Packers 3, Detroit 7: Stupidity Rules All Green Bay Packers All the Time

The Packers inexplicably fell to the Detroit Lions today, in what I can honestly say was some of the stupidest football playing I’ve seen in awhile.

It was an UGLY start for the Green Bay Packers today, with a scoreless first half a gift to the Packers thanks to  Drew Stanton and his two interceptions.

Things only got worse as Aaron Rodgers stupidly refused to slide after having already picked up a first down and got knocked out of the game with a concussion.

Not surprisingly, Matt Flynn had limited success, doing SOME good things but ultimately failing when the Packers needed it most. I don’t blame Flynn for the loss, however. Matt Flynn is who I thought he was.

My game day impressions:


The whole trap game concept has been discussed thoroughly here and here. While I do believe in the concept of a trap game, I think the particular circumstances of each such game have to be taken into account.

In a case like this game today, with the Packers fighting for a playoff spot, needing division wins and only four games left in the season, I just don’t think it’s possible the Packers will take this game lightly.

MY KEY TO THE GAME: If I had to pick JUST ONE thing, it would be this: Get after Drew Stanton. Detroit has the weapons at wide receiver to give any team a tough time. Give Stanton the time to throw it up there to Calvin Johnson & Co., and you’re just asking for trouble. Make Stanton’s life difficult from the first play, and the turnovers will follow.

My 1A key to the game is to take the same approach on offense as they did against the 49ers. Throw the ball downfield and take advantage of the very week Detroit secondary. Of course, the offensive line will need to give Rodgers some time to do so.

Lions had 431 yards of offense in their last meeting….

Inactive for Green Bay on Sunday: Bigby, P. Lee, Smith, Hall, Wilhelm, McDonald, Newhouse and Jenkins.

No surprises this week. Still pretty sad to see Jenkins’ name there…

Once again, all three fullbacks are active.

MM Comments on WTMJ Pregame show:

It’s a good day to be inside…

Packers in a dome: We feel like we do a very good job getting ready for dome football. Two of our 3 division opponents are dome teams. We feel like we’re built for this.

Offensive efficency: Too many giveaways to start the season. We spend a lot of time in practice on protecting the ball  and turnover ratio.

Jennings resurgence: We’re just doing a better job overall on offense, better running, better protection and then getting Jennings in on-on-ones where he does very well

Starks: James is a very talented young man. Good to get him started last week Looking to do the same with Dimitri Nance today in Detroit.

Lions definitely a talented football team. Particularly tough at home.

Suh vs. Sitton: A matchup that fans should take a look at. Two guys that will be doing battle for a long time in this division.

Johnson, Pettigrew and Best:  Very talented perimeter players on Detroit’s offense. Big challenge for our defense.

Stefan Logan, we’ve been talking about him all week. Very good in tight spots. very explosive in those situation, which you don’t see that often.


BJ Raji blowing up the Lions center very early…

The Packers finally get some very good field position early in the game. Have to capitalize…

And on the next play… Quarless fumbles the ball back to Detroit. So much for getting off to a good start.

To make matters worse, Detroit moves the ball downfield using almost exclusively running plays.

Tramon Williams on the end zone INT. That was my key to the game. Pressure Stanton and the turnovers will come…

Rodgers overthrows an open Jones down the sideline on 2nd and one. So on third and one, another pass and a sack on Rodgers.  ???  Stupid.

Everyone know the Stefan Logan story? Didn’t go to college until 5 years after HS. Goes to a school in South Dakota. UDFA with the Dolphins and gets cut. P{lays in Canada for a year. Cut by the steelers this training camp. Lions sign him on a flyer and now look at him, at age 29 in his first real NFL shot. wow.

MM always outsmarts himself early in games. 3rd and 1: pass. 2nd and 8: run, etc… How about just keep a drive going… Stupid

Wow. Mike McCarty letting the F-words fly on the disallowed penalty that resulted in an Lions interception. the way the team is playing, I hope  it helps to fire them up.

Score: Packers 0, Lions 0


It’s still very early, but so far, all I can say is, thank God for Drew Stanton. Charlie Peprah with the INT for the Packers.

I seriously don’t know why opposing teams don’t blitz the Packers more. Is it my imagination or does it seem like someone always gets through untouched?

