Packers XLV

On the Thanksgiving Table This Year: Humble Pie

Posted November 29th, 2013 @ 03:11pm

I feel like putting as much effort into this blog as the Packers gave on Thanksgiving Day, but I think I've already got them beat.

I doubt many of us can remember watching a Packer game as one-sided, unless you recall the 70s. Where did this come from? Both teams came in desperate and hoping to begin a late season run to the division title. Granted, the Pack was still without Rodgers, but the return of Shields, Jolly, Perry and Barclay was supposed to infuse some energy into a team that had played a five quarter game just 3 1/2 days ago.

So much for that. The Packers were an embarrassment on both sides of the ball, particularly on defense. The three early takeaways were a breath of fresh air, but from that point on the air reeked like a football locker room. 561 yards. Are you kidding me? The Packers defense appears lost, unsure and a step slow. They need to address upgrades on all three levels, particularly at inside linebacker and safety.

Unlike Sunday, the offense was unprepared to bail out the defense on this day. The offensive line got beat up from the opening snap, helped in part by Josh Sitton's inflammatory words that no doubt fired up the Lions' imposing front four. They had Matt Flynn running for his life all day and Flynn couldn't do anything. The line's inability to provide any running lanes for Eddie Lacy didn't help matters.

You often hear coaches, after a putrid performance, say 'we're going to burn the videotape and move on.' Well, there's no forgetting this one. There's no moving on. The Lions put an exclamation point on a historically bad November that saw the Pack go 0-4-1 without their leader. If and when Aaron Rodgers comes back, he'll need to do more than lead the offense. He'll need to play tackle, D line, linebacker and safety. And if he could help out on special teams, that would be nice.

At 5-6-1, no one should be uttering the 'p' word. This team looks nothing like a playoff team right now. If they win their last four to finish at 9-6-1, they'll still need the Lions to lose two of their last four (at Philly, home to the Ravens and Giants and at the Vikings). And if the stars align and the Packers somehow claim the division title, they'll get to host a team like the 49ers, Saints or Panthers in the wildcard round. You like their chances against any of those teams, after watching the Packers play their last four or five games? Me either.

I don't know about all of you, but my turkey still tasted good. I still had a wonderful day with my family, culminating with our traditional poker game. I have a lot to be thankful for and Thanksgiving Day provided an opportunity to reflect on that.

Putting the Packer game out of my head was easier than I thought. When you get thoroughly embarrassed it's a little easier to do that. How the team responds over the final quarter of the season will provide a glimpse at the future. The future should be what we're thinking about right now, because the 2013 season appears to be a lost one.

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Comments (11):

The Packers getting into the playoffs right now would be like a dog chasing a car... what would he do if he ever caught it?

on December 1st, 2013 at 02:42pm

I know its fashionable to think, thing like "Lets lose out and get a better draft pick" or stuff like that. People would rather boon and bust than be mediocre. I can't do it. I like to look at the stretch of good years, of playing winning football. I'd like that to continue as much as possible even if this isn't a Division winning team. I still think it means something to not have losing seasons. Yeah, I have high standards for the Pack. I have to remind myself, other fan are not so fortunate. So , no this isn't a great team, but Yeah, I want them to win. Win this week. Win next week. Win every game. If its 9 and 6 and 1 then so be it.

on December 2nd, 2013 at 09:30pm

Pete in MPLS, he'd have a better story to tell than the dog who didn't.

on December 3rd, 2013 at 07:44pm absolutely nailed it! And I'll give one more reason why the Packers shouldn't tank it the rest of the way - the playoffs are within reach!!! If they make it and go out in the first round, so what? The point here is to get into the tournament, and once you're there, anything can happen. Sure, the Packers need help, but it's a very possible scenario. As inconsistent as the Lions have been, there's a better than good chance they'll lose two of their last four. This, of course, is all contingent the Packers win out, and it starts Sunday against the Falcons - a team that's a train wreck at best. If they drop any one of the four, sure, it won't happen. But until then, they have a shot. If Rodgers is cleared to go Sunday, it could be something special. But whatever we (being the observational fans) should never hope they do is tank it at this point - that's the sort of thing a lot of Vikings fans are hoping for, and if you surf around the chatboards enough, you'll see that's exactly what many of them are hoping for. BTW, a special shout-out to the Vikings for doing a favor for the Pack this weekend. Sure, it may be a long shot, but the Pack still have one. And as long as they do, go for it!

on December 3rd, 2013 at 11:27am

How about this: Jerod McMillan was released today.....MD Jennings might be next....but probably not until the offseason. we need a playmaking safety !! GO PACK GO !!

on December 4th, 2013 at 10:54am

I noticed how THC mentioned Shields, Jolly, Perry and Barclay. Well the problem is, those guys just aren't that good. Perry is an unquestioned first round bust. Barclay is an undrafted player who plays like one. Jolly has been okay for a guy 3 years out of football, but he is below average for the normal NFL DT. Shields is up and down but decent, but what is the Pack gonna do with him after this year? Teams always shell out huge dough in free agency to even the most serviceable CBs. I highly doubt Ted Thompson wants to make the same mistake he did by paying Tramon Williams a truck load of $ a few years ago. Tramon has been one of the biggest liabilities on your team since he got the big deal after 2010. This is his 3rd straight horrific year and now the dude has resorted to pushing refs.

