Game Balls and Lame Calls: 49ers 23, Packers 20

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Aaron Rodgers and the Packers couldn't get past the 49ers, so their focus now shifts to 2014.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers couldn’t get past the 49ers, so their focus now shifts to 2014.

It was a different final score but the same result for the Green Bay Packers when their season clock expired Jan. 5 against the San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn’t have 181 rushing yards, as he did in last year’s playoffs. But he had 98 on just seven carries.

Kaepernick fell short of the second 400-yard passing day of his career after racking up 412 in September’s season opener. But he moved the chains through the air and threw a dart to Vernon Davis for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter en route to extending his record against Green Bay to 3-0.

As things currently stand, the San Francisco 49ers of the 2010s are to the Green Bay Packers what the Dallas Cowboys were in the 1990s. Sunday’s game was a nail biter. In fact, it wasn’t decided until Phil Dawson’s field goal snuck through Davon House’s arms and inside the right goal post as time expired. But the win over the Packers was the 49ers’ fourth in two seasons. It was Green Bay’s second postseason loss to the 49ers in as many seasons.

But, top to bottom, the NFL is probably the most competitive of the major sports on a weekly basis. Anyone can beat anyone, and the Packers–yes, the same team that has allowed 132 points in its last four games against San Francisco–can beat Kaepernick and the 49ers.

They just haven’t yet.

While much of Packer Nation continues to reflect on the 2013-14 season and wonder what might have been, let’s look ahead at the future. And despite some obvious holes on the defensive side of the ball and the likely reappearance of Packer the Injury Bug, the team’s future is bright.

Because the offense has the potential to be phenomenal.

The Packers took a giant step forward this season by relying on a steady running game behind Rookie of the Year candidate Eddie Lacy. The Packers’ second-round pick shouldered the load all season, as he carried the ball at least 20 times in 10 games. Due to injuries at the quarterback position, Lacy became the focal point of the Packers’ offense, and they managed to squeak into the playoffs.

Lacy, James Starks, Johnathan Franklin and DuJuan Harris–who missed the entire 2013 season–will return to camp in 2014 and compete for playing time. Franklin and Starks each registered a 100-yard rushing day in Lacy’s absence, so from a depth standpoint, the backfield is in good hands.

The perimeter remains stacked with playmakers. Jordy Nelson set new career highs in receptions (85) and yards (1,314) despite catching passes from four different Packers quarterbacks this season, and Randall Cobb–despite a scary injury suffered Oct. 13–figures to return as one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers in 2013.

James Jones and Jermichael Finley, for different reasons, may be on the roster bubble for next season. Jarrett Boykin stepped in and played a key role for the Packers in 2013, which could play a role in how the team handles Jones’ impending free agency. It’s safe to assume at least one draft pick will be spent on a playmaking receiver or tight end this offseason, after opting not to address the position until the seventh round last April.

The most improved position in 2014 figures to be the offensive line, which will get a boost from the return of tackle Bryan Bulaga. Rookie left tackle David Bakhtiari was a savior this season, and he’ll likely remain on the blind side despite Bulaga’s transition to the left side last summer. With Bakhtiari and Bulaga at tackle, Don Barclay can be the swing guard-tackle with T.J. Lang, Evan Dietrich-Smith and Josh Sitton on the inside. The future of Dietrich-Smith may be in question, but it’d be a shock if the Packers allowed him to walk.

With a strong offensive line, a steady power running game and a group of talented playmakers, only one position remains unchecked on the offensive side of the ball–quarterback. And at that position, the Packers may have the best in the business in Aaron Rodgers.

He hasn’t exactly lit things up in the postseason since Super Bowl XLV, as Adam Czech wrote about post-another loss to the 49ers, but Rodgers is still Rodgers. And as long as he’s under center in Green Bay, the Packers have a chance. They have a chance in every regular-season game they play, and a chance in every playoff game.

They’ll need some to make some changes on the defensive side of the ball to get back to being a Super Bowl frontrunner, in my opinion, but with No. 12 at quarterback, the Packers are certainly a playoff team–one that nobody wants to meet in a win-or-go-home scenario.

