Mike McCarthy Did the Packers No Favors Against the Giants

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Mike McCarthy disapoints on and off the field
Mike McCarthy disapoints on and off the field

The Packers entered the game yesterday with a desperate need for a win against the Giants . I expected Mike McCarthy to dial up an aggressive game plan, one that would attack the weaknesses of the Giants defense. Instead, they went at the Giant’s strength.

The first two possessions of the game saw runs on first and second down for little gain, as the Giants did what they’ve done to other running attacks, despite their poor record. Both possessions resulted in punts – so much for getting the Packers off to that rousing start I had hoped for.

Just after the start of the second quarter, there was another set of first and second down runs, this time to James Starks, again with little gain and again, resulting in a punt.

I don’t know how it looked on TV, but watching the game from inside the stadium, in my nosebleed third tier seats, I felt an early listlessness in the Packers’ offense. As if there was a resignation that giving even their best effort would still not be enough without Aaron Rodgers. While that may be true, you don’t go out and concede right out of the gate, do you?

Luckily, the defense was playing better than they have the last few games (though still giving up some big plays), and kept the Packers within four points at halftime. I was pretty happy about that, especially with the Packers having the ball to start the second half. Surely, they would come out with a more balanced attack and march down the field to take the lead. Um… not.

First and second down runs again, for a total of 3 yards gained.  I’m not saying that shouldn’t have been running, but I am saying a little more creativity was needed.  And there other ways to get the ball in the hands of your running back if the defense is packing the line of scrimmage against runs. Packers did it only twice, for a 10.5yd average gain. With that kind of success, should we have seen it more often? One was actually a screen pass – a play McCarthy has seemingly moved to the back of his playbook.

Can you say “Predictable?”

And that brings me to my second point. The Packers are fooling NO ONE (or at least they sure weren’t fooling the Giants).

Putting aside special teams trick plays, when was the last time you were completely wowed and fooled by an offensive play call. A play that makes you say, “Wow, I’ve never seen that before from the Packers.” Tell me when…

Now, the good thing about watching a game from the upper tier is that it’s like watching the All-22 film. You can see all of the pre-snap adjustments the defense is making and the post-snap shifts that were disguised as something else. I took to watching the Giants defense as the Packers prepared to snap the ball.  First of all, not only did they know when the Packers were running, they knew what side.  In fact, I was calling out the plays based on what I saw the Giants defense doing, and most of the time I was right. And that’s not because I’m some football genius, it was just that obvious.

When the Giants knew it was a run, you see some subtle shifts among the linebackers and as soon as the ball was snapped, they had a definite east-west direction they were taking. When the Giants expected a run, they brought safeties up in the box and the corners played aggressively close to the line of scrimmage (LOS). of course, that’s what most teams will do, but the  Giants were always right and always seemed to have the safety on the side the play was going to in the best position. When they expected a pitch to Lacy, the corners played aggressively at the LOS to force Lacy to cut inside where the linebackers were waiting for him.

Again, none of this is that unusual, except for how precise the Giants were in knowing not just what type of play was coming, but where it was going. And that leads us Jason Pierre-Paul.

Speaking to the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Wes Hodkiewicz after the game, Pierre-Paul stated outright he knew exactly what play was coming. he called it in the huddle, saw the formation, read the tight end’s set and was sure of the play. He put himself in the lane that he knew the pass would be thrown in, and got himself an easy pick-six, which ended the Packers’ chances at a comeback.

What?

Finally, there was this quote from Mike McCarthy after the game: ” I’m proud of the way (the team) is handling challenges, it will only make us stronger.”

Somebody please explain to me what’s so great about how they are handling challenges. Anyone?

Are you making excuses for your team, Mike?

If so, you’re not doing them any favors off the field, either…

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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  • Big T

    MM will not change anything it is to SCARY… The games are getting harder and harder to watch. Everyone from top to bottom of this organization needs kicks to the ding dings…

    • Bedrock

      Worked for a guy named Lombardi.

      • http://allgbp.com Charlie

        Lombardi was one name back then. So were Taylor, Hornung, Gregg, Kramer, Skoronski, et. al. Also, don’t forget the classic Starr fake handoffs, followed by TDs to Dowler, Dale, etc.

