Vikings 20 Packers 13: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers completed a perfect season at home on Sunday night.  They were a perfect 0-3 against NFC North division opponents at Lambeau Field and this latest drubbing, a 20-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, cost them the division title.  After claiming four-straight North division wins, the Packers finished second in 2015 and will enter the postseason as a wild card team.  Green Bay earns the fifth seed and will travel to face the Washington Redskins next week Sunday.

If you're expecting some magical showing or turnaround from this Packers team next week, don't.  Head coach Mike McCarthy summed it up in his post game comments when he said "Our formula isn't going to change.  Our message isn't going to change".  I'm sure coach is alluding to the message of "get it done, just win, we're nobody's underdog, etc".  What fans hear is that we can expect more of the same lame offense in the biggest game of the year.  As misguided as that interpretation of what McCarthy is saying is, it's probably still, and sadly, true.

Here's your season finale game balls & lame calls. 

Game Balls

Mason Crosby

Crosby gets the first game ball because he made the biggest play of the night for the Packers and one that could have turned this game around.  On a long kick return by Cordarelle Patterson in the fourth quarter, Crosby stuck his hand in on the tackle attempt and knocked the ball loose.  It was recovered by Micah Hyde and, just like that, the Packers had the ball with a chance to tie the score.  Unfortunately, that's not what Green Bay did, but Crosby made a huge play and at least created the opportunity.  Crosby added in two field goals as well.

Clay Matthews

After being a complete zero on the stat sheet and in his manners on the field, Matthews came to play in this one.  He got pressure on Teddy Bridgewater several times and recorded a sack and two tackles for a loss.  Matthews said he needed to be a bigger contributor heading into the game and, for the most part, he backed it up. 

Richard Rodgers

Rodgers had one of the most awkward touchdown runs I'll probably ever see.  He also had seven catches on the night and was targeted eight times.  Rodgers is slow.  Very slow.  But he managed to gain some separation from the defense and pick up a few yards after the catch, something he has not done at all in his time in Green Bay.  He fought off tacklers, for once, and even made one miss.  Rodgers scored the team's lone touchdown on the night and while it was awkward, it took a decent effort from a guy who isn't out there because of his athleticism.

Micah Hyde

Hyde had an interception and the fumble recovery on the Crosby strip of Patterson late in the game.  The interception was a thing of beauty as Hyde caught the ball one-handed and while turning and falling to the turf.  Hyde isn't known for his hands and has dropped a few potential picks in his day, but this snag will turn into one of those GIF files that we're still looking at years from now.  

Lame Calls

Mike McCarthy

Whatever is wrong with this team, and there are many possible answers to that question, falls on McCarthy to handle, adjust and repair.  The adjust and repair part are not happening and it's raising questions about the coach's leadership style and how much his players are buying what he's selling this season.  We have 10 seasons to sample from and one thing remains consistent:  McCarthy does not make changes and adjustments quickly.  I agree with Mike when he says that he's not going to change just for the sake of change.  But either he is doing nothing, which is not helping this team heal what ails it, or his attempts to make changes are failing badly.  I'm not sure which would be worse and I hope we don't have to find out.  

McCarthy took back the play calling and the Packers promptly beat the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders in consecutive games.  The team seemed energized and many were hoping that was the beginning of a turnaround heading into the end of the season.  These last two games have seen the offense revert to the stagnant and benign play that plagued them during a stretch of four losses in five games earlier in the season.  McCarthy, once again, got away from running the ball and allowing Minnesota to sit back in coverage.  This is not the type of momentum this team wanted heading into the postseason and I don't foresee anything different coming our way next week against Washington.  McCarthy has offered little in the way of hope for change or improvement on the offensive side of the ball over the last 10 games and it's deflating when a team that is supposed to have one of the best quarterbacks in the game offers little in the way of hope when they have the ball in their possession.

It's easy to pile on and critique the coaching when the team plays poorly, but this team is underachieving in a major, major way.  This is when leaders have to step up and get more out of those around him and that is not what I see coming from McCarthy's bunch.  They finished the season 5-3 at home, getting swept by division opponents this season.  That won't win a division title and it's not becoming of a playoff team either.  

I guess I can give McCarthy an "e" for effort in trying Josh Sitton at left tackle instead of trotting out Don Barclay again, but it was obvious that Sitton was out of place.  The personnel along the line falls on general manager Ted Thompson.  McCarthy only has so much to work with and when I say "so much" I really mean very little behind the regular starters.  It's a tough spot for the coach to be in, but if this team is going to achieve anything noteworthy this season, he is going to have to find a way to get this team up for next week's showdown in D.C.  If the Packers suffer another lackluster and bad performance in ending their season, there will be a lot to talk about regarding McCarthy and his ability to keep this team together and accomplish some of the bigger goals this team has been fortunate to have over the past five seasons.

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers took five sacks on the day and was under a lot of pressure, as has become the norm.  But another two turnovers to add to his total this season, and they killed this team in this game.  The first turnover was the fumble on a ball that Rodgers lost before his arm was moving forward.  Rodgers seemed to be the only player on the Green Bay side that realized that it was a live ball and immediately began to try and cover the ball carrier.  Minnesota scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown.  It put Minnesota up 20-3 at that point and came just after the Hyde interception.  

