Watching the Jets game I realized it fell into a pattern that dominated the season: the game was close and the Packers pulled it out at the end (or not). This despite the fact that the Jets were one of the worst teams in the league. It was the same against the 49ers who were at the bottom when we playedd them. That pattern was the same whether they played the best teams or worst. We lost a chance to beat LA because Ty fumbled the KO after being ;told not to bring it out. The Det game was lost via a spate of missed FG’s. The first Bears game was pulled out, the second lost on a tipped pass that should have been caught for a TD Vikings tied, etcc. My point is that regardless of the quality of the opposition n, the outcome of most games depended on luck or seemingly uncharacteristic Packer mistakes. (Maybe the mistakes are the character.) This may be the MO of Watching the Jets game I realized it fell into a pattern that dominated the season: the game was close and the Packers pulled it out at the end (or not). This despite the fact that the Jets were one of the worst teams in the league. It was the same against the 49ers who were at the bottom when we paid them. That pattern was the same whether they played the best teams or worst. We lost a chance to beat LA because Ty fumbled the KO after being ;told not to bring it out. The Det game was lost via a spate of missed FG’s. The first Bears game was pulled out, the second lost on a tipped pass that should have been caught for a TD Vikings tied, etcc. My point is that regardless of the quality of the opposition n, the outcome of most games depended on luck or seemingly uncharacteristic Packer mistakes. (Maybe the mistakes are the character.) This may be the MO of typical mediocre teams?
The thing is that tendencies have been mapped out as far as the offense goes. Player tendencies are also mapped out. Defenses know how Rodgers will react. Defenses know how Jimmy Graham reacts to. Adams and Cobb too. A lack of a credentialed WR coach and QB coach has hurt this team. The WR coach couldn’t teach the young guys and the QB coach might have been okay with training a 3rd stringer.
So many things went wrong this year it’s hard to pin point anything specific. I would encapsulate this season, hopefully I might add, as an anomaly. That said, because of the coaching change I am worried that it may continue into the next season as well.
Firstly we had a lot of changes in the offseason starting with a new Defensive Coordinator and a new General Manager, but also with a different roster. One big change was Nelson who was Rodgers security blanket being replaced by Graham. Also, with Rodgers only playing in 5 games the previous year and not doing much work in the Preseason games he didn’t get a lot of time to work with his receivers, several of whom were draft picks (MVS, Moore, ESB) or simply new to the team (Kumerow, Graham). On the O-line, Bulaga returned from a torn ACL right at the start of the regular season and the line (particularly the right side) struggled mightily in that first game, (thank you Khalil Mack) contributing to Rodgers knee injury. The line play was spotty all year long and Rodgers wasn’t as mobile which lead to other struggles. The young receivers weren’t getting open, Cobb and Alison were missing games and Rodgers started publicly criticizing the game plan & McCarthy.
On defense it took a third of the season for Pettine to really get things going. Sadly, in the early part of the season the officials were doing a poor job of implementing the QB safety rules and extended the Minnesota game leading to a tie, and they cost us other opportunities as well.
Crosby had one of the worst days ever by any single player in NFL history by missing 20 points worth of kicks in the Detroit game. Special Teams put us in a huge hole against Washington and suddenly our teams confidence was in a precarious situation as we were sitting at 3-2-1 heading into the bye.
The team actually made significant strides in the bye week and came out on fire against the Rams, but just when we might finally have that galvanizing moment that could propel the team back to the front, Montgomery took the ball out of the endzone and fumbled away our opportunity. Honestly, losing wasn’t the worst thing. It was the way we lost and what started afterwards with Montgomery being shipped out along with Haha Clinton-Dix and whispering of locker room contention. But again we played well in New England until a costly fumble late in the 3rd quarter leading to another loss and more frustration. At this point the season was at a crossroads, it would either be salvaged or go the other direction. I believe the tipping point was in Seattle. We probably should have won that game, but we seemed to be so flat in the 4th quarter. The offense really struggled and we did just enough to not win. I feel like at this point of the season our injuries were past the tipping point of what we could tolerate. You could really see it against Minnesota, and our O-line was really struggling. By going 0-4 in those key road games this became a lost season. Anything that happened after that isn’t worth being discussed with the exception of McCarthy being jettisoned because the high expectations everyone had were not close to being met.
Now we just have to hope the power structure that is in place and the search for a new head coach are able to get it right the first time. We will need another good draft, a few Free Agents, and probably some limited expectations for the following season.
I don’t disagree with any of that but at the end of the day, I’m more of a “you are what you are” type of guy. 2 years in a row we’re a 7 win team. The fact we had 3 clear cut come from behind wins sounds good until as you pointed out we have 3 “almost” games against the Rams, Patriots, and Seattle.
At the end of the day you are the product of what the average level of talent/performance that you are able to put on the field. This team typically put a 7 win caliber team on the field this year. That speaks to injuries but it also speaks to the level of quality we have from the 35th player on down.
We need to have quality talent level 45 or 53 deep. In other words our 45th guy needs to be better than pretty much everybody else. It’s one of the benefits of the TT way of securing extra picks in every draft. Gute has done a nice job of creating extra picks for us in 2019.
I like a nice free agent signing as much as the next guy but at the end of the day, the draft is the most important piece of the player acquisition bubble. We need to nail the draft in the spring, and Gute needs to have the final say in selecting the HC. He has to be fully on the same page with the HC from day 1.
Our 2 Super Bowl championships in the last 50 years came about because we had a highly capable GM who full hiring powers over the HC and player acquisition. Hopefully Murphy takes a step back and allows Gute to do his thing.
“Hopefully” but I doubt it.
Absolutely, you are what you are. They put TT out to pasture and fire MM but Murphy is convincing me more everyday he and Ball are the issue. My sense increasingly is Gute should request the whole title or quit. I think people need to watch this very carefully, if Murphy gets his way Fitzgerald is very possibly going to get a monster deal, final personnel say and Gute will be cut out. Also if they are determined to hire a retread it needs to be one who can explain his assistants and how he will win. I like two retreads Schwartz and McDaniel. I like Toub a lot, great leader of men, but he would have to convince me he can hire the right coaches, but very intriguing, I am intrigued by both Riley and Washington’s Peterson, but would need to be convinced they can make the jump,
But I am with you this should not be Murphy’s decision. I am sure people think I am over the top on PF, but he has a contract through 2026 and realistically it is a lifetime deal. He has no NFL experience unlike Pete Carroll, but if he leaves you better believe he will get monster money, control, and length.