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Crucial Mistakes and Mishaps Leave the Packers Sleepless in Seattle

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Crucial Mistakes and Mishaps Leave the Packers Sleepless in Seattle

Thursday Night’s contest between the Packers and the Seahawks yielded many of the same results that have tormented the Packers on the road all season long.  The Packers defense could not get a stop with the game on the line.  The special teams unit left points on the field and committed crucial penalties that cost the Packers field position.  Mike McCarthy abandoned the run yet again and left many second-guessing his game management and in-game decision making.  The final nail in the coffin that sealed the Packers fate was a missed throw on third and two from Aaron Rodgers to a wide open Marquez Valdes-Scantling.  On fourth down, Mike McCarthy elected to punt the ball away and the Packers never got the ball back.  

Thankfully, the collapse last night was not as painful as the January 2015 collapse in the NFC Championship game, however, it brought back many of those awful memories from that game.  Much like 2015, the Packers lead for almost the entire game and did not surrender the lead until the final minutes four minutes of the game. The 2018 chapter of this rivalry was even more frustrating in nature not only because it was against Seattle at Century Link Field, but because the Packers have seen this exact same tragic ending to their games three out of the last four weeks.

When a season starts to fracture, as this Packer season is clearly starting to do, everyone likes to start to play the blame game.  The easy targets to blame for the team's struggles, of course, are the coach that no one likes and the quarterback that is making the most guaranteed money in NFL history.  The reality is, however, that every player on the active 46 man roster has played a part at one time or another in the struggles that this team has endured throughout the season.  

Whether it is a lineman missing a block, a receiver not getting open, a skill player fumbling the ball, the quarterback missing a crucial throw or holding onto the ball too long, or the coach abandoning the run; no one is off the hook and everyone in the organization, from top to bottom, is responsible for the Packers current 4-5-1 record.        

At this point, there is no use continuing to beat a dead horse and rehash the same details from every road game about missed opportunities, bad playcalling, horrific officiating (Tony Corrente AGAIN!), special teams penalties, and a missed field goal. Ok, maybe there is, but at this point in the season, we should end the narrative of "is this the week that the Packers can turn their season around" and face the reality that this is nothing more than an extremely flawed, borderline .500 team.

The talk surrounding this team should not be about making a playoff run or running the table, it should instead be about winning a football game on the road in Minnesota next week.  Until the Packers win a game on the road they can not be considered a good team or even dare I say, a playoff team, because playoff teams close out games on the road that they need to win.

For the next ten days leading up to their next contest, I hope that the Packers stay awake at night because of the disgust that they feel for the way that they have managed to lose close games this season.   I hope that they have their best ten days of practice, correction, and self-scouting leading into their rematch with the Vikings.  Many members of the team need to be brutally honest with themselves and realize that their performances simply are not good enough to get the job done.  

Next Sunday, we will see if the Packers can make the necessary corrections to win a game on the road, or whether the clock has struck midnight on this team, and this series of brutal losses has ultimately proved to be the final nail in the coffin that will bury their season for good.     

       

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

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (46) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

4zone's picture

Too much wrong, to fix enough of it to make the playoffs. Can't afford another loss. Playing like we are, no way we win out.

BoCallahan's picture

Does “in the grasp” still exist? I thought for sure SACKrell had another one.

Since '61's picture

The results for this team reflects the state of this team in 2018. Weaknesses that we were aware of before the season began. Poor OLBs, weak Safeties, lack of depth at WR and on the OL.

The team is playing with an injured QB who is making some bad decisions for the first time in his career. The Packers have had to fill their holes in the roster with rookies and journeymen. Some have stepped up and show promise for the future including, MVS, Alexander, Tony Brown, Fackrell, maybe ESB and Tonyan as well. But there have also been the mistakes that young and inexperienced players tend to make. Raven Green on the PI last evening, ESB on the block in the back and on and on. ST mistakes and failures every game.

Then there have been major disappointments from veteran players like Perry (as usual) Dix, Brice, Monty, Graham and even Aaron Rodgers.

Last evening's game was a microcosm of the season. Some great throws by Rodgers, nice runs by Jones, big catches by D. Adams, 3 and outs by the defense, then all undone by stupid penalties and bad calls, inexplicable plays by Rodgers, the disappearance of Aaron Jones, defensive failures in the 4th quarter and MM misusing the roster and mismanaging the end of the game.

Yes, everyone is to blame but it looks like MM will pay the price. Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. The best that we can hope for this season is to continue to find and develop young players for next season and identify who should be chucked when the season is over and build from there.

