Well that was sure depressing. It really seems like we waited a long time to watch the Packers get their asses kicked on national television. I gotta tell you, though. I’m not panicking. If I find out eventually that Bryan Bulaga is out for the season, maybe my level of concern would increase. I don’t believe that the Packers can win a Super Bowl title without Tretter, Bulaga, AND Barclay. That’s a little bit too much to ask.
But what I will say, is that my expectations for the team haven’t changed. I expected them to go out to Seattle and lose a competitive game. Before the Bulaga injury, that’s exactly what was happening. I know that it might seem like a convenient excuse but the effect that Derek Sherrod (quick tangent: Derek Sherrod is a LEFT TACKLE, when he plays right tackle bad things happen, i.e. last night and his injury and the sack he gave up to Michael Sam) had on the game was undeniable. The back to back sacks that he gave up on 4th and 5 and on the goal line effectively ended the game.
The Packers needed to go in a play an “A” game to beat the World Champions in their house. With the Brad Jones dropped INT, the Mike Daniels running into the kicker, and the Jordy drop that turned INT the Packers handed in a C- at best. This team is not good enough to had in a C- in Seattle and win a game. Here’s the thing though, there isn’t a team in this league that is good enough to play bad in Seattle and win. I would suggest that the good people of Chessehead nation take a few steps back from the ledge. Eveeything is going to be OK.
1. Secondary play- against a conventional offense, I’m excited to see what this secondary can do. The Seahawks basically didn’t even test Casey Hayward and Sam Shields and Tramon Williams played very well. Micah Hyde acquitted himself just fine and HaHa Clinton-Dix showed flashes of being a very good player. Sure, he had some missed tackles and Morgan Burnett got beat by Percy Harvin a few times (no shit, Sherlock) but all in all against 85% of the teams in the league I think the back end and the defense as a whole is going to be more effective.
2. Corey Linsley- I knew it wasn’t going to take very long for me to develop an opinion on Corey Linsley and it hasn’t. Here’s the deal folks, he can play. He’s strong as an ox, and he didn’t shrink from the moment. He’s a serviceable starting center in the NFL right now, with basically unlimited upside. To me, this means that he was an absolute steal in the 5th round of the draft. Come to think of it, before Bulaga and Richard Rodgers got tangled up, I felt like the offensive line as a whole was pretty effective against the Seahawks D.
3. James Starks- It’s really starting to become apparent that Starks is also a special player. I kept saying over and over again, “man, when this team isn’t playing the Seahawks they’re going to be really,really good”. I meant it. I still believe it. Starks ran very well, even with suspect blocking in front of him and one of the best defenses in the last 2 decades chasing him around. The part of the NFL that isn’t the Seattle Seahawks are really going to struggle to stop this offense.
1. Injuries- in a year that the Packers were supposed to have their deepest and best offensive line in a decade, the team has lost 3 of the best 6 players on that line before week 2. Everything that the coaching staff has done to manage injuries over the past few seasons has failed. The Packers were in a fight until Bryan Bulaga went down, and after he did they got knocked out. It of course wasn’t enough for the team to just lose Bulaga on the play, they had to have another starter go down as well in TE Richard Rodgers. Just to put a bow on everything, RB Eddie Lacy’s status for week 2 is in doubt because of a concussion, despite his new SpeedFlex helmet.
2. Front 7- Matthews and Peppers played fine. There aren’t a lot of other teams in the league that are going to read option and jet sweep Julius to death like the Seahawks did. Datone Jones flashed his ability and I will never worry about Mike Daniels. What I am worried about, though is that AJ Hawk looks like he’s slowing down, and he doesn’t have a step to lose. Letroy Guion is awful. I knew Letroy Guion was awful when we signed Letroy Guion. If a young player is allowed to walk by the VIKINGS, it’s probably a good idea to just let him sign elsewhere. The Seahawks offensive line is not actually a dominant unit but Guion got dominated. And then of course there was Brad Jones. There’s really nothing to say about Brad Jones’ performance other than to me, it completely confirms that 2013 Brad Jones is the real Brad Jones and not 2012 Brad Jones. He needs to be replaced in the lineup immediately by either Barrington or Lattimore.
3. Derek Sherrod- I know that this one can basically be filed under injuries but I gotta tell ya, Sherrod isn’t a right tackle. I know that right tackle is considered the “easier” of the positions but Sherrod can’t play it. He’s a pretty damn good left tackle but he can’t play right tackle. His injury happened playing right tackle. Last night happened playing right tackle. Michael Sam’s sack happened playing right tackle. His football instincts, or talents, or whatever don’t equate to him playing right tackle very well in the NFL. Right now the Packers don’t probably have a better option, but Sherrod just can’t hold up in pass protection on the right side. The back up right tackle went out for the season in training camp, and now the starting right tackle might be out for an extended period of time. Sherrod is the next man up, and he must man up.