A couple weeks ago, the Packers defense was carved up by New Orleans for 51 points. Sunday, they were hit with a 549 yard performance by Houston. All season long, they've been gashed by big plays. Each week, we here coach Mike McCarthy talk about gap control, pad level, correcting mistakes and moving forward. Then a week later, the Packers play another game and we repeat the whole process.
On Monday, McCarthy defended his defensive coordinator, Bob Sanders and said the its the players that need to execute better.
The mistakes have been made every week, but the most important constant the Packers have suffered all season long has been little or not pass rush. Even Aaron Kampman, who has been the only consistent pass rusher this season, was getting swallowed up by Houston blockers in the Packers 24-21 loss on Sunday. Sanders called a number of 5-man blitzes Sunday, trying to get more pressure on the quarterback. The result was a 414 yard passing day by Houston quarterback Matt Schaub.
At his press conference on Monday, Mike McCarthy said, "When the defense is called, we need to play the defense. No different on offense. As long as we're not putting our players in bad angles, overload situations and things they can't win in, that's really I think the key to evaluating your game play."
"I thought Bob tried to be aggressive because of the lack of pass rush. The pass rush coinciding with the pass defense, it all works together, and we didn't do a very good job of it."
The Packers lost Cullen Jenkins to injury early on and released Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila because he just didn't have it anymore. They chose not to resign Corey Williams in free agency and traded him to Cleveland for a second round pick. The Packers were banking on Justin Harrell to help out more, but he hasn't been healthy enough to pull that off.
Part of the problem has to fall on General Manager Ted Thompson's shoulders. Thompson has no idea he's going to lose Jenkins to injury for much of the season, but he did choose to let Williams go, and then over estimated what he thought he could get from Gbaja-Biamila and from Harrell.
And with that being said, regardless of injury, the coaches have to develope those players leftover, get them ready to play and execute on the field. It's one thing to not have enough left to win consistently against really good teams. But losing to the Houston Texans on a 3-degree day at Lambeau Field is hard to believe.
If Sanders is on the hot seat, you'd never know it by the way Mike McCarthy reacts to those questions in press conferences.
A couple of weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that this team just isn't very good. I believe that more and more with each passing week. But are they good enough to beat Jacksonville on the road. That's the next test. The Jaguars have literally thrown in the towel on a disappointing season. The Packers problems on defense won't go away, but if they don't beat Jacksonville on Sunday, Packers fans will start looking ahead to free agency and the April draft.