As I try to wrap my mind around what happened against the Colts, I keep coming back to one thing…the Packers just might not be as good as we thought this year. The reason I come to this conclusion is because each loss seems to have the similar reasons but different culprits. It's not just a couple players, like Jarrett Bush or M.D. Jennings or even the coaches because each week brings the similar story but from a new position group or one side of the ball. Sometimes it's the secondary. Other times the linebackers. Then it's the receivers. Next it's the offensive line. Today it was the field goal kicker, with a smattering of all the others as well. We could go round and round trying to look at the problems, but in the end it can’t fix the fact that the Packers just are not closing out games very well this year.
The good news of all of this is that there is still plenty of football left to play in this season and things are far from over. The division is looking might soft and there is still some pretty big chunks of the schedule where the Packers could make a playoff push. If they can get hot down the stretch then who knows what can happen.
The bad news is that is that the future opponents aren’t going to get much easier than a Colts team without their head coach. No game is easy in the NFL, but some are much harder than others. With some tough opponents ahead such as the Houston Texans and New York Giants, things could get very ugly very fast.
As for the game itself well it was a game of two halves. The first half things looked right. The offense was scoring fast and moving the ball as it willed. On defense there was plenty of pressure put on Andrew Luck and the defenders were flying to the ball. In the second half the offense stumbled and the defense got tired out….and then way too soft. Soon the young Colts were energized by the emotion of the game and closed out the Packers. In the second half the usual suspects of the Packers woes came out in force, bad pass protection, no running game, inconsistent pass rush, and soft coverages. Throw in some missed field goals from the otherwise consistent Mason Crosby and it all adds up to a Packer loss.
The game was not all doom and gloom though. Alex Green was able to flash some talent, if only for one run. Mike Neal was not a liability and was even able to get a sack. Casey Hayward was able to get his first interception of his career as well.
The problem is that I don’t think those silver linings can overcome the downsides of this game. B.J. Raji and Cedric Benson both came up injured. Their losses were felt tremendously throughout the rest of the game. Jermichael Finley was also injured, but I’m not sure his loss was quite as dramatic for the offense.
The Packers are going to have some soul searching this week if they are going to be competitive against the Texans. They need to put together an identity on offense and get consistency on defense. They also need to find out who is healthy and who can contribute….can Raji go? If not, who is going to step up to replace him in the lineup because I didn’t see an answer. Can James Starks or Alex Green provide the production that Benson did? They had better if Benson can’t go because this offense needs a running game if they want Aaron Rodgers to survive the whole season. Most importantly can someone please remind the Packers they need to play all four quarters of a football game and not just quarters one, two, and four?
From here I'm going to turn it over to you good people. Take some time to vent and unload. Hopefully tomorrow things will start to look better and we can unpack this mess and then move on.
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