Shortly after Green Bay's 27-13 loss to the Eagles, Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy stated that there's a "recurring problem" that he needs to settle. After a day of speculation, we finally know what McCarthy is referring to.
"What I'm disappointed in is fourth quarter performance. We're not playing our best football when it counts."
While a proper reaction is to say every quarter counts, the Packers have let a few games slip away in the final minutes this season. After establishing a 16-point lead in Cincinnati, the Packers allowed a Bengals comeback that ended in a 34-30 defeat. A week ago today, the Green Bay defense allowed a near 10-minute drive in the fourth quarter that sealed a victory for the Bears. History repeated itself yesterday when the Eagles took possession at their own eight-yard line with 9:32 to go and ran the clock out.
The common thread in these cases is the defense, which other than stellar run-play hasn't matched even its 2012 levels. McCarthy understands the difficulties defending the pass without your two best pass rushers for long stretches of the year, "Matthews is such a hands player. He struggled with a club on his hand." However, this is a problem that, if left uncorrected, could force his hand in regards to Dom Capers following the season.
When asked about the health of his offensive line, McCarthy responded that the team won't know until Friday. If that's truly the case, it's hard to imagine that either Don Barclay or Evan Dietrich-Smith will be suiting up against the Giants this upcoming Sunday. McCarthy was similarly ambiguous regarding reserve tackle Derek Sherrod. "Sherrod looks good, but practice only takes you so far. He will have to step up at some point." With all their injuries, the Packers may need Sherrod as soon as this weekend.
It appears the rumors were true. Former backup Matt Flynn was indeed at the facility today and according to McCarthy "looks good." He didn't announce a signing, perhaps because the Packers are reportedly also taking a look at free agent John Skelton. Either way, a signing seems inevitable now with Seneca Wallace unlikely to play this week.
Finally, McCarthy offered a few words on Aaron Rodgers. While the quarterback believes he'll be back very soon, the coaching staff believes he's "a couple weeks away." Lest you come away thinking that sounds like a timetable, McCarthy reiterated that no such one exists for Rodgers.
That's all from McCarthy. Keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company for the latest Packers news and developments.