Inconsistent play continued to make its mark on the Green Bay Packers this season, as the Green and Gold fall to a disappointing 5-7 record with four games left to play in the season.
I don't know about my fellow fans, but every time I look at the Packers I always get the feeling of the lights are on yet nobody is home. Green Bay came out to a dismal start in the beginning of the game. Aaron Rodgers didn't complete a single pass until six minutes in, and Ryan Grant contributed very little before being sidelined with a bruised hand.
Green Bay went into the locker room down 21-10, with a steady list of injuries piling up once more.
At the start of the second half, Aaron Rodgers finally managed to find his groove. The first year quarterback controlled the clock with superb skill. Despite allowing two delay of game penalties and several lucky breaks on near interceptions, Rodgers led the team on three scoring drives, eventually managing to tie the game with a chance to take the lead.
The very last drive was the heart breaker for me. Mike McCarthy had the ball on the five yard line after a Julius Peppers personal foul penalty, and attempted to run the ball three times through the middle of Carolina's defense. I don't know about anyone else, but I would have at least gone for the touchdown on fourth down and forced the Panthers to drive down field for the win.
Again McCarthy relied to much upon an inconsistant defense. Small plays were not so much what killed the Packers in the second half, but rather big plays which continue to make themselves evident in EVERY single defensive stand by the Packers.
The rushing defense was nothing different, allowing DeAngelo Williams to rush for 72 yards and 4 touchdowns. Packers special teams also showed their weakness as they allowed a 30 -yard plus run back on just about every return. Not to mention the continuing disappointing punt game by Derrick Frost.
Inconsistency and sloppy play plagued the Packers not only today but throughout their season. Rodgers did manage to show his play making skill given the opportunity, but also shows just how new he is to the NFL. With 1:30 left on the game clock with 2 timeouts left to make a drive, Rodgers attempted to make the big play and cost his team the game.
Although Green Bay falls to a disappointing 5-7, the team has been their largest enemy throughout the entire season. Penalties, inconsistant play, and seemingly an I don't care attitude have made themselves present.
Rodgers played a rather solid second half otherwise. Even though the team didn't show up to play during the entire first half, they nearly managed to pull off a win. Again, however, the Packer defense continues to give up the big plays that matter.
After this season, I am hoping that Bob Sanders finds a home elsewhere in the NFL, for I have become sick of this prevent defense scheme. You know what I mean. A three-to-four man rush with everyone else in the backfield. If there is one thing that I have learned by watching the NFL, if you give any quarterback enough time they will find the receiver.
The only thing the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning!
Rodgers finished the game 29-for-45 with 298 yards, three touchdowns, and one game-breaking interception. Brandon Jackson took over for Ryan Grant in the second half and ran for 80 yards on 11 attempts. Greg Jennings had a big day with 91 yards on eight receptions. Green Bay controlled the game clock for 37:52.
Again the season isn't over, but this loss seems to have driven the dagger into any playoff hopes the Packers had left. My advice... start working on a defense that will help you win the game and not break it for next season.