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Bye Week to Provide Lessons as Pack Prepare to Stay the Course

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Bye Week to Provide Lessons as Pack Prepare to Stay the Course

Time to hit the panic button? Not yet. 
 
Sunday’s loss puts the Packers at 4-3, a game behind the Vikings in the NFC North, but Green Bay has two-thirds of their division slate waiting ahead. Moreover, the next six games—spanning seven weeks with the long bye ahead—feature a bevy of winnable games against below-average teams. 
 
If indeed Aaron Rodgers is able to make a late-season return, the Packers will have run through the likes of Tampa Bay and Cleveland, as well as Chicago and Baltimore. The only games that stand out as truly difficult are a Monday night home tilt against Detroit, the first game back from the bye, and a Sunday night road game at Pittsburgh in Week 12. 
 
To think Green Bay will lay an egg the rest of the way would be ill-conceived, though admittedly Sunday’s loss carries a residual sting. 
 
Brett Hundley, one start into his career, is by some accounts the fall man against the Saints. The third-year quarterback, after all, failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark passing. 
 
Other prominent culprits include head coach Mike McCarthy, who pulled the Andy Reid card in the post-game presser and put the blame squarely on his own shoulders for failing to get his young quarterback into a rhythm. Dom Capers has received blame as well, largely for his defense’s utter incompetence down the stretch; the Saints scored on each possession in the second half and held the ball for nearly 12 minutes of the fourth quarter. 
 
But what about the positives? How about two first-half interceptions of Drew Brees, or Aaron Jones’ ascendancy to legitimate No. 1 running back? Blake Martinez is a bonafide linebacker, Kenny Clark a future Pro Bowler and the offensive line’s injury woes have made for a unit with vital game experience up and down the line. 
 
Green Bay has 15 days off to get healthier, to learn from its mistakes against New Orleans and to plot a course for the season’s second half. Expect Hundley to take a more prominent role in the offense, for Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb to grow in familiarity with their young quarterback, and for the defense—which has certainly had its struggles—to make strides once closer to full strength. 
 
No one should expect this Packers team to run the table, but the circumstances aren’t yet dire. At 4-3 the Pack are still no wins and three losses away from where they found themselves a year ago when No. 12 uttered perhaps his most famous call-shot. This year’s mantra: Stay the course.  
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (43) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

KenEllis's picture

Why would the Pack possibly panic?

Head coach MM is a HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL NFL COACH, just ask him.

Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers is an OUTTANDING FOOTBALL COACH, according to MM.

And of course, we are told over and over that General Manager puts a roster together like no other.

Again, why would anyone associated with the Packers possibly panic?

Savage57's picture

How does a person give half points on likes and dislikes?

People incapable of making a decision?

Jersey Al's picture

that's a good question - I have no idea how you can have a half point...

MarkAlan's picture

I don't think McCarty can win with a middle of the road Quarterback

Packer_Pete's picture

Some things I simply do not understand. I heard after the Vikings game no problem, Hundley just needs a week with the 1s to prepare. Didn't work. I did hear he is now 3 years in the system and knows, yet today in McC's presser coach said they'll reduce the playbook even more. It seemed that yesterday McC had no confidence in Hundley throwing at all. Is that the result of seeing him for 3 years?

It's clear that one cannot replace the franchise QB and maybe best QB in the NFL easily. But it also seems to me that this team is not very good without him. We know he has the power to change plays at the LOS. I wonder how many 3rd&short situations were successful the last few years because of Rodgers, and not because of McC's play-calling?

Fact is, last time when Rodgers went down for an extended period of time, the QB position was in shambles. Seneca Wallace was barely with the team, and then went down right away. Tolzien and later Flynn had to jump in, and one could understand why the results were not as great. This time, there is no excuse. Hundley had been the backup QB for 3 years now. If he can't play then coaches should've seen it before. If he can play then let him play. Why reduce the play-book even more, and why now? Doesn't he know it well enough after 3 years? He was in all QB and offense meetings the past 3 years. What did he do there, sleep? I try not to be too critical, but he looked woefully unprepared.

Furthermore, don't the WRs spend extract time now with with Hundley to work on timing etc? I hear all the time from other teams that's what happens when QB1 goes down.