Maybe make Philbin the HC and let Rodgers run the offense and Pettine the defense in 2019. It worked for Denver when Peyton Manning was there. Their HC was pretty much a figurehead. The best thing that MM can do for this team is stay out of the way. And yes, fire Zook already. Thanks, Since '61

Kb999's picture

61, we shouldn't be talking about an injured QB. Rodgers just stinks at times. No excuses. He's been inconsistent just like the rest of the team. He makes a big play, then misses an easy pass. Then we need to talk about the missed FG. Then there's MM the rocket scientist. Same story different week.

HoLeCrap's picture

I was wondering if scantling was even playing. I was wondering if any of our tight ends were playing till Tonga man caught one.

Since '61's picture

Rodgers is playing with a torn MCL. It affects his mobility and throwing mechanics. I'm not using it as an excuse for his bad decisions but it is a factor in some of his inaccurate throws. Thanks, Since '61

Rufus's picture

since 61, that aint why he hangs on to the ball too long and gets sacked. I dont buy it.

Since '61's picture

Sorry double post. Thanks, Since '61

Rossonero's picture

Agree with you 61, except for the part about Aaron Jones disappearing. Mike McCarthy MADE Aaron Jones disappear. 11 total carries is inexcusable.

Hawg Hanner's picture

The return of Philbon was supposed to be a positive. Does he have nothing to do with play calling and game planning? If he is so good why are things so bad? I like what Pettine has done

Lare's picture

What Philbin did in Miami got him fired.

Since '61's picture

Rossonero - I know that MM is responsible for Jones' disappearing act but why? Rodgers seems to have a hand in it as well. Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Perfectly stated. I especially like the Manning comparison. Thought we should have done that 5 years ago, before all the cosmetic OC roles and changes. Rodgers outgrew MM a long time ago.

ILPackerBacker's picture

Considering all the frustration that was well written and accurate. Thank you.

The fact is that this is the same old same old.

4 sacks on 3rd and short.......that is not great defense it is pathetic offense

Seattle, as we all knew in advance, would not need to scheme to take Jones away. We all knew, including seattle, that MM would take him away.

How many third and short runs did Jones get, thus sparing Rodgers a hit in the ribs?

Coaching

Tundraboy's picture

Yup.

Tarynfor12's picture

" Next Sunday, we will see if the Packers can make the necessary corrections to win a game on the road, or whether the clock has struck midnight on this team,"...

Like a video loop, these words/thinking/hope/optimism are the nightmare in the looping of words.

HoLeCrap's picture

Maybe if the Vikes hand the Packers a sound defeat, we dont know if the packers even want to show up for this one do we, maybe many of them are saying under their breath its over?
I think if the Vikes put a licking on the Pack MM is done, no question. This will be his final defining moment. Season over, your nemesis kicked your ass, nothing to play for and no playoffs two years in a row.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

QUOTE from Tarynfor12: "Like a video loop, these words/thinking/hope/optimism are the nightmare in the looping of words."

Yeah, it sure seems like it's Groundhog Day in Green Bay. The big questions is how many times we have to repeat today to figure out how to get out of this loop? Thankfully there's only six more weeks to the season.

Lare's picture

The answer to your question is up to Mark Murphy. It'll be interesting to see if he has the ba!!s to do what needs to be done.

If I had to bet, I'd say he doesn't. If that's the case we get to go through another season pretty much like this one. And at the end Murphy will be fired and the next team President will have to do what he wouldn't.

All in all, it may end up being a good thing in that we end up with a competent team President and Gutekunst gets two more years to rebuild this offense for the next "Mike Holmgren" who walks into the perfect situation. And that will include grooming Rodgers replacement as he continues his Diva act and his skills continue to decline to the point where he'll be traded or replaced like Favre was.

