I answered a few questions from Mike Tanier at Football Outsiders:
What's Gone Wrong:Brandon Benson of Acme Packing Company came aboard to help me with these bullet points. 1) Injuries, and more injuries. "Eleven starters were listed on last week's injury list," Benson said, "including Cullen Jenkins, who then went on the IR, and Aaron Rouse, who has started the last two weeks for Atari Bigby. Hawk, Woodson, and Rodgers didn't practice all week but still started. Chad Clifton has been listed every week this season, usually sitting out at least one practice a week, and he finally had to take a seat mid-game vs. Atlanta." 2) Poor run defense has allowed teams to sit on the clock late in games. "It's basically the same front seven as last season and not loaded with a bunch of veterans in decline, so I'm at somewhat of a loss about it." 3) The running game is not holding up its end of the bargain. "They missed center Scott Wells. He was out the first three games, so he might help if his back is improving. McCarthy denied it in a press conference, but they might be better off without Clifton right now. They're also missing starting fullback Korey Hall."
Angry Local Columnist Speaks Wisconsin columnists don't appear to be very angry. That's because a) They are an accommodating bunch; b) they blew most of their rage neurons during the Summer of Favre; and c) their attention this weekend was focused on the Brewers. Speaking of the Brew Crew, how's this for a pay-per-view spectacle: Prince Fielder vs. Gilbert Brown in an eat-off.
But unlike my gloomy outlook, he expects the Packers to win on Sunday at Seattle:
What's Gone WrongDoug Farrar filled me in on the Seahawks woes. 1) Receivers? Who are they? "Mike Holmgren runs an execution offense," Doug told me. "It requires precision from each player, and the complexity lies in that precision. Players must know their routes. They must know the tempo, which is ruthlessly fast at its best." The Seahawks have been forced to patch together their receiving corps all year, and now Deion Branch is once again hurt. 2) The secondary has gone from a strength to a weakness. Farrar singled out Brian Russell as the primary culprit. "The best analogy I can come up with for Russell's timing on pass plays is Billy Rosewood, Judge Reinhold’s character in the Beverly Hills Cop movies. In every film, they'd do the bit where Axel Foley and the other cops arrest the bad guys, cuff them and start rounding them up into the cars. That's when Billy screams in, guns blazing, demanding that everyone drop their weapons and put their hands over their heads. Brian Russell is Billy Rosewood." 3) The transition from Mike Holmgren to Jim Mora has the team going in two directions at once. "In my mind, this is the main problem. Half the front office is wrapping it up, and the other half is looking forward to next year. Tim Ruskell's doing both. Without a united focus, you will get your ass handed to you in the NFL."
Angry Local Columnist Speaks Art Thiel, Seattle Post Intelligence "As a bedraggled group, the Seahawks used the bye week to work up as dull, dreary and lifeless a game as they have produced in a long while."
Pick:Mike Holmgren's last face-off with his former team should be more glamorous than this. The PACKERS should carve up that bad Seahawks secondary, even at Qwest.