Rodgers has struggled badly since mid-season and we can only hope to know more about what has caused such a drop off from one of the game's best players.  He's missing throws, fumbling and as uncomfortable as it gets in the pocket at times.  His jitters are leading to poorly thrown balls and he's missing his open receivers far too regularly.  His interception was just a poorly thrown ball into coverage, a throw we're starting to see a time or two every week as of late.  Even the free plays aren't turning into anything.  It's going to be an interesting offseason and many eyes will be on 12 and what he does to come back like his old self in 2016.

Randall Cobb

Cobb had six catches on the night.  He also had two drops and it's time he gets called out for these gaffes that this team simply cannot afford.  It's obvious that Cobb can't be a star on his own.  He needs good players around him, and that's fine.  When they've had those guys in the past, Cobb has been a fantastic weapon for this offense.  This falls more on McCarthy but I will again beg and plead to stop putting Cobb in the backfield.  It's telegraphing the play and it goes nowhere.  This team needs Cobb's best right now and he's just not capable of elevating to the level where they can get what they need.  Here's hoping that whoever is around him next season helps him be more of what we saw in 2014 when Cobb had Jordy Nelson and a more effective Davante Adams around to ease the load.

 

Others to note

  • Julius Peppers had another sack.  Quietly, Peppers has come up productive several times this season and I have to wonder if there's more of a chance that he's back next year than there was earlier this season
  • Davante Adams caught four balls and had no drops for the first time in who-knows-how-long.  Adams made a nice move after one catch and picked up some significant yards afterward.  It's a bit too little, too late, but good to see Adams still has the ability to create.  Hoping year three is the key for this young man
  • Jeff Janis caused another fumble on special teams and continues to be an ace on punt coverage this season
  • Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are quietly playing well at the safety spots.  Burnett tied Jake Ryan for the team lead with eight tackles and Clinton-Dix had one of three sacks of Bridgewater on the night
  • Ryan was beaten badly in coverage early in the game and if not for a poorly thrown ball, would have given up a score.  He should never be in that position.  Ryan has some athleticism, but the speed is non existent.  It's not something you can teach and the Packers have to put Ryan in better position to succeed.  He did have a team-high eight tackles
  • John Kuhn proved to be a safety valve and converted a big third down.  As long as he's not carrying from the one-yard line. . . 
  • This team, whether it was McCarthy and his staff or Rodgers when running the no-huddle, managed the clock and their timeouts poorly.  They still had one last throw into the end zone to try and win the game but with another timeout, they may have been able to draw up something more effective.  In the Dallas game, McCarthy's first after taking back play calling, the Packers had no issues getting plays in and they put up a crisp showing.  In this game, the unnecessary timeouts reared their head again

 

On to the postseason where this team desperately needs a game ball performance from every guy in uniform!

 

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (80)

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Mebrooks5291's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:09 am

same lame offense next week. packers lose going away.

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zoellner25's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:23 am

Love the MM critique, well deserved. We look like a terrible team, like the Browns. ARod looks like Eli manning now.

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ollie418's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:39 am

Lame Calls:

Wasted time outs. Never learn do they?

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MCM's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:30 am

There isn't a team in the NFL that cares less about timeouts than the Packers. When's the last time they've entered the late 4th quarter with all 3 timeouts?

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ollie418's picture

January 04, 2016 at 02:48 pm

Can't remember when.

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ollie418's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:40 am

Lots of folks were wishing to play Washington. Be careful what you wish for.

Packers get blown out!

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zoellner25's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:48 am

It is a real possibility. Wash pretty good at home.

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egbertsouse's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:08 am

Not as bad as they would have against Seattle. did you see them crush Arizona yesterday? Packers vs. Washington, 27-13 loss. Packers vs. Seattle, 42-10 loss.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:48 am

To be honest, Washington is a team the Packers should be able to beat. They don't run the ball particularly well, and have two weapons in the passing game: Reed and Jackson (wouldn't he be a big help to the Packers O right about now). Their defense is porous. They compare reasonably with Oakland, except Oakland has BETTER (but younger) talent.

In general, they're in the playoffs because their division sucks...6 games against Philly, NYG and Dallas? And they were only 4-2 vs that menagerie? Didn't beat a single team that finished with a winning record, and they looked good down the stretch because the teams they were playing were THAT BAD.

If the Packers go to DC and get blown out next week, then the sky really is falling. I, for one, think this is a very winnable game even with the Packers in their current state. With the exception of the difficulty the Packers have had at times covering the TE, this sets up pretty well for the current Packer squad.

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CallingIt's picture

January 04, 2016 at 10:49 am

No one is afraid of us anymore. The skins house will be rocking. Only way we have a chance is if Bahk and Shields are back and we stick with a dedicated run game in a two back set. Only thing working for us and opens up the play action.

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 04, 2016 at 12:25 pm

"6 games against Philly, NYG and Dallas? And they were only 4-2 vs that menagerie?"
yeah the thing is, we had 6 games against Vikings, Lions, and Bears, and went 3-3, with 0-3 at home.... And honestly, the Vikings suck, even though they won the NFC North. Bridgewater is terrible. 99 yards yesterday. Shut down AP and the Vikings are toast. the NFC East is bad, but so is the NFC North.
But I agree with you, the Packers should usually be able to beat Washington. But at the moment, who'd you rather have at QB? I would not take #12 but Cousins, which in my mind says everything...

