Hey folks, Ryan Wood here. Just arrived at Lambeau Field. Ready to field your questions after the Packers thrilling comeback win against the lowly San Francisco 49ers on Monday night football.
Hey, you want to get me to answer your question, that hyperbole is a good way to do it. Thought you were referring to Aaron Rodgers there until you said beat writer. My honest assessment? I think it's 50-50. Still a lot of season left, and plenty of time to turn this thing around. But I do think Mike McCarthy has entered survival mode. If things go bad, and they could in a hurry with the five-game stretch coming up, it isn't hard at all to see the Packers making a coaching change at season's end. They left that door open extending McCarthy's contract only one season a year ago.
Too many to win, is the short answer.
No. That's exactly what you should be thinking. A win is a win is a win, but the Packers could have used more than a win last night. They needed something to hang their hat on going into the bye, and that brutal five-game stretch. They didn't get it.
I haven't gone back and watched the film yet, so hard to know what it is you're specifically referring to. Generally, that is the rule, to come back to the quarterback in scramble mode. It's something the Packers preach on constantly, given how fundamental the extended play is to their offense.
Clay Matthews did have a sack last night, although it seemed he was fortunate to not get called for roughing, seeing how he landed on C.J. Beathard every bit as much as he landed on Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith. Look, he's a serviceable player; he's not a $10 million-per-year player. If he was making $5 million, I think the perception of him would change significantly. But he's not, and with the $11.3 million he's making this year comes big expectations. Having 1.5 sacks in six games doesn't meet those, and that play you were referring to was especially bad. So I can understand the fans' frustrations
The Packers aren't making an in-season coaching change no matter how bad things get.
Yeah, the penalties are especially revealing. Discipline penalties reflect coaching. You're right about accountability, too. Tony Brown, for example, has done some nice things, and he seems like a decent prospect, but you can't continue to condone the dumb penalties he's had these past two weeks. There needs to be consequences for mistakes. We'll see if that happens.
Of course. Look, things ended really bad with Andy Reid in Philadelphia. The Eagles were 8-8 in his penultimate season, then slipped to 4-12 in his final year. Makes the Packers 3-2-1 start look blistering hot in comparison. It was time for him to go. He got a job in Kansas City THE VERY NEXT SEASON, and look where the Chiefs are now. If the Packers parted with Mike McCarthy, he'd probably have a job next year if he wanted one.
Really appreciate the kind words, Terry. As to your question, it's pretty clear the Packers are lacking a safety net on vertical routes. A smart coach like Kyle Shanahan (or Sean McVay, or Bill Belichick, or Adam Gase, you get the point) is going to keep going deep on Kentrell Brice until something changes. It's stunning how quickly the safety position has become a weakness. As recently as the start of last year, it looked like the biggest strength on the Packers roster, outside starting quarterback and left tackle. Now, not so much.
Packers could lose at home to the Dolphins too. That's been a sneaky game since the schedule was released, and it's no less sneaky with the Dolphins a surprising 4-2.
That's a great question, both for St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. It's a fine line the Packers have to balance. Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison still comprise the Packers top three receivers, obviously along with Davante Adams. But the two rookies have come a long way, so much so I'm not sure the gap is that great. And as they've shown, the best way to develop is by playing. I think the Packers have to find a way to continue giving them snaps. It'll be interesting to see how Mike McCarthy balances that.
Hi Tom, and thank you. The Packers defense is awfully hard to figure out. At times, they look like one of the worst units in the league. Other times, they look like one of the best. You can't say the Packers defense is good; good defenses don't give up 24 points at home to a 1-4 49ers team and make C.J. Beathard look like Steve Young. But they've also shown flashes of serious potential, especially covering the perimeter of the field. I guess they're perfectly mediocre, which should be enough with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, but it has not been.
Wouldn't call it a miracle to win two of the next five. A miracle would be running the table. I do think winning two of the next five accounts for likely the best-case scenario. (Maybe three if they can sneak an upset against L.A. or New England, or win at Seattle and at Minnesota. Both scenarios are possible, but unlikely.) To win two, the Packers most likely would need to beat the Dolphins and split their road trips to Seattle and Minnesota. That's difficult but doable.
A quick look at the numbers, and the Packers have been called for 4 defensive pass interference penalties this season, which ranks 25th in the NFL. So, yes, they probably do a little more grabbing. Only a little though, because they've only been called for one defensive holding.
I think you hit it on the head, Dean. I can't speak to what happened before I got on the beat for the 2014 season, but the next five games is easily the toughest stretch in that time.
Oops, clicked two questions there. I'll tell you, Dman, Brian Gutekunst and Mike Pettine are about the last people I'd blame. Ted Thompson clearly left Gutekunst a mess to clean up; it was always going to take more than one offseason. Pettine is no more the problem than Dom Capers before him. I always said I didn't find Capers much at fault, because you can't play good defense without good players. Look at the Packers recent drafts, and there's been a lot of busts on the defensive side. As for converting CBs into safeties, that's just not something you do if the player can play corner effectively. And all the names you mentioned can. Corner is a much less forgiving position than even safety, so you don't move your good corners off that position. The Packers will need to draft a safety next spring, along with pass rushers. That's less than ideal, considering they just took Josh Jones in the second round last year.
Yeah, it's been an issue this year. They've been called for five delay-of-game penalties, which is 23rd in the league.
You're not going to win every game by three touchdowns, unless you're the 2007 Patriots. And even they didn't get a ring.
Yes, and they were aggressive. They just lost to an offer most people in the league would consider better.
Nah, deferring is the way to go. Much more important to start the second half with possession than the first.
You're right, inconsistency isn't uncommon at all in a league rife with parity. What is uncommon is having Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. The Packers should be held to a higher standard because of that.