3 Things the Packers Must Fix over the Bye

Well, the Packers go into the bye with a chance to get healthy while just a game behind the real12thmanLions…with the tie breaker looming at the end of the season. And there is a LOT of football to be played in the meantime which could mean the Lions drop a game in between. But there are three things that worry me about this Packers team going into the second half of this season.

A couple of these things are out of anybody’s hands and will simply “be” or “not be” but when it comes down to it, this year’s Packers team has yet to find…well…a MEAN streak. The defense has played lights out at times but then faltered against the likes of the Seahawks, Lions, and Saints. And the offense has had times when it struggled to find the endzone.

There is still a feeling in “Packernation” that this team has yet to put it all together…to find its identity. And that would be OK if we were not halfway into the season. Here’s what I am worried about:

1. Will Aaron Rodgers be healthy?\

rodgers mcAaron tweaked his hammy in the Saints game and word on the street is that he will be fine. But does anybody else wonder about a tweaked hammy??? That injury is synonymous with “nagging” and could limit Aaron’s play for the rest of the season. The good news is that it came just before the bye week. And as a quarterback, Aaron will not be seriously stressing his hamstrings on every single play. But it does make one wonder…will he be 100% moving forward. Well, that is just out of our hands.

2. Can this team put together a complete game against a good team?

The Packers have had some great games on offense AND defense. But can they put together a complete game against another elite team? So far they have failed to do it against the Seahawks, Lions, and the Saints. This team will have plenty of chances to prove it in the second half of the season and into the playoffs but still the questions remain about whether this year’s team can get it done against the elite in the league.

3. Will the Green Bay Packers reach their potential?

This is the fundamental question that all Packers fans want to know. Unfortunately…this is the ONEsb question that the Packers have as of yet failed to answer. This team has Aaron Rodgers…Eddie Lacy…Jordy Nelson…Randall Cobb…Clay Matthews…Julius Peppers…Mike Daniels….Ha Ha Clinton-Dix…Morgan Burnett…Sam Shields….and yet the combination has yet to be just right for them to be dominant against other great teams in the league. Whether injuries, bad positioning, bad tackling, or lack of attitude are to blame…this Packers team is NOT QUITE THERE.

BUT…if the offense…and the defense come together at the right time. And with a little help from the Lions…this team can still find itself in a great position at the end of the season. A position to prove all the naysayers wrong…a position to fulfill the potential so many of us see in this team. A position to…well…we won’t speak of that just yet…


3 Things the Packers Must Fix over the Bye
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3 thoughts on “3 Things the Packers Must Fix over the Bye

  • October 29, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Seriously fix the run defense. Problem for a long time and I see no solution right now.

  • October 30, 2014 at 1:31 am

    In order to appreciate my views this week, it must be understood that we’re coming off an embarrassment by a team with only 3 wins, and whom the Lions held tough to beat. This one hurts, and my perspective of our team at this point in the season reflects it.

    I came into this season believing that this Packers’ roster was the best I’d ever seen. Not so much player for player (Matthews and Julius are not Reggie and Sean Jones, HHCD is not Nick Collins, Hayward is not Woodson, etc., etc.), but I thought depth and several key positions (WR, RB, O-line, D-line, OLB, CB, S) were well above past rosters. After 8 weeks of hot and cold play on both sides of the ball, I’m no longer convinced that we have the talent to win against good teams, let alone have a better roster than in the past.

    The loss of Raji and Barclay hurt, but we’re still much more healthy at this point in the season than we have been in several years.

    McCarthy tried to force a non-existent run game for the first several games. He’s finally went back to opening running lanes by establishing the passing game first. And that’s the only way we can run the ball. He avoided 1/3 of the field vs Seattle, where teams with lesser talent at WR than we have, challenged Seattle successfully. He makes mind blowing calls on offense – handing off to flat footed RBs, running into a pile on 4th and 1, putting an OLB at WR on goal line slants, calling onside kick early in the game, and calling double moves for WRs against stout front 7s. McCarthy cannot call plays and shouldn’t be allowed to continue doing so. Get someone who can call a game, or find a Head Coach who will.

    The O-line cannot open holes for RBs. Other than a few exceptions, the only positive runs we’ve had were generated by Lacy and Starks on their own. When Bulaga went down against Seattle, it became apparent that our O-line does not have backups who can step up (Sherrod). They’ve done a decent job of protecting Rodgers in passing situations, but aren’t exceptional either, and can’t run block as a unit. Linsley has been a bright spot, although he can’t block for the run game (Trettor wasn’t any better while healthy). I’ll say it again, losing EDS was huge for our run game and we could have kept him for peanuts.

