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Packer Partisan (12/17/2008)
By Dave DeLano

Defenseless in Titletown

It was a battle between two underachieving football teams that lined up in Jacksonville’s Municipal stadium Sunday. One ho-hum team would win and the other one would lose in this contest. Once again it was the Packers’ turn to take it on the chin as they lost their sixth game in the past seven to the Jaguars by a score of 20 – 16.

The Jaguars started out this affair by marching straight down the field to score a touchdown culminating a 70-yard drive. But the Packers battled back behind a solid performance by Aaron Rodgers and the receiving corps. By halftime Rodgers had thrown a touchdown pass and, combined with two field goals, the Pack took a halftime lead of 13 – 7. Ryan Grant accumulated over 1,000 yards rushing this season in this game. Donald Driver has now caught a pass in 109 consecutive games…. a new Packer record.

With 10 minutes left in the game the Jags scored on a 56-yard drive. The Packers responded with a drive of their own which lead to a field goal… so the Pack then lead 16 -14 with a little over 5 minutes to play. At this point in the game I had a vivid recollection of last week’s loss when the Packer defense folded badly when the Texans drove down the field in the closing two minutes to win the game on a last-second field goal.

So it was without great surprise to witness the Packer defense wither once again… this week to the lowly Jaguars. The Jags scored an easy touchdown and the Packers were unable to rally a last-minute comeback as Rodgers threw a bad interception thus resulting in a four-point loss.

What has happened to the Packer defense? It seemed to me that the defensive players are not playing with the confidence that they should be. It also appeared that some of the defensive line players folded their tents early in this game. Aaron Kampman was the only Packer linemen to be a factor in this game.

Some serious head scratching needs to take place in Ted Thompson’s office this week. Have the players lost confidence in Defensive Coordinator Bob Sanders’ schemes? Why is the defense unable to get a stop at critical times? What has happened to the pass rush? Why are there so many miscommunication problems now? Are the talent levels of the players sufficient? Are the coaches doing their jobs? Why are there so many penalties this year? The Packers are regressing badly right now and Cheeseheads deserve better. Thompson needs to find answers to these questions.

Next week the Packers travel to Chicago to play the Bears on Monday Night Football. The Packers could play a spoiler role as the Bears still have a shot at the NFC North division. The Pack won the last go round with the Bears in a blowout on November 16. That game seems light years away after suffering 4 losses in a row. This Packer team is a mess right now and it will be interesting to see what will happen in the final two games.

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.



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