I suppose many of us have those college memories. Attending some party, that if your parents were around they would have warned you of, waking up in the morning, head pounding, totally confused, feeling not like yourself, and wondering, “Did I really dance with a lamp shade on my head? Did that really happen?” Well that is what today feels like, only worse. Yes, 7 to 3, really happened. And yes, Aaron Rodgers really did suffer his second concussion of the year. And yes, the o-line felt like playing touch football. And yes, we decided to run against Suh and pass on short yards. All of that really did happen.
And then you slink back to bed, knowing full well that you made a fool of yourself. All the carefully crafted moments building up your reputation are now for naught because you danced with a lamp, and because you are the team that the Detroit Lions finally beat.
These were the thoughts that we running through my head yesterday, as I put away my laptop and curled up in a ball on my bed. This sucks. But after the tears dried, and the initial WTF feeling has passed, I rejoined the world, and eventually the Packers will as well.
First off, I am the homer, the eternal optimist. I will sit there till the final seconds tick away still believing whole heartedly that the Packers will win. I also still believe that all my friends will love me no matter how many times I make a fool out of myself.
But here are some things that while I might love, need some changes.
- O-line. Seriously? Seriously. That was pathetic. We’ve been on the o-line nearly all season regarding their run blocking, but yesterday was something else. They were pushed around, stood up and made to look like rag dolls. It wasn’t Matt Flynn who lost the game; it was the o-line for failing to give him adequate time and protection. While the idea of a veteran QB back up sounds attractive, I find it hard to believe that any second string QB could have lead successfully behind that line. Flynn did have the dumb interception – which perhaps a veteran wouldn’t have had, but he also did start to lead drives that had potential. I agree that there could be a place for discussion regarding our backup situation, but don’t think that place is now. The o-line fails to improve and failed us yesterday. They are my reason “we” lost the game.
- QB1. I love ya. I do I do. But for the love of all that is good and holy, SLIDE! I won’t go as far as my buddy Alex, but yes, I do blame Rodgers for not sliding. I stood up for him and his “emo-ness” saying that mental mistakes deserved a good yelling. So this is me yelling. I get what he was doing/thinking. I assume he, like many other QBs, put this game on his shoulders. He saw the complete lack of offensive production and saw a chance for a good chunk of yardage and went for it. But he did not make the smartest play. While yes we needed the yards, he had the first down, and we needed him more than we needed the yards. That is a mental mistake, one that he needs to be aware of. Perhaps, many fans are too used to his predecessor, watching risky plays, knowing that no matter what the “man” would return. But that man is dumb and reckless, and apparently has God on his side, willing him to play. That is not the case now, nor do I want it to be the case now. Rodgers, that was your mental mistake. Fix it.
- MM. I am not calling for him to be fired. I think I’ve made myself pretty clear all season as actually being a McCarthy fan. Are there slight comparisons between this situation and Dungy in Tampa? Yes, I will give Chris over at Ol Bag of Donuts that. Middling is not fun, and at some point you do need to advance. But I also don’t think that MM is necessarily our middle. Yes, there were some play calls that made no sense to me yesterday. I loved our offensive mindset with Flynn in the game, and really felt that that was the type of offense we should have been running all day. The first half felt like an offense with no identity. Should we run? How ‘bout air it out? How ‘bout hurry up? Too many personalities, very unlike a MM coached offense. But if I’m going to chastise him for some select plays, I also feel that I should notice that his play calling did work at times. He called the drive that Flynn ended up giving away. He called the drive at the end of the game that brought the Packers within inches of winning. Was the fourth and one call silly? Kind of. But the Lions weakest part of their D is their secondary. In my opinion it is not an inexcusable call. It’s a risky, gutsy one. One that didn’t work. One that was probably better on third down. But not a reason to be fired, or as some people on twitter so lovingly put, run down with a bus. You can call me naïve. I do live in a city with one of the world’s worst coaches, and I’ve seen how a bad coach and personality-less QB have lost a team. I would be interested to see if McCarthy would be open to having someone else call the plays. I think he’s too stubborn to even listen to that idea, but if he’s the coach that I think he is, maybe he’ll let it sink in and think about it.
The Packers are not doomed. This does not have to be the end. The playoffs are still a possibility. But it’s not an easy road. As a homer, as a believer that Yancy Thigpen is out there waiting to drop a touchdown, I still have hope and faith. But it’s a tall order and a difficult road. One that I hope the Packers and their fans are ready for. So today I’m going to try to shake off that morning after feeling, chug a Gatorade, paint my nails Green and say Go Pack Go! If I don’t give up, maybe they won’t either.