The Lass Word: Why the Packers Aren't Playing Sunday

We should have seen it coming.

The Super Bowl will be played this weekend and I am still coming to grips with the fact the Packers won’t be in it.  This was supposed to be our year.  Our last dance.  What went wrong?   

 

I want to stay in denial. Just take the easy way out and blame the heartbreaking loss to the 49ers on special teams.  But having had a few weeks to step back and reflect, we should have seen this coming for several other reasons.  It’s time for a reality check. 

 

 

The Packers are not a good cold weather team. 

If the past decade has taught us anything, it’s that the idea of Green Bay having some sort of magical advantage in frigid weather at Lambeau is more myth than reality.  Since winning their last Super Bowl, the Packers are no better than 5-4 at home in the playoffs.  In the last two post seasons, two warm weather teams (Tampa Bay and San Francisco) came to Lambeau in January and beat us.  It is noteworthy that the last time Green Bay did go all the way, the team won four straight post season games, all on the road or at a neutral site.  

 

 

Despite being the number one seed, the Packers were not the best team in the NFC. 

Maybe they were at midseason.  Green Bay seemed to peak about week ten with a 17-0 shutout of Seattle.  But it should have been clear by the time the regular season ended that the Packers were not playing their best football.  The defense had begun to spring leaks, the offense was inconsistent, and special teams were their usual disastrous self.   

We should have been tipped off to what was to come in the playoffs when Green Bay’s starters got outplayed in the first half by the lowly Lions in week eighteen.  Granted, the game didn’t mean anything and the play calling was vanilla, but it looked to me like our starters were playing as hard as they could.  Yet they were outperformed by a three win team.  By season’s end, the Niners and Rams had gotten hot and stepped it up a notch.  The Packers were in decline. 

 

 

Green Bay’s coaching staff does not adjust well in big games. 

After the Packers took the ball on their first possession against the Niners and drove it easily down the field for a score, the San Francisco coaching staff adjusted beautifully.  They fixed the problem.  Green Bay’s offense was essentially stymied the rest of the game.  Our staff couldn’t seem to counter with anything effective.  Or was it that Aaron Rodgers couldn’t adjust, or execute the adjustments?  

 

I have noticed this in other games against good opponents.  Against Kansas City, for example, the staff didn’t have any answers to help Jordan Love deal with the constant blitz pressure.   Matt LaFleur is a very good coach, but he’s still learning on the job, and this is an area that must improve. 

 

 

Aaron Rodgers can no longer carry the team against quality opponents. 

MVP or not, this is two years in a row that the future Hall of Fame signal caller has failed at the end of a playoff game when his team needed him the most.  On Green Bay’s final possession against the Niners, the Packers had the ball first and ten on their own 29 yard line.  Score tied at 10.  4:36 to play in the game.  Rodgers ran four plays for minus six yards, resulting in a punt.  Say what you will about Jimmy Garoppolo, but he then took the Niners 44 yards on nine plays, a drive that included three first downs.  He burned up the final 3:20 on the clock, and set up the winning field goal on the final play. 

That’s the kind of thing Rodgers used to be able to do.  Remember the fourth down bomb to Randall Cobb against the Bears to send Green Bay to the playoffs in 2013?  Don’t get me wrong.  He is the MVP for a reason.   He’s still capable of outstanding play.  But faced with do or die in a playoff situation, his age is definitely showing.  

 

 

The loss of AJ Dillon does not get enough attention. 

The one weapon we had that was truly designed for a frigid weather game was lost early in the second half when running back AJ Dillon fractured ribs on the kickoff coverage team.  Dillon pounding the ball might have been the answer on that final Green Bay possession that went nowhere when Rodgers threw the ball four times in a row. 

 

 

Our defense was very good.  The Niners’ defense was better. 

No question our defense played an inspired game and gave up just two field goals.  But it wasn’t good enough.  We needed a critical stop on that last possession and couldn’t get it.  Especially disappointing was third and seven on the Green Bay 38 yard line.  A field goal try from there would have been 56 yards in the freezing cold.  But the defense allowed Deebo Samuel to run nine yards for a first down, making the game winner more of a chip shot.  On the drive before, the Niners defense dominated, forced a three and out, and got the ball back.  They were better when it mattered most. 

 

So I’ll watch the Super Bowl, disappointed that my team isn’t there.  But knowing, deep down inside, that it's not merely because of some big special teams blunder.  They simply weren’t good enough this year. 

 

-----------------------------------

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

NFL Categories: 
11 points

Comments (91)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Spanky65's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:07 am

Why The Packers aren't playing Sunday ?

MAURICE DRAYTON !!!!!!!

-2 points
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OldSchool69's picture

February 11, 2022 at 03:17 pm

A B S O L U T E L Y !!!! Continue down the line with HeadCoach M.L. and to some extent B.G. Why these two let this disaster linger on throughout the season is unacceptable. As I've stated before, Rogers certainly did not have an MVP game, no argument there at all. But eating grass six times, pressured all game long, no adjustments on the 'O' line for protection, and an absent running game.....enough blame to go around rather than piling on an MVP quarterback to the point where some on this board claimed he "shit the bed". Really....AUFKM? I guess you that quoted that forgot to mention the special teams disaster of giving away 10pts to a team that had only scored 3pts. Drayton, M.L. and B.G. shoulder the loss and the blame for GreenBay's early exit...

