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Packers Embarrassed By Winless Bucs


The Green Bay Packers came into Sunday's game at Tampa Bay as ten point favorites, looking to rebound from their painful loss to Minnesota and regain some momentum.

Instead they blew a late second half lead and lost 38-28 to the previously winless Buccaneers and their rookie quarterback making his first career start. It doesn't get much worse than this for a team that many had picked to win the NFC North and make a postseason run.

The Packers are now 4-4 with several tough opponents remaining on the schedule. Sunday's loss was more of the same from the undisciplined team that seems unable to correct its glaring mistakes.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked six times and turned in one of his worst performances since taking over the starting role at the start of last season. Rodgers threw three interceptions and had a passer rating of just 57.6.

The Green Bay defense allowed 38 points to the NFL's 30th ranked scoring offense, though the Bucs scored on a blocked punt and an interception. Still, on this day the Packers looked like the 0-7 train wreck boiling in the hot Florida sun.

After the game, Packers players and head coach Mike McCarthy were understandably upset. Week after week we hear the same jargon from McCarthy, how "we need to get that fixed". But they never do.

"We were not prepared to the level that we should have been," McCarthy said.

Whether your opponent is 0-7 or 7-0, not being prepared in the NFL is unacceptable, especially when the Packers played the first half of the Vikings game last week as though they were unprepared.

“This has to hurt us so bad that we can’t never ever play like this again,” nose tackle Ryan Pickett said. “That’s the only way we’re going to turn it around. If we don’t, we’re going to have a long year. If players aren’t motivated to come out and play next week, wrap it up. This hurts. This is the lowest point.”

Players get payed to make plays, but when they keep making the same mistakes each week, the responsibility has to fall back on the head coach. Obviously something isn't working. The point isn't getting home.

Green Bay has too many playmakers in key positions to be losing to inferior opponents and getting smoked by good teams. The Packers have one of the best receiving corps in the league, feature the NFL's top rated passer, and have two of the best cornerbacks in the league. Yet, they have been unable to get it together, dating back to the start of last season.

Something has to change in Green Bay. While the Packers are continually one of the youngest teams in the league, there is no excuse for the lack of discipline exhibited every week. If it isn't boneheaded penalties or sacks, it's special teams blunders that spells disaster for the Packers every week.

After Rodgers rushed for a twelve yard touchdown to give the Packers a 28-17 lead with 12:54 remaining in the game, Tampa Bay running back Clifton Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards, setting up a touchdown. The situation was eerily similar to last week when the Packers gave up a long return to Vikings receiver Percy Harvin after scoring to pull within five.

If the Packers are going to make the playoffs, they are going to have to get in as a wildcard, which makes losses like this to inferior opponents even more upsetting. With upcoming games against Dallas, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Arizona, the Packers can ill-afford to throw away games.

If they continue to play the way they have, the Packers don't deserve to be in the playoffs anyway. But if McCarthy hopes to return as head coach he better start finding a way to get things fixed. The Packers have way too much talent to finish below .500 for the second straight year.


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