Hey, Packers fans. Welcome to our postgame live chat. The Packers have dropped four of five, and while last night's loss in Minnesota didn't technically eliminate them from the playoffs, their season needs a minor miracle to have any relevancy the rest of the way. So I'm sure you have plenty of questions. Let's get to them.
Yeah, that's pretty much where things stand.
I think if (when?) the head coaching job becomes vacant, the Packers need to fill it with an offensive coach, and it's probably preferable to go with a young visionary type over someone with coaching experience. The NFL game is going where its talent base has come from, which is college. So I wouldn't rule out a college head coach. But it's really hard to know what Mark Murphy and/or Brian Gutekunst will do. First question for me is who would make the hire, Murphy or Gutekunst. Lots to unpack in the coming weeks.
I think it came down to a quarterback the Packers need to play close to perfect playing much below that level. Look, there are a ton of things going wrong when a team falls to 4-6-1 and loses four in a five-game stretch. But this is a QB league. When the QB plays well, the team wins. When he doesn't, it loses. Pretty simple.
He played 44 snaps (83 percent) last night, so it's not like he was taken off the field. I think you've seen opposing defenses adjust to him, as you knew they would after he had a couple big games. Now, EQ St. Brown is getting more of that soft treatment, and Rodgers is going to him (five targets vs. 2 for MVS). I imagine MVS will bounce back when he learns how to adjust to more attention. He's too good not to.
Yeah, it's been the same script each week. That's among the most frustrating parts of this slide. The Packers have gotten early leads, can't hold it. They've given themselves a chance to win in the second half on the road against good teams, but they don't seize it.
I'm not an evaluator or executive, and I honestly haven't asked around on head coaching candidates yet. But I'd probably give Kliff Kingsbury a look. The thing is, if the Packers go that route, having a strong defensive coordinator will be important. So I think keeping Mike Pettine is vital.
I think not making the playoffs would be a nonstarter for him returning. The thing is, there's four things they can do at the end of the year: extend McCarthy multiple years, extend him one year, have him return and not extend him, or fire him. They're not going to have him return as a lame duck, and a one-year extension effectively makes him a lame duck also. If they miss the playoffs for a second straight year, I don't see the justification for a multiple-year extension. That leaves you with termination.
Mike Pettine is under contract with the Packers next season, so that's very possible.
He's just got to get on schedule. That's probably the surest way to eliminate the missed throws. We've seen this from him before. Practically the entire 2015 season was like this. It's not so much the scheme and play calling that's wrong with the offense. The entire timing is off, and that starts with the quarterback.
Wow, I'm really stunned this is still getting asked. It's been almost three full seasons. Think that ship has sailed.
I read Andy Benoit's article. I think he's spot on.
Here's the thing to keep in mind too: if the Packers fire Mike McCarthy, that doesn't mean he's a bad coach. Mike McCarthy is actually a very good coach. I know that's hard for some Packers fans to imagine, but you don't win as much as the Packers have with McCarthy without him being a good coach. And if all that winning is only about Aaron Rodgers, then why aren't he Packers winning now? It's a QB league, yes, but it's also a coach's game. Sometimes, good coaches get fired because there needs to be a change. Same thing happened to Andy Reid in Philly. Andy Reid is doing just fine in Kansas City. I'd fully expect Mike McCarthy to find another job if the Packers do fire him, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he won with another team.
One of the best compliments I've heard about McCarthy as an offensive coach is the flexibility in his offensive scheme. Personnel guys love it, because it gives them a larger net when evaluating talent. It's also important because injuries are a fact of life in the NFL, and McCarthy has been a master over the years of adjusting to whatever attrition his team faces. As Benoit points out in his article, McCarthy has done that again this season with the receiver position. They're playing two rookie receivers all the time; clearly they don't have the same demands as Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison. That MVS and EQ have been so successful this early is a testament to Aaron Rodgers, but also Mike McCarthy for creating opportunities for them to succeed. There are positives, no doubt. They just don't matter much when the team is 4-6-1.
Aaron Rodgers has not played at an elite level this season. I think it's premature to say he'll never play at an elite level again. This same thing happened through 2015 and the first half of 2016. Then run the table happened, and Rodgers played out of his mind. Rodgers turns 35 next month, but that's actually not very old by today's current QB standards. Drew Brees turns 40 in January. Tom Brady is already there. Aaron Rodgers should have plenty of good football ahead of him. Just because he hasn't played his best this season doesn't mean he won't again.
I don't think they're there yet, but he needs to show he can stay on the field. The greatest ability is availability, as they say. When healthy, Kevin King is their best cornerback. But his constant injuries have to be frustrating. You wonder if his body just can't handle the wear and tear.
That's pretty much the industry norm, so yes.
Oh, I don't think Aaron Rodgers needs his legs to win. His right arm is second to none. It's just that his legs can enhance his overall game. Frankly, for the time being, Rodgers would probably benefit if he was less mobile. Would force him to stay in the pocket and throw on schedule.
I've always thought the game's speed might be a problem for him. I still do. There are other elements to like, like his length and strength and ball skills. But speed is everything at cornerback.
That goes both ways. Would Aaron Rodgers be Aaron Rodgers without the coaching he got from Mike McCarthy early in his career? We'll never know, because that's not reality.
No. It'll be about what it's always about: money.
I think this defense is good enough to win a Super Bowl with if you paired it with, say, the 2014 Packers offense. Or the late-2016 Packers offense. Or, obviously, the 2010 Packers offense. Crap, I made this about the offense again. So much for that break, Tom.