Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Are The Packers Struggling?

Nothing brings out the stupidity of humanity in Wisconsin like a Packer loss. When things are going poorly for your local sports team, your local rubes will never take the obvious explanation. Instead, they will go for their preconceived notions no matter how baseless those notions are. Some will blame Ted Thompson, some Mike McCarthy, and some Aaron Rodgers. Some will probably balme magical Favre Pixie Dust and the Zombie Reggie White. There is a correct answer.

Occam’s Razor can cut through this crap. The Packers gave up 27 points to Atlanta. That’s a lot of points. While offenses can hurt their own defenses by committing turnovers (the Packers and Falcons each had one), generally when you give up a bunch of points, your defense is struggling.

The reason that the defense is struggling is obvious. Cullen Jenkins is injured, and out for the season. Al Harris has a ruptured spleen. Atari Bigby is out. AJ Hawk is hobbled. Charles Woodson has a broken toe.

The Packers are obviously struggling right now because of defensive injuries. This is not the only reason that they are struggling, but it is the main reason.

(And spare me the "injuries are not an excuse" line. Of course they are. Cullen Jenkins' backup does not have teh magical ability to suddenly try so hard that he plays as well as Cullen. If he did, he would be a starter, and not a backup. This should go without saying, but again, we have the rubes to deal with.)

Stat of the day:

Ryan Grant: 3.7 YPC, -4 yards receiving, 0 TDs
Brandon Jackson: 5.2 YPC, 69 yards receiving, 1 TD.

Let’s get Brandon a few more carries next week.

Stat of the day 2:

PJ Hill – 4.7 YPC, 5 TDs, 108 Carries
John Clay – 6.7 YPC, 4 TDs, 39 Carries

Let’s get John a few more carries next week.

Legitimate Criticisms of Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy

Most criticisms of these two are written like this:


And so we can safely ignore them, however, there are some real gripes to be had:

1. Thompson got rid of depth at d-line in the off-season, which is precisely where the Packers could use competent backups now.

2. Thompson’s offensive line is struggling mightily.

3. McCarthy’s offensive line is struggling mightily/Ryan Grant might not be quite right. Why not more Jackson?

4. The offensive line is penalty prone.

5. The Punter. You can teach a strong leg to punt, but you can’t teach a punter to have a strong leg. Replacing Ryan with Frost was clearly a mistake.

If you have any others feel free to toss them into the comment section. I’ve had many people ask me if I thought we would have the same record with Favre, and I honestly do, because QB has not been the issue.

Next week the Packers get the Seahawks. I fully expect them to take advantage of the depleted Hawks, who appear to be as big a mess right now as there is in the NFL. If they don’t we can revisit this discussion later.


E.S.K. said...

4. The offensive line is penalty prone.

To me, right now, that is the biggest problem this offense has.

Eric said...

Nah. The head caoch refuses to use Brandon Jackson more.

And I blame Ted. The whole Justin Harrel instead of a trade with Cleveland debacle is reaching epic proportions.

And of course i blame him for Favre. Rodgers was going to be good and he is. He's not the problem. He should have been traded for value.

And whilr i'm piling on, how about the lack of Randy Moss.

PaulNoonan said...

I don't think Randy Moss gives you much upgrade over Jennings.

E.S.K. said...

what was in the trade with Cleveland? I don't remember off the top of my head.

PaulNoonan said...

Yeah, I don't remember any Cleveland debacles.

Eric said...

swap of first round picks and another first round pick in the following year.

Add another draft pick for trading Aaron Rodgers. He's a fine quarterback. but we had one already. geez how many fine quarterbacks did Wolf trade away

Moss against the Giants could have put us over the top.