  • JC

    So you wanted the QB that threw 3 int in the limited amount of passes to pass more and the Packers who have had success running to run less. If Lacy was more productive you would not be criticizing the play calling.

    • Palmda

      First: Starks should be let go if not now in the off season. He can easily be replaced.
      Second: Run, Run, Pass doesn’t work anymore were not in the 50’s anymore the rules have changed.
      Third: MM has never been a super star at calling plays and he never will. Even when they were lucky enough to score he goes into his prevent winning mode.
      Forth: Tolzien always had a problem with low passes. At Wisconsin he often would throw just over the line (Linemen there were not 6.7 and looking for the pass because they had a offensive line that could open holes for their runners.
      Fifth: If you had good management you wouldn’t be playing with a 3rd string qb. TT in any other town would be checking on Obama care because he would be un employed.
      Sixth: even with Mr. Rodgers (100 million dollar man) there is a problem because the line isn’t worth 10 dollars.
      to address you Lacy running…you can’t run when everyone knows you not going to pass. No runner can run when three or four linemen are waiting for you at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield. Admit it this team lacks talent almost across the board, the results are showing it even if you drink the green bay cool aide and can’t admit it.

      • Tarynfor12

        “First: Starks should be let go if not now in the off season. He can easily be replaced.”

        “No runner can run when three or four linemen are waiting for you at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield.”

        Arguing with yourself!?.. :)

        • Rob

          And losing!

      • JC

        You crack me up. Last week people were complaining that the Packers passed the ball when they got to the red zone. But this week they tried to run it too much. The Packers have had 4 straight seasons of 10 or more wins plus a Superbowl victory but TT should be run out of town?? You have no idea what you are talking about if any team lost there starter and back up in back to back weeks they would be toast. Teams don’t even carry third stringers. You obviously don’t know as much about the game as you think you do and are really just bitter because they lost.

        • marpag

          HEY! YOU CAN JUST TAKE YOUR FACTS AND COMMON SENSE AND GET THE HECK OUTTA HERE, BUDDY!!!!

          Kidding, bro. You’re spot on.

    • Chad Toporski

      There’s more to play calling and play design than run vs. pass. What I think Al is saying is that McCarthy needs to get more creative and unpredictable with the design of the plays.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      You should read more carefully. I did not propose throwing MORE, I merely noted that McCarthy was extremely predictable with his play calling in different situations and even more predictable with the design of the plays.

      As I said in the post, ” I’m not saying they shouldn’t have been running, but I am saying a little more creativity was needed.”

      • JH9

        With AR out, all the weaknesses of this team are becoming apparent. Our defense can’t step-up and limit the the scoring enough by opposing offenses. And, either TT has drafted inferior talent or our coaches don’t have the ability to get the most out of the talent they have. All in all, these last three games have been very disappointing.

  • NYPACKER

    It was obvious from the start that the Giants were not going to let us run the ball….solid strategy…inexperienced QB, make him throw the ball, he may get some yards but will make a couple of crucial mistakes that will tip the outcome.

  • Justin morrow

    McCarthy should’ve given up play calling a year or two ago. I am all for running the ball, but not when you have a D that is playing run & is there strength. THe running game would’ve opened up after success with passes. Maybe a little conservative with dump

    • Steve Pfeifer

      That’s one of the BIG plusses for Rodgers. He has the green light and the smarts and the experience to change McCarthy’s play call if he sees that it won’t work. I seriously doubt if Tolzien or Wallace were ever given that freedom.

  • Justin morrow

    Passes & screens to start & run on obvious passing downs. Maybe a 2 RB set or a trick play. Something or anything that the other team hasn’t seen or knows

    • Dobber

      It doesn’t need to be anything overly fancy…like you say: a screen pass in a situation where you don’t normally expect screen passes. If you can execute just well enough, it forces teams to defend 70-80% of your playbook all the time. Course, if the Packers are running draws and screens on 3rd and 7 (and not converting…a la Lindy Infante), what would this discussion look like here?

