The best offensive play for the Green Bay Packers in the first 55 minutes of their embarrassing 31-26 loss to the Indianapolis Colts yesterday at Lambeau Field could have been a squirrel running into the end zone to stop a false start in the red zone. That about best sums up what the Packers look like right now.
The Packers were flat literally from the opening kickoff in a game against one of the least talented teams in the NFL. The Colts, as they displayed by doing everything they could to choke up a 31-13 lead in about a half a quarter, are all Andrew Luck and pretty much nothing else. Their offensive line is potentially the worst in the league and their defense was just carved up by Nick Foles a week ago, yes that Nick Foles.
Green Bay should have received an extra jolt of energy by kickoff with the Minnesota Vikings losing two games since the Packers last played and the division wide open for the taking. The opposite occurred as Jordan Todman took the opening kickoff 99 yards to the end zone and the Packers never recovered. Ron Zook, who was never qualified to be hired from the start as special teams coordinator, continued his horrible year running the special teams.
Aaron Rodgers was particularly miffed at the lack of juice and energy on the sideline in his post game press conference. All of what he was saying falls on Mike McCarthy for not having the team motivated to play.
The first job of a NFL head coach is to have his team motivated and prepared every week. McCarthy failed in both categories as the team lacked any guts and his game plan was highly questionable. Chuck Pagano, who is not a very good NFL coach, out coached McCarthy badly.
He did not go back to the spread formations that worked so well against the Falcons a week ago and should have had success again against a Colts defense that was ripe for the picking. Instead, he tried to have Richard Rodgers as the focal point of the offense early on. Any game plan that features Rodgers as your top option belongs in the trash can.
There was one play in particular in the second half on 3rd-and-long that featured Rodgers and Aaron Ripkowski on the field together. In that situation you might as well be playing 9-on-11. Rodgers and Justin Perillo were on the field together way too often, but even one two tight end set with those two players in a game is one too many.
While the tight ends were getting way too much play, Ty Montgomery did not get nearly enough. With Randall Cobb seemingly out of the picture, although not so far out of it that he could come in for a running play for his first touch, Montgomery should have been the focal point. He got a big 24-yard on the first play of the game and basically went incognito for the rest of the day. He ended up with seven carries for 53 yards, which begs the obvious question of why he only got seven carries.
Defensively, the statistics won’t look that bad for the Packers, but that’s why the box score doesn’t tell the whole story. As per usual over the last five and a half seasons now, the defense can never get off the field in a big spot. Ha Ha Clinton Dix’s missed sack of Luck with the game on the line has been the story of the defense since the 2010 Super Bowl. When does not getting off the field on defense in the most crucial plays of the game stop becoming a coincidence?
Not to mention, the 15-play, 96-yard touchdown drive to end the first half was egregious and demoralizing.
The NFL is a results oriented business. The results for the Packers are 9-11 over their last 20 games. They were just outplayed thoroughly in all three phases by team with little talent. If that trend continues over the last half of the season it is about time those results catch up to McCarthy, Capers and the rest of their coaching staff.