The Green Bay Packers are on a two-game losing streak after a lack luster performance against the Indianapolis Colts, at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
A desperate Colts team came out punching, when Jordan Todman returned the opening kick-off 99 yards for a touchdown. The Packers morale sank and it never rose again.
For the remainder of the game it was evident the Packers had no energy and when you thought things may be turning around for the season, the team has hit an all-time low.
Is it time to panic?
WDUZ radio host in Green Bay, Marques Eversoll, has all the answers and more.
Q: Back-to-back weeks the Packers defense needed a late stop and they couldn’t get it done. What needs to change?
Eversoll: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would be (and was) the first person to tell you that he should have made that play at the end. Andrew Luck is a big guy, and he’s not easy to bring down, but Clinton-Dix could have broken down and made the play. He didn’t, and the Colts converted the first down in crunch time. That’s a simple answer, but it’s the right one. They need to make that play if they want to win. That said, the Packers defense wasn’t the primary problem Sunday. Clinton-Dix himself came up with two interceptions. On the first one, the offense did nothing. Literally, Luck threw a pick to Clinton-Dix, and two minutes later, the Colts had the ball back — eight yards further down the field. That’s what came of that “big turnover” — eight yards and two minutes of game time. You can’t ask Clinton-Dix to make the pick, and move the ball.
Q: Reports indicated a ton of frustrated players in the Packers locker-room. What does Mike McCarthy need to do to regain confidence from this group?
Eversoll: As long as he’s the head coach, then McCarthy’s players need to execute McCarthy’s game plan. When you’re the head coach of a team that has had so much success for so long, you’re blamed for nearly everything that goes wrong, and you’re praised for very little. That’s just the way it goes. McCarthy didn’t miss open receivers like Aaron Rodgers did; McCarthy didn’t let a perfectly thrown deep ball (by Rodgers) hit him in the hands and face mask (like Jeff Janis). I’d criticize McCarthy’s unwillingness to run the football, but I can’t. I thought he dialed up plays that were open, but the players didn’t execute. And as far as the running game, they’re literally relying on a big fullback (Aaron Ripkowski) and a guy wearing No. 88 (Ty Montgomery) to shoulder the load. I can’t really fault McCarthy for going with a pass-heavy approach.
Q: Speaking of McCarthy, if the Packers do not make the playoffs, will the Green Bay Packer have a new coach on the sidelines next season?
Eversoll: For the first time in a long time, I think this is a legitimate question. In the past when the Packers have lost, and fans call for McCarthy’s head, I shake my head, laugh, and walk away. Now, I think it’s at least a conversation worth having. Everything hinges on what happens from here. If the Packers end up in the playoffs, he’s probably back as head coach. But if they miss the playoffs, then I’m not sure. McCarthy has been the team’s head coach for a decade … that’s an eternity in the NFL for guys not named Bill Belichick. McCarthy’s offense hasn’t changed much over his tenure, and to the naked eye, it looks like teams have caught on the the simplistic concepts, and even though Rodgers is a great quarterback, it’s not even remotely close to the explosive offense we’ve grown accustomed to. It’s baffling. Now, when someone asks the question about McCarthy’s job status, you shrug your shoulders rather than roll your eyes. Sunday was about as discouraging of a loss as McCarthy has suffered as the Packers’ head coach.
Q: Richard Rodgers was featured a ton in the Packers’ offense, were you surprised with that game plan?
Eversoll: Not really. The Colts are atrocious against tight ends. When Richard Rodgers is a focus of the game plan, you know the other team is bad against that position. That’s what happened. Once Jared Cook comes back and the Packers have someone who can gain more than 17 inches after the catch, Rodgers will head back to the bench.
Q: Are you surprised with how the Packers managed Randall Cobb’s playing time?
Eversoll: This was puzzling. I think Randall Cobb’s status/usage is indicative of what’s going on in Green Bay. What do I mean by that? I mean that nobody knows what’s going on in Green Bay. After the game, McCarthy comes to the podium and praises Cobb for playing through an injury. The coach said he didn’t think Cobb would be able to go, and he was only going to use him in emergency situations … like the second half, trailing big. Just a few minutes later, Rodgers comes to the podium and said he was confused on Cobb’s availability before the game because the receiver gave the quarterback a thumbs up before the game, and Rodgers assumed his No. 2 receiver was good-to-go. Clearly, that wasn’t the case. Cobb was in uniform, but standing on the sideline for the entire first half. Trailing big, Cobb was thrown out there and scored a touchdown … after fumbling on his first touch. From communication to execution, from the coach to the quarterback, there are clearly some issues in Green Bay.
Q: Is it time to panic in Packers News?
Eversoll: I don’t know. It’s the easiest thing ever to be the voice of reason by saying Rodgers will start to look like Rodgers, and the Packers will figure this thing out. But I’m not so sure. This team is so hard to figure out. It’s been a year since the Packers were embarrassed by the Broncos on Sunday Night Football when Rodgers was held to 77 yards passing. The Packers are 9-11 since that game … think about that. At this point, their 6-0 start to last season is a distant memory, and the 2014 season which ended in Seattle on the doorstep of the Super Bowl seems like ancient history. Right now, this isn’t a great football team. Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are.” To me, the Packers’ 4-4 record looks exactly right. They’re an average football team, from top-to-bottom. If that’s not good enough, then yes, go ahead and panic.