The Packers had won 19 straight games. Winning 19 straight football games dating back to last year is quite impressive. This past Sunday, as we all know, they lost their first game of the season and are currently 13-1 and in control of their own destiny, with a win on Sunday over the Chicago Bears and they will clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
But all week, fans have been upset about the 1 loss and they even took to the social network twitter to tell the players how they felt. Most of the anger directed at Jermichael Finley for his drops and Marshall Newhouse for is lack of blocking.
Right or wrong, it was only 1 loss and this team is still capable of winning the Super Bowl. The Packers flat out got beat this game as the Chiefs wanted it more than they did. The loss showed me a couple of things that have me worried come playoff time.
First off, what we have known for awhile is that this is a pass first offense and they will throw the football no matter the conditions. That was a football game that McCarthy could have switched the gameplan and ran the ball with Ryan Grant more than they did. They were having success running the football as the Chiefs were rushing 3 or 4 defenders and dropping everyone else in coverage. If http://patch.com/A-pF1L would have stayed with the run, that may have forced the Chiefs to bring more men in the box and open up the passing lanes. This is something that I hoped that they learned for the playoffs, because if it is windy and snowy in January they are going to need to run the ball.
Second, this team really misses Cullen Jenkins. There is no one besides Clay Mathews who is getting pressure on the quarterback. They have B.J. Raji playing end instead of nose tackle as they have nobody else to play end. Come playoff time, they are going to need to get pressure on the quarterback otherwise Drew Brees will carve this defense up. This is an area that Ted Thompson is going to have to address at draft time.
The other pre-existing weakness on this team that showed up was the offensive line. Some more injuiries happened during the game so guys were playing out of position, and Thompson had to sign Herb Taylor this week, who hasn't played a game since 2008 to help out. My opinion is that he will be active this week with Clifton and Bulaga still probably out. McCarthy is going to have to keep a fullback or extra tight end in to help block as they have to protect the franchise. Rodgers was not comfortable in the pocket at all, extra guys to help block and a run game will alleviate some of the pressure and give Rodgers the time to find his receivers.
In the end this team is still 13-1 and the #1 seed in the NFC and has the talent to get back to the Super Bowl. The Packers should beat the Chicago Bears this Christmas Day to secure home field advantage, so the road to Indianpolis comes through Titletown!
If you have not checked out the 2011 Green Bay Packers Tight Ends Christmas Card, continue here to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. It is pretty funny!