29

November

Packers Season is Flatlining

Tramon Williams

Things really came unraveled on Thanksgiving in Detroit. Tramon Williams is seen here as he shoves a referee

Another Thanksgiving Day game between the Packers and Lions is in the books, only this one didn’t turn out anywhere close to what most Packers fans expected.

Some expected the Packers to win and held out hope that quarterback Matt Flynn could carry over his brilliant play from last week against the Minnesota Vikings.  Some expected the Lions to win a hard-fought game against a short-handed and down-but-not-out Packers team.

The latter scenario played out, but only in the Lions winning the game.  This was not a hard-fought effort by the Packers and they are both down and out right now.  Out to lunch, that is.  The on-field performance by Green Bay in all phases today flat-out sucked and was, in a word, horrible.

More sloppy play, communication breakdowns, missed tackles and a major lack of execution hampered the Packers as the Lions pulled away comfortably in the second half and on their way to a 40-10 victory.  It was Detroit’s first win on Thanksgiving Day since 2003.  What a nice 10-year anniversary gift from the Packers to the Lions, eh?

To those who still want to say that the missing link to this team is Aaron Rodgers and that when he returns, everything will be just fine, I say “wake up”.  Things are anything but fine in Green Bay right now.  If you think I’m overreacting, feel free to stop reading.  Also, go watch today’s game again, it its entirety and without skipping any snaps.  I’ll wait.

Every team has a bad day, a bad game.  Sometimes a team just comes out flat and gets beat.  As is often said, “the other guys are getting paid too” and we have to admit that our team, our beloved team, was outplayed.  Today, the Packers got wedgied.  Embarrassed.  Punked.  Used and abused.  The list goes on.  This wasn’t simply an anomaly.  It was the culmination of an entire month of uninspired and bad football.  From the offense to the defense and special teams as well, this Packers team has been hard to watch.

Minus the second half of last week’s tie with the Vikings, the Packers have shown zero signs of life and aren’t even a shell of what they were before Rodgers was hurt.  How can one player, even Aaron Rodgers, make such a grand-scale difference to this team?  Rodgers doesn’t play defense so why has that side of the ball slid into the slums of the NFL rankings?

22

November

Giving Thanks to the Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers ThanksgivingHow does the average Green Bay Packers fan spend his/her Thanksgiving Day? My guess would be rooting against the Detroit Lions, eating more than one should in the span of an afternoon, and filling up on beer (Leinenkugel, anyone?). While these are all wonderful ways to spend time with friends and family, Thanksgiving is also the holiday where we examine our lives to focus on the things for which we are most grateful.

With that in mind, I’d like to share some of the things I am thankful for when it comes to the 2012 Green Bay Packers:

Ted Thompson’s Personnel Decisions

It seems like every year we praise the efforts of Ted Thompson and his staff to find and acquire talented football players. This year, we were especially grateful that he seemed to take notice of flailing defense in need of some youthful fire. The defense was the team’s Achilles heel in 2011, especially when it came to the passing game. We were not only missing an effective pass rush, but also a healthy, capable secondary.

In response to this, Thompson drafted Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy, Casey Hayward, and a number of other defensive players that have seen some time in action. He also brought in a few undrafted free agent rookies like Dezman Moses to round out the roster and even tested some veteran free agents like Daniel Muir and Anthony Hargrove. While some players have been invisible to us (see: Terrell Manning), others have exceeded our expectations (see: Casey Hayward).

What makes the Green Bay Packers a perennial threat to opposing teams is the ability of Ted Thompson and the front office to keep the roster loaded with talent. They are always looking ahead toward the future, and while the approach might be frustrating at times, it has been a blessing to the franchise.

Mike McCarthy’s Coaching Attitude

Call me dull, but I would take a Mike McCarthy any day of the week over a guys like Rex Ryan, Jim Schwartz, or Jim Harbaugh. His attitude and approach to coaching might seem mild-mannered or lacking in energy, but I think it’s mostly a necessary façade in dealing with the media and fans.