Aaron Rodgers and The Bad News Bears

When seeing a title like "Aaron Rodgers and The Bad News Bears" you are probably wondering why I would dare to make such a statement to compare the Green Bay Packers to a fictional little league baseball team full of misfits.  Think of this as a defense for every angry, annoyed, and deflated Packers fan who went into work this morning on edge about having to answer questions from your colleagues about how the Packers managed to lose another game late in the fourth quarter.  For all of you people who had to endure that Monday Morning cooler talk I am here for you and feel your frustration.  

I think the frustration travels much deeper than Ty Montgomery going rogue or having a “miscommunication” with the coaching staff (depending on whose account you believe) on a fumbled kick off return or a mind-boggling run call by Mike McCarthy at the half yard line with Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh charging through the A-gap.  This frustration comes from what seems like a lifetime of absolutely brutal losses against the leagues best teams in the final moments of high-pressure contests due to some unforeseen penalty, unbelievable play, or debilitating turnover.  It seems at this point, that the Packers have a way of snatching a loss away from the jaws of victory.  

This rollercoaster like drama to Packer games has left fans on the edge of their seats for years and has given them the uneasiness of knowing that on any given Sunday the Packers can beat any team or lose to any team.  Unfortunately, we as Packer fans tend to focus on the fact that we can be defeated by any team on any given Sunday which is why we all suffer from in-game heart palpitations during each week's contest due to the paranoia that something will go wrong.

This has become the Packer way during the McCarthy era; lose to an awful Lions or Buccaneers team one week, then, rally to make the playoffs, go on a historic run as a six seed, and win a Super Bowl.  As grateful as we all are for the championship in 2011, I think it is fair to say that these erratic inconsistencies that Mike Mccarthy teams have shown over the years, have been driving the fan base absolutely nuts.  

A perfect illustration of these inconsistencies manifesting themselves yet again has been the dramatic difference in performance that the Packers have shown in the last two contests.  In one week the Packers nearly managed to lose at home to the largely depleted San Fransisco 49ers and in another week they nearly knocked off the undefeated LA Rams on the road.  The dramatic swings in performance to this point in the season still leave us all wondering which Green Bay Packers team will show up next Sunday Night in Foxborough.  

The frustration of the fan base travels further than the erratic play of the team and believe it or not, travels further than everyone's feelings for Mike McCarthy.  I believe that the frustration of Packer nation reaches its boiling point each time that the team invents a new way to lose a game in the final moments.  From the ”Fail Mary” to squandering a two-score lead in the NFC Championship Game in Seattle, Packer fans have dealt with some devastating losses throughout the last several seasons.  Every loss during a crucial point in the season gives the fanbase a jarring reminder of the Packers inability to close out big games.  

Throughout these devastating losses, the Packers have given their fans reason for optimism and excitement.  Yesterday it was the strong first half of play by the defense, the emergence of Jaire Alexander as a future all-pro corner, the continued dominance of Kenny Clark, the strong play of Blake Martinez, and the reemergence of Clay Matthews.  These are all extremely positive signs as the Packers move into the second half of their season and push towards a playoff run.  However, the way the Packers were defeated leaves a sour taste and a cloud of doubt as to whether they can secure a victory when it matters most.  

Snatching a loss away from the jaws of victory is why I was drawn to the comparison between the Packers and the Bad News Bears.  We are left with exhibit after exhibit of bad calls, epic collapses, dropped onside kicks, fumbled kickoffs, and blown coverages that cost the Packers a win and we are comparison witness that same look of disbelief on the face of Aaron Rodgers as his chances for a win go up in smoke. (As captioned in this article’s picture)

Let's be honest, how did we really think yesterdays game was going to end?  For whatever reason, the feeling of my heart beginning to palpitate and that all to familiar feeling of impending doom hit me right as Ty Montgomery decided to bring the kick out of the end zone.  It's like the last several seasons have given me a built in radar of when the Packers are about to incur an epic collapse, and sure enough my radar was right on the money yesterday afternoon.

What's sad is that I'm actually numb to losses like the one yesterday.  In fact, I've come to expect them.  I actually told a friend of mine at the gym this weekend that ”The Packers will play their best game of the season, Aaron Rodgers will give the Packers a lead late in the fourth quarter, and the Packers will invent a way to squander it”.  Losses like these really force you to ponder if the Packers will ever break the trend of losing games like these. When is enough, finally enough because this act is getting old?  

Year after year these types of losses pile up and you start to come to the realization that the Packers have wasted golden opportunities to win multiple Super Bowls during the McCarthy era. Selfishly as a fan, you want Aaron Rodgers to finish his career with 3 or 4 Superbowls so that you can dismiss any argument that Tom Brady is the greatest of all time.  

Week after week, the legend of Aaron Rodgers continues to grow, and yet, the Packers can never seem to get out of their own way.  They cannot find a remedy for the bewitching play calling blunders, boneheaded penalties, poor fundamentals, and hapless missteps that have continually cost them throughout the years.  Instead, we are all left to hope that some day Aaron Rodgers can overcome all of the Packers shortcomings by himself to win the franchise another Super Bowl. Until that time comes we are all left here to wait and commiserate together.

