Owen from Portland, OR
In 2012, the Packers lacked the threat of a run game and, as a result, faced “Cover Two” on a weekly basis. However, Rodgers still finished the season with the league’s highest passer rating. I know the running game must improve for the Packers to get where they want to be, but what is making the Packers’ pass offense less effective than it was in 2012?
First of all, the sample isn’t large enough right now to make broad judgments, but I think you’re asking a fair question. In 2012, the lack of a running game allowed teams to stay in two deep safeties, and that took the big play out of the Packers’ passing game, but it didn’t diminish the passing game’s efficiency. What’s the difference between then and now? I think the Packers need more weapons to emerge. Jordy Nelson isn’t enough. I think they need Randall Cobb to get fully involved and for some of their young receivers to grow and emerge. It’ll happen.
Tim from Perrysburg, OH
With Davon House’s interception coming on third down, wouldn’t it have been better to knock the ball down?
If he was clairvoyant and knew what would follow, it might’ve been better to knock the ball down. In my opinion, your question is way over the top, as far as analysis is concerned. Good teams move the ball off the 1-yard line. Field position didn’t cause the safety. A missed assignment that allowed DeAndre Levy to be unblocked caused the safety.
Red from Murrieta, CA
What’s your take on Lacy this season? He’s been disappointing thus far. Is he the same runner he was last year, or have opponents figured him out and developed schemes to stop him based on watching last year’s game films?
This scheme stuff has to stop. We are just out of our minds with scheme. Scheme is big everywhere nowadays because of Madden, but I’ve never seen it as big in other places as it is with this fan base. It’s a mania. Have opponents figured Eddie Lacy out and developed schemes to stop him? Yeah, the Lions used a six-man scheme to do it. The bedroom I grew up in was smaller than the running lanes the Lions were giving the Packers. The scheme didn’t stop the Packers, the Lions’ players stopped the Packers. The Lions played better. Let me take this one step further. Preparing a game plan is an involved process. It includes information from the team’s scouting department. The Packers nailed it on the Lions. The Packers knew the Lions had injury problems on the back end, and relied on that information instead of buying into the deception of the daily injury report. The Packers put together a game plan that was perfect for what the Lions would do. It was almost as though the Packers had inside information on the Lions. They practiced that game plan all week. Adjustments? Yeah, they’re important, but that means quitting on a game plan that made total sense. Plus, look at the Packers’ first two series of the second half; they’re nearly all pass.
Chris from Andrews, TX
When is it time to hit the panic button? How many losses does it take? How many division losses does it take until the urgency to perform right now kicks in?
I just hit it. Do you feel it?
Alex from Middletown, KY
It’s the final two months which count the most. I am a strong believer of this, however, this year I find that to be different because of our brutal division schedule. Do you think we could win the division by only winning three division games?
I think the division winner will have four or more division wins.
Eric from Louisville, KY
Vic, it’s kind of ironic Andre Rison is not only the player Coughlin cut to galvanize his team and propel them within one step of the Super Bowl, but he is also the player Green Bay picked up that gave them a little more juice to get over the hump and win it.
I didn’t follow Rison’s career in Green Bay closely enough to know exactly what he did to propel the Packers, but I know what he did to get cut in Jacksonville. He was running a route over the middle in Pittsburgh and Darren Perry had Rison teed up. There were no defenseless-receiver rules back then and Perry was gonna cut Rison in half. Rison saw it and cut to the outside, which resulted in an interception. You didn’t have to look too long or too hard at the tape to know what the name of that tune was.
Del from Sterling, IL
Vic, I just saw the Steelers signed James Harrison. Do you have any good stories about Harrison, other than the end of the “Wildcat” story?
I don’t know much about him, but I love that line, “There goes the Wildcat.” The NFL can change its culture, but I’m not changing mine. Those days are over.
Brian from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, Lacy had some great runs last year and will have some good years ahead, but given the fact Starks is more experienced, has a higher per-yard average and is a more consistent runner, why will McCarthy not plug him in as the No. 1 back and spell him with Lacy?
Maybe that’ll happen. Maybe Lacy needs to ease back into his role. Or maybe he needs patience and support to allow him to get into the groove. What I know is this: This team’s running game was dead in the water until he came along. He’s one of this team’s star players and this team will not realize its potential without Lacy realizing his. I think we all need to stop searching for answers and begin showing a little more resolve.
Ryan from Oshkosh, WI
Vic, does a hurry-up offense hurt a runner like Lacy?
In my opinion, it shouldn’t. It should’ve been a huge advantage last Sunday. Once the Packers got the Lions in that six-man front, they should’ve pounded the ball at them and used the no-huddle offense to keep the Lions in that personnel package. The Packers had the Lions right where they wanted them. The combination of a good look and the no-huddle offense should’ve been reason to celebrate the game-planning job the Packers did. The first half of that game should’ve ended with the Packers dominating time of possession and forcing the Lions to make adjustments that would’ve opened the passing lanes in the second half.
David from Clinton Township, MI
Vic, I was at the game on Sunday and was very disappointed with the offense, as we all were, but looking at Mike’s “What You Might Have Missed,” I couldn’t help but think about how much the Packers miss a target like Finley. In the two-deep look the Lions gave, the middle of the field was wide open. Not having a tight end with that type of downfield threat is what I think is hurting us. Do you agree?
Do I agree a two-deep look leaves the middle of the field wide open? No, I don’t agree. That’s nonsensical. There are ways to attack the two-deep look in the passing game, but the preferred way to attack “Cover Two” is to run the ball. How could anyone have watched Mike Spofford’s “What You Might’ve Missed” and not seen the Lions’ overplay of the pass?
Derek from South Point, OH
How are you, Vic? I think Aaron Rodgers gave us some great advice in his radio program: relax. The fan base can’t fix anything. It’s time to let the professionals handle their business, and for us to enjoy the climb and push for December.
I think that’s great advice. I can’t think of a better adjustment than that.
Joe from West Bend, WI
Why do modern players get season-ending injuries so easily? I was a young Packers fan in the mid-1960s and it sure seems season-ending injuries were much, much rarer. Detroit’s Tulloch tore his ACL jumping up in the air a little in celebration. Has too much muscle mass caused the injuries to soar, especially as it relates to tendon strength?
That’s what I think the problem is. I think players are overtrained. I know people in the game that think the players’ bodies don’t get a chance to fully recover from the previous season before they begin training them for the next season. When a big, strong man can’t even jump a few feet into the air without blowing out his knee, there’s something wrong.
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