Welcome to hell. Okay, it may not be that bad but it would appear that some of the Green Bay Packers have decided to quit on the season. Maybe it’s not even that bad, but it does seem like this team is even worse than what we imagined it would be without Aaron Rodgers. The areas that used to be strengths–the defensive line, the running game, tight ends and receivers–have all but vanished without Aaron Rodgers to buoy them. It’s hard to tell if they were always bad or if they are in a deep, deep funk without a functional QB.
The defensive line seemed to be ready for a dominant performance on Monday night but, immediately after that Daniels penalty, there was no rush to be found for pretty much the rest of the game. The defense managed to stop the first drive without much effort and then pissed it away. They never really came close again. And don’t get me started on that 50+ yard screen pass when the game got close, late.
The running game is an absolute mystery to me. Do McCarthy and the coaching staff watch any game film of other teams? What the hell is 11 carries for the running back group when you have a young quarterback at the helm? Does that make any sense to anybody? You run to set up the pass in this situation. Yes, you must have an effective passing game, but there’s no way that’s going to happen when the defense only has to worry about a running back 11 times during the game. It’s not as if they were playing poorly. Aaron Jones had 5 carries for only 12 yards, but he barely had a chance to turn that around and the limited action for Montgomery wasn’t nearly enough.
Don’t even get me started on Martellus Bennett. There’s one thing the Packers don’t do and that’s bail on each other. I was ready to crown him the next big thing 3 months ago, but here we are. Can we go back to the original timeline yet? I tire of this one.
When I have become morose about the Packers’ chances (I can remember 3 times this has happened in my lifetime) then you know that things are not exactly peachy. That’s why, for this week, I wanted to give us all a dose of perspective. A little hair of the dog, if you will. Let’s take take a look at a Packers’ team that had Aaron Rodgers–but was still terrible. Let’s travel back in time…2 years.
2015 was a great year comparatively, though we did not know it. But, the Packers were in a similar position around this time of the season. That year, if you can strain your memories far enough, was the year that we were going to retire Brett Favre’s number on Thanksgiving. It was to be the greatest Thanksgiving of all time! It was, quite possibly, the worst.
The Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers
It’s Thanksgiving MONTH here at Pack to the Past. I pull no punches when it comes to the world’s best holiday. The serenity of watching football after a great meal at home with family is second to none. That is, it should be. In 2015, it was the exact opposite. The Packers were cratering after a fluky 6-0 start that was demolished by a ridiculous performance in Denver. The Packers were never the same for the rest of the year.
Still, you believed that they could pull out a win for Brett against the dreaded Chicago Bears. They weren’t even dreaded, at the time. They were just another team that a fully-equipped Packers squad would have no trouble against. But, this was the year without Jordy (RIP) and the Packers’ offense was a woeful group that relied on Aaron Rodgers pulling rabbits out of his ass to get a first down. I know that kind of sounds like what we do now, but it was worse. I promise.
The game started out well enough, with Rodgers and the Packers marching down early and scoring on a too-easy Eddie Lacy screen pass. This one was memorable because Lacy basically dropped the ball right on the goal line, flippantly, as he walked in and headed straight for the leap. There was a review but the officials let him have it because, quote, “It would be super dumb to care about this”.
That was the last highlight of the game for the Packers who just never seemed to get anything going. That was the theme for the 2015 season, as the Packers struggled to score despite having most of the components needed to do so. There was no running back stepping up to score touchdowns and the ball seemed to bounce the wrong way every time. I guess the question we should all be asking ourselves is: Is this year worse than that nightmare? Probably.
(What is the deal with the white gloves? Why won’t anybody tell me?)
The Bears were able to score a couple of touchdowns on the back of a really poor pass defense that was undermanned for what it was. They were lead by a rushing attack that featured now-nobody Jeremy Lankford and a passing attack with now-corpse Jay Cutler. This Sunday should actually include a better Bear’s offense than it did that day. The weird part is that they will probably be worse. Though, considering our current defense, I’m not putting any money on it.
All of the evils that were brought to light in this game could have been exorcised if only the Packers capitalized on their last drive of the game. Down 4, Rodgers lead his Packers down the field SHOCKINGLY FAST considering the previous 5-6 drives. It looked like the Packers offense of old, running down the field in less than a minute to have 4 downs inside the 10-yard line for the last possession of the game. In what world does that not equal a touchdown for Aaron Rodgers? 2015 world. 4 incompletions later, he walked off the field as the loser in one of the last games that Bart Starr attended.
So, do you prefer to be sure that Aaron Rodgers is still good–even though he is broken? Or would you rather see him fail in front of your eyes on Thanksgiving day, the day that was to be an honor for the 3 great Packers’ QBs? I think the answer to that question would say a lot about you, as a fan. What it says, I don’t know.