Packers are trying to find their footing again after losing their leader and back to back games heading into last weeks bye. Was a week off enough time to re-focus and re-group in order to return to their winning ways? Let’s look at three keys to the Packers finding the win column this week.
I feel like I am repeating myself here, but it’s time for McCarthy to prove his worth. I thought he would respond against New Orleans, but instead he cowered in the second half. There was no rhyme or reason to his offensive game plan, as he was completely unable to utilize Hundley and the other playmakers on offense. Coming off the bye week going against a familiar opponent eliminates the opportunity for excuses. We’ve been told for years how good McCarthy is – with quarterbacks, offensive game-planning, play calling. But talk is cheap. It’s time for action.
McCarthy can write and call a perfect gameplan, but ultimately it falls on the young quarterbacks shoulders to execute said gameplan. Hundley needs to play smart and mistake-free football. He needs to take advantage of his skill set and get the ball into the playmakers that surround him – Aaron Jones, Ty Montgomery, Davonte Adams to name a few. Quarterback is the most important position in sports. In order for the Packers to have any chance of winning, Hundley must elevate his play and execute at a high level. And honestly, we just haven’t seen much from him in the last couple games. But there are a few things that could help Hundley Monday night. First, the bye week provided both time to step away from football but also extra time to really focus on Week Nine. Truly a win-win for Hundley. Second, Aaron Rdgers is back in Green Bay, back in the meeting room and will be back on the sideline. That has to provide some extra energy and confidence for the young quarterback.
RED ZONE DEFENSE
Detroit was terrible last week in the red zone, going 0 for 5 and losing a winnable game against Pittsburgh. There is not much good to say about Dom Capers defense right now, but one area they are *usually* good is red zone defense. The old bend-don’t break defensive way of life that Packers fans have grown to know and despise… Detroit can be extremely explosive on offense and have proven time and time again that they are never truly out of the game. With the Packers offense struggling and trying to find their latest identity without Rodgers leading the way, the Packers red zone defense becomes even more important. With Hundley at the helm, the Packers are not built to win in a shoot out. The defense must keep Matt Stafford and company out of the end zone to have any chance at a victory.
The Packers need to find some inspiration. Heck, I need to find some inspiration. When Rodgers went down against the Vikings, I almost immediately counted this team out. I stopped caring if they turned the ball over, got a first down, tweaked a hammy. What kind of junk is that? I pretended that I cared, that I believed they were going to win against New Orleans, that McCarthy could fire up his squad and build a game plan to play to Huntley’s advantage. But it wasn’t real. And I still don’t know if this team, Mike McCarthy or my belief that they can win is real. I guess Monday night will provide some answers.
Packers – 24
Lions – 23