And now for 2013’s final edition of Game Balls and Lame Calls.

Game Balls

Tramon Williams

At the beginning of the season, Williams was nowhere to be seen. With Casey Hayward dealing with a hamstring injury, Williams was forced to bump inside and handle some of the slot duties in the nickel. As the season wore on, it became evident that Williams was far better on the perimeter, and he flourished late in the season. All of a sudden, the Packers have a tough decision to make on Williams: Do they try and re-structure his contract? Cut him and give his money to Sam Shields? This is one of the more intriguing offseason story lines.

Eddie Lacy

If there’s one Game Ball to hand out for the entire 2013 season, I’d give it to Lacy. He missed nearly two games with a concussion, but he was the most consistent Packer from beginning to season’s end. Nothing against Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, but Lacy should be this year’s Rookie of the Year. One season in, he’s already gained the respect of many veterans around the league.

Josh Sitton

Because it’s time to set off one last Pro Football Focus debate of the season. As the weekly readers probably know by now, I think the offensive line is the most valuable purpose PFF serves. It’s hard to watch individual offensive linemen on every play, so I’ll use PFF’s judgement on whether a lineman wins or loses on a play. PFF gave Sitton a +4.3 grade–the highest of any Packers offensive player.

Draft season

With all due respect to my birthday, your birthday, Christmas and March Madness, Day 1 of the NFL Draft is the best day on the calendar. And if there’s one positive consequence from the Packers’ loss to the 49ers, it’s that they’re now slated to pick at No. 21 overall. Had the Packers won, their pick would have fallen later in the round. Ted Thompson and the Packers don’t do much in free agency, so the draft is vital to replenishing the talent on a team without many weaknesses. It’s never to early to start wondering who’s this year’s Gio Bernard?

Lame Calls

Three-and-out on first three possessions

If one number tells the score of the game, it’s three. The Packers lost by three points and went three-and-out three straight times to start the game. Rodgers looked uncomfortable against the 49ers’ pass rush and seemed to miss open receivers early, and John Kuhn fell short on a third-and-one on the team’s first possession. The Packers, in a three-point loss, had a number of missed opportunities. Three missed opportunities at the beginning of the game alone.

Micah Hyde’s dropped interception

The first play that could have ended the 49ers’ final drive and extended the Packers’ season.

Jarrett Bush’s failure to contain

The second play that could have ended the 49ers’ final drive and extended the Packers’ season.

A lot of Packers getting hurt a lot

This one, like the others, explains itself. And there’s really nowhere else to go for 2013’s final Lame Call. Yes, I think Dom Capers is out as Packers defensive coordinator, so I suppose I should have him on the Lame Calls list, but I actually thought holding the 49ers to 23 points was about as good as the Packers could do. So, instead of hating on Capers, I’ll hate on injuries. It’d be interesting to see what the Packers looked like with Bulaga and Bakthiari at tackle, Finley at tight end and Hayward creating turnovers from the slot, but we’ll never see that. Because, injuries. Injuries are a never-ending part of football, but the Packers certainly have had more than their fair share in recent seasons. Were the Packers the best team in the NFC at season’s end? No. Would they have been the best team in the NFC at full strength? I don’t know. Probably not, but maybe.

Big Thanks

Loyal ALLGBP Readers

Thanks, all. Whether it’s to hear an opinion, voice an opinion, rip a fellow commmenter or tear one of us to shreds–(joke)–it’s good to know that people are reading. We sincerely appreciate the interaction and loyal readership. Thanks for another great season. Obviously, we’re not going anywhere, as there will be plenty to talk about this offseason. But the Packers’ season is over and it seems like a natural time for a thanks.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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  • larry valdes

    Just with clay clay matweus, j jolly shields we would have beaten the 49.and probably if when we were at 9 yard first and go you run e lazy 4 times the result of the game. Would have been different.

