Game Thoughts Packers/Lions

  • 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%.

13 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Lions”

  1. 56coop Says:

    If I were Rodgers I would demand/beg/negotiate/holdout for a trade. He & CM are obviously tbsp only two quality players on the field. Rodgers has been consistently sacked or running for his lifep his whole pro career and there are too many people making millions off of his abilities. Same old problems (no o line, inco.sistent if not pterrible defense, weak special team play) for too many years. I’d say thanx for the memories GB but I’ve seen the future & you’re not it.

    My nephew had the whole fam damily over for thanksgiving. I got to enough of the game during conversation to know to just come home & delete it off of the DVR without even watching it. Just pathetic. No other word for it

  2. 56coop Says:

    If I were Mark Murphy I’d tell TT,” I know Ron Wolfe and you sir are no Ron Wolfe”. Or maybe the Board of Directors need to say that to Murphy. I dont know the answer but this ain’t working. One man makes a team? Pathetic!!!!!!

  3. Lobster Todd Says:

    Agree with everything you stated in this post. Capers needed to be fired last year after that embarrassing performance agains San Francisco.

    I also have not been a fan of Mike McCarthy since the Super Bowl. I think his play calling is poor and he fails to make in game adjustments time after time.

    We are far from Super Bowl contenders.

  4. robert a. schnell Says:

    First, while you have a right to be angry, at least for a few days, however, I still think everybody needs to calm down soon. The sky is not falling. McCarthy and Capers are still good and knowledgable coaches. TT is still a very fine general manager, they are all to be admired. Let us not ever get in the reactive posture of when things go wrong to fire almost everyone including the secretaries and janitors. The best teams have stability in their year to year employment practices and that includes the practice of hiring.
    If you think you could use a little practical reminder in the way of perspective, go back and re-read Kipling’s classic poem, ‘If’.

    I know all of us are disappointed with the fact that we are not going
    to make the play-offs this year. But, that is alright. Even if we would
    have gotten to the play-offs, I really don’t believe we would have made it to the Super Bowl. Just way too many injuries to too many
    of our best players to really ever be at our best. That pretty much sums it up.

    Rather, I suggest we take the next for weeks for player evaluation insofar as to how any of our team’s current players may fit into our needs for next year.

    I also agree that Rogers should stay-off the field until the 2014 season, there is no point in putting him back into the action of a game. Let him truly heal.

    Lastly, look as this year as an anomaly, that may be the very thing our organization needs to get some improved help from both the draft and perhaps from the second round of free agency. After all,
    we have been drafting in the very late rounds for a few years. Now, with the way things being as they are, we are going to rise to a much stronger position to get three or four quality players. I know TT and Mac will find them. Just think how good the packers could be next year with blue chip draftees at the positions of: safety, tight
    end and linebacker. Also, next year will mark the return of Brian

    Guys, our future is indeed bright. In the interim between now and the next game, calm down, relax, and get ready to enjoy the games
    from a futuristic standpoint. Take care and Happy Thanksgiving and no I have not been drinking at all.

  5. Dave in Tucson Says:

    Okay, I’m gonna be blunt here. McCarthy is one of the best head coaches the Packers have ever had, and firing him at this point would be idiocy of the highest order.

    Can I remind you guys of what he’s done in Green Bay?

    — With him, the Packers have made the playoffs 5 of his 7 years (5 of 8, assuming they miss out this year)

    — They’ve made it to the conference championship twice, and, of course, won the Super Bowl in the most thrilling (for me, anyway) playoff run I’ve ever witnessed

    — If the Packers don’t make it to 8 wins this year, it’ll be just the second losing season the Packers have had in his tenure.

    If McCarthy is fired, it’s a lock that he’ll be a head coach somewhere else in the league before draft day, I agree it’s time to clean house on the defensive side of things, but I really don’t think MM is part of the problem. When Rodgers is healthy, the offense is fine.

    • Dave in Tucson Says:

      Just happened to think of another plus for MM (and TT): they cut over from Farve to Rodgers at pretty much exactly the right time. I mean, there can’t be any more argument about that, right?

  6. josephmauricio Says:

    made me all warm inside: yellow pants flying around the field, missed routes, missed tackles, journeyman quarterback missing receivers, clip boards thrown to the ground in disgust.

    … just like old times.

  7. Dave K Says:

    That defense was beyond awful yesterday. AJ Hawk may have had the worst game of his career. I started just watching him and he was in the wrong gap and/or missed a tackle on about every play. He should not have been left out of the field.

    The defense as a whole has just been undisciplined and sloppy the last month. Greg Bedard has a great read today at MMQB. Here is the best quote about yesterdays defensive meltdown:

    “Gap control was nonexistent. There was no getting off blocks. The tackling was terrible. I know Capers and his assistants—top-of-the-line teachers like Winston Moss, Mike Trgovac, Darren Perry and Joe Whitt Jr.—have taught that defense better than that. But their troops have abandoned them. There is little cohesion in that unit. Instead of playing as one, the Packers look like an 11-cabs-for-11-guys defense: everybody is worried about themselves, trying to make a play while leaving their teammates out to dry.”

    Read the entire thing.

  8. Morgan Mundane Says:

    Deer in the headlights. I love it. I thought he was polaxed, just fixated on one thing. My real concern is, he does have a real issue trying to come up with an offensive scheme to confuse the defense and keep them honest.
    I hear all the talk about Ponder and people don’t get it. The Vikes went out and got Ponder and keep saying he is their guy because:
    they run screens, end arounds, dunk passes, slants over the middle, anything to keep the defense off guard and it takes a guy with smarts to pull it off. That’s why Ponder is the guy.
    Now take deer in the headlights and he runs two run plays and a pass play on third down. He does it the entire game until the pack are down by 21 then decides to open it up. That is not ever a recipe for a super bowl contender. Not at all.

  9. gopackgo Says:

    The conditioning coaches need to be let go along with the defensive staff. Every year this is one of the most injured teams on both sides of the ball (conditioning and strength training program must be evaluated). Defense obviously needs changes.

    One last thing. I am tired of TT not acquiring any free agents to lift the team. Ron Wolf acquired Reggie White, Gilbert Brown, Sean Jones and others on defense and that is why the Packers won the Super Bowl in 1996.

    TT is a good evaluator of offensive talent but seems to be weak in evaluating and drafting defensive talent.

    Go Pack Go!

    • wilsonmaywick Says:

      “Ron Wolf acquired Reggie White, Gilbert Brown, Sean Jones and others on defense and that is why the Packers won the Super Bowl in 1996.”

      While I agree TT could improve the team through a very selective FA acquisition(s), this is not 1996… Salary Caps make it very hard to afford really good FA’s..(like the ones you cite above) especially when two of your stud players (Rodgers and Matthews) are taking up so much cap space.

    • Dave in Tucson Says:

      That mid-90s team is also a good example of the pitfalls of a free agent-heavy team. They were already in decline in 97, and the Packers were pretty much an afterthought by 98. By 99 (excepting a few guys like Favre and Freeman), the core of that Super Bowl team was largely gone, either retired, or free agents to other teams.

      I would also point out this is one of the drawbacks of paying your QB $120 million — it doesn’t leave huge chunks of money to sign other key players to extensions, or attract free agents to sign up.

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