Playing the Green Bay Packers Blame Game
The most popular game this holiday season in the state of Wisconsin is the Green Bay Packers Blame Game. It’s a pretty simple game to play with you and your friends. You select a few members of the team and management to pick out who deserves the most blame for the Packers lack of success in 2018. It’s a fun game, and one that will garner all sorts of opinions. There are six candidates I’ve chosen but others may include names that aren’t present. In reality, it’s a team thing, but others caused more damage.
Ted Thompson – BLAME: 40%
To me, it starts with Ted Thompson’s final years as the Green Bay Packers General Manager. Green Bay did not do enough to keep their roster at a championship level. Green Bay displayed a level of arrogance we haven’t seen in awhile and looking at the 2014 roster, it’s hard to believe some of these guys aren’t stil with the Packers. Names like Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde, T.J. Lang and others. Green Bay did not want to pay talent to stay in Wisconsin, and that was a major misfire by the organization. Green Bay trusted on the draft and develop process which backfired. One player is a starter from the 2015 Draft. 2016 looks a bit better now that Kyler Fackrell is a player, but shaky at best early. 2017 gave us Aaron Jones, Kevin King but there were some failures there too.
Mike McCarthy – BLAME 20%
Here’s the thing with Mac. It’s not that I think he should receive the brunt of criticism for this year. I actually think he should have been smart enough to get the fuck out last offseason. When the Packers were making a switch with Thompson, McCarthy should have seen that as a time to go and been the hottest name on the coaching market either last offseason or this one. He would have been seen in such higher regard.
Aaron Rodgers – BLAME 20%
Yes, Rodgers deserves some blame too. He is not going to avoid his subpar year. Part of me thinks this year is completely different if Rodgers doesn’t suffer a knee injury early in the year, and he gets time to gel with his receivers through practice. This guy missed nearly a year of practice with a collarbone injury then his knee issue. A part of me wonders how much that affected him from a mechanics standpoint.
Special Teams – BLAME 15%
You might think this is a bit high but hear me out. Packers’ special teams unit cost Green Bay 2.5 potential wins. Mason Crosby doesn’t catch the yips in Detroit, the Packers are 6-7-1 right now, still alive in the playoffs. Ty Montgomery doesn’t fumble in Los Angeles, Green Bay could be there too. And what happened if Crosby makes that kick versus Arizona. Ron Zook shouldn’t have a job, and I’m sure he’s getting his resume ready as he’ll be out of a job on December 31st.
Brian Gutekunst – BLAME 5%
Some have wanted to access blame to Gutey, and I’m not there with that idea. The guy tried to build up this roster as much as possible and did it unique ways. Jimmy Graham was a bad contract, but Packers have an true out in 2020 plus with the cap rising, I think they could handle a year of dead money if they got out this offseason. Mo Wilkerson was a good idea, and who knows his role. Bashaud Breeland is another nice find along with a few others for Gutekunst. Next year is a big one for him.
Packers Defense – BLAME 5%
I’m not one to put much on this defense because it’s improved year-over-year. Metrics might not show that, but eye test can confirm that one for us. The only few times where the defense ‘lost’ the game for the Packers might have been Minnesota round 1 and that was a tie. Or the struggles at Washington. This defense is young and took more shape as the year went on.