Packers Problems on Display in Giants Win
I wrote some time ago that this year's version of the Packers is not all that hard to figure out. They're a Super Bowl or bust team led by a 32 year old quarterback who's entering the phase of his career where we start to wonder how much longer the championship window is going to be open.
After more than a month of regular season football, I don't see any reason to change that opinion.
Sunday night's prime-time tilt with New York reminded me in many ways of the end of the 2011 season, with the Giants attempting to derail the Packers' offensive attack by dropping seven, rushing four, and hoping Aaron Rodgers wouldn't be able to thread the needle against a horde of defensive backs.
As has been the case far too often over the past year or so, it basically worked. And that's scary.
The rest of the league also knows what the Packers are. Just like us, their opponents also don't consider them all that hard to figure out. They know that if you just make Aaron Rodgers try to beat you by just trying to find an open guy while the defensive line contains him, you can achieve some measure of success.
That the Giants were content to put their depleted secondary up against Rodgers with days and days to throw is alarming, and the fact that it by and large worked should be downright frightening. What's more, teams are daring the oft-declared best quarterback in the league to try to beat them, and the Packers are making the mistake of letting him try.
Ultimately, this isn't an Aaron Rodgers issue. The book on Rodgers is complete, and the Packers should know it better than most. They know what he does well, and they know what he does poorly. Mike McCarthy needs to take Rodgers up on his declaration that he loves to be coached and put together a game plan that gets the ball out of his hands more quickly. It worked last week against Detroit, but for whatever reason the Packers didn't want to try it against a team so banged up it was nearly suiting up water boys in the secondary.
The Packers are probably a playoff team. With the way the defense is playing, they're probably a Super Bowl contender, too. But until they realize that the rest of the league is less impressed with their offense than they appear to be, the Packers will continue to be a puzzle that's far too easy to solve.