Le’s start with the good stuff. As hoped, Brett Hundley picked up where he left off in the fourth quarter in Chicago, leading the Pack down the field on the opening drive to the Ravens 10 yard line.
OK, let’s move on to the rest of the game now.
Maybe Hundley was confused by the throwback uniforms. Or maybe he’s just not good. After that performance on Sunday, it looks likely that the Pack’s eight-year streak of playoff appearances is history and Aaron Rodgers can heal up, rest up and prepare for 2018.
Despite countless plays where the offensive line gave him a clean pocket, Hundley constantly held on to the ball, neglecting open receivers, and fled toward the sidelines looking for something, anything. It seems clear after four starts that he’s not ready to lead a team with playoff aspirations. I’m not sure he’s ready to lead a Boy Scout troop.
As putrid as his play was, the defense bailed him out. After turnovers on the first three series, the Ravens were only able to come away with six points, teasing us that the Pack was still in the game. Eventually, the defense wilted, thanks in part to injuries to Clay Matthews and Kenny Clark (adding to a medical chart that already had starters Kevin King and Morgan Burnett on the sidelines).
With Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery sidelined, the running game was unable to bail Hundley out this time around and an aggressive, rested, hungry Ravens defense was more than ready for him. Next up comes the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, in their house, in prime time. The Packers are two touchdown underdogs. I’m sure NBC execs are thrilled that this matchup wasn’t flexed out of Sunday night. At least we’ll have three days to digest our Thanksgiving meal before watching this beat down.
A week from now, the Pack will likely be 5-6 with the Buccaneers and Browns waiting in the wings. Obviously, after what we saw on Sunday, it’s hard to picture the Pack beating anyone. But if they find a way to win those two and get to 7-6 with a trip to Carolina looming, it’s not out of the question that Rodgers will be back in uniform. But with defenders dropping like flies, and with Hundley’s confidence likely shaken to its core by Pittsburgh, wins over Tampa and Cleveland are hardly assured.
Like many, I bought into the notion that Hundley was ready for this moment, after nearly three years in McCarthy’s system. Today, I find myself feeling like a rube who just spent five bucks to try to win a stuffed bear at the State Fair.