Thursday, November 24, 2016

Packers lose at Washington and other Thanksgiving musings

So, Packer fans...we've had to let the debacle in D.C. pass for a few days before writing about it. You know, the Sunday night fiasco in which the Pack was exposed in ways we didn't imagine were possible. But possible it was...and is going forward, too, with no relief immediately in sight.

Let's look at the reality of it, shall? The Packers' injuries -- which all teams admittedly experience throughout the course of a long season -- have particularly impacted the defense. Hence our witnessing something on the order of a billion points or so being given up during this current losing streak. Well, OK, perhaps not a billion points, but certainly of sieve-like proportions. The result is a secondary lacking coverage speed and teams going deep for huge gains time after time. The linebacking corps has now also been hit, with the real possibility that Clay Matthews may have to slide back inside because of the lack of depth at that position now with injuries to Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez. The lack of pass rush from the defensive line, however, is hard to figure out. It's somewhat inexplicable, although explanations are offered in the form of coaching catch-phrases on the order of "We'll get it fixed." With no pass rush, and the other issues on defense, getting it fixed isn't something we're likely to see any time soon.

As for the offense, it is finally putting up some points. But the slow starts and the playing from behind mode in which the offense has been operating for most of this season also doesn't bode well. The woes on the offensive side of the ball are well documented, chief among them no running game and receivers who fail to get open. Plus there's the Aaron Rodgers question: what is up with Number 12? He's put up some good numbers the last few weeks in losing efforts but something still doesn't seem right as evidenced by the 9-12 record going back through 21 games into last season.

A team that was a pre-season pick to go to and possibly win the Super Bowl, a team that was favored to win every game it would play, this team is now two games behind in the NFC North with six games to go. Making the playoffs seems like an impossibility at the moment; only two teams in the NFC are behind the Packers at this point: Chicago and San Francisco. How's that for a reality check? Ewwww!!! Lot of teams are ahead of the Pack. Winning the division will be the only sure bet to get into the playoffs and anyone who would put his/her money on that happening this season...well, I have some marshland in central Wisconsin I'd like to sell you.

Still things to be thankful for today
Still, it's Thanksgiving. And despite all the woes which the Packers are dealing with this season, this writer, for one, is still able to give thanks that I am a fan of the most-storied franchise in football: the Green Bay Packers. I'm thankful that I am an owner of this team...yup, a shareholder in the only community-owned team in American professional sports. I'm thankful for all the wins, all the great players, all the magical moment. Yes, not too happy at present with the state of things. But we need to take the long view. When we do, we can all say proudly...Go Pack Go!!!