It was a hard pill to swallow this week, we were facing the Cardinals in a game that was being viewed as a Playoff Preview, and it was an ugly game, for one of the teams at least…
On a day where the Carolina Panthers finally had their undefeated streak broken by the Atlanta Falcons making their record 14-1 so we went into the game with heads held high thinking; ‘Well, anything can happen then!’ Although in my preview post I had predicted a loss for the Packers, I really did want them to prove me wrong and get the win, not only because it would be a shock to non-believers but also it would show that the Packers team still had some heart and drive in them to get the win.
There were some good aspects of the game, though they were few, the first few Cardinals’ possessions the Defense were looking great, they were making the stops and even Mike Daniels got an interception!
But it could not last, as the Offense had more and more issues the Defense ended up on the field for longer and longer. They got tired and started to let things slip, which was understandable considering they were on the field for over half the game. Two of the Cardinals TD’s actually came from their Defense, which may not sound like much but it did mean that the Packers Defense 0nly allowed 24 points rather than the whole 38, I know still not great but not as bad as it seems.
By far, the worst aspect of this game was the Offensive line, it is pretty beaten up and shows it, there was no run game because the few times Lacy was handed the ball there was nowhere to run it to, no routes were open. The Centre Corey Linsley left during the game with an ankle injury, he was followed later by Bulaga, the substitutes for them were nowhere near as good and Walker even got replaced himself by Tretter. The most obvious sign of our Offensive line having issues is that Aaron Rodgers was sacked 8 times, that is almost unheard of at Lambeau with out current line up. Some say that Rodgers was not helping himself by holding the ball for too long, but he was waiting for the Receivers to get free or open and yet again they were unable to do this.
These issues are almost out-shone by the sheer number of penalties being called against the Packers recently, the holding calls are what really hurt us the most with at least 2 very costly ones in the game by Sitton and Linsley early on. As Offensive Linesman they MUST be told what to do and what not to do, daily, so why they keep incorrectly blocking opponents is beyond me.
With the receivers yet again failing to amaze us without Nelson playing, it comes to a point when the coaching of the WR’s is called into question. Randall Cobb showed us that he is not worthy of being the number 1 WR on a team and although James Jones became the leading receiver in the game he was also unable to make anything of it, except for a 49 yard pass interference call on him.
No matter the issues with the team Aaron Rodgers has always been a constant, but recently it seems that even he is human, with another stupid interception during the game and a 53% completion rate. Whether he is being shaken by the beatings he is taking weekly and they are taking their toll or he has lost a little bit of faith in the team, or it is plain frustration that things are not happening how he would like, it is not what the team needs right now, they need a leader and it needs to be him.
What do you think our strengths and weaknesses were for this game?
Fordith – @Fordith