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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