Packers XLV

Welcome to Uncharted Territory

Posted November 5th, 2013 @ 05:11am

We learned one fundamental truth in the Monday night loss to the Bears: Chicago has a much better backup quarterback than the Packers have. OK, that's not really fair. Josh McCown had 15 days to prepare for this game. Seneca Wallace got about five minutes. But what we saw wasn't pretty.

The sobering night at Lambeau brought our worst fears to light. You lose guys like Matthews, Cobb, Finley and Perry and it's next man up. You lose Rodgers and suddenly you're the St. Louis Rams.

As I write this, Mike McCarthy just finished his post-game news conference and would say nothing more than that it's a left shoulder injury for Aaron Rodgers--we'll know more on Tuesday when further tests are administered. One sideline reporter tweeted that it's a broken collarbone. Whatever it is, Rodgers is likely out for a significant amount of time. If that's the case, the Packers will have done a complete 180, with opposing defenses now in AP mode, stuffing the box with eight guys and daring the Packers to pass. The NFL. What a crazy ride.

As anemic as the passing was with Wallace under center, Eddie Lacy took another step with a magnificent night, smashing for 150 yards on 22 carries (a 6.8 average). Toss in James' Starks electrifying 32 yard touchdown run and the Pack finished one yard shy of 200 on the ground. Most of those yards came when there was very little threat of a passing attack.

The next biggest disappointment of the night after the Rodgers injury: the defensive effort, which was the worst since week one. After getting fed a diet of Weeden and Ponder the last two weeks, the D may have been lulled into a false sense of comfortability. McCown was very sharp: his first TD pass, the one to Marshall was a thing of beauty. He made good decisions and had entirely too much time in the pocket to do so. Let's face it. Josh McCown should not put up a 90.7 passer rating at Lambeau, especially when the defense knows the team needs them more than ever, because, well, Senseca freaking Wallace is the quarterback. To make matters worse, they reverted to their 2012 form with lots of missed tackles.

The Bears' final drive, aided by the gutsy fourth and inches call by Trestman, was the ultimate slap in the face--nearly nine minutes taken off the clock and effectively giving the Pack no chance for a last minute drive. With 50 seconds and no timeouts left, Wallace had about as much chance at leading the team on a 75 yard drive as I did.

The truth is, this one could have been a lot uglier. If not for some special teams heroics: Jamari Lattimore's blocked punt and McCarthy's onside kick call the Pack wouldn't have had the good fortune of some short fields.

We entered the evening feeling really good about where the Pack stood in the hierarchy of the NFC in light of a four game winning streak. Within moments of the opening kickoff we were left wondering if the season might be over. We've had more than our fair share of good fortune at QB over the past 20 years. If Rodgers is out for six weeks or more, it might be tough to stay in the playoff race--unless Wallace looks 10,000% better than he looked on Monday night.

There will be a call by many for Ted Thompson to bring back Matt Flynn, who was released by the Bills on Monday. There's probably a better chance Thompson brings back Flynn than Brett Favre, but not much better of a chance. It's more likely that the team will elevate former Badger Scott Tolzien to the active roster. They recently gave him a serious raise, to prevent the Browns from grabbing him.

Wallace, Flynn, Tolzien. It's come to this. The Packers season looks a whole lot different right now. We await the diagnosis and the timetable for Rodgers' return. The Packers' next three opponents have a combined 7-18 record. But without Rodgers, all bets are off.


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Comments (15):

It's not just Rodgers. we would've won without him. Our defense is the issue. Am atrocious effort against a mediocre offense. I'll give GreenBay a pass on this one, because almost half of our starting lineup is gone, but when they are healthy, they have no excuse not to be unstoppable

on November 4th, 2013 at 11:50pm

Tough loss tonight. Not only they lose the game, but they possibly lost the best player in the NFL. My positive, Lacey is a manchild. The thing that was the most upsetting was the effort by the defense. They looked like they didn't want to be there tonight. Maybe the lack of competition had something to do with it, but either way it was pathetic. I have to add one more thing before I go, is it just me, or was every Bear receiver WIDE open tonight?

on November 4th, 2013 at 11:53pm

Blame KFAN in my opinion. They messed with THC's show format and it gave the Pack bad karma with all these injuries. The Rodgers injury just seals it. Sorry about your QB, THC. Goodnight sweet prince........

