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Star Players Let Packers Down

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Star Players Let Packers Down

Watching the game again last night, I found myself in complete agreement with Gregg Rosenthal over at Pro Football Talk:

The first Giants-Packers game didn’t look like a mismatch. It looked like two evenly matched teams going at it. On that day, Rodgers was simply the best player on the field. Clay Matthews and Jordy Nelson may have been the next best, but top-to-bottom it was a very evenly played game.

The Packers’ stars didn’t step up in the big moments Sunday. The Giants’ stars did.

I could not agree with this more.

One look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly tells you all you need to know. When role-players like Donald Driver and Desmond Bishop are your best performers, and not ONE of your star players - be it Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews or Greg Jennings - plays up to his potential, your team will lose 99 times out of 100.

In addition to the sub-standard play from their stars, the Packers lost as many fumbles yesterday as they had all season. Mix those two elements together, and the Packers had no chance.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (38) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Ken's picture

Being at the game last night, this game felt over with after the Giants converted the first 3rd and 8.

Greg Jennings let us down. I love the guy and hope he's with us a long, long time. But that drop in the end zone that would've pulled us within 3 was a punch in the gut.

Michael from Winnipeg's picture

3rd and long has killed us all season.

I didnt feel the game was going to be over at the first 3rd and 8. But I realized that the defense wasnt going to be any different (same problems), and if they would've stopped the Giants on the first 3rd down, it would've made a statement that the defense were going to be better, and were ready to play.

redlights's picture

The first 3rd and 8? My pre-teen daughter kept the faith longer than that.

Yes, I too, felt that the D was going to be the same; but felt QB1 would come through.

My personal belief is that the Philbin/Lang sadness sunk in with a practical and grounded team like GB. I don't know personalities, but Favre's Dad, I believe, was closer to the players, so this year's sorrow resulted in more reflecting and the whole concept that the game is a lower priority than life in general. I also subscribe to that concept. If the Pack was to lose, I think this is as good of a reason that there is.

Close camp, fellows; there's always next year. Keep in shape, prepare for roster battles, say good-bye to the handful that defineately won't be back next year, and enjoy the offseason.

Ken's picture

I didn't lose faith, it just was apparent there was a negative vibe.

Thanks to G-Force, I cheered my hardest last night. Otherwise, I maybe wouldn't have known to.


At least we have more Rodgers moments and a brand new scoreboard next year.

jack in jersey city's picture

"so this year’s sorrow resulted in more reflecting and the whole concept that the game is a lower priority than life in general"

redlights- i was thinking the exact same thing! i heard that rodgers had never been to a funeral before and thought that there was a slim chance that this incident could put the game of football in perspective for many of these young players. i could be totally wrong but the thought did cross my mind a few times last week.

MarkinMadison's picture

I was at an autograph signing with Bulaga and Kuhn the night before the game. They said all the right things - especially Kuhn, but, I don't know. It was my first time at a thing like that, and I don't know these guys, but they seemed withdrawn to a much greater degree. Limited smiles and chit chat when they were signing the autographs. I think that this thing took a real toll on the offense, and everyone involved will be too sensitive to say so for a long, long time.

jack in jersey city's picture

donald driver is a star (to me) and played his ass off

Afrenchpackerfan's picture

There definitely is a reason why he is still around here after 13 years!

Evan's picture

No doubt. Next season is going to be really interesting with him. With 2 guys on the PS who the Packers gave raises to just to keep, it looks like another prolonged camp battle at WR. I'd love to see DD back, but it'll be tough. At some point you have to move on.

Jeremy's picture

"Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews or Greg Jennings"

Is it a coincidence that none of these guys had played football for at least twenty days? I'll add Cobb to that list as well, since he's a pro bowler.

Cole's picture


John's picture

WTF was Mcarthy thinking? It was obvious from the get go this wasn't the same Packers team as the reg season. How could he possibly think they were and expect them to overcome his dumba$$ calls?

He totally blew THAT game!

Bob's picture

Quoting the immortal J D Clampett, Pitiful just Pitiful.

Cole's picture

The giants were hungry and the pack was cocky. You lose your edge for one second and you lose. The pack players kept thinking 'oh, we'll still win, we'll still win' and all of a sudden it's the 4th quarter and we're down seventeen. That's the problem with Rodgers being so good. It trains the other players to get complacent, you clearly saw that today. No one except driver and bishop made plays. Damn shame, the greatest packer season ever pissed away by fundamentals and mental lapses.

