October 6, 2009

Heartless_' Favre Bowl Recap

So, the Vikings won, but they deserved to win. The Packers made too many mistakes, missed too many opportunities, and got greedy when they didn't need to.

The Packers have lost two games this season. Both times, the blame can be squarely placed on one aspect of the team: the Offensive Line. This is the WORST offensive line I've ever seen play and the stats prove it. Aaron Rodgers is on pace to become the most sacked quarterback in a single season by a wide margin. With another injured lineman today, the Packers are in deep shit. Not even the best receiving corp in the NFL can save an offense from a banged up and underpowered offensive line.

Whats sad about this, its not the players fault. The Packers offensive line was put together to be agile and responsive in a zone blocking scheme. This scheme is focused on building the run game and pounding the football. It requires a different type of lineman: quick, small, and flexible. That is exactly what the Packers have.

Unfortunately, this scheme has fallen apart along with the Packers running game. Without that running game, the passing game has to be relied on, but since zone blocking isn't about pass protection, the Packers are finding themselves fucked in the ass. We're not talking a break down a couple times a game. Aaron Rodgers is being hurried, hit, or sacked on the MAJORITY of pass plays. Its not even close.

If the Packers had an offensive line built for pass protection, I feel confident they would be sitting at 4-0. They have an explosive offense and a capable defense. They can turn games around in a matter of minutes and in both losses have nearly pulled out miracle finishes. That's the problem though, they are fighting to finish the game and only succeeding when the defense drops everyone into coverage. Aaron Rodgers can destroy defenses late in games, but doesn't get the time to do so earlier in the game.

Personally, I think Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy have to answer for the offensive line. If mid-season hits and the Packers are a .500 ball club, someone needs to be fired. McCarthy can go for pushing the zone block so strongly. Ted Thompson can go for failing to strengthen a part of the team that has been languishing for years (all the way back to when Favre still wore green and gold). Hopefully we don't get to that point.

The last question that the Favre Bowl needed to answer was whether the Packers made the right decision to push Favre away two years ago. Personally, I still feel the Packers should of stuck with Favre. Rodgers hadn't proven himself at that point and was injured in every game he came into in relief of Favre. He was a liability, where as we knew Favre had another year or two in him.

However, this game tonight doesn't prove either side right. Favre would be doing WORSE than Rodgers if he was on the Packers roster right now. He is far less mobile and would be in a lot worse shape if he was being sacked 7+ times a game. Where the Packers are now, with Rodgers, is fine with me. Rodgers is good, but still needs to prove he can win games. Rodgers is going to be a premier quarterback in this league at some point. The question is whether he can put up with the Packers approach to drafting talent instead of going to free agency for proven veterans.

Still a good game to watch and fuck the NFL and the lack of change to the pass interference rules. Too many games are being decided on one or two insanely questionable pass interference calls. The penalty doesn't fit the crime and the rule needs to be changed.