0 points
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2
NickPerry's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:35 am

"The loss of AJ Dillon does not get enough attention."

I agree with this to a point, but I wonder how many times Rodgers changes the play, from a run by Dillon to a "Hero Ball" toss into double coverage to Adams? I heard "Kill, Kill, Kill" too many times, or saw hand gestures by Rodgers in that game and all season. IIRC, on the Packers first drive, they had a 1st and 10 from the 11 and Dillon ran in it in two plays. I can only imagine what could have been had Dillon not been injured, but I also wonder if Rodgers actually gives him the chance.

"Green Bay’s coaching staff does not adjust well in big games."

After the Lewis fumble I remember thinking to myself, no problem, the Defense is balling out. Just run the offense, SPREAD the ball around, pound Dillon and keep Jones involved. The ONLY thing that happened is they kept Jones involved, partly because of the Dillon injury, but mostly because Rodgers REFUSAL to spread the ball around. Blame MLF or Rodgers, it was both their faults. LaFleur does need to get better with Adjustments. BUT remember LaFleur's teams are undefeated in games Adams has missed with injury which at least makes me go Hmmmm....It ain't ALL on Matt.

"Our defense was very good. The Niners’ defense was better."

Maybe, maybe not. I'm not going to give too much blame to THAT defensive performance. Had Rodgers thrown the ball to ANYONE without the #17 on his jersey, I think I'm Tailgating this weekend at So-Fi Stadium, just about 10 miles from my house with a shitload of Packers fans.

Side Thought...

Did anyone else think it felt like Rodgers was saying goodbye in his MVP acceptance speech last night? My hope, it wasn't a retirement kind of speech, but a speech where he KNOW he's going to be traded because it's financially impossible (almost) to make it work. At least without totaling screwing the Packers for years after he's gone. The moment Rodgers says he's coming back, Gute needs to start playing poker with the few teams that will want Rodgers and get EVERYTHING he can in a trade. Honestly I could give a damn where he goes, as long as we get players and picks...LOTS of them.

19 points
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packerbackerjim's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:45 am

A good cold weather team would have heavily utilized Jones, Dillon both with runs and passing, the TEs extensively, and the WRs boundary receiving. All I have to is imagine Starr or Unitas in that situation.

5 points
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jurp's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:40 am

No need to imagine Starr in that situation - just watch the second half of the Ice Bowl.

7 points
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NickPerry's picture

February 12, 2022 at 05:16 am

Just can't give that comment enough thumbs up!

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:26 am

We are built to play in the cold now, though I think LaFleur’s choices on the O line diminished that. The thing is we largely chose not to exploit that facet in the second half and played like we were the warm weather visitors on O. It doesn’t matter how the. roster is built if one doesn’t exploit it. It does make the use by LaFleur and Rodgers even less excusable.

11 points
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Minniman's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:18 pm

A really good point CW re the O-LIne.

Why wasn't Josh starting. Little was made of the point that the Packers O line were dominated by the 9ers 4 man rush.

Rodgers had pressure on him all game............. which probably makes those underneath throw omissions even more annoying. This was the time to channel his TB12 and dink and dunk his way downfield.

No MVS in that game was perhaps also a factor - for no other reason than it allowed the 9ers secondary to not have to respect the deep threat.

P.S HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO LEROY BUTLER HOF............... FINALLY.........We got one "WIN" for the year at least.

3 points
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dobber's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:46 am

"Did anyone else think it felt like Rodgers was saying goodbye in his MVP acceptance speech last night?"

He was. There's no poker here. It's all smiley outward-facing stuff so everyone comes out smelling rosy.

6 points
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packerbackerjim's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:03 am

Yep, AR is smart enough to know there will be life after football and he will be well-received in the coming years by fans, especially if he leaves on good terms.

5 points
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CheesyTex's picture

February 11, 2022 at 03:17 pm

He was '..saying goodbye..."

Using his own words, 2021 was his "last dance" in GB.

He also told us he doesn't want to be part of a rebuild and wants to play with Adams, Adding Adams (even at the Franchise Tag of around $20 Million -- less than Adams wants) puts the Packers so far over the Cap that IMO the Pack would be forced rebuild.

0 points
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wimiller's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:01 am

You nail it exactly NickPerry.

3 points
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PeteK's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:10 am

10 minutes from your house, that's sad. I also had everything set up for a visit to Green Bay for the championship game.

4 points
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crayzpackfan's picture

February 11, 2022 at 04:19 pm

Very true. Had AJ not been hurt, would he have even been used anyway?

0 points
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Tundraboy's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:30 pm

Perfect NP. Just perfect

2 points
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stinkycheesehead's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:51 am

Was it because the 49ers were that good or the packers sucked??? GB had everything going for them and then blew it,all three fazes were at fault!!!

-1 points
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Packerlifer's picture

February 11, 2022 at 06:50 am

Packers' special teams and offense sucked, coaching didn't "rise to the occasion."

7 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:09 am

I find it hard to fault the defense.

13 points
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pacman's picture

February 11, 2022 at 02:51 pm

"We should have seen it coming"

Everyone on this board and the rest of the world saw it coming so why didn't the MLF?