on November 29th, 2013 at 01:13pm

Having had 24 hours to digest yesterday's turkey ( and I do mean the game, not the meal) I'm finding a little more serenity taking hold of my Packer fan psyche. Does anyone remember last year's 38-10 debacle at the Giants; with Aaron Rodgers healthy and at full strength at the helm? How did that season turn out? I think the short week, the 5 quarter game last Sunday played a hand in how the Pack came out for this one. They stunk up the joint but, hey, it's just one bad, bad game. I've said elsewhere that making the playoffs this year for the Packers is pointlessly gratuitious since they aren't in any kind of shape to take on the Seahawks, 49ers, Saints or even Panthers in the NFC playoffs. It might be a good thing for this organization to have a slump year, get its pride bruised, move up into prime draft territory, decide to end the patience with continually underperforming or unavailable players and start reloading for a real Super Bowl run. The playoffs this season, though, do remain a possibility. Detroit could still choke a couple, the Bears show signs of slumping down the stretch again. Even with Rodgers (and Cobb) coming back in December the schedule looks a little more challenging than a few weeks ago. Dallas and Pittsburgh look like the games that will make or break the playoff issue for Green Bay. But go 9-6-1 and the Lions & Bears finish 9-7/8-8 and the Pack will still be in for a 17th game in January. But probably no more than that.

on November 29th, 2013 at 01:41pm

Davy....I do remember Packer games in the 70's and you are right this was a flashback to those days. I never thought I would say this but we are a team clone of the Vikings. Not the organization ...but the team on the field. I was for going with Flynn but have come to the realization he is Ponder without mobility. No long arm pocket presence...cannot check off receivers. Both teams on the field have one offensive playmaker...Pack with a healthy Rodgers ( maybe Cobb and Nelson when they have Rodgers)...Vikes have Petersen. Both teams have one playmaker on defense...Pack ..Claymaker when healthy...Vikes Jared Allen ( although he is fading ). Pack organization is still way ahead of Vikes but needs some changes. Capers will probably be the fall guy...although he can only work with the players given. Still...his schemes have not worked. I believe they need to go outside the organazation next year for a replacement. Taking an inside guy like Kevin Greene is just a Capers guy...will not work. As to the draft our pecking order should be: 1- Playmaking safety 2- Inside linebackers who are more athletic than the statues of Hawk or Jones. 3- A capable backup QB....not thru the draft but someone with capable experience. Also TT's draft and develop philosophy needs to be implemented with some decent free agent signings. With some of the cuts from the current roster after this year Pack should have some money to spend. I know some of you believe TT's draft and develop is the way to go...but not anymore in today's professional sports world. Look at all of the successful teams in the major team sports....they are supplemented with free agents to make a winning roster. Like Packlifer says....sometimes we may have to take a temporary step back to reload. As to the playoffs this year " Playoffs !! What Playoffs !! GO PACK GO !!

on November 29th, 2013 at 02:13pm

Yikes...that was brutal. There's a lot of accountability to spread regarding that performance, and I'm going to put about 60% of it on the offense, just because of the snowball effect it had on the rest of the team. Nothing was sustained, nothing executed well, and Flynn didn't stand a snowball's chance back there with the O-line play. If they could have kept a couple drives going, the defense would have stood a reasonable chance of stopping a drive or two, but they were pretty much spent by the middle of the 3rd quarter...although that doesn't get them off the hook by any means. It might be a little early to start assembling our draft needs, but now would be a good time to do the first list for revision later. I agree with pretty much everyone's take on this - even Cane's take is a quality one. The only piece of optimism I can throw on this debacle is one Yogi would ain't over 'til it's over; there's still 4 weeks to go, which means it ain't over. So let's just let this play out and see what happens.

on November 29th, 2013 at 03:07pm

There might be a little positivity to reach for; IF Aaron Rodgers is good to go for Atlanta. In the final month the Packers get the teams ranked, respectively, 27th,32nd,13, and 24th defensively in the league. The Packers should get back to that 30pts. per game offense of early in the season. Atlanta is 24th against the pass and 29th against the run. Dallas is 31st in pass defense and 28th in run defense. Chicago is 13th against the pass but 32nd defending the rush. Pittsburgh is the only potential defensive challenge at 10th in pass defense and 19th in run defense but they also have a losing season going. Of course, the Packers own defense could let every one down. The December opponents can still have some kick to them. Dallas has weapons, the Steelers have Big Ben, the Bears have those big receivers and Forte.

on November 29th, 2013 at 07:43pm

I wasn't surprised by how the d played, but flynn surprised me, in the 1st half when the d had some turnovers, he did nothing with it, your up 10-3 ball at the 50 and 3 and out, before u know it your down 24-10, he missed Quarlles at least 3 times when no one was on him, he locks in on jordy or jones and he is done. he does not see the field well, he was under pressure sometimes I know but not early in the game. one thing I have learned watching and the little bit I played, u play offense with fundamentals and ball skills and , u play d, with confidence and swagger and EFFORT. when the offense can't move the ball, u start to wonder, now don't get me wrong here. I said 4 weeks ago capers should be gone, and stick by it. sometimes u just need a change and someone doing the calls, I also wish the DC was on the field not in the box, I want someone in there face between breaks talking to them. some guys are coming back but, like I said before u cannot have this many injuries and keep winning, if 12 wins 4 games with this team just call him God from now on. I do wish MM would gave tried tolzien for something different in the mid 3rd qtr. I said last spring seattle and denver, let's see what happens.

on November 29th, 2013 at 10:32am

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