The Four Agreements From Week 9

Grab a frosty cold Carry The G (or six!)  and join your bald and important host as we dissect the Packer's soul-crushing loss to the Detroit Lions and try to find four things from the game that Green Bay fans worldwide can agree upon.

Well, that game was about as much fun as walking in on your parents' "wrestling".  Five short weeks ago, the Packers were up 20-10 on the New York Football Giants in foggy London Town.  Five weeks later, we are just in a fog.  The Packers left the field on Sunday looking more ragged than the shirts Hulk Hogan used to wear (the dude was 6'7", weighed 300 pounds, and could bench press a Volvo but he couldn't rip through a regular shirt?).  The saddest part about that loss--it wasn't that hard to see coming.  Things this season have gone from bad to worse to WTF in the time it takes a hummingbird's wings to flap.  I feel your pain, Packers fans.  I truly do.  So plop yourself down on my comfy leather couch, squeeze out a few tears, and let's work through these emotions together.  Surely, we can find four takeaways from Sunday's utterly soul-obliterating loss to agree upon.  

  • Agreement #1--This one was Aaron Rodgers' fault.

Harry Houdini famously met his end in Detroit, Michigan, on Halloween night in 1926.  Cause of death--a punch to his abdomen.  Nearly 96 years to the day, another magician with a questionable haircut was dealt a fatal body blow in the Motor City.  After most losses, you can point fingers in many directions, and lay blame at several different feet.  Not this one.  Aaron Rodgers single-handedly cost the Packers AT LEAST 24 points in this game.  In a game against a historically bad Lions defense, Aaron Rodgers, possibly the most talented football thrower of all time, led his team to a whopping 9 points.  Now, I have watched pert-near every snap Rodgers has taken as a professional football player, and I can put my hand on my ass and say that was as bad a game as I have ever seen him play.  It was beyond perplexing.  It was almost an out-of-body experience.  Watching Rodgers throw multiple red zone interceptions to this lowly Detroit Lions team was about as unexpected as finding out that your great-grandma cheated on your great-grandpa.  With Kid Rock.  On Christmas Morning.  

How the hell are we Packers fans supposed to process watching Aaron Rodgers meltdown like Linguo after half a Duff?  Well, the way I see it, there are two possibilities to explain such a sharp and sudden drop in performance.  Either his thumb is much worse than he is letting on, and we are reliving some unholy retread of the 1999 season, or, Rodgers just went full Kobe Bryant against the Phoenix Suns in the 2006 NBA playoffs.  This dude doesn't miss passes by half a yard, let alone six yards on the goal line.  It just doesn't happen.  I know Aaron is "enlightened" and he "murdered his ego" with plant medicine this past offseason, but you don't get to the spot he is in without at least a little pettiness.  Would it really shock you to find out Rodgers chose that game to prove an emphatic point about how poorly his wide receivers have been performing, and silently voice his displeasure with the team not making a move at the trade deadline?  Improbable?  Sure.  Impossible.  Absolutely not.  I really, really, really hope it is just his thumb.

  • Agreement #2--It's so hard to say goodbye.

This season is over.  I hate to say that, but it's the truth.  This team, with its mounting injuries, its complete dearth of playmakers, its myriad of communication issues, and its total lack of cohesion, is not making some miracle run.  It sucks.  I get it.  But, the sooner we admit this to ourselves, the better off we will be in the long run.  We need to look at these remaining eight games as an opportunity.  The Packers have to make a massive decision on Jordan Love's contract this spring.  It's time to see what the kid can do.  Matt LaFleur already signaled his concern with Love this past offseason by pushing hard to bring Rodgers back, despite that move diverting from Gutekunst's long-term QB succession plan.  Not trading Aaron last spring was a mistake.  You can't compound that mistake by trotting out an injured 39-year-old week after week just to avoid bruising egos.

Let Rodgers play this week against his old coach.  Then hand Jordan Love the reigns on the short week versus Tennessee, and let Rodgers heal his thumb and spend some quality time with his witch girlfriend (that's not a euphemism--she really is a witch).  It's time for Love to shit or get off the pot.  And, frankly, this might be just what the doctor ordered, too.  I went back and watched four games from 2020 on Monday evening.  The 2020 Green Bay offense was Cristiano Ronaldo on a breakout with no one in front of him.  The 2022 Green Bay offense is the Ronaldo sculpture.  Where the hell are the bunch wide receiver sets?  Where are the running back slants?  The double tight end seam routes?  The under-center play action?  The endless pre-snap motion?  I can tell you where they are--in Aaron Rodgers' computer trash bin along with pictures of he and Shailene Woodley's trip to Hawaii and his brother's Rodgers' Family Thanksgiving Dinner e-vite.  