    • gamer

      Ummm? I’ll drink to that …

    • Art

      Oooh you’re a mean man gamer, a mean man. ;)

      • Bedroske

        Mean?…would be saying he studied from the Jameis Winston School of English. But he didn’t say that…

        • Dobber

          I would’ve said the Shannon Sharpe school, but I think they’re part of the same university system.

  • JH9

    There are going to be many opinions as to why the Packers lost against the 49ers.Even though we lost by only three points and by a last second field goal, that shouldn’t mask the problem. In their last drive the 49ers took the last five minutes of the game and our defense couldn’t stop them. We saw this same thing happen many times before this past season. In fact, McCarthy called it a “recurring problem.”

    We have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Every year we should be in serious contention for the Super Bowl. It would be a monumental waste if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have a good enough team around him to win at least one more Lombardi Trophy. The question is, what do we need to do to improve this team?

    Now if we truly want to know what needs to be fixed in the offseason, we couldn’t ask for a better diagnostic tool than when Aaron Rodgers was lost for eight games. With AR, this team was 6-2. Without AR, 2-5-1. Having him off the field and seeing how this team played was like having an x-ray taken of this team for eight games.

    And what did we see?

    IMO except for one quarter of the Vikings game and one half of each of the Dallas and Atlanta games, we saw a defense unable to step-up and stop the opposing offense to help our crippled offense win games. We also saw our coaching staff on both sides of the ball unable to motivate and or scheme a way to make the players and the plays better.

    Only five teams in the NFL have allowed more 4th quarter points than the Packers this year. Only seven teams in the NFL gave up more total yards per game than the Packers. Only seven teams gave up more total points than the Packers.
    Whether you look at total points, or total yards given up, the Packers ranked 25th out of 32 teams in the NFL this season.

    My questions for Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy are: If your goal is to have the best team in the NFL, how can it be acceptable that 75% of the teams in the NFL play better defense than the Packers? Who is accountable for that?

    • palmda

      Capers is responsible. If he’s back next year the results will be the same -20 or more. In Green bay they seem to make lots of excuses and give rewards for non performance, reminds me of the Government. That is what happens when you manage by committee.

      • Dave D

        Great post JH9,

        TT, MM DC are responsible. Can’t get off the field on third down, horrible.

        SF not punts in first half. Then of course the last two niner drives end in a touchdown and a field gaol. By the way, even if the Packers scored a TD on their last drive. SF, if needed, would have scored a TD. That is horrible.

        • Dobber

          “SF not punts in first half. ”

          No punts, but the defense kept them out of the end zone on two drives, too. Moral victory? Perhaps, but if SF hits paydirt early, the final score is likely pretty ugly instead of just disappointing.

      • Since ’61

        Most likely it is because we play defense with second and third string safeties and ILB’s, plus injured OLB’s against 1st string offensive teams. Not an excuse, just the reality of the injury situation. There is a reason why there are starters and second and third string players. Remember, our opponents are smart. They know to attack ou second and third string defensive players. We would and have done the exact same thing. It’s not about schemes and coaching. It’s about players and their ability to execute and win one on one battles. Thanks, Since ’61

        • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

          Amen 61. Amen.

          The fact is that unless Burnett and B Jones step up their games in 14 – TT has screwed up the middle of the defense. He gambled and lost on Hawk, Jones and Burnett. He still hasn’t replaced Collins.

          As for the problems at DL/OLB? (i.e. the contain problems that DIRECTLY lead to Kap extending that last 9er drive 3 times on 3rd down)

          Those are all injury related. CM3- out. Jolly – out. Perry – 1/2 out. Neal – out. Mulumba – 1/2 out.

          What do you want from the coaches and players in that circumstance? If you want to blame anyone, blame cut blocks (which IMO should be banned from all levels of football)

    • Hank Scorpio

      The Packers had an outstanding group of corners and very good depth along the D-line. That ought to translate into a better defense than we saw.

      Yet Capers was unable to parlay that talent into more success on the field. His system demands good Safeties and LBs, something the Packers did not have. Hence, the Packer defense underachieved all year.

