Is Time Up for Mike McCarthy & Aaron Rodgers?

For the third straight year, the Packers lost in the playoffs.  For most teams, this wouldn’t be so terrible, but the Packers feature one of the two or three best quarterbacks of the past decade.  Someone who is believed to be a sure fire Hall of Famer.  A quarterback who has nine seasons behind him and might be seeing his window of opportunity closing.

The early responses point to a few common themes in the Ted Thompson era.  Many critics are saying there’s a lack of overall toughness, citing repeated losses to very physical Giants and 49ers teams.  Others say the defense is terrible.  And there’s a healthy mix of complaints about a lack of veteren leadership / free agents. read more

McCarthy’s poor coaching dooms the Packers

I forget if I've written about it here to any length, but two of my top signs you have a bad head coach are 1. Lots of penalties. 2. Bad special teams play. It seems with coaches who are destined to be good coordinators, they can't handle the extra detail involved in fixing those issues. So they try to make up for it in other areas and publicly pretend it isn't that big of an issue.

I forget if I've written about it here to any length, but two of my top signs you have a bad head coach are 1. Lots of penalties. 2. Bad special teams play. It seems with coaches who are destined to be good coordinators, they can't handle the extra detail involved in fixing those issues. So they try to make up for it in other areas and publicly pretend it isn't that big of an issue.

McCarthy’s approval rating takes big dive with loss

If you haven’t seen, ESPN.com lets fans vote on the job their coach is doing. Mike McCarthy received a 32% approval rating for week 5.  Not good, but well deserved.  The bad thing, is the logic many fans and reporters are using for the poor performance of the Packers.  Whenever I read articles about the team, the “F” word always comes up.  So many people seem to think that Brett would do a better job run blocking.  They feel he would stuff the middle of the line on defense or get penetration on the end.  Apparently Favre would do a far better job covering the tight end or stopping a running back from turning the corner.  Favre would also be able to punt more consistently and get flagged less often for holding. read more

Packers: 2008 vs. 2007

After 3 straight losses, many Packers fans may be saying “what’s wrong?”  This team almost made the Super Bowl last year.  I’m sure many people will blame Rodgers.  Well, more specifically, the fact that he is NOT Brett Favre.  If Favre came back, this was supposed to be a championship team, right?  Well, I don’t know about that.

This time last year, Favre had 1500 yards, 9 TDs, 4 INTs.  Rodgers?  He has 1270 yards, 9 TDs, 4 INTs.  The big difference is the run game has actually produced more yards per game which has allowed Rodgers to throw less. read more

Packers Running Into 2008 Season

Run-down feeling

McCarthy wants to beef up Packers’ ground game

So McCarthy thinks the Packers need to improve their ground game.  I’d agree.  If you want to look at just one big reason the rushing attack didn’t really get going in 2007, look at the performances in 2007:

  • Week 1 vs Philly: 17 carries - 46 yards
  • Week 3 vs San Diego: 13 carries – 42 yards
  • Week 4 at Minny: 20 carries – 46 yards
  • Week 5 vs Chicago: 21 carries – 77 yards (if you subtract a 44 yarder by Wynn)
  • Week 6 vs Washington: 20 carries – 56 yards
  • Week 12 at Detroit: 16 carries – 69 yards (if you subtract a 31 yarder by Grant)
  • Week 13 at Dallas: 18 carries – 62 yards (if you subtract a 62 yarder by Grant)
  • Week 15 at St Louis: 22 carries – 31 yards (if you subtract a 24 yarder by Grant)
  • Week 16 at Chicago: 20 carries – 59 yards (if you subtract a 66 yarder by Grant)
  • NFC Championship vs NY Giants: 14 carries – 28 yards (13 yards of that came on 1 run by Grant)

During those 10 games, if you subtract the biggest runs (some games have multiple big runs, but I only counted the longest for simplicity) the Packers averaged 18.1 carries for 51.6 yards.  That’s a terrible performance.  Their rushing success wasn’t much better in other games, but I’m simply pointing out the ones where they gave up on the running game (with less than 25 carries per game).  It’s obvious that their rather pathetic numbers are heavily inflated by a few long rushes in each game.  I don’t count big runs as carries because it’s more a result of that particular play going great for the offense and terrible for the defense, it’s not a good judge of offensive line performance overall. read more