Friday, September 05, 2014

Packers Offer More Questions Than Answers

Well, that was three hours of my life that I'll never get back.

Could have spent quality time with the family. Instead, settled in front of the TV to watch the Packers do, well, that.

I'm left with more questions than answers out of a 36-16 loss to Seattle. Surely, many Packer fans are, too. The difference? I'll actually ask them.

You had six months to prepare for this, and the game plan was to cut the field in half offensively?

I'm not saying Aaron Rodgers should have thrown at Richard Sherman all night. That's preposterous, but so is not even looking at him most of the time. Rodgers is one of the best. No single defensive player should be allowed to have such an impact on the game by simply stepping on the field. Rodgers and head coach/principal play caller Mike McCarthy allowed the Seahawks to turn this into a ten-man game. Didn't even throw up an attempt to make it 11-on-11.

Surely, no team will look at this and think the Packers had a good idea.

McCarthy said this week he had some unscouted looks he was excited to see. What/Where were they?

Seattle looked a step ahead of the Packers in all facets of the game. If McCarthy rolled out any of these unscouted looks, the Seahawks were on to it.

McCarthy also wanted to run 75 plays per game. Only came up 18 short Thursday. Why such a slow pace?

Don't fret. Rodgers said the pace was slowed because Seattle has a great defense. So apparently the Packers only want to play with pace when they play a bad defense.

When will the Packers employ an offensive line that actually blocks people?

It's been a few years now, and this team is still soft up front on both sides of the ball (more on that in a bit). Watch replays of run plays from Thursday night. When Seattle ran the ball, the Seahawks' line moved the point of attack back at least a yard almost every time. When Green Bay ran the ball, the point of attack was usually in the backfield before the running back of choice had a chance to do anything with the football. Eddie Lacy earned each of the 34 yards he ran for, because he had little help up front.

Why is it okay for Rodgers to dress down the only lineman who was playing well when he wasn't playing well himself?

Rodgers wasn't sharp. Left a few plays on the field and led an offense that played scared all night until the game was in hand for the opponent. So when he had to burn the team's final timeout of the first half because rookie center Corey Linsley didn't snap the ball when he wanted, he yelled at the kid.

Keep in mind that Linsley was about the only member of the offensive line who was pulling his weight, and he was doing so as a rookie pressed into starting duty by -- you guessed it -- an injury.

When a Packers beat writer -- Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin -- indicated he didn't like the look of Rodgers doing that, people yelled at him. Of course they did. Rodgers is untouchable, what with that impressive 0-6 record against San Francisco and Seattle since the start of the 2012 season and a 7-11 record as an underdog.

Clean your own house, QB1, and quit making yourself look like an ass on the field. It's unbecoming of you.

Will this team ever out-physical a quality opponent again?

I'm starting to wonder about this regime. Ted Thompson has done some great things, but as recently as last January, he bristled at the mere suggestion his team was soft.

Unfortunately, given a myriad of chances to show it isn't soft Thursday, the Packers failed to do so every time. I drank the Kool-Aid on this offensive line, hyped as one of the best McCarthy has seen here. But it's the same crew with the same problems. They get pushed around by good teams, and all that does is set the table for overall failure.

The 1978 Buffalo Bills allowed 3,228 yards rushing. That's the single-season record. Works out to just over 201 yards per game. Seattle hit for 207 Thursday, and the Packers haven't tried to tackle Adrian Peterson yet. The run defense showed zero improvement off last year, when it was miserable.

Not a good start at all.

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