      I like John Kuhn, and I understand that he’s the best blocker at RB we have and we needed that help in the backfield with our OL beat up, but maybe it’s time to trust Lacy or Starks on longer down/distance so you can threaten the D with a run. Kuhn isn’t going to pick up 6 yards even against a pass look on 3rd down…but Lacy, Starks or Franklin might.

      • JC

        The screen pass turned into 7 points for the Giants to. I don’t blame McCarthy for trying to run just wished he mixed up a little more. The Packers O-line didn’t get it done. And that QB killed them with three bad breaking picks.

        • marpag

          You’re on a roll, dude. People didn’t like the screen pass so much when JPP took it in for 6, but hey… we’re all ticked off so we have a right to be utterly unreasonable, right?

          • Steve Pfeifer

            It wasn’t a true screen pass. It was that ridiculous and over-used WR bubble screen with just one (WR) blocker for the receiver. Look at the tape. Backhtieri (sp?) was looking to block JPP, but JPP wasn’t rushing. If McCarthy doesn’t ditch that play, even with Rodgers, look for more pick-6s ahead.

            • marpag

              You’re not really arguing that a bubble screen isn’t a screen, are you?

  • Dobber

    Hopefully MM will recognize that what the Packers did this week won’t work against the Vikings next week. The plus is that the Vikes don’t have the QB or outside receivers the Giants have. The big minus is #28.

    The Packers will be desperate for a win on Sunday to keep any hope of a divisional title alive (thanks Detroit for being the same old Lions). Say what you will about this team, but if AR comes back against Detroit, and the Packers beat the Lions and get hot, they can win this division yet.

    That’s all predicated on beating the Vikes…and how likely does that look at this point?

    • Robert Patreus

      The Packers, right now, are the worst team in the NFL (without Aaron Rodgers).
      The Vikings will win by more than a TD. I’ll say it again. It won’t be close…Only one (injured, at that) playmaker on defense and a predictable offense with mediocre QB = loss number six vs. the Vikes (at home)…

      • Steve Pfeifer

        I’m sorry to say it, but I think you’re right. I thought I started to see the signs of a beaten and dis-spirited team toward the latter stages of yesterday’s game. Personally, I blame McCarthy more than anyone for what is happening. His fierce and generally blind loyalty to his staff, many of whom are sub-par, is the root of our problems. He has refused to get rid of coaches and coordinators whose approaches just plain were failing. After a while, even the very best playing talent loses confidence in that environment. And then comes the losses; one after the other.

      • Thomas Hobbes

        Have you seen a Jacksonville game lately?

        • Dobber

          And now it’s looking like the Packers are going to get Josh Freeman instead of Christian Ponder. Is this a break or no?

          • Barutan Seijin

            Agreed. They need to be gentle with Freeman. Sack him, but nothing hard.

  • packett

    Well said Al. The play calling either gets too predictable, or then goes the other extreme on 3rd down-7, and the call is a deep post. I dunno. I just never feel there is a great game strategy called. I didn’t watch it. I prefer watching other games… and just monitor the GB game on play by play on-line. Much easier way to deal with the quality of performance we have been seeing.

  • GBPDAN

    MM is being exposed without Favre or Rodgers at the helm. Throwing in a few, safe, play action west coast passes, a couple of reverses, a few screens, a fleeflicker , earlier in the game would have helped keep the giants off balanced.

  • GBPDAN

    Whats up with the constant confusion in the secondary? Either the coaches can’t coach, or our players are stupid, its that simple. ..change something please! Either fire the coaches or get smarter players!

    And what happened to MMs bold statement last week about changing somethings? Is this the new ‘pad level’

    • Razer

      I always attributed our poor secondary play to the lack of pass rush. While it would be nice to have a better rush, I have to agree with you on this secondary. Confusion is the right word. Despite dropping more men into coverage, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. I’ll also add our linebackers into this coverage failure. If Eli wasn’t playing so poorly, they could have played down the middle of the field all day long.

      Something has to change on the defensive side of the ball. If we had the toughness and talent, I would love to see use play at the line and jam the receivers. I doubt that we have the toughness.

