The Green Bay Packers ended their season on Saturday with a disappointing loss to the 49ers, 45-31. The loss brings to an end a season that was eventful: The “Fail Mary”, the 2-3 start, all of the injuries. At times it was nearly too much to handle. Still, the Packers had a good season though. In this game the Packers were badly outplayed in the second half and their tackling was horrendous all night. This comes a week after they tackled so well against the Vikings, and this leads us to the first of the issues they need to correct this offseason.
The Packers team tackling was spotty most of the season and in the final week of the regular season against the Vikings as well as the playoff game against the 49ers, the tackling was horrendous. This has got to improve, quickly, or they are going to have to live with just one Superbowl win during this era of Packers football. Now some of this could be attributed to the injuries, specifically to the linebackers, even more specifically Desmond Bishop going on IR during the preseason, but still at the end of the day, these guys are all paid professionals. They should be able to tackle another player once they get their hands on that player.
The second major issue that needs to be addressed is the offensive line as the play along the line was horrendous all season as well. Let me put it this way, Aaron Rodgers can't spend the rest of his career running for his life. Now the difference is that most of this can be attributed to the injuries along the offensive line. The Packers will get Brian Bulaga back next season, and former first round draft choice Derek Sherrod may be healthy for the first time in his professional career in 2013.
Who Will Play Center In 2013?
The one thing the Packers must do this off season is figure out the long term solution at center. Jeff Saturday turned out to be a disaster and I would bet that he has played the final game of his legendary NFL career. I liked what I saw from Evan Dietrich-Smith towards the end of the season, but I question if he can be the long term starter at center. I think he would be best suited as a backup. I would say that Ted Thompson, and this is just a guess, as there is nobody in the world who can predict what Thompson is going to do, but my guess is that he spends his first draft choice on a center this coming April. I will not say who that will be as you will just have to check in for future posts to find that out.
Coming into this season there was a major issue at running back. The Packers signed Cedric Benson off the street in August. Benson suffered a season ending injury against the Colts and I doubt that he will be back with the Packers next season. The Packers then shuffled through several starters before Dejaun Harris emerged at the end of the season. I like what I saw from Harris and he may be the long term solution. If he is, I've got a nickname for him, “The Little Jitterbug.” Do you like it?