The loss is on MLF and shows that he is NOT the coach a 39-10 record would normally show. And I'm still ticked off that he seems to have gotten a pass on the loss with all the focus on AR. He hasn't been able to motivate his team at the right time, he hasn't been able to adjust during a game very well at all and he was too (fill in the blank) to fire Drayton mid season. What more is there to say?
He can wave his arms during a game to get the fans involved. Great job for a head coach!

So if AR goes, I'm not expecting much.

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:27 am

Conversely one shouldn’t, based upon that, expect much if Rodgers stays except a weaker supporting cast.

8 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:36 am

Won't we have a better supporting cast if Gutey trades AR? Additional draft picks, more cap space, and a hungry young QB should be a recipe for success in a couple years, no?

6 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:04 am

LaFleur and Rodgers together have repeatedly shown that they can’t combine to beat a good D of this type. Repeating essentially the same ineffectiveness each time should be a massive red flag. I don’t think it’s one or the other, but both. Weaken the supporting cast and the outcome is not going to get better.

Continuing on the same path is therefore an exercise in futility. Since we can’t have a better roster with Rodgers (the best we can do is minimize the decline next season at the cost of the ones following) the answer seems to be simple. Move on. Not because Rodgers is bad, but because we can’t be good enough with him to change the outcome.

As far as I’m concerned, that means our next hope of meaningful success comes sooner if we face it now and look to the future. The idea of another last dance is fictional. To pursue it is delusional and will set us back further.

Just to be clear, if the cap weren’t an issue I think discussion of LaFleur’s suitability would be extremely appropriate. However, with the cap, we may as well see how he fares with another QB. If he’s not somehow set free by that, then I think he will be gone and that too will help us return to legitimate contention. If LaFleur blossoms with a lesser QB, then we might have a coach worth keeping. At the moment I don’t think we do.

While Rodgers has probably boosted LaFleur’s stats, I think that he’s also stunted LaFleur’s development (or masked his inability to do so). We need to find out whether LaFleur can grow if we are going to truly contend. As he is now, we will not.

9 points
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croatpackfan's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:19 am

You are right Coldworld. As AR said in his MVP speach, MLF empowered him. With that you can conclude at least 2 conclusions: 1. Majority of the game plan was AR plan & 2. MLF was (is) "hypnotized" by AR (did you ever saw mouse in front of cobra). Not that was AR intention, but he gladly accepted it.
That is the case of self-hypnosis.

I truly believe we will see another football personality when he will be released from AR influence.

4 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:32 am

I would characterize the Rodgers - LaFleur relationship as codependent - which generally is not good for either partner. If for any ungodly reason, the Rodgers-LaFleur relationship is allowed to continue, I have no doubt that their on-field performances will continue to decline. Best to separate this pair - which would give MLF the best opportunity to unarrest his development.

5 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:58 am

When you run the show, you have to learn how to say NO! As you noted, watching what appeared to be the same script three years running, maybe since Holmgren left, exhibiting a lack of Creativity in playoff game planning. Where are the Tom Crabtree s on this squad?

1 points
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OldSchool69's picture

February 12, 2022 at 12:35 pm

Well...if you watched the 2021 MVP speech Rogers gave, there won't be any trade involved for B.K. to benefit the Pac in 2022. I do believe #12 is done with GreenBay for sure...as well as the NFL...I believe he's done.

0 points
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pacman's picture

February 11, 2022 at 03:04 pm

For better or worse, he probably gets the Packers to the playoffs so it very much depends how much the coaching can get out of the remaining/new players.

If AR goes, I'm not expecting a playoff game with Love.

I'm thinking Gute is going to pull off some grand last minute trade and get a pretty decent QB in the mix. Or maybe keep AR but not Adams, if AR would go for it.

At least we won't have to wait until pre-season starts.

GPG!

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:59 am

What does that tell you about the Fans at a Home Playoff Game? I give my seats to my nephew now. LaFluer is now entering Marty Schottenheimer territory. He has to get them to the Big Game. Not too many boomer s care about the sledding hill, they're still waiting for # five.

3 points
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HankScorpio's picture

February 12, 2022 at 01:15 pm

"The loss is on MLF and shows that he is NOT the coach a 39-10 record would normally show. "

MLF is the biggest reason they were 39-10 with a front office staff that completely neglects passing offense in today's pass-happy NFL. He schemes, motivates and coaches them to a better regular season record than their talent allows. Talent takes on greater importance when push comes to shove in the playoffs.

The Packers have invested the least in WR/TE of all 32 NFL teams over the last 5-6 years. And it shows. When push comes to shove, the pass offense led by the 2-time MVP QB is pissing down their legs. It's not on MLF that he can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. It's on Gute that has to try.

BTW..When Rodgers goes, MLF is an ideal coach to guide the team. His offense is quite QB-friendly, as reflected by the 2 MVPs Rodgers has won in his 3 years with MLF matching the 2 he won in a far greater time with McCarthy. And with far greater talent surrounding him in those McCarthy years.

-1 points
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dobber's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:17 am

Ken, you should've finished with "Mic drop"

3 points
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PackerWacky's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:30 am

One value I hope comes from Rich Bisaccia is that his experience may also help inform how LaFleur makes in game adjustments.

