Commenter Stu presents: The Packers' Increasingly Lost Season Preview
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- September 5, 2013 - 12:45 PM
Every team starts the NFL season undefeated. But some teams are less undefeated than others, as evidenced by the Green Bay Packers, who appear fated to another lost season.
I say this not to provoke or anger the passionate fans of a formerly great team. Their now-tarnished brand will no doubt provide some measure of entertainment to the Green-and-Gold faithful, who love their team through thick and thin. But if they had the necessary distance to view their team with a critical eye, they’d see what is obvious to all reasonable observers: They. Are. Doomed.
Here are 8 reasons why it’s all over before it begins for the storied, troubled franchise:
- The defense. When last we saw the Packers defense, Colin Kaepernick was storming through them like Eddie Lacy through a Culver’s menu. Ted Thompson addressed this by not firing Dom Capers and not improving the defense. THIS IS WHY HE’S SO WELL RESPECTED, EVERYONE. Instead, they sent Dom Capers to night school (seriously!), so he could figure out this whole read-option thing that the kids are into these days with their twerking and emojis and whatnot.
- The quarterback. When he wasn’t getting on his tippy-toes to ride the big kid rides this summer, Aaron Rodgers was defending himself against former teammates, getting embarrassed by his very best friend and driving away other quarterbacks that dared set foot in the Green Bay locker room. Now, with B.J. Coleman, Graham Harrell and Vince Young chased off, Rodgers has to deal with the specter of Seneca Wallace -- who at 5-11 is at least shorter than Rodgers, a notable feat. On one hand, the aging prima donna still gives Green Bay the best chance of winning; on the other, this team absolutely needs to find an answer at quarterback for the future, something neither the diminutive Rodgers nor the intriguing Wallace gives them. And when the 49ers beat the Packers again in the season opener, the first question Mike McCarthy will be asked after “So, probably should have done something about that defense, huh?” may very well be, “Who is your starting quarterback?” Woof.
- The running game. Scourge of Ashwaubenon buffets Eddie Lacy allegedly was impressive in the training camp and the preseason. Of course, so was Ron Dayne, once upon a time. Can Dayne 2.0 succeed where the original release failed? I’m skeptical.
- The offensive line. Even if Lacy doesn’t eat his way out of a regular role in the offense, and even if he’ll only be ignored while the tiny quarterback tries to play hero-ball yet again, there’s also the question of the shaky, banged-up offensive line. Even when healthy in 2012, they were either too tall for Rodgers to peer over or too bad at their job to protect him. Now, rookie David Bakhtari is expected to replace the injured Bryan Bulaga at left tackle. It should be fun to see how the Lambeau faithful, who grew up in Joe McCarthy country and have been getting primed in the parking lot all day, will handle it when a tackle of Iranian descent gets beat on a spin move and Rodgers gets creamed. I’m sure it will be respectful.
- Receivers. Any time you lose your best receiver to one of your divisional betters, have your best remaining receiver miss all of training camp, and continue employing Jermichael Finley, well, there’s a reason this isn’t called Increasingly Promising Season. But maybe Randall Cobb will thrive in triple coverage.
- Clay Matthews. It’s a true fact: anyone who unironically uses the nickname “Claymaker” has never felt love, and is deeply damaged inside because of it.
- The rest of the division. Chicago seems primed for one of those goofy, out-of-nowhere 12-win seasons that they put up every four years. Minnesota has the best running back on planet Earth, a GM who actually tries to improve his team, and a lot to prove after a surprising 2012 playoff appearance. Detroit can beat anyone when they stop beating themselves. All three of these teams have a chance to do something special in 2013. Can the Green Bay Packers say the same? As another increasingly lost season begins, the answer is an emphatic, thundering, “No.”
© 2014 Star Tribune