A Couple Quick Thoughts


I won’t add much to what Andy’s written below for two reasons.  First, this game is a microcosm of the Packers’ season.  Virtually everything we’ve written after each of the many disappointing losses can be said here.  Second, and this is rare, I agree with almost everything he’s written.

* On Aaron Rodgers: I think he’s had an incredible season.  He is the 8th rated passer in the NFL.  And he has done that with an offensive line that ranks, according to various rankings I’ve seen, in the bottom 10 in the league.  Brett Favre, with a superior offensive line and a sometimes-dominant running game, is 18th.   (That said, aside from Dustin Keller, Favre’s options in the passing game are weak compared to Rodgers.’)  His big problem — and it is a big problem — is that he hasn’t learned how to win.  And, at least at this point in his career, that’s the big difference between Rodgers and Favre.  (Having said that, in at least two of the games we’ve lost, Rodgers has put the team in position to win.)  If he can stay healthy, still a big “if” in my view, and with the receiving weapons the Packers have assembled, he will easily remain a Top 10 quarterback for several years.

* On the running game: Ryan Grant was not as good this year as he was last year.  No question.  But a few things to remember as some Packers fans/analysts throw him under the proverbial bus.  Going into the final week of the season (and a game against Detroit in which he stands to do pretty well), he ranks ninth in the NFL with 1097 yards rushing this year.  The more telling statistic, however, is his yards/carry average, which is down to 3.7 from 5.1 last year.  (That number, while low, still puts Grant in front of Ladanian Tomlinson, Marion Barber, Willie Parker, and Joseph Addai – among others.)  I attribute that primarily to two things: 1) his holdout affected his conditioning and his health and the hamstring injury was a bigger factor than we were initially told, and, 2) the offensive line played far worse this year than it did last year.

*On being 5-10.  Judging strictly by their record, the Packers are worse than the San Francisco 49ers (6-9), as bad as the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) and almost as bad as the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and…wait for it…Oakland Raiders (all 4-11).  The good news is that the Packers aren’t nearly as bad as these teams and, their woeful record notwithstanding, are probably one of the Top 15 teams in the league right now.  That’s not to say they don’t have work to do in the off-season — they do.  But the Packers have some top talent at key positions — Woodson, Collins, Kampman, Rodgers, Grant, Driver, Jennings, Jones — and much of that top talent is young.  The problem is that so little of that top talent can be found on the offensive and defensive lines — positions that win championships.

But 5-10.  That hurts.


4 Responses to “A Couple Quick Thoughts”

  1. Aaron Rogders Says:

    Please remove Grant from the “top talent at key positions” list… Hopefully next year there will be an actual competition for the RB spot. Jackson, Wynn, and Lumpkin sounds like a good RB list. I would be fine with Grant being on the practice squad. I hear Justin Beaver will tryout again next year too.

  2. Aaron Says:

    It will be interesting to see if they pay Grant the big bonus he’s due in March…

  3. Trav Says:

    I am scared of the Lions game this Sunday. So very, very scared of letting a crappy 0-15 team off the hook and not allowing them to set a new record of futility in the NFL (or as every announcer is required to say: the National Football League).

    We need a first Bears game (37-3) result to put a cap on this frustrating season.

  4. Jpkool2000 Says:

    This team is not nearly in as bad of shape as some of you seem to think. They have been in most every game and just can’t close a team out (and that goes for the offense, defense and special teams). The NFL is a league that tries to create parity. This season the Packers have been on the wrong side of some close games, albeit consistently. Their talent is not inferior to other teams, it is just not head and shoulders above anyone elses. That is the NFL. Last year was a lucky one in many ways and this year has been just as unlucky. When things are going bad, Moll gets called for holding and Crosby narrowly misses a long game winning field goal. I think Stock and Sanders are collecting their last month of pay as Packers employees. The season is lost but it is not a hopeless cause. The issue is to see what the players and staff learn from this year.

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