Not even a mustachioed Aaron Rodgers would have saved the Packers on Thanksgiving.
Would Aaron Rodgers even be able to save this Packers team?
The former MVP can cover up a lot of blemishes, but I don’t think even he could patch up the festering wound that is 2013 Green Bay Packers.
The Packers can’t tackle, cover the middle of the field, prevent big plays, get off the field on third down, contain the run, pass block, pass, or stop Jeremy Freaking Ross on special teams.
Yeah, I know. If Rodgers turns just one of the Lions turnovers into a touchdown and a two-score lead in the first half, the entire game changes.
But even if he did that, the Packers defense was so overmatched that I don’t think it would have mattered.
I could go on and on wondering if having Rodgers would have mattered on Thanksgiving, but it’s a pointless exercise. At this point, Packers fans are better off just preparing for the NFL draft in April.
On to the stock report:
Sam Shields Shields had absolutely no chance stopping the slant to Calvin Johnson, but neither does anyone else when they’re lined up one-on-one against one of the best receivers of all time. When Johnson and Matthew Stafford challenged Shields down the field, the free-agent-to-be stood strong and even out-battled Johnson for an interception in the end zone.
Clay Matthews We haven’t seen him dominate a game for four quarters since returning from a broken thumb, but he’s making something happen every now and then.
Josh Sitton Kudos to Sitton for calling the Lions a bunch of names before the game. Extra kudos to Sitton for standing behind what he said after the game. I never understand why we ask athletes questions, then get mad when they either a) give an honest answer like Sitton did or b) recite some mind-numbingly boring cliche. I’ll take open and honest over boring and cliched any day.
Mason Crosby No offense to Crosby, but I’m sick of seeing him in the rising or steady categories. When a kicker or punter ends up in one of these categories, it means there aren’t many offensive or defensive players playing well.
Eddie Lacy He didn’t have any room against the Lions, but it sure was fun to watch him knock over Vikings defenders. Lacy has been the least of the Packers problems during this awful stretch.
The rest of the Packers roster, coaching staff and front office.
T.J. Lang has been one of the few rising players for the Green Bay Packers recently.
My two jobs, a newborn baby and extended visits to family hours away from where we live has made it very difficult to write about the Packers this season. The way the Packers are playing also makes it difficult to write about the Packers.
I don’t have time to do the in-depth and comprehensive posts that I’d like to do, so I do what I can in the free hour I can manage to find here or there. As I type, my kid has been up screaming for the last 2 hours. Why is he screaming? Who knows.
All I know is that my wife is feeding him to see if that gets him to calm down and I got a few minutes to bang out a stock report, so let’s get to it:
Jordy Nelson When in doubt, just launch a pass somewhere in the vicinity of Jordy Nelson. Nelson is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career. I wish some of his toughness could be transferred to the defense.
T.J. Lang Teams have been stacking the box against the Packers with Aaron Rodgers injured, but the interior of the offensive line has held up well. Lang showed his versatility two weeks ago by taking over at center and had another solid game against New York even though the Packers couldn’t gain much traction running the ball.
Jarret Boykin Can Boykin replace James Jones in 2014? That question doesn’t sound nearly as ridiculous as it did at the beginning of the season.
Josh Sitton See the write-up about Lang above. The same applies to Sitton.
Mike Daniels Daniels is the only defensive lineman who has provided some consistency in getting after the quarterback. If Datone Jones continues showing signs of life, it’s a step forward in transforming the d-line from a bunch of space eaters to a more dynamic and diverse unit.
Marshall Newhouse Why. Is. Marshall. Newhouse. Still. On. This. Team?
B.J. Raji Who made the worse decision: Raji turning down $8 million per year from the Packers or the kid who founded SnapChat turning down $3 billion in cash from Facebook? Raji is not worth $8 million per season. He’s way too inconsistent and he’s stuck in one of his disappearing spells again.
The Packers season If the Packers can’t beat the lowly Vikings on Sunday, I’ll be crying alongside my kid late at night.
Vikings WR Greg Jennings returns to Green Bay to play the Packers on Sunday.
Remember back when former Packers WR Greg Jennings was questioning the leadership of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and generally acting like an ass after signing a fat new deal with the Minnesota Vikings?
A lot of Packers fans circled Nov. 24 on their calendars. That was the day Jennings and the Vikings were coming to Lambeau Field and the first opportunity Packers fans would have to let the boos reign down on the former Packers standout.
Now that Nov. 24 is almost here, does anyone even remember Greg Jennings and that his return to Lambeau is almost upon us?
