At least the Packers don’t look as bad as the Badgers did yesterday. That’s the nicest thing I can come up with right now.
Aaron Rodgers may be the least of our concerns. Donald Lee had a bad drop. Brandon Jackson muffed a ball for a pick. Greg Jennings dropped a ball that hit him in the hands, wide open. Rodgers has looked uneven — at best — but he’s not playing as badly as those around him.
Speaking of those around him — the Packers offensive line looks awful. Rodgers has no time to pass and I’m not sure there has been anything close to a hole for Ryan Grant. The only time Grant has gained yards is when he runs wide. In particular, Chad Clifton has looked very bad. He’s a step slower than he was last year and his feet look like they’re in cement. He gets beat by speed rushers and then reaches back to stop them — which is why he keeps getting called for holding. Daryn Colledge, too, has looked back. He gets pushed around routinely, sometimes by linebackers.
If we’re looking back for turning points, I’ll nominate three.
First, the questionable pass interference call on Charles Woodson. As Daryl Johnston pointed out, the flag was thrown late, from across the field and Woodson was in the space before the receiver. Bad call. Tampa went onto score a touchdown.
Second, Nick Collins dropping the interception that hit him right in the chest. Not only was it an easy pick, but he had a pretty clear run to the end zone (which is probably why he dropped it).
Third, on the very next play, two Packers missed tackles on a quick out to Michael Clayton on 3rd and 12. (Woodson took a bad angle and Collins, as he seems to be doing more and more this year, simply let the receiver slip through his grasp). The Bucs converted a 4th and 1 and went onto kick a field goal.
The Packers are lucky to be within a touchdown. These are the kinds of game that matter most — good teams play ugly and win, mediocre teams don’t. We’ll see.