11 points
12
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:09 am

I don't believe Bisaccia has ever been an offensive coordinator - not sure he has the background to help MLF make in-game offensive adjustments. Hopefully MLF's new OC (Stenavich) will have that skill.

Barry did pretty well with his in-game defensive adjustments this year.

8 points
8
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:31 am

I noticed that Barry makes changes from game to game too. Sometimes he got that wrong (Huntley), but he doesn’t just do the same things each week and, as you observed, is willing to try things in game.

5 points
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dobber's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:48 am

I'm hoping the transition from Hackett to Stenavich will change the voice in LaF's ear enough to make things happen on game day because if #12 isn't there, they have to be way better than they've been in making adjustments.

7 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:32 am

Your comment set me thinking. If Rodgers makes so many adjustments, wise and unwise, is that a saving grace or an impediment to success?

The answer is likely nuanced, but if, with Rodgers, we are unable to adapt, does that mean we will be less so without him? Could this be a case of 2 influences reinforcing rigidity or simply cancelling out adaptations?

One reason that you caught my attention is that I have increasingly felt that Rodgers ability to adapt has decreased significantly of late, and most notably this season. I think I’m part due to rigidity in thinking, but also due to the fact that he’s less able to improvise physically.

As you may have noticed, I’m not all that confident of LaFleur’s tactical acumen and I thought our O was much more vanilla this year and less effective as a result. That said though, it’s at least possible that Rodgers now acts to limit in game flexibility not increase it.

2 points
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3
Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:08 am

Can't remember which set of announcers mentioned this, but it was noted that Rodgers is much more comfortable and feels he can read defenses better with a static (no pre-snap motion) pre snap set. This is in direct contradiction to the Shanahan/LaFleur "illusion of complexity" offensive concept with lots of pre-snap motion.

It would appear that Rodgers persuaded MLF to remove much of his "illusion of complexity" in favor of Rodgers' experience in reading defenses. If Rodgers moves on, I would hope we see a return to much of the offense MLF originally installed in his first year in GB. If Rodgers stays, expect more of the same vanilla offense.

0 points
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PeteK's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:22 am

One would expect a bit more running as Stenavich was the O line running coordinator. Also, a hopefully healthy Bak, Jenkins, Myers( more experienced) could make this line dominating. Now that could result in some cold weather pain for opposing defenses once again.

3 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:08 pm

They will need a Fullback and another big back for the depth chart.

-1 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:09 pm

How does new ST coach Rich pronounce his last name...."Bi sack see ah"? I am thrilled to have him!

2 points
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WulzPack's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:39 am

I felt like the Browns game is when I knew the Packers were really in trouble. We were completely outplayed and the interceptions by Mayfield saved us in the game, but it was apparent we were limping towards the playoffs.

Rodgers, despite being arguably the best regular season QB of all time and most talented, doesn’t have the it factor come playoff time. It’s been a great career but not winning a SB last year when we were clearly the best team in the league and then this year’s ending, it seems like bringing him back is just going to produce the same results.

Let us not forget the 2010/11 Super Bowl run - defensive victory in Philly and a very rough game by 12; an all time great performance by 12 against an overrated Falcons team; another dud game by 12 against the bears saved by the D and Jay Cutler. In the Super Bowl, he had a chance to close the game out but still have the ball back to Big Ben only up 6 and the D made the stop. He obviously had a great game nonetheless, but the narrative the Packers would be the Jags without him is tired - it’s not like we wouldn’t spend his $150m on other good players.

Rodgers career has been as amazing and fun to watch as Rodgers is arrogant with his off the field baloney. We have a chance, regardless of the success of Jordan Love, to set ourselves up for another strong decade if we trade 12. The cap is going to skyrocket in a couple years which we can really take advantage of and there’s no sense In mortgaging the future for an aging quarterback. Hopefully they discussed trade destinations in those meetings after the season.

While he has ultimately shown his colors as a foolish, arrogant prima donna, I still hope he goes to the destination of his choice, in the AFC, and appreciate all the amazing memories he’s provided throughout his illustrious career.

8 points
11
3
jannes bjornson's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:10 pm

Tramon made the Big Plays in both the Philly and Atlanta contests.

0 points
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1
PearlyBakerBest's picture

February 12, 2022 at 05:31 am

Not to nitpick but Cutler didn’t play in the NFCCG. Caleb somebody. I forget his last name.

0 points
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Razer's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:44 am

I don't think that I have read a better assessment of the 2022 Packers. Well done Ken.

- not playing their best ball going into the playoffs
- Rodgers not having that edge in the crunch
- not making the necessary coaching adjustments
- losing AJ Dillon

I will add one more missing element that I think this team needs. We needed another playmaker, someone who could break a big one or scare a defense. While Davante Adams is good, he isn't a big YAC guy and outside of Aaron Jones breaking the occasional run we don't have killer weapons. Just look at the WRs on these two Super Bowl teams. Not having a true WR2 (OBJ) or catching TE is a problem that defenses don't need to worry about.

3 points
6
3
CHEESEHEADDALLAS's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:30 am

We could have had the best tight end/ receive coming out of college that could stretch the field in the 2020 draft. But no our Gm screws us by drafting a project QB if he had as much faith in him to make him the #1 pick where is he? That right sitting on the bench where he needs to stay great call.

