Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers on the move.

With yet another heartbreaking 4 points-or-less loss, the Green Bay Packers have all but assured that the playoffs will be out of their reach, with their 35-31 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers.

The Packers don’t deserve it this year, not this coaching staff, not this underachieving group of players.

But it’s hard to make the case for the Minnesota Vikings as they continue to stumble into victories. They still play a shitty brand of football, but they do it so confidently now, it will be all but impossible for the Packers to catch up to them – even if they win out.

It’s probably safe to say that whoever emerges from the shitty NFC North won’t last long in the postseason.

Some observations from yesterday’s game:

  • Is it just me or does the Packers’ punter, Derrick Frost, totally suck? He gives other teams such an advantage on field position. Is the Packers offense so good that they can afford to start on the 10 yard line every drive, while other teams can start on their 40? Short answer: no. Why is he still in the league? Forget the Packers, why is this guy still playing pro football?
  • Aaron Rodgers was on fire in the second half. He couldn’t miss. Following an unnecessary roughness penalty on Julius Peppers, Rodgers got up and pounded his chest, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The Packers were going to win and he knew it. First and goal from the five. How could they blow it? By running three straight times – that’s how. By putting the game into the hands of fullback John Kuhn, that’s how. When Rodgers was unstoppable, why did the Packers even give them a chance?
  • Why was Steve Smith not penalized for his constant mugging of Al Harris? I know he’s short, but that doesn’t mean he can get away with trying to incite a fight on every down. And why do star receivers constantly get away with push offs? He made a nice catch at the end of the game, but only had that space because he pushed Charles Woodson off. Fuck Steve Smith. I really hate that guy.
  • I also hate Jake Delhomme. Is there a quarterback playing today that whines and pouts more than this douche? No. There is not.
  • I was happy to see Brandon Jackson get into the mix. He flashed true ability and at this stage, he is a more complete back than Ryan Grant. However, the Packers need to throw the screen pass out of our playbook. First, they telegraph it and it never surprises anyone. Second, the coaching staff always has the back run a pattern that makes it impossible for them to catch the ball in stride. For whatever reason, the Packers’ screen plays are simply worthless.
  • Note to Bob Sanders: Throw in a blitz now and then. Just a thought.
  • I loved how Brady Poppinga’s helmet magically fell off without a flag being thrown. The Packers deserve a lot of the penalties thrown their way, but I feel like their opponents have gotten away with murder this season. What gives?

The Packers’ season is in the toilet. Regardless of how it turns out, there have been some bright spots and reason to believe in a turnaround next season, but only with some changes.

I don’t expect Mike McCarthy to be fired. He and Ted Thompson are attached at the hip. However, I’d like to see Bob Sanders and the Packers’ special teams staff get the boot. Green Bay cannot continue to give teams such a field position advantage. I wonder if cutting Tracy White was such a good idea…

Key personnel areas need to be addressed as well. The Packers need a difference-making defensive end opposite Aaron Kampman. Maybe that player is Cullen Jenkins.

I also wonder about Ryan Pickett’s effectiveness. The Packers need a bigger, Grady Jackson/Pat Williams type who can actually clog things up.

The offensive line also needs to be revamped. The Packers have made a huge investment in Rodgers. They need a line that can protect him, open it up for the run game and not commit stupid penalties. Right now, the Packers don’t have any of that.

I’m already scouring the 2009 mock drafts.

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