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Bart's Credit/Blame: GB at MIN

Bart Winkler
October 16, 2017 - 4:40 pm

Four hours of a radio show is not enough time to give everyone the proper credit and to assign everyone the proper blame, so here are some of the guys that need extra highlighting in the Packers 23-10 loss to the Vikings on Sunday.

BLAMES

Mike McCarthy - If I were to turn Sunday's game into an episode of a television show, I would borrow the technique that directors use when a character hears bad news for the first time. You've seen the type of scene - a person is in the doctors office and they hear they have a disease. Everything around them then goes quiet as we focus on the main character. The camera zooms in and his mind goes blank. He is unable to process the news which has just devastated him. 

That's how I would direct the scene where Mike McCarthy sees Aaron Rodgers wincing on the ground in pain. McCarthy shut down in this game after the injury and I think it might be his worst coaching performance to date. I mean, I get his concern. With a healthy Rodgers, there was beginning to be a Super Bowl feel around this team. Rodgers was playing at an MVP level and the team was winning despite a laughable amount of injuries. It's going to be understandably jarring to see your franchise quarterback go down, sure. But this happened on the team's second drive of the first half. You still had three plus quarters of a football game to coach, and McCarthy failed. His conservative playcalling did Brett Hundley no favors, and with it he began to project a lack of confidence not only in his backup quarterback but in the rest of his players.

This was still a winnable game even with Rodgers down and Mike McCarthy coached his way out of any chance of a victory. I realize it's typically a waste of time to prepare an entire game plan for Brett Hundley in the off chance Rodgers does get injured, but you have to still attempt to win the game. Instead, he coached out of fear. McCarthy was too focused on the Rodgers injury than he was the game. It sounds crazy but the Rodgers injury should not have been his first priority on Sunday. Not until after that game was over. You only have sixteen chances to win football games in the NFL, and Mac essentially punted one to a division rival because he was too focused on getting Rodgers' tests results. If the NFC North does come down to Packers/Vikings, it will be this game that gave Minnesota favor. 

And that's on McCarthy.

Martellus Bennett - Dude, make a catch. One of the playcalling problems I had with McCarthy was when Hundley did come in for Rodgers on a third down, McCarthy did what everyone expected of him and ran the ball. Nothing came out of it and the Packers had punted. BUT - it should have been a first down, because once again Martellus Bennett dropped a wide open pass that would have more than enough of a solid gain. Then, Hundley could have come in on a first down, you could have ran it a couple of times to get the jitters out and who knows what would have happened from there. I understand a large part of Marty's game is blocking but there were several plays he didn't even do that right. Figure it out man, or the wonderful things you have planned in your post football career are going to be accomplished a lot sooner than you planned.

Clay Matthews - I don't necessarily have a problem with his play, he's been having a good season. And he was able to return a fumble return into the red zone (although he almost gave back possession when fumbling the football). But his post game comments were misguided. Asked how he thought Hundley played, Clay responded with a pause and then suggested that the media should ask Brett. I don't know. I'm all for guys being honest in their media availability but I would have liked to see Clay Matthews show his support for Hundley. The locker room was too depressed for my liking. It's one thing to realize what kind of once in a lifetime talent you have in Aaron Rodgers, it's another to completely think you are lost without him. Have some confidence in yourselves boys. You didn't make it to the NFL by accident.

Ty Montgomery - I'll add Ty Montgomery here as well since I used a picture of him for this article. I'm more concerned about the more effort rushing the football. The touchdown he dropped was bad, but Hundley put way too much juice on it. I'm not going to include Hundley here because it's hard to judge a guy for being put in a situation his coach was not ready for.

 

CREDITS

Blake Martinez - Blake had a really nice game. He had a great tip that lead to an interception and something about a lot of tackles and man what a bummer it is that Rodgers is injured.

Kenny Clark - Forced fumble or something good like that.

Jordy Nelson - I mean probably?

 

A depressing game, but all hope is not lost. Will this team win the Super Bowl? Probably not. But the NFL is the most unpredictable league we have. The results this past weekend prove that. The Ravens have won two Super Bowls in the last 15 years with mediocre quarterbacks. Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings. This year's NFC is wide open and the North is as lackluster as usual. I don't know what's going to happen in the next two months but let's wait before pressing the panic button. Give McCarthy, Hundley, and whatever offensive line we put out there a week to prepare for the Saints. Utilize the bye week. Come back that following Monday Night against the Lions. It's not impossible to do the impossible. But the Packers need to show a lot more initiative and confidence than they did this weekend. Should be interesting. We'll be here.

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