The Green Bay Packers Super Bowl bid has come to an end.
In the 31-26 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many were weary of the play calling.
While head coach Matt LeFleur deserves some of the blame — and has been slammed for not going for it on 4th and goal late in the game — many Packer fans remain upset with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
In Aaron Rodgers‘ nine playoff losses, his defense has allowed nearly 36 points per game.
After falling short once again, Green Bay may want to make changes to the coaching staff.
Should DC Mike Pettine Get Fired?
Mike Pettine become the defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers in 2018.
In his first year with the team, the Green Bay Packers defense ranked in the bottom half of total points allowed, rushing yards allowed and scoring defense.
An early Aaron Rodgers injury derailed their playoff hopes for that season.
But, in the past two seasons (’19-’20), the Packers have made back-to-back NFC Conference Championships.
In last year’s Conference Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo only attempted 8 passes while the team finished with 37 points.
It was a thrashing San Francisco rushing attack that propelled them to a Super Bowl clinching victory.
The 49ers were able to rush for 285 yards in route to a dominant win over the Packers.
Over the course of this season, the lack of rush defense once again headlined a porous Green Bay front seven.
Now, Green Bay’s defense improved in 2020 — especially towards the home stretch — in which they stopped the powerhouse Derrick Henry in Week 16.
The loss to the Buccaneers last week cannot solely be blamed on the defense.
They did intercept Tom Brady 3 different times and held the Bucs to only 76 rushing yards.
The problem is, this defense could not be relied upon in crucial moments of this game.
Can confirm @TomPelissero's report that the Packers are letting special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga go.
No word yet on Mike Pettine, although it's worth noting that he had come to the end of his contract.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) January 27, 2021
With change on the helm in Green Bay, it appears more likely than not that Mike Pettine will not return as the defensive coordinator for the 2021 season.
Although he does not deserve 100% of the blame, he certainly holds a large chunk of it.
Uncertainty in the Green Bay Packers Future
The predicted MVP of the regular season — Aaron Rodgers — shared strong remarks in his postgame comments after the loss this past Sunday.
“A lot of unknowns going into the offseason now”, The Athletic reports, “A lot of guys’ futures (are) uncertain, myself included.”
Rodgers continues, “I am going to have to take some time away for sure and clear my head and see what is going on with everything, but it is pretty tough right now.”
Of course, this caused large amounts of speculations and trade destinations magically appeared on social media, but Rodgers did in fact double down on his post game comments.
#Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on with @PatMcAfeeShow downplays speculation based on his postgame comments: "I don’t think that there’s any reason that I wouldn’t be back. But there’s not many absolutes in this business." Says he gave a real answer in the moment. "It's a slow week."
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 26, 2021
In the heat of the moment, Rodgers may have been expressing his frustration as his head coach took the ball out of his hands in the most crucial moment of the NFC Conference Championship game.
With the season in doubt, LaFleur has chosen to trust Mike Pettine’s defense over Aaron Rodgers.
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) January 24, 2021
The one certainty in Green Bay is that they need to improve their defense.
The first step is not bringing back Pettine.
The one time Aaron Rodgers had a top 10 NFL defense, he won the Super Bowl.
Green Bay remains hopeful they can replicate that in the years to come.