Tundraboy's picture

Certainly not a stretch to see that happening, but perhaps like dumping Capers, maybe there is hope that they will cut to the chase.

badaxed's picture

Favre, diva, Mike Sherman not control, Sherman gone, Rodgers, diva, Mike McCarthy not control, McCarthy gone. Diva's win out until New coach arrive with something in the sack between legs and control diva or take diva to train station.

rfrank512's picture

Last night has to be MM's Waterloo. How do you not go for 2 yards with 4 minutes left having the best QB on the planet? Okay, AR missed a short pass to MVS that he probably has never missed before. It happens. But then you punt praying that your D can make a stop that has been run over in the second half, and take the ball out of AR's hands? That's just plain stupid. You don't have to be a HC to figure out the better option. It's been a great run, Mike, and you've done a lot more good than bad, but not recently. It's all about winning, and we're not.

fastmoving's picture

our QB is not even in the top ten of the best on the planet right now.

fthisJack's picture

How do u not challenge that catch that led to the winning TD? MM needs to be fired along with his buddy Zook. Actually a complete retool of the O coaching staff.

stockholder's picture

MM is down but not out. The packers coach NO Longer should go for Field goals. Inside the 45 don't Punt. Let Phibin call the game. If the packers don't beat Minnesota, put Arron Rodgers on the bench. Pre-season just arrived. Arron Rodgers couldn't get it done. And he may be done. Shut him down for the season. Play the back -ups. We must have answers. This goes beyond MM now.

jlc1's picture

Fracture is a great word, this team could come apart at the seams. They know they have no more room for error and if they err early against the Vikes they could get swamped. The sorriest part of the next game is that the Pack might not even have the better QB on the field. Sure Cousins will give the Pack D some opportunities as he almost always does but Rodgers doesn't seem to be taking enough of the opportunities he is given by the opposing D.

Lphill's picture

Team needs new leadership with new ideas , the game was winnable last night as was the Rams and Patriots games etc.... hopefully
MM and at least Zook are gone next year that will be a step in the right direction, Capers overstayed his welcome and McCarthy is on borrowed time now.

JohnnyLogan's picture

You hope MM and Zook are gone. No guarantee. They should have been gone this year.

jww061356's picture

Wow. Different week, same result, another road loss and for tall the usual reasons: penalties, mistakes, poor ST play, inconsistent play calling, and a franchise QB1 whose breathtaking accuracy appears to have abandoned him for the time being. WE are not running any tables this time. Hang your Christmas lights, read a book, catch up with old friends, or do whatever you feel best occupies your time, because THIS SEASON IS OVER. This is a .500 team that simply doesn't't have the smarts, the talent or the discipline to beat good teams, especially on the road. Good teams don't get up 14-3 and end up losing by a FG. They don't get the ball back with 5 minutes to play down by a FG and lose. They don't score 21 in the 1st half and get held to a FG in the second. IT DOESN'T HAPPEN. CERTAINLY NOT WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT LIKE WE ARE SEEING. I try not to be a reactionary, but the pattern is all too obvious and feels all too familiar. My only concern is....who's out there once we cut McCarthy loose? I don't want a retread, and I want to reload, not tear down and rebuild. I also don't want to lose Pettine; I think with a few more players he has some answers on D. It's looking like a slow, painful slide into oblivion this year. It's going to suck not being relevant by Thanksgiving.

HoLeCrap's picture

Did anyone take the time to consider, were now asking a mixed up pass d to cover one of the best passing teams in football right now with Thelen, Diggs, Randolph.
A team that throws quick outs and short passes that are very hard to defend.
A team who mode for 40 years has been ball control and moving steadily down the field with short passes and runs and they are good at it for sure.
Thus, they have a plan in place, and execute the same plan every week every game so everyone is on the same page all the time and eliminating dumb mistakes.
That is who this team faces in 10 days. That is whom this team must beat or season is really over.
I suggest Mike and team discuss HOW TO NOT MAKE STUPID PENALITIES THAT KILL OUR MOMEMTUM. lots of time on that one.

imnion's picture

The 4 sacks on 3rd down are just not acceptable. No way that should happen with a savvy QB. No way!! They had the ball at midfield how many times in the 3rd quarter? And did nothing. Grrrr!!!

Kb999's picture

I think Aaron's doing too many State Farm Comertials

Lare's picture

He's got way too many distractions in his life to concentrate on playing football.

And it shows.

Rossonero's picture

"Good players can't overcome bad coaching."

- Bill Belichick

old dog's picture

Mike can't make instant decisions, he just gets that dumb, blank look on his face. Between Rogers and mmc they won't stick to the run or Aaron under center.

packergal's picture

While I do have empathy for MM, his situational mistakes at Seattle contributed greatly to last night’s brutal loss.

And… a Coach’s job is to put his players in the best position to win while not harming the teams’ chance of winning.

