I thought that Mike Sherman would have realized by now that anytime that the Packers go empty backfield, it usually means that the other team will blitz and get to the quarterback, especially Brett Favre, because he tries to make the big play instead of throwing the ball to the hot receiver. This means that he will hold on to the ball until the last second, trying to build on to the legend of the gunslinger. Which usually means an interception, or at least it does this year. So why does Sherman put him in this situation? I don't know or understand. But all things aren't bad because the offensive staff did stick to running to the right side of the offense where they had success last week. The only problem was that they went to the toss again which played right into the hands of the Ravens defense because it is a speed defense. That's why the Packers had better success running the ball by handing it off because it would freeze the linebackers giving the offensive linemen time to get on their blocks.
But the biggest problem I had with the game was that the Packers looked like they were tired and drained of emotion. It looked like the Ravens had the Packers playing scared and with no sense of urgency. This was on the biggest stage playing on "Monday Night Football" and this team looked like they didn't want to be there, that the game was too big for them. All year everyone has been saying the players haven't quit on the coaches, especially Sherman, but can that still be said?
And as for the defensive coaches, how come Jim Bates couldn't come up with a plan to stop Todd Heap, the tight end? Don't the Packers have linebackers that can run and cover? I guess not. It also seemed like the Ravens were inside the defensive coaches heads because every time they blitzed the Ravens had an answer, which made Kyle Boller look like Tom Brady. Also one last thing on the coaches: Why would Sherman throw Aaron Rodgers to the wolves like he did. What chance did Aaron Rodgers have to be successful when the defense knew that the Packers would have to pass to try and get back in the game? Why not just put him in front of a runaway bus. These coaches got out-coached, but then again it's not a mistake. The Packers are 3-11.
As usual it starts with the leader Brett Favre so against the Ravens it was no different - he threw it up just like we have seen most of the year. The thing about it is he should have thrown more interceptions than he did. He only threw two, but if the Ravens secondary could catch they would have had probably two or three more picks. A couple of times he just threw the ball up for grabs and then when the camera would zoom in on him, he had that look of someone that just didn't care because he knows he's above the law.
The offensive line had way too many breakdowns against the Ravens blitzes, especially Chad Clifton, who, I believe, gave up two sacks when Rodgers was in the game. Which is something he normally doesn't do and that's have mental breakdowns. Samkon Gado ran hard but got hurt and I hope it's nothing too serious. But back to Brett: He did do a good job throwing the underneath pass route, but when it came to throwing the deep ball, it was pitiful to say the least.
As for Rodgers I can't judge anything on the results of his playing time except he needs to learn to protect the ball in the pocket and feel the pressure. But he did show some better arm strength than I remembered from training camp. I also thought the offensive line blocked better than average on running plays. But then again the problem was that the offense didn't match the intensity the Ravens had so they got knocked around, only putting up 3 POINTS. Are you kidding me?!
Welcome back to reality because they got "dish ragged," which means abused in any and every way possible. Jamal Lewis ran through them or around them and they couldn't stop him. Ahmad Carroll even missed him on a blitz, which is hard to understand. Not once but, I believe, twice. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila looked like a boy playing against a man when he was going up against big Jonathan Ogden, and Ogden treated him just that way. Kabeer still doesn't know whether it was a run or a pass because he never got close. Sad but true, and he's the Packers' big money rush man. I know Nick Barnett played, but I never saw him unless he was trying to cover someone or he was chasing someone near the sidelines. I never saw him get off blocks right up the middle which is what a middle linebacker is supposed to do, and that's be a run stopper.
There was a bright spot and that was how Nick Collins has continued to grow into a very good young safety. He just keeps making plays. But this defense hopefully came to terms with some things such as they have played good and their ratings are high, or were high. In the end, however, statistics are for losers. Winning is the only statistic that matters. And against the Ravens they let Boller chew them up and spit them out. They played like the game was too big for them!!!!!
What happened on Monday Night was embarrassing to the fans, the organization and to everyone that stayed up to watch that crap. Because for whatever reason the Packers weren't ready to play on the biggest stage with the world watching. I can't understand how that can happen. Just like I can't understand how the Packers let the Ravens make history on them by taking the worse beating in Monday Night history. That's leadership RIGHT???!!!!!!
Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will forward it to him.