Having had some time to sleep on and digest the Packers’ loss to the 49ers, there are 10 things about this game I feel the need to address in a little more detail. Here goes:
Packers coaching philosophy: In the NFL, it’s all about success. There are no style points, no points for technical brilliance. Find what is working and stick with it. If something’s not working, make adjustments. If something is killing you, throw out the caution book and try anything you can. This last aspect becomes especially true when you’re in a one & done situation like the playoffs. Did the Packers coaching staff do any of this in the 49ers game? No they did not.
DuJuan Harris: Harris had nine carries for 47 yards in the first half – that’s a 5.2 ypc average and three more yards than Frank Gore had. Nine carries in only 8 minutes of possession for the Packers offense is actually pretty impressive. This was the balanced attack McCarthy had been touting as being so important to their success. Harris was given 2 carries on the first plays of the second half (ironically when the Packer’s OL was in mild disarray with Sitton having a problem with his shoe). He didn’t have another carry the rest of the game. Zero. Zilch. Nada. How did that work out for the offense, Mike? An adjustment that wasn’t needed.
Jeremy Ross: This isn’t second guessing, but it needs to be addressed with what happened. I thought, said and wrote last week that McCarthy did the right thing in the Vikings game by keeping Cobb on punt returns and using Ross just on kickoff returns. I even praised McCarthy for being so smart about it. Punt and kickoff returns are two completely different animals. On punt returns, ball security trumps everything else. I assumed he would stay with this winning combination so I was shocked when I saw Ross back there to receive the punt. Why? I asked of my TV screen. Unfortunately, we got a perfect example of why not to do it. Another adjustment that wasn’t needed.