      IMO, there is no greater weakness for a coordinator than an inability to work with the talent available to maximize production on the field.

    • Shavager

      AMEN brother! Despite Ted Thompson giving Dom Capers nearly 30 NEW defensive players since the ’10 Super Bowl team, Capers has neither gotten the same success or same level of consistent play as that SB team produced in a 6 game stretch to win SB 45. This season, the defense actually played BETTER on Sunday against Niners with 5 STARTERS OUT, than they had at any time this season. INCONSISTENT, they don’t tackle well, they don’t cover well in zones, they still miss assignments, especially at critical points in opponents drives and consistently give up too many points in second half and fourth quarter of games. FACT: IF Packers played in west or south division, they would’ve finished 3rd AT BEST, possibly 4th with an offense that can compete with ANY NFL TEAM, but a defense that is worse than at least 23 other teams–that’s not championship football.

  • Savage57

    Add’s to the Game Ball list:

    John Kuhn – Made the little plays that made a big difference at critical times to sustain drives that allowed the Pack to stay in the game.

    Mike Daniels – Only Packer interior DL who can move the pile and react to sack/tackle.

    The Back Judge – Davon House should send him something nice.

    Add’s to the Lame Call’s list.

    Micah Hyde ver 2.0 – blown coverage on the 4th and 6 for Crabtree’s 31 yard catch.

    Andrew Quarless – Either he can’t block or he just doesn’t like to. He’s come on as a pass catcher, but man does he get eaten alive when he’s asked to block a DL or a LB.

    Lady Luck (the bad variety) – All right. Enough, bitch. You’ve had your way the last several years, now go visit your charm on another team, like, oh, the Vikings maybe? Just go the #*&$# away and invite your charming sister to come and take your place.

    • Dobber

      Good call on Daniels. He was a bright spot on the DL in situational snaps, and then playing a bigger role later in the season. Love his energy.

      Did John Kuhn NOT answer the bell on any of his short yardage/catches this season? Lots of negatives on 3rd and short Kuhn dive plays in the off-season, but they work. Another gritty player that would be nice to keep, but there might not be enough cash to go around.

      • marpag

        Agreed about Kuhn, but give him a big, laughing lame call on that failed “Lambeau leap”, which was more like a “Lambeau lunge.” Or maybe it was just a “Lambeau” without the leap. Kinda funny, actually. :)

        One big black mark on Kuhn’s season is when he tried to pick up the blocked punt in the Baltimore game instead of just falling on it. The Ravens recovered it for a first down. That was one of the worst ST blunders I had seen in a long time.

        • Dobber

          I called it the “Lambeau Splat” when it happened. It looked more like he’d been checked into the boards than anything else.

    • Gary

      Thumbs up for the Back Judge. He let them play and called it the same on both teams. That’s something the Packers have not seen in quiet some time.

  • palmda

    The Good: Rodgers has a year to recover. The bad: Defense all around. If you keep doing the same thing you are going to get the same results. Safety position, no need to keep any of the existing players they all are terrible. Line Backer, nothing outstanding there. Hawk is playing ok but not outstanding. Defensive line didn’t show up at the end of the season? Raji wants more money, I say let him get it somewhere else if he plays like he did. Offensive line, Newhouse and Lang need to go. Special teams have been poor all season, either get new coaches and or players or let the better players play on special teams. So very little good lots of bad. It was a fluke that they got into the playoff’s, only because the remainder of the division are that much worse.

  • http://GV889@aol.com Jerry

    Good read Marques,I beg to differ on Dom Capers unless you know for sure he’s toast .I believe McCarthy will keep him for at least one more season using the rational of injuries and lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball.If Micha Hyde makes that pick Dom Capers would be smelling like a rose today and Colin Kaepernick would be in Andy Daltonvile. Remember last year’s Playoff game against the 49ers when Sam Shields gotta pick six off Kaepernick.It looked very similar to Hyde’s missed chance.My gut feeling is the 49ers lay an egg in Carolina on sunday (Can only hope)If Ted T is going to take some money away from someone to pay Sam Shields ask Morgan Burnett to hand over his. Tramon came on strong at the end of the year,he earned his check!

