As someone who has been guilty of trolling Packers fans in the past — usually with humor as the main intention — I have to say that I come to this post honestly and with no malice.
I am just as confused as Packers fans and writers are regarding how Green Bay’s quarterback situation has played out this season. The Packers started 4-1, and Aaron Rodgers was hurt early in the game against the Vikings. Brett Hundley played the rest of that game and started the next four. Green Bay has gone 1-4 in that span, falling to 5-5 overall.
It’s impossible not to think about how the Packers’ season might have played out differently if they had a capable veteran backup quarterback — their own Case Keenum. There was certainly a guy out there named Colin Kaepernick who might have done better.
Believing in Hundley is fine, but for coach Mike McCarthy to keep saying “Brett Hundley is our starter” — as he did again after the Packers were humbled in a 23-0 shutout loss to Baltimore on Sunday at Lambeau Field, a game in which Hundley threw three interceptions — there is a certain amount of unwarranted stubbornness at play as well. That quote, in fact, might very well end up appearing on the Packers’ 2017 tombstone.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel made a number of good points in his piece off the Ravens loss. A couple:
*Either coach Mike McCarthy and his assistants failed completely in training backup Brett Hundley to play quarterback in their offense. Or general manager Ted Thompson has wasted a year by putting his chips on someone who can’t win throwing from the pocket.
*Since drafting Rodgers, Thompson has selected Ingle Martin (’06), Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn (’07), B.J. Coleman (’12) and Hundley. Other than Flynn, who managed to go 2-2-1 the one time he had to take over the starting job for more than one game, it’s a terrible record. When you combine it with the ridiculous failures of Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, Graham Harrell and Vince Young, to name a few, it’s downright embarrassing.
Pete Dougherty took McCarthy to task, writing, “No, Hundley isn’t the backup the Packers thought he was. But more to the point, McCarthy didn’t give him any help Sunday, either.”
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky laid out his argument plainly with numbers: “It’s Hundley’s third NFL season but his first chance for extended playing time. There’s not enough yet to complete the book on the former fifth-round draft pick, but the first few chapters show a quarterback who has thrown two touchdowns and seven interceptions with a passer rating of just 63.2.”
The Vikings, by the way, have an interest in the Packers’ continued sputtering. These two teams play again in Week 16, and there remains a chance at least that Rodgers could be healthy by then. If Green Bay is out of the playoff picture, it’s harder to imagine Rodgers returning. The Packers are at Pittsburgh on Sunday, followed by two winnable games (Cleveland and Tampa Bay) before another tough one at Carolina.
If the Packers can lose 23-0 at home to Baltimore, though, they can lose to anyone. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.