on November 5th, 2013 at 01:06pm

OSSG, I'm about to dissapoint you in a moment. First of all, the leading candidate for starting QB on the poll is Favre? REALLY?!? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!? I hope you're all either kidding, Vikings fans, or more likely, both. All right kids, here we go - there isn't anyone on the street out there who has an "S" on their chest and either a "4" or a "10" on their back who's about to swoop in and save the day - that's just cartoon-world thinking. I'm sure Brett isn't the least bit interested in coming back (and TT wouldn't meet his price anyway), and there's a good reason why Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo (in that order) gave up on our guy Matt. Remember when Desmond Howard made a return trip, and was pretty much a complete bust? The NFL ain't much for nostalgia tours, even if it's recent history. So we can pretty much consider the Flynn bird to have flown. As far as last night goes, sure it wasn't a good situation for Wallace to be thrown into - would it have been better for Rodgers to go down in the 3rd quarter rather than the 1st? Probably, but either way it's not a good scenario. Last I heard is Rodgers will be out 3 weeks minimum; granted it's not the rest of the season, but it could be manageable. The running game and special teams held up their end of the deal last night, but the defense was a big letdown, unfortunately. So, bottom line here: if Rodgers' prognosis is good and it's a 3 week wait, stick with Wallace. Let's see what he can do with 6 days prep instead of 5 minutes. He's been around the block a few times, and he looked a lot better than either Harrell or Coleman last night, IMHO. If it ends up being longer than that, go ahead and see who's available. Sure, it's worst case scenario no matter how you cut it, but it's what the Pack is faced with now. It's the unpopular coice, but Wallace is the guy. Sorry to dissapoint most of you, but an experienced QB on the roster is worth 2 on the street.

on November 5th, 2013 at 03:23pm

Was that Seneca Wallace or the reincarnation of Spurgeon Wynn? Either one their both the same. Voice...even you must now agree we need to go to the streets and probably try and get Matt Flynn. There is no next man up on the roster behind Arod. The defense giving up the long drive to end the first half and the 18 play drive in the 4th quarter looked like the 2012 defense. They need to really step up. Also lost Lang to a concussion. We may have to go to the Green Bay Arena team to fill out our roster. Go Pack Go !!!!

on November 5th, 2013 at 05:06am

Paul Allen is going to be tough to take today, I'm afraid

on November 5th, 2013 at 05:36am

Obviously we will all be waiting anxiously for the word on Aaron Rodgers' injury and status for next Sunday and beyond. However, the injury is not to his throwing arm and it will be recalled he did have a similar injury in 2008 and played through it without missing a start. I thought the Packers could have gone to the rushing game more than they did after Rodgers went down. There were situations and periods in the game when they inexplicably went away from it even though it was working and Wallace clearly wasn't ready to work the passing game effectively. I think part of the defense's underwhelming showing was related to the offense's inability to sustain possessions and score points. They were just on the field too much. Still, they could have made some stops and generated some turnovers. Don't underestimate Chicago's offense, though. Those big receivers and Forte out of the backfield were expected problems. Clay Matthews will be returning soon and that will help generate more pass rush. Instead of beginning to pull away in the division the Packers are now in a 3 horse race with the Bears and Lions. The real damage to the season from last night is it probably takes away the Packers' prospects for a first round bye and any home field advantage for the divisional round and later in the playoffs. And make no mistake; unless the injury to Rodgers is worse than currently believed, the Packers will make the playoffs. But it likely means they will have to go to New Orleans, Seattle or San Francisco in January and that could be the difference in getting back to the Super Bowl or not.

on November 5th, 2013 at 06:37am

Pete in MPLS don't listen to kfan then. the kfan thing in fun because of what a dumpster fire the Vikings are. Also the Farvre thing is just to good not to speculate. bring him in for 3 games, retire his number everybody kisses and makes up. with the running game stepping up Brett can do the job. who knows might bring Jackson back to the Green and Gold.