Matt LaFleur is far too much of a politician (or a scaredy-cat) to push back against Aaron's "edits" to his offensive system.  Hell, he is too political (or scared) to even answer inquiries about Rodger's tinkering with his scheme (if you were looking for Matt this week, you needed to train your eyes lower--he spent most of his week ducking questions).  Jordan Love does not hold the cachet, nor exhibit the same hubris, to push back against Matt's coaching.  The youngster receivers would benefit from not having to spend half of their games reading 12's mind.  They would probably play a little looser too, not constantly worrying about being blanketed in a torrent of  F-Bombs every time they failed to establish an ESP link with their future Hall Of Fame signal caller.  

And, not to add insult to injury, but there is a pretty realistic scenario where David Bakhtiari and Aaron Jones aren't on this team next year, either.  So let's use these last eight weeks to invest some priceless game reps in to Zach Tom and Kylin Hill.   Brian Gutekunst is a supposed football genius (at least in his own mind).  It's time to find out if any of these picks he has made over the last several years are ready to blossom.  The Packers already lost their chance to cash in on the Aaron Rodgers lottery ticket last spring.  They doubled down by giving Aaron a truly onerous contract.  These moves are in the past.  You cannot re-litigate these missteps.  Now, don't double down on these aberrations by throwing good money after bad.

  • Agreement #3--Choppy waters makes for rough sailing.

The first 45 minutes of the movie Hostel is not too far afield from the teen sex comedies I grew up watching in the late 80's and early 90's.  Hostel tells the tale of three handsome college kids drunkenly traipsing through Europe, meeting girls, partying at Eurotrash discos, and smoking hash--you know, what Rob Demovsky calls a "slow weekend."  The script flips about halfway through the film, when the boys are drugged by some girls they meet at a bar, and subsequently wake up in a damp warehouse in an area of Slovakia with a less than favorable RedFin score.  Spoiler alert--The situation deteriorates, and these hapless American lads spend the last half of the movie having, as my buddy Derik put it, a bunch of "unchill shit" done to them. Paradise.  Paradise lost.

This Packers season has the same feel to it.  We started out great.  Took an ill-advised trip to Europe.  And, have spent the last five weeks in a bathtub minus our kidneys.  Not great.  It's truly unbelievable how much "unchill shit" has besotted the Packers this fall.  This season has essentially become Pam and Tommy Lee's marriage.  I think Rodgers' witch girlfriend put a curse on us (I am only kidding--kind of!).

From the never-ending uncertainty of our two best offensive linemen's weekly availability to the revolving ER door our wide receiving core has become, to Matt LaFleur's blood feud with Aaron Jones, to the very existence of Joe Barry--this Packers season just feels like it was born under a bad sign.  And, the galling thing is there are not just one or two fingers to point.  The finger-pointing on this team is the final stand-off from Reservoir Dogs.  Depending on what camp you fall into, you could blame this year's ineptitude on Brian Gutekunst's previous draft failures and unwillingness to ever properly address the wide receiver position.  You could blame Matt LaFleur's feckless acquiescence to Aaron Rodgers, and his fundamental lack of accepting this team's supposed strengths and weaknesses.  You could blame Rodgers for treating football as a vehicle to a "lucrative" career as a podcast guest.  You could blame players who were expected to take steps forward, inexplicably backsliding.   You could blame losing three high-level offensive coaches last offseason.  Or, you could blame not losing Joe Barry last offseason.  As I said, this blame pool is deeper than Tori Spelling's cleavage in the 1990s.  

Truthfully, this was a perfect storm of ineptitude.  The 2020/2021 seasons were our drunken European adventure.  The Adams trade was the girls at the bar drugging us.  This season is the Slovakian torture AirBNB.  The remaining healthy players may want to double-tape their Achilles for the rest of the season.

  • Agreement #4--This team is not tough enough.

This team has been pushed many times this year.  And, each time it has been pushed, it has folded like a Dollar Store camping chair.  Whether it's shame, competitive spirit, or simply doing a job correctly, the Packers need to find out what this team is made of.  From the top on down.  We need to see if Matt LaFleur is more of a Winston Churchill or a Neville Chamberlain.  We need to find out if these young guys see this tailspin, and these stacking injuries, as a reason to dip their heads and sulk, or a chance to seize their moment.  The Packers have always had a level of grit to them.  A bit of gravel in their bellies.  It takes some serious sand to withstand a game in Wisconsin in December.  This team, at least right now, looks SAWFT.  We need to find out if these guys are Adam Goldberg's character from Saving Private Ryan, or Jeremy Davies' character cowering on the stairs.  And, it has to start this weekend against Dallas.  Your manhood has been challenged.  Are you going to let Big Mike McCarthy walk back into Lambeau Field and steal a game from you like an oversized Grinch stealing Christmas presents?  Or are you going to stand shoulder to shoulder, dig deep, and fight back?  I sure hope it's the latter.  This losing shit is getting old.  

  • Catching Strays

Aaron Rodgers post-game outfit looked like something Bill Belichick would wear to a funeral.

