The Best and the Wurst: Packers at Panthers

The Best and the Wurst is a weekly series wherein I highlight just a few of the things that stuck out to me in last week’s game.  They are not only or merely the best or wurst players overall, but are merely observations from the game.  Sometimes the considerations aren’t even players at all, but play calls, incidents, or various nonsense.

 

 

 

The Best

Randall Cobb:  Teams are obviously keying on Cobb as the Packers’ no. 1 wide receiving threat. That didn’t stop him from accumulating 99 yards and TD, including a 53 yard TD pass to begin the 2nd half. That number could have been much larger had Rodgers not missed Cobb deep in the 2nd quarter, a play that would have likely resulted in a TD to bring the Packers within 3. After several weeks of much talk about wide receivers not getting open, and the lack of a deep threat, Cobb showed that neither of those things are true when he’s playing at a high level. In a butt-kicking like the Packers received this week, it’s hard to come up with players who had flawless games. Cobb is no different. While he certainly contributed more than in recent weeks, his 4 receptions came off of 12 targets.  Some of those were misses by Rodgers, but it’s not likely that all were. Clearly Rodgers is forcing the ball to Cobb as much as possible, but they’re still looking to be out of sync.

Damarious Randall: Randall got beat a few times yesterday, no doubt. But he also made some fantastic plays for a rookie thrust into a bigger row with Shields and Rollins out. Randall had two passes defensed and came up with a huge interception of Cam Newton to, somehow, give the Packers a shot at tying a game late in the 4th that seemed completely out of reach at halftime. Randall shows an instinctual ability to make plays on the ball. He seems to be getting better every week, and has more than justified his first round pedigree.

Mike Daniels: Daniels is perhaps the only player to show up for the defense each and every week. Many think of Daniels as a great pass-rushing defensive lineman, but the truth is that he’s even better against the run. He’s earning a bigger contract with each passing week.

the wurst 3

Josh Sitton, Corey Linsley, and Bryan Bulaga: The blocking against the Panthers was poor all around, but these three linemen seemed to account for most of the poor play.  Sitton is giving up sacks, Linsley is either missing assignments or letting guys slip right by him, and Bulaga is being man-handled into Aaron Rodgers’ lap. Uncharacteristically poor pass-protection has been a major contribution to the offense’s woes.

Eddie Lacy: It’s hard to say exactly what is wrong with Lacy, but he looks absolutely nothing like the player that has dominated the last two seasons. James Starks has filled in admirably, but Lacy adds a dimension to the offense that cannot be replaced. The coaching staff needs to help Lacy figure out how he can get right. Until then, he needs to ride the pine. He’s become a total liability when on the field.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: Clinton-Dix looked lost against the Panthers, and Peppers took him and the rest of the secondary to task over it. I don’t know exactly what was said, but Clinton-Dix’s play certainly deserved to be criticized.

Mike McCarthy and Coaching Staff: I’m putting McCarthy and the coaching staff on the list, albeit for a different reason than last week. Sure, there are still scheme problems, especially on defense, but I liked some of the adjustments that McCarthy and Clements made on offense (rolling Rodgers out of the pocket more often, and using both bunch formations and crossing routes to help receivers get open). This week, however, McCarthy and company need to find a way to change the attitude in the locker room and on the field. The Packers have been coming out flat for weeks now, with criticism rising. And yet nothing has changed. Erin Andrews was reporting how silent and dejected the team looked on the sidelines. There is a palpable difference between when this team is playing with fight and when it isn’t. McCarthy needs to find a way to reinvigorate his players, many of whom were not up to the task of executing the game plan this week. McCarthy talked a lot of about the “hero’s journey” over the bye. I don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t seem to be effecting the kind of change necessary to resuscitate a declining team.

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Taylor O\'Neill is a Packer fan born and raised in Oshkosh, WI. He currently lives in Florida and is pursuing his PhD. Taylor is a writer with PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TaylorONeill87 for more Packer news.

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2 thoughts on “The Best and the Wurst: Packers at Panthers

  1. Part of the problem is that the receivers are slow. But what is going on with the O line? Quite a mystery to me. Dom Capers, of course, blamed the injuries for his defense giving the game to the Panthers on a silver platter. Of course, he does that every week. The defense has given up over 1400 yards in three games. That’s what’s wrong with the Packers.

    1. The offensive line and the defense are the main problems right now. Getting Shields back may help the defense, but they need to get back to actually getting to the QB.

      I have no idea what’s going on with the o-line.

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