      • Dobber

        I was saying the same thing about the pass rush, but if you look at stats like sack pct. and the like, the Packers really don’t do too badly. The blame has to fall somewhere, and it’s going to fall on the secondary.

        No Sam Shields was a problem, but it wasn’t going great guns the couple weeks before when he was playing.

        • Nopainnogain

          doesn’t necessarily mean Packers are getting good pressure. you’d have to look at how much time it took them to get to the qb to rule out coverage sacks.

    • NYPACKER

      The two things that the coaches must determine are: 1) Can the players athletically execute our scheme 2) Can the payers intellectually execute our scheme? If either answer is no, it on on the coaches. You must tailor your plan around the limitations that your players may have. I question whether the plans are too complex for the players to understand.

  • J.

    Gotta be honest..I’m not Super huge on MM. (Lol).. I remember the Season of SB45, I was yelling @ the TV, screaming for him to be fired! He did so many Stupid things it was borderline Ridiculous.
    – it was more the Players & their talent, getting hot & playing well @ the right time. Made the Run & got the SB win…more so than Any of his or (shi**y) Capers’ coaching. He does questionable & stupid stuff Constantly, Drives me Crazy!
    * my opinion..also a Shareholder ;)
    Though, Roster moves & playcalling This yr is candidacy for Another vote. AND Capers?! ..he’s a Lost cause. Shlda let HIM go 2 seasons ago!
    GO PACK GO…please?! Somewhere other than dwn the Tubes?! ;)

  • njmike

    I totally agree. I also was at the game, and everyone I sat next to knew what was coming. The Giants’ plan was to stop the run and then force mistakes. It worked perfectly for them. The only time the Pack did anything on the ground was with short play action passes which were not on 3rd down. You cannot beat the Giants with run,run,attempt pass, punt.

  • GBPDAN

    I know changing the QB at this point is probably a bad idea, but, training Tolzien on the job is a frustrating situation. He has promise, but with any young QB, hes going to thow picks. Its the no# 1 problem with rookie or inexperienced QBs in the NFL. This is not an ideal situation when you just need to win a few games until your starter gets back. This is why MM is being so conservative, its because TT and himself made a huge mistake by not having a backup QB ready to go incase rodgers got hurt.

    I know putting Flynn in at this point maybe a bad idea (maybe?), but , the last thing this team needs is to keep throwing INTs and at least Flynn is more experienced then Tolzien in this department. It sucks that we are at a point were our season is on the line and I even have to throw this suggestion out there

  • Razer

    That playbook must be pretty small without the likes of Rodgers, Cobb, Finley and the O-line patched up. Not that the playbook was ever very big or creative, but Scott Tolzien is not going to carve up the Giants.

    I fundamentally agree that this team doesn’t have a play caller that fully utilizes the talent that is on the field. Problem is that the play caller is the head coach. MM will need to get pushed off of this duty ala Jason Garrett.

    Still, the only way we beat the Giants is to meet them two months ago.

    • Robert Patreus

      …We beat the Giants four weeks ago (with AR), easily…

      • Dobber

        This is the really frustrating part…ARod plays, and the Packers could legitimately be 3 games up on the win column where they are right now and in the catbird seat for the division title. These games against Chicago, Philly, and the Giants were very winnable.

        The demoralizing thing for me is how badly things have fallen apart on both sides of the ball over this time. I think we all hoped that the defense would step up and try to carry the team over this span, but the opposite has been true.

  • GBPDAN

    J. I agree with you about thinking MM was a bone head back then. He made so many stupid decisions. I actually put his picture on my dart board at one point. Then after the pack won the SB, I respectfully hung his picture with my Packer wall of fame. I’m now thinking of taking him off the wall for awhile, or at least until Rogers gets back..lol

  • WIM

    boy, did Al get this right. i am not even close to as knowledgeable as Al is but even I knew what exactly was coming to which side. i think a lot of Mac’s ability keep a team together, and you cannot argue with a lot of his success, but i have NEVER thought he should be calling plays, nor is he a could game manager. my advice, do not risk rodgers for a longshot chance at the playoffs, make sure he totally healed. and above all, start trying to figure out something with the D because even if we make the playoffs we are one and out with our uncanny ability to make mediocre QBs looks like unitas.

