The Green Bay Packers are officially on playoff life-support after their third straight loss drops them to .500 and third place in the NFC North division. Without their starting quarterback the Packers can’t find the endzone and even with a slightly better defensive effort, couldn’t stop the slide yesterday in New York.
A game changing pick-six by the Giants and another game of questionable coaching proved too much to overcome. After the Packers pulled within seven points in the second half, third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien giftwrapped a Giants touchdown and all of a sudden the lead was 14 again. The Packers had another chance to gain some momentum but when faced with a fourth and two at their own 28 with nine minutes left the Packers chose to punt.
To me that was just plain giving up. You know damn well the Giants are going to take five minutes off the clock and you know damn well the Packers’ offense can’t score two touchdowns in four minutes when they only scored two touchdowns in their previous nine quarters. If you don’t make it the Giants may get another score and you lose. Punt the ball and you don’t have enough time left and you lose. Either way – YOU LOSE!
Head coach Mike McCarthy has never had to coach with less the stellar quarterback play and it is showing. Unlike the Patriots and Bill Belichick, McCarthy’s teams do not play sound, fundamental football no matter what players are out there. McCarthy’s teams make the same mistakes over and over. For example, the next guy that runs out a kick from deeper than five yards in the end zone should be cut on the spot.
The Packers have been devastated by injuries no doubt, especially when one of them is the best player in the league, but to not be able to compete with three mediocre teams has to raise some red flags throughout the organization. Maybe all the losses in the front office have finally caught up to them. You already know how I feel about Dom Capers, the league has passed him by. Shawn Slocum never could coach worth a lick and special teams have been a problem ever since McCarthy took over.
The positives were the Packers defense did hold the Giants in check in the fourth quarter, granted they already had a 14-point lead. And other than the three interceptions Tolzien played pretty good on a day in which the Packers had no running game. I think if he can play a clean game against Minnesota the Packers will win.
The Packers also showed some improvement in tackling and even got an interception to stop a potential scoring drive. Clay Matthews played better with less of a club and contributed one of four sacks the Packers had. Oh, and uh, Mason Crosby made a 57-yard field goal. So all is not lost yet.
The Vikings are a terrible football team so if the Packers cannot get the job done this week getting Rodgers back at some point will be meaningless. The Packers haven’t hit rock bottom yet, but they are sniffing the bottom of the barrel. Time to shape up or ship out.