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, Brett Favre has launched a Salvation Army donation pot.  The proceeds will go to fund a state-of-the-art weight room for his nephew's AAU basketball team.

If Sammy Watkins is the answer, I sure as hell don't want to know what the question was.

Brett Favre's last six months have gone so poorly, he finally fired his long-time agent Bus Cook this week and replaced him with Kanye West.

Can't wait to see how many parkas Fox makes Erin Andrews wear this weekend.  

  • Parting Thoughts

​​​​​​​I want one week where the Packers play a game that doesn't leave an aftertaste like a Costco hot dog.   

​​​​​​​

Tim Preece lives in Utah because he makes poor life decisions.

7 points

Comments (14)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
BirdDogUni's picture

November 09, 2022 at 06:40 pm

Question: Who can we sign that will never be where he is supposed to be?

Answer: Sammy Watkins

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BirdDogUni's picture

November 09, 2022 at 06:45 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z24xipRE_I

Excellent job by Kurt Warner right here... Worth watching...

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stockholder's picture

November 09, 2022 at 09:05 pm

Absolutely.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 09, 2022 at 11:17 pm

Confirmation, Watkins should walk. Amari has no clue and Lazard has not refined his route running.

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Coldworld's picture

November 10, 2022 at 10:10 am

I’m not going to be over hard on Lazard. He’s proved he could be a good piece if he had a cast around him. He’s a good 3, perhaps a very good one. He’s not going to carry an O single handed.

I have been vocal about Amari’s limitations. I have not changed my opinion. However, there’s one thing we know he can do and could do when he arrived. Run with the ball if schemed open in space. He’s not built as an X or a Y. He’s a bowling ball for a true receiver. He’s agile with the ball in hand in motion but not in terms of catch radius. Given that, if we have to use him, why not use him in the slot and let him do what he can do?

Yes, I think there are better slot options healthy, but there are no worse X or Y fits. Rodgers has real difficulty getting open on his own. So if forced, let others take those roles and at least give him a chance to contribute and have us better elsewhere.

Being better elsewhere starts with not activating Watkins. I’d rather see Fulgham or Winfree until they prove they are less of a factor. That might be hard. It would also be some signal of accountability when one is sorely needed. No vet gets a pass for such sloppiness without ramifications.

The coaching just leaves me baffled.

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Oppy's picture

November 09, 2022 at 06:54 pm

I've been consistently amazed at how short Packers fans' memories are. I can't count how many times I've read "I can't remember the last time Rodgers had a game like this."

The first and last games of 2021 are all the further one needs to look... and he didn't even have an owie on his thumb for those games.

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ricky's picture

November 09, 2022 at 07:45 pm

Is there a head coach that Rodgers can abide? He ran McCarthy out of town. At the end of MM's tenure, Rodgers was literally yelling at the sidelines about how stupid the play calling was. Now, he is apparently changing the offensive calls (that is what you are claiming, correct?) and effectively running his own offense. And it's not working. So it has to be someone else's fault. Is Rodgers trying to get LaFleur fired? After he (apparently) lobbied hard to bring Rodgers back to the team? That would be- odd. You're right, we can try to fix the blame, or we can try to fix the problem. The solution could well be several years in the making, and be painful. But at this point, the team is lost, and seems to be waiting for the next mistake to undercut them again. Time to put Rodgers on the trade block, get what you can, and turn the team over to Love. Then, we'd see if LaFleur and Gutekunst can build a team around him (like Philly and Miami have done).

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Oppy's picture

November 09, 2022 at 08:13 pm

I still maintain there is not a HC in the league that can handle the monster that is Rodgers' ego.

The only one who -could- is probably Belichick, but I don't think he -would-.
I think he'd send Rodgers ass out the door.

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Coldworld's picture

November 10, 2022 at 10:20 am

Duplicate

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Coldworld's picture

November 10, 2022 at 10:20 am

There is an aspect of Hamlet and Icarus in Rodgers without doubt.

Tim, I give you credit for attempting to find humor in this wasteland of a season and not turning to the dark. A rough time for a debut season!

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GregC's picture

November 09, 2022 at 07:51 pm

I'm still laughing at the first line....and the last line. Although I've never walked in on my parents "wrestling," nor have I eaten a Costco hot dog.

Maybe they can just win this game against McCarthy and the Cowboys. That's all I ask. But I don't see it happening.

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Razer's picture

November 10, 2022 at 06:59 am

Very funny Tim and well written. Thanks

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 10, 2022 at 10:37 am

I need to check out how SAWFT I am too. I have no stomach for the rest of the season. I’ll watch the Packers of course, but I have very little interest in watching wild card games or the Vikings doing anything positive. I’m checking out much like our $50mm QB.

And I must apologize to Christian Watson. I got his jersey and that’s the kiss of death.

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Gman1976's picture

November 10, 2022 at 03:36 pm

Well, you had me laughing outloud in public! And sad to say, you made me more happy than our Packers. Thank you???

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