Packers Not Prepared in Season Opening Loss

The Green Bay Packers are now 0-6 in their last six games against the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, and a huge common theme of those losses is the Packers lagging behind in the coaching category. That was on display again Thursday night.

It is inexcusable that the Packers had four months to prepare for this game and they came out so flat and illprepared. It would have been one thing if the Packers had lost playing their “A” game, which would have been possible since winning in Seattle is so incredibly difficult. However, they lost playing their “D” game with physical and mental errors.

“We were not sharp,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think some of it started clearly from our communication, from the boundary. The Seattle offense and their operation as far as their personnel groups coming in, they make late substitutions, which creates later communication from the defense.

“There’s obviously other ways to get around that. We did not get that done early enough in the game. I think our players were unsettled and frankly I never felt that we got into the flow that we needed to. That was definitely something we’ll improve on as we prepare for the Jets.”

The Packers wasted timeouts, only had 10 defenders on the field for a touchdown, had huge penalties that kept drives alive for Seattle and were just out of position many times on defense. Clearly, Darrell Bevell was a much more creative play caller than McCarthy. He used Percy Harvin marvelously coming out of the back field on jet sweeps and read options. The Packers have similar players to Harvin and Marshawn Lynch in Eddie Lacy and Randall Cobb, but McCarthy never deployed them in a way creatively as Bevell.

McCarthy’s game plan on offense and defense was unsuccessful. Not attacking Richard Sherman allowed Seattle to take away half the field and roll coverage to the left. Yes, Sherman only covers 1/3 of the field, but Rodgers only threw three passes to the right side all night and two were behind the line of scrimmage. The Seahawks were able to stay in Cover 3 the whole game shading Earl Thomas to the left side, and it was a big part in why Green Bay could not run the ball.

Sherman is awesome, but he is not Deion Sanders in his prime and can be beaten with a wide receiver like Jordy Nelson and quarterback like Aaron Rodgers. At least have Rodgers look that way or put Nelson over there to keep the defense honest.

The new 4-3 look that McCarthy and Dom Capers put together on defense was a dud, as Seattle ran the ball down Green Bay’s throat for 207 yards. You would think that the 4-3 would be a great chance to get either A.J. Hawk or Brad Jones off the field, but alas they were two of the three linebackers.

None of the tempo that we saw in the preseason on offense was evident on Thursday. The Packers ran more of a muddle huddle and the play clock was running down under ten seconds many times.

The Packers can get by the easier teams on their schedule based on their talent. However, to knock off the best teams in the league their coaching staff needs to be on top of their game along with the players. They have not been in big games lately.

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Matt Bove is a writer at PackersTalk.com. PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on twitter at @RayRobert9.

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