October 2, 2010

Damn it McCarthy, Just Make it Work

No game in the NFL should be deemed an automatic win for one team. Anything can happen and the Packers need this week's matchup against Detroit to prove to themselves that they are still a Superbowl contender.

In last week's post about the Bears vs. Packers game, I said the Packers and Aaron Rodgers specifically had a statement to make. Rodgers made his statement by elusivley shaking the Bears pressure and making accurate, clutch throws throughout the entire game. He looked like the MVP caliber QB the media has claimed he is, but the rest of the team played like it was their first game under the spotlight.

Overall the Packers crumbled under pressure in every way that Aaron Rodgers couldn't directly control. Penalties, a costly fumble, poor blocking - the list goes on. These inconsistencies are the result of inexperience, poor coaching and lack of preparation. Quoted from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"Coach Mike McCarthy felt that part of the reason for the special teams letdown was that several players who looked on Wednesday as if they might be able to play Sunday, wound up being ruled out Friday because of injury. Eventually, it became a board game trying to move players in and out and around."
Thanks for the thought Mike, but it's your damn fault. As the head coach of an NFL team, it's your responsibility to ensure your players can step in and account for injuries. Every team faces injuries every year, but it's the teams and the coaches who adjust and trust their players, that end up not making embarassing mistakes like the Packers made Monday night. At least Charlie Peprah understands this idea:
"Right now, we have so many guys that play special teams well that if somebody goes down someone who's just as good should be able to step right in," Peprah said. "So that shouldn't be an excuse. We try not to use that as an excuse."
Well clearly, Peprah's head coach is making this very excuse. And it won't be acceptable to keep making excuses all year. Great coaches don't make excuses. Great coaches fix problems before they blow up. McCarthy has every piece of the puzzle he needs right now (except a consistent RB) to make a deep playoff run. As long as the Packers avoid the big mistakes and let their Pro Bowl QB run the show - they won't have any issues winning lots of football games.

Stay tuned for my specific pre-grame analysis post of the Detroit vs. Packers game, including personnel matchups and game predictions.

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