Monday, November 8, 2010

Packer Offense Still Stuck in Fourth Gear

Green Bay’s offensive woes continued Sunday night against the lowly Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field.  After a scoreless first quarter featuring a blocked 54-yard field goal attempt by Mason Crosby, the Packers went on to score only 31 points on offense.  Like last week against the Jets, the defense had to bail out the Packers’ offense again – contributing two touchdowns and enabling Green Bay to stymie a Dallas rally and hold on for a 45-7 win.

“That’s just not Packer football,” said a dejected Mike McCarthy in the post-game press conference.  “For Aaron to go 27/34 with seven incompletions and only a 131.5 passer rating!?  We need better execution than that.  Period.  I’m not taking any more questions.”

Once again, the Packers were held to under 500 yards of total offense.  Rodgers admitted after his lackluster performance of 289 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions, and 41 rushing yards, “I have to get better.  Plain and simple.  I gave up one sack tonight – that’s unacceptable.  And I wasn’t able to contribute any rushing touchdowns of my own.  I apologized to my teammates in the locker room after the game.”

“I mean c’mon – Rodgers has all the weapons,” commented NBC’s Cris Collinsworth during the broadcast.  “Well… except for Ryan Grant.  He doesn’t have that weapon.  Or Jermichael Finley – that weapon is also lost for the season.  And Donald Driver isn’t available as a weapon tonight.  But he still has one of his original four skill position starters as a weapon.  Plus, he has John Kuhn.  Well, he’s really more of a blunt object than an actual weapon.  But there are other, new weapons – guys like Bob Crabtree and Brent Schwain.  Another thing about Rodgers is he’s not Jerry Jones.  Speaking of Jerry Jones, let’s talk about him some more.”

Rodgers’ outing was so sub-par that offensive coordinator Joe Philbin opted to bench the third-year starter at a critical juncture in the fourth quarter in favor of back-up Matt Flynn.  “I felt Flynn just runs the two-minute offense better,” said Philbin after the game.  Unfortunately, Flynn’s night was over after the Packers offense failed to pick up a crucial 4th and 3 with 4:43 left in regulation.  “That play was a real turning point in the game and enabled us to recapture the momentum,” said Dallas head coach Wade Phillips, whose team rallied for a 12-play, 59-yard drive resulting in no score.  The defense came up with a big stop – sacking Kitna on the final play to preserve the victory.

“The defense had to come up big again on that last drive,” said linebacker Clay Matthews who added a sack and an interception return for a touchdown to his application for defensive player of the year.  “I’m not sure what would have happened if C.J. [Wilson] hadn’t come up with that last sack – that was huge.”

The Packers go into their bye week at 6-3, just a half game ahead of the Bears who got a huge 22-19 win over the Buffalo Bills in Toronto on Sunday.  “I just hope we can use the bye week to get our offense corrected,” Philbin said.  “We have a lot of work to do.”  Until then, there will be a lot of skeptics still asking what's wrong with the Packers' offense?

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