Packers Season Not Over Yet

Reminiscent of a weak levee trying to hold firm against rapidly rising waters, the Packers collapsed last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in a 47-25 thrashing and sent a shockwave of emotions from one of professional sports’ most involved fan bases. 

While the focus for many Packer faithful is towards which individual is primarily to blame and who subsequently needs to be fired at season’s end, why not an examination into Green Bay's ability to salvage their 2016 campaign and get into the playoffs?

The good news is that the schedule is relatively favorable, and only the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks are running away with their respective divisions. The Packers have matchups against formidable NFC East opponents in Washington and Philadelphia over the next two weeks, but both are winnable contests. The remaining five games include three battles against each beatable division foe, and home games against the Texans and Seahawks. While beating Seattle would be unlikely, it’s still not impossible considering the game is played at Lambeau Field instead of the vociferous CenturyLink Field. It’s no secret that the Seahawks pose a tougher threat at home, posting a 31-5 record (21-15-1 on the road) over the past four and a half seasons.

Looking further, the NFC North division is so haphazard that Jim Bob Cooter’s dynamic offense has propelled the Detroit Lions to the top of the standings. The Packers have the best division record of the top three (2-1) and are only less inspiring than the Lions and Vikings because of their proven track record. All three teams are incredibly mediocre at this point in the season, and any of them could win the division at 9-7 or possibly even 8-8.

Defensively it is understood the Packers lack top level talent outside of Mike Daniels and Clay Matthews (when healthy), but this was the first game of the season where they were completely dominated from start to finish. The glimmer of hope is that the Packers should be better suited on defense when Mathews and Demetrious Randall return. Though his play has diminished, Matthews still imposes an attitude and presence that the Packers sorely missed and opposing teams scheme against. It appears that Nick Perry and Julius Peppers’ play have dropped off in Matthews’ absence as well. Perry posted 5.5 sacks over the first 6 games, and only 0.5 since losing Matthews after the Chicago game. Peppers logged large snap count totals against Atlanta and Indianapolis, which has seemingly worn him down.

Randall would add much needed depth and experience to cornerback, one of the positions (in addition to running back) decimated by injuries. Ladarius Gunter has been a welcomed surprise at corner, and getting Randall back would help the entire unit. It is also hard to imagine Ha Ha Clinton-Dix having a worse game than he fared in Tennessee where he had an unnecessary roughness penalty on opposing quarterback Marcus Mariota, and was picked apart by the second-year quarterback.

Outside of Philadelphia (ranked 10th), the Packers will be facing offenses that are ranked 16th or lower in points per game for the remainder of the season. The average points per game of the remaining seven Packers’ opponents is 20.84, and they have scored 24.8 points per game even with their inconsistencies on offense. Four of their past five contests have been against top ten scoring offenses, further emphasizing the struggles on defense.

Offensively the Packers have shown signs of life the past four weeks, just haven’t put it completely together. McCarthy needs to reevaluate his (seemingly) overuse of Richard Rodgers, especially in five wide sets and reincorporate Ty Montgomery into the game plan. A healthy James Starks and the addition of Christine Michael could certainly help provide a boost to the run game and alleviate the pressure of having a receiver back there on first and second down. Jared Cook will also return in the next game or two and should provide a vertical receiving threat to tight end, something the Packers have lacked since Jermichael Finley retired due to injury. Jordy Nelson should continue to regain his form and become more effective.

It is easy to count the Packers out with the way they have played, but they have pulled together and gotten into the playoffs in “lost” seasons before. With the division being down, I wouldn’t bet against them. 

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Comments (40)

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dobber's picture

November 18, 2016 at 07:18 am

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!!!

...admit it: many of you had that going through your head when you read the headline.

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NashvilleCheesehead's picture

November 18, 2016 at 07:25 am

Ummm......Germans?? Can honestly say that thought has never crossed my mind.....

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Spock's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:02 am

Nashville, it's a joke and reference to a movie (revenge of the nerds, I think). It's the line the late John Bellussi (spelling) used to rally the troops in their frat house. As I recall one of the other frat boys looks at his friend and says, "Germans?" The friend replies, "just let it go; he's on a roll". So, yeah, that line did pop into my head pretty easily!

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Tundraboy's picture

November 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Oh God I feel old. It was Animal House!