    • Robert Patreus

      WIM…my thoughts exactly…what has Kapernick done since he played us in week one? What has A. Boldin done in nine games since he torched us with his ‘great speed’…I feel so despondent about the Packers right now…We’re always traiing and basically stink. Very depressing…We have about a 5% probability to beat the weak Vikings at home next weekend. Until AR comes back, we will not win a single game. We suck.

  • GBPDAN

    I do agree that MM has some good attributes like trying to hold the team together during diversity ( except for maybe when losing Rodgers) but during games he should only be allowed to talk to players and help motivate them. He should not be allowed to make in game decisions or play call. maybe he shouldnt be allowed to game plan, also. Other then these all Iimportant tasks, he’s a good HC..lol

  • bubbaloo

    Last week we heard false threats from McPuffy that changes would be made if the performance didn’t improve! It appears the only one who seemed to listen was Tramon Williams, who responded with his best game in about 2 years. Now it’s time to start hearing some threats from Mark Murphy! The defense sucks, and I can’t tell if it’s lack of coaching or lack of talent, but either one starts at the top, It’s either the staff for not coaching them up, or it’s the GM for not supplying the talent required. The play calling on O is about the only thing worse than the defense, and everyone knows exactly where that falls. The time has come, clean house, F.A.T.-Fire Albino Ted, dump a couple coaches, put someone on the waiver-wire, or just do something! I’m too damned old to live through another 20 years of mediocrity with a coach full of excuses about fundamentals.

  • Archie

    Bulls-eye Al.

    And the worst part of his play calling is that when he does call a pass downfield and it works, he immediately abandons it and goes back to what wasn’t working.

    MM should not be allowed to game plan of play call i.e., he should not be a head coach. He has ridden the coattails of two great QBs. The emperor has no clothes on. The man behind the curtain is a fraud.

    Sure hope Rodgers is ready to go v Vikes.

    • Pete Kliman

      I guess I expected panic ,but not aimed squarely on MM.Tolzien was never great in college and now is fresh off only one week of practice squad and as a starter. My take is much simpler . We couldn’t block them ,but they blocked us.

  • Art

    Al, first it was great seeing you at the tailgate yesterday. Thank you for making my friends feel welcomed. I sat in the upper deck too and clearly watched Tolzien throw great passes to receivers making great catches while Manning consistently had open receivers and several to choose from. Personally, I don’t think the defense played better yesterday, I just think that the Giants offense made them look better. I still saw soft tackling, missed tackles, and yes, I saw that major Giants shift to their right as soon as the ball was snapped. They clearly anticipated just about every play. One more point, I feel the Packers are done fro this year. I have read several articles that the Packers, with a win next Sunday and beating Detroit and then an easy schedule for the remainder of the season (really?) can win the division. They are being compared to the 2010 8-6 Super Bowl Packers. Here’s the difference…their four losses was by a combined points spread of 20, that being four losses by 3 points and two loses by 4 points. Some of those losses happening on a last second field goal. That is not the Packers this year. This time it is a weak defense, confused, slow, soft and small. There is no anger shown in their tackles that seem more like tripping than tackling.

    • Art

      Sorry, I meant to write their SIX losses in 2010 (not their four losses).

  • Big T

    I just heard MM is finally making a change. They are changing the team name to: The Green Bay Puffballs. The visiting teams that thrash us at home will get free loofas on the way out. Also at halftime the Green Bay Puffball players will give free foot massages to the opposing team. The only thing the Puffballs ask for in return is that you don’t hit them to hard during the game. We need Jim Mora “playoffs, PLAYOFFS, ha ha ha, how funny it is to laugh…

    • LEIGH LUMLEY

      When I lived in San Diego (I’m a Wiscosin native} I thought the Chargers should move to the Phippines and renamed The Manilla Folders.

  • marpag

    This board is actually pretty good when the Packers are winning, but 95% of the posters become utterly unreasonable after just one loss. I guess that’s a “fan” for ya.

