The Green Bay Packers had little going in the first half offensively, they were terrible in short yardage, third-downs continue to be a mess and scored a touchdown on just one of five trips inside the red zone. But in the end, the Packers won their 10th game and clinched a playoff spot for the seventh straight season, which is a franchise record.
Clinching a spot in the playoffs should be cause for celebration, but not everybody showed the enthusiasm of the moment, especially quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers struggled to muster a ground game with Eddie Lacy and James Starks. They went with Randall Cobb in the backfield on at least one key drive in the second half. It covered 92 yards on 19 plays, but the Packers still had to settle for a field goal.
Aaron Rodgers said he wasn’t pleased with the offense and when asked why, he sais, “We weren’t very effective. We had less than 300 yards. We had a terrible first half.”
Rodgers added, “We just don’t really have a clear-cut direction. We got into some things with John Kuhn in there and four receivers, but we were too inconsistent.”
Mike McCarthy wasn’t happy about the lack of execution on offense, but he liked the second half. McCarthy also made sure he let everybody know how he felt about all the negative questions directed at he and his team following their securing ten-wins and securing a playoff spot.
So much for a power running game in December. After gaining 230 yards the week before against Dallas, the Packers struggled to get Eddie Lacy and James Starks going. With the Raiders stacking the line of scrimmage to stop the run, the Packers made the adjustment in the second half by going with Cobb in the backfield and four wideouts.
James Jones had the biggest day among the receivers, catching six passes for 82 yards with a 30-yard touchdown reception. That day came against the team that released Jones, which eventually led to his return to the Packers.
Most of the offensive players are puzzled with the struggles from time-to-time, yet they were generally excited about the win and clinching the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers was different. Perhaps a sign that he doesn’t feel the Packers will be able to shake out of their slump in time for the playoffs.
But for now, the Packers are riding a three-game winning streak and have a big game this coming Sunday at Arizona against the Cardinals. If the season were to start today, the Packers would be facing the Minnesota Vikings in a wildcard playoff opener at Lambeau Field.