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:01 pm

Chicago and Detroit are nothing to brag about, but there are two playoff teams--whether the Vikings suck or not is up for debate--out of only two NFC divisions: the West and the North. There's only one .500+ team in the NFC East, and they're 9-7.

The Packers did shut down AP, and the Vikes still won.

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carusotrap's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:24 pm

If the Packers go to DC and get blown out, it may be time for a big shake up. Thompson retires and a new coaching staff may be next. It's not so much that MM can't coach - that's another argument - but it may be that the Packers are no longer buying what he's selling. It's one thing when a player or two doesn't get on board, but when your HoF QB has checked out, one of them has to go, and I think we can all agree it won't be the HoF QB.

One thought is to clean house now while Rodgers has some time left on the other side of a hopefully short rebuild.

"Hello, this is Mark Murphy calling for Elliot Wolf and Mike Shanahan. Yes, I'll hold..."

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carusotrap's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:24 pm

If the Packers go to DC and get blown out, it may be time for a big shake up. Thompson retires and a new coaching staff may be next. It's not so much that MM can't coach - that's another argument - but it may be that the Packers are no longer buying what he's selling. It's one thing when a player or two doesn't get on board, but when your HoF QB has checked out, one of them has to go, and I think we can all agree it won't be the HoF QB.

One thought is to clean house now while Rodgers has some time left on the other side of a hopefully short rebuild.

"Hello, this is Mark Murphy calling for Elliot Wolf and Mike Shanahan. Yes, I'll hold..."

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Bearmeat's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:58 am

We are going to lose at Washington. And I don't really care. The only thing this team was capable of this year was getting the division crown. And they blew that with THREE PATHETIC efforts at home.

I love this franchise. But I hate this team. Some offensive coaching staff moves absolutely must be made in the offseason. And help at WR, TE, LB and young OL talent needs to be procured in the draft.

Aaron Rodgers HAS to have been hurt the last half of the year.

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:13 am

I hear you Bearmeat. Rodgers looks fine but his confidence is shot and his ego is probably bruised. Have you ever tried to play golf when your swing confidence is lost? Add poor O-line play, weak WRs and predictable play calling and you have a defensive coordinator's dream.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:26 am

What gets me is that, in the past, when ARod has a bad game or a bad stretch, he usually comes out spitting fire and brimstone. He hasn't had that bounce-back in him at all, it seems. A dose of success is what this offense really needs.

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 04, 2016 at 12:32 pm

couldn't have said it better myself... Even when he was visibly hurt, he still came out spitting fire and brimstone. Not this season. That's why I don't believe he is physically hurt more than one would expect at this point in an NFL season. I really really believe this problem is 100% mental. I was holding myself back long enough, I do believe it is one of those 3 things:

1) Huge rift between MM/offensive coaches, and #12
2) Simply doesn't want to play in the smallest NFL market anymore, and has set his sight on bigger things
3) Well, the obvious, his dating a certain hollywood actress, and all the distractions that come with it

Unfortunately, we may never know the answer. What we may see is what will transpire after the season is finally over. Maybe there will be a request for a trade or some other rumblings out of #12's camp...

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tm_inter's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:01 pm

Trade him if #12 doesn't improve his plays and attitude. It's not worth paying upwards of $20 per year for a guy who plays like shit but thinks he's above the team's head coach/offensive coaches.

Come to think of it, isn't it about time the Packers revamp offensive coaches since offense has become the team's weakness. How about bringing Joe Philbin back as offensive coordinator?

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:05 am

Hard to watch this team blundering about and maybe play a quarter or so of decent offense. Cannot understand how Jones/Cobb/Adams is our only WR set. Are we that thin at WR? I have never been a James Jones fan but I recognize that he has been our most productive receiver to date. Ironically, he will be the only WR not signed in the off-season.

What troubles me most is the attitude oozing out of Rodgers and his fellow offense after each miscue. Lot of blame to go around boys. Dropping your head, rolling your eyes, dragging yourself back to the huddle is not helping the cause. It is hard to watch.

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MikeHoncho's picture

January 04, 2016 at 02:04 pm

Unfortunately, they really are that thin at WR. Jordy is gone, Montgomery looked like he might actually contribute and he is gone. Abbredderis and Janis are just awful. I remember when everyone was kicking and screaming last year how those two needed more playing time because they were going to be so great and amazing. Well they got their chances this year and now we see why they were never on the field. They are terrible. (Aside from Janis on ST)

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porupack's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:08 am

"McCarthy, once again, got away from running the ball and allowing Minnesota to sit back in coverage."

Or what I saw; Lacy tentative and hesitating in the backfield and predictably runs for 2-3 yards if indeed he makes it out of the backfield. He's too slow to bounce to the outside....so, the Minne D could easily shut Lacy down.
Without a change of pace RB, there isn't really much chance of imposing a running game on an opponent and Minne knew it.

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gopack1265's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:08 am

The Packers have underachieved every year during the McCarthy era. They have one Super Bowl to show for their efforts, while the Pats, the Giants and Steelers have multiple Super Bowl wins. McCarthy is lost, his only solution has been to take back the play calling. "Hey Mike, it's not the play calling, it's the plays!" The league has figured out how to stop them. To lose home games to the Bears, Lions and Vikings should be an indicator to everyone that while the Packers are standing pat, the other teams in the division are getting better.

