Green Bay Do a Plaxico and Shoot Selves In Foot: The Good Bad and Ugly Of Week 3

Chris CoombsContributor ISeptember 29, 2010

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 27:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of  the Green Bay Packers talks with a referee against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 27, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Up until now I've started these articles with a fairly neutral pre-amble on the predictions and expectations before the game,  But I've had a real problem starting this one because thinking about this game just made me want to scream and punch something or someone again and again and again.

I feel on watching this game back - as I do for every game before a review, that I've entered a time-machine and gone back to last season and if anything it was worse.  I thought these were problems that seemed if not totally sorted, then at least we were on the right track.

So then - to the game.

WARNING: What follows may contain painful memories inducing anger and violence and also traces of nuts...

The Good

The Passing Game: For the first time since the back end of last year, it seemed that Aaron Rodgers and his receivers were finally finding a groove.  It looked like throwing an INT was unthinkable at times and his connection with future Pro Bowler Jermichael Finley is going from strength to strength.  It also seemed that Rodgers' mobility in the pocket was improved.  The run game again was a non-factor for the first half but that seemed to make very little difference.



The Pass Rush: This is particularly written with the first half in mind.  It was particularly heartening to see that Jay Cutler was regularly harassed but not by a certain long-haired linebacker wearing number 52.  Frank Zombo filled in to a reasonable level for Brad Jones, BJ Raji was a presence up the middle and Cullen Jenkins is showing that you can be equally if not more effective as converted 3-4 end.

James Jones: Before you automatically scoff at this one, anybody can fumble the ball - it happens and the Bears' D is particularly proficient at forcing them.  This is more of a recognition of Jones' improved start and fitness this season, his speed seems improved and he also appears to be open more consistently when on the field.  With Jordy Nelson doing a good job on kickoff returns, Jones appears to have moved ahead in the race to be the successor to Donald Driver.

The Bad

The Running Game: Whilst there was improvement as the game went on, the lack of push was of great concern.  Brandon Jackson seems to have contracted the same disease that Ryan Grant did on bad days by running into lineman, but the O-line was just as much to blame.

The Second Half Defense: I write this with the final two Bears drives in mind.  The protection was better for Cutler but there seemed to very little change either in the playcalling or any other changes in order to stop Chicago's momentum.



McCarthy: Someone should hide this guy's challenge flag.  For the second game in a row he needlessly and inexplicably wasted a timeout.  I wish I could show my true level of frustration at this because it's gone largely unnoticed.

The (Very) Ugly

Penalties: Where to start and where will it end...Some bare facts.  18 flags.  A team record.  One touchdown nullified, two interceptions cancelled out.  Five Chicago first downs awarded due to penalties.

You cannot win any football game under those circumstances.  I could write an essay on this but I suspect it would be dangerous to my health.  I've seldom been so disappointed in a performance being undermined to such a level.  In any normal game the Pack would have won if they'd played sensible football.  you cannot beat Chicago when you are beating yourself too. 

Final Thoughts

Chad Clifton is done - he's slow and his run-blocking is just palling.  Bryan Bulaga should be in now, and it's surprising that a team so focused on building through the draft that he's not got the job.

What on earth do we think McCarthy and his staff 'talking with the players' will do?  It clearly doesn't work, the same mistakes keep happening.

Get well soon Mike Neal and TJ Lang - the forgotten find from last year.

The Pack are still the best team in this division.  Next week against the Lions should be the ideal opportunity to get back on track.

Here endeth the lesson - I need to drown my sorrows in an ale.  Please leave a message after the tone, or alternatively at the bottom of this page.