Takeaways From the Packers Debacle in Denver

What the hell was that?

That is the most common question being asked by Packers fans after the 29-10 ass beating handed to them by the Denver Broncos.

The score doesn’t indicate just how piss poor the Packers played. It was an all around embarrassing performance by the supposed best team in the NFC.

When Mike McCarthy comes out during his post game press conference and says “I haven’t had my ass kicked like that in a long time” it should be an indication to everyone just how bad it was.

I’ve had a full day to process the shit storm that was the Packers’ performance last night, and have come away with more than a few thoughts about the game. Questions, comments, observations, and just straight up venting.

Without further delay, here we go:

  1. I cannot process how Aaron Rodgers, the 2 time league MVP and arguably best player in the league, managed a stat line of 14-22 for 77 yards. A whopping 3.5 average. That yardage line is just ridiculous-77 yards.
  2. When the passing offense was struggling, why would the Packers not try some quick, short passes? Something. Anything to get the offense going a little bit and develop some rhythm. Nope. Stuck with the pistol or shotgun, spread formations, and looking downfield.
  3. Sometimes, I really wish Rodgers would be more like his predecessor and just sling the ball down the field. Look to make the big play, instead of trying to make the perfect play.
  4. Absolutely zero separation for the wide receivers. None. Blanketed more than a three year old with their woobie. They couldn’t find any room, which meant nowhere to pass downfield.
  5. Many are wondering why Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis wouldn’t have been used to stretch the field a little. Newsflash to those pondering this: they aren’t very good. At least right now. If they were, they would have tallied a little more than 4 snaps total (2 each) on offense for them.
  6. So Eddie Lacy starts the Packers’ first possession with 15 yards on 2 carries, then doesn’t get another carry until 13:28 left in the 2nd quarter. How is this possible? For a team that often talks about sticking with the “hot hand” at RB to completely disregard their number one back for a full quarter is ridiculous. I have no idea what kind of running back rotation plan the Packers had going into this game.
  7. The Packers have the 28th ranked offense in the NFL right now. Let that sink in for a moment. The 28th ranked offense. Now, I’m not suggesting that there is a correlation between McCarthy giving up play calling and the sudden collapse  of the offense. Losing Jordy Nelson for the season has a big part to do with that. But new play caller Tom Clements has to take some level of responsibility for what is going on.
  8. Speaking of play calling, I wonder if McCarthy is itching to take back the play calling responsibilities.
  9. The Packers defense has allowed 843 passing yards to Phillip Rivers and Peyton Manning last two games. No further commentary needed about this.
  10. Why would Dom Capers not have moved Casey Hayward off Demaryius Thomas sooner? He absolutely schooled him. Over, and over, and over.
  11. Zero pass rush. None. Against a statue named Peyton Manning standing in the pocket.
  12. Loved seeing the middle of the field wide open for Manning to pass at his whim. All. Game. Long.
  13. Really, really, REALLY hope Sam Shields is ok. If not…..
  14. Toward the end of the game, it sure looked to this viewer that the defense (other than Clay Matthews) just quit. Considering how much they were on the field, they had to have been exhausted.
  15. At least Tim Masthay punted well. And Mason Crosby kicked a FG. Pretty sad when these are the highlights of the game.

One of two outcomes are going to happen from last nights ass kicking: either it’s a massive wake up call for the coaches and players, or it’s the beginning of the end of the season.

Let’s all hope the Sunday night debacle in Denver was an aberration. Otherwise, the last nine games of the season could be very painful to watch.

 

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John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.

He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.

You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at johnrehor@yahoo.com.

