Read here from the Onion. Hilarious.
A few minutes ago as I was getting worked up again over the loss Saturday, I suddenly remembered that this wasn’t the only horrendous defensive playoff performance by a Dom Capers’ defense. In fact, after doing some research, it could be argued that the atrocious defensive performance Saturday is more the norm for a Capers-led defense (in the playoffs anyway). Check it out:
- 2009 – The Packers lost in the first round of the playoffs – 51-45 to the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona. Not only did the Packers give up 51 points, they gave up 535 yards, 379 of which were to Kurt Warner and the passing offense. That is terrible playoff defense.
- 2010 – Ok. This year I’ll give Capers a break. The defense was pretty solid throughout the playoffs right through to the Super Bowl.
- 2011 – The Packers lost in the first round at home to the Giants – 37-20. The Pack gave up 425 yards of offense, including 330 to Eli Manning and the NYG passing game. Terrible playoff defense.
- 2012 – The Packers D was admittedly pretty solid against Minnesota in round 1. No question. But in round 2, they gave up 590 yards, including an unforgivable 327 rushing yards, and watched San Fran puke out 45 points. That again is terrible playoff defense.
I highlight this only because my larger concern about Capers is that the guy clearly doesn’t bring it – doesn’t plan well – for the playoffs. Throughout the season he does an OK job, but even then he really has never done anything special with our his defenses (except for 2010). He’s had defenses that have flashed brilliance at times, but he’s never produced consistent defenses that other teams worry about. Wayne Larrivee was saying the other day he thinks Capers will surely stay and that he should, because TT and MM will base evaluations on the full 18 games played, not just one playoff game. But I’d urge Wayne, TT and MM to consider first of all, that over 18 games this year Capers and his defense had yet another pedestrian, unremarkable season – and secondly, that Capers’ having shoddy playoff defensive performances has become a pattern now. And considering playoffs are far more important than the regular season, this can’t be ignored.
I don’t think it would be unfair for TT to essentially say to Capers at this point, next year will be your last if you don’t get the D to perform much better during the season and in the playoffs. (Though looking at the schedule as friend Mike points out, playoffs could be a stretch…)
I heard Wayne Larrivee say the other day that Colin Kaepernick had 181 yards rushing, and 178 of them were accomplished WITHOUT contact. That’s disgusting. While McCarthy has stuck his neck out there already for Capers and has even been offended by suggestions he be jettisoned, a stat like this really has to make a head coach wonder about the defense. Every level of defense is responsible for this. But it also continues to mystify me, as it did during the game, that we didn’t bring someone in to shadow Kaepernick. My choice would have been Hayward. He’s a great tackler, quicker and faster than Woodson, and he has an amazing knack for understanding where to be on the field. by doing something like that we could have stopped Kaepernick in his tracks and forced him to throw – which he’s still good at, but not as good as he is running the ball.
- I hate losing to Jim Harbaugh. The guy is a jackass. When he walks into a room, any porcelain items spontaneously just break due to his relentless intensity. Hate the guy. That said, that kind of intensity obviously wins in football – and right now, the Harbaugh brothers are looking pretty darn good.
- I can’t remember seeing a Packers defense play this badly…ever. What a time to give up 45 points. I guess we were pretty bad a few years ago at Arizona – but this was ridiculous. We all had the feeling in the first half that while they were only up by 3, they could have been up by 20 because our defense appeared to be so unprepared for what was happening…and it’s not like a defense gets better in the second half when they’re exhausted.
- This game reminded me of the Giants game. We just didn’t show up (especially in the 2nd half).
- Ross’ fumble was terrible and really hurt. He shouldn’t have been back there returning kicks if we didn’t need him back there (like we did last week when Cobb was iffy healthwise). That was a key turning point.
- Another major turning point was the drive in the 3rd quarter when we settled for a FG (that Crosby barely made). If we get a TD there and go up 28-24 it might have been a very different second half.
- Another sort of turning point was McCarthy opting to punt on 4th and 4 from about the 50 yard line with around 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter. We were down by 14 and our defense was so tired we couldn’t afford to put them right back out there. Even with a perfect punt, our D had proven they were no match for the SF offense. Just a dumb decision.
- Jim Harbaugh is tool. Sorry, I’m watching the game with 56 seconds left, Kaepernick about to kneel down – and Harbaugh is screaming at the ref about the clock. While the temptation might be for us to envy a team having a coach so incredibly focused and so into making great decisions etc – the truth is, he’s super obnoxious and the guy simply doesn’t seem to enjoy himself out there.
- Dom Capers sure doesn’t come away looking too good today. The 49ers could have scored quite a bit more than 45 points I think – they way they were playing. We had no idea what was coming next. Part of that, admittedly, is that it’s a solid offensive philosophy. RGIII, Cam Newton – when those offenses get humming and get people guessing, it is really tough to keep up. But this far into the playoffs we should have been better prepared. Not a good job by Capers – and I’m guessing this defensive let down coupled with the Arizona muff a few years ago may not bode well for Capers when TT evaluates staff in the offseason.
