Losing their Battles


In the wake of the most recent loss to the Vikings, and virtual elimination from contention for the divisional title halfway through the season, the fingers have come out. Fans are pointing fingers. The press is pointing fingers. The players are pointing fingers. And the coaches are subtly pointing fingers. What is going on out there.

Coaches can dial up all the fancy strategy they want, give the most rousing speeches, players can play with the most fire, run the fastest, throw the hardest, sniff out the next play; none of it really matters. Football is won one on one, man against man. In the trenches.  On the perimeter.  In space.  In a phonebooth.  Every play works.  All the skill, talent, fire, or intelligence is useless when getting whipped by the guy across from you. Right now the Packers, almost to a man, are losing their battles.

The perennial spittoons of the 2009 Packers, the offensive line, knows what losing 1 on 1 is all about. Each and every member is an expert on the subject, veteran to rookie. And their running back and quarterback seem to be doing everything in their power to make them look bad. Even the offensive group previously known for their consistently good play, the receivers, aren’t getting open like they used to, and are dropping passes.  When the offense does get it going and move the ball, it goes in spurts, the team rarely sustains a long stretch of good play on offense.

On defense the run defense has definitely shown to be a good bit better than previous season, but the pass rush continues to be dreadful. It isn’t blitzing or exoticism that is at fault (as Tom Pelissero of the GBPG points out in his tape review, AD running into an exotic blitz gave up GB’s longest run of the season), quite simply the guys up front aren’t winning their battles. You don’t need special plays when a DE runs by the G or an OLB gets by the T. Even members of the secondary are getting beat agaisnt receivers they haven’t previously been beat by.

Collectively this team from the coaches down to the backups, each need to start winning their battles, beating the man across from them. Collectively as a team, they just aren’t doing it. They have before, we’ve seen them do it, and in spurts they look good here an there in parts, but there is just something missing.

Perhaps the team lacks enough players that lift the level of those around them. Perhaps there is a lack of “glue” players, the unheralded locker room leaders. Maybe there is something wrong, Ted drafts idiots or guys that don’t work well together. Maybe it is coaching, and McCarthy and staff are failing them. It is hard to get a bead on. Whatever the underlying cause, if there even is one, the problem is simple to see. The guys each are losing their battles, collectively the team is not playing like a team.  When will they?  Will they ever?  We’ll see in the weeks ahead.


One Response to “Losing their Battles”

  1. Packers Daily Links 11.4.09 - Railbird Central Says:

    […] to the backups, each need to start winning their battles, beating the man across from them," writes Waldo. "Collectively as a team, they just aren’t doing it. They have before, we’ve seen them do […]

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