The Green Bay Packers already injury-riddled season went from bad to catastrophic Monday night when Aaron Rodgers was lost indefinitely with a broken collarbone. His backup Seneca Wallace was barely serviceable as the Packers were beaten by their arch rival Chicago Bears 27-20.
Head coach Mike McCarthy has got be wondering what the heck happened to guys like Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman who were supposed to keep improving enough to be a reliable NFL backup. McCarthy’s failure with those two players has come back to haunt the Packers in a big way with Rodgers now on the bench.
One would think Wallace would be better this week after a week of taking the first team reps. Still, he wasn’t here in training camp so to expect him to run the same offense would not be realistic. The Packers will have rely on their running game of Eddie Lacy and James Starks and hope that Monday’s night defensive performance was an aberration and not the new normal. It was by far the worst defensive performance since opening day against the 49ers.
It is possible that linebacker Clay Matthews returns this week which would be a great help. Even with one hand he is better than most linebackers and the Packers have not gotten much pressure from their linebackers since he went down.
The Packers are now in a three way tie for first in the division but are clearly at a disadvantage heading into the final eight games. The Lions are healthy and Matt Stafford is playing the best football of his career. The Bears have found that their offense runs better without Jay Cutler. The Bears’ defense might be their downfall though. The Packers have major injuries on both sides of the ball and in some cases lost the backup and the backup to the backup.
We are about to find out a lot about McCarthy and his staff’s ability to win football games with less than stellar players. Wallace was cut by two teams already this year and has a 6-15 career record as a starter. The Packers might be better off going with Scott Tolzien, who was promoted to the active roster today.
It is certainly going to be an interesting few weeks for the Packers. I don’t think there will be any middle ground, either the Packers next man up philosophy works at the games most important position, or the Packers spiral out of the playoff picture. Hate to say it but I’m leaning toward the latter.