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  • shavager

    MY answers to a few of your comments: (1) This O-line is capable of protecting Rodgers MOST of the time–but Broncos, like the 2011 KC Chiefs have proved–press coverage on Pack’s WR’s and Rodgers will hold the ball too long and get knocked down or sacked. Pack just does NOT really play the “west coast” offense that McCarthy’s claimed–Montana could “dink and dunk” teams to death and open up the long ball for Niners–and they had a running back, Roger Craig behind an O-line that could NOT be stopped! McCarthy apparently missed that part of the Niners playbook. Manning ATE UP Pack’s short pass defense with TE’s and a run game that got numerous lanes and holes. (2) WHY NOT run Janis deep downfield and let Rodgers air it out early on a third down play? Unless it’s INT’d and returned for much yardage, it’s same as a deep punt but at least it forces defense to respect speed of Janis and Pack’s long ball potential, free up shorter range receiving options by stretching the field. (3) When receivers are covered up at the line of scrimmage–WHY not more WR’s in motion, more stacked WR’s with 3 on one side? CHANGE, that’s how you fight, McCarthy just doesn’t to get it, apparently neither he nor Clements understands plan “A” AIN’T WORKING! (4) As for McCarthy abandoning the run game–he acts sometimes as if he’s coaching Arena Football and NOT NFL! Without a run game, teams can just press Rodgers WR’s and pressure him, eventually he’s gonna be knocked out by injury.This O-line pass protects but it does NOT run block well, no matter what fans or writers want to say about them–their lack of success against better defense proves it. ANYBODY with half a mind and one eye can see this secondary IS NOT THAT GOOD against quality QB’s, especially when defense can’t get within the concession stand of the opposing QB’s! Overmatched and outplayed by a lesser offense last night and dominated by a better defense! And I hate to say it, I HOPE Packers don’t face Peyton Manning in SB, it’s just another ASS-KICKING WAITING! Packers have proven in two consecutive games, they can’t stop the better QB’s like Rivers, Manning and look for more of same when they face Palmer in Ariz and IF they face Brady or Roethlisberger at some point.

    • James Drumheller

      You hit the nail on the head.Why they abandoned the run game with what looked like some success and Lacy seemed healthy is beyond me also.The ability to put pressure on the QB makes any secondary look even better.Where was the young stud Elliott? He seemed to help with our pass rush.If we’re not careful Rodgers is going to be the next casualty and then all playoff hopes go out the window. Adjustments must be made and hopefully from our lips to McCarthy’s ears. GO PACK GO!!! Thank you Mr. Shavager

      • shavager

        Just an aggravated fan tired of watching McCarthy lay eggs in big games James! Ted Thompson is good at finding talent–but you can find talent everywhere IF you look hard enough, getting BETTER talent means making tougher decisions sometimes. Thompson’s know Pack needed a TE to challenge defense since Finley’s neck injury ended his career, he passed on players like Tyler Eifert, Jordan Reed, Maxx Williams, Travis Kelce and settled for Richard Rodgers and Kennard Blackman–Rodgers looked terrible and Blackman was inactive. He’s been too willing to stockpile draft picks for bench players, some of whom are gone after first contract ends, while some options to add talent were allowed to drop off the board to others when he made those picks. I think Jimmy Graham could’ve been picked up cheap enough but FA’s aren’t an option except when a real need has to be fixed and a cheap option becomes available–sure Julius Peppers ain’t a “cheap” option but he was cheaper than others, Thompson took the chance. Anyway I hope this Packers team doesn’t qualify for SB only to see Peyton Manning and Broncos on other side of field–McCarthy has a hard time beating those than can beat him.

  • Nick Perry

    Tom Clements needs to accept more than “Some” of the responsibility that’s for darn sure. He is guiding this offense, calling in the plays for a team that’s minus Jordy Nelson from last year, THAT’S IT. Now as great as Jordy is, there’s a lot of talent on that team still. It’s not just against the Broncos either, you don’t have the 28th ranked offense from ONE game. McCarthy batter take back over the play calling and get this team right or he should be gone. He’s had Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers since he became coach. His playoff record is awful save the 2010 season. Winning a SB is awesome and he’s be rewarded and congratulated, that was 5 years ago.

    The Broncos signed Vernon Davis yesterday and seem to be willing to sign a player that will help them win. Our GM picks the UDFA players NOBODY else wanted and tries to get by. $18 million in Cap Space and I’ll bet TT is going to move forward with Richard “Smiley” Rodgers. You know the guys, he’s always got that stupid smile on his face when he F’s up.

    I love TT drafts but his reluctance to add a player here or there that can help his team win is old, really old. With the team the Packers have they’re supposed to win divisions and make the playoffs, but that’s not enough, not with the QB’s we’ve had.