Thanks for the Let it go, he's s on a roll part!!! Forgot that line. Great movie.

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Since'61's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:39 am

Correct Tundra - it was Animal House and I was thinking that thought as I read the article. Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:50 am

Junior, Senior year College. Cant remember? Toga parties!

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GVPacker's picture

November 18, 2016 at 02:37 pm

"Seven Years Of College Down The Drain" LMAO!

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NashvilleCheesehead's picture

November 18, 2016 at 03:56 pm

Oops. Old man misses cultural reference. Now if you threw a little Jerry Lewis in there......

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PETER MAIZ's picture

November 19, 2016 at 03:52 am

Do you really think the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? You are either a dunce or making a joke.

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dobber's picture

November 19, 2016 at 05:34 am

Guilty as charged...

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 07:28 am

The season isn't over. There are 7 games left And I'm not ready to concede the season.

The Packers are going through a rough stretch. Many teams this year have. I'm pretty sure Lions fans gave up on the season when they were 1-3. Now they are 5-4. I'm sure Giants fans were in an uproar when the Giants started out 2-3 and had a 3 game losing streak. Now they are 6-3. I'm sure Ravens fans were preparing for the draft when they were going through a 4 game losing streak.
The point is, a lot of teams have went through rough stretches this year. There are only 5 teams with 2 losses or less.

The Packers are starting to get some of their injured players back. That will definitely help.

I'm not throwing in the towel until they are eliminated.

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Razer's picture

November 18, 2016 at 07:32 am

I don't think this team has given up. I like what I hear about their attitude, work ethic and belief in each other. I like that they came after the Titans for the Rodgers hit. We still have enough decent players to win any of the remaining games.

If the coaches come up with a good game plan we have a chance. If we continue to waste series with our Richard Rodgers/Perillo TE packages - no chance.

If they keep saving Julius Peppers for later in the season they will be wasting his last season. He is still a talent on a low talent defense - PLAY him!

Let's not loose this one because of administrative errors.

Go Packers!

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:12 am

I agree I don't think this team has given up at all...
If they gave up they would have lost to the titans by 50.

The fight they showed when Rodgers got hit in the end zone clearly showed they are fighting for each other.

'If the coaches come up with a good game plan we have a chance. If we continue to waste series with our Richard Rodgers/Perillo TE packages - no chance.'
Completely agree. The offense is better when they aren't on the field. They are not good enough blockers to overcome their lack of speed.

If they are going to continue to use Rodgers as a WR, its only going to be a disaster for the offense.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Still cant get over hearing Rodgers and WR in same sentence. ARod was the first thing that I thought when I heard that, as ridiculous as that is RRod is worse

What genius came up with that idea.

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Razer's picture

November 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm

It is a derivative of splitting Eddie Lacy out as a WR. Same guy came up with this formation. I would just love to hear someone ask MM about these gems.

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:03 am

'Offensively the Packers have shown signs of life the past four weeks, just haven’t put it completely together. McCarthy needs to reevaluate his (seemingly) overuse of Richard Rodgers, especially in five wide sets and reincorporate Ty Montgomery into the game plan. '

I have been preaching this for a long time.

IMO, the Packers have to do a few things on offense schematically.

They can't be afraid to spread teams out. Going 4-5 WR's does a couple of things. It spreads the defense out. It puts more speed on the field and it gives Rodgers more options. When Rich Rod is the 4th WR, he is automatically covered so that takes away 1 receiver he can throw to. Defenses can simply slide all their coverage to the other 3 receivers. They have to limit his snaps on the field. Hopefully Cook coming back will do that.

They have to get Montgomery involved in the passing game. Specially a Receiver out of the backfield. He is one of the best mismatch players they have. If Defenses put a safety or LB on him, he is to fast for them. He needs to be on the field a lot more and used.

Its time McCarthy throws in some wrinkles into the offense. This maybe a stretch to actually happening, but doing something to create confusion will go a long ways to changing how defenses play us. Do more presnap motion, and run a reverse/jet sweep. We have seen these things work against us, so why not do it to other teams.

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dobber's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:17 am

If they can get out of their own way long enough, they can still win some football games...

