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Putting the wrap on the 2014 Packers.

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Packerlifer, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Packerlifer

    Packerlifer Cheesehead

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/17925/green-bay-packers-season-report-cardhttp://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/gnb/2014.htm

    FIVE MINUTES FROM THE SUPERBOWL or SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR. Either one should be an apt title for the Packers 2014 video season yearbook when it comes out in a few months.

    The championship game loss at Seattle last Sunday has cast a deep, dark pall over the season but it may be distorting some things as well as it's the last memory we have of this year's team. Perhaps the loss is not so much the issue as the way it went down. Remembering the pre and early season views it was always questionable whether the Packers could beat Seattle and/or San Francisco - at least in the view at the time - for NFC supremacy.

    The Packers actually pretty well hit all their benchmarks for the season; at least in terms of what was most realistically expected of them.

    They won a fourth consecutive NFC North Division title and made the playoffs for a sixth straight season. Setting or equaling franchise records in those areas of achievement.

    They were undefeated (9-0) at Lambeau Field and dominated opponents at home in historic fashion.

    They earned a wild card bye and got and won a home divisional playoff to advance to the championship game. It was the Pack's deepest run in the postseason in four years.

    We are awaiting all but the official announcement of Aaron Rodgers winning his second league MVP award in his career.

    The offense came together the way it was hoped for the previous season, when it was delayed by Rodgers' long absence with a fractured collarbone. Can we just mention the dynamic receiving duo of Nelson & Cobb, the running of Lacy, the development of rookies Adams and R.Rodgers, and the offensive line succeeding with a rookie center and a healthy Brian Bulaga for a change.

    The defense showed a few signs of improvement. Top draft pick Clinton-Dix looks like a winner, despite the rookie mistake on the 2-pt. conversion last Sunday. The rare Ted Thompson forays into free agency netted two helpful veterans Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion. Whoever had the idea they showed some real creativity in the deployment of Clay Matthews.

    The injury situation was better than it has been for a long time. Changes in the practice schedule and training seemed to be paying off.

    The real head scratcher about this team, though, had to be its Jekyll and Hyde personality change when it came to playing on the road. Especially since the most drastic drop-off in those games was by the team's strength; it's offensive unit.

    Special teams remained an underperforming area, although with something of mixed bag. Mason Crosby's placekicking, Tim Masthay's punting - until late in the season- and the punt returning of Micah Hyde deserve credit. But blocking for placekicks and handling on-side kicks were a problem even before Seattle.

    The Packers may have peaked a little too early, when they beat New England at Lambeau at the end of November. They weren't quite the same team, even at home, after that point. They had a blow-out lead over Atlanta shrink to a one-score nailbiter in the second half of a Monday nighter and may have escaped only because the Falcons' star receiver Julio Jones was forced from the game by injury in the fourth quarter.

    Then came two road games that arguably cost the Packers their Super Bowl. Losing at Buffalo cost them home field advantage for the playoffs and Aaron Rodgers calf injury at Tampa Bay threw a team changing injury issue for the postseason.

    How the Packers showed up for the season finale against Detroit to win the division and against Dallas in the playoff at home underscores how we would probably be assessing their rematch with the Patriots in the Super Bowl next week had the Seahawks had to come to Lambeau instead.

    As bitterly disappointing as the last game was there's 29 other clubs and their fan bases in the NFL that would gladly trade for the season Green Bay had in 2014-15.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
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  2. Vrill

    Vrill Cheesehead

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    We'll always be a 10+ win team with Rodgers at the helm and healthy. I have no worries about next year. Draft well and re-sign key players, we'll be back better than ever.
     
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  3. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Tim Masthay was actually terrible this season. I wouldn't mind bringing in some competition for him during the offseason.
     
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  4. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    Good summary. A very good season overall. Yes, the way it ended was a crushing disappointment, especially in how well they played head to head vs the two SB teams leaving a feeling that no one was better, but someone else will hoist the Lombardi.
     
  5. Packerlifer

    Packerlifer Cheesehead

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  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    The defense needs to get better. Four years of muddling mediocrity, a lot of draft capital expended, considerable FA capital expended on Peppers, and little progress in developing a unit that stands up under stress should not be considered acceptable business as usual. You cannot expect to simply outscore teams with stout defenses on the road.

    Against the better defenses on the road this season, the Packers scored 16, 7, 27, 13, 20 and 22 at Seattle, Detroit, Miami, Buffalo, Tampa and Seattle, respectively. That's four losses, a win that came down to a last play TD against Miami, and a win against a Tampa team with an inept offense.

    The defense's contribution to the fateful 5 minutes was symptomatic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
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  7. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    There's no denying the defense has to get better especially in the middle of the unit. There was considerable improvement in the second half of the season though when Matthews moved inside.

    The offense has to play better on the road as well. Aside of the one game at Chicago they never scored more than 27 points on the road, finishing 17th in the league in total points scored.
     
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  8. 7thFloorRA

    7thFloorRA Cheesehead

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    I thought he was pretty good until that stretch where he didn't punt at all or only once for 4 or so games. He was terrible after that stretch. Nothing wrong with competition. Maybe he had to punt short so Slocum's awful unit could get down there to make a tackle.
     
  9. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Aside of allowing Thigpen's punt return TD vs. the Bills (after a terrible punt by Masthay) the unit was pretty good.
     
  10. Sky King

    Sky King Cheesehead

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    Rich Gosselin's annual ratings has the Packer STs dead last at 32. Not good.
     
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  11. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I'm sure 7 blocked kicks factored heavily into that.
     
  12. Packerlifer

    Packerlifer Cheesehead

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  13. Sanguine camper

    Sanguine camper Cheesehead

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    Performance should be evaluated against reasonable expectations given the talent level. The offense played poorly on the road and it cost them a trip to the Super Bowl. Other than a few nice punt returns the special teams were the worst in the league. Again the unit cost them a trip to the Super Bowl. The defense improved but still showed the ability to collapse in loses to Seattle, NO, and the win against Atlanta. Again had the defense not collapsed in the final 4 minutes the Packers would be in the Super Bowl. All three facets of the team showed both promise but an unnerving tendency to underperform under pressure. The 2014 team squandered its opportunity to go to the Super Bowl.
     
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  14. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    This was the key, and there's no reasonable explanation for it. The core players on the team (Rodgers, Matthews, Sitton, Jordy,) have all been there before. This team is in the playoffs every single year. They SHOULD be used to the pressure.

    There is no acceptable reason that they cannot handle the playoff pressure as well as any other playoff team.
     
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  15. Pack12TX

    Pack12TX Cheesehead

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    I finally got around to watching the broadcast of the Mike McCarthy show. To me, it gave me a sense of closure to the season. I have been so impacted by the way the game unfolded that it has been hard for me to see any good from the season. But - I am a Packer fan through and through and am supremely confident that we will bounce back from this. We re-sign key players, keep developing the young talent, and we will be right back in the fold in 2015.
     
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  16. MadCat

    MadCat Cheesehead

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    We do looked primed to come back with a vengeance next year with a healthy AR, especially if we get our must-signs back. It's nice knowing we are on an upswing. Hopefully the painful loss against Seattle will provide a lot of extra fuel!
     
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  17. Packerlifer

    Packerlifer Cheesehead

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