Fans are going to blame Thompson for the lack of talent, and to a large degree that's correct, but don't think for one second that he's working in a vacuum. McCarthy is providing input and collaborating with him on player acquisition.

The Packers are wasting the best years of Rodgers career, they don't have a solution. I am convinced that McCarthy needs to be replaced, but I am 99.9% certain that won't happen.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:13 am

Just 3 other teams? Darn...

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pacman's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:14 am

I cannot understand how they didn't give Janis a chance to run deep and at least draw 2 defenders.

I cannot understand how our receivers seem to sit in their routes in coverage rather than continue to run full speed - SOMEWHERE.

I cannot understand how a head coach can get away with saying this is a solid team (back a few weeks) when everyone else knew differently.

I don't know what happens in the private meetings but somebody has to light a fire under this team.

I'm ok with MM going away. It might be tough but this is a coaching problem.

OTOH - defense and special teams did better this year than most of the previous years. Maybe Capers should be head coach? Could he be worse?

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:21 am

Lot of good points. I doubt that MM will be fired. When it takes 5 years to address ILB and it still isn't addressed... When we claim to have the best O-line ever and you only have a backup center... When you keep running the same three WR the whole game, every game... When every team knows how to defend you and is doing it without answer... We have reach full consistency - stay the course.

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:57 am

Sorry - just too damn disappointed in this team to be anything other than snarky.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:13 am

Lame Calls.

McCarthy.

This game and just about everything since the Dallas game is on McCarthy. Dallas game the offense finally started putting it together. Since then, they have done next to nothing.

They have done next to nothing schematically to get players open, and to create looks that defenses haven't seen.
The way he rotates players in, and the way he stays in the same look on offense down after down, does absolutely nothing for the offense. Defenses seem to know what the WR's are going to do before the WR's know what they are going to do.

What is missing in the offense is the misdirection type of plays. They do nothing to put the defense on their toes. I don't think they have ran 1 misdirection type of play since the Dallas game. (and it worked then). They don't do everything possible to attack the entire field.

Also the change of pace players is lacking. Crockett showed to bring a change of pace speed to the offense. They haven't used him since Detroit. (I'm not counting Arizona mop up time). Abbrederis showed he can get open and didn't play this week and didn't play last week after he dropped a pass.
Janis hasn't been on offense in how long. Yesterday the Vikings used that Theilnan on a Jet Sweep specifically designed for him. You can't tell me they can't use Janis on a Jet sweep to get his speed on the field?

For an offense that is lacking playmakers, they have to find ways to use everyones talent. Use Crockett, Abbrederis, Janis, Backman, Ripkowski even if its 1 play a game. Get the ball in everyones hands on offense.

Its time for McCarthy to realize that using Richard Rodgers on the pass to the flat is not a play that is going to work. Rodgers strength is not playing in open field. His strength is up the middle.
Also, if they are going to spread Kuhn out wide, why not bring in Janis or Abbrederis? At least put a player who has a shot at making a play out there.

McCarthy has to wake up and realize that he has to change the game plan, play calling and the way he uses his players. Its a chess match. He has to use his players to their strengths. Maximize their strengths and limit their limitations...

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:38 am

Totally agree that we need to use some of these other guys to at least spice up the offense. To march out the same old WR set and get the same result for much of the season is the definition of "crazy". Are the offensive schemes so complicated that these rookies can't contribute? How hard is it to run out 10 yards, turn around, bounce on the spot, hold your hands up to Rodgers then walk back to the huddle?

MM handing the play calling to Clements and taking it back is not a change. It is the same juvenile game-planning called by the guy who designed the simplistic scheme. Look at what Norv Turner has done with his cast of characters. I am just not sure if it is the cast or the director.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:26 pm

He always seem to not want to show anything to other team so they have less to game plan against us! I get that but this year he has taken it to the extreme and in the process he shows them exactly how to beat us. Other teams now know he rarely changes up anything anymore. That wasn't always the case but it is now. He rarely surprises anyone but us with his stubbornness.

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KenEllis's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:14 am

"Ryan was beaten badly in coverage early in the game and if not for a poorly thrown ball, would have given up a score. He should never be in that position. Ryan has some athleticism, but the speed is non existent."

My God are we going to have to hear about how we need to hide Ryan for 10 years just like we did with AJ Hawk?

If Ryan lacks speed as a rookie, how slow do you think he will be in 5 years?

Another terrible inside linebacker who needs to be replaced ASAP.

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:39 am

I want to give the guy a pass because he is a rookie in a complex Caper's system but I take your point. He reminds me so much of Hawk that I cringe at his arobatic missed tackles. What does it say, that he is the cream that has risen to the top for that position.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:32 am

"...that he is the cream that has risen to the top for that position."

It's different if he's risen to the top because he's outplayed guys. He's risen to the top due to injury and by default. Let's hope he's got a thick skin.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 04, 2016 at 11:19 am

He looks more slow to read/react to me than running to slow.