-6 points
3
9
Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:12 am

We could have picked so and so and been great. That’s a lament heard in bars long after games wherever NFL fans of any teams get together, and just as pointless.

As to Love, comments like this and worse were made about Rodgers and Favre early on. We don’t know what Love is, just as we didn’t know what the party boy and the Tedford QB made of glass were. Brian Brohm or Drew Brees? Both are possible.

8 points
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1
dobber's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:54 am

The bottom line is that the 2020 version of the Packers was better than the 2021 version. THAT was the team that should've won it all, and it pissed it away...maybe not as epically as 2014, when they were an outstanding team. It was demonstrated week after week over 18 games this year.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:15 am

I’m not sure that I agree. I think we improved on D and regressed on O and STs. I personally believe that we should have won both games but that Pettine cost us one directly and Drayton another and that the O failed to compensate on both occasions.

6 points
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dobber's picture

February 11, 2022 at 01:00 pm

I don't think we should let the SF game--where they played arguably their best defensive game of the year--allow us to lose sight of the fact that this was a streakyt defense that played lousy the first 2-3 games and for a 4-5 game stretch toward the end of the season, and filled in with stretches of better performances. In the end, I don't think this defense played meaningfully better over the course of the season than a year ago.

0 points
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1
Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:08 pm

Allowing for the new coordinator, I tend to discount the early weeks it is true. Barry’s D wasn’t perfect but what I saw was a coach adapting his game plan to each team and sometimes getting it right and sometimes less so, but overall I trusted it more.

Stokes is an upgrade over King. Campbell over any ILB over the last decade and Douglas was the best 3rd QB I recall (or would have been if Alexander was healthy. The use of Clark and the line seemed smarter and even Lowry benefitted. Overall that’s a better D in my view. It’s also one that had to deal with a lot of short fields and less offensive scoring.

1 points
1
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Guam's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:15 am

I also wouldn't lose sight of the fact that this defense played virtually the entire year without its two best players - Z. Smith and Alexander. I wonder how the defense would have ranked if those two had been available all year?

I thought Barry did a better job with lesser personnel than Pettine did the year before.

0 points
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mbpacker's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:39 pm

We missed MVS big time in the game. Even if he doesn't catch a pass defenses have to account for him which benefits other receivers. He also is a good down field blocker as well.

4 points
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byu.tech's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:58 am

this article makes no sense.
matt lafleur 39-10 in 3 seasons and no coach of the year.
Aaron Rodgers 2 consecutive MVP like only Jim Brown, Joe Montana, Brett Favre and Manning did.
the NFL told the Packers wht they are not at the SB. Poor coaching.
stop throw shit to #12.

-7 points
4
11
dekan51's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:00 am

so according to you, AR balls out during the reg season, no thanks to MLF, but during the playoffs, MLF lets AR down.....

right.............................

8 points
10
2
Swisch's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:01 am

https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/corys-corner-stop-worrying-about-aaron-rod...
***
Before the season began, our superstar quarterback undermined the season, and then he didn't seem to do what was necessary to make it right afterward, resulting in a dysfunction that caused the most crushing of outcomes.
Character counts big time.

6 points
10
4
Handsback's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:36 am

I have mentioned it before that MLF’s offense is one that can win in Green Bay but the trigger man has to be willing to follow the script…hasn’t happened for the past two years. I watched the replay and Rodgers was different pre-fumble verses post fumble. He is not a cold weather QB against a stiff pass rush.
I’ve watched the SB win a dozen times and yeah often their offense was stopped by dropped passes, but they never tried to pound the ball to set up their passing game. That game should have never been that close. That was either MM or Rodgers changing their plan.
So IMHO it’s time to move on. There won’t be another dance next year unless 15 players cut their salaries drastically to try it again or a financial miracle. So enjoy last few years and look forward to a quick rebuild.

11 points
12
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dekan51's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:13 am

AR doesnt have it anymore, esp his heart....and his legs. How many times did AR pick up a HUGE 1st down w his legs? that doesnt happen anymore. Allen, Mahommes, Burrow, even Stafford in the playoffs, have picked up huge 1st downs running. AR cant anymore. and remember last year when he could have run it on 3rd and either scored or gotten close, but didnt? cause he didnt have the heart to do it. AR's lack of guts to run it on is why i think MLF kicked a FG on 4th down. im ready for AR to leave. will we take a step back? yes, but its time. AR wont deliver another SB. time to see if Love has it. we dont know. NO ONE knows, but time to find out......

12 points
13
1
ImaPayne's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:42 am

My take actually goes way back to that Seattle playoff game. We were like on the 7 yard line, first down and a TD would have buried a mistake laden Seattle team. Rodgers audibuled three consecutive runs and we were stopped. My take, he was so afraid of the two pro bowl safties and tossing a pick, he ran the ball so the failure didn't fall on his shoulders.
Now looking ahead you can see it in every playoff game, fear of himself causing a loss.
If I'm right, he finds someone he has trust in and mostly throws the ball to that person who is his safety net? To him it's not about winning but more about not having to be the cause of a loss. Otherwise why not throw the ball around,attack mode in spades? Only in reg season does he play like that. In playoff games he goes into his she'll. He is protecting his ego and reputation from being attacked.

