October 10, 2010

Packers 13 - 16 Redskins: We've seen this shit before

Just a horrendous game all around for the Packers. Once again they looked great in the first quarter, putting up 220 yards (including a 70+ yard run from Brandon Jackson). But Rodgers's favorite target, TE Jermichael Finley, was knocked out in the first Packers series after injuring his knee making a tackle after a Donald Lee fumble. Then DE Ryan Pickett went down with a knee injury of his own. Then Donald Lee was taken out of the game with a shoulder injury after the Packers lone touchdown. The offense sputtered after that, marred by a rash of dropped passes, yet more dumb penalties (some of which weren't even called), and unnecessary short passing plays.

Seriously, Packers coaching staff, you have one of the top 5 QBs in the NFL playing against a shaky pass defense and you're throwing dinky 2-4 yard passes? What the hell? Did Greg Jennings even play in this game? Even when the Packers threw the ball down the field the receivers kept dropping the passes. As the game went on Brian Orakpo got going and just began destroying Bulaga and especially Chad Clifton.

But the biggest blow by far was Clay Matthews's hamstring injury, which completely hamstrung the defense. The Packers were all over the Redskins backfield with Matthews tearing around back there - once he left the field Washington started moving the ball again. They also finally realized that they could throw the ball with impunity across the middle with Peprah and a banged up Collins at safety, and we saw plenty of it in the 4th quarter and OT.

Even when McCarthy was right he still was wrong. Lots of Packers fans are complaining that the Packers went for the TD on 4th and inches and were denied. It was absolutely the right move. Even if you ignore some of the secondary chances (like fumbles/ints and the resulting field position of a failure), if you think it's a 50-50 chance that you get your 6 inches you have to go for it - the expected value of it is 3.5 points vs the 3 pts for a field goal. That said, what stupid play calls from MM on those goal line plays. Following a great run by Kuhn to get the ball to the 1 yard line, MM dials up a QB sneak by Rodgers which fails. Then on 4th and inches they call some dumb short passing play. Look, John Kuhn is good at exactly one thing, and that is getting a few inches. Why the hell not use him there?

There's plenty of rage going around about Mason Crosby but I don't fault him for missing a field goals from 48 and 52 yards. Those are no gimmes.

Early reports say that Matthews and Finley will be out for at least one week. That's not great news. To top it all off Rodgers apparently had a concussion in OT. FML.

Game ball: Clay Matthews

The worst part of this loss is that the shitty, shitty, Bears, who watched the Packers beat themselves 2 weeks ago, are now atop the division despite two awful weeks against the Giants and Panthers.

Addendum: Starters now injured
QB Aaron Rodgers (concussion?)
RB Ryan Grant (ankle)
TE Jermichael Finley (knee)
TE Donald Lee (shoulder)
RT Mark Tauscher (shoulder)
DT Justin Harrell
LB Nick Barnett (wrist)
LB Brandon Chillar (Shoulder)
CB Al Harris (knee)
SS Atari Bigby
SS Morgan Burnett (knee)