Cory’s Corner: Biggest wart on Sunday was offense All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Former Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn came in to relieve the struggling Scott Tolzien.
Former Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn came in to relieve the struggling Scott Tolzien.

Everyone is going to want to blame the defense today.

And, yeah, it sounds about right.

The defense allowed a 2-8 team to waltz into Lambeau Field and get pushed around by Adrian Peterson who hasn’t been 100 percent for quite some time. Most people can swallow giving up 146 yards on the ground to a future Hall of Famer like Peterson.

But Toby Gerhart’s 91 rushing yards was more of a surprise than finding a 50-dollar bill in the couch cushions.

Yet, despite all that, I’m not blaming the loss, err tie on the defense.

Nope, this coulda-been is on the offense.

Most specifically, the very first overtime drive. Freshly inserted Matt Flynn — whom coach Mike McCarthy admitted he was looking for a spark — led the Packers down the field within scoring distance in eight plays.

The Packers had the ball 1st and goal from the Minnesota 7 and the only thing that was gained from such a great drive was a 20-yard field goal that Mason Crosby could’ve made with his eyes closed.

The play-calling didn’t help either. I didn’t like Eddie Lacy off right tackle on 2nd down and goal from the 3. Lacy got swallowed up for a one-yard gain, which set up the obvious pass on third down.

That of course coupled with the horrific 3-for-16 third down conversion rate and this offense would have had trouble finding water while falling out of a boat. The measure of good offenses down to the game level is how well they move the sticks. As long the chain gang keeps running to set up first downs, the rest will take care of itself.

I realize that it hasn’t exactly been easy for this offense without pass catchers like Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley, but the Vikings secondary isn’t scary. That unit has been gutted with injuries this year and McCarthy was too concerned about not losing as opposed to grabbing a much-needed win.

Now we cannot compare any of the last three quarterbacks that have been inserted since Aaron Rodgers went down. But then again, those are the guys entrusted to play quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. This isn’t the Green Bay Southwest High School JV team where a quarterback is expected to throw at most six passes a game.

The fact that Lacy was able to barrel his way into the Vikings defense is remarkable. They knew he was going to get a lion’s share of the carries and he still tallied 110 rushing yards with a nice 4.4 yards per carry.

The Packers defense looked dreadful. There were tackling issues, assignment problems and an assortment of communication breakdowns.

But Morgan Burnett shouldn’t be criticized for not crossing the goal line when the offense was only seven yards away. If the offense can just go seven yards, the game is over and the Packers are sitting on top of the NFC North instead of a ½ game behind — thanks to early season Christmas gifts from Detroit and Chicago.

But all isn’t lost. The Packers can still win the NFC North — which is the only they’re getting in the playoffs by the way — and it has to start with a win at Detroit on Thanksgiving.

However, in order for that to happen the Packers cannot completely lean on its defense. They don’t have the horses on that side of the ball that Carolina, Seattle and San Francisco does.

The Packers have to score, plain and simple. Expect McCarthy to open up the playbook for Flynn. Just don’t expect a lot of deep balls because of his elbow tendonitis.

Going deep isn’t a necessity. But thinking outside the box from a play-calling standpoint is. Rodgers covered up so many things that sometimes a great throw by him glossed over a bad play call by McCarthy.

Green Bay must keep attacking on offense. Because without Rodgers, the Packers look about as predictable as turn signal.


Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn


29 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Biggest wart on Sunday was offense

  1. The 3rd down conversion rate of 3 for 16 tells a lot, and ties to some of the play calling brain lock we have been seeing in the red-zone.

    I’m not even remotely qualified to think I could draw up plays that would be more successful, but I can observe and recall, and both of those are noticing that in these ‘do or die’ situations lately, the mortality rate is pretty high.

    I hope, no, more accurately pray that MM has the self-awareness this off-season to realize that for all of his strengths, play calling in these situations isn’t among them and goes and finds an outstanding tactical mastermind to handle the play calling next season.

    1. YES YES YES!

      The offensive play calling is TERRIBLE. We’ve lost at least two games and had a tie because of it. It HAS TO change. MM must get an Offensive Coordinator that will call his own plays, enough is enough.

      The first and goal from the 7 is a great example – why not either run it three times for the win, or throw it three times? If you are going to run on 1st down, you probably won’t score. Plan on that and not switch to a pass. Also – RUN the ball in a hurry up style when you have first and goal. If you have a run play ready, line up quick, snap and run the ball with big boy Lacy. Whats the chances he cannot pick up 3 plus years on a hurry up run, when the D cannot bring the big beef in?

      Other examples: how many long bombs on 3rd and short have we seen? How many work?
      How many runs on 2nd and 10 with a backup QB? If we net near zero, we’ve just put the QB in an impossible situation. Instead – pass and get at least a short check down.
      Finally – where is the screen game? Remember Ahman Green, Edgar Bennett et al? We crushed teams with two or three screens a game. I saw flashes of Lacy’s pass catching ability on Sunday. Lets get him the ball in the passing game more.