    Two months ago, if people knew that Rodgers would have to play without Randall Cobb and without Jermichael Finely, and with Marshall ‘The Windmill’ Newhouse as an injury fill-in at right tackle, and that Jarrett Boykin would be a major part of the offense, Packer fans would have been cringing and wringing their hands wondering if even Aaron Rodgers could manage to pull the Pack through. You KNOW that they would! Now they’re bitching and moaning that SCOTT TOLZIEN can’t do it!

    The whole friggin’ team is injured, people. The whole friggin’ team is injured!! If you want to give sage commentary, start by admitting the patently self-evident.

    • Archie

      Yesterday’s loss lies at the feet of MM. Worse play calling I’ve ever seen.
      His strategy in a nutshell:

      (1) Run at the the opponent’s strength;
      (2) Throw sideways (at teh opponent’s strength);
      (3) When (1) and (2) doesn’t work (every time), throw vertical, using your QB’s strength to attack your opponent’s defensive weakness.
      (4) When (3) works, abandon it immediately and go back to (1) and (2), and in the most predictable way possible.
      (5) Afterwards blame the loss on your QB’s 5 INTs in 2 games.

      I will assume you are not an Xs and Os guy.

      • marpag

        LOL. No higher compliment could be given than that Archie thinks you’re wrong.

        Thanks, bro.

    • Razer

      Marpag, you are fundamentally right. Good times bring good comments, bad times – not so much. And I am right with you on the injury thing. It is the story of this team and this year. Still, the team has enough talent, depth and skill to execute a “better plan”. The Giants were expecting and played the Packers exactly how we prepared. Run, run, pass was the default for a young QB. McCarthy’s play call doomed Scott Tolzien from the kickoff.

      Tolzien showed enough arm to make this a game. Some creativity and down-field passing would have knocked the Giants off their run first defense. Given that we were without Barclay and therefore reduced to running left side, a more aggressive start might have actually openned up the run. McCarthy needs to step his game up not dummy it down. That is my frustration with this loss.

      • marpag

        OK, I have no problem with your opinions. But how many more yards than 339 did you think Tolzien was going to get? How many yards of passing would it have taken to “knock the Giants off their run first defense?” Maybe 500? And with 34 passes as opposed to only 17 planned runs, how much more did you want to emphasize the pass than that? Instead of having Tolzien pass 67% of the time, did you want him to pass maybe 80%?

        • Big T

          marpag, when you are repeatedly getting your azz handed to you it is time to change something. MM is too stubborn to change anything. The only time MM will change something is if it works, then he will eliminate that play. When you are 14 pts. down with time running out, guess what you may have to pass a lot. But I guess if you and MM want to run all game and gain no yards, it must be the right thing to do…

          • marpag

            I hate seeing the Packers lose as much as anyone. But I guess the point I’m trying to make is that people don’t understand just how crippled the coaching staff is with all of these injuries. I mean, people are actually suggesting that MM start throwing the razzle-dazzle into the gameplan. But you can’t run double reverses and flea-flickers and fumblerooskis when half of your gameday roster, including your QB, just came off the practice squad. They don’t even know each other’s names, let alone a majority of the playbook. And you can’t run complex blitzing schemes when you don’t even know what personnel are going to be lining up on Sunday. When your best players are out and your roster has been decimated by injury, your screwed, and that’s just how it is. Going ballistic and firing everyone isn’t going to help anything.

            • Big T

              marpag, I don’t think we should go ballistic and fire everyone either. MM has been a poor play caller since the beginning of time, that is no secret my friend. He can coach, he just needs someone else calling plays. Any close game that comes down to coaching that wins it, we lose everytime. Any close game that comes down to half time adjustments, we lose everytime. And that is with our full roster no injuries. As much as I can’t stand the Patriots coach, the man is a genius, if a game comes down to coaching, he wins… Some games are flat out lost because of poor coaching decisisons. We certainly have our share…

            • Archie

              Not asking for razzle-dazzle. Just asking for plays that fit into your QB’s strength and your opponent’s weakness. This past Sunday that meant to throw vertical. If I’m correct, Tolzein was 5-5 throwing downfield more than 10 yards. Unfortunately, MM chose not to continue doing what was working in favor of going back to what was not working: run-run-short pass sideways-punt. If you can’t agree with that, no point in us talking further.

