Diagnosing the Problems.
Well ****. This season isn't going well. I'm sure you're all as upset as me but we have to keep up hope. This is still probably the most talented overall team in the NFL.
1. Playcalling. Sorry, it has been simply awful this year. We would have won against the Colts had we kept running the ball; Benson or no Benson. Period. It was absolute terrible playcalling. We have to run the ball, effective or not. AND RUN IT IN THE MIDDLE. Every time we call a stupid outside run it fails miserably. That's not our game. We don't have a back that can do that.
2. Jennings injury. Jennings makes our offense go round. When you look back, the point where our offense went from good to great was when Finley went down and Jennings became the focal point of the offense. He is our deep threat, most reliable route runner and always makes the big play. His injury is killing our downfield passing game.
3. Rodgers/Offensive Line. Rodgers has grown gunshy at winging those deep passes as teams drop two safeties. He has to sling it. He's actually forcing the ball to worse reads out of fear of throwing an interception. This is also causing him to hold the ball longer. Combined with the offensive line being terrible so far has resulted in huge sack and pressure numbers.
1. Lack of consistent pressure. Same as last year. Sure, our sack numbers are up but it's inconsistent. Sometimes we get great pressure but typically we get none. A good pass rush consistently gets some pressure and then sometimes gets excellent.
2. Confusion in the secondary. I don't know if it's an overly complicated scheme or what but the secondary is confused. How we perfectly eliminated Marshall and then got destroyed by Colston and much more glaringly REGGIE WAYNE is out of my understanding.
3. Lack of ballhawking. We're obviously hurting for ballhawking safeties. Burnett hasn't turned into what we had hoped he would and McMillian is a decent cover safety and a hitter, but not a ballhawk. Jennings is just terrible.
How do we fix these things?
Offensively we need to work that rungame. Period. We need to get back to that Cobb in the backfield on 3rd down look and run with him sometimes. Stop the empty backfield. Give some idea of the run. PERIOD.
Rodgers needs to go with his reads and sling it. He was so good at this last year; seeing a possible throw and throwing it immediately with accuracy.
With Jennings out or at less than 100% we NEED TO WORK COBB IN. It seems like we work him in at the beginning of games and then go away from him. He is our best vertical and YAC catch, BY FAR, with Jennings out.
Defensively we need to get some stability in the secondary and simplify the scheme or slap some sense into our DBs. Hopefully House gets back and takes that #2 CB spot as he looked very good. I think the pass rush will get there. It has moments of brilliance and so many more passrushers than last year
I hate the term "must win" but if we don't give the Texans a hell of a game and at least get some good things happening, this could get out of control.
I want Cobb in the backfield more. I also don't want us to run ever. Yes we should but it just seems to fail miserable 80% of the time. Our running game has been one of the worst since McCarthy took over.
However, every stat and even eye test shows that when we run and fail we pass better than when we don't run but just pass.
The only reason I can think of is that defensive players are trained to play the run. Even against a terrible running team, their instincts kick in when they sense a run and they start anticipating run.
ESPN has the wonderful stat that in games where we pass 70% or more we're 2-8. 27-3 in the rest. That's kind of crazy.
And also, we just use the dumbest runs ever. We get fancy. Benson starts churning out good, decent gains up the middle and we run to the outside. Some of them are probably him adlibbing but most appear to be designed outside runs, which is idiotic considering he's slow and we lack the offensive lineman to pull that off.
Rodgers is struggling this year. Let's face it, he just is. The oline is terrible, the receivers are dropping passes and frankly just struggling to get open and Rodgers has lost faith in them. Teams will continue to sack him and bottle up our deep passing game until we run the ball. Successfully or not, we need to be hitting closer to a 60/40 balance. Anything over 60-62% passing is asking too much of Rodgers.
Rodgers is the one that really is confusing me.
There was a throw yesterday where he missed Jordy down the near sideline that was at the very least a long gain maybe even a TD. That's a throw he makes in his sleep. You can tell he's just not really sure where to go with the ball and he's taking sacks. For Rodgers to mismanage the clock late in the game was inexcusable.
Also, I refuse to believe that these WR cannot get open now. I can get that teams are taking away the deep ball but where are the crossing routes with the TE that create match ups with LB.
What frustrates me more then anything is the DB's letting opposing get free releases off the LOS. I'm not a football coach but it seems fairly smart in a passing league to at least jam some of these WR's at the line to at least disrupt any timing and give a split second more to the rushers to get to the opposing QB.
With the talent on this team there is no reason to be under .500 this season. IF that happens I think Dom has to be out.
Nelson had 2 steps on the CB with no safety there to help. That should have been a touchdown, and in fact 5 minutes later I saw the Brownies rookie QB Brandon Weeden hit a less-open WR deep for a TD vs the Giants. These are the big plays Rodgers never used to miss.
And yes that mismanaged clock at the end hurt a lot. We might have taken a shot into the end zone for the win, maybe gotten it, maybe gotten a DPI call (umm, nevermind they would have called us for OPI).... or maybe gotten Crosby 10 more yards.
Don't forget about Rodgers miss on the 2-pt PAT. He forced it to a totally-blanketed WR when Alex Green was UNcovered shorter. Easy conversion... just like the easy one we allowed.
regarding the D, agreed there as well. Capers is annoying me with his crap. The Packers are better at press coverage to anyway so why not have these guys jam the receivers at the LOS. The Saints game was ridiculous with all the zone they were playing just letting guys chew them up over the middle with no defender in sight
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