After yesterday's inexcusable lack of communication from coaching staff to player which ultimately lead to a Packer loss, I am left with to imagine Mike McCarthy doing his best Walter Matthau impersonation during his post-game speech to the team.  ”Remember guys, we have a game next week against the Patriots, what does that mean, Bad News for the Patriots, that's what it means”. 

Packer Nation, I need you to do me a favor, if you see or know of a fellow Packer fan who is angry, disgruntled and is looking at things from this glass half empty perspective, give them a pat on the back and an open ear so they can vent their frustrations.  You now understand their level of frustration and the direction of their anger and it is your job to impart them with some positive vibes to hold onto for Sunday's matchup against the Patriots.  

Until then, go Pack! 

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (22)

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Lphill's picture

October 29, 2018 at 01:19 pm

moving forward, cut Monty and Whitehead to show screw ups wont be tolerated and move Tramon to safety I believe he has the experience. maybe there is also hope of trading for a pass rusher, plenty of season left, go pack go!

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 29, 2018 at 01:28 pm

" Packer Nation, I need you to do me a favor, if you see or know of a fellow Packer fan who is angry, disgruntled and is looking at things from this glass half empty perspective, give them a pat on the back and an open ear so they can vent their frustrations."

I'm that half glass empty pessimist you talk and accused of being and I'm far from angry,disgruntled and my glass is empty of the thing that needs to be...blind optimism.

This team had two weeks to get right and as much as they appeared at times to be so...they showed themselves to be what they are and the nation now knows it to.
They jumped out in front and failed to extend the lead but got reeled in. The defense made stops but they let the Rams back in.
If Ty was so distressed for being taken out for a series, knowing how he was feeling, why not have Tramon or Cobb catch/kneel the ball in the end zone and eliminate a player acting volatile and erase the chance of him imploding at the wrong time.

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cheddarhead's picture

October 29, 2018 at 01:54 pm

We've become Vikings east lol.

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2018 at 01:58 pm

"Snatching a loss away from the jaws of victory is why I was drawn to the comparison between the Packers and the Bad News Bears."

This narrative presumes too much. ARod was coming off a couple scoring drives (enough so that with about 6 minutes left, I told my wife that the team that has the last possession would win) and certainly gave optimism with regard to his ability to navigate the Packers into FG position, but this wasn't a gimme. It wasn't as if the Packers turned the ball over with a lead and it handed the Rams a winning TD or FG. The outcome was in doubt for the Packers, so let's not just assume that they were "likely" to win. They were going to have to work for it.

They just didn't get a chance to do so...

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Bearmeat's picture

October 29, 2018 at 05:43 pm

I fully believe they would have won had they gotten the ball back. But they didn't. Special teams were a disaster yesterday, and they must get better immediately, or Zook needs to go, followed by MM in January.

I do think that the team showed something yesterday. Their margin for error is down to almost zero now though.

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henry113's picture

October 29, 2018 at 05:58 pm

Bear, I know they would have won, the problem was Ty wanted to be the hero. Instead he's the jackass. It was all about himself. They better get smarter next week when they face Brady.

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mrj007's picture

October 29, 2018 at 09:09 pm

Guess we'll never know....that is enough to piss me off

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arthurl's picture

October 29, 2018 at 02:12 pm

There seems something with the team this season. They look great at times, then a fumble, missed assignment, missed opportunities, etc. They just can’t get in together for 60 minuets. What I do feel is team is close, maybe it’s another good draft and get their talent at little higher level. Look at the Vikes and Eagles: they’re struggling too. Just hope team can get on a run and build some momentum

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dobber's picture

October 29, 2018 at 02:18 pm

"They just can’t get in together for 60 minuets."

...but 35 sonatas? They're right there!

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Kb999's picture

October 29, 2018 at 02:23 pm

I feel your pain brother, but my glass is half full

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Since'61's picture

October 29, 2018 at 02:36 pm

We all know that teams can keep a player one season too long or let him go one season too early. In this case I think that we are looking at a case of keeping a coach one season too long.

It's no secret that I have been a supporter of MM over the years. And while I have not blindly agreed with all of his decisions or his use of personnel he has been a successful coach for the Packers. But now I am thinking that it was time for him to move on with Capers and Gute should have been allowed to bring in his own choice for HC.

While MM has a high winning % during the regular season his teams are consistently inconsistent since 2014. Usually when a game or a season has been on the line, yesterday's game at LA being the most recent example.

