Jason B. Hirschhorn of Acme Packing Company was nice enough to take the time to answer 5 questions about the Green Bay Packers for us heading into Sunday’s game. Be sure and head over to APC to check out the questions he asked me with my answers.
1. I haven't gotten to see the Packers play much. A lot of people are saying Aaron Rodgers isn't playing well. Is that true or is there something else going on with the offense?
Aaron Rodgers has not played at the level we have come to expect from a two-time MVP quarterback. In some games, he absolutely has not played well by any standard. During Week 6's tilt with the Dallas Cowboys, Rodgers threw one of the most incomprehensible interceptions of his career and nearly had another.
However, Rodgers' has overall performed well above average for an NFL quarterback, as his 4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio attests. He still makes throws that few other passers in the league can complete and remains a dangerous runner even at 32. Rodgers needs to play sharper, but the Packers can take down any opponent with him under center.
2. Is Mike McCarthy really on the hot seat?
I wrote about this at length a few weeks ago. In short, the stagnation of the offense over the last year and change reflects poorly on several individuals, and Mike McCarthy has to take the lion's share of the blame. Since the offense finished first in points during the 2014 season, it reached lows in every major metric not seen since the pre-Brett Favre era. The unit started this year arguably worse than the season before, with the offense ranking among the very bottom of the league in average yards per play.
Granted, McCarthy has made adjustments to the offense in recent weeks that suggest it can return to a high level. The Packers now incorporate a greater variety of personnel groups, pre-snap motion, and other methods to generate easier yards. Still, outside of a few spots, the offense remains a work in progress, and if it does not get turned around it could ultimately cost McCarthy his job.
3. Jordy Nelson has been scoring touchdowns but not making the explosive plays we are used to seeing from him. Is his health back to 100% yet?
No, and Jordy Nelson may never return to his All-Pro form from a few years ago. Even without the ACL tear that ended his 2015 season before it started, Nelson had begun to accumulate smaller but significant injuries such in his knee, foot, and hip. Now aged 31, Nelson may have lost a step regardless. He remains an effective weapon for the Packers, but he may spend more and more time in the slot where his speed doesn't affect him quite as much à la late-career Larry Fitzgerald.
4. Obligatory fantasy football question: Is Ty Montgomery going to be a full go in this game after being on somewhat of a pitch count last week?
Ty Montgomery looks likely to have a greatly increased snap count this week, but other factors could affect his fantasy impact. Running back James Starks -- the de facto starter with Eddie Lacy on injured reserve -- should return this week and take a sizable amount of the backfield snaps. Likewise, Randall Cobb could receive more work as a wideout, limiting Montgomery's opportunities as a pass catcher. Keep those things in mind when you determine whether to play him this week.
5. Write the headline in Sunday's Tennessean.
Titans drop tight game against reeling Packers