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Quick Slants Week 6: Packers vs. Cowboys

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Seeing Ezekiel Elliott on the first drive it is hard not to think that he’s likely going to be dominant for years. That’s frightening.

Read option flashbacks. Someone might want to contain Prescott on occasion.

Lacy appeared early to be a half step slower. Just kidding. He jumped over a dude. Phat Eddie looks good.

On the first drive the Packers changed personnel and threw a lot of timing routes and quick hits. And it seemed to work.

Jordy, where are you? We miss you.

On third and twelve it is alarming that Rodgers had 48 seconds in the pocket and had zero throws to make. Rodgers’ struggles are becoming more and more concerning. It’s not just an errant throw here or there, it’s consistently mediocre play. Unfortunately for the Packers, in the salary cap era you must have top play when you pay your quarterback a lot of money. You cannot win otherwise.

With all of that said, Rodgers still has the physical tools to play as well as he always has. Every problem seems mental. If he can overcome those, he will be back. But he must overcome those issues.

Don’t ever say Lacy doesn’t have heart, he is working through a lot of pain right now.

You know when baseball teams have to have fielders pitch? We are about to see the football equivalent of that for the Packers.

Rodgers’ play continues to alarm. Cobb had the back beat on the fourth down play late in the second quarter. Rodgers just underthrew it. This isn’t a once in awhile thing.

The Cowboys have zero timeouts. They are pinned deep. They are probably just looking to get to halftime with the lead. And they end up with a 97 yard touchdown drive highlighted by Ladarius Gunter trying to hip check a receiver instead of, oh, I don’t know… covering him? The defense held up a long time, but the offense may very well make the wheels come off.

The problems today aren’t just problems that have just surfaced, but they are all coming together. An offense based on isolation routes that requires the receivers to beat their men is not going to succeed when the receivers consistently cannot beat their men. Seems fundamental. When Rodgers was on, he could fit balls into tight windows and hide these deficiencies. Now that he’s not hitting those windows, every problem becomes more pronounced.

McCarthy’s message isn’t getting through any more. He may still be an excellent coach, but his time in this locker room has passed. It’s time to consider moving on. The problem is that Thompson will never consider that mid-season (and truth is he probably shouldn’t) but also he may not consider it at all. The biggest fear for every Packer fan is that this stagnation and mediocrity will continue. Based on what we have seen in the last two years, there is little reason to be optimistic.

If Rodgers can’t make miracle throws and he can’t protect the ball, what can he do?

And there goes Morgan Burnett making this worth watching. And after that, Cobb gets wide open and Rodgers sails it. This isn’t getting better.

A field goal. Yay. Well, at least Mason Crosby fantasy owners are happy.

Is this rock bottom? Packers fans feel like they’ve asked that question before. The real worry is that nothing will change. Ever. That the franchise will still try to exist on offensive successes past. Rodgers needs someone who can get in his head and convince him to focus on fundamentals. He still seems to have the physical tools, but does he have the ability to play this game at the levels he used to? Can he straighten things out in his head? Those are the questions most of us want answered.

Zach Heilprin summed it up well after the touchdown to Cobb.

I guess time will tell.

Comments

  • Bill Kristofco

    Chris grew up in a Green and Gold home. I have been a Packer fan since 1957, and I passed that gene on to him. I chose the Packers not because they were good but because I was a huge Milwaukee Braves fan as a kid and decided to stay in the same state with my NFL allegiance.
    The Pack was 1-10-1 in my first full year of following them, and then along came the glorious era of Vince Lombardi beginning in1959. What followed his hiring were not only championships but the excitement of watching Lombardi constantly work to make the team better through trades and brilliant drafting. On game day, even though everyone knows about the power sweep with Hornung and Taylor, Lombardi crafted a diversified passing attack that was every bit as effective as his running game. I looked forward to the next Sunday’s game beginning Monday morning.
    And then came the dismal ’70s and ’80s. By mid-October in those dark years it was clear there was no hope for the playoffs for that year. The brilliant qb Bart Starr was a miserable general manager. I learned patience and long suffering as a Packer fan and I came to accept that hope and high expectations were for the fans of other teams.
    And then Bob Harlan brought Ron Wolf to Green Bay. I learned from him that long suffering, patience and low expectations were not virtues for an NFL team nor for its fans. His outstanding personnel moves and coaching hire of Mike Holmgren restored hope and high expectations to Packer fans.
    That excellence is now endangered, in my view. For one thing, the quarterback and coaching staff appear headed for divorce. Reports indicate that Aaron Rodgers does not seem to be responsive their coaching, and we seem to get unimaginitive game plans every week. Mike McCarthy and the Packer players seem tired of each other. The result is a product that I find hard to get enthused about and one which hardly seems of championship calibre. And please, Mike, stop telling me you’re “going to fix it”. I no longer believe you.
    In addition, it irritates the hell out of me to see the good teams, you know, Seattle, New England, Minnesota and Arizona, and how aggressively they used RESPONSIBLE free agency and trades to improve their teams and how they are not afraid to try and win NOW. Just last night D J Swearinger and Chandler Jones were outstanding for Arizona. They were a cheap FA and trade acquisition respectively. And please, Ted, stop the “we use every means to improve our team” talk. No you don’t! Undrafted free agents make nice stories but I believe this management team has become too dependent on them. The results of this approach are all too clear on the playing field.
    I believe we are at the beginning of a period of decline. Bold leadership is needed to keep that from happening but I don’t see it coming from the current leadership team. If this decline does occur, I hope Packer fans will make it clearthat back sliding is not acceptable.

    Reply

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By Chris Kristofco

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