(There were instances of guys yelling at each other during the game. Is the frustration of the season setting in?)
That's communication, that's what I'm talking about. There are play calls that come in from the sideline that need to be communicated, and it goes from the communicator all the way down. It wasn't as clean as it needed to be today.
I wasn't able to watch the game today, so I don't know about all the miscommunication. When I look at the box score, I see another close game that slipped away. Really no different than what's been going on most of this season.
In honor of the excellent Fail Blog, here are this week's moments of Packer fail.
4th quarter fail
This is the 7th game this season (Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Tennessee, at Minnesota, Carolina, Houston, and Jacksonville) during which the Packers either have had the lead or are tied in the 4th quarter, and go onto lose the game. Only once this season, week 2 at Detroit, did the Packers tie or fall behind during the 4th quarter and go on to win the game.
From the play-by-play:
(8:11) (Shotgun) 9-D.Garrard pass deep middle to 86-D.Northcutt for 30 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
I had the privilege to watch the "highlights" as CB Will Blackmon got spun around like a top and WR Dennis Northcutt had his first receiving TD of the season. There is a reason Blackmon is the 4th CB at best, but is now pressed into service as the nickel back with CB Charles Woodson at safety.
Goal line fail (Packers' offense)
(2:38) 2-M.Crosby 22 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-61-B.Goode, Holder-10-M.Flynn.
A 79 yard drive comes up 4 yards short of the TD. Settling for two short FGs (22 and 23 yards) instead of coming away with a TD made the difference in this game.
WR Greg Jennings fail
(8:37) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass short left to 85-G.Jennings for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on JAC-21-D.Florence, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.
Catching a TD is obviously not Jennings' fault. But the only 3 passes he caught all game were on this TD drive in the 2nd quarter. It's not a coincidence that the Packers only TD drive happened when Jennings was involved in the offense. Over the last 38 minutes of the game, Jennings caught nothing. For the rest of the game, I counted six incompletions to him in the play-by-play. Obviously completing only 3 of 9 (33%) to a receiver is not good. I don't know why he isn't getting the ball more, but the offense just isn't as good when he is not involved.
Short yardage fail
(15:00) 30-J.Kuhn up the middle to JAC 44 for no gain (95-P.Spicer).
Obviously the coaches aren't on the field and the players are responsible for making the plays, but this one falls right on the coaches' heads. What a dumb ass series of calls; going for one yard with three consecutive running plays that all failed. And on the critical 4th down play, of course they want the ball in the hands of FB John Kuhn? Generally, it is always preferrable to run the ball for short yardage instead of passing for it. And the Packers are pretty good on short yardage plays this season, according to Football Outsiders. But the Packers didn't run the ball well in this game. And Jacksonville is exceptional at stopping the run on short yardage plays, again according to Football Outsiders. Just a bad decision.
Red zone defense fail (4th quarter edition-Packers' defense)
(10:45) (Shotgun) 9-D.Garrard pass short middle to 32-M.Jones-Drew for 14 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
(2:00) 32-M.Jones-Drew up the middle for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Jacksonville got into the red zone twice in this game and scored a TD each time. The Packers made it into the red zone three times, and came away with 1 TD and 2 FGs.
QB Aaron Rodgers fail
(:46) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass intended for 86-D.Lee INTERCEPTED by 25-R.Nelson at JAC 27.
Another great game by Rodgers, but it ends with a thud on a lousy pass that was intercepted. Most of the 4th quarter collapses this season have been the defense's fault, but Rodgers isn't leading any 4th quarter comebacks either.
RB Brandon Jackson fail
As RB Ryan Grant is sucking along at 2.67 yards/carry on 21 carries, Mike McCarthy lets Jackson have one carry for 6 yards. On the season, Jackson's averaging 5.5 yards/carry. How can there be no role for Jackson in this offense when Grant has had such a mediocre season?
All that's left to do now, officially, is to play the spoiler. They can still spoil Chicago's playoff chances. Although that would help Minnesota...so nothing good can come of that. They can also spoil Detroit's quest for a perfect 0-16 season. I can't see how they would lose at home, week 17, to Detroit. But right now I can't see them beating anyone. Could they really lose to Detroit?