Sunday, September 21, 2014
Late Reaction: The Green Bay Packers Vs. The Detroit Lions
Well it would seems like it's deja vu for the Green Bay Packers. This marks the teams third consecutive 1-2 start, but it doesn't mean it's time to panic quite yet. Every season is different, but if the Packers can overcome this start like they have in the past it will bode well for them. The only real worry is that the Lions exposed a lot of weaknesses in this Packers team on Sunday.
The offense had probably one of the most dreadful performances ever with Aaron Rodgers under center. The only other game that I can remember that was this lackluster was in 2010, a loss at home to the Miami Dolphins. Aaron Rodgers and co. could not get anything going even when they were set up perfectly. The Packers defense set the offense up nicely with 3 turnovers. The Packers offense could only muster 7 measly points on those 3 turnovers. Rodgers was holding onto the ball too long, and didn't seem to trust any of his receivers outside of Nelson and Quarless. To me that's one of the more disheartening things about todays performance. Rodgers is a QB who loves to spread the ball around. But today he was targeting Nelson so much that he actually was forcing it to him.
Nelson like usual made a few spectacular grabs,but couldn't do it all. Targeting one receiver is the Lions m.o., not the Packers. I wonder where Rodgers rapport with Randall Cobb has gone? Cobb had 3 receptions for 29 yards. That's a sad line for a guy that is supposed to be a big part of this offense. Could it be that the Packers aren't using Cobb to the best of his abilities? I believe Cobb has thrived the most in the slot. When he can create that separation without getting jammed at the line. You get him in the open field and it's game over. I haven't seen that in 3 games. Also where are the gadget plays we're accustomed to seeing from Cobb? Those draws, and tosses out of the backfield are money plays. It also may have been a different ball game had Rodgers not missed Nelson in the end zone a crucial 4th and 5.
The Packers are becoming very predictable on offense. It seems like we all knew while watching what was going to be run, and who the play was geared towards. Either the play action isn't working or there simply isn't enough of it. The Packers offense, prior to Rodgers departure, in 2013 was different. It seemed that whether or not the run game was working that the play-action was always working. To me Rodgers is at his best on play-action passses. That deep fade to Nelson off the play-action always seems to work at least one time a game, yet they don't try it? Mike McCarthy either has to hold himself or Tom Clements accountable for the lack of offense. This game also had some bright spots.
The defense played lights out for most of the game, and had the offense got a lead I believe the defense would've hung on. The group which had been looked at as the weakness of this Packers team forced 3 turnovers, and had Matthew Stafford shook all game. Rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix snagged his first career interception off a tipped pass by Davon House. This marked the first interception by a Packers safety in a year. House also made a spectacular interception in which he tracked a severe over throw by stafford and hauled it in. It turned out for the worst though as House was downed at 1 yard line, and it led to Eddie Lacy being tackled for a safety.
Julius Peppers may have made the play of the day though. With the Lions in Packers territory driving deep, Peppers got around the corner with lightning speed and forced Stafford to fumble, then Peppers preceded to recover his own forced fumble. That's why the Packers brought the veteran in. He seems to be fitting in perfect, and is very comfortable with his transition to a 3-4 LB.
The run game seemed to get on track a tad bit this week as well. It wasn't one guy in general though. James Starks and Eddie Lacy showed the promise of being one of the best tandems in the league like they were last year. This is going to be important going forward, or at least until Rodgers calms down and gets comfortable.
This game will leave Packers fans with a bad taste in their mouths, but there's always next week. The Packers will get this thing figured out. Today was a huge wake up for a team who may have thought they were better than they actually are. Let the identity searching start in this locker room.
The entire defense