John's picture

AND a bonhead coach!


steve's picture

Why are all you guys complaining about mccarthy and what you perceive as bad calls? The onside kick{that gave up no points}. Or the lack of offense-dropped passes and poor execution are not coaching errors.

packeraaron's picture

Could not agree more Steve.

Cole's picture

Agree to an extent but I think it was a coaching error trying to run it as much as we did. Why get away from what has made you successful all year? And get away from what won you the game last time against the SAME team? We are a passing team. So we dropped passes, that didnt stop us from keeping the petal down in the Super Bowl. Not only that but all those runs ate up the clock, which plays into the G's hands. I blinked and it was halftime. To me that was on the play caller. Rodgers is what got us here, of philbin came up with the game plan of running it more to keep pressure off rodgers then it was not a good plan IMO.

John's picture

4th and 5? With an offense definatly not fireing on all cylinders, (which was obvious). Sure the rest of the year the offense could overcome those stupid calls, but I saw from the first drive the team was off, yet the coach seemed like everything was just peachy. The coach threw the team under the bus, it was clear as hell.

John's picture

The coaching errors were the fact that things were off with his team, dropped passes, throws off, turnovers, yet McCarthy called plays like they were going to all of a sudden pull off the miricle?

Give me a break!

steve's picture

Again, maybe its hard to argue with an idiot, but the play calling was the smallest of issues. The offense was clearly out of sync and that's not a coaching issue. My guess is they ran the ball to use time so as to not give the giants the ball back. Remember they were only down 3 till the hail mary pass. And were getting ball at half. I had no probs w the play calls. If they executed its a different ballgame. Lay the blame where its due-the defenses inability to get off the field on 3rd down and turnovers.

John's picture

Playoffs? The Playoffs?

You kidding me?

The Playoffs?

calipackfan's picture

Yeah it is a big disappointment but we still have a roster that can give us another title in the next 7 years. I would like to see a lot more of Cobb and Vic Soto next year they look like rising stars.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

With you on Cobb, couldn't disagree more about Vic. Reason being, it's time to draft a blue chip stud opposite Clay, and quit dicking around with 'guys', hoping they pan out. Vic had a whole season to show the staff he's the guy, obviously didn't happen as they chose to start Brad Jones over him. Could he develop? Sure, And i hope he does, but we can't stand still waiting for it (see Mike Neal). Time to pony up and spend a high draft pick on that position. And yes, I know there are no sure draft picks, but we have to do it.


PackFanatic's picture

Its shocking that the Offense played as poorly as they did. Knowledgeable Packer fans knew there was a chance we could lose this game, but it was because of our pourous D and the Giant's solid Offense and QB. We also feared their Dline and possibly that they would rattle Rodgers into some mistakes.

D played as expected, not good but not horrible. Without all the offense's turnovers, they probably allow 23-28 points which is par for the course.

We just expected the offense to score in the 30s, or 28 at minimum. Offense was horrible, more fumbles than they had the rest of the year combined, many drops and just a lack of timing and execution between Rodgers and the WRs. Rodgers himself had a bad game. MANY times he had time but no receivers open, which again is shocking.

We certainly have the core to have a very good O for 2 or 3 more years at least, but what 2011 showed us is an outstanding O still needs a respectable, middle of the road D to make a SB. You can't make it with a downright bad D which is what we had this year. Gives the O no room for error.

jack in jersey city's picture

i wholeheartedly agree

LACheez's picture

Was Jennings not fully recovered? He seemed to be sitting on the sidelines quite a bit. I was sitting right behind the Packers bench last night. I saw a lot of "oh man! This sucks! I can't believe this is happening" looks. And just players walking around in silence. I didn't see anyone getting in anyone else's face trying to fire them up. No one looked like they wanted to win except for Driver and maybe Bishop. And while I think the leaders of the team are to blame for the most part, some of it has to fall on McCarthy not demanding more from his team.

TundraBoy's picture

Looked the same on TV. Where was the fire?

I have never ever seen so little effort by the DB's like on the hail mary. Two of them had their backs to the play!!!! . That was crusher # 1 but here was plenty of time to get fired up.

Crusher# 2 was Grants fumble.

Amazing year, and we have never been in better shape but man that was just disgusting to see. I know people will say do not complain but what the hell do you think Lombardi would have said if they played a game like that. Grab Grab Grab..... all year. and then this. He would have had a stroke.

