The general theme coming from Green Bay Packers personnel since falling to two games below .500 and looking well out of the playoff radar is that this group of players and coaches are the only ones who can turn things around. Mike McCarthy said it, and team president Mark Murphy pretty much meant it in his words about not wanting to fire anyone, but feeling disappointed. To be frank, they’re saying ‘Aaron Rodgers, save us!’
It might be too late for that. Rodgers has been up and down in the Packers four-game losing streak, including two games of a passer rating of 115 or higher, but he’s too inconsistent at this stage dating back to last season. His offensive line isn’t great, there’s 0 running game and the defense? The Packers have given up 42 points or more in two consecutive outings. They’re giving 27.6 points per game, 27th in the NFL. Once upon a time, which means not too long ago, Rodgers was still capable of getting them out of difficult situations. But not right now, not anymore.
We’ve been through this a couple of times: The popular person to blame is McCarthy for doing a poor job with the talent assembled for him. But Ted Thompson has to be accountable too. He doesn’t like to talk during the season, but not every decision he’s made has been great: Look at the team! And perhaps the method of building only through the draft and almost ignoring free agency completely has run its course, or at the least needs a bit of tweaking.
The Packers have had injuries, especially to their secondary that leave them in a very bad spot. While McCarthy spoke about the current players knowing they’re not getting any outside help, he’s wishing there was. It might be ironic that after not getting the best out of better squads over the years, he’ll end up getting fired at the end of the season for missing the playoffs due to things he can’t control. And don’t be fooled: The Packers might not be a team that reacts by shooting from the hip, but this kind of season isn’t viewed as just some minor mishap: It’s a sign that it might be time to change directions.
Who knows, maybe Rodgers is capable of turning this ship around on his own. For better and worse, he’s trying to, also leading the team in rushing in some games. But he’s not getting the kind of help he needs to work with what he has, not to mention that something seems to be off half the time with his execution. The Packers might be preaching patience and confidence despite the losing streak. But there’s a road game against the Eagles followed by a home game against the dangerous Seattle Seahawks. Things might not be very friendly and patient if the losing continues.