I’m going to the game Sunday, and I completely forgot that it’s Jennings’ return until I randomly thought of it earlier this evening. At this point, Jennings isn’t relevant enough to warrant booing.
A lot has happened to the Packers since Jennings contracted diarrhea of the mouth. Half the team — including Rodgers — is injured and the season is close to falling off a cliff. Packers fans just want their team to win a game and probably care less about booing Jennings.
Jennings also hasn’t done anything in Minnesota. He looks like just another past his prime WR who was given a giant contract and won’t come anywhere close to fulfilling the investment.
I’d rather save my energy for cheering the Packers than boo Jennings.
Oh, I’m sure Jennings will hear it when he trots out on Sunday, but the catcalls won’t be nearly as loud as what they would have been had the Packers hosted the Vikings in week one.
Greg Jennings: Standout wide receiver and Super Bowl champion in Green Bay. Mr. Irrelevant in Minnesota.
Packers safety MD Jennings isn’t doing much to help Dom Capers’ defense snap out of its two-week funk.
I’m fine with Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson not firing Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers after yet another defensive meltdown against the Eagles.
Would canning Capers and replacing him with a defensive position coach really make the defense tackle better or the safeties cover more ground and pick off a pass here or there? I don’t know. Maybe.
What I don’t get is the people who argue that firing Capers would be a “knee-jerk” reaction. The Packers defense has been average at best for the better part of three seasons now. In the last two weeks, when Capers and the defense had an opportunity to truly step up and cover for a banged-up offense, they failed. Miserably.
We’ve seen a steady pattern of issues from the Packers defense over the last three seasons:
Confusion in the secondary
Minimal pass rush from the defensive line
Relying heavily on turnovers
That’s plenty of reason for dismissal.
I suppose you could say firing any coach midseason is a knee-jerk reaction in an of itself. But I don’t necessarily agree with that.
When it comes to Capers, the failures are consistent and prevalent enough that his dismissal would not be considered “knee jerk.” Again, I’m not saying it would be the right decision, but it would not be knee jerk.
Anyway, hopefully Capers figures it out and we can add him to the rising category once again.
On to the stock report:
T.J. Lang All season, Lang has been clearing a patch for Eddie Lacy on the inside. When injuries struck the offensive line Sunday and claimed C Evan Dietrich-Smith, Lang stepped up and played center for the first time in his career. He never screwed up a snap and did an adequate job blocking. Bravo, Mr. Lang.
Jarrett Boykin Lost amidst all the injury chaos is the emergence of Boykin. After looking totally lost against Baltimore trying to fill in for the injured Randall Cobb and James Jones, Boykin has come to life and turned into a confident and reliable receiver for the Packers rotating stable of quarterbacks.
Clay Matthews’ club This thing is awesome. It’s bigger than me. If the Packers defense doesn’t turn things around, though, Matthews might take his club and start swinging it at his own teammates in an effort to wake some of them up.
Jordy Nelson He’s quietly remained one of the most reliable WRs in the league, even with Aaron Rodgers out. Oh, and he caught that pass in the end zone on Sunday that would’ve made it 27-20. I don’t care what sort of discombobulated explanation Mike Carey gave saying it wasn’t.
Eddie Lacy The numbers were down for Lacy against the Eagles, but he did about as well as could be expected given how the entire stadium knew the early game-plan was to hand him the ball. Then he started losing offensive linemen and yards became even tougher to come by.
Marshall Newhouse Why is he still on the team? I get that now the offensive line is also banged up, but you can find a lineman as good as Newhouse on the street. Plus, Derek Sherrod is healthy now. Let’s throw him into the deep end of the pool and see what he can do.
M.D. Jennings The safety position was supposed to be stabilized after Morgan Burnett came back, but it’s taken another turn for the worse. Nick Foles closed his eyes and tossed up a number of dying quails on Sunday and not one of them ended up in the hands of a Packers safety. Oh, how I miss the days of Nick Collins, LeRoy Butler and Darren Sharper. And why is Chris Banjo not getting more snaps than Jennings?
Casey Hayward How many times can one man injure the same hamstring during the course of an NFL season? Hayward is going on three times and left Sunday’s game early…again. I think it’s time to shut Hayward and see if he can rebound in 2014.
Will someone in the Packers organization get the pink slip on Monday?
Yes, the Packers are all beat up. Yes, the injury situation keeps going from bad to worse to seriously, WTF? Yes, the Packers are down to their third-string quarterback.
