2018 Week 13

Packers 17 Cardinals 20

Another strange review for me.  Because of the rain on Saturday, our tree hunting day was rescheduled for Sunday.  No problem I thought, we have SirrusXM… but not our plan.  The game was on CH 229, our radio when to CH 223. 
Okay, one of the sports channels will keep us up to date…  wrong.  Most told us to go to CH 229… duh!  All we got was a half time update of 10-7 Packers.  Okay we thought, bad weather and the Pack is leading.  We don’t have an App on our phones because we watch every game from The Hall of Fame so that wasn't an option.  When I got home I went to NFL.com and was able to see a text version of the play by play along with a picture of a football field that has a little football that slides and bounces up and down the field.  I started viewing the game just before the 3 & 23 play and thinking here we go; then boom, 32 yards to Fitzgerald and then I was thinking, here we go.  Rodgers got the ball back and I saw the little football bonce down the field and thought, here we go.  Then the last play, which would have sent the game into overtime, I saw the ball arch up to the goalposts and then a small red X appeared and knew, here we go, or rather here Mike goes.  In his post-game press con-ference he sounded like a man confused and defeated, clueless as to what went wrong and rudderless on where to go from here.  Of course Mark Murphy gave him a clear direction and so we “Go with Joe”  for the next 4 games.
In some ways not seeing the game gives me a better perspective to write a review.  Gone are the emotions that I’m sure most of you had in watching the ball sail to the right.  In it’s place, I can only go to the game summary.  On his now famous 4 & 2 call to punt, Mike said it was all in the numbers and so let’s look at the numbers.

First, let’s look at balance.  Aaron Jones had 11 rushes, 3 in the second half.  Williams added 7 rushes with 5 in the second half.  Meanwhile, Air-ron threw 50 times, ran 3 times and was sacked once.  18 runs, 50 passes, good balance?
Next let’s look at the second half where the first four drives  was 18 plays (5 rushes), netted 31 yards and 4 punts; all happening on the Green Bay side of the 50… yaaawn.
Last on offense is Crosby’s 1 for 2 performance, granted the last was from 48 yards but still, that’s what we pay him for.   After the game he talked about the wind and how aiming right, the wind would push it back to the left, almost as if he wants to “sneak” in just inside the upright for dramatic affect.  Reminds me of a bad golfer overplaying the break on a putt... JUST HIT IT HARD ENOUGH AND TAKE THE BREAK OUT OF IT!
Looking at the defensive side, for the most part, they played a decent game.  They ended up with 2 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, only allowing 11 completions helping to give Josh Rosen a QBR of 61.2.  The run defense was one thing that hurt us, allowing their backs to run for 122 yards on 25 carries with Johnson running it 20 times (what a concept Mike). Where they went wrong was the 10 plays in the 3rd quarter, giving up pass plays of 23, 37, 33 & 29, yards, ending up in 10 points.  Add to that  the afore mentioned 32 yarder in the 4th quarter which ended in 3 points, costing us the game and ultimately Mikes career.

The Packers Playoff hopes dropped from 3% to 2.7% , which turned 100 Years of Football  into 100 TEARS of Football.  We are not out of it… yet, and a win on Sunday IS a must but may still not be enough.  The last four games may not lead to a playoff berth but it will be a chance to see what the Packers might be next year.  We will be seeing 53 Job interviews on the field as well as numerous Job interviews on the sidelines.  Let’s hope it gives us some hope.  Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday to take on the Fail-cons as Ken asked to be MC for a day.  I will be there and easy to spot, I’ll be the one with an IV bottle on a pole   
Bleeding Green My Friends! 
(Packer John)       

Just Sayin’

 Well, the TAP TAP TAPPING turned into a B-A-M!!!!. And just like that, Mike McCarthy’s coaching days were over, at least in Green Bay. And with McCarthy not being at the helm from here out, changes everywhere are certain. I personally, will not blame the Packers’ failure this season entirely on Mike McCarthy. Just reading differing articles over the last few weeks indicate that there has been a widening gap between McCarthy and Rodgers. MM would call plays that Aaron would change, or the rookies might miss something, etc. When there is a team where the coach and QB are not on the same page, something needs to change. And it did. Aaron turned 35 on Sunday. Whether a new coach and staff can get things turned around and back to a championship level in a couple of years, remains to be seen.
My feeling is that this has been coming for a while. I mean, like for 3 or 4 years. After the Super Bowl season of 2010, the Packers have generally been on a steady slope downward. The only thing that has altered that perception has been the ability of Aaron Rodgers. His talent alone has kept the Packers roster looking to be better than they actually were. There was no better evidence of that than last year when Brett Hundley had to step in at QB. The talent on the roster was well below average, as a whole. With Rodgers, the roster looked good, according to most media outlets. Exit Rodgers and enter Hundley and the roster looked like a bunch of scrubs, for the most part. For all of the fans missing Jordy Nelson, Brett Hundley’s lack of effectiveness probably had as much to do with him being let go as anything else. During the last several years, Ted Thompson had been living off the coat tails of Rodgers, year after year failing to assemble a competitive roster. McCarthy had to deal with that. In the NFC Championship game of 2014, towards the end of the game, everybody watching that game knew Seattle was going for the onside kick. From what I read, Mike McCarthy said on the sidelines, “If your name is not Jordy Nelson, DO NOT touch the ball.” Well, we all know how that turned out.  While MM could give direction from the sidelines, he couldn’t actually make the guys on the field do what they were instructed to do. Mike McCarthy had to play the hand he was dealt when the game started. Sadly, we have all seen what kind of dealer Ted Thompson was his last few years. No need to look any further back than opening game of the 2018 season, when nearly half of the roster were new players that weren’t on the roster as 2017 ended.

There will be many changes among the Packers organization after the season ends. One of the changes I hope develops from the reorganization is some kind of change in the Strength and Conditioning staff. Once again, hamstring issues have hit the Packers hard.
So, we have turned that Coaching Corner and now proceed down Interim Avenue and we will see what awaits. But till we reach the reach the end Interim Avenue and approach 2019 Street, let’s hope our Packers show a little pride as we play out the last 4 games!!! 
Just Sayin’  
(Jimmy Smith)

GPB Hall Of Fame Report

 Thirty-two Packer fans met at Hall of Fame Sports Grill with high hopes.  Thanks to 120 Neil Petersen we toasted the beginning of our “Salvage the Season” tour with mimosas and lots of enthusiasm. Might be a waste of good Champaign. 
Nine door prizes were awarded during the game.  398 Bill Demuth chose a great duffel bag, and 415 Chris Schulz has a travel mug.  263 Patricia Zumbach will stow her cold, hard cash in her new wallet, and 328 Marge Bramlett will use her new watch to try to be on time.  Christmas was on the mind of several members.  110 Bill Bunke has a new Christmas stocking, while 463 Wayne Hansen, 131 Gerald Schultz, and 132 Sharon Schultz all chose ornaments.  127 Kent Sargent chose a Wisconsin ball cap which he promptly presented to 120 Neil Petersen.
Hall of Fame Sports Grill presented a $20 gift certificate to 131 Gerald Schultz for correctly answering the trivia question of the week.  Winners of the $1 football pool were 221 Barbara Gambrell and 328 Marge Bramlett (3).
Our next game is Sunday at 1p.m. against the Fail-cons.  I know this has been a disappointing season thus far, but we all love and support our Packers through it all and at the same time enjoy our time together.  This Sunday is a new beginning.  Weather permitting, I hope to see many of you at Hall of Fame Sports Grill to experience this new day together.  I will always be courageous…   
(Marge 328)

Packers        vs.     Phail-cons

 Grownup send the kids out for a minute:  Mike McCarthy being fired is a cautionary tale with a simple message, “Don’t Piss off the Quarterback!”
Mike Golic Jr. talked about this last week when our reeling Packers lost to Minnesota.  We traded Aaron’s favorite target Jordy Nelson to Oakland.  I just re-watched Turning Point vs. the Vikings from 2016, all it did was make me angry because Jimmy Graham who HAS NOT replaced him, and has yet to show me a single reason why he’s an upgrade over Jordy.  They said Jordy was injury prone.  See previous editions of this newsletter to see which receiver was REALLY the injury-prone one!  Here’s a hint subtract 69 from 87.  The Packers also fired Alex Van Pelt:  the quarterback’s coach.  Aaron was apparently very close with him.  He was supposed to be ALL of the quarterbacks’ coach, not just one quarterback.  In that metric, Van Pelt failed.  I thought he needed to be fired.  But regardless, you made 2 moves on the team that were basically antagonistic to your quarterback!
That brings me to another point.  Damien Woody was on First Take today and was asked if Aaron was responsible for bringing about Mike McCarthy’s firing.  I don’t think so, and it’s obvious my erstwhile associates Mr. Smith and Mr. Pringle don’t think so either.  Like I said in my review of the Seahack’s game.  It was McCarthy’s decision to punt on 4th and 2.  It’s been McCarthy’s decision to take the ball from Aaron Jones’ hands in the second half, he’s pounding the rock in the first half, and we just go away from the run in the second half?!?!  REALLY?!?!  Football is also the ultimate team sport, Aaron is great, but he’s human.  If the offensive line doesn’t do its job, he has to take off on a leg that while they say is 100%, I’m guessing it’s still tender or if he doesn’t take off, his throw is off target because it’s hurried.  Look for a new tackle or 2 next year in Green Bay.

Yesterday: “I mean, I’ve never been in this spot,” McCarthy said. “I’m not going to act like I know what the hell I’m going to do tomorrow when they get in here. So, we’re going to do what we always do, we’re going to represent the Packers the right way, I know that. Other than that, we’ll focus on what’s in front of us.”  This is a man who has lost the locker room.  Mark Murphy made the right decision in firing him.  He was replaced by Joe Philbin as interim Head Coach.  Joe has previous Head Coach experience with Miami where he compiled a 24-28 record.  Stephen A. Smith said he did not consider Philbin a leader of men, but since the season was lost, he didn’t really have a problem with it.  I remember Joe from his previous stint as O.C. he used to be play caller, he did such a poor job that McCarthy took back the play calling sheet.  Only time will tell if he’s going to be effective.  I have my doubts.  I DO NOT want him as the H.C. even if we go 4-0 the rest of the way.  

Colin Cowherd is saying that Josh McDaniel, the Patriot’s O.C. would be a good fit.  I tend to agree.  McDaniels did a terrible job as Denver’s coach, but he had a mess of a QB situation there.  Poor talent and Tebow who wasn’t really suited to be an NFL quarterback spelled his downfall.  I’m sure he asked Elway to draft a quarterback after Tebow but by the time that was clear, Elway had his heart set on Manning, so McDaniels was done, John Fox was in, and McDaniel was back to N.E.  That was a terribly abridge version. 
Now we turn to the Atlanta Failcons who actually have a worse record than us (a tie is not a loss after all, and it should have been a win).  They are snakebit like we are.  Losing on weird plays, losing by a last second field goal.  NO, I don’t feel sorry for them, they hold a special place of contempt in my heart, and I wish them only misery. 
What they do have is a couple of wide receivers who make life hell for our secondary!  Sanu even more so than Julio Jones.  Everybody focuses on Jones and Sanu burns you.  Or Ridley does.  But what they don’t have is a running game.  They rank dead last in the run, so expect a lot of “pinning back the ears” and rushing the passer.  Pettine doesn’t like to blitz, he’ll get the chance to show the blitz this weekend. 

Atlanta’s defense has been poor and hurt this past month.  The last time they won was 11/4, and they’ve dropped 4 in a row.  I expect Aaron to do some damage even playing rookies in WR spots.  They may realize they’re playing for their jobs as well and show out this weekend.  Only time will tell.  I’m not bleeding this weekend, I’m crying Green!  
GO PACK!! GO!!!   
(Ken Hill)