I regret to inform you that the Green Bay Packers currently have the same record as the Cleveland Browns. What the fuck, man? Sitting at 4-6-1, without a single road win, the Packers will likely miss the playoffs for a second straight season.
Yesterday, the good folks at The Ringer had a few possibilities for what’s driven the team so far off the rails, including Aaron Rodgers making a pact with the devil Week 1 against the Bears (big if true). They also advocate for firing head coach Mike “The Beav” McCarthy which, duh, yes.
The article also posits that the 34-year-old might be past his prime, which is certainly possible. It’s true that Rodgers hasn’t dominated in the same way he did circa 2011 to 2014. It’s soberingly plausible that the quarterback is entering the twilight of his career.
But how about another, more hair-brained theory that somehow seems more likely: Aaron Rodgers is tanking.
Per The Ringer’s Riley McAtee:
“But maybe there’s a different explanation for Rodgers’s decline: He wants to make the back half of his 30s as productive as possible, and to do that, Rodgers realizes he needs to part ways with McCarthy. In order to get McCarthy off the Packers, Rodgers has to throw one season in the dumpster.”
It’s been an open secret that The Beav has squandered Rodgers’ prime. As fans, we were cool with status quo when the team kept winning, including a Super Bowl title in 2011. Recent years, however, has seen Rodgers’ stellar play act as a band-aid for myriad wasted timeouts, special teams blunders and missed opportunities. But the QB hasn’t looked like himself this year… and is that by design?
The theory is that Rodgers is purposely hindering his own play with off-target and missed throws and what-not. And he is doing so to reveal just how stagnant The Beav’s once-potent offense now is. For years, McCarthy has gotten away with running the same old-school plays over and over again into infinity, masked and R-E-L-A-X’d by a Rodgers Hail Mary here and a Hail Mary there.
Meanwhile, the football being played in today’s NFL is different than the kind McCarthy preaches. From Los Angeles to Kansas City to New England, innovative offensive coaches elsewhere scheme to their playmakers’ skill sets to make things easier for the quarterback. And maybe Rodgers wants in on that action.So perhaps he is getting up there in age, or simply is having a legitimate down season. Or maybe just maybe Rodgers has intentionally designed this as a “him-or-me” situation between he and his long-time coach. Or, most likely, I’m just way too far down the rabbit hole on this.
Regardless, for Green Bay — an organization that fears major change like one fears a great and powerful god — the first step should be to clean house. After 13 seasons, it’s time for Mike McCarthy to go. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If The Beav calls another fullback dive on third-and-long, I say we have him institutionalized. We are owners, after all. Right?