On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Dec. 21, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Lacy, Clinton-Dix appearance Packers Eddie Lacy and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are scheduled to appear at the Big Red Kettle at Bay Park Square Mall on behalf of the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign.
  • Sat., Dec. 27, 2014 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera) Mike Flanagan and Marco Rivera are scheduled to appear at the Packers Pro Shop on Saturday, December 27th, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera)

    TTZ: Mike Flanagan
    Club Level: Marco Rivera

  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers vs. Detroit Lions Packers vs. Detroit Lions
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM CDT Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean concert Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney have announced that their tours, The Burn It Down Tour and The Big Revival Tour presented by Corona Light, will collide for 10 stadium shows next summer, including Lambeau Field on Saturday, June 20, 2015.  More on-sale information and special guests will be revealed over the coming weeks.

News

Print
RSS

Packers must become more physical

Posted Nov 25, 2012


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Truth be known, it wasn’t that big. That’s not something a coach is going to tell his team, but the fact of the matter is the Packers’ 38-10 loss to the Giants on Sunday night, a loss that hurts because of the pride it dented, will likely have cost the Packers’ nothing, as long as they win in Chicago and finish no worse than tied with the Bears at season’s end.

“It’s one game. We have five games left, four against division opponents. Everything is right in front of us. Win the division. That’s our goal, to win the division,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

He gets it. It’s about tiebreakers. He understands that last night’s loss will not have damaged the Packers’ pursuit of the NFC North title, as long as they start winning again.

Should they do that, and win in Chicago, the Packers will own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Win or lose last night, the Packers likely would need to win in Chicago to win the division title.

So that part is still OK. What’s not OK is the Packers’ failure to protect their quarterback. With last night’s five sacks, Rodgers has been bagged a startling 37 times. That has to change for the Packers to have any hope of taking this season to the championship level.

“A couple of days and I’ll be OK,” Rodgers said when his postgame press conference began with a question about his health following a night of being chased by the Giants’ front four. The crazy part is that Jason Pierre-Paul, the most feared of those rushers, is the one guy that didn’t get a sack; he didn’t even get a hurry. Pierre-Paul went sackless because his teammates beat him in their race to Rodgers.

“They did a lot of things everybody else has been doing against us, two high,” Rodgers said, referring to two safeties in the deep middle of the field. “We didn’t execute very well.”

The Giants are able to do one thing very few teams in the league are able to do: Get pressure with four, which allows them to cover with seven. It’s a leaguewide belief the intent to rush the passer doesn’t even begin until a fifth rusher is included in the scheme.

Truth be known, the Giants are built to beat the Packers, which is to say the Giants are built for the modern game. They’re built to beat a team that lives and dies with the pass.

“You have to run the ball effectively, throw at a high percentage,” Rodgers said of the ingredients for combating the Giants’ pass rush.

The Packers weren’t able to do enough of either. Should the Packers and Giants make it into the postseason, it would be favorable to avoid the Giants for as long as possible. Hey, it’s a game of matchups.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy was in no mood to find anything positive in his team’s play. The coach was an exercise in tough love in his postgame press conference, and that might turn out to be the one great positive from a game that, to a man, embarrassed a proud football team.

The Packers got whipped; there’s no denying it. The tape of this one will demand that they become a more physical team, because that’s where the Packers fell short of the Giants, and this is a good time of the season to recommit to the physical element of the game because you will not beat teams such as the Bears and 49ers without playing a physical brand of football.

“I thought they were a step ahead of us and a step faster. I thought they were more physical than us,” McCarthy said of what he told his team. “We have too many good people, too many talented people in our locker room to perform like that. I did a poor job tonight.”

The Vikings will likely see a different team this Sunday than the one they’ll see on tape this week. The Vikings will likely see a more physical team. Will they see a team that protects its quarterback better than it did against the Giants?

That’s a question the Packers must answer in the affirmative, because a team built to throw the ball must, first and foremost, protect the man who throws that ball. Jared Allen is coming to town, followed by the Lions, possessors of a front four to rival the Giants’.

Any hope of becoming a hot team late in the season begins with protecting Rodgers.

“Teams are going to play us like this. We’re going to have to execute,” Rodgers said. “I’ve never been on this side of this kind of loss before. Hopefully, we’ll remember this feeling and not have this embarrassment happen again.”

If this loss has that effect on the Packers, it will have been a big game.

Additional coverage - Nov. 25
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Final Thoughts: Packers at Buccaneers

    (3:08) Posted 12 hours ago

    Packers.com's Vic Ketchman and Mike Spofford preview the Green Bay Packers' Sunday matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vic and Mike talk about what's at stake, players to watch, and ways the Packers can win.

  • Trailer: Packers at Buccaneers

    (2:27) Posted Dec 19, 2014

    The Green Bay Packers head to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers in Week 16, following a loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 15.

  • Playbook: Green Bay Packers vs. Buccaneers

    (2:23) Posted Dec 19, 2014

    The "Playbook" crew talks about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his struggles in Tampa Bay.