on November 5th, 2013 at 07:06pm

First of all let's hope The Mr. Rodgers is only out for 3 weeks. If for the season the TT and MM mantra of "Next Man Up" goes that's fine for everyone on this roster except #12. Senneca Wallace is our short no arm Spergeon Wynn. If Manning (Peyton), Brees, or Brady go down so do their teams. This is one position we can not replace. Voice....I respect you like a caring friendly wise man. But sometimes you cant keep all your money in safe CD's....while safe....they pay little or no interest. I know you love the system but sometimes you need to pull out that club from your bag and take a chance at going for the green rather than taking that safe shot. Wallace may be safe but he cant play any more. Does he have more than Flynn....not sure...but at least Flynn knows the system and has an arm. Yes....he was let go by 3 teams but this situation at least he knows and has had some success. I say it is time for TT and MM to reach into their bag and pull out Flynn and give what is left of our receivers a chance. May not work but worth a try. I dont want to see us playing musical chair QB ala the Queens but we still are fighting for a playoff spot. Voice....maybe your approach will work and for the bigger picture I hope your right. Maybe...either approach makes us average or Davy says without Rodgers all bets are off .....GO PACK GO !!!!

on November 5th, 2013 at 07:54pm

Seneca Wallace looked like Uncle Ricco from Napoleon Dynomite! Uncle Ricco needs more prep time and I'm confident he can step up vs. Philly. And, yes, "chickens do have talons" and so do the Eagles.

on November 5th, 2013 at 08:18pm

I thought the defense was tired at the end because of being on the field too long. The offense is partially at fault of course, too many short drives. Its a bummer we dont have Cobb because he used to be a QB and he would be the perfect man to run a wildcat package with lacy and starks. We gotta beat phili at home this week. Huge game. Seneca should be better with 6 days to prep and the coaches will have a game plan that is more suited for a crappy QB.

on November 5th, 2013 at 08:23am

OSSG, as usual, we will agree to disagree. And you know what? I'm perfectly cool with that, and I think you are too. But regarding the topic at hand, if Flynn ends up clearing waivers, and gives TT a call, I'm sure he'll pick up. As things unfold over the next week or two, if it's decided another direction is the way to go, so be it. But as far as next week's game goes (of which I'll be there for), Wallace is the guy, no matter what. Beyond that remains to be seen.

on November 5th, 2013 at 10:12pm

yes, that was tough to watch, Spencer, u are right the d was gassed, but they have to play better then that, part of the reason they were gassed is they couldn't get off the field, missed tackles all over, hayward played his worse game as a packer. flynn, scares me, MM can't be a magic man, how can all these other teams cut him, i heard his arm is hurt. on 12, i'm sure it's a cracked collar bone. if it was his shoulder or arm they would have said it asap. they like tolzein, but i just don't know enough about him since badger days. i sure we wished we had hasselback now, maybe Kurt warner can come back and save the reason, plus we lost lang again too now for another week, this is to much for any team to over come, foles will throw for 350 and 4 if we don't get a pass rush, but with 4 starting lb's out, it's tough. enjoy the season fellas and ladies,

on November 5th, 2013 at 12:02pm

Let's cool the doom and gloom a little bit. Rodgers will be coming back before the season is over or lost. The injury is to his non-throwing shoulder not his throwing arm or legs or other more serious injury. When he comes back he'll be the same old ARod. My feeling is he makes it back for the Detroit game on Thanksgiving or for Atlanta 10 days after that. Even if he's back only for the final month; along with Matthews and Cobb, the Packers can finish up 4-0 and that puts them at 9 wins for the season. They only have to win 1 0r 2 then during Rodgers' absence to get to the minimum threshold of 10-11 wins to make the playoffs. The Pack doesn't win sans Rodgers at New York, with the Giants showing some signs of coming to life. But they should be able to come up with enough to get by Philly and/or Minisota at Lambeau. The defense will soon be getting an upgrade with the imminent return of Clay Matthews. The running game is working at its best in 5 or 10 years. A caretaker quarterback who doesn't lose games for the team should be able to manage for a limited period of time. One thing the Packers must do during this time is get Jonathan Franklin more involved in the offense. He can break off some big play runs when he gets loose and with so much more weight being slanted to the rushing the Packers can't expose Lacy and Starks to increased risk of injury with their increased work load. And just think, even with Aaron Rodgers out there's still not a quarterback on the Vikqueens roster who could start for Green Bay.

on November 6th, 2013 at 06:38am

Packerlifer, you summed it up nicely. The entire Packers organization aren't the types to start pounding on the panic button, and we as fans shouldn't either. We should all consider this to be a meddle test - both for the team and for us as fans. So let's ask we have it?

on November 6th, 2013 at 09:51am

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