I grow weary of Green Bay Packers losses. Not because they lose, but because I have to suffer the over-the-top reactions from fans every time. Okay, I guess it’s my choice to be involved in the Packers blogosphere and Twitterverse, but you get my point.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely no problem with being critical of your team after they lose a game like the Packers did to the Bengals. They should have won that game, and it was sloppy play that cost them. Regardless, it doesn’t mean that we need to start firing coaches or general managers. It doesn’t mean that our season is doomed.
But what really frustrates me is when fans automatically revert to grinding the axes they’ve been sharpening for years. When you mindlessly spout convenient excuses for a loss in anger and frustration, then your opinion lacks substance. Sure, there might be some valid points, but in many cases, it’s simply the failure of fans to objectively assess the game.
What do I mean? Let’s take this most recent loss. After thinking about the loss and reviewing some of the information, I’ve come away with some of the biggest reasons (and non-reasons) for the Packers’ loss. Below you’ll find three places where pointing your finger isn’t really a valid/honest assessment of the game, and then you’ll find three places where finger pointing is more than appropriate.
As always, feel free to agree/disagree in the comments section, but please keep it civil.
Where NOT to Point Your Finger:
1. Mike McCarthy’s Play Calling – Let’s get this out of the way first: that call on 4th-and-1 was horrible, no matter how much McCarthy wants to defend it. While I admire expecting your team to perform up to standard, I don’t understand why you try to use Franklin straight up the gut behind an average offensive line. Now, that aside, it’s complete bull manure to use that one example as an indicator of poor play-calling overall. I don’t have the analytical skills to judge McCarthy’s play-calling without going back to the tape, and I doubt a lot of you do, either. When the offense puts up 426 yards, how is that a failure? Not only that, but Starks ran for 55 yards on 14 carries (3.9 YPC), and Franklin ran for 103 yards on 13 carries (7.9 YPC). Even without the 51-yard run, Franklin still had 4.3 YPC. You can’t reduce unsuccessful downs simply to bad play calls, because you also have to consider the element of player execution. And until someone can provide some concrete analysis of the offensive tactics, then blaming McCarthy’s play-calling is just convenient belly-aching.