Green Bay Packers 25 – 47 Tennessee Titans

The Green Bay Packers traveled to Tennessee to face off against the Titans in search of a win to kick off the second half of their season. A team that had spoke of a need for energy in the wake of last week’s ugly loss to the Indianapolis Colts, however, seemed to not reach Tennessee. Laying a rather large egg on the field by way of a 25-47 loss to drop the Packers below .500 on the season.

Key Moments & Themes

Bye Felicia…uhh…McCarthy. Bye McCarthy.

mccarthyI run the risk of becoming a broken record, but each week head coach Mike McCarthy gives more reason for why he should be gone if not immediately, then definitely at the end of the season.

Rodgers, following last week’s loss to the Colts had criticized the lack of energy on the sideline that the team was showing. McCarthy’s response to this was that he was “not concerned with the level of energy”. Well maybe, Mike, you should have been concerned. The team came out spectacularly flat, going down 21-0 in the first quarter. To me, there are few greater indictments of a coach’s ability.

It is his responsibility to lead this team and ensure they are ready to play. This is just further evidence to support the theory that he has completely lost the locker room. The players look unwilling to play. When that happens, there aren’t many choices other than to clean house.

Disappearing Defense

titans-passIt appears the Packers high ranking rush defense is merely an illusion. In the first few weeks of the season, where they really clamped down on rushing yards, they were facing teams with running backs indistinguishable from somebody picked at random from your local bar. The true ability of the defense has become glaring in the wake of Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarco Murray, and even the apparently eternal Frank Gore.

Rather than the good run defense bringing up the level of the pass rush and the secondary, they have all sunk to the lowest common denominator. The Titans gathered 162 rushing yards (including 75 yards on the first play of their game for a Murray touchdown), and 305 yards through the air, giving up only 2 sacks, Green Bay’s only QB hits, in the process.

The teeth are completely gone from this defense. Rollins was even pulled in the third quarter after blowing coverage in spectacular fashion on the touchdown reception by Titans receiver Tajae Sharpe, rendering the return of one of the injured cornerbacks less than the rescue we all hoped it would be.

The (almost) Turning Point

As the Packers fought their way back into the game by way of Aaron Rodgers carrying them on his back with excellent play (anyone who thinks he is the problem is probably a climate change denier too), they finished the 2nd quarter with a touchdown, and were first to score in the second half with another bringing some hope back into the game and closing the gap to 22-35 Tennessee.

rodgers-passRodgers had a good night going 31/51 for 373 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 2 interceptions can be written off as insignificant with regards to his performance; the first was on a hail mary, and the second came on a blown route where Richard Rodgers seemingly stopped running for a reason we’re all still trying to figure out.

However, this was not quite the turning point we would have hoped. After the third quarter touchdown run by Rodgers the Packers never returned to the end zone, sealing their defeat.

Ultimately, it was another maddening evening from the schizophrenic Packers offense to which we have grown accustomed. Great on some drives, impotent on others.

Offensive Line Woes

Don Barclay may be a starter in the coming weeks. I say again; Don Barclay. Starter.
Injuries continue to roll through position groups. David Bakhtiari at left tackle and TJ Lang at right guard were both lost to injuries during the game, thrusting rookie Jason Spriggs and the ever-unreliable Barclay into the game to disastrous effect.

Barclay continued his habit of being one of the worse linemen in the NFL. Spriggs was responsible for giving up 2 sacks in the time he was in the game. The offensive line has been one of the few bright points of this season, regularly giving Rodgers more time than any quarterback could ever hope for in the pocket. If that, too, is decimated by injury then I am unsure from where this team will pull its hope.

Ty Montgomery Player of the Week Award

The struggle to find something bright in the darkness of this game leads to this week’s Ty Montgomery award, which once again cannot go to Ty because Mike McCarthy refuses to use the one tool that provided spark and innovation to his 1990’s offense.

DaVante Adams continued his ascent on offense, and I think at this point I am finally willing to become a believer. His drop plague has been left behind, and he went off in the Titans game for 156 yards on 6 catches. That kind of chunk production has been what was severely lacking in the Packers passing game, and Adams has been putting together quite the body of work over the last few weeks.

In fact, he is averaging over 10 catches a week over the last 4 games, on track for over 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. So keep it up, DaVante, you are this week’s recipient of the Ty Montgomery Player of the Week Award.

Totally-Not-Knee-Jerk Reactions

  1. I’m only going to say this once and try not to write about it again. McCarthy needs to go, maybe Ted Thompson too. Give Elliot Wolf his turn and let him get the head coach he wants to work with for the next 10 years. This team needs a cleaning of the house at 1265 Lombardi Ave.
  2. I still think whatever the deeper problem is with Green Bay, it goes all the way back to the NFC Championship Game in Seattle. Ever since that fateful day, the team has been somewhat off the rails, periodically being saved by Aaron Rodgers doing his best impression as the love child of Dan Marino and Johnny Unitas.
  3. I’m not sure where on the remaining schedule this team picks up more than 2 wins in its current state. Maybe at the Bears, and hosting the Vikings if their meltdown continues into December. Other than that, I really do feel like this could end up being a 6-10 team. Thankfully, there’s some decent talent in the incoming draft at running back to restock the Eddie Lacy shelf. Paging Christian McCaffrey.
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