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:55 am

Big time.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:25 am

RC it is not enough just to say to players at which snap what play they need to run. They need to practice plays which will be called at line of scrimmage, before we can expect execution. You need to confuse opponent. not yourself...
And that is in connection to the game plan. What I hope Packers have good game plan. Plan which packers players can and know to execute successfully

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 09:20 am

What I don't get about the Titans game was McCarthy said due to them getting down so early they had to scrap the game plan. What was the game plan? To run the ball the whole game?

The last 2 games it seems like to me McCarthy has outsmarted himself in his own game planning. Vs Colts and Titans instead of spreading them out with 4-5 WR's he decided to go heavily use of Richard Rodgers.

The first 7 games Richard Rodgers was targeted 17 times. The last 2 games Rodgers was targeted 17 times. Richard Rodgers should not be targeted that much. That is a pretty big flaw in the game planning/game management.
Hopefully with Cook coming back, it will change that.

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stockholder's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:05 am

I just don't see the packers making the playoffs. It's not like in years past. The league is stronger and the packers are getting old and keep making excuses. The players that are suppose to make the jump, are hurt. The older, the slower their looking. A-rod is lucky his head is attached to his body. His leadership and mind are in the toilet. Everyone keeps looking around. Instead of looking in the mirror. The conscious of this team is heart breaker. They and we as fans should be mad as hell that their not winning. Everyone on this team should write on their head: I WANT TO WIN! Show it! Unless they do that, they will give into their own fears, and only burn themselves.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:17 am

Only what you can see is how to spit more on TT and you pray Lord that TT will be fired after the season...

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Tundraboy's picture

November 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm

That is on my Christmas wish list.

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NickPerry's picture

November 18, 2016 at 10:12 am

When the Packers announced their 53 man roster, they had the 3rd youngest team in the NFL at 25.36 years old on average. The Oldest? The Falcons at 27.08. The Patriots are in the middle at 15th with an average of 26.07

http://www.phillyvoice.com/ranking-nfl-teams-age-after-53-man-cutdowns-2...

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stockholder's picture

November 18, 2016 at 12:43 pm

You're right, but I was trying to point to A-Rod,Mathews, Nelson, Burnett,Starks, peppers,etc. Key players that are the backbone for the young. Not the revolving door that TT created. (Spit, sorry I couldn't resist it.)

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NickPerry's picture

November 19, 2016 at 05:10 am

Most of THOSE players haven't been to bad actually. Nelson does seem to be getting closer to the the Nelson of 2014. The speed he had I think is gone, but the back-shoulder throws, the timing, that seems to be getting better. Burnett is what he's always been, average. Rodgers IMO needs a coach he'll respect and listen to. He has developed some bad habits which has hurt his accuracy. I remember a Night Game when the Packers played the Vikings and won like 42-10 or whatever it was. Rodgers threw a couple passes which were unbelieveable to Nelson, one within an inch of the earhole of Harrison Smith in the endzone. Passes like that or the 3rd and 10 pass to Jennings in SB45 have seemingly vanished. That and so many of his routine passes seem to be low or off just enough where the receiver is hardly ever hit in stride.

Perry is much better what Matthews is in the game. Matthews hasn't been all that great all season, much ;like the first 8 games of 2014. I think Matthews is best when a defense doesn't know where he'll line up. He was a beast when he started lining up in the middle in 2014 AND the run defense improved. Martinez and Ryan will be a excellent pair of ILB, but as long as Matthews is on this team he should be everywhere, inside, outside, left, or right, whatever keeps an offense guessing and of balance. Peppers God bless him got old. He's not even close to what he was in 2014 and maybe 60% of what he was last year.

I'm excited about Frackrell but the OLB group on this team could be really unfortunate next season with or without Perry. Add OLB to the list of CB, RB, TE, WR, and OL.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:19 am

I say Packers are team that can beat any other team today in NFL, but, unfortunately, they can be beaten by any team as well. It is just the question which face Packers will show for the further 7 games...
I do not think that even lost will finish Packers hope for the playoff, but I would rather se win in column. That would easy a little the pressure... But all depends on what Lions and Vikings will do in the next games...

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Handsback's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:21 am

PLAYOFFS..you're talking PLAYOFFS? Now you are being silly. Let's hope the Pack can win this game in Washington. Go to next week's game next week. Let's face it..Green Bay is in a single loss elimination series. Lose one, get ready for next year's draft.

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croatpackfan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 08:27 am

Yeah, we are talking about 1st goal for this season - going to play in playoffs. That is the 1st goal. And that goal can be achieved by winning this Sunday in Washington!