      1. let me get this straight … out of a play book about 3 inches thick … all we see now is shot gun draw for 1 yard, again a shot gun draw for one yard and a third down pass with all receivers going deep … no screen on first down or any downs … Really!!!????? and when lacy runs out of the eye, the pack usually get 4-7 yards …. oh yeah … on the occasional 3rd and 1 … lets forget the lacy in the eye 7 yards back that usually gets 4-7 … and call the deep fly route … Really!!??? get the first down …

  2. Yes, the offense sucks right now. What else to you expect. QB1, WR1, TE1, RT, RB have all missed substantial time and the only position that’s escaped completely unscathed so far is LG. Injuries have murdered the offense.

    Not so the defense. FS, OLB1, OLB2, ILB1, DE3, CB1 are the only injuries of note. Not great, but not a record pace.

    Nope. I completely blame this on the defense and Dom. If Dom isn’t fired after the season I’m going to flip out.

    To quote Kevin Greene: “It. Is. Time.”

  3. “However, in order for that to happen the Packers cannot completely lean on its defense. They don’t have the horses on that side of the ball that Carolina, Seattle and San Francisco does.”

    Even if we make the playoffs, herein lies the same problem that has plagued us in the playoffs for the last two years. Yes, with Rodgers our offense can score but the really good teams have a better defense and can limit our scoring enough. Whereas our defense is unable to limit the opposing offense enough. This is what happened against the Giants in 2011 and the 49ers in 2012.

    You’re right, Cory, against the Vikings we might have been able to offensively pull this one game out. However, with these last four games we have seen all our major weaknesses of this team exposed. IMO it’s the defense and the coaching.

    Since AR has been out it reminds me of a Warren Buffet quote: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

  4. Missed interceptions, no Sam Shields, and AJ “I can’t play coverage” Hawk were a big problem.
    I agree that Mike needs to open up the playbook and with a full week of practice I think he can do it. Lets be serious though Flynn did bring us back in the 4th from a big hole so don’t be so hard on the guys. I agree that we have to score but I am looking forward to this team learning to meet these challenges and their have been many.

  5. on the defensive side of the ball a real housecleaning is in order. the number of keepers there cannot fill one hand: CMIII, Shields, JJ, even old Pickett and for some reason the guy riding the bench Lattimore. Even in a contract year Raji, just ain’t a force. no problems with the O except for predictability in the playcalling. MM needs really to defer to a better tactician.

  6. Let’s see it as it is Pack fans. This season with the key elements AWOL cannot stay with an opponent and finish. The team is in disawray and the lack of consistency on both sides of the ball is apparent. I see the Lions taking full advantage of making turkey out of the Pack IF they don’t come out with two quick scores on the Lion D.Can they still get in the playoffs..sure.. as long as the rest of the Norse Division goes south. But without Rodger’s directing the entire team’s confidence level to finish off an opponent, this team will be on the couch(like us) come January.

    1. How can you expect anyone to even take you seriously? These are the kind of comments that indicate utter cluelessness.

      1. Archie, you really need to lay off the hyperbole. The Packers have areas that need addressing, but they also have a lot of bright areas.

  7. There is enough reasons to explain why this team under-performs. Injuries probably top the list then take your pick. I will offer the following as the fundamental weakness of this team – on both sides of the ball:

    We DON’T win the battle of the trenches and that battle dictates the game.

    On offense our O-line is regressing. If Eddie Lacy wasn’t there we would be rushing for 80 yards a game again. How he got the first down in the 4th quarter to save this game tells you everything. The right side of the line is garbage, including TJ Lang. We can’t run there and the pressure is always coming from there. Neither Tolzien or Flynn could count on protection and that is why Rodgers won’t be back sooner rather than later. And our center, EDS, did a great job of snapping the ball to Flynn’s laces for the second half of the game. Awful.

    The defensive line made Ponder look like a genius because of the play action established through the run. If you can’t stop AP or Gerhart, then everybody is guessing on every play. I love Mike Daniels but unless it is 100% pass he can’t be on the line. And, for some reason, the left side of the line was the route of choice for 240+ yards. Pickett is woren and Raji is invisible. Even with all our blitzing we got very little push from the big bodies. If nothing else, we needed to stop the run so that we make Ponder beat us with his arm. Ponder did not beat us but the run set up all the scoring.

    Win the trenches and we will have a chance. I can’t hold me breath that long.