  • Dave D

    Game Balls: Kaepernick, hate hime but he kills Packers lame Defense.

    Lame Calls, MM play calling, AGAIN. Especially on the last drive.

    Hyde of course.

    Bush of course

    and last but not lease MR. LAME CALL Dom Capers.

    comments marpag?

  • Dobber

    You mention Jones contract status, but don’t Nelson and Cobb both come up after 2014? At least one of them will get extended, and skill position players will become a priority in this year’s draft. WR already is starting to look deep with juniors coming out.

  • SchenySchen

    I think the biggest loss on defense, aside from CMIII was Hayward being gone all year. Hyde got some experience and he can be a good cog moving forward but Hayward just had a knack for making things happen in the slot. — I was pleasantly surprised by House’s ability in the 9er game. Looked alright. GoPack!

  • Big T

    Lame Calls: Jones dropping 2 game changing passes, one hits him in the head and the other the shoulder pad… inexcuseable. MM play calling is just not at the professional level. (maybe high school level). Defense actually played well enough to win. I believe Micah Hyde is going to be a stud. He plays with heart and isn’t afraid to tackle. He was a rookie thrown into one of the worst defensive backfields in the history of football. I say give him a break, he will be a pro bowler some day…

    • Dave D

      Agree Bg T but Jones usually catches anything thrown to hi. Like him a lot.

      MM play calling is at Pop Warner level at best.

      Comments marpag?

    • Since ’61

      MM play calling has been very sound. If you go play by play over the course of a game you will see the plan coming together. I am speaking now when Rodgers and most of the offense is healthy. It’s not all about play calling but about execution. How many runs are all about Lacy? Even the positive ones. If you watch the game you will see the OL break down on many plays. Not MMs fault. Also, you will observe that Rodgers call about 80% of the plays at the LOS, not MM. And of course you would know all the correct play calls to make because you have studied film of our opponents all week long like MM, Rodgers, Clements and others do. You are aware of the all the opponents defensive formations and tendencies. MM and Rodgers have much more information and understanding of our players, our offense and the opponents than we do. They have an offer .640 winning % to prove it. I am fine to leave the playcalling with them. Thanks, Since’61

      • Bedroske

        Thank you! Such nearsightedness in their hindsightedness.

  • Elo

    There were 8-10 plays where if one Pack player makes the play, we win. (2 of these are JJones drops – catch with your hands, not your chest!)

    Overall I thought the Pack played a gutsy game and showed a lot of resilience over the last 4 games. What became the clearly defining characteristic of this team was simply the lack of talent on defense. I’m not sure Capers is totally to blame given the talent level and key injuries. I’m just not sure how you can coach our safeties and 3rd sting linebackers to success against a team like the 49rs.

    Guys need to make plays, and some of our guys on D just don’t seem capable.

    As for MM, he can be really frustrating at times as he seems to frequently out-think himself. Calls a run when we should pass and vice-versa. It seems like he is trying to outsmart or trick the defense with his playcall. He just needs to play to our strength and let the players make the plays. Our offensive success is from 1) Lacy’s 2nd effort, 2)WR yards after catch, and 3)Rodgers extending the play – not from MM’s genius play call sequences. I still think he needs to let go of the play calling and just be the head coach.

  • icebowl

    ARodg coming back to not only beat the Bearz but knock them out of playoffs…
    You couldn’t write a better script….
    2013 was a wild ride for us packer fans…
    Can’t wait for 2014 season to start….

  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    Just read McGinn’s analysis of the SF game this morning:

    “Green Bay was in ideal position to become the latest underdog team with a mediocre record in the regular season to post a wild card surprise. They just didn’t play well enough.”

    It’s all there folks. Yes, there are holes in the team at S, ILB (depending on if B. Jones regains his 2012 form) and TE (assuming Finley is gone). But this is a VERY GOOD team. One of the NFL’s best.

    Think about it: GB took SF (the media darlings and one of the SB favorites this year) to the WIRE. DOWN LITERALLY 20 GUYS BY GAMES’ END.

    That is nothing to be ashamed about. IF this team EVER stays relatively healthy, 15-1 and another Super Bowl (or 2) is not out of the question.

    TT needs to start using mid level FA’s and look at redoing some contracts. MM needs to look at his gameplanning and playcalling. DC needs to grow a set of nuts more often than not. But these are all FIXABLE problems! Problems that 28 or so of the other teams in the league will KILL to have!

    And now do you want to hear the REALLY good news? Not ALL of them need to be fixed to win another Super Bowl. Think about how close we were THIS year, with THIS eminently hurt and flawed team!

    Yes, Lions/Vikings/Bears trolls will post GIF’s of Kaepernick and Co. “closing Lambeau” for the year… blah blah.. Kap’s time is coming. Once Seattle and San Fran have to pay their QB’s they will have to remember this thing called the SALARY CAP. And it will murder their high paid defensive personnel.

    Plus, we own the NFCN anyway. Have for over 20 years. The future is STILL very bright.

    THE MARCH FOR LOMBARDI 2014!

    • icebowl

      Great stuff….
      All makes sense…
      Thanks for sharing…

  • cdk4205

    I usually moan about coaching, but in this case, the players were in position to make plays but failed. Elo is right — all it took was one of the plays to go GB’s way. JJ’s drops and MH int the biggest.

  • John in Montana

    The Defense needs an overhaul. Capers has become predictable and every team has figured that out. We need a strong draft and some free agency pick-ups. Fix the defense and the whole team improves. While Dom did all he could with what he had, he is still too predictable on coverages and blitzes. Plus, there’s no speed anywhere on the defense which is usually reacting rather than controlling. My bicycle tires have more pressure than the defensive line. Fix that and everything will get much better.

    • Bedroske

      Isn’t part of the reason for his predictability in what T. Williams said post-game, that Dom had to simplify the play calling for guys that didn’t even go through training camp?

    • Dobber

      “The Defense needs an overhaul. Capers has become predictable and every team has figured that out.”

      Dom’s contract is up, is it not? It would be a convenient time to part ways…and he could make that choice without having to resign or be fired.

      I disagree on the overhaul. The defense lacks discipline (at times) and cohesiveness. I think that can be accomplished by better coaching and by adding a “field general” safety. That doesn’t fix everything…they need more than just a single safety, but that one change by itself would make a tremendous difference, I think.

  • James David

    We may not like the cards that we were dealt, but we always must play with the cards that we were dealt, and we (should) never complain about the cards that we were dealt! Learn to win with class (the Bears played a good game that the Packers won) and lose with class (the 49’s won a great game). Let us hope that GB signs CB Sam Shields, C Evan Dietrick-Smith, and RB James Starks. Draft needs include FS,SS,RG,TE,DT,ILB, and OLB. GB needs to find some nuggets for next year.

  • Big O

    If we could stay healthy one of these years I truely believe we could break through to another SB, our defence is now geared to the 3-4 and if we changed it to say a 4-3 there is another year lost for adjustment,(reality), get some key players back on defence and offence, few upgrades and WOW!! most improved player this year how about Crosby!!!! GO Pack!!

  • Scheny Schen

    “My bicycle tires have more pressure than our D-line”– that is a great line. I love it!

  • Calabasa

    “Lacy, James Starks, Johnathan Franklin and DuJuan Harris–who missed the entire 2013 season–will return to camp in 2014 and compete for playing time”

    Starks is UFA, right?

    • http://allgbp.com Thegreatreynoldo

      starks is a free agent.

  • Art

    For the full season as to game balls, we all know that Lacy has done it all for the Packers. What a future the Packers have with him. But if there was one other player to be named, one who was there every time GB needed a play, one that has been so overlooked by the NFL as a pro bowler it has to be Jordy Nelson. Always reliable and consistent. Any thoughts on this?