But to the last point, hardly anyone ever panics in Packerland. Why not? Jobs are hardly ever on the line...

WinUSA's picture

Time to bring Matt Flynn back...never heard of him not knowing the fricken playbook....no arm? Not flashy.... no he just a gamer who knows how to wins.

John Kirk's picture

This article revealed what camp the writer falls into...the camp that believes the Packers are a great organization that has fielded a great team. The other camp realizes that Aaron Rodgers is the sole reason this team is relevant.

You can just feel the struggle within the writer to realize this team is sinking fast. Muscle memory tells a different narrative...the Packers are a force to be reckoned with, it'll all be just fine. Reality is when 12 isn't around this team falls to Cleveland-esque levels. 3-8-1 without 12 since 2008.

You will see MM grow increasingly belligerent as we have already started to as the loss of 12 exposes him and his team. The wrong perceptions that many carry of this org are so interesting to me. A few days ago Matt Harmon of NFL.com did some Next Gen Stats study on WR's ability to create separation. Guess what group of WR's ranked toward the very bottom of the league? This can't be true? The highly touted GB WR corps is surely among the best? No. Not what the data showed. Bottom dwellers. I wonder exactly why perception and reality aren't squaring here? Aaron Rodgers.

I feel sorry for those holding onto some false idea that the Green Bay Packers are a great organization filled with brilliant minds everywhere. That has proven to be false and will continue being proven.

A couple of decades of HOF QB play is to blame, so I can easily forgive those who cling to fantasies over reality. It's tough for us all but try to open your eyes.

Excuses are churned and churned and will leave people hopeful until enough new data is out there showing them that it is wrong to be hopeful moving them another step down on the 7 stages of grief pyramid. It's really no different than what's happened with this defense since the SB. Excuse after excuse, player after player, high pick after high pick added to this D all with the belief of better times. How's that worked for you? Now, the most hardened fan is realizing they've been sold a bill of goods. The defensive fixes are akin to backup QB fixes. Have faith in an org that has been to the playoffs 8 straight seasons rings out. Nobody ever looks at the why. Why has this org been to the playoffs 8 straight seasons? It's 12. No ability to differentiate fact from fiction kills this media and it's fans. We're sold fables over and over and told that it's based on sound logic that this org has been to the playoffs 8 straight years so it must know what it's doing? I'd say you be the judge but it's clear not many have the ability to see things clearly.

The volume of excuse is going to escalate to a point we all grow deaf here shortly. Circle that game vs. Cleveland on the calendar. It will be the Browns of the NFC vs. the Browns of the AFC and the only game Cleveland may win all season but keep believing this team and org is good to your own peril.

Bearmeat's picture

JK nails it!

Nick Perry's picture

Excellent post John Kirk, EXCELLENT!!!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I would like to read Harmon's article, but no link was provided. Harmon ranked Jordy Nelson 5th best in getting separation last season for#1 WRs.

Harmon ranked Davante Adams as the best #2 WR at getting separation in 2016. Randall Cobb was 2nd in 2016 amongst slot receivers.

This is drivel. If the stat is accurate, it is a useless one. One might deduce that these WRs are so open that any QB would look good.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000776703/article/antonio-brown-lea...

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000776994/article/jamison-crowder-l...

John Kirk's picture

Drivel? No, sir. Welcome to this year.

Here's your link(s):

Click this one first:

https://twitter.com/MattHarmon_BYB/status/921883194294546432

then, this one:

https://twitter.com/MattHarmon_BYB/status/921892861313871872

caruso81's picture

If you think our WRs are good at gaining separation, I really don't know what game you are watching. Even with AR at QB, we had to adjust our vaunted deep threat offense twice in the past year -- halfway through last year and early this year -- in favor of a much more dink and dunk West Coast style. Bottom line is that our WRs are just never truly open. They make incredible catches, but that's because AR can put a ball in a place no other human can even think about throwing to. With a mortal QB, it's either play design that takes way too long to develop or route running that is getting exposed.

caruso81's picture

Wow! Hire this guy! This post nails it.

Tarynfor12's picture

Been saying this for years but in a much less poetic manor. I'm just more the rip the cover back and show the reasons for the denied reality.

