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Nick Barnett has been lost for the season.

Nick Barnett has been lost for the season.

Every week the Green Bay Packers are starting to look more and more like a team that simply won’t live up to expectations. Yesterday, the Packers lost yet another close game to an inferior opponent, this time, 28-27 to the Minnesota Vikings.

The Packers should be better than this. Maybe it’s time to accept that they just aren’t very good and likely won’t be until several key positions are completely overhauled.


The Offensive Line:
You know how quarterbacks sometimes buy their linemen Rolexes or something if they have a great season? What should Aaron Rodgers get these clowns at year’s end? He’s having a solid year despite their shoddy play. Yesterday was probably his least effective game of the year, due in large part to their inability to not only keep him from being pressured, but to keep him from being completely blown up on every passing down. Add all the penalties these idiots rack up and you have one of the league’s worst units. They all have to go. Offseason priority number one.

Ryan Grant:
Yeah, I know. I bash this guy every week. And I also know that he has been running harder and improving that part of his game. He still lacks vision and is inexplicably unable to change direction. But Grant gets a spot on this week’s shit list because he continues to show no ability to pick up blitzes. He was personally responsible for two of the big hits on Rodgers, maybe more. He’s an incomplete player and a liability in the passing game. I’d like to see the Packers actually draft a premier running back for once. When was the last time they did? Do you think Minnesota is second guessing their pick of Adrian Peterson?

Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings:
What happened to what was once one of the league’s top QB/WR duos? Last week, ESPN did a pregame piece on the Packers unstoppable deep ball. Two games later, all Greg Jennings has to show for it is 6 catches and just over 100 yards. They have not been on the same page… something is up.

The Linebackers
I’m not going to rag on the Packers D-line this week. They have actually improved over the last few weeks. Yesterday they were solid, often getting to Peterson in the backfield, forcing him to change direction. The problem was, all of the Packers linebackers were so slow or so out of position they were unable to finish Peterson off. Peterson’s longest runs were due in large part to the missed tackles of Brady Poppinga, the stiff-legged slowness of A.J. Hawk and the invisibility Nick Barnett. I finally got my wish, and we saw a lot from Desmond Bishop. And it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of him, with Nick Barnett tearing his ACL. Bishop was a little uneven, but I think he earned more playing time. The Packers missed Chillar’s (inactive) speed in the short passing game. In all seriousness, why not play Aaron Rouse at linebacker in the nickel and dime packages? At 6’4″, 230, he has the size to match up with tight ends and running backs, plus the speed to overwhelm them. He’s a playmaker. Find a way to get him on the field and slow-pokes like A.J. Hawk off it. By the way, when can we start calling A.J. Hawk a bust? He was the fifth overall pick! He was supposed to be the next Urlacher, but at this point I’d settle to have any number of players selected after him. Haloti Ngata, Chad Greenway, and Kamerion Wimbley come to mind.

Mike McCarthy
Mike’s been playing not to lose all season. There is no aggressiveness, no trust in his team’s offensive weapons. He gives up on the run too quickly and has left playmakers like Donald Lee, Brandon Jackson and James Jones out of the game plan. With nearly two minutes to go, McCarthy chose to settle for a long field goal to win the game instead of moving the chains for a closer field goal or even a touchdown.

The Refs
Illegal forward pass? Hmm. On the first safety play, the ball landed just feet away from Donald Lee. Can somebody please explain this ruling to me?


The Defensive Backs
Can we just play all these guys, all the time? What’s most frustrating about the defense’s troubles right now is the fact that these guys, collectively, are playing lights out. The emergence of Tramon Williams, Nick Collins and Aaron Rouse has vaulted this unit to elite status. Unfortunately, their consistent big plays are squandered by an inept run defense and an ineffective offense. It’s a shame. This is truly the best Packers’ secondary I have seen since 1996, maybe the best ever. Something to build on I guess, but 21 and 31 aren’t getting any younger.

Will Blackmon
Not only has he become a viable option on defense, but Will Blackmon is the best Packers return man since Desmond Howard. His electrifying returns on Sunday probably even gave Devin Hester a boner. However, he has to learn when to let a punt bounce into the end zone. Yeesh.

I really hate the Minnesota Vikings. They, along with their creepily mustachioed coach are celebrating today. They finally beat Green Bay. Congratulations. But I’d like to remind them of a couple things.

One, without Adrian Peterson, they are worthless. Even with Pat Williams and the biggest douche in pro sports, Jared Allen, they are worthless.

Two, they do not have a quarterback. If they think, after beating us, that they have any shot at making a run in the playoffs, then they are even stupider than I think they are.

Lastly, they need to remember that they are the Minnesota Vikings, the most classless, clueless franchise in pro sports. Their mouth breathing-uneducated-masturbating to Toby Keith fans don’t deserve this or any other win that may fall into their lap.

The Packers may not make the playoffs this year, but I will still get to enjoy the inevitable crash and burn that awaits the Vikings this season.

Speaking of Jared Allen, who was fined $50,000 for cheap-shot hits on Matt Schaub last week… he can expect another fine and hopefully a suspension after his helmet-to-helmet hit on Aaron Rodgers. Allen is talented, sure. But he’s not funny and he’s obviously a scumbag. That type of play has no place in this league. Fine him and suspend him.



Steffen grew up in Milwaukee, Bowler and Neenah Wisconsin. He is a UW-Stevens Point grad and currently works as a television producer in Los Angeles.

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  1. kelly November 10, 2008

    I agree with pretty much everything you have to say here. The O Line is embarrassing, the LBs haven’t been this bad since Dallas was running us over in the mid 90s, and it’s time for me to go on record…TIME TO GIVE MM THE AX! Bill Cowher as GBP coach in 09!

  2. Carl with a "C" November 11, 2008

    The O line can’t pick up every blitz. The real problem for the O is a QB that can’t read a D pre-snap (we all saw the blitz coming all day) and get rid of the ball in two steps or AUDIBLE! I know of a three time MVP who was pretty good at pre-snap reads and adjustments…..