    • Dobber

      Lost in this discussion is the fact that Lacy put the ball on the ground once all season…in game 1 vs. SF. That’s ball security!

    • icebowl

      Damn straight !

  • Bedroske

    I think it’s cute that all of the whiners of MM play calling and Dom’s ability have also hypocritically fallen in love with their politically correct mantra to “not use injuries as an excuse.” Truth is, although it’s not an excuse for coaches, it is a really legitimate reason.

    However, WE can use it as an excuse. We can excuse the season away. Nobody in this blogoshere has the omniscience to say that Dom or Greene didn’t get the most our of Palmer or Mulumba or that a particular play call change would have worked.

    Truth is, it’s human nature to blame a person; to put a face with the problem/issue. Why can’t we simplify the season by saying the coaches got the most out 20 less players by season’s end? It’s okay to have a faceless blame. Really.

  • http://grizzlymitch@bresnan.net grizzlymitch

    We can’t go through another year with Capers. We are giving in to other teams if we do. Our predictable D will not get better with him in charge. The past three seasons will prove I am right.

  • Since ’61

    Bedroske – you make some good points. Many of our fellow bloggers think this is Madden football instead of real humans playing against other real humans. Therefore since the plays in reality don’t work like the Madden football toys it must be the fault of MM or Capers. Also, the TV air heads who covers the games corrupt the thinking with their pedantic comments about play calling, etc… Since I go back to the days when the games were only on radio or you went to the stadium I keep the sound down and pay attention to the game rather than have the airheads try to explain it, unless there is a fluke play or penalty. If you speak with coaches and players, they all agree to a man that once the ball is snapped it’s all about execution. Maybe once or twice a game they get a call where the defense is in the wrong package or formation. The same on the defense side of the ball. Years ago before situational football and packages you had more chances to plan against a defense that did not substitute players in every down. This is why the no huddle has become such a big part of offenses. To try to catch the defense in the wrong package and even then most plays are called or changed at the LOS. The defense is adjusting right up to the snap as well. Every year at this time I have 2 TVs side by side and I watch Lombardi era games next to the latest season games and every year I come away amazed at how well Lombardi’s OL played compared with our current OL. I just watched Lombardi’s OL on the Power Sweep vs. the current on tosses to Lacy. The difference in execution is enormous. Lombardi’s line actually blocks and knocks people down. The current guys just run in the way of Lacy and basically slow him down until the defenders get there. It’s rudiculos. Well on to next season. Thanks,Since ’61

  • Shavager

    Plus side for Packers–bringing back Flynn to salvage 2 wins and tie to make playoffs, the play of Sam Shields and Micah Hyde in secondary. Didn’t see anything by Burnett, House, Richardson,Jennings to even warrant mentioning their names and Tramon Williams looks like he was playing for a bigger contract next season, since he didn’t show much until the last 2-3 games. PLUS to Johnny Jolly, don’t think anyone had as much production on D-line as Jolly except Mike Daniels. BJ WHO? Can’t remember his name he’s been invisible so long, even a 34 year old Pickett outplayed ole BJ “WHO”. Thought Kuhn did his job as always, and Eddie “the HAMMER” Lacy pounded defenses just as he did at ‘Bama, a bright star for Packers. PLUS-James Starks puts up an admirable performance for Pack and finished a season without an injury! On O-line, a PLUS for Bakhtiari and Sitton as Packers usually were better running off leftside of line behind these two guys-they out performed right side of line easily and a PLUS for Quarless at TE, not big numbers but he made Finley’s loss easier. PLUS for AJ Hawk, most consistent player on defense, PLUS for Crosby, Masthay and Brett Goode-they all performed very well. Half plus for McCarthy–saw too many games when McCarthy’s team ran same routine plays that anyone could see coming, didn’t show adjustments until Packers got behind, especially later in season. Thought Capers would’ve been fired last season, definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over expecting a different conclusion–IF McCarthy thinks Capers defense will get much better, HE’S CRAZY.