1 – Mike McCarthy continues to be too stubborn to fix the offense. Or there’s a riff that was initiated from the fallout between Mac and Rodgers from the NFC title game. Either way, whether too stubborn or proving a point, it’s killing this team. For once the defense is adequate, not good, but good enough to win ball games with Aaron Rodgers as your quarterback. The Packers were shutout until a little under six minutes left in the 3rd quarter at Detroit. Embarrassing. If not for Julius Peppers’ (whom I’ve been critical of being vastly overpaid since signing) strip sack, Aaron’s gorgeous throw to Adams on 3rd and 6 from the 9 (holy crap a 3rd down conversion?!?!?!), Rich Rod (Richard Rodgers) catching EVERYTHING, etc., etc., the Packers lose another game to a bad team. Detroit’s secondary is terrible; their entire team is not good. Coaching is worse. That was on full display for the Hail Mary play. However, I’m sure all of you have heard enough about that play and the comeback so I’ll move on.
2 – Eddie Lacy. Here’s another example of McCarthy mishandling a situation. If you’re going to bench a player, then bench him! Don’t give him five touches. Make sure he gets none. Suit him up and give him zero — or deactivate him. Was there a message sent? Yes. Could it have been sent with more conviction? Absolutely. We as fans saw what happens when you hold people accountable and give hungry players an opportunity. John Crockett isn’t a nobody. The guy had a helluva camp,and I thought deserved a roster spot over Alonzo Harris. He looked like DuJuan Harris (running back that debuted in 2012), running like he wants a paycheck. Apparently he ran to a few wrong assigned holes, but guess what? When one runs with anger and determination good things happen (as long as you hang on to the ball, Starks). Does Lacy deserve another opportunity? Only if Crockett and Starks don’t perform. My guess is we’ll see Lacy get plenty of opportunity. My hope is he makes the most of it.
3 – Back to this offense and its scheme. Jordy Nelson is a huge loss. (No surprise there.) However I find it difficult to understand how everyone was getting open consistently just running around like it’s backyard football. This can’t be the same offense as year’s past, can it? Until there’s change, whether with play-calling or overall scheme of running routes and putting players in position to get open, I don’t see how anything will change, and the offense will struggle.
4 – Home Stretch: v Dallas; at Oakland; at Arizona; v Minnesota. The Packers essentially must win out and have the Cardinals lose an additional game in order to have a legitimate shot at making the Super Bowl (e.g., Arizona is 10-2, with the Packers being 8-4. If GB wins out they’ll be 12-4, with one of those victories coming over Arizona (tie breaker), Arizona would still need to lose one additional game to fall to 12-4 (thus giving the Packers the tie breaker for the 2 seed in the NFC playoffs). Let me be clear: Making the Super Bowl is not the goal; winning the Super Bowl is. With that in mind, Packer fans should be rooting for Minnesota tonight to beat Arizona. It’ll be tough without, arguably, their three best players but we can hope, right?
5 – Dallas. Not a good team; perhaps one of the worst in the NFL. If the Packers are who we thought they were at the beginning of the season, this should be a “roll the helmets out” type of game. Sadly it’s not. All Dallas must do is play man coverage and load the box. Considering GB’s receivers don’t run routes, Dallas’ defensive backs can just jog along with the receivers until pressure finally gets home for a sack or forced throw. On the flip side, Dallas can’t really do much on offense so this game could resemble the Lions v Packers from week 10. We all remember the nine consecutive punts game, don’t we? (Smiling face emoji; followed by gun emoji).
Side note – Are we seeing a market correction in the NFL? Seattle fixed a few things and is now rolling. Kansas City had some injuries to key players but is playing the best football of anyone in the NFL. I wouldn’t be shocked if either or both got to the Super Bowl, but then I’d have to defend why that’s not a case of “Getting in and Getting hot.” Different topic for a different day.