In Wisconsin we had two pro franchises(Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks) make the playoffs last season and both have larger expectations this season. The Green Bay Packers have many experts picking them all the way to the Super Bowl. Injuries are starting to mount and the running game is pathetic at this point. Not only is the running game pathetic, there is no running back on the roster that any team respects allowing teams to sit back and keep everything in front of them.
The pass defense is still very suspect and I blame much of this on the Ted Thompson strategy of expecting way too many low picks or street free agents to make up the roster for a Super Bowl contender. In the secondary we have Shields, Williams, Bigby, Harris, Underwood and Bush that are suppose to compliment Charles Woodson and Nick Collins. These five players were all low picks or not drafted at all. It is not good to have over 3/4 of a unit to be comprised of that many lower tier players. Some players like Harris can break through, and I hope that happens with Shields but it is much more likely that players picked up at that level do not belong on the field.
But… I think the biggest problem with the Packers is Mike McCarthy and his style. I MUCH prefer Scott Skiles approach. Skiles is very hard-nosed, he has very high expectations and demands his players perform at a certain level or they sit. He may have some odd rotations and may push some players too hard at times but he does NOT make excuses. He expects and demands accountability and is a very big reason for the Bucks resurgence.
When it comes to Mike McCarthy there may be no better offensive schemer. He has a vast playbook and personnel groupings but I think he fails in many of the qualities that are needed.
- McCarthy is too soft on the players.
- Not enough accountability. Players continue to make the same mistakes and there appears to be no consequences(fumbles, penalties, etc)
- Makes excuses, did you listen to his Lions postgame? McCarthy mentioned several excuses for the poor performance including the Monday night loss, Detroit being a divisional opponent, and injuries.
- Promotes overconfidence. This is the biggie for me, McCarthy promotes overconfidence and never tears his team down when they feel too good about themselves. He actually prefers this approach and I completely disagree. Athletes by nature are confident, especially at this level, they do not need a constant confidence boost. I believe in knocking a player down a notch when they a little too good and giving a boost when they get too low. McCarthy wants to stack successes as he puts it and never seems to say a negative remark.
My against the spread picks(ATS) went 8-6 last week putting my season record at 35-23-4.
Denver@ Baltimore -7 – Baltimore is better, but coming off the Steelers game they will be beaten up. Denver can move the ball and I could see them getting an early lead that the Ravens have to overcome.
Jacksonville -1 @ Buffalo - Bills get off the snide.
Kansas City @ Indianapolis -7 - Kansas City will get rolled here.
St Louis @ Detroit -3 - Detroit is due and this is a rookie QB on the road. BTW the Rams have had a ridiculously easy schedule in the first five weeks. Arizona, @ Oakland, Washington(who did not show up), Seattle, @ Detoit. That is four of the worst 6 teams in the league in their first 5 games. While Detroit has played @ Chicago, @ Minnesota, @ Green Bay, and Philadelphia, that is 4 of the top 15-20 teams in the league.
Atlanta -3 @ Cleveland - I am taking a stand, I do not see this Atlanta greatness. The secondary is suspect, the offense does not scare me, and I am not sure where Matt Ryan goes in the QB hierarchy.
Tampa Bay @ Cincinnati -6.5 – No clue, I do not trust the Bengals and hate this pick.
Chicago @ Carolina -1 – The Panthers also get their first win.
Green Bay -2.5 @ Washington – At some point Green Bay has to play a decent game, even if they don’t you know McCarthy will have nothing negative to say about it.
NY Giants @ Houston -3 – I just do not think the Giants are very good. Chicago looked like they were trying to lose the game and the Giants did not take advantage until well into the second half.
New Orleans -7 @ Arizona – Arizona sucks.
San Diego -6 @ Oakland – So does Oakland.
Tennessee @ Dallas -7 – I do not like poorly coached teams coming out of a bye.
Philadelphia @ San Francisco -3.5 - I have a feeling the 49ers smash the Eagles, this game could get Vick a contract extension since Kolb looks like he sucks.
Minnesota @ NY Jets -4 – I think by the end of the year the Moss thing will not turn out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but right now the Vikings think it is and that should give a confidence boost.