5-6-1. It looks bleak. Yet, the philosophy remains to NEVER SAY DIE. At times, it feels like the team has quit. Like they've lost hope. But, it's not over yet. Detroit has a tough schedule ahead of them. The Packers have 4 winnable games on the schedule. Win out and the playoffs are a possibility.
As Packers fans, we aren't accustomed to meaningless December games. We've been spoiled over the last 20 years. And, now, we are faced with elimination. Painfully. But, as fans, we must stay unified. The aim is to repair this season; one win at a time.
Here's some takeaways from the Turkey Day disaster:
* A conservative Mike McCarthy is never a good thing. He's become way too predictable. On 2nd & 10. He's running Eddie Lacy. Note to McCarthy: the objective is to put your back-up QB in 3rd and short scenarios. McCarthy did Flynn no favors.
* Early in the game, Flynn did not go thru his progressions. If he'd have seen AQ81, it'd have been a big play. Instead, he was locked in on Jordy Nelson, who was well covered. A big missed opportunity early in the game.
* I am struggling with my take on Dom Capers. On the one hand, why isn't Clay exclusively on the left and Perry on the right? Didn't Clay have 39 sacks in 3 years from the left side? Hasn't Perry been dominant on the right side? To me, that's on Capers. On the other hand, it's tough to win with MD Jennings, Brad Jones and AJ Hawk in the middle of the defense. Jennings is awful. Jones shows glimpses of goodness, but he tackles too high. He reaches way too much. And, since coming back from his injury, he's been pushed around. This should be AJ Hawk's last year in Green Bay.
* More Capers: is it just me or has the DL quit? Other than Mike Daniels and Datone Jones. Maybe Pickett & Jolly are injured, but what are we doing with BJ Raji? In the XLV run, he was blossoming into an elite player. Today, I'm not sure how he's being utilized. Seems like more coaching flaws. His team appears to have given up on him.
* One final Capers thought: How long are we going to tolerate miscommunication in the secondary? I've been an avid Capers supporter. Last Thursday was the final straw. He has to go.
* Nick Perry played a tremendous first half.
* Clay was also active in the first half.
* T-Mon played well in the first half.
* JJ played until the final whistle.
* McCarthy looked to be going to the screen to slow down the pass rush. We had good success. Then we never saw it again.
* Marshall Newhouse cannot play in this league.
* Admire TJ Lang for stepping in at Center.
* Sean Richardson can tackle. He might lack speed and thus, he'll need to adjust his angles in pursuit, but nonetheless if he doesn't start and see significant snaps this week, then I am overly confused. How can MD Jennings be tolerated?
* In an effort to prevent a completely negative post, I'm going to move onto the Falcons game.
This week - it's Atlanta. At the once feared Lambeau Field where the Packers are 0-2-1 in their last 3 games. Good thing that the Falcons don't appear all that interested in the 2013 NFL Season.
When I think about a Falcons v Packers game, the first thing that comes to mind is the greatest quarter in my Packers lifetime: the 2nd Quarter of the 2010 NFC Divisional playoffs was awesome sauce. Rodgers was spectacular. Driver, Jennings, Jordy, and JJ all made plays. Clay & Sir Charles grabbed sacks. BJ was a lead blocker and doing THE RAJI, prior to proclaiming himself the Freezer. T-Mon had two picks, one in which Nintendo Nick escorted him to the end zone. Brilliant! My lil' brother and I were in attendance. A gold moment. Forever cherished. I left hoarse. Remained that way for weeks.
For both teams, 2013 is far different than 2010. The Falcons still have Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. They have some weapons. Plus, Harry Douglas is an average WR. Thank the Lord that the Falcons outbid the Packers for Steven Jackson. Jacquizz Rodgers is a shifty, low-to-the-ground runner with decent hands. When he's given opportunities, Jason Snelling performs. In the past, the Packers DL has been outwardly opinionated with respect to their dislike for the ATL OL. Especially Raji, who has claimed that they're cheap. Could this be the spark that ignites effort on the defensive side of the ball?
Let's hope that David Bakhtiari returns to health and that EDS is fit to play or else the Packers revamped OL will have issues with the ATL front 4. Though Atlanta's defense is among the worst tackling units in the league, we've seen Marshall Newhouse try to block Osi Umenyiora before. It doesn't end well. Jonathan Babineaux, Jonathan Massaquoi and Corey Peters shouldn't present much of a pass rushing threat. Sean Weatherspoon can play. The ATL secondary can ball, but they haven't played with much motivation. Regardless, I like Moore, DeCoud, Trufant and Samuel. They can all make plays on the ball in the air. With that said, their secondary depth is limited.
The Packers need this one. Desperately. The locker room needs it. The state of Wisconsin needs it. McCarthy has nothing to lose. He comes out aggressively. In attack-mode. He goes to the screen to get Lacy on track and into space. Lacy pounds away at the edges of the ATL defense.
Then it's Flynn to Boykin for a TD! Mark my words, Boykin has a big game. His size, hands and body control present match-up problems for Atlanta.
I'm afraid that Gonzalez, Harry Douglas and Roddy White will each grab 5 balls. Chase Coffman could also make a play or two. Then, it's Rodgers juking Hawk to pick up extra yards.
It's back and forth. But, the Packers are desperate. And, therefore, they're victorious as in the end, they want the game more.
Yes, I'm holding onto every last piece of hope. Hard as it might be. But, it's as simple as this: from '99-'02, you could argue that we wasted some of Favre's prime. I fear the same could happen to Rodgers. Every year counts. Therefore, I hold on. I hold onto this twisted season in hopes of turning it around.
Go Pack Go!