Our last SB season was because of guys that played better hurt than most guys play healthy today. It was a trend that grew each season along with the dismal drafting of our first two rds for years. I need not post the names as agreement with the comment I'm commenting to is enough. You know who they are.

WinUSA's picture

Great points JK... it's time to tank a season good (yeah I know the Pack don't tank..just everyone else does) so we can get in position to pick some marquee players. Picking 28th thru 32 has been agonizing to see all the top players fly off the board. Time to try to pick a franchise QB? Don't yell...Rodgers is absolutely the greatest Packer to play QB but he has had 3 serious injuries and without a line to protect..probably more injuries on the way. Bitch about TT all anyone wants, but he did pick Rodgers when we had Favre...took balls. When was the last time we picked game changers? Mathews and Raji....both in the same draft...since? Nada

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Thanks for the link. These stats have no utility and are not worth knowing. There is no correlation between this data (the 9 best receivers at gaining separation) and which receivers are actually really good.

Note the absence of Antonio Brown, AJ Green, and Julio Jones from Mr. Harmon's list. Worse, look at who is on the list: Maclin (currently on pace for 508 yards receiving), John Brown (557 yds), Mike Wallace (567 yds), and Adam Humphries (722 yards). They perhaps aren't terrible, but they aren't among the best in the NFL. A couple of good receivers do make Harmon's list, like Thielen. I pointed out that Mr. Harmon's metric listed Cobb as #2 among slot receivers for 2016: since Cobb wasn't even close to being the 2nd best slot receiver in the NFL in 2016, that might clue folks into realizing that the stat is useless. I have no issue with Mr. Harmon for peddling this stuff: I don't think it improves one's football knowledge (the reverse, IMO), but it does no harm unless you're using it to bet on fantasy football, I suppose.

Many commenters on Cheesehead probably know that I love stats. I can't say that I am fond of this one.

Tarynfor12's picture

A loss to Det @ GB after the bye, being healthier, a more ( ahem) open and prepared playbook for Hundley be enough to expect unreal hope in Hundley or that there will be enough for Rodgers to save if he were to return for 3 games?
I think not!

CAG123's picture

The Packers need a fresh defensive mind Capers defense seems to gimmicky for this defense full of youngsters. Look at what Chicago did too Carolina a team that was on the rise and playing great yet they smothered and destroyed them scoring the 2 TD needed to win the game and keeping the offense out of the end zone. Look at what the worst defense did to the Atlanta Falcons last night a team that destroyed the Packers the Patriots made it look easy a virtual shut out until a garbage time TD. Do you guys realize that the Packers gave them their only definitive win? This Falcons team is a dropped pass (Chicago) and 1 inch short (Detroit) from being 1-5. We simply aren’t getting the best out of our players with this defense I mean why get 2 press corners in King and House and then ask them to play zone? That’s the same thing House dealt with in Jacksonville.

HankScorpio's picture

Is McCarthy letting the team scatter during the bye this year? He has in the past but that effort on Sunday suggests they could use all the practice time they can get, especially 7 on 7 work. Both sides could use the work on the passing game.

Since '61's picture

Hank - you are probably correct, but the CBA does not allow the Packers to practice again until next Tuesday, 10/31. So yes, the team has probably scattered. Thanks, Since '61

al bundy's picture

This is not a very good team and should have several more losses due to piss poor defense and so so offenxe

4thand1's picture

Go back to minny, you suck

canadapacker's picture

I am a little concerned about the defense and I also believe that it is time for some changes. I am also concerned about the Oline and think that maybe we just need a fresh set of eyes on that as well. I think that if MM gives Hundley a little bit more flexibility in dealing with the rush - ie dont try to make him a pocket passer if he is a scrambler. He will learn when and when not to run - I dont think that he will run as much as Tyrod Taylor etc and as long as he slides who cares how much he runs. Plus he has the arm and the guys who can get open. But if we cant get him a few more touches it is a moot point. That is why I am afraid of this D, they cant get off the field and give the other team too much playing time. We have to expect more 3 and outs with Hundley which means we need to get more 3 and outs by our D

GBPDAN1's picture

Over Half the back up QBs in the NFL would have done a better job than what Hundley did Sunday from a passing perspective. Blame it on whatever, but, That's what disappointed me. It was all Jones on the first drive and very little of Hundley/ MM after that. Hope this gets better.