Would sleep better as long as I knew they gave their EVERYTHING. They did not

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

The Pack lost 6 fumbles this year, 3 on offense, 3 on ST's according to Wilde.


Honest John's picture

After winning the SB following the 2007 season, the Giants when 12-4 the 2008 season and were the #1 seed going into the playoffs. One and done, Philly knocked them out in the Division playoff game. 2009, the Giants didn't even make the playoffs.

This stuff happens to great teams. They fall down. They get back up. You can over-analyze games like yesterday.

Don Hutson's picture

It certainly shows how difficult it is to repeat. But this is still a very young Packer team, and the core should stay intact - though it will be interesting to see if that includes Findley. I suspect Clifton is done, Driver unfortunately as well, and hopefully at least one new star added to the defensive backfield - and a resurgence of Williams and Shields. But this game really showed how badly the Packers need players who are able to put pressure on the opposing passer. To be so gashed by Manning is something a play-off club can't sustainingly succeed with.

Lots of lessons to be absorbed from this painfull experince.

MarkinMadison's picture

This off-season is a huge opportunity for the rookies and second-year guys to develop with the first off-season program of their careers. So'oto, Burnett, Shields - they can all make leaps this off-season. They will be motivated by the humiliation of this game. They will work, and they will succeed.

I'm not going down the MM road. This team did not execute what they were given. As posted above, I do not underestimate the impact of the Philbin issue on the offense. These guys are human. We need to accept that and support the team.

The draft needs to be all about the defense. The Packers need help at every level. At least a mid-level veteran safety to replace Collins is probably a necessity.

I am bullish on the future. I want to believe. But I also think that there are a lot of good reasons to believe. GO PACK GO!

Honest John's picture

I don't get why so many think Driver is going to go. He can still get open and make great catches. You need a few old timers on a good team.

Ruppert's picture

I'm having a hard time blaming any coaches for yesterday's loss. Seriously. The onside kick was a good idea as far as I'm concerned. The idea is to do it at a totally unexpected time. Mission accomplished. I read today where some Giants said they recognized Crosby's body language on the approach and were ready for the onside attempt.

People are all over Capers today, too, and I'm not down with that either. I read somewhere that CM3 had 67 QB pressures this year, and the entire D line had only 49. Point being, even a great coordinator can't turn Mike Neal into JJ Watt. He can't turn Brad-rik WalZomJones into James Harrison. And he can't turn Charlie Peprah into Troy Polamalu. I think, throughout the year, our coaching was excellent, and I can't blame yesterday on coaching, either.

PackRat's picture

Paraphrasing Elias:

Aaron Rodgers completed under half of his attempts outside the numbers Saturday after going 21 of 25 in Week 13 against the Giants and completed 67.8 percent of such throws in the regular season, second-best in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers faced four or fewer rushers on 45 of his 56 dropbacks Sunday (80.4 percent). It was the most dropbacks against Rodgers this season and the third straight game, starting with the loss to the Chiefs, that he faced a standard rush on at least 80 percent of his dropbacks. Packers receivers finished the game with six dropped passes, tied for the most by any team in a game this season, with six different receivers dropping a pass. The Packers' previous high was four drops, done twice, including Week 13 against the Giants.

PackRat's picture

And as far as Dom's strategy:

When Eli Manning was under duress or hit while throwing Sunday, he completed only 3 of 10 passes for 45 yards and an interception. When given time to throw, Manning was 18 of 23 for 285 yards and three touchdowns. Eli Manning had most of his success Sunday when the Packers sent four or fewer pass rushers, throwing for 216 of his 330 yards. All three of Manning's touchdowns came against standard pressure. Eli Manning was also 7 of 9 for 155 yards and two touchdowns when using a play-action fake Sunday.

Point Packer's picture

I would love for someone to explain to me why you would ever rush three down lineman in the first half in multiple situations, including the hail mary play. It allowed Eli to get comfortable and then torch us. Unbelievable play calling by Dom in the first half, especially after seeing that we were having a bit of success with the pressure. "Bend but not break" only works when your defense isn't missing tackles (thanks Charlie) and losing focus on plays like that frickin hail mary. Still disturbed.

TundraBoy's picture

Grab,Grab Grab!!! Sorry Vince it was that way all year for the D. I think it was a D

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