Pack's Bills Come Due in BuffaloPosted:Dec 15th, 2014 2:57 am
Wow, where do we start? Should we lead with the punt return the Pack allowed to give the Bills their first lead? Or would you rather talk about all the drops, most importantly that drop? We could start with the penalties, the blocked field goal or the interceptions...plural.
But maybe the most astounding takeaway was the Pack's anemic passing attack. 30 yards in the first half; a paltry 185 for the game and 25, count them 25 incomplete passes in 42 attempts by Rodgers. He was out of sync from the start and then his receivers did him no favors with drop after drop after drop. He could easily have thrown more than two picks, too. The Bills dropped a couple sure things.
You'd like to think that when your defense keeps the opposing offense out of the end zone on the road, you have a pretty good chance of winning. Not so on this day for the Green and Gold, a day which got off to an ominous start with the sad news that former Packer all-time great Fuzzy Thurston had passed away earlier in the day.
It was strange, because the Packers' running attack was clicking at the start, with Eddie Lacy finding big holes on his way to a 70 yard first half. But the Pack shot itself in the foot time and time again on third downs, converting just 4 of 14 for the game--much credit goes to the Bills' secondary, which was up to the challenge from the opening kickoff.
As expected, the Bills were sharp and played like the more desperate team. While their playoff hopes are still flickering, the Packers saw themselves fall from the #1 seed to #6. They will win their fourth straight North title if they win their final two games. But thanks to the flat effort in Buffalo, it looks like we're going to need the Cardinals to upset the Seahawks next week, if we want to avoid a potential return trip to Qwest Field in January.
I'm going to go ahead and chalk this one up to 'just one of those days' where nothing went right and a team with a strong defense got enough assistance from its special teams units to come out on top. Rodgers was not sharp; Jordy Nelson was not sharp. The defense committed a number of inexcusable penalties. Yet if Nelson doesn't drop a pass he would catch 99 times out of 100, we might have had a different outcome.
The Packers remain winless in Buffalo and will head to another historically dangerous locale next week, Tampa, with no more margin for error. Win these last two, finish at 12-4 and the Pack will likely be a top two seed. Lose even one more and they face the prospect of missing the post-season. That's how quickly you can go from favorites to also rans in today's NFL.