And don't get me started on DC and his D. Had to much aggravation yesterday watching that mess, don't need to relive it today. It's bad enough we'll have to relive it again this year when we go against any NFL QB that has semi- NFL talent. Anyone else tired of seeing the opposing receivers wide open?

John Galt's picture

Enjoyed Notre Dame vs USC and Michigan vs., Penn State - much larger crowds than the disrespectful NFL, much,much better football (they actually ttackle people) and they respected the national anthem.

Packer owner
Packers fan since 1957
US Army Vet during Viet Nam 1966-1970

When the NFL apologizes to the American people I may watch again, but in the meantime they can take their Progressive, Left Wing political BS and stick where the sun don't shine.

CAG123's picture

The same liberties you’re using to get on a nfl team blog to bitch about the nfl (oh the irony) is the same liberties the players are using to protest. I served in the USMC for 8 years and I didn’t serve for a flag and neither did you we served for the things that flag is supposed to represent. You just like everyone else would rather change the narrative of what the protests are about to something that makes you more comfortable but whatever helps you sleep at night.

flackcatcher's picture

Ah, this is a fan blog. NFL has no connection other than we hard core Packer fans come to praise, complain or morn about our favorite team....

baldski's picture

What is what with all the militarism on display at NFL games, huge flags, flyovers? Pentagon paying the NFL? When did playing the National Anthem at games start? WWII ? We've been at war now for over 15 years and nobody seems to care. So, stop with the flags & militarism.

Packers owner
Packers Fan since 1945

WKUPackFan's picture

John Galt - Anthem truthers are much more welcome at PFT. A ton of "patriots" hang out there.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

NFL players could protest many other things as well. Abortion, both pro and anti, immigration, climate change, Planned Parenthood, the Jones Act, etc. Since the NFL plays the anthem, I support the right of the players to react. Or in the immortal words of one poster, the players might engage in "Christian Antics."

Pauly's picture

I can see Pack maybe beating Browns and Ravens but not even the Bears. More like 6 and 10 for the season drafting about # 5 with 12-13 draft picks.. BUT TT will be doing the drafting.

""((Next Gen Stats study on WR's ability to create separation. Guess what group of WR's ranked toward the very bottom of the league? This can't be true? The highly touted GB WR corps is surely among the best? No. Not what the data showed. GB=Bottom dwellers.)) ""

I been yelling this since it became obvious in 15 when Jordy was out and during game 7 Broncos went tight man coverage and loaded the box. No Jordy to stretch the defense and GBs slow WR group was exposed for all of 15 season. What did TT do about it??? NOTHING!! Just let the group get older and slower plus added UDFA slow 4.67 Allison in place of James Jones because he's tall.

I never heard about any extensive WR work with Davis or Janis,, only that they weren't good enough for AR to trust. Maybe practice can turn that around? Look at the Davis size WRs out there doing a great job with that speed.
Look at the win difference speedy TE Koch made when he played in 16.

Sean Payton figured out how easy it is to beat Dom Capers,,, just keep changing up the offensive players scheme and DC can't keep up with the changes with his complicated defense player movements. Created chaos everywhere in DC's defense.
Look for more of that in the future when DCs are worried about beating GB,, not this year but in 18 when AR is back if Capers is still here.

dobber's picture

Sean Payton is still pretty much running the same offense he's run for the last umpteen years. Small wrinkles, but not huge changes. He's emphasizing RBs more now than before, but so are half the teams in the league.

THIS is what's problematic with the defense. They know what's coming, they just can't stop it.

Handsback's picture

I hope for 8-8, anything better would be great. It's not just Aaron being out that hurts the Pack...it's the entire laundry list!

Icebowler's picture

Green Bay got totally outcoached on Sunday. The defense actually played well in the 1st half, except for all of the Saint's killer screen passes. The Saints totally controlled the time of possession, by over 13 minutes in the game. The defense was totally gassed by the end of the 3rd quarter because of too many one, or two, and done's by the offense. Definitely not one of MM's better play calling days. I too hope they don't get too much time off during the bye week. They need to get in extra practice to get the inexperienced QB's up to speed.

pooch's picture

The problem here is without Rodgers the Packers are a below average team that may not win again

flackcatcher's picture

God, I love overreaction Monday.....