              I understand all the injuries we’ve had and I have no way of knowing if we would have won had MM had followed what I’m suggesting, but I KNOW it would have given us the best chance of winning. To turn a phrase from Bum Phillips ….. MM can lose to your’n with his’n and he can lose to his’n with your’n.

              • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

                The ONE thing Tolzein has been VERY good at is putting those long passes right on the money. Doesn’t mean you can do that every play, but you do have to call pass plays to your QB’s strengths.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Injuries are not the subject of this post. Regardless of how many guys are out, the situational play calling and predictability of the plays is what I’m complaining about.

      • JimR_in_DC

        Using injuries as an excuse for poor/predicable play-calling is wrong. Using them as an excuse for poor execution is another matter.

      • marpag

        Clearly, injuries are not the subject of this post. But it’s my contention that the HAVE to be a major subject of this post. We can’t have a meaningful discussion about situational play calling WITHOUT taking into consideration the players that are available to execute the calls.

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    Marley and Razer are voices of reason in the lynch mob. There are some pretty extenuating circumstances attached to our downturn. We’re overrun with injuries. I agree that the play calling wasn’t ideal in hindsight, lacy had been one of the few bright spots in the losing streak. Tolzien looks not bad as a stopgap, but is prone to the big mistake, which will lose the game quicker than a punt. Without the picks, we would have been in it to the end. The area that is really bothering me is the defense, and how soft they are in pass coverage up the middle. They gotta fix that.

  • John

    Thompson, McCarthy and the Packer players have been overrated for a long time. Without Favre and Rogers we are seeing that the personnel is less than average. That lays at the feet of Thompson. Without Favre and Rogers we see that the poor decisions by McCarthy are much more costly.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      You’ve basically said nothing that isn’t already known. Take away Manning and Dungy and Polian probably aren’t considered good (especially Polian). Take away Brady and Belichick probably never becomes “the Belichick”. Going back take away Elway and Shanahan never gets a second chance. Hell take away Montana and Young and Bill Walsh would never have been remembered, let alone change the way football is played. It’s a quarterback driven league, that also applies to coaching staffs and front offices.

      • Archie

        That’s baloney. Belichek won w/o Drew Bledsoe and subsequent to that, when he lost Brady for an entire season, he went 11-5 with Matt Cassel. Teams right now are winning games with back-up QBs: PHILLY-OAK-CLE-CHI-RAMS-TB-Bills etc. Heck, didn’t MN win a game with a back-up QB this year? (Matt Cassel again.) There’s 8 teams this season alone that are winning games with back-up QBs. The idea that every team loses if their starting QB goes down is just not accurate.

        The situation between Manning in Indy and Rodgers in GB is much more comparable. Manning was so good he could carry the INdy team who, w/o him, would have been a league doormat. Unfortunately, the same appears to be the case for the Packers right now. That is a large part of what many of us are complaining about. Since the Super Bowl win, Packer homers have canonized TT and MM. Now they are being shown that the real reason for the Packers’ success. Aaron Rodgers is one incredible QB even when surrounded with mediocre talent. W/o him the Packers can’t run the ball, can’t score points, the defense is exposed as clowns and the HC is shown to be a buffoon at game planning and play calling. And thew GM is exposed for the mediocre talent he has assembled, including the coaching staff. Just saying. I know this isn’t easy for many to hear and I hate the fact that it is true. But because I hate it doesn’t mean I am going to pretend it isn’t. We just played 3 teams in a row whose season was dangling by a thread. One more loss and their seasons would be KO’d. Not only did those three teams defeat us but they did so soundly and embarrassingly. W/o AROD it is between us and JAX as to who the worst team in the NFL is.

        And the losing didn’t happen because of ALL the injuries, it happened because of one injury – AROD. That should NOT be the case. See the 8 teams named above, all winning with a back-up at the QB position.

