McCarthy’s offense to be tested this week

Green Bay Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy believes his team has the necessary running game to get them where they want to go, this Sunday against the New York Giants he will have to prove it. The Giants have what the Packers┬ádesperately need in a bruising running game with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Imagine Aaron Rodgers with those guys behind him.

The Packers will need to keep the Giants offense on the sidelines because the Packers’ defense isn’t exactly great against the run, if the Giants get rolling early it could be an ugly end to the Packers’ playoff hopes. Somehow the Packers will need to play ball control offense for four quarters and not just one drive late in a game against a so-so opponent.

Rodgers will be back at quarterback so McCarthy will probably be tempted to air-it-out as usual when he should be protecting his franchise QB who is coming off a missed game because of a concussion. This game could be a turning point in McCarthy’s head coaching career, losing Sunday is simply not an option. The phrase that was first uttered in Green Bay has never more poignant: “run to win.”

Under backup quarterback Matt Flynn last week the Packers’ offense looked more like a West Coast Offense than it has probably all year. The Patriots’ defense isn’t all that good, but none the less the Packers were able to run a little. The Giants on the other hand have been hovering around the top of the league in defense all year, same as the their offense has.

If Dom Capers can come up with a scheme to slow down the Giants’ running game quarterback Eli Manning will give them some opportunities for interceptions. Manning might be the one quarterback playing today that has a chance to break Brett Favre’s all-time interception record of 336, he has 20 this year to lead the league.

I’m looking for a knockdown drag-out fight much like the last time the Giants visited Green Bay. It’s going to take a huge effort on both sides of the ball to win this one. Can McCarthy finally find a way to win a close game? The Packers playoff hopes depend on it.

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  • donno

    amazing how this season is playing out. to still control their own fate is just short of incredible. you have some good points a.j. mccarthy is at times hard headed when it comes to the run. although i at times don’t blame him for giving up on it. the 3rd and short and 4th and short passes when we absolutly hace to have 1st down get’s pretty frustrating. all or nothing has been to many nothings……

  • Three Lakes Terry

    The turning point of the season and MM Packer’s career will be the Detroit game. He had a chance to mitigate the season with the Patriots and almost found it but his difficulties in game management caught up with him again at the end of the game. The Giant game will pour more salt on the wounds OR give him a chance to stem the downward flow. Detroit was a MUST win game and we all saw the results. Will the Giant game be any different?

  • EC PckBkr

    Very worried about this game…Packers seem to lack the killer instinct to stomp out weaker opponents or close games when they are within reach with a quality opponent. Something’s missing with this team….what is it??

    • Reid

      Coaching?

    • Skyler

      And the bad thing about this is the fact that MM shortcomings further drives the lack of killer instinct in the players. Each season the lack of killer instinct and finish a game right effects the mind of each player. Result – an organization that never reaches its full capabilities.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    The three inputs abouve are as succinct as you can get regarding this season.
    STRENGTH
    About two years ago, after the 6-10, somebody got into MM’s head and talked him into conditioning as opposed to strength. It has not worked and we have had more injuries than that ill-fated year. The result is that we are weak at the point of attack and MM does not have any scheme concept that makes the Zone O work because 300lb ers do not have the agility. Same goes for the D. What is saving our butt there is Capers’ ability to coach.
    ATTITUDE
    We only have five warriors on the team. Woodson, Matthews, Raji, Jenkins, and Bigby, and they all are on the D. Pad level my ass, give me NASTY any day. Guys are too big and fast now to be totally dependent on the technical aspects of the game. We need some bullys to put an opponent down and keep him there.
    STAMINA
    Questions: Do we start slow because we’re saving for the end of the game? If so, it obviously is not working! We are constantly pushed around in the trenches and are extremely weak in the fourth quarter. Therefore, we lose the close ones.
    LEADERSHIP
    All of you should make it a point to watch MM’s post-game interviews. Passion? Fire? Anger? I think not, just more of oh, well, lets move on to next week. Enough said for me!

    • jimmyus333333

      Still waiting for TT to defend his man, considering how many times MM has to support his butt.

    • Skyler

      I love this post. MM formula is all wrong. His poor record in close games is all about what LarryTex underline plus his poor call playing. The biggest mistake is Strength… There is a reason why we are have so many injuries.

  • Pierre

    Two talented teams to go at it for a playoff spot this Sunday; a Packer defeat and their season is over. Green Bay has the home field advantage and needs to feed off that crowd energy. It will show if Aaron Rodgers is a better QB than Eli Manning..or not. It will also tell what kind of coach McCarthy is in big games; he has an opportunity to restore a dubious record in important games and motivating a team to perform “above and beyond”.

    Think the GB defense can match up with the Giants defense so it will probably come down to which offense can execute the best. Even with the injuries this team has enough talent to pull out a game of this magnitude and on their home field. Yea…in his third year, I’d say that it’s time and that Aaron Rodgers needs to put this team on his back and lead it to it’s most important victory this season. Anything less and you gotta think that Mr. Rodgers is just not that clutch a QB and actually has skills that may not be far above “middle-of-the -pack” QBs in this league. Kinda hope’n that’s not the case…so here’s your chance to really prove yourself Aaron…get the “W” and make your mark this year and into the playoffs!

