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Road Woes Will Cost Packers Playoff Berth

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Road Woes Will Cost Packers Playoff Berth

The hype machine was in overdrive last week and you would have thought that it was Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady locked in a steel cage match as opposed to a football game between the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots. The networks were committed to comparing two of the greatest quarterbacks of their generation and little else seemed to matter. But when the dust settled, the Patriots secured a 31-17 win and the Packers fell to a dismal 3-4-1 and are now third in the NFC North.

Time is running out on the Pack and the root of their problems lies in their inability to win on the road. Now it’s not uncommon for teams to play better at home than on the highway but Green Bay is winless away from Lambeau and that may ultimately cost them a seat at the postseason table. In addition, wide receiver Geronimo Allison will be sidelined for the rest of the regular season after getting hurt in practice and undergoing surgery for a groin injury. That will take one more weapon off of the table for Rodgers as the team tries desperately to right the ship after an underwhelming first half of the season.

There are several things missing from this team, one that was expected to compete for NFC North supremacy, and as much as it pains us to say, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been all that great. Rodgers is down from his career average 65 percent completion percentage rate to 60 percent this season and to give some perspective that puts him in the company of CJ Beathard and Blake Bortles. Not exactly the company a future Hall-of-Famer keeps but if you’ve watched him closely then you have noticed his propensity to unload quickly – too quickly. Rodgers has not allowed his passing windows to develop and has been getting rid of the ball as quickly as possible which greatly diminishes the opportunity to see passing windows develop and exploit them as targets get open.

It’s one thing to fire early but to make a habit of intentionally misfiring is another thing entirely. Rodgers penchant for deliberately throwing the ball away has reached an alarming number as he had seven throwaways in the loss to the Patriots and enters Week 10 with 39, tops in the league this season. To put that into perspective, he is on course to shatter the record set of 46 set by Phillip Rivers two years ago and we’re not even into the second half of the season! One could argue that throwing the ball away is better than throwing it into the hands of a defender but as they say, everything in moderation. If Rodgers had found his mark on just half of those throwaways, he would be sitting with a 66-completion percentage and the Packers might be in contention.

As we look to next week, we see that the Packers have a golden opportunity to get back on track when they host the Miami Dolphins. As of this writing, we see that the oddsmakers from some of the best online sportsbooks, seen all in one place at Sportsbook Review, have installed the Packers as 10-point home favorites. Green Bay could use some redemption after their lackluster performance last week in New England and could very well wind up blowing the Fish right out of the water. If you have ever wanted to know how to bet on football then click the link and take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with just how easy it can be over at SBR. The Packers should feast on a Miami defense that is ranked 22nd defending the pass and allowing an average of 258 yards per game.

The Packers should get well this week as they may own a record that indicates a sub .500 club but that’s a false flag. Green Bay will have a winning season when it’s all said and done but whether they can catch the Bears and/or the Vikings is another matter entirely. But in order to do so, Aaron Rodgers needs to be - well, Aaron Rodgers - and make more connections with Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham, and of course, MVS. The season is not irrecoverable but a loss on Sunday afternoon could mean vacation plans come Monday morning.


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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Rak47's picture

"Rodgers has not allowed his passing windows to develop and has been getting rid of the ball as quickly as possible which greatly diminishes the opportunity to see passing windows develop and exploit them as targets get open."
Are we watching the same football team? Rodgers is hardly letting the ball go too quickly, in fact he's holding the ball way too long leading to 23 sacks in 8 games. I think most Packer fans would love to see him get rid of the ball quickly on a more consistent basis and let his playmakers make plays for him instead of always looking downfield to make a play.

mrj007's picture

I was thinking the same. Perhaps more completions would be possible IF he threw the ball quicker - like when the slant pattern was still a legal play. I must have missed seeing the times Rodgers throws quick. I cringe each time ge drops back actually begging for the ball to come out faster

Guam's picture

Completely agree Rak47. Rodgers does not seem to want to throw short passes and move the chains anymore. He looks downfield too often and ignores open receivers underneath. What I haven't been able to figure out is how much of this is Rodgers and how much is it MM's play calling?

splitpea1's picture

You're not kidding. All these Fran Tarkenton impersonations have to go. Get the ball to the backs and let them make the moves and take the hits.

Savage57's picture

I'll still be trying to reconcile the disconnects and contradictions in this article a couple days after the Dolphins game.

Nick Perry's picture

"Time is running out on the Pack and the root of their problems lies in their inability to win on the road."

I'd say that's just part of the problem Ed. Yes they've lost all of their road games this year, but even the games they've managed to win at home have been unimpressive. This is a team going through the motions, collecting a paycheck until it's over in week 17.

