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.