Someone’s not very happy about my views on yesterday’s game. The guys over at Cheesehead.tv did not like this comment, in particular: “It was an adequate, if somewhat lethargic performance, that was good enough to beat a really bad team. But if we’d been playing Dallas or even Detroit, it’s hard to see how such an output would amount to a win.”
For having this view, I am apparently “spoiled” and “lazy.” Hmmm. Here is their critique in its entirety.
I don’t even know where to start. First of all, does the author understand that this game was over at half-time? In fact, one could argue that it was over after Tramon Williams scampered down the sideline for a touchdown. Once the Packers had the lead, the Panthers had no chance. And to call the Packers’ performance ‘lethargic’ is just plain lazy. We’ve seen lethargic Packer teams (think of the team that showed up for Mike Sherman in 2005 for a Monday night game against Baltimore) and this certainly is not one of them. And since when has throwing for 3 touchdowns become ‘adequate’? Methinks the Packer Geeks need to relax and worry about things that matter, like enjoying a history-making 9-1 record and beating the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.
Let me help. A good place to start would be actually addressing the points I made in my post. I did not claim that Packers sucked, as the Cheesehead guys seem to suggest. Here is what I wrote: “The offense played reasonably well and the special teams was uneven — spectacular on Tramon Williams return and Koren Robinson’s 67 yard return, but lacking on Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals. But the defense turned in a subpar performance, especially given the level of talent the Panthers put on the field.”
And when I needed to back up my claims, I did so. “The Packers allowed the Panthers to score more points than at any time during their current four-game skid; 17 this week, twice they were held to 7. At times, DeShaun Foster looked like DeShaun Foster used to look at UCLA. He averaged a healthy 4.4 yards/per carry…” The author seems to think it’s not possible to win a game despite a lethargic, uneven effort. I disagree and suggest the Redskins/Packers game earlier this year as a good example. That our Cheesehead friends chose not to engage those arguments in favor of name-calling might provide some insight as to the strength of their counterarguments.
This is a better attempt, though it’s still lacking. For a Packer defense to give up 382 yards to a team on a four-game losing streak, without the team MVP, starting a quarterback that collects social security, and playing wide receivers that would not start for any other team in the NFL, is simply not a great performance. Sorry. It’s not. It’s not even a good performance. It is, as I wrote this morning, a subpar performance. Whether that happened because the Packers were playing prevent defense, as Andy seems to suggest, or because they were not playing with the kind of intensity we saw in the shutout against Minnesota, is open for debate. I’d argue it’s a combination.
But I am frankly surprised that anyone not blinded by excessive fandom could disagree with my original conclusion: “The offense played reasonably well and the special teams was uneven — spectacular on Tramon Williams return and Koren Robinson’s 67 yard return, but lacking on Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals. But the defense turned in a subpar performance, especially given the level of talent the Panthers put on the field.”
Does anyone think yesterday’s performance would have beaten Detroit or Dallas? That would be an argument I’d be interested in hearing.