Like I have said time and time again I will put my knowledge up against anyone, so Mr. Lawrence I guess you want to play with the big boys, so let's play. Tell us what you really know and where did you get all your experience from, or did you just watch TV thinking one day people will listen to you. And, yes, it's true you don't have to have played the game at the highest level to understand it. Many haven't, but if you haven't don't call someone out that has played it, coached it and has had real success at it because it might just come back to bite you in the BUTT. Ok now to this weeks article!!!!!!
We all saw what happened last week as the Packers let the game slip through their fingers. They had a chance to take control of their own destiny and they didn't. They had a chance to stay on pace with the other big boys in the league that find a way to win. They don't sit around and point fingers and make excuses or throw their young players, or any players, under the bus. All of you know how much I respect Mike McCarthy and the things he has done and is doing as he has this team sitting with a 4-1 record. A record that nobody, and I mean nobody, thought they would have at this point in time. The Packers should go into the bye with a 5-1 record. Trust me, it won't be easy because the Redskins are a very good team and the match-up just might favor the Skins.
I will get to the Redskins, but I feel I have to address what happened last weekend before I can move on. I know everyone knows that you normally don't win many games when you turn the ball over and I accept that. Just like I know that there isn't any player that has said, "You know what? This is a good time to fumble and hurt my team." James Jones is a rookie that Mike McCarthy has used as the poster child of what not to do, and I understand getting on him, but do it behind closed doors. Don't throw him under the bus. It's like McCarthy is saying, ‘It's because of your mistakes we lost,' but there were many others that contributed to the loss. I guess that comes with being a rookie. Even though the Bears didn't get any points out of either one of Jones' fumbles, he got benched to prove some point.
At the same time when Charles Woodson fumbled you can see him smiling on the ground after he knew he coughed it up. I didn't see him or Brett being called out after that bonehead interception. I know they are veterans but I say, ‘So what?' Their mistakes were just as costly.
With all that said, the score was 20-20 with 14 minutes left in the game and the Packers didn't answer the bell. They got so much involved in the turnovers and penalties that they forgot how to play, and Mike McCarthy seemed to lose focus. I have been praising his ability to make game-time adjustments and he didn't, and that's why they lost. Good teams, which is what the Packers are trying to be, don't get caught up in feeling sorry for themselves because they realize it's not what happens to them in the process of the game because things happen. There are fumbles, interceptions and penalties, but it's how you handle adversity that really matters.
Sometimes as coaches it's too easy to point fingers at what players did or didn't do instead of looking in the mirror. When the score was 20-20 the Packers offense went three series with just three plays and out, and whose responsibility is that? Should the players call out the play-caller and say, ‘Didn't we practice that all week? Didn't you know what to expect? and Bench him for his mistakes.' The last time I looked this is a team game and this week the Packers will need everyone playing at their best to win. You can't do that if you are scared to make a mistake because as soon as you think that way you will.
The Redskins are no joke. They will give the Packers everything and more. The defense will have a break because the Skins are banged up at receiver, but they are still playing the fourth ranked offense in the NFC that has a balanced attack. Jason Campbell has done a nice job at quarterback and Clinton Portis at running back still is a threat, so the defense will have to be on its toes because, like last week, it will be facing another quality tight end in Chris Cooley. Besides that, the offense will face a very stingy defense with a very good secondary that plays very physical, so the Packers better buckle up because they might be the best one they have faced up to this point.
This game will come down to who makes plays, but it will also come down to coaching adjustments and whether or not Mike McCarthy can get this team playing in rhythm like it did during the first four games. Sure, it was nice to run the ball early last week but was it about what the Packers were doing, or about what the Bears weren't? Either way, game adjustments weren't made and they needed to be . With this being the last game before the bye the Packers need to walk away with a 5-1 record, otherwise who will be the CONVENIENT SCAPEGOAT this time?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at email@example.com.