Third in a series of posts chronicling the mess that is the 2008 Green Bay Packers
A blocked field goal...sweet. That's the season in a nutshell - Close, But No Cigar.
One opinion (from someone I respect) says its because: "the roster is a greasefire." While others simply say "the Packers suck, blow up the entire roster and front office." Of course, I have to disagree. The scoreboard tells me so. A ten second recap of every game: They got blown out by the Cowboys and Saints. They blew out Seattle, Chicago, Indy, and Detroit. Every other game wasn't decided until well into the 4th quarter, most in the final minutes or overtime.
How close have the game been? The Packers (5-10) have actually outscored their opponents by 29 (and +6 turnover margin)! Has a 5-10 team ever been +29 before? Maybe, I guess. Compare with teams of similar records:
San Fran (6-9) -45
Jacksonville (5-10) -45
Cleveland (4-11) - 87
Oakland (4-11) - 132
Seattle (4-11) -85
I realize close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and when that guy in the office crop dusts 6 cubicles at a time and you desperately hope yours wasn't one of them. Why don't the Packers win these close games? Maybe it's luck, maybe they just aren't getting the bounces this year, maybe the Football Gods are punishing Green Bay for trading God#4. Nope, none of the above. Great teams usually create their own luck.
1) Lack of playmakers in the front 7. See volume 1. They CANNOT get a quick 3 and out, or a big sack when needed. Teams have sliced through the D at will under 2:00. It's almost expected. No, it IS expected. This is on Ted to make it better.
2) Rodgers has not had the "signature drive" a la Peyton Manning. He has had a few to tie or take the lead late in games, only to see the defense/special teams give it right back. A quick 3-out and Rodgers looks like the hero. Would God#4 rallied and pulled one of these games out? Perhaps. Would he have thrown a crushing INT in week 1 (when Rodgers went 18-22, 0 INTs) and lost? Perhaps.
I know, 5-10 is 5-10. But as I mentioned in volume 2, is there really any difference than the Packers, Bears and Vikings? No way, no how, no chance.
While some people are ready and willing to destroy/rebuild the entire organization from the top down, the scoreboard says otherwise. If they were losing bunches of games 27-6 then sure, the roster is dreadful and it's time to clean house. They're not, and it's not, so put away those sledgehammers, relax, put on those sheepskin slippers, and savor the refreshing tastes of an ice cold Miller High Life. Mmmmm..."if you're livin it, you might as well drink it!"