Six more sacks for the opposition and four more quarterback knockdowns. That’s what the Green Bay Packers offense gave up in a 31-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Lambeau Field, and it has the Packers brass searching for answers. It was the right side of the offensive line last week and the left side this week. Five of the six sacks were recorded by one Bengals defender, (DE) Antoine Odom and Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn’t happy. The 5 sacks by Odom is the most sacks every recorded by a single member of the opposition.
The Packers have now allowed 10 sacks in their first two games, the most since 1992. Rodgers has been knocked down 19 times in the first two games. Last year, it took him 5-games to reach that total.
Several members of the team questioned the teams work ethic in practice since the regular season started. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said they have to get serious about correcting things.
Mike McCarthy said most of the lines problems are fundamental. He said there have been at least four of the sacks allowed over the last two games that can be directly attributed to poor mechanics.
Starting left tackle Chad Clifton had to leave the game because of a sprained ankle. Team doctors say it’s too early to issue a timetable in regards to how long Clifton might be out. But it sounds like the veteran left tackle could miss at least some time. In his place, Daryn Colledge moved over from left guard, Jason Spitz moved from center to left guard and veteran backup Scott Wells moved in at center. McCarthy said there’s a good chance that’s what the line group will look like for this week’s game at St. Louis. McCarthy is confident Colledge will be more solid at LT when given a full week to prepare there.
One thing the Packers didn’t do was run the football. While Cincinnati’s Cedric Benson rushed 29 times for 141 yards, Packers halfback Ryan Grant got just 14 chances for 46 yards and a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers was credited with 4 carries for 43 yards, but those weren’t planned carries. Without a true running game, play action became impossible and Cincinnati pass rushers pinned their ears back and got after Rodgers.
McCarthy is also upset about the continued losing at home. In 3+ seasons in Green Bay, McCarthy’s Packers have now dropped 12-home games. That’s an average of just under 4 per season.
Is this Packers team simply in a funk? Why haven’t they been able to pick up where they left off in the preseason? It’s only two games in and the Packers, if they can right the ship, have another favorable game next weekend, at St. Louis. Green Bay needs to win that one, with a trip to Minnesota to face the Vikings in two weeks.