One big problem for the 2018 Packers is some of those players collecting a paycheck. Cobb, Matthews, Perry, Daniels, Bulaga, and now even Rodgers aren't producing like they should. Granted we already knew SOME wouldn't produce anyways based on previous play.

Cobb has been hurt but looked like he's running in quicksand last Sunday Night. Matthews has gotten really OLD the last 2 seasons and Nick Perry has looked so bad he looks like he should be 4th string, even on a team like the Packers who have ZERO OLB. What's worse is IF the Packers cut Perry in the offseason they only gain $3.6 million with a dead cap number of $11.1. If they wait a year the dead cap number drops to $7.4. Talk about one of the WORST contracts in Packers history...It seems Russ Ball lost his mind on that deal, just like his old boss Ted Thompson did when he passed on TJ Watt and drafted the Paper-Mache Kevin King and Vince Biegel. Matter of fact Ball signed him to that deal shortly before Thompson screwed the Packers for one last draft. Just look at those 10 picks from 2017, Thompson's last draft....OMG!!!! THAT my friends is what ails the Packers. That draft and the several drafts before 2017.

The "road woes" are part of the problem, but it's a small part based on the way the Packers have played this entire season. In Gute I trust.

Bearmeat's picture

Yeah, the 15-17 drafts were bad. But, again, NP.. I think you're jumping the shark. This team has more talent by far compared to any Packer team the past 3 years. It's also younger, which is encouraging. The issue is that the team is not playing disciplined, smart football and it's not gelling. And that the all-world QB is playing... um... poorly.

That's on the coaching staff. Get rid of them and I think we're going to see a completely different team. Which doesn't help us for this year, but means we can see a quick turnaround.

Since '61's picture

Nick and Bearmeat - you have each hit on two of the critical issues. Nick is correct that our recent drafts prior to Gute just have not worked out. Some of it is on TT and some of it is due to having winning seasons and drafting late in the rounds year after year.

On the other side our veteran players especially Cobb, Perry and CM3 are not getting the job done. I think Gute has seen this and this is why he jettisoned Burnett, HHCD and other marginal players.

As I have posted recently our players, except for a few of the younger players and AR, just are not good enough. We need better players and as Bearmeat points out with another good draft and some FAs we could see a quick turnaround.

Gute will need to make the difficult decisions on MM and the coaching.
I don't think that he will have any problem letting Cobb, CM3 and maybe even Perry go and take the cap hit.

The Packers need to build around AR, Bak, Linsley, Jones and MVS on offense and around Clark, Daniels, Martinez, Alexander, King and Josh Jones on defense. There is enough for a core but the roster needs another year or two of work. Thanks, Since '61

hobowilly's picture

'61, appreciate your sentiments. IMHO, it seems all teams have has been players that are not performing up to expectations for one reason or other. The respectful thing is for them to restructure their contracts and "take the hit for the team" to allow more cap space. IOW, take a salary cut by being honest and stating as such. I'm thinking both Daniels & CM3 seem to be individuals who would be willing to do this if their play doesn't return--not so much on Daniels, but definitely on Clay since he's by far the second highest paid player and he's likely making pretty good coin on the commercials he's in. Perry should consider the same, don't give up on Cobb yet, he's still sorta football young but he's taken some pretty good licks given his stature.

egbertsouse's picture

I don’t see all this talent everyone talks about. I see guys that used to be good and other guys with potential but, right now, I only see a couple of really good players on each side of the ball supplemented by JAGs.

Samson's picture

My words exactly. --- Young players with potential are very inconsistent & need more than a few games to be considered "talented".
And you're right: -- the Pack have former talented players who have aged into expensive JAGs.
However, we're good with Gute. --- Gute needs another offseason with both the draft & free agency.

Lare's picture

Rodgers is definitely off this season so far, even now that he's supposedly healthy. One has to wonder how much the loss of Alex Van Pelt and Jordy Nelson is affecting him.

BoCallahan's picture

There is a question in the back of my mind that keeps crawling to the forefront: Is AR tanking this season to get rid of MM?

Dzehren's picture

What a conspiracy theory.

Lare's picture

Or is McCarthy tanking this season so that he can leave?

LeotisHarris's picture

Are you like me? Did you wake up today and think "great googily moogily, I'm ___ years old, and I don't know how to bet on football!" Thanks, Ed Wood. thanks for being my light in the darkness! Maybe one day soon thanks to you I'll make something out of myself in this crazy mixed up world. God bless you, Ed Wood!

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