In defense of my bash of Bates (pun intended)...
Of course, this doesn't mean that I'm absolving the offense, special teams, Mike "Ho-Hum" Sherman or Ted "the offensive line is overrated" Thompson, but I do have two exhibits for your consideration:
- Exhibit A - Points allowed allowed by the defense in the first 3 quarters - 126 (for an average of 3.2 per quarter per game); points allowed in the 4th quarter - 61 (6.1 per game). The two returns for TDs given up by the Packers offense is equalled out by the 2 returns for TDs done by the Packers defense (against the hapless Saints).
- Exhibit B - 7 times this year the Packers defense had the chance to get a stop inside of 5 minutes left in the game to allow the offense a chance to either tie or win, 5 times, the defense could not come up with the stop. The other two times, the offense failed to come up with the score after the stop. Heck, why don't we run through the 7 -
- Week 1 - Detroit starts at their 42 with 7:35 left and a 10-3 lead; they score a touchdown with 4:17 left to provide the final margin of victory (to be fair, they were already within field-goal range by the "magic" 5-minute mark).
- Week 2 - Cleveland starts at their own 20 with 3:32 left and a 19-17 lead; rather than run out the clock, they throw 4 times out of 5 and score a touchdown with 1:50 left. This is especially vexing because the Packers march back down the field and score a touchdown, but couldn't recover the onside kick to continue the comeback.
- Week 3 - Tampa Bay starts on their 31 with 5:03 left and a 17-16 lead. 7 runs, 1 pass and 2 kneel-downs later, the game ends with them still with the ball on the Green Bay 21.
- Week 4 - Carolina starts on their 36 with 3:01 left and a 32-29 lead. The defense does get a 3-and-out to get the ball back with 1:58, but the offense goes 5-and-out-on downs.
- Week 7 - Minnesota starts on their 36 with 0:17 left and a 20-20 tie. They march down to the Packer 38 in 15 seconds and get a 56-yard field-goal with no time on the clock to win.
- Week 8 - Cincinnati starts on their 20 with 3:05 left and a 21-14 lead. They do get a first down, but the Packers get the ball back with 56 seconds left. With some help from the infamous drunken fan and a poor decision by Favre to throw the ball 4 yards beyond the line of scrimmage (and not even to the end zone), the Bengals survive.
- Week 11 - Minnesota starts on their 33 (after a piss-poor decision to squib the kickoff) with 2:59 left and a 17-17 tie. The march down to the Packers 7 in 2:20, center the ball, run the clock to almost zero, and get a chip-shot field-goal with no time on the clock to win (where have we seen this before?).