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The Offense

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The Offense

Good back and forth yesterday in the comments of my Right Tackle post. Andrew In Atlanta and others made the point that the Packers were a rare team in that overall they outscored their opponents but still lost 10 games. This leads them to believe that the offense "scored enough points to win". I'm sorry, but I hate that argument. Clearly, they didn't "score enough points to win" on 10 occasions. Game after game we saw the same script play out. The offense would be dreadful in the first quarter, start to get it going toward the end of the half, really come on fire in the third and fourth quarter and then fizzle when it needed a game-winning drive. Sure, Rodgers and company put the team in position to win the Carolina game, but other than that and the two games against Detroit (and really, do you want to pin your argument about how great the Packers offense is on games against the only team never to win a game in a 16 game season?) they didn't get the job done.  

Ted Thompson alluded to this in his year end wrap-up interview with the Journal-Sentinel:

It just comes down to executing at the right time, finishing. And sometimes finishing doesn’t have anything to do with the fourth quarter, sometimes it means if you have a chance to go up by two scores at the end of the third quarter, you pretty much put the game out of reach rather than keep a team in the game and all of a sudden you lose it at the end.

The game is four quarters long. Everything that happens throughout those four quarters contributes to winning and losing. Yes, the fourth quarter is what we remember. Sports writers and ESPN deify players based on their execution, or lack thereof, in the fourth quarter. But no one remembers the dropped pass in the endzone in the second quarter or the overthrown pass on the opening drive or the missed block in the third quarter. These all add up to wins or losses. And lets not whitewash McCarthy's role in all this. His offense's opening drives were horrific this year. Weather this was due to his scripted plays or poor execution, he never seemed to adjust his approach, at least not in any way that improved the offense's output in the opening drive, or indeed, most opening quarters.

Look, I think I've been pretty vocal about how horrible the Packers' defense was this past season. Hell, I was calling for McCarthy to fire Sanders AFTER THE TEAM WAS A PLAY AWAY FROM THE SUPER BOWL. So I think I've earned my stripes, so to speak, when it comes to disparaging the defense. I just think people look at "the numbers" the offense put up last year and they get fooled into thinking the offense is fine and not the reason the Packers went 6-10. That is far, far from the truth...

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Franklin Hillside's picture

I think the offense succeeded in spite of the defense and special teams. I know you're making an argument against the offense here, but I would say that Rodgers and company put them in position to win the Minnesota and Chicago games, as well as the Carolina game.

I'm not saying the offense doesn't need some work, but the terrible play of the defense and special teams contributed greatly to its shortcomings.

packeraaron's picture

Franklin - I suggest watching the Minnesota and Chicago games again. The offense was just awful in Minnesota and it was the DEFENSE and SPECIAL TEAMS that kept them in that game. As for at Chicago, the offense did the same thing it did throughout the last two months of the season - scored enough for a quarter or two and then fizzled. How many stalled drives did they have in that game?

Again, I'm not defending the defense (heh) but the offense is not the shining success you make it out to be...

Franklin Hillside's picture

I'm aware, and I agree it needs work, but it's on the verge of 'shining success'.

It got them in position when it counted, that should be enough.

rex jaybels's picture

I'm with you to a point. I agree that "clearly, they didn’t 'score enough points to win' on 10 occasions." But they are sort of like the bizzaro-Bears of some of their previous seasons who were winning despite their offense.

This Packer team had its deficiency's on offense, but overall they were 5th in points per game, 8th in yards per game, and despite what was considered a poor running game there were still 17th.

On defense however they were 20th in yards per game and 22nd in points per game, and worst of all 26th against the run. I think that 26th is the glaring problem. There were only six teams worse than that and they were a combined 21-75. The lack of run stopping denied them the ability to control the games in any way.

Keith's picture

I think it needs to be pointed out that we had an inordinate amount of INT returns last season, in addition to some ST TDs as well. So let's not forget that when discussing the Packers point differential.