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egbertsouse's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:19 am

I like it that the Packers don't have a rich, douchebag owner like Jerry Jones but at times like this I kind of wish we did. An egotistical owner would probably throw McCarthy out on his fat ass after this season a la Chip Kelly. On the other hand, the Packer Bd of directors will look at the books, see all the cash flowing in, and declare that everything is great and we'll have 10 more years of MM.

Also, read an article by Greg Cosell this week laying a lot of the blame for the Packer offense at the feet of Aaron Rodgers. He looked at tape and said quick, timing routes are open but AR won' throw them, he'd rather run around and try to get the big play. I've always been an AR defender but it makes me think....

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Packer_Pete's picture

January 04, 2016 at 12:43 pm

"Also, read an article by Greg Cosell this week laying a lot of the blame for the Packer offense at the feet of Aaron Rodgers. He looked at tape and said quick, timing routes are open but AR won' throw them, he'd rather run around and try to get the big play. I've always been an AR defender but it makes me think...."
Thank you! I read that same article. Yes we all know, WRs cannot beat other teams deep. OL has protection issues. RBs aren't used consistently or don't produce with consistency. But if all that is true, what would an offensive coach do? Design short, quick timing routes. And those are open, Even freakin' game. But #12 just doesn't want to throw the ball then. It's maddening to see him dance around hoping for a WR to get open down the sideline, while the pocket is collapsing.

I remember one play yesterday specifically, replay showed both Adams and Cobb open and turned around after 6 - 8 yards, and he didn't throw it. Instead, danced around and was sacked by Everson, then rolled his eyes at Sitton. If he throws the ball to either Cobb or Adams then Everson isn't even in his vicinity at the time of the throw...

Take what the D gives you, oldest mantra on O. And once he'd be hitting those short routes and the catches are made, even if those are just for 4-5 yards, give me 3 of those in a row and you have 1st down. Do that consistently, with a running game that gives you 4-5 yards a run, and you'll score on every damn drive. And, it would open up the possibility for hitting a long one...
But he wants to run what he calls 'sandbox plays'.

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:23 am

"These last two games have seen the offense revert to the stagnant and benign play that plagued them during a stretch of four losses in five games earlier in the season."

Minnesota and Arizona are substantially better teams--and better defensive units--than Dallas and Oakland. Dallas might have been a mirage, and they really weren't all that and a bag-of-chips against the Raiders, either.

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cuervo's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:27 am

I almost choked when I saw the article suggested bringing back Peppers........maybe I would, but at a max of about 2 mio/yr. Being to paid 10mio/yr+ to make 6 or 7 impact plays per year?

Looking to the offseason:
Peppers- Gone
Raji- Gone (or signed for a max of 3-4mio/yr)
Perry- Gone (or minimum contract)
Neal- Gone(or minimum contract)
Lacy- I would seriously try and trade him now and get something for him. He's done.
Mike McCarthy- Gone....had an OK run, we need new juice.

Please, Please, Please, try and get an athletic middle linebacker to go along with Barrington and let Matthews roam. Jake Ryan is not the answer, he's a slower less athletic version of AJ Hawk.

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:29 am

I hate to think of this defense without Peppers. Who are we going to put into the lineup in his place? His pressures, sacks, turnovers are a big part of our defense's success. His work with Clay Matthews made life miserable for Bridgewater last night. Why would you worry about the money that we pay him? We have nothing but money and cap space on this team. Of all the FAs who gobble up money and don't perform, Julius Peppers is on the opposite end of that equation. Think about it.

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Big T's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:06 am

The Packers have fallen and can't get up. Give TT and MM another 10 years and they will get them back up...

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dobber's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:19 am

That's the spirit! ;)

With no "kick them in the ding-ding" comments, people are going to accuse you of going soft, Big T!

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paxbak's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:41 am

Doesn't it seem like after these second half timeouts, nothing good happens. Take last night, it was 4th down from the 40 and they needed 5 yards. What was the result of the TO? Prayer to James Jones deep. Nice play

I always say take a 5 yard penalty before using a second half time out. Can't these coaches see how important they are? Especially in a low scoring game when you are behind? If we had two more timeouts, we could have scored. Oh yeah, this is the 2015 offense... nevermind... we still would have lost - Forget about everything I said... except the second half timeouts..

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Alvo's picture

January 04, 2016 at 10:06 am

I think two things are clearly happening/happened. 1) The run game has been bad, so the Packers have been stuck in many 2nd and longs and 3rd and longs. It's hard to stick with the run on 2nd and 10 or 2nd and 9 because you need a manageable 3rd down. Relying on a QB to extend drives when facing 3rd and long with a backup tackle is a recipe for disaster.

2) This team has lost confidence and that's probably the most surprising because McCarthy typically does a great job of instilling confidence in each player. It may be seen as not making adjustments, or my favorite, being stupid, but McCarthy will always defend his players to the media and give them a long leash to turn things around. Guys here want McCarthy to go up on the podium and say "we suck, we're changing everything." He's not going to do that. I do think Rodgers has lost some confidence, and it stems from terrible line play. In the past, we've seen Rodgers kill defenses when he gets open space outside the pocket. Last night he was a bit too quick to throw the ball away instead of trusting his line to provide a few extra seconds of blocking. Clearly his timing is out of whack. Finally, it's clear the receivers have lost confidence as well. They're not this terrible. They can't be. This offense was the most efficient offense in the NFL last year and were playing great at the beginning of the year. So I don't think the whole offense is a lost cause and we're back in the 80's forever, even with Jordy returning next year. It's probably a bit too late to repair the connection between Rodgers and his receivers, but hey, there's still at least one game remaining and things change very fast in the NFL.

