Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Packers Apparently Paranoid As Well As Not Very Good Right Now

I think it's safe to say frustration is setting in for the Green Bay Packers.

I don't think that's necessarily a good thing, but only time will tell for certain.

Sometimes, the news reports on NFL teams on Wednesdays can be a little scarce. Teams typically give Tuesdays off to the players, with Wednesday being the first day of practice ahead of a Sunday game.

This time around, the Packers managed to -- sort of -- make news on an off day.

Green Bay has the most penalty yards in the league with 390 and the fourth-most penalties with 40 in five games.

After correcting this issue a year ago, it's back, and this is not a distinction the Packers really want to accompany their 2-3 record.

... "It's definitely on us as players," one Packer said Monday. "But I think the refs are out to get us this year."

Oh, boy.

It's just one quote from a player who didn't want to be identified.

But it's a sign of frustration.

Yes, a number of close calls have gone the way of Green Bay's opponents over the last three weeks. There were three bad ones in the Seattle loss, most notably the play at the end of the game. There were three more in the New Orleans game: Darren Sproles' fumble that everyone talked about, but also the trap by Jimmy Graham that was inexplicably ruled a catch and upheld after a Mike McCarthy challenge, and the obvious push-off by Marques Colston before a first-quarter touchdown catch.

To add to it, the Packers aren't playing as well as they are capable, and everyone from McCarthy on down is well aware of it. Even Aaron Rodgers isn't terribly sharp, missing on throws he wasn't missing on last year, and making decisions uncharacteristic of him.

It doesn't get any easier in Houston Sunday night. But the answer isn't to point a finger at the officials. I'm the first guy to rag on them, but I would like to think I'm smart enough to not accuse them of some sort of bias.

The quote stinks of paranoia, but is likely the simple result of frustration. This team isn't used to not playing well, and these first five weeks really haven't been up to anyone's standard in that organization. If this frustration is used to fuel the team, it can be a good thing. But if all it does is get guys playing over the line where they commit more penalties, it's obviously not going to be helpful.

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