22

December

Why are the Green Bay Packers so Damn Frustrating?

Yes, I’m quite frustrated. The past two Packer football seasons have started with Super Bowl aspirations and ended with “hopefully we’ll make the playoffs.” I guess that’s ok if you are the Rams, but the Packers are supposed to be loaded with talent.

In fact, I believe we do have a lot of talent. I also believe we are underachieving and there is too much of a pattern here to ignore it any longer. 2008 was bad, but I figured the first year post-Favre would go that way. 2009 and 2010, while better record-wise, have revealed a trend of mental mistakes culminating in close loses (often to BAD teams).

It is no secret McCarthy’s record in close games is pitiful. You can find numerous references to that on most Packer blogs. The question is why? I would like to approach this from a different angle, albeit a snarky one (because I’m frustrated damn it!).

Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again but somehow expecting the results will be different. Consider this…

I have no idea what Mike McCarthy thinks or what he says in the locker room or behind other closed doors. What I do know is that he is mentally ill if he means only a fraction of what he says at the podium during press conferences. Coach, you were ok with the way the 2 minute unfolded Sunday night? Standard stuff? Look, I don’t care what his personality is.

What I do care about is that Packer Management looks honestly at this team and tries to improve areas where we are not getting it done. I’m simply seeing too little of that. Definition of insanity…let’s keep defending the troops and using the word “excellent” and “good job” every time we describe a player or a game situation. That’s working well.

Then we have the whole “availability” and “accountability” mantra from MM. Well, availability might be honored but accountability? To say it is hypocritical would be too
polite. Brady Poppinga played snaps for years while Desmond Bishop sat on the bench. Poppinga got to make mistakes but God forbid if Bishop made one in his limited playing time. No, they don’t play the same LB position in the 3-4, but they did in the old 4-3.

17

November

Packers Beer Mug Perspective: Trending in the Right Direction

Welcome to the first edition of the “Packers Beer Mug,” where I will take a look at a particular aspect of the Green Bay Packers from two different angles, then determine whether to ultimately view the mug as half full or half empty.

This week’s question:

Is the Green Bay Packers’ current winning streak a trend that will continue through the final seven games?

The Green Bay Packers and their fans have been on a wild roller coaster ride ever since training camp. After displaying some offensive and defensive muscle during preseason, the Packers had two respectable wins at Philadelphia and against Buffalo.

But then came the first division game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, and suddenly the team was looking eerily similar to its 2009 unit.

They gave up crucial plays on Special Teams and drew a record eighteen penalties. Add to the mix a narrow victory against the Detroit Lions, plus two overtime losses to the average-at-best Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, and the season’s outlook became quite dull.

Fans started becoming skeptical of what their team was really made of, and if they could overcome the rash of injuries.

Jump to the present, and all of sudden the Green Bay Packers are riding a three game winning streak that began with a tough but crucial victory against the rival Minnesota Vikings and followed with a strong defensive win against the New York Jets. Now maybe the 2010 Packers really are following a similar road as last year’s team, who won five straight games after a 4-4 start.

Will the trend continue, though? Have the Green Bay Packers truly turned their season around?

THE MUG IS HALF FULL

Let’s look at a few statistics:

Wks. 1-3 Wks. 4-6 Wks. 7-9 2010 Total
Penalties per Game 8.7 6.3 2.3 5.8 (T-8th)
Pen. Yds. Per Game 72.0 46.3 18.3 45.6 (6th)
Def. Sacks per Game 4.1 2.7 2.3 3.1 (T-1st)
Off. Sacks per Game 1 3.7 1 1.9 (T-11th)
T/O Margin +0 -2 +8 +6 (T-4th)
Opp. Pts. Per Game 15.7 21.7 10.3 15.9 (1st)
Scoring Margin +10.3 -1.4 +17.0 +8.7 (1st)
Opp. Record 13-14 11-16 12-15 36-45