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Patrick Helms's picture

January 04, 2016 at 10:13 am

It doesn't matter if you run Janis or Adams deep (which would be a great idea) because Arod will just throw it over their heads or out of bounds. Doesn't seem like he is practicing much when he knows he sucks. You would think he would work that much harder because wins are what counts along with the SB...not a division title.. Maybe it's time for a new QB coach along with a WR coach since everyone seems to know exactly where our receivers are going. Pretty lame to watch them dance around move for move. The drops from poorly thrown balls are one thing but this is ridiculous. Why are the WR's running behind the DB's...lol...What happened to the run game? Why won't MM adapt on the fly. We have the talent on this team....it's up to the coaches. Fire them all if they aren't going to do their job. Winning is about hard work, change and adapt. Games are also won in the trenches which depends on a healthy line which brings up another coaching area. Yes, I blame it all on our coaches and TT.

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CallingIt's picture

January 04, 2016 at 10:57 am

PH, new QB/WR coach next year?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 04, 2016 at 11:10 am

Seperate QB/WR coaches at least please. Van Pelt doing both was a fail.

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CallingIt's picture

January 04, 2016 at 11:25 am

Yea, could see that. Bring in someone who can teach good technique. Someone with attitude.

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Patrick Helms's picture

January 04, 2016 at 06:30 pm

Van Pelt is inept at his current role. Arod needs somebody to light a fire and it obviously isn't him. Janis still doesn't know the playbook and Adams has gotten worse and they all have the dropsies, a lot from poorly thrown balls. Bennett was an awesome WR coach and Adams was showing a lot of improvement at the end of last year. I doubt Edger would give up his promotion. Maybe we can get Driver next year. Knock Van Pelt back to RB coach if somebody else doesn't pick him up as OC and get another QB coach. Either way changes need to be made. We have the talent....they just need to be led. I won't blame it all on a banged up Oline since Arod has had at least 3 seconds to throw almost every snap. Hanging on to the ball too long is his fault and that is a coaching problem. WR's not getting open and drops are a coaching problem. We do have some speed and height. Nobody is afraid of the deep ball anymore and now they jam the box and short routes so we can't run or pass. How many more balls over their heads and or behind do we have to watch before Arod snaps out of it. Something (somebody) isn't working as Van Pelt just stands there while Arod sits alone on the bench.

On another note: Did I actually watch a double team both turn their backs as Arod tried to run...lol...I sure hope somebody addresses that this week!

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CallingIt's picture

January 04, 2016 at 10:55 am

OT is coming on strong as our most pressing need followed closely by a vertical WR or mismatch TE. Defense is doing well enough to push LB down the list. We've go so many holes that need plugged, seems we have to fish in the FA pond but after this year, who would want to come play for GB?

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carusotrap's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:37 pm

"seems we have to fish in the FA pond"

I think the one thing we all know for certain is that will absolutely not happen. Not with so many UDFAs out there.

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mnklitzke's picture

January 04, 2016 at 11:03 am

Lame: Another year wasted of Rodger's in his prime...

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paxbak's picture

January 04, 2016 at 11:08 am

Is he in his prime? The game film doesn't lie. I hope we aren't seeing a steep decline. The throws haven't been there this year.

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CallingIt's picture

January 04, 2016 at 11:23 am

It think a lot of his accuracy issues began with bad protection. We need at a minimum a viable OT backup. Right now we have none.

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mnklitzke's picture

January 04, 2016 at 01:15 pm

He was MVP last year. I'm not saying he isn't playing very bad this year. I think coaching isn't helping him get out of his mental funk. I don't think he hit a wall like you see with running backs... Signs point to a great QB being able to play well into late 30's..

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jyros's picture

January 04, 2016 at 11:21 am

There was a an image on the sidelines that sums it up...
Rodgers sitting on the bench, alone. Tolzein and VanPelt a few feet away, blankly staring off in opposite directions. No discussions. No communication whatsoever. Maybe one of 'em shat their pants?

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Razer's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:38 pm

Funny stuff even if it is sadly true.

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TommyG's picture

January 04, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Onto the Redskins. Truth is though that the packers may very well beat the skins at their place. But then what? Off to Arizona to get our second dose of cardinals? Ugh.

Game ball goes to CMIII and most of the defense. They got help from Teddy, but they genuinely did their jobs to an extent that our offense should've been able to capitalize. The D gave up 13 points. The offense need only two scores to win the game but instead shat themselves.

Lame calls are on MM and company. Great game plan on the first drive. What happened after that? Why, after a great drive, does MM revert to that terrible set of plays that have not worked all year? Those plays should've been shelved after week 8 when we realized this team was not going to operate that way.

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Rossonero's picture

January 04, 2016 at 12:24 pm

What sucked last night was watching Eric Kendricks run around the field for the Vikings. He was available for the Packers to draft in the first round and would have solved our inside linebacker problems. I like Damarious Randall, but ILB is so glaring that it's impacted Clay Matthews ability to get sacks.