2 points
6
4
thequick12's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:13 am

The Packers Arent Playing in the SB for 3 Reasons

1. Special Teams
On top of the blocked kicks, AJ Dillon was injured blocking, on a kickoff return I believe. With the hiring of Rich Bussacia this should not be the achilles heal that causes a loss in the playoffs next season

2. Lack of a true #2 WR
Look at the teams playing in the Super Bowl...they both have great qbs, not Rodgers level, though Burrow could become that. And then both have 3 wrs (kupp,obj,vjeff-chase,higgins,boyd) who are all better than any Packers wr not named Davante Adams. Each team has 1 wr who is right there with Adams, firmly top 5 in the NFL. Even if you have a fhof qb you still need to surround him with elite weapons if you wanna win the SB...refusing to up their offer half a million dollars for OBJ likely cost the Packers a trip to the SB

3. David Bakhtiari played against the Lions
Had Bakh waited for the playoffs to make his season debut as he initially planned before Rodgers asked him to play in the final regular season game. I think he makes a big difference against the 49ers even if he only played the 27 plays he did against the Lions. Another td early against the 9ers would have been enough to squeak out the win. And who knows what happens against the Rams but I would have liked the Packers chances better than against the niners

0 points
2
2
croatpackfan's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:34 am

Self delusion is very often the product of the great pain. It also prevent person from healing. And acceptance of truth. It is the first phase of process. Try not to stay to čong in that phase. It is not healthy.

1 points
3
2
Packers1985's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:37 am

Agreed to your comments. We do need a true no.2 wr who can stretch the field and i dont think MVS is that guy .
But again no point in discussing if's and but's after the game. It's better we part ways with 12 and 17 by this both can benefit as in Packer's can get bulk load of draft picks and Arod and Adams can go to their choice of place.
Hopefully our front office makes use of the draft picks well.

0 points
2
2
TarynsEyes's picture

February 11, 2022 at 09:45 am

Accepting reality is hard because one must first end the denial flaw that dwells deep inside Packerland. There are some that are so embedded in that flawed trait that ignorant things flow from their mouth like this beauty from a PackerTalk podcast ( It's Over Johnny )recently. " The Packers would defeat the Niners' 9 times out of 10" while completely ignoring that GB lost 3 of the last 4 to the Niners, and compelled me to stop listening immediately. Is this the half-glass full way of thinking and seeing things that will bring Championships home again and whoever disagrees is a reality pessimist who speaks to the flaw of this denial trait?

Thanks to you Ken Lass, if only for a short time, tossing aside the flawed deny everything trait of Packerland and now we can hope the FO can do same.

6 points
8
2
croatpackfan's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:37 am

TarynsEyes thanks for voice of reality. It is hard to accept something we knew is over and never be again. The hardest thing to left behind is known past and to embrace the future.

2 points
3
1
SanLobo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:00 am

Wow. Reading these comments you would think this was a Jacksonville Jaguars forum. Rodgers sucks, LaFleur sucks, the offense sucks, the whole team sucks. /s
Yeah, what sucks is we lost to the 9ers in a game played in weather this team is not designed to play well in. The frustration is real and palpable. But there is definitely a lot of baby in the bath water that folks seem ready to throw out.
Let’s hope the Front Office has cooler heads in their approach to 2022.

-2 points
4
6
Alberta_Packer's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:43 am

I prefer to call it constructive criticism - with a touch of venting (therapeutic). However, it appears that 75-80% of packers fans are ready to move on and forward. So the FO is now on the clock.

5 points
7
2
SanLobo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 02:19 pm

Yeah, not sure how constructive this really is…but here’s what we know as fact:
- GB fielded a great team in 2021 and it played extremely well.
- Rodgers is a great QB who played extremely well in 2021
- LaFleur has the best winning record in his 1st three seasons of any coach, ever.
- Our defense outplayed the 9ers defense in the playoffs
- Our offense outplayed the 9ers offense in the playoffs.
- The 9ers blocked a FG, blocked a Punt and forced a turnover resulting in a 10 to 17 point differential in their favor.
We can fixate on the inexplicable decision by Rodgers not to pass to Lazard (who may or may not have caught the ball) or we can accept that Special Teams play cost us that game. That’s why we didn’t face the Rams in the NFC Championship game and never got a shot at playing this weekend.

1 points
3
2
Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:18 pm

“Our offense outplayed the 9ers offense in the playoffs.” That does not give any credit to our D, but also doesn’t stand for much when a Rodgers led O manages 1 TD. Ten points wins very few playoff games regardless of what our ST did.

Next year we won’t have as good a roster even if we have Rodgers. Even were you correct, that gets us nowhere. A rerun with the same people is one option that is definitely not possible.

-1 points
0
1
SanLobo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 08:15 am

The line before the one you quote, I say, “Our defense outplayed their defense.” That gives a great deal of credit to our defense. Ten points was more than enough to win that playoff game except for what ST did. People don’t get to dismiss truth because it doesn’t fit well with their narrative.
I fully understand and appreciate the need to change next year. It is inevitable, but the revisionist history going on in this forum to justify a change is just silly. If we were not facing cap hell, and a rerun with 90% of the same players on the team, including all our key players was possible, we would be fools not to make that happen.
Pretending the Packers played terrible last year is simply false. These guys play in the freaking NFL and face some of the toughest opponents on the planet, which means defense and offense will stall sometimes. But overall, Green Bay fielded a great team…except for Special Teams.