But not all of the issues dragging the Packers down during this ugly two-game home losing streak can be blamed on the quarterback or injuries.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy seemed to acknowledge this after Sunday’s loss to the Eagles and vowed to take action to address “reoccurring issues” plaguing the Packers on Monday.
That phrase — “reoccurring issues” — caused Twitter to light up on Sunday night. What could McCarthy possibly mean by “reoccurring issues,” and how will they be addressed on Monday?
Firings? Benchings? More angry press conferences? All of the above? None of the above?
You can CAST YOUR VOTE below…
I have a few theories:
Dom Capers gets fired Capers’ defense helped the Packers win a Super Bowl in 2010 and…that’s about it. The defense has been the weak link on this team for much of Capers five-plus years calling the shots. The problems seem to be the same every season: Bad tackling, lack of toughness and confusion in the secondary. Has McCarthy had enough?
I don’t see the Packers making a drastic move like this during the season, but you never know. I wouldn’t be opposed to it — firing a coordinator during the season worked for the Ravens last season — but would an internal replacement like Darren Perry or Winston Moss really be an upgrade? Maybe…
M.D. Jennings cut He was benched on Sunday and hasn’t improved much during his time in Green Bay. Jeremy Ross got the boot after several major screw ups. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jennings is next.
Marshall Newhouse cut What’s the point of keeping Newhouse around at this point? It’s like he’s afraid of contact. The Packers could get equal or better production from a street free agent.
Tramon Williams cut Nah, not happening. Especially if Casey Hayward is hurt again.
Tramon Williams benched This I could see happening. But what does getting benched mean in this secondary? They’re in dime and nickel a lot. I doubt a benching would result in Tramon never seeing the field again.
Absolutely nothing McCarthy was just sick of talking about missed tackles, missed blocks, poor secondary play and all the injuries and decided to use the phrase “reoccurring issues” because that’s what popped in his head. He has no idea that his words caused Twitter to explode in Green Bay because McCarthy doesn’t use “the Tweeter.”
It hurts just looking at this photo. Avert your eyes. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is injured.
OhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygod. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is hurt.
Can Seneca Wallace keep the Packers alive until (if?) Rodgers returns?
Should the Packers call Favre?
Should the Packers call Flynn?
Where’s Graham Harrell when you need him?
What the hell happened to the defense on Monday?
Did the Rodgers injury somehow cause the Packers to forget how to tackle and pass protect?
What is a Shea McClellin and why did it do that to our quarterback?
The Bears still suck. Ok, that made me feel a little bit better.
Oh damn, I just remembered that Rodgers is hurt. OhmygodOhmygodOhmygodOhmygod.
Now I’m starting to panic. How can I snap out of this?
Maybe writing the Packers stock report will help. Let’s see.
On to the stock report:
Eddie Lacy I totally forgot how awesome it is when your favorite football team has a running back that just trucks people over. Getting excited about long pass plays is awesome and everything, but there’s something about the feeling you get when a stud running back starts plowing over defenders and ripping off large chunks of yards. It makes you want to tear off your shirt and start posing like Hulk Hogan. Ok, maybe it’s just me who wants to do that every time Lacy runs someone over…
B.J. Raji It’s been a solid run for Raji the last three games. He sniffed out a couple of screen passes against the Bears and has done an excellent job of making plays at the point of attack. Big, nimble and smart. That’s been Raji over this recent stretch of games.
Brett Favre Wait a minute. What’s he doing on this report?
James Starks Did Starks install a turbo button on his back when he was out? Seriously, I don’t remember him being nearly this fast. He’s firing through holes like he’s been shot out of a high-caliber rifle from a deer hunter perched high up in a tree in the woods of Mondovi, Wis.
Tim Mashthay Punts from Masthay kept pinning the Bears deep on Monday night. Too bad the Packers defense didn’t follow through and force a turnover or make a stand late in the game.
Dom Capers What the hell was that, Dom? I try to avoid putting coaches on the falling list because I find people who constantly yell about playcalling to be nauseating, but the defensive calls on Monday night were atrocious. Josh McCown is a backup quarterback. Blitz him, Dom. Rough him up. Put some heat on him. Don’t treat him like he’s the second-coming of Tom Brady.
Casey Hayward It’s been a lost season so far for Hayward. He’s missed most of training camp and the first six games. He also missed a tackle late in the game on Monday that gave the Bears an opportunity to pick up the first down on fourth-and-1 and break the Packers hopes of pulling out a win.
Seneca Wallace I knew it would be bad. Did I think it would be that bad? Yeah. Yeah, I did think it would be that bad.