By kickoff Saturday night the Packers were playing meaningless football. For all intents and purposes, the Packers know what they have in their young players, and it’s becoming more and more evident that Brett Hundley is either incapable of being an average starting quarterback in this league or that the game has passed Mike McCarthy by. Aside from a questionable pass interference call, the Packers’ defense showed up to the challenge without many of their starters. As referenced above, we know a few of the young players are good: Kenny Clark. Actually one of his below average performances as he was pushed a couple times in the run game, but still made plenty of plays stuffing the run and generating a pass rush – he’s going to be fun to watch and a player the Packers should build around.
Review—the Packers actually outgained the Vikings 239 v 236 yards, but the interception in the red zone thrown by Hundley to a double-covered Kendricks was ultimately the deciding factor early in the contest. The promising thing is that McCarthy actually calls a fairly balanced game when Hundley is behind center, and while there’s no way to figure out how many runs Rodgers checks out of, I’d still love to see a true west coast offense and use the arguably best run-blocking offensive line in the NFL and two newfound rushers (Williams and Jones) to set the tone of the game. Just think about this….the Packers are able to outrush their opponents and can fall back on the arm of Aaron Rodgers to always be in 2nd and 3rd & short situations. That’s a recipe for ball control, which will keep the defense off the field and can only help. However, until McCarthy adjusts or there’s a new coach, it’s close to insanity to expect that to change – ultimately relying on #12 to win every game with his right arm and decision-making which isn’t the best plan for any player, Tom Brady included.
Preview – enter the 8-7 Detroit Lions, whom too have nothing to play for. This is an opportunity to get young players like Michael Clark (#89) and Trevor Davis (#11) 50+ snaps to see what they have. The Lions rank 13th in yards, 8th in points as for offense & 27th/25th on defense, respectively. This could end up being a shootout or a one-sided affair with Matt Stafford loading up on some stats. Hopefully the Packers don’t play their key players as there’s literally no value to do so, and actually helps them in the big picture by losing this game. Although it’ll be tough for any fan to root against the packers during the game; again even if it’s for the greater good J
Recap—again, whether the Packers decide to cut and move on from Randall Cobb and/or Jordy Nelson, we know what they’re capable of and after signing Davante Adams to a 4-year $58M deal, he’ll be the new #1 (if he wasn’t already) target entering 2018. Center Corey Linsley too signed a contract extension Saturday afternoon, which means there will be 2 returning starters to the line next year; LT David Bakhtiari being the other.
Hoping for a loss for multiple reasons:
- Maybe someone will be replaced aside from a special teams coach.
- Better draft pick.
- Team is fueled even more from being 7-9? (I’m really stretching here)
Stay tuned for the season recap next week and to begin talking draft prospects!
31-20: now hoping I’m right for the reasons listed above!