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As of Wednesday, the full-time referees have been returned to the NFL and the replacements sent off to the ether for eternity. We had a regularly scheduled matchup between the Ravens and Browns go off without a hitch.
So this is as good of time as any to run down reasons 4 to 2 as to why the Packers actually lost Monday Night.
4. What is happening to Aaron Rodgers?
On the surface, all is fine with Aaron Rodgers: He is averaging 248 yards per game, as well as a 68.7 throwing percentage.
The problem lies, as with most teams, with the scoring. Through his first 3 games of 2012, Rodgers has a 3:2 TD:INT ratio. Through those same 3 games in 2011, Rodgers had a 7:1 ratio as well as a masterful 121.1 QB rating.
His opponents this year have had stronger defenses than last. On top of this, he has been without his best weapon, Greg Jennings, for one of those games.
But a staple of these recent Packers teams has been the constant destruction of any defense by Rodgers, and his ability to turn any receiver or tight end he has into a scoring contributor. That isn’t happening so far…but is it his fault?
3. Mike McCarthy
After his surprising 9 receptions for 77 yard performance week 1, McCarthy declared that the Packers would try to get the ball into Randall Cobb’s hands as much as possible. In response, Cobb has had a Week 2 of one reception for 20 yards and a 28 yard run and a Week 3 of one reception for -1 yards and a 20 yard run.
While he seems committed to getting Cobb touches in the backfield as his “Sproles-like” strategy suggests, McCarthy has not found ways to get him involved at his natural position, Wide Receiver.
Inconsistencies with receivers is hard to clearly blame on the coach, but hanging your QB out to dry is one that you can blame on him. Constantly giving Rodgers a lack of protection throughout the first half of the Seahawks game kept his QB on the run with little time to throw and a beat down awaiting him.
In addition, despite this being a close game for most of the night, McCarthy chose a very high pass to run ratio – 47 pass attempts to only 21 rushes – and two of those came from his scrambling quarterback.
But of course, protection of a QB can only be so much the fault of the head coach.
2. Packers Offensive Line – A bark much worse than their bite
They got all the press the day after for their attacks on Roger Goodell post-game, but what about what these guys did during the game?
Rodgers was sacked 8 times…in the first half! This is not some statue quarterback, nor one that sits in the pocket for long periods of time. Giving up EIGHT sacks in the first half means the offensive line is not just having serious issues with the defense, but has major issues at the line itself. It was one of the worst half performance ever (Giants-Bears 2010) and four off the full game record (5 tied at 12).
No QB is going to be successful in the pocket when they only have a matter of a few seconds to throw each time. WRs like Jordy Nelson, who run complicated routes, will wind up with 2 catch games. If you look at the run game, not much was able to be done. These guys were not doing their jobs.
Good thing there were some replacements not doing their jobs too.