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EdsLaces's picture

January 04, 2016 at 05:46 pm

Although collinsworth was all about Kendricks ...he really isn't that great.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 05, 2016 at 02:53 am

Exactly, Ed. Kendricks is pretty good in space, but doesn't have enough lead to be as effective inside. He does have Linval Joseph clogging the middle for him, which helps his overall game. I like Randall better, without a doubt, and make no mistake, CB was an area of huge need.

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Rossonero's picture

January 04, 2016 at 01:11 pm

Rodgers is not without blame, but it also is a steady erosion of trust over the season. He doesn't trust his line to give him time to throw, he doesn't trust his receivers to get open and he doesn't trust them to catch the ball. He's so rattled that he gets happy feet and tries to make a play.

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Rossonero's picture

January 04, 2016 at 02:12 pm

Packers Draft Needs
1. DE/OLB - Mike Neal and Perry will be FAs, Julius Peppers will be in the final year of his deal and Clay Matthews could use some help. When you run a 3-4, you need LBs. Datone Jones (1st round, 2013), will be entering his 4th season. Despite improved play this year, he's still failed as a first round pick to make any major impact.

2. WR -- this position has been a mess. It's not a great WR draft class, but Ted Thompson finds great value in the second round (i.e. Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings). James Jones is doubtful to be back, Davante Adams has been a huge disappointment, there's no guarantee that Jordy Nelson will be the same next season, Ty Montgomery and Jared Abbrederis will be solid, but neither is a no. 1 WR. The Packers need a deep threat and Jeff Janis wasn't up to the task this year

3. TE - Richard Rodgers has good hands, but otherwise is slow and an inconsistent blocker, Andrew Quarless will be a FA and Justin Perillo is a fill in guy. Kennard Backman still needs more time to develop and show he can play. The Packers have not had any TE threat since Jermichael Finley went down two years ago. It's time to give Rodgers a weapon at TE.

4. DT -- BJ Raji and Letroy Guion will be FAs. I have a feeling Raji will be kept since Mike Pennel has been taking snaps from Guion. Raji has also played better. The Packers still struggle to consistently stop the run. If Mike Daniels gets hurt, where is the help here? They like Christian Ringo (6th round, 2015), but he's a practice squad guy who still needs to prove himself.

4. RB (Compensatory selection for Tramon Williams) -- James Starks will be 30, a FA and cannot stop fumbling lately. The Packers looked like they had a wonderful find in Jonathan Franklin in 2013, but a neck injury ended his career. A similar style back is needed to complement Eddie Lacy, who had a poor year as well.

5. OT -- David Bakhtiari is entering the final year of his deal and Bryan Bulaga misses at least 2-3 games per year. We saw in Arizona that undrafted back-up tackles like Don Barclay and Josh Walker are clearly struggling. They must protect Aaron Rodgers better. If the Packers re-sign James Starks, then tackle gets moved up to the 4th spot.

5. ILB (Compensatory selection for Davon House) -- The injured Sam Barrington should return to start alongside Jake Ryan, so Clay Matthews can move outside. It's still a position of need given the poor run defense, but I can't see the Packers spending a very high pick on an ILB after they waited until the 4th round for Jake Ryan last year. They just do not value this position that much. Carl Bradford (4th round, 2014) is another practice squad guy who is looking more and more like a bust too. Nate Palmer eventually was benched, so there should be a roster spot here.

6. OG - The Packers like versatile linemen and need some depth behind the normally stout Josh Sitton and TJ Lang. If this pick can also play tackle, all the better. Probably a practice squad player, but necessary to groom for the future. Plus, Lang and Sitton will be FAs in 2017 and the Packers may not be able to keep them both.

7. DE/OLB or CB - Probably a practice squad or special teams player, but the Packers did a nice job bolstering a pathetic special teams unit last year though versatile players with special teams experience or capability. Casey Heyward could leave in free agency, so that is why CB could arise as a need, but it wouldn't be a huge need with Damarious Randall, Quentin Rollins and Ladarius Gunter waiting in the wings.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 05, 2016 at 03:02 am

I don't disagree, Rossernero, but just would add that GB can't be locked in by need when picking. I mean, if the best prospect available in round one is a DT or TE (no - I haven't looked at tape yet of TE Henry so not sure he is a worthy of a first round pick) rather than a DE/OLB, take the best guy.

BTW, Walker is an OG who the coaches thought perhaps could develop into an OT. Don't judge Walker by his play at OT this year. They played RR and Adams before they were ready when RR should have been eased in as the #3 TE and Adams should have been a #4 WR; same applies to Walker, who needed more time at OG and even more time at RT to develop.

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WinUSA's picture

January 04, 2016 at 02:37 pm

Happy New Year Friends:

A lot of doom and gloomers today... Yup we certainly have stunk up the stadiums the past half season..that's a fricken given.

But I just have a gut feeling that we have a chance at a run for the big Labowski Trophy :+)

Here's my take....
It wasn't bad at all that we lost yesterday..Washington and NC much better than dealing with Seattle first game and then AZ in the desert.

O line had time to heal.

We have NO respect (deserved or not) the fact is..no one is taking us seriously... Vegas 35-1 for SB win.

Last year ....same thing... but we sure the hell gave Seattle something seriously to worry about that game.