        • Thomas Hobbes

          How many of those 8 teams do you think will make the playoffs this year? How many do you think will win a playoff game? They might be winning games, but you need a star quarterback to win the Super Bowl, which is the goal. At this point in the NFL, teams are so specialized to a specific quarterback that any team with a star quarterback will have their season tanked to injury. Do you think anyone else can run Peyton Manning’s offense? I’m not even sure Dan Marino could run the Peyton Manning offense and vice versa.

          Either way, coaching staffs are largely remembered by their quarterbacks performance, mostly because quarterback performance has the highest correlation to winning (especially in the playoffs). Can you name me one famous head coach after Bill Walsh that didn’t have a star quarterback at some point in their careers?

  • aj

    for me the problem is that we dont have a creative playbook,philbin´s gone and our production in offense is not the same…
    MM needs a new offensive coord….and Capers have to go right now….Rodgers is the only elite qb that has the worst offensive line on the league….im tires of the draft&developed philosophy…the prime time years of Aaron is pass on…
    we have someone like rex ryan or romeo crenel in our defense….and some FA like said kevin greene….
    IT IS TIME!!!

  • SchenySchen

    Just when we needed it, we look at the schedule and what foes appear? #28 and his merry band of viqueens! If we can’t win this week, they may as well board it up. Peterson is gimpy, josh freeman may be the starting QB and the queens are the only team that tackles worse than us! Thank you scheduling gods! Victory, sweet victory!

    • JimR_in_DC

      Hopefully so, Sheny, unless we’re defeated by hamstrings, knees, concussions, and playcalling.

    • John

      Sadly, the Queens have better overall talent than the Packers, excepting of course, at Quarterback. Most if not all teams have better overall talent than the Packers, except of course, at Quarterback. An embarrassing MN win is in the offing. Thompson has done a great disservice to Packer fans everywhere.

      • Barutan Seijin

        Hmm… 2013 Josh Freeman vs. Tolzien.

        I think i might take Tolzien.

    • Art

      Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the Vikings are an easy win just because of their record. After all, the Eagles were 4 – 5 when they beat the Packers, the Giants were 3 – 6,they squeaked out a win against a current 4 -6 Baltimore. The Packers are not healthy enough, not good enough, not psyched up enough to take the Vikings for granted.

    • Archie

      Vegas has Pack an early 3 point favorite. Vikes defense is weak. Almost as weak as ours. AD (Peterson) is hampered by a hammy again. Queens look to Josh Freeman at QB again. Game figures to be a high scoring free-for-all. A total for the game isn’t out yet. If it’s mid-40s or lower, bet the ranch OVER.

      • Archie

        And, of course, playing at Lambeau in the cold is a big negative for the Queens. Not to mention the Vikes have nothing left to play for.

        Here’s a happy thought:

        (1) Scott Tolzein notches his first NFL victory by completing a Packers sweep of the Vikes to go to 6-5.

        (2) Rodgers returns on Turkey Day to nip the Lions 27-24, upping Pack’s record to 7-5.

        (3) Pack wins out to finish 11-5, good enough to win the Division one more time.

        (4) With the 3rd seed, the Pack hosts the 49rs at Lambeau and this time beats them.

        (5) GB upsets NOR in the dome!

        (6) GB travels to SEA/CAR for NFC Championship game.

        (7) The Cinderella Packers outscore the Denver Broncos 50-49 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls of all time.

        A Packer fan can dream!

        • SchenySchen

          Archie, I love you man!

        • aj

          Archie if that happens i buy you a car.
          our team need a coach with personality and the players make less comercials.
          WE ARE PACKERS AND WE FINISHED STRONG

        • Big T

          Minnesota wins 42-3. AP runs for 397 yards and Freeman throws for 440.
          Aaron is back for the lions and Suh picks him up and pile drives him to the turf(no penalty called) Lions win 56-10.
          Pack ends the season at 5-11.
          Farve is back for a final run, Packers win 3 superbowls in a row. The final game for Farve he played in a wheelchair and threw for 6 touchdowns and 660 yards and wheeled for another 170 yards. Go Pack go