To Tank or Not to Tank?

I feel robbed.  I think we all do.  This season was going so well.  Not 2011 well, but it was certainly going better than last year.  We were 5-2 and 13 point favorites over the hated Bears at home.  The team was all but certainly going to move to 6-2 and then into a cakewalk of a schedule the rest of the way out.  Aaron Rodgers was hitting his stride, and more importantly with Rodgers at QB and Eddie Lacy at RB teams absolutely had to respect two aspects of the Packers offensive game.  This led to playing with the lead, which regardless of what you think of Coach Capers and the defense is the way that this team is designed.

I don’t blame Bob McGinn.  Really, I don’t.  I couldn’t believe that he wrote the article that he did.  I didn’t understand the point of throwing that kind of thought out in to the world in the middle of a normal regular season but I kind of brushed it off.  It is unfortunate, however, that about every point that he made in that article turned out to be wildly incorrect.  The Packers were not and are not capable of winning without their MVP QB.  Maybe they could if they had Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley to terrorize the middle of the field, but they don’t.  Maybe they could if they had an acceptable answer at RT (oh I don’t know, Bryan Bulaga?).  Maybe they’d be more effective running the ball if they still had DuJuan Harris as a change of pace.  But this team? With their double digit contributors on IR (again).  Can’t do it without #12.  It isn’t going to work.

The question becomes now what to do at 5-6-1?   Ed Werder is reporting that there will be scans on Rodgers’ shoulder today that will determine whether or not he can play Sunday against the Falcons.  If he is not cleared and Green Bay loses again, the Pakcers will be out of the playoff picture.  The question then is whether or not to shut AR down for the season.

This is more of an NBA problem than it is in the NFL (see the perpetually OK teams like Atlanta and Milwaukee) but I don’t want to be 8-8.  It’s a bad deal.  IF you’re not going to contend then you might as well be bad.  I understand that it would infuriate Rodgers.  I also understand that there’s almost no way that a re-injury of his collarbone would in any way affect his status for the 2014 season.  I want draft equity for Ted Thompson to reload this team.  The team certainly doesn’t need to be rebuilt.  If Aaron Rodgers never breaks his collarbone you can tell me that the Packers wouldn’t be at least 8-4 but I won’t believe you.

Whatever you may think of BJ Raji, the 2009 Draft (the last time the Packers had a decent draft position) yielded 2 Pro Bowlers 2 starters, and two other players that contributed to a Super Bowl win.  Imagine the 2014 Packers with Bulaga and Bakhtiari as the tackle tandem and Lacy and Harris as one of the NFL’s best RB tandems.  Imagine them with a healthy Casey Hayward.  Then imagine them with the ability to invest in the holes on this team, whether you deem that to be interior OL, Safety or Inside Linebacker from a top 12 position in the draft.  This isn’t going to be a popular opinion I know (and I actually could use Rodgers back for the fantasy playoffs) but the Green Bay Packers are measured by winning championships, and if Rodgers is unable to suit up against Atlanta their best opportunity is the 2014 season and beyond.

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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