Monday, December 08, 2008

The Rest of the Season

Regardless of what Randy says, the Packers' season is over. The defense is injury-riddled, soft, and incapable of making adjustments. They've rolled over like a submissive gimp. In the past three weeks, the Packers gave up 51 points to a mediocre Saints team lacking its biggest offensive talent, couldn't make any big stops against the Panthers, and just allowed the friggin' Texans to roll up the highest yardage total in that franchise's seven-year history. And this is at home, in December, against a losing team from the most air-conditioned city in the world. As Bob McGinn put it, "When that happens, you just have to admit that you stink and finish it out."

Now yes, the defense's collapse against the Texans was partly due to the Packers' nearly complete failure to pick up a first down (the offense went one for ten in the game). That put the Texans on the field again, and again, and again. And yes, due to some key turnovers, the Packers had a chance to win. Until penalties bit them in the ass once again, and the defense rolled over and presented its posterior one more time. Sigh... Five losses by five or less points will leave you a bit frustrated.

The points are-- first, clearly, the defensive is atrocious. It could get slightly better as the shaming function comes into play, and if some guys like Chillar and the safties get any healthier. But it will stay bad for the rest of the season, no doubt. Second, the offense is completely and totally hit or miss. Almost four hundred yards worth of offense, but only one third down conversion? I mean, what? How is that even possible? And this offense under A-Rodg is soft (see the goalline effort against the Panthers) and just hasn't developed clutchness, though the offensive line's key mistakes aren't helping matters, and the likely loss of Tauscher for the season (maybe forever-- he's a UFA) won't either.

Anyhow, the Packers have nowhere to go now. They play three winnable games, if they can get any slight defensive and offensive improvement. But they'd have to rely on the Vikings totally choking in order to force a tie for the division. And is anyone interested in seeing this team in the playoffs? I'm certainly not. So all 8-8 will get them is a mediocre draft pick. But at the same time, you can't root against your team, not when they're playing hated rivals (the Bears), other downtrodden squads (the Jags), and the league's worst team (the Lions). On the other hand, losing to those guys would be humiliating and I'd hate it, but man, it could really help their draft options. A quandry...

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