Okay now that we’ve had a few days to decompress and calm down enough to rationally look at the Packers opening night loss to Seattle, I have good news…
Packer Nation, there is no reason to panic.
Yes, I agree with some of the concerns – most notably, that the team looks like it has the same exact issues as last year.1. The bar has been set
Before you write the team off for the season and say they will be “one and done” in the playoffs again, hold up!
Here are 4 reasons not to panic:
1. The Bar Has Been Set – Rather than playing three weak teams to start the season and have a possible false view of what kind of team the Packers are, they played the best team in game one.
It should only get easier from here on out.
They played the best team in the NFL under hostile conditions and with a rookie center and they held tough for the first half.
2. A Few Plays Away – The scoreboard shows the Seahawks routed the Packers, but we talk about football being a game of inches. If not a game of inches, it’s a game of a few plays. You can always play the “what if” game and it’s impossible not to in this case.
What if Mike Daniels doesn’t run into the kicker? How odd is that anyway? You almost never see a lineman run into the kicker. Usually it’s a defensive back or other position.
What if Brad Jones doesn’t hold on 3rd down? (twice)
What if the Packers defense holds onto one of those tipped balls? There were at least two of them that they could have had.
The “what if” game is a game any team can play after each losing contest, but in this game just two “what if’s” could have made a huge difference.
The Mike Daniels penalty and the Brad Jones Penalty could have completely changed the outcome.
What if Mike McCarthy doesn’t go for 4th down at Mid-field?
I get why he did it. He probably thought he needed to do something big to change momentum. You can’t have big rewards without big risks.
3. The Defense is better than it looked – The defense has taken most of the heat for this loss, but if you watched the same game I did, the defense did some very encouraging things.
The defense had good pursuit from Clay Mathews and Julius Peppers. They had a few tipped passes, they didn’t get killed by Russell Wilson’s feet and as rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was consistently around the ball. Now he just needs to finish. He had a solid game as a rookie.
Wait, are you reading this post? I mentioned our rookie center and our rookie defensive back. How many teams have rookies in the mix for game one of the season?
4. Long awaited running game – After years of having one of the worst running attacks in the NFL (and I use the work “attack” very loosely.) it is clear we have a legit backfield tandem in Lacy and Starks.
Okay, I get it that the stat line doesn’t show big numbers from these backs but they each ran very tough when they had the ball.
Keep in mind, usually everyone improves as they get more reps. Imagine where Lacy and Starks will be week eight?
Yes, I have many of the same concerns about this team as all the experts have discussed in the past, but the NFL is a strange game of momentum and luck. It’s not always skill.
What happens if Seattle has Lynch drop in week 9 to a knee injury or Russell Wilson breaks his collar bone in week 10?
Under McCarthy there is a disturbing trend that the Packers lose their opening game.
There’s also a trend to keep in mind: The Packers are usually still standing with about 12 other teams at the end of the season.
Anytime you get frustrated about that, Ask the Lions, Bears, Browns, Raiders, Jaguars, Jets and ..oh I don’t know .. about half the league if they would like to be where the packers are at the end of each year.
Don’t panic Packers fans. It’s one game.
15 more to go.