Packers Post-Mortem

On November 7, 2017, in NFL, by Stephen

Take away Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy is the emperor with no clothes. McCarthy should have been fired for his gutless, horrific coaching in Green Bay’s 28-22 loss to the Seahawks in the 2014 NFC title game.

But propped up by Rodgers and protected by Green Bay’s ultra-conservative management, McCarthy hangs around. The Packers make the playoffs every year, but this will make it seven straight years of not reaching the Super Bowl for them. They are continually done in by poor defense and mediocre coaching.

Now that Rodgers is out, McCarthyy is exposed for the average coach he is. The Packers had a plus turnover ratio against the Saints at home two weeks ago in Brett Hundley’s first pro start. They lost 26-17. The Packers had a plus one turnover ratio at home against the Lions and lost 30-17 in a game that was far more lopsided than the score indicates with the Packers scoring a garbage touchdown on an untimed play after the game clock had expired. My condolences to Under bettors on that.

I wonder how bad the Packers would have looked if they didn’t have 15 days to prepare?

Brett Hundley is in his third season with the Packers. You might think McCarthy would know Hundley’s strengths and weaknesses. Jon Gruden certainly did as the color man on the TV broadcast. It’s too bad he’s not the Packers’ coach.

The Packers’ offensive line was healthy for the first time all season, although Bryan Bulaga later was injured. The Packers had a hot runner in Aaron Jones and a deep set of wide receivers. The Packers were home to a dome foe they had beaten nine of the last 10 times at Lambeau Field.

Yet McCarthy went conservative. Hundley is at his best in no-huddle. The Packers had him drop back most of the time. No run-options either for Hundley, which could have been effective given Hundley’s mobility. This was the kind of game plan from a coach who has a reputation as an offfensive guru.

McCarthy showed nothing. Hundley did nothing. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers, McCarthy’s coaching partner in crime, was equally clueless.

The Lions went into this past weekend ranked 25th in sack percentage. You might think the Packers could mount a solid pass rush with Clay Matthews, Nick Perry – who they paid big bucks to re-sign instead of guard T.J. Lang – and Mike Daniels in order to help out their vulnerable secondary. Instead Capers ordered blitz after blitz that never got a whiff of Matthew Stafford.

Inside linebacker Blake Martinez, solid versus the run, blitzed around 10 times. That was a predictable waste since Martinez had proven ineffective as a blitzer all season. Stafford is good enough without getting to shoot fish in a barrel otherwise known as the Green Bay secondary.

As a handicapper and bettor, you have to make assumptions and projections. If they’re wrong you’re usually sunk. I believed McCarthy and Capers would have solid game plans, Hundley would play much better with added prep time and the Lions weren’t good enough to defeat the Packers in Green Bay even without Rodgers. Wrong on all counts. My apologies to those who tailed me on this play.

The Packers went 2-4-1 in 2013 when Rodgers was out with a broken collarbone. They are 0-3 now this season when Rodgers hasn’t played a full game. That’s a combined record of 2-7-1 minus Rodgers. Does anyone believe McCarthy would have lasted long if he didn’t have a franchise quarterback, one of the best of all-time? I sure don’t.

Maybe the Packers upset the Bears this week. I do think that line is artificially high based on how poor the Packers looked last night. However, the bottom line is don’t trust McCarthy to win a game when he doesn’t have his meal ticket and savior.


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