This season has fallen squarely on the shoulders of Head Coach Mike McCarthy. A coach I’ve defended through and through (for the most part), mainly due to him being able to get his quarterbacks to produce at each of his stops throughout the NFL. The caveat with him being that those quarterbacks haven’t gone on to produce after he left (or the QB leaving), aside from Brett Favre. Although one could argue #4 was re-motivated. We’ll save that for an offseason conversation. Everyone is well aware of Mac’s QB school and with the Packers putting all their (backup QB) chips in with #7, this is 100% on Mac to get his team to win.
There are countless arguments being had regarding the overall talent of this Packers team, but there are 8 players registering a grade of 82.2 or higher on the season (source per ProFootballFocus), which might be the highest amount of players on a roster. – I haven’t gone through each team, but a handful and the next closest is 5….also that doesn’t include Aaron Rodgers who would make it 9.
Looking at the current situation, the Packers sit at 4-3, 2nd place in the NFC North with Minnesota holding the tiebreaker. Meaning this game on Monday Night is paramount for both the Lions and Packers. Boiling down to Mike McCarthy needing to get back to the offense he ran from 2006 – 2010, before Rodgers solidified himself as one of, if not the, best/most-talented QBs in the history of the NFL and completely opening up the spread and relying on concept routes (WRs run routes based off defensive alignment, brilliant until it isn’t). Green Bay may have found a true running back in Aaron Jones, and with an above average offensive line (if all starters are playing), the Packers have a real opportunity to set Brett Hundley up for success with a proper game plan.
Moving to the Defense. I believe it was a Bob McGinn or Tom Silverstein article from a few years back stating how Dom Capers’ approach goes against the approach of draft and develop. Capers needs a veteran defense to understand his complex scheme where the Packers now have speed and talent, however youth, on defense and are still experiencing blown assignments. I, like many , have been begging for a change at Defensive Coordinator since Colin Kaepernick ran wild in the 2012 Divisional Round playoff route (Jan 2013) because he couldn’t adjust when it seemed the rest of the NFL could and did. I believe if the Packers switched to just a simple zone scheme concept and played a bunch of man coverage we’d actually find out the talent level of this defense. Until that happens, we may never know and as long as McCarthy is here it seems as Dom is too.
Detroit Lions – what an enigma they are…they may seem like the poor man’s version of the Green Bay Packers. All of their flaw may be “covered up” by their Quarterback, Matthew Stafford. The issue is Stafford isn’t in the same class as Rodgers on a talent-level. Detroit boasts the 19th rated offense and 22nd defense (yards/game). The Packers technically are worse, 23rd and 23rd respectively. Look for this game to come down to QB play as the Packers likely will win the line of scrimmage (as they had in Min and v NO, but still lost—that’s coaching). With that, Stafford has quite a bit more experience and production than Hundley, and if McCarthy doesn’t allow 7 to play football, look for this game to be quite similar to the Saints game; A messy game between two teams with GB possessing more talent but not get it done.
Go Pack Go!!!