packerlifer wrote: "That's on the coaching." .... WHAT ? ....Without yours truly on the sideline, we would not have won a single game this year PAL ...... You know it, I know it ....... I took an absolute nobody (Brent Dudley) and made him into a Star ! ...... If any other team wants him (There should be many) it's going to take at least TWO first round draft picks to pry him from our team ! ...... The 49ers are going to seriously regret signing Garoppolo when they realize they could have had Brent Dudley ! ......MM out.

on December 19th, 2017 at 10:08am

We should have seen this coming. Where do I begin to address the flaws of this team? 1) Lack of a run game. This team hasn't had a decent RB since Ahmad Green and they refuse to draft one. 2) Aging LB's that can't or won't cover anyone in the middle of the field. This whole group needs to go. 3) No OL depth. Maybe AR12 wouldn't of gotten hurt if the damn line protected him once in awhile. 4) The secondary is thin and inexperienced. While they spent high draft picks on two guys, I don't think they spent enough time coaching them up. At times they looked really lost out there. 5) Marcellus Bennett was a complete cancer and the FO hasn't addressed the TE position since Finley. 6) Lack of a #1 WR. Jordy needs to go and Cobb should go with him. 7) Capers and McCarthy need to go. 8) Thompson needs to do a better job evaluating talent and signing quality FA's. 9) With all the cheap shots taken at Packer players and bad/missed calls that went against us. The NFL needs to take a long hard look at officiating. This season has been a total nightmare. Viking fans are insufferable a-holes. I have been hounded and harassed by my neighbors every day since Aaron was injured. So much so that our family is considering a move back to Wisconsin. This NFL season can't end soon enough for me!

on December 19th, 2017 at 10:51am

Lets let the scum clear out (mainly Viking fair weather fans) and then the real Packer fans can have some discussion on this site. We need some things going forward as a team so lets discuss after the swamp of purple is cleared from this site....probably after their first game playoff loss in their first playoff game. You old timers on this site know I will have some suggestions going forward. GO PACK GO !!

on December 19th, 2017 at 12:14pm

1st thing . I need to ask??? don't we have a site for my viking fans to go to to write there posts? why are we all on a Packers site? here we go again, been lucky all year, and now we don't have to play Rodgers, God it's good to be lucky and good. I would say to some of the rubes on here that say we have a better roster then Packers. we did have some bad years and got some high draft picks to build my defense on. the Packers always draft in the late 20's cause they make the playoffs every year, we did not, so that does make a big difference. I said when I got here, I wanted to be like the Green Bay Packers and draft and have our franchise be like theirs. my Buddy speilman, missed bad on walsh, and gave up 4 picks to get patterson. he missed on a few ol lineman, d- lineman and some d backs, and of cousres POnder, not sure yet on Ted. but done ok. if we keep getting lucky and the teams we play keep getting hurt, we will be in the bowl. Just glad we don't have to play the Packers in playoffs. glad there out. we win easy 27-13.

on December 20th, 2017 at 01:10pm

Erin's on IR ___Now the Vikes will be shaking in their boots with the prospect of facing MVP Brent Dudley LOL !

on December 20th, 2017 at 08:23am

Gosh, I don't know about 10 things maybe. First , I don' think the hit on Rodgers was dirty just a football play. Second, I think line played pretty well for the most part. Third, I have real hope for the young running backs Jones and Williams. I really don't see need to go hard after more running backs this next draft, unless something just falls in place. Forth, I don't like the move of putting Rodgers on IR. I think it sends the wrong message to the team and cause a greater rift between players and coaches than even a losing season would. Fifth, maybe this going to addressed by the firing of Don Capers. I have historically supported him and been impressed at time at his ability to reform the defense. Lots of factors push me toward wondering if this should not be the end of his time in Green Bay. Sixth, our interior linebackers are young, but I don't think they are particularly talented. The outside position has been one great struggle that I hope can be heavily addressed in the draft. You have to say they missed on TJ Watt, even if you still like King (which I do). I would still like to see Matthews moved inside and get some new talent on the edge. Matthews stands out when he plays inside (to me) even if that is not where he wants to be. Seventh, on whole the defense is mess, whether it is injury or talent, it is a notch below on many levels. Eighth, the wide receiving core also looks to have taken a step back this year. I could just blame Hundley, but I think we may need a new high draft pick hear. Adams is in his prime. Nelson and Cobb look to be slowing down. Allison I think is still a number 3. Ninth, I know its a long shot and maybe sacrilege, but I actually hope that we can hand the Vikings their last loss of the season. A Viking Super Bowl would be historic and as long they don't lose to the Patriots, I'll be happy. It's the ultimate football talker. So even if though I detest the trolls here, I have many good friends who would be made happy by a little Viking success. It's easier to take if you don't listen to KFAN too.

on December 20th, 2017 at 10:14am

Holy smokes! Have you seen how many tickets for saturdays game are on sale below face value on Stubhub and Craigslist? I'm worried that Lambeau will be filled with more Viking fans then Packer fans. :-(

on December 20th, 2017 at 11:18am

I have plenty to say regarding both the Vikings and Packers fans on here that'll fly in the face of what both of them have posted here, but I don't have time to deal with it today. Sometime next week, I'll lay it all out for you. Until then, I hope everyone has some quality time with their families this weekend, and Merry Christmas to all!!

on December 21st, 2017 at 05:59pm

I feel ya MinnPackFan. I haven't felt welcome in Minneapolis since I moved here 10 years ago. Minnesota Nice is a fantasy. The people here are just plain nasty to Packer fans. Even my boss has it in for me at my job. I'd move back to Wisconsin in a heartbeat if I could find work there. Hell, in Wisconsin the women are hotter, the beer is colder and it's home to the 13 time World Champion Green Bay Packers!!!!!! ...Damn! I need to rent a U-Haul!!! Peace Packer Nation!!!!

on December 21st, 2017 at 11:37am

I'm just grateful that Rodgers' injury allowed me to showcase my super coaching abilities. As if everyone didn't already know that the Packers' success was really due to me!

on December 21st, 2017 at 11:41am

Someone please pass the tissues to MinnPackfan and 2pack. The hardships and ordeals they have had to face would make the protesters of the civil rights movement blush. It's just so sad that they can't find work to in the homeland, and have to live in this wasteland of a state! The cheese and their cousins are calling them home! For only 10 cents a day, the cost of a cup of coffee, we can send these two back to their shanties in the woods of their homeland. Please, donate now.

on December 22nd, 2017 at 07:47am

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