- Again I was a bit taken aback by how many times we seemed to pull Matthews off the line to apparently fool Kaepernick. Didn’t fool him at all and took our best pass rusher away from doing what he does best. Not smart.
- Tramon Williams was awful tonight. Crabtree lit him up. But more concerning to me than anything was his lack of aggressiveness. He just doesn’t make aggressive moves to try and tackle guys and I think his terrible effort to shed the block on Kaepernick’s big TD run cost us a TD. At some point in the game, a coach or someone has to notice Tramon doesn’t have it and they have to bench him. The game is way too important. Put Hayward on Crabtree and he’s a much better overall tackler.
- The ILBs on our team are horrible. Hawk deceived a lot of us by having a very strong first 2/3 of the season, but it has been all down hill since then. And tonight he was simply nonexistent. Kaepernick either threw it to WRs/TEs who were wide open over the middle of the field or he ran untouched through our second level repeatedly. Not sure how much the deficient play of Hawk and Jones affected the total outcome of the game, but I’m pretty sure if we had a guy like Patrick Willis there instead, the game would have been much closer at least. We need Bishop back and we need to draft a bunch of LBs.
- Our O-Lines and D-Lines both got abused. SF won the line of scrimmage battle big-time. Our D-Line really looked out of sorts to me. That may have been the most rushing yards we’ve ever given up – 327 yards. Yes, you read that right…we gave up 327 yards rushing. Terrible. At the same time we managed to get virtually no pressure on the QB allowing Kaepernick to throw for a relatively easy 263 yards and 2 TDs. Just a terrible outing by the D-Line. Our O-Line wasn’t much better.
- When we went down 31-24, even though things looked bad, there was still plenty of time left in the game (that was in the 3rd quarter) to get back into it. We went into our all-passing mode and I think it killed us. We had enough time to mix some runs in there. Harris was averaging 5 yards a carry and forcing SF to occasionally have to account for our running game would have been wise. It would have also given our D some time to rest. Instead we went with the spread passing offense which only succeeds when Rodgers is flawless (which he can be…I’ll admit) – just not a good mix of playcalling there at a critical time.
- Rodgers wasn’t great tonight. His pick was awful and he generally just didn’t seem like the veteran guy out there tonight – Kaepernick did.
- Our offense just didn’t seem to be able to get in rhythm. We put up points (the last 7 don’t really count) but it just wasn’t a good effort offensively. Reminded me frankly of last week’s game when we scored 24 points but probably should have scored 40+ in that game. Sometimes I wonder, frankly, if all that potential we see in our skill players (having 5 big-time targets for passes and 1 really good RB) is all thrown out the window because our O-Line just can’t get the job done. I don’t want to totally rag on the line here, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say we have a below average offensive line – and it’s been that way all year. Changes need to happen on the line.
- McCarthy didn’t have a great game calling plays or making decisions. One advantage I see for teams that have head coaches who are not also calling plays (for offense or defense), is that they can pay attention to players/situations that are not working out and make heads roll or simply, just make in-game adjustments. So often, I feel like this team under McCarthy waits until halftime to make any adjustments and that just isn’t good enough (especially when those adjustments are bad ones…as they were today).
- I expected a good game here tonight and would have been far more OK with the result if we’d put up a good fight and lost a close one. But we got absolutely pummeled by the 49ers here and it was embarrassing. TT will have some decisions to make in the offseason.
- I’m not super, super disappointed in the season overall in part because I didn’t expect us to get to the Super Bowl this year. But I did think we could get to the NFC Championship game. Still, we won a playoff game and lost to a very good 49er team. I think what does bother me though is HOW we lost – not so much that we lost. We were humiliated tonight, and that never feels good.
- Disappointing end to the season – hopefully there is some excitement in the offseason.
I’ve ever seen by the Packers in an important game. Just terrible. We have a bad defense and I hope this game forces us to make lots of changes going into next year. While I still believe the secondary has a future, our LBs (besides Matthews) are the worst in the NFL and our D-Line just is below average.
This is the second time we’ve played San Fran after they’ve had extra time to study us and the gameplan and strategy were just very solid. We got absolutely used in this game in good part because of the coaching – especially halftime adjustments.
We’re seeing exactly why it was dumb right now. Our defense is so incredibly bad and exhausted that everyone in the world KNEW this was going to happen. Absolutely terrible decision by McCarthy. Not that it will ultimately make a difference but you never know. Bad coaching – we’re being badly outcoached in this game.
Just terrible. In the pass game he’s been really bad, but in the running game he’s been even worse. He had several chances to stop Kaepernick (especially on that long TD run) and he weakly let a defender take him out of the play.
What? It’s only 3rd and 4 and we can’t stop them no matter where they are – our defense is tired and terrible.
This is not good at all and it’s hard to watch. I could moan and whine about how this game should be at Lambeau because of the ridiculous Seattle call – but the fact is that reality changed after that happened and we’ve had plenty of time to figure this out. Our defense is really not very good at all.