Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Bucky Five: Wait, That Wasn't Preseason?

1. P*A*C*K - Get the stupid reference to Mash there? Seriously, Mash is the worst show that I've ever seen. Must have been a generational thing because I don't get it. I once lost a bet because I was convinced that there was no way that show could have been labeled a comedy. For some reason though, Fox 11 out of Green Bay still loves to show reruns of that whenever they get a chance. But I digress.

The point that I was planning on making here is that the injuries that the Packers have suffered are clearly taking their toll on this team, especially on defense. Green Bay had virtually no pass rush without Clay Matthews in the lineup, and the linebacking core was so depleted that Robert Francois saw legitimate playing time. Robert Francois, as in the guy you probably haven't heard of unless you're a fan of fourth quarters during the preseason. I don't want to blame every loss from here on out on injuries, but when you've lost three games by a total of nine points, yeah, having Clay Matthews, Nick Barnett, Morgan Burnett, Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, Mark Tauscher in the lineup probably wouldn't have hurt.

2. Rodgers Ain't Right - If you are in some sort of competition where you are claimed victorious based on the statistical performances of NFL Players, then Aaron Rodgers did pretty well for you on Sunday. ARodg posted 313 yards and had both a running and passing touchdown in the Packers 23-20 loss to the Dolphins, but something still kind of seems off with him as of late. There seems to be a few more errant throws than usual, but overall it hardly looks like he's enjoying himself at all. Sure, that might happen when you are getting tossed to the turf every thirty seconds because your line is so poor, but his anger seems to follow him to the sideline long after the play is over. It will be interesting to see what Rodgers says about his play in the postgame, but Rodgers seems to be missing that extra spark that he had last season and in the preseason. It doesn't seem right to talk negatively about a quarterback's performance when he put up the kind of numbers that Rodgers did today, but right now his career 0-5 record in overtime isn't boding well for him.

3. The Line Sucks (Which One You Ask? I Say Both.) - I have no problem blaming the offensive line however for a lot of the problems that Rodgers encountered this week. Cameron Wake was this week's defensive linemen that earned a trip to the Pro Bowl based on how he played against the Packers, destroying Bryan Bulaga on virtually every play. I thought our line would be a bit better than it was last year because of the whole "one more year of experience" thing, but then I remembered that our line is still filled with the same people that were nearly responsible for getting Rodgers killed last season.

The defensive line isn't much better, but that might be because we are sending just three or four guys in on the pass rush every time. That might be alright if we were rushing against our offensive line, but unfortunately that can not be the case. My buddy Mase summed it up pretty nicely today to when he said that "TJ Lang taking snaps on the D-Line today sums up my expectations for the remainder of the season."

4. About That Penalty - The aforementioned Robert Francois was one of the many goats in this game for the Packers, as he was called for something that I didn't even know existed until about three hours ago. In the NFL rulebook it states that "During a punt, field-goal attempt, or a Try Kick, a Team B player, who is within one yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap, must have his entire body outside the snapper’s shoulder pads." Okay. But while Francois was lined up over the center, he may have been outside of a full yard. Greg A. Bedard looks at the issue a little further and seems to think that a penalty should not have been called.

Again, I'm not going to blame the whole loss on one penalty, but I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with all these quirky rules that the NFL has come up with. I think that anytime the broadcast team needs to take a couple minutes to explain a rule, it's probably not a good rule. Between this rarely called penalty, to the rule that prevented Calvin Johnson and the Lions from beating the Bears in week one, to even the infamous Tuck Rule, if a rule has to be explained in-depth every time it is enforced it should probably be re-examined. That, countered with all the new rules designed to protect the players safety and not to mention all the insanely stupid rules against celebration, it's beginning to seem like the NFL is a little to heavy on the policing of the game right now, and it's starting to affect my enjoyment of watching these contests.

5. Still a Lot of Football to be Played - So after six weeks, the Green Bay Packers are 3-3 which is definitely a bit worse than what we all figured they would be. Thankfully, Green Bay is located in the NFC, and more specifically the NFC North, where the competition is still very wide open. Every team in the conference has at least two losses, and the Packers are just one game behind the Bears who took a very bad loss at home to the Seahawks on Sunday. The Lions are out of the equation, and the Vikings are still behind us even though the Randy Moss acquisition has all of their fans thinking Super Bowl. Actually, what a big game next Sunday night will be because if the Packers do lose to Favre and the Vikes, then I'm ready to start hitting the panic button. As of now, I'll hold off on that, but if we lose to Favre yet again, there's a pretty tall cliff nearby that may see me driving off of it.


Winks said...

So as you can tell with a Packer post and two posts from two of the new guys (Reep and Nick), things are back up and running. Still working through some things (when I try to add a photo to my article shit hits the fan HTML wise), but those will come with the territory.

Chris said...

I don't think there's a problem with Rodgers so much as it is the terrible pass protection and atrocious playcalling that's been consistently bad all season.

Winks said...

I think both of those things are getting to him though. You can tell he just seems frustrated and annoyed with what his happening around him.

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