Calvin Johnson: slam dunk

Let’s get this over with. The Green Bay Packers dropped a heartless, disgusting game 40-10 to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.

Worse, uninspired football, I do not recall from the Packers. Here are five more thoughts on that travesty.

Enough Marshall Newhouse already
So, center Evan Dietrich-Smith goes down. That moves right guard T.J. Lang to center. Who do the Packers bring in? The human calamity Marshall Newhouse. So, first, they stick him at right guard, which I don’t get. Newhouse has only played tackle in his NFL career. The last time this happened, the Packers moved Don Barclay to right guard and put this shit stain at right tackle. Granted, he was a fucking joke there, but at least he’s familiar with the position. Anyway, Newhouse predictably got dominated by the Lions defensive tackles. So the Packers took their worst offensive lineman and stuck him in a place where he was matched up with the opposition’s strength. That’s brilliant. Second, can’t we at least get a look at Derek Sherrod? One, he couldn’t be any worse than Newhouse. Two, we did waste a first-round pick on him not too long ago. Three, we keep hearing he’s going to play at some point. Well, there was your opportunity to play him, Mike. Sherrod must have screwed Mike’s wife or something. In any case, Marshall Newhouse doesn’t belong in the NFL.

Here’s an idea — run to the outside
The Packers tried to establish the run game early against the Lions. It went nowhere. Eddie Lacy had only 16 yards on 10 carries. In the second half, the Packers were pretty much forced to abandon the run because they were getting pounded. However, I don’t understand the game plan when they were running it. Everything was up the middle. Again, that’s the strength of the Lions team. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley occupy the middle of the Lions defense. So the plan is run right at those guys? Huh? How about a toss or a sweep? Don Barclay was back at right tackle. Last I checked he can run block. Maybe get behind him and get to the outside? Nope. We’ll just pound it away right at Suh and Fairley. That will totally work.

Here are some fun stats
The Lions only punted once on Thursday. Matt Flynn lost two fumbles and threw one pick. He led the team to just three points. Detroit had just two more drives than the Packers, but 23 more first downs. Detroit was 9-12 on third down. The Lions outgained the Packers by 435 yards. On the ground, the Lions had an advantage of 217 yards. Two Lions ran for more than 90 yards. The Lions held the ball more than 20 minutes longer than the Packers. Detroit had seven sacks and nine QB hits. The Packers had one of each. Green Bay missed eight tackles. Detroit missed none. That’s domination in every aspect of the game.

At some point, we have to look at coaching
I’ve been reluctant to jump on this bandwagon and I’m not fully on it yet, but it’s time to call into question the coaches in Green Bay. Frankly, I think the game plan and decision making of the coaching staff has been shit for about a month now. See above. See last week, when the Packers started big-armed Scott Tolzien and then refused to take any deep shots. See the special teams unit that can’t cover a return. See the continued issues with tackling on defense. Oh, we’re gonna fix that. See that same refrain I’ve been hearing since early in the season. See the shitty excuse we’ve been hearing week after week of, well, we’ve got to play better as a football team. No shit? I see you’ve been doing a lot to make that happen. You know, since you tell it to me every week after your team goes out and embarrasses itself. See the complete lack of passion and pride. I don’t know. I hear a lot of people saying that someone or everyone needs to get fired. I’m not totally there yet, but I’m starting to think maybe it’s time to gut this thing and start over. Not in season, but after. There’s obviously some talent on this football team, but the Packers aren’t getting everything they can out of it.

I bitched about Calvin Johnson, but…
Yesterday, I noted how the Packers couldn’t cover Calvin Johnson on the slant. That’s true, but overall, Sam Shields actually had a decent day against Johnson. In fact, I’d say Shields is one of the only guys on the Packers defense who had a decent day. He had a pick and knocked down two other balls. Johnson finished with six catches for 101 yards and a TD. Against the best receiver in the game, those numbers are fine. No, where the Packers really sucked a fat dick was against the run. I mentioned the stats above. The primary reason — and the primary reason they lost the game — is because A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones are terrible. Seriously. They miss tackles, they get run over, they get dragged around after contact and they get swallowed up by blockers. Ted, take a look at San Francisco. They have some inside linebackers. Those are what inside linebackers are supposed to look and play like. Not the two jokers you are in love with and force onto the field because you gave them big-money deals. One more thing. Take that contract offer to B.J. Raji off the table. It’s now two weeks in a row he hasn’t made a tackle or any impact at all on the game.

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