Second Half of 2012 Season Awaits Green Bay Packers
Well, it wasn’t pretty by any means, but as has been said many times: a win is a win is a win. Sunday’s game was anything but “easy like a Sunday morning” (I’m on the West Coast and it was a 10am start) but in the end, the Packers got the W. Still, the concerns are valid discussion.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that the game was “. . like a roller coaster”. Often times, the Packers looked flat-out lost out there. Other times they stepped up when they had to. They made just enough plays to escape today with a win. I use the word “escape” because many, including myself, didn’t expect this game to be that close.
Maybe we have all become spoiled over the past four seasons as Aaron Rodgers has moved the ball and scored, seemingly at will. In reading some of the fan commentary and even some media analysis of the Packers, it would almost seem as though they have actually lost some of the games that they have won.
We have to realize that eventually, opposing defenses are going to come up with an answer to this offensive juggernaut that has been the past few seasons. Some will point to the New England Patriots as proof to the contrary. Why have they been able to continue to have offensive success year after year for the past decade? To that I’d say the Patriots have been more balanced on offense than the Packers tend to be.
As we head into the 2nd half of the season, the Packers are now facing crucial divisional and conference games. The “tough” part of their schedule is seemingly behind them but none of the NFC North teams want to go away quietly. The Bears have lost just one game and have a two-game lead in the division. The Vikings, like the Packers, have five wins. The Lions eeked their way back today for their 3rd win and have two games against the Pack yet to come.
The Packers need to approach each and every remaining matchup as though it’s an elimination game. The sense of urgency needs to be there but more importantly, they need to execute on it. We know they want to get a big stop on 3rd down. We know they want to put up 300+ passing yards and 35+ points per game. They have to find a way to get it done.
Next week poses a tougher challenge than it would seem as the Arizona Cardinals come to Green Bay. The Cards have struggled a bit since winning their first four games but they are still a very dangerous team. Their defense and pass rush is exactly what the Packers have been struggling against lately. You can’t just magically make the Green Bay offensive line perform better, but they have to. The Packers won’t get away with playing how they did today and getting a win next week or beyond.
The air of this post is almost one of gloom-and-doom. I’m aware that the Pack got the win. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they are 5-3 and finding a way to win games like today’s. But I know what kind of expectations that everyone has for this team, including the team itself. It will be a huge disappointment if they squander another season because of a string of lame and boneheaded play.
With that said, and it may be a bit premature, but it seems like it’s “gut check” time. If this team wants to go on a run like they did in 2010 when they won a Super Bowl, they need to start now. Young guys have to play like they’re not so young. Older guys need to play like they’re young again. And the coaching staff has to approach the game as though no option is out of the question. They can’t sit back and make excuses for who they don’t have available to play each week. They have to play the remaining eight games regardless so they might as well play like there’s no tomorrow.
Fasten your seatbelts for the second half run!——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason at: Jason Perone
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