An unpopular optimistic post

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Hate to do to this when we’re all pretty low after yesterday and thinking this season is in serious jeopardy. I’d prefer myself to brood. But I can’t help but see some reasons for optimism. While I agree things look a bit bleak right now and the injuries certainly aren’t helping – I just don’t think we’re done yet. Let me explain.

  • So far, we have lost to 2 teams with a combined 7-3 record. I know the Bears aren’t THAT good (Todd Collins had 32 yards passing yesterday…32!!!) but they play tough and are a big-time momentum team. They have momentum right now and we lost to them back when they were starting to get it. The Redskins have a very underrated defense. While our offense has been positively frustrating to watch this year, in yesterday’s game, the Skins tough D definitely had something to do with our poor output.
  • We lost both of these games at the last second – so we haven’t been out of any games this year at all. We could easily be 5-0 right now were it not for some last minute misfortune.
  • The victory against Detroit, which many felt was a weak performance by the Pack – over time might come to be considered a quality win against a decent team. (Detroit should have won that Chicago game, and almost won against a Michael Vick-led Philly team too.)
  • We’re 3-2 and our offense has been pretty weak. We’ve lost our starting RB (and not filled his position) and with this loss our running game has taken a serious hit. Though I have to tip my hat to Jackson for yesterday’s long run…that was nice. Anyway, Grant’s 1200 yards a year the last few years now feels like something we’ve taken for granted. Our passing game, with the exception of throwing to Finley, has been quite poor. Rodgers is only averaging 246.6 yards per game – ranking 9th in the NFL. He has the 14th most attempts – which seems odd because you’d think he’d have more attempts considering how slanted our run/pass ratio is…but not so odd when you consider how we’ve been crushed now in several games w/re to time of possession. Overall, the offense has suffered from a serious lack of offensive rhythm. I think it’s fairly safe to assume our sputtering offense CAN’T continue to play this poorly going forward.
  • The injuries we’ve suffered have affected this team. I still think Grant’s injury hurts the most (with Chillar’s a close second). And I am absolutely sure that if Matthews didn’t go down yesterday, we would have won that game. It was a matter of time before McNabb fumbled on one of those sacks. Instead, he had just enough time to do what needed to be done after Matthews got hurt. Now, if the injuries to key players are problematic for the rest of the season, or season-ending (Finley Matthews, Rodgers, Pickett), we could be in trouble. But if the key guys get back out there, the subs who filled in elsewhere did just fine (Peprah, Bishop, Quarless for Lee etc). In fact, Peprah, Bishop and even Quarless may all end up being upgrades (Quarless upgrade over Lee, not Finley)…they all looked good yesterday.
  • As much as I’ve appreciated Clifton/Tauscher over time, I’m feeling more certain that they would be most helpful to us now as back-ups. It would be a serious luxury to be able to turn to one of these guys if there is an injury. And keeping them on the bench might help prolong their careers/save their aching bodies. It’s time for Bulaga and Lang to get their chances. So why optimism about this situation? I have a sneaking suspicion that the O-Line will improve overall if this move is made.
  • While Miami and Minnesota each present unique challenges especially for our defense, I think both of the next two games at home are games we can win. If we happen to win them, we’ll be 5-2 and back in a solid position.
  • We’ve made lots of stupid mistakes, including stupid penalties. Assuming some of these stupid errors decrease even a little bit, our overall performance should improve.
  • Our coaching, especially offensively, has been off this year. McCarthy has been weak establishing a good offensive rhythm with his play-calling (or perhaps even his game-planning overall). Normally, and I know there are those who disagree, I think McCarthy has some good ideas offensively and with those ideas he has the potential to make this offense take off. But something is just off and it’s got to improve because it doesn’t seem like it could get worse. (Ok, a moment of pessimism for a second: one concern I do have is that there may be a small fracture developing between McCarthy and Rodgers. When a player knows as much about the offense as Rodgers does, it’s natural to want to have more of a say in what plays are called etc. Yet due to the pride MM takes in calling plays, I’m not sure how much freedom he’s willing to offer up Rodgers here. Again, I just hope he and MM are truly on the same page.)
  • I think losing has humbled this team some. I don’t think we were unrealistic before talking about the Super Bowl etc – it made sense considering what we had and what we did last year. But I do think that these losses have quickly reminded the team and fans that there are lots of decent teams in the NFL and that each team has areas of strength that can give them an edge.
  • Overall, I guess my main point is simply that I don’t believe we canĀ  play much worse than we have thus far and we’ve still managed to get to 3-2. And despite being decimated by injuries in the last few games, we hung in tough (especially on defense) against a decent team in front of their home crowd. It’s not lost yet.
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One Response to “An unpopular optimistic post”

  1. Nick Says:

    I think the biggest thing is that there were a lot of losses in the NFC this week that put a lot of teams at 3-2, meaning even if the Bears continue to win, we still have a good shot at the wild card.

    Arodg needs to put it together and we will be back on track.

    Really, what the team needs is a big kick in the ass. I hope that this game did it to them as it was a game thy SHOULD have won and didn’t. Someone needs to get angry and get them pumped up, because they just dont have that mindset right now.

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