21

December

Dear Mike McCarthy; Hope You Learn from the New England Game

Dear Mike McCarthy,

It is with the deepest pride in the Green Bay Packers that I write to you today. Despite their loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, I thought they played “one heckuva game.” And for the first time this year, I saw the passion, fire, and determination they had been looking for all season.

First, let me say that Matt Flynn is a keeper. He wasn’t flashy or dramatic, but he got the job done. He kept his head clear and stood tall the entire game, even in the face of adversity. After throwing a pick-six at the start of the third quarter, he came back to march the Packers down the field on thirteen plays for a touchdown.

If that doesn’t speak to his character and ability, then I don’t know what does.

Furthermore, there is a lot both you and Aaron Rodgers can learn from what Flynn and the offense did today.

Did you notice what a solid running game can do for you? Finally, for the first time this season, you gave the ball to Brandon Jackson more than 20 times in a game. And what did he do with those carries? That’s right: 99 yards on the ground, for an average of 4.5 YPC. Of the nine rushing first downs, Jackson had seven and John Kuhn had two.

You ran a balanced offense, and it paid off. Of the 80 snaps on offense, 38 were running plays and 42 were passing plays. Combined with the short yardage passing game, this was a recipe for success.

(Except when you got a little overconfident too deep in your own territory. See three-and-out, fourth quarter.)

But don’t think you have to keep this game plan only for Matt Flynn. I would be willing to bet this strategy could work even better with Aaron Rodgers, who can make the occasional deep throws that Flynn simply doesn’t have the arm for. Not only could you control the clock, but the opposing defense would have to play at every level. They wouldn’t always know where you were going to attack next.

Look, your offense controlled almost 41 minutes of this game. They outplayed Tom Brady and the Patriots for crying out loud!

It’s just these little mistakes that keep getting in the way.

Okay, maybe some of them aren’t so little. Your special teams units just let Dan Connolly, a 313-pound offensive lineman break an NFL record by running a kickoff return back 71 yards.

In a game determined by time and possession, this was the most costly mistake of the night.

Next, you should probably consider making some changes with regard to your offensive line. They did a much better job than last week, but giving up five sacks did nothing to help Matt Flynn. Of course, this is nothing new, so I expect you to already be considering the changes you’ll make to the scheme, the coach, and/or the players.

Finally, you might want to teach some of your defensive players how to catch.

I’m not pinning the game on this or even calling it a major factor; however, there were three clear plays where your defense could have broken Tom Brady’s streak of passes without an interception. Making just one of those turnovers could have easily changed the outcome of the game.

Again, please let me reiterate how proud I am of the Green Bay Packers. They played their hearts out in this game. Unfortunately, the same mistakes keep running them short of the big victories. If these things can be shored up, then you could very well have a dynasty on your hands.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Fix what you can and focus on the New York Giants, because that front seven will give your offense a lot more nightmares than the Patriots did.

And this is a game your team MUST win.

Sincerely,
Chad Toporski
Lifelong Green Bay Packers Fan

PS: Get Dom Capers a raise. He deserves it.

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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16 Responses to “Dear Mike McCarthy; Hope You Learn from the New England Game”

  1. INpackfan66 says:

    Thank you for putting into word what many GB fans are thinking!! Very well written!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. IMHO the NE defense, and particularly its line, is so depleted by injuries that just about anyone should be able to run against the Patriots. Detroit’s stout and agressive D-line presented a completely different challenge for the Packers. It’s not a matter of cking withthe run” so much as finding out what works with a given opponent and going with that until it stops working. All too often it seems to me that Mike McCarthy sticks with what isn’t working, repeatedly running up the gut into a solid wall of defenders, especially on an opponent’s goal line.

    One other thing, the Packers should watch a few high school and college teams execute a screen pass correctly. It is amazing that a team that once made that play one of its most potent weapons cannot manage to run it correctly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      It’s true the Packers’ running game had some help on Sunday, but I’d say they have also faced worse running defenses before. What impressed me most was that McCarthy (mostly) stuck with the short yardage game and that it worked very well.

      And yes, that screen game needs a lot of work. It could do some wonders for their offense.

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  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Packers Lounge. The Packers Lounge said: Jersey Al: Dear Mike McCarthy; Hope You Learn from the New England Game http://bit.ly/ehpUUD [...]

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  4. Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

    Why is MM being told to learn from his mistakes and not the players also.This team has got more players on it,that go from hero to goat and goat to hero at the speed of light and yet it’s MM,MM,MM.
    MM is “consistant” which in his case is not good,but our “Star Players” are much more “inconsistant” and that is much worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      Taryn, I fully agree that the players need to be held accountable for their own mistakes. As it has been said before, the coaches can’t go out onto the field and make the plays for them.

      But when it comes to the overall picture and consistent mistakes, it leads back to the coaching.

      Now I know McCarthy isn’t necessarily the cause of some of these problems, but he is responsible for fixing them, or at least making sure they do get fixed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

        Chad,I don’t have access to practices of the Packers and what the coaches do or do not do during them.But something is amiss in them and it cannot be all coaching.
        There are alot of things that people practice and practice and yet when it comes to performing in live mode it just isn’t the same effect.
        Players practice over and over and come game time THEY do not perform or commit the same errors.
        Unless there is proof that the coaches aren’t trying to fix the play,then you must put blame on the one who isn’t performing.
        Take Bush,is he being coached up,and yet he is constantly involved in the SPT errors,and that by your thought is the coaching.What I put on them with him is keeping him and wasting time on him when it’s clear he cannot learn.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

          “But something is amiss in them and it cannot be all coaching.”

          Never said it was all coaching.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Pete Kliman says:

      I fully agree. It has been that one big mistake that has plagued us in all our losses.It’s extremely difficult to run an O with a mediocre line.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Ron LC says:

    Chad, many good sugestions. A couple of points of disagreement:

    “They did a much better job than last week, but giving up five sacks did nothing to help Matt Flynn.”

    5 sacks is better? The problem on the Oline, unfortunately is talent. Bulaga is a rookie who needs to learn how to handle speed rushers. Maybe next year he will get better. Sitton is most conisitent, but does have issues with the big, aggressive guys. Wells plays a good technical game, but he cannot handle the big guys one-on-one. Clifton is slowing to almost stop. And College? The best that can be hoped for is his guy trips over his prone body. And, what the hell happened to TJ? This is one area where TT’s drafting skills need improvement.

    The Giants are prone to turnovers and they have a very big, aggresssive Dline. So, this one has to be won by Dom and his guys. They have to stop the run and get multiple turnovers.

    As far as MM learning anything, don’t hold your breath. Heard him interviewed this morning and he proclaimed that there was no confussion on the last call. It was a well thought out play. It was just the sack that was made that stopped it form being a good call. There is no way anyone will ever get him to admit he is not right. MM is what he is and will NEVER, EVER change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      Ron, my comment on the O-line doing better was mostly in regard to the running game. I probably should have made that clearer.

      I’m actually undecided on the true problems of the offensive line. Is it the talent, the coach, the scheme, or some sort of combination? Unfortunately, I can’t really judge the players from a technical standpoint, so it’s hard for me to make that decision alone.

      As for the Giants game, I have been more worried about that one than the Patriots game. I hope the Packers prove me wrong.

      And no, I’m not holding my breath. Though I always take his pressers with a grain of salt. Coaches rarely speak “the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” so to speak.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • PFL says:

        MM needs to watch BB’s press conferences especially after a win. BB takes all the blame for any errors with “I have to do a much better job at coaching.” Enuff sed

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. DeLeMa says:

    After watching the Packers in crucial games the last 3 years, I can truly say that the mistakes made during those games continue to this day. If we don’t blame the coaches and ultimately the head coach and his boss, who is to blame ? When I read that both Tauscher and Clifton were retired but, called back to play I have to ask “WHY” ? Really, who’s in charge up there ?!? Then again, I could be asking the wrong questions ?

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  7. DeLeMa says:

    Oh, almost forgot the personal history. Packer fan for 52 years and wish I had Ray Nitschke’s avatar !
    An American hero from the real America’s team !!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. kayereads says:

    Overall I agree with ya Chad, beautiful read. I truly thot at Detroit the team had plans to phone it in, fold tents, slip off into the night to the ‘off football’ time with friends and families – SEASON OVER – I hoped for a miracle NE. I did see a ‘miracle’, but didn’t see the WIN. I too choose to dwell upon the positives of that game, the heart, the passion, the fire. I believe the PACKERS bring that to the GIANTS along with a heart n mind WINNING stance, they can get this one, actually for the final two regular season games. Good read, well done.

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