Hey folks, Ryan Wood here. I'm sure there are plenty of questions after the Packers dispiriting loss to the Ravens. Let's get right to them.
Yeah, I think it's certainly fair to expect Brett Hundley to be ahead of where he is at this point in his career. Now, keep in mind that despite his three seasons in the system, he hasn't really played. So he's effectively a rookie on his snap count, and he's sure playing like it. Maybe it shouldn't have been surprising for Hundley to struggle. It's folly to think backup quarterbacks can play like starters. In the NFL, starting quarterbacks get P-A-I-D. There's a reason for that. But you need your backup to give you a chance to win, and Hundley routinely is not doing that. So, yes, the expectations should be higher, especially with Mike McCarthy firmly providing his support in public.
During the winding trail of my career, I happened to cover Auburn football in 2012. So the short answer to that is probably not. If you're talking strictly Packers, then sure. It's the first shutout I've covered on the Packers beat, and the Packers first shutout since Nov. 19, 2006, exactly 11 years earlier. The thing that really stood out yesterday was, even with the deficit never being more than two possessions until the very end, it sure felt like the Packers were getting blown out. A 6-0 halftime deficit shouldn't feel like 28-0.
I don't think the Packers are going 5-11; they've still got the Cleveland Browns on their schedule. They could theoretically beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home too. The Bucs aren't as good as the Ravens, especially on defense. But a 6-10 record, and maybe 7-9, should put the Packers in the draft's top 10. They haven't drafted there since being ninth overall in 2009, when they took B.J. Raji.
The Packers have no option but to open competition for their backup QB job next season. Again, you shouldn't expect a backup to be a starting-caliber quarterback. Starting-caliber quarterbacks are paid to be starting quarterbacks. But your backup has to give you a chance to win, and Brett Hundley hasn't done that enough.
He's been awfully quiet on the field without Aaron Rodgers. I'm not sure why. It's probably more to do with Brett Hundley than anything, but then Nelson's production with Rodgers is more to do with the QB too. Nelson caught two passes early yesterday, and then nothing. Probably worth it for Hundley to get him the football more.
They need to figure something out, because at 31 years old (32 next season) he's no longer a double-digit sack artist. That's not to say he isn't valuable or worth having on the 53. I think his great contribution would come playing off the line. Matthews has been very good against the run this season. But when you're paid $13 million annually, you need more than 3.5 sacks at Week 12. And unlike this year, Matthews has been healthy this season, up until this point at least. With that said, the Packers don't have any leverage to demand a pay cut, unless they're willing to release him. And they can't release him, because no matter what you feel about Matthews' production, there's still a huge gap behind him at his position on the Packers roster. So the pay cut idea is really silly and unrealistic.
Joe Callahan is not a better option, so Hundley getting benched is not going to happen.
That's a great question. Wish I had a better answer for you. I'm really not sure what they'll do. It's something to keep an eye on this offseason. It will be really interesting.
The quarterback made a bad read, bad decision and bad throw at the 5-yard line. Can't have that. As for the opening drive before then, no, it wasn't surprising. The Packers offense has done pretty well when on script. The problem comes after they finish the scripted plays.
Yes, Ron Wolf did a much better job continually stocking the quarterback room than Ted Thompson has done in his tenure. It isn't remotely close.
No, it isn't right. Plenty other GMs, and even owners, around the league field questions when major, unexpected events happen. Like a two-time MVP quarterback being out for the rest of the season in October. For example, Mike McCarthy caught a lot of unwarranted flak for his answer about whether Colin Kaepernick was an option last month, but that isn't a question that should go to anyone except Ted Thompson. As head of the Packers football operations, Thompson has final say on roster decisions. It isn't right, or fair to his coach, but this is how Ted Thompson has operated for more than a decade. So don't expect anything to change.
Well, don't expect Aaron Rodgers to say anything in public other than he supports Mike McCarthy.
My colleague Tom Silvertsein asked a really good question today on whether Mike McCarthy overestimated Brett Hundley's improvement after last week's fourth quarter in Chicago. It seems clear that he did, but McCarthy deflected the question saying it isn't how he puts game plans together.
That was never going to happen.
That simply can't happen. After they see what your game plan is once you unveil the opening script, defenses make adjustments all throughout the course of the game. Success hinges on what kind of adjustments a play caller comes up with to counter.
The Packers were 6-10 in Rodgers' first season as a starter. I did not cover that season, so I can't accurately comment on how he played. According to people I've spoken with who did cover that 2008 season, he was significantly better than Brett Hundley has been.
Because that's what teams with franchise quarterbacks usually do. It's why quarterbacks win and lose games in the NFL. Are there exceptions? Like anything else in life, sure there are. There's the New England Patriots when they don't have Tom Brady for four games. There's the Minnesota Vikings this season. But the examples are extremely rare. Almost any time a team loses its franchise quarterback, it falls apart.
Probably a one-game suspension to start next season. It's what happened with Geronimo Allison under the same circumstances this season.
I mean, there's a list. But it all comes back to timing, or lack of it. He either doesn't see the field, or he doesn't trust what he sees. Either way, it completely throws off his timing in the pocket, his timing with release points, everything.
Because the Packers would've gone to Joe Callahan already if he was.
Don't think it's realistic to say Mike McCarthy is overrated as a coach for having Aaron Rodgers when he developed Aaron Rodgers. Would he have become an MVP quarterback without McCarthy's tutelage? Perhaps, but that isn't reality. It was under McCarthy's tutelage. I do see more failures on Ted Thompson's part, like failing to provide an adequate edge pass rush this season, overestimating his lot at the backup quarterback position, and failing to find game changers on defense as a whole. If you're almost exclusively draft and develop, and most of your premium draft picks are spent on defense, there better be more game changers on that side of the ball.