Shredded cheddar in the desert: Why the Green Bay Packers lost to the Arizona Cardinals

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Dec 27, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver

James Jones

(89) is unable to catch a pass under pressure from Arizona Cardinals cornerback

Justin Bethel

(28) in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Packers 38-8. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Zero Separation

I feel like I’ve talked about this exact thing every week since before Green Bay ever actually lost.

I’m tired of it. You must be too, so I’ll keep this short.

Nobody can get open on this team.

More from Aaron Rodgers

It has been bad before, but against the better defenses it looks so much worse. The fact that I have to consider whether this game or the one versus Denver was worse for the passing game should speak volumes (by the way, this one IS worse due to the large number of sacks, pressures, and turnovers + turnover TDs – though the offense at least pretended like they could move the ball a couple of times here).

Randall Cobb is doubled and removed from the game without any deep threats to open up stuff underneath.

James Jones couldn’t separate himself from a headless turtle at this point.

Davante Adams is another in a long line of examples of the hype machine going full-bore well before someone is ready to handle the mantle of production and responsibility that come with that early praise. Also he apparently has the receiving ability of a hamster, if that hamster also had no hands.

Jeff Janis languishes away as only a special teams guy and 2-snaps-at-most decoy WR that scares nobody but maybe himself.

And of course Jared Abbrederis, the final pleading hope for a spark of life to this stone-handed molasses unit, gets in on the drop game with one of his own on two targets here.

This offense sans Jordy Nelson has no speed element; no speed lets everyone stack up and force guys without speed to have to beat them with pure wizardry to create space, which they have proven since the bye week that they just cannot do with any consistency — especially against a good or great defense.

These problems really go back until the 49er game in Week 4 (where GB scored just 17 but won by 14 due to great defense and a poor 49er offense), but things were covered up at first because defenses didn’t adjust to the sudden lack of speed for whatever reason. Also, Green Bay DID have some possible explosiveness earlier this year in rookie Ty Montgomery; since he went out during Week 6, the problems have only escalated, and there is truly no one left to possibly make a defense worry in the slightest.

The talk back then was Adams could be that outside element, but he does nothing but catch a couple meaningless passes while altogether dropping scores and getting punked out of the end zone; maybe another offseason of work can rekindle ability and confidence for a flailing playing, but it won’t likely be fixed in time to help Green Bay in 2015. Janis was a guy fans (including myself for a time) clamored for, but then we got a glimpse of how bad he looked in practice; I wouldn’t put anyone’s hopes in him now. Abbrederis became Janis all over again to a lesser degree, but he’s another slot receiver; if Cobb couldn’t find room himself, how would a lesser level of the same type of player do that either? He may not get the double coverage, but he still doesn’t have much space to work in either way.

There will be no reinforcements, no free agents, no practice squad additions that can fix this ailment, not now.

Jordy Nelson meant so much more to this offense than we ever knew.

I wish we never had to find out.

Next: Giving Away The Game