It pains me to say it, but the 2009 Green Bay Packers football team is not a good football team. Right now, the Packers are at best an average football team.
Even though the Packers completely handled the Detroit Lions – to the tune of 26-0 – it was again apparent why the Packers won’t compete with the class of the NFC this season – New Orleans, Minnesota, Atlanta and yes, I would still count the New York Giants among those teams.
The Packers commit too many penalties (13 for 130 yards on Sunday), they don’t take care of the ball (three fumbles, one interception vs. Detroit), they give up too many sacks (a league-leading 25 on the season), they can’t run the ball (20th in the league), and they don’t score touchdowns in the red zone (one for five against the Lions).
Good teams don’t do these things. Good teams execute.
After the cream of the NFC, there are two solid but unpredictable teams in Arizona and Philadelphia that can beat or lose to anyone in the league. It’s the third group that will look familiar – the group of teams that have clear deficiencies and typically only beat the teams they’re supposed to (or each other) – Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle and your Green Bay Packers.
None of them are Super Bowl caliber. In fact, none of them look like anything more than a one-and-done wild card team. They’ll be battling it out at the end of the season just to make an appearance in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Packers, everyone knows it.
Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg even used how badly the Packers played as an analogy to describe how truly bad the Detroit Lions are, yesterday. From his column, “The really bad news? The Packers weren’t good.”
The Lions have used up three quarterbacks and all of their fans’ patience. They have lost five games in 2009, and either 19 or 20 straight in the state of Wisconsin — officially, it’s 19, but I’m petitioning the league to count this one twice.
The final score was Packers 26, Lions 0. It felt like 300-0. And do you know what the worst part was?
The Packers didn’t even play well!
If the Packers had played well, they would have dropped 60 on the Lions, who were without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson.
If the Packers were good, they wouldn’t have committed 13 penalties, allowed five sacks, dropped the ball three times and come away with only one touchdown on five trips inside the Lions 20 yard line. Not only is this a bad Detroit Lions team, it’s a team decimated by injuries to key players.
What the Packers should have done to the Lions is what the New England Patriots did to the Tennessee Titans.
After the game, Lions coach Jim Schwartz said, “I wish we could play again. I wish we could play again tonight.”
That may be laughable, but I understand what Schwartz is thinking. The Lions could have been in the game. The Packers gave them every opportunity to compete. Hell, if the Lions wouldn’t have had so many injuries they would have been in the game. They may even have won.
Jim Schwartz and I are on the same page.
This Packers team isn’t very good.