0 points
0
0
Handsback's picture

February 11, 2022 at 02:15 pm

SanLobo, if you look at the roster they have a very good core of good to very good players. Every team needs some blue chip players to put them over the top. I would say Adams, Rodgers, Bak, Jenkins, on offense and Gary, Alexander, Clark, and Campbell on defense.
If your blue chip players can't get you to the SB then you need to find other solutions. The sooner the better. Rodgers will get the Packers to the playoffs, but not much further unless some player (play maker) steps up and makes a huge impact. That is why I at least see the reason for changing the status quo until you either find or develop those blue chip players.

0 points
1
1
SanLobo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 02:31 pm

Basically none of those players were on special teams, which is the group that cost us a trip to the NFCCG.

0 points
2
2
Tundraboy's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:43 pm

We don't exactly.light it up in warm weather either, ie. Fla, SD, etc.

-1 points
0
1
TheNumber1PackerFan's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:03 am

The reason why the Packers arent playing is because the team lost.
The coaching staff: MLF says its on him and he did not have his guys ready to play. My question is why, because this is the same thing you have said for the past three years. Special Teams was a cluster. Defense was the only solid unit on the field. The offense did the exact same thing they did all season. They did not commit to the run. When the run game was stopped they lost it as a unit and decided to spead the ball out and target one guy to force the ball down the field.
This team can win a SB BUT they need to be consistent in all three phases of the game period. Teams win and Teams lose.
NOW LETS MOVE ON!! Figure out the money, players etc and lets build this team up. 2023-2024..we are winning it all!

4 points
4
0
Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:21 am

Not having the team ready to play is LaFleur’s version of not having the right pad level. A nebulous and now trite statement that says nothing that can be traced to identifiable change in practice or play.

2 points
3
1
TheNumber1PackerFan's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:11 am

I dont want to hear the crap about a cold weather team. This team stalled offensivley in dome weather, warm weather, brisk weather. They were not a complete unit in all three phases. Most importantly, this offense cannot get out of its own way. They make it to difficult to make positive plays in my opinion!

1 points
3
2
SanLobo's picture

February 11, 2022 at 02:46 pm

No. Just no. This team occasionally stalled during the regular season last year, but not consistently as you are asserting. No, they were not a complete team in all three phases. But painting the offense of the winningest team last season as sputtering along is just revisionist history.

0 points
2
2
PeteK's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:52 am

The videos don't lie, players wide open underneath for first downs numerous times. In this modern QB dominated offenses, we have great talents, however some seem to just get carried away with throwing the ball downfield. Mahomes, who I think could be the best I ever saw in my 50+ seasons of watching Football, had a big part in losing their playoff game. Bengals and had max coverage on KCs great receivers and left Mahomes alone, instead of looking downfield Mahomes could have tucked the ball and run for numerous first downs. Brady (even though they lost) and especially Stafford spread the ball around even to an unknown Blanton.

11 points
12
1
Swisch's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:45 am

It seemed as though Joe Burrow didn't force the ball to his best receiver in Ja'Marr Chase against the Chiefs, but spread his throws around to other pass catchers. Chase still had a big impact on the game, but Burrow was able to get other guys involved, with Tee HIggins coming up huge.

6 points
7
1
jannes bjornson's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:25 pm

Yes, he Hit his # Two guy, Tee Higgins. The Brain trust went for Love, instead of a legitimate WR.

-2 points
2
4
Coldworld's picture

February 11, 2022 at 01:09 pm

Open WRs is good enough for me, if only we throw to them. We had multiple opportunities to do so and didn’t. Thus I think you are off the mark.

3 points
5
2
PeteK's picture

February 11, 2022 at 05:04 pm

Yes, Rodgers should have hit his #2 guy Lazard and # 3 guy Deguara.

0 points
1
1
canadapacker's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:05 am

Most of the points in this article are bunk - but I do agree with 2 of the major points. The Packers and AR are not a great cold weather team unless rejigged to a big Oline and bruising backs who can just push the other teams around. And it was not just because Dillon was hurt and it was not just because Bak was hurt and MVS and Tonyon were out - but those were big factors. We beat the Rams last year because Kupp was out and Donald was hurting. That happens and it happened to us. But we had done enough to win the game except ST's lost the game for us - not the defense not the offense - but special teams put 10 points into play against us. Finally I agree that Lafleur needs to work on his in game adjustments - we saw that the D did some good in game adjustments and that one of the reasons the D was better this year. Maybe we shouldnt be fighting so hard for the first overall seeding into the playoffs.

1 points
4
3
LambeauPlain's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:15 pm

I still maintain, had the punt not been blocked for a TD, the Packers would have won the game and probably beats the Rams.

However the scrapping of the quick 2-3 second passing game, motions and runs in the first quarter and a half for the long MM-like 5-7 sec drop backs, for long developing plays targeting Adams was bewildering.

What, 53 yards in the second half. Geez!

13 points
14
1
canadapacker's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:40 am

I agree with the jet sweeps and motion stuff was very limited all season long - even MVS was not getting much the odd time on them and something was giving away the naked QB bootlegs as they almost always led to a sack or a quick throwaway.

0 points
0
0
Ya_tittle's picture

February 11, 2022 at 11:53 am

I agree on the short passing game. Niner DBs were crap.

3 points
3
0
Turophile's picture

February 11, 2022 at 12:56 pm

I have to disagree with Ken in that I certainly didn't see it coming.

I thought the 49ers led by Jimmy G with a broken thumb and shoulder issues had no chance against the Packers. They had ALMOST no chance, but the very long shot came in for them.

5 points
5
0
mbpacker's picture

February 11, 2022 at 01:10 pm

I really can't add much of what others have said on the negative and positive side of the issues. One thing I am tired of is the frozen tundra mystic and the big advantage the Packers have and opposing teams being intimidated to play there in the cold weather. I realize this may have been the case in the past and is largely media-driven at this point, but we should all put this to bed for good. It was mentioned by a few in here and I agree. As already pointed out, warm-weather teams have come in and beat us, in our stadium, in fowl, cold weather conditions. Not just once but several times actually. We should construct a team that can win in any conditions. One thing I don't recall being mentioned is the 3 week layoff we had. The 49ers reminded me of the Packers last SB team. They were in do or die games just to get into the playoffs and were on a roll. I agree with a few others that the Packers already peaked it seems and not playing their best ball at the end of the season. I don't think the long layoff helped out, despite the fact we scored first and had another drive going before the fumble. As others have pointed out the 9ers adjusted, played better and we didn't. The weeks before the game I sensed this euphoria that the Packers had the bye, would be rested, be getting players back, it would be at home in cold weather. I really sensed this as blind faith and wonder if the players lost a bit of an edge as a result. GPG next year!

3 points
3
0
White92's picture

February 11, 2022 at 07:17 pm

What no one that I've seen has ever mentioned was that they really missed MVS. He played pretty well the first time vs that defense and might have made the difference in the playoffs

2 points
2
0
grbroome's picture

February 11, 2022 at 08:52 pm

They are not playing on sunday, because their QB tossed the game forcing the ball to the same reciever, while others were wide [email protected] As for special teams, the punter had a brain fart when he went for a third step. He needed to drop kick on a two step. But the under play at QB cost the game.

0 points
0
0
jlc1's picture

February 11, 2022 at 10:14 pm

Our D gave up 6 points. Theirs gave up 10. Ours was better.

1 points
1
0
HankScorpio's picture

February 12, 2022 at 07:02 am

Queue the downvotes from people that cannot stand to hear negative opinions....

The Packers have a close yer eyes gawd awful front office in Gute and Ball. Ball and Gute ought to be giving half their pay checks to Matt LaFleur. If the Packers coaching staff was anything short of brilliant, those two would be sitting on a much hotter seat. Those two are the biggest reasons behind the failure to complete the journey, IMO.

Ball puts them in cap hell. That's not open to debate. He did it in New Orleans. He's doing it again. His only possible defense is that he was ordered to do so by Murphy and/or Gute.

Gute pisses away draft picks that can get them out of cap hell with annually trading up in highly questionable ways with less than impressive results. Love, Savage and Amari Rodgers are guys that cost them more than one pick and have not justified that. Gute started so strong navigating the draft in his first year. I loved the moves up and down that landed Jaire in round 1 in 2019. Too bad that went to his head.

If you don't buy into the notion that Gute's trading up has been problematic, then try to make sense of this: He drafted a QB of the future to succeed the HoF QB they have. He did zilch to provide either of those two with the pass catching weapons they need to maximize their play. It's baffling to me. I know some of y'all are impressed with beating up on the likes of Detroit in the regular season. I'm not. I'm more focused on the utter offensive failure in the playoffs. That lies solely at the feet of their incredibly weak WR group outside of Davante, IMO. That's on Gute.

1 points
2
1
Buckywunder's picture

February 12, 2022 at 02:42 pm

I’m not sure I agree with much of this analysis at all.

Came down to the FO not plugging the ST’s leaky boat the last three years.

And AR not having a playoff-killer mentality. He should’ve been traded June 1, 2021. Should still trade him.

Looking forward to being an underdog again — should be refreshing.

But I fully appreciate the column and the thoughtful discussion it has created. Well done!

-1 points
0
1
Qoojo's picture

February 12, 2022 at 04:29 pm

1. The GB passing game isn't for GB's weather in Jan. The playoff game should have featured a lot of running, and grinding it out. Dillon is quite important to running game and should not have been used as a returner.
2. Repeated game planning failure around pressure, not an epic failure like the KC game with Love. MLF relies on AR figuring it out and beating it.
3. MLF never correcting special teams all year.
4. AR not spreading it around or accepting check downs, which also led to more pressure. Completely ignored open TEs.
5. The change up for OL starters, particularly Newsome benched.
6. Coaches and AR get lazy in regular season against the mediocre and bad teams, and completely ignore the warning signs.
7. QB has too much power and can ignore almost any play called. Can you imagine Holmgren putting up with AR's BS?

tldr; Stuff that works in regular season isn't going to fly in Jan and against better defenses.

0 points
1
1