Monday, September 21, 2009
"Any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday."
This axiom is probably the most well known for us sports fans. And yet, we love to apply this truism only when our team loses, as a kind of appeal to the gods, a way to escape putting the blame on our team.
Not the case for Packers fans this week. After an amazing preseason and a week 1 victory over the Chicago Bears, the fans expected the Pack to roll this week. So for the Green Bay Packers fans, the blame game has officially begun. Local radio shows after the game were rampant with irate fans saying things like: "We overlooked the Bengals!" and "Ted Thompson ruined the offensive line!"etc etc etc. I am not going to approach this with any emotive, but rather a simple analysis of the game itself. My view is that by looking over the game in small pieces, we can attempt to figure out just what the hell happened.
The game against Cincinnati on Sunday exposed some glaring faults in the Packers. The following are the grades for week 2.
Quarterback: B - Aaron Rodgers finished the game 21-39 with 261 yards passing and 1 TD. Rodgers did the best job he could, taking into account that he was sacked 6 times, and the receiving core dropped 4 passes.
Running Back: C+ - Grant had just 3 touches in the second half, which showed McCarthy's lack of faith in the blocking his line could muster. However, with the game tied at 21 all at half, and Grant averaging 3.6 yards per carry in the first, we should have saw much more of Grant in the second half.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C+ - Despite a great game from Driver (6 catches, 99 yards, 1 TD), who exposed safety Chris Crocker all game, the receivers were poor. 4 dropped passes total, and one that killed a drive. Jennings was quiet all game, with no catches and 1 drop.
Offensive Line: D - The worst for GB was the line. Even before Clifton was carted off the field with a ankle sprain, the line was simply atrocious. Giving up 6 sacks total, including 5 to DE Antwan Odom, it is clear that the line is simply not good enough. With the loss of Clifton, College will be at LT. God help us all.
Defense: D - If your name isn't Charles Woodson (2 ints), then keep reading. The GB defense was poor all day. Allowing 141 yards rushing to Cedric Benson, and 3 TD's to Carson Palmer, Green Bay had no answers for the Bengals. Allowing Cincinnati to go 9/14 on third down, the Bengals had no problem keeping drives alive. Nick Collins was also hurt in the game and didn't return. And to top it off, Chad Ochocinco got to do his Lambeau Leap. Truly a disgusting sight.
Notable stats: The penalties in this game were ridiculous. Cinncinnati had 13 for 100 yards lost. While Green Bay had 11 for 76 yards. I know it was a Ed Hockuley crew, but jeez.
Next Week: Green Bay has to get it's act together and fast. With St. Louis coming up next, Green Bay has a chance to do just that. And they must, because the schedule only gets harder from then on, and if they want to stay in the playoff hunt, these are games they must win.
Posted by Erik The Red at 10:58 AM