Lions play-calling on 3rd down has equaled the packers overall play-calling.

Aaron Rodgers with a DUMB play. He runs for a first down and forgoes sliding. Takes a double hot and gets up very woozy. Stupid.

After Rodgers is obviously woozy, McCarthy calls a PASS. STUPID. STUPID STUPID. Or if Rodgers checked to that play, then he was STUPID. STUPID STUPID.They have to be smarter than this.

And just as I write this, we see Matt Flynn come into the game for Rodgers. Wonderful! Now Rodgers is out? playing Did I mention the Packers are playing STUPID?

You can be sure the Lions smell blood right now. Packers defense is going to have to be perfect.  Defense: Go out and win this game.

Score: Packers 0, Lions 0

2ND Half

Well the football couldn’t be much worse this half, could it? Let’s see.

TJ Lang starts the second half at Left Guard, replacing  Jason Spitz, who had come in for Daryn Colledge.

Matt Flynn can throw the five yard pass like a mother…

Despite his protestations, I don’t believe the end zone attempt to Jennings was a catch. I thought the ball hit the ground and moved around. Not enough evidence to overturn, anyway. Good no-challenge.

Jordy Nelson getting real nervous as Flynn now refuses to slide and takes a good hit. Nelson is thought to be the emergency QB, although the coaches refuse to reveal that.

Hmm, McCarthy has to “simplify” the offense for Flynn and they start moving the ball… Stop outsmarting yourself, Mike. Keep it simple, Stupid.

But then Flynn gets STUPID, with an interception in the end zone. Never looked anywhere less, forced it and that ends the Packers drive. 0 points.

Detroit kicker with a huge miss. In a game like this, EVERY point counts.

Score: Packers 3, Lions 0


Packers to open the 4th quarter with a third and one. Will the Packers pass again? let’s see…

And the play is… a broken play…  Fail… Flynn turns to hand off to the left, but everyone else going to the right. That one’s on Flynn.

I suppose this is what waterboarding feels like…

Announcer liking the play of “Sammy” Shields. Got a good chuckle at that.

Been waiting all game for the Lions to make use of Brandon Pettigrew. Two big catches in a row…

And then they find their other tight end on a screen pass for a touchdown.

Packers offensive line continues to get it’s asses kicked. Constant pressure on Flynn, not a guy I think is capable of handling pressure well.

Defense does it’s job. Three and out. Packers get the ball back with 3:58 left.

Blocking improves somewhat and Packers are moving the ball downfield with short passes..

On fourth and one and a still a minute left, MM calls for a pass into the end zone. I understand not having confidence to gain a yard the way the O-Line was blocking, but I would have at least tried for a higher-percentage pass to keep the drive going. McCarthy outsmarting himself again. Stupid.

BTW, give me that play on second and two. Take your shot there. I’d be all for it. Buy why go “all or nothing” with a minute left? Stupid.

Final Score: Packers 3, Detroit 7

Despite all this stupidity, the season is not over, Packer fans. A lot of things can still happen.


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, 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


46 thoughts on “Packers 3, Detroit 7: Stupidity Rules

  1. I understand that the season is not over, but it sure feels like it is slipping away. How many times can a Coach outsmart himself, as you call it, and let games like this slip away, before that team begins to really believe they are not capable of winning close games? I wonder if that thought has been firmly planted in the minds of the Packers. The scene was not that of a team that with a win could possibly move into a tie for first, it looked like a team who knew their fate was sealed. I wonder if the “stupid” things have caused self-doubt on this team?? Will continue to cheer my Packers on! I hope they can overcome this. Self-doubt would be a very bad thing when headed to Foxboro!!

    1. Unfortunately, I’ve written on many occasions about McCarthy and his sporadic play calling. I’m not going to do it right now, because it’s like beating a dead horse. Pains me to say this, but he is just not a Super Bowl caliber coach.

  2. Guess my post didn’t make it…

    Here’s my breakdown:
    GB plays from the shotgun:
    31 for 126 yards. 4.06 average. 1 fumble.

    GB plays from center:
    24 for 86 yards. 3.58 average. 2 ints.

    Didn’t do the breakdown with passing and rushing separated, but you get the feeling…

    Playcalling shouldn’t be what it was.

