Grading the GB Packers Week 12: Goodbye Playoffs and Goodbye McCarthy

Well, that does it. With a 4-6-1 record, the Packers are all but eliminated from the playoffs. Once again, Green Bay lost the turnover battle, and the third-down efficiency is probably the most telling stat: 2 for 10. Mike McCarthy isn’t to blame for every mistake, but poor clock management and wasting time outs continued to be a problem in Week 12. I applaud his decision to go for it on 4th and short, but it still won’t be enough to save his job. I don’t know anyone who believes McCarthy is returning in 2019, and judging by his somber vibe in the post-game press conference, I’m fairly sure he knows his pink slip is coming too.

Aaron Rodgers missed some wide open plays, and he held the ball a bit too long once again. The 94 Passer Rating looks fine, but failing to reach 200 yards and a 23.4 QBR tell a better story. Aaron Jones‘ longest run was 11, but he also didn’t get any help from a rotating O-Line. David Bakhtiari and Lane Taylor both left with injuries at one point in this game, meaning backups Justin McCray and Jason Spriggs had to fill in. The latter got completely exposed by a good Minnesota pass rush, leading to two of their four sacks of Rodgers. Despite multiple recent 100+ yard performances, Marques Valdes-Scantling was only thrown one accurate target all game, and I don’t know if that falls more on Mike McCarthy or Aaron Rodgers.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry stepped up in Mike Daniels’ absence, each tallying one of the team’s two sacks. The edge rush was relatively non-existent, but Clay Matthews showed a lot of pressure in the run defense, something we haven’t seen from him in a long time. Blake Martinez didn’t make any significant plays this week, but his 13 Tackles led the team once again. Tramon Williams completely blew coverage by tripping over himself, giving up a wide-open touchdown. His day got worse by muffing a punt return, leading to a Minnesota recovery in the red zone and essentially sealing the Packers’ playoff-missing fate. Jaire Alexander showed relatively good pressure on elite receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, but still blew some deep plays. Kentrell Brice‘s early injury led to plenty of playing time to Josh Jackson, Josh Jones and newcomer Ibraheim Campbell, none of which made any plays to halt Minnesota’s winning momentum. On Special Teams, Mason Crosby made all of his attempts and JK Scott averaged 46 yards a punt, so aside from Tramon Williams’ failure, an alright day for Ron Zook’s men. All in all, the Packers don’t look like a playoff team, and now they’ve essentially confirmed how they look with their results.

OVERALL: C

Offense: C QB/RB: C+ WR/TE: C OL: C-

Defense: C+ DL: B- LB: B- DB: D+ Special Teams: C

BEST GRADE: A-: WR Davante Adams, RB Aaron Jones, DT Kenny Clark, and OLB Clay Matthews

Davante Adams makes it seven weeks tied for the highest grade-earner. He pulled in 5 catches, didn’t have any bad drops, and added his 10th touchdown of the season. He also clinched his first career 1,000 Yard season, a big deal after falling three yards short in 2017. Aaron Jones had a bigger workload this week, racking up a Touchdown and 93 yards from scrimmage. Kenny Clark stuffed both Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray, while tallying one of the team’s two sacks. Clay Matthews played his best run defense game in a long time, closing off the edge consistently and leading the team with two tackles for loss.

WORST GRADE: F: Tramon Williams

Green Bay’s secondary had plenty of underwhelming performers, but no one on the entire roster played worse than Tramon Williams. Already one of the worst grade-earners among starters, Tramon tripped over himself and gave up a wide-open touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs. Giving up 7 points on defense wasn’t even his worst play. With over 6 minutes left on the clock, Tramon was about to field a punt down by 10 and hand the reigns over to Rodgers & Co. Instead, he muffed the punt and Minnesota recovered on Green Bay’s 15 yard line, essentially killing any hope of the Packers making the playoffs on one play. On a night with many inexperienced defenders running around, the most experienced player on D gave up the playoff-killing play. At 35, Green Bay might look into cutting Tramon this offseason.

MVP Watch: With Davante Adams sharing the highest grade for the seventh straight week, his lead over a recently underwhelming Aaron Rodgers is likely insurmountable with five games to go. Blake Martinez is right behind Rodgers in third, while Aaron Jones and Kenny Clark hanging around tied for fourth.

STATS OVERVIEW:

Passing – Rodgers: C- (17/28, 198 Yds, 1 TD, 0 INT, 94 Passer Rating)

Rushing – A. Jones: A- (17 Rush, 72 Yds, 1 TD; 3 Rec, 21 Yds) J. Williams: C- (1 Rush, 5 Yds)

Receiving – D. Adams: A+ (5 Rec, 69 Yds, 1 TD); Valdez-Scantling: C (1 Rec, 3 Yds); Graham: C

(2 Rec, 34 Yds); Kendricks: C+ (2 Rec, 14 Yds); St. Brown: B (3 Rec, 53 Yds; 1 Rush, 5 Yds)

Defense – No Interceptions, 2 Sacks (Clark, Lowry)

Questions? Comments? Concerns? General Feedback? Do you want to see Green Bay start tanking? Let me know!

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