Therefore, answer Yes/No after every bullet point and ask yourself if these MM actions contributed directly to the GB loss:
• MM called for a FG in Q1 4th-and-3 from Seattle’s 29-yard line versus going for it. (YES)
• MM called Aaron Jones number 6 times in the second half, with 4 of those being runs. (YES)
• MM refused to challenge TL catch—even though an injury break allowed enough time to view, discuss and review the play because other time outs were wasted again on poor clock management. (YES)
• MM refused to go for it on 4th-and-2 from the Green Bay 33 with 4:20 left. (YES)
• In addition, MM actually contradicted himself in the presser saying his decision to punt on 4th and 2 was based on injuries to Daniels etc. (WTH)! (YES).

So for the umpteenth time, even as AROD is guilty of playing poorly and the HC needs to address this and chooses not to or cannot (another reason MM time is up) MM continues to mismanage games and directly contributes to GB losses.

stockholder's picture

*1. Your visitors, You put points on the board first! *2. A-Rod went to the pass and Adams, before a wide open Jones. *3 The replay wasn't run again until after" a play." Hands were under ball. *4. Clock management was on the QB calling time. *5. 4th and 2. The failure was because of A-Rods 3rd down failures. *6 True. Hindsight MM has stated Opportunity Knocks. The failures of the packer veterans has been the story this year. So why can't the packers win on the road? You want MM fired . I get that. But why did people want CMIII, Cobb, Perry, Dix, Monty, Kendricks, Bulaga, Crosby, gone. Why isn't Rodgers better than the Saints Drew Breas? We can't win without Rodgers! It never was about the coaching. You can ask any fan. Rodgers goes down the packers are done!!!!!! It wasn't the coaching. It's Rodgers. Anybody will grab MM. You can't say that about any player on this team.

JohnnyLogan's picture

We're all saying the same things and liking each other's posts but what's important is the mindset of Gute and Murphy. Do we really have any confidence they feel as we do? I'm not convinced. Gute is also to blame for much of what's wrong with this season. His draft was good, not great. His free agency was mediocre to bad. He flinched when it came to Mack and now Chicago has an All-Pro future Hall of Famer in his prime and we don't. And Murphy is not really in the football business he's in real estate development. There's talent on this team but management hasn't shown that it's special and that's as big a problem as having a coach past his prime and a QB who may be uncontrollable with eroding skills.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

I don't believe Russ Ball reports to Gute, and Ball has to determine what kind of cap hit / deal structure that the Packers can live with. Gute has tried improving the team, to a much greater extent than we ever saw from TT, post Super Bowl. He's tried to bring in high-impact free agents, but he's in competition with the other teams in the league. I think it's kind of early to heap much blame on Gute. Maybe after next season.

Lare's picture

Unfortunately, Murphy has a big problem with letting people go. Cripes, even after 3-years of terrible drafts and GM decisions he still couldn't let Thompson go, he hired him to new position within the organization. He sat back and watched this team decline while he protected his friend.

Frankly, I think the Packers Executive Board should schedule a meeting tomorrow and demand that Murphy tell them his plan for getting the Packers back to relevance. If he can't, they need to move on. They then need to go back to the management structure that Harlan operated under (GM making all player & head coaching decisions). IMO that would be the best thing that could happen to the Packers organization.

ILPackerBacker's picture

According to MM it was joe P who gave him the 'facts' leading to the punt.

Be careful what you ask for. Joe is NOT an improvement and should never have been brought back

Tundraboy's picture

Great leadership throw your employee under the bus. Isn't MM the Boss here.

Rufus's picture

if thats the case send them both packin. Mike didnt have to listen to him

jgando12's picture

Need to move on from the Mack thing..Oakland did not want to trade with us period. Nothing Gutes could have done.
MM is done...for too long he's been coaching not to lose instead of trying to win. That's a train wreck in the NFL.
I would like to see Murphy go as well. He's too soft, too comfortable...so everyone else is.
The Golden era where we were a feared franchise is gone. Sorry, folks. We are just like everyone else...hoping to get it right.

The TKstinator's picture

Right.
Regarding Mack: Chi offers two #1’s, GB offers two #1’s. Chicago wins due to those two #1’s being earlier picks (probabaly? Maybe?)

So GB would have had to offer MORE than 2 #1’s and Gute said “screw it”.

That is OK w/TK in that it is an endorsement of his own ability to select wisely with those (probably 3) picks. He is betting on those 3 picks contributing more value than one Mack. Let’s see how it plays out.

ILPackerBacker's picture

MM's wife has ties to several B of D.....it could well be that murf was advised on MM's job.

ONLY $$$$ like no playoffs will impact decisions in GB there has not been an urgency to win since Wolf arrived.

There has only been back patting and praising each other

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