With Rodgers in charge of the offense I don't fault MM for the play calls but I do find fault with him on the team's execution. Fake punt should never be successful. That's on Zook but who is responsible for Zook? Dive play out of the end zone is not necessarily a bad call but Bulaga misses his block. That can't happen. Poor execution and the game turns. We under use Aaron Jones most of the time but he is on the field in a situation where his speed and vision is not what is required, Williams drive and ability to fall forward is. Finally Monty decides to run the KO out of the end zone at the most critical point in the game and fumbles it away. 4 mistakes on that one play, first running it out, secondly taking time off the clock for no reason, thirdly not even getting back to the 25 yard line and 4th fumbling away his team's great effort and their last chance to win the game.

This is poor and stupid situational football. If one of these happens Ok I can live with it. If one of these plays happens once in a season or two I can live with it. But these plays happen a few times a season and far too often in the playoffs. When these plays happen in the season they cause us to lose games which hurt our playoff seeding even if we make the playoffs. Then we get into the playoffs and these stupid plays take us out of contention.

I can fault the players but when it happens every season with different players and even with different coaches it ultimately goes back to the one common source, MM. I give him credit for covering for his player and his coaches in his pressers but I would respect him and appreciate it if he would say there was a failure in communication and it was my fault and it won't happen again. But he never says it and rarely, except for Bostic has a player or coach been held responsible.

When I see and/or read that players are upset for being taken out of the game or openly yelling about Monty's fumble from the sidelines it tells me that they don't believe in their coaches or why they are allowing these plays to happen. That is not a good sign for any team. 52 Packers left just about everything on the field yesterday and the 53rd player (Monty) was allowed to give it all away because their coach(es) didn't stress the details of the situation strongly enough. That is unacceptable at the professional level in any sport or any profession. It just happens with MMs teams far too often. Thanks, Since '61

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JohnnyLogan's picture

October 29, 2018 at 02:58 pm

Monty was only the last to "give it away." McCarthy gave it away a number of times throughout the game as you articulated. But as you've soured on McCarthy I've also reluctantly come to the realization that Rodgers bears a good deal of the blame. His propensity to hold the ball and take sacks at crucial times, to call ill advised time outs, to chuck it long on 2nd and two, to refuse to play the short passing game at times when it's only won Brady five championships... it all adds up. This is a disjointed offense seemingly built by two blind architects, Rodgers and McCarthy. Finally, the incredible misuse of Jones has reached a level of surreal mind numbing inexplicable stupidity that is baffling to almost anyone who has minimal knowledge of football. The kid is a star and is used as a rotational 3rd stringer. Is Gute watching this obvious coaching idiocy? Is Rodgers aware that he's an accomplice? Is he jealous of sharing the limelight with a featured back? There needs to be an intervention but with no owner who is there to intervene. The media has tried but McCarthy and Rodgers seem oblivious and after each loss trot out the same pap, "We need to be better." What is certain is the coach and star QB need to be better.

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EnemyTerritory's picture

October 29, 2018 at 06:33 pm

This is one of the best analysis that I've seen. Infighting and poor communication or outright insubordination is a clear sign of dysfunction and the need for a change in personnel and culture.

On a day when Bellichek sits Gordon because he's late to a meeting and when the Browns fire the OC and HC, it may be time to move on...

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EnemyTerritory's picture

October 29, 2018 at 06:34 pm

Oops, meant to post under Since 61

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cinpackback's picture

October 29, 2018 at 10:25 pm

Appreciate your succinct appraisal. Too much sloppiness, lack of discipline and questionable play calling. That’s on MM...

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hybriddragonfly's picture

October 29, 2018 at 02:54 pm

I truly expected us to lose by +10

So when we played so well until the end I was pleased

We are just NOT a good football team and haven't been for the last few. Without#12 we would be a sub 500 squad

Thompson's technique worked for a while but the last few drafts have not produced and our free agent pickups have all busted

Nope we are Favre all over again a legend QB and no team to go around it. Rodgers will retire like favre with one ring and then we will do the same dance all over again it's what the Packers do

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Oppy's picture

October 29, 2018 at 03:31 pm

You think the Packers lost yesterday because there's no team around Rodgers?

Seriously?

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Point-Packer's picture

October 29, 2018 at 04:45 pm

There's a team, just not a competent coach.

How a "highly successful football coach" even contemplates let alone calls that play that resulted in a safety is simply beyond me. Mike McCarthy is a stubborn fool.

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Oppy's picture

October 30, 2018 at 01:59 am

Running out of the endzone is not an unheard of play call by any means.

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Turophile's picture

October 29, 2018 at 03:58 pm

"Aaron Rodgers and The Bad News Bears"
Sounds like a band:
B.Bumble and the Stingers
Question Mark and the Mysterians
Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys
(those were all real bands).

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Rufus's picture

October 29, 2018 at 05:19 pm

Same story different day. I'm pissed to the gills. They really played pretty well and then came the dumb ass plays. Every damn week something happens. Unbelievable.

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ILPackerBacker's picture

October 30, 2018 at 03:04 pm

have to rofl at anyone who purports to be a packer fan and does not remember MM has one and only one play out of the endzone and that is a run off right guard

everyone I know watching the game was screaming...not another detroit....NO NO NO

yet......

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