Stills: An embarrassment

Former Packers safety Ken Stills offers his thoughts on the Packers after their loss to the New York Jets on Sunday at Lambeau Field:

This game was hard to watch. I expected Green Bay to come out and play a great game. It was perfect Packer weather and the fans were hyped and ready. Instead, the Packers came out and looked lethargic. This is what I would call a stoic performance.

The Jets on the other hand, played an error-free first half with 47 offensives plays, accumulating 342 yards and they scored on every offensive possession in the first half. Chad Pennington threw for over 250 yards in the first half while Green Bay couldn't even complete a pass to its receivers. It's a 60-minute ball game, but this one was over early in the first half.

This wasn't football; this was an embarrassment to the sport. Green Bay is the youngest team in the NFL and they sure looked and played like it.

In the first half when the game really mattered, I could see that Green Bay's defense wasn't ready to handle New York's multiple formations, shifts and motions. It seemed like every time the Jets shifted or motioned, the secondary for the Packers didn't or couldn't adjust, therefore leaving New York's receivers wide open the entire first half.

The Jets did a great job of play calling, keeping Green Bay's defense off balance with the runs and passes. The Jets were able to throw the football at will and with that it opened up the running game and allowed New York to rush for other 100 yard game. It was rather obvious, since New York scored on their first five possessions.

The Packers defense needs to put pressure on the quarterback. This can't happen unless the coaches call it from the sideline. You look at last week's game to this week's game and it's the same thing. Chad Pennington, the Jets quarterback stood back there with no pressure on him at all. He has all day to survey the field, checking his third and fourth receiver then deliver the ball. Yes, the Packers secondary isn't the best in the league but if you don't give them any help, either by blitzing more defenders then they have offenders, or by dropping more guys in coverage, then what do you expect? Is Kampman hurt? And where is Biamila? I haven't seen these guys make a play in two weeks.

On the offensive side of the ball the Packers played like they never saw a three-man front or multiple defenses from a football team. Coach Mangini is a chip off the block of Coach Belichick and they should have prepared to see the exact same thing they saw against New England. The Pats shut out Green Bay so you would figure that maybe coach Mangini would use some of his old bosses' ideas.

This was simply poor preparation in game planning from the Packers' offensive and defensive coordinators. There is no way the Jets are that much better then the Packers.

The only person on Green Bay's offense that should pick up his check on Tuesday is Ahman Green. The rest of the group played poorly. The receivers dropped too many passes and the quarterback is way too casual with the protection of the football. You have to believe that the coaches have told Brett about the importance of protecting the football. What does he do on the first drive of the game but drop the ball. Protecting the football and managing the game - that's the job of the quarterback! If Brett can't do that, then what do you expect the rest of the team to do?

Where do you start? Do we continue to talk about turnovers? Green Bay had two turnovers in the first half and the Jets answered with back to back scores. In the second half the Jets turn the ball over three times in a row, two interceptions and an on-side kick, but all the Packers could score was seven points.

In the second half the Packers decided they would at least try and play a game. It was 30 to nothing so I guess it was as good a time as any. The team showed sparks of energy but it still wasn't enough to get the ball in the end zone more then once. There were times when the running game for Green Bay showed some promise, but then again the Jets were in a three men front and any team should be able to block three guys with their five offensive linemen all day. The defense even forced a few turnovers in the second half, but the Packer offense just couldn't get it done.

Why is it that other teams score off of Green Bay's mistake but the Packers can't seem to score off their turnovers?

Since I've had a chance to watch the Packers play back to back games in these last couple of weeks, I'm starting to wonder if coaching doesn't have a lot more to do with the production of this team.

Everyone knew that the Jets lead the league in kickoff returns. What do the Packers do but kick the football right to the league leader and he ends up gashing them for a long kick return. We all knew that Coach Mangini was going to have some exotic defensive game plan to throw off Green Bay's offense, so why wouldn't the offensive coordinator/head coach make some adjustment to combat this? Maybe add a no-huddle or hurry-up offense or even some empty backfield. Instead, the offense struggled with the different looks and wasn't even able to convert one third down in the first half.

How do you explain it? What I saw today was a very poor performance by a professional football team. Hopefully, the Packers can bounce back from this game and travel to the West Coast next week and try and stop this losing streak.

I guess the great thing about being in Green Bay is that they probably won't fire anyone this season. The team has a bunch of built in excuses on why things aren't going as planned. The teams too young, we have new coaches, that kind of stuff.

Lucky for McCarthy it is Green Bay because anywhere else and this staff might be looking for a new gig.

Ken Stills

Editor's note: Ken Stills played safety for the Packers from 1985-89. E-mail Ken at

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