    Rodgers remains hot and cold, even in the same games. He continues to take sacks when he should throw the ball away. He’s great at protecting the ball for the most part, his 3 INTs were all off receivers hands or when Adams cut off his route. But he has fumbled and taken hits because he doesn’t throw the ball away. Backup QB with Flynn is worse than it was last year with Wallace and Tolzien. Flynn has an INT and a fumble already in limited playing time. Our offense stops when Flynn comes into games. Rodgers’ hamstring is a huge concern. Hamstrings can linger for years, let alone entire seasons. I’ll never understand how someone can injure a hamstring simply by running at half speed. And hamstring injuries seem to happen to NFL players more than all other sports combined.

    Capers’ philosophy is to stop the run and force offenses to become 1 dimensional. We’re again at the bottom of the league in stopping the run. He called an excellent game vs the Dolpins and Panthers, an excellent half vs Vikings, Lions, Seahawks, and Jets, and was terrible vs Bears, and Saints. Every other problem we have on D stems from not stopping the run consistently. He had injuries as an excuse for a few years, but does not have that luxury this year. I’m back on the “fire Dom Capers” bandwagon. His schemes are outdated and he shows no ability to adjust during games.

    We’re still soft in the middle on D, Hawk and whoever (Brad Jones, Lattimore, Barrington) are not getting it done consistently. Boyd coming back hasn’t helped. Guion makes a play and blows several. Pennel has been a non-factor. Daniels has not performed up to expectations consistently. Datone Jones has not performed when in and continues to struggle with injuries.

    Matthews is having his worst season. He constantly takes himself out of plays by over pursuing on the outside. Perry has out-played Matthews. Peppers has been the only consistent OLB, and he’s obviously lost a step. Neal has been a non-factor.

    Our CBs have held this D together and saved many huge plays. Shields has been OK, but also been schooled several times. House has covered opposing #1 WRs more than Shields and Williams combined, and for the most part performed very well. Hayward has shown flashes of his old ball hawk self, and been beaten soundly by TEs on plays. Consistency has been the biggest issue at CB. At this point in the season, the consistency should be improving consistently. We seem to take 1 step forward and 1 step backward in every game.

    S also has problems with consistency. HHCD has been an improvement for the most part, but he missed tackle after tackle vs the Saints. Hopefully he puts it all together soon. Hyde has not proven to be the answer at S and appears too small to tackle. Burnett is still Burnett, usually leading the team in tackles but also missing his fair share and getting beat often by TEs and WRs. There’s something very wrong when a S is leading the D in tackles. Our best run stopping S is Richardson, who rarely gets on the field and has also missed some tackles.

    Someone please take these D secondary players aside and emphasize that they CANNOT leave their feet for tackles! Every time they dive and miss, they take themselves out of plays. Keep your feet so that if you miss, you can still pursue and possibly make the play later on. That can’t happen when you’re laying on the ground watching the rest of the play.

    In summary, I don’t see the improvement on either side of the ball that I expected from the off-season build up. There’s still a lot of ball to be played this year, and I won’t count out that these problems can be fixed. But I cringe on every play – thinking we’re one injury away (at QB, O-line, D-line, OLB) from being barely average. It all starts at the top. Until McCarthy and Capers stop playing down to our opponents, our team will struggle to win big games. Go Pack go!

  • October 30, 2014 at 2:17 am

    This bye came at the right time but for this team to play as a unite I believe Capers needs to let Lattimore and Barrington take over in the middle and sit Hawk. Use him as a back up only. If Burnett and Shields can get healthy to play the second half of the season then things will look better in the secondary, HHCD is playing good ball but he is still a rookie and makes rookie mistakes that costs the team some big plays. My main concern is Tj Lang if he is lost for a substantial amount of time then the O line is in big trouble, Hopefully Tretter can fill in because Taylor will not cut it, He is like Sherrod they are just bodies on the line that can’t play ball.

    Lacy will be the key if McCarthy can finally open his f***ing eyes to see this kid needs 30 touches a game NOT 13 like he is okay with! Use the play action screen pass like he did and got 67 yards on at least 5 times a game! It worked in preseason then they never used again until the Saints game and look what Lacy did with it.

    I am not saying fire Capers but the man has not kept up with the times they need to hire a assistant that knows these option plays that college teams uses and has made its way into the NFL with these mobile QB’s. Whether it’s Capers schemes or players not executing who knows for sure but so far this year they have not put together a game where the dominated. It seems when the offense plays good the defense plays bad and vice-versa.

    I will say this if they don’t pull together this team will be lucky to go 9-7 this year! But “IF” they can pull together and play like we all know their capable of then they have a chance at 12-4 or at worse 11-5 which in my opinion will get them either #2 or #3 seed in the post season.


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