The parting words in last week’s Packer Partisan questioned whether or not the young Green Bay Packers were mature enough to respond favorably after being dominated by the Dallas Cowboys the previous week. The answer became painfully obvious to Cheeseheads Sunday afternoon when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat up the Pack by a score of 30 – 21.
The game started out OK for the Pack as Aaron Rodgers threw a nice touchdown pass to Greg Jennings, but it was all downhill from there. The mistakes started to accumulate and by half time the Packers had dropped three passes, committed way too many penalties and were being manhandled, again. They were lucky to only be behind by a score of 13 – 7.
For the second straight game the Packers were beaten physically on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The offensive line played horribly against a Buc defense that isn’t that talented. The Packers’ running game generated only 28 yards on 18 attempts on the day. Without a running game, the Packers were forced to pass and here again the offensive line was dysfunctional. Rodgers wasn’t allowed the protection he needed to get the passing game clicking. The Rodgers/Jennings connection did manage another touchdown in the second half but that was about it from the Packer offense.
The Packer defense was only marginally better than the offense. The defensive line got pushed around by a patched up and marginal Bucs’ offensive line. It was not a pretty sight and it needs to get corrected immediately. Nick Barnett is a very good football player but he did not have a good game. Dittos go to the rest of the defense, with the exceptions of Brady Poppinga and Charles Woodson. Woodson, playing with a broken toe and not having practiced for two weeks, contributed with an interception that was returned for a touchdown and several nice coverage plays. He is an exceptional athlete and playing at all–pro level.
The Packers have far too much talent to lose games physically… like this one… and the last one. The coaching staff needs to take a look at why certain players are making the same mistakes over and over. Losing games because of being physically mugged two weeks in a row is not what Packer football is about. Mike McCarthy needs to kick some butts this week.
There likely will be some roster changes due to injuries and non-productivity before the Atlanta Falcons visit Lambeau next week. Newcomer punter Derrick Frost is a bust and needs to be replaced ASAP. Linebacker Desmond Bishop is a physical linebacker and a tackling machine. The Packers need some more physicality and Bishop might just bring that against the Falcons. There could be more personnel changes too.
Adding injury to insult, Aaron Rodgers hurt his throwing shoulder and may or may not be able to play next week. The Packers are a mess right now and desperately need a win against the Falcons to regain their swagger.
Talk back! Tell us what you think of this year’s teams. What would you do if you were in charge?
Go to winonapost.com, click on Football Forum to discuss this year’s season.