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An Alarming Trend in Green Bay: Poor Starts

Dec 7, 2008 – 2:50 PM
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Bruce Ciskie

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The Green Bay Packers stood at 5-5 after a 37-3 win over the Chicago Bears. At that point, they had at least given themselves a puncher's chance at the playoffs.

However, they are being plagued lately by a number of problems. We've talked about their defensive issues, and we've discussed the special teams.

The most alarming recent trend with this team might be their slow starts. Since getting to 5-5, the Packers have been blown away by the Saints and Panthers in the first quarters of those games. Against Minnesota, the Packers started slowly, recovered briefly thanks to a couple big plays, and found a way to lose.

In four of the Packers' last five games (Chicago being a notable exception), the Packers have fallen behind. They have lost all four of those games.

Against Houston on Sunday, the Packers came out almost completely unprepared. Tramon Williams got beat by Kevin Walter less than two minutes into the game, and Walter turned the long pass into a longer touchdown when Williams and Nick Collins ran into each other. Walter burned Williams later on for a long play, too. On both plays, Williams was where he needed to be, but never bothered to locate the football. Walter, of course, knew exactly where the ball was because he thought to look for it.

I've said a lot of things about the Packers' season to this point, but the one thing I have not done is call out head coach Mike McCarthy.

However, that may have to change. The Packers can't afford to keep starting games this badly unless a 10-loss season is their goal.
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