Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pickin' on the Pack - Bears 26, Packers 0

Brett Favre can still play football, and play it well. However, he cannot play football well in Green Bay. The franchise has been mismanaged so badly it's pathetic. Obvious deficiencies (offensive line, secondary) have either not been addressed, or have been addressed in horrible fashion. Let's just say that Charles Woodson can finally buy that custom display case for his Heisman and Pro Bowl trophies, because he's collected all that he ever will.

Favre, however, shouldn't do such a thing. He's still good. He's still on fire. If he left Green Bay, he could be a winner again. Hell, he could be MVP! I don't think this is an exaggeration. He looked sharp and his decision making was good (better than it was last season, at any rate). The two picks he threw were a consequence of trying to save face, to prevent the first shutout in a decade in a half, and weren't going to make a difference in the larger scheme of things.

We all still love Brett, right? And we all know that the Packers are going nowhere, right? So, why don't the Packers just go ahead and do what, deep down, we all know they need to do: trade Brett to a contender. He could win a Super Bowl! I am confident in saying this! Get Aaron Rodgers in the game and get on with the rebuilding. This team could contend again as early as, say, 2009. But a lot has to happen between now and then.

The secondary also warrants some lambasting. The medium-distance pass over the middle was there all day for Rex Grossman. The corners, including Chuck Woodson, looked dazed and have no nose for the ball. Look for this weakness to be exploited time and again this season, with teams moving down the field 15-20 yards at a time against that lackadaisical unit.

There were some signs of life today, though. The run game looked decent. Ahman Green isn't going to blow up for 2000 yards this season, but he chugged along pretty admirably. He broke the century mark and didn't look hesitant. His problem -- and Favre's -- was this abysmal offensive line. Against a punishing run defense like the Bears have, all told this was a great performance by Green. The Pack might actually go out and win a few games against teams that are soft against the run, since that'll open up the possibility for the pass for Favre. Donald Driver played the role of star receiver very nicely, but it's only a matter of time before he gets swarmed. Another receiver is going to have to step up posthaste. The run defense was way better than expected, giving up runs of 10 yards or more on only two occasions.

Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a surprise and all the units that need work will improve quickly. Even with that, the Packers are looking at a maximum of 9 wins, and a postseason berth is unlikely. Right now, I'm thinking 5-11.

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