Packers XLV

Pack is Outcoached, Outplayed and Nearly Out of Time.

Posted November 5th, 2018 @ 02:11pm

We should've seen it coming when Josh Jones was flagged for being offsides on the opening kickoff. This Packers' road performance looked much like the first two (at Detroit and Washington), rather than last week's effort in LA that gave us hope that they had turned the corner.

On this night in Foxborough we were back to the team that got flagged at inopportune times, hurt themselves with poor offensive execution and then turned the ball over at the worst possible time (OK, that last one happened in LA too, but you get my point).

It's hard not to look at this game and realize that the Packers were outcoached--not a sin against Bill Belichick, But Josh McDaniels also outdueled Mike Pettine as the Pack had no answers for the array of trick plays that the Patriots OC unleashed. Foolish penalties (i.e. the roughing the kicker call on Tonyan, delay of game in the red zone), ejections (Jermaine Whitehead's boneheaded helmet slap): these are not what well-coached teams do on a big stage when your season may be hanging in the balance.

This game was all set up for the Packers to make a statement. They were catching the Patriots on a short week, coming off a ho-hum performance in Buffalo. When the inactives were announced 90 minutes before kickoff, and the Patriots' best receiver and ball carrier were on it, the Pack should have been galvanized that maybe this would be their night to erase the bad taste in their mouths from LA and put themselves solidly in the NFC North race by winning in the toughest NFL road environment over the past 15 years.

And despite all the issues, things started to go the Pack's way in the the third quarter. Suddenly the defense stiffened and  Tom Brady threw seven straight incomplete passes and suddenly the offense began to find a rhythm, as Rodgers and MVS hooked up on a pair of big plays. But as they approached the red zone, poised to take their first lead of the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Aaron Jones fumbled for the first time as a pro. Brady and McDaniels seized on the opening with another big gadget play and the Patriots were back in control. A meager three and out by the Pack's offense later and New England scored again to take a two touchdown lead. Ballgame.

What's most concerning to me is how difficult everything is for the offense right now. In a game that was billed as the second and perhaps final matchup of two of the greatest QBs ever, Rodgers never looked comfortable and confident. McCarthy called twice as many pass plays as run plays and the pass plays always take so long to develop. Where are the quick slants and screens, something to keep the defense off balance--and this was a defense that lacks premier pass rushing talent.

We'll wait to hear how costly the game was from an injury standpoint, as Bryan Bulaga, Kevin King and Kentrell Brice were knocked out early. Blake Martinez returned after being carted off with an ankle injury, so hopefully the defense escaped losing its captain for an extended period.

So the Packers are now 0-4 on the road this season, and while they have yet to lose a home game, they have whittled down their margin of error to just about nothing. Heading into this brutal five game stretch, I felt like they had to go no worse than 2-3 to keep their postseason hopes alive. It's not a sin to lose to the Rams and Patriots on the road, but they absolutely must win two of these next three, which means they have to win a road game. A novel concept.

It will likely take at least a 6-2 second half for the Packers to sniff January. For a unit that has yet to string back to back wins together, this seems like a long shot. But we've been down this road before. A 4-6 start two years ago turned into running the table into the postseason. But this team has yet to show that it can play consistent, fundamental football over 60 minutes week in and week out.

If they don't figure things out soon, the clock will start ticking on Mike McCarthy's future in Titletown.


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Comments (15):

Oh Synner - I so love when the light bulb comes on. :) Welcome to mediocrity. "We should've seen it coming" Well, we've been telling you! Now you can see that the team needs a full rebuild. Might as well start the Waaron Rodgers retirement celebrations now. Then without Joe Buck's love interest to block for, yore o-line will finally start getting called for the blatant holding that officials ignore on every play.

on November 5th, 2018 at 01:13pm

The last 4 Ted drafts have come home this year. No 2015 players left. None, nada. Fatcarthy always out coached in big games. Arod is the present day Dan Morino. Great QB surrounded by crap defense and mediocre coach. Bob McGinn wanted Ted and Fatty out years ago. Packers made change 4 years too late. Trade Arod for 2 number 1 and 2 number 2 and rebuild. Give Arod chance to win another SB before he is done. WVU qb may look good in green and gold next year. Scooter

on November 5th, 2018 at 08:15pm

Sinykin Wrote: " If they don't figure things out soon, the clock will start ticking on Mike McCarthy's future in Titletown. " ______ Hey Hey ..... Let's try to tone down the comments like that Buddy ..... Where's my Vicodin ?

on November 5th, 2018 at 08:36am

I'm looking forward to the Packers upgrading their HC by hiring Hue Jackson.