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      Not sure what your measurement would be but IMO Rodgers is head and shoulders in the top 5.
      Best comparison for a long NFl career might be Favre with the same basic O scheme. Comparing the first three years as a starter thru to date AR 64% comp rate, BF 62; AR av 4.1k yds, BF 3.1k; yds per catch 8.0 to 6.7; AR 29 tds to 23; AR QB rating 98, BF 83. Wins (including a 6-10 losing year) AR 25 to BF 26 (only includes 8 so far this year). Before you run to any more intangibles, like running game, I’ll counter with injuries; or maybe, would you rather have MM or MH as the HC? You, sir, are on the verge of commiting – blasphemy! Heh, heh.

    • jimmyus333333

      I’d like to go along with your comparisons LT, but you need to consider this…Ron Wolf didn’t have 1/2 the team, the D or other offensive players AR has had.

      The year before AR took over, the team was an overtime away from the Superbowl…surely not in the beginning of a rebuilding process when Brett took the scene in 92…and with one playmaker…Sterling.

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Your right, REGGIE, never was much of a pass rusher. Nor did Holland, Newsome, Wilkins, Prior, Evans, or Teague help. Butler and many others.
        Right, Sterling, and Levens, and Freeman to name a few.
        Remember, I said the first three years, or did you miss that.

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        But, I do agree with your analogy that TT has done a superb job of bringing in talent so quickly.
        That is what you meant by half the team that AR has had, didn’t you?

    • Pete H

      people used to babble on about Manning (Peyton) not being able to win the tough ones too. It doesn’t hold water. It is ridiculous. It is assenine. Besides, how many times has Rodgers already led his team down the field for a game tying/go ahead score only to have it wrecked with a minute or so left? He hasn’t done it EVERY time, but he has done it plenty to warrant some big time victories that the rest of his team haven’t allowed him to have

    • jimmyus333333

      The best team that TT put together was 2007, two years in.

      He hasn’t been able to get close to that quality a team since.

  • Pierre

    Come on coach McCarthy, get this team to beat the NY Giants in this “do-or-die” game this Sunday… you don’t want your theme song to be by the Cllimax Blues Band: “Couldn’t Get It Right” , ’cause that’s the way you’re trending.

  • PackerPete

    OK Packer Fans, dont kill the messenger, but here it is…

    This game will be decided by the GBP linebackers.

    Not every aspect of the game, there will be sub-plots, but the GBP LB will either allow the Packers to contain the Giants running game and short passing or they will be a step behind and a step slow and a couple yards downfield on their run fits and get pushed 3-4 yards further downfield on every tackle.

    If the GBP LB do not excell in this game, the Packers will lose, plain and simple.

    As much as it pains me to say this and as much as I hope I am completely wrong, this will be the end of the line for this year’s version of the GBP.

    There just is NOT the talent or depth left on the DL to protect the LB and certainly not enough left of the tattered GBP LB corps to contain what is a very good NYG OL and RB group.

    I hate writing this as much as you hate rreading it, and I will be rooting with everything I have for this to be incorrect, but here it is for your consideration.

    • Packer_Bob

      I have a bad feeling that you are right, PP. And you know the Giants are going to be coming into the game with chip on their collective shoulder.

      Let’s hope we’re both wrong but how many big games have we won this year? Lost to the Bears, at Atlanta, and the last 2 games were basically in the must win category and we lost both of those. I’ll give us the opening week win against Philly, but think God Vick wasn’t the starter that game. I have a bad feeling the ball is going to end up being stuffed down our throats.

      Hopefully we’ll both be eating our words and talking about what a great game the Pack played come 7 pm Sunday!

  • Zach

    Will also be hoping that we our special teams doesn’t make the Giant’s special teams look good.

    We make some plays on defense, ie-catching interceptions that land in your hands, we can have a good chance at seeing one of Eli’s poorer games.

    Keep Rodgers off the turf, and the ball rushed as well as thrown, and we have a strong shot at this one.

    Two huge games coming up, the second being meaningless if we don’t win the first. I will be at both, so would be nice if the Bears game meant something, and not just a party!

    • jimmyus333333

      I’m sure NY has a few 350lbs return guys that can take the ball at least 40-50 yards against our kickoff coverage.

      I see trouble ahead.

  • Rick

    Packers worked out a guy named Tom(my) Johnson. Undrafted Southern Miss DT at 6’2″ 288lbs from 2006.

    Went to the last year of NFL Europe as a Colts FA. Played okay but needed more seasoning.

    Cut and played for the AFL Philadelphia Soul. Okay speed but could not play both ways.

    Went to Calgary for the last two seasons and had 7 sacks. Maybe a 3-4 DE in NFL.

