Every season during the Mike McCarthy era, the Green Bay Packers have a post-Thanksgiving game where they take a giant dump on the field.
On Dec. 23, 2007, the Bears beat the Packers 35-7 at windy Soldier Field. Brett Favre threw zero touchdowns, two interceptions and appeared to be frozen.
In 2008, the Packers lost five straight, four coming after Thanksgiving and culminating in a rough Monday Night loss to the Bears on Dec. 22.
On Dec. 20, 2009, Ben Roethlisberger torched the Packers for 503 passing yards as the Steelers snapped Green Bay’s five-game winning streak.
Of course, you all remember Dec. 12, 2010. That’s the day the Lions beat the Packers 7-3 and knocked out Aaron Rodgers with a concussion.
I’m guessing you all also remember Dec. 18, 2011. That’s when Kyle Orton, aka the Packers-killer, and the Chiefs ruined Green Bay’s hopes for an undefeated season with a 19-14 shellacking at Arrowhead Stadium.
Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, saw the Packers lose to Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings, 37-34. The loss cost the beat-up Packers a first-round bye.
Last season’s meltdown came on Thanksgiving with the Lions stomping Green Bay 40-10.
And, of course, Rodgers decided to play one of the worst game of his career last Sunday as the Bills humbled the Packers in Buffalo, sending Green Bay tumbling all the way to the No. 6 seed if the playoffs began today.
Late-season missteps happen. They’re hard to watch and they seem to incite increased levels of panic because everyone is eyeing the playoff picture right now.
Instead, let’s try to keep an eye on the big picture. Despite Sunday’s meltdown, the Packers are still rising.
We might not ever see Rodgers play as poorly as he did on Sunday ever again. We hopefully never see Packers’ receivers drop eight passes again. The Packers’ special teams are bad, but hopefully they’ve now bottomed out and can improve in the season’s final weeks.
Despite an injury to Bryan Bulaga, the Packers remain healthy, the most healthy they’ve been in a long, long time.
I like the Packers’ chances at beating the Bucs this week and the Lions the following week. That would mean the No. 2 overall seed and at least one playoff game. We’ll see what happens from there.
For now, on to the Packers stock report:
Why list a player as rising when he exited the previous game early with an injury? Because both times Bulaga has left a game injured this season, his replacement has surrendered a game-altering sack. On Sunday, Mario Williams got around J.C. Tretter for the strip sack on the Packers’ final possession. Perhaps the key to the Packers entire season is making sure Bulaga never has to leave injured in the middle of a game again.
There were several times Lacy rumbled through a gaping hole up front, picked up steam on the second level, then leveled some poor sap in the secondary to cap off a nice run. Too bad he only got 15 carries. Who knows what kind of damage he could have caused with 20-25?
It was another solid game from Matthews. We haven’t seen Matthews take over a game lately, but he’s been good all around for the last six weeks or so.
The only wide receiver who managed to get a little separation against the Bills was Cobb. He also took part in the drop party, but his miscues weren’t as egregious as a few of the others (*cough* Jordy Nelson *cough*)
Ideally, the Packers would like someone bigger and stronger than Guion to try and slow down the other team’s power running game, but with B.J. Raji out, Guion is what they have. Guion might not be the stout man in the middle this defense needs, but he’s athletic and shoots through a gap at least once or twice per game to make a play.
Perhaps someone needs to sit down with young Mr. Adams and explain to him that he can’t live off his big game against New England the rest of the season.
The Packers played a lot of base defense on Sunday, which meant more snaps for Hawk. He held up ok, until the game’s final drive where he was an obvious liability.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .