As I lay in supplies for the “Great White Death” headed for SE Wisconsin, I contimplate the game. My approach to the remainder of the season is simple. Going into last week’s game they had a chance to remain in contol of their own destiny. They no longer do. They have to watch the score board the rest of the season and make believe they actually have a chance. Only losers depend on others to get them to their goal.
We have plkayed the entire season with no talent on the O & D lines and there is no reason to think MM was able to “correct” the problems this week. The genesis of their problems are no talent in either line. TT was negligent in the off-season in addressing that issue.
It is time to evaluate honestly the talents of the players on this team. We need to overhaul both lines before next year’s season. If not, next year will be worse.
The game key, as always, will come down to controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. After the last few games, I’m actually more optimistic about the O line’s prospects than the D line’s. With the significant exception of the Vikings’ game, the O line has been at least passable, and some times very good, since the Colts game (the Vikings’ game, on the other hand, was an absolute disgrace). The D line, on the other hand, had their ass handed to them Monday night, and has been a real disappointment this season. Losing Jenkins was a blow, but the other guys (and unlike most, I include Kampman in this critique) have not stepped up their game. Can anyone think of a game where the D line has really put pressure on the opposing QB? I can’t. Can anyone think of a game where the D line has closed all the running lanes for an opposing RB? I can’t. They’ve had their moments, but I can’t think of a complete game for the D line all season.
GB needs to play the run; Carolina is going to try to win this game on the ground, and most of this season they’ve been successful doing so. That means the D line has to finally show up, and the LBs have to make sure they don’t run out of the play (I’m looking at you, #51). I think the Packer secondary can handle the Panthers’ passing game fine, even matched up one-on-one for most of the game.
On offense, stick with what has been working the last few weeks- run the ball, mised up with a little play action passing. The run blocking on this team has gotten considerably better the last few weeks, and Grant seems to be running harder as well.
I think the division is still in reach; we still have another crack against the Bears, and the Vikes still have the Gmen, Cardinals and Falcons coming up. The rest of the Packers’ schedule is filled with winnable games, but the Packers are going to have to play better than they have to take them all.
Wasn’t special teams one of our strengths earlier this season? Rodgers looked GOOD. DD looked tired. Scotty Wells had the thousand yard stare (concussion? ya right.) The only way the Pack has a chance at the playoffs is if the entire roster of both the Vikings and the Bears are held hostage for five weeks in an unknown barn by rogue DNR agents somewhere in the U.P. and then released back into the wild come Christmastime with tummies full of Chunky Soup. On the flip side, bringbackbrettfavre.com’ers are sharpening their shovels all across Packer Nation. TT, keep your head up.