A week ago, Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay Packers were 3-1 and he felt he didn’t need to explain what was up with the offense after putting up 400 yards in a win over the Giants. Many of his players followed suit, either not believing they had issues, or weren’t willing to discuss it with reporters.
After Sunday’s 30-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, coach and players weren’t nearly as combative. They admitted they have issues but didn’t offer any thoughts on how to fix the problems.
The Packers turned the ball over four times in the loss. Aaron Rodgers threw his third interception in the last two weeks. He also fumbled twice, losing one after trying to run a quarterback keeper on first and goal at the four yard line, ending a golden opportunity for the Packers to try to score a touchdown.
The Packers in all, fumbled five times and lost three of them. But it wasn’t just the four turnovers that did the Packers in. It was the chances that Aaron Rodgers had to hit wide open receivers for touchdowns, missing at last two times to wide open tight end Richard Rodgers and wide receiver Randall Cobb.
Rodgers finished with 294 passing yards, but much of it came in garbage time. He continues to struggle with fundamentals, in particular, poor footwork that led to accuracy problems. Even on some completed passes, Rodgers accuracy was off and it prevented receivers from gaining yards after the catch.
The Packers went into the game with Eddie Lacy as their only half back, even though he wasn’t 100 percent, still nursing a sore left ankle. He finished with 65 yards on 17 carries, but he needed periodic breaks and couldn’t make cuts on that left ankle.
Ty Montgomery carried three times for six yards, but was effective as a receiver out of the backfield. Montgomery finished with 98 yards on 10 receptions to lead Packers receivers.
Just as alarming was the Packers run defense, which entered the game as the number one rush defense in the NFL. But that unit did nothing to slow down the Cowboys run game. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 157 yards on 28 carries. The Cowboys as a team had 191 rushing yards.
Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott finally threw an interception, but he passed for 247 yards and three touchdowns in the win. The fourth round draft pick had a passer rating of 117.4 and was by far the best quarterback on the field on Sunday.
The Packers played without running back James Starks, who reportedly underwent knee surgery over the weekend and will miss a few weeks of the season.
They also lost cornerback Quentin Rollins to a groin injury in practice on Saturday. He won’t be available this week either.
During the game, starting corner Damarious Randall re-injured his groin and had to leave the game. The Packers were down to three corners in the game. If starter Sam Shields isn’t ready to go t his week, the Packers will remain extremely thin at that position on Thursday night against the Bears.
The Packers also lost tackle Bryan Bulaga in the second half with a back injury and wide receiver Davante Adams, who is now in the team’s concussion protocol.
The Packers fell to 3-2 with the loss, two full games behind NFC North Division leading Minnesota. The Vikings are 5-0 and are in their bye week.
The Packers get no time for rest. They turn around on Thursday to face the 1-5 Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.