Another season, another failure. Many of you may call me spoiled. Packer fans shouldn’t have to apologize for having a Super Bowl or Bust mentality, ‘nor should they since 1995 (realistic chance of winning a World Championship). Any excuse is irrelevant and embarrassing. It’s not OK that this team fell, yet again, short of attaining a more than reasonable goal. I can spend plenty of more time on this topic, but let’s move on for now.
Recapping the Divisional Round game at Arizona – the Packers seemed like the better prepared team, a team that’s used to playing in the playoffs. Per usual the game came down to a few plays, most notably the ones at the end that brought us all up to our feet then crushed us to our a…seats.
With that, let’s take a look at placing blame because well, that’s what fans do! A few of you know I’ve liked McCarthy since day 1 for many reasons. Mostly for his quarterback development, gameplan/prep, etc. He doesn’t deserve blame, hardly any (in my opinion) for this game but deserves quite a bit for the entire season. Giving power to the players is one of, if not the, worst decisions a Head Coach can do. Then stripping the play-calling duties from Clements wasn’t ideal because it furthered an apparent rift between the quarterback and head coach. This type of issue can percolate throughout the entire team. I believe this all plays into where I’m going with this – I believe it was Bill Walsh who said (and I’m paraphrasing) A head coach has a shelf-life of about 10 years in the NFL. Whether it be the game passing him by or his message falling on deaf ears, it seems to be that way.
If memory serves me right, there’s only 1 Head Coach (and 1 QB too) who has won a Super Bowl prior to his 10-year mark and won another after while being with the same team. That Head Coach is Bill Belicheck, the new standard of Head Coaching in NFL history. I place an equal amount of blame on the General Manager, Head Coach, and Hall of Fame QB for not hoisting the Lombardi trophy this year. Based on relationships and how things are set up it would seem that either the Head Coach must go or the QB. Being realistic, Aaron Rodgers is unlikely to be traded regardless of changes that come down, however his attitude, production (or lack thereof), and consistent playoff failure need to be recognized by fans v. getting a pass because he’s Aaron Rodgers. There was an article written not too long ago stating how McCarthy needs to go and it would benefit both him and the Packers (message topic, see above). I don’t think Ted Thompson will part ways with Mac, ‘nor do I think he will with #12, just trying to give a different perspective than having blind fandom.
So if the General Manager is the same and keeps his same process stays, the Head Coach stays, and the QB stays (aka nothing changes) why would we fans expect any different outcome? I believe the championship team of 2010 was truly that, a championship team. Had Rodgers not been concussed the 2nd time they likely go 11-5 and possibly 12-4 (either way earning the 2 seed v the 6), which many consider Got Hot at the Right Time. Now it seems that this team is put together to continuously go 11-5, win a division title, and lose in the divisional round. Many fans are OK with that because “as long as we get in the playoffs, we have a shot.” I couldn’t disagree more. Thompson’s philosophy I think is brilliant. You can build a sustained winner while never being in cap trouble (salary cap allows only to pay a certain amount of money each season to keep things fair across the league, if you want a further explanation Google it or I can explain later), however when you’re at the point where the Packers are you must find a way to capitalize on it – whether that’s bringing in free agents (I’ve never been a fan of bringing in big money ones, still not a fan of the Peppers contact hint: he wasn’t worth it) drafting better, developing better, whatever it is it needs to happen. Changing Head Coaches may be the easiest change to make…yes it’s not guaranteed to win a super bowl, Hell it’s not guaranteed to keep us as a winner. What it is guaranteed to do is take away the opportunity for many fans (I’ll be at the front of the line) to scream This is Insane!!! (Going by the definition of Insanity being doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results).