Mc Carthy is being bashed for his vanilla offense...Really..what's the guy going to show for the last meaningless game...he certainly isn't going to grap shit out of his bag for all the playoff teams to scheme for.... No...McCarthy is NOT dumb...mark my words..the play calling will be very different in the next couple of weeks.

My prediction.... Cousin's will give us fits but our D will be too much for them....

NC is cocky...and have no respect for us...watch the beaten dog bite.

On the other side...Seattle takes the Queens, the Cardinals...and we have a matchup Packers in GB
for the NFC....

Far fetched...you betcha...but... it is the ONLY way to think....we have got some studs on our team that are going to be pissed...egos move mountains when you have pride.

Let's see what happens...

GO PACK!!!!!!!

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LASVEGAS-TOM's picture

January 04, 2016 at 02:59 pm

WinUSA, Bet too soon, I didn't want to wait. I figured they'd drop. I only got 14 -1. I'll have to drop another Buck or Two. 18-1 on the NFCC. May not be the Best Bet ever made, but I can't pass that up. Not sure it will play out, but what you said is most always the way I bet, & with success.
It's the way I wanted things, but with a Healthy GB. Glad to have read your post.

LVT

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Since'61's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:36 pm

I'm pretty sure that if the Packers win they go to Arizona and if Seattle wins they go to Carolina. I think that Seattle can take the Panthers but I'm not very confident that the Packers can take AZ. The Cardinals play much faster than the Packers even if the Packers are healthy. In any case, one game at a time, let's see what happens in Washington first. Thanks, Since '61

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Icebowler's picture

January 04, 2016 at 03:45 pm

We need to be a player in Free Agency this year, even if it's just for some experienced backups.

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lebowski's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:52 pm

I have a dream...

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EdsLaces's picture

January 04, 2016 at 05:47 pm

Out of 12 playoff teams ...I got us ranked 12th. Pretty much sums it up.

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lebowski's picture

January 04, 2016 at 07:50 pm

We need Bakh and Shields back this week. Big time.

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Since'61's picture

January 04, 2016 at 08:41 pm

I think we need Jordy Nelson, Chad Clifton, Jim Taylor, Forrest Gregg, Ray Nitschke, Willie Davis, Herb Adderly and Dave Robinson back this week, at the least. Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:05 pm

That would do it.

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barutanseijin's picture

January 04, 2016 at 09:57 pm

I think we need pre-2015 Aaron Rodgers.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 05, 2016 at 03:11 am

While I am not on the side of firing MM or TT, there is one thing I do want to emphasize: GB's structure must remain the same.

That is, MM decides the fate/roles of his assistants.
TT decides MM's fate.
Mark Murphy and the board decide TT's fate.
if TT is fired, the new GM decides MM's fate.
If the new GM fires MM, the new HC decides the fate of the assistants.

The Bd. of Directors has only one decision: TT's fate. We do not want to have a meddling Bd. of Directors!

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croatpackfan's picture

January 05, 2016 at 03:53 am

Jasone, I understand why you are angry, but to fire coach who has the second best win/lose ratio in the NFL at the moment I do not see as smart move. Who would you hire instead of him? Some of his assistants (they are part of winning/losing scenario)? Joe Philbin (looks like Dolphins do not like him, why Packers would?)? Someone new and inexperience? OK, lets say last option. Even if TT score the center of the target with new, inexperienced guy how long will pass before this guy will starts to win? If he miss, then new guy? How many of them? Sorry, but Sean Peyton, or Chip Kelly or, God forbid, Jim Harbaugh? Tom Coughlin? Mike Smith, Mike Shanahan, Darrell Bevell, Dom Capers? Who? Jim Schwartz or Jim Tomsula?

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jasonperone's picture

January 05, 2016 at 08:48 am

Where do you keep getting this mysterious "e" at the end of my name? And this is easily the second time you have referred to me as "angry". Did you take a course in online emotion detection? I don't remotely suggest that MM should be let go. In fact, I discussed that very idea/topic on this week's Pulse of the Pack. What I said was that the questions will start coming from media and fans about MM's leadership style and the team's response to it. Simple as that.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 05, 2016 at 01:12 pm

First, I apologize for "renaming" you. Second, I apologize for misunderstanding what you wanted to say regarding Mike McCarthy. It is hard time for all Packers fans and I'm, obviously to sensitive and sometimes jumps in the conclusions... Hope you wil forgive me ....

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Since'61's picture

January 05, 2016 at 08:51 am

Croat - no worries. TT, MM and AR are all here as long as AR remains in Green Bay. It is possible TT could retire before AR is done but not likely IMO. What the Packers should do is have a plan to keep Elliot Wolf as TTs successor. If they do that then Ron Wolf will always be whispering in his ear and that can't hurt. Thanks, Since '61

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sonomaca's picture

January 05, 2016 at 12:38 pm

I don't think it's a great mystery what happened this season. When Jordy went down, so too did the whole team. The Packers have no #1 receiver. What's more, they have no top-tier pass-catching tight end.

The idea that Adams could fill Nelson's shoes was too much to ask of a second-year, second round pick. Had the Pack not gotten lucky with Jones, no playoffs.

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Gforcetrivers's picture

January 05, 2016 at 09:08 am

My faith in the this team has wained. I just sit and watch and say "we suck" a lot.

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