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For one week, Aaron Rodgers -- not Mike McCarthy -- was to blame for the Packers' offensive woes  8 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

If the Cowboys didn't exist, Mike McCarthy's offensive scheme might be the worst in the league. It's certainly in the "least creative" discussion. There is a decent chance he's still calling plays from an old playbook he fetched out of Bill Walsh's trash bin back in the early 1990's. Only he added about 50 pages of different slant-flat plays.

Like the rest of the NFL-watching public, I'm not a fan of McCarthy wasting Aaron Rodgers' career with his outdated scheme. I wholeheartedly agree with Tom Brady when he says if Rodgers was given the "Patriots' offensive scheme and institutional knowledge on opposing defenses, he'd throw for 7,000 yards every year."

I agree with the sentiment, at least.

It happened on Sunday in Detroit. Blame McCarthy's crummy offense all you want for the 31-23 loss to the Lions, but make no mistake: No. 12 lost the Packers that game.

(Before we dig into the film, I will say this: Rodgers was his typical brilliant self in the second half, but the game was essentially over by that point with the Lions taking a 24-0 lead into the break. This game was lost in the first half and Rodgers was the main culprit.)

Let's start with Rodgers' two fumbles.

The first came on a third-down pass. McCarthy dialed up a poorly-executed mesh concept that somehow springs an open receiver. Rodgers, trying to make a play decides to leave a relatively clean pocket and ends up getting stripped from behind while waiting for Jimmy Graham to get free on a scramble drill.

</div> <p>The next fumble comes on second-and-2. The Lions send a blitz off the left edge which leaves a back wide open in the flat. Instead of making the easy throw to move the chains, Rodgers holds the ball and eventually gets stripped from behind.</p> <div style="width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.338%;" class="streamable-embed-container"> <iframe mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="https://streamable.com/e/gjqmm?id=gjqmm&amp;width&amp;height&amp;autoplay&amp;muted" class="streamable-embed"/> </div> <p>Those two easily-avoidable turnovers led directly to 10 points. The Packers lost by eight.</p> <p>Typically, when Rodgers holds onto the ball, we just assume his receiver aren't getting free, but that was not the case in the first half in Detroit. There were several times when a Packers receiver (or two) would come free but Rodgers failed to see them because he was looking to move and make a play.</p> <p>Here he has Marquez Valdes-Scandling (bottom of the screen) come open on a corner route. And after some waffling in the pocket, Graham also breaks free. Rodgers settles for a scramble that nearly gets him injured.</p> <div style="width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.338%;" class="streamable-embed-container"> <iframe mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="https://streamable.com/e/vup99?id=vup99&amp;width&amp;height&amp;autoplay&amp;muted" class="streamable-embed"/> </div> <p>McCarthy draws up a nice design to spring an open receiver (it happens every once in a while) and Rodgers somehow doesn't see it and throws to a covered running back instead.</p> <div style="width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.338%;" class="streamable-embed-container"> <iframe mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="https://streamable.com/e/fzhsv?id=fzhsv&amp;width&amp;height&amp;autoplay&amp;muted" class="streamable-embed"/> </div> <p>That's a touchdown if Rodgers makes the throw. Instead, Green Bay settled for a field goal attempt Mason Crosby was unable to convert.</p> <p>Here's a play where Rodgers has two open receivers to his right but decides to hold onto the ball for an eternity instead of making a throw, leading to another sack…</p> <div style="width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.338%;" class="streamable-embed-container"> <iframe mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="https://streamable.com/e/ft6z9?id=ft6z9&amp;width&amp;height&amp;autoplay&amp;muted" class="streamable-embed"/> </div> <p>This next play ends up going for a first down, but <a rel="noopener" target="_blank" data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/09/nfl-packers-aaron-rodgers-mike-mccarthy-bills">Rodgers was complaining about getting Davante Adams and Graham more involved</a> last weekend and here he has both wide open and Rodgers throws a checkdown instead.</p> <div style="width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.338%;" class="streamable-embed-container"> <iframe mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="https://streamable.com/e/0y4w9?id=0y4w9&amp;width&amp;height&amp;autoplay&amp;muted" class="streamable-embed"/> </div> <p>Rodgers' lack of vision carried over to one drive in the second half. Here's another sack where Rodgers had a receiver streaking open across his line of vision.</p> <div style="width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.338%;" class="streamable-embed-container"> <iframe mozallowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="https://streamable.com/e/47iao?id=47iao&amp;width&amp;height&amp;autoplay&amp;muted" class="streamable-embed"/> </div> <p>We've seen this happen before. The Packers offense stagnates, Rodgers starts to press and it just compounds the team's offensive issues. <a rel="noopener" target="_blank" data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/09/aaron-rodgers-stats-mediocre-green-bay-packers">We saw this over the second half of the 2015 season and that lasted into the 2016 season</a> before <a rel="noopener" target="_blank" data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/12/aaron-rodgers-best-quarterback-nfl-green-bay-packers-seattle-seahawks">Rodgers snapped out of it</a> and carried the Green Bay offense with <a rel="noopener" target="_blank" data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/01/nfl-playoffs-green-bay-packers-aaron-rodgers-dallas-cowboys-recap-goat-performance-highlights">one of the best stretches we've ever seen from an NFL quarterback</a>.</p> <p>Even when Rodgers isn't playing well (by his lofty standards) he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He's just not that superhuman quarterback capable of elevating McCarthy's myopic scheme and an unreliable receiving corps. And then there may even be stretches like the one we saw in Detroit where he does the opposite.</p> <p><strong>MORE:</strong></p> <p><a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/10/tony-stewart-nascar-owner-harvick-bowyer-busch-almirola-retire-playoffs-chase/?utm_source=USATAPP&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=inline-related">1 thing that would make Tony Stewart retire as a NASCAR team owner this year</a></p> <p><a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/10/nate-diaz-khabib-nurmagomedov-ufc/?utm_source=USATAPP&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=inline-related">Nate Diaz had the best response to Khabib Nurmagomedov's threat to quit the UFC</a></p> <p><a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/10/nfl-picks-against-the-spread-week-6/?utm_source=USATAPP&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=inline-related">NFL Week 6 picks against the spread: Will the Patriots beat the Chiefs?</a></p> <p><a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/10/nfl-aaron-rodgers-mike-mccarthy-offense-problems-blame-lions/?utm_source=USATAPP&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=inline-related">For one week, Aaron Rodgers -- not Mike McCarthy -- was to blame for the Packers' offensive woes</a></p> <p><a data-track-label="inline|intext|n/a" href="https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/10/nfl-power-rankings-week-5-patriots-rams-chiefs-packers-steelers-cowboys/?utm_source=USATAPP&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=inline-related">NFL Power Rankings, Week 5: The Patriots look like the Patriots again</a></p></body></html>

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