Well, I'll start at the start I guess. The team lost 40% of their offense line. That wasn't so good. I said they'd be ok; they'd just need some young guys to step up. I'll let the stats speak for themselves; 29th in rushing yards, 28th in yards per carry, 22nd in rushing TDs, and 25th in rushing first downs. Certainly that's not all on the offensive line, but I actually don't even know who the starting five are so they weren't that good.
Sharper became a Viking. I think this was actually a win-win. Despite my criticism of him at that point, he's a pretty good intercepter. IF he can sit back and watch the QB without having to worry about rookie CBs and his fellow safety getting smoked all game long. In other words, Green Bay was not a good fit for him anymore and they couldn't afford him. But he did fit in well in Minnesota and they could afford him.
Then there was the Walker holdout. General sentiment seemed to be that he had no reason to hold out and he was being a selfish punk. I'll partly forgive this because people have been jaded by TO, but I still disagree with the way the Packers handled this situation. Javon ended his holdout before the season started because he's not a bastard like McKenzie.
This leads me to my preseason prediction. During the holdout, I predicted a 9-7 record with Javon and a 6-10 record without him. Then in the first game of the season Walker's season ended. What did all the haters say then? Not much. Anway, Favre started turning it over early and often, with 2 fumbles lost and pick.
That first game pretty much set the tone for the season. Anytime you lose to Joey Harrington it's not going to be a good year. Favre set a high with 29 picks and also totaled up 7 lost fumbles just for good measure. In fairness there were probably about 4 or 5 picks that were end of the half or end of the game throws and at least one that was on a 4th down and ended being probably better than a punt because it ended up at like the 5. But about 10 of the rest of the picks were mind numbingly ridiculous decisions by Favre. I think its reasonable to blame Ferguson for about 3 of them too.
Fergi deserves his own paragraph. Actually, he's not even worth that. Driver had a good season and for the most part was the lone bright spot on the entire offensive side of the ball. Ferguson still stinks, which isn't surprising. His contract is through, he's way overpaid. Chatman is not good. Some guy named Jones played one game but was so bad that he got cut even though they only had like 3 receivers on the roster at that point. Murphy got hurt, that's all I have to say about him. Franks, who got himself a nice new contract too, was often hurt and basically did nothing. The backup was hurt a lot too, I don't even care to spend the 5 seconds it would take to remember his name or look it up. [Editor note: It's David Martin] [Editor note: Editor is Viking Fan] Donald Lee though I thought was pretty decent; they should've given him some more action. In summary, the receiving corp was pretty much the worst.
The running back situation was not any better. As already mentioned, the team stats are bad and the line wasn't that good. Still, Green stunk until he got hurt. Davenport did alright but lasted like one game I think. Fisher is not good enough to be an every down back, plus he got hurt too. Some guy got that start then and fumbled on his first carry I believe. He got a one way ticket to the pine, until they let him try and return kicks at which point he fumbled some more. Poor guy. This all lead to the premiere of Gado. He was decent, but then he got hurt too. Basically there was no consistent running game all year, which was not good. That combined with the infinitesimal drop off from Walker to Ferguson and Chatman and Favre's inexplicable decisions made for a bad situation.
The defense struggled early. But they got better as the season progressed. I think Bates is a good coach and if they stick with him for a few years he can build a good defense. Carrol got flagged for plays that he wasnít even on the field for. He was pretty bad, but still he had a few calls against them that were either complete bull or only called on him because he has a reputation. Other than that I donít have much to say about the defense. Thankfully they canned Hunt. KGB is overpaid. Barnett was alright, but heíll never be a Pro-Bowl caliber player.
Back to my prediction. The Packers ended up being without Walker, which I predicted would lead to 6-10. I was 2 games off as the ended up going 4-12. Not too bad considering. They lost all the close games that they won the year before, and they just couldnít put together a complete game. Special teams were awful too.
