Losing road games against teams like Denver and Carolina was difficult but understandable. Winning on the road in the NFL is never easy. But losing a home game to the 1-7 Detroit Lions is downright embarrassing.
Mike McCarthy talked about how tough division games are and I have no doubt that some of what the coach of the Packers says is true. But the Detroit Lions had the worst record in football. They had the 26th ranked defense coming into the game. They had an offensive line that didn’t measure up in the first half of the season. And they had dismissed their team president and general manager, as well as three assistant coaches, including their offensive coordinator.
The Lions had lost 24-straight games at Lambeau Field, dating back to 1991. But when the dust settled, the Green Bay Packers dropped a 18-16 decision to the Lions, ending a home field win streak that stretched almost two years.
The Packers should have pummeled the Lions. At the very least, they should have found a way to pull out a win. Instead their problems in both the running game and the passing game continued. Receivers struggled to get open, the offensive line couldn’t open holes in the running game and the Packers coaching staff, while they want to run the football, they fail to commit to that running game.
The Packers ran 82 offensive plays on Sunday and only 18 of them were running plays, 16 if you don’t count two Aaron Rodgers scrambles.
The Packers made a change at running back, promoting James Starks to the starting spot. Sunday, they deactivated Eddie Lacy, which is proof that Lacy has been battling through injury issues. Starks managed to gain just 42 yards on 15 carries (2.8 ypc).
When asked what is wrong with the offense and the passing game, Aaron Rodgers repeatedly said he’ll have to watch the film and will be able to comment on Wednesday, which is the next time the media will have a chance to meet with the Packers quarterback.
Rodgers was off target on a number of his pass attempts, more than he has been at any point this season. Yet the Packers quarterback says he isn’t playing hurt.
It’s clear if the Packers are going to turn things around, it is going to have to start with Rodgers. There seems to be a lot wrong with the Packers right now, but without Rodgers performing better, it’s going to be hard to turn the corner.
The Packers did make a second straight fourth quarter comeback and had a chance to win in the end, but Mason Crosby’s 52-yard field goal attempt was struck poorly and missed badly. Prior to the miss, the Packers actually had a chance to tie the game, but Rodgers pass attempt to Davante Adams was broken up in the end zone.
Mike McCarthy was once again asked if he’s ready to assume the play-calling and he said things would remain the same.
The problem is the Packers fourth quarter comebacks the last two weeks have come primarily when Aaron Rodgers has been in hurry-up, scramble mode. That’s when they’ve played fast and had the opposing defense on their heals.
Guard Josh Sitton felt the Packers needed to get back to that, playing more up tempo.
The Packers finally found some open receivers in the fourth quarter. Jared Abbrederis got things rolling, catching four passes for 57 yards and put the Packers in position for an eventual Richard Rodgers touchdown catch. Justin Perillo also found openings and caught five passes for 58 yards and a touchdown of his own.
The Packers (6-3) losing streak has now reached three games and they’ve fallen behind Minnesota (7-2) by a game atop the NFC North. They’ll face the Vikings next Sunday in Minneapolis.