Since '61's picture

Deleted.

WKUPackFan's picture

Well Jersey Al, it is encouraging to see that you're doing such a great job cleaning up commenter on commenter crime. Game Balls And Lame Calls article - Finwiz October 23, 2017 at 02:28pm: "I didn't read past point ONE, where you clearly illustrated you're an absolute idiot. Clueless".

That one was hard to miss, as your boy Finwiz double posted it. Playing favorites again, aren't we?

Nick Perry's picture

As much as I hate watching the Packers 2017 season go up in flames, I think it's the ONLY thing that will FINALLY show 3 very obvious problems with this team and hopefully have some changes happen.

1.) It all starts with Thompson. He has tried unsuccessfully to build a defense for the last SEVEN years and has been unable to. Like others have suggested the WR Corps is SLOW. What was a group that NO ONE could match up with 5 years ago has been allowed to get slow and old. It's worked because Rodgers can THROW A RECEIVER OPEN. If it's left on our WR's to get open it's not going to happen. We saw it in 2015 and NOTHINGS been done to fix it.
How many times have we saw Thompson caught with his pants not just down but all the way off. We've watched it happen with the TE, Safety, RB, and QB position all in the last 5 years, and now with letting both Sitton and Lang walk and getting only a 3rd round comp pick NEXT year, he's let the one thing go he couldn't afford to with 12 back there...The O-Line! I could go one and on about Thompson but in the end people will defend him because he picked Rodgers TWELVE YEARS AGO!

MM is a good coach but he's not great by any means. He's a lousy game manager and because of his stubbornness his play calling is VERY suspect at times. In spite of that he's been here 12 years. Mike McCarthy's time in GB has run it's course. Teams know exactly what Mike will call and when. You need not look any further than those two 3rd and 1 calls after each of Brees interceptions Sunday. He's predictable, stale, and without AR will be exposed. Lastly his coaching staff isn't close to top notch. I look around the NFL at other staffs and most HC employ guys who have been around and have a good reputation. McCarthy brings in guys like Luke Getsky to coach the WR after not even bothering to have a WR coach the year before (GREAT idea MM!!). How about Ron Zook Have you seen our return teams?? Bennett?? I think not, not as an OC.

Capers WAS a great DC back in 1992. He's also been okay when he arrives in a new town like he did in GB in 2009. THANK YOU Dom Capers for helping the Packers win SB 45, but you should have been fired after 2012 for sure.

Solution....

1) Fire Ted Thompson
2) Hire John Dorsey and let him do his job. I'll bet the Packers are in the SB by 2018 or 2019 for sure.

croatpackfan's picture

Yeah, KC fired Dorsey w/o any reason...

What is with young Wolf? Ohhhh...

And what is with salary cap guru? Ohhh

Who would you hire for HC? For DC? Do you have plans?

Or just shouting fire everybody, because I'm hurt!

nostradanus's picture

After watching some of the better teams in the NFC play this weekend Cowboys, Seahawks, Eagles and seeing teams in our division Bear and Vikings developing excellent Defenses and running games with very average or very young QB's. My conclusion is without Rodgers this Packers team is at the bottom of the NFC and our Division talent-wise and that falls on the shoulders of Ted Thompson. Also; Thompson should have stepped in 5 years ago and Fired Dom Capers, this team is in crisis mode and worst of all as many former coaches and players mention all the time, when losing becomes the norm it is really hard to overcome it. Ted has had a few nice hit's in the draft but has also wasted countless picks and the talent level on this team is nowhere near elite.
It's time for him to go and take Dom Capers with him.

Savage57's picture

We've seen all of the players in question flash talent and ability. So they have it. Getting them in a position to repeat it consistently falls to the....

coaching, starting with the position coaches and going up the ladder to the head coach.

AR, and Favre before him, have masked a lot of sins.

al bundy's picture

We all wish we were talking about great play this great play that and another pack victory. I think many of us see the reality that this is not a talented team.
I believe there are at least 25 qbs in college that with one or two weeks training could have passed for 78 yards and snuck around end for a score.
This thing is on hundley now, no more excuses and zero points for trying.

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