Besides the normal black depression that all Packer fans are feeling right now after a loss, we are all dealing with the knowledge that we let a clearly inferior team beat us. It happens every year and I had hoped that we would get through this miracle season without it but you knew it was coming: the game the Packers mail in.
I should have seen it coming! We had one weak-ass opponent left on the schedule. Not going anywhere, no reason to think that they have anything but “please don’t hurt me” left in the tank. Last year we saw it against the Redskins and the Dolphins (and, to be honest, in the first Bears and Lions games) and here it was again!
Everybody and his mother are going to be all over this, looking at the loss of Jennings and the problems along the offensive line and the pressures of trying to accomplish the perfect season...blah, blah, yadda, yadda. You want to know why the Packers lost? I got it here for ya:
- Jordy Nelson: In what should have been the biggest opportunity of his career, Mr. Nelson was flagged for two offensive interference plays in the first quarter (first was good, second was totally bogus) and ended us with a pedestrian two catches for 29 yards. And he got flagged one other time for a false start.
- Jermicheal Finley: He ended the day as the top Packer receiver for the afternoon (3 catches, 83 yards) and set up the first Packer TD of the day but his three (or four) drops in the first half set the tone for the rest of the day. J-Mike makes those grabs and the Packers are maybe up by 10 at halftime. I am totally over him.
- Aaron Rodgers: As good as A-Rodg has been in 2011, he stunk up the joint today. 17 for 35, 1 TD and 235 yards. An OK game for most QB’s but pretty poor based on his production so far. He was high, low and all over the place. He should have been picked off at least two times and maybe three.
- The entire Packer defense: one would think that forcing four field goals in four KC trips inside the 20 would be total victory for the defense but one would be wrong in that assessment. Those drives, while ultimately not successful in scoring a TD, chewed up large chunks of clock and kept Aaron Rodgers and his offense sitting on the sidelines. Win for the Chiefs. And if you add in a lack of turnovers (the Packer D never even got a glimmer) you should have seen the loss coming.
- Mike McCarthy: With a stuttering offense, MM decides to attempt a 59 yard field goal. It missed but a defensive penalty allowed a second chance and darn if that one didn’t miss too. In the first quarter, those are the WRONG DAMN CALLS! You punt the freaking ball and you let your D do their job. And if KC didn’t have a direct line into the Packer huddle, it sure looked like it.
- The KC defense: No one else has been able to do it and I still don’t know how the Chiefs did it but they covered literally everybody and were still able to put all kinds of ugly pressure on Aaron Rodgers. No doubt some of that is due to the unsettled nature of the Packer O-line but you have to give a huge amount of credit to the KC secondary.
- The KC offense: If the KC defense looked like they had a direct line into the Packer huddles, the defense might have been even more in the know. When the Packers brought pressure, they had a screen called. When the Packers dropped off, the Chiefs found the seams. You want to know the difference maker? When the Chiefs needed a catch, the Packer defenders were playing soft and there was always a man open, completely undefended. Conversely, there was not one (no a singe damn one!) Packer wide-out who was open all day! Every single pass was contended. Even the completions were into tight coverage.
So you and I can go on an on all day long about how the Packers missed Jennings or they were looking past the Chiefs. Those are all just excuses. The reason the Packers blew their chance at a perfect season was that they were out-played, out-executed and out-coached (by Romeo Crennel!) in every phase of the game!
So now the 24/7 NFL media will be able, with a clear conscience, to devote 100% of their coverage to Tim Tebow and the Broncos. I’m sure the Packer’s pursuit of history was just a distraction from the true biggest story of the year. And maybe that’s an OK thing. Mike McCarthy said it best after the game: “We were beaten.” At 13-1, the Packers are still the #1 seed in the playoffs. They are still the best team in the NFL and they are still the favorites to get to and win the Super Bowl. The shot at legendary status is all done with. We can quite worrying about when and if Mike McCarthy will sit his starters. There is no reason to do so now. Now all they need to do is win.
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