    Not sure why we are looking at him though. I hope Jenkins is not looking at being IR’d.

    Jenkins helps cause the mismatch that allows CM III to thrive on the other side.

    With him out at least this week I hope Green, Wynn, or someone can cause a spark to help use get the mismathces we want on D.

  • Packer_Bob

    Good post Al. I especially agreed with your point that somehow our offense looked more like a West Coast offense last week under Flynn than it has all year. That isn’t a shot at Rodgers as he is clearly the better QB. I think it was just that Flynn’s inexperience forced an emphasis on the run and short pass, and look at the results! One would hope MM would pick up on what we could do with AR at the trigger applying the same approach.

    To me this week’s game is going to be about establishing a ball control offense, containing the Giants running game without getting worn down and worn out and creating some F’ing TO’s. Brady was a lucky bastard last week, but Manning has shown a proclivity for giving up the picks so let’s get a few.

    Oh, another key: let’s not let AR get pounded into guava jelly. Flynn was sacked I think 5 times last week. The Giants have the ability to get pressure with the down lineman and have been brutal on QB’s this year so hopefully MM doesn’t fall in love with deep drops to try to force the ball down the field.

    This is the type of game where a big special teams play, like a return for TD, could make the difference but with the ST we have that is too much to ask for, even this close to Christmas. I’ll settle for not letting an offensive lineman return a kick for more than say 15-30 yards.

    • Pete H

      remember though that Flynn took several of those sacks because he was hanging on to the ball

  • Dan

    Look for the Packers to attack the Giants in the middle of the field. They are extremely weak there.

    With Coughlin throwing the punter under the bus, despite his offense and defense letting the Eagles back in the game, I expect the Packers to come up with one of their best special teams games this year.

    Giants have played 3 of their last 4 at home. The one road game was Minnesota.
    Welcome to Lambeau, let them adjust to some different winds than they are used to.

    MM needs to look at how the SEC beats the Big Ten. Get an early lead. Force the Giants to play catchup. Stop them once or twice, get a 14 or 21 point lead and Eli will continue throwing interceptions.

  • Kevin

    Sorry guys Packers lose on Sunday. Last time rogers came back from a concussion he was less than spectular and we lost to the dolphins at lambeau. The good news from inside the packers board is there will be a coach change coming soon.

  • Larry

    I see Kevin is the designated Grynch! LT has a strong point about the 3/4 receivers stepping up in this one. I hope Jones practiced outside this week so he can catch a cold ball…he seems to have trouble in the cold. I’m thinking BJax/Kuhn will catch 6 or so…coming accross the field after chipping on the DE.

    I still see a Packer 14 point win based on defensive backfield and Manning have a tendency to throw high.

    Merry Xmas to all..GO PACK!!

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Memory Lane: Eli Manning, 1st pick, better than Peyton who was better than Archie. Most athletic of the Mannings. Unfortunately, doesn’t have the head of either. But what a draft 2004 was. Manning, Rivers, Roethlisberger, and a couple of other QBs who didn’t amount to much. But that 1st round, wow. In addition to the above Fitzgerald, Roy Williams, Dunta Robinson, Steven Jackson, Wilfork, Udeze, Tommy Harris, and so forth. Know who the Pack’s no. 1 was………..Ahmad Carroll, the CB who never met an officials flag he didn’t love.

  • Skyler

    Rodgers coming back from a concussion will not be the reason the Packers lose. It will be lack of a running game. As the weather gets colder, a good running game is a must. Our lack of a running game the whole year has been a bust. On the whole, TT has created a talented team. But… no RB depth and no return man has been a major issue. TT, the Packers do not play in a dome nor are they from the South like yourself. I wish the Packers had a running tandum like the Gaints and Bears have. Plus a good running game will help preserve and protect your star QB due to a balanced attack. TT, isn’t Rodgers worth protecting? Is MM still experimenting with the Zone Blocking Scheme? Who in the NFL uses this scheme. Are the pushed backwords almost every game (Colledge and Wells) the issue as well (hurting our running and general QB protect)?

  • iccyfan

    Puhleeeeeaaaase…

    You guys are predicting doom and gloom to be delivered by a visiting Giants team who pulled off a monumental choke at home to their arch-rival last week. They’re gonna be motivated by that? Give me a break…

    Our team is extremely frustrating, but after losing three of four I fully expect them to pull out of the doldrums and whack the G-men tomorrow. We know they’re capable; they know they’re capable; it’s way past time for them to start playing like it. Home crowd carries the Pack to a ten point victory…

    • dave76

      Like it Iccy! Go Pack, stomp the Giants and Eli!!!

  • Kevin

    Giants #2 in leauge in sacks! Will be a big part of the game!

    • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

      You’re right about that 10 from each DE. Cliffy’s knees and Bugaga’s training to date have to hold up or we will see Flynn again.

  • http://Orlando Mark

    MM gets a chance to show he learned something from the championship game. If we have 28 rushing yards this time we haven’t any more chance than we did last time!