      1. I made another post earlier, and hit the post your comment, but I probably closed the window before it got posted…

  3. I can’t believe the packers let this game get away. I agree that McCarthy isn’t a Playoff Winning Coach, let alone a SB Coach. What was as troubling though was the poor play of key players and the nonchalant attitude they seemed to have. Where is the fire? Where is the confidence? Made me sick to watch such a poor game.

  4. The Oline is back in the crapper. This has been coming for the last four games. West coast bible says you play for possession on 4th and 1 with over a minute left on the clock. Four more downs could have actually pulled that game out.

    There is a far greater probabilty that the Packers will go 8-8 than 11-5. NE could be brutal absolutely brutal.

    MM 0-5 in 4pt or less losses. Sign off a crappy coach. I’ve had it with him.

  5. Wow. Just wow.

    Perhaps it’s best I was only able to watch the first quarter. Apparently it was just repeated for the rest of the game.

  6. Great point, Al. 2nd down was indeed the time to try that play. Terrible game by McCarthy. Somebody needs to point out to me where he has grown as a head coach, because I can’t see it. He has no feel for the game as it unfolds before him.

    I think he calls plays totally based on matchups, either individual (like that 4th down call) or alignment. He’s so worried about the matchup that he ignores the importance of the situation. It’s the only thing I can come up with to explain it.

  7. Geez,is this like being water boarded or whatever they call that torture to make you believe what you see isn’t real or that it’s real and want you to deny it or believe it or…or…or…

  8. I actually like the 4th and 1 call. Jennings (your go to wr) one on one for the game? Yeah, I like it. The call may have been based on the fact that Flynn was so poor at reading the defense in the red zone when the field of play got tighter.

    1. Why go all or nothing with a QB that has poor touch on anything other than short passes when you still have a minute left? That play belonged on 2nd and two. That’s when you take a shot.

      If it had worked, we’d all be delirious, but I’d still think it was a dumb call.

  9. What will it take to convince TT that MM is not going to win you a championship. He can not motivate his team to play with heart enough to beat an inferior team. His game plan on the outset was flawed. A hurry up offense should have been implemented at the beginning of the game against the Lions front four. The Packers did not show up to dominate an inferior team. Coach MM did everything wrong. He lacks the ability to motivate his players to have any type of killer instinct. His paly calling is ridiculous. What will it take to get a real OC in there? I’m PISSED!!

      1. You know, I don’t know if any coaches motivates their guys to play with heart or whatever. But there are coaches who can get a team turned around after a bad quarter, a bad half, or a bad three quarters. This is what I don’t think McCarthy is capable of doing. Forget the 2nd half…the first half was identical to the entire Redskins and Dolphins games. We had a bad first quarter at Minnesota and turned in around. Aside from that, I do not recall a single instance in the last 4+ years where this teams started out poorly for any length of time and turned it around.

        Great idea about the hurry-up. Something to tire out that Detroit front four would have been a big help.

        And like I said on another blog, the despair we are all feeling is what happens when you lose early season games you have no business losing (WSH, MIA). That leaves a team with a very slim margin for error. And the Packers might just have used that margin up.

  10. That call on 4th and 1 was dictated by the defense and the fact they were showing you one on one. Jennings beat his man. It’s a throw every single qb in the NFL has got to be able to make. If he keeps it anywhere close its a touchdown or pass interference at the very least. Of course if it’s a td, everyone talks about what a gutsy call it was.

    1. Knowing the situation you are in is just as important as reading the defense. Just because the D is giving you a one-on-one coverage on 4th and one doesn’t mean you throw into the end zone. Run a simple curl, make your first down, keep your hopes alive. That would be my philosophy.

  11. One question ,was Jennings open? Flynn makes that throw[could have been a flag] and everyone would be applauding MM for having the guts to make that call.Especially the way we struggle in the red zone,even with Rogers.Line gets destroyed ,Jennings drops a TD and most of you blame MM.

    1. Pete,

      First, there was no interference. Ball wasn’t catchable anyway. Second, McCarthy himself admitted the call was a mistake in his post game press conference. McCarthy has good days and bad days. This one was awful…

    2. Pete, it’s about the percentages.. Shorter pass higher percentage of completing it. MM is to blame, if you look at the play selection in short yardage situation throughout the season. ..Packers achillies heel.

