There was a certain defiance, a hint of hubris, in the way Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers dismissed the very suggestion they should try to sign the best veteran back-up possible after losing Aaron Rodgers for at least two months to shoulder surgery. They seemed to scoff at the very inference, because they had Brett Hundley already in their system. So why ever think to look elsewhere? Hundley was their guy and he'd been around their offense for years. Nothing to see here. We've got it covered. And don't you dare have the temerity to mention Colin Kaepernick, a Wisconsin native who ran roughshod all over the Lambeau turf in the playoffs as the 49ers quarterback not all that long ago. This is not going to be another Kaepernick column – I promise, sort of – although you will never get me to believe that a staff as astute as McCarthy and his assistants couldn't find a way to cull more out of an established starter like him than they have been able to extract from Hundley. Sometimes, it takes a little more than familiarity to be a winning quarterback in this league. Sometimes the most convenient transaction and the easiest decision – go with the guy we already have – isn't the right one. And when the Packers miss the playoffs – Sunday's ugly, 23-0 drubbing by a middling Ravens team giving them three straight home losses for the first time since 2006 – there should be plenty of second guessing about their response to the Rodgers injury. It didn't have to go this poorly, and even something close to competent quarterbacking this weekend could have kept them in a game Baltimore's suspect offense repeatedly refused to put away. Hundley was downright difficult to watch, and save for a few throws against the Bears in Week 10, that's been the rule and not the exception since he took over. He holds the ball for ages. He has little to no presence in the pocket. When he does drift outside the pocket, he takes brutal sacks (Green Bay's injury-riddled offensive line is already as issue). He doesn't run forward with the ball in his hands for first downs as much as you might expect, and he was nothing short of overwhelmed on Sunday. The sacks came in droves, the turnovers began on the opening possession, a poor pick that Eric Weddle easily corralled in the end zone ending what turned out to be the only promising drive of the entire afternoon. He followed that up with an even worse decision, floating a ball up for grabs that Weddle was able to run 30 yards to catch uncontested (that's how long it lingered in the air), and the day of defeat was well underway. There was no going back, now. But against an offense as poor as Baltimore's. this was still a game. The Ravens converted three first-half giveaways into just six points and had Green Bay been able to muster anything close to a score or two, they could've made this a game. Instead, they ended up getting blanked and giving the Ravens all of those short fields finally led to more points going on the board for the visitors. Passes flew wild to no one in particular, the sacks came in droves and at no point in time did this look like a professional grade offense. That's largely been the case. Didn't have to be that way.
Packers' playoff hopes fading, but still sticking with Brett Hundley
CBS Sports | Nov 20