Keith's picture

Just did a quick search. Last season the we gave up 43 TDs, but since one of them was a result of an opponent's defense scoring a TD, our defense gave up a net of 42 TDs. By contrast, we scored 48 TDs, HOWEVER, 2 were due to returns and 7 (SEVEN) can be attributed to the defense. This means the offense was responsible for 39 TDs. So this point about how the offense was carrying the anchor that was the defense has been a bit overblown.

Franklin Hillside's picture

They were 26th in special teams as well.

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

Keith, you beat me to the punch. That's a great point.

jerseypackfan's picture

Ok lets break it down even more. How many "3 and outs" did the Packer offense have compared to our defense shutting down opposing offenses to the "3 and out".

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

I'm afraid Aaron missed my point (or perhaps I'm not as eloquent as I would like). Simply stated, I vote for an impact player on D that fits the 3-4 scheme with the 9th pick. I think that's more important than someone on the Oline. My comments about the scoring of the offense only shows that it is not the biggest need. It does not mean there is zero need. If we could not score points at all or did not have playmakers then I would be singing a different tune. We certainly were not consistent, that's for sure, but it seems to me the 9th pick is better used on defense. Draft all the Olinemen you want, just not with the 9th pick. That was my point. Simply a matter of priority

packeraaron's picture

Andrew - the value of the ninth pick is not in the immediate rewards it provides but in the high level of play the team receives over a (hopefully) long period of time. You take the best player - period.

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

We'll have to agree to disagree

packeraaron's picture

Always good. That way you can rub it in my face later when it turns out I'm wrong.

You may find this Q&A from Dougherty's chat this afternoon entertaining:
Do you think they take the best player to make impact or get a front 7 player at #9.
They should take the best player to make an impact, because that's their greatest shortcoming, they need difference makers regardless of position. But they need help badly in the front seven. Maybe the two will dovetail. The one thing I wonder about, which is unanswerable, is how much a team's need subconsciously affects a GM's judgment in rating players?

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

Actually, you're the one that will likely be right knowing TTs philosophy. I'm just telling you what I think. Anyway, it's not like NFL scouts are knocking down my door for my opinion. I just think priority #1 is to win the division. MN and CHI run the ball. We are changing our defensive scheme. It seems to me an impact player, and I do believe at #9 we can get a first year impact player on D, would really help our struggling defense in a big way. Now if you tell me TT will go hard after someone like Peppers or Suggs, now we have a different set of circumstances.

IPBprez's picture

I agree with most - especially AIA.
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We all know that Jos Sitton is there at RG. WHat NEEDS we have on Offense would be the blind-side of the Line (LG and LT) - while most are focusing on RT/Tauscher, mostly due to contractual issues - tat side of the field isn't as "in need" as Aaron's backside is, and has been.
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Frankly, I am NOT a fan of Daryn (big arms) Colledge. Like has been mention between our members, Colledge is good one ONE "great play" per game, and that's it. Otherwise, his defense of the QB's backside is incredibly lackluster. Personally, I think it's not his athleticism. Rather, it's his "decision-making-skills". ANy hesitation at LG can cost a QB greatly. ow many times have any of us seen the OPEN hole to the QB because LG got run over or was totally out of position?
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Several items to be noticed:
1) Scott Wells is decidedly NOT the Center we need
2) Jason Spitz could be the Center - as he proved that in 2008
3) I would draft Alex Mack and stick him in there almost immediately
4) Can Scott Wells play LG? WIth is wrestling skillset, could he manhandle opponents better there, what with not worrying about the Leadership issues that Frankie Winters & Mike Flanagan were so good at?
5) Allen Barbre is said to be the next LG - consideringhis pre-season play, I would say YES ----- others disagree.
6) TT is said to be focusing ONLY on Defense, becuase of promises given to Dom Capers - THAT, I would give credence to ... especially since we are making the "dreaded" (?) transition.
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Given all of the above - TT's bottom line HAS TO BE that we draft for the Scrimmage Line, first, and not later on.
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Although, let's never forget, Mark Tauscher was drafted in the SEVENTH round.
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Two impact players needed to "stop the run" will be NT & OLB. I vote NT/Naji (BC) and let's give Kampman (or HAWK) that chance to make it.

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