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Since'61's picture

November 18, 2016 at 12:03 pm

There is plenty of football left. Take one game at a time. We only need to beat the Redskins, get some confidence and hopefully get on a roll. We're facing some good teams, not any great teams going forward. We need better defense, some semblance of a running game and better play from QB1. MM needs to get Monty, and Davis more involved, especially Monty. Never give up on the season, anything can happen and things change from week to week in this league. "We're not dead yet". Go Pack Go. Thanks, Since '61

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 18, 2016 at 09:28 am

Completely agree.

Montgomery needs to be more involved on the offense.

I would like to see Davis get more playing time. 5 snaps each in the last 2 weeks are not enough. He has speed to get deep.

The thing that both of these guys offer is speed. We need more speed on the field.

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NickPerry's picture

November 18, 2016 at 06:49 pm

Seems as though MM agrees with you RC. Afterall he told reporters exactly that, Montgomery is a big part of what we do. McCarthy just has a hard time remembering on days what he tells people apparently.

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Razor's picture

November 18, 2016 at 11:10 am

Right, the season is not over. But, let's be careful what we wish for. If results improve we may be stuck with MM & TT for another season or worse.

I know that these two are model Packer citizens. I also know that they have had #4 & 12 over their 11 years and only one championship.

The last five years since the loss to KC in 2011 have been disappointing, frustrating & embarrassing.

Time for a change and I (shareholder) vote for Elliot Wolf and Darrell Bevell. They are both known to the organization and both seem to be model Packer citizen material.

I personally would say retire TT now and release MM after the next lackluster loss or the end of the season - whichever comes first.

Change isn't easy, but continuing to do the same things and expecting (hoping for) different results is crazy.

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Razor's picture

November 18, 2016 at 11:29 am

Here's a thought. If you are Mark Murphy and you report to the board of directors.

So Murphy meets with the board and tells them this;

Team results are not improving, in fact there has been a steady decline in performance since the end of the 2011 season. Continuing to rely on the same leadership doing the same thing and hoping for improved results is not working.

Therefore I have decided to ask Ted to retire and I will replace him with Elliot. Next, I will confer with Elliot to determine the timing of the release of Mike and the plan and timetable for naming his replacement.

I wanted you all to be informed of these decisions and impending actions. Ted and Mike will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity in keeping with the values and ethics of the Packer organization.

I will provide a detailed outline of the changes, timing and financial impact.

In conclusion I strongly believe that consistent performance at a high level is the essence of the Green Bay Packers and that winning isn't everything, it is the best thing for the long term success of this organization and everything it stands for.

Thank you for your strong, unwavering support.

Meeting adjourned!

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Bugeater's picture

November 18, 2016 at 02:28 pm

That sounds like a pretty good meeting! The only thing I'd want different would be to give Elliot the decision about whether to keep the coach or move on to somebody else.

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PETER MAIZ's picture

November 19, 2016 at 04:16 am

How about Jim Bob Cooter, young and talented.

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dobber's picture

November 19, 2016 at 05:36 am

Has little to no coaching experience. Was thrust into the OC job in Detroit when they had nothing else. Would be younger than his starting QB in GB...why would #12 respect him? Has been good in his current role, but would need more of a track record for me.

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Lphill's picture

November 18, 2016 at 01:00 pm

Keep Richard Rodgers on the sideline Sunday , that is the key to victory.

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al bundy's picture

November 18, 2016 at 07:39 pm

This team is a cluster f. It jas no chance in the next two, dallas and seattle will kick ass and a loss to eother lions or vikes and unlessmim wrong, season over.

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PETER MAIZ's picture

November 19, 2016 at 03:49 am

I disagree with Tyler. I don't see the Packers progressing, albeit their defensive problems. Even though Mathews is back, at his age, he may aggravate the hamstring again. And Green Bay's current inability to provide an outside rush is one of the major problems.
Insofar as the arrival of Christine, it may help or not so much. He is said to be locker room unfriendly. Rodgers is doing better by going to the air a lot than the so-called McCarthy "balance". Green Bay may beat the Redskins but don't count on it. Philadelphia seems even less likely. If no changes are made to coaching, 2017 will look no better than 2016. Perhaps scooping up Mr. Cooter from Detroit would be a good fit.

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