The Packers receivers had a hard time keeping their eye on the ball against the Chiefs. A humbling loss may be just what the doctor ordered to get Mike McCarthy and the entire Packer team to refocus and keep their eye on the ball.
I was going to link to Holly's amazing Wild Card write up over at The Other 31, but I thought it really deserevd to be here on the homepage. Just fantastic stuff:
Welcome to the first playoff edition of Opposition Research, where I’ll be taking stock of the Packers instant-replay wild card opponent, the Arizona Cardinals. Considering that the two teams just played, there isn’t much to add or change from last week’s more standard take on the Cardinals. With the national media descending on the match, there’s no shortage of articles, angles, and predictions. Let me walk you through just a few as we get set for the Packers return to the postseason.
Ken Whisenhunt’s grand “plan” for the Packers… didn’t work out quite how he anticipated. Yes, many of his starters will be fresher and more rested than their Green Bay counterparts. Yes, a humiliating 33-7 loss could motivate the team to come out angry and eager to punish someone. But with injuries to key players and a very lopsided score, there have been rumblings that the Packers won the week because they were able to get under Whisenhunt’s skin. Whisenhunt has denied this, of course, but it makes for good pre-game hype. I like what DJ Gallo said about the Cardinals’ level of effort (or lack thereof) last Sunday:
It was a desperate attempt to recapture the late-season stink of 2008 that propelled them to the Super Bowl. Or something.
Meanwhile, Kevin Hunt, the sports director of 12 News in Phoenix, is in the “Whisenhunt is a genius” camp:
I think [Whisenhunt]’s helped build a false sense of confidence in the Packers locker room. Listening to Aaron Rodgers after the game you sense that he feels invincible this week. That he’ll be able to move up and down the field against the Cardinals in the playoffs with the same ease he did in the preseason and meaningless regular season finale.
Other than that, the Cards think there’s little to be gleaned from the game.
Everywhere you turn in the Packer Blogosphere and even in the accredited media you find pieces about the Packers playoff chances, complete with examinations of the Packers schedule and how it compares with the Vikings and Bears, who they all play when, what might happen to the Williams brothers, etc, etc.
Sorry, but I just don't see it.
I understand newspapers have a vested interest in keeping hope alive, but my fellow bloggers really need to take off the Green and Gold glasses. This team is not going to the playoffs, and if, by some miracle, it happened to find it's way in, it would be embarrassed on a national stage once again. They have simply run out of competent players on the defensive line to mask Bob Sanders gross incompetence. It's that simple, really. Last year, the defensive line was stacked with quality players and hid the fact that Sanders had zero imagination or ability to adjust his scheme, at least not until the end of the season when injuries had taken their toll and you saw the cracks start to show.
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."