There are times when a writer lacks the words to adequately describe, in original terms, a game like the one the Packers lost to the Giants on Sunday night. But I’ll try.
There are those who believe the game didn’t mean much; a “mulligan” if you will. There are those who have expressed their seemingly omniscient foreknowledge of the events that transpired in New York. There are even those who think it’s time to break up the defensive staff and start over.
Me? I saw what you saw, and I liked none of it.
Nothing the Packers did in this game worked. Let’s be honest and admit that the way the Packers were playing the game was probably out of reach by the end of the first quarter at 17-7 Giants. Without a doubt it was out of reach by halftime at 31-10 Giants. Green Bay didn’t have what it was going to take to beat the Giants in this game. Nobody saw the Giants coming into this game and dominating it the way they did … me included, but dominate it they did.
A few things jumped out at me during the game.
- The offensive line looked as if they were out of sync and not communicating. All one has to do is look at one stat from the game to verify this: Rodgers was hit, sacked, or under heavy pressure on more than half of his pass attempts. I would have thought even more than that as I watched, but half is still way too often. The Giants had a very effective defensive game plan that made the Packers look totally inept on offense. It didn’t help that so many of the offensive formations didn’t leave anyone for additional pass protection though.
- On defense, the Packers made several of the same mistakes they’ve already made many times this season. In this game the impact of every defensive mistake was increased. Poor and in some cases mediocre tackling, DBs got their hands on the ball in defense but could not catch it, and it seemed obvious to me that once the game was out of reach they were going through the motions. But these are things that can and must now be fixed.
- What has me really concerned is that the Packers do not deal with adversity well. They have not come back from more than 14 points down to win a game in about forever or from 21 points down to win a game in actual forever.
- The way the game started, with the Giants scoring quickly on the screen play and then the Nelson TD, had me thinking the game would be a shootout. I would have been OK with a shootout because the Packers have more than held their own in games like that. Last team with the ball wins? OK! Bring it on.
But this game was no shootout. Once it was obvious the Packers would have to throw the ball to get back into the game it was over. The Giants took away the deep throw by playing their safeties deep and pressured Rodgers so much that he couldn’t consistently make the shorter throws either. The Packers offensive brain trust must figure out a way to execute the passing game against what has become the de facto defense against the Packers passing game – the cover two look with the safeties playing deep.
- The Packers have got to figure out a way to run the ball consistently. For more than just carries – for actual yards. When they need them and when they don’t, against all kinds of defenses by all kinds of teams. This is the most effective way to force a team to abandon the cover two and open up the passing game. Have you heard this before?
- It occurs to me that no matter how great a RB is he won’t be successful if the O line isn’t opening holes. Will it take a massive overhaul of the O line? Will they need to use a high draft choice on a RB? Whatever it takes they have to make it happen. This is the most effective way to force a defense to abandon the cover two concept. Heard that before?
There’s not much point in doing the usual chest bumps and thumps after this game. The list would consist of nothing but thumps – mostly huge ones.
The same is true of the fearsome predictions, which for this game might have just as well been called feeble predicaments. Nothing I thought would happen in this game took place. I usually pull at least one prediction off, but this one went south in a hurry and never came back. You have my most sincere apologies.
As for game notes, due to the fact that I was watching the game, what I wrote as I was watching the game will go with me to the grave. There is no need to share that kind of angry-fan vernacular with the public. It’s bad enough that my son heard a little bit of it!
So is it time to put out the fire and call the dogs? Throw in the towel? Hang ‘em up? Burn jerseys? Start firing coaches, staff, or cutting players? Start looking forward to next season?
No. This was indeed one game. I agree with Aaron Rodgers and what he said post-game. There is work to be done. Improvements are needed. Flaws were masked that need to be remedied. The Packers have the right people in place to fix what ails them. They are a talented team with great players with bright futures. Let’s let them work.
In this game the Giants did to the Packers what the Packers did to the Texans and to a lesser extent the Bears earlier this season. The Giants played two lousy games in a row, had their bye week, and then came back and took it to the boys in green and gold. OK. Any given Sunday, right? It’s over. Learn what can be learned. Moving on.
I don’t expect the Packers to have another performance like this anytime soon. The Packers still control their destiny, much like they did in 2010 and 2011. Win and they’re in. What happens from now on, not what happened last night, will tell the true tale of the 2012 Packers. I can’t wait to see what happens!
Bring on the Vikings! Go Pack GO!