    1. BJ Raji…please do not resign this fat, invisible bum!…
      On a positive note, we did have six sacks…Clay Matthews dominated…Lacy was a beast…Bakhtiari is a stud hoss…and Matt Flynn saved the day.
      Can we please draft a stud safety and a stud LB in next years draft? Why did TT sign Burnett to a large long-term deal? He is below average. Has Burnett made a pick this year?…Also, stop screwing around and sign Shields to a five year contract…Then, at the end of the year, release Tramon Williams, Newhouse, and shove Raji’s slow, fatt buttocks out the door…

  8. Oh, I forgot to thank Greg Jennings on the forth quarter, third down drop. I guess he is still a Packer at heart. Thanks Greg.

  9. Come on Cory, sometimes the obvious IS the obvious….with AR out this team needs it’s defense to step up & week after week it has not

  10. This team doesn’t deserve the playoffs. They all need a spankin. Think about it, if we somehow back into the playoffs, everything will seem okay and MM and TT will be business as usual for next year. I for one can’t handle another season of stupidity by the coaching staff. This team needs an enema. Colon blow anyone…

  11. Solid click bait but the defense is the issue. Is you can’t intercept ponder when he throws it 25+ times there is a major issue.
    Capers must go based on years of mediocrity.

  12. Both offense and defense at fault, but the offense will be back in a few weeks, when will the defense turn the corner? It takes more than one player to turn a average defense into a good one, but what’s up with raji? Too 10 pick, great rookie year, we thought we had a perennial pro bowl player. 6.5 sacks his rookie year and almost nothing since. I understand it’s more than just sack numbers for DL, but come on! What about batting a pass? Nobody seems to do that on our team but Mathews. Other than an occasional play in the run game, raji doesn’t do a whole lot for this team, deff not contributing with many impact plays. Maybe raji saw picket get paid big money to just be a space eater and decided to do the same. Still, I remember watching videos of him at Boston college do spin moves, juking and swimming right over the top of OL man. Watch 2010 highlights and u will see the same. That guy isn’t here anymore and the defense is struggling because of it.

    1. Those positive DL behaviors have been coached OUT of Raji for the “good” of the Capers scheme.

      I vote for Dom to be let go and the entire Defensive staff evaluated. We do have some keepers.

      Maybe even Trgovic as DC (he has held this position before) and change to a 4-3 since we have Worthy, DJones, Perry, Neal as DE with Raji, Pickett, Daniels, Jolly, CJ Wilson as DT with Matthews, Lattimore, BJones, Hawk, Palmer, Malumba as LB candidates along with another draft to help with the transition. We need a SAFETY!

      1. … We need a SAFETY!

        Amen to that. We might even need two of them. And, I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion that we might consider transitioning back to a 4-3. We seem to have better personnel for that system.

        1. Yeah lets switch to the 43 and take our best pass rusher out of every down pass rush. THat makes a lot of f’in sense!!

  13. Everyone complains that we don’t have linebackers to cover the middle, yet switching to a 4-3 makes the coverages even more basic and puts a more predictable LB into said coverage. That means if we have 4 down linemen, we will be “blitzing” CMIII on every passing down because he is easily our best rusher. Again, that becomes predictable. — I agree we need more S help and perhaps a new D-coord. I think the scheme is just fine. Someone must be able to make the pieces work better together than Dom Capers does now. If Perry is going to miss time every year, picking up another high-end OLB would be a good idea as well. GoPack!

      1. Clay Matthews is our All-pro LB…Lattimore is our second best LB…Most of the rest can be replaced…Palmer, Mulumba show promise. Hawk…for a while there, I thought he looked re-born…He looked horrible yesterday, but, I’m certain part of the reason was pathetic D-Line play…Let’s hope Jolly and Shields play on Thursday…otherwise we may receive a good old fashoined ass-whoopin’!

  14. I don’t disagree that the offense has big warts, but after losing Rodgers, cobb, bulaga, Finley and a host of others, I would be shocked if they didn’t struggle. I don’t give the d the same pass. They’ve had injuries, but not to the same extent as the O. They’ve got some splainin’ to do! The guy playing in Hawk’s jersey a few weeks ago? -what happened to that guy? What happened to Raji, Neal, Pickett….? Why hasn’t lattimore sniffed the field? Jarrett Bush looked … well, good in comparison to a lot of those guys. At least there was fire to him. Our d made Gerhart look like Red Grange yesterday. Now that’s bad no matter how you slice it. I don’t know what the issues are, but there are issues.

  15. im tired of MM he is a lucky guy with an excellent job but he is not the HC that need in Gb.
    now i understand what it means AARON RODGERS,he has created to MM.
    Rodgers play w/o offensive minds who are your level.
    i have valued more an AARON RODGERS in this last 4 games…his talent is supreme and this team needs fresh blood..a real HC and a new DC …our secondary sucks…our defense only has 2 or 3 good players no more.
    AJ HAWK have to go!
    datone Jones he is too soft and BJ raji is a joke….
    if this team does not hire a new DC and a new HC…our only trip to the SB will have been in 2010.
    all speak about TT but what happen with Murphy???
    he is the puppet of the puppeteer TT and he is the puppet of MM period.

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