  12. Going back and looking at the line play – THE OLINE IS A BUNCH OF SISSIES. This does not bode well for the last three games.

  13. Every championship coach seems to have a driving force to their strategy that comes from one of three areas 1)A Passion that motivates the team, 2)Intelligence that results in excellent game planning 3)Ability to make the right judgements in a game based on experience. McCarthy excels in none of these.

  14. MM is not a good coach, I said it the first year and I am saying it now. Having said that the running backs have no where to run. Watched Lombardi on HBO last night. Their best play was the sweep and every defense knew that the Packers were going to run it but the play design was brilliant and most often the execution was precise. If you cannot run the ball you can not win. One last thing, yes the defense was good but when you needed them the most they folded as well. OK one more thing, the division loss really hurts playoff chances if Pack win out Bears still have to lose one additional game.

  15. STUPID pretty much sums up this game. Agree with all your points, Al.

    Poor blocking & protection – how about getting the ball out of the QB’s hands faster? Run some quick slants and such. Not MM. Gotta stick with that game plan. Heaven forbid you actually make adjustments based on the flow of the game. And why no T-formation? It sure seemed to work against the 49ers. They could have at least tried it for short yardage. Nothing they were doing was working, that’s for sure.

    My first thought after Rodgers got up slowly? Call a running play; make sure your QB is OK, let him get his composure back, etc. Seems like a logical move. So of course, we get the opposite. WTF?

    MM seemed to initially adjust some of his play calling for Flynn, who was able to move the team downfield. His terrible INT aside, this brings me to a point that has been bothering me all season.
    I think the Packers’ playbook is too big, too complex. Lombardi had to scrap the existing playbook when he arrived, instead focusing on the basics, and on running a much simpler set of plays as perfectly as possible. I know times have changed and they’re not going to be running sweeps all the time, but I think stripping things down a bit could be advantageous. The ol’ KISS Principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid. MM gets too fancy and beats himself or out-thinks himself.

    I’ve come to conclude that Al is right – this team is not going to go all the way with MM running the show. Would love to be proven wrong, but I’m sure not seeing anything to make me think otherwise.

  16. Well,the Packers(Super Bowl or Die)Cruise-o-Matic has STALLED and these passengers can only stand by the roadside and hope others will give them a push to the curb.

    The Pats will surely will make “ROAD KILL MESS of US” next week.No chance to get to the curb for safety.

    1. NE is 26-0 in their last 26 home games. That’s a period of over 3 years. Which means it includes the Cassel year. Whether we like it or not Belichek (sp?) is the best coach in the NFL. Has anyone else noticed how what was thought to be a bad NE delense has improved over the season? At the same time GB’s Oline has deteriorated to early 09′ levels. The lard ass Spitz looked like he was slower than Breno for cripes sake. The Oline is a whole new topic. What the hell happened to TJ? They used Spitz before TJ?

      Help or not, if GB loses next week it will be all over realistically. And next year maybe we’ll be watching replacement games again. TT should do well if that happens.

      1. Belichick get the most out of his players – hand down.

        TJ is the primary backup at both tackles, Spitz the primary backup at both guards. that’s why Spitz got the first call. He didn’t last long, though…

        I believe even with a loss to the Pats, the Packers are still in it id the Vikings beat the Bears. If not, then it’s over…

        1. If GB ties with the Bears, both one on one and division are ties if the Queenies beat the Bears. It then falls to common opponents and I think (not sure) the Bears have it on that one. Of course, that means GB wins out, and the Bears lose to the Queens. Lets hope that Minnesota has enough tire patches to put the Humpty Dump back together again. On a neutral site Harris and Peppers will control the game.

  17. That wasn’t the most embarrassing loss I’ve witnessed but it may have been the most frustrating. This was probably one of the worst offensive performances since 2005 and early 2006.

  18. i think mccarthy needs to go. he comes out with his play plan,,,run screen run punt or screen run run punt. doesn’t matter if they are 20 ahead or 20 behind,,,,did it to favre the last few years and now to rodgers. need to open up that defense or they will kill you. even if the % is less you need to make the threat. especially against poor secondaries like the last 2 weeks. he holds that play card all game but only has two playes that he knows. and then 4th and 1 know lets go long??????????

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