On his weekly radio show with the ESPN Radio affiliate in Milwaukee, 540 AM WAUK, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took to criticizing the rookies on the team and their role in helping the team practice. Rodgers' comments were in response to head coach Mike McCarthy's sentiments a day earlier that the Packers have to practice better. For whatever reason the rookies have not picked up what the practice tempo looks like, or the importance of the scout team looks as well as maybe it’s been in the past,” Rodgers is quoted as saying by host Jason Wilde at ESPNMilwaukee.com. “I don’t know if Mike said that in his press conference but he definitely mentioned that in our team meeting." At 2-3 and facing the undefeated Houston Texans on Sunday, something has to change with the Packers. Maybe this is the motivation they need.
Also garnering attention in the last 24-hour news cycle is the play of Aaron Rodgers this season and how it's not been up to the standards set in the past couple seasons. On his radio show, Rodgers said, "I'm not playing my best football right now." But as Jason Wilde points out, "On the season, Rodgers has completed 130 of 189 passes (68.8 percent) for 1,307 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions (a 2.1 percent interception rate) with 21 sacks for a passer rating of 97.0." It's not as if Rodgers is playing poor by any stretch of the imagination. But his regression combined with relatively poor play in other areas of the team are all part of the puzzle.
More on Aaron Rodgers including a statistical analysis of his play comes from ESPN.com NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert.
Looking for other reasons why the Packers are a below .500 team? Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines the effect of penalties. "Green Bay has the most penalty yards in the league with 390 and the fourth-most penalties with 40 in five games," writes Nickel. Certainly, penalties haven't helped the Packers this season. Cornerback Sam Shields in particular seems to have been the victim of some bad luck and bad officiating when it comes to penalties, and in the case of the touchdown in Seattle, the lack thereof.
A listing of every penalty incurred by the Packers this season accompanies the article at the Journal Sentinel.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com focuses on a quote on Nickel's article in which one anonymous Packers player is quoted as saying "I think the refs are out to get us this year."
An article by Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette shows that the odds are long that the Packers qualify for the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. "STATS’ research shows that 63 teams in NFL history started 2-3 and qualified for the playoffs," writes Dougherty. "Since 2000 that number is 19, and only one of those teams, New England in the 2001 season, advanced to the Super Bowl, which the Patriots won." If the Packers happen to lose to the Texans, those odds get even slimmer.
Linebacker Clay Matthews criticized the NFL and its regard for player safety in reference to the injury to Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, the Packers opponent this week, who tore his ACL on Sunday and is out for the season. "Cushing was leading Houston in tackles (38) before Monday night's game," writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. "He was college teammates with Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who criticized Slauson’s cut block on his Twitter account."
A series of articles on the regression in play from the Packers wide receivers appears at Packer Report with a focus on Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, touchdowns and drops and a comparison of statistics.
The Packers are now ranked 12th in the NFL in the AP's Pro32 poll.
Mike McCarthy answers fan questions in his weekly feature at the Packers official website.
The loss of Greg Jennings is examined in an article by Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin.
The loss of Cedric Benson is analyzed at Lombardi Ave.
Video: Former Packers safety LeRoy Butler breaks down some Xs and Os with Tom Silverstein at JSOnline...
Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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