on November 5th, 2018 at 09:01am

You guys are paying the price for thinking Rodgers was all you needed for so long. Now he's all you got and you don't even have enough help for him to have a clear shot at the playoffs despite having him play all 16 games. Hell, Rodgers is the reason you're not in the running for the #1 overall pick right now. The Packers are not a good team, they're Aaron Rodgers plus 52 other guys.

on November 5th, 2018 at 09:21am

Dave you...I have listened forever to the Preview, since the Grandma days. This year because of schedules, yours and mine I have to listen via podcast on Monday Morning. You and your callers should do the same. There are some good takes on Sundays. Right now this team is not close, not good and not well coached. Coulda, woulda, shoulda means nothing. Perry, Mathews, Cobb, Bulaga, Tramon offer nothing. Rodgers is aging in front of our eyes, he may be hurt, he says he's fine, what do your eyes see? A new head coach is in order but will that fix all?

on November 5th, 2018 at 09:51am

FTFY: Mike McCarthy's future in Entitled Town.

on November 5th, 2018 at 10:03am

The press conferences from last night appeared quite ominous for the cheddarheads. You reference the 4-6/run the table year, which resulted in the famous R-E-L-A-X Rodgers quote. While walking to the podium last night to greet the media Rodgers is heard saying "jesus christ." This was not in a praise jesus tone, but rather a dejected, what the hell is going on type of disgusted tone. Its obviously quite different this time around and your HOF QB is not feeling positive. On the flip side your current HC looks like a man who is out of answers, in the midst of a conflict with his HOF QB, and ultimately resigned to the fact he'll be on the couch eating snow cones while diddling himself soon. Do you feel that Packer nation? The way the shit clings to the air? Shit blizzard is coming. The Packers are quickly sinking into a shit abyss.

on November 5th, 2018 at 11:18am

I see at least four more losses on your schedule - Seattle, Minnesota and Chicago for sure and at least one of the remaining games. The Lions have already beat the Packers once this year and the Falcons always give them a hard time. I don't think any switch is going to get flipped. You guys just aren't that good. If a rookie kicker had made a chip shot field goal, the Packers would be 3-5. It doesn't help that you traded away your best corner and your best RB. The Packers have a pretty ordinary offense now, and I don't know if you've noticed, but Rodgers is not what he used to be either. Age and injuries are catching up. He's starting to get caught on those roll outs now. His accuracy has declined and he has to throw at tiny windows because his receivers can't get open and McCarthy can' scheme them open. The Pack is coming back to the Pack. I think you're only a couple of years away from being the 80's team all over again.

on November 5th, 2018 at 11:23pm

Keep piling on mudduck queens,getting excited about putting another choke in your trophy case,your still behind the pack 13 nothing in championships!!

on November 6th, 2018 at 04:06pm

Why the surprise and alarm about Sunday's result? Nothing happened to the Packers that doesn't happen to 7 out of 10 opponents the Patriots play and probably 9 out of 10 in Foxboro. It was exactly as expected in both the loss and the way it happened. But it was a front row seat for how and why the Packers over the last 17 years have been a pereniel playoff club while the Pats have been a pereniel Super Bowl club. Let's hope the Packers - players and coaches alike - learned some things from Sunday night in New England and uses those lessons to do better the rest of the year.

on November 6th, 2018 at 05:26am

Never been a big fan of McCarthy's play calling. We have Rodgers, but after watching the Pack for a long time, I can't recall one time where they used a play(s) like the Pats did Sunday. McCarthy's next job should be in Cleveland.

on November 6th, 2018 at 06:31am

I’m not going to gloat about winning over the pack. I was happy with the outcome, but my main takeaways were that the Pack is in trouble. I have loved my Pats since I was 6 years old and this is one of the worst Patriots defenses I have seen in a long while. The rack that a future HoF QB only could muster 17 against us was shocking. I went to the game at Foxborough thinking it would be34-31 as nether team is stellar on defense but I actually thought pre-game that the pack was slightly better on D. I’ll be honest minus Gronkowski I was worried. But 17 points is wow made our D look a lot better than it truly is.

on November 6th, 2018 at 12:36pm

This is a team that is in flux. The new GM tightening down on the slack and seams more involved and reactive than Ted. The players that we've gotten "in season" haven't been very productive yet. It feels like he's building for next year. That plan , may or may not include McCarthy. I think it will. I think he will get one more year to prove it, that is as long we don't end up with a losing record this year. Unless there is significant improvement in play, you can bet that next years team will look very different from last years team.

on November 7th, 2018 at 11:08am

Two things I can take comfort in - there's still 8 games to go, where a lot of things can still happen, and the fact the Vikings will crash and burn at the most inopportune time. The latter is as predictable as sunrise.

on November 9th, 2018 at 10:48am

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