The Packers have been going downhill fairly steadily since they blew the Super Bowl against the Broncos. They let Holmgren go because he wanted GM powers, then they ended up giving said powers to one Mike Sherman. His coaching is ok, his GM skills were terrible. So the Packers go 4-12 and Holmgrenís team has the best record in the NFC. Think about what could have been if theyíd have kept Holmgren and let him be GM. Ahman probably would never have been a Packer, but how many SuperBowl rings does he have? What does this have to do with the Packers 2006? Not much. Except that I donít see a quick turnaround coming so I thought it would be more fun to write about what might have been then what will be.
Letís start with Sherman. His GMing masterpiece has left the Packers with not much salary cap room and not much talent overall on the roster. Unfortunately, the new guy has basically been just as bad. Sherman may be fired. It doesnít really matter. In fact, I donít really want to talk about him. Heís moot. Update 1/2/06: He has been fired. I donít know who they should hire, but I hope it isnít any of the other coaches who have been fired at this point because I think they all are not so good. I just heard of list of other possible firings and I hope the Packers donít get any of those guys either.
Favre. Canít live with him, canít live without him. Can he live without football? That is the million dollar question. Literally. If he retires I think that would free up a wad of cash for the Packers to spend on filling some of there many, many holes. It would also mean that theyíd have to find a new starting QB. Is Rodgers ready? Is he even any good? Who knows. He could be the next Carson Palmer, or the next Joey Harrington. The Packers will probably want to bring in a veteran, probably as a backup. But it should be someone they can turn to if Rodgers really struggles. Who should that be? I have no idea because I have no idea who is even going to be available. But it will be an important signing if that time comes.
Or Favre could decide not retire. Some media members have suggested that the Packers should trade Favre, as much for his own good as anything else. Honestly, on a theoretical level I somewhat agree with them. But I just donít see Favre wanting to go to another team. Heís already said he doesnít want to learn a new system as a Packer, so I doubt heíd be up for a team switch. If he decides to return, he needs to play better though. No excuses.
Hopefully Walker can return from his injury by the start of the regular season. Even so, the Packers need to do some serious upgrading at that position. From my fantasy football observations, there appears to be a lack of quality backups in the league. So Iím shooting for drafting at least one guy maybe in the mid rounds, and then trying to find a diamond in the rough free agent.
The running back situation is also fairly dire. Green has probably seen his best days go by, and Davenport and Fisher are injury prone and not that great. I think Gado would make a good #2, Fisher is alright as a 3rd down guy, but that means they still need a #1. Thatís where things get interesting. There is actually a bit of a surplus of decent RBs in the league right now, so itís conceivable that they could either get a free agent or make a reasonable trade for someone. Or they could use that #5 pick. Either way, I think itís time for a changing of the guard at that position.
The defense still needs help at pretty much every position. They just need to take anything they can get pretty much.
So, itís gut feeling time. And this may be from drinking too much last night and eating a bunch of Andes right now while polishing off the leftover champagne, but my gut does not feel good. I say theyíll keep Sherman, Favre will return, theyíll find even more creative ways to lose close games but Favre will play better, and theyíll go 7-9. Then in 2007 Favre will retire, Sherman and Thompson will be canned, Iíll take over as GM and draft Brian Calhoun, weíll have an Apprentice type reality show to pick the new head coach, and then win the SuperBowl when Adam Vinetariís last second field goal is blocked by flying pigs.
Update 1/02/06: Alright, so much for that plan. Sherman is gone now. Which means Favre will probably retire. This means itís time for full scale rebuilding. Theyíll bring in a first time head coach, maybe a college guy but more likely a coordinator from a different NFL team. Half the roster will have changed by the first game of next year. Theyíll struggle early on and end up 6-10 as Rodgers starts to improve and the defense really starts to come together.
A Packer's 2005 review (good riddance) and 2006 preview (Bushless and Favreless?)
|Alex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret|
Where's the rest of the article?
Anyway, I just wanted to bump this for Fergi's sake.
|Sarah - So's your face|
|Remember when these players were on our team? Ah little Samkon....|
|Jeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist|