Dear Mike McCarthy; Hope You Learn from the New England Game
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.
Lifelong Green Bay Packers Fan
PS: Get Dom Capers a raise. He deserves it.——————Follow @ChadToporski