Archive for November, 2013

Game Thoughts Packers/Lions

November 28, 2013
  • Terrible coaching, terrible offense, terrible defense, terrible special teams, terrible everything. Wow.
  • The difference in offensive output, a glaring disparity I noted earlier in the game, ended up being so lopsided it was the 2nd biggest difference in NFL history – Detroit had 435 yards more than the Packers (561 yards to 126). Just inexcusable.
  • While the Lions do have a relatively potent offense that can cause problems for lots of decent defenses – this defensive performance (4 turnovers and TD notwithstanding), was shockingly bad. The Packers need to fire Dom Capers…and do it now. Give Darren Perry a shot – can’t hurt.
  • I continue to be concerned about Mike McCarthy’s inability to make in-game adjustments. Things were obviously going TERRIBLY defensively and TERRIBLY offensively today early on yet McCarthy invoked the ghost of Detroit’s own Wayne Fonts by opting for the deer in the headlights approach (doing nothing). Just pathetic. Runs to Lacy weren’t working at all but he kept doing it. And he stuck with Flynn when it was obvious Flynn was not only not up to the task, but in the midst of one of the worst NFL QB performances I have ever seen. I’m not overstating there. But I also doubt, highly doubt he called up to Capers at all during the game to talk about making some defensive adjustments – like simply removing our linebackers or doing a bunch of all out blitzes or just putting in guys who still would have tried hard. The defense (along with everyone else) quit in the 4th quarter. There was no sense of urgency when the ship was sinking. Our season was on the line and he just stood there dumbfounded. Oh wait, he did yell at Tramon after a dumb penalty…(of all things to get worked up about!). It’s difficult to know just how much blame to throw McCarthy’s way or TT’s way or Capers’ way or the players’ way, etc, but one question I often ask is: what would Sean Payton have done? I think Payton would have found a way to get this team at least 1, probably 2 wins over the last 4 games despite the clear lack of talent on the roster.
  • Lacy was bad today. Dropped several passes and while he didn’t have big holes to run through, he missed a few holes by my count. Just seemed off from the start. Begs the question: why didn’t Starks get a chance today? He brings a different style and this may surprise you, but he has averaged almost 1.7 yards more per carry this year than Lacy. Just doesn’t make any sense that he wouldn’t play. I’m not sure I saw him on the field at all today until scrub time in last 3 minutes.
  • I’m hesitant to rip our O-Linemen too much because I think Flynn REALLY made them look bad by having no clue in the pocket back there (5 of those 7 sacks were on Flynn). And yes, Lacy missed a few openings. But the O-Line also was really bad. The Detroit D-Line totally outclassed our O-Line and Josh Sitton’s attempt at trash-talking backfired big-time. Dumb thing to say before a game…even if it is true.
  • Jeremy Ross exacted some serious revenge today. Nice game for him.
  • Reggie Bush is a scary addition to this team. I thought that signed in the offseason was HUGE for Detroit and he’s a major part of the reason Detroit is leading this division right now. He’s a great example of why free agents DO have value. You note that Ted Thompson?
  • I said it a number of times throughout the game, but holy crap are our linebackers bad. I know Caper sucks, the defensive scheme sucks, the D-Line (which for some reason always gets a pass) sucks and the secondary sucks –  and all those factors are significant. But I’m dead serious when I declare that our linebacking unit is the worst in the NFL.  Perry and Matthews were fortunate to cause turnovers but all those guys really do is rush the passer. That MASSIVE gap for us in the second level of our defense (particularly over the middle) costs us game after game after game. If our LBs do make a tackle it is routinely 10-20 yards down the field. But most of the time they just leave huge spaces open in the middle of the field for offenses to exploit. And this has been a problem now for every year of Capers tenure, except the Super Bowl year (and for a short time when Desmond Bishop could fill that space). Think today of how many runs by Bush and Bell went right up through the middle. Heck even the molasses-like Stafford had an easy 8 yard run up through the middle. But also think about how easily slant passes to Johnson were completed over the middle…at least in part because nobody was there to clog the passing lanes/disrupt that route.  I’d bet 85% of Detroit’s offensive yards today came right through the middle.
  • Heads need to roll. While they never roll in the middle of the season, I think it’s time for Capers to get fired and for Darren Perry to get a chance. It would be a good trial period for a guy people believe has some real promise in this league. I also think the organization needs to take a careful look at Ted Thompson’s approach to building a team. TT and the coaches have been so totally exposed in the last month that it would be irresponsible for any kind of organization not to take a careful look at their leadership team after such a period of incompetency. The Packers got hot one year and won the Super Bowl. Yes. But outside of that run, the Packers haven’t done a thing in the playoffs during TT’s time in charge. And they were blown out in each of their last 2 playoff appearances. It’s no secret that our defenses were particularly exposed in both of those embarrassing playoff losses (yet TT did very little to address these clear deficiencies in the offseason). While we have had a few injuries over the years that have hurt the team, we’ve actually been rather fortunate in the last few years to not have major injuries to our starting QB and most of our skill players – yet we still can’t go anywhere in the playoffs. Now with Rodgers out, suddenly we’re early-season-Jacksonville-bad. There is just NO WAY any team should be fall apart like this because of one injury. As I said before, the Bears lost their starting QB and their best defensive player (together that should about equal the loss of Rodgers) for a number of weeks but they are still competing. This lack of quality depth is on TT – 100%.

Rodgers should be shut down for the year

November 28, 2013

TT’s inability to establish a contingency plan at QB (because he didn’t want to jinx things for Rodgers) is a huge reason why the Packers have been so pathetic since Rodgers injury. But any way you look at it, if we are pretty much out of the playoff race, why bring Rodgers back?

At this point positively unbelievable that Flynn is in the game

November 28, 2013

Our O-Line has been crappy today yes. But Troy Aikman is way off saying “once again, not much Flynn can do”. Maybe on that play but on the vast majority of plays today Flynn has dug his own grave. Just one of the worst QB performances I have ever seen. Why McCarthy has not turned to Tolzien at this point, I just can’t understand.

One of worst interceptions I’ve seen in a long time

November 28, 2013

Wow. How that guy is still in there is beyond me. McCarthy should be on the hot seat after this disaster. Seriously. This is coaching incompetence of the highest order.

Why is Flynn still in the game?

November 28, 2013

This game is WAY too important to just “stay the course”. Put Tolzien in there to see if he can generate some offense.

Why is that Martin guy kicking off?

November 28, 2013

Not only was that the 2nd inexcusable kickoff out of bounds, but he doesn’t even have the leg to get the ball to the end zone. I’m pretty sure if Akers can kick at 63 yard FG, he can at least get the ball to the end zone.

Shields having a good game actually

November 28, 2013

Despite giving up several catches to Calvin on the exact route (4 times to be exact), Shields has now had 2 elite level plays against Johnson in the end zone. (I don’t think Shields was at fault for Johnson’s TD.) His disruption of that sure Johnson TD a couple drives ago was actually, quietly, one of the best defensive plays I’ve seen in a while (especially by a Packer). But that pick right there was a really nice play. Shields continues to be one bright spot on a defense that totally and completely…sucks.

Flynn has to be yanked

November 28, 2013

Just ridiculous.

There is no defensive presence in the middle of the field

November 28, 2013

Again – because we have the worst linebackers in the NFL (and because Capers has no clue). This is just really difficult to watch.

Game over

November 28, 2013

Just awful.